John F. Kennedy University College of Law offers two options leading to the Juris Doctor (JD) - a three-year full-time program and a four-year part-time program - at our Pleasant Hill campus. Once completed, graduates from JFK University may take the California Bar Examination to practice federal law or be a practicing attorney in California.
The program emphasizes practical experience as well as classroom learning with outcomes focused on:
- Legal research
- Fundamental lawyer schools
- Legal analysis
- Knowledge of legal doctrine
- Professional ethics
- Professional values
- Critical thinking
The College of Law seeks to graduate well-rounded practitioners who are aware of the complex issues involved in legal cases, prepared for success on the bar examination, and ready to provide competent and caring representation to their clients. To that end, we offer courses that include every subject tested on the California Bar Examination, plus a variety of writing courses, electives and practical skills training classes. In addition, each student is required to participate in hands-on trial and appellate advocacy training, which provide direct knowledge and experience in what takes place in the courtroom.
Legal Analysis, Writing, and Research Program
Students are required to participate in a comprehensive writing program that trains them in legal analysis, writing, and research. The program is integrated with substantive and skills courses throughout the four years of study. Students enrolled in the program become familiar with a wide range of documents that are used in the practice of law.
Learning Beyond the Classroom
The College of Law at John F. Kennedy University emphasizes practical experience as well as classroom learning. Clinical opportunities are available through the University's own legal clinics or with courts, government agencies, public interest organizations and private practitioners. Students may select individualized placements or may choose to take part in existing clinical programs. For example, we currently offer a clinical placement at Contra Costa County Legal Services and at the Contra Costa County, Solano County and Alameda County district attorney and public defender offices. Clinical placements offer flexible scheduling so that they are also available to students who are employed elsewhere.
At the Pleasant Hill campus, students can choose to enroll in either the day division or the evening division. Although most full-time students are enrolled in the day division, they are eligible to enroll in required or elective courses offered in the evening division. The three- and four-year curriculum plans for the Juris Doctor degree, which are available on the links on this page, consist of a carefully sequenced schedule of 84 units.