The following joint degrees may be earned: J.D./M.B.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration) and J.D./M.P.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Public Administration).
Although the law school has no concentrations, it has a full curriculum in all subjects except juvenile law and maritime law. In addition, approved upper-class students may earn 14 credit hours in a civil legal clinic. There is also an immigration clinic for 5 credit hours. The most widely taken electives are Business Organizations, Evidence, and Advanced Property.
To earn the J.D., candidates must complete 91 total credits, of which 37 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 Jurisdiction, Civil Procedure Rules, Constitutional Law, Contracts I, Criminal Law, Legal Research and Writing I and II, Professional Responsibility, Property I, and Torts. Required upper-level courses consist of 2 perspective courses, a seminar, Appellate Advocacy, and Trial advocacy, clinic, business drafting, or a judicial externships. The required orientation program for first-year students is a 2-1/2-day program featuring large group discussion and mini classes covering introduction to legal analysis, legal writing, note taking, class participation, and law school exam taking; student panels on first-year life; presentation about services available to law students including counseling, financial aid information, and a computer workshop for interested students. During the first semester there are three one hour programs: state bar license, class preparation and final exam taking. There is also a picnic with upper-class students and faculty, at which families are welcome.
In order to graduate, candidates must have a GPA of 2.0, have completed the upper-division writing requirement, and must satisfactorily complete all first-year requirements, the seminar and the perspectives course requirements, and the capstone/practicum requirement.
In the fall 2007 first-year class, 831 applied, 326 were accepted, and 152 enrolled. Figures in the above capsule and in this profile are approximate. Ten transfers enrolled in a recent year. The median LSAT percentile of the most recent first-year class was 81; the median GPA was 3.51 on a scale of 4.0. The lowest LSAT percentile accepted was 9; the highest was 98.
Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and take the LSAT. The most important admission factors include LSAT results, academic achievement, and GPA. No specific undergraduate courses are required. Candidates are not interviewed.
Applicants should submit an application form, LSAT results, transcripts, (submitted by LSDAS), a nonrefundable application fee, 3 letters of recommendation, and personal statement. Notification of the admissions decision is on a rolling basis. Check with the school for current application deadlines. The law school uses the LSDAS.
In a recent year, about 84% 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 $13,743; maximum, $23,291. 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 scholarships, and vocational-rehabilitation is offered to disabled and disadvantaged students. First-year students are notified about their financial aid application at the time of application.
About 44% of the student body are women; 8%, minorities; 5%, African American; 2%, Asian American; 1%, Hispanic; and 1%, Native American. The majority of students come from the Northeast (87%). The average age of entering students is 26; age range is 21 to 68. About 82% of students enter directly from undergraduate school, 8% have a graduate degree, and 6% have worked full-time prior to entering law school. About 1% drop out after the first year for academic or personal reasons; 99% remain to receive a law degree.
Students edit the West Virginia Law Review, the fourth oldest legal journal in the United States; the Journal of College and University Law in conjunction with the National Association of College and University Attorneys; and the newspaper On-Point. Moot court competitions include the Moot Court Board, Baker Cup Competition, held annually; Marlyn E. Lugar Trial Association Mock Trial Competition, held 4 times per year; and Gourley Cup Trial Competition. The Law School sends 2-to 6-person teams to 5 outside appellate advocacy competitions and 2-to 5-person teams to several outside trail advocacy competitions. Law student organizations, local chapters of national associations, and campus clubs and organizations include the Black law Students Association, Women’s Law Caucus, Public Interest Advocates, Environmental Law Society, Labor and Employment Law Association, Student Bar Association, National Lawyers Guild, Energy Law Club, and Phi Delta Phi.
The law school operates on a traditional semester basis. Courses for full-time students are offered days only and must be completed within 6 years. For part-time students, courses are offered days only and must be completed within 6 years. New full- and part-time students are admitted in the fall. There is no summer session. Transferable summer courses are not offered.