Part-Time JD Law Program Format

The College of Law and Public Service opened more than 50 years ago as a part-time Juris Doctor–granting program; that legacy of providing accessible legal education emphasizing diversity, inclusivity, community, and civic engagement continues today. Working adults can take advantage of day and evening classes at a State Bar of California–accredited law school with the resources and opportunities offered by a major university.

Part-Time Law Program Curriculum

Since the beginning, the University of La Verne College of Law and Public Service has strived to train the next generation of lawyers and leaders seeking to make a difference in their communities. We are committed to accommodating individuals who cannot attend law school full time.

Students enrolled in La Verne’s part-time law program have access to the same curriculum, quality instruction, and resources as full-time candidates to support their success. Within Southern California and the Inland Empire region, the College of Law and Public Service sees ourselves as an incubator for legal education, thought, and advocacy; in this pursuit, we guide both our full- and part-time students in the discovery of law, providing an innovative and collaborative environment for your journey. While individuals studying full-time can complete this path in three years, our part-time law program spreads the same subjects and core competencies over a four-year period.

Whichever you choose, our J.D. curriculum is based on the following format:

  • Foundational: Coursework introduces Torts, Criminal Law, and Contracts, Property, and Civil Procedure, all while emphasizing legal writing and skills associated with substantive law. Candidates will further have the opportunity to observe courtroom litigation and discuss the processes with attorneys and judges as part of a Court Observation Week.
  • Experiential Learning: Building off the Foundational Curriculum, coursework explores litigation and transactional law topics, with guidance from faculty and practicing attorneys and the opportunity to participate in mock trials and mock negotiations.
  • Enhancement: Preparing students to launch their law career and take the bar exam, this portion typically designated for the third year allows for a degree of flexibility. As candidates explore areas that interest them, they continue to gain experience through clinics and externships and improve their legal writing skills.

Part-Time Law Program Format

To earn a J.D., all part-time law students take eight to 11 units per semester plus summer coursework. Expect to attend class three times per week. The part-time evening program is intended for the working professional or adult learner who needs classes offered in the evening hours.

The part-time law curriculum covers the same subjects as the full-time program while spacing them out over four years:

1L Fall Semester

Course Units
Contracts/DVS 2/1
Civil Procedure 2
Torts/ILS 4/2
Total 11

1L Spring Semester

Course Units
Contracts 3
Civil Procedure 3
Criminal Law/ILS 3/2
Total 11

2L Fall Semester

Course Units
Constitutional Law 3
Property/DVS 2/1
Professionalism & Ethics 1
Electives 1–4
Total 811

2L Spring Semester

Course Units
Constitutional Law 3
Property 3
Electives 2–5
Total 811

3L Fall Semester

Course Units
Evidence 4
Criminal Procedure 3
Trial Advocacy 2
Electives 0–2
Total 911

3L Spring Semester

Course Units
Business Organizations 3
Sales 2
Negotiations 2
Transactional Workshop 2
Electives 0–2
Total 911

4L Year

Course Units
Wills & Trusts 3
Capstone 5
Electives 3–12
Upper Division Writing 2–3
Professional Responsibility 2
Experiential Course 3
Total 1222

Total Program: 88 semester hours

Why Attend Law School Part Time?

Full-time law programs are a significant commitment, one that limits how many hours you can work during the day. Yet, professionals who might be considering a career change shouldn’t have to change their work situation to get ahead.

The College of Law and Public Service understands the demands the typical adult learners contends with on a daily basis. Our part-time evening program delivers the same quality JD program over three nights a week plus summers. What makes a part-time law program more appealing?

  • Fewer credits and more accessibility: Part-time law programs typically schedule courses for the evenings and weekends, allowing you to earn your J.D. after 9-to-5 hours. Students in general take fewer credits per semester, although that structure doesn’t lessen course quality or intensity. A typical part-time J.D. candidate should expect to put in 30 to 40 hours per week between classes, assignments, law review, extracurriculars, and on-campus interviews.
  • More weight is placed on professional accomplishments: The typical part-time law student is considering the degree for professional advancement or a career change. Factoring in this aspect, law schools often evaluate these candidates based on their professional experience and achievements thus far, placing less emphasis on undergraduate GPA and LSAT scores.
  • A reasonable financial obligation: Especially with a per-credit structure like the College of Law and Public Service uses, the cost to attend law school part time is considerably lower than a full-time course load. As well, working during the day to contribute toward your tuition also lessens the amount of loans you’ll need to take out.

Learn More About La Verne’s Part-Time J.D. Law Program

Thinking about earning a law degree part time but need to evaluate your options first? Reach out to the University of La Verne College of Law and Public Service’s Office of Admissions with any questions about structure, course content, accreditation, and other key factors. Contact us by email or by phone at (877) 858-4529, or request more information today.