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University of Nebraska College of Law

published October 11, 2004

Carina Zaragoza
( 14 votes, average: 4.5 out of 5)
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Founded more than 100 years ago, the University of Nebraska College of Law was one of the first law schools in the country to be accredited by the American Bar Association. The college has a rich and impressive history. The first dean, Manoah B. Reese, was a former justice of the Nebraska Supreme Court. One of the early deans, Roscoe Pound, later became dean at Harvard Law School. Subsequent deans continually raised the bar for admission and requirements to earn the degree. A history of high standards and a distinguished administration set the standard for the excellent legal education the college provides its students. However, there is still much room for flexibility and diversity within the traditional program.

The University of Nebraska College of Law understands the intense application process and the skills needed to become a successful law student and eventually a successful attorney. To assist prospective students, the college's website features "How to Prepare for Law School." This page is an in-depth survey of the skills successful attorneys need, the undergraduate courses a prospective student should ideally take, the importance of extracurricular activities, and the variety of paths one can embark upon with law degree in hand. For those who are considering law school but still have questions, the college's "How to Prepare for Law School" is an invaluable resource. Students who are considering the University of Nebraska College of Law will be happy to know that the employment rate for students who graduate from the College is consistently above the national average. Last year, the employment rate was 94% six months after graduation. The employment rate was as high as 99% in 2002. A degree from the University of Nebraska College of Law opens many doors.

The University of Nebraska College of Law consists of many student organizations. These organizations and activities provide students with an opportunity to become more involved in the college and the community, to promote common goals, to share common experiences, and sometimes just to kick back, relax, and enjoy their free time. Organizations such as the American Trial Lawyers' Association and the Nebraska Association of Trial Attorneys provide students with an opportunity to gain valuable insight into the trial practice work of an attorney and learn about the court system. On the other hand, the Student Bar Association (SBA) coordinates the professional, social, and extracurricular activities of the student body. The SBA serves a variety of purposes, which include representing the student body to the faculty and administration, organizing community service and academic activities, and hosting family and social events at various times throughout the year. Thus, the student organizations at the University of Nebraska College of Law foster service, education, and community.

The University of Nebraska College of Law has nearly 8,000 alumni. Many of them are distinguished in their fields. Distinguished alumni include five former governors, 50 presidents of state bar associations, and senior partners in law firms from New York City to Los Angeles. These alumni are a close-knit group with strong ties to the school and each other. The Alumni Council promotes monthly events that offer alumni networking opportunities and, more important, a chance to catch up and reminisce about old times. Alumni continue the feeling of camaraderie they encountered as law students.

The University of Nebraska College of Law offers the traditional Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree. Instruction is given by the case method, which involves interactive dialogue between students and their instructors and serves as the foundation of legal education at the college. The goal is to explore the relationship between law on the books and law in action. The college also offers a Master of Legal Studies (M.L.S.) degree. A M.L.S. is designed for individuals who are not interested in practicing law but who are interested in developing a better understanding of the law as it affects their non-legal careers or areas of interest. The program is jointly administered by the College of Law and the Graduate College.

Aside from academic programs, the University of Nebraska College of Law offers the best in intellectual life to supplement its curriculum. The college has participated in the National Trial Competition for several years. The competition is designed to emphasize and promote trial skills. The college is represented by two teams of students who present full jury trials in competition with students from other law schools at regional and national contests. This competition provides an excellent opportunity for students to improve their litigation skills and to learn from students at other law schools. An important aspect of an attorney's work is client counseling. The Client Counseling Competition fosters these skills. Working from a brief memorandum which states the client counseling problem, the students interview the client, evaluate the situation, and recommend ways to deal with the problem. The College holds local competitions, and the winners then go on to compete nationally.

The University of Nebraska College of Law has it all: a rich and proud history, a solid legal curriculum, student support, and the closeness of a family. The beautiful Nebraska landscape and the excitement of Lincoln provide a great background for a wonderful and sound legal learning experience.

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