Juris Doctor COLLEGE OF LAW
WELCOME TO NASHVILLE
Nashville Images Courtesy of Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation
Belmont University calls Tennesseeâ€™s capital city its home. Nashville is a rare place that combines big-city charisma and small-town charm to create an enriching experience for Belmont students. Nashville holds a more recognizable nickname as â€œMusic Cityâ€? with performance halls, studios and clubs everywhere you turn. A vibrant city, Nashville is a major urban, government and not-for-profit center. Along with a robust legal community, it is also home to a variety of business industries, including printing and publishing, health care management, insurance, tourism, banking, advertising and media. Nashville is music, sports, culture, quiet parks and big business, and the people here greet you with a smile.
The Randall & Sadie Baskin Center is home to Belmont Law.
WELCOME TO BELMONT LAW In my professional experience, lawyers are a tremendous force for good. At Belmont Law, we believe lawyers have a special responsibility in American society. We value public service, and our goal is to produce leaders in the bar and in our community. We incorporate ethics, professionalism and integrity into everything we do. We believe law students become professionals on the day they enter law school rather than on the day they graduate. During my career as a lawyer, I have witnessed numerous changes in our profession. For one, law firms today expect new lawyers to “hit the ground running.” Consequently, the Belmont Law faculty of experienced teachers, scholars and practicing attorneys integrate traditional legal analysis and practical legal skills, with the goal of graduating practice-ready attorneys for today’s global market. Additionally, today it is more common for someone with a law degree to have multiple careers with different employers. A quality legal education is the foundation that provides the flexibility to pursue one’s dreams. At Belmont Law, we take seriously our obligation to help prepare our students to make the choices that will lead to a more productive and satisfying life. We hope you will take the opportunity to review our website and learn more. We also invite you to visit us in the vibrant city of Nashville. It would be my pleasure to meet with you personally to explore how Belmont Law can prepare you to become a successful attorney, or more generally, the many opportunities to serve others with a law degree. Hope to see you soon,
Alberto R. Gonzales Dean and Doyle Rogers Distinguished Professor of Law 1
“I chose Belmont because I could tell that the school genuinely cared about each student succeeding, which I’ve since learned to be an understatement. Being a newer, smaller law school, the faculty and administration are able to put a lot of time and effort into making sure the students will be successful when they leave. This not only helps the current students thrive, but helps to increase the standing of the school in the community. I’ve seen this firsthand when talking to attorneys who have only ever said great things about Belmont Law graduates. I love being a part of a school that is quickly becoming a well-known source of great attorneys in the state.”
“I chose Belmont based on the three Ps, each of which are intertwined with one another: place, possibilities and people. Belmont Law’s physical presence in Nashville offers the ideal exposure to both possibilities and people. Secondly, Belmont Law is a gateway to a variety of possibilities based on its robust academic offerings, outstanding facilities and top-notch administration and faculty from a variety of educational and practical backgrounds within the legal profession. Most importantly, it was the people associated with Belmont Law who were the determinative factors. Belmont Law’s administration and faculty did an excellent job throughout the application process by answering questions, providing support and making each PATRICK graduated from the University individual feel valued and wanted as an integral of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree member to the incoming class.” in Psychology. He currently serves as the President of Belmont Board of Advocates.
LARRY graduated from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, with a degree in Recreation and Leisure Services. Larry is a member of the Health Law Transactional Moot Court team.
THE ENTERING CLASS* IS REPRESENTED BY
*data as of August 7, 2017
“I chose Belmont Law because it couples academic rigor with stellar professors who not only have book smarts, but have had hands-on experience in their fields. Also, through internship opportunities and programming, Belmont pushes its students to make healthy connections in the legal field before they graduate. At Belmont, I’ve been provided the chance to become involved in the Black Law Student Association, the American Constitution Society, the Christian Legal Society and have volunteered for various clinics in Nashville that have offered a glimpse of how I can use my skills to assist others. I even chose to participate in Inn of Courts an extra year because of how much I enjoyed connecting with the incoming law students and the legal professionals in the Nashville community.”
SIMONE graduated from Southern Adventist University with a degree in Journalism. She currently serves as the President of the Black Law Students Association.
ALUMNI REFLECTIONS “I had a great experience at Belmont Law. As a student, I really appreciated the law school’s focus on connecting its students to the local legal community. For example, Belmont Law Review organizes a symposium for the authors of its upcoming publication. This symposium is a valuable resource to licensed attorneys and students—Tennessee attorneys receive free continuing legal education credit, and students have an opportunity to network and share their work. This type of experience, however, is not limited to the Law Review. Through its collaboration in legal clinics, bar associations and public speaking groups, the law school provides its students with opportunities to participate in and, more importantly, contribute to the legal community.”
Daniel Patten ASSOCIATE ATTORNEY AT WALLER LANSDEN DORTCH & DAVIS, LLP Class of 2014
“My first year at Belmont, I grew as a person and began to understand that being a law student was not simply recalling legal rules, but seeing how laws affect the masses. I volunteered and did pro bono work which granted me a different vantage point from which to view society. As an alumna, I hold dear the teachings of my classmates and professors that going far is not being the richest person in the room, but the one that makes every effort to uphold the values of an attorney with integrity, character and class.”
Shana Berkeley TENNCARE MEMBER SERVICES ELIGIBILITY APPEALS LITIGATION ATTORNEY DIVISION OF HEALTH CARE FINANCE & ADMINISTRATION Class of 2015
“Belmont Law prepared me in many ways for life as a corporate associate. Not only did the law school allow me access to great faculty and student mentors who provided valuable advice and resources, it also exposed me to a wide array of internship and externship opportunities that allowed me to learn about the role of a transactional attorney. Faculty and student mentors at Belmont suggested I use externships and internships as a way to explore a transactional practice. That advice led me to my externship with the Nashville Predators and internships at a local law firm and Bridgestone Americas. These opportunities provided me with valuable insight, and I was able to discover my love of transactional work.”
Pirjin Tayip CORPORATE ATTORNEY AT TAFT STETTINIUS & HOLLISTER LLP IN CINCINNATI, OH Class of 2016
“Belmont Law provided me not only with the legal knowledge needed to succeed but also how to practically apply that knowledge so that I was able to start my legal career with hundreds of hours of legal experience. While at Belmont, I had the privilege to travel around the country with Professor Charles Trost to numerous Uniform Law Commission meetings. I was able to apply my legal training to help craft new uniform laws that have since been adopted in various states. Belmont allowed me to get my hands dirty and actually participate in the discussion rather than simply reading a textbook and testing me on what I learned from the reading. I strongly advise anyone who not only wants a great education but who also wants a successful career to attend Belmont.”
Taylor Wilkins LAW CLERK TO THE HONORABLE FRANK G. CLEMENT JR. TENNESSEE COURT OF APPEALS Class of 2017
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT A hallmark of Belmont Lawâ€™s Career & Professional Development Office is our one-on-one approach to career development. Through individual meetings, mentoring opportunities and group programming, our office strives to equip students with the tools they need to navigate the job search process. This begins with the Attorney Mentor Program through our chapter of the American Inn of Court. At the very beginning of the first semester, each new law student is paired with a member of the local bar and given an opportunity to ask questions and learn from a practicing attorney on an ongoing basis. This is followed by professional development programming for first-year students, instruction in resume and cover letter writing, research techniques and interviewing practice. Students are able to meet employers on campus in informal settings before participating in formal on-campus interviews in their second year. Our assistance extends throughout all three years of law school and continues as Belmont alums seek advancement later in their careers.
HOW WE ASSIST CAREER ADVISING Our one-on-one advising is the best way for us to assist students as they begin investigating their career goals. We answer questions about the legal community and prepare students to apply and interview with employers.
JOB STRATEGIES As students begin applying for summer and full-time legal positions, the Career & Professional Development Office offers training and assistance. With up-to-date job postings and research tools, students are able to seek out work experiences that will aid them in their permanent job search.
INTERACTIVE WORKSHOPS Workshops are provided on resume construction, cover letter writing, interviewing, networking and professionalism. Additionally, class-specific programs are held for second- and third-year students as they continue to navigate the job search.
NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES Beginning with the Belmont College of Law American Inn of Court chapter that engages first year students, the Career & Professional Development Office encourages networking with members of the legal community through student organizations, presentations, local bar association gatherings and both formal and informal mentoring.
2-Year Bar Passage Rate
(overall for class of 2016)
(Class of 2015 & 2016/first-time test takers)
STUDENT ENGAGEMENT Belmont College of Law encourages students to get the most out of their law school experience. The College provides multiple opportunities for students to engage with each other and the community. Through the optional Peer Mentor Program, incoming 1L students are partnered with a 2L or 3L student which allows them to interact with upper level students, as well as provides a support system to help with the transition into law school. The mentors develop relationships with their mentees to provide them with a student perspective on academic, social and professional issues. Belmont Law also has 12 active student organizations that provide professional development opportunities as well as community service events for College of Law students. Students are encouraged to join a student organization to learn more about specific topics, network with community professionals and provide support to the Nashville community.
CURRICULUM Belmont Law’s curriculum integrates legal analysis, practical legal skills and professionalism in a tiered approach where each semester builds upon the prior semester. The unique aspect of the curriculum is the practicum required in each semester. Through practicum work, students become proficient in the practice of law. Students receive instruction in all aspects of the practice of law such as legal writing, legal research, client interviewing and counseling, litigation, negotiation and other specialized areas. Also, students must complete a rigorous writing requirement during their second or third year.
FIRST YEAR (FUNDAMENTAL YEAR) FALL SEMESTER
Civil Procedure I Contracts
Civil Procedure II
Constitutional Law I
Practicum – Legal Information & Communication I Torts
Practicum – Legal Information & Communication II
SECOND YEAR (EXPERTISE YEAR) FALL SEMESTER
Constitutional Law II
Criminal Constitutional Law
Wills & Trusts
THIRD YEAR (CAPSTONE YEAR) FALL SEMESTER Course
SPRING SEMESTER Course
Bar Refresher Course
Total Credits Required to Graduate: 88
*For a full list of practicum and elective options, please see insert.
Practicum* Total Credits
PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE The unique aspect of Belmont College of Law’s curriculum is the number of practical experience opportunities afforded to our students for credit. Through practical experiences, Belmont students become proficient in the actual practice of law to help prepare them for employment opportunities. Students can earn practical experience through practicum courses and field placements.
PRACTICUM COURSES Belmont students are required to take one practicum course each semester. This requirement allows students to put their legal knowledge into practice. Practicum courses are typically smaller classes (20 students or less) to allow students to dive into the practical aspects of law. Practicum courses can be taken in a variety of legal topics including alternative dispute resolution, appellate practice, business planning, client interviewing, counseling and communication, contract drafting, criminal procedure, entertainment law, estate planning, health law, law office management, medical malpractice, negotiation, pretrial litigation, products liability, real estate transactions and trial advocacy.
FIELD PLACEMENT PROGRAM The Field Placement Program allows students to apply the skills learned in the core curriculum to live client situations. Field placement students may work in a judge’s chambers, governmental agency, public interest organization or for in-house counsel under the direct supervision of a licensed attorney. Belmont students have completed field placements with over 70 different organizations including the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Nashville Predators, numerous federal and state judges, and various agencies, such as the Tennessee Department of Health and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
CONTINUING FIELD PLACEMENTS Belmont College of Law offers continuing field placements at the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office and the Tennessee Volunteer Lawyers & Professionals for the Arts, where each semester students work with these organizations and are exposed to the actual practice of law, while allowing them to apply the skills they have learned in the classroom.
Belmont University College of Law Class of 2016
ADMISSIONS An applicant to Belmont College of Law must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally-accredited institution and a satisfactory undergraduate record. A prospective student may apply and be admitted while undergraduate studies are in progress, provided the bachelor’s degree is completed prior to matriculation. Furthermore, an applicant must present a satisfactory score from the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). For information regarding the application process and procedures, please visit our website at belmont.edu/law.
CONTACT US Please contact the Belmont College of Law admissions staff listed below to schedule a visit, to observe a class or if you have any questions.
Ehren Green DIRECTOR OF ADMISSIONS email@example.com
Andy Matthews ASSOCIATE DEAN FOR STUDENT SERVICES firstname.lastname@example.org
Drew Ford RECRUITING COORDINATOR email@example.com
Abby Ford ADMISSIONS COORDINATOR firstname.lastname@example.org
Belmont University College of Law Mission Statement The mission of Belmont University College of Law is to prepare qualified students with an excellent understanding of the law that will equip them to become professional counselors, advocates and judges; researchers, teachers and philosophers of the law; entrepreneurs; and engaged citizens. Belmont University College of Law is committed to the Christian tradition. We believe that instilling the highest standards of personal and professional conduct is our ethical and communal responsibility. We seek to ensure that the knowledge and values that we transmit to our students serve the ends of justice.
College of Law 1900 Belmont Boulevard Nashville, TN 37212 615.460.8400 BELMONT.EDU/LAW
Belmont University College of Law is committed to the principle of equal opportunity for all applicants for admission without regard to race, color, veteran status, religion, national or ethnic origin, political affiliation, gender, sexual orientation, age, or disability in the administration of educational policies, admission policies or financial aid.
NUMBERS & FIGURES The Basics
Cost of Attendance
Type of School: Private Term: Semester Application Deadline: July 15, 2018 Application Fee: $50 Can first-year law students start in the spring or summer? No Does Belmont offer housing for law students? No
GPA and LSAT Scores Fall 2016 Cycle 551
# of Offers
# of Matrics
Loan Origination Fee
Room & Board
Tuition & Fees
Scholarships The College of Law offers merit-based scholarships to qualified entering students and awards range from 25 to 100 percent tuition remission. Every admitted applicant is automatically under scholarship consideration and there is no scholarship application process. The cumulative undergraduate GPA and LSAT score are the criteria used in the evaluation process.
Bar Pass Rate
Tuition & Fees Academic Year 2017–18 $41,760*
Loan Origination Fee (assessed only to students with educational loans): $1,100* Consolidated Graduate Student Fee (per semester): $500* Course Fee (per semester):
*Based on GPA and LSAT numbers, Belmont College of Law ranks 90 out of 204 ABA approved law schools.
Tuition for Resident & Non-Resident Students:
Books & Supplies
*Figure is subject to change.
Financial Aid Law students can borrow a maximum of $20,500 in Federal Direct Loans per academic year. Federal Direct PLUS loans are also available which can provide financing up to the total cost of attendance. Pell Grants are not available to law students.
Military Benefits Belmont University College of Law is committed to extend Yellow Ribbon Program funds to qualified veterans.
Belmont Law graduates from the two most recent graduating classes have posted an extremely high first-time bar pass rate of 91 percent when compared to the national pass rate for first-time takers, which is 70 percent. For the past three graduating classes, 88.4 percent have passed the bar exam. Alumni are members of the bar in Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.
Employment Numbers Belmont Law alumni from the Class of 2016 reported a 94 percent employment rate 10 months after graduation. Belmont Law alumni are finding success in all areas of the law and currently hold positions with firms, including: Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz; Bass Berry & Sims, PLC; Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP; the Nashville District Attorney’s Office and other state and federal entities, and in numerous State and Federal Judicial Clerkships. The Mission of Belmont University College of Law is to prepare qualified students with an excellent understanding of the law that will equip them to become professional counselors, advocates and judges; researchers, teachers and philosophers of the law; entrepreneurs; and engaged citizens. Belmont University College of Law is committed to the Christian tradition. We believe that instilling the highest standards of personal and professional conduct is our ethical and communal responsibility. We seek to ensure that the knowledge and values that we transmit to our students serve the ends of justice.
# of Applications
Academic Year 2017–18
Belmont College of Law is proud to offer three certificate programs for our students to choose to pursue during their law school careers. These programs touch on a few of the top industries in the Nashville area, as well as the expertise of our faculty. A Belmont Law student who graduates with a certificate is able to advertise to potential employers a set of knowledge and skills specific to a particular field of law.
Criminal Law Criminal Law is an exciting and important area of law in every jurisdiction. Students can take advantage of the resources and opportunities available at Belmont College of Law in this vital area through the College of Law’s Criminal Law certificate program. The program offers an array of courses including Trial Advocacy, Sentencing Law, Wrongful Convictions and indicates to prospective employers that a student has specialized knowledge of the criminal law field. Students obtaining a Criminal Law certificate will receive a notation on their transcript.
Entertainment & Music Business Law Students who wish to engage in this unique area of legal practice can benefit from the array of courses this program offers. Entertainment Law explores legal and business issues relevant to film, multimedia, publishing, radio, sport, television, theatre and visual arts. Music business, which comprises a large part of the certificate program, is a course of study pioneered at Belmont University and is a significant industry in Nashville. Students obtaining an Entertainment & Music Business Law certificate will receive a notation on their transcript.
Health care is one of Nashville’s leading industries, and students can take advantage of this industry strength through the College of Law’s Health Law certificate program. The program offers an array of courses such as Health Care Fraud and Abuse Regulation, and indicates to prospective employers that a student has specialized knowledge of the health care field. Students obtaining a Health Law certificate will receive a notation on their transcript.
PRACTICUM & ELECTIVE OPTIONS
PRACTICUM OPTIONS* Advanced Legal Research
Advanced Trial Advocacy
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Practical Issues in Criminal Law
Entertainment Law Practice
Applied Legal Ethics
Family Law Practice
Real Estate Transactions
Client Interviewing, Counseling & Communication
Law Office Management
Health Law Practice
ELECTIVE OPTIONS* Administrative Law
Global Health & Human Rights
Health Care Business & Finance
Board of Advocates
Health Care Fraud & Abuse Regulation
Payment Systems (Negotiable Instruments)
Conflict of Laws
Public International Law
International Business Transactions
Law & Economics
Separation of Powers
Law & Religion
Estate & Gift Taxation
State Constitutional Law
Local Government Law
Mass Media Law
White Collar Crimes
Federal Income Taxation
Mental Health Law
National Security Law
Wrongful Convictions: Reasons & Remedies
Please note: This is not an exhaustive list of practicum or elective options.
STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS One of the best ways to get involved at Belmont College of Law and in the Nashville legal community is to join one of Belmont Law’s student organizations. Currently, Belmont Law offers a variety of student organizations who are partnered with national organizations to meet a plethora of interests.
American Constitutional Society
The American Constitutional Society for Law and Policy is a group of students concerned about the pervasive conservative orthodoxy in American law and politics. They believe deeply in the importance of law as the mechanism that governs the relationships between and among the individuals and institutions that form our society, and they recognize the direct relationship between legal theory and the broader political debate about the kind of society in which we live.
The Federalist Society is a group of conservatives and libertarians interested in the current state of the legal order. It is founded on the principles that the state exists to preserve freedom, that the separation of governmental powers is central to our Constitution and that it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be. The Society seeks both to promote an awareness of these principles and to further their application through its activities.
Black Law Students Association
Health Law Student Association
The Black Law Student Association (BLSA) of Belmont University is open to students of all races. BLSA strives to reach out to the Belmont community through service work. BLSA’s main goal is to promote cultural awareness on campus through events and forums.
The Belmont Health Law Student Association is an association of Belmont Law students pursuing careers in any aspect of the field of health law. It is affiliated with the American Health Lawyers Association, a national association providing education and resources to students and practicing attorneys in the health law field.
The Christian Legal Society is an organization that exists to inspire, encourage and equip lawyers and law students, both individually and in community, to proclaim, love and serve Jesus Christ through the study and practice of law, the defense of religious freedom and the provision of legal assistance to the poor.
Criminal Law Society The Belmont Criminal Law Society will enable members entering the legal field to have a more extensive grasp of the criminal justice system which will provide the Nashville community and beyond with more effective criminal counsel, both prosecution and defense. The society allows like-minded students to come together, discuss with one another pressing legal issues affecting the criminal justice system and to associate with practicing attorneys and judges in the community.
Entertainment Law Society The Belmont University College of Law Entertainment Law Society aims to create a dialog between Belmont Law students and outside legal and entertainment professionals to foster an understanding of legal issues related to music, film, sports, technology and related fields.
Family Law Society The Belmont University College of Law Family Law Society supports the professional growth of law students by bringing together a group of law students interested in exploring, understanding and expanding the field of family law. The Family Law Society aims to connect with current practitioners in family law in order for members to gain a more practical understanding of family law issues and inform members of upcoming lectures, seminars and workshops related to family law.
Law & Entrepreneurship Society Belmont Law & Entrepreneurship Society (BLES) is a student-run organization connecting Belmont Law students to the local and national entrepreneurial community through programming, networking, leadership and clinical education. Our mission is to provide a forum for students to develop an understanding and appreciation of the connections between law and business.
Legal Aid Society The Belmont Legal Aid Society (LAS) enables Belmont Law students to serve their community by partnering with local members of our legal community as well as nonprofit and charitable organizations. Our students are committed to helping those without means find legal representation and assistance in times of trouble. All pro bono legal activities are conducted under the supervision of a licensed attorney. Our country was founded on the principle of equal justice for all, and today there are too many members of our community who cannot afford legal service and representation. Belmont LAS strives to mend this divide by partnering with local members of the legal community and nonprofit organizations to provide pro bono legal services and charitable assistance to those in need.
Women’s Law Student Organization The mission of the Women’s Law Student Organization (WLSO) is to promote professional development through access to a national network of employers, mentors and other students. We strive to further gender equality in the law, in legal education and in the legal profession. We are designed to help students succeed in all aspects of the law school experience and the legal profession. WLSO strives to create a community that will raise awareness of women’s issues and move toward the betterment of women in the legal profession. We also seek to provide a forum for students to enhance their Belmont Law experience.
Christian Legal Society