Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law


Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

530 West New York Street
Indianapolis, Indiana 46202
(317) 274-2459

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TippingTheScales (2013): NR
U.S. News (2013): 98
AboveTheLaw (2013): NR




Academics & Programs: Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law is a relatively large school on an “urban campus” in “a great downtown location.” The “lovely,” spacious, and “comfortable” facility here is “a beautiful, high-tech place to learn.” “Classrooms are modern and large and sport electric outlets at every seat,” and “There are many places, such as the reading room, where students can go to study.” Several joint-degree programs are available. There are four law reviews, six clinics, and summer study abroad programs in China and Croatia. Opportunities to specialize include intellectual property law and international law as well as a “particularly strong” health law curriculum.

The faculty as a whole is “excellent” and “engaging.” They “do their best to make sure the material is as interesting as possible” and “take a very practical tack in their approach to teaching.” “The atmosphere at IU Indy is such that, while the work is intense, I’ve never felt like not wanting to go to class,” beams a 2L. “Ever.” Outside of class, “Professors are accessible and students are not afraid to approach them for help on a concept or to share a joke.” The two-semester legal writing program (with optional third semester) generally receives high marks. Student opinion concerning the administration is mixed. Defenders of it tell us that the top brass is student-friendly and “does a fairly good job.” “The administration always tries its best to help us succeed,” says a happy 2L. Detractors complain that “the administration has no idea what’s going on.” One complaint is that registration can be difficult for 2Ls and 3Ls. “Too many classes clumped at the same time make it difficult” to take all the courses you want (or need). A few professors are “not interested in teaching at all.”

IU Indy is the lesser known of the two IU law schools (the other one is in Bloomington), but students say that attending the only law school in Indiana’s state capital and commercial hub definitely has its perks. The school is close to “all of the large firms” in the city and “within blocks of city, state, and federal government offices, and courthouses.” “This enables us to work at some of the state’s best and largest firms throughout the school year,” explains a 3L. “It also provides us with the opportunity to do externships with all of the state’s major courts and organizations.” “Being in downtown Indianapolis is excellent for networking opportunities with the legal community,” too. Some students applaud the efforts of the “hardworking” staff in the Office of Professional Development to secure career opportunities. Other students are less than thrilled. “They don’t help anyone get jobs,” gripes a 3L, “and they don’t respond to phone calls or e-mails, either.” Also, while the school’s reputation in the state is very good, “It’s an uphill battle to find employment outside of Indiana.”

Campus Life/Facilities: Students here describe themselves as “quite friendly.” “Animosity is pleasantly absent.” “Students generally get along quite well with one another and are collegial in the classroom,” relates a 1L. While there’s “a decent amount of diversity” and IU Indy is “very welcoming environment to students of all backgrounds,” a pretty vast chasm exists between the full-time day students and the part-time evening students. A large percentage of the full-timers come “straight out of undergrad” and “chose to attend Indianapolis for its proximity to firm, corporate, and political experiences.” The parttime program constitutes about one-third of the student body, and it’s mostly “older, nontraditional” students who already have occupations, families, and their own social lives.

IU Indy is located on the campus of Indiana University—Purdue University Indianapolis (where “parking is absolutely atrocious”). “The school’s central location is used to its fullest advantage through symposiums, networking functions, alumni activities, and other gatherings where members of the Indianapolis legal community mingle with students,” relates a 2L. Life beyond academics gets mixed reviews. By all accounts, Indianapolis is “a great city” with lots to see and do. Some students tell us that the school provides many social outlets. “There are a lot of activities,” and you can “relive high school all over again” “with more drinking.” Others give the campus “a mediocre rating for social life.” “The problem is that it’s a commuter school and people are coming from all over the place.” “People do their work and go home.” “As a result, there is not a whole lot of socializing.”

* The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University.