How it Works: CalSouthern’s Juris Doctor Program
CalSouthern’s Juris Doctor (JD) program is four years in length, with each year (1L, 2L, 3L, 4L) separated into three, 16-week semesters. Per the State Bar of California, students have between 48 and 52 weeks to complete each academic year.
CalSouthern’s curriculum closely tracks the subjects tested on the California Bar Examination, using the same casebooks you’ll find at prestigious on-ground law schools. Additional materials include commercial bar exam preparation resources.
You will work one-on-one with a faculty mentor for each course. A currently practicing attorney and dedicated educator, your mentor will grade your assignments (submitted online) and exams, giving you ample feedback. They are also available by phone and email to quickly respond to all your questions.
Before you begin your first course, your academic advisor will provide you with a thorough orientation that will teach you everything you need to know about online learning at CalSouthern. Your advisor will work closely with you every step of the way on your academic journey to answer any questions you might have, keep you on track, resolve any issues you encounter and even to provide encouragement. You will also be supported by a learner success advisor, an expert library staff and an IT support team.
Between years 1L and 2L, CalSouthern students must take and pass the California’s First-Year Law Students’ Examination, or “Baby Bar.” It covers torts, contracts and criminal law, all subjects taken in 1L. Prep for the exam with CalSouthern’s complimentary Baby Bar Workshop. Learn more about the Baby Bar.
Unique Benefits of the CalSouthern JD:
- No group projects, mandatory log-ins or Socratic method—study on your own schedule, around your busy work and professional lives
- Unlike traditional law schools where your grade is based solely on a high-pressure final exam, you will have graded assignments (and usually a midterm exam) throughout the course so that you can receive detailed feedback and gain confidence with the material along the way
- Personal mentoring from practicing attorneys
- Sample questions and commercial bar preparation materials are integrated into the program so that you are preparing for the California Bar Exam throughout the program
- The curriculum is designed to precisely track the subjects tested on the bar
- Access to CalSouthern’s dedicated online law library
- 62% bar exam passage rate*
*(all bar examination administrations, first-time takers, 2013-15)
Students are sometimes surprised to learn that the CalSouthern School of Law is categorized by the California Committee of Bar Examiners as a “correspondence law school” rather than a “distance-learning law school.” This is because the committee mandates that distance-learning law schools require students to attend at least 135 hours of live online courses each year. CalSouthern believes that requiring students to attend courses at specific dates and times would cause undue hardship, given that its students are typically working professionals who need the flexibility to do their coursework whenever their busy schedules allow. Therefore, the university has elected to be classified as a “correspondence law school.” The classification has no bearing on a graduate’s eligibility to sit for the California bar examination or to practice law in California.