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Juris Doctor Program

The Juris Doctor (JD) Program at Pace Law School is a full-time or part-time day academic program that provides solid preparation for students who wish to become lawyers. The program offers an integrated curriculum designed to ensure the development of appropriate academic, procedural, and lawyering skills. 

Required courses
Required courses account for a minimum of 36 of the 88 credits necessary for a JD degree for students matriculating in 2016 or thereafter. Below you will find the schedule of required courses for full-time day and part-time day.  

Course

Credits

Semester taken, Full Time

Semester taken, Part Time

Contracts

4

First year, Spring

First year, Spring

Property

5

First year, Spring

First year, Spring

Torts

4

First year, Fall

Second year, Fall

First Year Legal Skills Program

5

First year, Fall and Spring

First year, Fall and Spring

Civil Procedure

5

First year, Fall

First year, Fall

Constitutional Law

4

First year, Spring

Second year, Spring

Criminal Law

3

First year, Fall

First year, Fall

Professional Responsibility

3

Second year

Second or third year

Administrative Law / Regulatory Process

3+

Second or third year

Second , third, or fourth year

Upper level writing requirement
All Pace Law Students must complete a writing project under the supervision of a professor. It is each student’s responsibility to register for a course or a seminar in which the professor is willing to supervise a qualifying writing project and to inform the professor at the beginning of the semester that a course is being taken to satisfy the writing requirement. The professor must certify to the Registrar at the end of the semester that all the elements of the requirement have been met. Only faculty-supervised writing may satisfy the requirement. Participation in Moot Court competitions or contests does not satisfy the requirement. The necessary permission forms can be found on the Registrar's website. 

  • The following may be used to satisfy the requirement:
    Courses – Any course that is certified by the Academic Dean as satisfying the requirement may be taken. A list of courses that have been certified will be included in the registration materials each semester. This list includes:
    • All seminars
    • The Federal Judicial Honors Program
    • Advanced Appellate Advocacy
    • Guided Research with a full-time faculty member
    • Any other upper-level course or clinic, if approved by the full-time or adjunct professor teaching the course or clinic and the Academic Dean.
  • Law review notes – Notwithstanding the requirements for other means of satisfying the upper level requirement, students who are members of any of the law reviews may satisfy the requirement by writing their note or comment. A full-time professor must review and certify that student notes and comments meet the substantive requirements for the requirement as set forth below.
  • Requirements of the written product: The written product must be in the form of a scholarly article, a legal memorandum, or a trial or appellate brief. The written product must be at least 25 double-spaced pages, exclusive of footnotes.  It must also demonstrate an appropriate level of legal research and analysis, be well-organized and well-written, and ordinarily, it must contain ample citation to legal authority. Journals, diaries, and other writings that do not reflect such research and analysis do not meet this requirement. Except for the suggestions of editors and faculty, the written product should reflect the individual work of the student.

To satisfy the requirement, a student must:

  1. Complete a research and citation workshop (students who matriculate in the fall of 2013 and thereafter)
  2. Submit a draft
  3. Get feedback on the draft in any combination of the following forms: oral, written, checklists, and audiotapes
  4. Submit a final product

To satisfy the requirement, the written product should include:

  1. A required writing text
  2. Research logs (not necessarily graded)
  3. An outline (not necessarily graded)
  4. A self-critique or peer-critique experience
  5. Either (a) a minimum of two hours of class time devoted to the teaching of writing, or (b) individual student-teacher conferences. Feedback on further drafts at the option of the professor.

Required Research and Citation Workshop: As part of the Upper Level Writing

Requirement, all students must complete a Research and Citation Workshop with the Law

School’s Reference Librarians some time during the second, third, or fourth year of Law School.

Completion of the Advanced Legal Research course or one of the Advanced Research Skills

intersession courses will satisfy this requirement. In addition, some upper level seminars used to

fulfill the Upper Level Writing Requirement that also incorporate a Research and Citation

Workshop will satisfy the requirement. All students must submit a Certificate of Completion,

signed by a Reference Librarian, in order to complete successfully this research and citation

component of the Upper Level Writing Requirement.

Upper level skills requirement
Students must successfully complete a total of 6 credits of coursework in an approved upper level skills courses as a condition of graduation. The following courses may be taken to meet the upper level skills requirement:

  • Live-Client Clinics
    Barbara C. Salken Criminal Justice Clinic
    Environmental Litigation Clinic
    Equal Justice America Disability Rights Clinic
    Immigration Justice Clinic
    Investor Rights Clinic
    Neighborhood Justice Clinic
    Semester-in-Practice
  • Externships
    Corporate Law Externship
    Criminal Justice (Prosecutorial) Externship
    Environmental Law Externship (NY and DC)
    Family Court Externship
    Federal Judicial Honors Externship
    Legal Services/Public Interest/Health Law Externship
    Mediation Practicum
    Prosecution Honors Externship
  • Simulations
    Advanced Appellate Advocacy
    Advanced Real Property
    Advanced Research Skills in Criminal Law and Procedure
    Advanced Trial Advocacy
    Commercial Leasing
    Drafting Legal Documents
    Environmental Commercial Transactions
    Environmental Skills
    Federal Criminal Pre-Trial Simulation
    Intellectual Property Agreements and Licensing
    Interviewing, Counseling and Negotiation (ICN)
    Law Practice Management
    Negotiations
    Patent Practice and Procedure
    Pre-trial Civil Litigation Simulation (PCLS)
    Survey of Dispute Resolution Processes (for up to 15 students per semester)
    Trial Advocacy

Professional Development Requirement

All students entering in the Fall 2015 semester or thereafter are required to fulfill a Professional Development Requirement in order to graduate.  Students will satisfy the requirement by:

  1. Registering with the Center for Career and Professional Development (“CCPD”) by December 1st of their first year at the Law School,
  2. Attending at least one in-office meeting with a CCPD counselor before the beginning of their final year in law school, and
  3. Earning six (6) professional development (“PD”) credits, in addition to their 88 academic credits, before graduating from law school.  One PD credit will be awarded for mandatory participation in a day-long seminar organized by CCPD, to be held early in the second year of law school. 

Examples of programs attendance at any one of which will earn students one (1) PD credit are available in the Academic Regulations or from the Registrar's office.