Experiential Learning


JD students must complete 15 units of experiential learning courses or their equivalent in order to graduate. These are courses that include significant experience in practice, simulations, lawyering skills or professional formation. Students may satisfy this requirement by fulfilling units or their equivalent in the following categories of classes or experience in practice:

  1. Six of the 15 units must be upper-level courses designated as experiential under the ABA definition of experiential courses, as determined by the Vice Dean and noted in the course schedule.
  2. First-year LRW courses will count for 4 units of the 15 unit requirement.
  3. Students may satisfy the remaining 5 units through other classes designated as experiential by the Vice Dean.
  4. Students may count up to 5 units earned in credit-bearing advocacy or journal courses toward the 15 unit requirement.
  5. Students may seek a waiver for up to 5 units of the experiential education requirement by certifying that they have completed 52.5 hours of legal work under the supervision of a lawyer, without receiving school credit, paid or unpaid, per unit waived. Note that this is a waiver of units applicable to the 15 unit experiential learning requirement, not a waiver of total general units required to graduate.

Students may earn dual-credit to complete the pro bono requirement and to earn units toward the experiential learning requirement by completing clinic courses, practicum courses and qualifying externships.

Procedures for waiver:

To request a waiver of up to 5 units of the experiential learning requirement, students must certify their hours in legal work under the supervision of a licensed attorney.

  • Students must download and complete the Experiential Learning Waiver form. Students will describe and certify their work and hours, subject to the honor code, and the students' supervisors must certify the students' work and hours.
  • Students must submit the completed form to the Clinical Office at clinicallaw@pepperdine.edu.
  • Prof. Baker, Director of Clinical Education, will approve and certify the placement, units and compliance.