University of Puerto Rico School of Law

The information on this page was provided by the law school.

Official Guide to ABA-Approved JD Programs


Introduction

The University of Puerto Rico School of Law was founded in 1913 at its present site on the University Campus at Río Piedras, within the metropolitan area of San Juan in the heart of the Caribbean. The University of Puerto Rico is accredited by the Middle States Colleges Association. The School of Law has been accredited by the American Bar Association since 1945 and by the Association of American Law Schools since 1948.

Our school is a premier law school in Puerto Rico and recruits the most talented and qualified students. Their diverse academic backgrounds range from natural and social sciences to business administration and the humanities. The student body is comprised of graduates from the University of Puerto Rico, private local universities, United States universities, and international institutions.

Students choose the School of Law not only because it is the most prestigious institution for the study of law in Puerto Rico but also because it offers an excellent legal education at the lowest cost in the United States and in Puerto Rico.

Academic and Special Programs

  • The Academic Program: The guiding principle behind our academic program is to increase and diversify the learning and development experiences of our students. That is the reason why half of our study program is elective. Our students can take courses ranging from theoretical to practical, to issues pertaining to civil rights, technology, feminism, business start-up, international relations, comparative law, and intellectual property. In addition, our students, as part of their program, must participate in a clinical program. The study program consists of 92 credit hours. Courses are taught in Spanish.
  • Degree Offered: Juris Doctor
  • Joint-Degree Programs:
    • Juris Doctor and Master of Business Administration with the University of Puerto Rico Graduate School of Business Administration
    • Juris Doctor and Doctor of Medicine with the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine
    • Juris Doctor and Master in Public Administration with the University of Puerto Rico Roberto Sánchez Vilella School of Public Administration
    • Juris Doctor and Master in Architecture with the University of Puerto Rico School of Architecture
    • Dual Juris Doctor and Law Degree Program (Grado en Derecho y Maestría en Abogacía) with the University of Barcelona, Spain
  • Semester and Yearlong Exchange Programs: The School of Law has student-exchange programs with The University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, Vermont Law School, Florida International University College of Law, UConn School of Law, University of Palermo in Argentina, Diego Portales University in Chile, University of Chile Law School, University of Ottawa Faculty of Law in Canada, University of Amberes in Belgium, and University of Carlos III in Madrid. Under these programs, students register at their home institutions but take a full course load at the host institution. The credits and grades earned during a single semester will be awarded by the home institution according to the standard procedure of the home law school.
  • Summer and Intersession Programs: Students can participate in a four-week summer law program in Barcelona, Spain, and a two-week summer law program in Argentina and Chile. They can also participate in a three-week winter program—one week at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law and two weeks at the University of Puerto Rico School of Law. Through participation in this program, students can earn four credits studying a course in Law and Technology, Art and Technology, or Feminist Legal Issues.

Clinical Program

The University of Puerto Rico School of Law has a long-standing commitment to clinical education. What began as a pioneer program in 1952, the Legal Aid Clinic is now an integral part of the juris doctor curriculum. It is a two-semester required course that combines a weekly seminar with a live client, in-house clinic. Students can choose from a wide spectrum of practice areas, which offer the opportunity to engage in diverse lawyering scenarios.

Students are supervised by highly qualified faculty and practitioners entrusted with the demanding responsibility of transforming law students into competent, socially conscious, and ethical lawyers.

The Clinic strategically identifies underserved and otherwise “invisible” persons groups and communities in need of advocacy, mediation, notary services, and legal representation in state and federal courts, working in coordination with other members of the access to justice community in Puerto Rico.

Clinical offerings:

  • Environmental Law
  • Immigration
  • Mediation
  • Special Education
  • Civil Litigation
  • Ethics and Professional Responsibility
  • Notary Law and Practice
  • Technology and Justice
  • Juvenile Offenders Practice
  • Criminal Practice
  • Bankruptcy Law
  • Defense of Puerto Rico’s Historic and Cultural Built Heritage
  • Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination
  • Economic Community Development and Organization
  • Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship
  • Consumer Rights and Foreclosure Prevention

Expenses and Financial Aid

Resident Law students pay each semester tuition amounting to $280 per credit and other fees. Nonresident students who are US citizens pay the same amount that would be required from Puerto Rican students if they were to study in the state from which the nonresidents come, thus establishing a reciprocity principle. Nonresident students who are not US citizens also pay the same amount per credit and other fees.

All financial aid for the University of Puerto Rico School of Law is administered by the school’s Office of Financial Aid. Each student is considered on his or her own merit and need. Awards are made only after an applicant has been admitted.

Master of Law Program (LLM)

Contact information: derecho.llm@upr.edu
Website: derecho.uprrp.edu/futuros-estudiantes/admision/l-l-m/

The goal of the Master of Law Program is to develop lawyers in the principles and procedures of the legal systems of the Anglo-American tradition and the Civil Law tradition. The LLM is designed for one (1) year of study, extendable for just cause, subject to approval, and consists of twenty-four (24) credits. In addition, each student will develop a publishable research project that they will defend as a degree requirement.

Of the twenty-four (24) credits that the student must complete, a minimum of twelve (12) must be in the selected curricular emphasis. The areas of emphasis are Judicial Training, Commercial Law, and General Program. The remaining credits may be in courses of interest to the student.

  • General Master Program

    Available only to students who have obtained a law degree or equivalent degree in foreign countries or law schools in the United States. The student taking the General Program will have to take two (2) required courses of two (2) credits each and will be able to satisfy the remaining twenty (20) credits by selecting courses in areas of interest. The program will be prepared in such a way that each student can concentrate a substantial number of courses on a subject of their own interest, such as Orality in Judicial Proceedings; Intellectual property; Administrative law; Judicial Training; Environmental law; Law and Technology, among others.
     
  • Curricular Emphasis of Master of Law

    These curricular emphases are available to lawyers who graduated from law schools in Puerto Rico, as well as from educational institutions in the United States and abroad.
     
    • Judicial Training: Designed to prepare legal professionals with formal studies in the skills and knowledge necessary to be a member of the judiciary, following the model of judicial schools in Latin American and European countries. The curriculum emphasizes the formation of skills and qualities that a judge must possess.
    • Commercial Law: Designed for legal professionals interested in expanding their knowledge on business organization issues, with an emphasis on commercial law.

Master of Law Program Online (LLM)

Contact information: llm-online.derecho@upr.edu
Website: derecho.uprrp.edu/llm-online/  

Since 2020, the School of Law offers the Master of Law (LLM) Online in Orality in the Penal System designed for judges, prosecutors and lawyers from Latin America and the United States who cannot move to Puerto Rico to pursue graduate studies and who at the same time wish to obtain a formal degree from our institution. Is designed for one (1) year of study of twenty-four (24) credits. Students in this program will take courses with experts in topics of criminal procedural law, interaction of civil and common law, evidentiary law, criminal litigation, sentence writing, and adjudication theory among other core topics. They will, in turn, have the option of taking elective courses on topics of great importance globally such as human trafficking and gender-based violence. Courses will be offered in Spanish, but the student must demonstrate proficiency in the English language.

Internationally Educated Applicants

International attorneys who wish to apply to the JD degree program are required to comply with all regular admission requirements: they must complete the application for admission to the JD program, available through the Credential Assembly Service (CAS), and submit a credited transcript from the university where the law degree was earned.

Foreign lawyers and lawyers from ABA approved law schools who wish to apply for the Master of Law (LLM) degree program must comply with the LLM program application requirements.

Once admitted, the international attorney will receive up to 30 hours of credit toward the JD for prior legal studies. The determination of the courses and the number of credits to be validated is at the discretion of the dean.

Library and Physical Facilities

The School of Law’s library is the largest law library in the Caribbean. Its collection encompasses both the Romano-Germanic civil law and Anglo-American common law traditions. Also, our library has been designated as a European Documentation Center by the European Union and a selective depository for US government documents. Our school is equipped with state-of-the-art technology, smart classrooms, courtroom classrooms, and wireless connections for the students.

Admitted Applicant Profile

25-75% UGPA Range at Puerto Rico:

3.32 to 3.80

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Puerto Rico:

141 to 149

120
135
150
165
180

25-75% UGPA Range at Puerto Rico:

3.32 to 3.80

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Puerto Rico:

141 to 149

120
135
150
165
180

25-75% UGPA Range at Puerto Rico:

3.32 to 3.80

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Puerto Rico:

141 to 149

120
135
150
165
180

Contact Information

7 Ave Universidad, Ste 701,
San Juan, PR 00925-2527,
United States