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Creighton University School of Law

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Founded in 1904 and accredited by the ABA in 1924, Creighton University School of Law is located in Omaha, NE. USNews and World Report ranks Creighton in the Third Tier of American law schools.

Admissions & tuition

The admissions process at Creighton is about as competitive as that of any Tier 3 law school: Most recently, 56.4% of full-time and part-time applicants were accepted, and 26% of those accepted chose to attend. Full-time matriculants sported median GPAs and LSAT scores of 3.43 and 153, respectively. Students with numbers below these medians can boost their chances of admission by honing their personal statements and insuring that they get top-notch letters of recommendation. Conversely, students with numbers significantly above the medians stand a chance of obtaining significant scholarship money.

Roughly 48% of Creighton students receive some form of grant aid, including about 3% who attend on full rides. Tuition at Creighton is not terrible, especially when compared with that of other private law schools. Presently, the school charges full-time students about $30,300 for the academic year, compared with $17,670 for part-time students. There are also university fees, books to pay for and living expenses to consider; fortunately the cost of living in Omaha is not overly burdensome, but nevertheless, law students will want to budget at least $14,000 annually to cover these expenses.

Employment prospects & bar passage

Employment prospects for Creighton graduates are largely regional. As such, most opt to take the Bar in Nebraska, a task for which they are somewhat prepared. Most recently, 90% of Creighton grads passed the Bar, compared with a statewide average of 87%. In previous years, Creighton graduates have averaged an annual Bar passage rate of 76.8%, however. This compares poorly to the Nebraska statewide Bar passage average during that time period, which was 84%.

Employment prospects exist almost entirely in Nebraska and the immediately surrounding area. Not a single law firm from New York, California or DC participates in Creighton's on-campus interviewing process. Working in biglaw immediately after graduation is simply not a realistic goal for Creighton students; only a miniscule percentage of their graduates (if any) go on to work for NLJ250 firms in a given year. On the other hand, many do make a fine living for themselves in the private sector, and the median private sector starting salary for Creighton grads is $60,000-acceptable money given Nebraska's low cost of living. Around half of grads are employed at graduation, and 92% within nine months. Around 21% are employed in "business and industry," which may include just about any type of undesirable private sector job. For Creighton grads working in the public sector, the average starting salary is just over $56,000.

Academics

Strength's of Creighton's academic program include small class sizes (or so they claim-the less-than-stellar student-to-faculty ratio of 18.5 to 1 might lead some to question such claims), impressive library facilities and a well-regarded alternative dispute resolution program. Students may choose to concentrate their studies in business law, criminal law and procedure, international and comparative law, and litigation. Creighton also offers an array of joint degrees, including a JD/MBA and a JD/MA in International Relations. Grading can be harsh, and 1L academic arrition is high; 13% of 1Ls don't make it back for a second year.

Quality of life

Omaha may not be New York, but it's no tiny town either: About 433,000 people live in the city itself and almost 850,000 in the surrounding metropolitan area. It is the commercial and cultural center of Nebraska, meaning that job, internship and externship opportunities aplenty exist for Creighton students. Five Fortune-500 companies call Omaha home: ConAgra, Union Pacific, Peter Kiewit and Sons, Mutual of Omaha and Berkshire Hathaway. Weather in Omaha is typically Midwestern, with hot summers and cold winters. Omaha is also home to an excellent zoo, a lauded symphony, and many arts and music opportunities.

Synopsis

Creighton is potentially a very compelling option for students wishing to live and practice law in Nebraska. However, one must be leery of historical Bar passage rates and strongly regional job prospects in light of the somewhat high tuition: Students who wish to practice in Nebraska and can take advantage of the low in-state tuition at University of Nebraska's law school might be better advised to do that.

Quick reference

Creighton University School of Law
2500 California Plaza
Omaha, NE 68178

U.S. News Ranking: Tier 3
LSAT Median: 153 (FT and PT)
GPA Median: 3.43 (FT), 2.92 (PT)
Entering class size: 173 (FT), 4 (PT)
Application Deadlines: 3/1
Application fee: $50
Yearly Tuition: ~$30,300
Median private sector starting salary: $60,000 (Class of 2008, 60% reporting)