"You don't quite understand the statement 'Notre Dame Family' until you experience your first bar review and realize you are not alone in this journey."
– Chinelo Udokoro '18 J.D.
Earning a law degree is a challenge, and students at any law school are going to spend a lot of time studying as they prepare for the demands of the profession. Notre Dame Law School provides a rigorous legal education, but one of the ways the Law School is different is that it's also a community. The warmth of the Notre Dame community comes through inside and outside the classroom as students compete together on moot court, cheer for the Fighting Irish sports teams, travel in Europe while participating in the London Law Program, or meet with faculty members over lunch in the Law School's living room, Eck Commons. The Law School community is tight-knit and friendly, encouraging camaraderie among students and faculty alike.
Attentive faculty (who know your name)
Notre Dame Law School's small class sizes and low student-faculty ratio ensure that our expert faculty are accessible to students. This setting provides students with opportunities for directed readings, research assistant positions, and mentoring from faculty.
Our faculty take pride in providing valuable mentorship to Notre Dame Lawyers, both during law school and after they enter the profession. Alumni frequently talk about how the Notre Dame Law faculty offer the very best of themselves to help students grow in mind, body, and spirit as they learn to be lawyers. The time and attention our faculty invest in our students contributes to Notre Dame Law School's unique sense of community.
"As professors, we have the privilege of watching students develop their legal skills in the classroom, but we also have a front-row seat as they enter a period of discernment regarding what they hope to do after graduation. It is an incredibly rewarding experience to provide our students with guidance on their paths to becoming lawyers."
– Veronica Root Martinez, Professor of Law and Robert & Marion Short Scholar
No class sections, no class rankings
We do not divide our student body into sections, and we do not rank students by GPA. These are two intentional ways that Notre Dame Law School fosters a sense of community where classmates know each other and learn together in a collegial environment.
Students at Notre Dame Law School also have many opportunities to learn beyond campus.
The Law School considers experiential learning – including opportunities at the Notre Dame Clinical Law Center as well as externships, skills courses, and immersion programs – to be a core part of a legal education. These programs complement the analytical training of the classroom by enabling law students to develop practical skills and explore potential career paths.
Notre Dame Law School recognizes that effective legal practice requires lawyers to have a global perspective and understand how legal issues may transcend borders. That’s why the Law School started the Notre Dame London Law Program in 1968 and, since then, added exchange programs at law schools in Chile, China, Ireland, Italy, and Switzerland.
Student orgs and student-run journals
Students have more opportunities to further their legal educations than just in the classroom.
Notre Dame Law School has more than 30 student organizations that provide opportunities for students to plan their own programming that delves into specific legal topics, bringing in top legal experts and alumni as guest speakers on a myriad of subjects. At the same time, students build community among classmates who share common interests.
The Law School's five student-run journals provide space to research and write on legal topics that match students' passions and interests.
Students are chosen for journals through a write-on competition at the end of their 1L year. Notre Dame Law School has a large number of journal seats for the size of our student body. That means more of our students are able to have the experience of working for a law journal.