Loyola University College of Law (New Orleans)
Academics & Programs: Loyola University—New Orleans College of Law is “hands down, the best place to study law” thanks to its “regional reputation, elite professors, great career resources, and guest speakers.” Owing to “its location in one of the world’s great cultural centers,” students here aren’t surprised with “the quality and accessibility of the professors,” all within an “atmosphere that facilitates learning and making connections.” The “topnotch” professors “bring a wealth of practical experience into the classroom” and are “willing to bend over backwards to help students in their career path.” It helps that the professors “all have practical experience in their area of law” and “incorporate that [expertise] in the classroom.” “It’s great to have a professor who helped write the civil code and court opinions teach them to you,” says a 3L. Administration can be “very good, very personal, and helpful,” and the financial aid department recently acquired new staff, improving the department’s efficiency. Those involved in the school’s evening program would like to see the administration give them the same “availability of classes and special programs, such as internships or externships,” as those in the regular program have. Others appreciate the lack of “long lines” and “red tape.” “This law school is completely oriented around the students,” says a 1L.
“There are continual opportunities to gain practical legal experience” at Loyola through “constant notices of internships, jobs, volunteer projects, and externships.” “Professors share their advice for exam preparation and are very up front with expectations for exams,” says a 2L. However, while nearly all students approve of the “moot court and trial advocacy programs,” some would like to “have fewer required courses so that students can specialize in a particular area with more ease.” Others think that “Loyola needs to do a much better job preparing students to actually practice law.” “The odds are severely stacked against a recent graduate arguing anything to an appeals court, as most firms have attorneys with considerably more experience who handle all of the firm’s appeals work,” explains a 3L. “Therefore, the area in which Loyola could stand to improve the most is offering more trial court advocacy classes and giving those equal, if not greater, focus than moot court.”
Opinions on Loyola’s career services office range from “fantastic” to “a joke,” though which side you’ll fall on will likely depend on where you’re from. “One area that I think the school could improve on is helping the common law students obtain jobs out of state,” says a 3L. “Our career services is terrible if you’re not from Louisiana,” adds a 2L. That said, most students are happy to stay in New Orleans after graduating. “Loyola’s great for people who want to practice in New Orleans,” says a 2L. “It offers lots of connections and alumni in the area who like to give back to their own.”
“Some of the classrooms, namely the newer ones, are top-notch,” says a 1L. Others “are overcrowded and students are relegated to using stand-alone desks along the edges of the classrooms with inadequate surfaces for writing or computer usage.” “The facilities could use a drastic update,” says a 2L. While the library is “giant” with “many helpful resources,” it’s in “need of a twenty-first (or even twentieth) century makeover.” Students also wouldn’t mind having a place where they can “study late at night, segregated from the undergrads,” along with “more food options for the law campus.”
Campus Life/Facilities: Students at Loyola “are generally helpful to each other” and “very friendly regardless of whether they are from the New Orleans area or not.” “There is some competitiveness amongst the student body, but I would hesitate to say cutthroat,” says a 2L. “Every student seems to view your own personal success as their own,” adds a 1L. Though there’s a lot of talk about “the rift between Civil and Common Law students,” most agree, “It is best explained by the fact that students take largely different courses and study very different material over three years.” That said, most admit that they “have never seen an argument or any social outcasting based on a student’s choice of study.” There’s a fair amount of diversity in the student population. “I have never had a group of friends as diverse as what I have found here,” says a 2L. “There is not another school that I am aware of that could foster such camaraderie among so diverse a population.”
When it comes to social life at Loyola, all students have to do is step outside. Located in “Uptown New Orleans,” students can readily hop a streetcar that “provides access to the French Quarter and Central Business District.” “New Orleans has the best nightlife in the South,” says a 3L. “The city environment is perfect for young professionals.” “I would say that most students spend a majority of their social time in Uptown or in the Garden District rather than in the belligerent, tourist-packed French Quarter,” says a 2L. “The nightlife in Uptown and the Garden District is much more tailored to the academic crowd.” According to a 1L, “This year’s 1L class hangs out together in a wide variety of ways, [whether it’s] going to the Jay-Z concert as a big group or holding our own Mardi Gras party with the whole class invited to come, grab a drink, and watch the parades.” Fundamentally, argues a 2L, “The music, food, and social justice opportunities should encourage anyone to come to law school at Loyola.”
* The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University.