In addition to the J.D., the law school offers the LL.M., S.J.D., and M.L.I. (Master of Arts or Master of Science in Legal Institutitions). Students may take relevant courses in other programs and apply credit toward the J.D.; a maximum of 6 credits unless student credits may be applied. The following joint degrees may be earned: Law and Business, Law and Environmental Studies, Law and Latin American and Iberian Studies, Law and Library and Information Services, Law and Philosophy (Ph.D. level only), Law and Public Affairs, Law and Sociology (Ph.D.) and Rural Sociology, and J.D./M.B.A. Juris Doctor/Law and Business.
The Law School offers concentrations in corporate law, criminal law, environmental law, family law, intellectual property law, international law, juvenile law, labor law, litigation, securities law, sports law, tax law, torts and insurance, public interest law, and estate planning. In addition, See www.law.wisc.edu/academics/clinics/index.htm for a list of clinics offered. Numerous seminars are available, as well as internships, research programs, field work, tutorial programs, and special interest group programs. Study abroad is possible through the Germany, Holland, Italy, Chile, Peru, South Africa, United Kingdom, Brazil, France, and Asia programs. An individualized instruction service, offering writing assistance, workshops on study skills, test taking, time management, research papers, and other topics is available to all students. The Legal Education Opportunities Program is available for students of color. Many special interest programs are available. The most widely taken electives are Business Organizations, Tax, and Administrative Law.
To earn the J.D., candidates must complete 90 total credits, of which 40 to 45 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, Contracts I, Criminal Procedure, Introduction to Substantive Criminal Law, Legal Research and Writing, Property, and Torts I. Required upper-level courses consist of Civil Procedure II, Constitutional Law I, Contract II, International Law, and Legal Process. An extensive selection of clinical courses is available for students who wish to participate.The required orientation program for first-year students is a 3-day program that includes a check-in with the Admissions Office staff, community service day, case briefing workshop, first-year convocation, informal gatherings, and student photos.
In order to graduate, candidates must have a GPA of 2.0, and have completed the upper-division writing requirement, Graduates who meet certain course requirements are admitted to the bar without taking a bar examination.
In the fall 2007 first-year class, 2633 applied, 770 were accepted, and 264 enrolled. Nine transfers enrolled. The median LSAT percentile of the most recent first-year class was 84; the median GPA was 3.58 on a scale of 4.0. The lowest LSAT percentile accepted was 11; the highest was 99.
Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and take the LSAT. When reviewing a file no one factor is more important than another. No specific undergraduate courses are required. Candidates are not interviewed.
The application deadline for fall entry is February 1. Applicants should submit an application form, LSAT results, transcripts, a personal statement, a nonrefundable application fee of $56, 2 letters of recommendation, and r
About 84% 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 $30,000; maximum, $42,468. Awards are based on need and merit. Required financial statements are the FAFSA and student tax form. The aid application deadline for fall entry is March 1. Special funds for minority or disadvantaged students include need- and merit-based scholarships with criteria preference for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. First-year students are notified about their financial aid application at the time they apply to law school.
About 47% of the student body are women; 29%, minorities; 8%, African American; 8%, Asian American; 8%, Hispanic; 3%, Native American; and 2%, Middle Eastern. The majority of students come from Wisconsin (60%). The average age of entering students is 25; age range is 20 to 65. About 42% of students enter directly from undergraduate school, 8% have a graduate degree, and 58% have worked full-time prior to entering law school.
Students edit the Wisconsin Law Review, Wisconsin International Law Journal, Wisconsin Journal of Law, Gender and Society, and Praxis, a student Journal. Moot court competitions include Evan A. Evans Constitutional Law Competition, Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, and Saul Lefkowitz IP Moot Court. There are numerous writing competitions. Law student organizations, local chapters of national associations, and campus organizations include Black Law Students Association, Indigenous Law Students Association, Latino Law Students Association, American Constitution Society, Federalist Society, National Lawyers Guild, Intellectual Property Students Association, Asian Pacific American/South Asian Law Students Association and Business and Tax Law Association.
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 6 years. For part-time students, courses are offered both day and evening and must be completed within 6 years. New full- and part-time students are admitted in the fall. There is a 13-week summer session. Transferable summer courses are offered.