University of Wyoming College of Law

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

Official Guide to ABA-Approved JD Programs


Introduction

The University of Wyoming College of Law, founded in 1920, is ABA accredited and a member of the AALS. An excellent faculty comprises 25 full-time distinguished professors as well as more than 15 part-time adjunct professors, with highly qualified lecturers to instruct a student body of approximately 225. The limited size of the student body and the favorable student-to-faculty ratio (approximately 11 to 1), create an atmosphere of friendliness and informality. Students enjoy a degree of access to faculty rarely found at larger institutions. UW Law provides a high-quality, affordable legal education. It is consistently considered to be one of the best value schools in the nation. The College of Law is located in Laramie on the campus of the University of Wyoming, the only four-year institution of higher learning in Wyoming. The university has a student body of approximately 13,000. Laramie is a town of 32,000 located in southeastern Wyoming at an altitude of 7,200 feet on the high plains between two mountain ranges. UW Law’s proximity to the mountains provides a variety of recreational activities, including skiing, backpacking, rock climbing, hiking, mountain biking, camping, fishing, and hunting. Laramie is just two hours north of Denver, Colorado, and 45 minutes from Cheyenne—Wyoming’s state capital.

Faculty

The faculty has a proven record of excellence in teaching, research, and scholarship. Particular areas of strength include environmental and natural resource law, litigation, international law (private and public), business law, rural law, and transactional law. Faculty members are actively engaged in public service and international outreach. Because of our small student body, the University of Wyoming College of Law faculty provides students with instructional and research opportunities that are often not available in larger institutions. Students regularly converse with their professors both inside and outside the classroom, establishing lifelong professional connections.

Curriculum

The 1L year consists of foundational subjects, including Contracts, Property, Torts, Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Legal Research and Writing, Criminal Law, Appellate Advocacy, and Introduction to Law. During the 2L year, students take two required courses (Evidence and Professional Responsibility) and electives of their choice. The 3L year is comprised entirely of elective and seminar courses tailored toward an area of law, including business, civil litigation, criminal, energy, environment and natural resources, general practice, government, international human rights, international business, public interest, real estate, intellectual property, and social justice. Practical legal training is available through six clinical programs, an estate planning practicum, two natural resource field courses, and four centers: the Center for the Study of Written Advocacy, the Center for Laws and Energy Resources in the Rockies, the Rural Law Center, and the Center for International Human Rights Law. UW Law guarantees that all of its students can participate in at least one clinical program. Numerous externship opportunities are available including state and federal courts, the Wyoming Supreme Court, Shoshone and Arapaho Tribal Court, the US Attorney’s Office, the Wyoming Attorney General, state and federal public defender, FBI, JAG, municipal and government agencies, and other nonprofit entities, including the Innocence Project, ACLU, Biodiversity Conservation Alliance, and Access to Justice. Clinics, externships, internships, and faculty research projects are available each term. All students have access to these opportunities at the University of Wyoming College of Law.

Special Programs

Students may obtain practical experience and academic credit in six clinical programs:

  • Defender Aid: Students brief and argue criminal appeals for indigent persons, and assist penitentiary inmates in postconviction cases.
  • Prosecution Assistance: Students work with prosecuting attorneys in criminal cases.
  • Civil Legal Services Clinic: Students provide legal assistance to economically disadvantaged persons.
  • Family and Child Legal Advocacy Clinic: Students address legal issues of domestic violence victims.
  • Energy and Natural Resources: Students work together with Wyoming’s Office of Attorney General on a wide variety of actual cases.
  • International Human Rights and Advocacy: Students work on global human rights issues, including immigration, asylum, and other international advocacy cases.

Students can also participate in an Estate Planning Practicum in which estate planning matters for qualifying individuals are addressed. All clinical programs and practicums operate under faculty supervision.

Under Wyoming state law, students in the clinics can brief and argue cases before the Wyoming Supreme Court, an opportunity that is rare—if not unique—among law schools. Students also regularly appear in state court hearings and represent clients in a variety of venues and proceedings. Students have the opportunity to practice in a summer trial institute taught by experts in the field of trial advocacy. The summer trial institute typically attracts 75 judges, lawyers, and professors to provide two weeks of intensive litigation training to 24 students.

Summer Trial Institute

The Summer Trial Institute is a two-week, intensive course in which leading trial attorneys from across Wyoming and the country mentor law students in their trial skills. In this “learn-by-doing” course, students gain trial skills by practicing in a courtroom with seasoned lawyers and by receiving direct feedback from peers or future employers. The course culminates with the students trying a jury trial in front of sitting Wyoming judges who have volunteered their time and expertise to the program.

This program is part of the Trial Practice program at UW Law and is made possible by the collaborative efforts of the College of Law, the American College of Trial Lawyers, and the American Board of Trial Advocates.

Joint-Degree Programs

The college offers three joint degrees: JD/MA in Environment and Natural Resources, JD/MPA, and JD/MBA. The College of Law has had a strong program in environment and natural resources for many years. Courses are offered in environmental law, oil and gas, mining law, public lands, water rights, and energy/climate. UW Law has strengths in trial and appellate practice, business planning, transactional law, estate planning, corporate and commercial law, administrative law, consumer law, American Indian law, family/domestic law, international human rights law, and international business law.

Admission Standards

UW Law seeks candidates whose intellectual abilities and proven academic skills make it likely that they will successfully complete our academic program and use their legal education productively. We favor candidates with potential for leadership in their chosen professions. Our students are expected to be committed to hard work, honesty, integrity, and community service commensurate with the privilege of membership in the legal profession. We seek to admit candidates whose diverse backgrounds, experiences, knowledge, and perspectives will enliven and enrich the learning experiences of fellow students, faculty, and the rest of the academic community.

The College of Law enrolls 75 to 80 students each fall. The college begins accepting applications on October 1 for the class entering the following August. An early admission program is available for those who apply before December 15. The entering class is selected from applications completed by June 10. Applicants should register with LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service and request official undergraduate transcripts by mid-January and take the LSAT no later than February.

Applicants must have an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution prior to matriculation. Admission is based on the applicant’s undergraduate records, LSAT scores, personal statement, and other criteria relevant to success in the study and practice of law. Applicants may also submit two to three letters of recommendation; however, this is not required. Proficiency in English is critical to success at the University of Wyoming College of Law. All international applicants from non-English-speaking countries must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam.  A score of 100 or higher on the TOEFL is required for admission. UW Law does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, or political beliefs.

Student Activities

The College of Law publishes the student-edited Wyoming Law Review biannually. Other organizations include Potter Law Club (student government), three law fraternities, Students for Equal Justice, Intellectual Property Club, International Law Students, Natural Resources and Environmental Law Club, Women’s Law Forum, J. Reuben Clark Law Society, Advocates and Allies, Christian Legal Society, Federalist Society, the Wyoming Society for International Law, the Minority Student Law Association, and the Wyoming Student Trial Lawyers. Students participate in the National Moot Court, National Energy Moot Court, ABA Negotiations, Jessup International Law Moot Court, National ABA Client Counseling, and the ATLA National Student Trial Advocacy competitions. Our competition teams consistently place high in regional and national competitions. In 2012, our ABA Client Counseling Team finished second in the nation. The college has two honorary societies: Order of the Coif and Excellence in Advocacy.

Career Services and Professional Development

Approximately 75 percent of graduates remain in the Rocky Mountain region after graduation, due in part to the wide availability of legal opportunities in the area, but UW Law has alumni around the US and across the globe. The curriculum is broad in scope, providing a core foundation of legal knowledge applicable in a wide range of legal and geographic areas. Wyoming is also part of the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE) system, which enables graduates to transfer their bar scores to over 10 additional states.

UW Law graduates practice primarily in small private firms or are employed by federal, state, local, and tribal governments. Students are also employed in the public interest sector, in judicial clerkships, and in the growing area of business and industry.

As with other aspects of UW Law, the small size of the student body permits Career Services to provide students with personal attention not available at larger institutions. Students receive one-on-one career counseling and job-search assistance for permanent or summer employment. Career Services also provides insightful career panels, interview experience, and résumé/cover letter workshops. A network of loyal alumni hire, often exclusively, at the College of Law. Fall and spring on-campus interviews also provide many firms and students with a chance to interview one another. An online posting system allows organizations to announce legal jobs across the country to UW students. Career services online and library resources are available to all students.

Financial Aid

About $900,000 in scholarships are available, and well over half of the students receive some financial aid. Scholarship awards are based on merit, need, and special circumstance. Students should file the FAFSA prior to March 1. Scholarships are granted based on the student’s application for admission. Incoming scholarship awards are valid for three years so long as students remain in good academic standing (GPA above 2.0). Student loans and other financial resources are administered through the UW Student Financial Aid Office.

Facilities

UW Law is composed of large classrooms, courtrooms, seminar/study rooms, and individual student lockers and study carrels. The spacious on-site library has 350,000 volumes and multiple electronic databases. Wi-Fi and the newest instructional technologies are available throughout the building. Two state-of-the-art courtroom/classrooms, a jury room, and seminar rooms were completed in 2009. The building provides a positive learning environment and is conveniently located.

Admitted Applicant Profile

25-75% UGPA Range at Wyoming:

3.18 to 3.68

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Wyoming:

150 to 156

120
135
150
165
180

25-75% UGPA Range at Wyoming:

3.18 to 3.68

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Wyoming:

150 to 156

120
135
150
165
180

25-75% UGPA Range at Wyoming:

3.18 to 3.68

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Wyoming:

150 to 156

120
135
150
165
180

Contact Information

Dept. 3035, 1000 E. University Avenue,
Laramie, WY 82071,
United States