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 The National Jurist magazine.
The National Jurist ranked the College of Law the 12th best program in the country, continuing the college’s streak of being consistently ranked in the top 20 public law schools in the country for practical training.
The National Jurist also ranked the College of Law as the number two school in the nation for sustainable practices. The college is second only to Lewis & Clark in Oregon on The National Jurist’s list of “greenest law schools.”
“We are excited to receive recognition for two areas that are at the core of our mission at the College of Law: fostering opportunities for practical training and serving as a role model to the community in terms of green practices,” 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 new low-income tax clinic as part of its already diverse array of clinical program opportunities. The college’s Pro-Bono Initiative also opened new 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 recognition for impressive sustainable practices comes after the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), awarded the College of Law’s new building the prestigious LEED platinum designation earlier this fall.
“LEED” stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The USGBC awards this designation to buildings that meet standards of being green and efficient in their design. LEED-certified spaces use less energy and water; save money for taxpayers, businesses and other building owners; reduce carbon emissions; create jobs; and establish a healthier environment for residents, workers, and the larger community. The College of Law was the first in the western United States designed to earn such a designation and is believed to be only the second law school in the country to achieve that status.
The law school built its LEED platinum building with assistance from the Alternative Visions Fund of the Chicago Community Trust, which provided $4.5 million in support of the sustainability features. Many of the law school’s sustainability features serve as examples for other building projects on the campus of the University of Utah, the Salt Lake community, and the nation, and some are models of innovation. For example, windows in the building have ultraviolet spider web designs that are visible to birds but not humans, greatly reducing bird collisions.
The new recognitions by The National Jurist follow notable performances in the recently released 2018 U.S. News & World Report rankings of ABA-approved law schools where the College of Law ranked in the top 50 overall, and in the top 10 for specialty programs in environmental law.