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S.J. Quinney College of Law

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S.J. Quinney College of Law
Parent school University of Utah
Established 1913
School type Public
Endowment $509 million
Dean Hiram Chodosh
Location Salt Lake City, UT, US
Enrollment 405
Faculty 43 (See List)
USNWR ranking 42
Bar pass rate 86%
Annual tuition
Outlines 0 (See List)
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S.J. Quinney College of Law is located in Salt Lake City, UT

The S.J. Quinney College of Law is the law school of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah. Established in 1913, the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law is nationally recognized for its accomplished faculty, innovative curriculum, and low faculty-to-student ratio. Utah law is a member of the Association of American Law Schools and is accredited by the American Bar Association.[1] The 2011 US News & World Report Law School Rankings place the S.J. Quinney College of Law at #42 in the country.[2]


The University of Utah was founded in 1850. The law school was later founded in 1913 to meet the growing legal needs of Utah and the western United States. As one of the oldest and most well-respected law schools in the west, the S.J. Quinney College of Law has left a lasting mark on the American legal system.

New Law School Building Announced

On Oct. 30, 2009, Dean Hiram Chodosh announced to students, during his monthly "Dean's Report and Reception," that the University of Utah is moving forward on plans to construct a new law school facility in the near future. He and other faculty members have formed a committee and have been in discussions with University administration in order to get things going on the project, and to seek funding. Dean Chodosh also said that he is currently meeting with and interviewing architects for the project, and that the committee has already decided on an ideal square footage and interior design for the building. Dean Chodosh said that the only thing holding the S.J. Quinney College of Law back from attracting more of the brightest students in the nation, as well as a much deserved jump in the rankings, is a more modern facility. The ABA, according to Dean Chodosh, during their review of the law school last year, said that it was a top tier law school in terms of programs, faculty, and students, but was lacking in the quality of physical facilities.

During the spring 2010 "Dean Update" Dean Chodosh updated the students on the new law school building. He announced that ground will be broken in 2013, fundraising/lobbying is underway, and the site of the new school will be directly east of the current law school complex. The advantages of staying near the current site include the following: close proximity to Trax, within the historic and arguably most beautiful area of campus, and with the completion of the "Universe" retail/commercial/high density residential development - to be built directly west of the football stadium - the new law school will be in the heart of one of the most exciting areas on campus. [3]


Located along the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains, overlooking the Salt Lake City skyline, the University of Utah arguably enjoys one of the one most beautiful campuses in the world. The law school building is located in the south-west corner of campus directly north of the stadium light rail station and Eccles Stadium, home of the two-time BCS busting Ute football team. The law school is less than a 10-minute drive or TRAX light rail ride from downtown Salt Lake City-the seat of federal, state, and local governmental bodies. Salt Lake City is the economic center of the region and is regularly voted one of America's most livable cities.[4] The location provides ample professional opportunities for students, as well as superb outdoor recreational access and a strong cultural scene. Salt Lake City combines a network of professionals and practitioners in an urban capital city with perhaps the greatest proximity of outdoor recreational opportunities in the world. The world's best mountain resorts are only 20 minutes away, and you can arrive in St. George's infamous red rock country in four or five hours.

Law Library

The library houses more than 340,000 volumes of law and law-related material and serves as a depository for US government documents. Eight librarians (six with law degrees) teach the research component of the Legal Methods course. The law library, like the entire University of Utah campus, is a wireless environment. First-year students are provided with their own study hall - named Gibson Hall, AKA "the Gibby" - furnished with group-study tables and open carrels. Second and Third-year students are provided private carrels with personal lockable compartments in a modern spacious facility with the latest technological equipment and library research services.

Academic Offerings

The law school offers the standard J.D.. Additionally they have three joint degree programs, a J.D./M.B.A. a J.D./M.P.A., and a J.D./M.P.P. The school also offers an advanced degree L.L.M. focusing on energy, environmental, and natural resources law.[5] With a student body that is smaller than a single entering class of many law schools, Utah Law offers applicants the opportunity to study law in an intimate environment that allows students to establish close relationships with their classmates and professors.


According to the widely cited USNWR 2011 Law School Rankings, the S.J. Quinney College of Law was named a "Top Tier" Law School and is currently ranked #42 out of more than 180 law schools in the United States.[2] BYU, the only other law school in the state, is tied with Utah Law at #42. Several University of Utah law students have been chosen for prestigious internships and clerkships, including four graduates who have served as clerks to Supreme Court Justices.[6] Tyler R. Green, a 2005 graduate of the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law clerked for Justice Clarence Thomas during the October 2009 term.[7] Utah has the 3rd lowest faculty to student ratio at 8.1:1, behind only Yale and Stanford at 7.3:1 and 8:1, respectively.[8]

Admissions, Job Placement, and Bar Passage

There were 1277 applicants for the incoming class of 2012 at the S.J. Quinney College of Law and 128 students were enrolled; the incoming class had a median LSAT score of 160 and median GPA of 3.60. The 25th-75th percentile LSAT range was 156-163, and the 25th-75th percentile range for GPA was 3.41-3.76.[9]

About 98% of 2009 graduates were employed within nine months of graduation.[10] Of those employed, around 60% began their practice in the private sector, while about 13% took on government jobs, and about 10% attained judicial clerkships. The average private sector starting salary is about $80,000.

The overall bar passage rate in 2009 was about 85.5%, with 75% passing in February and 90% passing in July.[9]

Dean Hiram Chodosh

Before assuming the deanship of the S.J. Quinney College of Law July 1, 2006, Dean Chodosh - a graduate of Yale Law School - was associate dean for academic affairs and Joseph C. Hostetler-Baker & Hostetler Professor of Law at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Dean Chodosh joined the Case faculty in 1993 after three years in private practice in New York City with the international firm of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton. At Case, he also directed the Frederick K. Cox International Law Center from 1998 to 2003. A leading expert in comparative and global justice reform with hands-on experience in more than 20 countries, he has served as a consultant on judicial reform for the International Monetary Fund, a senior reporter on several U.S. State Department reform studies, and an adviser to the World Bank's Justice Reform Group. A Fulbright Senior Scholar in India in 2003, Dean Chodosh is the author of Global Justice Reform: A Comparative Methodology, published in 2005 by New York University Press, and more than 25 articles, essays, and book chapters.[11]


J. Reuben Clark Law Society[13][14] - The JRCLS is an international organization of law school students and graduates consisting of over 65 chapters throughout the world. Although closely associated with the LDS Church, membership in the church is not required to join JRCLS. The international organization currently claims 14 U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judges, 18 U.S. District Court Judges, 4 U.S. Attorneys, 6 U.S. Senators (including the Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid), 9 U.S. Congressman, 17 Fortune 500 Corporate Counselors, and 85 State Supreme Court, Appellate Court, and District Court judges.[15] The Society's 2010 annual conference for students and practicing attorneys will be held at the University of Utah. Prior conferences have been held Arizona State Law School, featuring former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, at Harvard Law School, Columbia Law School, and Georgetown Law School.[16]

Jackie Chiles Law Society[17] - The University of Utah's S.J. Quinney College of Law is home to the nation's only chapter of the Jackie Chiles Law Society. The student organization is named after the famous Seinfeld attorney, Jackie Chiles. The organization studies ways in which the law is depicted in pop culture and how its depiction has helped to change and form the law. Phil Morris, the actor who plays Jackie Chiles on Seinfeld, delivered the keynote address at the society's first end-of-year banquet in 2006.[18] Other notable speakers in recent years included Corbin Bernsen (Arnold Becker) of L.A. Law and Sam Lloyd from Scrubs (attorney Ted Buckland). The organization's website can be found at and also has a Facebook page to keep the organization's members updated on meetings and activities.

Student Bar Association[19] - The SBA is the official student government of the S.J. Quinney College of Law. SBA plans student activities, organizes the mentor program for 1L students and many other programs to help law students. The SBA also serves as the Student Advisory Committee (SAC) and elected student government of the College of Law. As voting members of the College Council, SBA Board members serve as representatives of the student body to the law school faculty and administration. Thus, the SBA is the student voice to this decision-making body of the law school. The SBA can affect policies regarding curriculum, grades, class and exam scheduling, legal clinics, and so on. The SBA participates in faculty retention, promotion and tenure evaluations. On the lighter side, the SBA also sponsors social events, philanthropies, and intramural sports.[12]

Women's Law Caucus is an organization that aims to be a source of support, opportunity and information for women and men in our community. The WLC promotes interest in issues of particular concern to women, provides a forum for students on issues affecting the legal community, and provides activities that promote involvement in legal and women’s issues. The WLC administers the Reva Beck Bosone Scholarship each fall. The WLC also networks frequently with the Women Lawyers of Utah and elects a liaison who attends WLU board meetings.

Federalist Society[20] - The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies is a group of conservatives and libertarians interested in the current state of the legal order.[21] It is founded on the principles that the state exists to preserve freedom, that the separation of governmental powers is central to our Constitution, and that it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be. The Society seeks both to promote an awareness of these principles and to further their application through its activities.[22]

Minority Law Caucus - The Minority Law Caucus (MLC), founded in 1985, is a student organization at the University of Utah S.J.Quinney College of Law. MLC promotes diversity in the legal profession in general and at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law in particular. Its first end-of-the-year scholarship auction was held in the spring of 1986.[12]

OUTLaws - The OUTLaws is an association of LGBT and allied students at S.J. Quinney School of Law. Student leadership of OUTLaws has established the following organizational goals: (1) Educate fellow law students about legal issues and challenges of LGBT community, (2) Connect with the LGBT community in Utah to understand current local legal issues, (3) Provide volunteer support to existing local organizations (e.g., Equality Utah) working to improve legal standing of LGBT citizens and families, (4) Build relationships with practicing attorneys in Utah who are active in the LGBT community.[12] Click this link to watch the OUTLAWS 2010 "Day of Silence" promotional clip.[23]

NRLF - Natural Resources Law Forum: Open to all S. J. Quinney students, we share common interests in environmental law and responsible outdoor recreation. NRLF coordinates educational activities to serve the community and facilitates contact with leaders in the field of natural resources law. NRLF also sponsors social and volunteer activities such as tree planting, hikes, and cleanup of trails and rivers.

PALS - The Persian American Legal Society (PALS), founded by solmaz copeland in 2009, is dedicated to enhancing the awareness and appreciation of Iranian and other Middle Eastern cultural traditions in Utah's legal community.[12]

PILO - Public Interest Law Organization. The mission of the Public Interest Law Organization (PILO) is to promote scholarship, activism, and career opportunities for law students interested in working for the public interest.This includes local, state, and federal government, as well as non profits and other organizations with public service missions.

Sports Law Club The Sports Law Club provides a forum for students interested in sports law to explore career options, network with individuals working in the industry and discuss sports-related legal issues. It also organizes social events like student trips to local sports events and the annual ping pong tournament.

Business Law Society: The business law society is a student organization for anyone interested in the law and business. Events focus on how the law and business intersect. These events include speakers (varying from in-house counsel to the president of a multi-billion dollar company) and visits to businesses in Salt Lake City to see how the law and business interact in the real world.

Scholarly publications

The S.J. Quinney College of Law currently publishes three legal journals:[24]

  • Utah Environmental Law Review[25]
  • Utah Law Review[26]
  • Journal of Law and Family Studies[27]


  1. Approved Private Law Schools,
  2. 2.0 2.1 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named USNews
  4. Salt Lake City Named One of the "Most Livable Cities" for Workers | Utah Pulse
  5. University of Utah Degree Programs
  6. COL Graduate Tyler Green to Clerk for U.S. Supreme Court | ULaw Today | The S.J. Quinney College of Law
  8. 2010 US News Law Schools leak 1 large « Above the Law: A Legal Tabloid - News and Colorful Commentary on Law Firms and the Legal Profession
  9. 9.0 9.1 Law School Profile » S.J. Quinney College of Law | University of Utah
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4
  13. J. Reuben Clark Law Society Home
  15. J. Reuben Clark Law Society
  16. J. Reuben Clark Law Society Conference
  17. The Jackie Chiles Law Society
  18. Actor calls 'Chiles' role an outlet | Deseret News
  21. About Us » The Federalist Society
  22. The Federalist Society
  23. YouTube - Day of Silence at the S.J. Quinney College of Law
  24. University of Utah Academic Programs
  25. Journal of Land, Resources, and Environmental Law
  26. Utah Law Review
  27. Journal of Law and Family Studies

External links