law students attending a class.

J.D. Program

A law school education incorporates both the theory of law and the real-world skills that new graduates need to succeed as lawyers.

The Juris Doctor is the basic U.S. law degree and is held by the vast majority of practicing U.S. lawyers, as well as businesspeople, policy makers, academics and people in other walks of life.

The centerpiece of the J.D. program is the first-year curriculum, which includes:

  • LAW 500 Legal Profession (1)
  • LAW 501 Civil Procedure (4)
  • LAW 502 Constitutional Law (4)
  • LAW 503 Contracts (4)
  • LAW 505 Criminal Law (4)
  • LAW 507 Property (4)
  • LAW 509 Torts (4)
  • LAW 515 Legal Analysis, Writing, and Research I (4)
  • LAW 516 Legal Analysis, Writing, and Research II (3)

A signature component of the J.D. program is the school’s exceptional Legal Analysis, Writing and Research Program that requires students to take three semesters of Research and Writing, including two in the first year, and to devote significant attention to the skills they will need to practice law.

The LAWR program, based on proven methodologies, was developed in consultation with education experts, judges, judicial clerks and attorneys to produce a curriculum designed to prepare students to hit the ground running in their initial legal position. The University at Buffalo School of Law’s legal skills program also comprises moot court and trial technique experiences, published journals, professional development initiatives and service-learning opportunities.

Beyond the first year, students in the J.D. program includes required courses in Legal Ethics and Decision-making, two additional courses focused on research and writing, and a minimum of six credit hours of experiential courses. In addition, many students are required to take additional courses covering business associations, evidence, trust and estate law, and bar exam strategies.  

Although the School of Law's academic program is designed to incorporate legal theory, legal doctrine, and the real-world skills that new graduates need to succeed as lawyers; the faculty continually re-examines the program to provide an optimal education for our students.