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Pepperdine | Caruso School of Law

Experiential Learning Requirement


JD students must complete 15 units of experiential learning courses or their equivalent in order to graduate. These are courses that include significant experience in practice, simulations, lawyering skills or professional formation. Students may satisfy this requirement by fulfilling units or their equivalent in the following categories of classes or experience in practice:

  1. Six of the 15 units must be upper-level courses designated as experiential under the ABA definition of experiential courses, as determined by the Vice Dean and noted in the course schedule.
  2. First-year LRW courses will count for 4 units of the 15 unit requirement.
  3. Students may satisfy the remaining 5 units through other classes designated as experiential by the Vice Dean.
  4. Students may count up to 5 units earned in credit-bearing advocacy or journal courses toward the 15 unit requirement.
  5. Students may seek a waiver for up to 5 units of the experiential education requirement by certifying that they have completed 50 hours of legal work per unit waived under the supervision of a lawyer, without receiving school credit, paid or unpaid. Note that this is a waiver of units applicable to the 15 unit experiential learning requirement, not a waiver of total general units required to graduate.


Planning Guides

Students may refer to the following Experiential Learning Planning Guides when considering experiential learning courses.


Procedures for waiver

To request a waiver of up to 5 units of the experiential learning requirement, students must certify their hours in legal work under the supervision of a licensed attorney.

  • Students conduct legal work under the supervision of a lawyer without receiving academic credit. 
  • After concluding their work, students must request an e-signature form or download and complete the Experiential Learning Waiver form. Students will describe and certify their work and hours, subject to the honor code, and the students' supervisors must certify the students' work and hours.
  • Students must submit the completed form to the Clinical Office at clinicallaw@pepperdine.edu.
  • Professor Baker, Assistant Dean of Clinical Education, will approve and certify the placement, units and compliance.


 International Students

Experiential courses and work qualifying students for an experiential learning waiver are considered practical training. Students with F-1 student status must complete the Curricular Practical Training (CPT) form with the Office of International Student Services (OISS) to report their work in an experiential program.

Students should review the OISS website for information about the CPT form and how to request it online. Students are also encouraged to remain in active communication with OISS to ensure that they are compliant in their reporting.

Students may list Dean Shannon Phillips as an academic advisor on their form.