The University of Alabama School of Law

The information on this page was provided by the law school.

Official Guide to ABA-Approved JD Programs


Introduction

The University of Alabama School of Law, the only public law school in Alabama, offers students a nationally recognized, progressive legal education. The law school has served as the training ground for state and national leaders in the legal profession, business, and government. Law students are provided with an abundance of cultural, academic, and athletic opportunities through the university. The curriculum is traditional but diverse. The law school is student-centered; faculty and administration are accessible to students. Although the faculty’s first priority is teaching, the professors are actively engaged in scholarly research and writing. Alabama is accredited by the ABA and the AALS.

Library and Physical Facilities

The law school building, which sits on 23 acres of the University of Alabama’s campus in Tuscaloosa, was designed by Edward Durell Stone, the architect for the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the US Embassy in New Delhi, and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The wing to the law school includes additional classrooms, the clinical offices, a cafeteria, a career services suite, meeting rooms, and a 24-hour computer lab. The Bounds Law Library provides users with a substantial research collection, student study carrels, the Hugo Black Study, the Howell Heflin Conference Room, and the Payne Special Collections Room.

Special and Summer Programs

Clinical programs enable law students to gain valuable practical experience representing real clients in a variety of substantive areas. During their second and third years, students can choose to participate in the Elder Law, Domestic Violence, Civil Law, Mediation, Children’s Rights, or Criminal Defense clinics. A new Entrepreneurship and Nonprofit clinic will begin during the 2018–2019 year. Alabama guarantees every interested student the opportunity to participate in at least one clinic while at the law school.

The externship program offers students practical experience while receiving credit. Externships are available during the summers and the second and third academic years. The Federal Externship provides students with opportunities to work full-time in Washington, DC in congressional or federal executive branch placements during the spring semester of the second or third year. The law school’s Public Interest Institute awards grants to encourage students to participate in the area of public interest and honors students who perform public interest work. The institute also has a full-time dean to assist students.

Alabama Law offers three certificate programs—one in Public Interest Law, one in International and Comparative Law, and another in Governmental Affairs. Through classroom, clinical, and extracurricular experiences, the Certificate in Public Interest Law prepares students for work in the public interest arena. To receive the certificate, students are required to complete specified coursework, including participation in a clinical course through one of Alabama Law’s clinics. In addition, students receiving the certificate are required to participate in at least 50 hours of law-related community service activities. The Certificate in International and Comparative Law prepares law students for engagement in law practice with an international, foreign, or comparative law dimension. Students must participate in an approved study-abroad program, complete specified coursework, and take 10 hours from selected elective courses in order to receive the certificate. The Certificate in Governmental Affairs, through coursework and externship experiences, allows students to learn about the functioning of governmental institutions, acquaints them with tools that are utilized in policy analysis, and provides them with an important policy background relating to matters that are frequently the subject of legislation. To obtain the certificate, students must complete either the Federal Legislative Externship Program in Washington, DC, or an approved state government externship. In these externships, students devote a significant portion of their responsibilities to the process of policy development. Additionally, students will take 12 credit hours from selected elective courses and must complete Administrative Law and either Legislation, Political and Legislative Writing, or Legislative Drafting.

The joint JD/MBA program offers select students an opportunity to earn both an MBA and JD. Students may select from programs designed to earn both degrees within three and a half or four years. The graduate program for international students provides international lawyers an opportunity to earn an LLM degree. The law school also offers a part-time LLM with concentrations in Taxation and Business Transactions for JD degree holders. The University of Alabama School of Law also offers the Doctor of Juridical Science (JSD) to the very best of lawyers to earn the terminal degree, usually in preparation for an academic career in law teaching.

The law school’s summer program at the Australian National University in Canberra provides a unique international experience. The program includes a course surveying Australia’s national law and a comparative law doctrinal course. In addition, Alabama Law offers current students the opportunity to study abroad for a semester at Tel Aviv University in Israel and the National Law University, Delhi in India.

Summer courses are available to students who have completed their first year.

Admission

A student must obtain a bachelor’s degree at an accredited institution before enrolling, but may apply during his or her senior year. Applicants must take the LSAT and register for LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service (CAS). Transcripts must show all schools attended. Application materials are available in early fall each year, and applications are processed on a rolling basis. Although LSAT scores and GPAs are significant factors in the admission process, the Admissions Committee considers the entirety of an applicant’s file when making a decision. Alabama Law believes that the law school experience is enriched by a diverse group of students. Through information in the personal statement, letter(s) of recommendation, and résumé, the Admissions Committee considers factors besides the LSAT score and GPA, such as honors, activities, unique work or service experience, difficulty of undergraduate courses, writing ability, trends in academic performance, leadership roles, travel experience, exceptional talents, career achievements, graduate school performance, and history of overcoming adversity.

Student Activities

A broad range of student activities adds to the students’ law school experience. Student organizations represent diverse interests. These include the Student Bar Association, Black Law Students Association, Public Interest Law Association, OUTLaw, American Constitution Society, Dorbin Association (women’s group), La Raza Law Student Association, Federalist Society, Environmental Law Society, International Law Society, Labor and Employment Law Society, Law Democrats, Law Republicans, Business Law Society, Health Law Society, Defense Lawyers Association, IP Law Society, Jewish Law Students Association, Christian Legal Society, and Sports and Entertainment Law Society.

The School of Law also offers numerous writing opportunities. The Alabama Law Review, a nationally recognized law journal, is edited by students and devotes substantial space to national and state issues. The Journal of the Legal Profession, Law and Psychology Review, and Alabama Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Law Review are also student-edited law journals. Approximately 40 percent of graduates in recent years have journal experience.

Moot court and trial advocacy teams have enjoyed exceptional success over the years. The law school sponsors teams in several moot court, specialty, and trial advocacy competitions. The moot court and trial advocacy teams have won many team and individual awards in both regional and national competitions.

Expenses and Financial Aid

The majority of students enrolled in the School of Law finance their legal education through loans, savings, earnings, or family contributions. Applicants are considered automatically for first-year scholarships. Scholarships sometimes are renewable during the second and third years. Following acceptance by the law school, each admitted student who applies for federal aid through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) receives a financial aid packet from the university’s Financial Aid Office. Information on loans can be obtained by visiting the Student Financial Aid website, or contacting:

Student Financial Aid
University of Alabama
Box 870162
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0162

Phone: 205.348.6756

Applicants should complete the FAFSA form as soon after October 1 as possible, and may apply online at www.fafsa.ed.gov.

Career Services

The Career Services Office assists students in their efforts to find employment. The office provides individual career counseling, group presentations, speaker programs, and library and database resources. Seminars are presented on topics including résumé writing, interviewing techniques, job-search techniques, judicial clerkships, professionalism, and nontraditional legal jobs. Extensive on-campus interviewing occurs. The law school also participates in job fairs in Atlanta, Nashville, Chicago, and Washington, DC. For the class of 2016, 90.3 percent were employed in bar-passage-required or JD-advantage positions or pursuing advanced degrees within nine months of graduation.

Housing

Most law students live off campus. The cost of living in Tuscaloosa for a single law student ranges from approximately $600 to $1,200 per month.

Admitted Applicant Profile

25-75% UGPA Range at Alabama:

3.57 to 4.00

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Alabama:

158 to 166

120
135
150
165
180

25-75% UGPA Range at Alabama:

3.57 to 4.00

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Alabama:

158 to 166

120
135
150
165
180

25-75% UGPA Range at Alabama:

3.57 to 4.00

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Alabama:

158 to 166

120
135
150
165
180

Contact Information

Box 870382,
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487,
United States
Phone: 205.348.5440