University of Massachusetts School of Law
||This article may lend undue weight to certain ideas, incidents, or controversies . (June 2012)|
|Location||North Dartmouth, Massachusetts, USA|
The University of Massachusetts School of Law (also known as UMass Law) is a public law school located in Dartmouth, Massachusetts. It is the successor to Southern New England School of Law, a private law school that donated its campus and its assets to the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. As of December 6, 2016, UMass Law is fully accredited by the American Bar Association. According to University of Massachusetts School of Law's 2014 ABA-required disclosures, 30.9% of the Class of 2014 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation. U.S. News & World Report ranks its Part-time program No.61 in the US, while College Choice ranks school's online program offerings as No. 12 in the country.
The first-time bar passage rate for the July 2015 bar exam was 60.0%, and the overall rate was 38.30%.
A plan to convert private law school Southern New England School of Law (SNESL) into a public law school for the University of Massachusetts system was first proposed in early 2004. The plan would establish the first public law school in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and only the fifth public law school in New England. The Trustees of the University of Massachusetts system voted in favor of the proposal in December 2004, but the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education rejected it in early 2005 as fiscally unsound.
The proposal was brought again in October 2009, when Southern New England School of Law offered to donate real estate, facility, technology and library assets to UMass Dartmouth for the purpose of creating a public law program in Massachusetts. These assets had an estimated value of more than $22 million and would be the second largest donation in the 146-year history of the University of Massachusetts system. The University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees approved the plan on December 9, 2009 and the Commonwealth's Board of Higher Education did likewise on February 2, 2010.
The first class matriculated in August 2010.
In June 2012, the School of Law received provisional accreditation from the American Bar Association after an eight-year quest by SNESL and UMSOL.
At a time of declining nationwide enrollment in legal education, UMass Law has stabilized its enrollment at about 75 incoming students per year for the last three years, and applications and the quality of applicants as measured by LSAT scores have increased.
In August, 2014, UMass Law launched Justice Bridge, a legal incubator in downtown Boston, providing reduced-fee legal services to clients of modest means. UMass Law also announced an intention to open a second Justice Bridge location in New Bedford in early 2015.
UMass Law announced 3+3 programs, under which students can earn an undergraduate and law degree in six rather the normal seven years, with UMass Dartmouth, UMass Boston, UMass Lowell, and Fitchburg State University.
Commonwealth Fellows Program
In December, 2014, UMass Law launched the Commonwealth Fellows Program. Under the program, students who are Massachusetts residents or have attended a Massachusetts public college or university as an undergraduate, and who score at least 152 on the LSAT and have an undergraduate grade of point average of at least 3.0, receive an automatic tuition discount of $5000 per year.
Public Interest Law Fellowships
Up to 25 entering UMass Law students each year are awarded Public Interest Law Fellowships. The Fellowship, which includes a 50% scholarship for both tuition and fees, is designed to train students for careers in public service. Fellowship recipients commit to practice public interest law for at least four years after graduation.
On March 1, 2013, Attorney General Eric Holder addressed students and faculty at UMass Law about executive and legislative efforts to combat gun violence.
On May 19, 2014, Governor Deval Patrick served as the commencement speaker for the 2014 graduating class at UMass Law. During the commencement ceremony, Governor Patrick received the Chancellor’s Medal for outstanding service to the commonwealth.
Post-Graduation Employment Statistics
According to UMass Law's official 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 28.2% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation. UMass Law'sLaw School Transparency under-employment score is 37.9%, 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.
Bar Passage Rate
|First-time takers||Percent passing||Second-time takers||Percent passing||References|
The cost of tuition, fees, and health insurance at UMass Law for the Fall 2014 semester is $14,318 for full-time in-state students and $18,164 for full-time out-of-state students. The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $162,311.
- Southern New England School of Law, the predecessor institution
- "Employment Summary for 2014 Graduates" (PDF).
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- "News & Opinion: Local Coverage". bostonherald.com.
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- "UMass law program offers $5K discount to students - Providence Business News". Retrieved 2015-10-06.
- "UMass Dartmouth website".
- "AG Holder Addresses UMass Law Students About Gun Violence". Retrieved 2015-10-06.
- "Governor Deval Patrick to speak at UMass Law graduation - Gate House". www.southcoasttoday.com. Retrieved 2015-10-06.
- "University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Profile".
- "Employment Summary for 2013 Graduates" (PDF).
- "July 2011 Massachusetts Bar Examination Results" (PDF). Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners. Retrieved 27 July 2012.
- "February 2012 Massachusetts Bar Examination Results" (PDF). Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners. Retrieved 19 June 2012.
- "February 2013 Massachusetts Bar Examination Results" (PDF). Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
- "February 2014 Massachusetts Bar Examination Results" (PDF). Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
- "mass.gov pdf" (PDF).
- "February 2015 Massachusetts Bar Examination Results by Law Schools" (PDF).
- (PDF) http://www.umassd.edu/media/umassdartmouth/schooloflaw/admissions/admissionsdept/tuitionandfinancialaid/tuition_and_fees_fall.pdf. Missing or empty
- "University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Profile".