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Columbus School of Law

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Academics

In addition to the J.D., the law school offers the LL.M. Students may take relevant courses in other programs and apply credit toward the J.D. The following joint degrees may be earned: J.D./J.C.L. (Juris Doctor/Licentiate of Canon Law), J.D./M.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Arts in politics, philosophy, history,), J.D./M.L.S. (Juris Doctor/Master of Library Science), and J.D./M.S.W. (Juris Doctor/Master of Social Work).

The Columbus School of Law offers concentrations in corporate law, criminal law, entertainment law, environmental law, family law, intellectual property law, international law, juvenile law, labor law, litigation, maritime law, media law, securities law, sports law, tax law, torts and insurance, communications law, securities and corporate law, public policy, and law and religion. In addition, the law school has 4 one-semester and 2 year-long clinics offering from 6 to 12 credits including General Practice, Families and the Law, and Advocacy for the Elderly. Seminars are open only to upper-level students. Students from the law school participate in nearly 200 externship placements annually in all organizations, and law firms of all sizes and specialties. Students may serve as research assistants to law faculty members. Fieldwork opportunities are available through the general externship program as well as the Immigration and Human Rights Clinic and seminars such as the Public Policy Practicum and the Education Law Practicum. Special lecture series are the Pope John XXIII Lectures, the Brendan F. Brown Distinguished Lectures and Scholars-in-Residence, and the Mirror of Justice Lectures. The International Business and Trade Summer Law Program is a 6-week summer program that takes place at the historic Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. The program is open to students who have completed their first year of law school and are in good standing. Student groups and individual faculty members conduct informal tutorial sessions. A Writing Consultant is available for individualized legal writing assistance. The most widely taken electives are Evidence, Corporations, and Family Law.

To earn the J.D., candidates must complete 84 total credits, of which 33 are for required courses. They must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.1 in the required courses. The following first-year courses are required of all students: Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, Lawyering Skills, Property, Social Justice and the Law, and Torts. Required upper-level courses consist of Professional Responsibility. The required orientation program for first-year students occurs during the first week and consists of the beginning of the Lawyering Skills course, a general introduction to the law library and the law school, study skills, and social activities.

In order to graduate, candidates must have a GPA of 2.15, and have completed the upper-division writing requirement.

Admissions

In the fall 2007 first-year class, 2890 applied, 1014 were accepted, and 301 enrolled. Nine transfers enrolled. The median GPA of the most recent first-year class was 3.34.

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and take the LSAT. The most important admission factors include LSAT results, GPA, and letter of recommendation. No specific undergraduate courses are required. Candidates are not interviewed.

The application deadline for fall entry is March 14. Applicants should submit an application form, LSAT results, transcripts, a nonrefundable application fee of $65, and 2 letters of recommendation. Notification of the admissions decision is on a rolling basis. The latest acceptable LSAT test date for fall entry is February. The law school uses the LSDAS.

Financial Aid

About 85% of current law students receive some form of aid. The average annual amount of aid from all sources combined, including scholarships, loans, and work contracts, is $45,924; maximum, $52,745. Awards are based on need and merit, along with community service in conjunction with other considerations. Required financial statement is the FAFSA. The aid application deadline for fall entry is July 15. Special funds for minority or disadvantaged students include scholarships that are merit based. First-year students are notified about their financial aid application at time of acceptance.

Students

About 50% of the student body are women; 18%, minorities; 4%, African American; 8%, Asian American; and 5%, Hispanic. The average age of entering students is 26; age range is 21 to 46. About 10% drop out after the first year for academic or personal reasons.

Student-edited publications are The Catholic University of America Law Review. Other law reviews include the Journal of Contemporary Health Law and Policy, and CommLaw Conspectus. Moot Court teams compete in the Sutherland Cup Competition, National Telecommunications Law Competition and Jessup Cup International Law Competition. Other competitions include the Securities Law Competition and the Trials Competition. Student organizations include the Students for Public Interest Law, Advocates for Life, and Communications Law Students. Student divisions of the ABA, the American Society of International Law, and BALSA, also have a presence. Campus clubs and other organizations include Thurgood Marshall American Inn of Court and Pope John Paul II Guild of Catholic Lawyers.

The law school operates on a traditional semester basis. Courses for full-time students are offered days only and must be completed within 5 years. For part-time students, courses are offered evenings only and must be completed within 6 years. New full- and part-time students are admitted in the fall. There is a 7 to 8-week summer session. Transferable summer courses are offered.

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