Temple University Beasley School of Law

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Temple University Beasley School of Law
Established 1895
Type State-related
Dean Joanne A. Epps
Location Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Campus Urban
Website www.law.temple.edu
Temple text logo.svg
Klein Hall

The Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law (known as Temple Law School) is the law school and a constituent academic unit of Temple University. The school is located at the Main Campus of Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It has operated continuously since its founding in 1895.

Originally named the Philadelphia Law School of the Temple College, the Law School was renamed the Temple University School of Law in 1910. Finally, in recognition of a major endowment gift by James E. Beasley, Sr., a Temple Law graduate and distinguished Philadelphia lawyer, the Temple University Board of Trustees changed the official name of the school in 1999 to the James E. Beasley School of Law of Temple University.

Temple Law currently uses both the traditional Socratic method and the Problem method in teaching legal theory and skills. In recent years, emphasis has been placed on developing "real world" skills and students are encouraged to participate in intensive trial advocacy or transactional programs and clinics. Beginning in 2011, the school instituted a mandatory 1L course, "Introduction to Transactional Skills," to introduce students to transactional law. The first exercise allowed students to simulate negotiation of a contract between a chef and financial backer who are opening a restaurant.

The 2015 version of U.S. News & World Report dropped Temple University Beasley School of Law's ranking to 61st overall. The 2014 version of U.S. News & World Report ranked Temple University Beasley School of Law 2nd nationally in Trial Advocacy, 5th in Legal Writing, 13th in International Law, and 12th in Part-Time Law.[1] As of July 2013, Temple's Pennsylvania Bar Examination passage rate is 92.38% for first time takers[2]

Student body[edit]

The Law School annually enrolls approximately 240 students in the full-time day division program, and approximately 60 students in the part-time evening division program. The total enrollment is estimated at slightly less than 1,000, although this number fluctuates slightly with transfers and various visiting students. The admission for the Fall 2011 entering class was highly competitive, with 4,144 applicants for an entering class of 270. The class represented 128 different colleges, and 8% had advanced degrees.

In the 2012 entering class, women represented 42% of the class, 27% were minority students and the average age was 24. The median GPA was 3.42 and the median LSAT score was 161. The 25th/75th percentile of entrants had GPAs of 3.17/3.64, and LSAT scores of 158/163.[3]


Temple Law School currently employs 64 full-time faculty members and retains numerous local attorneys as adjuncts. Robert J. Reinstein served as Dean of the Law School from 1989 to 2008. Joanne A. Epps, a long-time professor at Temple Law, now serves in that position. Among the notable faculty of Temple Law School are:

Career Placement[edit]

Barrack Hall

For 2010 Graduates:

Employment Sector Breakdown:

  • 39% Private Practice
  • 16% Public Interest
  • 12% Judicial Clerkship
  • 12% Government
  • 12% Business
  • 7% Academic
  • 2% Unknown

Employment Rate Within 9 Months: 93.2%
Overall Average Starting Salary: $62,525
Private Practice Average Starting Salary: $87,520

Juris Doctor (J.D.) Curriculum[edit]

First year (1L) day division students follow a mandatory curriculum both Fall and Spring semesters. The Fall courses are Torts, Contracts, Criminal Law, Litigation Basics, Business Basics, and Legal Research and Writing I. The Spring courses are Constitutional Law, Property, Civil Procedure I (Jurisdiction), Legal Research and Writing II, and one elective. Evening division students take these courses over their first three semesters in residence.

The only other mandatory course requirements for graduation are a serial writing course (consisting of several short paper assignments), a research writing course (consisting of a single lengthy and scholarly work), and Professional Responsibility.

Students choose electives in the second (2L) and third (3L) year (or fourth year for evening division students). Popular electives include Business Associations (Corporations), Taxation (Federal), Political and Civil Rights, Intellectual Property, and International Law. Students also have the opportunity to enroll in classes at the Rutgers School of Law - Camden when a comparable elective course is not offered at Temple during a given academic year.

A student must earn a total of 87 credit hours in order to receive the degree of Juris Doctor.

Graduate Law Program (LL.M., S.J.D., Certificate, Teaching Fellowship)[edit]

The Law School offers several advanced degree programs, including Master of Laws Degree (LL.M.) in Trial Advocacy, Transnational Law or Taxation. Certificate programs in Estate Planning and Employee Benefits are offered through the Taxation program. International lawyers also have the opportunity to design their own curriculum through Temple's General LL.M. program. In addition to the LL.M., Temple offers an advanced degree for aspiring scholars, the Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.), and a Graduate Teaching Fellowship program.

LL.M. in Trial Advocacy[edit]

Temple University Beasley School of Law has consistently been ranked by U.S. News & World Report in the top two slots in trial advocacy.[citation needed] The LL.M. in Trial Advocacy curriculum integrates the development of theory and theme, confidence in presentation, extemporaneous speech and persuasion in the court room. The program is performance-based, featuring a “learn by doing” approach.

Designed for the practicing attorney, the program is a one-year, 24-credit degree program, scheduled primarily in the evenings and on weekends. A distance-learning component allows students from across the country to attend evening lectures via live, online broadcasts. Students graduate with a LL.M. degree in Trial Advocacy, and earn 24 substantive CLE credits. The LL.M. in Trial Advocacy is the only program of its kind in the country.

LL.M. in Transnational Law[edit]

The Transnational LL.M. is designed for recent law school graduates who wish to specialize in international law, and for established attorneys who wish to develop or expand an international legal practice. Candidates for the LL.M. degree must complete the 3-credit International Law course plus 24 credits of advanced course work in international and comparative law, including one course in which a scholarly paper is produced. Some or all of the credits of the credits may be earned at Temple's international campuses in Tokyo and Rome. All courses counted toward the degree must be completed within a four-year period. A grade point average of 2.5 is required to earn the degree.

LL.M. in Taxation[edit]

The Graduate Tax Program is designed to provide understanding of complex taxation issues. The program provides candidates with a strong foundation in tax law, as well as the opportunity to develop expertise beyond the level of study offered in J.D. programs. A degree candidate must satisfactorily complete 24 credit hours of course work, including all core curriculum requirements and a writing seminar. Candidates may study on a full-time or part-time basis and all coursework must be completed within four years of matriculation. Applicants must have satisfactorily completed a basic income tax course in law school or demonstrated comparable work experience. An applicant who cannot meet this requirement must take the basic course in taxation offered in Temple's J.D. program in the student's first term after admission to the LL.M. program.

General LL.M. for International Lawyers[edit]

Temple offers a general studies LL.M. program for foreign-trained lawyers. This academic program gives international lawyers the freedom to design a course of study tailored to their specific interests and aspirations. With the exception of two required research and writing courses, students can design their own curriculum from more than 180 courses offered annually in American and International law. General LL.M. degree candidates must successfully complete 24 credit hours of course work with a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 (out of a possible 4.0). The program can be completed in two semesters beginning in August and continuing through May. In addition to the Main campus in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the General LL.M. is offered in Tokyo, Japan and Beijing, China. Students can also earn up to 6 credits at Temple's six-week summer law program in Rome, Italy. Students in this program must complete classes at the main campus.

Doctor of Juridical Science[edit]

The Doctor of Juridical Science is a research-oriented degree program designed for those seeking to pursue careers as law teachers and scholars of law. Candidates enrolled in the S.J.D. program are required to spend their initial academic year in residence at the Main campus in Philadelphia. Admission is extremely selective as only a few candidates are offered admission each year. Applicants must present outstanding academic credentials and demonstrate the capacity to complete a doctoral dissertation of publishable quality that will make an original contribution to scholarly legal literature.

Estate Planning and Employee Benefits Certificates[edit]

An Estate Planning Certificate and Employee Benefits Certificate is offered through the Graduate Tax Program for practitioners who do not wish to pursue an LL.M. degree. The Estate Planning Certificate (EPCERT) exposes students to federal estate, gift, and generation-skipping taxation issues, as well as federal income taxation of trusts and estates. The program benefits practitioners who want to concentrate on tax issues involved in estate planning and estate administration, and provides training for relatively inexperienced practitioners who want to acquire an advanced level of expertise in this area. The Employee Benefits Certificate (EBCERT) covers basic rules governing employee benefits, the taxation of welfare benefit plans and qualified employee benefit plans. New practitioners looking to become expert in this complicated area as well as experienced practitioners wishing to concentrate on a new area of tax law will benefit from these courses.

Abraham L. Freedman Graduate Teaching Fellowship[edit]

The two-year program provides the training and experience critical to becoming a successful law school professor. Since 1975, the Abraham L. Freedman Teaching Fellowship Program at the Beasley School of Law has produced outstanding law school professors, with graduates found at accredited law schools throughout the United States. The experienced lawyers admitted to the Freedman Fellow program receive an annual stipend and earn an LL.M. degree. Fellows gain extensive practice in law school teaching and receive the support to produce quality scholarship during their residence. Fellows work collaboratively with Temple faculty members on doctrinal courses and teach alongside the professors in Temple's nationally renowned legal research and writing program. In their final semester, Fellows teach an upper-level course in Temple's curriculum.

Integrated Trial Advocacy Program (ITAP)[edit]

The Beasley School of Law, named after one of Philadelphia's greatest trial attorneys, is well known for its intensive trial program.[citation needed]

The Integrated Trial Advocacy Program, or ITAP, is a sequence of four classes designed to give students the knowledge and practice to be effective advocates in the courtroom. Law students in the ITAP program are generally in their second year of schooling, although some students choose to take the program in their third year.

During the Fall semester, students take Evidence and Trial Advocacy I concurrently. Evidence classes are typically large in size (50-60 persons) while Trial Advocacy classes are typically 12-person sections designed to allow each student adequate time to practice their skills. Students are required to apply the Evidentiary rules and tactics learned in Evidence class to mock trial scenarios in Trial Advocacy I. Scenarios will typically be based on a fictitious case file, and students practice direct examinations, cross examinations, opening and closing arguments, and motions arguments. Many Trial Advocacy professors encourage open objections, where anyone in the class, and not just the opposing counsel, may raise objections during examinations of witnesses. By the end of Trial Advocacy I, each student (paired with another student as co-counsel) will have tried a complete mock case against another pair of students.

During the Spring semester, students take a practical course in Civil Procedure (as opposed to the more academic Jurisdictional Civil Procedure taught to first years) and Trial Advocacy II. During this phase of the ITAP program, students practice arguing motions, qualifying expert witnesses, and conducting depositions. Like Trial Advocacy I, Trial Advocacy II requires that each student (along with another student as co-counsel) try a complete mock case against another pair of students.

Evidence and Civil Procedure classes in ITAP are typically taught by full-time faculty members, while Trial Advocacy sections are usually taught by adjuncts who are themselves practicing trial attorneys or judges.


Shusterman Hall

The Law School currently conducts their academics in three Temple University buildings: Klein Hall, Barrack Hall, and the Shusterman Hall Conference Center.

Klein Hall opened in 1972, after a fire destroyed Reber Hall, the previous home of the Law School. Within its eight floors, Klein Hall houses numerous lecture rooms, the Law Library, the moot courtroom, reading rooms, faculty offices, and the offices of Temple's four law journals. The basement level of Klein contains a modest cafe, comfortable sitting areas, classrooms, and a locker room.

In the past, students have criticized Klein Hall as overly austere because of its poured concrete construction and lack of decoration. Judge Charles Klein '21, after whom the building was named, is said to have remarked that he was impressed with the law library and its massive open atria, but that he wondered when the interior would be completed. Perhaps as a result of these criticisms, Klein Hall underwent major renovations beginning in Summer 2002. By 2004, much of the interior of Klein had been replaced, creating a well-lit, modern, and comfortable environment.

Barrack Hall opened in 2002 and houses the Admissions Office, Career Services, several classrooms, and student lounges. Barrack Hall is itself a renovated structure containing state of the art technologies, and has won several awards, including the 2003 Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Award and The Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia's 2002 Award for Adaptive Reuse. The construction of Barrack Hall was made possible by a generous donation from Leonard Barrack '68.

Shusterman Hall was made possible by a generous donation from Murray H. Shusterman '36. The building appears to be a renovated chapel, and serves as the Law School's conference center for career fairs, symposia, and other formal gatherings.

Temple Law Library[edit]

With over 620,000 volumes, Temple's Law Library is among the larger law libraries in the country. The library spans the third to seventh floors of the building and includes seven levels of book stacks. The collection is particularly strong in 18th and 19th century Anglo-American monographs, and law-related government publications.

The law library catalog, Diamond, can be accessed through the link.

Trial Team[edit]

Since 1995, Temple's Trial Team has won 5 national (3 NTC, 2 ATLA) and 18 invitational championships.[citation needed] During these 17 years, the team owns the best record in the country in national trial advocacy competitions.[citation needed] In the National Trial Competition, Temple finished first in 1995, 1998 and 1999.[5] Temple has also won its regional tournament 21 years in a row, advanced to the quarterfinal rounds in the nationals 15 years in a row, and finishing first in 1999, 1998, and 1995, and second in 2007, 1993, and 1992.[citation needed]

Moot Court[edit]

Temple Moot Court was started in the 1950s and is the only honor society at the law school. Moot Court members are selected as second-year law students through the Samuel L. Polsky Selection Competition, which is held during the Fall semester. Polsky participants research and write an appellate brief, then argue both sides of the case before experienced attorneys who serve as appellate court justices. Students receiving the highest scores for brief writing and oral argument are invited to join the Society.

New inductees argue again in a semi-final round, from which the four best advocates are chosen to argue before real judges in a final competition in the law school's well-appointed Duane, Morris & Hecksher Moot Court Room. First and second place winners are chosen during this event, followed by an induction ceremony for new members before law school administrators, faculty and students, and the finest advocates from the Philadelphia legal community.

During the Spring semester, new members enroll in an Appellate Advocacy course in which they research and write a brief on a current United States Supreme Court case that has been not been decided. The case is argued during the I. Herman Stern Competition. The Appellate Advocacy course satisfies the law school's upper level Research Writing requirement. The final grade in the course depends on the quality of the brief and performance in the Stern Competition. The winners of the Final Round are sent to the American Bar Association National Moot Court Competition.

All third year students in the organization must participate in at least one of the many Moot Court competitions offered by law schools throughout the country, assist in the administration of the Polsky and Stern competitions, and attend lectures on appellate advocacy given by professors and guest speakers who are experienced advocates. Second year members who successfully complete Moot Court requirements earn one ungraded credit; third year students earn two credits.

Law Journals[edit]

The Law School maintains four law journals: Temple Law Review, Temple International and Comparative Law Journal, Temple Journal of Science Technology and Environmental Law, and Temple Political and Civil Rights Law Review. The Temple Law Review is published quarterly, and the other journals are published on a bi-annual basis.

Study abroad programs[edit]

The Law School offers two study abroad programs that are open to students from any ABA approved law school: the summer session in Rome and the spring semester in Tokyo (at Temple University Japan). The Tokyo program is perhaps the most notable, as it is the only ABA-accredited semester program for law students in Japan.

Additionally, Temple JD students are eligible to study at the following partner institutions: Tsinghua University, Beijing, China (Fall semester);University College Cork, Cork, Ireland (Fall Semester);University of Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv, Israel (Spring Semester);Universiteit Utrecht, Utrecht the Netherlands (Spring Semester); Jindal Global Law School, National Capital Region, Dehli, India; University of Lucerne, Lucerne, Switzerland; InterAmerican University, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Study abroad credits from any program can be used toward the J.D. program or the joint JD/LL.M. in Transnational Law.

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]

is the U.S. Representative-elect for Pennsylvania's 7th congressional district.


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External links[edit]