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Facts About the School of Law

MEETING THE MISSION: The mission of the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law (UDC-DCSL) is to

recruit and enroll students from groups under-represented at the bar, provide a well-rounded theoretical and practical legal education that will enable students to be effective and ethical advocates, and represent the legal needs of low-income District of Columbia residents through the school's legal clinics.
DIVERSITY: UDC-DCSL is one of only six American Bar Association (ABA) accredited law schools at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). It has the sixth highest percentage of African-American law students enrolled in the 200 ABA-accredited law schools.
 

UDC-DCSL is the most diverse law school in the nation.

  • 50% of students are members of minority groups.
  • 55% of students are women.
  • The average age is 29.

SERVICE: UDC-DCSL students and faculty provided 100,000 hours of legal services during 2011-12 on behalf of some of the District of Columbia's most vulnerable citizens.

  • All students provide 40 hours of community service to non-profit public interest groups, the judiciary or federal and local government in the first year of law school.
  • All students perform a minimum of 700 hours of faculty-supervised representation of low-income District of Columbia residents in the school's outstanding clinical programs.
  • All first-year students who provide 400 hours in public interest, public service, or public policy summer jobs receive $4,000 stipends through the Joseph Rauh Public Interest Fellowship Program. In 2012, 69 summer fellows worked at a wide variety of public interest organizations, government agencies and judges' chambers.
CLINICAL PROGRAMS: Students and faculty provide high-quality legal services to more than 1,000 low-income District of Columbia residents each year, the majority of whom would otherwise be denied access to justice. Clients include women and children affected by the AIDS epidemic; children with special educational needs or those who are abused or neglected; tenants and tenant organizations fighting illegal rent increases or seeking to purchase and renovate buildings; immigrants, many of whom are detainees; seniors; people with mental retardation and other disabilities; individuals seeking to start small businesses and non-profit organizations; government whistleblowers fired for exposing fraud, waste and mismanagement; and low-income tax-payers moving from welfare to work.
 

HIGHLY RANKED:

  • 7th in U.S. for clinics (US News, 2014)
  • 1st most diverse law school in the U.S. (National Jurist, 2012).
  • 1st most chosen by older students (Princeton Review, 2014).
  • 2nd most diverse faculty (Princeton Review, 2014).
  • 3rd in the nation for clinical opportunities (PreLaw Magazine, 2011).
  • 8th best environment for minority students (Princeton Review, 2014).
  • 8th most liberal students (Princeton Review, 2014).
  • Top 20 most innovative law school (PreLaw Magazine, 2012).
ACCREDITATION: The School of Law is fully accredited by the American Bar Association. For accreditation information, contact the American Bar Association Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, 321 North Clark Street, 21st Floor, Chicago, IL 60654; Tel: 312-988-6743.
 
LOW TUITION: UDC-DCSL is one of the most affordable law schools in the nation. Tuition rates for full-time students are $10,620 per year for D.C. residents and $21,240 for non-District residents. Tuition rates for part-time students are $360 per credit hour for District residents and $720 per credit hour for non-District residents. Students living in D.C. for one year are eligible for the D.C. tuition rate.
 
SCHOLARSHIPS & FINANCIAL AID: The School of Law will award up to 20 full three-year Advocate for Justice scholarships EACH YEAR to applicants who have both outstanding academic credentials and a proven commitment to public service. The School also provides a significant number of additional merit and need-based scholarships and financial aid awards. More than half of our students receive at least partial scholarship or grant funding.
 

OUTSTANDING FACULTY: UDC-DCSL's faculty is composed of excellent teachers and scholars who have been widely recognized for extraordinary service to the community and to the nation. A few examples:

  • Professor Ed Allen received the D.C. Bar's Jerrold Scoutt Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year award (2006) and was a Fulbright Scholar.
  • Professor John Brittain received the Connecticut Bar Association Young Lawyers Division's 2009 diversity award as a member of the original legal team in the landmark school desegregation case Sheff v. O'Neill.
  • Dean Katherine S. Broderick received the Champion of Justice Award from the Trial Lawyers Association of Washington (2010); American Association of Law School's Deborah L. Rhode Award (2009); the Olender Foundation's Hero in the Law Award (2007); the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia's Servant of Justice Award (2005); the Bar Association of the District of Columbia's Annice Wagner Pioneer Award (2004); the Equal Justice Works' Outstanding Law School Dean Award (2002); and the American Association of Law School's William Pincus Award for Outstanding Contributions to Clinical Legal Education (1999).
  • Professor Robert Burgdorf was awarded the da Vinci Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (2011), the National Council on Disability's Leadership Award (2006), was principal staff author of the Americans with Disabilities Act and won a Mary Switzer Disability Rights Fellowship (2001).
  • Professor Edgar S. Cahn received the National Legal Aid and Defender Association's Charles Dorsey Award (2009); the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia's Servant of Justice Award (with his wife, Jean Camper Cahn, posthumously) (2004); D.C. Superior Court Medal of Excellence (2001); and the Association of American Law School's national William Pincus Award for Outstanding Contributions to Clinical Legal Education (with his wife, Jean Camper Cahn, posthumously) (1997).
  • Joseph L. Rauh, Jr., Professor of Public Interest Law Wade Henderson received the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area's Cornelius R. "Neil" Alexander, Jr., Humanitarian Award (2009) and DC Vote's Champion of Democracy Award (2009).
  • Professor Louise A. Howells received the Washington Council of Lawyers' President's Award (2009).
  • Professor William C. Pryor, former Chief Judge of the D.C. Court of Appeals, received UDC's Dr. Paul Phillips Cooke Lifetime Achievement Award (2011).
  • Professor William L. Robinson is former Executive Director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and immediate past dean. He was named the Olie W. Rauh Professor of Law in 2009.
  • Professor Joseph B. Tulman received UDC's Dr. Cleveland L. Dennard Distinguished Service Award (2012); COPAA's Diane Lipton Award for Outstanding Educational Advocacy (2011); the Association of American Law Schools' Gary Bellow Fellowship (2007); the D.C. Bar's Jerrold Scoutt Award (2001); and the ABA's Livingston Hall Juvenile Justice Award (1996).
DISTINGUISHED ADJUNCT FACULTY: The outstanding cadre of judges, academicians, and practitioners who serve the School of Law as adjunct faculty include U.S. Tax Court Chief Special Trial Judge Peter J. Panuthos; D.C. Court of Appeals Judge Anna Blackburne-Rigsby; D.C. Superior Court Judges Robert Rigsby and Milton Lee; immigration law specialists Francesco Isgro, Royce Murray and Robert Raymond; Howard Law School Professors Spencer Boyer and Sherman Rogers; Chief of the Maryland Office of the Public Defender's Forensics Division Stephen Mercer; President of The Justice Project John Terzano; and trial attorney Colin Dunham.
 
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION: The nation's capital is home to thousands of non-profit organizations, government agencies, businesses, and law firms offering students opportunities for part-time work and internships, and offering graduates myriad professional opportunities. It is a quick trip from the School of Law to anywhere in the city, starting at the Van Ness/UDC Metro station just steps from the School's front door.
 
BAR PASSAGE: UDC-DCSL meets new American Bar Association bar passage standards. Over the most recent five-year period, over 85% of bar exam takers have passed one or more exams.
 
ILLUSTRIOUS ALUMNI: UDC-DCSL alumni are fast becoming leaders of the bench and bar and are providing access to justice to low-income people in the District of Columbia and across America. In addition to the five who are D.C. Superior Court Associate or Magistrate Judges, alumni include the Chief Judge of the Illinois Supreme Court, a federal District Court Judge, a municipal judge in New Jersey, two state court judges in Alaska and a recent graduate who is now a Magistrate Judge in Maryland. Many more have served in varying capacities as hearing examiners and administrative law judges, and as special masters locally and around the nation. More than a dozen are law professors at law schools across America.
 

Locally, UDC-DCSL alumni lead key legal services organizations such as the D.C. Legal Aid Society, the AARP's Legal Counsel for the Elderly, and the non-profit law firm, Advocates for Justice in Education, based in Southeast Washington. Numerous alumni have served as staff attorneys for the Public Defender Service of the District of Columbia, and one heads the Alexandria, Virginia, Public Defender Service. UDC-DCSL alumni work throughout the D.C. government, at the D.C. Council, and for Members of Congress. They staff Equal Employment Opportunity and General Counsel offices in numerous federal agencies.

A large number of alumni provide quality legal work at affordable prices and integrate pro- and "low"-bono work on a regular basis in small and solo practices.
 
EMPLOYMENT: The University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law collects information regarding employment outcomes of its graduates nine months after graduation, in accordance with American Bar Association standards. Employment information is available for the Class of 2011, 2010, and 2009.
 
PRIVATE FUND RAISING: The School of Law Foundation raised over two million dollars to support its first endowed chair, the Joseph L. Rauh, Jr., Chair of Public Interest Law and millions of dollars in scholarship, clinical program, and other funding.
 
CURRENT AND FUTURE GROWTH: The applicant pool was over 1,500 in 2012. The School recently started ABA-approved part-time J.D. and LL.M. programs. The School plans to grow to 650 students. These programs will significantly increase overall tuition revenue and reduce reliance on appropriated funds.
 
In the past three years, new funding from the D.C. Bar Foundation, the IRS, and federal grants, combined with existing funds, allowed the School to open a new Immigration & Human Rights Law Clinic and Low Income Taxpayer Clinic and to add three full-time faculty members and six instructors to its clinical program.

The D.C. law firm Crowell & Moring is now funding the Took Crowell Institute for At-Risk Youth within the School of Law's Juvenile & Special Education Law Clinic. This support has allowed the clinic to expand service to individual clients and to address systemic issues.
 
 
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