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University of Massachusetts School of Law
|University of Massachusetts School of Law|
|Location||Dartmouth, MA, US|
|Outlines||0 (See List)|
- Not to be confused with Massachusetts School of Law.
A plan to convert private law school Southern New England School of Law (SNESL) into a public law school for the University of Massachusetts system was first proposed in early 2004. The plan would establish the first public law school in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and only the fifth public law school in New England. The Trustees of the University of Massachusetts system voted in favor of the proposal in December 2004, but the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education rejected it in early 2005 as fiscally unsound.
The proposal was brought again in October 2009, when Southern New England School of Law offered to donate real estate, facility, technology and library assets to UMass Dartmouth for the purpose of creating a public law program in Massachusetts. These assets had an estimated value of more than $22 million and would be the second largest donation in the 146-year history of the University of Massachusetts system. The University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees approved the plan on December 9, 2009 and the Commonwealth's Board of Higher Education did likewise on February 2, 2010.
The first class matriculated in August 2010.
In June 2012, the School of Law received provisional accreditation from the American Bar Association after an eight-year quest by SNESL and UMass Law, before receiving full accreditation in December 2016.
At a time of declining nationwide enrollment in legal education, UMass Law stabilized its enrollment at about 75 incoming students per year, with applications and the quality of applicants as measured by LSAT scores increased.
For the Fall 2018 academic year, first-year enrollment was 94 students, a 17.5% increase from the 2017 first-year enrollment of 80 students and a 42% increase from 2016.
In August, 2014, UMass Law launched Justice Bridge, a legal incubator in downtown Boston, providing reduced-fee legal services to clients of modest means. UMass Law also opened a second Justice Bridge location in New Bedford.
UMass Law offers full-time day, part-time day, and part-time evening/weekend Juris Doctor degree programs. Additionally, they offer JD/MBA and JD/MPP joint degrees with UMass Dartmouth and a JD/MSW joint degree with Bridgewater State University.
UMass Law announced 3+3 programs, under which students can earn an undergraduate and law degree in six rather the normal seven years, with UMass Dartmouth, UMass Boston, UMass Lowell, Fitchburg State University, Worcester State University, the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Becker College, Westfield State University, Framingham State University, Salem State University, Assumption College, and Anna Maria College
UMass Law has three in-house legal clinics— Community Development (business), Human Rights at Home, and Immigration Litigation—as well as the Criminal Prosecution Clinic, housed in the Bristol County District Attorney's Office, and the Tribal Law Clinic, housed in the South Coastal Counties Legal Service, Inc.
Commonwealth Fellows Program
In December 2014, UMass Law launched the Commonwealth Fellows Program. Under the program, students who are Massachusetts residents or have attended a Massachusetts public college or university as an undergraduate, and who score at least 152 on the LSAT and have an undergraduate grade of point average of at least 3.0, receive an automatic scholarship of $5,000 per year.
Public Interest Law Fellowships
Up to 25 entering UMass Law students each year are awarded Public Interest Law Fellowships. The Fellowship, which includes a 50% scholarship for both tuition and fees, is designed to train students for careers in public service. Fellowship recipients commit to practice public interest law for at least four years after graduation.
- Ranked #23 in the nation for value-added law schools in a study issued by the American Bar Foundation.
- Ranked #14 in the nation by National Jurist for preparing students for careers in government
- 2017 Public Service Award from the Massachusetts Bar Association
- Library of Congress Burton Award for one of the top 10 student law review articles nationally to UMass Law student
- Ranked among the best law schools for practical training by preLaw Magazine
- Ranked as one of the top five law schools for black students in the east by the Black Student’s Guide to Law Schools & Firms
Post-Graduation Employment Statistics
According to UMass Law's official 2017 ABA-required disclosures, 72% of the Class of 2018 obtained full-time, long-term, bar-required employment nine months after graduation. UMass Law's Law School Transparency under-employment score is 28.3%, indicating the percentage of the Class of 2016 unemployed, pursuing an additional degree, or working in a non-professional, short-term, or part-time job nine months after graduation.
Bar Passage Rates
The 2017 first-time bar passage rate for all jurisdictions was 72.7%, and the 2017 first-time bar passage rate for the Massachusetts Bar exam was 75.6%. UMass Law's 2015 Ultimate Bar Pass Rate (within 2 years of graduating) for all jurisdictions was 88.7%.
|First-time takers||Percent passing||Second-time takers||Percent passing||References|
The cost of tuition, fees, and health insurance at UMass Law for the 2019 academic year is $29,461 for full-time, in-state students, $38,369 for full-time, out-of-state students, and $31,387 for full-time, Rhode Island and Vermont residents. The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $162,311.
On May 19, 2014, Governor Deval Patrick served as the Commencement speaker for the 2014 graduating class at UMass Law. During the commencement ceremony, Governor Patrick received the Chancellor's Medal for outstanding service to the commonwealth.
On May 18, 2015, attorney and national legal analyst Rikki Klieman gave the Commencement address, telling the Class of 2015 "making a living is not the same as making a life." She received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.
On May 16, 2016, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants addressed the Class of 2016, telling the graduates they were "blazing the path for the entire profession of law." Chief Justice Gants received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.
On May 15, 2017, Morris Dees, co-founder and chief legal counsel for the Southern Poverty Law Center, gave the Commencement address to the Class of 2017. Dees received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.
- Southern New England School of Law, the predecessor institution
- Archived copy,
- Jan, Tracy Full UMass board gives nod to law school plan, The Boston Globe (December 10, 2009)
- News & Opinion: Local Coverage, bostonherald.com
- Carmichael, Mary UMass Law wins ABA accreditation after eight-year battle for respect, The Boston Globe (12 June 2012)
- DeCOSTA, STEVE In era of shrinking enrollment, UMass law school happy to hold its own,
- Standard-Times, The UMass Law first-year enrollment grows, southcoasttoday.com
- Law, UMass Degree Programs & Requirements,
- UMass Law School offers fast-track program with public universities - Boston Business Journal,
- Pre-Law at MCLA,
- Standard-Times, The UMass Law announces accelerated completion program with Worcester State, southcoasttoday.com
- Westfield State University partners with UMass on law program, masslive.com
- Becker students can now fast-track their law degree - Becker College, Becker College (2017-12-29)
- Standard-Times, The UMass Law partners with Salem State & Assumption College to offer accelerated degree programs,
- Law, UMass Clinics, Field Placements & Pro Bono,
- UMass law program offers $5K discount to students - Providence Business News,
- UMass Dartmouth website,
- Ryan, Christopher J. Crunching the Numbers: Rethinking Measures of Quality and Value in National Law School Rankings, (2015)
- preLaw Winter 2018 | the National Jurist,
- UMass Law to receive Massachusetts Bar Association's Public Service Award in May, southcoasttoday.com
- » Law360 Distinguished Legal Writing Awards – Law School,
- preLaw magazine Spring 2019 Page 20,
- Black Student’s Guide to Law Schools & Firms 2019 Edition,
- Employment Summary for UMass Law's 2018 Graduates,
- University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Profile,
- July 2018 Massachusetts Bar Examination Results by Law Schools,
- Standard-Times, The UMass Law rises to third in Massachusetts Bar pass rate, southcoasttoday.com
- ABA Bar Passage Outcomes,
- July 2011 Massachusetts Bar Examination Results,
- February 2012 Massachusetts Bar Examination Results,
- February 2013 Massachusetts Bar Examination Results,
- February 2014 Massachusetts Bar Examination Results,
- mass.gov pdf,
- February 2015 Massachusetts Bar Examination Results by Law Schools,
- February 2018 MA Bar Exam results,
- UMass Law Tuition and Fees,
- University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Profile,
- AG Holder Addresses UMass Law Students About Gun Violence,
- Governor Deval Patrick to speak at UMass Law graduation - Gate House,
- Dartmouth, University of Massachusetts National legal analyst Rikki Klieman tells UMass Law Class of 2015,
- Dartmouth, University of Massachusetts UMass Law graduates "blazing the path for the entire profession of law" says SJC Chief Justice,
- Dartmouth, University of Massachusetts Southern Poverty Law Center founder Morris Dees urges UMass Law graduates to defend the rule of law over the "rule of the mob",
- Dartmouth, University of Massachusetts Morris Dees: Founder and Chief Legal Counsel, Southern Poverty Law Center,
- Fraga, Brian UMass Law graduates ready to serve, The Herald News, Fall River, MA
- Brown, Curt 'This is amazing': 47 receive degrees from UMass Law,
- Law, UMass Justice Elspeth B. Cypher addresses the UMass Law Class of 2019,