UConn School of Law
The University of Connecticut School of Law is one of several top-tier law schools located in the New England region. Situated on a beautiful campus that is listed on the National Registry of Historic Sites, the school offers applicants the opportunity to study law in a collegial environment marked by small classes and a low student-to-faculty ratio. The school's public standing, meanwhile, allows residents of the state of Connecticut to enroll at bargain rates. Thus, applicants who currently reside in Connecticut, as well as those with hopes of practicing law in the state and its surrounding New England region, should give UConn Law serious consideration.
Admissions & tuition
Receiving about 2,700 applications for its day and night divisions altogether, the admissions committee of UConn Law must practice a high amount of selectivity. Of the nearly 1,900 applications the school receives for its day division, only about 425 admissions offers are granted, of which about 120 turn into matriculations. The night division usually receives half as many applications, and the ratio holds for the number of admissions offers and matriculations. For the combined 2009 entering class, the 25th and 75th percentile LSAT scores were 158 and 163, respectively, while the day division's 25th and 75th percentile undergraduate GPAs were 3.20 and 3.59, respectively. In general, applicants with numbers that fall within these ranges should be competitive in future application cycles for the day division of UConn Law. Applicants with lower numbers, on the other hand, would likely have a better chance at starting out in the night division, unless they can offer some sort of diversity to the student body of UConn Law, which, like other top-tier law schools, aims to put together entering classes diverse in ethnicity, experience and background.
As mentioned in the introduction, residents of the state of Connecticut can attend University of Connecticut Law School at a relatively low cost because of the school's public standing. For the 2009-2010 academic year, the in-state tuition rate was $20,500, while out of state tuition was $42,200. Of course, the latter is a much more daunting figure, but applicants should note that attaining resident status in the state of Connecticut after the first year of law school seems to be practical, if the student is emancipated and not receiving significant financial contribution from residents of other states. Note that students from the New England states of Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts or Rhode Island pay a reduced rate lower than out-of-state residents of about $35,200 per year.
Academics & curriculum
The first-year curriculum at UConn Law is a bit more flexible than at most other law schools, as 1Ls are allowed to take a statutory/regulatory course of their choosing along with usual requirements such as Torts, Contracts, and Legal Writing. 1Ls at University of Connecticut Law School also enjoy the fact that the school's first-year sections are usually no larger than 70 seats, compared to 100 seat sections at most other law schools. After this most rigorous first year, UConn Law students can choose from almost 150 elective courses, the majority of which contain 24 or fewer seats, to fulfill the 86-credit requirement for the JD degree. Students can also choose to pursue one of several dual-degree programs, including the popular JD/MBA and JD/LLM programs. Special certification opportunities are also available in the form of the school's Intellectual Property Certification Program, its Tax Certificate Program, its Human Rights Certificate Program, and its Law and Public Policy Certificate Program. Lastly, students hoping to take their legal education beyond American borders will have plenty of opportunity to do so through UConn Law's various study abroad programs, which give students the opportunity to study law in cities such as Berlin, London, Dublin and San Juan.
Quality of life
For applicants hoping to join a tight-knit law school community, the quality of life at the University of Connecticut Law School promises to be high. The school's small student body and the many social events that it hosts contribute to bringing about a friendly and inclusive atmosphere that will likely make for an enjoyable law school experience for most students. The city of Hartford houses its fair share of bars and restaurants, and enough nightclubs are available to satiate those with a thirst for such establishments. The beautiful and historic UConn Law campus, adorned with gothic architecture, can also be a source of enjoyment for the school's students, especially since it has underwent recent technological renovations. Although housing is not available on this gorgeous campus, many students find affordable apartments within walking distance of the school, and most do not report any problems finding suitable housing options. Safety is in general not a problem either, largely due to the efforts of the campus police, who are charged with keeping the UConn Law campus free of the undesirable aspects of Hartford.
Employment prospects & bar passage
In Connecticut and the greater New England region, job prospects for University of Connecticut Law School students are high. Many top firms from the state and the region come to Hartford each year to interview students, 80% of whom choose to take jobs in New England. Prospects in New York City seem to be somewhat promising as well, evidenced by the fact that about 10% of typical UConn Law graduating classes begin their legal career in the Big Apple. That said, UConn Law is very much a regional school, and students hoping to attain employment outside of the Northeast usually face a tougher job search and look to the school's career services office and alumni network for assistance. In all, about 95% of UConn Law grads are typically employed within 9 months of graduation, nearly 70% of whom begin their careers in the private sector. For such graduates, the median first-year salary has risen to approximately $115,000 in recent years. UConn Law also places an impressive number of its students, nearly 14% of the Class of 2007, into judicial clerkship opportunities.
In terms of bar passage, grads of the University of Connecticut School of Law generally excel, as upwards of 90% of grads sitting for the exam for the first time in the state of Connecticut successfully pass in a typical administration, compared to an overall state-average of about 88%.
The University of Connecticut School of Law offers applicants the opportunity to pursue a legal education among a small and tight-knit law school community. Applicants hoping to find employment in the New England region should give the school serious consideration, as should residents of the state of Connecticut, who can attend at a bargain rate.
U.S. News ranking: 52nd
Application deadline: 3/1
Application fee: $30
Entering class size: 187 (full-time and part-time combined) (2009)
LSAT score at 25th and 75th percentiles: 158, 163 (combined, 2009)
Undergraduate GPA at 25th and 75th percentiles: 3.20, 3.59 (full-time) (2009)
Yearly Full-time tuition: Resident: $20,454, Non-Resident: $42,174 (2009-2010)
Average private sector first-year salary: $115,000 (Class of 2007, 70% reporting)