To graduate from UNM with a J.D degree, a student must meet all of the following requirements:
Credit Hours and Class Hours
The student must earn at least 86 hours of law credit. A class hour consists of 50 minutes. One class hour per week of recitation or lecture throughout a semester earns a maximum of one credit hour.
Grade Point Average
The student must attain at least a 2.00 overall grade point average.
- First-Year. The student must take the full required first-year curriculum offered upon entrance.
- Second-Year. Students must take the two credit Legal Research course in their second year (effective with the class of 2013) They also must take the Constitutional Rights class in the Fall of the second year.
- Professional Responsibility. Students must take and pass Ethics, a professional responsibility course. This requirement is a pre- or co-requisite with the clinic program.
- Clinic. The student must participate satisfactorily in at least six hours of clinical law school credit, as prescribed by the faculty. No extern field experience courses or skills courses apply toward this requirement. There are pre-requisites and/or co-requisites for some clinical courses. To be eligible for clinic courses, a student must have successfully completed 40 credit hours.
Writing Seminar Requirement. Students may fulfill the writing requirement by enrolling in a designated "writing requirement seminar," normally in the second semester of the second year, or the first semester of the third year. Limited exceptions will apply, but in any case, students must submit their final papers by April 5th of the third year.
The criteria for an acceptable seminar will include: a single paper written by one student alone that requires research. The paper must represent at least 75% of the seminar grade. The course must be taught by a regular or emeritus faculty member.
Drafting Course Requirement. Beginning with students who started in Fall 2010 and later, there is a requirement to take a drafting course in the second or third year. If the writing requirement seminar is going to be done in the third year, the drafting course must be done in the second year.
The criteria for a suitable drafting class will be: a substantial written product or series of products which are collectively substantial that require research (with the exception of well-conceived closed drafting classes). The written work is to be done by one student alone and the work will represent 75% of the course grade. The course may be taught by a regular, emeritus, or adjunct faculty member.
NOTE: Students who started before on (or before) Fall 2009 do not have the drafting requirement, but do need to meet a writing requirement that may be part of an approved seminar or an approved Individual Research project. Final certification for completion of a thesis paper is due no later than the last day of classes of the semester they intend to graduate unless it is an incomplete from a previous semester. In that case, the four month completion deadline applies.