The Online Hybrid Juris Doctor Curriculum

The 90-credit Online Hybrid Juris Doctor (JD) curriculum takes four years to complete and consists of online coursework, live sessions and in-person learning experiences called Get Relevant Experience and Applied Learning (Get REAL) weeks. The curriculum covers a wide range of legal topics to prepare students to become practicing attorneys and includes courses such as Criminal Law, Professional Responsibility, Transactional Drafting and Trial Practice.

See below for a full breakdown of the four-year course sequence and course descriptions:

Year One

Year Two

Year Three

Year Four

You can view a sample Get REAL week schedule on our website.

Course Descriptions

Legal Profession I

3 credits

Begins with an introduction to the role of law in our society, the basic structure of our legal system and the various professional roles that lawyers play in the justice system. With this background, the remainder of the course integrates major units on critical reading, legal reasoning, legal research and predictive writing.

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Torts Doctrine

3 credits

Examination of the area of personal wrongs, including interference with the person or property of another and respective defenses. The concepts focused on are negligence and its defenses, intentional torts and their defenses, strict liability, product liability, trespass to land and nuisance, defamation, and the right to privacy. A portion of the course will be devoted to skills development.

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Skills I + Lab

1 credit

The course is designed to strengthen several capacities, traits, and habits that correlate to success in law school and the legal profession. Through exercises and multiple formative assessments, students will practice and develop skills and strategies to be effective, self-regulated learners; critical readers; critical thinkers; and analytical writers. Coverage includes traditional law school study skills such as critical reading, case briefing, note taking, and outlining; as well as techniques to improve attention, information processing, retention, and recall. The course further emphasizes metacognitive skills such as goal setting, problem solving, self-evaluation, and adaptation of strategies in response to one’s own learning progress.

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Legal Profession II

3 credits

A continuation of Legal Profession I. This course is designed to further enhance the legal research skills of the student and to integrate major units on legal reasoning and writing in a problem-oriented format that introduces students to the process and challenges of lawyering in the pretrial setting.

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Real Property Doctrine & Skills I

4 credits

The introductory course in real property law, concerning possession, estates in land and future interests, concurrent ownership, landlord-tenant relationships, conveyancing and title, and servitudes.

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Criminal Law + Lab

4 credits

An analysis of the general principles of criminal law with the purpose of developing understanding concerning the potentialities and limitations of law as an instrument of social control. Areas of concentration include actus reus, mens rea, attempt, causation, complicity, justification and excuse, crimes against people, crimes against property, and sentencing.

The Lab will cover issue-spotting, analytical problem-solving and communication skills in the context of Criminal Law.

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Torts Doctrine & Skills II

2 credits

Continuation of Torts Doctrine & Skills I. Further examination of the area of personal wrong. A portion of the course will be devoted to skills development.

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Contracts Doctrine & Skills I

3 credits

A study of doctrines used to determine which promissory obligations society will enforce. Areas of concentration include consideration, remedies and other related topics. Impact of the Uniform Commercial Code is also considered.

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Civil Procedure Doctrine & Skills I

3 credits

Examines the process of civil practice, with an emphasis on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, including pleading, notice, motions to dismiss, discovery, motions for summary judgment as a matter of law during and after trial, preclusion, appeals, personal jurisdiction, federal subject matter jurisdiction, venue, service of process, and the Erie doctrine.

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Interviewing, Counseling and Negotiation

3 credits

A focus on the interpersonal communication skills needed by general practitioners, with an emphasis on negotiating transactions. The course is designed to help students understand the fundamentals of interviewing, counseling and negotiation. Questions concerning the lawyer’s role in the attorney-client relationship will be closely examined, as will ethical issues relating to negotiation. Students are expected to participate in a number of simulated performances in all skill areas. A significant portion of class time is devoted to the analysis of simulated performances.

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Contracts Doctrine & Skills II

3 credits

A study of doctrines used to determine which promissory obligations society will enforce. Areas of concentration include capacity to contract, assignment, performance and other related topics. Impact of the Uniform Commercial Code is also considered.

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Civil Procedure Doctrine & Skills II

3 credits

A continuation of Civil Procedure Doctrine & Skills I.

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Professional Responsibility

2 credits

An examination of the duties and privileges of the legal profession, as well as an attorney’s responsibilities to the client, the community and the profession.

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Constitutional Law Doctrine & Skills I

4 credits

Overview of basic concepts of constitutional law and the judicial function. Topics include federal government powers, separation of powers, federalism, due process, equal protection and takings.

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Legislation

2 credits

Introduces students to the basic concepts of statutory law and the rules of legislative analysis, construction and interpretation. The focus of the course is on training students in the skills required to analyze, interpret and apply statues and other forms of public law to factual situations that commonly arise in the practice of law.

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Transactional Drafting

2 credits

Introduces students to transactional drafting while continuing to develop their research and predictive writing skills in the role of the attorney in the business transaction. Among the topics to be covered are an introduction to core terms and concepts in contract drafting and business law, translating business ideas into contract concepts, drafting the parts of a contractual agreement, drafting with clarity and without ambiguity, and communicating with clients and colleagues to effectuate the needs of the client and protect the client from potential contingencies. The course will also focus on the ethical dimensions of transactional drafting and how a drafter can add value to a transaction by finding, analyzing and resolving business issues.

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Appellate Practice & Procedure

2 credits

Includes the role and function of appellate courts, appealability, preserving issues for appeal, the rules of appellate procedure both federal and state, effective brief writing and oral argument, problems of appellate courts such as limitations on oral argument and writing and publication of opinions, techniques of limiting appeals such as settlement conferences, and when to appeal. The emphasis in this course is on the construction of legal arguments using a problem-oriented approach that exposes the student to the adversary process, the role of lawyer as advocate, and written and oral advocacy skills at the trial and appellate levels.

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Intellectual Property Law

3 credits

Study of intellectual property, which is a legal tool that helps protect and facilitate the commercialization of human innovation, such as creative works, inventions, and proprietary and/or competitive business information. This course generally exposes students to current and potential intellectual property issues facing society and business. It is a survey of the different intellectual property mechanisms, such as patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets and other related state law doctrines.

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Remedies

3 credits

This course will examine legal and equitable remedies in a variety of substantive settings, including: damages, specific performance, injunctions, restitution, and recession. The concept of unjust enrichment is examined from the perspective of both substance and remedy. Students in this section of remedies may complete various in class and take home exercises drawn from substantive areas of remedies law and receive extensive, individual feedback on their work product to further develop and improve upon their critical reading, analytical, and bar exam writing skills. Students with a cumulative grade point average below a 2.7 shall be required to be enrolled in this course and will not take Intellectual Property.

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Constitutional Law Doctrine & Skills II

2 credits

Overview of the First Amendment, including free expression, separation of church and state, free exercise of religion, freedom of the press, and freedom of association.

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Real Property Doctrine & Skills II

3 credits

Study of rights in land, contracts for the sale of land, mortgages, titles, conveyancing, recording, zoning and eminent domain.

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Evidence

3 credits

Rules and principles governing selection, admission and exclusion of various forms of evidence. Major areas focused upon include direct and cross examination, competency and privileges of witnesses, judicial notice, burden of proof, presumptions, province of court and jury, confessions, the hearsay rule and its exceptions, and the best evidence rule.

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Trial Practice

3 credits

An examination and development of litigative techniques useful in trials through participation in simulated trial situations. Each aspect of a trial will be examined.

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Business Organizations

3 credits

A study of modern business entities with an emphasis on corporations, limited liability companies and general partnerships. Areas of concentration include the law of agency; principles of partnership; the creation, organization, governance, financial structure, management, alteration and dissolution of the corporate entity; and shareholder rights.

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Conflict of Laws

3 credits

An examination of how courts choose which law should be applied to transactions, relationships or occurrences having contacts with more than one state. The course explores adjudicatory jurisdiction, the recognition of foreign judgments, choice-of-law clauses and choice-of-forum clauses.

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Advanced Legal Analysis

3 credits

This course is designed to teach students how to apply the law to problems that arise during the course of their legal training and on the bar exam. The course will focus on the following skills, among others, with special emphasis on how to employ these skills in the context of the bar exam: writing about situations that involve multiple topics within substantive law; "issue-spotting" and avoiding irrelevant facts; breaking down factual analysis into parts; recognizing arguments on both sides of an issue; and accurately answering MBE-style multiple choice questions. These skills will be taught in the context of four substantive legal areas (Contracts, Criminal Law, Torts, and Real Property) that will be customized according the needs and aptitudes of the class as a whole. Students with a cumulative grade point average below a 2.7 shall be required to be enrolled in this course and will not take Conflict of Laws.

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Wills & Trusts

3 credits

Consideration of testate and interstate succession; powers of appointment; private and charitable trusts, their creation, duration, and termination; the duties of trustees in the administration of trusts; and the law of future interests. Also considered are the resulting and constructive trusts.

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Criminal Procedure Investigation Doctrine & Skills

3 credits

A survey of procedural issues presented in the administration of criminal justice with the purpose of developing an understanding of the limitations placed on law enforcement authorities and the legal protections afforded defendants. Fourth, Fifth and Sixth amendment rights are the focus of this course, with coverage of areas such as the exclusionary rule, search and seizure, and the right against self-incrimination.

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Family Law

3 credits

An examination of the law’s efforts to regulate the formation, operation and dissolution of the family. To that end, students study the laws governing marriage and its validity; legal problems that may arise during marriage; and issues surrounding the termination of marriage, such as alimony, property division and child custody.

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Capstone

3 Credits

Courses intended to be the culmination of a student’s academic experience, requiring the integration of knowledge and skills obtained in earlier courses. Capstones combine substantive knowledge of a practice area with a practical lawyering focus.

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Secured Transactions

3 credits

An examination of credit transactions in which the collateral is personal property. It focuses on Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code, but considers other parts of the UCC as well as pertinent parts of such statutes as the Bankruptcy Code and the Internal Revenue Code. The course addresses how credit works outside the secured transaction as a way to understand the role secured credit has in business and personal finance. The course will consider the methods of creating and perfecting security interests, determining priority among competing claims on a debtor’s assets, and realizing on the security interests should the debtor default.

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Bar Exam Preparation: Procedure & Practice

3 credits

Designed for students who plan to sit for any bar exam. Students plan for bar passage by mastering their bar exams’ substantive coverage, exam question format and exam test conditions. This course provides exam-taking techniques and strategies for answering questions in two bar exam formats: multiple choice and essay. Students master selected substantive law topics on the national multistate exam (MBE) and complete exam questions in MBE and essay question formats.

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Externship/Clinic

4 credits

A semester-long placement with a court, governmental office or agency, public interest organization, or business during which the student performs the tasks of a lawyer under the mentorship and direction of an on-site supervisor, who is also a lawyer, and the general supervision of a full-time externship supervisor at the School of Law. The student is expected to engage in research, writing and other legal experiences that are part of the regular work of the office in which she or he serves. The overarching goal of this experience is to present the student with opportunities for substantial, supervised experience in analyzing legal problems, and finding creative and competent solutions to those problems by applying the skills and knowledge they have studied in law school, guided by a skilled and experienced practitioner.

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Gain a Strong Legal Foundation

Learn more about the Online Hybrid Juris Doctor program from the University of Dayton School of Law.