In addition to the J.D., the law school offers the LL.M. and Ph.D. in Law and Economics. Students may take relevant courses in other programs and apply credit toward the J.D.; a maximum of 6 credits may be applied. The following joint degrees may be earned: J.D./D.I.V. (Juris Doctor/Master of Divinity), J.D./M.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Arts), J.D./M.B.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration), J.D./M.D. (Juris Doctor/Doctor of Medicine), J.D./M.P.P (Juris Doctor/Master of Public Policy), J.D./M.T.S. (Juris Doctor/Master of Theological Studies), J.D./Ph.D. (Juris Doctor/Doctor of Philosophy), and LL.M./M.A. (Master of Laws/Master of Arts in Latin American studies).
The law school offers concentrations in corporate law, criminal law, entertainment law, environmental law, family law, intellectual property law, international law, juvenile law, labor law, litigation, media law, securities law, sports law, tax law, torts and insurance, and law and social behavior. In addition, clinic offerings include business law, child and family law, civil practice, community and economic development, criminal practice, domestic violence, intellectual property and the arts, international law practice, and juvenile practice. Students may also pursue externships that provide valuable experience while gaining academic credit. In 2007-2008, 18 seminars were offered to second- and third-year students. Research programs consist of faculty research assistantships. Students can gain valuable professional experience in nonprofits, government agencies, and other organizations around the world supported by various stipend opportunities, including the Legal Aid Society and Public Interest Stipend Fund. An array of speakers, academic conferences, and symposia are held each year, including student-initiated events funded by the Hyatt Student Activities Fund. Students may participate in summer study-abroad programs sponsored by ABA-accredited law schools. Vanderbilt offers a “Summer in Venice” study-abroad program. Special writing assistance is available for first-year students who need tutoring. Special interest groups include Black, Asian, Spanish American, and Latin American law student associations.
To earn the J.D., candidates must complete 88 total credits, of which 37 are for required courses. They must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the required courses. The following first-year courses are required of all students: Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, Legal Writing, Property, Regulatory State, and Torts. Required upper-level courses consist of Professional Responsibility. The required orientation program for first-year students consists of a comprehensive 5-day orientation including a 1-credit course surveying the U.S. legal system and legal education.
To graduate, candidates must have a GPA of 2.0 and have completed the upper-division writing requirement.