Georgetown Law has a long tradition of providing quality legal education to working students. In fact, we were founded as an evening program. In 1870, the first catalog announced that "[t]he exercises will be held in the evening in order to facilitate the attendance of gentlemen who are engaged in the service of the Government."
This tradition continues nearly 150 years later. Today, professionals who are employed full time by the federal government, law firms, trade associations, and other organizations are able to concurrently attend one of the nation's best law schools. Former Senator George Mitchell is just one of many well-known graduates of the part-time program. Professor Mitt Regan on Georgetown Law's full-time faculty was also a part-time student.
The part-time program is designed to allow part-time students to complete the J.D. degree requirements in four consecutive academic years. Part-time students may take no longer than six consecutive academic years to meet all J.D. requirements. Two alternative timetables are also offered:
- Part-time students who wish to graduate in three and a half years may adjust their graduation date by emailing the Office of the Registrar. These students typically take an average of 11-12 credits in each upperclass semester, as well as 5-8 Summer credits during their time at the Law Center to complete 85 credits in this timeframe.
- Part-time students who wish to graduate in three years may request permission for their academic plan from an academic advisor in the Office of J.D. Academic Services. This plan may require a student to complete the part-time per-semester credit maximum every upperclass semester, plus up to 17 credits over two Summer sessions, and may also require a tuition equalization fee. For more details on the three-year plan, refer to the "Program Length" section of the J.D. Program chapter of the Student Handbook.
Classes in the part-time program generally meet from 5:45 p.m. until 7:45 p.m. on weekdays. In the first year of the part-time program, students attend class until 8:50 p.m. on two weekday evenings. Upperclass part-time students may take upperclass courses that meet until 8:50 p.m. and/or during the day. A limited number of upperclass electives are offered on Saturdays or intensive ("bookend") weekends.
During the first year, students in the part-time program take a required program of 19 credits, and have the opportunity to request a seat in an optional 1-credit simulation course during "Week One" which takes place in early January. In their upperclass years, part-time students typically enroll in 8-12 credits per semester. They (1) take their remaining first-year courses (typically, Criminal Justice, Property, and a course designated as meeting the first-year elective requirement), (2) take a course in Professional Responsibility, and (3) fulfill the upperclass legal writing requirement, in addition to their elective course of study. Students who matriculated at the Law Center in Fall 2016 or later must also earn a minimum of 6 credits in experiential courses.
To remain true to the spirit in which the part-time program was established, students are permitted to transfer from the part-time program to the full-time program immediately after their first part-time year only where there is a demonstrated significant change in circumstances.