Minneapolis Area Law Schools
Students in the Minneapolis, MN, area who wish to attend law school have several public and private school options that offer Juris Doctor degree programs as well as specialized dual degree programs. This article gives an overview of 2 schools within 20 minutes of downtown. The table below compares vital information about each school, including enrollment and tuition.
- The University of Minnesota is a public school located just under 3 miles from downtown Minneapolis. The University of Minnesota Law School offers a JD program, joint and dual degree programs and a master's program for foreign lawyers.
- Mitchell Hamline School of Law in St. Paul, is a private not-for-profit school situated about 8 miles from downtown Minneapolis, offering part-time and full-time options for its JD as well as master's, dual-degree and certificate programs.
Comparison of Schools
Students interested in a law degree may find tuition and school size important factors in deciding which law school to attend. This table compares important school information for the schools discussed in this article.
|University of Minnesota||Mitchell Hamline School of Law|
|'School Type'||4-year, public||4-year, private not-for-profit|
|Total Enrollment (2017)||51,848*||1,095***|
|Campus Setting||Large city||Large city|
|Graduate Tuition and Fees||In-state: $18,232; out-of-state: $27,388 (2017-2018)*||$21,730 (2018-2019)***|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics, ***Mitchell Hamline School of Law
University of Minnesota
The University of Minnesota's law school offers a traditional Juris Doctor, a Master of Laws for foreign lawyers and several interdisciplinary dual degree programs in law and other areas. More than half of University of Minnesota Law School students participate in live-client clinical courses.
Juris Doctor (J.D.)
The full-time, 3-year law program includes a rigid first-year curriculum with requirements in constitutional law, civil procedure and legal writing. Second- and third-year students can choose concentrations and course electives in a variety of areas, such as health law and bioethics, human rights law, environmental law, labor and employment, and energy law.
Doctor of Juridicial Science (J.D.S.)
The Doctor of Juridical Science degree is a 24-credit program designed for advanced research and legal studies under the supervision of faculty members. This program culminates in a dissertation covering a specific area of the law of the student's choosing.
Master of Laws (LL.M.)
The Master of Laws program is a 1-year course of study designed for foreign lawyers who want to work in the U.S. or with American clients. Students can focus on one of several areas, including intellectual property, business law and human rights law. Each foreign student is paired with a second- or third-year U.S. law student mentor. Prospective students must have a law degree from another country and English language proficiency to apply.
Master of Science in Patent Law
Designed for those who want to leverage their scientific knowledge with expertise in patent law, this one-year professional master's degree program covers patent law, the science of patents and how to bring technology to the market.
Masters of Law (LL.M.) in Patent Law
This program is intended for students who have a technical degree and a JD, although a technical degree is not required for admission into this program. Full-time and part-time programs are offered.
Joint and Dual Degrees
Students interested in earning a law degree in conjunction with another graduate or professional degree might be interested in the University of Minnesota Law School's joint and dual degree programs. These programs are offered in conjunction with other schools at the university, such as the Carlson School of Management, the Hubert Humphrey School of Public Affairs and the Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
Mitchell/Hamline School of Law
Mitchell Hamline School of Law, located in St. Paul, Minnesota, is a top law school for students seeking a practical legal education. Mitchell Hamline offers traditional full- and part-time programs as well as the only on-campus/online law school program at an ABA-accredited law school.
Juris Doctor (J.D.)
Students pursuing the Juris Doctor can choose a full-time program that can be completed in six semesters or a part-time program that takes approximately four years to complete. Full-time students attend classes on weekdays, and part-time students attend classes on weekends. Students complete 83 credits and study subjects such as torts, civil procedure and international law.
Master of Laws (LL.M.)
This program for foreign lawyers allows each participant to design his or her own program to suit professional goals. Students take a required course in the American legal system and select from a variety of electives; they also can opt to specialize in such areas as international and comparative law, business law, intellectual property law and alternative dispute resolution.
Students who wish to earn a Juris Doctor and a master's degree can work toward both degrees at the same time with Mitchell Hamline School of Law's dual degree program. Students can earn degrees in writing, business administration, public administration and nonprofit management in conjunction with a J.D.
JD students can choose from several certificate options. These include certificates in conflict resolution, bank compliance, health care compliance and more.
Prospective law students in the Minneapolis area also might be interested in exploring programs at the School of Law at the University of St. Thomas. It's located just six miles from Minneapolis, across the river in St. Paul.