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The University of Minnesota Law School, Minneapolis, MN

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In 2005, the school's faculty quality was ranked 21st in the country, according to Brian Leiter's Law School Report. In addition, the school was ranked 19th among the top 100 law schools in the United States in the U.S. News & World Report 2007 Graduate School Ranking.

It's no wonder admissions to the school are competitive. About 2,500 students apply to the law school each year, and about a quarter are accepted. The average LSAT score for admitted students ranges from 160 to 166, and the average GPA is about 3.7.

With a student-faculty ratio of about 12:1, classes typically range in size from six to 116 students. The first-year class, which generally consists of about 260 students, is divided into five sections. The sections meet independently or with other sections for all first-year classes, except legal research and writing; for these courses, the class is subdivided into groups of about 12 to 14 students.

The law school, located in Minneapolis, MN, offers a Juris Doctor (J.D.), Master of Laws (LL.M.), and several joint degrees. Since the school has about 125 faculty members, students can choose from more than 200 courses and seminars. Professors are able to establish personal relationships with their students, and many classes, including the legal writing course, are taught using tutorial instruction. Professors often meet individually with students to provide feedback on the development of their analysis and writing skills.

Second- and third-year students can participate in moot court trials, live-client clinics, and hands-on training opportunities. These programs give students chances to apply the theories learned in class to real-life situations that they will face as attorneys.

The school has eight advanced moot court programs, which are open to all law students. However, second-year law students are required to participate in moot court trials, or mock trials, if they do not contribute to the school's law journals.

More than 60 percent of Minnesota University School of Law students participate in one of the 16 law clinics offered. Each year students provide more than 18,000 hours of pro bono legal services to the Twin Cities community, primarily to lower-income clients. A computer network allows the students, faculty, and support staff to communicate with each other from any location.

Law students have access to some of the best research facilities in the country. The law school is home to the eighth largest library in the country, with more than one million volumes. Also, the Riesenfeld Rare Book Research Center contains one of the top three collections of rare legal texts in the nation.

The law school recently announced the opening of a campus in Beijing, where a summer study program in Chinese law is being offered by the University of Minnesota Law School in conjunction with China University of Political Science and Law. A student can study abroad for an entire semester or during the summer months. International exchange programs are available in France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain, and Sweden, at no additional tuition cost.

The LL.M. program for foreign lawyers is an important part of the school's international law program. Students have the opportunity to learn about the U.S. legal system while interacting with lawyers who practice around the world. The program includes a two-week summer orientation followed by a nine-month program of graduate study in American law after a student has completed his or her legal education in a foreign law school.

About 40 LL.M. students from 20 different countries are currently studying at Minnesota University School of Law. They all enroll in upper-level courses with J.D. students, bringing international perspectives to the classroom.

Dean Alex M. Johnson recently announced his resignation, effective June 2006. In the interim, Co-Deans Guy-Uriel E. Charles and Fred L. Morrison will serve in his place for two years until a permanent replacement is hired.

University of Minnesota Law School


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