The Juris Doctor degree requires 85 credit hours (88 credits beginning with the Fall 2009 entering class). The program is three years of full-time study or four years of part-time study. All credits must be earned within six years. Seton Hall graduates are eligible to take the bar examination in all states.
Students should ascertain early in their programs of study the particular requirements for admission to the bar of the states in which they intend to practice law. Different states have various residency requirements, but in almost all American jurisdictions students must have been in residency in an American Bar Association-accredited school either for 6 full-time semesters (i.e., a minimum of 10 credits) as a full-time student, or 8 part-time semesters (i.e., a minimum of 8 credits) as a part-time student.
Seton Hall designs its course of study to ensure that all students gain basic competence for the many opportunities and responsibilities that will confront them. It offers substantive law taught in classroom settings, predominantly through the casebook, problem, or simulation methods of instruction. Students not only learn the law, but are also encouraged to analyze related policy issues. They explore the development of legal principles and consider alternative ways to regulate the lives and affairs of men and women. The required course curriculum is the foundation upon which later electives, seminars and clinical work build. Upperclass students have wide latitude in program planning and may pursue a "concentration" in several areas of law or informally specialize in a number of other fields.
Clinical legal programs comprise an important facet of the total legal education of many Seton Hall students. Through diverse clinical offerings, students have a first-hand opportunity to engage in a highly supervised law practice. Third-year students, authorized to practice by court rule, represent clients and handle cases and transactions. Through combined classroom instruction and actual practice, students develop lawyering skills and confront professional responsibility issues while simultaneously performing community service.