Juris Doctor Program

The Juris Doctor degree program consists of four years of legal study with first-year students beginning coursework in August. After completing their first year, students must take and pass the First-Year Law Students’ Examination (FYLSX) given by the State Bar of California pursuant to Title 4, Division 1 of its Admission Rules (Rule 4.55).

Qualifying students are permitted to enter the Juris Doctor Program upon completion of high school coursework, and, if they have met the specified pre-legal education requirements, are not required to obtain an undergraduate degree. Tuition for the Juris Doctor Program is currently $4,800.00 per academic year, exclusive of fees and other costs.

OBCL fostered a very collegial atmosphere among students that is unique. It’s great to be a part of community that is encouraging and caring. The lifeling friendships formed through OBCL have been an important part of my professional development.
-Matt

To earn a Juris Doctor degree, a student must successfully complete a total of 86 semester credit hours and a minimum of 864 study hours for each year of legal study. The curriculum consists largely of required courses for the first two years, with elective courses deferred until the third year. The number of credit hours a student takes each year is as follows:

First-Year Curriculum: 20 semester credit hours
Second-Year Curriculum: 22 semester credit hours
Third-Year Curriculum: 21–26 semester credit hours
Fourth-Year Curriculum: 22–26 semester credit hours

These credit hour requirements include practice requirements, electives, and scheduled courses divided between the four years of study as shown below.

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First Year Coursework

At the beginning of the first year, all incoming students meet at a designated conference center for a one week, mandatory orientation and Introduction to Law course. During this week, foundational lectures in contracts, torts, criminal law, and legal research are presented, as well as lectures on the Biblical and historical foundations of the common law courses. An examination on all material presented during the conference is given at the end of the week for a final course grade. Students receive materials during orientation that will supplement their studies, as well as training on how to study effectively. Perhaps most importantly, students have the opportunity to meet fellow classmates along with the teaching assistants and faculty who will be supporting them through their first year. Orientation is also intentionally run concurrently with Oak Brook’s additional on-site courses, giving incoming students the opportunity to meet upperclassmen who are present for the First-Year Law Students’ Examination review, as well as third and fourth year students studying mock trial and appellate advocacy. The week culminates with Oak Brook’s graduation ceremony and an annual meeting of the Alumni Association, allowing incoming students to fellowship with alumni, graduates, and students at all levels in the school and form relationships that will encourage and sustain them through their studies.

When students have completed the orientation and the Introduction to Law course, they return home to continue their studies by supported correspondence. Students are equipped with a syllabus, which provides detailed lesson plans in each of the first-year subjects and also receive an audio lecture series created by the College, which corresponds with the lesson plans set forth in the syllabus. Students receive regular instruction and interaction with Oak Brook’s teaching assistants through submitted assignments, conference calls, and internet modules that will guide them through the process of their first year studies, as well as interaction with professors.

The first year courses are studied concurrently for the duration of the year, and examinations are taken at the halfway and final points of the year using specialized software and a proctor approved by the College.

Students who pass their final examinations and are in good standing gather together for a review course taught by the faculty in preparation for the First-Year Law Students’ Examination. This review includes substantive review lectures and several days devoted solely to improving test-taking skills. Students then take the California Bar’s First-Year Law Student Exam on the state-designated testing date and at an approved state-designated testing site. Passage of the exam is generally required for continuing one’s legal education.

“OBCL allowed me to build relationships with some of the most godly, dedicated, encouraging people I could ever imagine. I wouldn’t change a thing.”
-Marty

Second through Fourth Year Coursework


The second, third, and fourth years are conducted differently, with each year divided into two semesters during which at least two courses are studied concurrently. Course grades are generally based on final exams administered at the end of each semester, though written assignments, presentations, and papers may also be required. The College provides a syllabus and an audio or video lecture series for the substantive courses required in the second, third, and fourth years. Electives are reserved for third and fourth year students and must include a designated number of practical skills courses.

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