Established in 1888, the University of Nebraska College of Law is one of the professional graduate schools of the University of Nebraska system. It became part of the University of Nebraska in 1891 when the Boards of Regents voted to take over the private, two-year-old Central Law College and incorporated it into the system. Currently, it is a close-knit and engaged community that challenges students and teaches them to become problem solvers and difference makers.
Mission, Vision, and Commitments
The college is on the mission to develop inclusive leaders who advance justice, solve problems, and serve with integrity. Nebraska Law fosters creative thinking, gracious listening, thoughtful speaking, valuing diversity, building community, serving humbly, acting courageously, working hard, and demanding excellence.
To achieve the above-mentioned vision and mission, values, and build upon its strengths, the Nebraska Law community is focused on three shared commitments:
- Building an inclusive and connected community
- Preparing students for a lifetime of learning, service, and ethical leadership
- Solving vital societal problems
The Right Place to Study
The University of Nebraska College of Law is situated in a vibrant and safe city of nearly 300,000 people. It has many of the cultural and entertainment benefits of a much larger city, with the feel of a friendly Midwestern community. The college is placed with countless social opportunities: concerts and sporting events at Pinnacle Bank Arena, nationally known musical performances at the nearby Lied Center and a flourishing downtown life in Lincoln’s Haymarket. It also boasts museums, music venues of all sorts, sports, and some of the best and most extensive bike trails in the country for a city of its size.
Significantly, because of state support and a history of good planning, the college has maintained reasonable tuition for resident and non-resident students. Nebraska Law students graduate with some of the lowest law school debt in the country, which means they can follow their dreams and goals as lawyers, rather than having to focus their careers on how to best service their debt. Furthermore, the place offers opportunities for students to work in the legislature, state agencies, and courts. The school also boasts one of the largest and best-designed law school buildings in the U.S.
Learning. Action. Wisdom
The college offers several programs for students interested in pursuing legal studies, including the traditional Juris Doctor (JD) degree. Nebraska Law also offers a Master of Laws (LL.M.) and Doctor of the Science of Law (JSD) degrees in space, cyber and telecommunications law, an LL.M. in Global Legal Practice, a Master of Legal Studies (MLS) degree, and executive certificates in space law, cyber and cybersecurity law, and cyber and telecommunications law. Students can also choose from a variety of joint degree options if they would like to earn two degrees at once, including the Law/Psychology program, which awards a J.D. and either a master’s degree or Ph.D.
Additionally, students can get hands-on legal training in the College of Law clinics, which deals with issues surrounding immigration, criminal prosecution, and more. They may also consider getting involved in a variety of student organizations at the University of Nebraska College of Law, including the Nebraska Family Law Organization and the American Constitution Society, and may have opportunities to participate in legal journals, including the Nebraska Law Review.
For an international experience, law students can partake in a six-week course program at Cambridge University. Along with the University of Nebraska, the University of Tennessee College of Law, the University of Mississippi School of Law, and the University of Arkansas School of Law are involved in the study abroad effort.
The Nebraska Public Interest Law Fund (NPILF) provides summer fellowships to Nebraska Law students who secures public interest positions that would otherwise be unpaid. Summer opportunities include positions with the ACLU, Legal Aid, Nebraska Appleseed, and even the United Nations. Ultimately, students work in diverse areas including elder law, Native American law, domestic violence, healthcare, and human rights just to name a few.
The college is proud of its programs that create regular, one-on-one interactions between students, faculty, and career advisors. Consequently, this has helped the University to become one of the nation’s best in terms of employment after graduation.
In 2016, Nebraska Law implemented required check-ins for third-year law students, which happens early in the fall semester of their final year. The check-ins primarily focus on two paths: assisting pending graduates with job searches and, for students who already secured employment, making sure the future lawyers feel prepared for the workplace.
Exposure at its Best
Nebraska Law provides opportunities for students to not only develop the analytical skills they will need to interpret and apply the law, but also the professional skills required to be a successful attorney. Students will develop these skills through unique classroom activities, special programming, student organizations, leadership opportunities, skills classes, competitions, and real-world experiences.
Third-year law students qualify to work in one of the five clinics: criminal, civil, entrepreneurship, immigration, and children’s justice. They have an opportunity to put their skills to work helping others find legal solutions to their challenges before they even graduate law school.
Nebraska Law Clinic students have argued cases in front of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, the U.S. Board of Immigration Appeals, the U.S. District Court in Nebraska, the Nebraska Supreme Court, the Nebraska Court of Appeals, as well as county and city courts. Each clinic provides unique opportunities to work with a variety of cases and clients and offers opportunities for hands-on experience helping real-world clients solve their legal problems.
Word of Mouth
Due to the aforementioned robust curriculum, since 2010, Nebraska Law has been the only school in the Big Ten conference to be named as the #1 Best Value Law Schools in the U.S by prelaw Magazine. The college has been bestowed with this honor in the past five years.
As tabulated in the 2019 American Lawyer 100 rankings, Nebraska Law finished No. 6th out of 201 law schools nationwide. The results are based on the 2018 graduating class, which tallied a 94 percent employment rate within 10 months of earning a degree.
The college quotes, “Best value is not based solely on a school’s affordability”, and states that it has earned this #1 ranking because of its low tuition rates and cost of living and strong bar passage rate. It further celebrates its success rate in placing students in Bar Passage Required or JD-Advantage jobs, and the low level of law school debt Nebraska Law students have when they graduate.
Nebraska Law advice students to choose a law school by looking at the outcomes that it provides, especially the bar passage and job placement rate. As previously said, Nebraska Law ranks 6th in the U.S. for graduate employed in Bar Passage Required and JD Advantage positions. Its class of 2018, first-time bar exam takers passed at an 89% rate, which puts Nebraska Law in the top quarter of all U.S. law schools. As a result, Nebraska Law’s reputation for turning out graduates with an exceptional work ethic, comprehensive knowledge of the law, and unmatched professional skills is immense. This is why the college’s alumni can be found working in every state, as well as places outside the U.S.
“I started building a law practice with artists and songwriters and record labels and publishers and venues as clients. And that’s been a perfect marriage of the things I love — the practice of law and music.”
-Stephanie Taylor, Class of 2002
“I knew that whether I chose to practice, work in government or influence policy, the value and skills obtained would lead me to a position that helped me solve problems about which I cared very deeply.”
-Kristi Boswell, Class of 2009
“I am absolutely glad I chose Nebraska Law. I wouldn’t have been able to get this far without so much support from all of my Nebraska Law family.”
-Gatluak Ramdiet, Class of 2019