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  School of Law–Camden 2009–2011 Message from the Dean  

Message from the Dean

Dear Prospective Student:

Thank you for your interest in Rutgers School of Law–Camden. There is a shared commitment here on the part of our faculty, students, and alumni to provide you with a first-rate learning experience within a mutually supportive community. At Rutgers–Camden, we are constantly changing, growing, and improving, as evidenced most recently by our decision to construct a new law school building that was completed in 2009.


As you learn more about us, you will discover our unique strengths:


Our faculty is committed to scholarship and teaching. We have built an extraordinary group of scholars, educated at the nation's leading universities and law schools, whose influence on public policy and academic issues is nationally recognized. These scholars also bring an unparalleled devotion to teaching and a shared goal of enabling students to succeed.


Our law professors are recognized internationally in fields as diverse as state constitutional law, health law, international law, criminal law, admiralty, civil procedure, and women and family law. The productivity and influence of the Rutgers faculty are well recognized throughout the legal community. A recent study, based on a survey of leading scholars at the top U.S. law schools, ranked our faculty among the top 20 percent in the country. The law school has the highest percentage of faculty in the entire Rutgers University system with the title of distinguished professor, the university's highest recognition of its most prominent scholars and teachers.


Faculty members also serve as consultants and reporters for the American Bar Association, American Law Institute, federal and state commissions, and on area counsels. The full-time faculty of 40 is assisted by five full-time writing professors, approximately 60 adjunct professors, and six clinical professors, bringing to the classroom a wide range of experience from the judiciary, government, and private practice.


Many of our full-time faculty members also hold advanced degrees in a wide range of academic disciplines. The law school's faculty is also enhanced by scholars from other schools within Rutgers University, one of the nation's preeminent public research universities. Through affiliations with other Rutgers units, as well as with the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, law students have the opportunity to take graduate courses toward additional degrees in business, medicine, social work, and public policy.


Our talented student body is engaged in the law school community and the wider world. Recent entering classes continue to be the strongest in the law school's history in terms of LSAT and GPA scores. As importantly, the quality of the student body as a whole has risen, and the academic qualifications of a student in the middle of the class today rank in the top 15 percent of all law students in the country.


Total enrollment at the law school is typically between 750 and 800 students. About 600 students attend full time and 175 students attend part time. The student body is diverse in every respect. More than 250 undergraduate and nine international institutions are represented at the law school. Students are drawn from 34 states, the District of Columbia, and four foreign countries. Approximately 20 percent of the total enrollment are students of color and nearly 40 percent are women.


Students come to Rutgers with a focus on academic excellence. However, they also recognize their obligation as future lawyers to work in service to the public. Almost all of the students participate in our award-winning Pro Bono Program and work to increase the delivery of legal services to the community, with about 40 percent receiving certificates at graduation for working at least three semesters in the program. They represent clients in the community on bankruptcy, domestic violence, tax, and other legal outreach programs and participate as mediators in the Community Dispute Resolution Committee of Camden, as well as doing research for important public interest organizations.


The curriculum provides a strong foundation in law and anticipates the needs of lawyers in the future. Rutgers offers an unusually comprehensive array of courses, ranging from the foundational first-year courses to innovative offerings in emerging areas of the law such as intellectual property, electronic commerce, health care, international human rights, and media policy. Given our favorable faculty-student ratio, the majority of classes have fewer than 30 students. After the first year, students choose from more than 100 courses and seminars. Some will select a broad range of courses, while others may take sequences, specializing in areas such as business, family law, criminal law or health law, intellectual property, or litigation and advocacy.


The curriculum and approach to legal education prepares students to assume significant responsibilities and take on major assignments as they prepare to enter the practice of law. The curriculum strongly emphasizes writing skills. First-year students participate in a yearlong course in our highly nationally ranked legal research, writing, and analysis courses taught by full-time writing faculty. Small class size ensures that students receive individual attention from the faculty and upper-level teaching assistants. The law school's unique lawyering program is designed to enable students to develop skills that are increasingly important in today's legal environment, including problem solving, counseling, and advocacy, as well as an understanding of the need and capacity for self-learning. The lawyering program is complemented by a simulation program in which students are placed in the role of lawyers and engage in activities such as interviewing, counseling, negotiating, and drafting.


An extensive clinical and trial advocacy program also enables students to develop both lawyering and advocacy skills. Prominent practicing lawyers provide their insights and work with students to develop their trial advocacy skills. Many students, eager to put their lawyering skills to practical use, participate in one of our many clinical programs. Some students assist clients in our elder law clinic on matters such as social security and landlord-tenant disputes. Others work on pro bono bankruptcy or domestic violence projects. Our Children's Justice Clinic and our externship programs afford third-year students the opportunity to work in judicial chambers, public agencies, and public interest organizations. Students in small business counseling advise clients on legal issues pertaining to starting new businesses. Students also may serve as mediators in the alternative dispute resolution program of the local municipal courts.


Our graduates are offered challenging and rewarding positions. As a direct result of the quality of legal education at Rutgers, despite the difficult economic market, for the last five years the school has averaged an employment rate of over 90 percent in the legal profession shortly after graduation. One measure of a school's excellence is the number of its graduates selected by judges to serve as their law clerks. Rutgers places more than four times the national average and is second in the nation in placing its graduates in highly desirable state and federal judicial clerkships.


The law school's more than 9,000 alumni are leading members of the bench and bar in the public and private sectors. Distinguished alumni include two governors of the state of New Jersey, a former U.S. ambassador, members of Congress and state legislatures, federal and state judges, corporate counsel and executives at Fortune 500 companies, and partners in outstanding large and small firms throughout the nation.


A bright future is built on the law school's current strengths. The new law school building was completed in 2009. This $38-million facility, which connects with the older renovated law school complex, is also a critical part of the state and university's joint effort to redevelop economically the city of Camden through the creation of an expanded University District that will also include additional graduate and professional student housing.


The new building contains state-of-the-art classrooms, courtrooms, and offices as well as expanded space for student organizations and social life. It enables Rutgers to more effectively serve the community through its clinics and centers. The new building also allows Rutgers to be one of the most technologically advanced law schools in the country.


The decision to construct a new facility is a strong commitment on the part of the State of New Jersey, Rutgers University, and law school alumni to the law school's vision and future. It demonstrates support and confidence in the law school community, including faculty, students, and administrators as they work together to make Rutgers–Camden an even more vibrant institution.


I invite you to share in the bright future that is ahead of us here at Rutgers–Camden, and I welcome your questions, comments, and thoughts about our school. You may obtain admissions information by contacting Camille S. Andrews, dean of enrollment, or the Office of Admissions at 800-466-7561.


Rayman L. Solomon, Dean

For additional information, contact RU-info at 732-445-info (4636) or
Comments and corrections to: Campus Information Services.

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