LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas School of Law ranks 21st in the nation for offering the best practical training for future lawyers, according to National Jurist magazine.
The rankings, which recognize “schools that go above and beyond in preparing law students for the real world,” appear in the spring 2016 issue.
“Since KU Law offered its first clinic more than 50 years ago, hands-on learning opportunities that allow students to represent real clients or practice the skills of a working lawyer have continued to grow,” said Stephen Mazza, dean and professor of law. “We are pleased that this ranking recognizes our ongoing efforts to expand opportunities for students to prepare for the practice of law and proud of the many ways our students have helped their clients and communities in the process.”
A few success stories:
- Students in KU Law’s Project for Innocence helped free a man after 16 years in prison for a murder his brother eventually confessed to committing. They also earned the exoneration and release of a woman unconstitutionally convicted of murder through a coerced confession.
- A student in KU Law’s Medical-Legal Partnership helped a victim of human trafficking obtain a T visa, providing her with a foundation to begin a new life in the United States, free from fear of retribution.
- A student in the Legislative Clinic conducted legal research, wrote memos and presented his findings to the Kansas Senate Judiciary Committee – work that contributed to the passage of legislation that increased penalties for drunk drivers whose actions injure victims.
KU Law offers 12 clinics and externships in a variety of practice areas, a robust moot court and mock trial competition program, and simulation courses that teach students the art of taking and defending depositions, examining expert witnesses and performing due diligence in business transactions. The Best Schools for Practical Training rankings measure which schools have the greatest percentage of students participating in such programs.
KU Law also rose two spots in the 2017 edition of U.S. News and World Report’s Best Graduate Schools guidebook, ascending to 65th among all law schools and maintaining its 36th-place rank among public schools. KU has increased its standing for four consecutive years.
KU Law’s innovative simulation courses are also featured in the guidebook’s article on “Law Schools that are Breaking with Tradition.”
There are roughly 200 law schools accredited by the American Bar Association.