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University of Iowa (College of Law)

For over a century the University of Iowa College of Law has educated and trained some of the top lawyers, scholars and leaders in the United States and abroad. The college currently offers a full-time, six-semester program leading to the Juris Doctor (JD) degree. The program is full-time and we offer two start dates: summer and fall. Most students in the JD program will begin their studies in the fall semester, attend full-time for six full semesters (fall and spring) and graduate in May at the completion of the sixth semester. Some students apply to begin the program in the summer. Summer entrants number approximately 30 students. They take classes in two sessions. By the end of the summer, they are close to having completed one semester. Because the College provides summer classes, some students are able to accelerate their program of study and graduate a semester early, in December.

All JD candidates are expected to complete 90 semester hours of required and elective courses. All entering students are expected to take all courses designated as first-year courses and may not register for different courses or fewer semester hours without permission of the dean of students. No student may take more than 18 semester hours per semester or 13 semester hours in the summer session without permission from the dean of students.

Parent or grandparent lawyers, an experience as a victim of a crime, seeing the world from the classroom, in a legislature, from the standpoint of a nonprofit organization, all provide an impetus for legal study. The stories of just a few of our entering students tell of people who want to make the world better (in some respect) by learning the manners and ways of the law. This desire to serve characterizes our student body and is expressed in many ways at the College. The Iowa Student Bar Association and the Equal Justice Foundation have done well in raising funds for stipends for students undertaking public interest internships, while developing a wonderful opportunity for students, faculty and parents to enjoy time together through the annual Law School Auction. Our students’ many efforts to help those ravaged by last fall’s hurricanes will culminate in a wonderfully large delegation of Iowa law students spending spring break in New Orleans helping with manual and legal labor.

This impulse to service is essential to the legal profession. What these students bring to us in Iowa City is entrusted to those of us who are legal educators and to those of you who provide mentoring, summer employment, or partner for a day opportunities.

This straightforward urge to serve becomes complicated during law school. Legal studies and all the activities that attend them require devotion of time and energy. In the classroom, fairly direct assumptions are questioned and explored with rigorous analysis. Sometimes the results of that analysis seems counter-intuitive. This tension between principles and rules is the theme of Professor Herb Hovenkamp’s new Harvard University Press book on The Antitrust Enterprise: Principle and Execution. Another example of this sort of focused consideration of legal rules and results was the Journal of Corporation Law’s wonderful fall symposium on Professor Robert Clark’s treatise on Corporate Law twenty years after its publication. This has been a year which the airport reader could barely escape the lure of the counter-intuitive. Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner’s Freakonomics, standard fare in book stores, could be read in passages as throwing a wet blanket on the impulse to do good. They write, "morality, it could be argued, represents the way that people would like the world to work -- whereas economics represents how it actually does work." The difficulty of effective service could lead to cynicism. As Jane Wagner wrote in The Search for Intelligent Life in the Universe, "I worry no matter how cynical you become, it’s never enough to keep up."

You've either made the decision to go to law school or are tempted by the thought. The law provides intellectual challenge, special opportunities for public service, and the chance to work with all sorts of people. I hope that you will give careful consideration to the University of Iowa College of Law as your entry point into the law. Iowa has been recognized consistently as one of the nation's best. Its faculty is intellectually lively and devoted to excellence in teaching, creative and challenging scholarship, and service to local, state, national and international communities. Your fellow students will be another source of learning, and Iowa has an ambitious, intelligent and humane student body.

The objective of formal legal education is to establish a solid foundation for a lifetime of professional growth. The University of Iowa College of Law places equal emphasis on developing fundamental lawyer's skills and an appreciation of the roles of law and lawyers in society. These objectives are best achieved through an educational program that cultivates active student participation in the learning process and creates regular opportunities for individuals and small groups to confront challenging teachers who are genuinely interested in each student's professional development.

School name:University of IowaCollege of Law
Address:290 Boyd Law Building
Zip & city:IA 52242-1113 Iowa

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