Academic Policies Guide

JD Program Requirements

Before registering for classes, you should familiarize yourself with all the JD requirements described on this page. Policies and procedures contained in this guide may not be waived by individual faculty members, but if at all only by the Vice Dean and Assistant Dean for Academic Services and Registration and only for compelling reasons. For further information, please see our Academic Policies Guide: JD Division.

Please note that you are responsible for making sure that you fulfill each of these requirements prior to graduation. The Office of Academic Services is not able to monitor the transcripts and the curricular choices of every student. Especially prior to registration for your final term, review these requirements to ensure that you will have satisfied all of them. It is of course highly advisable to have the requirements in mind as you make your course selections each term. If you have any questions about the requirements, you should consult an advisor in the Office of Academic Services.

A. Full-Time Status:

The Law School maintains no part-time J.D. program. Candidates for the JD degree are required to register for a full-time program, 12 credits minimum, unless permission of the Vice Dean or the Executive Committee (a joint committee of law professors, students and administrators) is secured. Such permission will be considered only for reasons of health, family-care responsibilities or other unusual cases of personal hardship.

Additionally, students may take no more than fifteen credit hours per semester, except by advance permission (through a Credit Load Permission Form) of the Office of Academic Services, the Vice Dean, or the Executive Committee, once the bidding cycles are completed.

B. Required Courses:

Refer to the following chart to determine your JD graduation requirements. You are encouraged to use the Degree Progress Checklist and the Degree Progress Report in the Albert Student Center as a guide to what requirements you have already satisfied. 

You MUST check the status of incompletes and your total credits earned. To do this, you should refer to the “EHRS” column on your transcript. “EHRS” reports your total earned credits. Do not rely upon the “AHRS” column on your transcript since that reports attempted hours (i.e. it includes courses you dropped, language courses, etc.) and not earned hours. If you have concerns about your transcript and your progress toward degree, contact the Office of Academic Services. For graduating students, all incomplete work from prior semesters must be turned in to professors no later than May 1 of your final semester (or September 1 for September graduates and January 5 for those graduating in January) unless a faculty member has set an earlier deadline. All work begun in the final semester must be turned no later than the last day of the exam period unless a faculty member has set an earlier deadline.

Number of Credits to Graduate First Year Curriculum Upper Class Required Courses Writing Requirements Experiential Learning



Legislation and the Regulatory State
First-Year Elective*

Constitutional Law**


Professional Responsibility

(Courses which satisfy the Professional Responsibility requirement appear under the course topic "Professional Responsibility" in the Schedule of Classes, unless otherwise noted.)

One Writing Option A Paper


Two Writing Option B papers

Beginning with the Class of 2019

Six credits in experiential learning courses. Three of those credits will be satisfied in Lawyering. The remaining credits may be earned in clinics, externships, and simulation courses.

For more information on the experiential learning requirement, see Section F.

*First-year elective: Constitutional Law, Corporations, Criminal Procedure, Income Taxation, International Law, Property, Survey of Criminal Procedure, or Survey of Intellectual Property.

(NOTE: Not all courses listed are offered each year.)

**Constitutional Law or Property: If taken as a first-year elective, the requirement for that specific class is satisfied. If not taken as a first-year elective the class(es) must be taken before graduation.

Additional Note on Property: While you have the option to take Property in your third year, we do hope that many of you will continue to take the class in your second year. The faculty still feel that it is an important foundational class for many upper level courses across areas of study. Property, like Constitutional Law, may be a prerequisite for some upper-level courses that you wish to take. As such, we encourage you to consult with faculty regarding why it may be more advantageous to take Property (or even Constitutional Law) early in your law school career/studies.

Number of Credits Required for JD degree: Students must earn at least 83 credits for the JD degree. The following credit restrictions apply.

C. Overall Caps:

In-Class/Full-time and Visiting Credits:

All candidates for the JD degree are required to complete a minimum of 64 in-class credits of which 52 credits must be in courses taught by members of the tenured or tenure-track faculty (hereinafter, “regular courses”) and may choose all other courses from among a pool of 31 credits. Regular courses include courses taught by visitors and by members of the adjunct faculty whose courses are deemed to be “regular courses” for this purpose.   The following adjunct taught courses will be deemed regular courses:

1.   Courses taught by emeritus faculty;

2.   Courses co-taught by adjunct faculty with full-time members of the academic and clinical faculty;

3.   Courses taught by adjunct faculty who are full-time members of another law school;

4.   Courses required for Law School graduation or by another school of the University with which the Law School has a joint degree program in which a student is then enrolled, including tax courses taken by students who are in the joint J.D./LL.M. tax program;

5.   Clinical courses;

6.   Courses taught by an adjunct whose primary professional affiliation is with the Law School and who will be present at the Law School during the time of the adjunct appointment on a full-time basis; and

7.   Courses designated as core by the Vice Dean and other courses designated in accordance with governance processes of the Faculty.

The remaining 31 credits may be comprised of non-classroom or adjunct credits.  Adjunct credits that count towards this cap are indicated with an “A” footnote in the Schedule of Classes. Directed Research, writing credits, and non-law courses that are solely taught by an adjunct professor will count towards the cap. It is your responsibility to comply with this limit.  If you take more than the 31 credits in this category, you will have to compensate by taking additional course credits.

Externship Fieldwork:

Of the 83 credits for graduation no more than 19 credits may be earned in non-classroom activities, which includes externship fieldwork. In determining whether credits earned in an externship are subject to the 19-credit maximum for “non-classroom credits,” the following rules apply:

  1. Credits earned in the seminar component of an externship are treated like any other seminar and thus do not count against the 19-credit maximum for “non-classroom credits.”
  2. Credits earned in the fieldwork component of certain externships are “non-classroom credits” for purposes of the 19-credit maximum for non-classroom credits.
  3. Credits earned in the fieldwork component of a clinic qualify as in-class credits and do not count against the 19-credit maximum for “non-classroom credits” if (a) the clinic’s fieldwork involves actual clients and includes opportunities to advise or represent a client and (b) a full-time or adjunct faculty member directly supervises the fieldwork.  If the fieldwork does not satisfy these criteria, then credits earned in the fieldwork count against the 19-credit maximum for non-classroom credits.

D. Non-Classroom Credit Caps:

Of the 83 credits for graduation no more than 19** credits may be earned in non-classroom activities. If you take more than 19 non-classroom credits, you will have to compensate by taking additional classroom credits.

Course Type

Credit Maximum for Each Category

Externship fieldwork with "NCF" footnote (see Schedules of Classes)


Directed Research/Fellowship (no more than 3 credits per semester)


Journals/Moot Court Boards (2 credits for certain 3L editorial work).


Marden Competition (1 credit per semester).


Non-Law Graduate Credits (which are not cross-listed) counted towards the JD


Research Assistantships (no more than 2 credits per academic year) 4

Teaching Assistantships.


Research Assistantships 4 (2 per year)

E. Regularly Scheduled Class Sessions (at the Law School)

Of the 83 credits for graduation at least 64 credits must be earned in regularly scheduled class sessions at the Law School which includes the following:

Course Type Credit Cap
Law School courses, seminars, simulations, workshops, and writing credits associated with a seminar or course. N/A
Law School courses and seminars that are cross-listed between the Law School and other units of NYU when the student is registered under the Law School class number N/A
Seminar and fieldwork portions of a clinic* N/A
Seminar portion of an externship N/A

*You cannot add a clinic unless you have faculty permission to register. The clinic office will supply a list of approved students to the office of Records and Registration.  You will be pre-registered for the clinic. You do not need to select it during the bidding period. (Clinical Law Program Course Offerings is available from the Clinics Office)

F. Experiential Learning - Effective for students who began their 1L studies in fall 2016 and thereafter

ABA Standard 303(a)(3) requires JD students to complete one or more experiential course(s) totaling at least six credit hours.  At NYU, all JD students earn three of these experiential credits in 1L Lawyering or Lawyering for Transfers.

Experiential Learning Credits

As stated above, J.D. students will satisfy three credits of experiential learning through their 1L Lawyering (LAW-LW.10687 – year long course) or Lawyering for Transfers (LAW-LW.12627 – one-semester course). Both of these courses count towards the New York State Court of Appeals Skills Competency Requirement for the Admission of Attorneys and Counselors of Law (Section 520.18).

The additional three credits can be satisfied with a clinic, an externship or a simulation course as mentioned below. This includes clinics taken in a Study Abroad Program (i.e., Buenos Aires, Paris, Shanghai).

Experiential Course Offerings

An experiential course must be a simulation, clinic or field placement class.

Simulation Course 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024
Clinic (both seminar and fieldwork)    
        Clinic Seminar 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024
        Clinic Fieldwork 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024
Field Placement (i.e., Externships both externship and seminar)    
        Externship Seminar 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024
        Externship 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024

What to Expect From an Experiential Course

To satisfy this requirement, a course must be primarily experiential in nature and must:
(i) integrate doctrine, theory, skills, and legal ethics, and engage students in performance of one or more of the following professional skills:
       (a)  Knowledge and understanding of substantive and procedural law;
       (b)  Legal analysis and reasoning, legal research, problem-solving, and written and oral communication in the legal context;
       (c)  Exercise of proper professional and ethical responsibilities to clients and the legal system; and
       (d)  Other professional skills needed for competent and ethical participation as a member of the legal profession.
(ii)  develop the concepts underlying the professional skills being taught;
(iii) provide multiple opportunities for performance; and
(iv) provide opportunities for self-evaluation.

The faculty in each area of law has identified expected learning outcomes regarding the skills and training you will receive from their classes.  

Experiential Learning Caveat and Writing Option B

As per ABA Interpretation 303-1, students may not use one course to satisfy more than one requirement. Accordingly, even if a simulation course or clinic or externship involves writing that the professor has designated as potentially satisfying the Option B writing requirement, a student cannot receive both experiential learning credit and satisfaction of an Option B writing requirement for the course.

Students who are in a year-long clinic may designate one semester as qualifying for experiential credit and the other semester as qualifying satisfaction for one Option B writing requirement. 

Students who have already earned 6 experiential learning credits (through a combination of 1L Lawyering plus 3 experiential credits in an upper-year clinic, externship, or simulation course) may designate a current semester-long clinic, externship, or simulation course as qualifying for satisfaction of an Option B writing requirement instead of experiential credit.

Students who seek to use a clinic, externship, or simulation course for satisfaction of an Option B writing requirement instead of experiential learning credit must not only obtain the professor’s permission but also seek authorization from the Office of Academic Services via the Law Registrar's Service Desk.