Known for its diverse student body–almost 35% of its student body are minority students–and an excellent trial advocacy program, the Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law (Temple Law) is one of the nation’s top law schools. Founded in 1895, Temple Law enrolls approximately 10% of its total pool of applicants. At its founding, Temple Law was an evening program and to this day the law school still offers one of the most respected evening law programs in the nation. Temple Law is located in the heart of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In its long history, Temple Law has produced a number of Supreme Court Justices in Pennsylvania and surrounding states and the first female attorney general of Pennsylvania.
The first-year curriculum at Temple Law requires full-time students to take ten courses. The bulk of these courses are the fundamental courses of the first-year law curriculum: civil procedure, constitutional law, contracts, criminal law, property, and torts. The remaining four courses include a first-year elective, a course in transactional skills, an introduction to litigation, and a course in legal writing and research.
The only required course for upper-level students is a course in professional responsibility. Students must also complete an upper-level writing assignment and earn experiential education credits. Temple Law also offers five certifications which combine required law classes with classes from other professional skills to provide students with the necessary academic requirements for success in a certain field. The certifications range in practice areas from public health to Temple Law’s highly regarded trial advocacy program.
Part-time Juris Doctor students complete the same requirements but have four years to complete all work.
Temple Law offers a broad array of graduate programs beyond its Juris Doctor program. The law school offers five different Master of Law (LL.M) programs for a variety of academic and career goals. For U.S. law students, Temple Law offers LL.M with concentrations in trial advocacy, taxation, trasnational law, and a unique program in Asian Law. For internationally trained students, the law school has a program designed to introduce students to the American system of jurisprudence. Finally, Temple Law offers a program in Beijing to train Chinese Lawyers in the American legal system.
For students who wish to pursue research on an academic issue of law, Temple Law has a Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.) program. The school only accepts two candidates per year and selects only students with impeccable academic records and writing skills. There are two different tracks for the S.J.D. degree-one for Temple Law LL.M graduates and one for students educated at other institutions.
Juris Doctor students at Temple Law may also apply to two other degree programs–the M.B.A. or M.P.H.–to earn a dual degree. These programs require admission by both programs but allow students to complete both degrees in less time than working on them separately.
Career and Career Placement
Within 10 months of graduation, 90% of graduates from Temple Law are either employed full-time or pursuing additional education. Of those who are employed, upwards of 95% found employment in careers that either requires a law license or prefer law school graduates. While the most common career was traditional law firm work, Temple Law graduates opted for smaller firms (2-25 attorneys) twice as often as large 500+ attorney firms. A large percentage of graduates (19%) accepted clerkships in local or state courts while substantial students pursued careers in either the business sector (11.5%) or in government office (12%). Most students began their careers in Pennsylvania or the surrounding states of New Jersey or New York.
The Temple Law Career Services Office (CSO) staffs five full-time professionals including a counselor dedicated to judicial clerkships and public interest positions. The CSO provides students with robust programming throughout the school year of which all programs are filmed and available to students throughout the year. The office also administers all on-campus interviews and works with students individually as they plan their career paths. Temple Law’s commitment to public service careers is notable as the law school maintains a dedicated center for the public interest sector.
Experiential Learning/Distance Education
Students being learning practical legal skills within their first few weeks of law school at Temple Law. As their academic careers progress, so does the complexity of their experiential education courses. Most students begin with work in one of Temple Law’s longstanding, in-house legal clinics that cover a range of practice areas. Students in clinics are supervised by faculty members as they begin to develop in their practice areas. Student progress from internal clinics to the school’s external clinic program where upper-level students spend a semester practicing law in their chosen field.
Upper-level students also benefit from Temple Law’s range of practicums where students work with practicing attorneys and faculty members to solve real legal problems over the course of a semster.
Although Temple Law requires residential coursework, its part-time and evening programs are designed for working students and are considered one of the best such programs in the country.
With over 30 student-run organizations and a host of law student-specific services, Temple Law students enjoy a campus that emphasizes balancing education with personal life and wellness. The law school offers both health and counseling services to all students. The campus is full of diversity that is celebrated through the wide array of student organizations that allow classmates to build lifelong relationships. Although not a historically black college (HBCU), Temple Law’s diversity is seen in the range of students that walk the halls.
Temple University is located in North Central Philadelphia just a few minutes from downtown Philly. The city offers a historic, busy backdrop for law students. There are a number of housing options around campus and countless culinary delights in a city famed for its food and professional sports.