University of Massachusetts School of Law—Dartmouth

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

Official Guide to ABA-Approved JD Programs


Introduction

UMass Law is Massachusetts’ first and only public law school. The law school is fully approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) and offers three flexible programs of study: full-time day, part-time day, and part-time evening/weekend. Our program of legal education is distinguished by its small class sizes and individualized attention from faculty and staff. Approximately half of UMass Law students come from outside Massachusetts.

UMass Law is committed to increasing access to an excellent and affordable legal education and to improving the quality and reach of justice. UMass Law is a leader in preparing students for legal practice; all UMass students engage in the real-world practice of law through for-credit internships or law clinic participation and complete pro bono service under the supervision of a licensed attorney.

We are reshaping legal education with a focus on the pursuit of justice by expanding the academic, experiential, and career opportunities for our students. Our graduates are creative, competent, confident, and committed lawyers.

We have a dedicated faculty of scholar-practitioners who are passionate about teaching and genuinely interested in mentoring the next generation of legal professionals. There is a true sense of community at UMass Law that promotes and supports diversity in people and ideas, and the development of our students’ professional identities.

The law school campus in Dartmouth, MA, sits on 8.5 wooded acres in the heart of the state’s Southcoast, approximately 30 miles from Providence, RI, and 60 miles from Boston. The location offers opportunities to explore the beautiful Dartmouth seacoast, the beaches of Cape Cod, and the arts hub and busy fishing port of New Bedford, all with a low cost of living. The law school is approximately two miles from the main campus of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and is a technology-rich, contemporary facility. It boasts a welcoming lobby and a moot courtroom that is a central gathering space not only for our students but also for the bench and bar. The collegial atmosphere extends into the library, with its well-lit, comfortable workspaces, ample hard-copy collection, and extensive online databases and technology.

Faculty

The UMass Law faculty are experienced practitioners, gifted teachers, supportive mentors, and respected scholars. They are highly accessible and committed to student success, and they research and publish on a broad spectrum of legal issues, precedents, and outcomes to make a difference in peoples’ lives and the quality of justice received.

Our faculty members are experts in many areas, including immigration, constitutional, criminal, corporate, commercial, bankruptcy, privacy, media, art, family, intellectual property, and international law.

Curriculum

UMass Law’s curriculum is comprehensive, ensuring that students learn the principles of the law and the complex theoretical frameworks that comprise the core of legal knowledge. Our courses provide a solid foundation in all areas of the law, in addition to offering opportunities for specialization.

Our first-year courses set the groundwork, teaching the foundations of the legal system. During the first year, comprehensive support is available, beginning at orientation. One-on-one support is available through peer tutors, academic success professionals, and professors who care about students’ success.

In the second and third years, along with the core requirements, students can choose from a wide variety of elective courses that will further their interests. In addition to a solid foundation in traditional doctrinal areas, the UMass program requires simulated and real-life lawyering experiences to prepare students for the profession.

The law school is committed to student success from orientation through the bar exam. During the final semester, students take a for-credit bar success course, receiving extensive support throughout bar preparation.

The law school offers two joint-degree programs: JD/MBA and JD/MPP. Applicants interested in a joint degree must apply to each school separately.

Clinics, Internships, and Pro Bono Service

Our commitment to preparing students for the profession is evidenced in our clinics—Immigration, Community Development (Business Law), Human Rights, Criminal, and Tribal Law—as well as our career services, pro bono program, and rich internship opportunities.

The law school has three on-site clinics, the Immigration Law Clinic, the Community Development (Business Law) Clinic, and the Human Rights Clinic. We also have several hybrid clinics that are the result of partnerships with other legal organizations, such as South Coastal Counties Legal Services, Mashpee Wampanoag Legal Services Clinic, and the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office. Clinic participation is intended to help students develop skills, values, and habits that will enable them to effectively assist and creatively solve problems for clients.

Our Field Placement Program (internships and externships) affords students the opportunity to work under the supervision of a judge or practicing attorney in virtually any field of law. Students participating in a field placement attend weekly seminars to discuss their experiences and focus on various ethical issues encountered in practice.

Admission and Financial Aid

Admission decisions are made on the basis of the student’s academic record, LSAT score and writing sample, personal statement, letters of recommendation, résumé, extracurricular activities, and other information provided. Additionally, the Admissions Committee looks beyond traditional academic indicators and evaluates candidates on the basis of civic engagement, commitment to the study of law, professionalism, and diversity, both seen and unseen. The committee is looking for qualities that will enrich the educational environment of the law school community. In addition to the application, two letters of recommendation are required. For applicants coming directly from an undergraduate experience, one of the letters must be from a professor. The law school functions on a semester basis, offering three flexible programs of study: full-time day, part-time day, and part-time evening/weekends.

UMass Law is committed to helping students successfully and responsibly finance their legal education. Our affordable tuition provides students the opportunity to attend law school without amassing large debt. To help offset the cost of tuition, the law school offers scholarships based on academic merit and need.

Career Services

Our Career Services Office helps students leverage experience and connections developed through pro bono service, field placements, and internships through a rich array of panels and networking and mentoring opportunities. All students receive intensive, individualized career counseling, enabling them to take maximum advantage of both on-site interviews and a rich database of job opportunities.

Public Interest Law Fellowship

Each year, the law school awards approximately 20 incoming students with fellowships based on their past experiences working on behalf of the public and their continued commitment to public service. Fellows receive a 50-percent scholarship for both tuition and fees in exchange for a commitment to work in an area of public service law for at least four years post-graduation.

Typical PILF placements have included positions in District Attorney and Public Defender Offices; Legislative and Executive Offices; Public Interest Organizations; Justice Bridge (UMass Law’s solo practice incubator serving modest means clients); and as Judicial Law Clerks.

Student Life and Professional Development

The rich diversity of the UMass Law student body is reflected in the co-curricular life of the law school. Student organizations include the Student Bar Association, Black Law Students Association, International Law Society, the Federalist Society, OUTLaw, Asian Pacific American Law Students Association, Latino/a American Law Student Association, Legal Association of Women, Parents Attending Law School, Delta Theta Pi, the Law Review, Mock Trial, and Moot Court. Our student organizations, our faculty, the PILF program, and our Career Services Office present various symposiums and panels throughout the year. Our students participate in Moot Court and Trial Practice competitions regionally and throughout the country.

Admitted Applicant Profile

25-75% UGPA Range at Massachusetts-Dartmouth:

3.04 to 3.53

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Massachusetts-Dartmouth:

146 to 152

120
135
150
165
180

25-75% UGPA Range at Massachusetts-Dartmouth:

3.04 to 3.53

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Massachusetts-Dartmouth:

146 to 152

120
135
150
165
180

25-75% UGPA Range at Massachusetts-Dartmouth:

3.04 to 3.53

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Massachusetts-Dartmouth:

146 to 152

120
135
150
165
180

Contact Information

333 Faunce Corner Road,
North Dartmouth, MA 02747,
United States