Find Answers to Common JDi Questions Below
What classes do JDi students take?
The majority of JDi courses are online classes that combine self-paced and live class sessions. A list of courses can be found here.
JDi students also take six residential courses. These short, intensive, credit-bearing courses provide an opportunity to build key lawyering skills.
In addition to online coursework and in-person residential courses, students are expected to complete an externship as part of the JDi program. Externships offer students opportunities to earn academic credit while gaining practical legal experience under the supervision of a practicing attorney. Students are able to explore various areas of the law and potential career paths while engaging with alumni and building professional networks. Read more about the externship program.
How do online courses work?
Most online courses consist of both self-paced class sessions and live class sessions. Self-paced sessions are taught by College of Law faculty and combine lectures, demonstrations, case studies, and a wide variety of interactive exercises. Live class sessions are also taught by College of Law faculty. Live class sessions take advantage of videoconferencing technology to allow professors and students to teach and learn in real time just as they do on campus. Many professors conduct live sessions using the Socratic dialogue method, or a modified version of the method, just as in the College of Law’s residential program.
What are residential courses? When are they held?
Students are required to take six residential courses during the course of their study. These are condensed, credit-bearing courses and are typically scheduled in August and January. The first four residential courses run over the course of a week. The last two residential courses last between three and five days.
Where are the residential courses held?
The first four week-long residential courses are held on the Syracuse University campus located in Syracuse, NY. The last two residential courses will be held on campus or another Syracuse University location such as New York City, Washington, DC, or Los Angeles.
Do I need to attend residential classes?
Yes. Residential classes are a required part of the program and an important part of the education we offer. Students must attend residential courses in their entirety.
How do externships work?
Each JDi student will have the opportunity to complete an externship before graduation. Externships are designed to prepare students for the practice of law by giving them a hands-on opportunity to build lawyering skills and apply their knowledge in a legal practice setting. College of Law staff will work closely with each JDi student to help identify an appropriate externship that students can complete from their current location, should they wish not to relocate.
Externships consist of a placement in a legal practice setting and an accompanying seminar. Students placed in cities in which the College of Law has in-person seminars (including Syracuse, Washington, DC, New York City) will have the option of participating in the in-person seminar alongside students in the College’s residential J.D. program. Students working in other cities (as well as students for whose schedules cannot accommodate the in-person seminar) will instead enroll in an online seminar led by a College of Law faculty member.
Who are the JDinteractive faculty?
All courses are taught by Syracuse University College of Law Faculty.
What degree do students earn?
Students earn a juris doctorate (J.D.) degree upon successful completion of the program. This is the same degree earned by graduates of our residential program.
How much time should students expect to spend preparing for classes?
Each professor has different expectations for their class, but students should expect to spend at least two hours of preparation and study time for each hour of class.
Can JDi students take experiential courses?
Residential courses are heavily focused on experiential learning. In addition, JDi students participate in the College’s externship program.
Are elective courses available?
The JDi program currently provides a broader array of elective courses than any other online JD program. However, the number of elective courses in the JDi program is less than the number of elective courses offered in our residential JD program.
Can online students earn joint degrees or certificates of advanced study (CAS)?
The College of Law has partnered with Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management to offer the nation’s first online joint J.D./M.B.A. degree program. JDinteractive does not offer CAS at this time.
Is there any limit on the number of courses I can take simultaneously?
Yes. Our program is adaptable to your schedule, allowing you to complete your J.D. in three years or up to seven years, depending on your individual preferences and commitments. Students attend class year-round. Occasionally, students will seek to accelerate their studies and seek to take the equivalent of a full-time course load for one or more semesters. Students wishing to take more than the standard course load may petition to take more credits in a particular semester. Petitions are considered on a case-by-case basis.
There is no guarantee that students will be able to accelerate their studies. Students who wish to accelerate their studies should be aware that this may have consequences for their graduation date and financial aid.
When are online classes offered?
To accommodate students employed during the daytime, the majority of online class are offered during evenings (typically starting between 7p.m. and 8 p.m. ET). Some classes are also offered during standard eastern time business hours. Classes offered during the daytime are typically offered in the morning, eastern time.
Can the JDi program be completed in less than the stated timeframe (3 years, 3 months)?
The JDi program is designed as a year-round program where students typically take two online courses a semester and two residency courses a year. Once the lower division course requirements are complete, students may be able to take additional credits with College of Law approval, depending on space and course availability.
Can the JDi program be extended to be taken over a longer period of time?
You have a maximum of seven years to complete the program.
Do I need an entrance exam to be considered for admission to the JDi program?
Our ABA accreditation requires all College of Law applicants to furnish a standardized test score. We accept the LSAT or GRE to satisfy this requirement.
Do students apply through LSAC?
Yes. JDi students apply for admission using Law School Admission Council (LSAC) services.
What is your average GPA & LSAT?
Last year, our incoming J.D. students (online and residential programs) had a 3.51 median GPA and 157 median LSAT. Our current ABA-required admissions report can be found here.
What is your average age of entry into the JDi program?
The average age of entry for the JDi incoming class in 2023 is 35. Students in this class range from 22 years old to 67 years old.
Do JDi course credits transfer to different law schools?
Prospective students should understand that other law schools may not be permitted to accept transfer credits from JDi courses. The College of Law operates JDi with special permission from the American Bar Association (ABA), which accredits the College and other law schools. Pursuant to ABA accreditation standards, most law schools cannot allow students to earn more than 50% through distance education, unless a program is specifically approved for more.
Can a law student from another law school transfer to the online program?
Transfer applications for the JDi program are welcome and are considered on a case by case basis. For more information on the transfer process please visit our transfer information page.
Can Syracuse law students transfer between the online and residential J.D. programs?
Students are eligible to apply to transfer from JDi to the residential law program at Syracuse, although students’ financial arrangements may be different. Requests to switch from the residential program to the online law degree program will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
Are online classes available to residential J.D. students studying on campus?
Students in graduate level programs and upper-level students in our residential program have the option of taking certain classes online. There must be available space in the class and the student’s reason for taking a JDi class is compelling.
What academic support services are available to JDi students?
JDi students have access to extensive programming and academic services, including academic and student counseling, student support, virtual tutors, study groups, bar exam preparation, and professional development. Like residential J.D. students, JDi students can engage with faculty for academic support and counseling. Faculty hold online office hours to answer questions and counsel students regularly.
What information technology (IT) support is provided?
JDi students are provided technical help via the College of Law’s Office of Information Technology. Tech support help is offered via phone and email.
How do JDi graduates prepare for the bar exam?
Our J.D. curriculum is designed to, among other things, prepare all students to take the bar exam. In order to graduate, all students must successfully complete our rigorous required courses, as well as other courses designed to both expand their doctrinal knowledge and develop their writing and reasoning skills.
The College of Law also provides courses specific to preparing for the bar. First, all students will have access to AccessLex’s interactive Helix Bar Review prep course in their final year of law school. This comprehensive bar review program offers traditional law outlines and practice questions as well as an online, adaptive learning platform that uses an integrated content approach, an active learning interface, personalized pathways, and flexible access options designed to adapt to individual learning styles and to help students efficiently use study time to confidently prepare for the bar exam. In addition, a semester long course on foundational skills for attorney licensing is available to all JDi students.
Does the College of Law support JDi students and graduates in finding employment?
The College of Law is committed to providing all of our students with personalized career and professional development services. Students in JDi have access to the Office of Career Services, including instruction related to drafting resumes, cover letters, and other job application materials, resumé review, mock job interviews, job search assistance and guidance related to networking and professionalism.
What out-of-class opportunities are available?
JDi students are able to participate in a wide variety of special events and to join student organizations, including the Student Bar Association and the Syracuse Law Review. To facilitate JDi student participation, many student organization events and meetings are held online. However, some events and meetings are in-person only, and JDi students may not be able to participate unless they attend in-person.
Do JDinteractive students participate in student organizations?
JDi students are full members of the College of Law community and are encouraged to participate in student organizations, including the student government and Syracuse Law Review.
Can JDi students sit for the bar in all states?
Each jurisdiction sets its own criteria for admission to the bar and to sit for its bar examination, including an applicant’s legal education. As graduates of an ABA accredited law school and approved program, it appears that JDi graduates will satisfy most jurisdictions’ current legal education requirements and thus be eligible for admission to the bar in most states.
In New York State, the New York Court of Appeals determines the rules for admission to the bar. Under the Court’s current rules, graduation from the Syracuse University’s JDi program does not automatically qualify an individual to take the New York bar exam. Graduates can petition the court for a waiver of strict compliance with the rule and permission to take the examination, but applicants should carefully consider these rules before beginning their legal education. As of August 2022, graduates who have petitioned the court for a waiver have been successful.
Applicants should be aware that bar eligibility, admission rules and rule interpretations can change. The College of Law encourages applicants to confirm the legal education requirements for any jurisdiction in which they intend to seek admission to the bar by contacting the state bar admission agencies of the jurisdiction. Addresses for all relevant agencies are available through the National Conference of Bar Examiners.