PreLaw magazine has ranked UMass Law third in Massachusetts for practical training, which the publication says is a “key component of the law school experience.”
In the practical training category, UMass Law was ranked third in Massachusetts, landing just below law schools at Northeastern and Harvard universities and was tied with Yale Law School for fifth place in New England.
The ranking methodology relied on several data points focusing on practical training such as law school clinics, legal internships, simulation courses, pro bono hours, and moot court participation. Schools like UMass Law, where all students participate in pro bono hours and where clinical work is guaranteed or required, received extra credit in their scores.
“At UMass Law, we strive to provide our students with real-life practice experience, enabling them to actualize the techniques and legal doctrine they learn in the classroom,” said UMass Law Dean Eric Mitnick. “When our students graduate, we know they are prepared for a career in a legal setting due to their extensive high-quality and hands-on participation in our many legal clinics, internships, and pro bono opportunities.”
UMass Law provides wide-ranging opportunities for students to apply their knowledge in real-world settings. The school operates several legal clinics, which provide free legal services to people and organizations in the area, focused on business law and community development, criminal law, human rights, immigration, and tribal law.
UMass Law also operates Justice Bridge, an innovative access to justice legal practice incubator with approximately 20 attorneys in offices in New Bedford and Boston. Justice Bridge supplies recent graduates with office space, referral business, and extensive mentoring to provide legal services to individuals who otherwise could not afford representation. Since 2014, Justice Bridge has served thousands of clients in housing, family law, and immigration cases.
While in law school, every UMass Law student provides pro bono legal services, resulting in the delivery of more than 150,000 hours of pro bono legal services to the community since 2010.
Ryan Merrill contributed to this story.