Located in Omaha, Nebraska, the Creighton University School of Law (Creighton Law) was founded at the very beginning of the 20th century. As part of a Jesuit institution, Creighton Law not only seeks to educate students in the academic and practical foundations of the law but also to develop a moral connection to the law that will lead its students to continue the school’s commitment to the community. The law school began through a unique partnership with the Omaha Bar association and the school’s connection to the Omaha bar remain strong to this today. The school has been housed on the Creighton University campus since 1921. In its 100+ year history, the law school has produced two state governors as well as three justices of the Nebraska Supreme Court.
Creighton Law offers three paths to earning a Juris Doctor degree: a typical 3-year program, an accelerated program that takes two years, and a part-time program that takes four years. All three tracks require the same coursework. The “first-year” curriculum (which takes 2-4 semesters depending on the path students take) requires six core academic courses: civil procedure, constitutional law, contracts, criminal law, property, and torts. Students also complete a two-semester course covering the foundations of legal research and writing. In their first semester, students also two non-credit courses that introduce them to the principles of the legal system and succeeding at law school.
All Creighton Law students are required to take six additional core academic courses in their second year. These courses cover the major subject areas often tested on bar exams and provide a foundation for the final semesters where students concentrate on a practice area. Students also take the final semester of legal research and writing. For students who are not performing well academically, a third-year course covering a comprehensive review of all core subjects is required prior to graduation. All students must also satisfy the requirement for six hours of experiential education.
Creighton Law also offers students six defined concentration areas to guide their elective studies. These concentrations include: business law, criminal law, family law, health law, international law, and litigation. Concentrations allow students to prepare for particular practice area especially when combined with corresponding skill-based programs.
Juris Doctor candidates may also pursue a second professional degree while earning their J.D. The School of Law offers three such joint degree programs: a J.D./Master of Science in Government Organization; a J.D./Master of Science in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution; and a J.D./Master of Business Administration. The joint degree program requires students to be admitted to both programs independently. After completion of the law school’s first-year curriculum, the student spends a year working on their other program before spending the final two years sharing coursework between both programs.
Creighton Law students may also spend a semester studying abroad in one of four different countries. The study abroad program provides students with an opportunity to learn from exposure to international law perspectives. This is critical for the legal profession which is becoming more global every day.
Career and Career Placement
Based on recent graduation statistics, just under 85% of all students at Creighton Law are employed within 10 months of graduation. The majority of those employed found careers either requiring a law license (80%) or preferring a Juris Doctor degree (16%). Over half of employed graduates opted for traditional law firms work with small law firms from 1-10 attorneys being the most popular choice. Over 17% of graduates opted for work in either government offices or in the public interest sector. Smaller percentages of students opted for work in the business sector or other non-legal professional careers. Nebraska and Iowa accounted for over 70% of all graduates’ first career location.
The Career Development Office (CDO) at Creighton Law is the “go-to” spot for all students to begin their professional development. The CDO works with students from their first semesters through the start of their professional career and through the end of it. The CDO programs social and professional events such as the lawyer lunch program that introduces students to practicing lawyers in various fields over lunch. The CDO organizes both mock-interviews and real interviews with their on-campus interview program. The CDO also maintains a database of job postings for students and alumni.
Experiential Learning/Distance Education
Creighton Law emphasizes that practicing law is as important as studying it. The law school offers an extensive field placement program for all its students. These externships span seven states and two countries. Students are placed in a legal office and learn while actually practicing law under the supervision of expert attorneys. Through externship, student earn both course and experiential credit hours.
Creighton Law also offers two in-house legal clinics, one focused on immigration issues and the other on civil matters for low-income clients. Both clinics reflect Creighton Law’s commitments to social justice and the community of Omaha. In clinics, students work alongside practicing faculty members with real clients.
Creighton Law feels like a small town. Students enjoy small classes and a small legal community. Professors and students interact both inside and outside the classroom. Every first-year student is mentored by a second-year student. With a student-faculty ratio of 9 to 1, the education at Creighton Law is personal and interactive. As a Jesuit school, Creighton Law also takes seriously its commitments to social justice. Students are active and engaged.
The Creighton Law campus is in the heart of Omaha’s downtown business district. The greater area provides students with exceptional quality of life in terms of housing costs, recreational opportunities, and dining. Omaha is famed for its park system and has a busy and important arts community. The scenic Missouri river is a short distance from campus with its riverside parks and one of the best zoos in the world. Life in Omaha is full of charm.