LL.M./J.D. Graduation Requirements & Bar Exam Advice

Requirements for LL.M./J.D. Students (for students who started in an LL.M. and joined the J.D. program)

  • Complete a total of at least 100 credits (total number varies depending on which LL.M. you are in)
    • This total includes the 88 credits required for the J.D. plus 24 (or more) credits required for your LL.M.
    • 12 credits taken in your LL.M. prior to your J.D. transfer can count towards your J.D.
    • Advanced Standing Credits count towards the overall credit requirement up to a maximum of 29 credits.
    • You will likely receive less than 29 Advanced Standing Credits if you took more than 12 credits in the LL.M. prior to transferring to the J.D.—this is because of ABA rules.
    • Some LL.M. degrees require more than 24 credits. For each credit over 24, add one to the 100 credits required.
      • For example, if your LL.M. requires 26 credits, you need at least 102 credits to complete the LL.M. and J.D. programs. If your LL.M. requires 28 credits, you need at least 104 credits to complete the LL.M. and J.D.
    • Plan ahead! You must satisfy all LL.M. and J.D. requirements, plus any requirements specific to your planned bar exam jurisdiction, so you will need to take extra credits if you don’t carefully plan your schedule.
  • Complete all 1L courses within four semesters of when you started your LL.M.:
    • Civil Procedure I (3 credits)
    • Constitutional Law I (4 credits)
    • Contracts (4 credits)
    • Criminal Procedure I (3 credits)
    • L Comm I (2 credits)
    • L Comm II (2 credits)
    • Property (4 credits)
    • Torts (4 credits)
    • Some of these 1L courses are not offered every semester:
      • Civil Procedure and Torts are normally offered only in the fall, and Constitutional Law I and Criminal Procedure I are normally offered only in the spring.
      • Sometimes courses are offered every semester one year but not the next year. For example, Property I is normally offered each fall and spring, but in some academic years it is offered only in the fall.
      • Though there are sometimes special sections offered at other times, LL.M./J.D. students often cannot enroll in them.
      • That is why it’s best to finish these classes as soon as possible.
    • Elements is not required for LL.M./J.D. students.
  • Complete the two courses created for LL.M./J.D. students, Topics in Legal Analysis: Foundations (2 credits) and Topics in Legal Analysis: Principles (2 credits).
    • You normally cannot take these courses until you finish L Comm I and L Comm II.
    • Take one right after you finish L Comm II and the second in the semester after.
    • If you must take these courses at a different time, contact Brian Sites (BSites@law.miami.edu) immediately to discuss so you don’t delay your graduation.
    • See the sample schedule below to learn more on the timing of these and other courses.
  • Complete the required Bar courses in your final semester at UM:
    • Topics on the Multistate Bar Exam, and
    • Topics in Florida Practice (if taking the Florida Bar Exam)
    • You should have completed all of the 1L courses and Topics in Legal Analysis courses before taking these courses to gain the maximum benefit for the bar exam.
  • Complete 2 upper-level writing courses:
    • These are labeled "writing requirement" in Courselink and as “writing” courses on CaneLink.
    • Topics in Legal Analysis: Foundations counts as one of these requirements.
    • L Comm I and II do not count towards this requirement.
    • Independent Study with a professor can fulfill a writing requirement.
    • Be sure to complete the second upper-level writing course before your final semester at UM! (it can delay your graduation otherwise)
  • Complete 6 skills credits:
    • This can be any six credits from one or more courses labeled "skills requirement" in Courselink and Canelink.
    • Common ways to complete these credits are clinics, externships, and skill-focused courses.
    • These courses can require prerequisites and early application deadlines, so plan ahead.
  • Complete 1 Ethics/Professional Responsibility course:
    • This can be any course labeled "professional responsibility" in Courselink and Canelink, such as the Professional Responsibility

Plan your path, including your bar exam, immediately upon starting at UM!

  • Count your credits, and plan ahead! You normally need to take approximately 15 credits per semester (not counting summer semesters) to graduate on time.
  • You must have a minimum of six (6) credits to obtain financial aid during your last semester of law school.
  • Remember any requirements from your immigration visa. Consult with your ISSS officer regularly if applicable.
  • No one-semester course may satisfy more than one graduation requirement, so a course labeled “Skills” or “Writing” can't count for both skills and writing requirements in the same
  • Externship Cap: only 9 externship credits may be counted towards the 88 credits required for your J.D.
  • The jurisdiction where you take a bar exam might impose additional requirements.
    • For example, some jurisdictions limit the number of online courses you can take.
    • Other jurisdictions require you to take specific courses to fulfill certain admission requirements (like New York’s Skills Pathways).
    • Discuss your bar exam plans with your LL.M. advisor and, after you start the J.D. program, with Brian Sites (BSites@law.miami.edu).
  • You normally cannot take the bar exam until you complete both the LL.M. and the J.D. degrees.
    • There are rare exceptions to this rule, so talk to Brian Sites (BSites@law.miami.edu) if you are planning to take a bar exam before finishing both degrees.
  • To best prepare for the bar exam, take as many bar-tested subjects as you can. The following courses are highly recommended bar-tested elective courses:
  • Evidence – 4 credits (an essential elective for all students!)
  • Trusts and Estates Essentials – 2 credits (or the 4-credit version, Trusts and Estates)
  • Any of our three Commercial Law courses
    1. “Commercial Law: UCC” (4 credits) offers the broadest coverage for Florida bar takers
    2. “Commercial Law: Secured Transactions” (4 credits) offers the best coverage for students taking the Uniform Bar Exam (since the UBE does not test negotiable instruments)
  • Business Associations – 4 credits
  • Other bar-tested courses like Civil Procedure II (3 credits) and Constitutional Law II (4 credits)


Sample Schedule for LL.M./J.D. Students

Some LL.M. programs require specific courses for the first two semesters. Students also sometimes start an LL.M. in the spring instead of the fall, attend the LL.M. or J.D. part-time, or have other special circumstances. For those situations, the below schedule will not work—meet with Brian Sites (BSites@law.miami.edu) to discuss scheduling options.

All students can make their schedule more flexible by taking a few courses over the summer. For example, Professional Responsibility is commonly offered in the summer and is a good pair with taking an August MPRE (Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam) in your final summer at UM. Note, however, that taking summer courses will potentially increase the total cost of the degree (since tuition is billed in block billing during fall/spring semesters).

Semester 1 (Fall—usually 12-15 credits)

  • Complete L Comm I
  • Complete one other 1L course
    • Focus on completing a 1L course that is not offered every semester, such as Torts, Civil Procedure I, U.S. Constitutional Law I, or Criminal Procedure
  • Focus on completing LL.M. requirements
  • Complete and file your Florida bar exam application or, if taking a different bar exam, determine your filing date

Semester 2 (Spring—usually 15-16 credits)

  • Complete L Comm II
  • Complete two other 1L courses
    • Focus on completing 1L courses that are not offered every semester, such as U.S. Constitutional Law I, Criminal Procedure, Torts, or Civil Procedure I
  • Finish LL.M. requirements
  • When registration for next semester begins, meet with Brian Sites to plan courses and bar exam

Semester 3 (Fall—usually 15-16 credits)

  • Complete Topics in Legal Analysis: Foundations
  • Complete two 1L courses (take three if you took only two previously)
    • Focus on completing Torts and Civil Procedure I, since they are usually not offered in spring semesters
  • Take Evidence if you have space

Semester 4 (Spring—usually 15-16 credits)

  • Complete Topics in Legal Analysis: Principles
  • Finish your 1L courses
  • Finish your second Writing course requirement if you haven’t already
  • Take Evidence if you haven’t taken it yet
  • Take Professional Responsibility if not taking it in summer
  • Check in with Brian Sites for bar exam planning

Summer (optional)

  • Take Professional Responsibility course if offered
  • Take MPRE in August (also offered each March and November)

Semester 5 (Fall—usually 15-16 credits)

  • Take Topics on the Multistate Bar Exam
  • Take Topics in Florida Practice (if taking the Florida bar exam)
  • Finish any remaining J.D. and LL.M. requirements
  • Take bar electives from the above list
  • Complete other bar tasks:
    • File any needed documents for bar exam
    • Finish enrolling in your UM Barbri program
      • If you are opting out of the UM Barbri program, purchase a different bar preparation program at least two months before graduation
    • Start the “early start” bar program at least one full month before graduation
    • Meet with Brian Sites or other Academic Achievement Program team members to plan bar exam
  • Graduate! Congratulations!