- Degree Requirements
- First Year Curriculum
- Lawyering Skills
- Clinical Legal Education
- Joint Degree Program
- Indian Law Certificate
- Aviation Law Certificate
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- Tuition & Fees
- UND Financial Aid
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- Statement on Scholarships for Incoming Students
ABA Employment Summary
NALP Employment Summary
Bar Passage Summary
History of the UND School of Law
Founded in 1899, the School of Law was the first professional school to begin operation within the University of North Dakota. Guy H. Corliss, a Grand Forks lawyer and the first Chief Justice of the North Dakota Supreme Court, was selected as the first dean of the law school. The only full-time instructor during the early years of the program, John E. Blair, a Harvard Law graduate, served as the secretary of the law school and directed the curriculum and operations. In 1904, when Andrew Bruce accepted the deanship, admission standards were lowered to require only two years of high school; nearly all students passed their courses and enrollment grew relatively strong.
In 1905, the School of Law graduated its first woman, Helen Hamilton. In honor of the accomplishments of Hamilton and other women graduates of the law school, an annual Helen Hamilton Day is hosted by the law school's Law Women's Caucus student organization. When Frank McVey became President of UND in 1909, incoming law students were required to possess a high school certificate and the program of legal education was lengthened to three years. By 1917, incoming students were required to have completed two years of collegiate study, and the law school instituted new program and degree options. The School of Law's first publication, the Law Bulletin, was introduced in 1914, and later evolved to become the North Dakota Law Review.
The School of Law was initially approved by the American Bar Association in 1923, and has been continuously accredited since then (for more information on ABA accreditation, please visit the ABA website at www.americanbar.org). The law school was granted membership in the Association of American Law Schools in 1911 and has been a member of the Order of the Coif since 1925.
The School of Law has been located in the heart of the main campus of the University almost since its establishment at the turn of the century. Until the mid-1960s, the School of Law shared space in its building with the School of Commerce and occasionally other departments. In 1973, the law school nearly doubled its space with the addition of a four-floor library annex, home to the Thormodsgard Law Library, named for Olaf H. Thormodsgard, Dean of the School of Law from 1931 to 1962. At the same time, the main law school building was renovated. In recent years, the law school has added office space and student workspace, as well as remodeled two of its largest classrooms, the Molbert Room and Swanke Family Room. Thanks to a special gifts from the family of Ralph Molbert, a 1941 law school graduate, and C. Francis Swanke, a 1940 law school graduate, both are state-of-the-art classrooms equipped with high-tech instructional technology.
At the UND School of Law, we are proud of the tradition of success of our graduates. As the only law school in North Dakota, we have a valued tradition of educating many of the state's leaders. Our alumni include a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, 80 percent of North Dakota Supreme Court justices, federal appellate and district court judges, including the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit and the U.S. Armed Forces, the state's Attorney General, a former University of North Dakota President, the U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate General, 25 percent of the State Board of Higher Education, and nearly three quarters of the attorneys licensed to practice in North Dakota.
Our graduates also are successful in a variety of professions and industries in the Midwest and on both coasts of the country, including banking, aerospace, and real estate development, and as corporate attorneys, as well as those in private practice. For example, we are proud to count among our alumni the CEO and Chairman of the Board for the American Heritage National Bank in Minnesota, the Chief Operating Officer of Otter Tail Corporation, a tax attorney for PricewaterhouseCoopers, Partner in DLA Piper in Washington, D.C., and the General Counsel for the United States Department of Energy. Our alumni are influential in tribal government as well, and include the former treasurer for the National Indian Gaming Association, along with tribal prosecutors, tribal judges, and tribal business leaders. A sense of pride among our alumni creates a strong alumni network that spreads across the country and around the world.
The University of North Dakota is one of about 40 public universities with both a law school and medical school. Professional education plays an important role at UND. The School of Law offers our students a "best value" legal education within a personalized setting emphasizing a practice ready application of the law.