89 credits required to graduate

General Law Program

Although George Mason offers a number of structured specialization options, students are not required to specialize in their legal studies. Many students enter law school without a clearly defined area of interest. Those students may pursue a general course of study, choosing electives as their interests develop.

JD Course Requirements

All George Mason law students, whether pursuing a specialty track or the General Law Program, are required to satisfactorily complete 89 credit hours for graduation. Forty credit hours are in general courses; the remaining credit hours are in elective courses. In addition, students must complete the School of Law’s upper-level writing requirement. (See Academic Regulation 3-3.3)

Required General Law Courses
Course Name Required Time Semester
Traditionally
Offered
Introduction to LRWA 1st Yr. Fall
Contracts I 1st Yr. Fall
Torts 1st Yr. Fall
Economic Foundations 1st Yr. Fall
Property FT: 1st Yr./PT: 2nd Yr. Fall
Trial-Level Writing 1st Yr. Spring
Contracts II 1st Yr. Spring
Civil Procedure 1st Yr. Spring
Constitutional Law: The Founding (formerly The Founders' Constitution) 1st Yr. Spring
Criminal Law FT: 1st Yr./PT: 2nd Yr. Spring
Appellate Writing 2nd Yr. Fall
Constitutional Law I: Structure of Government (formerly Constitutional Law I) 2nd Yr. Fall
Legal Drafting 2nd Yr. Spring
Professional Responsibility Before Graduation Fall/Spring

General Electives should be taken to reach the remaining credit hours needed to graduate and to fulfill the School of Law's upper-level writing requirement.

Scheduling Considerations:

  • After the first year, students in the full-time division must maintain a credit load of 10-17 hours per semester, and students in the part-time division must maintain a credit load of 8-12 hours per semester. (See Academic Regulation 3-6.5)
  • In order to earn a JD, a student must be in residence for a minimum of six semesters. A student is in residence for a semester when he/she earns at least 10 hours of academic credit in a fall or spring semester. (See Academic Regulation 3-5)
  • All students must complete 89 credit hours to graduate, 77 of which must be "in-class" credit hours, and no more than 12 credit hours may be graded "CR." (See Academic Regulation 3-3.1)
Schedule of Required Courses for the General Law Program, Fall 2007 and Later
Full-Time Division Part-Time Division
First Year -- Fall First Year -- Fall
Introduction to LRWA Introduction to LRWA
Contracts I Contracts I
Torts Torts
Economic Foundations Economic Foundations
Property  
First Year -- Spring First Year -- Spring
Trial Level Writing Trial Level Writing
Contracts II Contracts II
Civil Procedure Civil Procedure
Constitutional Law: The Founding Constitutional Law: The Founding
Criminal Law  
Second Year -- Fall Second Year -- Fall
Appellate Writing Appellate Writing
Constitutional Law I: Structure of Government Constitutional Law I: Structure of Government
Electives Property
  Elective
Second Year -- Spring Second Year -- Spring
Legal Drafting Legal Drafting
Electives Criminal Law
  Electives
Third Year -- Fall Third Year -- Fall
Electives Electives
Third Year -- Spring Third Year -- Spring
Electives Electives
  Fourth Year -- Fall
  Electives
  Fourth Year -- Spring
  Electives

Professional Responsibility and the upper-level writing requirement must be completed before graduation.