University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law

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

Official Guide to ABA-Approved JD Programs


Established in 1913, the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law is nationally recognized for its outstanding academic reputation, stellar faculty, intimate learning environment, innovative curriculum, excellent faculty-to-student ratio, experiential programming, and stunning location. The College of Law is a vibrant learning community with both well-established expertise and exciting projects on the critical issues of our time: climate change, conflict and security, health justice, the new frontier of family law, technology commercialization, conservation, innocence, victims’ rights, and many others. These creative intellectual investments have generated astounding results for each class of 100–110 entering students.

Among the students, there is a prevailing sense of community and collegiality fostered by an open and service-oriented faculty and administration. The law school is less than a 10-minute drive or light rail ride from downtown Salt Lake City—the seat of federal, state, and local governmental bodies. Salt Lake City is the economic center of the region and is regularly voted one of America’s most livable cities. This location provides abundant professional opportunities for our students, as well as superb outdoor recreational access and a strong cultural scene.

Library and Physical Facilities

The College of Law Building and James E. Faust Law Library officially opened in fall semester 2015. The new 155,000-square-foot building is a law center for the twenty-first century dedicated to educational innovation and community impact. The Faust Law Library is central to the building core; there is a 450-seat conference center on the top floor; and our technology infrastructure is designed to facilitate blended learning, simulations, and multisite conferencing. For more information, please view our video.

The James E. Faust Law Library and the law building’s award-winning advanced features exceed ADA requirements. The new building includes both state-of-the-art sustainability methods and pioneering energy and water efficiency features. The building has earned LEED Platinum status—the first law school in the West to earn such a designation, and only the second in the nation.

The Faust Law Library is a Federal Depository library with extensive print and digital collections as well as other law-related information. There are seven librarians (six with law degrees). Our librarians teach the research component of the first-year Legal Methods course.


The Quinney law school’s innovative academic programs blend theory and practice skills that prepare graduates to tackle the major questions of our time and practice law in any jurisdiction. The curriculum is designed to allow more efficient and rational sequencing of legal education that responds to the evolving legal, social, and ethical needs of our society.

The entering students are first offered an intensive five-day Introduction to Law course before they begin the required first-year curriculum. The first-year doctrinal courses include a small section in which enrollment is limited to no more than 25 students. Second-year students select from a variety of foundational courses. In the third year, students may take year-long intensive courses that provide the opportunity for in-depth study, research, and a practicum in a focused area of law.

Additionally, outside the formal classroom, clinical and cocurricular opportunities ensure that students learn the most critical professional and intellectual lessons in simulated competitions and real-world settings. We have several award-winning moot court teams, the first-rate Utah Law Review, and a series of new projects working on the major issues of our time.

Special Programs

The Wallace Stegner Center for Land, Resources, and the Environment provides opportunities for students to engage in academic courses and related law activities focusing on public lands, environmental and natural resources law, and energy law. A Certificate in Environmental and Natural Resources Law is awarded to students who complete a sequence of approved courses with a specified GPA. The law school also offers an LLM degree in natural resources and environmental law.

The clinical programs offer both live and simulated opportunities for students to assume the lawyering role. In the Civil Clinic and the Criminal Clinic, students represent clients, investigate cases, and appear in court. In the Judicial Clinic, students act as clerks to judges, researching issues and drafting opinions in pending cases. The Judicial Extern Program allows students to spend a semester away from school working as full-time clerks for certain courts. Other clinical opportunities are available in our Environmental, Health Law, Legislative, and Mediation Clinics.

The Center for Law and Biomedical Science brings law faculty, law students, practicing lawyers, and other members of the university community together to address the legal and public policy problems raised by new developments in the biomedical sciences and health care. The goal of this center is to create the legal and policy responses needed to ensure that new developments in law and the biosciences can and will benefit everyone—locally, nationally, and internationally. The center accomplishes its mission through research collaborations led by law faculty, cutting-edge interdisciplinary education regarding critical issues of health care and the biosciences, applied clinical legal education, technologically enhanced conferences and educational materials, and community outreach.

Our Criminal Law Program offers our students classes in Evidence, Trial Advocacy, Criminal Process, and Innocence Investigation and Post-Conviction Process, among many others. Students at the College of Law interested in criminal law can take a number of classes in this area and can pursue several clinical placements. The Criminal Clinic focuses on the practice of criminal law. The Crime Victim’s Clinic provides free legal representation to crime victims when victim’ rights issues are at stake. The Legal Clinic is available to serve victims of all types of crime and has a statewide focus. The Innocence Clinic introduces students to the justice system from the perspective of a wrongfully convicted individual. Students learn about the system by dissecting and investigating closed cases where errors may have been made resulting in the wrongful conviction of an innocent person.

The Global Law Program enhances efforts to produce superior scholarship on issues of global concern through hosting conferences, workshops, roundtables, colloquia, symposia, seminars, and lectures. The Global Law Program provides superior student learning experiences through new leadership, advanced research, and clinical methods. Students learn the art and practice of decision making in the award-winning counterterrorism simulation, and study advanced applied research in the Global Justice Think Tank course. Additionally, they pursue professional opportunities abroad through our extensive clinical and internship offerings.

The Pro Bono Initiative is a voluntary program offered to emphasize the centrality of public service to the legal profession. The College of Law encourages students to perform at least 50 hours of law-related volunteer work during their time in law school. The Pro Bono Initiative facilitates this opportunity by providing students with a broad spectrum of developed volunteer placements.

The College of Law maintains six formal joint-degree programs. Students may earn joint degrees in the areas of business (JD/MBA and JD/MRD), public administration (JD/MPA), public policy (JD/MPP), social work (JD/MSW), or city and metropolitan planning (JD/MCMP).

The Academic Support Program provides structured assistance to students whose backgrounds and experiences before law school suggest a need for such assistance. Students request to participate in the program after admission to the College of Law.

Admission Standards

No applicant is accepted or rejected without members of the Admission Committee having first fully considered the entire application. The personal statement should expand on the applicant’s biographic and academic background and motivations for seeking a legal education. The College of Law makes a special effort to attract students from diverse cultural, educational, economic, ethnic, racial, and nontraditional backgrounds. Each applicant is evaluated for the contribution that person can make to the student body or the legal profession, in addition to evidence of demonstrated high academic ability.

Student Activities

The Utah Law Review is a professional journal edited and published by students. The Utah Law Review selects staff members on the basis of academic achievement and a writing competition.

Student organizations include

  • The Student Bar Association
  • Business Law Society
  • Family Law Society
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Federalist Society
  • The International Law Society
  • J. Reuben Clark Law Society
  • Minority Law Caucus
  • Natural Resources Law Forum
  • OUTLaw
  • Public Interest Law Organization
  • Social Justice Student Initiative
  • Sports Law Club
  • Student Animal Legal Defense Fund
  • Student Intellectual Property Law Association
  • Student Litigation Society
  • Student Veterans Association
  • Utah Law Students for Reproductive Justice
  • Utah Student Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Women’s Law Caucus

Financial Aid

The College of Law provides an effective financial aid program that includes generous scholarships. The University of Utah participates in federal Perkins, Stafford, and Graduate PLUS loan programs. Merit scholarships are awarded to selected candidates based on the information contained in their application materials. Need-based scholarships are awarded to students based on information provided through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and a separate application provided to all admitted candidates. The law school also has a Loan Forgiveness Program for qualified graduates who practice in the public sector or the public interest field.

Career Services

College of Law students and graduates have access to one of the most attentive and dedicated legal career services programs in the United States. The office, known as the Professional Development Office (PDO), transmits information to prospective employers, both on and off campus, and coordinates the on-campus interview process. The PDO also conducts personal career counseling and assists students with the development of their résumés and other material used in the employment search. The PDO maintains a resource library and sponsors numerous seminars throughout the year.

Admitted Applicant Profile

25-75% UGPA Range at Utah:

3.65 to 3.95

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Utah:

160 to 166

25-75% UGPA Range at Utah:

3.65 to 3.95

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Utah:

160 to 166

25-75% UGPA Range at Utah:

3.65 to 3.95

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Utah:

160 to 166

Contact Information

383 South University Street,
Salt Lake City, UT 84112,
United States