University of Akron School of Law

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University of Akron School of Law
University Akron Law.JPG
Motto Fiat Lux
Established 1921
School type Public
Parent endowment $133.3 million[1]
Dean Matthew J. Wilson
Location Akron, Ohio, United States
Enrollment 526
Faculty 52
Bar pass rate 87.4% in Ohio[2]

The University of Akron School of Law is the law school at the University of Akron in Akron, Ohio, USA. Offering both the J.D. and LL.M. degrees, it was founded in 1921 as the Akron School of Law and merged with the University of Akron in 1959, becoming fully accredited by the American Bar Association in 1961.[3] Since 1921, the school has produced over 6,000 graduates who have gone on to careers in the private and public sectors, including several notable judges and politicians.[4] Located across from E. J. Thomas Hall on University Avenue, the University of Akron School of Law is housed in the C. Blake McDowell Law Center on the northwest portion of the University of Akron campus. It also houses the Joseph G. Miller and William C. Becker Institute for Professional Responsibility and The University of Akron Center for Constitutional Law, one of only four constitutional law centers established by Congress in the United States.[4] According to The University of Akron's 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 45.8% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation.[5]


The University of Akron School of Law admits traditional three year J.D. students, part-time J.D. students, and also students for the LL.M. Within the J.D. program, Akron Law students can also choose to specialize in one of eight areas of law, which include business, criminal, intellectual property, international, labor and employment, litigation, public law, and tax law.[6]

Joint degree programs[edit]

See also: J.D./M.B.A.

The School of Law also offers five joint degree programs, listed below:[7]

The joint degree programs allow credit from classes to count towards both a Master's degree and to the Juris Doctor. In most cases, a joint JD/MA program can be completed in four years.

Intellectual property program[edit]

The school's program in intellectual property, managed by The Center for Intellectual Property Law and Technology, is of note as it is one of two programs to offer the LL.M. in intellectual property in Ohio, and is one of 22 such programs in the United States.[8] A study conducted by IDEA – The Intellectual Property Law Review, ranks Akron’s IP program curricular offerings as tied for fifth in the nation.[9] The law school also publishes the Akron Intellectual Property Journal which is a "scholarly legal publication of The University of Akron C. Blake McDowell Law Center that produces an annual volume of two issues for use by scholars, practitioners, and judges."[10] The Akron Intellectual Property Journal is part of the Akron Law Review, which in 2010, was ranked #39 out of over 200 ABA-accredited and major foreign general, student-edited journals on the Washington and Lee impact rankings (based in citations per issue). This is the fifth consecutive year the Akron Law Review was in the top 50.[11] Each Spring, The University of Akron School of Law hosts the Richard C. Sughrue Symposium On Intellectual Property Law and Policy, featuring many known scholars and practitioners within the field of Intellectual Property. Known past speakers include Robert Stoll, Commissioner for Patents at the USPTO[12] and Chief Judge Paul R. Michel.[13]

Notable Intellectual Property Department Faculty: Jeffrey M. Samuels is the Director of The Center for Intellectual Property Law and Technology and the David L. Brennan Professor of Law.[14] Professor Samuels served as the assistant commissioner of patents and trademarks of the United States Patent and Trademark Office from November 1987 to January 1993.[14] Professor Samuels is also on the advisory board of BNA's Patent, Trademark and Copyright Journal and the World Intellectual Property Report.[14] Jay Dratler, is the Goodyear Professor of Intellectual Property at The University of Akron School of Law.[15] He is the principal author of a two-volume treatise, Intellectual Property Law: Commercial, Creative, and Industrial Property (1991), the sole author of another two-volume treatise, Licensing of Intellectual Property (1994), and the principal author of a one-volume treatise, Cyberlaw: Intellectual Property in the Digital Millennium (2000).[15] A Fulbright Fellow, Professor Dratler received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in physics from the University of California (San Diego), and a J.D. degree from Harvard Law School.[16]

Honors to Law program[edit]

The University of Akron School of Law recently began a new program whereby undergraduate Honors students at the University of Akron can receive undergraduate admission to the law school. Benefits of the program include mentoring by law faculty and students as well as visiting a law school class at least once per semester. In order to stay in the program students must maintain a 3.4 GPA and score at or above the anticipated median LSAT score of the next class of entering full-time law students.[17]


After graduating from Kent State University, Ohio congresswoman Betty Sutton received her J.D. from Akron law. In 2006, she defeated Craig L. Foltin for Ohio's 13th congressional district and was successfully re-elected in 2008. In the 110th Congress, Sutton was a member of the United States House Committee on the Judiciary, and in the 111th Congress, Sutton is a member of the United States House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

The current mayor of Akron, Ohio, Don Plusquellic, received his J.D. from Akron law and was a private practice attorney at the time of his election in 1987.[18]

Alice M. Batchelder received her J.D. from Akron in 1971 and is the longest current serving federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, having been appointed by George H.W. Bush in 1991.

Deborah L. Cook received her J.D. from Akron in 1978. Having previously served as a justice for the Supreme Court of Ohio from 1995 to 2003, she was appointed by George W. Bush in 2003 to serve on the Sixth Circuit alongside Batchelder. They were both touted by the media as possible nominations of George W. Bush for the Supreme Court,[19][20] and Cook was seen as a possible McCain appointment, had he been elected President.[21]

Among the school's graduates who have gone on to be United States district court judges are James S. Gwin, Peter C. Economus, Samuel H. Bell, and John R. Adams.

Matt Moneymaker graduated in 1996, and shortly after founded the enthusiast's group Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO) which is now featured on Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot, in its fourth season with two million viewers.[22]


According to The University of Akron's 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 45.8% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation.[23] The University of Akron's Law School Transparency under-employment score is 19.9%, indicating the percentage of the Class of 2013 unemployed, pursuing an additional degree, or working in a non-professional, short-term, or part-time job nine months after graduation.[24]

ABA Employment Summary for 2013 Graduates [25]
Employment Status Percentage
Employed - Bar Passage Required
Employed - J.D. Advantage
Employed - Professional Position
Employed - Non-Professional Position
Employed - Undeterminable
Pursuing Graduate Degree Full Time
Unemployed - Start Date Deferred
Unemployed - Not Seeking
Unemployed - Seeking
Employment Status Unknown
Total of 166 Graduates


The total cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) at The University of Akron for the 2014-2015 academic year is $40,964 for non-residents and $40,864 for residents of Ohio.[26] The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $149,540 for non-residents and $149,156 for residents of Ohio.[27]


U.S. News & World Report listed Akron's full-time Juris Doctor program as 119th in the nation in 2012; its part-time Juris Doctor program was ranked 47th in the nation. Additionally, Akron's trial advocacy program was ranked 11th in the nation and its law review ranked 43 out of more than 200 ABA-accredited law journals.[4][28]


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2009. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2009 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2008 to FY 2009" (PDF). 2009 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Retrieved August 6, 2010. 
  2. ^ Akron's Record of Ohio Bar Exam Success Retrieved 4, 2009.
  3. ^ "ABA Accredited since 1961" Retrieved August 6, 2010.
  4. ^ a b c School of Law Indicators of Excellence, Retrieved March 26, 2009.
  6. ^ Specialized Study Retrieved March 4, 2009.
  7. ^ Joint Degree Programs Retrieved March 4, 2009.
  8. ^ "LL.M. in Intellectual Property Law" index Retrieved March 4, 2009.
  9. ^ "The School of Law's IP program is tied for fifth in the nation in study of IP courses." Retrieved August 6, 2010.
  10. ^ "About the Akron Intellectual Property Journal" Retrieved March 4, 2009.
  11. ^ "Akron Intellectual Property Journal"
  12. ^ "2010 Sughrue Symposium on Intellectual Property Law and Policy"
  13. ^ "2009 Sughrue Symposium on Intellectual Property Law and Policy"
  14. ^ a b c "Jeffrey M. Samuels profile"
  15. ^ a b "Jay Dratler"
  16. ^ "Jay Dratler, Jr."
  17. ^ "Honors to Law Program" Retrieved August 6, 2010
  18. ^ Don Plusquellic's bio at the Office of the Mayor Retrieved June 17, 2009.
  19. ^ USA TODAY: "For divided high court, two potential legacies" Retrieved March 4, 2009.
  20. ^ The Washington Post: "President To Name Nominee For Court" Retrieved June 17, 2009.
  21. ^ LegalNewsline: "Washington observers weigh in on potential Supreme Court picks" Retrieved March 4, 2009.
  22. ^
  24. ^ "University of Akron Profile". 
  25. ^ "ABA School Employment Summary Reports". 
  26. ^ "Annual Tuition and Fees - JD Program". 
  27. ^ "Resident Debt at Repayment (Full Time) Profile". 
  28. ^

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°04′37″N 81°30′58″W / 41.077°N 81.516°W / 41.077; -81.516