Western New England University School of Law

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

Official Guide to ABA-Approved JD Programs


For over a century, Western New England University School of Law has been preparing our graduates to succeed in the legal profession. The law school is accredited by the ABA and is a member of the AALS. Over 8,000 alumni live and work in 49 states and in many foreign countries. They include judges, attorneys practicing in small and large firms, and lawyers for corporations, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and all levels of government. We are located in the heart of the beautiful and vibrant Pioneer Valley on a suburban campus, 90 miles from Boston and 150 miles from New York City.

Western New England University School of Law offers both full-time and part-time programs, each providing a strong, well-rounded curriculum that will enable you to succeed in your career. A distinctive feature of our law school is our personalized, student-centered approach to legal education and professional development. Our first-year section size promotes effective learning in a challenging but collegial and supportive setting. Our accessible and dedicated faculty create a learning environment that helps every student succeed and reach their full potential. It is a wonderful place to begin your legal career.

The JD Program

Faculty

The 13:1 student-to-faculty ratio, the strong commitment to student learning, and the outstanding credentials of the 23 full-time faculty members provide an outstanding learning environment dedicated to your professional success. The faculty have been educated at many of the nation’s most prestigious law schools, and all have practiced law prior to joining our faculty. They all share a love of teaching and take pride in their ability to engage students in rigorous law study in a collaborative and collegial environment. They are productive scholars who are consistently praised by our students for their accessibility.

Curriculum

Nearly all required and many elective courses, for both day and evening programs, are taught by full-time faculty members. Some elective courses are also taught by 51 adjunct faculty members who bring expertise from their current legal practices into the classroom setting. Some upper-level courses are taught through classroom discussions of judicial decisions and statutes. Others are taught through simulations in which students perform the roles of lawyers in lifelike situations and through clinics in which students represent actual clients.

Our broad-based curriculum allows students the opportunity to focus their legal studies in many different areas of the law. To assist students in preparing for their careers, and selecting among electives, the School of Law offers five concentrations: Criminal Law, Gender and Sexuality Law, International and Comparative Law, Public Interest Law, and Transactional Law (including Business Law, Estate Planning, and Real Estate Law).

We also offer eight dual-degree programs:

  • JD/LLM in Elder Law and Estate Planning with Western New England University
  • JD/MBA (Master of Business Administration) with Western New England University
  • JD/MSA (Master of Science in Accounting) with Western New England University
  • JD/MSOL (Master of Science in Organizational Leadership) with Western New England University
  • JD/MSSLC (Master of Sport Leadership and Coaching) with Western New England University
  • JD/MSEM (Master of Science in Engineering Management) with Western New England University
  • JD/MSW (Master of Social Work) with Springfield College
  • JD/MRP (Master of Regional Planning) with the University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Please visit our website for more information.

Experiential Learning: Clinics, Simulations, and Externships

Clinics, practicums, and simulation courses are integral components of the curriculum at Western New England University School of Law. Each type of course offers an opportunity to put theory into practice, thereby enhancing advocacy skills and enriching the understanding of core course materials. Students also apply their legal skills through externships.

Clinics provide an opportunity for upper-class students to represent clients with actual legal problems. Currently, the School of Law offers nine different clinics in which students can gain valuable lawyering skills, such as legal writing, interviewing, and negotiating. The following clinical opportunities are offered:

  • Criminal Law Defense Practicum: Students work as student defense attorneys at the Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS) within the Hampden and Hampshire County District Courts.
  • Criminal Law Prosecution Clinic: Students prosecute misdemeanor and felony cases for the Hampden County District Attorney’s Office.
  • Family Defense Practicum: Students work in the Children and Family Law division of CPCS providing legal representation to both children and indigent parents in a variety of family regulation cases.
  • Family Law Mediation Clinic: Students mediate family law cases at the Hampden Probate and Family Court. The clinic includes observing and learning the court process, and involvement in the screening process in conjunction with the mediation and training.
  • Global Justice Clinic: Students work collaboratively with domestic and international nongovernmental organizations, grass-roots organizations, solidarity networks, attorneys, stakeholders, and other institutions engaging in human rights work to advance political, economic, social, and cultural human rights across borders.
  • Legal Aid Clinic/General Civil Practice Units: 

    Legal Aid Clinic students are placed at Community Legal Aid (CLA), a private, non-profit organization that provides civil legal assistance to poor people and elders. While the Legal Aid Clinic allows students to learn about the real practice of law, it also gives them the opportunity to engage in community service by providing essential legal services to those in need.

    General Civil Practice Units include: 

    • Housing Unit (focuses mostly on providing eviction defense), 
    • Disability and Education Unit (primarily helping with social security disability and SSI appeals and legal issues relating to access to an appropriate education)
    • Employment Law (primarily unemployment compensation appeals)
    • Benefits Unit (representation of low income people in obtaining TAFDC benefits, or EAEDC disability benefits, shelter, or other public benefits programs)
    • Elder Law
    • Family Law, primarily assisting victims of domestic violence and child support cases
    • Veterans Project (affiliated with the VA Hospital in Leeds, handles a wide assortment of civil legal issues presented by low income veterans with a special emphasis in upgrading a less than honorable service discharge)
  • Immigration Clinic: Students work on a variety of humanitarian immigration cases, including petitions for asylum, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status for children, and relief under the Violence Against Women Act.
  • Legal Aid Clinic/Immigration Unit: Students in the Legal Aid Clinic/Immigration Unit work at the office of the Central West Justice Center (CWJC), a subsidiary of Community Legal Aid. Students work on humanitarian immigration cases, including applications for asylum for individuals fleeing persecution, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status for abused, neglected, and abandoned children, relief under the Violence Against Women Act for survivors of domestic violence, and U visas for crime victims. Students also interview clients and witnesses, prepare affidavits, assist in gathering documentary evidence, and research and write legal memoranda. Students may also conduct intake interviews with clients at community clinics. 
  • Real Estate Practicum: Students are placed with practicing lawyers and title insurance companies to learn the ins and outs of real estate practice. Students work on matters involving deed descriptions and title searches, closings, zoning issues, condominium documents, appraisals, leases, and mortgages.
  • Small Business Clinic: Students provide legal services to local small businesses. Law stu­dents work on start-up transactional legal matters, including choice-of-entity, employment policies, contract drafting, regulatory compliance, and intellectual property issues. The clinic acts as a catalyst for economic development in western Massachusetts.

Simulation courses allow students to represent hypothetical clients with challenging legal problems drawn from the experiences of practicing lawyers. Students perform research, prepare legal documents, and negotiate with and argue against role-playing students and faculty.

Externships enable students to work with judges or alongside attorneys in public interest organizations or government agencies. Externs are called upon to perform research and prepare legal documents. Externships allow students to refine their lawyering skills and provide interaction with professionals who can offer advice and career insights. Students receive two or three hours of academic credit for one nonpaying externship.

Student Life

Student Activities

Western New England University School of Law students enjoy a strong sense of community and support, strengthened and nurtured by numerous and varied student organizations and cocurricular activities. The Student Bar Association plays a leading role, with elected officers and appointed members to faculty/student committees. There are many other active student organizations, including the Multicultural Law Students Association, the Women’s Law Association, OUTlaw, and a variety of groups formed around interests in particular areas of law and practice, including the Health Law Association, the Family Law Association, the Criminal Law Society, and the Real Estate Guild. There is also a productive Western New England Law Review, many active moot court teams, and a student newspaper, Lex Brevis.

Library

The Blake Law Center has a spacious law library, excellent classrooms, and comfortable student study and social space. With a collection of over 350,000 volumes, the Law Library also provides comprehensive access to numerous electronic resources. The School of Law’s robust wireless network facilitates research and communication.

Housing

The Law Center is located in a residential section of Springfield, on Western New England University’s 215-acre campus, with ample parking for all students. Springfield is a small city, located in the Pioneer Valley, with a wide array of recreational, social, and cultural attractions. There is a range of affordable off-campus housing options, as well as some on-campus housing options.

Unique Location

We are located in Springfield, Massachusetts in the heart of the beautiful Pioneer Valley. Attending the only law school in western Massachusetts, students have access to a host of externship and clinical opportunities throughout the Massachusetts/Connecticut/New York region, including state and federal courts, the attorney generals of several states, district attorney and state’s attorney offices, public defender offices, public interest organizations, and law firms of all sizes.

The birthplace of basketball, Springfield is home to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The city's  entertainment district has been energized by MGM Springfield. Springfield Symphony Hall serves as a major focal point for classical music, Broadway tours, concerts, and stand-up comedy in the Pioneer Valley. The MassMutual Center is the premier arena and convention center in western Massachusetts. It is home to the American Hockey League's Springfield franchise the Thunderbirds.

The Quadrangle is the site of the Springfield City Library and the city’s five major museums, including the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss, which celebrates the springfield native. 

Known as The City of Homes, Springfield residents enjoy its 42 parks. Forest Park, the city’s largest, was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the architect of New York City’s Central Park.

Career Placement and Bar Passage

CAREER SERVICES

The Office of Career Services provides you with the support and resources necessary to plan and pursue the life and career you want. We can help you market yourself confidently and professionally and assist you in developing lifelong job search techniques.

Western New England University School of Law is your law school for life.  We offer our office's full complement of services to current students, as well as tiered services for alumni based upon date of graduation.

Services include:

APPOINTMENTS
Our team is available to help you formulate your career plans, devise an effective job search strategy, build experience, and refine your application materials. Call 413-782-1416 to schedule an appointment.

MOCK INTERVIEWS
Mock interviews with our team are helpful in formulating responses, practicing professionalism, and receiving feedback that can assist you.  Different types of legal employers utilize different interview strategies, so please set up an appointment prior to your interview to maximize your effectiveness.

ALUMNI NETWORKING
There are many opportunities to network with alumni, both locally and across the nation.  Many local alumni attorneys participate in the annual Networking Reception for 1Ls held each spring.  Alumni often attend and present at law school events, and also support classroom learning by volunteering as moot court judges for mock trials.

FIRST-YEAR STUDENTS
We recommend that the first few months of a full-time law student’s first academic year be reserved largely for academic activities. We will be available to assist full-time first year students after October 1st each fall. 

BUSINESS CARDS
We provide students with student business cards for a small fee. Students can place new orders or reorders anytime throughout the calendar year. Visit our office or submit the request online.

RECIPROCITY
Western New England University School of Law students and alumni may use Career Services resources at some other law schools. Requests for reciprocity can be made through Career Services here at the law school. Reciprocity is not usually extended from August 15 through November 15.

For more information, please visit https://www1.wne.edu/law/career-services/index.cfm

BAR PASSAGE

Western New England University School of Law is committed to helping you achieve your goals of becoming a licensed attorney. The bar exam can be the most challenging test you will face.  However, our comprehensive bar preparation approach guides students from the first day of law school so that the mystery and anxiety is significantly reduced. Our team approach, courses, and bar prep programs will help you pass the bar and start your career as an attorney!  

For our year-by-year bar review program, please visit our website link below.

Learn more about career placement and bar passage at Western New England University School of Law

Tuition and Aid

Expense Cost
Tuition
$46,050.00
Fees
$1,770.00
Expected Cost of Attendance
$68,350.00

Admission Decisions: Beyond the Numbers

Every application is read by members of the Admissions Committee. All facets of the application are carefully considered, including race, gender, language, and educational, social, and economic obstacles overcome in the applicant’s pursuit of higher education. We seek candidates with well-developed writing ability and analytical skills who will contribute to classroom discussions and the law school community. Each year, tuition scholarships are awarded to applicants whose credentials demonstrate potential for success, and whose backgrounds suggest they are likely to enrich the student life of the School of Law. All admitted applicants receive automatic scholarship consideration and are notified of awarded scholarships in their admit letter. On average, 75 percent or more of the entering class receives scholarship assistance.

Scholarships range from partial tuition to our full-tuition Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. Scholarship. The Holmes Scholars usually score in the top 40 percent of the LSAT nationally and finish near the top of their undergraduate classes.

Learn more about admission at Western New England University School of Law

Admitted Applicant Profile

25-75% UGPA Range at Western New England:

3.04 to 3.61

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Western New England:

146 to 152

120
135
150
165
180

25-75% UGPA Range at Western New England:

3.04 to 3.61

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Western New England:

146 to 152

120
135
150
165
180

25-75% UGPA Range at Western New England:

3.04 to 3.61

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Western New England:

146 to 152

120
135
150
165
180

Contact Information

1215 Wilbraham Road,
Springfield, MA 01119-2684,
United States