Getting into the University of Utah Law School

University of Utah Law School Overview

Established in 1913, the University of Utah Law School (S.J. Quinney College of Law) is the oldest law school in the state. In fact, it was the only law school in Utah until the 1970s. The law school is about ten minutes away from downtown Salt Lake City, which is the hub of local, state, and federal governmental offices.

The S.J. Quinney College of Law is respected across the nation for its strategic location, great academic reputation, small student population, excellent faculty, low student-to-faculty ratio of 4.5:1, and innovative curriculum.

The law school provides an animated learning environment for students, infused with both scholarly expertise and innovative projects on today’s critical issues. These issues include climate change, health justice, and family law, as well as conflict and security. The curriculum also focuses on matters pertaining to technology commercialization, addiction, conservation, victims’ rights, innocence, and global mediation.

The College of Law’s other initiatives includes cross-disciplinary training, leadership, global legal education, and smart technology. Its faculty and alumni include eminent scholars and judges, such as former professor Judge Michael McConnel of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeal, who currently serves on the federal court.

The S.J. Quinney College of Law also hosts the well-known William H. Leary lecture series. Mr. Leary served the law school for 30 years as its second dean.

The College of Law has an innovative physical learning environment, thanks to the 155,000-square-foot construction approved by the 2010 Utah Legislature.  The new building replaced the law school’s old facility that it had occupied for more than five decades.

The new facility will help to dramatically improve the College of Law’s capacity to train 21st-century lawyers and leaders. It has already enhanced the law school’s ability to offer a leading-edge scholarship as well as to provide valuable service to the community.

Besides a traditional J.D. program, the University of Utah Law School also offers dual programs such as:

  • D./M.B.A. through the David Eccles School of Business
  • D./M.P.A. (Master of Public Administration) through the Political Science Department
  • D./M.S.W. (Master of Social Work) through the College of Social Work

The college also has a parallel J.D. program where students can earn credit toward their J.D. by pursuing courses in other academic departments. Each entering class has about 120 students, with at least 60% fluent in a second language.

Students at Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law can gain legal experience through a vast selection of clinics, including:

  • The New Ventures Clinic
  • LGBT Research and Advocacy Clinic
  • Elder Law Clinic

The law school boasts at least five legal journals, including the Journal of Law and Family Studies, the Utah Law Review, as well as the Journal of Land, Resource, and Environmental Law.

Students at the University of Utah Law School may participate in about 20 student organizations. Among these is the Jackie Chiles Law Society, which explores the relationship between popular culture and the law. Another popular organization is the Latter-day Saints Law Students Association, which focuses on the connection between religion and the law.

University of Utah Law School Rankings

According to the U.S. News and World Report 2021 rankings, the S.J. Quinney College of Law is the 45th best law school in the United States.

According to the law school’s dean, Bob Adler, this favorable ranking reflects the S.J. Quinney College of Law’s great success in providing superior training by a stellar faculty, ensuring that its graduates will have a successful legal career.

The law school’s increasingly high bar passage rates and job placements, compared to other law schools, is a manifestation of this top-notch faculty and cutting-edge training.

The U.S. News and World Report also ranks the S.J. Quinney College of Law as the 8th best environmental law program in the United States, an honor attributed to its flagship Wallace Stegner Center for Land, Resources, and the Environment. According to Robert Keter, director of the Wallace Stegner Center, the ranking reflects the law schools’ dedication and the productivity of its well-grounded faculty.

University of Utah Law School Admissions

Admissions Statistics 2020 2017
Acceptance Rate 47.5% 47.1%
Median LSAT Score 159 157
LSAT Score (25th-75th percentile) 157-161 154-160
Median GPA 3.56 3.56
GPA Range (25th-75th percentile) 3.32-3.72 3.36-3.76

What is The University of Utah Law School Acceptance Rate?

The S.J. Quinney College of Law is a competitive law school with a 48% acceptance rate. The incoming class of 2018, for example, had 751 applicants, of which the law school accepted 357 applications, and 97 enrolled as first-year students.

The Utah law school accepts candidates with a median LSAT score of 158. Applicants should also have a median undergraduate GPA of 3.56 to get a chance to study at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law.

As an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action educator, S.J. Quinney College of Law encourages all interested candidates to apply, including veterans, minorities, and those with disabilities.

Applications Offers Matriculated
Class of 2024 630 297 (47.14%) 92 (14.6%)
  25% Median 75%
GPA 3.36 3.57 3.76
LSAT 154 158 160

University of Utah Law School LSAT Percentiles

75th percentile 160
50th percentile 158
25th percentile 157

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2022 Entering Class Profile

Number of Students 104
 LSAT Score 160
Undergraduate GPA 3.60
% Women 53
% Students of Color 15

What Is The Tuition For the University of Utah Law School?

In-State Resident Non-Resident
Full Time $29,246 $38,180
Part-Time N/A N/A

What Are The Living Expenses At the University of Utah Law School?

On-Campus $20,262
Off-Campus $20,046

What Are The Housing Options At the University of Utah Law School?

On-Campus yes
Off-Campus Yes

Bar Passage Rates At S.J. Quinney College of Law

Reporting 85.3%
First Time Takers 122
S.J. Quinney College of Law Average 91.4%
Utah State Average 86.8%
National Average 79.64%

S.J. Quinney College of Law Application Deadlines

For the S.J. Quinney College of Law to consider a candidate’s application, the candidate must meet the application requirements then submit the application form and the application fee by the deadline.

The College of Law’s J.D. program has three application deadlines:

  • Early Decision application deadline: October 20
  • Regular admission process recommended application deadline: January 15
  • Regular admission process final application deadline: March 10

When will the S.J. Quinney College of Law application materials be available?

The application materials for the University of Utah Law School are normally available beginning September 1 on their website.

When does S.J. Quinney College of Law begin accepting applications?

Candidates may start submitting their S.J. Quinney College of Law applications as early as September 1.

How are applications to the S.J. Quinney College of Law submitted?

Candidates should submit their applications to the S.J. Quinney College of Law through the Law Admission Council (LSAC) website. Applications submitted to LSAC for S.J. Quinney College of law are normally considered to be post-marked on the day the applicants electronically submit them.

Does S.J. Quinney College of Law have an “early admission” or an “early decision” process?

S.J. Quinney College has an Early Decision Program (EDP), which targets those who have picked this law school as their first choice.

Once a prospective student has researched various law schools and determined that the S.J. Quinney College of Law tops the list of their preferred laws schools, they should apply through the EDP. Since the EDP application is a binding process, an applicant must commit to enrolling at the law school if accepted.

How much is the application fee and when is the deadline?

Application Fee $60
Early Decision Deadline October 20
Regular Decision Deadline March 10

Employment After Graduating From the S.J. Quinney College of Law

Employment Statistics 2020 2017
Graduates employed at graduation: 57.3% 39.8%
Graduates employed 10 months after graduation: 88.9% 78.0%


Median Salary Private Sector $84,000
Median Salary Public Sector $51,815

The University of Utah boasts an impressive employment rate for its graduates. The S.J. Quinney College of Law’s career development office offers career-related skills training and education to its students and alumni.

The main goal for this education is to help the students and graduates identify and achieve their specific goals. The career development office offers students and alumni one-on-one guidance for resume and cover letter review and job search strategies.

Career development specialists also conduct mock interviews, career fairs, classroom presentations, and other activities that help improve the law students’ chances of getting employment. About 89% of the Utah Law School’s graduates get employment offers within ten months of graduating. It ranks 19th in terms of graduates that have jobs ten months after graduation.

The class of 2019 had an employment rate of 91%, and at least 85% of students found employment within nine months after graduation.

What’s more, about 57.3% of the College of Law graduates have found employment by the day of graduation. The College of Law also connects students and employers through job postings and on-campus recruiting during the academic year.

The University of Utah also boasts strong alumni and mentor networks, which act as a resource for graduates looking for jobs in specific practice areas, regions, or organizations.

S.J. Quinney College of Law graduates find employment after completing their studies as follows:

  • Law Firms: 44%
  • Business: 17%
  • Government: 15%
  • Public Interest: 11%
  • Academia: 3%