The University of Kansas School of Law

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

Official Guide to ABA-Approved JD Programs


Three years at KU Law will transform you, equipping you with the deep knowledge and practice-ready skills to achieve your goals. Our students learn the foundations of the law, then gain the hands-on experience necessary to begin their careers ready for practice.

KU School of Law faculty are active scholars, researchers and subject matter experts in their fields. Students enjoy small class sizes, a collegial environment and access to a loyal alumni network of more than 8,000 Jayhawk Lawyers across the U.S. and around the world.

As a student at KU Law, you will be able to build connections with nationally recognized legal scholars, form lasting bonds with your classmates and find a home in a vibrant university town.

The JD Program

Academics

Our students have access to more than 100 upper-level courses in a variety of practice areas. Many are seminars, skills simulations, directed research or clinics. Students can pursue a general legal education or specialize by completing one of eight certificate programs. The law school also offers more than a dozen curriculum guides in areas including business law, criminal law, intellectual property, international law and tribal law.

KU Law is an integral part of the University of Kansas, the state’s flagship research institution and a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU). That setting supports 11 joint degree programs, which allow students to simultaneously pursue a Juris Doctor and an additional graduate degree. Options include business, social work, public administration, Indigenous studies, journalism and health services administration.

The First-Year Experience

The KU Law program starts with a five-day introduction to Lawyering Skills. Our legal writing faculty provide first-year students with the essential tools to excel in law school, then take a deep dive into the case law that forms the basis of a legal education.

Students take a core first-year curriculum that includes Contracts, Constitutional Law and other key subjects. The first-year Lawyering Skills Program covers writing and training in negotiation, mediation and other skills. First-year students take about half their courses in small sections, allowing for personal interaction with professors and in-depth classroom discussions.

World-Class Teaching and Research

Professors at KU Law are scholars and lawyers recognized nationally and abroad as leaders in their fields. Many have written the casebooks used in their classrooms and, frequently, at law schools across the country.

Faculty offices surround and open into the heart of Green Hall, the Wheat Law Library. An open-door policy defines our culture and how we connect with our students. You will be encouraged to consult regularly with your professors about your progress in the study of law as well as career plans, job opportunities and the professional responsibilities of lawyers.

The KU Law faculty ranks among the top public law schools in the country for scholarly impact, according to a 2021 study. Faculty members enrich their teaching by researching and writing about the areas of law they teach. They regularly participate in symposia, publish widely in legal journals, and enjoy national and international recognition for the quality of their scholarship.

Professors offer expertise in a range of areas, including business law, environmental law, international trade, intellectual property, privacy law, dispute resolution, criminal law and more.

Small Class Sizes, Collegial Atmosphere

Small classes are a hallmark of KU Law and central to the close-knit and supportive environment found in Green Hall. In the first year, students are assigned to small sections, averaging about 20 students. These small working groups foster an information learning environment that encourages critical analysis. The trend continues for second- and third-year classes, with a median class size of approximately 15. More than 75% of upper-level classes have 25 or fewer students.

The atmosphere in Green Hall is competitive, yet collegial. Students come to law school with a wide range of backgrounds and experiences, and they find many opportunities for collaboration at KU Law. Outside of the classroom, you can get involved in student government, intramural sports and student organizations. More than social clubs, many law student organizations contribute funds and hours of service to the university and Lawrence communities. 

A History of Diversity

Since its founding in 1878, KU Law has been open to all qualified applicants – regardless of race, gender or ethnicity. Through our diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, we remain committed to providing a welcoming environment for everyone. Attracting students from diverse backgrounds ensures that all points of view will be heard in our classrooms and in the legal community.

Free Bar Prep Program

All KU Law students have access to a free, post-graduation bar preparation course and a Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination preparation course.

Provided in partnership with Themis Bar Review, the program is designed to enhance students’ ability to succeed in law school and on the bar examination. The law school also offers a series of programs prior to graduation, again at no cost to students. The Free Bar Prep Program guarantees every KU Law student has access to the resources they need to succeed on the bar exam, without the added financial pressure associated with a bar exam review course.

Value: Affordability, Quality and Outcomes

KU Law takes pride in its ability to offer a world-class legal education at a reasonable rate of tuition. Our students graduate with an average debt burden far below other law schools. Affordability gives you choices, making careers in public service and serving small communities just as viable as those with private firms in bigger cities. It also means you can afford to accept a prestigious judicial clerkship or explore a career at the nexus of law and entrepreneurship. KU Law is consistently ranked as one of the best value law schools nationally.

Learn more about the JD program at The University of Kansas School of Law

Hands On Learning (Clinics, Externships, and More!)

KU Law’s experiential learning program includes a mix of live-client clinics, field placements and skills simulations. Through a diverse offering of experiential courses, students take and defend depositions, write and argue mock appellate briefs, represent federal inmates in post-conviction appeals, and more. With hands-on learning, students gain the experience necessary to be ready for practice.

Students participate in real cases with real clients, creating real opportunities to make a difference for individuals and communities. Live-client clinics – where students gain practical experience under the supervision of clinical faculty – include the Paul E. Wilson Project for Innocence and the Legal Aid Clinic. Field placement opportunities include the Medical-Legal Partnership, Judicial Field Placement and Elder Law Field Placement.

Skills simulation courses provide training in advanced litigation, contract drafting, First Amendment advocacy and more. Taught in the same way top firms train new associates, these courses offer hands-on experience developing litigation and business law skills. Veteran attorneys teach Deposition Skills, Due Diligence in Business Transactions and Deals workshops, providing guidance and feedback as students practice with their peers.

In addition to classes that fulfill the school's experiential course requirements, students may also participate in a nationally ranked moot court program, mock trial, student-edited journals, pro bono service and other opportunities to practice the skills of a working lawyer.

Sixth Semester in DC Program

Through the Sixth Semester in Washington, D.C. Program, students have the option to spend their final spring semester of law school living, learning, working and connecting in our nation’s capital. Students work nearly full-time in field placements and take courses from KU Law faculty. Supported by a Midwest-friendly network of KU Law alumni in the D.C. metro area, the program opens doors for students in Washington and beyond.

Participating students may earn up to 12 credit hours through courses and field placements at approved organizations. Students have secured placements at organizations such as the National Resources Defense Council, PBS, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and the House Judiciary Committee.

Joint Degree Programs

KU Law is an integral part of the University of Kansas, the state’s flagship research institution and a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU). That setting supports 11 joint degree programs, which allow students to simultaneously pursue a Juris Doctor and an additional graduate degree. Options include business, social work, public administration, Indigenous studies, journalism and health services administration.

Global Programs & Study Abroad

KU Law offers a robust program in international and comparative law. Offerings include the International Trade & Finance Certificate and a menu of courses in the areas most relevant to practice around the world, including international business and commercial law, intellectual property law, environmental law and dispute resolution.

For students who would like to complete part of their studies abroad, the law school offers long-standing summer programs in Ireland and Turkey. Students can also choose to spend a semester studying at partner schools in Trento, Italy, Aberdeen, Scotland, or San Jose, Costa Rica.

Summer Start Program

As a first-year student, you may choose to begin your studies at KU Law in the summer or the fall. Summer starters begin law school in late May and enjoy benefits including small class sizes and a lighter course load.

Summer start classes typically have 18-22 students. Students take eight credit hours during the summer, completing two first-year courses. The summer schedule gives students a head start on completing the 90 credits required to graduate, creating the opportunity to take fewer credits per semester and still graduate on time.

Students who choose to accelerate their studies can complete their J.D. in two and a half years by attending school during summer and winter sessions. Combined with one of our joint degree programs, you can complete two degrees in as little as three years.

Student Life

Lawrence, Kansas - A Vibrant Community

When you come to KU Law, you don’t just get an outstanding school. You get to live in Lawrence, Kansas, a bustling college town and a hub of culture.

KU’s stunning hilltop campus overlooks the Kansas River and a vibrant downtown, where you can discover concert venues and community events, browse locally owned art galleries and boutiques, and satisfy your craving for just about any food imaginable.

Lawrence offers over 100 miles of hiking and biking paths, along with plenty of outdoor recreation. KU students have access to on-campus recreation facilities. Many law students take a break from the daily rigors of their studies and head over to Allen Fieldhouse to get in on the deep-rooted Kansas basketball tradition.

The city also features a variety of very affordable housing options. Many of our students live within walking distance to Green Hall in apartment complexes and houses geared toward student life. There are large residential areas, which are perfect for students with families or who seek a quieter lifestyle.

Ideally located between the state capital and Kansas City, Lawrence allows quick access to shopping, entertainment and an international airport. This geographic advantage equates to outstanding employment opportunities right here in Lawrence, as well as 20 minutes west in Topeka (the seat of state government) and 40 minutes east in Kansas City (home to major corporations, law firms and a tech-fueled start-up culture).

KU Law Atmosphere

The atmosphere in Green Hall is focused and collegial. Students come to law school with a wide range of backgrounds and experiences, and they find many opportunities for collaboration at KU Law. Outside of the classroom, you can get involved in student government, intramural sports and student organizations. KU Law has over 20 active student organizations. More than social clubs, many law student organizations contribute funds and hours of service to the university and Lawrence communities. 

Career Placement and Bar Passage

One-to-One Career Planning

The KU Law Career Services Office takes an intensive one-to-one approach, developing a career strategy unique to each student. While most graduates enter legal practice with law firms, government agencies and corporations, others seek out nontraditional careers with consultancies, nonprofits, public interest organizations and startups.

Staff begin meeting with students during their first year to identify their interests and goals. Through individual and group programming, the Career Services Office will help you discover the breadth of amazing opportunities available to you and develop a detailed plan for launching the career you want.

Career Services staff connect students with the powerful network of KU Law graduates practicing throughout the region, across the country and around the world. KU Law is a dominant player in the Kansas and Kansas City legal markets. Our footprint also extends well beyond the Midwest, with large concentrations of alumni in areas including Dallas/Fort Worth, Phoenix, Denver and Washington, D.C.

Importantly, KU Law also takes a major role in underwriting your job search, no matter where you are looking or what career you seek. Students pursuing jobs out-of-state have access to a travel stipend program, which supports travel to interviews and job fairs across the country. KU Law also sends students to the Equal Justice Works Conference in Washington, D.C., where they have the chance to interview with hundreds of public interest employers from across the nation. A robust Summer Stipend Program offers financial support to students taking unpaid or low-paid summer legal jobs.

Employment Data

Overall employment for the Class of 2021 was 96.9%, with 95% of graduates landing positions in the best jobs category – defined as full-time, long-term positions that require passing a bar exam or where a law degree offers an advantage. This is the eighth consecutive year overall employment, including full-time graduate school enrollment, has exceeded 90%.

Bar Passage and the Free Bar Prep Program

All KU Law students have access to a free, post-graduation bar preparation course and a Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination preparation course.

Provided in partnership with Themis Bar Review, the program is designed to enhance students’ ability to succeed in law school and on the bar examination. The law school also offers a series of programs prior to graduation, again at no cost to students. The Free Bar Prep Program guarantees every KU Law student has access to the resources they need to succeed on the bar exam, without the added financial pressure associated with a bar exam review course.

Since the Free Bar Prep Program launched in 2018, KU Law graduates have regularly passed the bar exam at rates above the state average in Kansas and Missouri. In July 2021, they earned a 100% first-time passage rate on the Missouri bar exam and a 98% first-time pass rate in Kansas.

Learn more about career placement and bar passage at The University of Kansas School of Law

Tuition and Aid

KU Law takes pride in its ability to offer a world-class legal education at a reasonable rate of tuition. Our tuition rates for Kansans and out-of-state students are among the lowest in the region. KU Law students graduate with a practice-ready legal education, not overwhelming debt.

For the fall and spring semester of the 2021-2022 academic year, tuition is $751 per credit hour for Kansas residents and $959 per credit hour for entering class nonresidents. All law students pay a required campus fee of $984 per year. These fees entitle the student to course instruction, dispensary care for ordinary illnesses and special medical care at nominal rates, the use of the Ambler and Robinson Recreation Centers, free access to the Lawrence and KU transportation bus networks, and admission at reduced prices to most campus events, such as concerts, plays, films, lectures and athletic events.

For students starting in the Fall 2021 semester, total fees and tuition for the 2021-2022 academic year are $22,769 for a first-year Kansas resident and $28,804 for a first-year nonresident. Summer starters can take a variable number of credits in the first year and tuition will vary accordingly.

KU Law also offers a robust scholarship program for J.D. students. Admitted students are automatically considered for KU School of Law scholarships as part of the admissions process. Once enrolled, students may apply for KU School of Law scholarships with specific eligibility criteria. Throughout the year, several scholarship opportunities are presented from private organizations. KU Law students are regularly notified of these scholarship opportunities.

Most students use federal and private loans, grants and scholarships to pay for law school. Federal Student Aid is available to law students based on the cost of attendance. Students are eligible for up to $20,500 in federal unsubsidized direct loans. For amounts not covered by the unsubsidized loan program, the GRAD PLUS loan program is available for law students to borrow up to their cost of attendance minus all other aid (including scholarships and grants). Students must make a request for GRAD PLUS loans to the KU Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships.

Affordability gives you choices, making careers in public service and serving small communities just as viable as those with private firms in bigger cities. It also means you can afford to accept a prestigious judicial clerkship or explore a career at the nexus of law and entrepreneurship. KU Law is consistently ranked as one of the best value law schools nationally.

Learn more about tuition & aid at The University of Kansas School of Law

Admission Decisions: Beyond the Numbers

The University of Kansas School of Law seeks to admit students with the potential to excel in their legal studies and to become valuable contributors to the legal profession. We seek to admit a highly qualified and diverse class made up of people who, individually and collectively, show great promise of contributing to and succeeding in the complex endeavor of studying and practicing law.

The Admissions Committee reviews all materials requested in the application process. In admissions decisions, the committee keeps the school's primary mission in mind: “to prepare students to be outstanding members of the legal profession, well-educated in the law, with a commitment to professional achievement and public service.”

There are no infallible measurements or predictors of academic success or legal ability. Admission decisions are based on a variety of criteria that suggest an applicant’s capabilities. These criteria include undergraduate coursework and grades; LSAT scores; employment experience; professional or volunteer experience; leadership in school or civic activities; unique qualities and achievements; diversity of background and experience; and demonstrated ability to overcome financial or other disadvantages. The committee also considers the applicant’s interest in or connections to Kansas or the University of Kansas.

Learn more about admission at The University of Kansas School of Law

Admitted Applicant Profile

25-75% UGPA Range at Kansas:

3.32 to 3.80

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Kansas:

153 to 160

120
135
150
165
180

25-75% UGPA Range at Kansas:

3.32 to 3.80

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Kansas:

153 to 160

120
135
150
165
180

25-75% UGPA Range at Kansas:

3.32 to 3.80

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Kansas:

153 to 160

120
135
150
165
180

Contact Information

1535 West 15th Street,
Lawrence, KS 66045-7608,
United States