One of the country’s top public law schools, the University of Minnesota Law School is a leader in preparing students to solve the complex social, economic and business issues of our time. Our exceptional faculty, innovative curriculum and unmatched clinical and experiential learning opportunities equip students for the demands of the 21st century.
We are distinguished by a rare collegial culture that emphasizes teamwork, problem solving, leadership and persuasion. Students learn to think analytically, to identify the core element of a complex problem and to develop real-world solutions—skills that are essential beyond law school for all fields of employment. Public service is at our core. Our students embrace it, our faculty and staff reinforce it, and our community benefits from it.
Our faculty includes some of the most accomplished and productive scholars in the world in business law, criminal justice, international law and human rights, and law, science and technology. A large, active network of alumni in the Twin Cities and around the globe is eager to mentor, teach and hire our students.
The Law School draws a talented, diverse student body from every part of the United States and numerous countries.
The Law School benefits from being part of one of the largest research institutions in the world and its location in vibrant and diverse Minneapolis/St. Paul, which annually ranks as one of the most affordable, livable and literate metropolitan areas in the country. With 16 Fortune 500 companies, federal and state courts, and the state capitol just minutes away, the University of Minnesota is located in one of the best places in the country to experience law in action.
The law faculty and the Board of Regents have adopted the following Mission Statement for the Law School:
The mission of the University of Minnesota Law School is to provide high quality legal education:
|Director of admissions||Robin Ingli|
|Application deadline||July 15|
|Approximate number of applications||1960|
|Tuition and fees Full-time:||$43,244 per year (in-state)
$51,590 per year (out-of-state)
|Room and board||$12,320|
Students and alumni of the University of Minnesota Law School represent an elite, talented and well-rounded population of professionals. We draw a talented, diverse student body from every part of the United States and numerous countries. The median LSAT score is in the top 10% nationwide and median GPA is 3.79. The Law School’s bar passage rates are among the highest in the nation. Our alumni work in every state and in more than 53 countries around the globe, serving as active mentors for our students.
The Law School has a standard distribution for grades in order to prevent grade inflation. For first year courses, the average (mean) of all grades in a given course must fall between a 3.000 (“B”) and a 3.333 (“B+”). The same curve is encouraged for upper division lecture courses.
The law school grading scale is as follows:
The University of Minnesota Law School confers the following honors:
|Dean’s List||Dean’s List honors are granted annually by the Dean’s Office to recognize students’ academic performance. The “A” Dean’s List honors are conferred on students whose grade point average was 3.667 or above for the previous academic year. Standard Dean’s List honors are conferred on students whose grade point average was between 3.333 and 3.666 for the previous academic year.|
|Order of the Coif||Members of the student body in the top 10 percent of the graduating J.D. class are eligible for election to the Order of the Coif.
Order of the Coif requires that at least 75 percent of a student’s credits toward degree requirements be in “graded courses” that count toward the J.D. GPA. Thus, eligibility for Order of the Coif requires a minimum of 66 total graded Law credits earned in coursework at the University of Minnesota Law School. Due to this restriction, transfer students who receive credit for a significant number of courses taken at a previous institution will not be eligible for election to Order of the Coif. This limitation may also impact the eligibility of some joint and dual degree students who take a larger proportion of courses in their partner program.
|Summa Cum Laude||Top 1% of the graduating J.D. class and any other students with a GPA of 4.000 or higher.|
|Magna Cum Laude||Top 15% of the graduating J.D. class.|
|Cum Laude||Top 40% of the graduating J.D. class.|
|Name of Award||Awarded for/to|
|American Bankruptcy Institute 2015 Medal of Excellence||Awarded to the student with the highest demonstrated propensity and interest in bankruptcy law.|
|American Bar Association-Bloomberg Bureau of National Affairs Award Program for Excellence in Health Law||Honors one or more graduating students who have demonstrated superior academic performance and an interest in the field of Health Law.|
|American Law Institute—Continuing Legal Education 2016 Scholarship & Leadership Award||Recognized graduating law students who best represent the qualities of the American Law Institute, a combination of scholarly excellence and professional leadership.|
|Steven M. Block Prize||Most outstanding paper or article by a graduating student in the area of civil rights and/or civil liberties. The prize honors the late University of Minnesota Law Professor Steven M. Block.|
|University of Minnesota Human Rights Law Award||Recognizes one or more law graduates who have made significant contributions to scholarship and/or service in the human rights field.|
|Sidney J. Kaplan Legal Scholarship Fund||Awarded to a graduate for outstanding performance as decided by the Dean or committee appointed by the Dean.|
|Ralph M. McCareins Antitrust Prize||Annual award given to a second-year law student with the highest examination grade in antitrust.|
|Minnesota Journal of International Law Outstanding Editor Award||Recognizes the editor who demonstrated an outstanding dedication to the Journal by coordinating well with staffers, producing quality work, and engaging with the executive board to make the publication process more efficient and effective.|
|Minnesota Journal of Law, Science & Technology Outstanding Editor Award||Recognizes the Journal editor who exhibited outstanding dedication, fulfilled his/her duties with enthusiasm, and delivered consistent and superior work throughout his/her participation on the journal.|
|Mondale Hall Engagement Award||Recognizes graduating students who have enriched the Law School through student initiatives, activities, mentorship, and service to their peers, the Law School, and the community.|
|National Association of Women Lawyers Award||Honors a graduating student who best contributes to the advancement of women in society; promotes issues and concerns of women in the legal profession; exhibits motivation, tenacity and enthusiasm; demonstrates high academic achievement; and earns the respect of Law School classmates and community.|
|FBA 2015 Donald C. Alexander Writing Competition||Recognizes a law student author of an original paper on the subject of federal taxation. The award honors the late Don Alexander, who served as IRS Commissioner and was an admired role model for writing skills and style in the area of tax law throughout his career.|
|American Bar Association Journal of Labor and Employment Law (JLEL) Awards||JLEL provides balanced discussions of current developments in labor and employment law to meet the practical needs of attorneys, judges, administrators, and the public.|
|JLEL Best 2L Article Award||Given to the second-year staffer who wrote an insightful, relevant, and novel article that adds value to legal professionals in the labor and employment field.|
|JLEL Best Best 2L Editor Award||Given to the second-year staffer who displays excellence in substantive editing and technical cite-checking.|
|JLEL Best 3L Managing Editor Award||Given to the second year staffer who displays excellence in substantive editing and technical cite-checking.|
|Bernard P. Becker Legal Services Staff Award||Recognizes attorneys, paralegals, administrators, and law students who demonstrated commitment to the provision of zealous and skilled legal representation for low-income eligible clients.|
|Peggy Browning Fellowship||The Peggy Browning Fund sponsors this 10-week Summer Fellowship program at labor-related organizations around the country.|
|Class of 2016 Excellence in Public Service Award||Honors the graduating student who most distinguished his or her commitment to public service during the past three years through participation in formal and informal public service roles in the Law School and the legal and non-legal community.|
|Class of 2016 Most Outstanding Contribution Award||Honors the graduating student who distinguished his or herself by contributing the most to the 3L class during the past three years through (1) outstanding class participation; (2) outstanding involvement in academic programs; (3) outstanding participation and leadership in extracurricular activities; and (4) outstanding enhancement of the Law School experience for all members of the Class of 2016.|
|Clinical Legal Education Association Outstanding Student Award||Presented by the Clinical Legal Education Association to a law student who has excelled in a clinical course through excellence in field work, excellence in the seminar component, and contribution to the clinical community.|
|Cooper Fellowship||Fellowships established by Professor Laura Cooper and her husband, Benjamin Cooper, to provide University of Minnesota law students the experience of working with the expert attorneys of Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid to provide legal representation to low-income and vulnerable members of our community.|
|Harold Will Cox Award||Awarded to the student(s) with the best oral arguments during the Maynard Pirsig Oral Honors Tournament.|
|Federal Bar Association Foundation’s Judge Edward J. Devitt Award||Given to a third-year student who has excelled in the study of federal law and practice. The award honors the memory of Judge Edward J. Devitt, who contributed significantly to the federal legal system in Minnesota.|
|2015 International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Student Writing Competition||Honors law student original writing on the theme, “The Intersection of International Humanitarian Law and Gender.” The competition is sponsored by the Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at American University Washington College of Law, The American Society of International Law’s Lieber Society, and the IHL program of the American Red Cross.|
|Journal of Law and Inequality Outstanding Editor Award||Recognizes the editor of the Journal who exhibited outstanding dedication, fulfilled duties with enthusiasm, and delivered consistent and superior work throughout participation on the journal.|
|Dorothy O. Lareau Writing Award||Awarded to a second-year student with the best brief in the Maynard Pirsig Moot Court tournament. Also awarded to the best brief written in each first-year legal writing section.|
|Lockhart Award for Excellence in Scholarship, Leadership and Service||Awarded to a third-year student who best exemplifies the combined qualities of excellent scholarship, leadership, and service.|
|Minnesota Intellectual Property Association Award||Presented to one or more 3L students who have demonstrated interest and achievement in Intellectual Property Law.|
|Minnesota Law Review Volumes 35 & 36 Memorial Award||Excellence in Writing Awards for excellence in student writing among Minnesota Law Review staff or editors.|
|Robina Public Interest Scholars||The Robina Public Interest Scholar Program, funded by the Robina Foundation, awards grants to students at the University of Minnesota Law School working in unpaid summer public interest internships and who display a life-long dedication to public interest work.|
|Dr. Matthew Stark Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Student Award||Student has shown a unique and demonstrable contribution to the democratic process in one or more of the areas of social justice, civil liberties, civil rights, or public education through their research, teaching, outreach, or community engagement.|
|Justice John Paul Stevens Fellowship||The Justice John Paul Stevens Fellowship, which honors Justice Stevens’ lifelong dedication to improving the justice system, awards grants to students working in unpaid summer public interest internships.|
|Stinson Leonard Street Law Review Award||Awarded to Minnesota Law Review board members who demonstrate an ability to write, analyze legal problems, and provide realistic legal solutions in a Note or Comment that is published in the Minnesota Law Review during the student’s third year.|
|University of Minnesota’s President’s Student Leadership and Service Award||The President’s Student Leadership & Service Award recognizes the accomplishments and contributions of outstanding student leaders at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. It is presented to approximately one-half of one percent of the student body for their exceptional leadership and service to the University of Minnesota and the surrounding community.|
|Kent Wennerstrom Award||For outstanding contributions by a student clinic director.|
The Law School is one of few law schools with student-edited, faculty-edited, and student- and faculty-edited scholarly journals. Students can satisfy legal writing requirements and gain valuable legal writing experience by participating on a journal.
Minnesota Law Review: In January 1917, Professor Henry J. Fletcher launched the Minnesota Law Review with lofty aspirations: “A well-conducted law review . . . ought to do something to develop the spirit of statesmanship as distinguished from a dry professionalism. It ought at the same time contribute a little something to the systematic growth of the whole law.” For the next forty years, in conjunction with the Minnesota State Bar Association, the faculty of the University of Minnesota Law School directed the work of student editors of the Law Review. Despite their initial oversight and vision, however, the faculty gradually handed the editorial mantle over to law students.
During the years 1954 and 1955, the “Faculty” editors left the masthead of the journal, the affiliation with the State Bar was severed, and the faculty Editor-in-Chief quietly assumed the role of “advisor.” From April 1955 through June 1989, a student President oversaw the publication. Then, in October of 1989, the student staff revived the role of Editor-in-Chief, a title now worn by a student. Today, the Board of Editors, consisting of up to thirty-nine editors, governs the Law Review and determines its policies and procedures. Along with thirty-eight student staff members, each Board of Editors strives to rise to the challenge of Professor Fletcher to “contribute a little something to the systematic growth of the whole law.”
Minnesota Journal of International Law: The Minnesota Journal of International Law is a student-led publication at the University of Minnesota Law School. We aspire to be a leader in the multidisciplinary study of international and comparative law. The Journal annually publishes two print volumes and one online edition. Each publication consists of articles and notes relating to various topics in international law, including international politics, trade and economics, human rights, and humanitarian law. Our authors range from international scholars, legal experts to our very own student staff members.
Student staff members are selectively chosen after completing a competitive two week petition process. Incoming staff members are responsible for assisting in the editing process of publication. Staff members also spend many hours writing their own articles – either a “note” or a “comment” – which they are then able to submit for publication. After spending one year as staffers, students are promoted to editorial positions. Editors work diligently to ensure the Journal remains a respected and qualified source of international law. Our staffers and editors play a key role in the Journal’s success and are an integral part of the Journal’s future.
On this website, you can find PDFs of the Journal’s previous publications divided by volume and issue numbers. In addition, staff members and editors will begin submitting blog posts here to share their experiences and knowledge of numerous topics in international law. We are lucky to have such a diverse and talented group of law students and are excited to share our talents and interests with the world.
Law and Inequality: On this website, you can find PDFs of the Journal’s previous publications divided by volume and issue numbers. In addition, staff members and editors will begin submitting blog posts here to share their experiences and knowledge of numerous topics in international law. We are lucky to have such a diverse and talented group of law students and are excited to share our talents and interests with the world.
Constitutional Commentary: Constitutional Commentary was founded in 1984 and is one of the few faculty-edited law journals in the country. It enjoys a wide following among legal scholars, historians, political scientists and others interested in constitutional law and history. Part of its popularity is due to the editors’ preference for “shorter and less ponderous articles” as opposed to the more lengthy and heavily footnoted articles found in traditional law reviews.
The University of Minnesota Law School publishes Constitutional Commentary three times a year. Subscription: 1 year, $34.00 (U.S.); $42 (International); single copies of issues in the current volume, $14.00. Subscriptions are automatically renewed upon expiration unless a request for discontinuance is received.
Crime and Justice: Since 1979 the Crime and Justice series has presented a review of the latest international research, providing expertise to enhance the work of sociologists, psychologists, criminal lawyers, justice scholars, and political scientists. The series explores a full range of issues concerning crime, its causes, and its cures. In both the review and the thematic volumes, Crime and Justice offers an interdisciplinary approach to address core issues in criminology.
ABA Journal of Labor & Employment Law: In 2009, the University of Minnesota Law School became the new editorial home of the ABA Journal of Labor & Employment Law (formerly The Labor Lawyer), the publication of the American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law.
Published since 1985, 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’s circulation includes the 20,000 members of the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law.
Minnesota Journal of Law, Science & Technology (MJLST): The Minnesota Journal of Law, Science & Technology is a cutting-edge multidisciplinary journal focusing on law, health, the sciences, and bioethics. The journal is edited by law students with the support of a Faculty Editorial Advisory Board drawn from across the University of Minnesota. MJLST tackles issues in 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.
With 24 diverse clinics, the University of Minnesota Law School offers students many opportunities to hone their legal skills and gain real-world experience with clients in a supportive setting. More than 50% of our students participate in at least one clinic program.
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 clinic faculty.
Starting Salaries (2015 Graduates Employed Full-Time)
|Private sector (25th-75th percentile)||$97,500 - $135,000|
|Median in the private sector||$115,500|
|Median in public service||$49,500|
|Graduates known to be employed at graduation||64.8%|
|Graduates known to be employed ten months after graduation||72.5%|
|Graduates Employed In||Percentage|
|Business and Industry||13.8%|
|Public Interest Organizations||8.5%|
In this program, students are placed in company law departments to experience the work of in-house counsel. The student will receive 3 credits for 150 hours, to be completed over a 6 to 8 week period. Students will work with substantive areas of law such as corporate policies and codes of conduct, employment law, vendor and supplier agreements, SEC filings and documents, international and comparative law, finance, and intellectual property. Students will also participate in or observe meetings, telephone or video conferences, and company events to experience day-to-day work of in-house counsel.
The instructor matches students and companies using a questionnaire. Students also attend two on-campus workshops and complete written assignments, including journals of their experiences. This class is available to students who have completed the 2L year.
Human Trafficking Externship
Registration in Law 6046 Sem: Human Trafficking is required to enroll in this externship. Students gain a practical experience by participating in an externship at a human trafficking-related placement and apply the classroom lessons in the legal work place.
The Judicial Externship class provides an opportunity for students to learn about both lawyering and judging by observing and participating in the work of a judge and his or her staff. Which judges and courts participate varies each term, but externships are typically available with federal magistrate-judges and with judges at the federal district court, federal court of appeals, federal bankruptcy court, state trial court, state court of appeals, state tax court, and American Indian tribal courts. State trial court placements are with judges handling criminal, civil, family, or juvenile court matters and with problem-solving courts (e.g., drug court). Externships may also be available at the Office of Administrative Hearings and with the federal Immigration Court. Separate application to those courts is required; watch for notice about placement possibilities through the Career Office.
Federal court placements (Federal District Court, Federal Magistrate-Judges, and Federal Court of Appeals) are made using an application process that occurs a few months before the start of the term. Notification will be sent to all students about deadlines for applying. For the rest of the placements, students registered for the class will be asked to complete a form specifying their preferences and to submit a resume, transcript, and cover letter to be used in the placement process. Students will be assigned based on their requests and the judges’ needs. After placement, each student arranges a work schedule with the assigned judge and his or her staff. Students are encouraged to arrange their class schedules to have several large blocks of time available for fieldwork; free mornings are especially important for attending court hearings.
Fieldwork in chambers generally includes both substantive assignments in research and writing and observation of court proceedings. Substantive assignments will depend upon the nature of the court’s calendar and may include such work as preparing a memorandum or proposed order and decision on a summary judgment motion, summarizing and evaluating deposition testimony, or researching substantive legal issues raised in a motion, trial, or appeal. Students may observe a variety of proceedings, ranging from settlement conferences to motions hearings to trials to appellate arguments. They may be proceedings conducted in cases for which the student is performing research or they may be part of unrelated cases. The precise nature of the assignments and observation opportunities in chambers is at the discretion of the judge and the judge’s staff.
Students may elect to register for 2 credits (100 hours of work, including fieldwork in chambers) or 3 credits (150 hours of work, including fieldwork in chambers).
Students will document and reflect on their fieldwork in journals and will interact with the instructor and with other students in the class through periodic group or individual meetings. During the summer, some meetings may occur via web technology.
Initial enrollment is limited to ensure placement, but students on the waiting list will be added to the class as the number of confirmed judicial assignments increases.
Nonprofits and Public Sectors Externship
In this externship course, students acquire legal experience in nonprofit and public sectors under the supervision of practicing attorneys. The course has two parts: a two-credit graded seminar, and a two-credit externship graded on a pass, fail, honors basis. When registering for the externship course, students are automatically enrolled in the seminar. A course pre- or co-requisite is Professional Responsibility.
The course is designed to stimulate and integrate learning in three venues: a law office; the classroom; and personal research and work production space. For the externship component, each student is placed at an approved site and directed to report to an on-site supervisor. Over the semester, students should expect to devote 10 hours per week to work at or for their placement.
Placements may be made at nonprofits, government agencies, public interest organizations, or in law firm pro bono programs. A non-competitive application identifying the student’s interests and any specific placement requests is required at the time of registration. Classroom time will be devoted to attaining the course learning objectives, which include: skill building in professional to professional interactions; leadership; office infrastructure and management; strategic problem solving; and reflective practice; contextual substantive law and ethics; systemic analysis; and lawyer’s role and career development. A significant written work product as well as guided reflections journals will be required. There is no final exam.
Minnesota Law Public Interest Residency Externship
The Minnesota Law Public Interest Residency Program is a new program established by Allen (‘56) and Linda Saeks that connects leading public interest and government organizations with high-achieving 3L students. Students work full-time during their third year of law school for a nonprofit or government agency and have a guaranteed, full-time, paid legal position with the same organization the year following graduation. This innovative model provides students with valuable legal training while providing the organizations with much-needed legal work. <
Summer Internships & Post-Graduate Fellowships
The Robina Foundation provides funding for numerous summer and post-graduate fellowships in public interest work. Fellowship and clerkship opportunities are also available through the Minnesota Justice Foundation, Equal Justice America, Equal Justice Works, Peggy Browning Fund, and many others. Clerkships with district, tribal, and federal courts are also available both locally and nationally.
The Human Rights Center’s Fellowship Program also offers selected fellows the opportunity to spend the summer working in the field of human rights and international law, with UN bodies, U.S. or foreign courts and governmental agencies, national, foreign, or international NGOs, applied research projects with academic institutions, and with client-based organizations aimed at strategic impact for systemic change.
The Law School’s Career Center provides additional support for summer and school-year field placements and work study opportunities in the public interest field.