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University of Minnesota Law School: Wikis


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University of Minnesota Law School
Motto Rigorous. Relevant. Ready.
Established 1888
Type Public law school
Endowment $106 million [1]
Dean David Wippman
Faculty 61 full-time (female: 38%; minorities: 18%); 9 clinical faculty; 29 University affiliated faculty; 110 adjunct; 30 faculty who hold endowed chairs/professorships; 34 permanent endowed chairs/professorships
Students 860 students (816 J.D.; 19 international visiting - 5 countries represented; 2 domestic visiting; 23 LL.M. - 13 countries represented)
Location Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.
Campus Urban
Colors Purple and silver
Nickname Fighting Mondales
Walter F. Mondale Hall, home of the Law School.

The University of Minnesota Law School, located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is a professional school of the University of Minnesota. The school offers a Juris Doctor (J.D.), Masters of Law (LL.M.) for Foreign Lawyers, and joint degrees with J.D./M.B.A., J.D./M.P.A, J.D./M.A., J.D./M.S., J.D./Ph.D., J.D./M.D., J.D./M.P.P., J.D./M.B.S., J.D./M.P., J.D./M.B.T., J.D./M.U.R.P., and J.D./M.P.H.

The school is currently ranked 20th in the U.S. News & World Report "Best Law Schools" rankings and 11th overall in the annual 2009 Judging the Law Schools rankings.[1]. Tuition and fees for a resident are $25,400. Non-residents pay $34,900.

According to a study by The National Law Journal, 18.1% of the law school's 2006 graduates joined the United States' 250 largest law firms; the number is relatively low compared to peer institutions, though the Law School claims it is related to the small number of very large law firms in its region.[2]

Founded in 1888, the Law School is consistently ranked among the top 25 law schools in the nation (according to 'U.S. News & World Report') and has a reputation for turning out outstanding lawyers and public servants. With approximately 860 students, the Law School maintains a 13:1 student-to-faculty ratio. Admission into the Law School is highly competitive. All first-year classes are graded on a curve. Most upper-level classes are graded on a curve as well; only those classes with the smallest of enrollments are relieved of the curve. The five-year average bar exam passage rate is 99.18%.

The Law School's 10th Dean is Professor David Wippman, former Vice Provost for International Relations and Professor of Law, Cornell University.

The Law Library is the 8th largest of its kind in the United States, with over 1,000,000 volumes, and is open to the students 24 hours a day throughout the year. The chief librarian at the school is Joan S. Howland, who joined the Law School in 1992. Of particular note is The Riesenfeld Rare Books Research Center, which houses one of the top three collections of rare legal texts in the nation. For its millionth volume, the Law School acquired the papers of Clarence Darrow.

In 1999-2001, the Law School initiated and completed an expansion of its facilities on the west bank of the University campus. This larger building was renamed Walter F. Mondale Hall in honor of one its most distinguished alumni, former Vice President Walter Mondale (Law Class of 1956).

There are 19 legal education clinics, offering students the opportunity to handle real legal cases under supervision of teaching attorneys. The school also has a formal moot court system, in which a majority of students participate. Second year J.D students are required to participate in either a moot court or legal journal.


Study abroad programs

The Law School offers a number of study abroad opportunities and, in 2006 opened a summer study program for J.D. students in Beijing. The program was originally conducted with the China University of Political Science and Law, and after two years it was changed to Renmin University (People’s University) in Beijing.[3]

The school also features semester exchange programs with ESADE Faculty of Law in Barcelona, Spain; University of Uppsala, Uppsala, Sweden; Université Jean Moulin (Lyon III) in Lyon, France, Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany; University College Dublin in Dublin, Ireland, Tilburg University Faculty of Law in Tilburg, Netherlands; and Bucerius Law School in Hamburg, Germany. In Fall 2006, the Law School announced a new exchange partnership with the Universidad de Montevideo in Montevideo, Uruguay.


The school produces a number of scholarly journals. Those that are edited by students include Minnesota Law Review (the 14th most cited legal journal[2]), Law and Inequality (formerly the Journal of Law and Inequality), and Minnesota Journal of International Law (formerly the Minnesota Journal of Global Trade). Faculty edited journals include Constitutional Commentary, Crime and Justice, Minnesota Journal of Business and Entrepreneurship, and Minnesota Journal of Law Science and Technology. 175 students participate on a journal each year. Students at the Law School also regularly publish the humorous newsletter and harbinger of Thursday night activities, The Bar Review Weekly .

Student life



Scene from TORT's 2004 production of "Law Wars".
The Fighting Mondales bench during a game against the Hamline Res Ipsa.
Walter Mondale at the introduction of the "Fighting Mondales".

An annual highlight for the Law School is when the student body puts on its own full-length musical: written, performed, directed and produced by the all-student Theatre of the Relatively Talentless (T.O.R.T.). Begun in 2002, the event draws over a thousand audience members each year and features cameos by distinguished alumni and other distinguished members of the Minnesota legal community. For the 2006 show, "West Bank Story" (a spoof on "West Side Story"), tickets sold out within three days. Previous shows include: "The Wizard of Fritz" (2003, a spoof on "the Wizard of Oz"); "Law Wars" (2004, a spoof on "Star Wars"); "Walter Wonka and the Lawyer Factory" (2005, a spoof on "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory"); "Frankenlaw" (2007); "Robin Hood, Esq." (2008); and "It's a Wonderful Law School" (2009). Participants are known as the TORTfeasors.


The Fighting Mondales hit the ice during the season in intramural play, club play and rivalry games. In the fall, the Fighting Mondales square off in an adult league against several opponents, including the law school hockey teams of the Hamline School of Law's Res Ipsa, University of St. Thomas School of Law and rival William Mitchell Fighting Eelpout. In the spring, the Mondales participate in the University of Minnesota intramural season, playing their games at Mariucci Arena on the U of M campus. The season concludes with the annual law school hockey tournament, where all four Twin Cities law school teams compete for the coveted Golden Gavel.

Notable alumni

The Law School currently has 11,776 living alumni in 50 states and 68 countries[3], including 275 serving as federal and state court judges nationwide[4]. Perhaps the most famous alumnus of the Law School is former Vice President of the United States and Ambassador to Japan Walter Mondale ('56). The Law School's building was renamed Walter F. Mondale Hall in his honor in 2002. His legacy and continued participation in the life of the school recently earned him a most interesting honor from the school's student-run Law Council: the naming of the mascot of the Law School as the "Fighting Mondales."

Other prominent alumni of the school include:


  1. ^ 2009 edition of Judging the Law Schools (accessed May 2, 2009)
  2. ^ Leigh Jones, The Go-To Schools, The National Law Journal, January 15, 2007.
  3. ^ University of Minnesota Law School Summer Study Abroad Program Renmin University of China, Beijing, University of Minnesota Law School, Accessed February 6, 2009.

External links

Coordinates: 44°58′23″N 93°14′40″W / 44.973172°N 93.244428°W / 44.973172; -93.244428


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