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About UM Law Faculty

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What distinguishes the UM law faculty?


UM faculty are outstanding classroom teachers, and we excel when it comes to faculty/student contact outside the formal classroom. Almost every member of our faculty serves as a coach of a competitive team or adviser to a student organization—extending the contact of students with faculty in their areas of expertise. Whether it is Professor Ray Cross serving as the adviser to the Public Land and Resources Law Review or Professor Cynthia Ford coaching the Trial Team, students benefit from faculty involved in the life of the law school outside the classroom.

Beyond the classroom and the structured extracurricular activities, the congenial atmosphere of the law school and the accessibility of faculty encourage discussions outside class hours. Whether it is a question about class, advice on a law review article, guidance on seeking a job, or just time to chat, our faculty are there forstudents.

While our faculty thrive on teaching, they are accomplished scholars, nationally recognized for their work in their specialized fields. They are the authors of books, treatises, and innumerable law review articles. They also have a long-standing commitment of service to the public, the bench, and the bar.

Our UM professors average more than 10 years of practice before beginning their teaching careers. They left distinguished careers and successful practices to join the staff at UM. When it comes to integrating theory and practice, our faculty have done it. You will study Indian law under Professor Ray Cross, who served for a decade as legal counsel for the three Affiliated Tribes and before that as an attorney with the Native American Rights Fund. At UM, you will be learning from lawyers who know what law practice is all about and who come to Montana with a national perspective borne of years of experience throughout the country.

Two features distinguish the faculty of UM School of Law: their dedication to the students and their extensive and diverse backgrounds in practice. The faculty at UM are here for the students. Faculty attracted to UM are legal educators who seek a close, mentoring relationship with students. Each of our faculty members regularly teaches a full load of courses, and our curriculum is built around our full-time faculty.

Faculty at UM Law

The quality of your legal education depends more on the teaching skills of the faculty than on any other single factor. Certainly, modern facilities, large library holdings and impressive faculty publications are assets, but no factor is more critical than the proficiency of the faculty in the classroom. And that is where UM excels. We are teachers who recognize that our first commitment is to the education of our students. Since our founding in 1911, our mission has been to train the next generation of lawyers—an obligation we continue to honor.

We are one of the smallest law school faculties in the nation, but the depth and breadth of our experience is evident in the brief descriptions that follow. Our faculty have a diverse background of geographic, educational, and practice experience.

Our faculty are dedicated teachers; they are not distracted by part-time law practices or by serving "of counsel" to big firms. Our faculty, which averages far more practice experience than most, gained their skills and knowledge from years of practice before turning to full-time teaching.

Within the first few days of class, your teachers will know you by name. By graduation, you will count several of them among your friends.