Law

Overview

What sets Notre Dame Law School apart from other first-tier, highly selective law schools is that in addition to educating top-notch attorneys, Notre Dame is committed to “educating a different kind of lawyer”—one who realizes that the practice of law is not an end in itself.

At the Law School, students and faculty of diverse backgrounds, experiences, and commitments are encouraged to cultivate both the life of the mind and the wisdom of the heart, to pursue their studies with a passion for the truth, and to dedicate their professional and personal lives to serve the good of all the human family. In other words, Notre Dame seeks to do more than train students in a profession; it seeks to help them discover their lives as a vocation.

Notre Dame law graduates are well prepared for a wide variety of private practice, nonprofit, and public service careers. Students are grounded in the historical methods and principles of the common law while engaging thoroughly with the reality of today’s ever-changing legislative, regulatory, and global legal environment. Notre Dame Law School’s curriculum includes a rigorous core as well as courses in cutting-edge and niche specialties offered in South Bend, London, and Chicago.

Because the Law School has remained small, students receive a great deal of individual attention in and outside of class. Professors are known for their accessibility and their readiness to discuss not only the law but also what it means to be an ethical professional whose moral and ethical principles will always remain part and parcel of his or her legal identity. Contributing to a community that functions as a tight-knit family, students develop bonds that endure beyond their time on campus—lifelong friendships with their classmates, continuing relationships with their professors, and membership in one of the strongest alumni networks in the country.

Notre Dame is committed to “educating a different kind of lawyer”—one who realizes that the practice of law is not an end in itself.

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    Fighting for Global Justice

News

Goals

Law has identified five overarching goals as part of its strategic planning process, each of which advances one or more of the five University-wide goals:

1. Advance excellence in scholarship

University Goal Supported

  • Goal III: Advance human understanding through scholarship, research, and post-baccalaureate programs that seek to heal, unify, and enlighten

Strategies

  1. Attract additional outstanding scholars and prioritize faculty retention
  2. Build on existing and attainable strengths in disciplinary and interdisciplinary fields
  3. Develop an effective communications plan to increase the national reputation of NDLS faculty scholarship
  4. Align the Kresge Law Library’s structure, staffing, and collection to better support the communications, research, and teaching goals of the Law School

2. Offer outstanding J.D. and graduate law programs

University Goal Supported

  • Goal III: Advance human understanding through scholarship, research, and post-baccalaureate programs that seek to heal, unify, and enlighten

Strategies

  1. Increase the depth and breadth of curricular offerings
  2. Add flexibility and capacity to the curriculum by means of distance learning, collaborations with other universities and Notre Dame departments and colleges, short courses, and the use of visiting and adjunct professors
  3. Create programs of study that build on existing and attainable curricular strengths and that guide students in course selection and career choices
  4. Explore the creation of new graduate programs

3. Deepen and enrich international, interdisciplinary, and experiential programs

University Goals Supported

  • Goal I: Ensure that our Catholic character informs all our endeavors
  • Goal III: Advance human understanding through scholarship, research, and post-baccalaureate programs that seek to heal, unify, and enlighten
  • Goal V: Engage in external collaborations that extend and deepen Notre Dame’s impact

Strategies

  1. Offer additional experiential learning opportunities in South Bend and major legal markets to prepare students for the changing nature of law practice
  2. Enhance the reputation of the London Law Center as a premier site for international education and scholarly exchange
  3. Increase international programs, sites, scholarly research, and collaborations
  4. Encourage faculty to pursue interdisciplinary initiatives, including new courses, programs, research, and collaborations

4. Be the law school of choice for the best students and employers

University Goals Supported

  • Goal III: Advance human understanding through scholarship, research, and post-baccalaureate programs that seek to heal, unify, and enlighten
  • Goal V: Engage in external collaborations that extend and deepen Notre Dame’s impact

Strategies

  1. Augment the amount of funding available for targeted fellowships in order to attract students with the best credentials
  2. Increase applications, yield, and diversity among J.D. students
  3. Expand the Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) funding and other mechanisms to support students interested in pursuing careers in the public or nonprofit sectors
  4. Create outstanding professional development programs to assist students in obtaining legal employment

5. Form legal professionals dedicated to human dignity and the common good

University Goals Supported

  • Goal I: Ensure that our Catholic character informs all our endeavors
  • Goal III: Advance human understanding through scholarship, research, and post-baccalaureate programs that seek to heal, unify, and enlighten
  • Goal V: Engage in external collaborations that extend and deepen Notre Dame’s impact

Strategies

  1. Encourage student participation in service learning and pro bono activities
  2. Provide additional courses and research opportunities that invite students to reflect on the relationship between morality and law
  3. Support faculty and student development of programs that serve the University’s mission and reflect its distinctive Catholic character

Learn more about Notre Dame Law School by visiting law.nd.edu.