LMU-Duncan School of Law: A Perfect Blend of Traditional and Contemporary Education

“Our mission is to provide solid, competent, and practice-focused legal education to students of widely disparate socio-economic backgrounds with the goal that those students successfully pass the Bar and return to and serve those communities from which they originate.”

Located in Knoxville, Tennessee, Lincoln Memorial University’s Duncan School of Law (LMU Law) offers legal educational opportunities for the people of the underserved regions of the United States. Situated in an 1848 structure on the National Register of Historic Places in the downtown, the school opened in 2009. Traditional opportunities such as moot court, mock trial, school-sponsored events, and a variety of student organizations are designed to contribute to the cultural and professional development of its students. LMU Law includes a diverse student body, made up of individuals from over twenty states and ten foreign countries, with an unprecedented level of commitment to community service.

By design, the Law school is small and focuses on developing its students into future leaders and advocates for their communities. LMU Law prides itself on its academic success and bar passage programs. It also offers a wide variety of classes designed to prepare its students for success in the profession. LMU Law’s faculty and staff strive to form personal relationships with each of its students. Groups such as the Student Bar Association, Black Law Students Association, Hispanic Law Students Association, Immigration Law Society, and Women of the Law are among some twenty student organizations intended to enhance the student experience.

About the Knowledgeable Dean of LMU Law

The Dean of LMU Law is Gary Wade, who joined the Law school in September 2015. Judge Wade retired after nine years on the Tennessee Supreme Court, where he served a term as the Chief Justice. Prior to his tenure on the Tennessee Supreme Court, Judge Wade spent 19 years on the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals, the last eight as Presiding Judge.

During his tenure, Judge Wade has placed special emphasis on legal writing and enhanced the academic success program with additional resources and personnel. Additionally, he has increased the profile of LMU Law in Knoxville by partnering with the East Tennessee Historical Society. In furtherance of the University’s mission, Judge Wade helped secure funding for the relocation of Legal Aid of East Tennessee (LAET) to the campus. LAET provides free legal services to citizens of 26 counties in East Tennessee and offers opportunities for its students to volunteer services.

Distinct facilities and Course the Institute Offers

Having been granted provisional approval by the American Bar Association in December 2014, LMU Law has consistently been chosen as the Best Value Law School by eminent magazines. As a reward for graduation, each student receives cost-free enrollment in the school’s summer extended bar prep classes.

At LMU Law, the teaching model uses interactive software to help students interpret, analyze, and apply legal concepts. Since lawyers spend much of their time finding information, LMU Law’s curriculum emphasizes mastering the art of legal research in the 21st century. Just as mechanics need their tools, law students and lawyers require a mix of core competencies. These include the ability to read large volumes of material, identify and analyze relevant pieces of information, conduct thorough legal research, produce high-quality written work, and present effective oral arguments on issues of law.

Unlike most law schools, the school’s librarians do not sit at circulation desks. They are positioned throughout the law school and are constantly available to support students and faculty. LMU Law is confident that offering unique combinations of technology, intimacy, and academic rigor will help its alumni become leaders in law, business, public interest advocacy, government, and anywhere else they pursue.

Scholarships LMU-Law Offers

LMU Law is generous with its scholarship offerings; this makes it a student’s favorite institution to pursue a legal education. In 2017 LMU Law placed second among the private law schools in the United States in terms of value. 97% of students who started in fall 2017 received either merit- or need-based scholarship awards.

Opportunities and Exposures

From 2013 to 2016, LMU Law graduates had the highest overall employment rate of any law school in Tennessee. The school’s success is based on a two-step approach:

  • Providing an outstanding experiential learning program; and
  • Matching students in externship program with firms considering new hires.

By offering classes in law office management, the school provides instruction to those who desire to set up a solo practice.

 ‘Words of trust’

“I’m an older student with a family so the thought of going back to school scared me to death. The professors at LMU go out of their way to help you in any way that they can. They know our names and ask about our lives. They genuinely care about us and want us to succeed. If you are considering Law school, it would be a mistake not to put LMU Duncan School of Law at the top of your list.”—Shonda Duncan (Class of 2018)

“My experience at LMU Law has exceeded all of my expectations. As a non-traditional student with two young daughters I often doubted my ability to complete the required credits in three years; however, I received so much support and encouragement from faculty, staff, and recent graduates that those doubts eased with time. As graduation is nearing, I hope to be able to offer support and encouragement to others like me who choose to attend LMU Law.”—Tegan Couch (Class of 2018)

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