Thomas R. Kline School of Law

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Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law
Drexel University Kline School of Law.jpg
MottoScientia, Ars, Officium
Knowledge, Skill, Duty
Parent school Drexel University
Established2006;13 years ago (2006)
Parent endowment$722 million (2016) [1]
Dean Daniel M. Filler
Location Philadelphia, PA
USNWR ranking100th (2019) [2]

The Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law (previously the "Earle Mack School of Law") is the law school of Drexel University located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. [3] [4] The School of Law opened in the fall of 2006 and was the first new law school in Philadelphia in over thirty years, [5] and is the newest school within Drexel University. It offers Juris Doctor, LLM and Master of Legal Studies degrees and provides the opportunity for all students to take part in a cooperative education program. [6] [7] [8] [9] [10]

Drexel University Private research university in Pennsylvania, United States

Drexel University is a private research university with its main campus in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was founded in 1891 by Anthony J. Drexel, a financier and philanthropist. Founded as Drexel Institute of Art, Science, and Industry, it was renamed Drexel Institute of Technology in 1936, before assuming the name Drexel University in 1970.

Philadelphia Largest city in Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, known colloquially as Philly, is the largest city in the U.S. state and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the sixth-most populous U.S. city, with a 2018 census-estimated population of 1,584,138. Since 1854, the city has had the same geographic boundaries as Philadelphia County, the most populous county in Pennsylvania and the urban core of the eighth-largest U.S. metropolitan statistical area, with over 6 million residents as of 2017. Philadelphia is also the economic and cultural anchor of the greater Delaware Valley, located along the lower Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, within the Northeast megalopolis. The Delaware Valley's population of 7.2 million ranks it as the eighth-largest combined statistical area in the United States.

Pennsylvania U.S. state in the United States

Pennsylvania, officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a state located in the Northeastern, Great Lakes and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The Appalachian Mountains run through its middle. The Commonwealth is bordered by Delaware to the southeast, Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, Lake Erie and the Canadian province of Ontario to the northwest, New York to the north, and New Jersey to the east.



In 2005, Drexel University announced its plans to create a new law school adjacent to the Drexel University Main Campus W. W. Hagerty library in West Philadelphia. That same year Drexel received approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Education to start the school. [5] The decision to launch a law school with cooperative education in a city with five other law schools was based on a demand for graduates with immediate experience, with the president of Drexel University, Constantine Papadakis, saying that employers "like to hire a graduate and have them immediately be useful." [11] The School of Law joins Temple University, University of Pennsylvania, Villanova University, Rutgers University, and Widener University to become the sixth law school in the Delaware Valley. The School of Law is the first new law school to be opened by a doctoral university in a 25-year period nationwide. [12]

Campus of Drexel University

The Campus of Drexel University is divided into four sites in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania—the University City Campus, the Center City Hahnemann Campus, the Queen Lane College of Medicine Campus, and the Academy of Natural Sciences. A branch campus in California—the Drexel University Sacramento Campus–closed in 2015.

West Philadelphia Neighborhood of Philadelphia in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

West Philadelphia, nicknamed West Philly, is a section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Though there is no official definition of its boundaries, it is generally considered to reach from the western shore of the Schuylkill River, to City Avenue to the northwest, Cobbs Creek to the southwest, and the SEPTA Media/Elwyn Line to the south. An alternate definition includes all city land west of the Schuylkill; this would also include Southwest Philadelphia and its neighborhoods. The eastern side of West Philadelphia is also known as University City.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education is the executive department of the state charged with publicly funded preschool, K-12 and adult educational budgeting, management and guidelines. As the state education agency, its activities are directed by the governor appointed Pennsylvania's Secretary of Education. The agency is headquartered at 333 Market Street in Harrisburg. The Pennsylvania Department of Education oversees 500 public school districts of Pennsylvania, over 170 public charter schools (2019), Career and Technology Centers/Vocational Technical schools, 29 Intermediate Units, the education of youth in State Juvenile Correctional Institutions, and publicly funded preschools. In 2019, the Pennsylvania Department of Education employs approximately 500 persons.

The School of Law building during construction in 2006 DUCOLconstruction.jpg
The School of Law building during construction in 2006

The School of Law's inaugural class began classes on August 16, 2006. Due to a shortage of construction materials in 2006, caused in part by the need in the gulf coast due to Hurricane Katrina, construction on the building was delayed, resulting in classes being held on Drexel University's Main Campus and within the Jenkins Law Library and the auditorium of the National Constitution Center. [13] The first class was expected to be composed of 120 students; ultimately, the inaugural class consisted of 183 students with an incoming median GPA of 3.4 and a median LSAT score of 156. [14] [15] The newest admitted class, the class of 2014, consists of 147 students with an incoming GPA of 3.38 and a median LSAT score of 159. [16] On May 1, 2008, the Drexel University College of Law was renamed the Earle Mack School of Law in honor of Earle I. Mack, a Drexel University alumnus, after a donation of $15 million dollars. [17]

Hurricane Katrina Category 5 Atlantic hurricane in 2005

Hurricane Katrina was a Category 5 hurricane that made landfall on Florida and Louisiana in August 2005, causing catastrophic damage, particularly in the city of New Orleans and the surrounding areas. Subsequent flooding, caused largely as a result of fatal engineering flaws in the flood protection system known as levees around the city of New Orleans, precipitated most of the loss of lives. The storm was the third major hurricane of the record-breaking 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, as well as the fourth-most intense Atlantic hurricane on record to make landfall in the contiguous United States, behind only the 1935 Labor Day hurricane, Hurricane Camille in 1969, and Hurricane Michael in 2018.

National Constitution Center History museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The National Constitution Center is a nonprofit, nonpartisan institution devoted to the United States Constitution. On Independence Mall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the center is an interactive museum and a national town hall for constitutional dialogue, hosting government leaders, journalists, scholars, and celebrities for public discussions. The center offers civic learning resources onsite and online. It does not house the original Constitution, which is stored at the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C.

Law School Admission Test

The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is a half-day standardized test administered six times each year at designated testing centers throughout the world. The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) administers the LSAT for prospective law school candidates. It is designed to assess reading comprehension as well as logical and verbal reasoning proficiency. The test is an integral part of the law school admission process in the United States, Canada, the University of Melbourne, Australia, and a growing number of other countries.

In 2013, the school's name was changed from Earle Mack School of Law to Drexel University School of Law to create new fund-raising opportunities by opening the naming rights. [18]

In 2014, it received a $50 million gift from Thomas R. Kline, a trial lawyer in Philadelphia, and was renamed after him. [19] The gift, which was the single largest in Drexel University's history and the fifth largest received by a law school, was designated for the support of scholarship and to enhance the school's Trial Advocacy Program. [10] The gift includes the conveyance of an historic building designed by Horace Trumbauer. Thomas R. Kline Institute of Trial Advocacy will move into the building and be used for courtroom simulations, Continuing Legal Education (CLE) programs, and development of the Master of Laws (LLM) program. [10]


The school offers Juris Doctor, LLM and Master of Legal Studies degrees, as well as joint-degree programs for those pursuing a degree through Drexel University's LeBow College of Business, School of Public Health, Department of Psychology and Center for Public Policy. [6] [7] [8] [20] It received provisional accreditation from the American Bar Association in February 2008 enabling the first graduating class, 2009, to take the bar exam upon graduation. [21] The school offers optional concentrations in business and entrepreneurship law, criminal law, health law, and intellectual property law and as of 2009 has 49 full and part-time faculty members. [12] [22] The School of Law is the first to have enrolled all of its students in the Philadelphia Bar Association's Young Lawyers Section. [23] [24] The students also have automatic membership to the Jenkins Law Library. [25] In addition to admittance to the Law Library students also publish a Law Review, Drexel Law Review, which is published semiannually. [26] In August 2011, after three years of being provisionally accredited, the American Bar Association granted the School of Law full accreditation. [27]

Juris Doctor graduate-entry professional degree in law

The Juris Doctor degree, also known as the Doctor of Jurisprudence degree, is a graduate-entry professional degree in law and one of several Doctor of Law degrees. The Juris Doctor is earned by completing law school in Australia, Canada, the United States, and some other common law countries. It has the academic standing of a professional doctorate in the United States, a master's degree in Australia, and a second-entry, baccalaureate degree in Canada.

A bar examination, or bar exam, is the examination which is administered by a jurisdiction's bar association that a lawyer needs to pass before being admitted to the bar of that jurisdiction.

Jenkins Law Library library

Jenkins Law Library is a membership library, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, serving the local legal community.

As of 2013, the school has 75 full and part-time faculty members. [28]

Cooperative education

The front glass panels of the School of Law building Facade.DUCoL.jpg
The front glass panels of the School of Law building

Like Drexel University's cooperative education program, the School of Law offers cooperative education for its students. The School of Law is the second law school in the country to have a co-op program for law students, the first being Northeastern University. [11] The first co-op cycle for the school started in September 2007 and over ninety area corporations, law offices, judiciary positions, non-profit organizations, and government offices offered internship positions. [29] [30] [31]

During their first year at school students concentrate on basics such as legal writing and contracts before starting their first six-month co-op cycle. [32] In order to be eligible to participate in the program students must complete their first year with a minimum GPA and satisfy any job orientation that is required. While on co-op students are required to work at least 20 hours a week at their position and take an additional 3 credit hours in either a class or an approved academic program. [33]

Beginning with the class that enrolled in 2014, all students are required to complete at least one co-op placement or a clinical placement in addition to providing a minimum of 50 hours of pro bono service. [34]


From 2006–2011 the School of Law was "unranked" on the U.S. News & World Report as provisionally accredited law schools cannot be ranked. [35] On the 2020 list of "Best Law Schools" by the U.S. News & World Report the School of Law was ranked 100 out of 201 schools. The law school's Trial Advocacy program was ranked 11th; the Health Law program was ranked 23rd, the Clinical Training program was ranked 40th and the Legal Writing program was ranked 14th. [36] In July 2013, the School of Law had an 81.9% Pennsylvania Bar Examination passage rate for 1st time test takers. [37] In July 2014, the School of Law had an 87.5% Pennsylvania Bar Examination passage rate for 1st time test takers. [38]

Career Planning


According to Drexel's official 2018 ABA-required disclosures, 73.6% of the Class of 2018 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation. [39] The school was scored among the top 25 law schools in the U.S. for job outcomes, based on employment outcomes for the Class of 2016 by Law School Transparency. [40] The National Law Journal ranked the school 30th in the U.S. for its employment outcomes, based on its placements for graduates in the Class of 2016. [41]

ABA Employment Summary for 2018 Graduates [42]
Employment StatusPercentage
Employed - Bar Passage Required
Employed - J.D. Advantage
Employed - Professional Position
Employed - Non-Professional Position
Employed - Undeterminable
Pursuing Graduate Degree Full Time
Unemployed - Start Date Deferred
Unemployed - Not Seeking
Unemployed - Seeking
Employment Status Unknown
Total of 129 Graduates


The total cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) at Drexel for the 2014–2015 academic year is $62,842. [43] The website Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $234,910. [44] Based on cost of attendance and financial aid data (that the law school is required by the American Bar Association to disclose to prospective students), the average accumulated debt for students who graduated in 2013 was $98,820. [28]


In 2005, the Philadelphia Planning Commission approved Drexel's then estimated $13 million temporary law school. [45] Construction on the temporary law school building began in the fall of 2006 and was completed during the winter term. The $14 million building opened for classes on January 8, 2007. [13]

The 65,000-square-foot (6,000 m2) complex features a moot courtroom, a two-floor library, a two-story atrium for meetings and casual conversation, faculty/staff offices, and several rooms available for students to meet and work. The building also shares Drexel's campus-wide wireless Internet access. [46]

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Coordinates: 39°57′19″N75°11′25″W / 39.9554°N 75.1904°W / 39.9554; -75.1904