lawschoolprogramCal Northern School of Law offers a four year part-time evening law program leading to a Juris Doctor Degree.  The basic structure of the curriculum is composed of a semester system with two 15-week semesters per year (Fall and Spring), 15-hours per unit and a 10-week summer session each year.  Students may start the program only in the Fall semester which begins the first part of August.  The Spring semester begins in early January and the Summer session begins the first part of May.  Fall and Spring classes ordinarily meet Tuesday through Thursday evenings. Summer classes meet Tuesdays and Thursdays.  All classes meet from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. with a 20 minute break.  Exceptions to this may occur and will be posted on the Schedule of Classes, in the course syllabi or otherwise announced to the students.


Students must successfully complete at least 84 units of credit to be eligible for award of the Juris Doctor degree.  Each unit of credit requires 15-hours of instruction.  Each regularly scheduled 3-hour class constitutes 3-hours of instruction.  One hour of classroom instruction is defined as 50 minutes of instruction, consistent with the CBE Guidelines for Accredited Law School Rules, Guideline 6.5(I)(3). For every hour of class time a student can expect to spend between 2 to 3 hours of outside study and preparation.  Legal Externships require  45-hours of participation to equal the 15-hours of instruction required for 1-unit of credit.  To complete the 84-credit hour JD program, 1,260 hours of instruction are required and students can expect to spend an additional 3,780 hours of outside study.

Typically, students take a total of 23 units in their 1st year (10 units in the Fall; 9 units in the Spring and 4 units in the Summer), 22 units in their 2nd year (9 units in the Fall and Spring and 4 units in the Summer), 22 units in their 3rd year (9 units in the Fall and Spring and 4 units in the Summer) and 17 units in their 4th year (9 units in the Fall and 8 units in the Spring).


Students are eligible for the degree of Juris Doctor (JD) when they have:

  1. Completed a minimum of 84 semester units in accordance with the law school’s prescribed curriculum.
  2. Maintained a numerical percentage average of 70.00 or better throughout their study at the law school; and
  3. Attended Kaplan PMBR 7-Day Foundation MBE program offered during the fall semester of the 4th year of study.  There is an additional cost of approximately $575.00 due in the fall semester of the 4th year of study.  In subsequent years the price is not expected to exceed a 5% increase over the previous year.
  4. Pay all fees, charges and tuition due.

Graduation with honors is conferred upon those students with the following grade point averages:

83 – 100        Summa cum Laude

83-84.99       Magna cum Laude

80 – 82.99    Cum Laude

To be awarded honors, the student’s entire legal education must have been completed at Cal Northern.