Rutgers School of Law at Newark
123 Washington Street
Newark, New Jersey 07102
TippingTheScales (2013): NR
U.S. News (2013): 86
AboveTheLaw (2013): NR
RUTGERS (NEWARK) LAW STUDENTS SAY…
Academics & Programs: According to students, Rutgers School of Law—Newark is “truly a gem” “that deserves more respect than it sometimes gets.” They also boast that their school offers “definitely the best bang for your buck” among the handful of law schools in or within commuting distance from Manhattan. The academic highlight here is the “very strong,” very large, and generally “fantastic” clinical program. Opportunities to gain “incredibly valuable practical experience” while helping real clients with real legal problems are “probably some of the best of any law school in the country” and they are numerous. Nearly two-thirds of the students here participate in a clinic before graduation. Externships are also plentiful. Rutgers—Newark is “located in the same town as a federal court and a state court,” and “Many state-sponsored fellowships and internships work specifically with the school.” Many students also praise the legal research and writing program for providing “a strong foundation to use in all areas” of the law. Others, however, gripe that the program supplies “very little guidance and very little instruction.” Also, “Popular courses are sometimes difficult to get into,” and if you are an evening student, “The course selection leaves a lot to be desired.”
“Class size is small,” and the “diverse” and “really accomplished” faculty brings “a broad range of experiences and expertise to the classroom.” As far as teaching, “It’s a mixed bag.” For the most part, though, professors here “do a great job of employing the Socratic Method, and, above all, have an uncanny ability to communicate and teach these dense and often boring subjects with ease.” “They really go above and beyond anything that could be reasonably expected,” gushes a 1L. They’re also “truly interested in mentoring, teaching, and assisting students.” The “very transparent” and “particularly accessible” administration is “on top of everything.” Staff members are “the type of people who will stay late hours to help students resolve problems and get answers for their questions.” “Every dean is pleasant, capable, and genuinely willing to help students in any way possible,” swears a happy 2L.
Rutgers—Newark is located near a great legal market and it has “quite a good reputation among employers.” The Office of Career Services is “in touch with students.” Rutgers also has “a strong history of public interest” and is “constantly promoting the idea that lawyers have a special opportunity to improve the community.” The “focus on public interest tends to alienate those looking for jobs in the private sector somewhat,” though. Also, the Career Services staff sometimes works “against the students’ interest by weighing them down with bureaucracy and encouraging them to settle on modest goals.” “The facilities are good but not great.” “We have everything we need to do what we need to do,” explains a 2L. It’s a public school, though, and resources are perennially “limited.” The big complaint concerns technology. Internet connectivity “leaves very much to be desired” and wireless issues “plague” the otherwise “amazing” library.
Campus Life/Facilities: Diversity of all kinds is “a great strength” here. Students come from “very varied backgrounds” “and are eager to learn.” There are plenty of “professional, mid-career individuals”—especially in the evening program—and ethnic minorities make up over a third of the student population. “The administration’s dedication to finding students that will not only become great lawyers but great people overall makes this school unique.” “If you want to meet intelligent and successful people from an array of backgrounds,” declares a 3L, “this is the school for you.” Politically, it’s “a very liberal school” and a “left-of-center atmosphere” is prevalent both inside and outside the classroom. Students describe the academic environment as generally “cooperative.” The struggle for jobs with “with other New York/New Jersey–area schools makes the student body a little anxious” but “there is little to no mean-spirited competition.”
A few students tell us there us “no sense of community” here. Many others say there is a “great quality of life.” “It is a warm, accepting community and it is very easy to make friends,” beams a 2L. “Because the school has students from such diverse backgrounds,” submits a 1L, “it makes it easier for anyone to fit in and not feel like an outcast.” “There are always lots of talks and events to attend” and “a lot of student organizations” “sponsor mixers and activities.” Champions of Newark describe it as “a well-developed commercial city with many large law firms and tons of wonderful places to eat.” “Newark simply is not as bad as people think,” they insist. Other students call Newark a “dirty city that can be unsafe.” “If you could build a wall around the school and never look beyond that wall,” suggests a 3L, “the setting would be lovely.” Luckily for Newark detractors, New York City is very nearby.
* The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University.