Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law

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Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law
Parent school Arizona State University
Established 1965
School type Public
Dean Douglas Sylvester
Location Tempe, Arizona, USA
33°25′01″N 111°55′46″W / 33.41687°N 111.929341°W / 33.41687; -111.929341Coordinates: 33°25′01″N 111°55′46″W / 33.41687°N 111.929341°W / 33.41687; -111.929341
Enrollment 602[1]
Faculty 117[1]
USNWR ranking
  1. 29[1]
Bar pass rate 87%

Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law is one of the professional graduate schools at Arizona State University, located in Tempe, Arizona. The school is currently located in Armstrong Hall, adjacent to the architecturally stunning Ross-Blakley Law Library. The law school was created in 1965 upon recommendation of the Arizona Board of Regents, with the first classes held in the Fall of 1967. The Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law has held American Bar Association accreditation since 1969 and the school is a member of the Order of the Coif, the most distinguished mark awarded American law schools. The school is also a member of the Association of American Law Schools. In 2006, the law school was renamed in honor of retired United States Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

Consistently rated as a top law school, ASU is ranked 31st overall in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, the highest ranked law school in Arizona. ASU is one of only eight schools in the country to have four programs ranked in the top twenty, including its Legal Method and Writing Program, ranked No. 8; its Dispute Resolution Program, ranked No. 10; and its Health Law and International Law programs, each ranked No. 18. The school's well-known Indian Law program was founded by professor William Canby, Jr. who served as Director until his appointment to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Notable alumni of the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law include Rebecca White Berch, chief justice of the Arizona Supreme Court, Ruth McGregor, former chief justice of the Arizona Supreme Court, and Diane Humetewa, the first female Native American to serve in the federal judiciary, appointed to the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona.

In 2012, the school announced plans that it will relocate downtown in Phoenix, Arizona in 2016. The Arizona Center for Law and Society, will serve as the new home for the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, placing students just steps away from the judicial, political and economic center of the state. In addition to the law school and retail space on the 1st floor consisting of the bookstore and a cafe, the new building will include space for two think tanks, multiple centers with cross disciplinary focus including the Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics and the McCain Institute at ASU, and the new ASU Alumni Law Group that is the first teaching law firm associated with a law school.


According to ASU's official 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 84.3% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required or JD-advantage employment nine months after graduation. ASU Law ranks No. 19 in the nation and No. 5 among public law schools for successful postgraduate job placement in great lawyer jobs. In recent years, the school has revamped its Career Strategy and Professional Development Mentoring Center, expanding the size of its staff, including bringing in-house its own legal recruiter and establishing an employer outreach initiative to help place graduates in the jobs they desire.


The Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University is a good value law school. The school ranks in the lower half of all American Bar Association accredited law schools in terms of cost and the school hasn't raised its tuition fees in more than three years. The average debt for the graduating Class of 2013 was $107,809.


The Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law has world-class faculty with leading scholars in their fields, as well as being excellent teachers. With more than 180 course offerings, the variety of courses available rival the largest schools in the country, while maintaing one of the best and smallest student-faculty ratios. Longtime faculty of the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law include Milton Schroeder, Alan Matheson, and Bob Bartels.

Joint degrees[edit]

  • Juris Doctor/Doctor of Medicine (JD/MD, with the M.D. awarded by the Mayo Medical School)
  • Juris Doctor/Masters of Business Administration (JD/MBA)
  • Juris Doctor/Doctor of Philosophy in Law and Psychology (JD/PhD)
  • Juris Doctor/Doctor of Philosophy in Justice Studies (JD/PhD)
  • The College of Law also offers a Masters of Legal Studies (M.L.S.) degree program that can be completed in one to three years.

Other degrees[edit]

  • LL.M., Master of Laws Degree Program. The LL.M. Program offers one year of graduate law study tailored to the scholarly and practice interests of an individual. Currently, the law school offers the following LL.M. degree programs: LL.M. in Biotechnology and Genomics, LL.M. in Tribal Policy, Law and Government and a customized LL.M. focusing on Global Legal Studies, Public Health Law and Policy, North American Law Degree (Canadian Law), Sports Law and Business, or tailored to fit your needs in other areas.
  • M.L.S., Master of Legal Studies. The M.L.S. is a degree program that applies to a variety of professions, but is geared towards individuals that don't want to practice law. It explores the relationship between law and a wide variety of individual disciplines in a 30-credit program. Currently, the law school offers the following M.L.S. programs: M.L.S. Patent Practice, Concurrent M.L.S. Degree Programs with the W.P. Carey Graduate Business Degree Program or a Master in Sustainable Solutions, and a customized M.L.S. focusing on Global Legal Studies, Public Health Law and Policy, North American Law Degree (Canadian Law), Sustainability, Sports Law and Business, or tailored to fit your needs in other areas.

Clinical programs[edit]

The Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law has 13 fully staffed clinics which offers students unparalleled opportunities to practice law in a variety of settings with people who have real legal problems. The school offers a wide variety of clinics than most law schools of any size. Under the supervision of faculty members who are experts in their subject matter, students manage real cases and represent clients in hearings and trials before courts and administrative agencies, assist in the commercialization and monetization of new technologies, and mediate cases pending in the judicial system.

Centers and other academic programs[edit]

  • The Center for Law, Science & Innovation is the first and largest academic center focused on the intersection of law with science and technology. Its 26 faculty fellows together with numerous associated faculty, students, and research fellows explore innovations in law and policy for a world of rapidly changing technologies, through leading-edge scholarship, education, and policy dialogue.
  • The Center for Law & Global Affairs supports and inspires research, education and practice regarding emerging forms of transnational governance that extend beyond the traditional paradigms of international law. The Center supports innovative research and scholarship, develops courses and experiential learning programs, designs and manages international projects and engages in outreach with academic, policy and community partners.
  • The Indian Legal Program was established in 1988 to provide legal education and generate scholarship in the area of Indian law and undertake public service to tribal governments. In 2013, it celebrated its 25th anniversary. To date, more than 250 students from tribes across the country have earned law degrees at ASU.
  • The Pro Bono Program. Each year ASU law students perform more than 100,000 hours of free legal and law-related services, with more than 90% of graduating students voluntarily participating in clinics, externships, and/or pro bono activities. Approximately one-third of each graduating class receives a pro bono honor for commitment to serving the public.

Law journals[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]


External links[edit]