About Doshisha Law School


The Doshisha Law School curriculum seeks to maintain a balance between those subjects the students need to understand thoroughly to pass the bar exam and those which will enhance their ability to serve both clients and society as legal professionals. The Doshisha Law School curriculum divides classes into eight course groupings, as described below.

Group Title Description
A Foundation courses Introductory required and elective courses in basic areas of law such as constitutional law, criminal law and civil law. (For students in three year program)
B Fundamental courses Required and elective courses in the fundamentals of criminal and civil procedure and practice, as well as legal ethics.
C Essential courses Required and elective courses providing an in-depth education in constitutional, criminal, civil and corporate law topics. These classes are generally taught in small sections by a combination of academic professors and practitioners.
D Evolving law courses Ⅰ Elective courses in more specialized areas of law (including elective bar exam subjects), such as environmental law, tax law, intellectual property law, labor law and various public and private international law topics.
E Evolving law courses Ⅱ Elective courses intended to build upon the knowledge acquired through C group courses, including subjects such as fi nancial law, international tax law, and advanced criminal justice courses.
F Foreign law courses Elective courses in foreign law, including introductions to the legal systems of the United States, the EU and other Asian countries, as well as for-credit study-abroad programs.
G Perspective courses Courses intended to give students a firm grasp of legal theory, including jurisprudence, legal sociology and comparative legal culture.
H Practical training courses Externships, moot court and legal writing.

Students in the three-year program must complete 108 credits* to graduate, including 38 credits in the A group of courses during their first year. Students in the two-year program are assumed to already have the level of legal knowledge taught in the A group courses, and thus only need 74 credits to graduate. To graduate, all students must also have completed: 6 credits worth of required courses in the B group; 30 credits of required courses in the C group; 12 credits in the D and E group; 10 credits among each of the F, G and H groups. The complexity of our graduation requirements reflects both regulatory and accreditation requirements intended to prevent law schools from focusing exclusively on bar exam subjects and techniques, as well as the Law School’s philosophy of ensuring that students get a well-rounded and useful legal education.

*Most classes are 2 credits, meaning they involve the equivalent of 30 hours of classroom time.