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The University of Minnesota Law School is more than a century old. The law school focuses on providing its students theoretical and practical training. The law school has launched a new curriculum. Its new curriculum focuses on how law shapes and transforms the foundation of a society. It exposes students to several different perspectives in exploration of such present-day issues as the role of law in economic development, the legislative response to prison overcrowding, the international response to global warming, and the untangling of legal complexities in modern financial transactions.
The law school offers several cutting-edge legal concentrations with other University of Minnesota programs. Students can specialize in such fields as Health Law and Bioethics, Human Rights Law, Business Law, and Labor and Employment Law. Its clinics cover subjects from bankruptcy to domestic assault to immigration. Research institutes and its program in Law and History provide important scholastic and community opportunities to explore legal application and responsibilities within a range of real-world issues and challenges. The law school publishes both student-edited and faculty-edited scholarly journals.
The library has collections of foreign, comparative and international law, and international human rights. It also maintains a magnificent collection of rare books and other valuable legal materials, and is a national leader in the integration of electronic resources into a traditional legal research environment.
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.
Approximate number of applications
The above admission details are based on fall 2011 data.
Class Ranking and Grades
The Registrar’s Office computes class ranks for each class on the basis of cumulative grade point average after all available spring semester grades are entered.
Class ranks are computed but not revealed to students or others except (1) for qualification for Order of the Coif, although ranking is not disclosed to students, (2) for the limited purpose of application for judicial clerkships or academic teaching positions, and (3) for a law school graduate applying for any position that requires release of a rank. The law school grading scale is as follows:
Excellent to outstanding performance
Substantially better than adequate through very good performance
Minimally acceptable through adequate and somewhat above adequate performance
A notation of incomplete, or I, will be entered for any course, seminar, or credited exercise when, due to extraordinary circumstances (as determined by the instructor or Dean), the student who has successfully completed a substantial portion of the course’s work with a passing grade was prevented from completing the work of the course on time.
All transcript notations for incomplete work will convert to an “F”, and the student’s grade point average adjusted accordingly, if the work is not completed and a final grade submitted by the instructor within one year of the end of the semester of enrolment of the exercise.
A notation of “X” may be assigned to indicate continuation of a course, seminar, or other credited exercise that has not concluded at the end of the semester of enrollment, especially for exercises that last longer than one semester, but are not assigned a final grade until the conclusion of the entire course sequence.
Under the Pass/Fail, or “P/F”, grading basis, a student receives credit for the exercise only if he or she receives a Pass, which indicates minimally acceptable performance. Pass grades do not impact grade point average calculation.
Under the Pass/Fail/Honors, or “P/F/H”, grading basis, a student receives credit for the exercise for either a Pass, which indicates minimally acceptable performance, or Honors, which indicates excellent performance. Pass and Honors grades do not impact grade point average calculation. Failing grades do factor into grade point average calculation.
Under an Audit, or “V”, grading basis, a student is permitted to attend class sessions, but does not receive credit. Audits are rarely permitted at the law school and only with instructor approval and if the course has open seats. Audit marks have no impact on grade point average calculation. Students registered on an audit basis are not required to complete course assignments or sit for exams.
Grades which are accepted for credit from any source outside of the law school, including courses in other parts of this University or transfer credit, will be treated as credit (T) for this purpose, and will not be used in calculating the grade point average.
Grade normalization (Curve)
The University of Minnesota Law School faculty imposes a standard distribution for all first-year classes; the average (mean) for first-year classes is between 3.0 and 3.330. Any faculty member with an upper-class course with an enrollment of more than 25 is encouraged to grade that course so that the average (mean) grade is between 3.0 and 3.330.
Minimum GPAs Required (Based on May 2010 graduation class)
Minimum GPA required to fall within the top 25% of the class
3.599 - 4.150
Minimum GPA required to fall within the top 50% of the class
3.426 - 3.598
Minimum GPA required to fall within the top 75% of the class
3.229 - 3.425
Minimum GPA required for graduation
The University of Minnesota Law School confers the following honors:
The Minnesota Law Review is a student-edited journal that publishes articles on the entire spectrum of legal topics as well as the intersections between law and other fields. The Law Review also publishes student notes and case comments. The Minnesota Law Review Foundation publishes the journal six times per year.
Law and Inequality: A Journal of Theory and Practice was founded in 1981 to examine the social impact of law on disadvantaged people. It publishes articles by legal scholars and practitioners, law students, and non-lawyers. Members of the staff for the student-edited journal are selected on the basis of their writing abilities and their commitment to eliminating inequality. Editors are elected from among staff members to serve during their third year in law school. It publishes twice a year.
A student editorial board directs the publication of both professional and student articles in the Minnesota Journal of International Law. After 14 years as the Minnesota Journal of Global Trade, publishing studies of economic policy and international trade law from its inception, the Minnesota Journal of International Law now publishes articles on issues relating to global trade as well as articles covering other areas of international law. It is broadening its scope in recognition of the changes in the world legal system and the increased blurring of the line between trade law and other international legal disciplines.
The Minnesota Journal of Law, Science & Technology is a cutting-edge, multidisciplinary journal with a focus on law, health, the sciences, and bioethics. It is edited by faculty and students with a faculty editorial advisory board drawn from across the University of Minnesota. The journal tackles issues pertaining to intellectual property, technology policy and innovation, bioethics, and law and science while maintaining a rigorous grounding in law, values, and policy. Formerly the Minnesota Intellectual Property Review, the journal is overseen and managed by the University of Minnesota Consortium on Law and Values in Health, Environment, and the Life Sciences.
Constitutional Commentary, a faculty-edited journal founded in 1984, features essays on constitutional law developments. It also features review essays, book reviews, and a popular column titled “But cf….” that offers “interesting and sometimes amusing tidbits from judicial opinions, old law reviews, and historical works.”
Crime and Justice: A Review of Research, founded in 1977, is a refereed hardcover journal specializing in the publication of review essays on topical research or policy subjects relating to crime and criminal justice.
The ABA Journal of Labor & employment Law has been published from the law school since 2009. The editorial work on the journal is a faculty-student collaboration. The journal provides balanced discussions of current developments in labor and employment law to meet the practical needs of attorneys, judges, administrators, and the public. The journal is the publication of the American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law.
The moot court programs at the University of Minnesota Law School train students in written and oral advocacy. Students are given mock problems and required to argue their cases to appellate courts. They are taught substantive principles, communication skills, and clinical skills to train them in analyzing and communicating about legal issues.
Second- and third-year students can bid to participate in the following moot court competitions:
The Civil Rights Moot Court
The Environmental Law Moot Court
The Intellectual Property Moot Court
The International Law Moot Court
The Maynard Pirsig Moot Court
The National Moot Court
The Wagner Labor Law Moot Court
The University of Minnesota Law School’s clinics provide second- and third-year law students with unique educational opportunities. Students enrolled in the clinics develop professional skills through a combination of theoretical classroom instruction and practical application in simulations and live cases. Under the Student Practice Rule adopted by the Minnesota Supreme Court, clinic students are permitted to represent clients in actual court and administrative agency proceedings under the supervision of clinical faculty. Currently, the school offers clinical courses in the following areas of practice:
Child Advocacy/Juvenile Justice
Civil Rights Enforcement
Criminal Defense Appeals
Criminal Prosecution Appeals
Environmental Sustainability: Energy Policy
Environmental Sustainability: Land Use Policy
Human Rights Litigation and International Legal Advocacy
Immigration and Human Rights Law
Indian Child Welfare
Misdemeanor Defense/Prosecution (combined)
Phillip C. Carruthers Public Interest Law Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi Civil Practice
Ronald M. Mankoff Tax
Special Education Law
Graduates known to be employed nine months after graduation
Areas of Legal Practice
Graduates employed In
Business and Industry
Public Interest Organizations
The University of Minnesota School of Law’s Judicial externship Program allows students to serve as part-time law clerks for one semester. Positions are available with federal district, bankruptcy, and magistrate judges, with state court of appeals and district court judges, and with tribal courts. In addition, students periodically attend a one hour seminar in which readings on the judicial process are discussed and view a judicial training session.
In the Corporate externship, students experience the transactional work of corporate legal departments. This summer program consists of 150 hours during the 8-week summer session. Some of the areas of law are corporate governance, human resources, sales (vendor and supplier agreements), SEC filings and documents, international and comparative law, finance, and intellectual property. This program is available to students who have completed the 2L year.
In the Public Interest Law externship, students with an interest in public service gain experience with poverty law issues or employment legal aid.
The law school sponsors a limited number of internships at regional offices of the National Labor Relations Board and the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission. Students participating in these internship programs have independent responsibility for investigating violations of law under the supervision of experienced government attorneys administering the principal federal labor and employment law statutes.
American Bar Association (ABA)
American Constitution Society (ACS)
Animal Law Society (ALS/SALDF)
Asian Pacific American Law Student Association (APALSA)
Asylum Law Project
Black Law Students Association (BLSA)
Business Law Association (BLA)
Capital Management Student Association (CMSA)
Criminal Justice League (CJL)
Environmental Law Society (ELS)
Federal Bar Association (FBA)
The Federalist Society
Fighting Mondales Hockey Club
Gamma Eta Gamma
Health Law & Bioethics Association (HLBA)
Indian Services Project (ISP)
International Law Society (ILS)
International Negotiations Project (INP)
Jewish Law Students Association (JLSA)
Latino Law Students Alliance (LLSA)
Law School Armed Forces Association
Law School Democrats (LSD)
Law Students for Reproductive Justice (LSRJ)
Litigation and Trial Advocacy Group (LTAG)
Middle Eastern Affairs Legal Society (MEALS)
Minnesota Justice Foundation (MJF)
Muslim Law Students Association (MLSA)
Native American Law Student Association (NALSA)
New Orleans Legal Assistance- MN (NOLA)
Older Wiser Law Students (OWLS)
Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, International (P.A.D.)
South Asian Law Students Association (SALSA)
Sports Law Association (SLA)
St. Thomas More Society
Student Employment and Labor Law Association (SELLA)
Student Intellectual Property Law Association (SIPLA)
Theatre of the Relatively Talentless (TORT)
West Bank Brewing Association (WLSA)
Women’s Law Student Association (WLSA)
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