Juris Master (JM) Program
Today’s professionals face growing regulation, intensifying risk and liability concerns, and increasingly complex decision environments. Whether you are a professional interested in gaining a better grounding in law and regulation to advance your career, or a student whose primary degree would be enhanced by an integrated study of the law, Emory Law’s juris master offers the insight and flexibility to help you achieve your goals. This 30-credit-hour master's program can be either on-campus (full-time or part-time) or now online, in two concentrations.
The campus-based format offers the broadest flexibility of course offerings, with a wide range of concentrations and courses available, or the option to customize the program to your specific interests. The program can be completed full-time in nine months or part-time in up to four years. Courses are offered throughout the day, including limited late afternoon, evening, and summer options.
New! Online Study
For students interested in learning about Health Care Law or Business Law, we now offer 18-month, online courses of study in Health Care Law, Policy and Regulation; and in Business Law and Regulation, starting with the fall 2017 semester. The online program is comprised of 10 sequential 7-week asynchronous courses, with 3 three-day residencies.
With more than 10,000 alumni across the globe, Emory Law offers access to thousands of successful, talented graduates, with connections that begin as soon as you start your studies.
Exemplary Scholars & Teaching
More than 60 full-time faculty—expert scholars and talented practitioners alike—along with an accomplished cadre of adjunct faculty, teach more than 250 courses at Emory Law. Their focus on research means they are not only teaching you the law, they are also actively participating in shaping laws around the world.
Frequently Asked Questions
All JM students are required to take two courses during their first JM semester:
- Introduction to the American Legal System (2-credit-hours, pass-fail)
- Analysis, Research, and Communications for Non-Lawyers (2-credit-hours, graded)
In addition, all JM students are required to take a 1L foundational course during their first or second JM semester. They must take the 1L foundational course before they take any upper level course. The exceptions are Negotiations, Alternate Dispute Resolution, and Introduction to Legal Research, which may be taken prior to or concurrent with the 1L foundational course.
We strongly recommend that most JM students take two or three 1L foundational courses before advancing to upper level elective courses to acquire a solid understanding of the case law method of learning. 1L foundational courses move at a relatively slower pace and require approximately 20 pages of reading per class.
The balance of your coursework reflects your professional interests, with a range of concentrations you can customize to meet your needs.
Torts, Contracts, Legislation & Regulation, and Civil Procedure are offered in the fall semester. Constitutional Law, Property and Criminal Law are offered in the spring semester. There are three sections of each of these classes, usually offered at different times and taught by different faculty. Criminal Law is a 3-credit-hour class. Legislation & Regulation is a 2-credit-hour class. All of the others are 4-credit-hour classes.
Each student should decide how many courses he or she can handle, based on other commitments, funding, commute, and other personal and professional factors.
Because the program requires 30 credit hours to graduate, we recommend full-time students take 12-13 credit hours of coursework each semester (including the two required JM courses), and finish up over the summer.
If you are a part-time student with other demands on your time, you should probably begin with just the two required JM courses and wait to take your first doctrinal course (the 1L foundational course) until your second semester.
If you have more time and/or if you need at least 6 credit hours of coursework to secure financial aid, in your first semester you should take the two required JM courses plus your 1L foundational course.
Remember, learning in law school requires a big commitment of time in each week to focus on the reading and come to class. Do what you feel you can commit to. You have four years to complete your degree, so there is no need to rush through it while also managing work and family commitments.
Generally, you can expect the following:
- 4-credit-hour classes: three times per week
- 3-credit-hour classes: twice per week
- 2-credit-hour classes: either twice a week for one hour or once a week for two hours.
Some courses, like Business Associations, are offered in either a 3-credit-hour or a 4-credit-hour format.
A good rule of thumb is for every hour of classroom instruction, you’ll be spending 3-4 hours at home, doing the reading and preparing for class.
First-time JM students and students who have not yet completed required classes (Introduction to the American Legal System, Legal Analysis and Writing for Non-lawyers, and the 1L foundational course) must register for classes by sending an email to Lynn Labuda, the Program Director, with course selection choices.
Once a student has completed the 3 required courses he or she may register directly on the University system, which is called OPUS, during the assigned appointment window. Appointment windows are assigned to all students by the Registrar’s Office, based on their proximity to graduation.
Most classes in the law school curriculum are available to JM students, and JM students are permitted to register for any 1L foundational course at any time it is offered.
However, there are some limitations on your ability to register for other courses that might interest you.
- Some courses are specifically designed only for JD students, such as Legal Professionalism.
- JM students must compete with all other Emory Law School students for spots in upper-level classes.
- Many classes have prerequisites. For example, you must successfully complete Contracts and Business Associations prior to taking Doing Deals: Contract Drafting or Mergers & Acquisitions; Property is a prerequisite for Trusts & Estates or Real Estate Finance.
- Some classes have multiple layers of prerequisites; for example, Contracts, Business Associations, and Contract Drafting are all prerequisites for capstone Deal Skills classes, like Venture Capital or Private Equity.
Seminars are available to JM students who are ready to take upper-level courses. JM students compete with JD students for spots in seminars; application for seminars occurs during the “pre-registration” period. JM students should be aware that seminars generally require each student to produce an independent work of original legal scholarship, of at least 30 pages, in the designated subject area (this is the equivalent of a law review article).
A handful of courses are generally offered in the summer semester.
If you are experiencing difficulties with coursework and/or a personal or professional situation negatively impacting your ability to perform your coursework in a satisfactory manner, immediately contact the Graduate Programs Office. We will work with you and the professor to determine if special accommodations can be made, or to assess other options such as receiving a “Withdrawal” or “Incomplete” grade for the course.
You should also contact your Financial Aid representative to understand the impact, if any, of a “Withdrawal” or “Incomplete” on the financial aid allotment.