JURIS DOCTOR DEGREE: TRAINING TO BECOME A LICENSED ATTORNEY
Your goal is to be a licensed attorney: to represent clients in court, provide legal counsel, prepare and deliver trial statements, take depositions, negotiate settlements, and perform other traditional attorney functions. The Juris Doctor (JD) program focuses on the knowledge and skills necessary for you to become an effective member of the legal profession.
Grounded in Core Bar Courses
Concord Law School at Kaplan University offers a 4-year JD program, grounded in core bar-tested curriculum. The term length is 1 year and you must successfully complete at least 22–24 units of coursework in 48–52 consecutive weeks, with a total of 92 units needed to graduate. Your first 2 years are devoted entirely to required courses. In your last 2 years you will be able to add elective courses to your studies even as you continue to study bar-tested subjects.
Concord follows the traditional law school schedule in that courses are not completed one subject at a time in isolation. You learn to balance the demands of several courses simultaneously. This promotes better integrated learning as you progress in your knowledge and skills.
Meets California State Bar Education Requirements
As a graduate of the Concord Law School JD program, you will meet the legal education requirement of the Committee of Bar Examiners, State Bar of California to sit for the California bar exam. After meeting regulatory requirements, including passing the First-Year Law Students’ Exam and the California Bar Exam, you may apply for admission to the State Bar of California.
Fosters Interaction and Camaraderie
You’ll work through the academic program much like you would at any brick-and-mortar law school. At the start of the first year, all students are assigned to a section. You meet regularly as part of your group in synchronous classes. You can also get together outside of class—online, on the phone, and even face to face, as you connect with a “study buddy” or form study groups. Concord students often comment that they end up knowing their fellow students better and have built closer relationships than they likely would have in more traditional physical classroom environments.
- Fundamentals: Many students start their law school career thinking they understand what law school is all about, only to find out what they expected does not match up with what is expected of them. It often takes students months of effort before they learn how to get the most from their studying. At Concord, newly admitted students have an opportunity to take advantage of our Fundamentals program, which they can begin even before their first day of classes. Fundamentals orients them to the functionality and time management required to attend law school online and begins to develop the skills and knowledge necessary for a successful career in law.
- Curriculum Plan: Focuses on the core courses that students are required to take in law school, from the traditional first-year courses through Corporations, Wills and Trusts, Evidence, and Criminal Procedure. In addition to developing fundamental lawyering skills, Concord’s JD study plan provides a strong foundation for passing the required regulatory exams, including Concord First (see below) and a Capstone course at the end of a student’s final year that is geared specifically toward success on the bar exam.
- Concord First: JD students are required to pass the State Bar of California’s First-Year Law Students’ Exam at the conclusion of their first year. Concord has a special preparatory program for these students. Called Concord First, this review program was developed and is taught by Associate Dean Steve Bracci, who has taught law and lectured in bar review programs across the country for more than 30 years. He is a true expert in multiple choice and essay exam techniques and has a vast knowledge of the substantive law—a combination not often found in a law professor. The Concord First program includes individually critiqued writing assignments, multiple choice strategies and quizzes, optional substantive law review lectures, and live online classes. The program concludes with an in-person review weekend just prior to the FYLSE in the southern California exam location.