- 2.1 First-Year Courses: Introduction
- 2.2 Second- And Third-Year Courses
- 2.3.1 Registering for Fall Semester of the First Year
- 2.3.2 Registering for Spring Semester of the First Year
- 2.3.3 Registering for the Fall Semester of the Second and Third Years
- 2.3.4 Wait-Lists & Courses that are “Full”
- 2.3.5 Determining if Seats are Still Available
- 2.3.6 Second-year and Third-year Students in 1L-only Electives
- 2.3.7 Registering for the Spring Semester of the Second and Third Years
- 2.3.8 Registering for "Consent of Instructor" Courses
- 2.3.9 Registering for Clinical Programs
- 2.3.10 Summer Law Courses
- 2.3.11 Directed Reading & Directed Research
- 2.3.12 UW Law Registration while Studying Abroad or Visiting another US Law School
- 2.3.13 Registering for Abnormally High Course Loads
- 2.3 Registering
- 2.4 The Online Course Schedule
- 2.5 Non-Law Courses
- 2.6 Withdrawing from Law School
- 2.7 Auditing a Law School class
- Table of Contents
The First-Year Program at the University of Wisconsin Law School is designed to teach the fundamentals of legal analysis and reasoning and to introduce foundational substantive material. For the entering class of 2018 and after, in the Fall Semester, all full-time students take the same four courses (totaling 15 credits). These courses are:
- Contracts I (4 credits)
- Introduction to Substantive Criminal Law (4 credits)
- Civil Procedure I (4 credits)
- Legal Research and Writing I (3 credits)
Three of the above courses will normally be taught in a larger lecture format; Legal Research and Writing I will be taught in sections of approximately 20-25 students each. Generally, the students from your Legal Research and Writing I section are also in your larger classes; a side-benefit of the smaller legal writing sections is that it helps you more easily meet your classmates and form study groups. To learn how to register for the first-year Fall Semester courses discussed above, please follow closely the instructions provided by email from the Law School during the summer prior to your arrival at the Law School. Also, see the UW Registrar's "How To" for Enrollment & Academic Records to learn how to enroll in your courses and for other helpful guides.
In the Spring Semester of the first year, full-time students take the following three courses (totaling 11 credits):
- Property (4 credits)
- Torts (4 credits)
- Legal Research and Writing II (3 credits)
Full-time students will also take one* elective course (the courses offered as 1L electives can vary from year to year). In recent years, first-year electives have included:
- Civil Procedure II (3 credits)
- Introduction to Criminal Procedure (3 credits)
- Constitutional Law I (3 credits)
- International Law (3 credits)
- Contracts II (3 credits)
- Business Organizations I (3 credits)
- Administrative Law (3 credits)
- Legislation and Regulation (3 credits)
- other electives as available
[* Note: On September 7, 2018, the Law Faculty approved a pilot program for the Spring 2019 Term that will allow each 1L student to opt to take one elective course rather than two.]
First-year students are randomly assigned to sections of Property, Torts, and Legal Research and Writing II. A discussion of the process for choosing your electives and registering for your first-year Spring Semester courses follows below at Section 2.3.2. For more information, view the Guidelines for Choosing your First-Year Electives.
A student whose weighted average is less than 2.0 (on the 4.3 scale) on completion of the first two semesters is ineligible to continue unless the student petitions the Retentions Committee for permission to continue and the Retentions Committee permits continuation. See Chapter 7 of the Law School Rules.
If, because of personal or employment requirements, you need to attend the Law School part-time, you must complete the First-Year Program courses discussed above within two years from the date of matriculation (see Law School Rule 3.02 and Law School Rule 7.06(1)).
It follows that if you take a part-time schedule in the Fall Semester of your first year, you will have to complete the remaining first-year Fall Semester courses in the following Fall Semester. The same is true for the first-year Spring Semester courses.
If you intend to be part-time at any point while you are completing the First-Year Program, please note the following:
- If, in your first Fall Semester, you were assigned to a Small Section of any first-year course, you are not entitled to a second Small-Section class. Exceptions to this rule will be made only on the basis of extreme hardship and on a space-available basis.
- Students largely limited to attending courses in the late afternoons/ evenings should note that one-half of the First-Year Program courses are generally offered in the later in the day in alternating years, thus making it easier to complete the First-Year Program within the requisite two years.
- Part-time students are very strongly urged to take Legal Research and Writing I and II during the first and second semesters of attendance, respectively, rather than delaying these courses until the third and fourth semesters of part-time attendance.
- Any part-time student who wishes to take any upper-level law course (other than the electives discussed above) prior to completing the entire First-Year Program must first consult with and receive permission from Emily Kite, the Law School’s Assistant Dean for Student Affairs.
In your second and third years at the Law School, you will have time to explore the curriculum both to determine your interests and to develop the lawyering skills you will need when you graduate. Although you will need to keep in mind the J.D. degree requirements and Diploma Privilege requirements (see sections 4.2 and 4.7, respectively), you will be free to choose from a wide range of courses, clinical programs, journals and other credit-earning experiences, such as externships, moot court, mock trial, directed research and directed reading. For very helpful information on how to make Law School curricular decisions, view “Planning Your Academic Program.”
If you plan to practice law in a state other than Wisconsin, you will most likely need to take a bar exam after graduation. Many students find that it is useful to consider and plan for the bar exam when selecting second- and third-year courses. Students frequently find that they have an easier time studying for the bar exam if they have had some exposure to the bar exam subjects through basic law school courses (for example, Business Organizations I & II, Conflict of Laws, Federal Jurisdiction, Tax, Secured Transactions, and Family Law) and if they have developed strong writing skills. Students who intend to take a bar exam should also be aware that certain courses may be prerequisites to taking some states' bar examinations. Finally, some jurisdictions may limit the number of clinical credits that can be applied toward a law degree. Information about these and other bar admission requirements is available at NCBE.
The official distinction between a second- and a third-year law student is based on the number of completed credits. Once a student has completed 56 credits, that student is viewed by the University as a third-year law student, regardless of how long it has been since the student matriculated (i.e., first enrolled) at the Law School.
As stated above in Section 2.1.1, any student who has yet to complete the First-Year Program must first consult with the Law School’s Assistant Dean for Student Affairs before registering for any upper-level law course.
In the Spring Semester of your first year, you will choose your courses for Fall Semester of your second year. (For a discussion of the registration process for “rising 2Ls,” see 2.3.3 below.) As a general matter, in the Fall Semester of the second year, it is necessary to begin taking courses—required or non-required—upon which one can build a knowledge-base for use in follow-on courses of interest later in the second and third year. Some examples of such “sequential courses” include: Trusts & Estates I (a required course for Diploma Privilege and preliminary to advanced estate-planning courses); Business Organizations I (preliminary to Business Organizations II and other advanced business law offerings such as Securities Regulation); Federal Income Taxation (“Tax I”) is a useful preliminary to many course offerings, such as Tax II; Evidence (a required course for Diploma Privilege as well as a prerequisite, e.g., for Trial Advocacy). Constitutional Law II (or an equivalent) is a required Diploma Privilege course and is also useful as a preliminary for many courses and a prerequisite for others.
In addition to being aware of course prerequisites and the sequential aspect of certain courses, it is also necessary to understand fully which courses are required for the J.D. degree (see 4.2) and for Diploma Privilege (see 4.6). You should also try to anticipate when you would like to take required and non-required courses (see 2.2.4 below). Thus, you can begin to develop a curricular plan for yourself and continue to implement it in Spring Semester of your second year and on into your third year.
For more information on course sequencing, view Planning Your Academic Program. This site also contains Curriculum Guides for various areas of law practice.
Most law students, upon reaching the third year, will still have a few J.D. degree and Diploma Privilege requirements yet to fulfill. It is a good practice to try to complete these requirements in the Fall Semester of your third year, or at least leave as few required courses as possible for Spring Semester of the third year. Doing so will reduce your anxiety over the need to get into a required course in the final semester. It will also allow you greater flexibility in taking non-required courses that interest you.
For more curricular planning information, view Planning Your Academic Program. This site also contains Curriculum Guides for various areas of law practice.
For planning purposes, you will find below a basic list of when courses are typically offered, broken down by semester.
The Law School endeavors not to deviate too often from this scheduling regimen, but you need to remember that this list constitutes a prediction, not a promise.
Upper-level courses typically offered in both Fall and Spring:
- Administrative Law
- Advanced Legal Writing
- Business Organizations I
- Civil Procedure II
- Criminal Procedure
- Constitutional Law I
- Constitutional Law II
- Taxation I [Federal Income Taxation]
- Pretrial Advocacy
- Professional Responsibilities
- Trial Advocacy
- Trusts & Estates I (2-credit)
Upper-level courses typically offered in Fall only: (Note: some of these courses are only offered in alternate years)
- Asset Management & Financial Planning
- Business Organizations II
- Conflict of Laws
- Domestic Violence
- Environmental Law & Practice
- ERISA (even-numbered fall terms: 2018, 2020, etc.)
- Estate Planning
- European Union Law
- Family Law: Marriage & Divorce
- Federal Law & Indian Tribes
- Food Systems Law & the Environment
- Immigration Law
- Insurance Law (will be Spring 2021)
- Introduction to Intellectual Property Law
- International Business Transactions
- International Commercial Arbitration
- Labor Relations I (Labor & Employment Law)
- Patent Law
- Real Estate Transactions I
- Secured Transactions
- Taxation of Mergers & Acquisitions
- Water Rights Law
Upper-level courses typically offered in Spring only: (Note: some of these courses are only offered in alternate years.)
- Adoption Law & Policy
- Bioethics & the Law (occasional)
- Construction Law (occasional)
- Contracts II
- Copyright Law (occasional) (may alternate with Trademarks)
- Environmental Law, Intro to (in Spring 2018, 2020, etc.)
- Equal Employment Law/Employment Discrimination
- Estate & Gift Tax (1 credit; odd-numbered years)
- Family Law: Parent & Child
- Federal Jurisdiction
- Health Law & Administration
- International Law
- International Tax
- International Trade Law
- Islamic Law and Jurisprudence (will be Fall 2021)
- Labor Relations II (occasional)
- Land Use Controls
- Law of Democracy
- Lawyering Skills Course
- Marital Property (occasional)
- Natural Resources Law (odd-numbered spring terms: 2019, 2021, etc.)
- Patient Advocacy
- Real Estate Transactions II
- Securities Regulation
- State & Local Taxation (occasional)
- Tax II
- Use of Trusts in Estate Planning
- Workers Compensation (occasional)
Some courses taught at the Law School from time to time are not included on the above lists. With such courses—usually smaller, seminar-like courses—it is often difficult to predict if and when they will be offered again. Some courses are offered only every other year or so; sometimes faculty themselves do not know what they intend to teach in the succeeding year. Thus, if a course not listed above (and therefore perhaps irregularly offered) is of particular interest to you and is being offered in an upcoming semester, you might want to consider taking it, if your schedule allows.
For a brief discussion of Clinical Programs, see Section 2.3.9 below, as well as Chapter 13 (“13. Clinical and Other Experiential Learning Programs at the Law School"); for a discussion of directed reading/directed research, see Section 2.3.11, below.
The Law School faculty has established Curricular Concentrations in seven areas of studies:
- Business Law
- Criminal Law
- Estate Planning
- Family Law
- International Law
- Labor and Employment Law
- Real Estate Law
Qualifying students are given a document in the summer after graduation reflecting this curricular achievement if they satisfy the requirements for the concentration. View Certificate Programs & Curricular Concentration options.
To learn how to register for the first-year Fall Semester courses discussed in Section 2.1 above, please follow closely the instructions provided by the Law School during the summer prior to your arrival in Madison. If you have trouble, see the UW Registrar's "How To" for Enrollment & Academic Records to learn how to enroll in your courses and for other helpful guides.
During the latter part of the Fall Semester, first-year students will select two electives for the Spring Semester. The two mandatory electives will be taken in addition to the required first-year Spring Semester courses (discussed above in Section 2.1). In November, you will receive a scheduling form by email asking you to indicate your two elective choices. On this scheduling form, you will also have the opportunity to indicate whether you have any extraordinary scheduling needs. Based on these forms, the Law School will determine second semester schedules and will advise you on when and how to register for your first-year Spring Semester courses.
Important Note: In early November, first-years may receive an email from the University assigning a registration time for your Spring Semester courses. Please disregard the registration date on the email, as you will not be able to register until the Law School sets your schedule. As stated above, the Law School will let you know about when and how to register for your Spring Semester courses.
If you have trouble managing the online enrollment system, see the UW Registrar's "How To" for Enrollment & Academic Records to learn how to enroll in your courses and for other helpful guides.
In mid-Spring, the Fall Semester schedule for the next academic year will be available on the Courses & Schedules page. (The online course schedule is discussed below in Section 2.4). Although the Fall Semester will still be some months away, the upper-level (2L & 3L) course schedule will be complete, and there will be limited changes. Any new course that may be added subsequent to registration will be announced by email. Prior to registration for the Fall Semester, all law students will receive an email from the University Registrar (typically in late March or early April) informing them when their earliest registration time will be. Registration for rising 3Ls (that is, 2Ls who will soon become 3Ls) generally commences on a given date in early April.
Important Note: Any rising 3L who does not register on that precise date will be competing for courses with the rising 2Ls, whose registration generally begins one day after that of the 3Ls. Registration for rising 2Ls (that is, 1Ls who will soon become 2Ls) likewise generally commences one day after the 3L registration on a date in early April. As stated, it is in your best interest to register for courses at your earliest available opportunity.
Important Note: Do NOT register for courses whose meeting times overlap. Instructors are free to forbid students from leaving class early or arriving late in order to attend overlapping courses; moreover, overlapping courses sometimes have conflicting final exam times, and an exam rescheduling accommodation will not be granted on the grounds that a student has two final exams at the same time.
If you have trouble with the online registration, see the UW Registrar's "How To" for Enrollment & Academic Records to learn how to manage your enrollment and how to use the Course Guide.
The number of students who can enroll in a particular course is governed by two factors:
- The classroom’s seating capacity, and/or
- Any particular enrollment cap requested by the instructor.
The Law School creates wait lists for courses that it believes will be particularly popular. If a course is full for either reason when a student attempts to register, and a wait list has been enabled, then a student may put his or her name on the wait list for the course. For more information, view the UW Registrar's KB Article on Wait Lists.
The Law School monitors enrollment in courses with wait lists on a daily basis, and if and when a seat becomes available, if you are first on the wait list you will receive an email message from Jane Heymann, Curricular Coordinator, notifying you that you have 48 hours to enroll in the course. If you do not register for the class within the 48 hour period, we delete your name from the wait list and offer the seat to the next student on the wait list.
If an open-enrollment (i.e., one that does not require consent of instructor) course that does not have a wait list becomes full, the best way to get into it is to continue to try to register for the course. As students add and drop courses, seats will often become available. Persistence frequently pays off!
Of course, an instructor whose course is “consent of instructor” (see Section 2.3.8 below) may certainly add interested students to the list of those the instructor has already approved for the course (as long as there are enough seats in the classroom). This is possible because it is the faculty member who is effectively controlling the enrollment. Similarly, an instructor whose class is full because of an instructor-set enrollment limit can ask the Law School to lift the enrollment cap (again, as long as there are enough seats in the classroom) to let in more students.
To determine if seats are still available in certain courses, go to the enrollment module on your My UW page, select the "class search" function, select the department ("Law"), then select "show open courses."
Upperclass (2L and 3L) students may not take courses that are identified as 1L-only electives. In the Spring Term there may be special sections of certain courses available for 1Ls only to take as electives. These courses are specifically designed and offered for the first-year law students. These are not open-enrollment sections; 2Ls and 3Ls may not register for them.
In mid-to-late Fall, the Spring Semester schedule for the next academic year will be available on the Courses & Schedules page. (The online course schedule is discussed below in Section 2.4). At that point, the Spring Semester will be but a few months away. The upper-level (2L & 3L) course schedule will be complete and there will be limited changes. All law students will receive an email from the University Registrar (typically in early November) informing them when their earliest registration time will be. Any new course that may be added subsequent to registration will be announced by email.
Registration for 3Ls generally commences on a given date in mid-November. Important Note: Any 3L who does not register on that precise date will be competing for courses with the 2Ls, whose registration generally begins one day after that of the 3Ls. Registration for 2Ls, likewise, typically commences one day after the 3L registration on a date in mid-November. Just as in the case of registering for the fall semester, it is in your best interest to register for courses at your earliest available opportunity. Similarly, as with the fall semester, do NOT register for courses whose times overlap. Instructors are free to forbid students from leaving class early or arriving late in order to attend overlapping courses; moreover, overlapping courses sometimes have conflicting final exam times and an exam rescheduling accommodation will not be granted on the grounds that a student has two final exams at the same time.
The online course schedule (see Section 2.4 below) will indicate (in the "Notes" column) which courses require "Consent of Instructor." If you desire to take one or more of these courses, you should contact the instructor(s) concerned. Instructors offering "consent" courses will create a list of approved students and forward it to the Law School Office. When the Law School Office receives an instructor's list of approved students, registration authorizations will be entered, and approved students will be contacted by email and informed that they may then register for the course. The process will normally take a few days, depending on how quickly the faculty member produces the list and provides it to the Law School Office.
Students interested in any clinical program must apply to that program by contacting the clinical supervisor. Clinical courses are not open-enrollment courses; rather, they are the functional equivalent of “Consent of Instructor” courses —that is, you will need the permission of the clinical supervisor in order to register.
When the Law School Office receives a clinical supervisor’s list of approved students, registration authorizations will be entered and then approved students will be contacted by email and informed that they may then register for the clinical.
Students should be aware, when determining how many credits to take in a particular clinical, that Law School Rule 3.14 mandates that a student should work “no less than 45 hours per semester” for each credit earned. Also, please note that students are not free to “construct their own” clinical program or receive academic credit for any internship or externship that has not been approved by the Law School.
Note, however, that students can apply to set up and receive academic credit for a broad array of externship opportunities. See Section 13.3 ("Externships").
Each summer a few courses from the law curriculum may be offered. The courses offered depend on faculty availability in any given summer, although typically required courses (both for the J.D. degree and for Diploma Privilege) are offered. Courses that form part of the First-Year Program (with the exception of the first-year electives) are not offered during the summer.
Additional Note: It may be technically possible for a full-time student starting in September to complete degree requirements by August two years later (i.e., precisely 24 months later--and no earlier); this would entail taking, after the first year, approximately 18 credits in each of the 2L semesters, plus approximately 22 summer credits over two summers. Be advised, however, that:
- Sufficient variation in summer course offerings in subsequent summers is not guaranteed; and
- Completing J.D. degree work in 24 months is difficult and not necessarily advisable for most students
Directed reading and directed research are governed by Law School Rule 3.13. Note that no more than eight credits of directed reading and six credits of directed research can be applied to the 90 credits required for the J.D. degree. (Additionally, a single directed reading is limited to from one to three credits.) Letter grades are not authorized for directed research or directed reading; grading will be simply “satisfactory/unsatisfactory.”
Directed research will result in the production of a research paper; a student’s directed reading will be tested by some form of written work. To register, you must find a faculty member who will agree to supervise your work, and then obtain and complete a green Directed Reading or Directed Research form (available in Room 5110A and in Forms for Current UW Law Students), have the faculty member who has agreed to supervise the project sign it, and return the form to Room 5110A.
Preliminary note: law students who will be studying abroad should see generally Chapter 12 (“Dual Degrees, Study Abroad, and Certificate Programs”), as well as Section 9.5.1. Law students who will be visiting at another U.S. law school should also see Section 10.2.
UW Law students who are not in their last semester of law studies and who are currently studying abroad or visiting at another U.S. law school may face special difficulties in registering for their return semester at the UW Law School. If you are on a UW-Madison approved study abroad program, you may still be technically enrolled in the Law School in the current semester and thus eligible to web-enroll for the follow-on semester (and may have a registration time assigned by the University Registrar). If you are able to web-enroll, you should do so at the appointed time. If you have questions about your enrollment status and ability to web-enroll, you should contact the University Registrar’s office to inquire. For such inquiries, email email@example.com.
If your study abroad or visiting-student status means you are not able to web-enroll for the follow-on semester at the same time as your classmates, you may contact Lauren Devine in the Law School Office in advance of the date your classmates can first register; on the registration date itself, Lauren will attempt to “reserve” seats (if available) for you in your preferred classes until such time as you can web-enroll (which is typically after you have submitted a “Re-entry Form”). Note that this service is provided merely as a courtesy to students studying abroad/visiting elsewhere who are without the ability to web-enroll; such students are not guaranteed seats in their preferred classes and seats will not be set aside in advance.
Students are prohibited, by American Bar Association rules, from taking more than 18 credits per term. (See ABA Standard for Approval of Law Schools 311(c)). For more information, see “Credit Limitations” at Section 4.3 infra. (Note that Law School Rule 3.09, which states that the applicable limit is 19 credits, pre-dates the ABA's limitation; the University’s registration technology has the limit set at 18 credits as discussed above).
Students who have questions concerning their credit-load or related concerns should see the Law School Registrar in Room 5107 or Lauren Devine in Room 5110A.
An online course schedule for current and, at times, prospective semesters is available through the Courses & Schedules page and selecting on the appropriate semester choice. In viewing the online schedule, you will note that it is divided into a number of columns. The purpose of some of these columns is self-evident; however, a few (listed below) merit some elaboration.
- Call Numbers: Five-digit Call Numbers are codes needed for registration. You do not register using the Course and Section Number, but they can help you to determine the Call Number.
- Degree Credits: The Degree Credits column indicates how many credits count toward the total credits needed for the JD degree (90 Credit Rule) (see Section 4.4.1) If the course is offered for variable credits (i.e., 1 - 3 credits), the number of credits in which enrolled are the number of credits applied to the JD degree.
- In-Class Credits: The In-Class column indicates how many credits, for any given course, will be attributable to the "64 credit rule." The 64 credit rule is an ABA requirement, contained in Standard 311(a), which makes graduation conditioned on at least 64 credits of the 90 credits required for the J.D. degree to be completed in courses with regularly scheduled class sessions or direct faculty instruction. See Section 4.3.
- Experiential Learning code: The "Experiential Learning" column indicates whether the course can be used to satisfy, in whole or in part, the 6-credit-hour Experiential Course requirement applicable to students matriculating in Fall 2016 and thereafter. See Section 4.4.2(5) for a discussion of this requirement.
- Dip. Priv. 60 Credit Rule: The Dip. Priv. 60 Credit Rule column indicates whether the course meets the 60 Credit Rule (see Section 4.6.2).
- If a course is covered by the 60 Credit Rule, this means the course credits are applied toward the sixty credits required for Diploma Privilege.
- If a course is marked by an asterisk in the Dip. Priv. 60 Credit Rule (see Section 4.6.4) column, one of the following is being indicated:
- Clinicals (a maximum of five clinical credits total, even if multiple clinics are taken, will apply to the 60 Credit Rule)
- Professional Responsibilities (one credit applies to 60)
- Trial Advocacy (four credits maximum count toward the 60)
- Lawyering Skills (five of the eight credits will apply to the 60)
- Pass-Fail code: This is found in the "Notes" column. If the course is a mandatory Pass-Fail course, or the instructor has indicated that the Pass-Fail option is available, the notation “PF” will appear. (The notation for mandatory Pass-Fail courses is typically “PF only”). If the instructor has indicated that the Pass-Fail option will not be available, “No PF” will appear. If no Pass-Fail information is recorded for a course, this means the information is not currently available; you should check with the instructor if this information is important to you. (Read more about Pass-Fail grading in Section 9.3.)
- Required Courses: The "Notes" column also contains information about whether a course meets one of the Diploma Privilege or Graduation requirements.
- Prerequisite courses/ “or consent”: In the “Notes” column, some courses are listed as requiring a certain prerequisite course; others are similarly listed, but are also available for students not having the prerequisite if they secured the prior permission of the instructor. Such a course listing will indicate the pre-required course followed by the words “or consent.”
- Legal Writing code: This code, which appears as the letters “LW,” is also found in the "Notes" column. Per Law School Rule 3.11.1, J.D. candidates have an “Upper-level Writing Requirement” and are required to complete one rigorous writing experience subsequent to the completion of the first year. Students matriculating in Fall 2010 and 2011 satisfied this requirement with the course Legal Research & Writing II. For students who matriculated in Fall 2012 or later, curricular activities meeting this requirement will be designated by the Dean and are denoted in the Notes column with “LW.” Students, however, are urged to check with the course instructor to ensure that they will indeed be able to fulfill the Upper-level Writing Requirement in the course.
- Course Descriptions: Any currently available Course Description can be accessed by clicking on the title of a course as it appears on the Course Title column. Please note that updating the Course Description function is a continual process. If a Course Description is missing, this means attempts are being made to secure it from the instructor concerned. If there is scheduling information in the description that conflicts with the online course information, rely on the online course schedule information rather than the description.
- Conflicts Between Your “My UW” Schedule and the Online Course Schedule: Due to computer interface problems, on rare occasions your individual “My UW” course information might not coincide with that on the Law School’s online schedule. The Law School’s online schedule is kept constantly up-to-date and contains correct, current information. If there is a conflict between information contained on these two databases, you should rely on the Law School’s online schedule.
Of the 90 credits required for the J.D. degree, law students are allowed to apply up to six credits of graduate level or foreign language course work completed at other schools at the University (Law School Rule 3.08). Before any non-law credits can be applied toward the J.D. degree, however, the requirements of Law School Rule 3.08 must be strictly observed, with the single exception that language courses (the only undergraduate courses allowed under the rule) need not necessarily be “conversational Spanish.” Study of other languages within the University will also be acceptable. Note that Rule 3.08(1)(d) requires a “B” or better (on the University’s 4.0 scale) for the credit to be counted toward the J.D. degree. Grades of B/C or lower do not qualify. Grades earned in non-Law courses do not factor into one’s Law School 4.3-scale GPA. To take a Non-Law course for Law credit, complete and submit the Permission To Take a Graduate Level Non-Law Academic Course for Law Credit form that may be found on the Forms for Current Students page.
Note: Among other non-qualifying courses, "enrichment courses" (such as ballroom dance, yoga, golf, etc.) will not count toward the 90 credits needed for the JD degree.
If you are cancelling your enrollment or plan to withdraw from Law School, either temporarily or permanently, please contact Emily Kite, the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs (608-890-0115; firstname.lastname@example.org). Find more information on the deadlines for withdrawals on the UW Registrar's page.
Law students are not permitted to formally audit law courses. (A formal audit involves enrolling in a course on an audit basis; the course appears on the transcript.) Law School policy prohibits law students enrolling in law courses on an audit basis. However, students wishing to "sit in" on a course (that is, informally 'audit' a course) may, in all courses except first-year courses, seek the instructor's permission to do so. Informal auditors do not take examinations or receive course credit, and are expected to comply with any participation/attendance ground-rules set by the instructor agreeing to the informal audit arrangement.