Kentucky is known throughout the country for horse racing, bourbon, bluegrass music, and Kentucky Fried Chicken. But Kentucky also has a long legal tradition, including being home to some of the oldest law schools in the nation.
If you're thinking of attending law school in Kentucky, you've got three ABA-accredited schools to choose from. Two are ranked among the top 100 schools in the country. Each school has its merits, whether you are concerned about the cost of your legal education or the prestige of the school.
The following article provides a brief overview of each law school and some observations to help you choose the right program of study.
University of Louisville - Louis D. Brandeis School of Law
Brandeis School of Law focuses on practical legal education, with law clinics, moot court teams, skills competitions, and student-run law journals intended to provide ample opportunities for practical experience prior to graduation.
Brandeis also requires that students complete 30 hours of law-related public service in order to qualify for graduation. This fact may dissuade some, but for many, this may result in a wider range of opportunities to experience the practice of law prior to licensure.
Art lovers will appreciate the school's Andy Warhol portrait of its namesake and its copy of Auguste Rodin's iconic statue "The Thinker."
Tuition at Brandeis is on par with many public law schools, coming in at around $25,000 a year for Kentucky residents.
University of Kentucky J. David Rosenberg College of Law
UK Law is one of the oldest law schools in the nation, founded in 1908 with its roots in a program that started at Transylvania University in 1799.
The school's location, Lexington, isn't just the Horse Capital of the World. It is also a growing hub for business, which has increased demand for legal services in the area. For those interested in business, UK Law also offers a JD/MBA program. Like any dual degree program, JD/MBAs have their pros and cons. But it's worth considering if the business world is appealing to you.
The cost of attending UK Law is comparable to the tuition at Brandeis at around $26,000 a year for residents. But it is also the highest-ranked law school in the state, about 30 spots higher than Brandeis. In addition to the prestige the school holds on account of its rank, UK Law is also home to the Kentucky Law Journal, among the oldest student-run law review publications in the United States.
Northern Kentucky University - Chase College of Law
NKU Chase, located in Highland Heights, offers its J.D. program at a slightly lower price than other schools in the state — about $23,000 a year for residents.
Like Brandeis, NKU Chase requires that students complete 50 hours of pro bono service prior to graduation. The school has a number of programs that help facilitate the completion of this requirement, which may entail interviewing clients, conducting research for public interest lawyers, teaching at-risk youth about the law, providing income tax assistance to the indigent, and participating in legal aid clinics.
If you're interested in the intersection between law and technology but aren't sure you want to commit to three years of law school, NKU also offers an online Master of Legal Studies in Digital Law and Technology.
Get More Law School Advice
After choosing a school, you'll want to consider whether to focus on a particular area of law, which extracurricular programs to participate in, and how to best study for exams. At each crossroad, you'll find articles and links to helpful information at FindLaw for Law Students to help make informed decisions.