JD Degree Program

The University of Cincinnati College of Law’s Juris Doctor (JD) program features nine professional pathways, real-world learning, externship programs, and numerous opportunities for student involvement. Every year, we welcome a diverse group of students—students like you—who are focused on making their mark on the world. Their interests span the public and private sectors, and our courses and guaranteed experiential opportunities deliver an unrivaled law education.

This multi-year Juris Doctor program employs a holistic curriculum to prepare students for a diverse array of career opportunities post-graduation. In addition to a specialized approach with our nine professional pathways, our JD professors teach a rich mix of elective courses in areas of study related to students’ professional interests. By engaging in these studies, our law students develop the breadth of knowledge to organize and classify their clients’ legal problems and the knowledge to help their clients achieve their objectives.

Professional Pathways

Gain real-world business experiences at Cincinnati Law’s clinics, externships, and fellowships. Whether you spend time in our popular Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic (ECDC) and work alongside innovators and disruptors or research corporate law topics, you’ll get the coursework and guidance you need to graduate with an impressive portfolio.

Learn on the job through judicial externships with the U.S. District Court, the Ohio Court of Common Pleas and other courts with criminal jurisdiction, or sign on for a stint with a prosecutor or defense organization. As a Cincinnati Law student, you can also participate in our Indigent Defense Clinic and the Domestic Violence and Protection Order Clinic.

You’ll also find our students embedded at the Ohio Innocence Project at Cincinnati Law, the Glenn M. Weaver Institute of Law and Psychiatry and various nonprofits focused on justice and reform.

Learn more about the Criminal Law Professional Pathway.

With its expert faculty members, Cincinnati Law provides opportunities for hands-on learning about complex environmental legal issues in a region that’s home to an EPA office in a city with its own Green Plan.

Our clinics, externships and fellowships provide realistic and invaluable perspectives on what it’s like to be a practicing lawyer.

Gain expertise in health law at Cincinnati Law, thanks to our expert faculty as well as the broad range of top-quality healthcare facilities that surround us: a regional VA Medical Center, a top-ranked Children’s Hospital, one of country’s few Shriners’ Hospitals, to name just three. Learn about litigation and negligence, regulatory and public policy issues and the very business of healthcare institutions and enterprises.

Cincinnati Law is also home to the Glenn M. Weaver Institute of Law and Psychiatry, which provides opportunities for select students to gain experience with psychiatric issues as practiced in a legal setting.

Learn more abou the Health Law Professional Pathway.

Delve into the world of artistic and literary creation, advertising and marketing, and scientific invention when you study IP at Cincinnati Law. Our new clinic will support learning about trademarks and patents as well, and associated state laws about publicity rights and trade secrets.

Learn how globalization impacts legal practice, and policy, through coursework, fieldwork and specialized programs at Cincinnati Law. From commerce, corporations, telecommunications, trade, tax, investments, finance, intellectual property, product liability, the environment, crime, and human rights, we have the expertise to help you learn how to navigate a global legal practice or diplomatic career.

In addition, our groundbreaking Urban Morgan Institute continues to serve as a model for many other human rights programs with its emphasis on teaching, research and service.

Understand the intricacies of litigation, mediation, negotiation and dispute resolution through simulated and real-world experiences at Cincinnati Law.

From American Bar Association sponsored competitions to Trial Practice Team national and regional competitions, our students benefit from multiple opportunities to present in courtrooms.

Discover the legal policies and procedures on public interest topics like housing discrimination and child welfare as you work on real-world cases and for real-life causes around the world.


First-year law students learn a comprehensive foundation of our legal system. This includes reading and analyzing cases, interpreting statutes, and developing legal reasoning. With the help of our renowned faculty, students in the JD program develop oral and written skills crucial to academic and professional success. Each first-year student has at least two courses in the first semester in a small section of approximately 20 students. These learning communities provide students the opportunity to be mentored by their small-section professors and form study groups.

With a Juris Doctor degree, you’ll not only possess the skills necessary to practice law but also the leadership and communication skills you need to be successful in all of your work endeavors. At Cincinnati Law, we make sure you are well prepared to pass the bar. Even more than that, we help you prepare for—and then land—your dream job.

JD Degree Outcomes

Graduates of Cincinnati's JD degree program are prepared for an exciting and broad range of professional careers all over the world. Most Cincinnati Law graduates find jobs as counselors, litigators, negotiators, drafters, advocates, and decision-makers. Others work in business management, consulting, media, politics, teaching, and other areas where having a law degree gives them a competitive advantage in their work. 

Through our externship program, UC Law students have gained valuable experience with organizations such as Legal Aid of Greater Cincinnati, Ohio Justice and Policy Center, Children’s Law Center, and many more. There are also judicial extern programs where students gain both firsthand experience and academic credit. These real-world learning experiences help students build professional skills and develop a professional identity. With the city of Cincinnati’s numerous Fortune 500 companies, 800 law firms, and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, the opportunities for experiential learning and postgraduate employment are always close by.

Earn Your JD Degree Today!

Students receive expert guidance from our Center for Professional Development (CPD) as they build their professional identities. The CPD helps students explore and develop their interests through programs that help law students find an attorney mentor, meet attorneys practicing in many areas of the law, visit offices where attorneys practice, and explore alternative careers. Through personal advising sessions with a CPD advisor during each year of law school, students create a personal professional plan aimed at helping them identify and achieve their professional goals.

The University of Cincinnati Law’s JD program allows for a specialized curriculum with opportunities for volunteering, fellowships, and more. Interested in learning more about the JD program? Request information today!