Applicants to the law school can choose to apply for either the full-time program or the part-time/evening program.
The part-time/evening program at Lewis & Clark Law School allows students to spread their course load and expenses over four years. The full-time program is three years. Admission criteria, full-time faculty, and academic opportunities are identical in both programs.
The major distinction between a part-time and full-time student is in the number of hours the student carries in a semester. The course load for full-time students ranges from 14 to 17 hours per semester. Part-time students enroll in 9-12 hours per semester.
Since most part-time students are employed full-time, the law school attempts to cluster courses so students have some free time each week to study and use the library.
In the first year, most part-time students will end up taking courses in the evening hours, usually between 5-8 p.m. while most full-time students take their courses during the day. After the first year, students may transfer from one program to the other and use the summer school program to accelerate progress toward graduation, or to slow things down. In addition, after the first year, students may combine day and evening courses as they find appropriate whether they are a part-time or a full-time student.
For a snapshot of what it means to be working and going to law school at the same time, please take a few minutes to view a short YouTube video about the experience of one of our current students:
Many part-time students have questions about getting involved on campus and being able to get practical experience while in law school. Students who attend school part-time and also work or have families are undoubtedly limited in their ability to participate in all aspects of what is available to them in law school. That said, many of the student organizations do not have a set schedule for when a student can participate so they are still available to part-time/evening students. Our Career Services Office is also available to assist evening students with gaining legal experiences while in law school.
While juggling school, work, family, and other priorities is daunting and often very challenging, Lewis & Clark Law School is committed to making it a possibility. Many of our alumni have attended law school in the evening or part-time and been highly successful. Our attrition rate is low - a real testimony to the flexibility and support that you would experience as a law student at L&C!
If you are curious about how this might work for you, we encourage you to make an appointment with the admissions office so we can answer questions specific to your circumstances. You can also take a tour (they are available at noon M-F and at 4:30 p.m. a couple of days a week), and/or sit in on an evening class to see what it’s like. We also invite you to attend our Evening Program Information Session which is scheduled usually in late September or in October. Contact the Admissions Office for more details.