Skip to main content

Two-Year J.D. Program

Finish your J.D. faster

See how you can save time and money by getting your law degree in just two years.

Finish your J.D. faster

See how you can save time and money by getting your law degree in just two years.

How it works

Pursuing a law degree doesn't have to be a daunting task. If you are considering starting a new career as a lawyer, or are facing the challenge of balancing your studies with the demands of family life, we have the answer: Our Two-Year J.D. Program.

The program allows you to begin law school in May and graduate with a degree conferral two years later. This means you save money, graduate sooner and can become employed faster with less disruption in the pursuit of your legal career.

Two-Year J.D. Schedule

Begin classes in May 2023 and graduate in May 2025:

1st semester (May–Aug.): 14 credits
2nd semester: 15 credits
3rd semester: 15-18 credits
Summer term: 7-15 credits*
4th semester: 15-18 credits
5th semester: 15-18 credits

*The more credits taken during the summer term, the fewer semesters needed of 18 credit hours.

Benefits

Same Curriculum — Just Faster

As a student in our Two-Year J.D. Program, you'll take the same courses as those earning their degree in three years. You also have the same opportunities to participate in experiential-learning programs, including our required Externship Program and Law Clinic, which allow you to work with real clients with real legal needs and receive essential hands-on training. You can also take advantage of extracurricular activities such as Law ReviewMoot Court and participate in student service and academic organizations.

Save Time and Money

By completing law school in two years, you can save on a year of living expenses and borrowing costs. 

More Attention

The summer class is smaller so you'll receive our faculty’s undivided attention and focus, and experience the kind of lively and stimulating classroom discussions only a small class can offer.

>>>Learn more by checking out our 2-Year J.D. Brochure.

Need another option?

2½-Year Program (with Fall Start)

You can graduate in two and half years, at a pace slightly quicker than our traditional three-year program. This means you can begin classes in August 2023 and complete law school in December 2025.
Two-Year Grads
Craig Dunham

Craig Dunham went to law school because he wanted to be an Air Force JAG, but he faced a hurdle. The Air Force has an age ceiling of 35 which Dunham was approaching when he was ready to start law school. That meant he needed to earn his J.D. quickly to have a chance to land his dream job.

“I researched the fastest law school degree and discovered that the University of Dayton offered a two-year J.D.,” he said. “It turned out to be a fantastic decision for me.” Once he was enrolled, the School of Law helped Dunham secure an externship at nearby Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

“UDSL did an excellent job of preparing me for my work with the Air Force, and I was given some excellent recommendations,” he said. “Professors and deans also wrote letters of recommendation to help with my Air Force application package. Some of the adjunct professors were incredibly helpful with my career progression. They truly cared about my well-being.” After graduation, Dunham got the job with the JAG Corps.

“Had I not been in the two-year program, and had the school not worked so hard to get my placement as an extern, I would not have gotten my dream job.”

Stephanie O’Banion

Stephanie O’Banion was ready to shift gears to a new career, but didn’t want to be out of the workforce for long. When asked why she chose the University of Dayton School of Law, O’Banion doesn’t mince words.

“Quite frankly, the two-year program is the reason I chose UD,” said O’Banion. “The program gave me the chance to complete my degree and return to the workforce a year sooner than I would have had I chosen a traditional J.D. program. And that resulted in noticeable cost savings.”

O’Banion also makes it clear that you can be successful and competitive as a two-year law student. She graduated summa cum laude and was ranked No. 1 in her class.

“Looking back, the two-year program was tough, but never unmanageable, and ultimately very rewarding,” said O’Banion. “And now it’s a great feeling when I tell people I finished my degree in two years — especially in job interviews.”

O’Banion immediately landed a job as a judicial law clerk for the United States Department of Labor Office of Administrative Law Judges in Cincinnati. In 2014, O’Banion began her tenure with the U.S. Courts, most recently in Washington, D.C. That’s an impressive résumé.

Samantha Steiner

Before attending Dayton Law’s Two-Year Program, Samantha Steiner was an emergency room nurse. Steiner always had an interest in becoming an attorney. She also had a passion for her first career, helping others through her work as a nurse – a job she held for several years before attending law school.

Today, Steiner is Corporate Counsel for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta where she handles a variety of legal matters for the entire hospital system, including clinical operations, custody and consent, regulatory issues, contracting and compliance.

“I really enjoyed my mediation, research, regulatory and family law courses and utilize these concepts almost daily in my in-house role. While I consider myself a healthcare attorney, having a broad range of legal skills has been extremely valuable in my practice,” she said.

Although she was willing to relocate for a great legal education, she knew she wanted to return to her home state of Georgia to practice law. 

“Having the ability to complete my law degree in only two years let me return to my family and friends as well as start the next chapter in my career path sooner,” she added.

“I am so grateful for the well-rounded legal education I received at UDSL.”

Brandon McClain

Brandon McClain had already earned a master’s, along with a B.A., when he enrolled in our Two-Year J.D. Program. With his rich educational and military background, he wanted to earn his J.D. quickly, without sacrificing the quality of his legal education or his law school experience. McClain benefited in other ways from the Two-Year Program. It helped him save time and money, allowed him to learn alongside a diverse group of classmates and helped him develop the time management skills needed to succeed in law school and to practice law.

“Throughout my education at UDSL,” he said, “I took courses in criminal and civil litigation, trial strategy and, most importantly, brief writing and preparation. In the real world, these courses are truly vital to being an efficient attorney because they are invoked at a moment’s notice on a daily basis.” 

After graduating from our Two-Year J.D. Program, McClain entered private practice and eventually joined the Montgomery County Public Defender’s Office as a docket attorney. Just a few years later, he was sworn in as a Magistrate in the Dayton Municipal Court. Recently, he was appointed, then was elected, Montgomery County Recorder where he has implemented initiatives to assist veterans and protect property owners.

“I can confidently say that UDSL truly prepared me for my career.”

Two-Year J.D. Journey

How the University of Dayton's Two-Year J.D. program helped one student move forward after one of the biggest challenges of her life.

Two-Year J.D. Journey

How the University of Dayton's Two-Year J.D. program helped one student move forward after one of the biggest challenges of her life.

CONTACT

School of Law

Keller Hall
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 2760
937-229-3555
Email