2014-15 General Catalog
This is a draft edition of the 2014-15 Catalog; the final edition will be published in late summer 2014.
College of Law
Web site: http://www.law.uiowa.edu/
The University of Iowa College of Law is the oldest law school west of the Mississippi River. Founded in 1865 as the Iowa Law School, the college is a charter member of the American Association of Law Schools and an American Bar Association-approved law school.
One of 12 colleges at The University of Iowa, the College of Law is part of Iowa City's unique cultural community. Students, faculty, and staff work together in a friendly, relaxed, and productive environment that puts students' needs first.
Longstanding commitment to inclusion and diversity is a source of pride for the College of Law, which was one of the first schools in the nation to grant a law degree to a woman (1873) and to an African-American (1879). Diversity is central to the college's educational philosophy and to its core mission of preparing culturally proficient graduates who are capable of intellectual inquiry, critical and reflective thinking, and engagement.
The college is at home in the Boyd Law Building, whose facilities were designed specifically for the school's essential activities and services: classes and meetings, study and research, student-faculty interactions, clinical law and cocurricular programs, student organizations, writing resources, career consultation, and more. The Iowa Law Library has one of the largest collections of legal materials in the country, with an exceptional research collection of print and electronic resources relating to U.S. domestic law as well as international, foreign, and comparative law. Ample study space and wireless Internet access are available throughout the library. See "Boyd Law Building" and "Iowa Law Library" under "Facilities and Resources" later in this Catalog section.
Iowa's challenging law school curriculum carefully balances substantive courses, perspective offerings, examination of ethical values and professionalism, and skills-training programs, including a highly active in-house legal clinic. The college's 9.45-to-1 student-faculty ratio and the faculty's open-door policy ensure that students have opportunities for interaction and collaboration with their law professors.
The college's writing program—one of the strongest among law schools nationwide—is integral to all students' academic experience. During both semesters of their first year, students take a small-section course in legal analysis, writing, and research. During the second and third years, they complete four additional writing units. Among opportunities for completing the writing requirement is work on one of the law school's four student-run scholarly journals: Iowa Law Review, Journal of Corporation Law, Journal of Gender, Race & Justice, and Transnational Law & Contemporary Problems.
The Writing Resource Center supports and builds upon classroom writing instruction and assists students with a broad range of writing tasks. The center and the writing program as a whole exemplify the law school's personalized attention and dedication to individual learning.
The College of Law offers a strong program of study in the rapidly expanding fields of international and comparative law. In addition to promoting broad social awareness and technical professional competence, the study of international and comparative law provides a theoretical foundation essential for all lawyers by affording unique insight into the nature of law and legal process. It is crucial preparation for lawyers who engage in formulating public policy at all levels of society. It also provides a solid understanding of international law and foreign legal systems, which is fundamental for effective lawyers in an era of global interdependence.
Highlights of the college's international and comparative law program are the Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree program (see "Master of Laws" later in this Catalog section), work on the journal Transnational Law & Contemporary Problems, and participation in the Philip C. Jessup International Moot Court Competition. Students also have opportunities for work related to international and comparative law at a faculty-run centers, the University of Iowa Center for Human Rights and in student groups such as the International Law Society.
Over the years, the college has enjoyed great success in preparing women and men to be professional and civic leaders. In the 20th century, Iowa graduates served as U.S. senators and representatives; state governors; federal and state judges; and presidents of the American Bar Association, major universities, and some of the country's largest corporations. Iowa also has been a leader in preparing American law teachers. The college is resolved to continue its traditional role of training future lawyers for positions of professional and community leadership in the 21st century.Back To Top
Professional Programs of Study (J.D., LL.M., S.J.D.)
The College of Law collaborates with a variety of University of Iowa graduate programs to offer joint J.D./graduate degree programs. See "Joint J.D./Graduate Degrees" later in this section.Back To Top
Juris Doctor (J.D.)
The Juris Doctor requires 84 s.h. of credit. Entering first-year students must take all first-year courses and may not register for different courses or fewer semester hours without the dean of students' permission. No student may enroll during any fall or spring semester for more than 15 s.h., or during any two adjacent summer sessions for more than 12 s.h., of credit that will be applied to the J.D. degree.
To be eligible for a J.D. degree, a student must:
receive course credit for 84 s.h., including no more than 6 s.h. earned in cocurricular or non-law courses or activities;
take and complete all required courses;
satisfy the writing requirement;
complete the course of study required for the degree in no fewer than 27 months and no more than 84 months after beginning law study at the College of Law or at a law school from which transfer credit has been accepted;
achieve a cumulative g.p.a. of at least 2.10; and
satisfy the requirement of receiving "substantial instruction in other professional skills generally regarded as necessary for effective and responsible participation in the legal profession," as set forth in the American Bar Association's Accreditation Standard 302(a)(4) and Standard Interpretations 302-2 and 302-3.
Receiving credit in a course is dependent upon successful completion of a final examination, and any assigned work. Students must satisfy all requirements established by the instructor for class attendance, written work, special readings, oral reports, and so forth in order to take the final exam.
Full-time policy: The faculty believes that students receive a better legal education when they devote substantially all of their time to educational pursuits. For this reason, students are expected to pursue their law training on a full-time basis. This policy is consistent with the accreditation standards of the American Bar Association and the Association of American Law Schools. In extraordinary circumstances, it may be possible for students to enroll for fewer than 10 s.h. per semester. Students who believe they may be unable to attend full time should contact the dean of students before registering for classes.
Entrance date: Students enroll in late August, at the beginning of the fall semester. All students attend courses full time during fall and spring semesters and may attend the summer term at any point during their academic careers. [Entrants may expect to graduate no earlier than 27 months after beginning law study.]
Admission to the Iowa Bar: A rule adopted by the Iowa Supreme Court requires all law students who intend to apply for admission to the Iowa Bar to register that intention with the court; the deadline for timely registration is November 1 of the year the student begins law school. Details are available from the College of Law registrar or the clerk of the Iowa Supreme Court.
The first-year curriculum emphasizes development of analytical skills, a sense of the role of legal institutions in society, and essential writing skills. Each course in the first-year curriculum shares these emphases and conveys substantive knowledge about a particular area of the law. Four courses during the first year are small-section courses. Two of the four (one each semester) cover traditional first-year subjects—civil procedure, constitutional law, contracts, criminal law, property, torts—and usually have an enrollment of no more than 40 students each. The other two are LAW:8032 (091:130) Legal Analysis Writing and Research I (first semester) and LAW:8033 (091:131) Legal Analysis Writing and Research II (second semester), which usually have an enrollment of approximately 20 students each.
First-year students take the following courses.
The two-semester sequence LAW:8032 (091:130) and LAW:8033 (091:131), called Legal Analysis Writing and Research (LAWR), is designed to equip students with effective skills in legal analysis, writing and oral communication (oral advocacy), and research.
LAWR develops students' legal analysis skills throughout the year in connection with every assignment. Analytical skills include the ability to spot legal issues in a fact pattern; to identify legally relevant facts; to synthesize legal rules, principles, policies, and purposes found in the legal materials (e.g., precedents and statutes); and to understand and formulate legal arguments of different kinds.
LAWR develops students' legal writing and oral advocacy skills. Legal writing centers on effectively communicating the legal analysis of a practical problem, whether the purpose is to predict what a court or other decision maker will do, to persuade someone to agree with the writer's conclusions, or to decide a case and explain the decision. Oral advocacy skills center on using legal analysis to persuade someone, such as a judge, to reach a particular conclusion.
LAWR develops legal research skills. Legal research supports legal analysis primarily by identifying the legal materials, especially legal authorities, that form the basis of effective legal arguments and legal conclusions.
Students are expected to achieve the following objectives during the two-semester LAWR sequence:
Second- and Third-Year Curriculum
All students complete three specific required courses plus required writing units during the second and third years. Beyond that, they plan their own course of study for the two years, drawing from a rich menu of mainstream, specialized, clinical, and perspective courses. Second- and third-year courses cover the range of specialties within the legal profession, allowing students to explore and follow their professional interests in a particular career specialization, to write for one of the school's four student-run scholarly journals, to pursue joint degrees in law-related graduate programs, or to simply obtain the widest possible exposure to the legal landscape.
All second- and third-year students must complete the following work.
Writing units may be completed through a combination of courses and cocurricular programs that include a writing unit, such as seminar papers, independent research papers, clinical law programs, work on any of the college's four journals, Moot Court Board, and advanced appellate advocacy activities. Two of the four writing units must be completed in courses (including seminars and clinical programs) or through independent research in which there is direct, ongoing faculty supervision.
Course of Study Options for J.D. Students
The College of Law offers numerous programs and opportunities that students may draw upon when planning their course of study.
International and Comparative Law
The college's international and comparative law program is supported by more than a dozen faculty members who maintain significant teaching and research interests in the field. The program features an extensive selection of courses and related academic activities; opportunities for study abroad; an innovative student/faculty edited journal; and several centers where research in international and comparative law is conducted. The Master of Laws (LL.M.) program draws scholars and visiting professors from around the world.
Additional resources include the Law Library, which maintains holdings of more than 280,000 volumes of international, comparative, and foreign law and a complete United Nations document collection on microfiche; and programming offered across the University by the UI International Programs office.
To learn more, see "Master of Laws" below and visit International and Comparative Law Program on the college's web site.
Innovation, Business, and Law
The innovation, business, and law program integrates intellectual property, antitrust, and corporate law to provide a range of academic opportunities for students interested in those disciplines. Visit Innovation, Business, and Law Center to learn more. Not all courses listed on the site are offered every year.
Concentrated Areas of Study
Students may pursue their interest in a particular subject area by selecting appropriate course work and independent research projects. For example, students interested in intellectual property and competition law may choose from the following courses.
College of Law Seminars
Some seminars are available for up to 4 s.h., unless noted otherwise. Seminar credit includes two writing units, but students may complete three writing units with the instructor's approval. Seminar formats vary widely; students should check the course descriptions and consult with the instructor before registering.
Many seminars last two semesters. The first semester (usually fall) is the class portion of the seminar; students earn 2 s.h. for a workload equivalent to that of a 2 s.h. course. During the second semester of the seminar (usually spring), students write their papers, earning the remaining credit for the seminar.
Some instructors offer seminars that do not follow the fall-class/spring-writing format. Students may be convened for the seminar as if they were a legislative drafting committee, or they may be required to complete substantial research, drafting, and writing work over the entire year. The amount of credit for the seminar may be flexible or determined by the class as a whole. Seminars using this format may have required attendance and no-drop policies; students are strongly encouraged to learn what will be expected of them before registering for these seminars.
Papers produced for seminars or independent research may be eligible for entry in competitions, sometimes with cash prizes. Competition announcements are posted at the Writing Resource Center.
Clinical Law Programs
Students who have completed the equivalent of three semesters toward the J.D. (at least 39 s.h.) are eligible to apply their theoretical knowledge to real cases and projects under the supervision of faculty members and other attorneys through participation in the College of Law's Clinical Law Programs.
Clinical law programs reflect the richness and diversity of modern law practice and the College of Law's commitment to clinical education. The clinical programs operate as areas of a law firm within the Boyd Law Building, giving students the opportunity to put their legal skills to use in a variety of practice areas and venues. Clinical law programs include the in-house clinic (internships), externships, and judicial externships.
Student interns work on cases supervised by full-time faculty members in the in-house clinic. The interns have primary responsibility for representing their clients at all stages of the legal process, including interviewing and counseling, negotiation, fact investigation, depositions, drafting and briefing, and courtroom appearances. Each semester, most interns have an opportunity to argue cases before various state and federal trial or appellate courts or before administrative agencies. Students also provide basic estate planning, document drafting, and other transactional services to clients. In some projects, interns partner with grassroots organizations, nonprofits, businesses, and public officials to solve recurring and systemic problems that cannot be addressed adequately through litigation or traditional legal methods.
Practice areas include consumer rights, criminal defense, disability rights and policy, domestic violence, immigration, international human rights, juvenile court matters, and workers' rights; see Practice Areas on the Clinical Law Programs web site.
Field Placements Externships
Iowa’s Field Placement Program offers high-quality educational experiences that involve students in the performance of legal work in government or non-profit agencies, criminal prosecution or defense offices, state and federal judges' chambers, international law offices and agencies, as well as in a limited number of private practice and corporate settings. In addition to earning credit for their field work, students in field placements participate in a seminar or tutorial, led by a faculty member, where they maximize the learning that they gain from the field experience.
Students are limited to a combined total of 30 credit hours for field placement work, co-curricular course work (e.g. work on a journal, moot court, or other student -organized activity), and courses taken outside the law school. See also ABA Standard304, interpretation 304-B. Students are limited to 14 credits for a field placement.
Students may not apply to their degree more than 20 credits from a combination of clinic, field placements, and non-law classes. They may not apply towards graduation more than 15 credit hours of clinic and field placements combined.
The College of Law also is involved in programs that do not offer academic credit. Each summer it participates in the County Attorney Internship Program, through which students work as paid employees for county attorneys throughout the state. The college also helps place students in a variety of unpaid clerkships and internships nationwide that provide insight into the workings of the legal system.
The College of Law administers a consortium of American law schools that offers a study abroad program at Florida State University's London study center. Students spend spring semester at the center studying American and English law with faculty members from Iowa's College of Law and the University of London. They may earn up to 15 s.h.; options include courses and an externship placement opportunity. Learn more about the program and how to apply at London Law Consortium.
Students may earn up to 8 s.h. of College of Law credit for intensive course work in Arcachon, France, for around four weeks in May and June. Courses are taught in English by College of Law professors and French instructors. Visit Summer Program in Arcachon, France to learn more about the program and how to apply.
The college participates in three exchange programs that permit students to earn 12-15 s.h. of credit through courses taught in English. Two students may attend the Universidade Católica Portuguesa School of Law (Lisbon campus) each fall semester; three students may attend Radboud University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, during fall and spring semesters; and two students may attend the Peking University School of Transnational Law in Shenzen, China. Learn more at the Católica University, Radboud University, and Peking University School of Transnational Law pages on the College's Study Abroad web site.
Learning Beyond the Classroom
In addition to the course of study options listed above, J.D. students have numerous opportunities to enhance and supplement their legal, learning, and professional skills outside the classroom setting. They may participate in the college's cocurricular activities, which include four student-produced journals, Moot Court, and the Trial Advocacy Program. They also have access to opportunities and resources provided through the Academic Achievement Program, the Citizen Lawyer Program, and the Writing Resource Center. See "Academic Achievement Program," "Citizen Lawyer Program," and "Cocurricular Programs" below; see "Writing Resource Center" under "Facilities and Resources" toward the end of this Catalog section.
Academic Achievement Program
The College of Law Academic Achievement Program (AAP) helps make the most of their potential through the development of the academic skills necessary to succeed in law school. The services of the AAP are open to all law students, with a special emphasis on helping first-year students as they make the transition from successful undergraduate careers to the unique challenges of law study. AAP counselors are available to meet one-on-one with students to discuss academic skills and strategies. AAP coordinates programs on legal study skills and exam-taking as part of the 1L Core Series. In the spring semester, AAP convenes a voluntary small-group workshop series for first-year students. AAP also coordinates the First Year at Iowa (FYI) program which connects incoming students with upper-class student leaders during orientation and throughout the first year.
Citizen Lawyer Program
The Citizen Lawyer Program (CLP) advances the College of Law's teaching and service missions. CLP is a teaching platform that enables students to advance their development of knowledge, values, and skills central to law as a professional calling. By offering a wide variety of opportunities each year for pro bono work, community service, and programs focusing on the issues, skills, and values that are critical to personal and professional success, CLP extends legal education beyond classrooms and clinical programs while engaging students directly in serving the college's mission of public service.
Students enrich their course of study by participating in the college's cocurricular programs, which include Moot Court, the Trial Advocacy Program, and four student-produced journals. Students may apply a maximum of 6 s.h. earned in cocurricular programs and/or non-law classes toward the J.D. degree.
The Moot Court appellate advocacy programs familiarize students with writing appellate briefs, acquaints them with citation form, develops research skills, and strengthens persuasive ability in oral argument at the appellate court level.
Each academic year, the Moot Court office administers LAW:9010 (091:210) Appellate Advocacy I in the fall semester and two Moot Court competitions in the spring semester. Students who rank in the top scoring positions of LAW:9010 (091:210) are eligible for the advanced competitions in the spring semester. Advanced competitions include LAW:9021 (091:404) Van Oosterhout Baskerville Moot Court Competition and LAW:9038 (091:430) Jessup International Moot Court Competition.
The appellate advocacy program is administered by the Moot Court Board, which consists of student judges and an executive board.
The Trial Advocacy Program is a student-run, faculty-supervised program in which students develop and refine skills used to prepare and try civil and criminal cases. The heart of the program is LAW:9060 (091:370) Trial Advocacy, a 2 s.h. course taught by law school faculty, federal and state judges, and experienced trial attorneys. Students are on their feet during most class sessions, practicing the arts of jury selection, opening statement, direct and cross examination, introduction of exhibits, use of expert testimony, and closing argument. The course culminates with a full-scale trial—from the filing of pretrial motions to the rendering of a jury verdict—conducted by student cocounsel before a visiting judge and a jury of laypersons.
The Stephenson Competition is named after Judge Roy L. Stephenson, a U.S. District Court and Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals judge and a 1940 graduate of the College of Law. Students who demonstrate superior ability in advocacy skills during the trial advocacy courses participate in a series of mock trials judged by local members of the bench and bar. Individuals selected from the competition represent The University of Iowa in the national trial competition.
IOWA LAW REVIEW
Since its inception in 1915, the Iowa Law Review has served as a scholarly legal journal, noting and analyzing developments in the law and suggesting future paths for the law to follow. Students have managed the review since 1935, editing and publishing articles by professors and students. The Iowa Law Review is published five times annually and is staffed by second-year student writers and third-year editors. Its subscribers include legal practitioners and law libraries throughout the world. The review also publishes the Iowa Law Review Bulletin, an online companion that features responses to the pieces published in the review. To learn more, visit the Iowa Law Review web site.
JOURNAL OF CORPORATION LAW
The Journal of Corporation Law is the nation's oldest and most cited student-published legal periodical specializing in corporate law. The journal's scope includes antitrust, intellectual property, labor law, securities, taxation, employment discrimination, insurance, products liability, and regulated industries, as well as traditional corporate topics. Selected articles submitted by practitioners and academics are published in each of four annual issues. Several student articles also are selected for publication. The journal enjoys a worldwide audience.
All students who have completed two semesters of class work are eligible to write for the journal. Students who have achieved third-year standing at the College of Law are eligible for selection to the journal's editorial board and may receive additional academic credit. They also may be eligible for a monetary stipend. See the Journal of Corporation Law web site.
JOURNAL OF GENDER, RACE & JUSTICE
The Journal of Gender, Race & Justice pushes the boundaries of legal scholarship and theory in its focus on social justice issues. The journal hosts a symposium at the College of Law every other year, bringing together nationally renowned legal scholars and practitioners to discuss the relationships among the law and race, gender, sex, sexual identity, economic class, ability, and other identity characteristics. The journal publishes an annual volume of legal works that includes symposium papers, papers from conferences outside the college, and articles written by Iowa law students. It also maintains a blog to promote discussion of issues related to its mission.
All students who have completed two semesters of law school, including transfer students, are eligible to write for the journal. Students who have completed the journal's student writer program or who have third-year standing at the College of Law are eligible to apply for a position on the journal's editorial board, which may provide a monetary stipend and academic credit. To learn more, visit the Journal of Gender, Race & Justice web site.
TRANSNATIONAL LAW & CONTEMPORARY PROBLEMS
Transnational Law & Contemporary Problems (TLCP) is published three times a year and is edited by Iowa law students. TLCP addresses issues and problems that transcend traditional political boundaries, that are of interest to the international and comparative law community, and that are not commonly found in other journals and reviews. Two issues each year take the form of a symposium addressing specific topics; these issues have a guest editor who is a legal scholar noted for his or her work on the symposium topic. The third issue is submission based. Every other year the journal organizes and sponsors a symposium on a contemporary international issue; past topics include climate change, the European Union's sovereign debt crisis, and war crimes.
Law students who have completed at least two semesters of law school may earn up to 2 s.h. of credit by writing for TLCP. Highly qualified students who complete the writing and secondary hour requirements may be chosen to fill an editorial position, for which they earn additional credit. They also may be eligible for a monetary stipend. For more information, visit the Transnational Law & Contemporary Problems web site.Back To Top
Joint J.D./Graduate Degrees
The College of Law and the Graduate College offer several joint degree programs in which students work toward the J.D. degree and a graduate degree concurrently. The College of Law may allow students to count up to 12 s.h. of applicable credit earned in the graduate degree program toward both the graduate degree and the J.D. degree, providing that students earn the graduate credit after they enroll in the College of Law. The individual graduate programs determine how much credit earned for the J.D. degree may be applied to the graduate degree. Contact the College of Law's dean of students or registrar to learn more.
Separate application to each degree program is required. Applicants must be admitted to both programs before they may be admitted to the joint degree program. Applicants to graduate programs must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate College; see the Manual of Rules and Regulations of the Graduate College or the Graduate College section of the Catalog.
The following academic units and programs have collaborated with the College of Law to offer joint J.D./graduate degree programs: the Tippie College of Business and its Departments of Accounting, Economics, and Management and Organizations and Master of Business Administration Program; the Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication and Social Work and the Departments of American Studies, Anthropology, Chemistry, English, History, Philosophy, Political Science, Religious Studies, Sociology, and Spanish and Portuguese (College of Liberal Arts and Sciences); the Departments of Educational Policy and Leadership Studies and Rehabilitation and Counselor Education (College of Education); the Schools of Library and Information Science and Urban and Regional Planning (Graduate College); the Carver College of Medicine; and the Department of Health Management and Policy and the Master of Public Health Program (College of Public Health). Other collaborations may be possible.
Many departments have advisors for their joint programs. For more information, consult the College of Law's dean of students and the individual graduate programs.
Students in joint J.D./graduate degree programs pay tuition at the College of Law rate if the tuition is higher for the J.D. program than for the graduate program. An exception is made for students who are not enrolled in College of Law courses or in other courses that will be applied to the J.D. degree during a fall or spring semester or a summer session. Joint J.D./graduate degree students are charged tuition at the College of Law rate for at least six semesters.Back To Top
Master of Laws (LL.M.)
The Master of Laws (LL.M.) program in international and comparative law is an important component of the College of Law's international approach to legal education. The program is designed for graduates of J.D. programs in the United States who wish to deepen their understanding of domestic or international and comparative law, including the law pertaining to international business transactions or human rights, and for foreign-trained jurists who wish to receive advanced training in these areas or a comparative orientation to and specific training in U.S. law and legal institutions.
The LL.M. program admits 5-15 students per year, allowing each student to receive substantial attention from the faculty. Admission is competitive.
The LL.M. requires a minimum of 24 s.h. earned in College of Law courses. LL.M. studies may be focused on any aspect of international, comparative, or U.S. law that the faculty is equipped to supervise, including especially international and comparative law. Foreign-trained LL.M. students who do not have a U.S.-based J.D. degree may concentrate on a practice track designed to prepare them to take a U.S. bar exam and practice in the United States in those states that allow LL.M. graduates without a U.S. J.D. degree to take the state bar exam. With their advisor's approval, LL.M. students may count up to 6 s.h. of law study abroad, or non-law graduate-level courses or externships, toward the degree.
LL.M. students take courses together with J.D. students, from the law school's rich offerings on U.S., international, and comparative law. This method of instruction ensures that the foreign-trained students have an effective comparative experience through broad contact with U.S. law students and professors, and the U.S. students benefit similarly from close contact with the foreign-trained lawyers.
LL.M. applicants who are graduates of U.S. law schools must have been granted a J.D. from a school that is a member of the Association of American Law Schools or is approved by the American Bar Association. Graduates of foreign law schools must have completed the basic course of university studies that qualifies them to sit for the bar examination (e.g., the French maîtrise, the German first state bar examination). If the home country bar exam does not require a specific degree, applicants should be experienced members of the bar or have completed the equivalent of the first university degree in law. Applicants without a degree from a four-year English-language university must score at least 580 (paper-based) or 92 (Internet-based) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Applicants who score lower than 600 (paper-based) or 100 (Internet-based) may be required to take English language course work upon entering the University. The TOEFL test is preferred to show English language competence, but IELTS scores will also be accepted if the overall score is at least a 7.0 and there are no scores less than 6.5.
All applicants must present evidence of high academic potential, such as high class rank in their previous law studies; strong recommendations, especially from law professors who supervised their work in classes or seminars; and challenging professional work experience. The College of Law relies heavily on academic references to assess applicants' credentials. Except for foreign-trained LL.M. students on the practice track, all LL.M. students are required to produce a substantial piece of research and writing, so applicants to the research track of the LL.M. must show evidence of ability to carry out complex research and writing projects.Back To Top
Doctor of Judicial Science
The S.J.D. program at the University of Iowa College of Law is intended for those who wish to conduct original and advanced legal research under faculty supervision. S.J.D. students are expected to carry out legal research and writing which makes a significant and original contribution to the legal literature. The S.J.D. dissertation must be of publishable quality and must provide lawyers, scholars, and governmental officials with a useful understanding, not previously available, of a particular area of law.
Admission to the S.J.D. program will not be granted unless a tenured member of the faculty of the College of Law is available and interested to serve as the chair of the student’s dissertation committee (the "S.J.D. chair"). The S.J.D. chair and other members of the dissertation committee supervise and evaluate the student’s research and writing on the dissertation topic. S.J.D. candidates are responsible for maintaining contact with the S.J.D. chair and other members of the dissertation committee throughout the S.J.D. program with respect to the progress of their work.
In order to be admitted to the S.J.D. program, students must normally first complete the LL.M. degree at Iowa or a similar masters-level degree in law at another law school, either in the United States or abroad. For applicants currently enrolled in an LL.M. program, the decision on admission into the S.J.D. program may be made toward the end of the student’s second semester in the LL.M. program, but the admissions committee may also choose to wait until after the student’s grades are available from the second LL.M. semester. In extraordinary cases, students may be admitted to the S.J.D. program without an LL.M. degree based on the excellence of their overall academic record and their strong record of achievement specifically in legal research and writing.
Once a student is admitted to the S.J.D. program, there are five requirements for earning the S.J.D. degree:
(1) The Year of Residency at the College: The S.J.D. student must spend at least one academic year (two semesters) in residence at the College of Law in the S.J.D. program (that is, one year after completing the LL.M. degree and being admitted to the S.J.D. program). During that year, the S.J.D. student must enroll in the S.J.D. tutorial to conduct research and writing under the supervision of his or her dissertation or S.J.D. committee for the purpose of formulating a detailed dissertation proposal and beginning research and writing on some portions of the proposed dissertation. Students admitted to the S.J.D. program without an LL.M. may be required to take one or two seminars requiring research papers or an equivalent number of independent research and writing credits during the year of residency in the S.J.D. program, as well, on topics specified by the student’s S.J.D. committee.
Once students have completed one academic year in residency at Iowa in the S.J.D. program and have been admitted to S.J.D. candidacy, they are free to complete the dissertation wherever they wish but they must continue to register each spring and fall semester as an S.J.D. candidate in the College and must continue to coordinate with their S.J.D. committee.
(2) Admission to S.J.D. Candidacy: Admission to S.J.D. candidacy is a formal step that must be achieved before the student has the right to continue in the S.J.D. program to complete a dissertation. The decision about admission to S.J.D. candidacy will be made by the student’s S.J.D. committee on the basis of the work done during the student’s year of residency at Iowa in the S.J.D. program. In order to admit the student to S.J.D. candidacy, the committee must determine that the student’s work on the dissertation topic during the year of residency is of sufficiently high quality that it is reasonable to believe that the student will be able to complete a publishable dissertation on the topic. As part of the assessment process, the S.J.D. committee will hold an oral examination of the candidate. The oral examination will normally be held toward the end of the student’s year of residency at the College of Law and will focus on the work that the candidate has completed on the dissertation by that time, the candidate’s general knowledge and understanding relating to the subject matter of the dissertation, and the candidate’s further plans for completing the dissertation. If the committee is not able to admit the student to S.J.D. candidacy at the conclusion of the first year of residency, the committee may give an extension of up to one calendar year if it finds a sufficient basis to believe that the student will likely be able to satisfy the foregoing standard within that time. As part of that additional assessment process the committee may require the student to submit additional writing and/or participate in an additional oral examination.
(3) Presentation of Dissertation Work: Each S.J.D. student is required to make at least one substantive presentation of his or her dissertation work at a meeting of the S.J.D. tutorial, a specially constituted group of faculty, or a public meeting, as arranged with the student’s S.J.D. committee. That committee may specify that the presentation shall be of the entire dissertation or selected portions of it. The presentation will be arranged in consultation with the student’s S.J.D. committee, normally to take place toward the end of the student’s year of residency in the College.
(4) Completion of the Dissertation: Within five calendar years from the date of admission to S.J.D. candidacy, the student must complete the dissertation and have it approved by his or her S.J.D. committee. In order to approve, the Committee must determine that the dissertation is of publishable quality. If the committee believes that the work needs revisions or additions in order to bring it up to the requisite level of quality, the committee may give the student an extension of time and the student must meet the deadlines set by the committee for the revisions.
(5) Oral Defense of the Dissertation: Before the student’s S.J.D. committee decides whether to approve the student’s completed dissertation for award of the S.J.D. degree, the student must successfully defend the dissertation in an oral examination conducted by the student’s S.J.D. committee.Back To Top
Order of the Coif
The Order of the Coif, a national legal honor society, has a chapter at The University of Iowa. The order is dedicated to scholarship and advancement of high ethical standards in the legal profession. Membership is drawn from the top 10 percent of the graduating class. Initiates are selected by the faculty after graduation.
Prizes and Awards
Hancher-Finkbine Medallions are awarded each year by the University to outstanding graduates; honorees are chosen from nominations made by University departments and colleges based on learning, leadership, and loyalty.
The Philip G. Hubbard Human Rights Award is presented each year by the University to recognize outstanding contributions to human rights and equal opportunity, as described in the University's Human Rights Policy.
The Willard L. "Sandy" Boyd Prize is presented to a student who has demonstrated outstanding ability and creativity in the development of written legal scholarship.
The Alan I. Widiss Faculty Scholar Award is presented to a student who has made an especially outstanding and distinctive contribution to the development of written legal scholarship.
The Randy J. Holland Award for Corporate Scholarships is presented to a student who has written an outstanding scholarly paper in the area of corporate law.
The Robert S. Hunt Legal History Award is presented to a student who has written an outstanding scholarly paper in the field of legal history.
The Judge William C. Stuart Award is presented to a third-year student who ranks in the top 10 percent of his or her class and is recommended based on integrity and constitutional principles.
The Innovation, Business, and Law Excellence Award is given to two graduating students who have shown interest and excellence across disciplines of intellectual property, business law, antitrust and competition law, and health law and technology; or have done outstanding work in one innovation, business, and law subject matter area.
The Donald P. Lay Faculty Recognition Award is presented to a student who has made distinctive contributions to the College of Law's cocurricular, community, or education programs.
The Iowa State Bar Association Prize is presented to a student who possesses the attitude, ability, and other qualities that indicate success as a future leader of the bar association.
The Antonia "D.J." Miller Award for Advancement of Human Rights recognizes outstanding contributions by a student to the advancement of human rights in the law school community.
The Dean's Achievement Award is presented each year to a student, who, through his or her achievements, has exemplified, promoted, or contributed to cultural, racial, or ethnic diversity in the law school.
The National Association of Women Lawyers Award is presented to a student who contributes to the advancement of women in society and women in the legal profession and who also has attained high academic achievement.
The Erich D. Mathias Award for International Social Justice is presented to a student who has made an outstanding contribution or demonstrated commitment to attaining international social justice.
The John F. Murray Award recognizes the student with the highest academic standing in the graduating class.
The ALI-ABA Scholarship and Leadership Award is presented to a student who represents an outstanding combination of scholarship and leadership, the qualities embodied by the American Law Institute and the American Bar Association.
The Innovation, Business and Law Excellence Award is given to three students who have shown interest and excellence across different disciplines.
The ALI/CLE Scholarship and Leadership Award is presented to those who best represent a combination of scholarship and leadership and qualities embodied by ABA and ALI.
The ABA-Bloomberg BNA Award Program for Excellence in the Study of Labor and Employment Law. These include awards in the study of Labor and Employment Law.
The Russell Goldman Award recognizes the student who has demonstrated the most improved academic performance after the first year.
The Iowa College of Law Appellate Advocacy Award is presented to a student for outstanding achievement in and service to the appellate advocacy program.
The Iowa Academy of Trial Lawyers Award is presented to a student for outstanding achievement in the Roy L. Stephenson Trial Advocacy Competition.
The International Academy of Trial Lawyers Award is presented to a student who has demonstrated distinction in trial advocacy skills.
The Michelle R. Bennett Client Representation Award recognizes outstanding service in the college's clinical law programs.
The ABA/BNA Award for Excellence in the Study of Intellectual Property is presented to a student who has demonstrated excellence in the study of intellectual property law.
The American Bankruptcy Institute Medal for Excellence in Bankruptcy Studies is presented to a student who has demonstrated excellence in the field of bankruptcy.Back To Top
Link to the student organizations' web sites on the college's Journals & Student Groups web page.
The Alternative Dispute Resolution Society promotes awareness of varied alternative dispute resolution processes, including arbitration, mediation, and other forms of negotiation; explores legal and other careers in alternative dispute resolution; and equips students with the knowledge and practical skills necessary for effective participation in alternative dispute resolution.
The American Constitution Society (ACS) is a nonpartisan organization whose goal is to foster discussion of important issues of law and policy.
The American Health Lawyers Association is a dedicated to improving health care law.
The Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (APALSA) seeks to promote the field of law among Asians and encourage Asians to enter the field; to improve legal services to Asians; to assist Asians in legal matters; and to educate Asians in the social and ethical obligations of the law.
The Iowa chapter of the Black Law Students Association (BLSA) focuses on the relationship of black attorneys to the American legal structure and works to foster an attitude of professional competence. BLSA strives to promote the needs and goals of black law students, instill a greater awareness among law students of the needs of the black community, and encourage a greater commitment toward meeting those needs. The chapter seeks involvement in the local community and in recruitment programs. Membership is open to all students who support the association's goals.
The Christian Legal Society maintains a Christian law fellowship at the College of Law whose mission is to enable its members to love their Lord and to love their neighbors as themselves.
The Environmental Law Society provides an educational forum for environmental law topics. During spring semester, the organization sponsors a lecture series featuring professors and experts in environmental law. The group also provides limited legal research and counseling services for attorneys, organizations, and citizens who have questions concerning environmental law. Membership is open to all College of Law students.
The Equal Justice Foundation (EJF) supports public interest law concerns, with emphasis on promoting equal access and adequate representation in the courts and other forums for citizens and citizens' groups. The University of Iowa chapter's professional activities are aligned with those of the national organization. They include work in varied legal activities statewide; College of Law activities, including coordination with other student organizations to provide the college with a better public interest support base; promotion of public interest career opportunities; and provision of information about public interest activities and concerns. Membership is open to all College of Law students.
The Federalist Society fosters critical thought and debate about the application of conservative and libertarian principles to the law. Its mission is to promote, advocate, and defend its founding principles and further their application through its activities, which are aimed at reordering the legal system's priorities to place a premium on individual liberty and the rule of law, and restoring recognition of those principles among law students, faculty members, lawyers, and judges.
The Intellectual Property Law Society (IPLS) promotes exploration of traditional areas of intellectual property law (patent, trademark, copyright) and related areas such as antitrust and entertainment law. The society provides a forum for faculty and student discussion of contemporary issues relating to intellectual property law and its practice; fosters interaction between law students and intellectual property law practitioners through a mentor program that pairs members with intellectual property law practitioners; and offers symposia. All members of the University community are welcome to attend a Society meeting or symposium.
The International Law Society aims to increase student and faculty awareness of international law and related issues. The society's brown bag lunch lecture series and annual spring conference expose students and faculty to a wide variety of contemporary legal issues surrounding the study and practice of international law. Members also work to support the activities of the University of Iowa Center for Human Rights; promote the Iowa-Arcachon, France, summer program in comparative and international law; participate in the annual Philip C. Jessup International Moot Court Competition; and bring together faculty members and students who share an interest in international affairs.
The Iowa Student Bar Association (ISBA) acts as the College of Law's student government. Governed by an executive council, the association provides a collective voice for the student body and a source of organization and funding for a variety of college activities and programs. Law students may get involved with the association by serving as class representatives or on faculty-student committees, which deal with admissions, curriculum, financial aid, placement, and so forth. The association presents speakers, sponsors events with other organizations, publishes a newsletter, and sponsors social events. Its legal guardian program assigns entering law students to upperclass students, who provide encouragement and information.
The J. Reuben Clark Law Society emphasizes three basic values and attitudes toward the practice of law and the place of law in modern society: public service, loyalty to the rule of the law and the Constitution of the United States, and appreciation for the religious dimension in American society and in lawyers' personal lives.
The Jewish Law School Association (JLSA) strives to provide social, educational, religious, political, cultural, and professional resources and opportunities for all Jewish law students at Iowa. The society educates and involves its members in the social, moral, and ethical obligations of the profession; plans and implements programming to facilitate a sense of community among Jewish law students; and raises awareness of Jewish cultural and educational issues at the college.
The Latino/a Law Student Association (LLSA) promotes viable changes within existing legal institutions in order to develop constructive legal and community programs, produce competent and effective Latino and Latina attorneys, and utilize available resources—activities necessary to safeguard and advance the rights and opportunities of oppressed peoples. To achieve these goals, LLSA recruits for the law school. LLSA's philosophy is that national unity is fundamental for the collective awareness needed to bring about progressive policies in legal education. The association welcomes all students.
Law Students for Reproductive Justice (LSRJ) is committed to increasing education and professional training in reproductive rights law. The society supports Iowa law student activism, advocacy, and networking in order to ensure that new lawyers can successfully defend and expand family planning rights and reproductive freedoms.
The Middle Eastern Legal Student Association (MELSA) aims to increase student and faculty awareness of issues pertaining to the Middle East and how they affect the legal profession.
The Military and National Security Law Society educates and informs Iowa law students about the practice of military and national security law.
The Native American Law Students Association (NALSA) promotes awareness of legal, political, cultural, and social issues that affect Native Americans, Alaskan Natives, Native Hawaiians, and other indigenous peoples. NALSA also seeks to promote the study of federal Indian law and provides a forum for the exploration of issues in tribal sovereignty, natural resources, family law, trust obligations, and cultural identity.
The Organization for Women Law Students and Staff (OWLSS) aims to address the changing needs and problems of women in the legal profession and to develop, recommend, and implement new programs, especially those that meet the needs of women at the College of Law. It also sponsors programs of interest to the general law school community. OWLSS has sponsored fall recruitment of prospective women law students, a safety-in-numbers program, brown bag lunches with guest speakers, sponsorship of members to the annual National Women and the Law Conference, a support network, a regular newsletter, and joint programs with women student groups in medicine and dentistry. Membership is open to all College of Law students, faculty members, and staff members.
The Outlaws provides a common forum for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered persons interested in the law, and promotes a climate of mutual support, protection, and professional advancement. Membership is open to all College of Law students and faculty members.
Founded in 1902, Phi Alpha Delta (PADS) is the nation's oldest and largest law fraternity. It was the first law fraternity to remove membership restrictions based on race, color, creed, national origin, and grade-point average. Iowa's Hammond Chapter was established in 1908 and became the first PADS chapter to accept students of all races and religions. It participates in fund-raisers and other service projects to benefit local and national service organizations. Membership is open to all College of Law students.
Phi Delta Phi (PHIDS) promotes the highest standards of ethics and professionalism in law schools and the legal profession. Since its establishment in 1869, the fraternity has initiated more than 200,000 members. It has more judges, American presidents, governors, senators, representatives, and cabinet members among its membership than does any other legal fraternity.
The Pro Bono Society exists to reinforce the value of public service and volunteerism in the legal profession. Membership in the Pro Bono Society is earned through objectively measured activities during the academic year. Iowa law students who complete and report 15 hours of voluntary public service in each of two consecutive semesters are considered for membership. Time donated to a charitable or public service cause, which may be law-related or not, is considered voluntary public service; the requirement is interpreted broadly, so that students may volunteer in an area of interest to them. Members receive a certificate of membership and are invited to attend the annual recognition dinner. The society is a project of the Iowa Student Bar Association.
The Sports Law Society connects College of Law students interested in sports law with professionals in the sports industry. Membership is open to all College of Law students.Back To Top
Undergraduate Education and Law School
Subject to the Undergraduate 3 + 3 Admission program described below, applicants for admission to the University of Iowa College of Law must complete all requirements for the baccalaureate degree before beginning law school. In addition, the baccalaureate degree must be earned from an undergraduate institution that is accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. This is in line with standards set by the American Bar Association, the college's primary accrediting agency.
Fulfillment of the basic requirements does not guarantee admission. The College of Law Admissions Committee selects applicants it deems best able to help the college fulfill its primary mission of providing a high quality legal education in a diverse and stimulating environment and preparing students to serve as leaders in their professional and civic communities. Some additional consideration is given to applicants who are residents of Iowa.
The services that College of Law graduates are called upon to perform are so varied, and the possible fields of endeavor so broad and diverse, that the college prescribes no uniform undergraduate program for those planning to enter law school. With the assistance of faculty advisors, each student should develop an undergraduate program that explores and develops that student's particular intellectual interests. Reading, writing, research, public speaking, critical thinking, and a healthy respect for the historical perspective are important academic skills for students considering law school.
Iowa strongly endorses the three basic objectives recommended by a committee of the Association of American Law Schools: education for comprehension and expression in words; education for a critical understanding of the human institutions and values with which the law deals; and education for greater power in thinking. Anyone thinking of attending law school should keep these objectives in mind while planning an undergraduate course of study.
The association's recommendations emphasize that undergraduate education of students for a full life through liberal education is far more important than education directed too pointedly toward later professional training and practice. Students are urged not to sacrifice broad perspective for detailed specialization.
Undergraduate 3+3 Admission
The college has approved a "3+3" admissions program in which undergraduate students enrolled at participating institutions and departments in the State of Iowa may enter law school after their junior year of undergraduate study, with the first year of law school completing the requirements of the baccalaureate degree. Contact the College of Law registrar or dean of students for more information.
Selection of Applicants
The college uses multiple criteria in evaluating applicants for admission. Part of the entering class is admitted under a "presumptive admit" process, in which the faculty admissions committee admits students primarily, but not solely, on the strength of their numbers, namely the cumulative undergraduate grade-point average and LSAT score (see "Law School Admission Test" below). Before admission offers are made, each applicant's complete file is reviewed to ensure that the overall record suggests the applicant's suitability for admission, in keeping with the primary mission of the law school.
Although undergraduate academic record and performance on the LSAT are both important admission criteria, the college recognizes that in some circumstances they do not accurately reflect an applicant's potential to succeed in the study of law, develop skills as a leader, enrich the learning environment of his or her fellow students, and serve the public interest as a lawyer.
To evaluate applicants' total suitability for admission, the college has developed a "numbers-plus" admissions policy, under which each entering class is admitted. Under the "numbers-plus" policy, undergraduate record and LSAT scores are supplemented by nonquantifiable factors that may provide insight to an applicant's overall potential for success in the study and practice of law.
For example, an applicant who can substantiate that his or her standardized test scores are not predictive of academic performance in law school may receive proportionately greater consideration from the committee for his or her grade-point average. Other factors the committee may consider include special academic or professional abilities not reflected in the grade-point average, disability or serious health factors that affected prior academic performance, extracurricular activities, exceptional school-year work commitments due to family financial circumstances, postbaccalaureate academic success (including graduate study), law-related employment experience, public service commitment, leadership in groups historically underrepresented in the legal profession, educational or socioeconomic disadvantage, native language other than English, unusual motivation or perseverance in overcoming obstacles to law study, and any other information the committee considers relevant to the applicant's potential for law study.
Candidates who wish to bring such factors to the committee's attention may do so by including addenda and other documentation with their applications.
Admission is for the Fall semester classes that begin in August. Applications are accepted beginning September 1 of the year before admission, with an application deadline of April 1 in the year of admission. Because the college has a rolling admissions process, applicants are encouraged to submit their applications as early as possible. There is currently no application fee.
For additional information, visit the College of Law Office of Admissions web site, which provides the office's e-mail address and other contact information, and see the Iowa Graduate Admissions web site.
CAS REPORT AND TRANSCRIPTS
The University of Iowa College of Law participates in the Credential Assembly Service (CAS). Applicants must register for this service through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC); foreign-educated applicants are exempt from this requirement. Prospective law applicants can find the information they need to complete their application for admission to the law school in the council's free annual publication, Law School Admission Information Book, and on LSAC's web site. It takes approximately one week from the time the College of Law requests the CAS report until it arrives.
Applicants whose fall course work does not appear on the Credential Assembly Service report should send an official transcript of that course work to CAS.
Applicants are responsible for submitting an official transcript from each college or university they have attended to Law School Admission Council, Box 2000, Newtown, PA 18940-0998.
Each applicant's undergraduate institution must forward the applicant's class rank or the grade distribution for the applicant's class to the College of Law, if such information is available. Information about class rank is helpful in the application process, but not required. Currently enrolled or former University of Iowa students need not provide this information.
Before classes begin, every applicant who accepts admission to the College of Law must file official transcripts showing conferral of degree with the University's Office of Admissions.
LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION
The college requires applicants to submit at least two, but not more than three, letters of recommendation. Recommendations from professors or others who can comment on the candidate's critical thinking, writing skills, and potential for success in law school are particularly welcome.
The college participates in the Letter of Recommendation Service offered by the Law School Admission Council. A letter of recommendation form can be downloaded on the council's web site. Individuals writing letters of recommendation should send their letters, with the required forms, to Law School Admission Council, P.O. Box 8508, Newtown, PA 18940-8508.
LAW SCHOOL ADMISSION TEST
Applicants for admission must take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). The test is given several times each year and may be taken at numerous locations in the United States and abroad. Test application forms may be obtained from the Law School Admission Council.
Applicants are urged to take the test no later than the February preceding the fall semester for which they are applying. Applicants' LSAT scores may not be available until approximately four weeks after their test date.
The June test date is the last one that the admissions committee can consider for applicants requesting admission the following fall. Scores more than five years old are not accepted.
Applicants whose first language is not English must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Testing System (IELTS) exam.
Admission is for the year of application; deferrals are granted only in extraordinary circumstances.
DEPOSIT UPON ACCEPTANCE
All applicants accepting an offer of admission must make a nonrefundable deposit of $250 (U.S.). Fall entrants accepted before March 15 must submit the deposit by April 1; those accepted after March 15 have two weeks to submit the deposit.
Fall entrants must pay a second nonrefundable deposit of $150 (U.S.) by June 1.
For those who enroll, the deposit is credited toward tuition and fees. All accepted applicants, including recipients of scholarships, fellowships, and loans, are required to pay the deposit. Applicants who fail to make the deposit by the specified time forfeit their place in the entering class.Back To Top
The College of Law administers its substantial scholarships and fellowships to advance the goals of its selective admission policy and to provide access to legal education for the talented and diverse students admitted to the college. Inquiries regarding financial aid should be directed either to the College of Law Office of Financial Aid or the University’s Office of Student Financial Aid. Information is subject to change without notice.
Application for Financial Aid
Eligibility for federal loans is based on need established by completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the required supporting documents. The FAFSA is available at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/. The University of Iowa School Code is 001892. It is important to complete the FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1, since some financial aid is subject to the availability of funds.
Although scholarship and fellowship awards are not made until after applicants are admitted to the College of Law, applicants should not wait for the notice of admission before filing the FAFSA. Admitted students who provide the required documents, will receive an email instructing them to access their award notification on ISIS.
Applicants are urged to investigate other sources of aid. Some scholarship search sites are listed online at the University Web Resources.
Scholarships and Fellowships
All students admitted to the College of Law are automatically considered for the following scholarships and fellowships. A separate application is not required. Recipients are notified by letter.
These awards are based on academic achievement. Awards range from $500 to full tuition, with a research-assistantship component in upper-level years. Renewal for the second and third year of merit scholarships requires that the scholarship recipient remain in good academic and professional standing at the College of Law. Good academic standing requires a cumulative grade point average of 2.1 or above. Good professional standing requires ethical and responsible conduct as a member of the law school community in accordance with University and law school policies. Students who enrolled prior to the fall of 2013 should refer to their retention communication for details.
UI Law Foundation Scholarships
Iowa Law enjoys a robust scholarship program thanks, in part, to the generosity of our alumni and friends through the Iowa Law School Foundation. During your first year, we will provide you with more details about the people and funds behind your scholarship. You will be asked to write of a letter of thanks to the donors responsible for your scholarship. We will work with you to coordinate that effort during your time at Iowa Law.
Law Opportunity Fellowships
The College of Law is committed to affording opportunities for legal careers to persons historically underrepresented in the legal profession. The Law Opportunity Fellowship Program (LOF) was established by the University to provide access to law school for students from groups and backgrounds historically under represented within the legal community. Among the criteria considered in awarding the fellowships are: educationally and/or socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds, leadership potential, academic merit and need. Awards may be up to full nonresident tuition for three years and the opportunity to hold a research assistant position for the second and third years. To receive your LOF award you must also apply for financial aid each academic year and submit all of the required forms as soon as possible after January 1 for the upcoming academic year. Good academic standing requires a cumulative grade point average of 2.1 or above. Good professional standing requires ethical and responsible conduct as a member of the law school community in accordance with University and law school policies.
Employment Limitation: A student may not be employed more than 20 hours per week in any week in which the student is enrolled more than 12 class hours. ABA Standard 304(f).
Research Assistant Positions
Research Assistant positions are available with many faculty members only for second and third year students. For those students classified as a non-resident for tuition purposes, a quarter-time Research Assistant position (ten hours per week) will change your tuition status during that semester to resident tuition, thus altering your financial aid package.
Part-Time Hourly University Employment
The University offers a variety of part-time employment positions for students. Students do not need to apply for financial aid in order to work in these positions. Information about part-time employment is available from the University Office of Student Financial Aid.
The Federal Work-Study Program provides a need-based employment opportunity for a limited number of students in their second and/or third year at the law school. College Work-Study will reduce the students William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan eligibility. Students must demonstrate financial eligibility for work-study through the FAFSA and its required documents.
Federal Perkins Loan
The Federal Perkins Loan is a low-interest loan based on exceptional financial need. Interest does not accrue and payments are not required until the student is no longer enrolled at least half-time in school.
Federal Direct Ford/Stafford Loans, Federal Graduate/Professional PLUS Loans
The Federal Direct Ford/Stafford Loans (unsubsidized) and the Federal Graduate/Professional PLUS Loans are funded by the federal government. The two loan programs have different interest rates and interest subsidies based on annual maximum loan amounts. Interest on the Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loan and Graduate/Professional PLUS Loan accrues while a student is in school, but principal and interest payments may be deferred while a student is in school. Eligibility for the Graduate/Professional PLUS Loan also includes a determination that the applicant does not have adverse credit history.
The College of Law administers its substantial scholarships and fellowships to advance the goals of its selective admission policy and to provide access to legal education for the talented and diverse students admitted to the college. Inquiries regarding financial aid should be directed either to the College of Law Office of Financial Aid or the University’s Office of Student Financial Aid. Information is subject to change without notice.Back To Top
Academic Rules and Procedures
The senior associate dean works with the dean on academic programs and issues of the law school.
The associate dean for student affairs provides academic advice and counseling to students; advocates for student concerns; offers information and makes referrals for students with professional, personal, or family problems; facilitates operation of the student discipline system; and arranges reasonable accommodations for disabled students. The associate dean for student affairs also advises law students pursuing combined degrees in University of Iowa graduate programs and serves as the liaison with those programs.
Each year one or two tenured faculty members are selected by the Iowa Student Bar Association to serve as College of Law ombudspersons. Students who have a problem or grievance should seek an ombudsperson's help. All complaints are handled in strict confidence.
The College of Law registrar is in charge of student record keeping and should be students' first recourse for information about course enrollment, scheduling, joint degree program status, registration, grades, student certification for state bar applications, and progress toward graduation.
A faculty committee reviews and makes proposals for policies affecting students. It considers the college's efforts to recruit and provide services for students, including nontraditional students and those from disadvantaged backgrounds. It provides policy guidance and general oversight for the college's career services and its Academic Achievement Program, and it coordinates and reviews the college's methods for providing academic and curricular counseling to students. The committee also advises the dean on curricular counseling for students.
No more than 28 s.h. may be transferred to Iowa from another law school. To qualify for transfer credit, courses must have been completed at a law school accredited by the American Bar Association. Grades received at another law school are not counted in calculating the cumulative grade-point average.
Courses Taken Before Admission to the College of Law
Students may not count toward the J.D. any credit they earned in courses they took before matriculating at the College of Law, with the exception of transfer students from other law schools.
Courses Taken Outside the College of Law
Students who take courses outside the College of Law must first obtain permission from the dean of students. If "special permission of the instructor required" is indicated on ISIS (Iowa Student Information Services web site), the student also must obtain the instructor's permission.
Students not enrolled in a joint degree program may apply toward the J.D. a maximum of 6 s.h. earned in courses outside the College of Law and/or through cocurricular work. Such courses are approved only if they contribute directly to the professional competence of an attorney or broaden the student's understanding of law, the legal process, or any particular legal subject. More information about limitations on accreditation of non-College of Law courses is available from the dean of students.
Transfer of Credit after Admission
With the permission of the associate dean, enrolled students may receive credit for courses taken and passed at other law schools accredited by the American Bar Association, up to a maximum of 34 s.h. Courses are shown on the student's transcript as credit for the designated semester hours. Grades received at another law school are not counted in the student's weighted cumulative grade-point average.
The College of Law has adopted a numbering system for grading, effective for students who entered the college in May 2004 and later.
A numerical grade is assigned to each student in each course, except as otherwise provided (e.g., for courses graded pass/fail, for courses that continue the following term, for grades of incomplete). Grades are recorded in the University's permanent record.
The highest grade awarded at the College of Law is 4.3, the lowest 1.5. No academic credit is given for grades below 1.8 or for grades of "fail."
Numerical grades may be translated into a letter grade as follows.
4.3–4.2 = A+
4.1–3.9 = A
3.8–3.6 = A-
3.5–3.3 = B+
3.2–3.0 = B
2.9–2.7 = B-
2.6–2.4 = C
2.3–2.1 = C-
2.0–1.8 = D
1.7–1.5 = F
Professors may disenroll students for cause or reduce grades for inappropriate academic conduct, for example, plagiarism. Such measures are subject to appropriate due process.
A student who fails a required course must repeat the course, with a different professor if possible. Both enrollments and both final grades earned in the course will appear on the student's transcript and will be included in the calculation of the student's grade-point average. A student who earns a grade lower than 2.1 in the retaken course is referred to the Retention Committee.
A student who fails a nonrequired course may repeat the course with the permission of the associate dean. The grade on the retaken course is recorded as pass (P) or fail (F) and is not used in computing the student's cumulative grade-point average. To receive a P in a course that is retaken, the student must earn a grade of 2.1 or higher.
Credit for certain courses is offered only on a pass/fail (P/F) basis. In the case of a failing academic performance in a pass/fail course, the faculty supervisor or instructor may assign a failing numerical grade, i.e., between 1.7 and 1.5. Individual faculty members may allow students to withdraw from a course rather than receive a failing grade.
Miscellaneous Grading Marks
Marks other than pass, fail, and numerical grades are as follows.
Registered (R) indicates that a student has completed the first half of a year-long program, such as a seminar or journal, for which a grade cannot be assigned until the second half of the program has been completed.
Withdrawn (W) carries no course credit and is not used in computing the cumulative grade-point average.
Incomplete (I) carries no course credit toward a degree until it is changed, nor is it used in computing the cumulative grade-point average. A mark of I may be reported only in exceptional cases and only if the unfinished part of the work is small and is unfinished for reasons acceptable to the instructor, and if the student's standing in the course is satisfactory. Students remove an incomplete by completing the unfinished work during their next period of residence.
Students in the top 10 percent in each class may be informed of their exact rank; grade-point averages at the 12.5 percentile and 37.5 percentile are posted. Students are ranked following the fall semester and spring semester each year. Final class standing is determined each August and is available in September. It includes students who completed all graduation requirements in August, May, and the previous December. For purposes of ranking underclass students, the same system is used, based on the expected graduation date.
Release of Transcripts
A student's grades are not given to persons outside the College of Law, including prospective employers, without written permission of the student.
Class Attendance and Preparation
Students must attend classes regularly and punctually. They must be prepared to participate in class discussions. A student may be dropped from a course or failed, at the discretion of the instructor, for excessive absence or for repeated lack of adequate preparation. In addition, students are expected to attend special class meetings and be punctual in submitting course assignments, in accordance with ABA Standard 304(d).
One examination is given in each course, with few exceptions. Before taking exams, each student is assigned an identification number to ensure anonymity in grading. Students must write their examination number on any materials that are distributed at the start of the examination and collected at its conclusion. The instructor submits a grade for each identification number which is kept on file for two years at the College of Law.
To preserve anonymous grading, students must not identify themselves and must not place their name on the examination answer or other materials that the instructor might see. They also may not discuss the examination with their instructors until the exam has been graded and the grades released. Students who have questions should pose them to a proctor during the examination or to the College of Law dean of students or registrar after the exam.
Students may be offered the option of taking some exams on their personal laptops. Each course's instructor determines whether this option is available for his or her specific course. Those choosing this option must purchase and use special exam-taking software available through the College of Law.
Students who have more than one examination scheduled for the same day, two consecutive exams (i.e. Wednesday afternoon, Thursday morning), or exams four days in a row may schedule a make-up time for one of the exams. Students who have exams three days in a row may reschedule one only with permission of the instructor.
Students are expected to take the exam on the next scheduled makeup date immediately following the regularly scheduled exam. Whenever possible, the dean sets aside one to three days as an upperclass study period between the end of regular classes and the first regularly scheduled upperclass exam. See the College of Law Student Handbook for all policies related to examinations.
Exam Accommodations for English Language, Physical, or Medical Reasons
A student who is at a substantial disadvantage in taking an exam within the specified time limit because he or she does not have English as a primary language or because he or she has a physical or recognized medical disability may be granted additional time to complete the exam commensurate with the extent of the disadvantage. A student seeking such additional time must make a request to the dean of students by the deadline announced each semester, unless the disability comes into existence after that deadline has passed, stating the nature of the disability and the examination(s) for which the student seeks additional time.
An undergraduate degree from an English-language college or University is considered prima facie evidence that the student is not qualified to be granted extra exam time due to not having English as a primary language. When additional time is granted, it generally is reduced each semester as the student becomes more proficient in English.
Program Accommodations for Students with Disabilities
The College of Law is committed to making all of its programs, activities, and services accessible to students with disabilities. In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, it strives to provide equal access to all academically qualified students and does not discriminate against students on the basis of disability. The college provides reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities, commensurate with the nature and extent of the disability and consistent with federal law, state law, and policies of The University of Iowa and the College of Law. Students may request accommodations for any University of Iowa sponsored curricular, cocurricular, or extracurricular program, including those in the College of Law.
The College of Law’s cocurricular and extracurricular programs include, but are not limited to, Appellate Advocacy I, Trial Advocacy Board, the Iowa Law Review and its editorial board, Moot Court Board, Advanced Moot Court Competition, Van Oosterhout-Baskerville Moot Court Competition, National Moot Court Competition, The Journal of Corporation Law and its editorial board, Transnational Law & Contemporary Problems and its editorial board, The Journal of Gender Race & Justice and its editorial board, Jessup International Moot Court Competition, and Jessup International Law Moot Court team.
Withdrawal and Leave of Absence
First-year students who withdraw during the academic year or who fail to reenroll for the second semester must apply for reentry to the College of Law. They must compete with other applicants for a place in the first-year class for the year in which they wish to return. For each readmission application, the reason for the withdrawal and the quality of work done before withdrawal or failure to reenroll is considered. For admission purposes, individuals who have earned fewer than 27 s.h. of credit at the time of withdrawal or failure to reenroll are considered first-year students.
Second- and third-year students who fail to enroll for any semester during the academic year and who have not been granted a leave of absence by the dean of students must obtain permission from the Admissions Committee if they wish to reenroll. Requests for permission to reenroll must be submitted no later than 90 days before the beginning of classes for the semester or summer session in which the student seeks to reenroll.
The dean of students may grant a second- or third-year student a leave of absence for up to one year, if the student shows good cause. First-year students may be granted leaves of absence only under extraordinary circumstances, such as a medical or family emergency, or as a reasonable accommodation for a disability.
Students who withdraw from the College of Law after they have paid tuition are entitled to a pro rata refund of that tuition depending on the effective date of their withdrawal. Consult with the college's Office of Financial Aid for details.
Students are expected to act in a manner appropriate at a professional school. An act or omission that is dishonest or designed to take unfair advantage may subject a student to sanctions as serious as expulsion from school. Misconduct policies and procedures are published annually in the College of Law Student Handbook.Back To Top
Research Centers and Programs
Participation in research centers and outreach programs is an important part of the College of Law's service to professional and civic communities. The college was home to the nation's first agricultural law center. Since that center's closing, several new centers and institutes have been founded in diverse fields such as health law and policy, human rights law, not-for-profit entities, public affairs, and public international finance. These programs enjoy increasing national and international recognition for their specialized research projects and service activities. Several have enjoyed success in attracting competitive grants from state, federal, and private sources.
Innovation, Business, and Law Center
The Innovation, Business, and Law Center is an interdisciplinary teaching and research venture that brings together faculty members who teach and study problems of business, technology, innovation, regulation, and legal policy from diverse perspectives. The center's purpose is twofold: first, it offers an innovative curriculum and outstanding legal training in areas pertaining to government regulation of entrepreneurship, innovation, and management of resources; second, it encourages creative individual and collaborative interdisciplinary research in these areas.
Program in Law and History
The Program in Law and History, founded in 2009, builds on the Iowa tradition of scholarship and teaching in the field of legal history by bringing together faculty and students to foster research and teaching at the intersection of law and history.
University of Iowa Center for Human Rights
The University of Iowa Center for Human Rights was founded in 1999 as an outgrowth of the University's year-long commemoration celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Now based in the College of Law, the center engages in a variety of educational programming, service learning projects, and competitive contests that encourage students to further their exposure to, understanding of, and involvement in human rights.
University of Iowa Center for International Finance and Development
The University of Iowa College of Law Center for International Finance and Development helps laypersons understand the often impenetrable world of international finance and development. The center is staffed by law students and directed by a faculty member.
Institute of Public Affairs
The Institute of Public Affairs provides services and information to help maintain and strengthen the effectiveness of Iowa’s local governments. The institute facilitates goal setting and strategic planning, educational programs and information, professional development, and public management assistance, and offers information and publications, outreach, and linkage with other University programs and activities. The Institute provides training for newly elected mayors and council members through a municipal leadership academy and publishes the Iowa Municipal Policy Leader’s Handbook for city officials. It also holds the annual Iowa Municipal Management Institute, a professional development conference for city and county managers and administrators in Iowa.
Larned A. Waterman Iowa Nonprofit Resource Center
The Larned A. Waterman Iowa Nonprofit Resource Center offers information and assistance from across The University of Iowa to help Iowa's charitable nonprofit organizations become more effective in building their communities.
Law, Health Policy & Disability Center
The Law, Health Policy & Disability Center is a leader in law, technology, education, and research focused on improving the quality of life for persons living with disabilities. Based at the University of Iowa College of Law with offices in Washington, D.C., and at other locations, the center concentrates on public policy and its impact on persons with disabilities, emphasizing employment, self-determination, and self-sufficiency.
National Health Law and Policy Resource Center
The National Health Law and Policy Resource Center, founded in 1981, promotes laws and public policies that foster and facilitate accessible, affordable, and quality health services and related services for all Americans, particularly members of vulnerable and disadvantaged populations. The center provides a nonpartisan forum for informed dialogue between academics, practitioners, and public policy makers based on the best available data and information about important health law and policy issues.Back To Top
Facilities and Resources
Boyd Law Building
The Willard L. Boyd Law Building, completed in 1986, exemplifies Iowa's continuing commitment to legal education and the legal profession. The building's large, circular structure reflects the special character of the Iowa law school and allows the college to operate in a physical environment in which every square foot of space is designed to promote the college's academic and professional programs.
Among the building's facilities are classrooms, the Levitt Auditorium, the Law Library, faculty and administrative offices, offices for the college's cocurricular programs, meeting rooms, a bookstore, and a cafeteria. The newly renovated suite for the college's clinical law programs functions as a teaching law firm, offering ease of access, usability, and visibility. Student and faculty lounges and faculty offices are located on the same floor, encouraging student-faculty interaction.
Iowa Law Library
The centerpiece of the Boyd Law Building is the University of Iowa Law Library. One of the most comprehensive collections of legal materials in the country, it contains more than 1.3 million bound volumes and microform equivalents and over 1 million separately cataloged titles as of July 2013. A particular strength of the Law Library is its collection of U.S. legal materials. The Law Library also holds an exceptionally strong collection of materials in foreign, comparative, and international law (FCIL). The Law Library currently receives over 1,500 FCIL-related serials and subscriptions, and has an estimated print collection of comparative, international, and foreign law of approximately 280,000 volumes. The Law Library also provides access to approximately ninety-five databases that provide access to FCIL-related resources.
The Law Library’s extensive collection of electronic resources, available from the Law Library’s website at http://library.law.uiowa.edu/, is accessible on-campus and off-campus. The Law Library provides access to numerous comprehensive legal databases, such as Westlaw, Lexis and Bloomberg Law, in addition to numerous specialized legal databases. The Law Library’s print and electronic legal collection, as well as the holdings of University Libraries, are reflected in its online catalog, called InfoHawk, available online at http://infohawk.uiowa.edu
The Law Library is open 106 hours a week during the regular academic year. Study carrels, large tables and casual seating are located throughout the Law Library, in addition to wireless Internet access and electrical outlets. The Reference Desk is staffed seven days a week with a knowledgeable and experienced team of Reference Librarians to assist with a wide range of reference questions.
International and Comparative Law
Additional resources include the Law Library, which holds an exceptionally strong collection of materials in foreign, comparative, and international law (FCIL). The Law Library currently receives over 1,500 FCIL-related serials and subscriptions, and has an estimated print collection of comparative, international, and foreign law of approximately 280,000 volumes. The Law Library also provides access to approximately ninety-five databases that provide access to FCIL-related resources.
Writing Resource Center
The Writing Resource Center serves as an extension of the classroom and of the required first-year LAWR sequence, LAW:8032 (091:130) Legal Analysis Writing and Research I and LAW:8033 (091:131) Legal Analysis Writing and Research II. The center's director holds a Ph.D. focused on teaching writing.
The center provides one-on-one tutorial assistance for writers working on course assignments, journal articles, writing samples, and so forth. Students come to the center through the recommendation of faculty members or through self-referral. They find help with rhetorical, stylistic, and grammatical concerns that arise in their writing. Center staff members also work with students on general writing improvement and on strategies for dealing with everything from overcoming writer's block to adapting material for varied audiences. More than two-thirds of all first-year law students and more than one-third of all law students make use of the Writing Resource Center in a typical year.
Career Services Office
The College of Law's Career Services Office provides personalized career and life planning, strategic networking, experiential learning programs, and job search assistance to law students and alumni. It assists approximately 100-150 firms, corporations, government agencies, and courts that visit the College of Law during a typical year to interview and hire Iowa law students. Visit the Career Services Office web site to learn about the office's wide range of services in detail.
The College of Law Bookstore carries all required legal texts and supplements. The bookstore stocks photocopied handouts and teaching materials assigned by course instructors. It also carries a variety of professionally prepared outlines, horn books, and other study aids as well as a limited selection of school supplies and merchandise, including pens, notebook paper, binders, computer disks, exam software, stamps, T-shirts, and sweatshirts. In addition, the bookstore can make change.
Students may charge costs for books, class materials, supplies, and merchandise directly to their University accounts. The bookstore does not accept credit cards.
Since electronic information technologies are vital in legal and business work, the College of Law encourages all law students to become proficient with computers. Access to word processing software also helps law students draft the many papers, articles, and other manuscripts that are a regular part of the law curriculum. The college has installed 41 personal computers attached to a local area network for use by its students. Students also are encouraged to purchase personal computers and Microsoft Windows software, if possible, and to use them in connection with their law school work.
The law college provides network and Internet access from all student library carrels. To participate, law students supply their own laptop computers, which must meet required specifications. Specifications are available from the Law Library computer support office. Wireless Internet access is available throughout the Boyd Law Building.
The college's computers are loaded with WordPerfect and Microsoft Office software, and the college provides training for and access to the two major online computer research databases, West Publishing Company's WESTLAW and Mead Data's LEXIS. Once students complete the training, they have unlimited free access to these services at home via their own PCs and on the student and public workstations in the Law Library.
The Law Library also provides CD-ROM workstations that allow access to databases in CD-ROM formats. Some of the titles available are United Nations documents, complete from 1945; Index to Legal Periodicals; TIARA, a database containing treaties; and numerous U.S. government documents published on CD-ROM.
The University provides free e-mail accounts to its students, faculty, and staff through its Information Technology Services office (ITS). Students can sign up for e-mail accounts online or at the ITS offices in University Capitol Centre. ITS advises University of Iowa students, faculty, and staff on computer hardware and software needs and can provide information about educational discounts on some purchases. ITS also offers a wide variety of free computer short courses throughout the year. For information on computing resources at the University, consult the Information Technology Services web site.Back To Top
College of Law Events
The College of Law holds a number of events for its students each week; check the College of Law Event Calendar for current listings. Parents and Partners Day and Iowa Supreme Court Day are two time-honored events held each fall at the college.
Parents and Partners Day
Parents and Partners Day, held during fall semester, provides law students with the opportunity to give the people close to them a glimpse into law school life. The day's activities include a mock class, building tours, a cookout, and the annual Law School Auction, which helps provide support for law students who work in low-paying or unpaid summer positions in the public sector.
Iowa Supreme Court Day
The College of Law hosts the Iowa Supreme Court on the University of Iowa Campus each fall. Supreme Court Day honors the state's top court and recognizes the college's origins in the court's chambers. During the day, four student advocates selected from the previous spring's Moot Court competition argue a case before the justices; the public is invited to attend the arguments. In the evening, faculty members host dinners in their homes for the justices and students.Back To Top
Iowa Law School Foundation
The Iowa Law School Foundation (ILSF) is a nonprofit corporation established to solicit, manage, and grant gifts of money and/or property to the College of Law to support the college's research and educational activities. The ILSF Board of Directors includes alumni, faculty, and students.Back To Top
The following courses are those offered by the College of Law during the past four academic years and those scheduled to be offered during the coming academic year. See College of Law Guide to Courses for a list of College of Law courses defined by Interpretation 509-1 of the American Bar Association Standards for the Approval of Law Schools.Back To Top
Second and Third Years
Law Study Abroad
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Updated June 2014