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Graduation Requirements

Students in dual degree programs must ensure that they meet the degree requirements established by those programs, and should be sure to consult the appropriate officials at the other College in addition to the College of Law. Students who have questions about whether they will meet graduation requirements should contact the Registrar or the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.


Candidates for the degree of Juris Doctor must:

  1. Satisfactorily complete six semesters of full-time law study and 90 semester hours of credit in professional law subjects.  The course of study at the College of Law is designed to be completed in six successive semesters of academic residence or, under an accelerated program, in five semesters and two summer sessions, allowing graduation in December of the student’s third year (if enrolled in at least 5 credit hours each summer term).

Normally a student will take 14 to 16 credit hours per semester.  A “full-time” course load is no less than 10 hours.

  1. Graduate with a GPA of 2.0 or better
  2. Satisfactorily complete the following required courses

--All first year courses:  Torts (4 hours), Property (4 hours), Contracts I-II (6 hours), Civil Procedure I-II (6), Criminal Law (3 hours), Constitutional Law I (3 hours), Legal Research and Writing I-II (4 hours).

--Professional Responsibility

--Substantial Writing Requirement satisfied through completion of a seminar or other course specifically designated to meet the requirement:

  • A law school seminar
  • Federal Appellate Advocacy (Law 827)
  • Advanced Legal Writing (Law 90x)
  • The Law and Business of Intellectual Property Management (Law 90x)   ***is an experiential course only if taken before Spring 2020
  • Supreme Court Decision-Making (Law 840)
  • Research Problems (Law 896) *if the course is not taken in the student’s final semester, and is so designated by the student and instructor.

At least six credit hours of experiential courses from the following list:

  • Advanced Estate Planning (2 hrs.)
  • Advanced Legal Clinic (2-3 hrs.)
  • Advanced Legal Research (2 hrs.)
  • Advanced Legal Writing (2 hrs.)
  • Alternate Dispute Resolution (3 hrs.)
  • Business Legal Research (1 hr.)
  • Business Planning (3 hrs.)
  • Child Advocacy Today Externship (2 hrs.)
  • Children's Law Center Externship (2 hrs.)
  • Civil Pretrial Practice (3 hrs.)
  • Department of Public Advocacy Externship (2 hrs.)
  • Fayette County Attorney Externship (2 hrs.)
  • Federal Administrative & Tax Research (1 hr.)
  • Federal Appellate Advocacy and Procedure (3 hrs.)
  • Federal Government Externship (2 hrs.)
  • Foreign & International Legal Research (1 hr.)
  • Immigration Law Externship (2 hrs.)
  • Innocence Project Externship (2 hrs.)
  • Institute for Compassion in Justice Externship (2 hrs.)
  • Judicial Externship (2 hrs.)
  • Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet Externship (2 hrs.)
  • Kentucky Legal Research (1 hr.)
  • Kentucky Refugee Ministries Externship (2 hrs.)
  • Legal Accounting (2-3 hrs.)
  • Legal Clinic (3 hrs.)
  • Legal Drafting (2-3 hrs.)
  • Lexington City Attorney Externship (2 hrs.)
  • Litigation Skills (3 hrs.)
  • Negotiating Process (2 hrs.)
  • Prosecutorial Externship (2 hrs.)
  • Supreme Court Decision Making (2 hrs.)
  • UK Healthcare Risk Management Office Externship (2 hrs.)
  • UK Office of Legal Counsel Externship (2 hrs.)
  • U.S. Department of Energy Portsmouth Paducah Project Office Externship (2 hrs.)


Note: For Students who first began law studies before Fall 2016, please contact the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs.


  1. Pass/Fail hours limits:

-- No more than 6 hours of pass/fail credits outside the College of Law in other graduate level courses from other University of Kentucky disciplines previously approved by the College of Law faculty.  
-- No more than 9 hours of pass/fail credits within the College of Law curriculum
-- No more than a total of 12 hours of pass/fail credits, whether taken outside or inside the College of Law curriculum.