Photograph: Student in class.

Two Year Law Degree

Because the J.D. program's two year accelerated enrollment option increases the difficulty of law school, it is limited to students with an LSAT score of 156 or higher.

Students starting at Washburn University School of Law in either the fall or the spring semester may participate in the Fast Track Accelerated Option and complete law school in two years. This expedited course of study is the shortest amount of time allowed by the American Bar Association.

  • Enroll at Washburn Law in August or January;
  • complete the required 90-credit hour curriculum in two calendar years or 24 months
    (i.e., two academic years and two full summer sessions; the law school accrediting agency, the American Bar Association, requires a minimum of 24 months of study before a student may graduate from an accredited law school);
  • graduate law school in July (for fall starters) or December (for January starters);
  • take the bar exam; and
  • begin their legal careers.

Participation in the Fast Track program is entirely optional.

Fall Course Load

The normal course load during the fall and spring semesters is 16 hours. With approval of the academic dean, students may take up to two excess hours, for a maximum of 18.

Summer Course Load

The normal course load in the summer is 12 hours, 6 each summer session. Students may also take the Intensive Trial Advocacy Program (ITAP) for an additional 2 hours. Because ITAP requires Evidence as a prerequisite, that course is not available to students who have only completed all or part of the first year.

Sample Schedules for a 24 Month Period of Study

Fall Class

  • First year: 29 hours
  • First summer: 12 hours
  • Second year (including winter intersession): 37 hours
  • Second summer: 12 hours
  • TOTAL: 90 hours

January Class

  • First semester: 15 hours
  • First summer: 12 hours
  • Second year: 34 hours
  • Second summer: 12 hours
  • Last semester: 17 hours
  • TOTAL: 90 hours

Bar Examinations

After graduation almost all students choose to take a state bar examination in order to obtain a license to practice law. States administer bar examinations twice a year, in late February and late July. Generally states require that a student graduate before being allowed to sit for the bar exam. Kansas permits a student to take the bar exam if the student graduates within 30 days after the examination is given. Some other states have similar rules.

  • January Start Students: Students who enter law school in January and who desire to graduate in two years are in a good position to do so, because they have a reasonable amount of time after graduation to focus on studying for a late February bar exam.
  • Fall Start Students: Students who enter law school in the fall and desire to graduate in two years must take classes in the summer of their second year in order to meet the ABA accreditation standard of a minimum of 24 months of law study. Depending on individual state bar exam policies, these students may not be able to graduate in time to take the July bar exam. If the state where they are taking the exam allows them to proceed before law study is complete, these students have a heavy study schedule during that summer.

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The application process, requirements, and prerequisites for the Fast Track option are the same as the 3-year program.

Maximum Credit Hours Allowed

In order to complete a law degree in 2 - 2 1/2 years, students must enroll in excess hours, which requires that a GPA of 2.6 or above be maintained.