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Wisconsin Law Colleges with Degree Program Overviews

Jul 29, 2019

Research law programs in Wisconsin, which currently has two schools offering programs. Read an overview of degree programs, tuition info and program options for these schools and decide which program is right for you.

Essential Information

Wisconsin only has two law schools, but between these universities students can find Juris Doctor and Master of Laws degree options. Additionally, trained lawyers who would like to work in research or academia may pursue a Doctor of Juridicial Science. Certificate programs are also available as well as programs that combine a Juris Doctor with a master's degree, Ph.D. or certificate. Students may choose one of several law specialties, such as criminal law, environmental law, family law, sports law or international law. In addition, law students may be able to participate in legal clinics, study abroad opportunities, mock trials, internships or student law organizations. Law school applicants typically need to possess a bachelor's degree and submit Law School Admission Test (LSAT) scores.


Marquette University

The Marquette University Law School in Milwaukee is a part of the Association of American Law Schools. The school offers a Juris Doctor (JD) program that can include coursework, seminars, workshops and field experiences in specialty areas ranging from criminal and environmental law to family law, international law and taxation. Program applicants must have a bachelor's degree and acceptable scores on the LSAT.

Students who're interested in other disciplines can pursue a JD along with a master's degree in business, sports business, political science, international affairs or philosophy. The JD is also offered in conjunction with a Certificate in Alternate Dispute Resolution. Additionally, Marquette offers a graduate sports law program for lawyers who have a Bachelor of Laws or other comparable degree from a foreign law school. The 22-credit program can be completed in nine months and includes courses in such topics as amateur and professional sports law as well as a supervised research project.

Several extracurricular activities are also available to students. JD candidates can earn credits by participating in study abroad programs. Additionally, moot court opportunities give students a chance to gain practical training, and they may be able to join one of several student organizations related to their area of interest. Select law students might also be eligible for some merit scholarships.

University of Wisconsin - Madison

Individuals who want to earn JDs, certificates or advanced law degrees can consider the University of Wisconsin's campus in Madison. Courses for the JD program cover topics including constitutional law, contracts, law research, international law and legal writing. In the second and third years of study, students can begin to focus on an area of interest, such as criminal law, estate planning, real estate law or international law.

JD candidates can also complete certificate programs in these areas. Options in environmental law, Russian studies and consumer health advocacy are available as well. Several dual degrees can also be earned, including master's degree or PhDs in subjects ranging from public affairs and business to sociology and public health.

After earning their JD, students interested in teaching or research careers can pursue a Master of Laws. Curriculum for this 2-year program includes directed research rather than traditional classroom learning. The Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) program is also appropriate for those who want to work as law professors or researchers. The university's Master of Laws - Legal Institutions program is designed for foreign educated lawyers. Students who complete this 24-credit program may be eligible to take the bar exam in the U.S.

The University of Wisconsin Law School offers multiple resources to law students. Some of these include law clinics, international study opportunities, mock trials, internships and several student law organizations.

Career Requirements

Before program graduates can practice law in Wisconsin, they must apply to the Board of Bar Examiners (BBE). The BBE assesses each candidate's character, abilities and Wisconsin Bar Examination score to determine his or her eligibility for state licensure. To sit for the bar exam, applicants must first earn a law degree. Programs do not necessarily need to be accredited by the American Bar Association, though both of the profiled schools have ABA-approved law programs.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Law Degree Programs Offered Graduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)
Marquette University 4-year, private nonprofit; large city Juris Doctor,
Master of Laws in Sports Law
$20,340*
University of Wisconsin - Madison 4-year, public; midsize city Juris Doctor,
Master of Laws,
Doctor of Juridical Science
$12,010 in-state; $25,336 out-of-state*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

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