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500 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
p. 410-706-3492
f. 410-706-1793
w. <IT>www.law.umaryland.edu<RO>

School of Law

School of Law Rating: 5.0/5 (1 votes)

Academics

Students may take relevant courses in other programs and apply credit toward the J.D.; a maximum of 32 credits may be applied. The following joint degrees may be earned: J.D./M.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Arts in Criminal Justice), J.D./M.B.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration), J.D./M.S.W. (Juris Doctor/Master of Social Work), J.D./Ph.D. (Juris Doctor/Doctor of Philosophy in public policy), and J.D./Pharm. D. (Juris Doctor/Doctor of Pharmacy).

The School of Law offers concentrations in corporate law, criminal law, environmental law, family law, intellectual property law, international law, juvenile law, labor law, litigation, securities law, tax law, health care law, public interest law, mediation, constitutional law, jurisprudence/legal theory, legislation/public policy, and human and civil rights. In addition, the Clinical Law Program offers 20 legal clinics that operate in a wide range of practice areas such as environmental law, disability law, family law, mediation, youth, education, healthcare, and community development. Approximately 55 seminars are offered. Externships are available in public agencies and nonprofit organizations for 1 to 13 credits. Externships are coordinated with classroom discussion and a writing requirement. Research may be undertaken through 4 legal journals, through independent research/writing under faculty supervision, by acting as research assistants for faculty, and in courses and seminars. Several annual lectures are sponsored by alumni gifts, student organizations, law school faculty/administration, and campus administration. Study abroad consists of an ABA-approved summer program in Aberdeen, Scotland, and semester-long foreign study or externship programs in Chile, China, Costa Rica, Germany, South Africa, Switzerland, and with the law reform commissions of a variety of commonwealth countries. The Academic Achievement Program enlists the assistance of upper-level students who, as teaching fellows, work directly with first-year students. The fellows lead seminars and work one-on-one with these students. In addition, the law school has an active Peer Advisor Program, where upper-level students provide additional support in this regard. Student teaching fellows in the writing program study the teaching of writing and provide support for other students by reviewing and commenting on writing assignments submitted by first-year students. These writing fellows also staff the law school’s writing center. Mentoring and social support is provided through a wide variety of student groups. First-year students are eligible to join any of the more than 30 student groups, which include the Asian/Pacific American Law Students Association, Black Law Students Association, Latino Law Students Association, and the LGBT Law School Alliance. The most widely taken electives are Business, Environmental, and Health Law related courses.

To earn the J.D., candidates must complete 85 total credits, of which 34 to 35 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: Governance, Contracts, Criminal Law, Legal Analysis, Writing and Research (LAWR I), Legal Analysis, Writing and Research (LAWR II), Property, and Torts. Required upper-level courses consist of Advanced Legal Research, Advanced Writing Requirement, Cardin Requirement, Constitutional Law: Individual Rights, and Legal Profession. All students must take clinical courses. The required orientation program for first-year students lasts 2 days. During that time, students receive instruction in case briefing, attend a sample class, are introduced to the web and technology-based law school systems, learn about the honor code, have lunch with faculty and deans, and meet with upper-class peer advisers.

In order to graduate, candidates must have a GPA of 2.0, have completed the upper-division writing requirement, and meet the residency requirements of 6 semesters of attendance for full-time students, and 8 semesters for part-time students.

Admissions

In the fall 2007 first-year class, 3747 applied, 598 were accepted, and 290 enrolled. Twenty-nine transfers enrolled. The median LSAT percentile of the most recent first-year class was 84; the median GPA was 3.59 on a scale of 4.0. The lowest LSAT percentile accepted was 20; the highest was 99.

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and take the LSAT. Outstanding applicants at minimum age 23 with 3 years of college are considered. The most important admission factors include GPA, general background, and faculty recommendation; however, each factor’s importance may vary from candidate to candidate. 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, LSAT results, transcripts, a personal statement, a nonrefundable application fee of $65, and 2 letters of recommendation. Notification of the admissions decision is December through April. The latest acceptable LSAT test date for fall entry is February. The law school uses the LSDAS.

Financial Aid

About 81% 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 $27,061; maximum, $55,621. Awards are based on need and merit. The average financial package is $48,891, based on need. There are a limited number of merit scholarships awarded through the admissions process. Required financial statement is the FAFSA. The aid application deadline for fall entry is March 1. Special funds for minority or disadvantaged students consist of grants that are available for students whose enrollment would add significantly to student diversity. First-year students are notified about their financial aid application at time of acceptance.

Students

About 55% of the student body are women; 35%, minorities; 14%, African American; 13%, Asian American; 8%, Hispanic; and 1%, Native American. The majority of students come from Maryland (65%). The average age of entering students is 25; age range is 20 to 56. About 35% of students enter directly from undergraduate school, 20% have a graduate degree, and 65% have worked full-time prior to entering law school. About 1% drop out after the first year for academic or personal reasons; 94% remain to receive a law degree.

The primary law review is the Maryland Law Review. Other law reviews include The Journal of Health Care Law and Policy, The Journal Business and Technology, and the University of Maryland Journal Race, Religion, Gender and Class. The student newspaper is The Raven. Moot court competitions include the Morris B. Myerowitz Competition, Jessup International Moot Court Competition, and Pace University National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition. Other competitions include Health Law Moot Court, Robert R. Merhige, Jr. National Environmental Negotiations Competition, American College of Trial Lawyers, and Association of Trial Lawyers of America. Law student organizations, local chapters of national associations, and campus organizations include the Maryland Environmental Law Society, Student Health Law Organization, American Constitution Society, Student Bar Association, Women’s Bar Association (student chapter), Phi Alpha Delta, Criminal Law Association, International Law Society, and Business Law Society.

The law school operates on a traditional semester basis. Courses for full-time students are offered day only for required courses; day and evening for electives and must be completed within 7 years. For part-time students, courses are offered both day and evening and must be completed within 7 years. New full- and part-time students are admitted in the fall. There is a 7-week summer session. Transferable summer courses are offered.

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