University of Minnesota Law School

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University of Minnesota Law School
UMNLawOfficialSeal.png
Established 1888
School type Public law school
Parent endowment $3.297 billion (2015)[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 604 J.D. students[2][3]
Faculty 63 (full-time law faculty)[2]
USNWR ranking 20 (2016)[4]
Bar pass rate 84.2%[5]
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 number of concentration opportunities, as well as dual and joint degree options with other graduate and professional schools of the University.[6]

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.[7] The Law School ranks 17th, tied with Cornell Law School, in graduates securing the most coveted United States Supreme Court clerkships in recent years.[8]

The Law School has 604 J.D. students and maintains a 9:1 student-to-faculty ratio.[9][10] Admission to the Law School is highly selective. Half of the Class of 2019 had a GPA above 3.76 and/or an LSAT score above 164.[11] The five-year average bar exam passage rate was 96.91%, one of the highest in the country.[12]

The school's graduates work in all 50 states and 70 countries around the world. The Class of 2015 alone is practicing in 33 states and Washington, D.C. The school's alumni include a former U.S. vice president, the CEO of Marriott International, Minnesota Supreme Court justices, representatives at the U.S. Congress, and leaders of major nonprofit organizations.[13]

Cost of attendance & employment[edit]

Tuition and fees for the 2016–2017 academic year are $43,244 for residents and $51,590 for non-residents. Over 95% of the students receive financial aid, including scholarships, to help fund their legal education. Law School scholarships are awarded at the time of admission and range from $5000 to full tuition.[14] The median starting salary for the 2015 graduates entering the private sector was over $115,000, with 93% of the Class of 2015 known to be employed as of March 2016. The most popular destinations for the 2015 graduates were California, Minnesota, New York, Washington, D.C., and Wisconsin.[15]

U.S. Supreme Court clerkships[edit]

The Law School ranks 17th, tied with Cornell Law School, in graduates securing the most coveted U.S. Supreme Court clerkships in recent years.[16] The list of most recent Supreme Court clerks includes Kyle D. Hawkins (Class of 2009), who clerked for Justice Samuel Alito in the 2013 Term, and Amy L. Bergquist (Class of 2007), who clerked for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the 2010 Term.

Experiential learning[edit]

There are 24 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.[17]

Over 95 percent of second-year J.D. students participate in either a moot court or legal journal, such as the Minnesota Law Review.[18] According to the prestigious law journal rankings recently released by Washington and Lee University School of Law, the Minnesota Law Review, currently celebrating its 100th volume, ranks 9th among all law reviews. Two journals were ranked at the very top in their subject areas: Law and Inequality for family law and the Minnesota Journal of Law, Science & Technology (MJLST) for energy law. Law and Inequality has been the highest-ranked family law journal for four straight years. It also ranked 3rd in minority, race and ethnic issues, 7th in gender, women, and sexuality, and 20th in public policy, politics, and the law.[19]

MJLST has been the highest-ranked energy law journal for eight consecutive years. MJLST was also ranked 3rd in health law, 4th in environmental, natural resources, and land use, 8th in science, technology, and computing, and 10th in intellectual property.[20]

The Minnesota Journal of International Law ranked 16th among all international law journals, moving up from 23rd in 2014. The ABA Journal of Labor & Employment Law is now ranked 4th for employment law. The Law School’s faculty-edited journal, Constitutional Commentary, was ranked 2nd in legal history and 9th in constitutional law.[21]

The school’s students have won the prestigious Burton Award for Legal Achievement nine times, making the Law School one of only seven schools to have received these distinguished writing awards eight or more times.[22]

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.[23]

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).[24]

Along with Harvard Law School, the University of Minnesota Law School founded the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI) in 1982.[25] 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.[26][27]

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.[28]

Law Library[edit]

The Law Library, with over 1 million volumes, it is the 7th largest of its kind in the United States.[citation needed] It is a division of the University of Minnesota Libraries and is open to law students 24 hours a day throughout the year. 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.[9]

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.[29]

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); "Clue: A Murder Mystery in Mondale" (2014); "Froze-In" (2015); and "Minnesota Jones and the Law School of Doom" (2016). 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 has about 13,000 living alumni in 50 states and 70 countries, including 275 serving as federal and state court judges nationwide.[30] 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]