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.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Arts in Diplomacy and International Commerce), J.D./M.B.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration), and J.D./M.P.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Public Administration).
The College of Law 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, and torts and insurance. In addition, clinics include Prison Counsel for upper-level students for 3 credit hours and Civil-Law Clinic for upper-level students for 3 credit hours. Numerous seminars are offered, including Gender Discrimination, Housing Law, and Intellectual Property. Third-year students may participate in internships with prosecutors and with state and federal judges for 3 credit hours. An Innocence Project with the state public defender’s office for 3 credit hours is also offered. Independent research may be done on topics of special interest for 1 to 3 credit hours. Third-year students receive 1 to 3 credit hours for clerking with judges in state district, circuit, and appellate division courts, or in either of 2 federal district courts. Third-year students also receive 1 to 3 credit hours working with local prosecutors and in the prison internship program. Study abroad is available via transient work at a number of ABA-approved law schools. Academic support is offered for all first-year students in the first semester and in later semesters for those in academic difficulty. An academic success program and tutorials are offered to minority students. The most widely taken electives are Evidence, Business Associations, and Tax.
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: Civil Procedure I and II, Constitutional Law I, Contracts and Sales I and II, Criminal Law, Legal Research and Writing, Property, and Torts. Required upper-level courses consist of a seminar with a writing requirement and Professional Responsibility. The required orientation program for first-year students is 2 days and includes an introduction to the community, to the case method, to the faculty, and to the current students.
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, 1080 applied, 392 were accepted, and 127 enrolled. Seven transfers enrolled. The median LSAT percentile of the most recent first-year class was 82; the median GPA was 3.63 on a scale of 4.0. The lowest LSAT percentile accepted was 30; the highest was 97.
Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and take the LSAT. The most important admission factors include writing ability, LSAT results, and GPA. 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, TOEFL if a foreign student, a nonrefundable application fee of $50, and 2 letters of recommendation are recommended but not required. Notification of the admissions decision is weekly on a rolling basis. The latest acceptable LSAT test date for fall entry is February. The law school uses the LSDAS.
About 75% 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 $20,500; maximum, $39,306. Awards are based on need and merit, along with Special funds are available that have specific criteria that must be met by the applicants. Required financial statement is the FAFSA. The aid application deadline for fall entry is April 1. Special funds for minority or disadvantaged students include tuition and monthly stipends available through the combined efforts of the college’s and university’s administration, plus Kentucky’s KLEO program. First-year students are notified about their financial aid application 1 month after acceptance for scholarships, and in May for loans.
About 43% of the student body are women; 9%, minorities; 6%, African American; 2%, Asian American; and 2%, Hispanic. The majority of students come from Kentucky (78%). The average age of entering students is 23; age range is 21 to 50. About 5% drop out after the first year for academic or personal reasons; 93% remain to receive a law degree.
Students edit the Kentucky Law Journal, Journal of Natural Resources and Environmental Law, and the newspaper Week in Brief. Students compete in the National Moot Court Competition, Jessup Competition, and First Amendment Moot Court Competition. Other competitions include the Trial Advocacy Competition, the Wilhelm Vis International Commercial Law Moot Court, and competitions in sports law, space law, and telecommunications law. Student organizations include the Student Bar Association, Black Law Students Association, and Women’s Law Caucus. Other organizations include Intellectual Property Law Society, Health Law Society, and International Law Society. Henry Clay Inns of Court and several legal fraternities have local chapters.
The law school operates on a traditional semester basis. Courses for full-time students are offered days only and are usually completed within 3 to 4 years. There is no part-time program. New students are admitted in the fall. There is an 8-week summer session. Transferable summer courses are offered.