Juris Doctor Program

To be eligible for the Juris Doctor degree, students must satisfy the requirements set forth below:

  1. Complete 86 semester units
  2. Maintain a cumulative grade point average that places the student in academic good standing
  3. Complete the required course of study
  4. FOR STUDENTS WHO BEGAN PRIOR TO THE FALL OF 2015: Complete the Supervised Analytical Writing Requirement
  5. Have no pending question of academic dishonesty or moral turpitude that would preclude granting of the degree
  6. Complete at least 64 credit hours in regularly scheduled class session at the law school
  7. FOR STUDENTS WHO BEGAN PRIOR TO THE FALL OF 2016: Complete the Professional Skills Requirement
  8. FOR STUDENTS WHO BEGAN IN THE FALL OF 2016 OR THEREAFTER: Complete the Experiential Course Requirement
  9. File a completed petition to graduate with the Student Services Office
  10. FOR STUDENTS WHO BEGAN IN THE FALL OF 2015 OR THEREAFTER:  Earn at least 4 upper division proficiency points

Full-Time Status

First-year full-time students are automatically registered for only the required courses offered in the first-year full-time curriculum. After the first year, full-time students are expected to enroll in no fewer than 12 units and no more than 17 units. Full-time students usually enroll in day courses but, space permitting, may elect evening offerings.

To be eligible for federal financial aid, students must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 units. For purposes of student loans and loan repayment, students taking 12 or more units per semester are considered full-time students.

Part-Time Status

First-year part-time students are automatically registered for only the required courses offered in the first-year part-time curriculum. After the first year, part-time students are expected to enroll in no fewer than 8 units and no more than 11 units. Part-time students usually enroll in evening courses, but space permitting, may elect daytime offerings.

To be eligible for federal financial aid, students must be enrolled in a minimum of 4 units.

Summer Sessions

Summer session courses may be credited toward the professional degree. Students may find it advantageous to take one or more courses offered in the summer so they may elect advanced or specialized courses in the third or fourth years.

Summer session consists primarily of evening classes and usually includes several bar or required classes. On-campus and Summer Abroad courses are open to students who have completed one year of study at the law school. Students may enroll in a maximum of 8 units during a summer session.

Grades earned in on-campus summer sessions or overseas summer programs are not used in calculating a student’s cumulative grade point average for purposes of academic qualification or disqualification at the end of the immediately preceding academic year.

J.D./MBA or J.D./MSIS Program

Santa Clara Law and the Leavey School of Business offer two joint degree programs for eligible law students. The J.D./MBA and J.D./MSIS joint degree programs are designed to be primarily 3.5- to 4-year full-time programs. The programs are available only to SCU School of Law and Leavey School of Business students who have been accepted by both schools for participation in one of the programs. Law students must apply to the Leavey School of Business during their first year of law studies. Students must enter the program before they have completed 45 law school units.

  1. While enrolled in the program, students must:
    1. Maintain a satisfactory grade point average in each school
    2. Satisfy the academic requirements of each school
    3. Complete the same number of courses in the business school and semester units of credit in the law school as other recipients of the respective degrees
    4. Complete all courses identified as required by both schools
    5. Work out a specific, individualized academic program with the senior assistant dean for student services and the business school program director
  2. With the approval of any such individualized academic program, permission may be granted to count certain specified courses for credit toward both degrees. Business School units must have grades of C or better and will transfer to the law transcript as CR/NC grades.
  3. Under a typical schedule, students complete the program and receive both degrees in 3.5 or 4 years. The first year is spent exclusively in the law school. During the second year, students are required to take primarily business classes. Thereafter, work is taken concurrently in both schools.
  4. To receive credit toward the J.D. degree from courses taken in the business school, students must have completed 78 units of law courses and be within six units of completing the business degree.
  5. In no event may students receive credit for more than 12 quarter units at the business school for which credit is also obtained at the law school, or more than 8 semester units at the law school for which credit is also obtained at the business school. (3 quarter units at the business school count as 2 semester units at the law school; 2 semester units at the law school count as 3 quarter units at the business school.)

J.D./LL.M. Program in Intellectual Property Law

The J.D./LL.M. joint degree program is designed to primarily be a 3.5 year full-time program available only to SCU School of Law students who have been accepted for participation in both programs.

  1. While enrolled in the program, students must:
    1. Maintain a satisfactory grade point average in each degree program
    2. Satisfy the academic requirements of each degree program
    3. Complete all courses identified as required for both degrees
    4. Work out a specific, individualized academic program with a member of the Law Student Services staff
  2. With the approval of any such individualized academic program, permission may be granted to count 12 units of specified courses for credit toward both degrees.
  3. Under a typical schedule, full-time students complete the program and receive both degrees in 3.5 years. Students must declare their intent to participate in the program no later than 12 months before graduation and complete the requirements for both degrees prior to graduation.
  4. The joint J.D/LL.M. in Intellectual Property Law requires the completion of 98 units, of which (a) 24 units must satisfy the prevailing LL.M. in Intellectual Property Law requirements, including the writing requirement; and (b) 21 units must be IP/High Tech designated classes. (The remaining 3 units necessary for the LL.M. degree are LL.M. elective units.)

LL.M. Program in United States Law

Graduation Requirements

All participants seeking the LL.M. degree must do the following:

– Successfully complete 24 semester hours of class credit

– Successfully complete Introduction to US Law (LAW 700). This course is designed to give participants an intensive overview of the basic elements of the United States substantive and structural law.

– Complete a 2 or 3 unit course in the area of international or comparative law. If such a course has been taken previously, this requirement may be waived and the participant may enroll in another course from his/her selected curriculum. Students requesting a waiver should submit a written petition to the Law Student Services Office.

– Writing Requirement. Students must complete a written research paper either in conjunction with a 2 – 3 unit class or as an independent research paper (LAW 298) under the supervision of a faculty member.

– Be in residence for a minimum of two regular semesters (not including summer sessions).

– Enroll in a minimum of 8 units per semester and complete the degree requirements within a maximum of two academic years from the date of matriculation.

 

Completion of the course, Legal Research, Analysis, and Writing for U.S. Law LL.M.s (LAW 376) is highly recommended, but not required. The purpose of this course is to enhance the students’ skills in the area of legal research and writing.

While students are not required to declare a specialization, Santa Clara Law does provide a variety of coursework that would allow for the student to enhance and develop his or her understanding of a specific area of law.

U.S. Law Specializations

In addition to the General Studies LL.M., the School of Law offers three specializations in areas of its internationally recognized strengths. To complete a specialization, the participant must enroll in 12 credit hours of courses within the specific curriculum of the selected specialization. The specialization offerings include:

Intellectual Property

The 12 credit hours of specialized study must include Intellectual Property Survey and International IP Law. The remaining units must be taken from the Intellectual Property/High Tech Law curriculum.

Human Rights

Within the 12 credit hours of specialized study, participants must select courses from any of the three broad categories of social justice classes.

International and Comparative Law

The goal for participants within the International and Comparative Law specialization is to ensure that the participant is exposed to the law of at least three countries:

– The participant’s home country
– The United States 
– One other country or region

Students must take their 12 credit hours by taking one course from each of the following areas:

– Public International Law (e.g., International Law, International Organizations, Legal Aspects of War, International Environmental Law, Human Rights, Law of the Sea)
– Private International Law (e.g., International Business Transactions, Globalization and the Law, International Trade) 
– Comparative Law (e.g., European Union, Comparative Intellectual Property, Comparative Law Seminar)

Please refer to the International Law Curriculum for a complete list of courses.

As an alternative to selecting a specialization, participants my choose to enroll in a General Studies curriculum which will allow the student to fashion a program that best fits his/her professional and academic needs.

Grades and Grade Requirements

Current Policies:

Students in the Exchange-to-LL.M. program in U.S. Law are graded on a Standard Letter Grade basis.

Students in the LL.M. program in U.S. Law are graded on a Pass/No Pass basis in all courses.

Students in the LL.M. program in U.S. Law for whom English is a second language in which they have not reached academic competence may request additional time, up to time and a half, for exams.  These students may also request the use of a translating dictionary.  Absent an approved request for language accommodations, students are required to follow standard exam rules.

Exchange-to-LL.M. program in U.S. Law students are not eligible to petition for language accommodations.

Grade Option Petition:

Students in the LL.M. program in U.S. Law may petition to be graded with regular letter grades (A, B, etc) instead of Pass/No Pass. To do so:

  1. Secure all necessary approval signatures on the LL.M. in US Law Grade Option Petition form
  2. Submit the form to the Law Student Services Office by the end of the 4th week of classes during the fall and spring semester and by the end of the 2nd week of classes in the summer term
  3. Students can rescind this request until the end of the 10th week of classes during the semester and by the end of the 3rd week of classes in the summer term.  After this time, students may not elect or rescind a grade option change
  4. Summer term deadlines will apply to off-cycle and short-term courses

Some classes are only offered on a Credit/No Credit or Pass/No Pass basis and the option cannot be changed. These are designated as Credit/No Credit or Pass/No Pass on the schedule of classes.

Students taking exams in courses on a graded basis are not eligible to petition for language accommodations.

LL.M. Program in Intellectual Property Law

Graduation Requirements

Total Units Required

Successfully complete 24 semester units.

The program assumes as a minimum one academic year in residence. Students must be enrolled in a minimum of 8 units per semester and the requirements for the degree must be completed within two academic years from matriculation.

Core Courses (required)

– IP Survey (LAW 388)
– International IP Law (LAW 439)

One or more of these courses may be waived for candidates who have previously taken the course and received at least a B minus grade. A course waiver does not decrease the number of units that must be completed within this program.

Writing Requirement

Students must complete a written research paper either in conjunction with a 2-3 unit class in a high-tech topic or as an independent research paper (LAW 298) under the supervision of a faculty member.

Electives – 18 units (minimum)

– 15 of the 18 units must be taken from any of the approved IP electives in the intellectual property or high tech law curriculum.
– Courses are taught during the day and evening. Some courses are available on Saturdays.
– Courses taught in SCU Law summer abroad programs may be applied to the graduation unit requirement.

Grades and Grade Requirements

Candidates must receive a grade of C or better in the course to receive credit toward the degree requirement. Course examinations are graded anonymously and are non-curved. A letter grade is awarded each student.

Credit for J.D. Work

A candidate who has received a J.D. from Santa Clara University and secured a high tech certificate may receive up to 12 units of credit toward the LL.M. degree. Students should contact the Law Student Services for more information about qualifying credits.

Additional or “Overload” Courses

While 24 semester units are required for the degree, candidates may take additional classes in any area of the law by paying the per unit tuition for the course.

LL.M. Program in International and Comparative Law

Graduation Requirements

Total Units Required

Successfully complete 24 semester units.

The program assumes as a minimum, one academic year plus one summer in residence. Students must be enrolled in a minimum of 8 units per semester and the requirements for the degree must be completed within two academic years from matriculation.

Course Requirements

  1. Successful completion of the academic portion of at least one Santa Clara University School of Law summer study abroad program; OR enrollment as a full-time law student for one semester at a law school with which the School of Law has a cooperative agreement. These classes will satisfy part of the 24 units required for the degree, and satisfy one or more of the area of study requirements outlined in II below.
  2. To achieve a well-balanced background in international and comparative law, students should take at least one course from each of the following categories of classes: (i) public international law; (ii) private international law; and (iii) comparative law. Please refer to the complete list of approved International and Comparative Law courses.

Writing Requirement

Students must complete a written research paper in conjunction with a 2 – 3 unit class in an international law topic or as independent research paper (LAW 298) under the supervision of a faculty member.

Electives

Most upper-division courses are open to enrollment by LL.M. candidates.

Grades and Grade Requirements

Course examinations are graded anonymously and are non-curved. A letter grade is awarded each student.

Additional or “Overload” Courses

While 24 semester units are required for the degree, candidates are free to take additional classes in any area of the law by paying per unit tuition for the course.

Contact Information

For information regarding LL.M. admissions, please contact lawadmissions@scu.edu or 408-554-5048.

For information regarding LL.M. graduation requirements, please contact LawStudentServices@scu.edu or 408-554-4766.