To: Christopher M. Tusa
From: Ryan Adams
Subject: Law School Report
Date: March 26, 2002
For this assignment, I have selected to examine the juris doctor programs for two law schools conveniently located in New Orleans, Louisiana. Both Tulane and Loyola University are prestigious schools which offer highly qualified and competitive degrees.
LAW SCHOOL #1-TULANE UNIVERSITY
Tulane University was founded in 1834 as the Medical College of Louisiana and soon thereafter merged with the public University of Louisiana in New Orleans. This resulted in the formation of a law department and collegiate department. In fact, Tulane’s School of Law established legal studies in 1847, and is considered to be the twelfth oldest law school in the nation. Students from all over the country as well as around the world have selected to attend this university, and currently the student body consists of fifty percent women and twenty-five percent minority students.
Tulane’s Law School is a highly esteemed, prominent university with an extremely selective admission department. On average, three thousand applications are submitted each year for approximately three hundred and fifteen prospective spaces. Tulane’s application process is structured on a rolling admission, and notification of the admission decision is announced upon consensus. As a general practice, those students who possess an interest in receiving merit scholarships and other financial aid are encouraged to submit their applications in advance. This is due to the fact that once the school’s funds are exhausted, no resources will remain to award to those who delayed in submitting their application. The requirements to apply to this university include a fifty dollar non-refundable fee, a completed and signed application form with a personal statement, and receipt of the LSDAS report and final transcripts. Although letters of recommendation are not sought, they are encouraged if they provide insight into a student’s academic ability or work performance.
Once a student has selected to attend Tulane, his first-year law curriculum will consist of courses including Torts, Criminal law, Civil procedure, Contracts, Constitutional law, Property, Legal Research and Writing, and one elective course. However, once the above classes have successfully been completed, the remainder of the law school curriculum is comprised strictly of elective courses. “J.D. candidates are permitted to design their own programs of study so as to attain in-depth exposure to a particular area of law if they so desire or elect to follow a general program by sampling many fields.” However, for graduation, it is mandated that a student fulfill the twenty hour community service requirement and delegate these hours toward a pro bono case under the supervision of an attorney.
The cost to attend Tulane’s Law School is approximately twenty-six thousand eight hundred and eighty-five dollars with budgeted miscellaneous costs such as housing, transportation, and books totaling twelve thousand two hundred and ninety-five dollars. Unfortunately, for the year 2003, tuition is expected to experience an increase and rise to twenty-eight thousand three hundred and ten dollars. However, Tulane is able to offer several scholarships and tuition waivers based primarily on the information contained in the admission file. Furthermore, as long as eligibility requirements are still adhered to, scholarships made to entering freshmen are generally renewed for their remaining semesters.
Considering the expensive nature of attending law school, it is common for students in their second or third years of school to work part-time for local attorneys or law firms, or they may be eligible to receive credit for externships with federal and state judges in New Orleans. Also, during the third year of school, students are provided with the prospect of working on actual cases through the Clinics or the trial advocacy program. Also, Tulane has a Career Development Office that works intimately with students on job-search strategies and interviewing skills. This service arranges seminars and workshops on areas of employment and hosts campus interview programs. Tulane “staff engages in extensive employer outreach activities, promoting Tulane Law School students and graduates nationally.”
LAW SCHOOL #2-LOYOLA UNIVERSITY
In 1912, Loyola State University was granted a charter by the Louisiana State Legislature and in 1914 the school of law began its first session. Presently, Loyola is the largest Catholic and Jesuit University in the South but is open to students of all faiths.
Loyola University’s law program is highly qualified and holds specialization in areas of international law, public interest law, corporate law, tax law, and admiralty. Admission decisions are operated under a rolling admissions policy under which a decision will be made upon receipt of the application. An application file consists of a completed and signed application form, a forty dollar non-refundable application fee, an LSDAS report, and an LSAT score. Loyola University does not mandate any additional attachments to accompany this application; however, it is suggested that a personal statement, resume, or letter of recommendation be included if they provide valuable information about the applicant. It is in the best interest of the student to tender the application early in order to enhance the possibility of being awarded a scholarship. Furthermore, once a student has been granted a scholarship, it will automatically be renewed if he/she maintains a grade point average equal to or above the top third of the class. As a general reference, in order to be granted admission, it is necessary for the applicant’s LSAT score to be not less than a 151 and an undergraduate grade point average of a 3.1.
The requirements for the degree of juris doctor at Loyola are ninety credit hours attained over a course of at least three years. Loyola is the only law school in the country that offers two programs which lead to a juris doctor degree either in the tradition of civil law for Louisiana students or in the common law for those who desire to practice out of state. The curricula spans over six semesters of resident study with a minimum requirement of ten hours per semester composed of both required and elective courses.
Tuition for Loyola is nearly twenty-three thousand six hundred and eighty-four dollars per year and is expected to increase in the forthcoming years. As a result of the inherent financial complications of attending law school, Loyola offers scholarships, loans, and employment opportunities for its students in order to aid in deterring this economic barrier. Scholarships are awarded to outstanding first-year students who excel academically with no future repayment obligation whereas loans are issued with the confirmed agreement of future repayment. Furthermore, the two job programs that Loyola offers are the federally funded work-study program and the university-funded student assistantships. In the federally funded program students are selected for work based solely upon need, but in the university program need is not always the deciding factor.
Furthermore, Loyola University has a wide array of options available to students to strengthen and promote their skills in order to enhance their future employment opportunities. For example, as a third year law student, Loyola offers law clinics which combines seminars and trial experience in order for the students to gain practical experience in both the criminal and civil field of law. Also, the clinical externship and Moot Court are other options students might pursue to strengthen and enhance their skills and competence upon initiating their future practice of law. Considering the foregoing, it is not surprising that the national employment rate for the Class of 2000 was one hundred percent within six months.
As both Tulane University and Loyola University are prominent law schools with highly respected reputations, naturally, it is a challenging decision to select which one to attain my juris doctor from. Originally, I would have selected to attend Tulane because of its national recognition; however, since I anticipate establishing a practice in Louisiana Loyola has proven to address my needs more specifically. For instance, it offers structured curriculum for those who desire to practice in state, and also holds a specialization in my field of interest, corporate law. Furthermore, attending Loyola would allow for lower post graduate debts than pursuing a degree from Tulane Law School. Therefore, considering the foregoing, although I would be content at either university, this research has shown an education at Loyola would be the most practical approach for my career.