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College of Law

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In addition to the J.D., the law school offers the LL.M. and S.J.D. Students may take relevant courses in other programs and apply credit toward the J.D.; a maximum of 12 credits may be applied. The following joint degrees may be earned: J.D./D.V.M. (Juris Doctor/ Doctor of Veterinary Medicine), J.D./M.B.A. (Juris Doctor/ Master of Business Administration), J.D./M.C.S. (Juris Doctor/Master of Computer Science), J.D./M.D. (Juris Doctor/ Doctor of Medicine), J.D./M.Ed. (Juris Doctor/ Master of Education), J.D./M.H.R.I.R. (Juris Doctor/Master of Human Resources and Industrial Relations), J.D./M.S.Chem (Juris Doctor/Master of Science in Chemistry), J.D./M.S.Journ (Juris Doctor/Master Science in Journalism), J.D./M.S.N.R.E.S. (Juris Doctor/Master of Science in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences), J.D./M.U.P. (Juris Doctor/Master of Urban Planning), and J.D./Ph.D.Ed. (Juris Doctor/Doctor of Philosophy in Education). A joint J.D. and master’s degree is offered in other fields as well.

The College of Law offers concentrations in corporate law, criminal law, environmental law, family law, intellectual property law, international law, labor law, litigation, securities law, sports law, tax law, torts and insurance, and public interest law. In addition, clinics are open to second- and third-year students. Numerous seminars are generally limited-enrollment classes to ensure more individualized experiences and are offered each semester to all second- and third-year students. The topics vary widely to ensure timely coverage of relevant issues. Externships offer students the opportunity to receive law credit for uncompensated work with a nonprofit organization, government agency, or a judge. Students may work as research assistants for faculty members. They may also participate in individual research projects under the supervision of a faculty member, which result in a substantial research paper and corresponding academic credit for scholarly work. Courses that involve interaction with live clients include externships, clinics, legislative projects, and appellate defender work. Additional field work is available through the Prisoner’s Rights Research Project. The David C. Baum Memorial Lectures are presented twice each year by distinguished scholars in the areas of civil liberties and civil rights. The Paul M. Van Arsdell, Jr. Memorial Lecture is presented annually on litigation and the legal profession. The Carl Vacketta/Piper Rudnick Lecture is presented annually on government and public affairs. Students may receive credit for ABA-approved study-abroad programs. The Academic Assistance Program offers group programs and individual counseling and tutoring. There are 7 minority student organizations. There are also minority career fairs, numerous speakers and lectures, and a student-chaired diversity committee. The most widely taken electives are Trial Advocacy, Business Associations, and Evidence.

To earn the J.D., candidates must complete 90 total credits, of which 33 are for required courses. They must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the required courses. The following first-year courses are required of all students: Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law I, Contracts, Criminal Law, Introduction to Advocacy, Legal Research, Legal Writing and Analysis, Property, and Torts. Required upper-level courses consist of Professional Responsibility and Upper-level Writing. The required orientation program for first-year students is a 2-day orientation filled with information and experiences designed to acclimate new students to the law school experience and expectations.

To graduate, candidates must have a GPA of 2.0, have completed the upper-division writing requirement, and have 90 semester hours of passing grades, 56 hours earned from the College of Law, at least 4 full-time semesters at the College of Law, and passing grades in all required courses.


In the fall 2007 first-year class, 2520 applied, 761 were accepted, and 173 enrolled. Sixty transfers enrolled. The median LSAT percentile of the most recent first-year class was 96; the median GPA was 3.6 on a scale of 4.0. The lowest LSAT percentile accepted was 25; the highest was 99.

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

The application deadline for fall entry is March 15. Applicants should submit an application form, LSAT results, transcripts, a personal statement, a nonrefundable application fee of $50, 2 letters of recommendation, and a r

Financial Aid

About 97% 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 $35,000; maximum, $48,218. Loans are need based and scholarships are merit based. Required financial statement is the FAFSA. The aid application deadline for fall entry is April 1. Special funds for minority or disadvantaged students are available. First-year students are notified about their financial aid application at the time application is made and again in a letter of acceptance.


About 40% of the student body are women; 26%, minorities; 8%, African American; 12%, Asian American; 6%, Hispanic; and 1%, Native American. The average age of entering students is 24; age range is 20 to 43. About 55% of students enter directly from undergraduate school, 25% have a graduate degree, and 35% have worked full-time prior to entering law school. About 2% drop out after the first year for academic or personal reasons; 98% remain to receive a law degree.

Students edit The University of Illinois Law Review, Elder Law Journal, and the Journal of Law, Technology, and Policy. Law students write the highly regarded Illinois Law Update section of the Illinois Bar Journal and the Illinois Business Law Journal. Three moot court competitions are Frederick Green, Frederick Douglass, and Intellectual Property Moot Court competitions. Other competitions include ABA Negotiations, ABA Client Counseling competitions, and Trial Team. Law student organizations, local chapters of national associations, and campus clubs and organizations include Latino/Latina Law Students Association, Black Law Students Association, Street Law, American Association for Justice, Asian American Law Students Association, the Myra Bradwell Association for Women Law Students, the Student Bar Association, Public Interest Law Foundation, and Impact.

The law school operates on a traditional semester basis. Courses for full-time students are offered days only and must be completed within 3 years. There is no part-time program. New students are admitted in the fall. There is a summer session. The length of the session varies. Transferable summer courses are not offered.

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