The Executive J.D. enrollment option
The Executive J.D. is designed for your convenience. You come to campus only twice a semester. The rest of the time, you’ll be doing your coursework online, which means you can earn a Mitchell Hamline law degree from anywhere in the nation—or the world. You’ll earn your degree in four years, and you’ll be eligible to sit for the bar exam in every state—including New York.
- One of the only distance-learning options offered by an ABA-approved law school
- For professionals seeking a law degree with a leadership focus who don’t want to relocate
- Study online 12–13 weeks per semester
- Start August 2018
Law students today graduate to a world of practice that requires a special set of emerging workplace skills beyond technical legal expertise and proficiency in practice. Our Executive J.D. adds weekend workshops designed to develop these workplace skills through in-depth case studies of how lawyers have used legal training to coordinate with others and creatively address complex socioeconomic, public policy, and justice system problems. In these workshops, you will walk through the decision making processes of lawyers who did things like coordinated a legal community response to a local disaster; pursued a class action lawsuit for consumers; represented a person wrongfully convicted of a crime; or led a state legislative and policy effort to legalize medical marijuana.
Executive J.D. Features
- Intensive case study weekend workshops
- Come to campus twice per semester
- Earn your J.D. in four years or as little as three years with additional course load
- A law school with a long history of providing access to legal education for working professionals
- A law school also frequently named among the most innovative forces in legal education
Executive J.D. FAQ
What are the advantages of choosing the Executive J.D. enrollment option?
The Executive J.D. enrollment option is open to anyone with the desire and determination to earn a law degree. What makes it different is that the Executive J.D. option makes it possible for students who have family or work obligations to study the law part time, on a schedule that works for them. It’s also designed to provide access to a high-quality legal education to people living in rural areas of the country, who can’t or don’t want to relocate to go to law school.
Students come to campus at the end of each semester for an intense program of simulations and other hands-on activities. They also come one other time per semester to participate in a rigorous, multidisciplinary workshop. Students explore and dissect actual cases and assume decision-making roles (e.g. as attorneys, policymakers, entrepreneurs, and nonprofit administrators) at various points in each case’s timeline. Participants in the cases being studied help facilitate the workshops. For example, students might study a venture capital firm taking a company public in Silicon Valley, the I-35 bridge collapse in Minneapolis, or an international human rights issue abroad. The workshops are tied to the semester’s coursework, and each one tracks a multidisciplinary theme such as entrepreneurship, public policy, or global advocacy.
Am I limited in the number of hours I can work at my job?
We have designed the Executive J.D. to enable students to work full time while they are participating in the program. Students should plan to take time off from work to participate in the on-campus portions of the program.
Will the degree I receive upon graduation be different from a traditional J.D.?
Students who graduate from any Mitchell Hamline J.D. enrollment option receive an ABA-approved degree of juris doctor. Each of our enrollment options is designed to teach legal theory as well as legal skills. Our courses meet the ABA’s high standards and provide a rigorous, intellectually challenging educational experience for students.
Executive J.D. graduates are able to sit for the bar exam in every state, including New York.
Intensive Case Study
In its 2016 report The Future of Jobs, the World Economic Forum identified the top 10 workplace skills for the year 2020. Executive J.D. Weekend Workshops are designed to build those skills while coordinating thematically with the legal doctrine and skills being studied that semester.
Semester three’s planned workshop, for example, is litigation themed and focuses on the real-world example of the tragic I-35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis. The courses of Evidence, Civil Dispute Resolution, and Liberties are the foundation for an in-depth study of the legal aftermath of this incident.
The skills of complex problem solving, service orientation, and creativity are exemplified in the ways lawyers addressed this complex case through litigation, mediation, and legislation.
Video: The Weekend Workshop
2019–20 Tentative Schedule
You’ll be on our St. Paul, Minn. campus twice each semester for carefully designed experiences:
- Once per year for a Prep Week with orientation plus preliminary coursework
- Once per semester for a Weekend Workshop developing emerging workplace skills
- Once per semester for a Capstone Week focused on experiential learning
Questions about the law school experience
How much time should I plan to commit to the coursework each week?
The Executive J.D. enrollment option is designed for part-time study. Students should plan to spend about 25 to 30 hours preparing and completing their coursework each week, not counting the two times per semester they come to campus.
Will I interact with other students enrolled in the Executive J.D. program?
Yes! Students in the Executive J.D. option complete all of their coursework with a cohort of law students. They interact in real-time using the best e-learning technology available. They also spend time with their cohort on campus each semester. There is a lot of student interaction.
How will students connect with professors?Faculty are accessible in person, by phone and e-mail, and via Skype. Faculty members teaching Executive J.D. courses are able to meet with students or respond to a question within 24 hours of a student request.
How will my coursework be evaluated?Most of the evaluation for the Executive J.D. option is performance-based. Students are evaluated on doing what lawyers do, e.g., writing, negotiating, advising, counseling, and drafting.
Where will I stay during the on-campus parts of the program?Mitchell Hamline reserves blocks of rooms at hotels near campus. Students can also make their own housing arrangements.
What are the technology requirements?
The program uses the best in educational technology to teach students foundational doctrine and skills through interactive, online coursework, including:
- Pre-recorded lectures
- Moderated discussion forums
- Live chat
- Video analysis of students practicing skills, including oral arguments, client interviewing and counseling, and negotiations.
You’ll need a powerful computer and fast, reliable Internet access.
See: Getting equipped for online study