University of Minnesota Law School

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University of Minnesota Law School
UMNLawOfficialSeal.png
Established 1888
School type Public law school
Endowment $85.2 million[1]
Dean Garry W. Jenkins
Location Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.
44°58′23″N 93°14′40″W / 44.973172°N 93.244428°W / 44.973172; -93.244428Coordinates: 44°58′23″N 93°14′40″W / 44.973172°N 93.244428°W / 44.973172; -93.244428
Enrollment 768[1]
Faculty 63 (full-time law faculty)[1]
USNWR ranking 20 (2016)[2]
Bar pass rate 84.2%[1]
Website www.law.umn.edu

The University of Minnesota Law School is the law school of the University of Minnesota, located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The school confers four law degrees: a Juris Doctor (J.D.), a Master of Laws (LL.M.), a Master of Science in Patent Law (M.S.P.L.), and a Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.). The J.D. program offers a variety of cutting-edge concentration opportunities, as well as extensive dual and joint degree options with other graduate and professional schools of the University, such as the J.D./M.P.A., J.D./M.P.P., and J.D./Ph.D. degrees with the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs, one of the country's top 10 public policy and planning schools.[3]

Walter F. Mondale Hall, home of the Law School on the University of Minnesota's West Bank Campus.

Founded in 1888, the University of Minnesota Law School is consistently ranked among the best law schools in America, and was ranked 20th by the 2016 U.S. News & World Report "Best Law Schools" rankings.[4] The Law School ranks 17th, tied with Cornell Law School, in graduates securing the most coveted United States Supreme Court clerkships in recent years.[5]

With 768 students, representing every part of the United States and numerous foreign countries, the University of Minnesota Law School maintains a 9.3:1 student-to-faculty ratio.[6] Admission to the Law School is highly selective. Half of the class that entered in 2015 had a GPA above 3.79 and/or an LSAT score above 164 (top 10% nationwide).[7][8] The five-year average bar exam passage rate was 96.91%, one of the highest in the country.[9]

Cost of attendance & employment[edit]

Tuition and fees are $42,231 for residents and $50,373 for non-residents. The median starting salary for the Class of 2015 graduates entering the private sector was over $115,000, with 92% of 2015 graduates known to be employed as of March 2016. The most popular destinations for the graduates in the Class of 2015 were California, Minnesota, New York, Washington, D.C., and Wisconsin.[10]

Experiential learning[edit]

There are 23 nationally recognized legal education clinics, offering "student attorneys" the opportunity to handle real legal cases under the supervision of teaching attorneys, with over 50 percent of law students participating in at least one clinic program, which is twice the national average. In 2015, the Law School's faculty and students, working in the Center for New Americans, took a case all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court and won a landmark decision that changed the law in the area of immigration.[11]

Over 95 percent of second-year J.D. students participate in either a moot court or legal journal, including the Minnesota Law Review, which ranks 9th among all law reviews, the Minnesota Journal of Law, Science & Technology, which has been the highest-ranked energy law journal for eight straight years, Law and Inequality, which has been the highest-ranked family law journal for four straight years, the Minnesota Journal of International Law, which ranks 16th among all international law journals, and the ABA Journal of Labor & Employment Law, which ranks fourth in employment law.[12] The school’s students have won the Burton Award for Legal Achievement eight times, making the Law School one of only seven schools to have received these distinguished writing awards eight or more times.[13]

Current prominent faculty[edit]

The University of Minnesota Law School includes some of the most accomplished and influential scholars in the world. The school was ranked 15th among U.S. law schools, tied with the University of Michigan Law School, for the number of times its tenured faculty's published scholarship was cited in legal journals during the period 2010 through 2014.[14]

History[edit]

The school was originally housed in Pattee Hall, named after the school's first dean, William S. Pattee, who served from 1888 to 1911. Pattee's personal books become the law library’s first collection. In 1928 the school moved to Fraser Hall, named after Prof. Everett Fraser who served as Dean from 1920 to 1948. In 1978 the school moved to its present building, originally named the Law Center. In 1999-2001, the Law School initiated and completed an expansion of its facilities on the west bank of the University campus. This larger building was renamed Walter F. Mondale Hall in honor of one its most distinguished alumni, former Vice President Walter Mondale ('56).[15]

Along with Harvard Law School, the University of Minnesota Law School founded the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI) in 1982.[16] CALI has grown to include the membership of nearly every law school in the US and the organization still has offices at the University of Minnesota Law School.[17][18]

The Law School's 11th dean is Professor Garry W. Jenkins, formerly Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and chief operating officer and general counsel of the Goldman Sachs Foundation, one of the country's largest corporate foundations.[19]

Law Library[edit]

The Law Library, with over 1 million volumes, it is the 7th largest of its kind in the United States. It is a division of the University of Minnesota Libraries and is open to law students 24 hours a day throughout the year. The chief librarian at the school is Joan S. Howland, who joined the Law School in 1992. Of particular note is The Riesenfeld Rare Books Research Center, which houses one of the top three collections of rare legal texts in the nation. For its millionth volume, the Law School acquired the papers of Clarence Darrow.[6]

Study abroad programs[edit]

The Law School offers a number of study abroad opportunities and, in 2006 opened a summer study program for J.D. students in Beijing. The program was originally conducted with the China University of Political Science and Law, and after two years it was changed to Renmin University (People’s University) in Beijing.[20]

The school also features semester exchange programs with ESADE Faculty of Law in Barcelona, Spain; University of Uppsala, Uppsala, Sweden; Université Jean Moulin (Lyon III) in Lyon, France, Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany; University College Dublin in Dublin, Ireland, Tilburg University Faculty of Law in Tilburg, Netherlands, Bocconi University in Milan, Italy; and Bucerius Law School in Hamburg, Germany. In Fall 2006, the Law School announced a new exchange partnership with the Universidad de Montevideo in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Student life[edit]

Musical[edit]

An annual highlight for the Law School is when the student body puts on its own full-length musical: written, performed, directed and produced by the all-student Theatre of the Relatively Talentless (T.O.R.T.). Begun in 2002, the event draws over a thousand audience members each year and features cameos by distinguished alumni and other distinguished members of the Minnesota legal community. For the 2006 show, "West Bank Story" (a spoof on "West Side Story"), tickets sold out within three days. Previous shows include: "The Wizard of Fritz" (2003, a spoof on "the Wizard of Oz"); "Law Wars" (2004, a spoof on "Star Wars"); "Walter Wonka and the Lawyer Factory" (2005, a spoof on "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory"); "Frankenlaw" (2007); "Robin Hood, Esq." (2008); "It's a Wonderful Law School" (2009, a spoof on "It's a Wonderful Life"); "Harry Torter and the Magical Law School" (2011); "A Midsemester Night's Dream" (2010); "Alawddin: The Tale of 1001 All-Nighters" (2012); "Back to the Future Interest" (2013); and "Clue: A Murder Mystery in Mondale" (2014). Participants are known as the TORTfeasors.

Hockey[edit]

The Fighting Mondales hit the ice during the season in intramural play, club play and rivalry games. In the fall, the Fighting Mondales participate in the University of Minnesota's intramural season, often playing their games at Mariucci Arena on the U of M campus. In the spring, the Fighting Mondales square off against the hockey teams of the three other law schools in the Twin Cities (Hamline University School of Law, the University of St. Thomas School of Law, and William Mitchell College of Law) in an annual competition for the coveted Golden Gavel.

Notable alumni[edit]

The Law School currently has about 13,000 living alumni in 50 states and 70 countries, including 275 serving as federal and state court judges nationwide.[21] Perhaps the most famous alumnus of the Law School is former Vice President of the United States and Ambassador to Japan Walter Mondale ('56). The Law School's building was renamed Walter F. Mondale Hall in his honor in 2002. His legacy and continued participation in the life of the school earned him a most interesting honor from the school's student-run Law Council: the naming of the mascot of the Law School as the "Fighting Mondales."

Other prominent alumni of the school include:

References[edit]

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External links[edit]