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 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, 74 of which must be "in-class" credit hours, and no more than 15 credit hours may be graded "CR." (See Academic Regulation 3-3.1)
Schedule of Required Courses for the General Law Program Prior to 2012
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.