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.P.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Public Administration).
Clinics, conducted under the supervision of the Director of Legal Aid and other clinical instructors, include a Civil Litigation Project and a Civil Rights Project. Internships are available with the North Dakota District Court, North Dakota Legislative Assembly, Grand Forks County States Attorney, and the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate at the Grand Forks Air Force Base. Various supervised research projects are available through the Special Projects Committee. Also, Central Legal Research employs second- and third-year students to work on current legal research questions. The Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, through grants, scholarships, seminars, and publications, promotes research in natural resources law. The Fode Lecture is a special lecture series. Students may receive credit for summer law study at the University of Oslo, Norway. The Canadian-American Law Institute encourages interchange among law students and faculty from North Dakota and several Canadian provinces. The most widely taken electives are bar courses, skills courses, and trial advocacy.
To earn the J.D., candidates must complete 90 total credits, of which 34 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: Brief Writing and Appellate Advocacy, Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law I and II, Contracts I and II, Criminal Law, Legal Process, Property I and II, and Torts I and II. Required upper-level courses consist of Professional Responsibility. The required orientation program for first-year students lasts 1 week.
In order to graduate, candidates must have a GPA of 2.0, have completed the upper-division writing requirement, and have completed Legal Process, Brief Writing, and Professional Responsibility, have completed 2 significant writing projects, and have completed the residency requirements of the last 4 semesters of study at the school.
In the fall 2007 first-year class, 382 applied, 153 were accepted, and 69 enrolled. Figures in the above capsule and in this profile are approximate. Three transfers enrolled in a recent year. The median GPA of the most recent first-year class was 3.57.
Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and take the LSAT. The most important admission factors include academic achievement, GPA, and LSAT results. No specific undergraduate courses are required. Candidates are not interviewed.
Applicants should submit an application form, a nonrefundable application fee, 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 that which ensures the score is received by the application deadlines. Check with the school for current application deadlines. The law school uses the LSDAS.
In a recent year, about 87% of current law students received some form of aid. The average annual amount of aid from all sources combined, including scholarships, loans, and work contracts, was $16,500; maximum, $37,800. Awards are based on need and merit. Required financial statement is the FAFSA. Check with the school for current application deadlines. Special funds for minority or disadvantaged students include Cultural Diversity Tuition Waivers. First-year students are notified about their financial aid application at time of acceptance.
About 52% of the student body are women; 11%, minorities; 1%, African American; 1%, Asian American; 2%, Hispanic; and 7%, Native American. The majority of students come from North Dakota (50%). The average age of entering students is 26; age range is 21 to 48. About 6% drop out after the first year for academic or personal reasons.
Students edit the North Dakota Law Review and the student newspaper, Rhadamanthus. The North Dakota Agricultural Law Institute serves the state’s agricultural industry by publishing bulletins related to agriculture. Members of the Moot Court Association participate in an appellate moot court intraschool competition. During the past few years, members have also participated in the National Moot Court Competition, the Tulane Sports Law Competition, and various regional competitions. Student organizations, local chapters of national associations, and campus organizations include the Student Bar Association, Native American Law Students Association, Christian Law Students Society, Public Interest Law Students Association, Student Trial Lawyers Association, Law Women’s Caucus, Phi Alpha Delta, Phi Delta Phi, and Order of the Coif.
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. There is no part-time program. New students are admitted in the fall. There is a 6-week summer session. Transferable summer courses are offered.