J.D. Program Required Curriculum

The First Year

The first year of legal education at IIT Chicago-Kent consists of required courses in Torts, Contracts, Criminal Law, Property, Civil Procedure, Legislative Process and the first two semesters of the legal research and writing program. These courses embrace the basic legal relationships in society—those based upon agreement, upon ownership, upon wrongs—and the method of their enforcement and redress. First-year students learn to ask questions about the formation and dissolution of these legal relationships, and to understand that asking the right question is an essential skill.

The development of that skill is reinforced in the legal research and writing program, where advocacy on paper replaces advocacy in person. Particularly in the first year of the program, learning the mechanics of legal writing is subsidiary to learning the methods of analysis that guide all lawyers' tasks. Chicago-Kent's unique introduction to the study of law integrates the use of information technology with the legal research and writing program. Students learn to brief cases with the help of these technologies and to develop an outline of their understanding of the law that can change and grow as they progress through the first year.

Any first-year student who requests a faculty advisor will be assigned one. Whenever possible, students who have indicated an interest in a particular substantive area of the law are assigned to a faculty member whose scholarly work is in that area. 

Advanced Years

Mastery of legal analysis is the starting point of legal education at Chicago-Kent. After students complete their required courses, they may then pursue a deeper understanding of a particular area of substantive law and refine the practice skills that will enable them to translate that understanding into effective professional conduct.

Requirements for the J.D.

To receive the Juris Doctor, all students must successfully complete 87 credits hours. In addition, students must successfully complete all required courses and maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.300.

The required courses are listed below in the normal sequence offered to day division and evening division students; however, the courses and their sequence are subject to change.

DAY DIVISION

(full-time)

DAY DIVISION

(part-time)

EVENING

DIVISION

First Semester 

Contracts

Criminal Law

Torts

Legal Writing 1

First Semester 

Criminal Law

Torts

Legal Writing 1

First Semester 

Criminal Law

Torts

Legal Writing 1

Second Semester 

Civil Procedure

Property

Legislation

Legal Writing 2

Professional Development and Identity

Second Semester 

Civil Procedure

Property

Legal Writing 2

Professional Development and Identity

Second Semester 

Contracts

Property

Legal Writing 2

 

Third Semester 

Constitutional Law

 

Third Semester 

Constitutional Law

Contracts

 

Third Semester 

Civil Procedure

Legislation

Professional Development and Identity

Fourth Semester

Fourth Semester 

Legislation

Fourth Semester 

Constitutional Law

Additional Requirements

Students must also take the following courses: A course in Professional Responsibility (may be taken any semester after the first year); Legal Writing 3 and Legal Writing 4 (full-time students must take these courses in the second year; part-time students may take these courses in either the second or third year); and a seminar (must be taken after completion of 54 credit hours and after completion of Legal Writing 4). Please note: Students who are in the bottom 25% of their class at the end of their second year are required to take Bar Exam Strategies in their final Spring semester. 

Students beginning in Summer 2016 or later must also complete a total of six credits from an approved list of experiential courses. Most students will already satisfy four of these credits through the required sequence of Legal Writing 3 and Legal Writing 4. However, students who opt for the Legal Writing 4 equivalency should consult the list of approved courses to determine whether the equivalency activity counts toward the experiential requirement. Law Review does not count toward the requirement.

J.D. Learning Outcomes

Chicago-Kent has outlined learning outcomes and related performance indicators to define the knowledge, skills, and values that are required of its J.D. graduates. Download our Learning Outcomes and Curriculum Map document.

NOTE: Publication of this information is intended to ensure compliance with applicable ABA accreditation standards as well as 22 NYCRR 520.18(a)(1).