University of Nebraska College of Law

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

Official Guide to ABA-Approved JD Programs

Founded in 1891, the University of Nebraska College of Law offers an excellent legal education at a reasonable cost. Large enough to offer a diverse curriculum, yet small enough to ensure that students are not lost in the crowd, Nebraska Law is a charter member of the AALS and is accredited by the ABA. It is located on the University of Nebraska Lincoln’s East Campus in the state’s capital, Lincoln. The capital city has a population of approximately 260,000 and offers a vibrant array of opportunities.

The JD Program

Nebraska Law’s academic year runs from late August to early May. Orientation before the beginning of the fall semester introduces first-year students to the college. Each incoming student is assigned a faculty advisor who can answer questions about law school, course selections, and career goals. The first-year curriculum is 18 credit hours the first semester and 15 credit hours the second semester. It includes international law, civil procedure, contracts, criminal law, legal writing, property, and torts. Courses in the second and third years are elective, with the exception of required courses in constitutional law and professional responsibility, a research seminar, and 6 credit hours of professional skills coursework. The curriculum encompasses a broad range of subjects, and offers particular depth in the areas of litigation; alternative dispute resolution; taxation; environmental law; employment; international law; space, cyber, and telecommunications; and corporate and commercial law. Students who wish to focus on a particular area of the law may pursue a program of concentrated study in litigation skills, IP, business transactions, or solo/small-firm practice. Students may also develop an individualized program of concentrated study in areas of law that are of particular interest.

The College of Law provides an Academic Resource Program for first-year students to assist them in developing and improving fundamental skills such as note taking, briefing cases, legal analysis, outlining, and writing examinations. The program provides weekly skills classes as well as individual academic counseling and a series of lectures.

Although completing the requirements for a JD degree normally takes three academic years (six semesters), it is possible to graduate in two and a half years by attending summer school. The college does accept part-time students but does not have a night program. Students receiving the JD degree are qualified to practice in any state upon passage of that state’s bar examination.

Successful lawyers use a wide array of skills—from analytical thinking to networking to writing. Nebraska Law’s core curriculum is designed to teach you many of these skills through doctrinal, clinical, and other skills-focused courses. Nebraska Law’s Build Your Character (BYC) program is designed to help you continue to build these skills through your participation in various opportunities available outside the classroom. Whether you choose to take advantage of our externship program, lead a student organization, participate in a competition, or attend a lecture, these opportunities complement what is taught in the classroom and allow you to enhance your strengths and build the skills you need to become a complete lawyer. Students identify potential growth areas and set goals, then use the BYC tags when considering whether to take advantage of an opportunity presented.

Skills and Clinical Education

In addition to establishing a solid foundation based on legal theory, students also need to develop practical skills to effectively represent clients and function as lawyers. Nebraska Law has offered courses that help develop such skills through “learning by doing” since the early 1970s. Professional skills-development courses offered include pretrial litigation, trial advocacy, appellate advocacy, mediation, negotiations, alternative dispute resolution, client interviewing and counseling, construction law, business planning, family law, and criminal law. These classes allow second- and third-year students to develop lawyering skills in simulated settings.

The College of Law also offers students the opportunity to learn practical skills by handling real cases for actual clients in a clinical setting:

  • Civil Clinic: Third-year students represent clients in and out of court in matters such as bankruptcy, domestic relations, immigration, and landlord-tenant disputes.
  • Children’s Justice Clinic: Students serve as guardians ad litem for children and receive training that focuses on courtroom skills, child welfare law processes, and child development.
  • Criminal Clinic: Students prosecute misdemeanor cases in Lancaster County.
  • Debtor Defense Clinic: Students provide counsel and legal advice to clients about debt collection issues, and, when necessary, litigating cases involving legal issues that have been identified to benefit from a full and robust presentation to the court.
  • Entrepreneurship Clinic: Students advise start-up businesses on basic legal issues.
  • Estate Planning Clinic: Students, under faculty supervision, represent clients in estate planning and estate planning document drafting. They may also participate in a Rural Estate Planning Clinic, an off-site program where students work with senior citizens in out-state Nebraska in drafting their estate planning documents.
  • First Amendment Clinic: The First Amendment Clinic at the University of Nebraska College of Law supports First Amendment rights by focusing on local and regional cases concerning freedoms of speech, the press, assembly, and petition.
  • Housing Justice Clinic: Students in the Housing Justice Clinic will gain experience resolving landlord-tenant issues. Students will regularly appear in court representing individuals and families facing eviction.
  • Immigration Clinic: Students work on cases involving family-based immigrant matters, deportation defense, asylum applications, and more.

Joint-Degree Programs

The college’s interdisciplinary program in law and psychology is recognized as one of the finest in the nation. Nebraska Law also participates in seven other joint-degree programs and will work with students individually to design programs in disciplines not covered by a formal program. In each program, students will earn two degrees with fewer credit hours and in less time than if the degrees were pursued separately. The eight formal joint-degree programs include JD/MBA (Business), JD/MPA (Accounting), JD/PhD (Psychology), JD/MA (Political Science), JD/MCRP (Community and Regional Planning), JD/MA (Journalism), JD/MA (Social Gerontology), JD/MA (History), and JD/MA (Journalism and Mass Communications).

Student Life

Student Activities

The Nebraska Law Review, published by a student editorial board, publishes leading articles from well-known authorities in their fields, as well as student notes and comments. Other academic extracurricular programs include the National Moot Court Competition, Client Counseling Competition, and National Trial Competition.

Students can become involved in over 35 civic, academic, or social-focused organizations, including the Student Bar Association, Women’s Law Caucus, Black Law Students Association, Nebraska Entertainment and Sports Law Association, Equal Justice Society, Federalist Society, Student Intellectual Property Law Association, Multicultural Legal Society, and two national legal fraternities. If you have an interest in it, we likely have a student group for it!

Career Placement and Bar Passage

The College of Law operates its own Career Development Office for students and alumni seeking full-time employment or summer clerkships. The office provides students with a variety of placement-related services and also organizes on-campus interviews by private law firms, governmental agencies, corporations, and other potential employers. Students will also benefit from programs hosted by the Career Development Office on various areas of law, alternative legal careers, networking, and drafting and perfecting résumés and cover letters.

Learn more about career placement at University of Nebraska College of Law

Admission Decisions: Beyond the Numbers

Admission decisions are made on a rolling basis. Students are required to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, take the LSAT, and register with LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service. In making its decisions, the Admissions Committee seeks to identify those individuals who have the ability to compete successfully in a rigorous academic environment. Two primary factors that the committee considers are the applicant’s LSAT score and the applicant’s undergraduate grade-point average. However, admission decisions are not simply a function of the numbers. The committee also takes into account any upward (or downward) trend in the applicant’s academic performance over time, quality of the applicant’s undergraduate institution, course of study, personal statement, work experience, graduate study, extracurricular activities, letters of recommendation, and other information supplied by the applicant.

Nebraska Law hosts a number of open houses and other campus visit programs throughout the year.

Learn more about admission at University of Nebraska College of Law

Admitted Applicant Profile

25-75% UGPA Range at Nebraska:

3.47 to 3.94

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Nebraska:

154 to 160

25-75% UGPA Range at Nebraska:

3.47 to 3.94

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Nebraska:

154 to 160

25-75% UGPA Range at Nebraska:

3.47 to 3.94

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Nebraska:

154 to 160

Contact Information

PO Box 830902,
Lincoln, NE 68583-0902,
United States