Since its founding in 1925, St. John’s Law School has been committed to providing a legal education to a diverse population of students. Adults with substantial responsibilities need the flexibility that our part-time flex day program offers them. Our part-time students, whose numbers have included medical doctors and nurses; teachers; police, fire and military service officials; and parents raising children, bring diverse perspectives that enrich classroom discussions.
Our part-time flex day program has the same curriculum, taught by the same faculty, as our full-time program. Faculty make themselves available at convenient times so that you can benefit from their attention and guidance. Part-time students participate in our clinical, moot court, and trial advocacy programs. They are active in on-campus organizations and have demonstrated leadership in roles that include editor-in-chief of the St. John’s Law Review and president of the Student Bar Association.
Our part-time flex day program offers classes during daytime hours for the first year of study (some evening courses are available in upperclass years). Part-time students take 23 credits during their first year and complete their J.D. in four years.
Here are some questions commonly asked by individuals considering part-time J.D. programs:
How are classes scheduled for part-time flex day students?
Part-time flex day program students are in the same classes as our full-time students, however, they take less credits and pick their own schedule from the times required courses are offered. The Law School offers courses so that part-time flex students will be able to choose a schedule that allows them to attend in the mornings only, in the afternoons, or 2-3 days a week. our 1L students take a 2-week Introduction to Law class in late August (all day) and are required to be on campus those days from around 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. 1Ls also take a one-week intensive Lawyering skills class in early January before the spring semester begins. This course is also all day. It is required, but may be taken for part-time and transfer students during their first or second year. Students who remain in the part-time flex program complete the JD degree in four years. An outline of courses taken in the part-time schedule by year for the four years is available in the Student Handbook. Admitted students in the part-time flex day program meet with the Associate Academic Dean and set a fall schedule for the 1L year in late spring/early summer.
How do you go about balancing time for class and study with obligations for family and employment?
That takes discipline to be sure, but it can be accomplished without any undue hardships. Take study time, for example. By taking classes during daytime hours three-to-four days per week, you’ll have evenings during the week and all weekend long to keep up with your reading. Identify times that don’t interfere with family contacts, like when the kids are doing their homework, after they go off to bed or when your spouse is reading or watching television. Also, many students spend lunch time preparing for class.
Is it possible to reduce the number of required and elective courses in order to limit the time spent in class and on preparation?
Yes, by taking two classes over the summer, earning six credits, and lightening your load in the fall.
Is it possible to transfer from the part-time program to the full-time program?
Yes. In fact, a number of our students do, once they have overcome any constraints or commitments. However, you must complete the first year in the part-time division and have a 2.5 or better grade point average.
Four years seem long and drawn out. How do you sustain your interest and energy levels to keep at it every semester and every year?
That’s just it. Think of your legal education in semester sections. You project your studies from September to December, then from January to May. That way it’s a four-month, not a four-year, consideration.
What about job prospects? Isn’t there a disadvantage entering the employment market as a graduate of the part-time program?
For the very reason there are no academic or experiential differences between full-time and part-time students, there is no difference in the opportunities for positions in the law or professions related to the law.