University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law
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University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law


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Overview

Established in 1913, the S.J. Quinney College of Law is known for its academic repute, faculty, student-to-faculty ratio, innovative curriculum, and stunning location.

It offers a broad spectrum of courses and programs like concentrations in constitution law, corporate finance, international business, criminal procedure, and commercial law. The academic support program is available for eligible students and includes a legal process tutorial course, organized study groups, and academic counseling. It also offers a semester abroad program in London. It publishes the student-edited Utah Law Review, Journal of Law and Family Studies, and Journal of Land, Resources, and Environmental Law .The students participate in the National Moot Court Competition. Joint degrees in law and business administration or public administration, and an environmental certificate are available. In addition, it provides a comprehensive program in appellate litigation and trial advocacy.

The College of Law offers a variety of clinical experiences. Each clinic relies on placing the student with a supervisor to work on real cases. Each clinic has a related class to prepare for and/or reflect upon the experience. Students may spend a semester as full-time clerks in the judicial extern program as part of the judicial clinic.

The library contains over 295,000 volumes and microform equivalents. All basic legal research tools are present. The collection is extensive or complete in codes, digests, reporters, encyclopedias, citators, and journals.

The law library is a partial depository of the Government Printing Office and receives about 20% of all documents made available to depository libraries by the federal government.

Student-Faculty Ratio 9.4:1

Admission Criteria

 

LSAT

GPA

25th-75th Percentile

157-163

3.41-3.72

Median*

161

3.54

The above LSAT and GPA data pertain to the fall 2011 entering class.

Medians have been calculated by averaging the 25th- and 75th-percentile values released by the law schools and have been rounded up to the nearest whole number for LSAT scores and to the nearest one-hundredth for GPAs.

Admission Statistics

Approximate number of applications

1,230

Number accepted

378

Percentage accepted

30.7%

The above admission details are based on fall 2011 data.

Class Ranking and Grades

Class standings (numerical rank order of students) are not maintained by the S.J. Quinney College of Law.
At the end of fall and spring semesters, students are provided with GPA cut-offs for the top 10%, 20%, 30% and 50% of students in their class.

GPAs are calculated based upon a 0.0 to 4.0 range.

A

4.00

A–

3.70

B+

3.30

B

3.00

B–

2.70

C+

2.30

C

2.00

C-

1.70

D+

1.30

D

1.00

D-

0.70

E

0.00

To determine a GPA in the 0.0 to 4.0 range, the associated point value of the letter grade given for a course is multiplied by the number of credit hours for that course. This new value is referred to as the number of “grade points” that the student received for the course. All of the grade points that a student has, either by semester or cumulatively, are added up, and then divided by the total number of credit hours used to determine the grade points.

In lieu of a standard letter grade, an instructor may assign the following for a particular course. Whether a course is CR/NC or P/F is established by the curriculum committee; a student does not have the option to elect CR/NC or P/F in a graded course.

CR - Student receives non-graded credit for the course.

NC - Student receives no grade or credit for the course.

P - Student receives non-graded credit for the course.

F - Student failed the course. An F affects the student’s GPA the same as an E.

EU - The grade EU is given to a student whose name appears on the Registrar’s final grade report but for whom there is no record of attendance or other evidence of participation in the course. When the instructor enters no grade for such students, the Registrar records a grade of EU in the student’s record. The EU grade, thereafter, is treated as an E in calculating the student’s GPA.

I - The grade I (incomplete) may be given for work not completed because of circumstances beyond the student’s control, provided the student is passing the course and needs to complete 20% or less of the work required for the course. Arrangements must be made between the student and the instructor concerning completion of the work.

T - The grade T (thesis/independent work) is given for thesis or other independent work in progress, but not for regular courses. The T grade remains in the student record until the work is completed and a letter grade is reported to the Registrar. There is no time limit governing removal of the T grade.

W - The grade W (official withdrawal) is given when a student officially withdraws from a class or from school after the 7th calendar day of the semester. Official withdrawal from a course or school before the 8th calendar day of the semester results in the deletion of affected courses from the student’s records. The grade W is not used in calculating a student’s GPA. For official withdrawal policies and procedures consult current registration materials distributed from the Registration Office.

V – The grade V (audit) is given for enrollment in courses for instruction without credit.

Pass/Fail and Credit/no Credit option

Effective fall 2009 grades at the S.J. Quinney College of Law shall consist of the following:

Letter Grades – For all courses not included below, students shall receive letter grades.

Pass/Fail – Students shall receive a grade of pass or fail for clinic placements, student-edited journals, moot court board, and theTraynor Moot Court participation. For directed research, students shall receive either a letter grade or a grade of pass or fail, as determined by the instructor. For competitions, students shall receive a grade of pass or fail unless the instructor, in consultation with the associate dean for academic affairs, elects to give letter grades to all students participating in the particular competition.

Credit/No Credit (CR/NC) – Students may elect to take one (1) advanced non-required course for CR/NC. Students may not exercise the CR/NC option in any College of Law required course (e.g., Constitutional Law II, Legal Profession, and any course to fulfill the seminar and skills course requirements) and may take only one course on a CR/NC basis during their law degree program. To receive credit, students must earn a grade of C- or better.

Grade normalization (Curve)

Grades in all courses, except courses mentioned below, with enrollment of more than 15 students shall achieve a mean within the range of 3.10 to 3.30.

The mandatory mean shall not apply to the following:
  • Grades for Judicial Process, and for teaching assistants in the Legal Methods course and the Academic Support Program.
  • By petition of the instructor within one week after the add-drop deadline and approval of the Academic Dean, grades in courses meeting the following requirements: (i) the course has enrollment of 25 students or less; and (ii) in accordance with procedures set forth in the course syllabus, the instructor provides students with extensive formative assessment of their written work designed to result in excellent final work product, such as thorough instructor commentary on one or more successive drafts of a substantial research paper or other major written project upon which the instructor will base students’ final grades.
Before posting grades each semester, all instructors teaching sections of the same first-year course shall confer in an effort to achieve a comparable distribution of grades across all sections. A consistent distribution across sections is a goal, not a requirement, of this consultation.

In all courses to which the mandatory mean set forth above does not apply, instructors are strongly encouraged not to deviate from the 3.10-3.30 mean GPA range unless actual student performance is either unusually strong or unusually weak, and application of the mean would result in grades that either understate or overstate the merits of actual student performance.

A faculty member may give D’s and F’s the same value as a C- solely for purposes of the mean calculation.

Honors

Order of Coif

Top 10%

Highest Honors

3.8 GPA

High Honors

3.6 GPA

Honors

3.4 GPA

Dean’s Award

Awarded to student with highest GPA in class

Faculty Award

Awarded to student with second highest GPA in class

College Award

Awarded to student with third highest GPA in class

Barrister Award

Awarded to student with highest GPA in class

Quinney Award

Awarded to student with second highest GPA in class

Students with the same GPA will receive the same award in the case of ties.

Students graduate with highest honors, high honors and honors based on cumulative GPA at graduation. GPA cut-offs for each designation is decided by the faculty.

Awards

Name of Award

Description

American Bankruptcy Institute Award

Awarded for academic excellence in a bankruptcy-related course or clinic

CALI Award

Awarded for academic excellence in legal education.

Edwin Brown Firmage Student Award

Awarded for academic achievement and an ongoing commitment to international law and human rights

David T. Lewis Clinical Award

Awarded for outstanding achievement in the clinical program

National Association of Women Lawyers Award

Awarded for outstanding devotion to women in law issues

S.J. Quinney College of Law Outstanding Achievement Award

Awarded for the outstanding achievement in each graded course (other than seminars)

Robert Schmid Natural Resources Writing Award

Awarded for the best paper on a natural resources - related topic

Stephen Pierre Traynor Legal Writing Award

Awarded to advanced student for outstanding writing

Utah Civil Rights and Liberties Award

Awarded for the best research paper on the First Amendment

Journals

The following scholarly journals are published by students. Members of the journals are chosen from summer writing competitions following spring semester exams. Non-graded credit may be received for participating on a journal.

The Utah Law Review is a journal of critical analysis and commentary on current legal problems. The law review is a student-run organization, with all editorial and organizational decisions made by student-editors enrolled at the S.J. Quinney College of Law. It publishes four issues throughout the year.

The Journal of Law & Family Studies addresses topics relating to family and juvenile law as well as a broad variety of issues relevant to family law in a broader sense. JLFS publishes articles involving doctrinal, practical, and theoretical issues in family law as well as articles from various related disciplines including sociology, psychology, economics, family and consumer studies, and history. It is published at least twice a year.

The Utah environmental Law Review is a multi-disciplinary journal focusing on natural resources and environmental law and policy. It publishes manuscripts from legal, literary, scientific, and other disciplines concerned with environmental issues. JLREL is committed to promoting public education and dialogue on natural resource and environmental policy. It publishes two issues each year; a fall issue and a spring issue.

Moot Court

The S.J. Quinney College of Law conducts the Traynor Moot Court. It is a one semester class open to all second- and third- year students during the spring semester. Teams of two research and write an appellate brief and participate in multiple rounds of oral argument. Preliminary rounds are judged by members of the local bar and judiciary. The final round is judged by the S.J. Quinney College of Law’s David T. Lewis distinguished jurist in Residence and two other prominent judges. Final rounds are generally held in April.

The top six students from the Traynor Moot Court Competition are invited to represent the S.J. Quinney College of Law in the National Moot Court Competition as third-year students. Finalists in regional competitions advance to the national finals. Team members also receive credit for serving as brief judges of the Traynor Moot Court competition, which uses the same problem.

Clinical Programs

The S.J. Quinney College of Law offers a variety of clinical experiences. Each clinic relies on placing the student with a supervisor to work on real cases. There are two clinics which are offered every term – summer, fall and spring – to develop basic skills for and insights about the practice of law.

The Judicial Clinic places students to serve as “interns” or part-time clerks. Clinic students improve their skills in legal analysis, research, and writing as they carry out legal research and draft opinions on pending cases.

The Civil Clinic is designed to teach essential skills (interviewing, counseling, problem-analysis, negotiation) for the practice of law.

The following clinics focus on particular practice areas or service projects where all students in the class are simultaneously doing clinic work:
  • Criminal Clinic
  • Innocence Clinic
  • New Ventures Clinic
  • Public Policy Practicum
There are a variety of other clinical opportunities that permit students to add a live experience to a related course when that course is taught (or the following term). These include:
  • Environmental Clinic
  • Health Law Clinic
  • International Clinic
  • Legislative Clinic
  • Mediation Clinic
  • Victim’s Rights Clinic
There are a few clinics that are only available to students who have taken the previously taught pre-requisite.
These include:
  • Disability Clinic
  • Elder Law Clinic
There are limited opportunities for student-arranged clinics.

Placement Facts

Starting Salaries (2010 Graduates employed Full-Time)

Graduates known to be employed at graduation

74.6%

Graduates known to be employed nine months after graduation

91.3%

Areas of Legal Practice

Practice employed In

Percentage

Law Firms

57.4%

Business and industry

10.4%

Government

13.9%

Public Interest Organizations

3.5%

Judicial Clerkships

12.2%

Academia

2.6%

Unknown

0%

Externships/Internships

Externships

The paradigmatic one-semester judicial externship is 12 credit hours. Students performing a judicial externship are authorized to take the Judicial Process course, if offered, that semester. It involves regular placement with local judges. The extern program is limited to third-year students. The taking of any other law school course, or participation in any other law school activity or program, for credit while performing a judicial externship requires approval, in advance, from the Clinical Director.

Internships

J. Reuben Clark Law Society Internship Program
Students work approximately six weeks (half the summer) providing service and assistance at a public service agency, private non-profit organization, or on a self-initiated, independent service project mutually agreed upon by the recipient and the selection committee.

Senior Lawyer Volunteer Project Summer Internship
Summer intern serves as a law clerk to the director of the Senior Lawyer Volunteer Project (SLVP), a program of Utah Legal Services, Inc.(ULS). The intern also works with the project paralegal, Utah Legal Services attorneys, and volunteer retired and active attorneys who regularly assist the Project. The internship lasts approximately 9 -10 weeks.

Student organizations
  • American Constitution Society
  • Art Law Alliance
  • ASUU – College of Law
  • Business Law Society
  • Federalist Society
  • Jackie Chiles Law Society
  • J. Reuben Clark Law Society
  • Latter-day Saints Law Student Association
  • Law Students Anonyomuous
  • Minority Law Caucus
  • Native American Law Student Association
  • Natural Resources Law Forum
  • OUTLaws
  • Persian American Legal Society (PALS)
  • Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, International
  • Public Interest Law Organization
  • Student Bar Association
  • Student Intellectual Property Law Association
  • Sports Law Club
  • Women’s Law Caucus
References
  • http://www.law.utah.edu/
  • http://premium.usnews.com/
  • http://www.nalplawschoolsonline.org/
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