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Accelerated Option

Pepperdine University School of Law now offers an accelerated, two-year Juris Doctor (JD) degree option that is paired with the opportunity to simultaneously earn a certificate from the number one ranked Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution. This distinctive and innovative approach blends rigorous legal education at a leading institution with significant skills and training geared toward practicing law in the 21st century. The Accelerated Option may be a good choice for motivated students willing to work at a faster pace to finish law school sooner.

Jump Start Your Legal Career

The Accelerated Option provides graduates with the opportunity to enter the workforce a year before the traditional three-year degree program, gaining an early advantage on the path to professional success. After an initial summer session beginning in May, the Accelerated Option students will enroll in the regular first year JD classes and continue to matriculate in the regular JD program. In total, the accelerated students will take classes in four semesters and two summer sessions. Students in the Accelerated Option will have a more fixed schedule, but they will also have the opportunity to select from a broad range of elective courses, clinics, externships, all student-edited journals (including the Pepperdine Law Review), and inter-school moot court and trial competitions.

Benefit from an Economical Approach

The Accelerated Option is a unique offering and is among only a few of its kind in the country. With the rising cost of legal education in mind, the two-year approach enables students to earn income from their careers sooner and may enable students to limit some living expenses. Tuition costs under the Accelerated Option are not necessarily less than under the regular JD, as the overall unit requirements are the same.

Earn a Certificate from the #1 Dispute Resolution Program in the Nation

In the initial summer, the accelerated students will attend classes offered by Pepperdine University School of Law's highly regarded Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution. These classes will meet during the evening and on Saturday. Because accelerated students will have such intensive involvement in the Institute, they will also be able to earn a Certificate in Dispute Resolution.

The Curriculum

1st Summer – May-August

Students enrolled in the Accelerated Option complete courses in Legal History, Negotiation Theory and Practice, Mediation Theory and Practice, Cross Cultural Conflict and Dispute Resolution, and Arbitration Practice. In addition, they may enroll in one of the elective courses offered through the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution that summer.  Additional details will be provided in the spring 2014.  These courses all meet on evenings and on Saturday for two weeks each.

1st Year – August-May

Accelerated students take the same first-year courses as all other law students and are integrated into the first-year class. First-year law students follow a rigorous course of study that covers the following subjects: Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, Introduction to Ethical Lawyering, Legal Research and Writing, Property, and Torts.

2nd Summer – May-August

During the summer after their first full year, accelerated students take a full load of summer classes. The exact number will vary, but most students will take approximately 12 units. The only specific course requirement for the second summer is that accelerated students must take 6 units of externship, which will provide a real-world, hands-on experience. Students will also be encouraged during this semester to complete the requirements for the Certificate in Dispute Resolution.

2nd Year – August-May

After the first year, accelerated students complete core upper-division courses, and they also have the opportunity to select from a broad range of elective courses, clinics, externships, and student-edited journals.

Important Dates:

• Application deadline: April 1

• Financial aid deadline: April 1

• $800 Non-refundable seat deposit due: April 15

The first summer session, which is required, will begin in May and will continue through August.