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. Prof. Psych. (Juris Doctor/Master of Arts in Professional Psychology), J.D./M.A.C.S. (Juris Doctor/Master of Arts in Catholic Studies), J.D./M.A.Ed. (Juris Doctor/Master of Arts in Educational Leadership), J.D./M.B.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration), and J.D./M.S.W. (Juris Doctor/Master of Social Work).
Clinics (upper level) include Immigration Law, Community Justice Project, and Elder Law, (6 credits each). Seminars include Ethical Leadership in Corporate Practice (3 credits), Catholic Social Thought (2 credits), and Critical Perspectives on the Law: Race (2 credits). There is a Mentor Externship Program (2 credits) that combines mentor-directed field work with a contemporaneous faculty-led seminar (upper level). Supervised research and writing (1 to 2 credits) is available and Law Journal (1 to 2 credits). Field work includes District Court Judicial Externship (3 credits) and Crime and Justice Externship (2 credits). Special lecture series include the Law Journal symposia (2 per year). The school accepts credit from ABA-approved study-abroad programs and co-sponsors a summer program in Rome. Tutorial/remedial programs include a non credit academic achievement program, study skills, advising, and bar preparation. There is a law firm-sponsored minority scholarship/mentor program, the Ciresi scholarship for minority students, and the Minnesota Minority Clerkship Program in which UST students can participate. The family law student group partners with law firms and agencies to assist in adoptions. The most widely taken electives are Wills, Estates, and Trusts; Litigation with the Federal Government; and Criminal Procedure.
To earn the J.D., candidates must complete 88 total credits, of which 51 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 I, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, Foundations of Justice, Lawyering Skills I and II, Property, and Torts. Required upper-level courses consist of Business Associations, Evidence, Federal Income Taxation, Jurisprudence, Lawyering Skills III, Mentor Externship, Professional Responsibility, and Public Service Requirement. The required orientation program for first-year students is 1 day, including a lawyering skill class.
To graduate, candidates must have a GPA of 2.0 and have completed the upper-division writing requirement, public service (50 hours), and the Mentor Externship Program.
In the fall 2007 first-year class, 1555 applied, 755 were accepted, and 164 enrolled. Fourteen transfers enrolled. The median LSAT percentile of the most recent first-year class was 72; the median GPA was 3.43 on a scale of 4.0. The lowest LSAT percentile accepted was 27; the highest was 99.
Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and take the LSAT. The most important admission factors include academic achievement, motivations, general background, and whether the applicant is suited to the mission of the school. No specific undergraduate courses are required. Candidates are not interviewed.
The application deadline for fall entry is July 1. Applicants should submit an application form, LSAT results, transcripts, a personal statement, a nonrefundable application fee of $50, 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 June. The law school uses the LSDAS.
About 98% 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 $37,000; maximum, $69,675. Awards are based on need and merit. Required financial statement is the FAFSA. The aid application deadline for fall entry is July 1. Special funds for minority or disadvantaged students include the Ciresi scholarship. First-year students are notified about their financial aid application at time of acceptance.
About 45% of the student body are women; 15%, minorities; 5%, African American; 6%, Asian American; 4%, Hispanic; 1%, Native American; and 14%, unknown race/ethnicity. The majority of students come from Minnesota (70%). The average age of entering students is 26; age range is 21 to 53. About 40% of students enter directly from undergraduate school, 7% have a graduate degree, and 60% have worked full-time prior to entering law school. About 3% drop out after the first year for academic or personal reasons; 95% remain to receive a law degree.
Students edit the University of St. Thomas Law Journal, Fides et lustitia, and the student newspaper, Tommie Law News. Moot court competitions include the National Moot Court competition, Thurgood Marshall Memorial Moot Court competition, and Federal Bar Association. Other competitions include Client Counseling Competition and Negotiation Competition. Law student organizations include the Christian Legal Society, Environmental Law Society, and Minnesota Justice Foundation. Local chapters of national associations are the Black Law Students Association, the Federalist Society, and National Lawyers Guild. Other clubs include Family Justice Society, Business and Corporate Law Society, and Sports Law Society.
The law school operates on a traditional semester basis. Courses for full-time students are offered both day and evening and must be completed within 4 years. There is no part-time program. New students are admitted in the fall. There is a 7-week summer session. Transferable summer courses are offered.