The University of Montana Law - Our Students
Our faculty has developed a curriculum nationally recognized for its effective integration of theory and practice.
Whether it's the first-year course in Pretrial Advocacy, the upper-level elective in Public Regulation of Business, or the third-year clinical placement, you will not only study the law but will be asked to demonstrate your ability to use what you have learned. You will be assessed not on how well you have memorized details, but on your ability to synthesize what you have learned and employ it in addressing legal problems.
For example, besides studying the theory of contracts, corporations, and wills and probate, you will also apply your knowledge by drafting contracts, creating corporations, and preparing and probating wills. In environmental law, you won't just read cases and statutes, you'll be assigned "clients" to represent and advise in problems pulled from the pages of today's newspapers. Your clinical experience in your third year is your opportunity to pull together the law and skills you acquired in your first two years and apply it to live clients with real legal problems. This hands-on approach to legal education is not only how we think lawyers ought to be trained, it's what we know best. Our faculty, most of whom practiced for a decade or more before beginning their teaching careers, know what law practice is about and what skills are needed to serve clients and the legal system.
Graduates Cliff Edwards ('74) and Doug Beighle ('58) offer their thoughts on their education from UM Law. Our students like to be actively involved-in their own education, in the life of the law school, and in the broader community. Aside from the shared environment, our students cannot be stereotyped.
About half of each class consists of students who have been out of school from three to 30 years. In fact, the average age of our entering class is 28. So whether you are coming right from college, returning to school while raising a family, or starting a second career, you will find classmates in the same situation. You may find yourself in a class seated next to a teacher, a forester, a minister, or a rancher. You might find yourself in a class with students from 20 states, representing as many as 56 different undergraduate institutions and 40 different majors. This rich mix makes for lively and insightful class discussions. Please see the Student FAQ for additional answers to frequently asked questions.