Graduation Requirements: J.D. Degree

Students are required to earn 88 credits to graduate with the J.D. These include:

1. At least one Ethics/Professional Responsibility course, numbered LAW 400-499

2. Skills Requirement

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3. At least two substantial writing courses.

Substantial writing courses are courses that provide a rigorous writing experience in a legal context in conformity with ABA Standard 303. “Factors to be considered in evaluating the rigor of a writing experience include the number and nature of writing projects assigned to students, the form and extent of individualized assessment of a student’s written products, and the number of drafts that a student must produce for any writing experience.” (ABA Interpretation 303-2).

There are a number of ways to meet the substantial writing course requirement, including through enrolling in designated courses and through faculty supervised independent writing credit. For a list of designated courses for each semester please check course descriptions in CourseLink

Students wishing to enroll in law review writing or independent research for writing credit must submit a completed application form to the Registrar’s Office in the semester in which they plan to commence the independent writing project. Please note that special add/drop deadlines apply for independent writing. Three-credit independent writing projects must be approved by the Vice Dean. Upon completion of the independent writing project, the faculty member must submit the final grade to the registrar along with a signed copy of the Supervised Writing Completion form and a copy of the student paper. Access all forms here.

One-credit courses do not satisfy the writing requirement. Courses about research and writing techniques do not satisfy the writing requirement.

There are two important limitations that apply:

No course may satisfy more than one of the three distribution requirements;
Only nine externship credits may be counted towards the minimum 88 credits required for graduation.

Select courses and clinics may satisfy either the skills or the writing requirement and the student will need to select which requirement is satisfied at the beginning of the semester. Click here for more details.

Skills or Writing Requirements – Miami Law Clinics

Year-Long Clinics (Fall: Writing, Spring: Skills) Each semester counts for one requirement

  • Children and Youth Law Clinic
  • Environmental Justice Clinic
  • Human Rights Clinic
  • Health Rights Clinic
  • Immigration Clinic

Semester-Long or Summer Clinics (Skills or Writing) Students can elect which requirement the course will count for Skills or Writing.

  • Children and Youth Law (Skills by default)
  • Investor Rights (Skills by default)

Semester-Long Clinics (Skills Only)

  • Bankruptcy Clinic
  • Startup Clinic
  • Tenants’ Rights Clinic

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