Juris Doctor

Pitt Law offers the Juris Doctor (JD) degree as well as a number of joint degree programs with other Pitt schools, which lead to both a JD and a second master’s degree.

In all of these programs, Pitt Law’s essential mission is to help lawyers and legal institutions to meet the demands of a rapidly changing legal and professional environment.

The program’s first-year curriculum offers a solid foundation in legal analysis and reasoning through courses in subject areas traditionally viewed as basic for legal education.

Pitt Law JD students enjoy a large degree of latitude in designing courses of study that meet their individual goals and interests, with only a handful of graduation requirements beyond the first year.

Pitt Law offers particularly rich opportunities in:

  • International law, featuring prominent international/comparative law faculty, a rich international and comparative law curriculum, several courses each year taught by visiting foreign law professors, internships abroad, internationally focused scholarships and fellowships, Languages for Lawyers courses, strong University programs (including area studies certificate programs), and international moot law competitions.
  • “Live-client” clinics in a range of substantive areas and practice settings, giving students opportunities to develop valuable lawyering skills in the context of real-life, not simulated, legal disputes and transactions. Students grapple with legal, ethical, and practical issues, under the supervision of — and in close counsel with — a seasoned attorney faculty member.
  • The Semester in D.C. Program, during which students spend a semester in Washington, D.C., earning a full semester’s worth of academic credit while working full-time as an extern with a non-profit organization or government agency.
  • Seven certificate programs/areas of concentration enabling students to concentrate their studies in particular areas of law. These programs include specialized advanced courses that incorporate lawyering skills relevant to particular areas of practice.
  • Cross-disciplinary learning — Pitt Law students may take courses in other schools at Pitt or other local colleges and universities (up to six non-law graduate credits can be used toward the JD requirements).

Some Pitt Law courses incorporate multiple disciplines, such as Law & Human Behavior and Law & Economics Seminar , or are jointly taught by law faculty and faculty from other disciplines to classes comprising both law and other graduate/professional students — for example, Commercializing New Technologies.

Pitt Law joint degree programs enable students to earn the JD as well as a master’s degree in another discipline through an integrated program, more quickly than earning the two degrees separately.