Photograph: Students in a classroom.

Upper-Level Requirements for Juris Doctor Degree

To graduate, students must complete:

In choosing electives, students should understand that law school is an opportunity to obtain a broad foundation in the law. The faculty, therefore, encourages selection of courses across a wide range of topics. Even if students have an area of law in which they know they want to specialize, it is important to study other areas of law to understand their impact on the chosen specialty.

Perspectives on Law courses:

  • Admiralty and Maritime Law
  • Advanced Intellectual Property Seminar
  • Advanced Natural Resources Law
  • Artificial Intelligence and Law
  • Capital Punishment Seminar
  • Comparative Constitutional Law: Rights
  • Comparative Family Law
  • Corporate Compliance: Law and Policy
  • Family Law Seminar
  • Federal Indian Law (formerly: Native American Law)
  • Gender, Sexuality, and the Law
  • Housing Law
  • International Business Transactions
  • International Civil Litigation in the United States
  • International Human Rights (formerly: Law and Human Rights)
  • International Intellectual Property Law
  • International Law of Indigenous Peoples (formerly: Law of Indigenous Peoples)
  • International Petroleum Transactions
  • Jurisprudence
  • Law and Economics
  • Law and Politics
  • Law of Armed Conflict (formerly: International Criminal Law and the Law of War)
  • Leadership for Lawyers
  • Legal History Seminar
  • Principles of International and Comparative Taxation
  • Public International Law
  • Race and the Law
  • Study Abroad in Maastricht
  • Tax Policy Seminar
  • Torts: Product Liability and Privacy
  • Tribal Law and Government

(Pespectives course list revised January 9, 2023.)

Upper-Level Writing Requirement

Courses that meet the Upper-Level Writing and Oral Presentation requirements vary from semester to semester depending on the professor's approach and class size. For a list of courses that meet the requirements see "registration information" provided as part of each semester's schedule packet.


Each student is required to complete a rigorous writing experience after the student has earned at least 26 hours of law school credit.

A rigorous writing experience reflects the core values of supervised rewriting and individualized feedback. Students undertake supervised rewriting to better organize contents, further develop a point or thesis, recast ideas in more sophisticated language, achieve analytical flow and clarity, and furnish accurate and proper citations. Professors must provide individual feedback to each student. A single draft is generally insufficient to satisfy the upper-level writing requirement. Professors should encourage students to start the writing process early to allow time for rewriting.


The student's final written product must be of satisfactory quality as determined by the supervising professor. Moreover, any rigorous writing experience demands that the student produce a substantial amount of written work. For example, a unitary writing project such as a scholarly article, a directed research paper, or an appellate brief normally should consist of at least 20 pages or 5,000 words (excluding footnotes). The supervising professor must complete and submit the Upper-Level Writing Certification form (193 KB PDF).


A student may meet the upper-level writing requirement by participating in a variety of writing experiences, including seminar courses, directed research, clinic, law journal, and moot court. The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, in consultation with the supervising professors, will approve specific courses offering writing experiences that may satisfy the requirement, including an aggregate writing project consisting of a series of documents. A list of approved courses will be made available to students with pre-enrollment materials.

A student may use part of a jointly written work (such as a moot court brief) as the basis for meeting the requirement only if the student develops that part into an individual writing project under a professor's supervision.

The upper-level writing requirement may be met only in a course or activity supervised by a full-time member of the faculty, other than in exceptional circumstances with advance approval of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

Students may not use the same course to satisfy the upper-level writing requirement and the skills requirement. No "double dipping" is allowed.


Students are encouraged to initiate the upper-level writing experience no later than in the next-to-last semester of law school. Failure to do so could result in a delay of graduation.

(approved by faculty November 6, 2006; revised March 11, 2021)

Upper-Level Oral Presentation Requirement

All students are required, in their second or third year of law school, after completing at least 26 hours, to make a substantial oral presentation. The presentation must take place in the context of a law school course or as a member of a team practicing for or participating in an interschool competition. The presentation may take any number of forms, including a seminar presentation, a Moot Court argument, a mock trial, client counseling, negotiation competition, or an oral presentation in a clinic internship. For a presentation to satisfy the requirement, a faculty member must observe the presentation and certify (1) that the presentation required significant advance preparation and (2) that the quality of the presentation was satisfactory. See the Upper-Level Oral Presentation Certification form (190 KB PDF).

Skills Requirement

Courses meeting the skills requirement (see additional courses below):

  • Advanced Evidence: Expert Witnesses
  • Advanced Legal Research
  • Advanced Natural Resources Law
  • Advanced Oil and Gas Law
  • Advanced Trial Advocacy
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Appellate Practice
  • Child Advocacy Training
  • Clinic: Advanced Litigation
  • Clinic: Advanced Transactional
  • Clinic: Litigation
  • Clinic: Transactional
  • Collaborative Law
  • Commercial Leasing
  • Criminal Appeal Advocacy
  • Criminal Appeal Advocacy: Advanced Topics
  • Cross-Examination Techniques
  • Divorce Practice
  • Drafting Contracts and Conveyances
  • Evolution of a Business Transaction
  • Financial Issues in Divorce
  • Fundamentals of Oral Argument
  • Interviewing & Counseling
  • Introduction to Nonprofit Law
  • Jury Selection and Voir Dire
  • Kansas Legal Research
  • Law Practice Technologies
  • Legal Analysis, Research and Writing for the Government Client
  • Legal Research for Legal Scholars
  • Legal Writing for Clerkships and Externships
  • Litigation Strategies
  • Mineral Title Examination
  • Negotiation
  • Oil and Gas Conservation Law and Practice
  • Oil and Gas Joint Operation
  • Pretrial Advocacy-Civil
  • Pretrial Advocacy-Criminal
  • Renewable Energy Law: Wind and Solar
  • Specialized Legal Research: Business and Tax Law
  • Specialized Legal Research: Statutory and Regulatory Law
  • Taking and Defending Depositions
  • Transactional Drafting
  • Trial Advocacy
  • Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Compliance
  • Writing for Law Practice

The following courses satisfy 2 hours only of credit towards meeting the skills requirement:

  • Rural Practice Externship
  • Third Year Anywhere™ Externship I
  • Third Year Anywhere™ Externship II

(Skills requirement revised April 2, 2021.)

Multiple Assessment Courses

Additionally, students whose grade point average falls below a 2.80 after the first two semesters are required to take a minimum of two Multiple Assessment Courses as soon as practicable. Multiple Assessment Courses are foundation courses that are open to all students, which include exercises, quizzes, or other activities designed to provide students with opportunities for assessment and feedback during the semester. Please refer to the Course Details and Advice (provided each semester with enrollment instructions) for information regarding which courses have been designated as Multiple Assessment Courses for any particular semester.

(Multiple Assessment Courses requirement added April 2014)

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Courses that meet the Upper-Level Writing and Oral Presentation requirements vary from semester to semester depending on the professor's approach and class size. For a list of courses that meet the requirements see "Course Details and Advice" provided as part of each semester's schedule packet.

Students may not use the same course to satisfy their upper-level writing requirement AND to satisfy their required six credit hours in skills courses.