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Valparaiso University School of Law

Valparaiso University School of Law is currently celebrating its 125th anniversary. The law school achieved a 99% placement rate and boasts an LL.M. degree as well as a traditional J.D. degree and several joint J.D./M.A. degrees.

Applicants have the opportunity to receive merit-based scholarships ranging from $3,000 to full tuition for all 3 years. Additionally, some of the full-tuition scholarships include stipends up to $30,000, or $10,000 per year. Scholarships are limited to the availability of funds, so applicants are encouraged to apply early!

Below is the 4-page transcript of our interview with Curt Cichowski, Associate Dean on September 21, 2004.

What distinguishes Valparaiso University School of Law and its students?

When it comes right down to it, all law schools offer the same basic product.  Where schools differ is in their mission, and their personality.  Valpo Law is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year.  A key component of that celebration is a rededication to the three elements of our now 125 year old mission: a truly personalized manner of teaching, enduring core competencies that prepare our graduates for all practices, and our exceptional legal research and writing program.

The truly personal manner of teaching means that you will not be an anonymous number in the classroom, but a member of a community that relies on the recognition and integration of every member’s strengths, backgrounds, and experiences.  You will know your faculty members as people, and they will know you as colleagues.  We believe that in order to be a good lawyer, you must be a good person, first.

Enduring core competencies refers to a curricular program that prepares every graduate for whatever practice in which she or he chooses to engage. While there is opportunity for specialization, it is not at the expense of universal skills.  Good lawyers must have a great skill set.  Our core competencies produce ready professionals.

Legal writing and research talents are the single most important traits any successful lawyer, regardless of practice area, must possess.  Our exceptional legal research and writing program is one of the most extensive in the country.  At Valpo Law, you will have three years of legal research and writing – that is very unusual.  But the results speak for themselves.  Every year our students return from their summer associate and clerking positions to report that they out-researched and out-wrote their contemporaries from other law schools (including those from famous brand-name law schools).  This is reiterated by their employers.

We do not spend our resources trying to be better ranked in a commercial magazine that purports to know something about legal education.  Instead, we spend our resources on our students and their legal education.  The results may not be as public as a national magazine story, but they are far more substantive and far more valuable.

What new changes are occurring on campus and how is Valparaiso University School of Law evolving?

At the law school side of campus, we just hired four new faculty members.  Fully aware of law students’ primary goal of getting a job, additional staff has been added to our Career Planning Center in order to deliver to Valpo students the best possible career planning support. We are in the early stages of a multi-million project that will provide the physical space necessary to expand our clinical program (every Valpo Law Clinic student refers to their clinical work as the best academic experience they ever encountered) and creating an integrated skills center.

On the Valpo campus, generally, a brand new $33 million resource center was dedicated in the fall semester of 2004.  Much more than a library, this facility offers over 300 computers; wireless access to the university network; expansive study, collaboration, meeting and research spaces (including a outdoor terrace on the fourth floor); several ultra-tech classrooms; and even its own cyber café complete with a Pura Vida Coffee shop.  As with all campus resources, law students are welcomed.  This building is just one of several new facilities taking shape on the campus.

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