Baylor Law School operates on the quarter system. The academic year, from late August to early April, is divided into three terms: Fall, Winter, and Spring. The law school also carries a full schedule of classes in the Summer term.
Law school candidates can apply to start in the Fall, Spring, and Summer terms. Each academic year is three quarters, and the first three quarters must be consecutive. After the first three quarters, a law school student can take a quarter off during the regular academic year or 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 School curriculum requires more classes and more exams within the three-year program, so each class does not weigh as heavily on a student's cumulative GPA. If a law school student struggles in a class, it is easier for that student to recover. Additionally, a law school exam covers only 9 weeks of material, as opposed to the 18 or 19 weeks of material that would be covered in a semester-based class.
The quarter system is a better reflection of the work life of a legal professional. It acts as a mode of transition from a student's schedule to an attorney's schedule. In legal practice, a young lawyer will have frequent changes in case load 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.