University of Illinois College of Law
|University of Illinois College of Law|
|Location||Champaign, Illinois, US|
|Faculty||111 (full- and part-time)|
|Bar pass rate||85% (2017)|
The University of Illinois College of Law (UIUC Law) is a tier-one flagship law school located in Champaign, Illinois, and one of the professional graduate schools of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. It is regarded as one of the most prestigious law schools in the Midwest and one of the best public law schools in America.
The College of Law was established in 1897, and offers the J.D., LL.M., and J.S.D. degrees in law. The College of Law also hosts visiting scholars, visiting researchers and a number of legal research centers. The school offers 10 scholarly areas of research, teaching, and coursework, called specialty programs. These are not majors or concentrations in the traditional sense but areas of academic interest and strength within the College of Law. The specialty programs include Business Law and Policy; Comparative Labor and Employment Law Policy; Constitutional Theory, History and Law; Criminal Law and Procedure; Health Law and Policy; Intellectual Property and Technology Law; International and Comparative Law; Law, Behavior and Social Sciences; Law and Philosophy; and Legal History.
The College of Law is currently ranked 40th in the U.S. News & World Report Rankings, but typically ranks within the top 25, and has been ranked as high as 17. In 2010 and 2011, the College of Law placed 21st and 23rd, respectively, in the U.S. News and World Report rankings - before reports surfaced that a school administrator had submitted inaccurate admissions data. Illinois ranks 27th in the 2014 Above The Law rankings of U.S. law schools and 26th in The National Law Journal's 2015 "Go-To Law Schools" Ranking. The school has the 14th largest law library in the United States of America.
Graduates of the College of Law have enjoyed strong employment prospects, with 72.3% of the Class of 2013 obtaining full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation. This places Illinois in the top 25 for legal employment among all U.S. Law Schools.
Prof. Brian Leiter, a University of Chicago law professor and well known for his blogs about law schools and law school rankings, said that the University of Illinois College of Law is a top 20 law school. In its annual ranking of “Go-To Law Schools,” the National Law Journal has ranked the University of Illinois College of Law 16th in the number of alumni associates promoted to partner in 2011. The College of Law tied with the University of Pennsylvania Law School and Emory University School of Law.
The College of Law was founded in 1897 and is a charter member of the Association of American Law Schools. The law honor society known as the Order of the Coif was founded at the University of Illinois College of Law in 1902.
University of Illinois College of Law is on the south end of the main University of Illinois campus in Champaign, near the football stadium and Assembly Hall.
The University of Illinois College of Law has the 14th largest law library in the United States of America, and several notable alumni in law firms, politics, the judiciary, and academia, including: Albert Jenner, Jr., name partner at law firm Jenner & Block, LLC., Robert M. Dell, Global Chair and Managing Partner of Latham & Watkins LLP, Annette Lu, Vice President of Republic of China (Taiwan) from 2000 to 2008, and Philip McConnaughay, Dean of Penn State University Dickinson School of Law.
In its annual ranking of “Go-To Law Schools,” the National Law Journal has ranked the University of Illinois College of Law 16th in the number of alumni associates promoted to partner in 2011. The College of Law tied with the University of Pennsylvania Law School and Emory University School of Law. Several of the law schools ranked in the Top 16 – including Harvard, Columbia, and Georgetown – graduate over twice as many students as the College of Law. In the 2010 U.S. News and World Report ranking of American law schools, the College of Law was ranked 21st in the country, in the 2011 U.S. News and World Report ranking of American law schools, the College of Law was ranked 23rd in the country, and in the 2012 U.S. News and World Report ranking of American law schools, the College of Law was ranked 35th in the country.
2011 investigation into manipulation of admissions data
On September 11, 2011, The News-Gazette reported that the University of Illinois College of Law posted inaccurate information on its website about the LSAT scores and GPAs of its incoming first-year law students. The school removed the inaccurate information and placed an assistant dean on administrative leave. However, the school declined to reveal that person's identity. On September 19, 2011, the University of Illinois College of Law posted the corrected information on its website. The actual LSAT and GPA medians for the class of 2014 were 163 and 3.70, respectively. The numbers that had previously been disseminated were a median LSAT of 168 and a median GPA of 3.81. Two months later, the law school announced that a report commissioned from Jones Day and Duff & Phelps had found admission data for six of the seven previous years to have been manipulated by the Assistant Dean of Admissions Paul Pless and that Pless had acted alone and would no longer work for the College. According to a university official, "Numbers were altered specifically and strategically to meet class profile goals and college ranking targets".
Nearly a year after the first news report of admissions data inaccuracies, in July 2012, the American Bar Association (ABA) announced its findings and punishment for the law school. For publishing inaccurate admissions data for six years, the ABA fined the University of Illinois College of Law $250,000 and required the law school to prominently post the a copy of the ABA's censure on its website for two years. This was the first time the bar association had fined a university for "reporting inaccurate consumer data."
The ABA's $250,000 fine and censure against the University of Illinois College of Law have been called "unprecedented" by The News-Gazette, although it also reported that the effect of the admissions scandal on the College of Law has been muted. The newspaper cited unnamed legal professionals who argued that the scandal, while serious, didn't reflect on the quality of the faculty or the education at the law school, and that law firms are more likely to look at the track record of UI alumni they've hired in the past. Brian Leiter, a University of Chicago law professor and well known for his blogs about law schools and law school rankings said that "the fact that there was an admissions dean, with or without encouragement from the higher-ups ... fudging the numbers didn't really change the core features of the school". Prof. Leiter also said that the drop in the University of Illinois College of Law academic reputation score, from 3.5 to 3.1, was of an "unheard of" size.
2012 launch of the Chicago Program
The Chicago Program offers a semester-long program of Chicago-based courses and events for interested third-year students. Taught by leading practitioners and College faculty, courses include International Bankruptcy, International Tax, Executive Compensation, and the Chicago Litigation Practicum – a simulated federal court litigation that takes students from client interviews, through discovery, through a live motion hearing. Events and lectures are open to all third-year students, offering fantastic opportunities to network with the College’s more than 3,000 Chicago-based alumni.
Launched in 2012, the Chicago Program is designed to enrich the College’s curriculum, expand professional opportunities for students, and involve alumni and other practitioners more closely in the College’s educational mission. The Program has four principal objectives: to provide enhanced skills-related training; to broaden exposure to specialized areas of legal practice; to orient students to the global legal market; and to facilitate connections between students, alumni, and prospective employers in Chicago, the nation, and the world.
Courses are taught in the Illini Center in downtown Chicago, the Dirksen Federal Courthouse, The Chicago Bar Association, and in the offices of several of the nation’s preeminent law firms, including Kirkland & Ellis LLP and McDermott Will & Emery.
The College of Law offers the Juris Doctor (J.D.), the first professional degree in law, as well as the Master of Laws (LL.M) and Doctor of Juridical Science (J.S.D.), academic graduate degrees in law.
The College also offers double degree programs with the JD; students may earn the JD along with the Ph.D in either arts and sciences or education (JD/Ph.D.), Master of Business Administration (JD/MBA), Master of Science in Finance (JD/MSF), Master of Science in either chemistry or natural resources (JD/MS), Master of Arts in either education or journalism (JD/MA); Master of Computer Science (JD/MCS); Master of Education (JD/MEd); Master of Human Resources and Industrial Relations (JD/MHRIR); Doctor of Medicine (JD/MD); Master of Urban Planning (JD/MUP); and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (JD/DVM).
A program that had been started with the American Bar Association in 2009 to permit certain UIUC undergraduates to enter without an LSAT was shut down in 2012 as part of the penalty for the College's falsification of admission data.
In the past seven years, the College has added 28 new tenure-track and tenured faculty, achieving a student-faculty ratio of 13 to 1. The faculty is expected to grow by 15 percent over the next half decade.
There are currently 662 students in the J.D. program. Thirty-six students from nine countries are enrolled in the one-year international LL.M. program. Students come from 42 states, 14 countries, and 189 undergraduate institutions. Over 30 percent of students are people of color, which is the highest percentage among public universities in Illinois and in the Big Ten.
The flagship law review is the University of Illinois Law Review; the law school also publishes two specialized law journals, the Elder Law Journal and the Journal of Law, Technology & Policy, which ExpressO has ranked as the #4 Science & Technology law journal. The College is also the home institution for the Comparative Labor Law and Policy Journal, and for Law and Philosophy.
According to UIUC Law's official 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 72.3% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation. UIUC Law's Law School Transparency under-employment score is 18.2%, 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.
The total cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) at UIUC Law for the 2014-2015 academic year is $59,772 for Illinois residents and $67,522 for out-of-state students. The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $217,510 for residents and $246,495 for out-of-state.
In 1957 the Chicago Sunday Tribune released the first modern rankings of law schools, and included Illinois among the top 10 law schools in America. In its annual ranking of “Go-To Law Schools,” the National Law Journal has ranked the University of Illinois College of Law 16th in the number of alumni associates promoted to partner in 2011. In the 2010 U.S. News and World Report ranking of American law schools, the College of Law was ranked 21st in the country and in the 2011 it was ranked 23rd in the country. In the 2012 U.S. News and World Report ranking of American law schools, the College of Law was originally ranked 23rd in the country. However, in the wake of the grades and LSAT inflation scandal, that ranking fell from #23 to #35 in 2012, and dropped to 47th in 2013. In the 2014 U.S. News and World Report rankings, the College rose to 40th. In 2015 it dropped one spot to 41st.
Prof. Brian Leiter, a University of Chicago law professor and well known for his blogs about law schools and law school rankings, said that the University of Illinois College of Law is a top 20 law school.
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