Jones Law School named one of the top public service schools in U.S.

From Faulkner University:

The National Jurist announced that it is naming Faulkner University, Thomas Goode Jones School of Law (Faulkner Law) as one of the fifteen best law schools in the United States at preparing students for public service in government.  According to Jack Crittenden, Editor-In-Chief of The National Jurist, "We relied upon each school's employment data, curricula and standard of living in creating our list."

Faulkner is located in the capital of Alabama, just minutes from the State House, the Supreme Court and intermediate courts of appeals, and the chambers of several United States District Court and United States Court of Appeals judges. The School of Law effectively trains law students for careers in public service, preparing them both to engage critically with difficult legal and policy questions and to deal practically with the challenges of public service. All Faulkner Law students take Foundations of Law, a course that equips them to think critically about the relationships among ethics, principles, law, and policy. In addition, students may take Law & Public Policy, which trains them to merge legal analysis with policy analysis; Health Law, which exposes them to the increasingly-important field of health care policy; Law & Bioethics, Law & Christian Theology, Legislation, Law of Democracy, Land Planning; and other courses which equip graduates to go beyond the rudiments of legal analysis and practice. In addition, the School of Law's award-winning Advocacy Program produces advocates who are prepared at graduation to walk into trial and appellate courtrooms and excel, a skill that is highly-valued in many public service jobs.

Faulkner Law students continue their professional development with experiences that put theory to work.  Students can perform hands-on public service in two major ways while in law school.  They can participate in the Externship Program for academic credit or serve as an intern or clerk in a government office.

The Externship Program encourages and facilitates students' opportunities to work in governmental, public service and public interest careers.  Professor Jeff Baker, Director of the school's Externship Program described the program, "Throughout the school year and summer, our students work, for academic credit, in federal and state government law offices.  These include the United States Attorney, the Federal Public Defender, the United States Air Force, and Alabama's Department of Corrections, Board of Pardons and Paroles, Department of Education, Department of Public Health, Department of Industrial Relations, Department of Public Safety, Department of Human Resources, State Personnel Department, Department of Revenue, the Governor's Office on Disability, and the Governor's Legal and Finance Offices.  Our student externs also work in field placements at the U.S. District Court, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, and all levels of Alabama's trial and appellate courts. "

Allen Howell, Director of Career Services states, "Being named a best law school for public service is quite an accomplishment in our current economy.  The constriction of the private market has led to an increase in demand for government positions both at the federal and state level.  Additionally, many government sectors have seen employment reductions themselves due to shrinking budgets.  Yet, our law students have shown success in public service during their law school career and after they graduate."

One of the largest public service accomplishments for a second year student last year was being selected for the U.S. Department of Justice Summer program.  Howell notes, "Internships with the U.S. Department of Justice are very few and very selective.  The Department of Justice like many other public service employers is unique from the private sector.  They want law students and graduates with writing skills and academic credentials but many also want to see a demonstrated commitment to public service."

Graduates of the School of Law have shown a commitment to public service.  Nearly thirty percent of the graduating class of 2010 chose public service careers when they graduated.  Howell states, "The class of 2010 is illustrative of not only a commitment to public service but they also an example of the variety of fields and careers that are available to public service attorneys.  Graduates of the class of 2010 are now working with the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals, Alabama Department of Environmental Management, Alabama Department of Industrial Relations and the Alabama Department of Corrections. We have not one but two Judge Advocates (JAG's) in the class of 2010 despite the extremely low acceptance rate for those positions.  Additionally, the class of 2010 also includes graduates in the Alabama Public Service Commission, Montgomery Election Center, Alabama Republican House Caucus, the Legislative Department of the Alabama Attorney General's Office, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Alabama Education Association and with a United States Congressman in Virginia.  Nine graduates became prosecutors in four different states."

Says Dean Charles Nelson of this national recognition, "We hope that our focus on uncompromising excellence in advocacy, the pursuit of justice, and innovation in legal education will continuing to make Faulkner one of the nation's leaders in equipping students for effective leadership through public service.