The University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law (Arizona Law) began educating lawyers over 100 years as the first law school in the state of Arizona. The school was renamed in 1999 for alumnus James E. Rogers, a telecommunications magnate, who donated $135 million dollars to the school–the largest donation ever given to a law school. Admission to Arizona Law is notably stringent as class sizes are smaller than most law schools. Only 25% of applicants are accepted with around 150 students matriculating each fall. Arizona Law has produced a number of notable alumni including two former Chief Justices of the Arizona Supreme Court. The law school campus is located in downtown Tuscon.
The first-year curriculum provides students three core courses each semester plus several additional courses to help students learn the basic skills of lawyering. In their first semester, Arizona Law students study the core courses of contracts, civil procedure, and torts plus courses in legal writing and research. In the spring, the core courses studied are constitutional law, criminal law, and property. Students continue their study of legal writing and research as well as choosing one elective course.
Upper-class students are required to complete four additional studies: evidence, professional responsibility, six credits of experiential education, and a major writing assignment. All other courses are electives. Arizona Law does offer 10 unique certification which requires students to complete a mixture of traditional coursework and experiential education to demonstrate a mastery of a practice area. Of note is Arizona Law’s certificate in Indigenous peoples law and policy which is considered one of the best in the country.
In their final two years, students may also opt to participate in one of Arizona Law’s four study abroad programs including programs in Puerto Rico and France.
Alongside its traditional three-year Juris Doctor program, Arizona Law also offers several additional degree programs for both graduate and undergraduate students. For internationally educated attorneys, the school offers an abbreviated Juris Doctor program that combines the traditional first-year curriculum with a second year of electives and skill-based coursework.
For graduates of American law school, Arizona Law offers a Master of Law (LL.M) degree that requires 1 year of residential coursework. Coursework can be focused on general legal topics or focused on either international business law or the law governing indigenous people. For students who wish to pursue additional academic studies, Arizona Law has a Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.) degree. The S.J.D. is focused on either international trade or the law governing indigenous people. The S.J.D. is overseen by faculty experts who steer students research into a dissertation on a subject of interest.
For non-attorneys, Arizona Law offers two Master programs. The Master of Legal Studies (M.L.S.) program provides a general education in the field of law to professionals whose careers intersect with the legal field. The law school also offers a Master of Professional Studies (M.P.S.) in indigenous governance. Both programs are intended for working professionals and allow for online and part-time completion.
Finally, for undergraduate students at Arizona University, the law school offers a unique Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Legal Studies that allows students to receive instruction from law school professors and work towards legal internships within the school.
Career and Career Placement
Based on the most recent employment reports, over 90% of all graduates of Arizona Law are either employed or pursuing additional education within 10 months of graduation. Most graduates are employed in careers that either prefer a Juris Doctor degree or require a law license. The most common career paths were judicial clerkships in the local courts, government offices, and public sector positions. These options reflect Arizona Law’s commitment to training lawyers for public service. Only 50% of graduates opted for work in a traditional law firm.
With a staff of five professionals and a student body of under 400 students, Arizona Law offers a superb ratio of counselors to students which allows the school to provide one-on-one counseling to all students. The career service staffs works hard to place all first-year students in summer positions with a success rate over 97%. This sets the foundation for future careers. Aside from administering on-campus interviews and job fairs, the law school also provides a host of professional prep services to assist students in interviews and resume preparation.
Experiential Learning/Distance Education
Arizona Law views its clinical education as an integral part of all students preparation for their future careers. Therefore, all students are guaranteed a spot in one of the school’s thirteen legal clinics. In the clinical program, student work with real clients on broad spectrum of legal problems ranging from traditional criminal work to natural resource management to veterans affairs. In clinics, students put into practice their classroom work as they learn practical skills under the guidance of faculty experts.
Although Arizona Law LL.M and J.D. programs require residential coursework, the law school does offer two Master programs for non-attorneys that both provide for online education.
Arizona Law offers students the type of resource one would expect from one of the top public universities in the country. Law students enjoy school-specific services including counseling services, tutorial services, and a range of amenities at the law school. Additionally, students have access to all the amenities of Arizona University including sporting events, exercise facilities, and on-campus graduate housing.
Set in the southern desert of Arizona, the city of Tuscon is home to over 500,000 people with the university at the heart of the city’s life. Tuscon provides students with one of the most unique settings for law school. Tuscon is surrounded by National Forest land is offers students near-perfect weather during the school year. The city has ample nightlife and restaurants while also being a short drive to the Phoenix metropolis.