The Appalachian School of Law (ASL) provides an exciting, challenging, and rewarding environment to pursue the Juris Doctorate degree. ASL is dedicated to education that produces graduates who are competent to practice law and who are committed to living up to the highest ethical ideals for which the legal profession stands.
This school is unique in its deep commitment to community service and leadership, which distinguishes it from virtually all of the other 200 law schools in the country. ASL students are required to volunteer 25 hours each semester on community service projects, ranging from dispute resolution training to humane society management, in a four-county area. Only 11 other law schools have similar mandatory programs.
The curriculum at ASL is structured to give students the skills and knowledge necessary to practice law. The first year curriculum includes the traditional courses required by most law schools. During the summer between the first and second years, each student is required to serve an externship with a judge or lawyer. The second year curriculum requires courses in the subject areas law students are expected to master. The third year curriculum provides additional required courses in critical subject areas combined with practicum courses in a wide array of subjects.
Students entering at the Appalachian School of Law must complete 90 semester hours and must complete the following courses prior to graduation: Business Associations; Civil Procedure I; Civil Procedure II; Constitutional Law I; Constitutional Law II; Contracts I; Contracts II; Criminal Law; Criminal Procedure; Dispute Resolution; Estates and Trusts; Evidence; Externship; Family Law; Introduction to Law; Legal Process I; Legal Process II; Payment Systems, two Practicum courses; Professional Responsibility; Property I; Property II; Secured Transactions, a Seminar; and Torts. In addition, third year students are required to take at least nine credit hours of Capstone Courses, including at least one State Practice Elective. Currently, no distance learning programs are offered but may be in the future.
In addition to providing the foundation knowledge and skills essential for taking the bar examination and beginning practice, the curriculum and co-curricular activities are designed to prepare students for leadership and service in the twenty-first century. Problem solving skills, ethical behavior, and professional responsibilities extend beyond the practice of law to all aspects of the community.
The Appalachian School of Law exists to provide opportunity for people from Appalachia and beyond to realize their dreams of practicing law and bettering their communities. Graduates go on to serve as legal counselors, advocates, judges, mediators, community leaders, and public officials. ASL offers a nationally recruited, diverse and well-qualified faculty, a rigorous program for the professional training of lawyers and a comprehensive law library. The program emphasizes professional responsibility, dispute resolution and practice skills. The ASL community is an exciting student-centered environment that emphasizes honesty, integrity, fairness and respect for others. ASL also emphasizes community service and staff and faculty development. Appalachian School of Law is a full participant in the community, serving as a resource for people, the bar, and other institutions of the region.