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Seattle University School of Law, Seattle, WA

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<<In the words of Dean Kellye Testy, an Indiana University Law School graduate who just finished her second year as dean at SU, "The university mission tells us that learning for its own sake, while important, is not enough. Here we come to understand that the value of learning lies in the ways it equips us to make a difference in this world. The link between academics/theory/study and practice/action/social activism [...] permeates all we do—from the way we teach classes to the co-curricular activities we sponsor, from the students we admit to the faculty we hire." The 10,000 graduates of Seattle University School of Law can be found in all 50 states and sectors.

The law school's student-to-faculty ratio is 15.6:1. The faculty (comprised of 70 full-time and 102 adjunct professors) is one of distinction, ranking among the top 50 in scholarly publications. The student population of 1,000 is diverse, coming from all educational backgrounds and careers, some 40 U.S. states, and 12 other countries. Moreover, many law students are first-generation college graduates (as is the dean, herself).

The law school is housed in an award-winning building, Sullivan Hall, whose light-filled spaces make the most of Seattle's often-gray days. The building includes a cutting-edge courtroom for moot court competitions and classroom demonstrations, as well as a street-front legal clinic right in the facility. The school's state-of-the-art technology fills the classrooms and study rooms, the library, and the courts. (Remember, Seattle is the home of Bill Gates' 65,000-square-foot house and Microsoft; nothing is old-generation.)

Students can specialize in one of 14 legal areas, including business, civil advocacy, commercial law, criminal practice, environmental law, estate planning, family law, health law, intellectual property, international law, labor and employment, poverty law, real estate, and tax law. Programs and organizations of particular note include:

  • Legal Research and Writing, a program the ABA has singled out as the best in the nation, and a clinical program that the ABA awarded with the E. Smythe Gambrell Award for Professionalism.
  • The Center on Corporations, Law, and Society, whose mission is "enhanced scholarly inquiry and sustained discussion among academics, legal practitioners, business leaders, activists, policy makers, and community members on the complex and important relationships between business enterprises and their many stakeholders."
  • The Access to Justice Institute, which connects the law school to the community at large, collaborates with hundreds of attorneys, judges, and advocates from every field, and draws more than 300 student volunteers each year.
  • The Indian Institute for Estate Planning and Probate, which provides free or reduced-cost estate-planning services to tribes under the auspices of the Indian Land Tenure Trust.
  • Rights of Alaskan Natives and Environmental Law, a collaborative effort with the University of Alaska-Anchorage.
Seattle, once known as a low-key city with cheap electricity and the Space Needle built for the 1962 World's Fair, has become infamous as the originator of grunge and the site of World Bank riots, as well as the original Starbucks, which still exists in the legendary Pike Place Market. The Pacific Northwest's legal and business center, Seattle has metamorphosed into the sophisticated urban nexus of a sprawling, 3.2-million-person metropolitan area.

Unfortunately, along with the city's popularity comes relatively expensive housing. According to one study, Seattle's housing costs rank above those of all other U.S. cities except for the obvious cities at the very top (New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, and Honolulu). Nevertheless, Seattle continues to focus on ways to preserve a humane environment of parks, bike paths, and walking trails—and the scenery and roses in January more than make up for its often-cloudy weather.

Additionally, Seattle's many art museums and galleries, orchestras, Pacific Science Museum, range of restaurants and coffee shops, ferry boats, and 1,000 wi-fi sites make it practically perfect. Located on Puget Sound, with a view of Mount Rainier (on clear days) and three lakes within its borders on which sailboats run rampant, Seattle is manifestly the archetypical livable city.

Seattle University School of Law is fully accredited by the American Bar Association and holds full membership in the Association of American Law Schools.

Browse here to get latest legal jobs near Seattle location.

Seattle University School of Law


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