About UMass Law
UMass Law offers a rigorous and rewarding legal education that prepares students for a full range of careers in the practice of law. We encourage our students to become Citizen Lawyers—lawyers who are committed to the betterment of their community, their country, and its citizens.
UMass Law's mission
UMass Law offers a well-balanced legal education, fosters a collegial community, and is committed to providing access to students who might not otherwise have the opportunity to study law.
UMass Law graduates exemplary lawyers prepared to pass the bar and practice law—lawyers who are motivated to make significant contributions to their communities and to the legal profession.
An atmosphere of cooperation and collegiality
There is more to legal education than instilling knowledge of the law. The best education is one that takes place in an atmosphere of cooperation and collegiality. UMass Law's faculty members are deeply devoted to helping students learn.
Professors make themselves available to students for individual help and work with them to realize their highest potential. Both the professional accomplishment and personal satisfaction of the faculty are measured by the success of their students in mastering the law.
UMass Law bases its educational program on three principles:
- a traditional focus on developing students' analytical skills in the law
- opportunities for students to begin developing practical legal skills
- an introduction to the fundamental human questions connected with the study and practice of law
We want our students to fully understand the responsibilities of being a lawyer: to prepare themselves to face the challenges practicing law in 21st century American society.
In addition to a full-time day program, UMass Law offers a part-time day program, a part-time evening/weekend program, and joint degree programs with UMass Dartmouth.
Learning by doing
UMass Law students don’t just learn the law; they learn how to be lawyers.
UMass Law has a robust experiential program. Students take a minimum of one clinic or field placement in order to spend a semester becoming familiar with the practice of law as well as developing important skills such as interviewing and counseling, case planning, and dealing with the ethical issues that arise in practice.
Field placements and clinics permit students to learn how to practice in attorney supervised settings. Students have an opportunity to learn the customs and culture of practice and apply what they’ve learned in the classroom in actual practice settings.
UMass Law students have made valuable contributions to the profession through their service in a wide variety of legal settings, including state agencies, district attorney’s and public defender’s offices, legislative offices, and many private law firms. In addition, students provide direct representation to underserved populations through their clinic work. Direct representation does more than build hard skills; it builds student confidence and permits students to experience the deep satisfaction that comes with representing those who may never have successfully resolved their legal problems without clinic representation.
Students report that these opportunities, which integrate doctrinal knowledge, theory, ethics, and skills through experiential learning, are motivating and rewarding. We know that the real reward will be measured by their clients, who will be the future beneficiaries of a law school program that aims to graduate students prepared for practice.
The University of Massachusetts School of Law – Dartmouth is provisionally approved by the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association, 321 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60610, (312) 988-6738.
UMass Law is part of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, which is fully accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE) of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).