Part-Time Program

The Same Degree, Full-Time or Part-Time

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 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 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 St. John’s Law Review and the Student Bar Association.

Our part-time 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.

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Here are some questions commonly asked by individuals considering part-time J.D. programs:

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.