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Appalachian School of Law

Nestled in downtown Grundy amidst the majestic Central Appalachian mountains, the Appalachian School of Law provides an exhilarating, yet challenging environment to pursue the Juris Doctorate degree. Our new campus, marked by traditional architecture, contains modern classrooms, seminar rooms, moot court rooms, lounge and offices; state of the art computers and interactive communications technology; and a solid, growing library collection.

We are proud of the faculty led by Dean Jeffrey Kinsler. Committed to excellent teaching, these faculty members who have been recruited nationally will guide your study of the theory and practice of law. The talented library staff provides extensive services. Our relatively small size fosters close relationships among students, faculty, and staff members.

In addition to providing the foundation knowledge and skills essential for taking the bar examination and beginning practice, the curriculum and co-curricular activities are designed to prepare you for leadership and service in the twenty-first century. Problem solving skills, ethical behavior, and professional responsibilities extend beyond the practice of law to all aspects of the community.

The Appalachian School of Law was organized in 1994 as an independent not-for-profit educational institution located in the Town of Grundy, Virginia. Governed by a Board of Trustees, the Law School provides a high quality program for the professional preparation of lawyers--the Juris Doctor or J.D. degree. The general curriculum emphasizes dispute resolution, ethics, and professional responsibility. Students will gain insights into the time-honored role of the attorney as counselor and representative of the court who seeks balance between the interests of the client and that of the public and strives for fairness and justice. In addition to the degree program, the Law School has begun to offer courses for continuing education.

This relatively small law school maintains a learning environment centered on students. A nationally recruited, well-qualified, and diverse faculty has instruction as its primary commitment. Up-to-date computers, software, peripherals, and other electronic technology enhance the classrooms, seminars, moot court, offices, and other facilities. The law library, characterized by a comprehensive current and retrospective collection of physically present materials and other information accessible through microforms and computer-managed information bases, is readily available to students, faculty, and the public. Students and faculty also engage in scholarship and contribute to the community and profession through service activities.

The Appalachian School of Law students, while largely representative of the region, come from throughout the nation and are both traditional and nontraditional with respect to age. Their cultural, racial, ethnic, and economic diversity enriches and furthers the institution’s educational mission.

The Appalachian School of Law began offering its law degree program courses at its Grundy campus beginning in the fall of 1997. In the future, the Law School may provide continuing legal education courses in the nearby Tri-Cities, Tennessee/Virginia area and surrounding region.

The Appalachian School of Law exists to provide opportunity for people from Appalachia and beyond to realize their dreams of practicing law and bettering their communities. We attract a qualified, diverse and dedicated student body, many of whom will remain in the region after graduation and serve as legal counselors, advocates, judges, mediators, community leaders, and public officials. We offer a nationally recruited, diverse and well-qualified faculty, a rigorous program for the professional training of lawyers and a comprehensive law library. The program emphasizes professional responsibility, dispute resolution and practice skills. The ASL community is an exciting student-centered environment that emphasizes honesty, integrity, fairness and respect for others. We also emphasize community service and staff and faculty development. At the same time, we are a full participant in our community, serving as a resource for people, the bar, and other institutions of the region.

The curriculum at ASL is structured to give students the skills and knowledge necessary to practice law. The first year curriculum includes the traditional courses required by most law schools. During the summer between the first and second years, each student is required to serve an externship with a judge or lawyer. The second year curriculum requires courses in the subject areas law students are expected to master. The third year curriculum provides additional required courses in critical subject areas combined with practicum courses in a wide array of subjects.

Students entering at the Appalachian School of Law must complete 90 semester hours and must complete the following courses prior to graduation: Business Associations; Civil Procedure I; Civil Procedure II; Constitutional Law I; Constitutional Law II; Contracts I; Contracts II; Criminal Law; Criminal Procedure; Dispute Resolution; Estates and Trusts; Evidence; Externship; Family Law; Introduction to Law; Legal Process I; Legal Process II; Payment Systems, two Practicum courses; Professional Responsibility; Property I; Property II; Secured Transactions, a Seminar; and Torts. In addition, third year students are required to take at least nine credit hours of Capstone Courses, including at least one State Practice Elective.

The courses required and the sequence in which those courses are taken change from time to time and may change during a student's period of studies at the Law School.
The Law School does not have a regular part-time program, and special permission from the Dean is required to enroll as a part-time student. For part-time students, the student must arrange the sequence of courses with the Dean. Prior to graduation, the part-time student must complete all courses required of students in the three years of the full-time curriculum.

As you are preparing to come to law school, we want to suggest that you give some thought to sharpening or developing your computer skills. A major part of the practice of law is the development and use of your written communication skills; almost all lawyers regularly prepare written briefs, memoranda, contracts, and other legal documents. As a result, at Appalachian School of Law we provide our students with intensive training in the legal reasoning, research and writing skills necessary to be successful at the practice of law. One of the tools necessary for providing effective written communication in the modern practice of law is a computer with a word processing program.

As you might expect, to successfully complete the writing assignments that are given in law school, most students find that they need access to a computer and some level of mastery of word processing software. Although ASL does not currently require incoming students to purchase a computer (and the school does provide free student access to a limited number of computers in the library), we do strongly recommend that students acquire a computer if they do not already own one.

In choosing a computer, students face a bewildering array of choices. Keep in mind that you will be using the computer primarily to do word processing, so the availability of various multimedia functions, while fun for playing games, may not be necessary – but do be sure that the computer you choose meets the requirements of the word processing program that you intend to use.

The Appalachian School of Law Library offers students, faculty, staff, the bench and bar, and the general public access to over 196,000 volumes of legal materials. The Library maintains a core collection of federal and regional reporters, all federal and state codes, citators, and almost 3500 periodical subscriptions. The Library also subscribes to a number of online databases. Anyone may access the Library's online catalog by using computers located throughout the Library, or through the Internet.

The Library has 24,780 net square feet of space, with room for a later expansion. The Library has several group study rooms, all of which offer a combination TV/VCR and a white board (remote controls, markers, and erasers are available at the Circulation Desk). The Library's Seminar Room is available for formal and informal classes; it also houses our provisional computer lab.

The Circulation & Reserve Area, located on the first floor, is usually the first place for our patrons to ask questions. Some items in the Library may be checked out to members of the ASL community (public patrons do not have borrowing privileges), and can easily be processed by bringing the books and a valid ASL ID to the Circulation Desk. The Reserve Area holds course reserve materials, videotapes and audiotapes, and popular study aids like Hornbooks and Nutshells.

There is one self-service photocopier in the upstairs photocopier area of the Library. Copies are ten cents per page. The Library does not provide change; the machines do not take dollar bills but do take coins.

The Library offers general reference services to all Library patrons. During the school year, reference librarians are usually available at the Reference Desk (located next to the Circulation & Reserve Desk) on Sundays from 1 pm until 9 pm, Mondays through Thursdays from 8 am until 8 pm, and Fridays from 8 am until 5 pm. The Library also offers an electronic reference service to ASL faculty, staff, and students. Please note that our librarians cannot answer legal questions for the public.

The Library offers other services to members of the ASL community, such as Interlibrary Loan, access to certain electronic databases such as LexisNexis and Westlaw, and a number of publications. More information about the Library can be found in our Student User Guide.

School name:Appalachian School of Law
Address:Route 83, 1 Slate Creek Road
Zip & city:VA 24614 Virginia

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