Boston University School of Law

Boston University Law


Boston University School of Law

765 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
(617) 353-3100

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TippingTheScales (2013): 36
U.S. News (2013): 29
AboveTheLaw (2013): 23




Academics & Programs: Boston University School of Law offers a breadth of curricula that is matched by few other schools anywhere in the country. Beyond the first-year curriculum (which includes a mandatory moot court program and a course in legislation), there’s a stunning array of courses and seminars. Clinical and externship programs galore “are fabulous and allow for a great deal of hands-on experience.” There are six journals, five concentrations, nine dual-degree programs, study abroad opportunities all over the globe, and a host of very cool special programs. Especially noteworthy is the Summer International Internship Program, which connects students with summer internships in other countries. Also, students here can count up to twelve credit hours in other graduate or professional schools at BU toward their law degrees.

The “friendly and open” administration at BU Law is “generally very receptive to students.” With the exception of a “few really terrible” professors, the “engaging and committed” faculty is “shockingly good.” By virtually all accounts, “the professors are unbelievable” here. “They are talented public speakers, so lectures are rarely boring.” “They are available to discuss class issues and career prospects, and they are happy to give general law school or personal advice.” “Several of my professors rank as the best teachers I have had at any level,” beams a 2L. “There is a strong focus on teaching and cultivating the next generation of lawyers at BU. While intimidating at the outset, there is nothing like feeling yourself grow personally and professionally as you progress in the JD program.”

Most students call the Career Development staff “stellar” and promise that they can “find you a summer job overnight if need be.” BU students looking for work can also avail themselves of “a close alumni network” locally and their school’s “excellent reputation” across the Northeast and all over the country. “BU’s reputation carries… throughout the country and has opened a lot of doors.”

Campus Life/Facilities: The facility here is “a big tower” “near downtown” that “provides great views of Boston.” “There are outlets at every seat and there is plenty of light in every classroom.” “The law library is well-stocked with resources for research.” Functionality aside, aesthetics leave much to be desired. Students call it an “imposing concrete monolith” that is “the worst example of 1960s architecture imaginable” and “more on par with a correctional institution than a place of higher learning.” The “cramped” classrooms are pretty uncomfortable and “never warm enough or cool enough.” “The elevator situation provides daily irritation.” While students freely admit that it’s not the greatest environment in which to spend three years, they point out that there are many, many other pluses. “I’d rather have a terrible tower and an amazing education than vice versa,” observes a 2L.

Students at BU Law describe themselves as “hardworking, smart,” and “pretty liberal” politically. A solid majority comes “straight out of undergrad.” Some students say the population is “a pretty good reflection of society overall, with a mix of students and not really an abnormal amount of quirky characters.” Other students tell us that BU is full of “socially awkward kids who were not popular in college or high school and are hoping that now is their time.” Much to the chagrin of many of these future attorneys, there is a grading curve here. It’s definitely not the harshest law school curve we’ve ever seen, but it does “maintain an edge of competitiveness, especially for those who are still massaging their damaged egos from being rejected by Harvard.” For the most part, though, “traditional law school competitiveness does not exist.” “I think students are ultimately just competing with themselves,” proposes a 3L.

Life outside of class at BU is “vibrant, accepting, and wonderful.” “There is a student organization for every interest,” with some “just having one meeting a semester with free pizza and not amounting to much more, while others are active getting speakers and events.” “Many students have tight social circles” and “things can be cliquish,” particularly for 1Ls. Nevertheless, students promise “a great social atmosphere,” especially if you like “alcohol-centered activities.” It’s a lot like “college 2.0,” really. Bar nights are common, and there are several other big social events on the calendar each year (including a popular 5K race) that “are all well-attended” but don’t feature alcohol. When that scene gets old, students here have all the culture and charm of Bean Town at their disposal.

* The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University.