JD Programs

Our primary program is the juris doctor (JD), which includes the JD-MBA program. For more information about the JD-MBA program, visit the JD-MBA website.

To be considered for the JD program, you must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university or expect to finish one by the end of the academic year in which you apply.

The Admissions Committee selects the incoming JD and JD-MBA class from roughly 5,000 applicants. The committee's decisions are based on a number of factors, including the applicant's academic records, application information, letters of recommendation, LSAT scores, extracurricular activities, demonstrated interest in people and their institutions, personal circumstances, and other information bearing on the applicant's qualifications for the study of law. In addition, more than 90 percent of the entering class have had at least one year of full-time work experience.

During your first year, you will take a combination of required classes and electives that focus on building a solid foundation in law and legal reasoning as well as developing teamwork and communication skills.

The second and third year offer more flexibility in planning your curriculum as there is only one mandatory class. You can choose a general course of study or decide to concentrate in one of five areas. You will also have the opportunity to participate in our nationally renowned Bluhm Legal Clinic, work for one of the Law School’s scholarly journals, try out for the Northwestern National Trial team, or study abroad through an International Team Project.

JD Graduation Requirements

In order to graduate with the degree of juris doctor from Northwestern University School of Law, each student must:

  • Earn 85 semester credit hours

  • Achieve a cumulative GPA of at least 2.25, or of 2.0 if two-thirds of all grades are C+ or better
  • Earn credit for the following required courses:

    Civil Procedure
    Property
    Torts
    Contracts
    Criminal Law
    Communication and Legal Reasoning I & II
    Constitutional Law
    Legal Ethics

    Perspective Elective (from a list of such courses as designated by the Curriculum Committee and identified as such at registration)

    Professional Skills Elective (beginning with the Class of 2008—from a list of such courses as designated by the Curriculum Committee and identified as such at registration)

  • Complete the academic writing requirement during the second or third year in one of three ways:

    • Complete a minimum of four hours of Senior Research
    • Complete satisfactory service on a national moot court team (the National Moot Court Team or the Jessup International Moot Court Team) or a journal AND write two drafts of a manuscript in a seminar designated by the instructor as allowing for completion of the writing requirement. (The seminar manuscript and the Journal/Moot Court work must be unrelated)
    • Complete a single draft manuscript in one seminar and a three draft manuscript in another seminar. The seminars must be designated by the instructor as allowing for completion of the writing requirement. (The two manuscripts must be unrelated).

Related Links

Apply | Tuition and Financial Aid | Current Courses | Concentrations | Areas of Study