Juris Doctor (JD)

Degree Overview

The first year of the Iowa Law program offers the personal connection and attention you need to develop a strong intellectual foundation for legal thinking and writing. We boast a low student-faculty ratio and our professors take pride in having an open-door policy, and in modeling the kind of highly collaborative, rigorously professional behavior that prepares you to serve as counselor to your clients. You’ll also get intensive, individualized instruction from our legal writing faculty—Iowa is one of the few law schools in the nation with a full-time faculty dedicated solely to your growth as a legal writer. 

In your second and third years, you can focus on the areas of law that most interest you, drawing from a rich menu of mainstream, specialized, and clinical courses. A wide array of opportunities provides experiential learning: moot court competitions, our Clinical Law Program where students take the lead in real cases, or writing for one of the school's four student-run scholarly journals. Our externship program provides a wide range of placements while you’re still in law school: our students have worked in US District Courts, legal aid centers, federal public defenders’ offices, and NGO around the world. You may also add distinction to your résumé by participating in study-abroad or exchange programs.

To learn more about how to apply to the program, see our Application Process page for this program.

Admissions Requirements

Applicants for admission to the University of Iowa College of Law must complete all requirements for the baccalaureate degree before beginning law school. In addition, the baccalaureate degree must be earned from an undergraduate institution that is accredited by an agency recognized by the Department of Education.

Iowa strongly endorses three basic objectives recommended by a committee of the Association of American Law Schools: education for comprehension and expression in words; education for a critical understanding of the human institutions and value with which the law deals; and education for greater power in thinking. Anyone thinking of attending law school should keep these objectives in mind while planning an undergraduate course of study.