In addition to the J.D., the law school offers the LL.M. and S.J.D. Students may take relevant courses in other programs and apply credit toward the J.D.; a maximum of 9 credits may be applied. The following joint degrees may be earned: J.B./M.B.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration), J.D./M.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Arts in English and law and peace studies), and J.D./M.S. (Juris Doctor/Master of Science in engineering). Other joint degrees are available with permission of the law school.
Clinical training is available through Legal Aid, Appellate Advocacy, Criminal Practice, Public Interest Practice, and Trial Advocacy programs. Special seminars are offered in a variety of areas. Internships are available through the Public Defender and Prosecutor’s offices. The Law School as well as other academic departments offer an array of programs. A study-abroad program allows students to take their second year or a summer session at the Law School’s London campus. Tutorial programs are tailored to meet the needs of individual students. Diversity groups are actively involved in the Law School and at the regional and national levels. The most widely taken electives are International Law, Trial Advocacy, and Cyberlaw.
To earn the J.D., candidates must complete 90 total credits, of which 42 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 and II, Constitutional Law, Contracts I and II, Criminal Law, Ethics I, Legal Research I and II-Moot Court, Legal Writing, Property, and Torts I and II. Required upper-level courses consist of Business Associations, Ethics II, Federal Income Taxation, and Jurisprudence. The required orientation program for first-year students is 2 days in length.
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, 3499 applied, 651 were accepted, and 176 enrolled. Nine transfers enrolled. The median GPA of the most recent first-year class was 3.66.
Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and take the LSAT. The most important admissions factors include a personal statement, grade trends, and service. 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, transcripts, a personal statement, a nonrefundable application fee of $60, 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 February. The law school uses the LSDAS.
Awards are based on need and merit. Required financial statement is the FAFSA. The aid application deadline for fall entry is February 15. Special funds for minority or disadvantaged students include special grants. First-year students are notified about their financial aid application as soon as possible after acceptance and after financial documents are received.
About 42% of the student body are women; 22%, minorities; 4%, African American; 7%, Asian American; 9%, Hispanic; and 1%, Native American. The average age of entering students is 23; age range is 21 to 35. About 1% drop out after the first year for academic or personal reasons; 99% remain to receive a law degree.
Students edit the Notre Dame Law Review, published 5 times a year. Other publications include Journal of Legislation, Journal of College and University Law, and the Journal of Law, Ethics, and Public Policy. Moot court competitions include the National, Regional, and Seventh Circuit Moot Court Competitions and the Jessup Moot Court Competition. Other competitions include the National Trial Competition and Client Counseling. Law student organizations, local chapters of national associations, and campus organizations include Phi Alpha Delta, Business Law Forum, Environmental Law Society, Black Law Students of Notre Dame, Hispanic Law Students Association, Asian Law Students Association, Native American Law Students Association, Federalist Society, Public Interest Law Forum, and Women’s Law Forum.
The law school operates on a traditional semester basis. Courses for full-time students are offered both day and evening. Most courses are offered during the day 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 in London. Transferable summer courses are offered.