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Graduation Requirements Information

Depending upon when you entered law school, you will have a different set of graduation requirements.

Graduation Requirements for Students Entering Fall 2014 or later

Graduation Requirements Self-Audit for Students Entering Fall 2014 and Later (PDF)

Pre-Fall 2014 Graduation Requirements

Graduation Requirements Self-Audit for Students Entering Fall 2013 only (PDF) updated 5/19/11

Graduation Requirements Self-Audit for Students Entering Fall 2010, Fall 2011, or Fall 2012 (PDF) Updated 5/19/11

Additional Graduation Information

  • Applying for Juris Doctor Graduation
  • Commencement Information
  • Perkins Loan Exit Interview: Required of all Perkins Loan Recipients. Due 30 days before the end of the semester you graduate. Contact Susan Mako 503-768-7833 for more information or visit Loan Counseling
  • Stafford Loan Exit Interview: Required of all Stafford Loan Recipients. Due 30 days before the end of the semester you graduate. Contact Rodica Resendez 503-768-7092 for more information or visit Loan Counseling

 

Graduation Requirements for Students Entering Fall 2014 or Later

 

1.  Complete a minimum of 90 semester hours of which:

            At least 65 semester hours must be in FOUNDATIONAL COURSES

             At least 6 semester hours must be in HIGHLY SPECIALIZED COURSES

            At least 6 semester hours must be in a course approved by the faculty as meeting the    EXPERIENTIAL requirement.

NOTE: A single course can count toward the credit requirements in multiple categories (65 Foundational, 6 Highly Specialized, 6 Experiential) if it is listed in multiple categories.

2.  Complete two upper-division writing requirements: WIE and Capstone. Submit writing requirement notifications to the Registrar (online forms for writing requirements). 

3.  Pass Constitutional Law II

4.  Complete the Professional Responsibility Requirement.

5.  Meet the requirement that at least 65 credits be in courses that require attendance in regularly scheduled classroom sessions or direct faculty instruction. This requirement is automatically fulfilled when you complete the 65 credits of Foundational courses.

6. NOTE carefully that The ABA requires 6 experiential credits, 2 professional responsibility credits, and 1 upper-division writing experience (all of which are integrated into Lewis & Clark’s graduation
requirements).  These three ABA requirements must be fulfilled in completely separate classes. You
may, however, fulfill your second Lewis & Clark upper-division writing requirement (either the WIE or
Capstone) in one of the classes you use to fulfill these ABA requirements.

 

DETAILED INFORMATION ON REQUIREMENTS FOR STUDENTS ENTERING LAW SCHOOL IN

FALL 2014 OR LATER

First-Year Courses:

Foundational Courses

            All first-year courses (including those first year courses taken after the first year by part-time students) are foundational courses.

            Civil Procedure I (LAW-002) and II (LAW-003) or Civil Procedure (LAW-015)

            Contracts I and II

            Criminal Procedure I (may be taken in upper division by part-time students)

            Constitutional Law I

            Legal Analysis and Writing I and II or Lawyering I and II

            Legal Elements or Legal Methods

            Property (may be taken in upper division by part-time students)

            Torts

Upper Division Courses:

            Upper Division courses may be foundational, highly specialized, experiential, or in more than one category. Remember item #6 above regarding your two writing requirements.

Foundational Law Courses

Highly Specialized Law Courses

Experiential Law Courses

 Writing Requirements: WIE and Capstone

            In order to qualify to receive the J.D. degree, a student must satisfy each of two writing requirements:

                        (1) the “writing intensive experience” requirement, and

                        (2) the “capstone writing” requirement, as follows:

 Writing intensive experience. The student must successfully complete a “writing intensive experience.”

            This requirement may be met in any of three ways:

                        (a) The student successfully completes a course that has been designated by the Curriculum Committee as a “writing intensive” course. Courses will be designated as writing intensive courses only if they include substantial instruction and feedback on writing skills as a central component of the class, apart from any coverage of an area of substantive law.

                        (b) The student successfully completes a course in which the instructor certifies, upon completion of the course, that the student’s work in the course was a “writing intensive” experience. Work will qualify for this designation only if it includes substantial instruction or coaching, and feedback, on writing skills as a central component of the work, apart from any coverage of an area of substantive law.

                        (c) The student successfully completes an independent study project that upon its completion is certified by the supervising faculty member to have been a “writing intensive” independent study project. Projects will qualify for this designation only if they include substantial coaching and feedback on writing skills as a central component of the project, apart from any coverage of an area of substantive law.

            The course or project must be graded by a faculty member, and receive a grade of “C” or better; or a faculty member must certify to the Registrar that the student’s written work would, if graded, receive a grade of “C” or better.

Capstone writing experience 

            The student must successfully complete a course or independent study project which, upon its completion, the instructor or supervising faculty member certifies was a “capstone writing” experience for the student. Courses and independent study projects will qualify for this designation only if they require a significant written product that involves complex legal analysis and the use of sophisticated writing skills. The written product must involve a mandatory rewrite after a draft has been reviewed and commented upon by the faculty member grading the written product; the final product must be reasonably responsive to the commentary and criticism received. The course or project must be graded by a faculty member and receive a grade of “C” or better.

            This requirement cannot be satisfied by a course, paper, or other experience supervised by an adjunct faculty member without prior approval of the Associate Dean for Student Affairs.

Students are strongly encouraged to complete the “writing intensive experience” before undertaking the “capstone writing” project.

The following rules are applicable to BOTH the “writing intensive experience” (WIE) requirement and the “capstone writing” requirement:

The course or project must be undertaken for academic credit for at least two semester hours.

The student’s written work must demonstrate articulate, thoughtful, and well structured analysis of the subject matter, based on careful and competent research.

No one course, project, or written product may be used to satisfy both the “writing intensive experience” requirement and the “capstone writing” requirement.

Professional Responsibility Requirement

            To be eligible for a J.D. degree, a student must have earned a minimum of 2 credits in a course or courses which provide instruction in the duties and responsibilities of the legal profession. The Dean, after consulting with the Curriculum Committee, shall designate the courses which satisfy this requirement.

            The Curriculum Committee has approved the following options to satisfy the professionalism requirement:

                                Regulations and Ethics of Lawyers course.

                                Earthrise Ethics (both semesters)

Minimum Number of Hours in Courses with Regularly Scheduled Classes or Direct Faculty Instruction

ABA Standard 311(b) regarding accreditation of law schools states that a student must complete at least 64 credit hours in “courses that require attendance in regularly scheduled classroom sessions or direct faculty instruction.” Lewis & Clark requires a minimum of 65.

The following classes meet the regularly scheduled class or direct faculty instruction requirement

Foundational and Highly Specialized courses

Practicums with a seminar component:  2 hours of credit will be counted toward the regularly scheduled class hours for the 2-hour per week seminar meetings; 2 hours of the total 4, spent in the internship placement, will not count toward the regularly scheduled class hour minimum.

Moot Court — The classroom components of Fall moot court classes

Independent Study —  Independent Study counts as direct faculty instruction.

The following classes do NOT meet the regularly scheduled class or direct faculty instruction requirement

Externships— No externship counts to meet this requirement..

Law Review — No law review credit counts to meet this requirement, but students on law review will earn 4 foundational credits in their third year.

ADDITIONAL ADMINISTRATIVE AND ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS

No student is allowed to take more than 17 credits per semester without special permission of the Associate Dean for Student Affairs.  Such permission requires unusual, circumstances.  The assumption is that a student would not receive such permission more than once. The maximum credits any student can take in one semester is 18.

To be issued a degree and to be certified to take a state bar exam, all students, in addition to completing the specific course requirements must:

  • Have no outstanding incomplete coursework;
  • Have a minimum yearly and cumulative GPA of 2.00 or better at time of graduation (see rules on Standard for Continuation and Academic Probation);
  • Have all official transcripts on file for undergraduate and advanced degree studies;
  • Submit Degree Application during the fall before graduating. Degree applications are available online through WebAdvisor.
  • Clear all accounts with the Student and Departmental Account Services, Law Library, Law Bookstore, and Law Business office. You cancheck Web Advisor for any holds on your student account
  •  Complete any required exit interviews with the Financial Aid office.
  • Be in good standing both academically and in matters of discipline.
  • Comply with the ABA standard that states that students must complete all law school work within 84 months of starting law school and no less than 24 months from starting law school.

 

Pre-Fall 2014 Graduation Requirements

 

Students entering Fall 2008-2013 have all the same requirements with the following exceptions:

            Fall 2008 entering students did not have to take Legal Elements, and need 89 total credits to graduate.

            Fall 2009 entering students do have to take Legal Elements, and need 89 credits to graduate.

            Fall 2010-2013 entering students have to take Legal Elements, and need 90 credits to graduate.

There are  self-audit forms online.  There are separate forms depending on your starting date. Students can go into WebAdvisor to do a graduation audit at any time.

General Description — Detailed information follows.

     ★1.  Complete a minimum of 90 semester hours, of which 65 must be in classes with regularly scheduled class time

     ★2.  Complete a minimum of 72 graded and/or required credits.  For purposes of this requirement, the ungraded credits of an externship shall be considered a graded course.  

     ★3.  Complete one seminar course. The definition of a seminar course is detailed below.

     ★4.  Pass Constitutional Law II.

     ★5.  Complete the Professional Responsibility (Legal Ethics) Requirement.  A student must earn at least 2 credits in a course approved to meet this requirement. 

     ★6.  Complete the Skills Requirement. A student must take at least 2 credits in a course approved by the faculty as meeting the “skills” requirement.  For a list of these courses, click here.

     ★7.  Complete two upper-division writing requirements: Capstone and WIE.  See the detailed descriptions below.  You must submit a notification to the registrar when you enroll in a course you intend to use to meet a writing requirement.  (online forms for writing requirements).

     ★8.  Complete administrative requirements and be in good standing.  These are generally applicable requirements including such items as clearing your account, doing any required exit interviews with financial aid, etc.  See details below.

DETAILED INFORMATION ON REQUIREMENTS FOR STUDENTS ENTERING LAW SCHOOL

FALL 2008 THROUGH FALL 2013 

WRITING REQUIREMENTS — WIE AND CAPSTONE

            In order to qualify to receive the J.D. degree, a student must satisfy each of two writing requirements:

            (1)  the “writing intensive experience” requirement (WIE), and       

            (2) the “capstone writing” requirement, as follows:

 

          Writing intensive experience (WIE). The student must successfully complete a “writing intensive experience.”

This requirement may be met in any of three ways:

            (a) The student successfully completes a course that has been designated by the Curriculum Committee as a “writing intensive” course. Courses will be designated as writing intensive courses only if they include substantial instruction and feedback on writing skills as a central component of the class, apart from any coverage of an area of substantive law.

            (b) The student successfully completes a course in which the instructor certifies, upon completion of the course, that the student’s work in the course was a “writing intensive” experience. Work will qualify for this designation only if it includes substantial instruction or coaching, and feedback, on writing skills as a central component of the work, apart from any coverage of an area of substantive law.

            (c) The student successfully completes an independent study project that upon its completion is certified by the supervising faculty member to have been a “writing intensive” independent study project. Projects will qualify for this designation only if they include substantial coaching and feedback on writing skills as a central component of the project, apart from any coverage of an area of substantive law.

The course or project must be graded by a faculty member, and receive a grade of “C” or better; or a faculty member must certify to the Registrar that the student’s written work would, if graded, receive a grade of “C” or better.

                   Capstone writing experience . The student must successfully complete a course or independent study project which, upon its completion, the instructor or supervising faculty member certifies was a “capstone writing” experience for the student. Courses and independent study projects will qualify for this designation only if they require a significant written product that involves complex legal analysis and the use of sophisticated writing skills. The written product must involve a mandatory rewrite after a draft has been reviewed and commented upon by the faculty member grading the written product; the final product must be reasonably responsive to the commentary and criticism received. The course or project must be graded by a faculty member and receive a grade of “C” or better.

This requirement cannot be satisfied by a course, paper, or other experience supervised by an adjunct faculty member without prior approval of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

Students are strongly encouraged to complete the “writing intensive experience” before undertaking the “capstone writing” project.

The following rules are applicable to BOTH the “writing intensive experience” requirement and the “capstone writing” requirement:

The course or project must be undertaken for academic credit for at least two semester hours.

The student’s written work must demonstrate articulate, thoughtful, and well structured analysis of the subject matter, based on careful and competent research.

No one course, project, or written product may be used to satisfy both the “writing intensive experience” requirement and the “capstone writing” requirement.

Professional Responsibility (Legal Ethics) Requirement

To be eligible for a J.D. degree, a student must have earned credit in a course or courses which provide instruction in the duties and responsibilities of the legal profession. The Dean, after consulting with the Curriculum Committee, shall designate the courses which satisfy this requirement.

The Curriculum Committee has approved the following options to satisfy the professionalism requirement:

            Regulations and Ethics of Lawyers course.

            Earthrise Ethics (both semesters)

            Lewis & Clark Legal Clinic Ethics component. (Not offered after Fall 2014) 

Seminar Requirement

Each student must successfully complete a seminar prior to graduation. Seminars are designed as small discussion classes with:

Enrollment limited to no more than 20 students

Class meetings to be conducted in a discussion format with an emphasis on cooperative learning and shared knowledge; and

Course substance to allow for in-depth discussion and study of specialized problems, thus being clearly distinguished from courses which seek to survey a substantive area of the law. Courses that qualify as a seminar are officially designated by the Curriculum Committee, and the course description will note that designation and any enrollment cap lower than 20 students that has been approved by the Curriculum Committee. The externship seminars may not be used to fulfill this requirement.

Practical Skills Requirement for Students Entering Law School Prior to Fall 2014

            Each student must take a minimum of 2 credit hours in a class from the list approved by the faculty as meeting the professional skills requirement. For a list of courses that qualfy click here.

A student must complete a minimum of 65 credits in Courses with Regularly Scheduled Classes 

            People who may run into an issue with this requirement are primarily students who are doing externships, plus law review or independent study. Students doing externships plus law review or several hours of independent study should check with the Registrar to see if they are running up against the limit.

          Externships No externship counts as regularly scheduled class hours.

          Practicums (Formerly called Internship Seminars) - 2 hours of credit will be counted toward the regularly scheduled class hours for the 2-hour per week seminar meetings; 2 hours of the total 4, spent in the internship placement, will not count toward the regularly scheduled class hour minimum.

            Law Review - No law review credit counts toward the regularly scheduled class hours minimum.

            Independent Study or Independent Tutorial.  No independent study or independent tutorial credit counts toward the regularly scheduled class hours minimum.

            Moot Courts with regularly scheduled classes count toward the scheduled class hours minimum. 

            Clinics and internship seminars/practicums Any clinic that is taught by full-time professors whose primary work is teaching, DOES count toward the 65 semester hours. The 2-credit seminar that regularly meets as part of a practicum or internship seminar does count toward the 65 semester-hour minimum.  The practice portion of the practicum or internship seminar does not count toward the 65 semester-hour minimum.

ADDITIONAL GENERAL ADMINISTRATIVE AND ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS

            No student is allowed to take more than 17 credits per semester without special permission of the Associate Dean for Student Affairs.  Such permission requires unusual, circumstances.  The assumption is that a student would not receive such permission more than once.  The maximum credits any student can take in one semester is 18.

            To be issued a degree and to be certified to take a state bar exam, all students, in addition to completing the specific course requirements must:

Have no outstanding incomplete coursework;

Have a minimum yearly and cumulative GPA of 2.00 or better at time of graduation (see rules on Standard for Continuation and Academic Probation);

Have all official transcripts on file for undergraduate and advanced degree studies;

Submit Degree Application during the fall before graduating. Degree applications are available online through WebAdvisor.

Clear all accounts with the Student and Departmental Account Services, Law Library, Law Bookstore, and Law Business office. You cancheck Web Advisor for any holds on your student account

Complete any required exit interviews with the Financial Aid office.

Be in good standing both academically and in matters of discipline.

Comply with the ABA standard that states that students must complete all law school work within 84 months of starting law school and no less than 24 months from starting law school.