The University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law’s strong clinical program, simulation courses, Pro Bono Initiative and other opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience before graduation has propelled the college to be named among the best law schools in the nation for practical legal training, according to newly released rankings by PreLaw magazine, a publication of The National Jurist.
PreLaw ranked the College of Law the 15th best program in the country in its soon-to-be released spring issue, continuing the college’s streak of being consistently ranked in the top 20 public law schools in the country for practical training.
“We are excited to receive recognition for an area that serves the core of our mission at the College of Law: fostering opportunities for practical training so our students are ready to make an immediate difference in the legal field upon graduation,” said Robert Adler, dean of the College of Law.
The recognition for practical training comes as the College of Law has invested in bolstering opportunities for students on that front in recent years. The college added a low-income tax clinic as part of its already diverse array of clinical program opportunities. The college’s Pro Bono Initiative has also opened additional clinics to serve the community, providing students with more opportunities to work with practicing lawyers to develop their skill sets while still in school.
The latest accolade from PreLaw follows other recent recognitions for the College of Law’s practical training program, including a mention in The National Jurist for law students’ pro bono work, which is higher than the national average.
The Association of American Law Schools (AALS) earlier this year measured how much law schools contribute to the delivery of legal services through clinics, other experiential courses and pro bono activities of law students.
In December 2018, 84 law schools reported that 16,502 law students in the class of 2018 contributed more than 3.48 million hours in legal services as part of their legal education, an average of about 211 hours per student.
At the College of Law, service hours for the 95 students in the Class of 2018 amounted to 27,815.75 hours. The number means each graduating law student volunteered 293 hours.