Curriculum

The JD curriculum at Detroit Mercy Law provides students a strong foundation in the substantive and procedural law that forms the core of the traditional American law school curriculum; a thorough grounding in the ethical principles and rules governing the legal profession; high quality instruction in legal research, analysis, and writing; and experiential learning courses that allow students to represent clients and to participate in sophisticated simulated practice experiences. The curriculum integrates theory, doctrine, and practice. We strive through our curriculum to inculcate in students the competencies necessary to the practice of law as well as the highest ideals of the profession.

Graduation requires accumulation of 90 credit hours and includes required courses and electives.

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    Foundational Curriculum

    All students at Detroit Mercy Law take foundational courses to prepare themselves for future legal studies and their legal careers.

     Required First Year Courses

    • Introduction to Legal Research and Communication I & II
    • Applied Legal Theory and Analysis I & II 
    • Contracts I & II
    • Civil Procedure (Term I)
    • Property I & II
    • Torts (Term II)
    • Criminal Law (Term I)

     Required Upper-Level Classes

     View the Course Catalog for class descriptions

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    Recommended Upper-Level Classes

    Beyond satisfying degree requirements, students may choose the courses that interest them and that will help them achieve their professional goals. Detroit Mercy Law particularly recommends the following courses, all of which are tested on most states’ bar exams and which augment the grounding in American law provided by the required courses.

    • Business Organizations
    • Criminal Procedure
    • Estates & Trusts
    • Sales

    Other courses covering subjects commonly tested on American bar exams include the following:

    • Conflict of Laws
    • Family Law
    • First Amendment
    • Fourteenth Amendment
    • Insurance Law
    • Real Estate Transactions
    • Remedies
    • Secured Transactions
    • Workers’ Compensation

    View the Course Catalog for class descriptions

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    Dual JD Curriculum

    View specifics for the Dual JD program.

     First Year Courses

    • Comparative Legal Writing & Research I & II (Detroit Mercy Law)
    • Canadian & US Contracts (UWindsor Law)
    • Canadian & US Property (UWindsor Law)
    • Canadian & US Criminal Law (UWindsor Law)
    • Canadian Constitutional Law (UWindsor Law)
    • Indigenous Legal (UWindsor Law)

      Second Year, Including the Summer Prior: 

    • Canadian & US Professional Responsibility (Detroit Mercy Law)
    • US Civil Procedure (Detroit Mercy Law)
    • Canadian & US Evidence (Detroit Mercy Law)
    • US Constitutional Law (Detroit Mercy Law)
    • Canadian Civil Procedure (UWindsor Law)
    • Canadian & US Business Organizations (Detroit Mercy Law)
    • Canadian & US Torts (Detroit Mercy Law)

    View the Course Catalog for class descriptions

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    JD/MBA Curriculum

    Law students enrolled in the JD-MBA program devote their first year to the standard first-year law school curriculum. After the first year, most students pursue an integrated course of study in both colleges. Some prefer to devote most of the second year to the MBA portion of the program. The joint JD-MBA program requires approximately three and one-half to four years of full-time study, depending on the number of courses required for the MBA. For part-time students, the first-year law curriculum will require two academic years to complete. For the JD degree, 78 School of Law credit hours are required; and credits in an amount to be evaluated through the College of Business Administration.

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    Specialty Programs and Concentrations

    Detroit Mercy Law is dedicated to providing students the opportunity to explore all areas of the law and allow them to explore their specific interests. The concentrations allow students to specialize early in their legal careers and market themselves to employers. Specialty programs include the Intellectual Property Law Institute, Consortium with Windsor Law, Directed Research and Global Focus.

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    Detroit Mercy Law Policy with Respect to Awarding Credit Hours

    Standard 310(a) of the American Bar Association Standards and Rules of Procedure for Approval of Law Schools requires that: “A law school shall adopt, publish, and adhere to written policies and procedures for determining the credit hours that it awards for coursework.”  Because, as the ABA Standards anticipate, the types of academic activities vary, the Law School is adopting the following approaches for the determination of credit hours for coursework.

    View the Student Handbook for more information