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University of Kentucky (College of Law)

Founded in 1908 from a law program initiated at Transylvania University in 1799, the University of Kentucky College of Law was one of the nation's first state law schools. In 1913 the College established the nation's first law school trial practice program, and its Kentucky Law Journal is the tenth-oldest student-run law review in the nation. The College of Law has been approved by the American Bar Association since 1925 and was elected to Order of the Coif, the most prestigious national legal honorary society, in 1931.

The College has a tradition of excellence. Since its founding in 1908 the College of Law has served the Commonwealth and the nation with distinction. That excellence is found in the quality legal education we provide our students, the important legal scholarship we provide the profession, and the public service we provide Kentucky.

We give our diverse, well-qualified, and highly-motivated student body an outstanding legal education. The College has a talented faculty of men and women who were educated at leading law schools, including UK. Our faculty knows first hand about the practice of law: many of us have extensive practice backgrounds and are regularly involved with practitioners on current matters. Our students benefit from the quality and accessibility of the faculty.

We also serve the legal profession. Both our students, through the Kentucky Law Journal and the Journal of Natural Resources and Environmental Law, and our faculty, through their numerous publications in books and leading journals, participate in the intellectual development of the law.

Additionally, we provide significant public service. Part of that service is direct, with students in the clinic representing clients and faculty members serving as consultants to state and national governmental and law reform bodies. Another part of that service, of which we are particularly proud, is indirect through the public service of our graduates. Five of Kentucky's modern governors, one of our sitting U.S. Senators, Kentucky's Secretary of State, several members of Congress, numerous justices and judges in the state and federal judiciary, and many legislators and community leaders are UK Law alumni. Our graduates lead major law firms and corporations and hold faculty positions at respected law schools across the nation.

UK Law is a small, self-contained College of just over 400 students, with a 14/1 student/faculty ratio that enables UK to offer a personalized legal education. Coupled with the small college atmosphere of the law school are the advantages of a major University campus--cultural events, campus facilities, tickets to NCAA sporting events, etc.--and the amenities of living in Lexington. UK Law's resident and nonresident tuition rates are very competitive nationally, and the College has an aggressive scholarship program for both residents and nonresident students. About 50% of each year's entering class receive scholarships of varying amounts.

The faculty at UK Law have a wide range of experiences in law practice and government service, as well as teaching and research. UK Law has a strong tradition of faculty knowing their students and of faculty concern about their students' progress and success. The curriculum offers broad training in the law and legal methods, drawing upon sources from all jurisdictions. Accordingly, UK Law graduates are prepared to practice in any of the 50 states.

UK Law offers students a variety of clinical and externship experiences. The Legal Clinic is located in its own building near the College. Third-year students taking the Clinic course represent low-income and elderly individuals, and UK students, in a variety of civil legal matters. The Clinic is supervised by a faculty member who spent ten years as a trial attorney. Another popular clinical course is Litigation Skills, taught in the College's small and large courtrooms by local practitioners and faculty with extensive litigation experience. In addition, UK Law offers four externships for course credit, in which students can obtain experience in applied research, fact gathering, interviewing, counseling, negotiation and trial advocacy.

In March 2005, U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell announced the funding of the Rural Drug Prosecution Assistance Project, designed to create positions for UK Law graduates who go to work with Commonwealth Attorneys, U.S. Attorneys, the Kentucky Attorney General, public defenders and Circuit Court Judges in rural parts of Kentucky. The three Kentucky counties where these jobs are exempted from the program are Fayette County, Jefferson County and Kenton County. Funding will go to provide summer positions for UK Law students, permanent positions for UK Law graduates and tuition remission payments to selected graduates in qualifying positions to help pay their student loan obligations. These positions are available only to students and graduates of the University of Kentucky College of Law.

There are three joint degree programs offered at UK Law. Candidates for the JD/MBA degree gain marketable skills and specialized employment opportunities in less time and with a smaller financial investment than might otherwise be required. Candidates interested in a career in public administration, public service or politics should consider the JD/MPA joint degree program with UK's Martin School of Public Policy. Under the program, the two degrees are obtained in four years. Applicants must apply and be admitted to both programs. The newest joint degree program is a JD/MA in Diplomacy and International Commerce with UK's Patterson School. Candidates interested in a career in international law, public or private, in international business or in government service in the international sector should consider the JD/MA dual degree program.

There are variety of co-curricular activities at UK Law in which students may earn course credit. The Kentucky Law Journal is the 10th oldest American law review and is edited entirely by students, as is the Journal of Natural Resources and Environmental Law. The college fields several Moot Court teams, which participate in both national and international competitions. UK Law's Trial Advocacy teams advanced to national title competitions in five of the last six years. In the 2003 Tournament of Champions, UK's Trial Advocacy team placed 5th in the nation.

UK Law's Student Bar Association serves as the law student governing body and student activities board. The SBA publishes a weekly student newspaper and sponsors regular student social events and community service activities . UK's SBA was recognized by the ABA as the best SBA in the nation in 2002.

The Student Public Interest Law Foundation, through grants and fund-raising, sponsors 15-20 summer internships with public interest and public service organizations selected by the students who apply. Other active student groups include the Women's Law Caucus, the Black Law Students Association, the International Law Society, the Environmental Law Society, the Equine Law Society, the Federalist Society, the Christian Legal Society, the Health Law Society and the Intellectual Property Law Society.

UK Law students have the benefit of a large on-campus job interview program for regional employers, as well as national placement through the college's participation in seven off-campus interviewing conferences in Atlanta (2), Washington, DC (2), Chicago, New York and Nashville. The college's Career Services Office, headed by a UK Law graduate who formerly practiced law, also uses alumni contacts and a unique computerized service to connect students with employers.

UK Law's job placement and bar passage statistics are very good. For the 2004 graduating class, 98.5 percent were employed or in advanced-degree programs within 9 months after graduation. A majority of UK Law graduates choose private practice, with 15-20 percent of each graduating class selected for state and federal judicial clerkships.

UK Law graduates consistently out perform the average pass rate on the Kentucky bar exam. Because the faculty teaches to a national curriculum, bar passage rates for UK Law graduates are very high in other states as well.

School name:University of KentuckyCollege of Law
Address:620 S. Limestone
Zip & city:KY 40506-0048 Kentucky

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