The following joint degrees may be earned: J.D./M.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Arts in political science) and J.D./M.B.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration).
The Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law offers concentrations in corporate law, criminal law, entertainment law, environmental law, family law, intellectual property law, international law, juvenile law, labor law, litigation, sports law, tax law, commercial law, and real estate law. In addition, clinics currently offered are civil litigation, elder law, and child and family litigation (worth 4 credit hours each) and are available to upper-class students as an elective. Seminar classes are available to second- or third-year students, and they are typically 2-credit courses. Many different seminar options are available. The seminar courses satisfy the upper-division research requirement. Externship credit is available with the U.S. Attorney Office, Bankruptcy Court, National Labor Relations Board, Public Defenders, state appellate, and federal district court. Students can receive research credit for law review or seminars. An academic support program (ASP) for first-year students helps ease the transition to law school. Its 2 primary components are group presentations and individual tutorials for selected first-year courses. The Tennessee Institute for Pre-Law (TIP) is an alternative admission program for Tennessee residents; candidates must meet diversity criteria. TIP is a 5-week summer program and is limited to 20 students. The most widely taken electives are Family Law, Commercial Paper, and Copyright.
To earn the J.D., candidates must complete 90 total credits, of which 56 are for required courses. The following first-year courses are required of all students: Civil Procedure I and II, Contracts I and II, Criminal Law, Legal Method I and II, Property I and II, and Torts I and II. Required upper-level courses consist of Advanced Research, Business Organizations I, Constitutional Law, Criminal Procedure I, Decedents’ Estates, Evidence, Income Tax, Professional Responsibility, and Secured Transactions. The required orientation program for first-year students consists of a 2-day program that takes place immediately before the beginning of fall classes.
In order to graduate, candidates must have a GPA of 2.0 and have completed the upper-division writing requirement.
In the fall 2007 first-year class, 941 applied, 313 were accepted, and 149 enrolled. Three transfers enrolled. The median LSAT percentile of the most recent first-year class was 68; the median GPA was 3.37 on a scale of 4.0. The lowest LSAT percentile accepted was 23; the highest was 98.
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 LSAT results, GPA, and academic achievement. All files are reviewed and all factors are evaluated on a subjective basis. 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, a personal statement, a recent TOEFL score for foreign-educated international applicants, a nonrefundable application fee of $25, and 3 letters of recommendation (encouraged not required). Nonresident candidates must submit a “Why Memphis” statement. Notification of the admissions decision is from December to May. 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. The average annual amount of aid from all sources combined, including scholarships, loans, and work contracts, is $18,555; maximum, $44,493. Awards are based on need and merit. Required financial statement is the FAFSA. The aid application deadline for fall entry is April 1. Special funds for minority or disadvantaged students include a Tennessee Board of Regents law scholarship. First-year students are notified about their financial aid application by April 30.
About 44% of the student body are women; 17%, minorities; 13%, African American; 2%, Asian American; 1%, Hispanic; and 1%, Native American. The majority of students come from Tennessee (84%). The average age of entering students is 26; age range is 21 to 50. About 37% of students enter directly from undergraduate school, 10% have a graduate degree, and 61% have worked full-time prior to entering law school. About 3% drop out after the first year for academic or personal reasons; 97% remain to receive a law degree.
The primary law review is The University of Memphis Law Review. The Tennessee Journal of Practice and Procedure is also published. Moot court competitions include Freshman Moot Court (first year), and Mock TrialAdvanced Moot Court (second and third year). Other competitions include PACE National Environmental Moot Court, Frederick Douglass Moot Court, ATLA National Mock Trial, National Moot Court, Jessup Moot Court Competition, ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition, and Wagner Moot Court. Law student organizations, local chapters of national associations, and campus organizations include the Student Bar Association, The Association of Women Attorneys, Phi Alpha Delta, the Federalist Society, the Black Law Students Association, Public Action Law Society, Intellectual Property Law Society, and Sports and Entertainment Society.
The law school operates on a traditional semester basis. Courses for full- and part-time students are offered days only, with limited elective courses in the evening 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.