State-of-the-Art Online JD Program
In 2021, the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California approved Irvine College of Law’s request to offer a permanent, online distance learning J.D. degree curriculum. To receive such permission, the law school needed to reinvent itself after almost 50 years of operating as a fixed-facility law school offering in-person, onsite classroom instruction.
With the expenditure of significant resources and applying the teaching and professional expertise of its faculty, Irvine College of Law’s curriculum and all courses it offers were redesigned, revised, and strengthened to provide a state-of-the-art, online program of legal education leading to the award of a J.D. degree and the eligibility of its graduates to take and pass the California Bar Examination. The new curriculum is taught using the most current casebooks, textbooks and other resources available, many from West Academic Publishing, which is among the most respected legal publishers in the nation.
Best Online Academic Support Resources Available
ICOL now offers its students a combination of real-time, online class sessions (using Zoom) and the best online academic support resources available, the same as those used by law schools throughout the United States. Such resources include 24/7 access to CALI, West Academic’s CasebookPlus, and Lexis/Nexis. As such, ICOL’s curriculum is compliant with all requirements of the State Bar of California in offering courses in all subjects tested on the California Bar Examination, along with those that teach practice-based skills and competency training. As a result, Irvine College of Law’s online curriculum provides a sound and practical legal education.
Professors Dedicated to Students’ Success
Teaching Irvine College of Law’s redesigned curriculum is a faculty composed of professors, all of whom are licensed attorneys with diverse professional backgrounds. ICOL professors are dedicated to each student’s success. By teaching smaller classes than those offered by other online law schools (ICOL classes often have fewer than 12 students), ICOL’s professors teach in a manner closer to that of a law seminar. They do so using their professional expertise in civil litigation, corporate law, and legal specialties such as workers’ compensation and bankruptcy, along with other practice-relevant subjects. From the courtroom, a busy private law office or a public entity, such as the Office of Los Angeles District Attorney, Irvine College of Law professors understand and appreciate the challenges of teaching students with significant professional challenges, since several were once part-time law students with a full-time job. Based on all these factors, ICOL’s professors seek to teach in a dynamic learning environment that encourages student participation, meaningful in-class discussions, and effective learning.
Designed to accommodate full-time employees, business owners and professionals
Four-year, Part-time Program
Irvine College of Law offers a four-year, part-time program designed to accommodate full-time employees, business owners, and busy professionals. The four-year course of study needed to earn a J.D. degree is academically challenging and time-consuming, which is why the law school seeks to admit those who are both academically capable and can meet the time demands of a lengthy and rigorous academic experience.
As those currently enrolled will confirm, to succeed at Irvine College of Law you need strong reading and writing skills, along with analytical skills to learn how to apply the law and solve complex legal problems. To do so, you will be educated in both legal reasoning and practice skills and will be expected to develop the written communication skills used by practicing attorneys. Thus, upon graduation, you will have gained both the legal knowledge and analytical skills needed to pass the California Bar Exam and then practice law in California competently and ethically.
Irvine College of Law’s J.D. Program
The J.D. curriculum of Irvine College of Law is comprised of a four-year, part-time course of academic study that requires completion of a total of 80 semester units to earn a Juris Doctor (JD) degree and eligibility to take the California Bar Examination.
As approved by the State Bar of California, ICOL’s J.D. degree program requires that students earn 80 semester units of academic credit by completing a minimum of 900 hours of academic engagement each year for four separate years. Each academic year consists of two, 24-week semesters: a Summer/Fall semester (early July through mid-December) and a Winter/Spring semester (early January through mid-June). Students are required to enroll in a minimum of 10 units a semester (generally three courses), to earn 20 units over a full academic year. In doing so, students earn a full year of eligibility credit to, first, take the FYLSX and then with three additional years of study, the California Bar Examination.
All J.D. courses (both required and electives) are taught either as full-semester (24-week) four-unit courses or as half-semester (12-week) two-unit courses.
As with all sound J.D. degree programs, Irvine College of Law’s program is designed to teach students through in-class Socratic teaching and lecturing, extensive reading assignments, homework assignments, and rigorous self-testing during each semester. ICOL’s curriculum is also enriched by allowing students to earn academic credit through approved legal internships working under the supervision of practicing attorneys.
To assist its first-year students to prepare for and pass the FYLSX, the law school offers a two-unit FYLSX Boot Camp which is taught over a 12-week schedule of comprehensive review lectures covering all three subjects tested, along with a full-day mock exam, and the extensive use of Adaptibar and graded practice essay questions.
ICOL also offers a four-unit CBX Prep/Review Course that provides a 24-week comprehensive review of all subjects tested on the California Bar Examination, taught by an experienced bar tutor using both in-person and online class sessions, along with one-on-one tutoring to strengthen each student’s exam writing and test-taking skills. The course also uses full access to Adaptibar to offer students rigorous self-testing throughout the course.
Download the 2022-2023 Catalog & Student Handbook
For a complete description of Irvine College of Law’s J.D. curriculum and course requirements, please see pages 11-16 of the Irvine College of Law Catalog and Student Handbook