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Stanford University (Stanford Law School)

Stanford Law School is part of one of the world's leading research institutions, providing rich opportunities for interdisciplinary cooperation. Stanford University is a private, coeducational university adjacent to Palo Alto, California, 35 miles south of San Francisco. Current enrollment at the university is approximately 14,500 students, of whom about 8,000 are graduate students.

The law school has teaching and research ties with the Schools of Business, Earth Sciences, Education, Engineering, and Medicine; with multiple departments in the School of Humanities & Sciences; and with the Hoover Institution, the Institute for International Studies, and the Institute for Environmental Studies. The school is also a co-venturer in the Stanford Center on Conflict and Negotiation.

Each year, the Law School Office of Admissions responds to more than 20,000 application requests, prepares approximately 5000 applications for review, and enrolls a first-year class of 170-180 students. Associate Dean Deal and the Admissions Committee carefully and thoughtfully review every application submitted during the application period.

In selecting students for the JD program, two criteria dominate the decision-making process: the individual applicant's intellectual ability and aptitude, and the overall diversity of the class admitted. The first criterion, aptitude, properly recognizes that the lawyer's work calls particularly for the exercise of analytic and other intellectual abilities—facility with words, concepts and perceptions of personal relationships. The second criterion, diversity, contemplates that diversity will improve the quality of education at the Law School by enabling the exchange of differing views in and out of class, and will improve the School's training of lawyers who take the lead in representing diverse groups and interests in a wide variety of contexts, in the private and public sectors.

Kathleen Sullivan, the former Dean, remarked at her appointment, "Who could resist a world class law school in paradise?" With beautiful surroundings, a small student body, and a very low student to faculty ratio, the school has an intimate and collegial environment. The academic program is flexible and includes a diverse array of courses and clinics. Students also publish top legal journals, such as the Stanford Law Review.

As many as 5,000 students apply for admission each year. Selection is intense: most students are ranked in the top 5% of their graduating class, scored in the top 5% on the LSAT, and have considerable additional other accomplishments. Stanford may place more weight on experience beyond academic numbers than almost any other law school. In 2005, Stanford Law School's acceptance rate was 7.8%, higher only than that of Yale Law School.

The Law School has a distinguished history of producing leaders in the judiciary and academia, in addition to corporate law, government, and the public interest. Upon graduation, about 60% of students join law firms and 30% accept clerkships, most with federal judges. [4] Despite its small size, recently, Stanford has produced the third most professors of law in the country and the fourth most clerks to the Supreme Court.

Stanford has an exceptional faculty, distinguished not only for its scholarship, but also for its commitment to teaching and curricular innovation. The school's unusually low student/faculty ratio creates an intimate environment. This collegial atmosphere fosters students' intellectual and professional development both in and out of the classroom. Students also have many opportunities to work closely with faculty members as research assistants on scholarly projects; indeed, the faculty actively encourages interested students to develop their own scholarship for future academic careers. The relationships formed between Stanford faculty and students often last a lifetime.

Instruction at Stanford takes place primarily in small classes and seminars and through individual directed research. It also takes innovative forms: Stanford was a pioneer in the development of clinical teaching through simulation and individualized feedback. Today a diverse range of legal clinics offer students the opportunity to work with actual clients under the close supervision of faculty and practitioners. Through clinics, students can learn important legal skills while serving disadvantaged people, community groups, public interest organizations, and the public at large.

The faculty is continually engaged in developing new teaching methods to complement curricular innovations. Case studies, similar to those of business schools, challenge students to consider the interaction of legal and nonlegal factors involved, for example, in resolving a complex environmental problem or structuring a business deal. Interdisciplinary research projects allow faculty and students from the law school and other parts of the university, joined by practitioners and policymakers, to engage in applied research in fields such as technology policy and international law.

Stanford Law School is small, with about 550 students and a faculty of about 40 permanent members, augmented by visiting faculty and lecturers. The faculty and student body are diverse in backgrounds, outlooks, and aspirations—something we regard as essential to a first-rate legal education.

No less essential is our commitment to being a community that emphasizes mutual respect, civility, and the open exchange of ideas. The school's atmosphere is characterized by energetic intellectual engagement in curricular and extracurricular activities, while maintaining a spirit of warmth and congeniality. This is a vibrant academic community that takes seriously the challenges of professional education and legal scholarship.

It also happens that the school is located on a magnificent campus in the heart of the San Francisco Bay Area, a spectacular part of the United States that offers an ideal, Mediterranean climate of dry, warm summers and wet but temperate winters. The university's 8,180 acres stretch between the rolling foothills of the Santa Cruz mountains and the bustling cities of Palo Alto and Menlo Park. Less than an hour away to the north, the urban sophistication and breathtaking beauty of San Francisco give students an opportunity to enjoy a wide range of cultural and recreational activities. Just a few miles to the south, San Jose and neighboring Silicon Valley—the birthplace of the high-technology industry—boast a vitality and entrepreneurialism that has been largely spawned by the university's faculty and graduates. Half an hour to the west are pristine beaches of the Pacific Ocean, and a few hours to the east rugged peaks of the Sierra—Lake Tahoe for skiing and other winter sports and Yosemite National Park for hiking and camping.

The Stanford Community Law Clinic provides community-based legal assistance to low-income clients on issues such as workers' rights, housing, and government benefits. Founded by Stanford Law School in 2002, the clinic offers an opportunity for students to handle all aspects of client matters, from initial interview through trial, hearing, or other resolution. In addition to direct individual representation, students are encouraged to participate in and develop projects aimed at systemic remedies. Such projects have involved drafting recommendations for Labor Commissioner claims processing, analyzing housing code enforcement in East Palo Alto, and streamlining the presentation of cases in small claims court. Clinical attorneys based at the Community Law Clinic provide close supervision to students on cases and related projects. Through an accompanying seminar, participants study essential aspects of lawyering, examine ethical issues arising in their cases, and reflect on larger concerns regarding the justice system, particularly as applied to low-income members of society. Throughout the semester, the seminar focuses on strategies for solving the challenges faced by underrepresented community members.

Students may also volunteer to participate in a number of pro bono programs run by the Stanford Community Law Clinic. In 2003-04 students provided legal assistance to low-income clients on guardianship and consumer issues through monthly legal advice sessions. The clinic plans to expand its pro bono opportunities in 2004-05 to include additional areas.

The Public Interest Program at Stanford Law School provides a rich resource for students who are interested in or already committed to advancing the public good and achieving social justice through the law.

Stanford Law School offers an array of classes and clinics that provide students with a solid foundation of theoretical knowledge and practical skills. It also supports students pursuing careers in the public interest and public sector, through its pro bono program, externships, mentorships, career services, speaker series, and opportunities for financial assistance.

The Public Interest Program houses public service and career services programs, and coordinates events ranging from skills training to public interest symposia to career panels. It also oversees a variety of public interest funding programs that tangibly support public interest and public sector students and alumni.

The groundwork provided through classes and clinics, and the opportunities created by the Public Interest Program enable our graduates to achieve the careers and advance the causes that first inspired them to earn a law degree.

Stanford Law School is housed at the center of the university campus in Crown Quadrangle, a four building complex built specifically for legal education. The complex houses Robert Crown Law Library; a classroom building, FIR Hall; a moot courtroom; offices and meeting rooms for faculty and for student organizations; a student lounge and snack bar; and Kresge Auditorium.

Crown Quadrangle has been thoroughly renovated over the past three years, providing students and faculty with a state-of-the-art learning and teaching environment. In the classroom building, the redesign included the installation of tiered floors, ergonomic seats, special lighting, and innovative instructional technology equipment. Computer projectors, whiteboards, and audio-visual equipment now enhance presentation capabilities for faculty and students in all rooms, and student desks provide power and wireless network connections, supporting all wireless devices. Faculty members are able to employ this new technology to image in guest lecturers via video simulcast and call in field experts for commentary via a voice-over-Internet protocol telephone, illuminating the legal world a way that had not been previously possible.

Crothers Hall, an on-campus law student residence, is one block away, as is the Mark Taper Law Student Center, a recreation and meeting facility.

After the first year, students hone their appellate advocacy skills in the Kirkwood Moot Court Competition. Many students are also engaged in legal services and outreach programs. Student-run conferences and events fill the academic year and provide leadership opportunties for students while making a significant contribution to the broader community. Recent events include, the Shaking the Foundations conference on progressive lawyering; a commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education featuring a speech by Jack Greenberg, a member of the team of lawyers who argued the combined desegregation cases before the U.S. Supreme Court; a presentation on combating terrorism in a democratic state by Soli Sorabjee, Attorney General of India; a keynote address by former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno at the Stanford Law Review Symposium on Punishment; and the annual auction sponsored by the Stanford Public Interest Law Foundation, which raises thousands of dollars to benefit nonprofit organizations and provides funding to students who work in public interest jobs over the summer.

The Robert Crown Law Library offers wireless connectivity for laptops, and an abundance of computer terminals to access the myriad databases and online resources available to Stanford law students, inlcuding Lexis and Westlaw.

The library also holds 500,000 books, 360,000 microform and audiovisual items, and more than 8,000 current serial subscriptions. Relationships with libraries around the world enable the Stanford law library to offer premier level inter-library loan service as well. The recently remodeled spacious reading room provides a popular, comfortable, and well-lighted place to study, and librarians are eager to help guide students in their research. In addition, the library offers conference rooms outfitted with the latest technology, including flat-panel displays.

Law students are welcome to use the many other research libraries here at Stanford, including Green Library and libraries specializing in art and architecture, business, education, engineering, mathematics, medicine, music, and more.

School name:Stanford UniversityStanford Law School
Address:559 Nathan Abbott Way
Zip & city:CA 94305-8610 California

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