For more than 100 years, the University of Montana School of Law has educated lawyers and prepared them to serve society. In 1914, the School of Law became a member of The Association of American Law Schools and in 1923, received accreditation from the American Bar Association. In 2011, the School of Law celebrated 100 years of education and service.
In 2014, the School of Law announced a major scholarship gift from Alexander "Zander" and Andrea (Andy) Blewett of Great Falls, Montana, who previously made several other major donations to the law school for building projects including the Hoyt & Blewett Courtroom and the Blewett Room, which houses the offices of the Montana Law Review. The new gift of $800,000 created the Blewett Scholars Fund which benefits graduates of Montana State University who attend law school at the University of Montana. Zander graduated from Montana State University and later attended the University of Montana School of Law, as did his father, Alex, and two sons, Anders and Drew, who all received their Juris Doctor degrees from UM Law. In 2015, the Blewetts generously offered a school "naming gift" of another $9.2 million to the law school, bringing their total gift to $10 million. In May, 2015, the Montana Board of Regents approved the gift, and in recognition of it and the Blewett family's long history of other contributions to UM Law, formally named the law school the Alexander Blewett III School of Law at the University of Montana.
Each year, approximately 84 students enroll from across the country looking for a hands-on approach to legal education. Under the guidance of dedicated faculty and staff, students thrive in an experience-rich environment that integrates theory and practice. Long before it was fashionable, the University of Montana School of Law made a commitment to training practice-ready lawyers. At the University of Montana, every student must participate in clinical programs in order to graduate. The atmosphere at the University of Montana is enhanced by the surrounding Rocky Mountains, where wilderness and recreation offer a break from the rigors of law study.
Mission and Values
The University of Montana School of Law prepares students for the people-oriented practice of law by integrating theory and practice in a competency-based curriculum; serves as the academic legal center in Montana; and contributes to the development of national, state, and tribal law and legal institutions through teaching, scholarship, and service.
In pursuit of this mission, the School of Law strives to:
- Develop in its students the demonstrated ability to serve society as lawyers, to represent clients generally and in particular transactions, and to seek resolution of conflicts in appropriate forums;
- Foster intellectual inquiry, knowledge of the law, fundamental professional skills, perspective on the role of law and lawyers in society, and the character and values necessary to serve society;
- Support scholarship and provide professional service to Montana, tribal governments and communities, the nation, and the international community;
- Emphasize those areas of law significant to the Rocky Mountain West, including natural resources, environmental, and Indian law; and
- Promote among students, faculty, and the profession a sense of community enriched by a diverse group of people devoted to freedom of inquiry and freedom of expression.
Commitment to Diversity
The University of Montana School of Law shall promote and support a learning environment that encourages, enriches and respects the multidimensional aspects of diversity. Recognizing that the quality of legal education is enhanced by a diverse educational community, the Law School is committed to recruiting and retaining students, faculty, staff and administrators capable of creating a safe, vibrant, diverse, engaging and intellectually stimulating learning environment. This educational environment reinforces and models the principle that diversity is an integral part of learning and the competent, people-oriented practice of law. Diversity includes, but is not limited to, differences based on race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation or background, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, age, economic class or status, points of view, or disabilities.