University of Connecticut School of Law, Hartford, Connecticut
by Akbar Ali
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Currently, the University of Connecticut is ranked 47th out of 190 ABA-accredited American law schools. Students are admitted each year during the fall semester and may pursue a number of law degrees, including the traditional Juris Doctor and Master of Laws degrees in U.S. legal studies and insurance law.
The University of Connecticut School of Law also offers certificates in intellectual property, tax studies, law and public policy, and human rights in addition to a number of dual degree programs, including J.D./M.B.A. and J.D./LL.M. It has a variety of study-abroad programs as well, in which students may pursue their legal studies in foreign cities such as Aix-en-Provence, Berlin, Dublin, Exeter, Leiden, London, Mannheim, San Juan, Siena, and Tilburg.
The law school offers both day and evening classes, a rarity among top-tier law schools. Admission is considered selective, with the school receiving a total of more than 3,000 applications for both divisions. Roughly 10% will be granted admission, of which 150 will matriculate. The total student body of the night division law school is about half the size of that of the day division.
For the class entering in the 2007-2008 academic year, the 25th- and 75th-percentile LSAT scores for students were 160 and 164, while the 25th- and 75th-percentile undergraduate GPAs were 3.24 and 3.65. Applicants with scores registering below this range generally have better chances of entering into the night division and then transitioning into the day division.
Tuition for state residents is a relatively low $18,230 per year for the 2007-2008 academic year. The cost of one credit for in-state day division students is $730 in 2007-2008 and will go up to $770 in 2008-2009. Non-residents pay more than double the yearly rate — $37,670. Additional expenses, such as housing, parking, and mandatory health insurance, add an extra $10,000 to $15,000 per year.
The first-year J.D. schedule at the University of Connecticut is more relaxed than at other law schools in that students are given more flexibility and variety among 1L requirements. 1L students are also given the opportunity to participate in clinical education. In 2007-2008 the following clinics were made available to students:
Asylum and Human Rights
The school also enjoys a high rate of passage among first-time takers of the bar exam at over 90%, considerably higher than the Connecticut statewide rate of 80%. Employment prospects are also good, with a large number of graduates being recruited into law firms in the Northeast. About 10% find positions in nearby Manhattan. About 95% of graduates are employed within nine months of graduation, with 60% entering private practice. The reported median first-year salary is $70,000.
Because of its strong overseas ties, the law school has hosted a number of visiting professors from locations all over the world, including China, Hungary, Israel, Korea, Russia, and South Africa. The school places high priority on preparing students to "think globally."
The school's campus is also renowned for its physical appeal, which has earned it a spot in the National Register of Historic Places. Many of the campus buildings are in the gothic style, which enhances its appeal as a historic setting. Located two miles from the center of Hartford, the campus's surrounding area offers a diverse and high quality of life for students with a plethora of bars, restaurants, and nightclubs.
Notable alumni include Edward Kennedy Jr. (son of Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy), CEO of ING U.S. Wealth Management Kathleen A. Murphy, President and CEO of The Phoenix Companies Inc. Donna D. Young, and Bessye Bennett, the first African American woman admitted to the Connecticut state bar.
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