University of Kentucky College of Law

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University of Kentucky College of Law
Established 1908
Type Public
Dean David A. Brennan
Location Lexington, KY, USA
38°02′12″N 84°30′26″W / 38.03665°N 84.50719°W / 38.03665; -84.50719Coordinates: 38°02′12″N 84°30′26″W / 38.03665°N 84.50719°W / 38.03665; -84.50719
Website [1]

The College of Law is a college of the University of Kentucky. Founded initially from a law program at Transylvania University in 1799, the law program at UK began operations in 1908; it was one of the nation's first public law schools. In 1913, the college became the first in the nation to institute a trial practice program, and is host to the tenth-oldest student-run law review publication in the United States. The current dean of the College of Law is David Brennen.

According to the most recent publication of US News and World Report, the Law School is ranked #58 among all public and private universities. Among the three law schools in the commonwealth, the University of Kentucky College of Law ranks the highest. Among public law schools, the program is tied at #31.[1]

The UK College of Law is home to two entirely student-run publications: the Kentucky Law Journal and the Kentucky Journal of Equine, Agriculture & Natural Resources Law.[2] The Kentucky Law Journal is one of the oldest law reviews in the United States.


As noted, the UK College of Law began operations in 1908. It was housed in a structure now known as the Gillis Building from 1927 to 1936.[3] In 1936, the College moved into the newly built Lafferty Hall. Lafferty Hall was named after William T. Lafferty, the first dean of the College of Law.[4]

The College of Law again relocated to its current building located on South Limestone in 1965.[5]

In 1913, the College began publication of the Kentucky Law Journal. The KLJ is the tenth-oldest student-run law journal in continuous publication in America. In 1925, the College was approved by the American Bar Association and was elected to the Order of the Coif in 1931.[6]

Law building[edit]

Constructed in 1965, the University of Kentucky College of Law Building houses the Alvin E. Evans Library, classrooms, and faculty offices. However, because the building is widely perceived as too small for the school's needs, the College of Law will be relocating to a new structure along Scott Street.[7]

The Alvin E. Evans Library is the largest law library in the Commonwealth[8] and contains approximately 470,000 volumes, along with a vast array of electronic materials. It also provides access to all "U.S. reported court decisions, statutes and administrative materials" along with international materials.

A 2002 study suggested that if a new College of Law structure was to be constructed, it should relocate closer to downtown Lexington.[9] The suggestion from the study by Ayers Saint Gross, an architectural firm specializing in campus planning and the design of academic buildings, proposed that a new building for the college be constructed on Scott Street near the College of Education. A parking lot currently occupies the 3.3-acre (13,000 m2) site, where the College of Law hopes to construct a 120,000 sq ft (11,000 m2) structure.[7]

Such a move would also involve relocating the University of Kentucky Legal Clinic into the new structure. The Legal Clinic is currently adjacent to the Lexington Theological Seminary across from the Law School.

It was later decided that the new building should be constructed on Scott Street across from the Taylor Education Building and Dickey Hall.[10] The structure, expected to cost $75 million, will be financed through $15 million in fundraising, with the remainder coming from the state. The location, currently a 3.3-acre (13,000 m2) parking lot, will double the size of the existing structure and add much needed student common areas. It will ultimately contain five structures and two courtyards. One of the buildings will be named "Cooper Hall" after former Kentucky Supreme Court Justice William S. Cooper (Class of 1970).

Notable alumni[edit]

Mitch McConnell

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "U.S. News Rankings Show Jump for UK Law, Nursing". University of Kentucky College of Law. Retrieved April 1, 2007. 
  2. ^ Kentucky Journal of Equine, Agriculture & Natural Resources Law
  3. ^ UK Archives and Records Program
  4. ^ UK Campus Guide, "Lafferty Hall"
  5. ^ UK Campus Guide, "Law Building"
  6. ^ College of Law: About Us
  7. ^ a b "New Building News". University of Kentucky College of Law. Retrieved November 21, 2006. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ Martin, Kristi. 4 April 2002. Kentucky Kernel. 19 November 2006 "Colleges ponder downtown move"
  10. ^ Sichko, Adam. 5 May 2006. Kentucky Kernel. "No more holding back progress for UK Law." Retrieved 22 November 2006.

External links[edit]