Fordham University School of Law
Academics & Programs: Fordham University School of Law “in the heart of New York City” takes “a seriously practical approach” to the study of law, and “The breadth of the programs” here is paralleled at few other places. Students laud the excellent and thorough legal writing program. Fordham Law also does a really good job in taking advantage of its location “through courses involving fieldwork,” externships, judicial placements, and various extracurricular events. “A large selection of clinics” includes some very unique opportunities in international law, and Fordham “will fund students’ trips abroad to engage in human rights work.” There are several more meat-and-potatoes offerings, such as family law, federal litigation, and housing rights as well. As befits its Jesuit heritage, Fordham is also very big on public interest law. “A crackerjack team of public interest minds” is willing and able to help students start service projects or find meaningful ways to make the world a better place.
While a few professors are “awful beyond belief,” the faculty is mostly filled with “a cross section of bright and charismatic teachers”—“some of the most brilliant minds currently teaching the law.” They’re “incredibly candid,” “witty,” and “engaging in the classroom.” The faculty interacts with students “out of the classroom,” as well. Sadly, dealing with Fordham’s bureaucracy is a wholly different story. The “shaky,” “disorganized” administration is generally disliked. “Horror stories on registration day” are common. “It works out for those of us who cannot get anything in on time,” notes an upbeat 1L. “There is no way they would ever notice.”
It’s a perennial lament among students here that their school is “extremely underrated” and “would be ranked higher” if only New York University and Columbia weren’t each a few subway stops away. Fordham Law boasts a “particularly strong” and loyal alumni network, though, and the school is located in “one of the best locations in Manhattan,” within walking distance to several of the world’s biggest and most revered white-shoe law firms. Students also tell us that Fordham has a reputation for producing “exceptionally hardworking, occasionally pugilistic (figuratively), and bright” lawyers. Average starting salaries are quite comfortable and employment prospects are pretty good if you can manage a solid class rank. “With good enough grades—at least top third of the class—you can snag a big law job if you want,” relates a 2L.
Campus Life/Facilities: The research facilities are great at Fordham, and the librarians are “incredibly helpful,” but students have few other good things to say about the accommodations. The “cramped,” “crowded,” “decrepit,” and generally “inadequate” building “feels more like a 1950s fallout shelter than a law school.” Luckily, “Its days are numbered.” There’s a new building in the works, and “The design is striking.” The space concerns and depressing architecture of this drab concrete cinderblock “will no longer be an issue” once the new law school building is completed.
Many students here “are from the so-called tristate area” (Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York), but there are tons of people from all over the country, as well. Minority enrollment is solid, and the evening program attracts a slew of older students who have professional experience in a variety of fields. The academic environment is “competitive,” “but most people work together very well and are friends outside of class.” “People still want to get good grades and awesome jobs, but no one is cutting throats to get there,” explains a 2L. “There are gunners, of course, but they’re lovable gunners.”
While many, if not most, students have lives outside of school, “The school has strong esprit de corps.” “First-year sections are intimate,” and “There is no shortage of interaction and friendship.” “Almost every personality type will find a niche here.” “It’s really a place where you meet lifelong friends and mentors.” “Whether you’re looking for a new group of close friends, or just nine-to-five friends who will go home to their families and relationships at the end of the day, you’ll find people like you at Fordham.” “Classy and fun” school-sponsored social activities are plentiful. “There are bar nights every week, kegs in the caf’ once a month, and various drinking events throughout the school year.” Also, of course, “Fordham’s best asset” is its “super nice” (though also super expensive) location in one of the greatest and most exciting cities in the world. There are a million things to do when you take a break from your casebooks.
* The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University.