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Notre Dame Law School

Notre Dame Law School
Parent school University of Notre Dame
Established 1869
School type Private
Parent endowment $6.8 billion
Dean Nell J. Newton
Location Notre Dame, IN, U.S.
Enrollment 564 (2011)[1]
Faculty 96[2]
USNWR ranking 26 (2014)[2]
Bar pass rate 91.61% (2011)[1]

The Notre Dame Law School, or NDLS, is the professional graduate law program of its parent institution, the University of Notre Dame. Established in 1869, NDLS is the oldest Roman Catholic law school in the United States. NDLS is ranked 26th among the nation's "Top 100 Law Schools" by U.S. News & World Report.[2] Notre Dame Law ranks 16th in graduates attaining Supreme Court clerkships in recent years.[3]

According to Notre Dame's 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 71.7% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation.[4]

Notre Dame Law School is distinguished as having the nation's only year-long study-abroad program approved by the American Bar Association. The program, which takes place in London, also offers a summer session open to all law schools.

Admissions and Rankings

Law School in winter

Admission to NDLS is highly selective. For the class entering in the fall of 2014, 2,416 applied for admission, with 200 first-year students matriculating. The 25th and 75th LSAT percentiles for the 2013 entering class were 160 and 165, respectively, with a median of 163. The 25th and 75th undergraduate GPA percentiles were 3.44 and 3.78, respectively, with a median of 3.64.[5]

Notre Dame Law School is ranked 26th among the nation's "Top 100 Law Schools" by U.S. News & World Report.[2] NDLS ranks 16th in graduates attaining Supreme Court clerkships in recent years.[6] In addition, NDLS is ranked 17th in Above the Law's "Top 50 Law School Rankings" in 2014. [7]

The Law School also offers a trial advocacy program that is regarded as being among the top 10 such programs in the nation. The Law School grants the professional Juris Doctor degree as well as the graduate Master of Laws and Doctor of Juridical Science degrees.

Job Placement

The class of 2013 reported employment in 31 states and the District of Columbia, with 132 out of 184 graduates (71.7%) securing full-time, long-term employment requiring passage of the bar exam within nine months of graduation.[8] The top 5 most popular destinations for graduates in the class of 2013 were Illinois (29), California (12), Indiana (12), District of Columbia (10), and New York (9). Furthermore 28.3% of graduates in the class of 2013 found employment in large law firms (100+ attorneys) and 6.0% pursued federal clerkships. [9]

Student Life

The Law School has a Student Bar Association that coordinates relations between the student body and administration. The SBA also handles most social, extracurricular, and athletic functions for the students.

In addition, the following student organizations are active at NDLS:

American Civil Liberties Union, American Constitution Society, Asian Law Students Association, Black Law Students Association, Business Law Forum, Christian Legal Society, Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, Education Law Forum, The Environmental Law Society, The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies, Future Prosecuting Attorney’s Council, Health Law Society, Hispanic Law Students Association, Intellectual Property Law Society, International Human Rights Society, International Law Society, J. Reuben Clark Law Society, Jewish Law Students Association, Jus Vitae of Notre Dame, Legal Voices for Children & Youth, Married Law Students Organization, Military Law Students Association, Native American Law Students Association, Phi Alpha Delta, The Public Interest Law Forum, Social Justice Forum, Sports, Communications and Entertainment Law Forum, St. Thomas More Society, Student Bar Association, Women’s Legal Forum

The University of Notre Dame offers on-campus housing for over 900 graduate students and their families. Housing is available for single students, married students with no dependents, and married students with children. All University-operated housing is located on campus and within a 15-minute walk of the Law School.


The total cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) at Notre Dame Law School for the 2014-2015 academic year is $69,930.[10] The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $265,000.[11]


Notre Dame Law School is centrally located in the heart of Notre Dame's campus. Eck and Biochini Halls, two buildings connected by a suspended walkway, house the Law School. The conjoined buildings were designed by famous American architect Charles Donagh Maginnis and the buildings serve as a prominent example of collegiate Gothic architecture. The Kresge Law Library, is located Biochini Hall, while most of the Class Rooms are in Eck Hall. Funding for the law library was provided by American businessman S.S. Kresge, the founder of what is now Sears Holding Corporation. The two buildings were effectively doubled in a recent, historically-sensitive expansion project (there was no corresponding increase in enrollment). The Law School also hosts a Legal Aid Clinic in South Bend.[12]

Former main entrance to Notre Dame Law School; the new Eck Hall of Law opened in 2009.

Notable alumni

Notable faculty

Former Faculty

Former Professor Vincent Rougeau was appointed Dean of Boston College Law School in 2011. Former Professor Douglas Kmiec was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Malta by President Barack Obama in 2009. David Barrett was the special prosecutor and author of the Barrett Report.

Law journals

Notre Dame Law School publishes five student-run journals:

Moot Court

The Moot Court program is a student run organization that coordinates intermural and intercollegiate competitions in appellate and international divisions.

Established in 1950, the Moot Court program provides an opportunity for students to develop their appellate advocacy skills. The program is administered by the Moot Court Board (a group of students selected to represent Notre Dame Law School in competitions) and guided by a faculty advisor.

Students are selected to the Moot Court Board after competing in the optional 1L Moot Court Competition and receiving an invitation to join the Board based on their 1L briefs and their performance in the competition. In the fall of their 2L year, Board members compete intramurally to determine placement on the Board’s various teams. In years past NDLS’ teams have competed in the National Moot Court competition, the ABA competition, the National Religious Freedom Competition, and the Jessup International Law Moot Court competition. The National team also performs the Showcase argument in front of a panel of sitting judges, watched by the 1L class.

Members of the Board also have the opportunity to argue actual cases in front of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Under the guidance of a local attorney, they take on a case representing a prisoner. In that capacity, they write a brief, a reply brief and argue the case before a three judge panel. [14]


  1. ^ a b "ABA-LSAC Official Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools (2012 Edition)" (PDF).  
  2. ^ a b c d "University of Notre Dame". Best Law Schools. US News and World Report. 2012. Retrieved 18 April 2012. 
  3. ^ "Supreme Court Clerkship Placement, 2000 Through 2007 Terms". Brian Leiter's Law School Rankings. 13 April 2007. Retrieved 17 April 2012. 
  4. ^ "Notre Dame Employment". 
  5. ^ Retrieved on 2014-09-26.
  6. ^ "Supreme Court Clerkship Placement, 2000 Through 2007 Terms". Brian Leiter's Law School Rankings. 13 April 2007. Retrieved 17 April 2012. 
  7. ^ "ATL Top 50 Law Schools". Above the Law. Retrieved 27 September 2014. 
  8. ^ "Notre Dame Employment". 
  9. ^ Retrieved 27 September 2014. 
  10. ^ "Notre Dame Tuition and Fees". 
  11. ^ "Notre Dame Law School Profile". 
  12. ^ [1]
  13. ^ Lucille Davy, Office of the Governor of New Jersey. Accessed December 6, 2007.
  14. ^ 

External links

  • Notre Dame Law School
  • The Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies
  • "Law School Receives $21 million," The Observer Online, 8/26/05
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