Students may take relevant courses in other programs and apply credit toward the J.D.; a maximum of 6 credits may be applied. The following joint degrees may be earned: J.D./M.A.H. (Juris Doctor/Master of Arts in humanities), J.D./M.A.P.S. (Juris Doctor/Master of Arts in Political Science), J.D./M.B.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration), J.D./M.Div. (Juris Doctor/Master of Divinity), and J.D./M.S.S.W. (Juris Doctor/Master of Science in social work).
The Louis D. Brandeis School of Law offers concentrations in corporate law and family law. In addition, there is a required pro bono program (minimum 30 hours of work). Externships in the courts and the P.D. and D.A. offices are available to those who have completed 60 credit hours. A wide variety of seminars is offered to second-, third-, and fourth-year students in specialized fields of law; 2 to 3 credit hours are awarded. Several internships, worth 2 to 4 hours, are available, including a judicial, civil, criminal, and technology internship. All students are required to complete Legal Research, a 3-hour basic legal skills course, and a seminar that requires a substantial research paper. Special lecture series include the Brandeis and Harlan Lecture Series. Students may earn credit for participation in foreign study in an ABA-accredited program. Students with adequate language abilities may be foreign exchange students with several law schools throughout the world. An academic support program is offered to provide tutorial assistance to students with academic problems. Tutors run study sessions in first-year courses. The school has several minority recruiting activities each year and a number of scholarships for minority students. A diversity committee presents programs to the student body on topics such as gay/lesbian issues and women in politics. The most widely taken electives are Secured Transactions and Negotiable Instruments, and Business Organizations.
To earn the J.D., candidates must complete 90 total credits, of which 44 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: Basic Legal Skills, Civil Procedure, Contracts, Criminal Law, Legal Research, Property, and Torts. Required upper-level courses consist of 24 hours of core courses, a perspective course, a writing requirement, Constitutional Law I and II, and Professional Responsibility. The required orientation program for first-year students is 2<1/2> days devoted to skills development and orientation to legal education and the profession. There is also time for social events.
In order to graduate, candidates must have a GPA of 2.0, have completed the upper-division writing requirement, and 30 hours of law-related public service at a placement approved by the school.
In the fall 2007 first-year class, 1147 applied, 450 were accepted, and 168 enrolled. Seven transfers enrolled. The median GPA of the most recent first-year class was 3.41. The lowest LSAT percentile accepted was 16; the highest was 99.
Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and take the LSAT. Minimum acceptable GPA is 2.0 on a scale of 4.0. The most important admission factors include GPA, LSAT results, and graduate work. No specific undergraduate courses are required. Candidates are not interviewed.
The application deadline for fall entry is March 1. Applicants should submit an application form, a nonrefundable application fee of $50, and a personal statement. Recommendations are encouraged, but not required. 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.
About 80% of current law students receive some form of aid. Awards are based on need and merit. Required financial statement is the FAFSA. The aid application deadline for fall entry is June 1. Special funds for minority or disadvantaged students are available. First-year students are notified about their financial aid application prior to enrollment, usually by May 15.
About 48% of the student body are women; 8%, minorities; 3%, African American; 3%, Asian American; and 2%, Hispanic. The majority of students come from Kentucky (75%). The average age of entering students is 24; age range is 21 to 54. About 5% drop out after the first year for academic or personal reasons; 95% remain to receive a law degree.
Students edit the Louisville Law Journal, the Brandeis Brief Magazine, and, in conjunction with the University of South Carolina, the Journal of Law and Education. Annually, students participate in the National Moot Court, the American Association of Trial Lawyers Mock Trial, and the ABA Negotiation Competition. Other competitions include a Trial Advocacy Moot Court exercise in a student’s first year and the Pirtle-Washer Moot Court in a student’s second year. Law student organizations, local chapters of national associations, and campus organizations include the Student Bar Association, Environmental Law Society, International Law Society, Delta Theta Phi, Phi Alpha Delta, the Federalist Society, Lambda Law Caucus, Black Law Students Association, and Women’s Law Caucus.
The law school operates on a traditional semester basis. Courses for full-time students are offered days only but full-time students may enroll in evening classes and must be completed within 5 years. For part-time students, courses are offered evenings only but part-time students may enroll in day classes and must be completed within 6 years. New full- and part-time students are admitted in the fall. There is an 8-week summer session. Transferable summer courses are offered.