The University of Akron School of Law
The information on this page was provided by the law school.
Official Guide to ABA-Approved JD Programs
The excellent legal education, affordable tuition, low student debt, and strong placement rates offered at Akron Law make us one of the best value law schools in the nation and the best value law school in Ohio. Located in the heart of downtown Akron and just 45 minutes south of Cleveland, the University of Akron (UA) is a comprehensive research and teaching university with degree programs ranging from the associate to the doctoral level. Founded in 1870, UA has celebrated more than 140 years of academic excellence while forging ahead to meet the complex needs of today’s students.
The Akron School of Law was founded in 1921 and merged with UA in 1959. More than 7,000 students have graduated from the law school. Akron Law alumni practice throughout the United States and abroad. With strong bar passage and employment rates, flexible degree options, state-of-the-art facilities, and global connections, Akron Law prepares its students for success in the modern legal world.
In order to be considered for admission, the applicant must submit the application form and personal statement. The applicant must also take the LSAT and register for LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service before the file may be sent to the Admissions Committee. An applicant may apply during his or her final year of undergraduate studies. The bachelor’s degree coursework must be completed prior to law school matriculation. Decisions are made on a rolling basis as soon as the files are complete. The deadline to apply for fall admission is March 31. The deadline to apply for spring admission is October 31.
Students enrolled in an American Bar Association (ABA)-accredited law school may apply for transfer or transient status. A law student who has completed neither more nor less than one year (not more than 30 semester credit hours) and is in good academic standing may apply for transfer. A law student who has the dean’s permission to visit for one or two semesters may apply for transient status.
Tuition/Fees and Financial Aid (Annual)
Please visit Annual Tuition and Fees: JD Program for our current schedule. Note that nonresident students pay an annual surcharge of just $100 per year, meaning that nonresident students effectively pay the same rate for tuition and fees as resident students.
Admitted applicants are automatically considered for merit-based scholarships. In a typical year, 65 to 80 percent of entering students will receive a scholarship. Scholarships awarded to entering students are guaranteed for the duration of their enrollment at Akron Law, so long as the student is not academically dismissed. Upper-division students may apply for merit-based and need-based scholarships. Students also have access to Federal Direct Loans, Graduate PLUS Loans, and alternative loans, as well as federal work-study funds (summer term only).
Akron Law offers a traditional full-time JD program, which law students may complete in an accelerated course of study, or a traditional three-year schedule. Akron Law also offers a flexible part-time program, which allows students to attend classes during daytime or evening hours. Part-time students may complete the JD program in as few as three and one-half years or as many as six years. Students may transfer from full time to part time (or vice versa) as their needs dictate. Akron Law also offers a two-year JD degree program for students with a foreign law degree.
Students may begin their legal studies in the fall or spring semester, which begins in August or January, respectively. New in 2018 is the Akron Law summer start option, which would allow students to begin their legal education in June.
International JD Program
In addition to the traditional JD program, Akron Law also offers an International JD program, a two-year JD degree program for students with a foreign law degree. Our International JD program enables foreign lawyers or applicants who have earned a first degree in law outside of the United States to
- transfer 29 credits from a law degree obtained outside of the United States toward a JD degree at Akron Law. Students in the two-year JD program then need only an additional 59 credits (the equivalent of four semesters of full-time study) at Akron Law to obtain a JD.
- gain transfer admission to Akron Law without taking the LSAT.
- save substantial time. Typically, it takes three years to obtain a JD degree. By transferring credits from their home university, students will acquire the same degree as American or foreign non-law graduates that takes three years or 88 credits to acquire.
- sit for the bar examination in all US states (an LLM degree only allows access to the bar examinations in a very few states).
Unveiled in fall 2017, the newly renovated C. Blake McDowell Law Center offers students a beautiful backdrop to their legal studies. The major renovation included the addition of state-of-the-art technology throughout, additional student spaces, practice areas for our award-winning mock trial and moot court teams, and a modern law library. Additionally, a new wing features the 125-seat Brennan Courtroom, which includes judges’ chambers, a jury box, and a deliberation room. The McDowell Common features a central student area, complete with café and a fireplace.
Akron Law students have access to the law school building, law library, and other new facilities across campus. In fact, the university’s $200-million New Landscape for Learning campus improvement program resulted in a new Student Union, Student Recreation and Wellness Center, Student Affairs Building, academic buildings, and parking decks. Approximately 30 acres of new green space were added to the campus to create a more park-like setting. The law school is within one block of the Akron Municipal Court, the Court of Common Pleas, and the Ninth District Court of Appeals. The federal court is a few blocks from campus. Although the law school is in the downtown Akron area, the campus is bordered by grassy areas, decorative plantings, and fountains. It is also 10 minutes away from Ohio’s only national park.
Intellectual Property Center
Akron Law’s JD/LLM in Intellectual Property (IP) Law program may be completed in three years on a full-time basis or in four years on a part-time basis, including summer enrollment for both programs. Akron Law’s IP program is one of the most extensive in the nation. More than two dozen IP courses are offered either every year or every other year.
In addition, Akron Law offers an LLM degree in Intellectual Property Law. This graduate program, which may be completed in one year on a full-time basis or in two years on a part-time basis, provides law graduates with an opportunity to begin or continue a specialization in IP.
We offer a dynamic curriculum with many opportunities for specialization. Our two-semester introductory course in legal analysis, research, and writing is delivered in small sections to ensure individualized contact with our full-time writing professors. Upper-division writing courses provide further opportunities for our students to hone their skills.
We believe in preparing our graduates for practice as completely as possible, which is why we not only offer numerous skills development electives but also weave skills development into the core curriculum. Thus, while our professors do teach theory, they teach with a mind toward practical application, as well.
All law students are eligible to participate in the programs offered and the services provided by the Academic Success Office. The assistant dean and assistant director of academic success programs counsel students on study techniques, learning styles, time management, and other topics related to academic success. In addition, a group of high-performing, upper-division law students, known as ASP fellows, lead weekly guided review sessions for first-year students and are available for individual tutoring and review sessions.
- Specialized Studies: Business, Criminal, Intellectual Property, Family, Health, International, Litigation, Public, Sports and Entertainment, and Tax
- Joint Degrees: JD/Master in Business Administration, JD/Master in Taxation, JD/Master of Science in Accountancy (Forensic Accounting), JD/Master in Public Administration, JD/Master in Applied Politics, and JD/LLM in Intellectual Property Law
- Certificate Programs: Constitutional Law, Litigation, Health Law, and Intellectual Property, as well as a certificate in IP for non-JD students
- LLM Graduate Law Degree: Intellectual Property Law
- Two-Year International JD Program: Foreign lawyers or applicants who have earned a first degree in law outside of the United States can transfer credits to acquire a US JD degree in only two years. Our two-year International JD program enables foreign students who qualify to transfer 29 credits from a law degree obtained outside of the United States toward a JD degree at Akron Law and to gain transfer admission to Akron Law without taking the LSAT examination.
- Master of Studies in Law (MSL): A one-year, advanced degree designed for accomplished professionals in other disciplines who are seeking to enhance their careers by expanding their knowledge of legal principles and the US legal system.
Legal Clinics and Externships
Akron Law students can experience the real practice of law before graduation in a variety of supervised settings by working with courts, attorneys, and clients in actual cases through our clinical programs. Ohio allows you to essentially practice law during your final year of law school under the supervision of our clinical professors. We realize that client contact with faculty supervision is key to your future and vital for the community. As such, it is our goal to provide unparalleled opportunities to all of our students. In addition to a wealth of internships and externships, our law school offers a number of clinical opportunities involving start-up businesses, trademarks, rehabilitation, civil litigation, domestic relations, and health law and policy.
The Small Entrepreneur and Economic Development (SEED) Clinic provides low-cost legal and business assistance to small and emerging local businesses that would otherwise be unable to hire outside counsel, with a special focus on businesses owned by women and minorities.
In the Trademark Clinic, students assist businesses and individuals in protecting their trademark rights under the supervision of a licensed trademark attorney. The Trademark Clinic is one of a handful of clinics throughout the country that has been specially designated by the US Patent and Trademark Office to allow law students to prosecute trademark applications. In the clinic, students gain valuable skills sought by employers, such as interviewing clients, conducting trademark searches, drafting opinion letters, preparing and filing trademark applications, and responding to office actions.
The Reentry Clinics, recently named one of the top innovative clinics in the country, offer an opportunity for all law students to participate in one of four clinics:
- Expungement Clinic—serves low-income Akron residents who seek to have their convictions sealed by the court. Students volunteering with this clinic may participate in an outreach event. Clients also may contact the clinic directly for assistance. The law students assist the applicants with completing the application for judicial sealing. Law students who have a legal intern certificate also represent clients at their court hearings. The clinic has had over 300 convictions sealed.
- Clemency Project—assists low-income ex-offenders who seek a pardon for their convictions. Law students help the clients prepare their pardon petition to the governor. Law students may also represent clients at the pardon hearings. The clinic has screened over 900 clients, determining 129 to be good candidates. The governor has pardoned 8 of those clients, and 3 more have received a favorable report from the Ohio Parole Board and are awaiting the governor’s decision.
- Certificate of Qualification for Employment (CQE)—assists those with criminal convictions in applying to the court for a Certificate of Qualification for Employment. In circumstances where the law had previously prohibited those with convictions from holding certain types of employment or professional licenses, the certificate allows the prospective employer or the licensing authority, in its discretion, to employ or license the person who holds the certificate. Law student volunteers assist eligible applicants in completing the online CQE application. Over 2,000 clients have attended the clinic. Volunteers have completed 630 CQE applications.
- Human Trafficking Clinic—assists victims of human trafficking who wish to expunge (destroy) their criminal records. Typically, victims of human trafficking are likely to have convictions for solicitation or prostitution, which were forced upon them by the traffickers. Law students assist the clients with motions to expunge their solicitation convictions. Law students with legal intern certificates may also represent the clients at their court hearings. Nine clients have been screened by the clinic, and two filed expungement applications with the court—the court granted both.
Students participating in the Civil Practice Clinic represent clients in civil matters in local municipal courts, primarily in tenant/landlord proceedings, referred from the local legal aid organization. Students learn how to prepare for litigation and manage a caseload, just as they will in practice.
Students in the Domestic Relations Court Clinic handle family law matters in the Portage County Domestic Relations Court. With their State of Ohio legal intern certificate, students supervised by an experienced practitioner handle matters of child support contempt, dissolutions, and civil protection orders. Students appear in court, argue at hearings, prepare briefings, and advise clients of modest means referred by the Portage County Bar Association.
In the Health Law & Policy Clinic, students work as part of the medical-legal partnership team to assist clients with poverty law issues that impact health. Students meet and interview clients onsite at medical facilities, and then assist with various legal aspects of the clients’ concerns like inadequate access to education services, poor housing conditions, imminent eviction, improper denial or reduction in public benefits, lack of health insurance, or need for a simple will and other estate planning documents. Students will also engage in advocacy related to systemic health law or health policy issues, addressing questions of health equity, delivery reform, education, housing, or public benefits. This off-site clinic takes place at Community Legal Aid in downtown Akron, supervised by a legal aid attorney.
The Immigration & Human Rights Clinic introduces students to the practice of immigration removal defense with a focus on asylum as a form of relief for individuals seeking protection from persecution in their home countries. Under the professor’s supervision, students will work in teams of two to provide direct representation for an individual seeking asylum while detained in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Students will learn immigration court procedure; client interviewing and counseling skills; trial advocacy skills; legal research and writing in the civil, administrative context; and the fundamentals of asylum as a defense to removal. Students will become familiar with essential asylum case law and will advocate for their clients before a US Immigration Judge.
The Social Justice Lawyering Clinic combines a two-hour class with a one-hour clinic. This innovative clinic is team taught; students in the clinic identify and work on projects to serve an identified need in the community.
In addition to the clinics, there are opportunities for students to work in externship placements throughout the community for law school credit. In judicial externship placements, students do research for judges and assist with the work of the court.
In other public externship placements, Akron Law students work with local prosecutors, public defenders, and legal aid organizations, or with supervising attorneys in other nonprofit or government agencies or organizations. Our Assistant Dean for Career Services works with each student to find appropriate opportunities to explore career goals.
Student Activities and Leadership
Our more than 20 law student organizations include the Akron Law Review, Black Law Students Association, Asian-Latino Law Students Association, Law Association for Women, Gay/Straight Law Alliance, Intellectual Property and Technology Law Association, International Law Society, Student Bar Association, and more. Elections for leadership positions are held each year for day and evening students.
Students have many opportunities to sharpen their practical skills by participating in regional and national mock trial, moot court, negotiation, and client counseling competitions. Our competition teams have had tremendous success in competitions throughout the United States, earning over 20 national or regional trial advocacy titles.
Library and Technology
UA’s campus is wireless, allowing for Internet and network access in any building on campus. The law library contains 223,890 volumes. Students have access to over 50 million library items, over 13 million unique titles that may be delivered through OhioLINK, 2.5 million library items through UA Libraries Catalog, and many full-text resources, including 66,491 journals, more than 7.5 million articles, and 392,371 e-books. Law students also receive free access to LexisNexis, Westlaw, and Bloomberg Law.
Career Services Office
The Assistant Dean for Career Services counsels law students on résumé writing, job searching, interviewing skills, and preparing for entrance into the legal profession. On-campus interviews, a minority clerkship program, an attorney-student mentor program, employment-related seminars, and career fairs are offered. Akron’s extensive law alumni database enables the Career Services Office to assist students with networking opportunities nationwide. The office assists in the placement of students in law-related positions during summer sessions and upper-division years. Graduates receive placement assistance, on request, throughout their careers. Akron’s reputation for excellence in legal education and a subsequent high bar passage rate facilitates competitive placements for students and graduates in all areas of practice. Please see Career Services at Akron Law for placement statistics and more information about our services.
Visiting Akron Law
Several programs are offered throughout the year for prospective and admitted students to interact with law students, alumni, faculty, and administration at Akron Law. In addition, guests are welcome to schedule an appointment to visit a class, take a tour, or meet with an admission representative. Prospective students may request additional information at Information for Prospective Students. For those unable to visit Akron Law, our representatives will also be available at numerous recruiting events throughout the country each year.
Admitted Applicant Profile
25-75% UGPA Range at Akron:
3.14 to 3.72
25-75% LSAT Score Range at Akron:
151 to 156
25-75% UGPA Range at Akron:
3.14 to 3.72
25-75% LSAT Score Range at Akron:
151 to 156
25-75% UGPA Range at Akron:
3.14 to 3.72
25-75% LSAT Score Range at Akron:
151 to 156