May 17, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
    
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog

Law, JD


The principal objective of the college is to prepare students for the practice of law. The college teaches the analytical and practical skills needed to interpret cases and statutes, the ability to communicate effectively, an awareness of the historical growth of the law, a knowledgeable appreciation of the interrelationship of law and society, and the ability to use law as an implement of social change and development. Students are thus equipped to serve their communities not only as advocates and counselors, but as policy makers and active, responsible citizens.

Concentrations (Optional)


Advocacy and Dispute Resolution
Business Transactions

Campus Code


Knoxville Campus

Credit Hours Required


89 credit hours (including the hours for the concentration)

Academic Standards


  • The required average is 2.00 and that average must be maintained on the work of all six semesters and also for the combined work of the grading periods in which the last 28 credit hours taken in residence were earned.
  • Averages are computed on weighted grades and rounded to one decimal point. Grades are awarded on a numerical scale (in increments of 0.1) from 0.00 to 4.30.
  • No credit toward the JD degree is awarded for grades of 0.00 to 0.70.
  • Law student grade point averages are reported on the official transcript rounded to one decimal place.
  • The course of study for the JD must be completed no earlier than 24 months and no later than 60 months after a student has commenced law study at the College of Law or a law school from which the college has accepted transfer credit.

Required Courses


Additional Course Requirements


One Expository Writing experience:


A substantial research paper involving in-depth research and analysis of a legal issue. The paper should propose a solution to an important legal problem or present a sensible way of thinking about an important legal question. To satisfy this requirement, the paper must be well written, include proper citation to authority, and give appropriate attention to opposing arguments. The final version of the paper must respond to the professor’s feedback on the draft or drafts. The paper must be a minimum of 5,000 words in length (disregarding footnotes or endnotes). The Expository Writing requirement may be satisfied through:

  • a College of Law Course (including a course used to fulfill another graduation requirement) that requires such a paper
  • (1 to 2 credit hours) a comment or other article written for a College of Law journal, subject to the policies of the relevant journal and approval of the faculty advisor for the journal.

One Planning and Drafting experience:


A substantial planning and drafting project that requires them to do the following: anticipate problems and changes in circumstances and plan for their resolution in documents that govern future behavior; and draft those documents in precise language so that the effected persons understand their future rights and responsibilities. The courses listed below satisfy this requirement, as may other courses as approved by the Dean or the Dean’s designee:

Two Courses Addressing Bias, Cross-Cultural Competency, and Racism:


Students will fulfill the first course requirement by taking LAW 811 as part of the required 1L curriculum. The second course requirement will be fulfilled by selecting a course from the following list, as well as additional courses that may be approved by the Dean or the Dean’s Designee:

Non-Course Requirements


  • The Doctor of Jurisprudence degree will be conferred upon candidates who complete, with the required average, 89 credit hours, including all required courses.
  • A grade of 2.00 in at least 21 hours of required, numerically graded first-year courses.
  • A cumulative grade point average of 2.00 or better at the end of the final semester.
  • A grade point average of 2.00 or better for courses completed during the final two semesters of coursework at the College.
  • At least 58 credit hours in residence at the University of Tennessee while enrolled at the College of Law.
  • At least 64 credit hours in courses that require attendance in regularly scheduled classroom sessions or direct faculty instruction as defined by ABA Standards for Approval of Law Schools.
  • The course of study for the JD degree must be completed no earlier than 24 months and no later than 60 months after a student has commenced law study at the College of Law or a law school from which the College has accepted transfer credit.
  • No more than 29 of the 89 credit hours required for graduation may be earned through distance education courses.

Advocacy and Dispute Resolution Concentration


The curriculum focuses on the substantive and procedural aspects of adjudication and gives students the opportunity to practice lawyering skills in an experiential learning atmosphere.

Credit Hours Required


25 credit hours

Required Courses


  • The Dean or the Dean’s designee may designate other six-hour clinics or externships as satisfying this requirement.

Third Year:


The student must complete a six-credit capstone experience that can be satisfied with the following:

Business Transactions Concentration


The Business Transactions curriculum allows students to concentrate their studies on the legal aspects of business and finance, emphasizing the needs of business concerns both large and small in terms of litigation and transactional lawyering.

Credit Hours Required


21 to 23 credit hours (depending on the capstone completed)

Required Courses