Juris Master Program
Professionals are coping with growing regulation, intensifying risk and liability concerns, and increasingly complex decision environments. Increasing knowledge of law with a juris master degree will help students develop skills to:
- incorporate legal insights into their decision-making,
- identify laws and regulations applicable to their professions,
- influence change within their fields,
- assess risk in a changing environment, and
- communicate more effectively with their organization's attorneys.
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 law, Emory Law’s juris master program offers the insight and flexibility to help you achieve your goals.
With more than 10,000 alumni across the globe and a brand name that carries weight worldwide, an Emory Law degree offers access to thousands of successful, talented peers. These connections begin as soon as you start your juris master studies, with Emory JM students participating with JD and graduate classmates in all courses. This interaction ensures everyone benefits from the experiences that each student brings to the learning environment.
Emory Law's juris master is a 30-credit hour program that supplements your professional interests with a range of concentrations you can customize to meet your needs. You can complete your coursework either full-time in as little as one year or part-time in up to four years.
Courses are offered throughout the day, including limited late afternoon, evening, weekend, and summer options. Part-time JM students may choose courses based on their area of interest and work schedule.
A Partnership with Scholars and Educators
Emory Law's JM program is grounded in exemplary teaching. More than sixty full-time faculty—scholars and practitioners alike—along with an extensive adjunct faculty, teach more than 250 courses and partner with you in your legal studies. 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)
- Legal Analysis and Writing for Non-Lawyers (1-credit-hour, graded).
Both are accelerated, meaning that they last approximately 7 to 8 weeks instead of the usual 14.
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).
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.