One is a firefighter and paramedic. Another directs compliance and government affairs for a large food manufacturer. Still another is a special assistant to a state’s attorney, mom, and former Miss U.S. Virgin Islands who has used the platform of pageantry to advocate for social issues.
The students enrolled in Loyola University Chicago’s Weekend Juris Doctor (JD) program have a diverse range of demanding work and family situations, but they have one thing in common: this uniquely designed program is making it newly possible for them to pursue a law degree.
For more than a century, Loyola has offered a part-time, evening JD program as part of its commitment to accommodate employed students who want to study law. The School of Law recently redesigned its part-time program to provide a more flexible weekend format that includes an innovative mix of campus-based and online learning. Now in its second year, Loyola’s Weekend JD program continues to open doors for students who never imagined that they could attend law school.
Loyola’s Weekend JD is structured to address the demands of today’s busy professionals, many of whom are also juggling family responsibilities. Students receive Loyola’s rigorous, high-quality legal education in courses that meet seven weekends each semester (14 weekends a year), rather than in the evenings. Up to one-third of the instruction in each course is taught through distance learning, which allows the reduced in-class time to be used more creatively.
The Weekend JD program features the same comprehensive curriculum and renowned faculty as the full-time program. Students gain hands-on training by completing the school’s experiential learning requirement. The program was designed to ensure that participants have access to career services, student organizations, and other extracurricular activities. Breakfast and lunch are even provided on Saturday and Sunday.
Diverse range of experience
Students enrolled in Loyola’s Weekend JD program bring a wealth of experience and perspectives. Professions represented in the initial cohort of 43 highly qualified and diverse students from around the country—now in their second year of study—include medicine, government, agriculture, real estate, journalism, education, and stay-at-home parenting. The group is diverse in age, too, with students ranging from their 20s to their 60s.
This year’s incoming class of 50 bright and ambitious Weekend JD students represent 14 states; the median age is 31. In addition to the students highlighted above, the second cohort includes several paralegals, a tax associate, a CEO, and a registered nurse, among others.
To learn more about the Weekend JD and meet our exceptional students, visit LUC.edu/WeekendJD.