Juris Doctor (J.D.) Program

The Juris Doctor degree at Miami Law is a full-time program combining a rigorous academic curriculum with professional training in critical lawyering skills. The 88-credit degree program is a full-time program requiring three academic years of study.

The unique introductory program helps first-year students master the technical aspects of the law as a basis for understanding its theory and substance.

The program provides students with an essential foundation for exploring the political, commercial, and social dimensions of legal institutions.

Miami Law’s 1L Program Is Unique

Class Size

With 300+ course offerings and 338 faculty members, Miami Law's student to faculty ratio is 6.4:1.

Electives & Courses

Electives are available as soon as the spring of your 1L year.

In addition to the traditional, required first-year courses, all entering students take:

Elements of Law - Focuses explicitly on legal institutions, the theories underlying them, the process of legal reasoning and the ways in which the law evolves.

Legal Communication and Research Skills - An intensive program in legal research and writing.

 

The First Year – Learn to Think Like a Lawyer

First Semester (16 Credits)

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  • Contracts or Property (4 Credits)

    Contracts

    Examines the purpose and scope of the legal protection accorded agreements.

    The course focuses on:

    • Problems of contract formation and interpretation
    • Remedies for breach of contract
    • The offer and acceptance of a contract
    • The effect of changed circumstances, and more complicated questions, such as contracts that are impossible to perform.
    Property

    Focuses on basic principles governing private and public control over tangible and intangible resources, especially land.

    The course addresses concepts and policies concerning property and special concepts concerning real estate, such as estates in land, future interests, and the rule against perpetuities.

    The course also studies real estate transactions, recording, methods of title assurance, easements, covenants, and land use controls.

  • Torts (4)

    Considers the issues involved in assessing whether the law should require a person to compensate another for harm intentionally or unintentionally inflicted.

    It analyzes the public policy positions implicit in the legal concepts that courts use in tort cases, as well as the ways in which social problems and the law of torts interact.

  • Elements of Law (3)

    Focuses explicitly on legal institutions, the theories underlying them, the process of legal reasoning and the ways in which the law evolves.

  • Civil Procedure I (3)

    An introduction to the process of civil litigation, emphasizing questions of jurisdiction, pleadings, discovery, remedies, and appellate review.

  • Legal Communication & Research Skills I (2)

    Enables each first-year student to work closely with an instructor to develop skills in legal research, writing, and analysis, as well as brief-writing and oral argument.

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Second Semester (16 Credits)

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  • Contracts or Property (4 Credits)

    Contracts

    Examines the purpose and scope of the legal protection accorded agreements.

    The course focuses on:

    • Problems of contract formation and interpretation
    • Remedies for breach of contract
    • The offer and acceptance of a contract
    • The effect of changed circumstances, and more complicated questions, such as contracts that are impossible to perform.
    Property

    Focuses on basic principles governing private and public control over tangible and intangible resources, especially land.

    The course addresses concepts and policies concerning property and special concepts concerning real estate, such as estates in land, future interests, and the rule against perpetuities.

    The course also studies real estate transactions, recording, methods of title assurance, easements, covenants, and land use controls.

  • Criminal Procedure (3)

    An introduction to the criminal process with special emphasis on constitutional issues. It covers arrest, interrogation, search and seizure, the right to counsel and related topics.

  • U.S. Constitutional Law I (4)

    A study of the American constitutional system, concentrating on the idea of judicial review, relationships among the three branches of government, and allocations of responsibility between federal and state governments.

  • Elective (3)

    Second-semester students will choose an elective from a list of five courses for first-year students.

    These courses deal with regulatory issues, statutory law, international and comparative law, other matters of public law and process, and conceptual perspectives not generally available in the traditional first-year program.

    The following are representative of the elective course offerings:

    • Administrative Law
    • Analysis of Evidence
    • Environmental Law
    • European Community Law
    • Family Law
    • Housing Discrimination
    • Jurisprudence
    • Labor and Employment Law
    • Social Justice
    • Substantive Criminal Law

  • Legal Communication & Research Skills II (2)

    Enables each first-year student to work closely with an instructor to develop skills in legal research, writing, and analysis, as well as brief-writing and oral argument.

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Student practicing in a court room

 

Second and Third Year - Build Knowledge & Put it into Practice

Miami Law students receive a broad-based legal education, and in their 2L and 3L years have the option to concentrate on special areas of interest. Accordingly, after the first year, the list of courses, seminars and workshops offered is extensive.

Pick Your Path - Specialize Study

Elective Coursework

Specialized Degrees

International Study

The law school offers a global perspective on the study of international law and offers extensive hands-on international opportunities for students on a path to a profession that becomes more international every day.

Advanced Writing Courses

After the first year of law school, you can choose from a rich array of writing and research electives.

Sample Listing of Past Writing Courses:

  • Advanced Appellate Advocacy
  • Discovery in Civil Litigation
  • Electronic Discovery
  • Florida Legal Research Techniques
  • Judicial Writing
  • Intellectual Property-Drafting

Develop Skills Outside the Classroom

Programs & Centers

Clinics & Practicums

On the Job

Law Review or Journals

  • Write for one of Miami Law's 5 Law Reviews or Journals.
    • Business Law Review
    • Inter-American Law Review
    • International and Comparative Law Review
    • Race & Social Justice Law Review
    • University of Miami Law Review