Boston College Law School

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

Official Guide to ABA-Approved JD Programs


Introduction

Boston College Law School combines one of the best legal faculties in the country with a cutting-edge, academically challenging curriculum focused on the building blocks of a successful legal career—legal doctrine along with research, writing, and analysis—as well as a diverse set of over 200 elective courses and a wide range of options for immersive practical experience. The school educates distinguished lawyers and industry leaders—all located in a peaceful campus setting, just minutes away from one of the nation’s most historic and dynamic cities.

BC Law faculty foster collaborative relationships and encourage teamwork and support, both academically and personally. The curriculum is designed to help students develop the framework needed to become leaders who can adapt successfully to changes in society and the legal profession. The school’s nationally recognized research and writing and clinical programs, as well as its unique externships and advocacy programs housed within the Center for Experiential Learning, help prepare new lawyers for the real-world practice of law.

BC Law’s attention to mentoring relationships goes far beyond the classroom walls. The school’s 13,000 alumni make up a deep and supportive network that will serve as the foundation of a graduate’s professional life for decades to come. BC Law graduates often refer to their time in law school as some of the best years of their lives, and their fondness for the school shows in their enthusiasm and support. That support, as well as one of the best career services operations in the country, helps new graduates land their dream jobs anywhere in the world.

Location

Founded in 1929, BC Law is located on an attractive 40-acre campus in Newton, Massachusetts, just minutes from downtown Boston, a thriving hub full of legal, corporate, and academic opportunities for current students and graduates. Boston is one of the country’s leading centers for major law firms and corporations—including many high-tech and biotech companies—as well as government agencies and nonprofits. The school’s clinical and externship programs take full advantage of these opportunities to immerse students in the kinds of experiences that help them learn what it means to practice law (see Experiential Learning and Special Programs). Once they graduate, BC Law alumni can take advantage of one of the strongest and most loyal alumni networks in New England to help them begin their careers—either locally or across the country.

Faculty and Curriculum

BC Law is well known for the quality of its teaching. The faculty are published scholars and leaders in the profession, recognized nationally and internationally for their expertise. But first and foremost, they are leaders and mentors in the classroom. Their dedication is illustrated by the time spent with students long after office hours have ended. The faculty believes in the importance of a legal education designed to enable graduates to adapt to the changing demands of law practice, supported by a strong skills-based approach that gives students real-world experience in the practice of law. Areas of particular focus include administrative and government law, business and corporate law (including intellectual property, philanthropy, securities, start-ups, and tax), constitutional law, criminal and civil litigation, dispute resolution, environmental law, ethics and professional responsibility, family law, health law, human rights and immigration, international and comparative law, labor and employment law, legal history, and public policy.

In the first year, all students take Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Property Law, Criminal Law, and Torts. In addition, an intensive, two-semester legal reasoning, research, and writing course called Law Practice is required. In the spring semester, students are allowed to take a three-credit experiential learning elective. These typically include courses such as Deals and Disputes, Evidence, Introduction to Civil Litigation Practice, Legal Interviewing and Counseling, and Negotiation. Over 200 courses are offered in the second and third years.

Experiential Learning and Special Programs

BC Law students are encouraged to participate in a variety of experiential learning opportunities, from traditional clinical programs and long- or short-term externship, to skills-based courses and advocacy programs. BC Law houses its clinical and externship programs within the Center for Experiential Learning. The center includes the Legal Services LAB, a working law firm staffed by students and faculty serving clients from local communities. Many of the school’s clinical programs operate under LAB.

Clinical programs include

  • Amicus Brief Clinic
  • Civil Litigation Clinic
  • Community Enterprise Clinic
  • Criminal Justice Program (Prosecutors and BC Defenders)
  • Entrepreneurship and Innovation Clinic
  • Housing Law Clinic
  • Juvenile Rights Advocacy Project
  • Immigration Clinic
  • Innocence Program
  • Ninth Circuit Appellate Program (CA)
  • Prison Disciplinary Clinic

In addition to its list of specialized externships and unique tethered externships, which are flexible placements tied to traditional podium courses taught by tenure-track faculty, the school also has a robust Semester in Practice (SIP) externship program that offers individually designed placements with judges, government agencies, public-interest organizations, and law firms in the greater Boston area.

Externships include

  • Semester in Practice (SIP)
  • SIP: BC in DC
  • SIP: Europe
  • Tethered externships
  • Business Immigration
  • Business Law and Health Care Enterprises
  • Corporate Counsel
  • Intellectual Property/Patent Law
  • Mediation
  • Program on Innovation and Entrepreneurship Seminar
  • Sports Law
  • Specialized externships
  • Administrative Law
  • Attorney General program
  • Criminal Defense externship
  • Department of Revenue Tax program
  • Innocence program externship
  • Judge and Community Courts
  • Judicial Process—Appeals
  • Judicial Process—Trials
  • Prosecution
  • The Government Lawyer

Global Learning Opportunities

  • SIP: Europe
  • Paris HEAD Exchange
  • Bucerius Law School Program
  • Trinity College (Dublin)
  • Pontificia Universidad Catolica Argentine (UCA) (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
  • Individual exchanges through the Office of International Programs

Dual-Degree Programs

  • JD/MBA
  • JD/MSW
  • JD/MEd or MA in Education
  • JD/MA or JD/PhD in Philosophy
  • JD/MPH
  • JD/MA in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning
  • JD/MA in Environmental, Energy, Land, or Food Law

Selected students have the opportunity to participate in BC Law student journals, including the prestigious Boston College Law Review. Boston College Law School also supports nearly a dozen different internal competitions, including negotiation, client counseling, moot court, and mock trial. In addition, selected students may compete in national and international moot court competitions judged by faculty, state and federal judges, and practicing attorneys. These competitions allow students to enhance negotiation, counseling, and oral advocacy skills. BC Law students consistently outperform their peers. Teams have won a number of national competitions, including the Frederick Douglass, Immigration Law, European Law, National Moot Court, and Religious Freedom competitions.

Rappaport Center for Law and Public Policy

BC Law has an extensive track record in training public policy leaders locally and nationally. The new Rappaport Center for Law and Public Policy provides educational programs, career mentoring, and financial support to law students interested in government and public policy. The center focuses on public policy issues affecting Greater Boston and Massachusetts and houses both the popular Rappaport Fellows Program in Law and Public Policy, which provides 12 paid summer internships to talented law students from seven Greater Boston law schools, and the Rappaport Distinguished Public Policy Series at BC Law, which conducts scholarly research and hosts lectures, debates, and roundtable discussions on public policy issues with the region’s leading policy makers and thought leaders. The center also brings in the Rappaport Distinguished Lecturer, who teaches a special course and participates in various public and private lectures and events during the year. This year’s distinguished lecturers are former US Attorney Carmen Ortiz (fall) and former MA Supreme Court Justice Geraldine Hines (spring). Last year it was former governor and Democratic candidate for president Martin O’Malley.

Expenses and Financial Aid

The Financial Aid Office administers the Law School’s scholarship program, federal and private loan programs, and the Federal Work-Study Program. All prospective students admitted to the law school are considered for merit scholarships. Nearly 90 percent of incoming students are awarded financial aid, and 94 percent of these students receive scholarship assistance as part of their financial aid awards. Select students are named dean’s scholars and are awarded full-tuition scholarships. Other entering students are awarded full-tuition public service scholarships because of their demonstrated commitment to public interest law. Scholarships awarded for the first year will be automatically renewed for the second and third years provided that students make satisfactory academic progress. The Law School also offers a loan repayment assistance program for graduates who pursue careers in legal services, government, and not-for-profit organizations.

Housing

The dedicated staff at the Boston College Office of Residential Life’s Off-Campus Housing Office provides services and resources to all graduate students in their housing search. Each year, the Office of Residential Life hosts a housing fair to help in the search for housing in local neighborhoods. The Roommate Finder and Roommate Locator are online databases for students seeking roommates to occupy a current or new apartment. For more information about housing for law students, please contact the Off-Campus Housing Office at 617.552.3075 or visit Housing.

Career Services

The Career Services Office assists students and alumni in identifying their talents and finding meaningful employment. The office offers over 130 career-development programs throughout the academic year. Our signature program, 1L Bootcamp, sets the stage with early professional skill development and significant practitioner and practice-area exposure. At the heart of what we do is working one-on-one with every student who walks through our door. Annually, our team spends nearly 2,000 hours providing career counseling. Each year, over 250 law firms, government agencies, corporations, and public-interest organizations interview Boston College Law School students as part of our on- and off-campus recruitment programs.

The alumni of Boston College Law School are passionate about their commitment to help current students. Nearly every week, alumni are on campus to help out with programming. Beyond campus, Boston College Law School alumni are very approachable. This is especially important to those who are beginning to form their professional networks. Students are excited to find many friendly alumni faces at bar association and other similar events and to receive welcomed responses to their outreach for informal meetings here, in cities across the United States, and around the globe.

Library and Physical Facilities

The BC Law campus is designed to foster the growth of community and to provide a learning environment that allows for both formal and informal interaction among faculty, students, and staff. The law library encourages individual or group study, with its desk and lounge areas, computer centers, audiovisual resource rooms, and private study rooms. With its soaring atrium entry and light-filled spaces, the East Wing includes classrooms and faculty offices, administrative offices for a career services center and a career resources library, two conference rooms, and the John J. and Mary Daly Curtin Center for Public Interest Law (a suite of offices for student groups working on public service projects). The East Wing’s brick exterior complements the law library and the Stuart House administration building, as well as the Barat House building, home of the Rappaport Center for Law and Public Policy. The three buildings form an attractive courtyard for outdoor use by the law school community. The school’s Center for Experiential Learning is housed in the Smith Wing and provides a central location for students, faculty, and clients working together on clinical and externship programs. All academic, administrative, library, and service facilities are accessible to persons with physical disabilities. View an online virtual tour.

Student Life and Diversity

BC Law is a unique community focused upon the development of the whole person, nurturing students not just academically, but socially and spiritually as well. The school has a vibrant social life. The Law Student Association (LSA) and 40 other active student groups host many scholarly events during the year, including distinguished speakers and lecturers, relevant film screenings and discussion panels, and jointly sponsored events during Diversity Month, such as Culture Shock, which examines the role of privilege in society. The school holds a welcome reception in the fall, as well as dean’s office-hosted events, such as Oktoberfest and Harvest Desserts, town meetings, and mentoring programs with faculty and alumni. BC Law has an extensive Academic Success Program, as well as a Public Interest Designation Program and a Pro Bono Program that centralizes activities and encourages students to explore pro bono opportunities, with participants acknowledged at graduation.

BC Law has an associate dean for external relations, diversity, and inclusion who focuses on assisting our diverse students in acclimating to law school and the legal profession through special events and workshops, as well as pipeline programs with law firms, corporations, and nonprofits. For more information, visit Diversity & Inclusion.

Public Interest

Home to the John and Mary Daly Curtin Center for Public Interest Law programs, BC Law has a long, celebrated tradition of public service. The Office of Career Services has a dedicated director of public interest programs who helps coordinate the school’s various efforts (including the Public Interest Designation Program, Pro Bono Program, spring break trips to Navajo Nation, immigration-focused projects, and service to areas of need such as New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina) and advises students pursuing careers in public service. BC Law’s public interest scholarships assist students with tuition, and the school’s Francis X. Bellotti Loan Repayment Assistance and Forgiveness Program (LRAP) assists with debt relief for graduates working in public interest-related positions. The Public Interest Law Foundation Program (PILF) at BC Law also funds student summer stipends each year.

APPLICANT PROFILE

The Law School considers many factors during the admission process. Academic achievement and LSAT scores are extremely significant, but work and professional experience, college and volunteer activities, the quality of recommendations, and the personal statement also play an important role in this decision-making process. BC Law has no minimum cutoff either for GPA or LSAT score. In evaluating the undergraduate record, class rank and courses taken are considered. If the LSAT has been taken more than once, all scores are considered in the review process.

Admitted Applicant Profile

25-75% UGPA Range at Boston College:

3.46 to 3.79

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Boston College:

160 to 165

120
135
150
165
180

25-75% UGPA Range at Boston College:

3.46 to 3.79

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Boston College:

160 to 165

120
135
150
165
180

25-75% UGPA Range at Boston College:

3.46 to 3.79

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Boston College:

160 to 165

120
135
150
165
180

Contact Information

Office of Admissions, 885 Centre Street,
Newton, MA 02459,
United States