Rules for Graduation Requirements
Graduation requires 90 course credits, plus 30 hours of public service work. Please consult the Academic Rules in our Student Handbook for more detailed information on our graduation requirements.
Students in the Traditional 3-year and Accelerated 2-year program take the same courses in the same sequence, with the exception of Legal Research and Writing III & IV – see below for details.
Students in our J.D. for Internationally Educated Lawyers program will work individually with a law faculty member to select courses to facilitate their career aspirations. Depending on courses completed during prior law studies outside the United States, students will enroll in most of the same courses required of all J.D. students. Students for whom English is not a primary language will also likely enroll Common Law Analysis and Communication, a course collaboratively taught by law and language acquisition experts. See a sample of a possible JD-IEL schedule in this PDF.
Terms 1 and 2
In our required first-year litigation and transactional skills labs, you will draft complaints and contracts, engage in discovery, interview clients, and develop the skills future employers will expect of you.
In the first two Legal Research and Writing courses, you will learn to communicate with lawyerly precision and clarity while simultaneously honing your analytical and research skills.
Meanwhile, we do not neglect traditional doctrinal first-year studies. You will take focused versions of such traditional first-year courses as Torts, Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, and Property.
Civil Procedure – 4 Credits
Torts – 4 Credits
Criminal Law – 3 Credits
Legal Research & Writing I – 2 Credits
Litigation Skills & Professionalism Lab – 2 Credits
Contracts – 4 Credits
Property – 4 Credits
Students matriculating before May of 2015: Perspectives on the Law – 3 Credits
Students matriculating after May of 2015: Constitutional Law: Structures of Government – 3 Credits
Legal Research & Writing II – 2 Credits
Transactional Skills & Professionalism Lab – 2 Credits
After the first two terms, you can choose from a wide variety of classes that emphasize practical skills, theory, or a combination of both.
Terms 3 and 4 Required Courses
Students matriculating before May of 2015: Constitutional Law: Structures of Government – 3 Credits
Constitutional Law : Individual Rights – 3 Credits
Professional Responsibility – 3 Credits
Evidence – 3 Credits
Legal Research & Writing III – 2 credits (students in the Accelerated program take this course in terms 5 and 6.)
Legal Research & Writing IV – 2 credits (students in the Accelerated program take this course in terms 5 and 6.)
Professional Responsibility – 3 Credits
Learn By Doing
As a capstone experience, you will be required to engage in experiential learning, serving real clients while working with practicing lawyers or judges. You may complete this requirement in our legal clinic, or in community placements through our externship program.
Traditional three-year program students that begin classes in 2014 or later are required to take at least 6 credit hours of Experiential Learning during their 2nd or 3rd year of legal education. Three-year program students that began classes from 2009-2013 are required to take at least 3 credit hours.
Students in the Accelerated programmust fulfill 12 credit hours of Experiential Learning to complete their degree.
Students must apply for their Externship or Legal Clinic experience. Contact the Externship or Legal Clinic for application information each semester.
Students may choose to pursue a dual degree while attending Gonzaga University School of Law. Classes required for graduation with a dual degree may vary slightly. Please consult the specific program requirements for your desired dual-degree program to ensure all graduation requirements of both programs are met.
Dual Degrees Offered