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Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, CA
by Heather Jung
LLS consistently ranks among the top law institutions on all three of the most respected lists of law school rankings: the U.S. News & World Report rankings, The Princeton Review rankings, and the Cooley rankings. Specific programs at LLS, such as the taxation program and the trial advocacy program, are also nationally recognized. Loyola is ranked fifth on The Princeton Review's list of schools with the "Best Overall Academic Experience."
LLS was the first ABA-approved law school in California and among the first in the country to require students to perform pro bono work prior to graduating. Each year, students devote more than 40,000 hours of work to nonprofit organizations. Each student is required to perform 40 hours of uncompensated pro bono work relating to law. Among the programs and organizations approved by LLS are California Lawyers for the Arts, the ACLU's Gay and Lesbian Rights Chapter, the Cesar E. Chavez Foundation, the National Immigration Law Center, and the Western Law Center for Disability Rights.
According to the school's career services office website, 375 of LLS's 391 class of 2005 graduates reported employment. Of those 375, 61.1% went into private practice, 20% went into business and industry, 11.3% went into government, 5.1% went into public interest, 0.5% entered academia, and 1.6% did not specify their whereabouts. Average salaries ranged from $54,500 to $125,000 per year.
In addition to the traditional J.D., other academic options for students at LLS include a J.D./M.B.A. joint degree and an LL.M. in Taxation. LLS is also proud to offer more than 15 clinics and programs for students wishing to study specific aspects of the legal arena. Available clinics and programs include the Disability Rights Legal Center, the Sports Law Institute, the Journalist Law School, the Entertainment Law Practicum, and the Cancer Legal Resource Center.
LLS also offers several study-abroad options for students with a taste for foreign studies. Co-sponsored by Brooklyn Law School, the Summer in Beijing (China) Program allows students to take courses on international bankruptcy and participate in an international trade workshop. The second program available is the Summer in Ciudad Colon (Costa Rica) Program. In this program, students interested in international environmental law and international human rights can study at the University for Peace. Through the program in Bologna, Italy, students can take classes on comparative business organization, comparative torts, international arbitration, and international sales. This program is also co-sponsored by Brooklyn Law School. Another program offered in Bologna is the International LL.M. Program. Through their studies at the Alma Mater Studiorum-Universitá di Bologna, students learn about a variety of international and comparative law topics.
The LLS campus was designed by the famous architect Frank Gehry, who also designed the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and the Walt Disney Concert Hall. For LLS, Gehry designed a series of modern buildings, at the heart of which sits a central plaza. The campus is located in the Pico-Union district of Los Angeles.
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