- Apply to UW
- Programs & Majors
- Cost & Financial Aid
- Current Students
- UW Life
- About UW
Published September 16, 2020
How a student begins law school and how they finish play a significant role in where they end up in their careers – and we are not just talking about grades. Finishing law school with practical experience, low student loan debt, and established relationships with regional practitioners and alumni set our graduates up for successful employment opportunities and meaningful careers.
In these difficult times, law schools across the nation have struggled to adapt to an online climate while continuing to serve students and set them up for success in the future. Here in Wyoming, the staff and faculty at the College of Law have rolled with the punches and kept the focus on doing what we do best – offering a quality education at an affordable price.
These efforts have not gone unnoticed. The College of Law was recently recognized for excellence in several different categories.
Employment Honor Roll
Based on the employment statistics from the class of 2019, the College of Law made the Employment Honor Roll by preLaw and National Jurist Magazine. Using a linear regression model, the magazine compared the predicted employment rate of the class of 2019 to the actual employment rate to determine how it fared in comparison to other schools under the same model. This weighted employment rate places a higher value on full-time, bar passage-required jobs. Due to the broad spectrum of employment opportunities available to our graduates and the efforts of Career Services Director Ashli Tomisich, employment rates in this category have significantly increased. Wyoming even made the national shortlist of top schools for Federal Clerkship placement.
A strength of the career options for our students is that they can often pursue a job they want, rather than a high paying job they need in order to support crushing student loan bills. The affordability of the College of Law is something that is intrinsically linked to the success of our students in the job market. Many College of Law graduates go into public interest jobs, pursue general practice positions in rural areas of Wyoming, or even opt to hang their own shingle. While these jobs don’t have the glitz and glamour of big law, they are a truer representation of Wyoming law graduates who simply thrive in the practice the law.
As the only law school in the state, UW Law students have a competitive advantage for internships and clerkships. Thanks to the emphasis on experiential and clinical learning opportunities, many students at graduation already have the skills and experience of new associates. This coupled with the incredible relationships with practitioners and alumni in the state, students are able to connect with potential employers early in their education.
The Office of Career Services and Professional Development at the College of Law has done an excellent job helping guide students in their career searches. Now it is shifting its focus to help students land jobs during a pandemic. Unable to provide in-person services, it has provided online resources through Zoom training sessions, offered digital mock interviews, and has pursued collaborative efforts with outside entities to support student job searches in this unprecedented legal market.
The College of Law is extremely grateful to those employers who are still willing to take on our students in light of the pandemic; they are a tremendous asset to our students for practical training and postgraduate employment. We hope to see another successful year of employment for the class of 2020!
Best Value Law School
National Jurist and preLaw Magazine have also recognized the UW College of Law as a Best Value Law School for seven years and counting. The rankings will be published in the forthcoming fall issue of preLaw Magazine.
Each year when the topic of tuition rates comes up for re-evaluation, the College of Law administration fights hard for our students to keep the tuition rates as low as possible. Law school is notoriously expensive, but the UW College of Law has a strong salary-to-debt ratio making our degree worthwhile and effective.
While affordability is important, value doesn’t stop at the price tag, and what the University of Wyoming College of Law has to offer in terms of its degree is priceless. The benefits of an affordable tuition allow students to work in a wider variety of legal areas and be in the best position to pay off any student debt. The College of Law not only equips students with skills and practical training, it offers the unshackled freedom for each student to choose the right career path and enjoy their quality of life.
Best School for Family and Child Law
For the second year in a row, National Jurist and preLaw Magazines have recognized Wyoming as a Best School for Family and Child Law.
Family Law is often not glamorous or lucrative, but it is one of the most important types of law practice out there, serving often-vulnerable populations when they are in the greatest hour of need. For children, it is even more critical. Advocates in family and child legal practice are giving a voice to those who have none.
As is often the case when the stakes are high, some of the greatest rewards come with the territory – protecting children, helping victims of domestic violence escape their abusers, or bringing families together.
What really sets the College of Law family and child law programs apart is the emphasis on mental health resources for both clients and students alike, better preparing them to cope with the challenges that are unique to family law. This shift to offering “trauma-informed legal education” was spearheaded by the Faculty Director of the Family and Child Legal Advocacy Clinic, Dona Playton, who was recently honored by the Wyoming State Bar Association with the John M. Burman Extraordinary Service Award for her efforts.
Not shying away from the complexities of family law, it is integrated into many areas of the curriculum at the law school as well as a strong commitment to access to justice, service, and outreach. Additionally, there has been significant overlap with the Civil Legal Services Clinic (CLCS) in matters of family issues. Under the supervision of Faculty Director Danielle Cover, the CLCS represented an incarcerated parent in a termination of parental rights case in front of a live jury in the spring 2020, and won.
The College of Law is extremely proud to be recognized in so many important areas that are consistent with our mission to serve, educate, and facilitate employment for students. Even in difficult times, the faculty and staff of the law school are dialed in to the areas that truly matter for our students.