New England Law
Academics & Programs: New England Law in Boston is “relatively small” (though classes can sometimes be large), and it’s a “stand-alone school,” unaffiliated with a larger university. “New England Law is not a flashy school by any means,” explains a 2L, “but the education you receive will put you in a position to be successful.” Schedules are “incredibly flexible, allowing evening students and part-time students to attend law school while working full-time and having families.” “High-level theory” is certainly on offer here, but the approach tends to be more geared toward real life. “Opportunities for practical experience” are plentiful. A great assortment of practicum courses and seminars allows students “to apply their knowledge and really learn how to be a lawyer.” A profusion of clinical options varies from pretty mundane to fascinating. An array of study abroad programs and externships involving various international criminal tribunals is another great perk.
Students have nothing but plaudits for New England Law’s “passionate” and “extremely knowledgeable” professors. These “amazing human beings” are “absolutely brilliant, but scary as hell” in a good way. Most of them “have deep practical experience” “rather than being pure academics,” and they combine “subject-matter mastery with an approach to teaching that is focused on both deep understanding and practical application.” Outside the classroom, they’re “extremely accessible and helpful.” In a nutshell, the faculty is “the reason for going to this school.” Like at most law schools, the staff receives more mixed reviews. According to some students, the administration is “very dedicated” and “approachable.” “Communication within the school is seamless,” one student tells us, and staffers “do a wonderful job.” Other students assert that the different management fiefdoms are “unaware of what each is doing.” Also, they say, “Registration is a mess.”
New England Law’s campus consists of four buildings. None of them is “much to write home about.” In the main building, things are definitely “a little cramped.” “Hundreds of students trying to move in opposite directions down a single hallway” poses annoying logistical difficulties on a daily basis. “The library isn’t nearly big enough” either. “There are times when the library and student lounge are completely overcrowded.” On the plus side, technology is “really quite good,” and “The law librarians are absolute wizards at researching complicated areas of the law.”
Nobody is particularly in love with Career Services. As a part of the program, there is a 1L career counseling requirement, a weekly career newsletter, and complementary membership to the Boston Bar Association for graduating students, yet some feel that New England Law “does not provide opportunities similar to other schools.” “There is no grade inflation” either, and the tough grading creates problems because students face pretty tough local competition for law jobs. Nevertheless, students say that New England Law enjoys “an excellent reputation around Boston and Massachusetts.” An “alumni network that is fiercely loyal” is an additional plus. Also, the location “in the middle of downtown Boston” provides easy access to “all of the downtown firms and government agencies,” thus allowing numerous opportunities to gain real-world practice before graduation. “There are a lot of other, more prestigious, law schools in Boston,” relates a 2L,” but I am never embarrassed to say I am at New England. In fact, I’m always eager to tell people how great I think the school is.”
Campus Life/Facilities: Students here have a “scrappy, going-it-together attitude” and “a strong work ethic.” “Frankly, I look forward to entering the legal community and knocking the socks off students from other Boston law schools,” announces a 2L, “especially those from stuffy institutions across the river.” New England locals comprise the largest segment of the student body, though the school draws students from across the country. Diversity in terms of ethnicity and age is respectable. Politic opinions run the gamut. “Massachusetts tends to be a liberal region, especially Boston,” and New England Law reflects that reality. However, “There is a fairly large conservative base at school as well.” The academic atmosphere is reportedly “very warm and welcoming.” “While there is just enough competition to ensure you excel, there is enough friendly camaraderie to ensure you enjoy your time as well,” says a 2L. “The students here support each other and care about the collective success of all classmates.”
The social situation is fairly intimate. “After a little while, you recognize everyone in the building and it’s a nice familial feeling,” reflects a 3L. There’s “a rumor about everything.” Numerous student organizations “constantly hold fun and interesting events.” “Law prom, softball tournaments,” and assorted gatherings are commonplace. The food court across the street is loaded with students studying and socializing. The city of Boston also provides plenty of energy and excitement.
* The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University.