How long is law school?
Three years doing a full-time program, four-plus years doing a JD joint-degree program.
What is a JD?
JD stands for Juris Doctor, that is the name of the degree you receive upon successful completion of the law school curriculum.
What is a 1L/2L/3L?
These are just the common designation for a first-year law student, second-year law student, and third-year law student.
Can I go to law school online?
Here at ABIII, we do not have an online component for the JD program. There may be course offerings in your 2L and 3L year that are online, but your first year, and the large majority of your second and third year, will be delivered in person.
Are there any part-term options at ABIII?
No, currently our program is only offered as a three-year, full-time program.
When you say “full-time” what does that look like?
The course schedules and offerings are subject to change every year, but we generally tell students to expect to be engaged in law school and law school-related activities for approximately 40 hours a week.
Is there a certain major that I need to attend law school?
No, you are welcome to major in anything you find interesting. The one thing you can do in undergrad that will help you in law school is to take a few writing intensive and research intensive courses.
What entrance exam should I take for law school?
The industry-standard exam is the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). It is administered by the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). There are some schools that accept the Graduation Record Examination (GRE).
ABIII accepts both the LSAT and the GRE. Please note that the GRE score will not be considered if an applicant has an LSAT score on file.
How long can I use my LSAT score to apply to law school?
This policy recently changed via LSAC, your past 12 scores will be reported to the law schools of your choice.
How long are my GRE scores valid?
For five years following your test date.
How much does law school cost?
In 2019, US News and World Report indicated that the average cost to attend a private law school was $49,548, the average cost to attend a public law school as an in-state student was $28,264, and the average cost to attend a public law school as an out-of-state student was $41,723.
Here at ABIII the tuition is set by the Board of Regents and is subject to change every year. In-state tuition for the entering Fall 2020 class at ABIII was $14,941 and the out-of-state tuition for the Fall 2020 entering class at ABIII was $36,543.
Is the Alexander Blewett III School of law public or private?
ABIII is a public school and the only law school in the state of Montana.
Who is Alexander Blewett III?
Alexander Blewett III is a Montana attorney and is a partner at Hoyt & Blewett PPLC.
I really want to tell an admissions representative my background. Who can I contact to do that?
Since we do not have an interview process as part of the application, here at ABIII the Office of Admissions does not take meetings in which the student's goal is to tell us about themself. We want the application process to be fair and equal to all applicants, so please don’t take offense if an admission representative is not able to accommodate your request to provide individual background.
We encourage you to be as thorough as possible in the application since that is what we use to evaluate applicants regarding entry.
How long should my personal statement be?
While there is no official page limit, it is typically advised that it be 2-3 pages, double-spaced, at a 12-point font.
Do I have to write the “Why Montana” statement?
No, it is an optional portion of your application documents. It is, however, strongly encouraged. Since we do not have an interview process, it is another portion of your application that you can use to showcase who you are and how you would fit in here at ABIII.
Can I include a diversity statement?
Yes, you may. Please keep in mind that while it is not a requirement for a completed application, if you are including it in your materials, please make sure it is double spaced, clearly labeled as to what it is, and it is 12-point font.
I want to enroll in a dual degree program, can I start the Masters level joint degree course work prior to attending law school?
No, The American Bar Association, our accrediting organization, prohibits the granting of credit for work completed prior to enrollment in a JD program.
What is an addendum?
It is a document that is meant to clarify, modify, or support a question in the law school application. Addendums, like personal statements, should be double-spaced, clearly labeled as to what it is, and in 12-point font. There is no suggested page limit for an addendum. It should be long enough to get the point across. Some students need a few lines and others are multiple pages. If unsure, err on the side of oversharing.
What addendums should I include in my application?
The typical addendums are character & fitness, LSAT, GPA and resume gap. Use the addendum for anything you feel like you need to provide more context on in your application.
How far back should I include in the resume/scholarship/awards section in the application?
Traditionally, it is advised that you include college forward. If you are an applicant that went to college more than seven years prior to your law school application, you can include college activities, but it is not a requirement.
How long should my resume be?
That question is going to depend on you. Everyone is different. If your experience is more than a page, please feel free to take more than a page for your resume. It is also advised that you stick to consistent formatting, typically reverse chronological order without a mission/purpose/personal statement at the beginning of your resume.
Is it bad when I have multiple LSAT scores?
Typically, no, especially when there is an upward trend in the scores. If there are lots of absences or cancellations without a compelling reason that has been articulated in the application, that is typically a bad sign.
Is there a separate scholarship application?
For our entering students, everyone that applies by the priority deadline is automatically considered for incoming merit-based aid. For applicants applying after the priority deadline, you are still automatically considered; however, the amount of available scholarship dollars may be severely reduced.
Are your incoming merit-based scholarships conditional?
Yes, you must maintain at least a 2.7 GPA to keep your scholarship.
Are scholarship award amounts ever increased for good performance?
Not typically, in your 2L and 3L years, you are welcome to apply for additional named scholarships that are sent to all students via email, but your initial merit-based award will not be increased due to you doing well.
What is the bar passage rate for the 2019 graduates?
- First-time test takers (any jurisdiction): 80.3%
- First-time test takers (Montana Bar only): 82.5%
- Two-year pass rate: 92.6%
What is the employment rate for the 2019 graduates?
Overall employment rate: 92.3%.
Where did the Class of 2019 go after graduating?
- 3% stayed in Montana
- 7% went to private sector employment
- 7% went to public sector employment
Does ABIII have OCI (on-campus interviews)?
Yes, we have OCI in the fall and spring.
What employers participate in ABIII’s OCI
We do not make the full employer list available. We consistently have representation, however, from top Montana firms and agencies in addition to firms from surrounding states. There is also good representation in terms of firm size.
How do I find out if I qualify for accommodations in my law school program?
Disability Services for Students (DSS) serves the University of Montana students with disabilities who are registered with the DSS office. Their purpose is to ensure programs are as accessible and usable by students with disabilities as they are for any student. DSS determines the student's eligibility for reasonable modifications and coordinates modifications for those who are registered with the DSS office.
Blewett School of Law's Associate Dean of Students works closely with law students and DSS to ensure that our students have equal and accessible opportunities. We encourage students to register with DSS as early as possible in their academic careers. If you have questions about disability accommodations, please reach out to the Associate Dean of Students or to DSS directly.
Can I work during law school?
It is not forbidden, but it is strongly encouraged that you do not work during law school. If for some reason you have to work during law school, it is suggested that you keep your work hours under 10 hours a week.
Who should write my letters of recommendation?
We prefer academic letters of recommendation. These should be letters from faculty who can attest to your academic capabilities, meaning these should be from someone that you took a class from or had significant academic contact with (independent study advisor or thesis advisor). Typically, academic letters are expected from applicants who are within four years of graduation from their last academic endeavor. If you are an applicant who has significant work experience, please feel free to provide professional letters of recommendation.
Who should not write my letters of recommendation?
Personal contacts. If the person writing your letter of recommendation cannot speak directly to your academic or directly to you in a professional capacity, they should not write your letter of recommendation. Typically, a letter that would begin with “I have known applicant since s/he was little” or “I’ve known the applicant’s family for x number of years” are generally considered personal letters of recommendation and are not appropriate for inclusion in your application.
Can I have an application fee waiver?
We are currently not offering application fee waivers. If that changes, we will make the changes here.
How can I make my application stand out?
This may sound silly, but reading and following the application instructions will go far in helping you. Beyond that, please keep in mind when interacting with faculty and staff throughout your application process, be professional and courteous.
Is there a dress code for the law school?
There is not a dress code for law students. Please keep in mind that there are often judges, attorneys and other members of the Montana legal community in the building.
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Admitted and Current Students
When do I sign up for classes?
Incoming 1Ls will sign up for classes in early- to mid-July, after receiving section assignments from the Registrar’s Office. Detailed instructions on how to register will be emailed out to all incoming 1Ls.
Where do I print?
Students can print from designated printers in the Law School through the use of their Griz Card. These printers are available in the library and in the 1L commons. The computers in the library reading room are for use by the public. You can print from them, but it costs 20 cents per page, cash only. You cannot print from them after 5 p.m.
Where do I find coffee?
Do I need a law-related job my 1L summer?
Are my textbooks on reserve in the library?
Safety concerns have forced us to forego class reserves at this time. Normally, the library has one copy of each required textbook for required classes on reserve and may have a copy of a textbook for your elective course if a faculty member loans a copy to the library.
How can I get a carrel in the library?
The carrels on the mezzanine of the library are assigned to second- and third-year students by the SBA in the spring. The carrels on the main floor are open-seating that anyone can use while they are in the library, but items should not be stored in them.
What is the Academic Success Program?
Where can I find study aids for midterms and finals?
Can I start a student group if my niche isn't represented?
Yes. In order to start a student group, you need to present appropriate bylaws and 10 signatures of initial members to the Student Bar Association (SBA) Executive Board. After the SBA will vote and confirm the student group into existence if the bylaws and signatures are approved.