Student studying in libraryOnce you have completed your first-year classes, it is up to you to design a plan of study that takes advantage of UCLA School of Law's strengths and is designed to meet your interests and career goals. Although you do not have to determine every course you will take in your final two years, you may want to consider the objectives of your legal education each semester you plan a schedule of classes.

The Assistant Dean for Students, Liz Cheadle, provides curriculum planning sessions during the spring and summer, and is available for individual student academic counseling as needed.

Degree Requirements

The candidate for the degree of Juris Doctor must have pursued resident (full time) law school study for at least six semesters, and have satisfactorily completed the following:

First Year Courses—All courses offered as part of the first year curriculum (comprising 33 units);

Total Units—A total of 87 semester units of coursework;

Residency—Must maintain minimum course load requirements each semester; Professional Responsibility—A course of instruction of at least two units of credit on “the history, goals, structure, duties, values and responsibilities of the legal profession and its members, including instruction in the Model Rules of Professional Conduct of the American Bar Association,” as set forth in ABA Standard 302(b). This requirement may be fulfilled by (a) any course numbered Law 312, or (b) any course certified by the instructor at the beginning of the academic year as complying with ABA Standard 302(b), or (c) a Law 340 independent research paper structured in a manner that complies with ABA Standard 302(b); and Substantial Analytic Writing—During the second or third year of law school, a Substantial Analytic Writing (SAW) project. This experience of sustained and intensive work on a specific project is a core element of a student’s legal education. The content and format of the writing project may vary within a wide range. For example, a student may choose to examine a specific proposal for law reform, drawing on empirical research or materials from a field other than law. Alternatively, a student may choose to draw on his/her clinical experience to analyze a specific legal problem. Whatever the format, one of the central objectives of the project should assist students in developing superior writing skills. In accordance with the standard promulgated by the American Bar Association, the project must constitute a “rigorous writing experience.” Students may satisfy the SAW requirement by completing a faculty supervised writing project undertaken for a minimum of two units that is certified by the supervising faculty member as satisfying the requirement of a rigorous writing experience. The writing project must be graded and may not be completed on a pass/fail basis. In general, the SAW requirement may be satisfied by a Law 340 independent research paper, a seminar paper, or a paper for other advanced courses. With the approval of the supervising faculty member, other writing exercises may qualify as the necessary “rigorous writing experience.”

Five-Year Rule—The maximum amount of elapsed time permitted between enrollment in the law school and graduation shall be five years; this is referred to as the “Five Year Rule.”