Universities throughout North Carolina offer law programs leading to a Juris Doctor (JD) that take about three years to complete. Many of these schools also offer Master of Laws and Doctor of Juridical Studies programs for students who already hold a JD. Some schools offer dual degree programs, where students earn a law degree and another degree - such as a Master of Science - concurrently. Programs may be available in part-time, full-time and even partially online formats. Students get practical experience through fieldwork and can attend specialty law clinics.
In order to practice law in the state of North Carolina, individuals will need to take and pass the state's bar exam. In order to be eligible to sit for the bar exam, applicants will need to graduate from an approved law school with a Juris Doctor degree. North Carolina is home to six universities that have law schools awarding the Juris Doctor degree. These schools are profiled below.
Campbell University is a Baptist university located in Buies Creek. The school enrolls over 6,000 students a year. Students interested in studying law can enroll in Campbell University's Juris Doctor degree program offered through the university's Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law. The program is designed to be completed in three years and requires students to complete 90 credits. Applicants to Campbell University should already possess a bachelor's degree and will need to take the LSAT examination by February of the year they plan to attend law school. First year students take courses in legal basics like civil procedure, torts, constitutional law, and contracts.
Duke University is located in Durham, North Carolina and enrolls over 15,000 students each year. Accredited by the American Bar Association, Duke University's School of Law provides a comprehensive education through a combination of traditional coursework, practical skill building, seminars and clinics. The Juris Doctor program at Duke University requires courses in ethics, legal writing and professional development. The core curriculum is known for its strengths in providing a solid foundation in concentration areas that include business and entrepreneurial law, constitutional and public law, criminal law, and environmental law. Duke's law school also awards Master of Laws degrees and Doctor of Juridical Science degrees.
Elon University is a private university located in the suburb of Elon. The school serves nearly 6,000 students a year. Elon's law program can be completed in three years. Students will begin their first year with courses in legal research and writing, legal method and communication, and criminal law. In the second and third years, students will study evidence, constitutional law, and professional responsibility, as well as elective courses. Students can also participate in the law clinics at Elon university, including an elder law clinic, an immigration law clinic, and a wills drafting clinic.
North Carolina Central University
North Carolina Central University is a public university located in Durham that has a student population of more than 8,000. The university offers the Juris Doctor degree program through its school of law. Students attending the North Carolina Central University School of Law can choose between a full-time program and a part-time evening program. Graduates of the NCCU Law program will be prepared for careers as attorneys, judges, community organizers, and foreign service officers. The university's law school is accredited by the North Carolina State Bar Council and the American Bar Association.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
With a student body of over 28,000, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is the nation's oldest public university. The university's School of Law has had American Bar Association approval since 1928. The school's 3-year Juris Doctor program begins with a study of legal methods and analysis, legal research and writing, oral arguments, and core subjects such as the American legal tradition. Second year students will study subjects like business associations, evidence, income tax, secured transactions, and trusts and estates. Third year students will complete skills-based study such as externships, a clinical program, or the trial advocacy program. UNC at Chapel Hill also offers a Master of Laws degree and several dual degree programs.
Wake Forest University
Wake Forest University is a private University located in Winston-Salem. The school serves over 7,000 students annually. The school's J.D. program requires students to complete 90 credit hours and can be completed in three years. Students will study basic legal concepts like civil procedure, contracts, and legal research and writing. In the second and third years, students will move on to courses in evidence, legislation and administrative law, and professional responsibility. The school offers several dual degrees, such as a J.D. and Master of Arts in Religion and a J.D. and Master of Business Administration. The school also awards Master of Laws degrees, Master of Studies in Law degrees, and Doctor of Juridical Science degrees.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Law Degree Programs Offered||Graduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)|
|Campbell University||4-year, private, not-for-profit; distant rural||Juris Doctor||$13,383*|
|Duke University||4-year, private, not-for-profit; midsize city|| Juris Doctor,
Master of Laws,
Doctor of Juridical Studies
|Elon University||4-year, private, not-for-profit; small suburb||Juris Doctor||$13,482*|
|North Carolina Central University||4-year, public; midsize city||Juris Doctor|| $7,476 in-state;
|University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill||4-year, public; small city|| Juris Doctor,
Master of Laws
| $12,212 in-state;
|Wake Forest University||4-year, private, not-for-profit; midsize city|| Juris Doctor,
Master of Laws,
Master of Studies in Law,
Doctor of Juridical Science
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics.