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Juris Doctor (J.D.)

UConn School of Law offers a comprehensive, global, rigorous education that reflects the diversity and intellectual ambition of the students and faculty. All candidates for the degree of Juris Doctor must successfully complete a minimum of 86 semester hours. All first-year students participate in our comprehensive skills program, Lawyering Process, and an innovative Moot Court course.

Need based aid is available and applicants are strongly encouraged to apply for aid when applying for admission.

Day Division

Our day division is a full-time, 3 year program. We offer the unique opportunity for first year law students (1Ls) to choose one elective course during the second semester, allowing students to pursue areas of interest before the second year.

Day division students with unique needs may, after admission, request participation in a part-time program.

Evening Division

For applicants who wish to study part-time while working toward their degree, our evening division is a perfect option. The evening division is a 4 year program. Classes are typically offered Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights between 6:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Many students choose the evening division so they can attend law school while working full time, although anyone is welcome to apply.

Semester in Washington, DC

The Semester in DC Program offers students a unique opportunity to expand their horizons, gain valuable contacts and legal experience, build their resumes, and learn how our federal government works, by working in a congressional office, federal agency or non-profit organizations in Washington, DC - while getting a full semester's academic credit along the way.Read more about the Semester in Washington, DC »

Clinics and Experiential Learning

Our students learn by doing. In fact, all students are required to participate in at least one experiential learning opportunity while attending UConn Law. Because of Connecticut's liberal student practice rule, our students represent real clients in every state and federal court within the jurisdiction. We offer more than a dozen clinical learning opportunities in areas such as asylum and human rights, intellectual property and entrepreneurship, criminal lawenvironmental law, and more.

International Exchange

The International Programs Office offers students unique opportunities to study in foreign law schools, during the academic year. We partner with ABA approved programs at law schools in France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Spain, The Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.Read more about International Exchange Opportunities»

Dual Degree Programs

To meet the challenges of practice in the 21st century, more lawyers find it imperative to understand the interrelation of law and other disciplines. To prepare students for these emerging opportunities, the Law School has developed five dual-degree programs that combine a superior legal education with graduate professional training in related fields. These programs allow qualified students to earn the J.D. and another degree more quickly, and at a lower cost, than pursuing both degrees independently.

In all cases, students must apply separately to each school. After gaining admission to both programs, students may apply to the dual-degree program. Some students apply for the dual-degree program during their first year of graduate work.

Read more about the Dual Degree Programs »

Career Planning

In order to prepare students for life after law school the staff in the Career Planning Center (CPC) works closely with them, starting in the first year. Our career counselors will help you hone professional skills, create the best possible resume, handle tough questions at mock and real interviews, and bring you and employers together in a number of ways and in a variety of settings.

We welcome your application for admission. We admit students once a year for the fall semester. To be considered for admission you must already have or expect to receive a bachelor's degree from an accredited undergraduate college (or the foreign equivalent) and you must take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). Although we encourage you to apply as early as possible because of our rolling admission policy, the application deadline for fall 2014 admission is July 15, 2014.

Application Checklist
Taking the LSAT

Everyone is required to take or have taken the LSAT no more than five years before the date of expected enrollment. You may submit the June test score from the year of anticipated enrollment, as long as the application for admission is received no later than the July 15, 2014 deadline. You should refer to the Law School Admissions Council website for details about the test.

Apply Now

Fill out our online application and submit your additional materials.

Online Status Check

Check the status of your application.

Decisions

Admissions decisions are made by our faculty admissions committee. All files are holistically reviewed and each part of each file is taken into consideration. In keeping with the emphasis on the individual, the faculty admissions committee makes all decisions after a careful reading of each application.

In selecting the entering class, the admissions committee balances a number of factors, including: the LSAT score; the type, breadth, and depth of college or graduate courses taken and the grades received; academic honors and awards; writing ability; letters of recommendation from persons who know the applicant well (academic letters of recommendation are the most helpful for fairly recent graduates); work record, including military service, Peace Corps, and VISTA; college and community activities; and character and motivation. Although performance on the LSAT and in college or graduate school is important, selection is made after a careful review of the entire admissions file. The Law School has never used an admissions index in the admissions process, preferring to make all decisions after individual and careful review.

You may submit an optional essay or addendum which addresses additional information not included in your personal statement. This statement should provide further explanation or details which may not be readily apparent in other parts of your application.

Admissions decisions are made on a rolling basis. It is our policy to send final decisions within 24 hours of the decision whenever possible. Decisions are sent by email.

Decisions may only be appealed if some essential factor, one that would potentially have been crucial in making an admissions decision, was not in front of the committee at the time of the decision. This might include a missing but otherwise currently available transcript or the mention of an important honor or award received prior to the decision.

As a public institution, the school gives special consideration, though not an absolute preference, to residents of Connecticut. Residents of New England states without publicly-supported law schools also receive some preference in admissions and tuition under the terms of the New England Higher Education Compact. Residents of other states are encouraged to apply and may become Connecticut residents for educational purposes after one year. Tuition would fall to the in-state rate, even for full-time students.

International Applicants and TOEFL

International applicants typically must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Unless you can demonstrate that you have the equivalent of a bachelor's degree or higher from a university where the sole language of overall instruction is English, you must take the TOEFL exam. The Law School requires minimum TOEFL scores of 100/250/600 (Internet/Computer/Written). All applicants to the Law School, whether international or domestic, are required to take the LSAT.

Non-Discrimination Policy

It is the policy of the University of Connecticut to prohibit discrimination in education, employment, and in the provision of services on the basis of legally protected class characteristics  (unless there is a bona fide occupational qualification related to employment), or any other unlawful factor. In Connecticut, protected class characteristics include race, color, ethnicity,  religion, age, workplace hazards to reproductive systems, sex (gender, sexual harassment), marital status, sexual orientation, genetic information, pregnancy, national origin,  physical/mental/learning disability, and any other group protected by civil rights laws.

Based upon the standards as outlined by the American Bar Association, the requirements for the Juris Doctor degree at the UConn Law are designed to provide students with the curricular and practice-based knowledge relevant in today’s legal community. All requirements for the degree are subject to change at any time by the faculty. No increase in the number of semester hours required are made effective for students enrolled at the time of such change who remain in continuous attendance. Students who are not in continuous attendance or who transfer from another law school are subject to the requirements in effect at the time of their re-entrance or admission. 

Credit Requirements

All candidates for the Juris Doctor degree must successfully complete a minimum of eighty-six (86) credits, 65 of which must be in regularly scheduled class sessions. Three year day division students must complete all credits in a minimum of six semesters in residence, or the equivalent thereof, at this or another accredited law school. Evening division and four year day division students must complete all credits in a minimum of eight semesters, or the equivalent, at this or another accredited law school. Credit may not be given for work taken before a student's regular matriculation in the first degree in law program. No course of study may be less than 24 months. Full-time students must complete all coursework for the Juris Doctor degree within five years; part-time students must complete coursework within six years. As a general rule, all students are required to be enrolled in academic credits in this law school during their last year of study. 

Grade Point Average Requirements

All candidates for the Juris Doctor degree must have a cumulative grade point of 2.30 for all work undertaken at the Law School. In computing the average, no consideration is given to grades received for work completed at other schools, including other law schools, even though transfer credit has been given for such work. To ensure that students are meeting the requirement, academic support and counseling is offered to students throughout their legal studies.

Course Requirements

To provide students with both the foundational knowledge necessary to excel, yet choose a curricular path that best meets their individual needs, specific course requirements have been carefully chosen, yet purposefully minimal. A group of courses, known commonly as the 1L curriculum includes: Contracts, Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Property and Torts.  First-year (1L) students are also required to takes courses in Lawyering Process and Moot Court. Taken together, these courses are the doctrinal and legal skills base upon which all upper division courses build. 

The 1L curriculum also allows, and indeed requires, all students to take a statutory/regulatory course elective. This group of courses looks at law based on statute and regulations of administrative agencies as opposed to law based on decisions of the courts. The myriad of courses from a variety of legal disciplines that make up the list of statutory/regulatory courses allow students the ability to begin designing their curriculum early in their course of study.

There is one required course beyond the 1L year. Students are required to successfully complete a course devoted to the issues of professional responsibility and legal ethics. At the UConn Law this course is Legal Profession. 

Upperclass Writing Requirement

In recognition of the importance of legal research and writing to the well-trained lawyer, students in the upper division are required to complete a scholarly paper. Drawing upon the research and writing skills taught in the 1L Lawyering Process and Moot Court courses, the upperclass writing requirement paper is done under the close supervision and guidance of a faculty member in a legal discipline of the student’s choosing. Students are mentored through various drafts and the final paper is often of such quality that students may seek publication of their work.

The curriculum is designed so that seminar courses provide the backdrop to many of these scholarly papers. Students may also satisfy the upperclass writing requirement through an independent research project or written work for one of the Law School's legal journals.

Practice-Based Learning Requirement

Finally, to develop a student’s professional skills, all candidates for the Juris Doctor degree must successfully complete credits in any of the school’s clinical programs including any in-house, partnership or externship clinic. Students may also satisfy this requirement in a practicum course or individual externship so designated.

The course of study at UConn Law is a very purposeful curriculum.  A schedule of more than 200 class sections each year is a mix of doctrinal courses, giving students the breadth of legal knowledge; specialized seminars, providing the depth of knowledge; and practicum courses, honing the legal skills required in the legal community.  The placement of these courses in the 1L and upper division years is also by design.  The path to a Juris Doctor degree for each University of Connecticut School of Law student is uniquely theirs, but it is always well structured and complete.

First Year (1L) Curriculum

The scheduling and placement of students in 1L required courses (excluding the stat/reg requirement) is done by the Registrar and students are required to complete these courses in the division in which they begin their law studies.  It is this purposeful sectioning of new law students into student cohort groups that allows students to begin to immediately form the collegial bond so important in legal study.  The 1L course of study is a mix of large lecture size courses and small group sections. 

  Three Year Day Division Four Year Evening Division Four Year Day Division
Fall Term Civil Procedure
Contracts
Lawyering Process
Torts
Criminal Law
Civil Procedure I
Lawyering Process
Torts
Contracts I
Civil Procedure
Contracts
Lawyering Process
Torts
Winter Term Moot Court   Moot Court
Spring Term Constitutional Law
Lawyering Process
Property
Stat/Reg Elective
Civil Procedure II
Lawyering Process
Contracts II
Criminal Law
Constitutional Law
Lawyering Process
Property

June Term

 

Moot Court

 

Fall Term

Second Year

 

Constitutional Law
AND/OR Property
Stat/Reg Elective
Criminal Law
Stat/Reg Elective*

Spring Term

Second Year

  Constitutional Law
AND/OR Property
Stat/Reg Elective*
Upper Division Curriculum

During the upper division years, students must include successful completion of their upperclass writing requirement, practice based learning requirement, and Legal Profession in their course of study.  There is no requirement as to which term(s) these are completed, though it is strongly suggested that the upperclass writing requirement be started no later than their penultimate semester of study.  This allows for drafting requirements.

The selection of courses in the upper division years without many additional requirements allows students to tailor their curriculum to their interest.  The placement of courses required for the bar examination at differing times throughout the day and multiple times per year is done to encourage enrollment in these courses.  Students will also find multiple sections of basic, foundational courses which may serve as the prerequisite to specialized seminar courses.  The many clinical programs are a part of the upper division curriculum.  Whether taken on campus or as part of fieldwork, a clinic is a vital learning experience.  A well-rounded legal education also includes courses in jurisprudence, legal theory, and legal history, which help students gain broader perspectives on the law and the legal system.

Outside of the Classroom

For many students, their course of study is not confined to the classroom.  Beyond traditional course work, opportunities for academic credit are found in enrollment in individual externships or independent research projects.  Students may also serve as members of one of the Law Journals or the Connecticut Law Review.  The honing of legal writing and reasoning can also be accomplished by participation in a Moot Court Competition.

The curriculum at the University of Connecticut School of Law is varied and diverse, yet some students choose to focus their legal passion in a particular area of law.  For those students certificate programs have been developed.    These legal “majors” provide students a framework under which to design their curriculum.  Each certificate program offer students an opportunity to work closely with faculty in that department and form relationships with members of that legal community.  In some cases, the opportunity for academic exploration with other departments of the University is available creating an interdisciplinary course of study.  The curriculum of each program varies, but essentially is the combination of strong foundational courses, specialized seminars, intensive research, and practical experience within a particular area of law.  Credit requirements will vary as will application procedures.

Certificate in Energy and Environmental Law

The Certificate in Energy & Environmental Law represents a unique opportunity for students at the University of Connecticut School of Law to focus their studies in these two vibrant and increasingly intertwined, fields.  Through the Center for Energy and Environmental Law (CEEL) students have access to rich educational experiences including unparalleled classroom learning—in courses ranging from International Environmental Law to Land Use, Energy Law to Climate Law, and Renewable Energy and Green Building to Natural Resources Law.  Students may also engage in clinical training or externships with federal agencies or nationally-recognized nonprofit organizations through the Semester in DC program, individual externships supervised by a CEEL faculty member, and a special externship program with the State of Connecticut’s executive, legislative, and judicial branches.Read more about the Energy & Environmental Law Certificate »

Certificate in Human Rights

The Graduate Certificate in Human Rights draws upon the academic strengths of the University of Connecticut's School of Law and College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to introduce students to the key modern debates in this interdisciplinary field of study. The program provides a historical, literary and philosophical perspective for thinking broadly about modern human rights; an understanding of social science research on rights, conflict and governance; as well as expertise in the international conventions, treaties and case law from international courts (such as the European Court of Human Rights, the International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia). The courses encourage students to think critically about the strengths and limitations of the human rights framework and how they might develop an active and original research agenda in this growing field of interdisciplinary inquiry.Read more about the Human Rights Certificate »

The Program in Intellectual Property at the University of Connecticut School of Law prepares students to participate in the new information economy. It draws upon the strength of the School of Law as the leading public law school in the Northeast United States; the school's commitment to international law, financial services and insurance law; and New England's and Connecticut's significant place in the new economy. Participants in the Intellectual Property Program will be exposed to a broad curriculum of courses-from classes on copyright, trademark, and patent law to specialized seminars, including those in art law, cyberlaw, and European Union intellectual property law.Read more about the Intellectual Property Certificate »

The Program in Law and Public Policy joins the best the School of Law and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has to offer in the field of public policy and management.  Starting from the basic course in Administrative Law, Law and Public Policy Certificate students may then progress to problem-oriented courses in the Department of Public Policy which develop the skills needed to collect and analyze information, plan, choose among policy alternatives, implement programs and manage change.  Course taken at the School of Law give students a better understanding of the country’s public institutions and of the legal framework in which they function.Read more about the Law & Public Policy Certificate »

The Program in Tax Studies at the University of Connecticut School of Law provides students with the understanding of the tax laws at the international, federal, state, and local levels – from the very basic to the more intricate. It is often said that one of the things that all can count on is taxes.  In the practice of law, this is especially true.  Tax law courses are relevant for law students who look for future careers in corporate and family law as well as government employment.  Practically every business, financial, and organizational decision has tax consequences.  Whether as part of the highly successful Tax Clinic or an extern at the Internal Revenue Service, or working with a member of the tax faculty on specialized research, students in the tax certificate program have prepared themselves for legal employment in varied fields.Read more about the Tax Studies Certificate »

What are the basic requirements to apply?

To apply to the Law School, you must be a graduate of an accredited college or university by the time of enrollment, must have taken the LSAT within the past five years, and need to file our online application within the deadlines and in the manner described in the instructions.

How can I get an application for financial aid?

Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply for financial aid at the time they submit their application for admission. The student application for financial assistance is available through the Office of Student Finance.

What are the deadlines for admission?

Applications become available in early September of the year prior to enrollment, and must be filed no later than July 15, 2014.

How can I get an application?

Applications are available online. All applications must be filed electronically. If you require reasonable accommodation for a disability to file an application, please contact the office of admissions at 860-570-5100.

Do I have to take the LSAT?

All applicants must take the LSAT within five years of making the application. The test may be taken no later than June of the year of enrollment.

Can I start in the winter or summer?

The Law School enrolls one class a year, with classes starting in late August.

Can I attend law school online?

While enrolled there may be chances to take an online course, however, the degree may not be received by online courses. The vast majority of our J.D. courses are only available in person rather than online.

Is there a part-time program?

We have a robust part-time program in the evening. The application procedure has the same requirements as the full-time program.

Can I meet a law school representative off-campus?

During the fall of each year, members of the Law School admissions staff, faculty, or graduates attend dozens of law school fairs and events. The Law School also regularly sends representatives to most LSAC-sponsored Law Forums in major cities in the U.S.

Do you admit transfer students and visiting students?

Yes, to the extent that space is available, the Law School admits well-qualified transfer students and visitors from other law schools. The deadline for application for fall enrollment is July 1 of the year in which enrollment is desired.

Is there on-campus housing?

There is no on-campus housing and all law students are responsible for securing their own living arrangements. Housing is typically abundant in the area, and much more affordable that in the larger cities to our north and south. To help with housing, admitted applicants are provided access to our housing and roommate lists.

Is there a preferred undergraduate major for admission?

No particular undergraduate major is recommended, although an applicant's academic preparation should include substantive courses emphasizing critical reasoning and writing, essential skills for the study of law.

Why do you ask character and fitness questions?

Every effort is made to admit students of high moral character to the Law School. To this end, the school reserves the right to question an applicant and resort to other sources to obtain information concerning the applicant's prior record and conduct, insofar as it may be indicative of the character of the applicant. Any information so obtained may be used as a factor, along with academic records and other pertinent matters, in making decisions about admission to the school.

In accordance with Section 504(a) of the American Bar Association's Standards for Approval of Law Schools, all applicants to the Law School should understand that there are character, fitness and other qualifications for admission to the bar in every jurisdiction. These go well beyond taking and passing a state’s bar examination. Applicants are therefore encouraged, prior to matriculation, to determine what those requirements are in the state(s) in which the applicant intends to practice. Please review the highly relevant information at the website of the National Conference of Bar Examiners.

How soon are decisions sent to applicants?

Admissions decisions are made on a rolling basis. It is our policy to send final decisions within 24 hours of the decision whenever possible. Decisions are sent by email.

Do you use an index in the admissions process?

No, the Law School has never used an admissions index in the admissions process, preferring to make all decisions after individual and careful review.

Are decisions appealable?

Decisions may only be appealed if some essential factor, one that would potentially have been crucial in making an admissions decision, was not in front of the committee at the time of the decision. This might include a missing but otherwise currently available transcript, the mention of an important honor or award received prior to the decision being made, etc.

Do residents get preference for admission?

As a public institution, the school gives special consideration, though not an absolute preference, to residents of Connecticut. Residents of New England states without publicly-supported law schools also receive some preference in admissions and tuition under the terms of the New England Higher Education Compact. Residents of other states are encouraged to apply and may become Connecticut residents for educational purposes in one year. Tuition would fall to the in-state rate.

May I visit the campus?

We encourage people to visit our beautiful campus. We have student tours available by appointment. They can be booked online, or by calling 860-570-5100. For people visiting on weekends and during holidays, self-tours of open buildings are permitted, although some buildings may be closed. It is always best to check in advance.

Are there on-campus Open Houses for prospective applicants?

We hold several Open Houses each year so potential applicants may visit the campus, talk to current students, key administrators and receive information about the Law School. Notices about Open Houses and other events are sent by email to people already in our database. You can also visit the calendar to check for upcoming events.

How much does the Law School cost?

Because we are a public law school, the tuition rates differ based on residency. Our goal is affordability. It cannot be repeated frequently enough that UConn Law students graduate with an average student debt in approximately the bottom 12% of all law students in the country.

Is there need-based aid?

Yes, there is. Connecticut takes its mission to serve all students quite seriously, including those who could not otherwise afford legal education. In addition to the FAFSA form, there is a required institutional aid form to be filed by any applicant for need-based aid. We encourage all applicants to complete this form.

When is the deposit deadline?

First deposits of $250 are due on or before April 15 for students admitted by April 1. A second deposit (also $250) is payable on June 1. Students admitted after the deadline are informed of the deposit deadlines in the letter of admission.

Are named scholarships available?

In addition to Law School-funded scholarships, the Law School Foundation also manages scholarships made by generous donors. No separate application is required for these.

Can a student establish Connecticut residency for tuition purposes to receive the in-state rate of tuition?

Yes, Connecticut encourages all eligible students to become Connecticut residents as soon as they are able. Connecticut has very liberal residency rules, and U.S. citizens and resident aliens may establish CT residency in no more than a year after meeting the baseline requirements. A meeting is held for all interested students who wish to apply to become CT residents for the second year of study.

I would like to access ABA Required Disclosures about the Law School. Is there somewhere I can look?

Information about the Law School is available on the ABA Required Disclosures page.

I attended and graduated from a high school in Connecticut. Does that help me with in-state tuition?

Yes, applicants who attended a Connecticut high school for four years and received a diploma from it are eligible for in-state tuition regardless of current domicile.

How can I see the most current Annual Security and Fire Safety Report?

The University of Connecticut Police Department invites all University employees and students to read the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report. This letter satisfies the requirement of annual distribution of the following information to all employees and students. The University of Connecticut prepares this report in compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act and the Public Act no. 12-78 An Act Concerning Sexual Violence on College Campuses. This report includes statistics for the previous three years concerning reported crimes that occurred on campus; in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by the University of Connecticut; and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from, the campus. The report also includes institutional policies on campus security, such as policies concerning alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, and other matters. The full text of this report is available online. Please use the link below to access the report. This report is prepared in cooperation with local law enforcement agencies, Student Affairs Division and the Office of Community Standards. These entities provide updated information on their educational efforts and programs to comply with the Act. Campus crime, arrest, and referral statistics include those reported to the University of Connecticut Police, designated campus security officials as defined under the Act, and local law enforcement agencies. Each year, this notification is sent to all enrolled students, faculty, and staff. The notification provides information on how to access the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report online. Written copies of this report may also be obtained at the Division of Public Safety at 126 North Eagleville Road, Storrs, CT.

Is there merit-based aid?

Yes, we offer merit-based aid. More than 60% of the class enrolling in 2012 received some merit based aid. All applicants admitted to the Law School are considered for merit-based scholarships, with few exceptions. The Law School offers have a combination of awards ranging from non-renewable awards from specific donors to full-tuition renewable scholarships. Scholarships vary in size and terms.

If I am an international student do I need to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)?

Yes. Unless you can demonstrate that you have the equivalent of a bachelor's degree or higher from a university where the sole language of overall instruction is English, you must take the TOEFL exam. The Law School requires a minimum TOEFL score of 100. All first year applicants to the Law School, whether international or domestic, are required to take the LSAT.