FAQs

Prospective Students

Three years doing a full-time program, four-plus years doing a JD joint-degree program.

JD stands for Juris Doctor, that is the name of the degree you receive upon successful completion of the law school curriculum.

These are just the common designation for a first-year law student, second-year law student, and third-year law student.

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.

No, currently our program is only offered as a three-year, full-time program.

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.

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.

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.

For five years following your test date.

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.

ABIII is a public school and the only law school in the state of Montana.

Alexander Blewett III is a Montana attorney and is a partner at Hoyt & Blewett PPLC.

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.

While there is no official page limit, it is typically advised that it be 2-3 pages, double-spaced, at a 12-point font.

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.

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.

No, The American Bar Association, our accrediting organization, prohibits the granting of credit for work completed prior to enrollment in a JD program.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Yes, you must maintain at least a 2.7 GPA to keep your scholarship.

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.

  • First-time test takers (any jurisdiction): 80.3%
  • First-time test takers (Montana Bar only): 82.5%
  • Two-year pass rate: 92.6%

Overall employment rate: 92.3%.

  • 3% stayed in Montana
  • 7% went to private sector employment
  • 7% went to public sector employment

Yes, we have OCI in the fall and spring.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

We are currently not offering application fee waivers. If that changes, we will make the changes here.

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.

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.

Please email us at lawadmissions@umontana.edu with any unanswered questions.

Admitted and Current Students

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.

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.

Sidebar is closed Fall 2020, but the coffee shop in the education building is open. Normally, you may get coffee, pastries, soup, and sandwiches at the School of Law's coffee shop, Sidebar, in the Lower Commons.  The nearby Business and Education Schools also have similar cafes. You may also purchase coffee from the Market at the University Center on Campus and at various other locations around campus.
No, you do not need to do something law-related your first summer. Many successful students begin good careers out of law school without having legal-related summer employment. Nevertheless, legal summer employment, especially after your second year, is very common among students.

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.

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.

You can find more information on our Academic Success Program webpage.
The law school provides a database of previous exams and outlines on the Academic Support Program (ASP) Moodle page. You may contact the teaching assistant for your class for additional resources. Also, the library has study materials like nutshells, hornbooks, and question-and-answer books, but quantities are limited. All law students have free electronic access to the West Study Aids through Westlaw.

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.

Please refer to the Montana University System Board of Regents Policy 940.1 regarding residency.