US JD

Study law in the heart of downtown Detroit and immerse yourself in the region's largest legal community.

Choose the US JD program division duration aligned with your career goals and commitments: full-time, part-time, or extended.

 

US JD Program Divisions

Full-Time Day: Graduate in 3 years

The full-time division requires 36-48 hours per week for legal education. Students are in class 12-16 hours per week and should study 24-36 hours per week. Full-time students typically complete 30 credits per year, with 12-16 credits in the fall and winter terms. Students may choose to complete summer courses to reduce their upper-level fall and winter course loads.

First-year students in the full-time division should plan for a schedule of five days per week, Monday through Friday, during business hours; students are assigned to a section and automatically registered for courses. Upper-level students have some flexibility to choose their course schedule, and academic advising is available to help students meet program requirements.

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    Sample 1L Fall Full-Time Schedule

    Full Time Fall Sample Schedule Chart
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    Sample 1L Winter Full-Time Schedule

    Full Time Winter Sample Schedule Chart

Part-Time Day: Graduate in 4 years

The part-time division requires 27-36 hours per week for legal education. Students are in class 9-12 hours per week and should study 18-24 hours per week. Part-time students typically complete 24 credits per year, with 9-12 credits in the fall and winter terms. Students may choose to complete summer courses to graduate early or to reduce their upper-level fall and winter course loads.

First-year students in the part-time division should plan for a schedule of five days per week, Monday through Friday, during business hours; students are assigned to a section and automatically registered for courses. Upper-level students have some flexibility to choose their course schedule, and academic advising is available to help students meet program requirements.

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    Sample 1L Fall Part-Time Schedule

    Part Time Fall Sample Schedule Chart
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    Sample 1L Winter Part-Time Schedule

    Part Time Winter Sample Schedule Chart

Extended Day: Graduate in 5 years

The extended division requires 21-30 hours per week for legal education. Students are in class 7-10 hours per week and should study 14-20 hours per week. Extended students typically complete 18 credits per year, with 7-10 credits in the fall and winter terms. Students may choose to complete summer courses to graduate early or to reduce their upper-level fall and winter course loads.

First-year students in the extended division should plan for a schedule of three days per week, Monday through Friday, during business hours; students are assigned to a section and automatically registered for courses. Upper-level students have some flexibility to choose their course schedule, and academic advising is available to help students meet program requirements.

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    Sample 1L Fall Extended Schedule

    Extended Fall Sample Schedule Chart
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    Sample 1L Winter Extended Schedule

    Extended Winter Sample Schedule Chart

Students may request to move between divisions.

When selecting a division, students should be realistic about their ability to succeed in light of their goals and non-academic commitments outside of law school. When in doubt, students are encouraged to start slow and add more courses in subsequent terms as they adjust to the rigor of law school.

Requests from incoming students regarding divisions should be directed to lawadmissions@udmercy.edu. Requests from current students regarding transferring between divisions should be directed to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

Learn more here about best practices for selecting a program division in light of employment and other non-academic commitments.

 

Degree Requirements

Graduation requires 90 credit hours of required and elective courses.  All students are encouraged to work with faculty advisors and the Academic Success team to develop personalized course of study plans.

Learn more about the curriculum here.

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    Foundational Courses (1L)

    All students complete foundation courses at the beginning of their legal studies.  Full-time students complete the foundation courses during their first year.

    Students who matriculated in Fall 2021 and later complete the following foundation courses

    • Applied Legal Theory and Analysis I & II
    • Civil Procedure
    • Contracts I & II
    • Criminal Law
    • Introduction to Legal Research and Communication I & II
    • Property I & II
    • Torts

    Consult the student handbook for more information.

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    Core Courses (2L/3L)

    All students complete core courses in their upper-level years.

    Students who matriculated in Fall 2021 and later complete the following core courses:

    Consult the student handbook for more information.

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    Electives (2L/3L)

    In addition to the foundation and core curriculum, students must complete a minimum of 34 elective courses to satisfy the degree requirement of 90 credit hours. Students are encouraged to work with their faculty advisor and the Academic Success team to develop a personalized course of study plan aligned with their interests and career goals.

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    Bar Tested Courses

    Students are encouraged to complete courses on subjects frequently tested on the bar exam.

    State of Michigan Bar Tested Courses
    • Business Organizations (corporations, partnerships and agency)
    • Conflict of Laws
    • Constitutional Law (First and Fourteenth Amendment)
    • Contracts
    • Creditors’ Rights (including mortgages, garnishments and attachments)
    • Criminal Law and Procedure
    • Equity
    • Estates & Trusts
    • Evidence
    • Family Law / Domestic Relations
    • Insurance Law (including no-fault)
    • Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct
    • Practice and Procedure (trial and appellate, state and federal)
    • Real and Personal Property
    • Remedies
    • Sales, Negotiable Instruments and Secured Transactions articles of the Uniform Commercial Code
    • Torts
    • Workers’ Compensation
    • Wills and Trusts

    Students who plan to sit for another state’s bar exam should consult the Academic Success team to learn more about frequently-tested subjects in a particular state.