Course Planning

JD Course Planning FAQ

(As of 5/4/2024)

Unlike your undergraduate experience, where you had to complete a major and possibly had an assigned academic advisor, law school (like most professional schools) is more of a self-directed academic program. Other than the required courses and additional graduation requirements, JD students typically decide what courses to take independently. Loyola does have Concentrations, which are available to JD students with a specific interest in a field of legal practice that provides an opportunity to do focused study in that field. Each Concentration has a faculty advisor who is available to meet with students individually to advise students on their coursework, practical experience, and potential career paths. But JD students are not required to select a Concentration.

The Course Planning Worksheet (see links above) is a valuable tool to help you in a variety of ways, such as balancing exam courses (including courses on subjects tested on the bar exam) with other types of elective courses, exploring available options to satisfy the 6-unit experiential requirement, and selecting courses related to your career goals.

Some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) are addressed below. If you have additional questions about course planning, please contact the Concentration faculty advisors, the Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs, the Registrar’s Office, or the Office of Student Affairs. Remember that you remain responsible for decisions regarding your courses and satisfying all applicable requirements, including the requirements and information set forth in the JD Student Handbook


Course Registration

  • The Office of the Registrar oversees course registration. Use this link to go to the webpage for the Office of the Registrar and click on the Registration tab. Students register for courses via PROWL. Priority registration based on class year for the fall semester occurs in July and for the spring semester in October. Use this link to review Sections 3.6 through 3.10 of the JD Student Handbook for information about priority registration and adding, dropping, and withdrawing from courses. Please note, each year students are required to review the graduation requirements for the JD degree before they can register for courses for the fall semester. The Office of the Registrar will send an email in early July directing JD students to the form where students must review and acknowledge the JD graduation requirements. 

  • You should get on the waitlist for that course when registering via PROWL and then register for other courses as backups in case you are not able to get off the waitlist. 

  • Yes, you can go to the Registration and Course Information webpage here, select the appropriate term, and then review the Enrollment Report, which is available on the Registration Information webpage for the semester as shown in the highlighted link on the following screenshot:

    If the link for the Enrollment Report is not active, it means that the Report is not yet available, so please try again another time. Please note, once the Report is active, the Enrollment Report is not updated in real-time, instead it is updated at the top of every hour, so take this into consideration when registering for classes.

  • The waitlist system is completely automated. When a seat becomes available in a closed course, the system will automatically send an email notification to the student who is number one on the waitlist. The student will have 36 hours to enroll off the waitlist for the course on PROWL. If the student does not register, the student will be dropped from the waitlist, and the next student will be notified. This will continue until the seat is filled or until the add deadline. Please note that professors do not have the authority to override the waitlist system, and students cannot attend a waitlisted classes until they are officially enrolled.

  • Generally, yes. Except for courses offered as part of the JD Hybrid Evening Program where enrollment is limited to students in that Program, Day students can take courses offered in the evening. 

  • Generally, yes. Because Day students have priority for enrollment in required courses offered during the day, JD Hybrid Evening Program students may take such courses only if there are spots available in those courses after priority registration has closed. Before registering for courses offered during the day, JD Hybrid Evening Program students should consult with the JD Hybrid Evening Program Faculty Advisor. 

    • Start by considering how to fit in the required courses.
    • Use the Course Offerings Page to see which courses are offered during a given semester.
      • You can sort the course offerings in different ways by clicking on the column headings.
      • You also can filter the course offerings by clicking on the boxes for Experiential, Writing, and Pro Bono (but remember to remove the filter when you are done to see the full list of courses again).
      • Note that some courses may only be available during one semester each year.
    • Consider Concentration requirements and electives. The courses listed there can be a helpful guide if you are interested in the practice area, even if you do not plan to do a Concentration. Talk with the Concentration faculty advisors to get their input on courses.
    • Consider prerequisites for courses you want to take. Course descriptions note prerequisites. Simply click on the title of the course on the Course Offerings Page to see the description. Be mindful that some prerequisites may only be offered at specific times during an academic year, so planning ahead is encouraged.
    • Consider the exam schedule for your courses if you prefer not to have your exams close together. If students enroll in courses that have exams on the same day, the school’s policy is to automatically reschedule one of the two exams to the student’s next available exam day. This usually means the exams will be taken on consecutive days.
    • Try to have some balance among your courses in each semester, so that you have a mix of exam courses (including courses on subjects tested on the bar exam), experiential courses, seminars, etc.
    • Consider that in some semesters you may have an interest in doing an externship/field placement or participating in a clinic, and this should be a factor when evaluating your course load.
    • Talk with professors and upper-level students to get recommendations.
    • Use the Course Planning Worksheet (see links at the top of the page).
    • Although students are required to enroll in a minimum number of units per semester for their division (e.g., 12 units for Day students and 8 units for Evening students), students should still plan their units accordingly to ensure they meet the 87-unit minimum to earn their degree by the end of their final semester.


  • For some courses, the professor decides the number of units assigned to the course. Typically, if the same course is offered for more units in one section, the professor will cover additional content or go into greater depth in the content. In terms of satisfying certain course requirements for graduation, Concentrations, or satisfying prerequisites, it does not matter whether you take the course section that is offered for fewer units.

  • All courses designated as Bar courses have exams. On the course offerings page for each term, the last column in the table of courses is entitled “EXAM,” and that column notes if a course has an exam by specifying the date of the exam or the other type of final assessment. Here is a screenshot of the Spring 2024 course offerings noting the exam column:

    Please note that information about exam dates or other assessments typically is not available until approximately two weeks before priority registration begins.

Requirements and Grading

  • A minimum of eighty-seven (87) units must be completed with a passing grade, meaning a grade of C (2.0) or higher. For further information, please review Section 1.1.1 of the JD Student Handbook here. Although a grade of C or higher is a passing grade in a course, per Section 1.1.2 of the JD Student Handbook here, to be in academic good standing and eligible for graduation, a student must have a weighted cumulative grade point average of 2.33 or above.

  • For Day students, the minimum is 12 and the maximum is 16. For Evening students, the minimum is 8 and the maximum is 11. Here are helpful reference tables:

    For further information, including details about exceptions, summer, and intersession, please review Section 2.0 of the JD Student Handbook here.

  • Students must earn a minimum of 67 graded units of the 87 units needed to earn the JD degree. The remaining 20 or more can be pass/fail, 14 of which can be externship/field placement. Please note that different rules apply to transfer students. For further information about pass/fail units, please review Section 3.4 of the JD Student Handbook here.

  • As set forth in Section 1.1.3 of the JD Student Handbook here, all JD students are required to take the following courses:

    • Civil Procedure
    • Constitutional Law
    • Contracts
    • Criminal Law
    • Ethical Lawyering
    • Evidence
    • Legal Research and Writing
    • Property
    • Torts

    Per Section 5.8.1 of the JD Student Handbook here, a JD student who receives a grade of D or lower in any required course must repeat the course.

    In addition, all JD students must also satisfy the following:

    • Upper Division Writing Requirement (described in Section [Note: A course that is used to satisfy the Upper Division Writing Requirement cannot be counted toward the Experiential Requirement.] 
    • Experiential Course Requirement (described in Section [Note: A course that is used to satisfy the Experiential Requirement cannot be counted toward the Upper Division Writing Requirement.]
    • Pro Bono Requirement (described in Section
  • Yes. American Bar Association (ABA) Standards limit the maximum remote/distance units for which a student can be granted to “50 percent of the credit hours required for the J.D. degree.” Because Loyola requires 87 units to graduate, students who complete 87 units must pass a minimum of 44 in-person course units. This limit applies to Day and Hybrid Evening students alike. Students transferring to Loyola who received credit for remote/distance courses at their previous law school are advised to review the rules regarding remote/distance units and all other graduation requirements with the Admissions Office and the Registrar’s Office.

    • Grade point average requirements are described in detail in Section 4.0 of the JD Student Handbook here. In summary, JD students must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average at the end of the Spring semester of each year and at the time of graduation to be in academic good standing. Section 4.5 of the JD Student Handbook includes the following chart reflecting the minimum cumulative grade point averages for the different classifications of academic standing:






    End of 1st year

    Minimum 2.33

    2.23 to 2.32

    2.22 and below

    End of 2nd through 5th year

    Minimum 2.33


    2.32 and below


    • Good standing (Section 4.3), disqualification (Section 4.4), and probation (Sections 4.3 and 4.7) are described in the referenced sections of the JD Student Handbook here.
    • The grading system and related regulations are described in detail in Section 5.0 of the JD Student Handbook here. What follows is a summary of certain key provisions.
      • First year courses
        • Most first year courses (i.e., Civil Procedure, Contracts, Criminal Law, Property, and Torts) have a mandatory mean of 81.00 and a mandatory standard deviation of 6.00. This applies to students in both the JD Day Program and JD Hybrid Evening Program, even though, with respect to the latter, some of these courses will be taken in the second year.
        • Legal Research and Writing and Law and Process have a mandatory mean of 81.00 and a mandatory standard deviation of 4.00-6.00.
        • The mean for the First Year Elective is determined based on the mean grade point average of the students enrolled in the course, as calculated using the final grades from all courses other than the elective course. The mandatory standard deviation is 4.00-6.00.
      • Upper-level courses
        • Subject to the exceptions noted in Section 5.2 of the JD Student Handbook, the following table shows the grading range for the mandatory mean and the mandatory standard deviation (S.D.) for upper division courses:





    31 or more students



    8 - 30 students



    7 or fewer students



    • Most courses are graded anonymously, with students using their Student Identification Number instead of their name, subject to limited exceptions, such as class participation, unique written assignments, and performances (oral arguments, trials, negotiations, etc.). The use of Student Identification Numbers on exams is described in Section 6.6.1 of the JD Student Handbook here.
  • As described in detail in Section 3.13 of the JD Student Handbook here, the Academic Success Program (ASP) aims to provide academic support to students and improve students' chances of passing the bar examination. 

  • Yes, provided you are not on academic probation and are able to complete the ASP requirements before graduation. Please consult with an ASP Advisor before registering for courses or committing to participate in a clinic, field placement, or competition team.


  • Bar courses are courses where the subject matter is tested on the California Bar Exam. You can view the list of Bar courses here. For Day students, the following Bar courses are required as part of the first-year curriculum:  Civil Procedure, Contracts, Criminal Law, Property, and Torts. In the second year, Day students are required to take Constitutional Law, Ethical Lawyering, and Evidence. Students in the JD Hybrid Evening Program are required to take the same courses, but they are spread out over the first two years, including the summer terms. Except for students participating in the Academic Success Program (ASP), no other Bar courses are required for graduation, though some Bar courses are required for certain Concentrations (see Concentration pages here for more information). Students in ASP are required to take an additional six Bar courses.

  • As described in detail in Section 3.5 of the JD Student Handbook here, a student may earn academic credit for a research paper completed under the direct supervision of a full-time faculty member. Normally, a student may receive credit for only one (1) directed research paper, and such a paper normally may be approved for two (2) units only. Use this link to access the Directed Research Request form.

    JD Hybrid Evening Program students interested in doing Directed Research should consult with the JD Hybrid Evening Program Faculty Advisor.

  • There are three law reviews: (1) Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review (LLR); (2) Loyola of Los Angeles International and Comparative Law Review (ILR); and (3) Loyola of Los Angeles Entertainment Law Review (ELR).

    Loyola’s Law Reviews are described in detail in Section 9.8 of the JD Student Handbook here. As set forth in Section 9.8, the Law Reviews “are included in the curriculum to provide students with intensive research, writing, and editing experiences, and to provide for the dissemination of scholarly writings that contribute to the study of law. Students who satisfactorily serve as staff members or editors of one of these publications receive academic course credit.”

    To serve on a Law Review, students must participate in the Write-On Competition (WOC), Students participating in the WOC receive a tryout packet that typically has consisted of a “case comment” prompt for the students to write about and some form of citation exercise. JD Day students who have completed the first year of law school or JD Evening students who have completed the first two years of the Evening program may participate in the WOC. Students are selected based on a combination of their grade in the first-year Legal Research and Writing course and their writing and citation exercise assignments submitted pursuant to the WOC tryout packet, which includes detailed information about the selection process. Those students who are selected as staff members receive one unit of pass/fail academic credit for each semester of satisfactory Law Review participation. To receive academic credit, staff members must normally enroll for and exhibit satisfactory performance in both semesters of the academic year. Subject to certain exceptions, students who serve on a Law Review for a second year as editors receive two units of pass/fail academic credit for each semester of satisfactory Law Review participation. Students on a Law Review have the option to complete a substantial writing project comprising one or more notes, comments, or sections of a multi-author student-written work (as explained further in Section 9.8.4 of the JD Student Handbook) to earn an additional two units of graded academic credit. Satisfactory completion of such a writing project is not required for participation in Law Review.

    The Write-On Competition is open to: (1) First- and second-year Day students; (2) Second- and third-year Evening students; (3) J.D./M.B.A. dual-degree program students (acceptance may be deferred until the following year); and (4) Internal transfer students from Evening to Day. Students on academic probation are eligible to participate in the Competition. However, only those students in academic good standing are eligible to become staff members. Thus, students must be removed from academic probation before they can be selected for membership.


  • No. Pursuant to Section 9.11.3 of the JD Student Handbook here, “Externs who receive units for field placements may not receive compensation for legal services performed in the field placement, other than reimbursement for incidental expenses such as parking or photocopying, unless compensation is required by a foreign country or other jurisdiction having authority to mandate compensation of the extern. Detailed information about field placements is available here.

  • JD candidates must fill out the graduation requirements acknowledgment form before they can access the graduation application on PROWL. Once you have submitted the acknowledgment form, you may apply for graduation on PROWL by following the instructions.

Disability Accommodations

  • As described in detail here, students should contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS), which is the arm of the Student Affairs Office that works with licensed professional consultants to review requests for disability accommodations. SAS works to ensure that accommodations are provided to students who have established a disability that limits them in a major life activity. Students who wish to apply for an accommodation may do so on a voluntary, self-identifying basis through the SAS Online portal. The portal is also for students applying to be note-takers. SAS is in the Office of Student Affairs on the first floor of Founders Hall. SAS can be reached by email at or phone at (213) 736-8151. Because accommodations are confidential and determined by SAS, students should direct questions and disclose information to SAS and not their professors.

Concentrations and Course of Study

  • Concentrations are practice-area specific programs to help students develop the specialized skills and knowledge applicable to their chosen field of law. Each Concentration features a focused curriculum that combines a classroom experience with experiential opportunities and access to a faculty advisor. Loyola has the following Concentrations:

  • Yes. Depending on the requirements of each Concentration and your other academic goals, it is possible to complete two Concentrations. Students seeking to do so must consult with the faculty advisors for both Concentrations and receive approval from the Associate Dean for Faculty.

  • There is no limit on the number of students who can register for a Concentration.

  • A list of Concentrations can be found here. On the webpage for each Concentration, there is a link entitled “Registration Information.” Simply click on that link for the Concentration and follow the instructions to register. JD Day students can register in the spring semester of their first year. JD Evening students can register in the fall semester of their second year. Please note that you must register no later than your second-to-last semester before graduation.

  • Yes. Students are not required to complete a Concentration. In the event a student has registered for a Concentration and decided not to complete it, the student needs to notify the Registrar’s Office and the faculty advisor for the Concentration.

  • Yes, depending on how close the student is to graduating and how different the requirements for each Concentration are.

  • A Concentration signals to employers that you have devoted a portion of your legal studies to a particular practice area and that you will provide immediate value and be able to perform effectively as soon as you enter the legal profession. Employers are looking to hire new attorneys who are practice-ready, and a Concentration gives graduates specialized skills and knowledge in their chosen field by combining rigorous intellectual training with in-depth practical learning components. There are not necessarily more opportunities with a Concentration, but completing a Concentration can help you stand out as having a demonstrated commitment to a chosen practice area. Additionally, Concentration students are eligible for honors recognition on their transcripts, which can further establish qualifications for job opportunities. Students can receive Concentration honors if they earn a GPA of A- or better based on an average of all their completed courses eligible for Concentration credit.

  • A Concentration should not limit your ability to get a job in a different practice area. Students who complete a Concentration can choose to have the Concentration noted on their transcript or request a version of their transcript without the designation. All courses the student took in law school, including courses that satisfied Concentration requirements, will be listed on the transcript, but students do not have to call attention to the Concentration itself. You may note a Concentration on your resume once you have completed all the requirements, but you are not required to do so. You should consult with your career counselor as to when and how to designate it on your resume.

  • The grading rules apply to courses regardless of whether the course is a required, elective, or experiential course for a Concentration.  

  • Contact the faculty advisor for the Concentration.

  • Although pro bono work is not required for any of the Concentrations, there are a variety of opportunities to do pro bono work in the practice areas represented by the Concentrations. In addition to the Concentration courses that are noted in the Course Schedule as satisfying the Pro Bono requirement, the Director of the Public Interest Department and the Concentration faculty advisors can advise you on pro bono opportunities.  The Career Development Office also has “practice guides” that include information on pro bono opportunities in specific practice areas.

  • Generally, priority registration is not available for courses based on registration for a Concentration. The exception to this is when a required course for a Concentration is yearlong and has very limited enrollment, such as the Civil Litigation Practice course, that is required for the Civil Litigation Concentration. Please contact the faculty advisor for the Civil Litigation Concentration for further information. 

  • Courses of Study are more informal than Concentrations. There are no requirements, and they will not be designated on transcripts. They provide a means for students to organize course selection, find faculty members with expertise, and become informed about experiential opportunities in the following practice areas: