The Quarter System
The Baylor Law JD program operates on the quarter system. The calendar year is divided into Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer.
Law school candidates can apply to start in the Fall, Spring, and/or Summer terms. Each academic year comprises three quarters, and the first three quarters must be completed consecutively. After the first three quarters, a student can take a quarter off during the regular academic year, attend law school for nine consecutive quarters, and graduate in twenty-seven months.
The quarter system allows students to assess their academic progress earlier and more frequently. The Baylor Law curriculum requires more classes and exams within the three-year program, so each class does not weigh as heavily on a student's cumulative GPA. If a student struggles in a class, it is easier to recover. Additionally, a Baylor Law exam covers only nine weeks of material instead of the 14 or 15 weeks of material that a semester school exam would cover.
Reflection of Reality
The quarter system is a better reflection of the work life of a legal professional. It acts as a transition mode from a student's to an attorney's schedule. In legal practice, a young lawyer will have frequent changes in caseload and little time off between projects. The quarter system simulates these realities by making terms shorter, having shorter breaks between terms, and scheduling classes between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.