In a Nutshell: Students from a broad range of backgrounds choose the University of Akron School of Law to pursue their legal education. The school offers affordable tuition, generous scholarships, and a flexible course schedule that can accommodate nontraditional students and those who pursue law after earning an undergraduate degree. The University of Akron School of Law is a proven training ground for effective legal professionals and has a job placement track record that consistently exceeds the national average.
There’s no one right time to pursue a career in law. Some may start their legal education immediately after completing an undergraduate degree, while others pursue it years or even decades later.
But no matter when the journey begins, selecting the right law school is about balancing competing priorities and ensuring the desired outcome. The University of Akron School of Law provides effective legal training in a flexible learning environment that leads to fulfilling, high-paying jobs for students of all ages and walks of life.
The law school is located in the historic city of Akron, Ohio, just south of Cleveland. It offers a well-rounded legal education with nationally ranked programs in intellectual property law and trial advocacy, and it offers part-time studies.
The city of Akron is large enough to include all the amenities of a big city but small enough so that courthouses and many law offices are within walking distance of campus.
Students learn through a comprehensive advocacy curriculum, including a Summer Trial Academy that offers real courtroom experience. A Reentry Clinic prepares the advocacy-minded to assist individuals emerging from incarceration, while a Trademark Clinic and a Small Business/Entrepreneur Clinic afford opportunities for business-inclined students.
Akron Law’s bar exam passage rate is consistently among the highest in Ohio for both public and private universities. The institution also maintains a job placement rate of more than 90%, well above the national average, and graduates are highly likely to enter their chosen career path.
“Students who attend Akron Law get a good education with lots of opportunities,” said Barbara C. DiGiacomo, Esq., Associate Dean, Administration and Enrollment Management. “We’re a school that ensures access to justice for people across the board.”
A Practical and Affordable Entry to the Legal Profession
An Akron Law education is surprisingly affordable. Similar opportunities at other schools typically come with a much higher price tag.
The city of Akron offers a much lower cost of living, while students in larger markets may struggle to make ends meet.
“Students can come here and afford an apartment,” DiGiacomo said. “Here, the cost of living is probably a third or maybe even a quarter of what it is in a place like New York, Boston, or San Francisco.”
Beyond those quality-of-life concerns, tuition costs less than $25,000 a year for both in-state and out-of-state students. That makes Akron Law an attractive investment.
But few students pay that amount upfront because the school offers broad access to scholarships. Every student admitted to the school’s juris doctor (J.D.) program is automatically considered for a scholarship, and the awards automatically renew each year for students in good academic standing.
During the past few years, about 90% of incoming students have received scholarships ranging from $500 to full tuition for the most highly credentialed individuals. Good academic standing is currently defined as a 2.3 GPA, and there’s no minimum GPA or class percentile ranking required.
The school awards a wide range of upper-division scholarships based on merit, need, or other special factors. That funding, made possible by alumni and other friends of the school, encourages students with demonstrated needs and goals to complete their coursework and get hired.
“We’re a great value for anyone interested in becoming a lawyer, DiGiacomo said.
Committed to Diversity and Inclusiveness
Akron Law promotes diversity in the legal profession through its recruitment and admissions policies, as well as through community involvement. About 20% of Akron Law students are minorities. And an assistant dean for diversity and inclusion helps new students acclimate to Akron and the university.
Akron Law partners with the Law School Admissions Council’s Prelaw Undergraduate Scholars (PLUS) program to reach undergraduate minority students interested in exploring a legal education. The PLUS program assists students who are underrepresented in the legal profession with the application process and beyond.
“Some of our PLUS program alumni are now graduating and applying to law school, and they’ve gotten into Akron Law and other law schools across the country,” DiGiacomo said.
The commitment to inclusion continues with nontraditional students who need extra time to complete their undergraduate work or those who have family or work obligations.
For example, students may opt for a traditional academic start at the beginning of the fall semester in August. They may also enjoy a spring semester starting in January and summer start in May.
Evening classes are available for students who find accessing traditional daytime classes a challenge. The school also offers a part-time program with a blended online option for part-time evening students. The Blended Online J.D. Program allows part-time evening students, in the first two years of their four-year program, to attend classes in person just two nights per week and complete the rest of their coursework online.
Many full-time students attend evening classes, and DiGiacomo said that classrooms are a blend of traditional and nontraditional students — including those in their 60s.
“It’s a great dynamic when those students combine in the classroom,” she said. “We’ve even had moms and dads do the part-time program during the day. When their kids are old enough and in school, they’re here at law school doing their classes.”
Students Gain a Competitive Edge for Job Placement
The University of Akron School of Law welcomes everyone, no matter where students come from, how old they are, what resources they have, or when they choose to attend class. Its students are typically results-oriented.
Akron Law shines in that aspect, too, with graduates enjoying better than average job placement and competitive compensation. The common metric for measuring job placement is to look at employment rates 10 months after graduation. Akron Law reports that 90% of its graduates typically find employment — a much higher rate than that of the national average.
Graduates also earn an annual average salary of $70,000 in the private sector and $56,000 in government and other public roles. It helps that Akron Law stands behind its students from the beginning and works to prepare them for the responsibilities ahead.
“One of the things that changed from the time I went to law school is that employers are really looking for students who have gotten a lot of hands-on experience and can hit the ground running,” DiGiacomo said.
Akron Law provides that through an Office of Career Services housed in the law school building. The office helps students with résumés, cover letters, interviewing skills, and it facilitates campus visits by local attorneys. Staff members also meet directly with attorneys, judges, and other employers to promote the skills and accomplishments of Akron Law graduates.
The results add up to a positive impact on legal services employment that exceeds Akron Law’s reach. In other words, Akron Law is a small law school that provides an outsize ROI.
“The return on investment here at Akron Law is very good,” DiGiacomo said. “We do a good job of providing what employers are looking for.”