Syracuse University College of Law
E. I. White Hall, Suite 400
Syracuse, New York 13244
TippingTheScales (2013): NR
U.S. News (2013): 96
AboveTheLaw (2013): NR
SYRACUSE LAW STUDENTS SAY…
Academics & Programs: Syracuse University College of Law is an institution that “offers many resources [to ensure] that…students fulfill their potential.” The school emphasizes “the importance of acquiring research skills” and many stress the uniqueness of the legal writing and research program. “The LCR staff come from different professional backgrounds making our legal communication and research skills adaptable.” Students also value the school’s connection to the “fast-rising business school (Whitman School of Management), the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, [along with] other departments as part of [the larger university system.]” They can also take advantage of joint-degree programs with the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, earning a Masters in environmental sciences or natural resources management. Additionally, the “international program is fantastic.” And a handful of respondents also highlight “the National Security and Counterterrorism Program [along with the myriad of] opportunities for clinics/externships.”
By and large, students declare that “the faculty is incredible” and represents some of the “preeminent scholars in their respective fields”; however, what they value most is just how “accessible and completely dedicated to their students success” professors have demonstrated themselves to be. As one second year explains, “They go to extreme lengths to ensure that their students understand the material. Further they are available all the time to help students.” And a pleased classmate adds, “They are really here to make sure students learn, not just to do research.” The administration is also “extremely helpful and supportive.” They take “student concerns serious[ly] and provide a lot of programming to keep us all balanced.” Though a few do caution that there is “a lot of bureaucracy, which can be quite annoying to deal with if you are not a traditional law student (I am a JD/MBA). I often feel like I have to jump through hoops and fill out form after useless form just to do what is required by my program.”
Students here are also incredibly grateful for their alumni network, which is a “fabulous resource.” As one pleasantly surprised second-year elaborates, “I have found that many alumni genuinely care and are willing to go above and beyond what they are asked to help ensure that my goals are given their best chance to succeed.” Many also applaud the efforts of the Office of Professional and Career Development. “They connect you with alumni, provide fast but thorough critiques of resumes and cover letters, and do a whole host of trainings to help you prepare for internship and job searches.” However, others complain that “the resources available to the students seem to be limited.” A 1L suggests, “Improving programming, on-campus networking events, and developing a larger database for off-campus job opportunities would strengthen this department.
Campus Life/Facilities: Though Syracuse is “building a brand new law school building for the start of the 2014-2015 academic year,” students state that the current facilities are “manageable and serviceable.” And while many concede that the library is “small,” they also assure us that “it packs a punch” and offers students “access to dozens of databases.” Many also appreciate how “there are places to study if you are feeling social and places for when you need to study alone.” Perhaps more importantly, the “library staff is incredible. They are knowledgeable, accessible and helpful.”
Many students at Syracuse proclaim that the school manages to foster “a fun environment.” Indeed, the “law school holds ample events, and the university is a Division I athletics school and competitive in the Big East in most sports.” There are also organized weekly social nights as well as a seasonal flag football league. A handful of people also socialize through the student-run Syracuse Law Review. Moreover, there are a multitude of law journals for them to join as well as moot court competitions.
The surrounding area also offers “great bars [and] great restaurants.” As one knowledgeable third-year expounds, “Syracuse is affordable. There is enough to do on the one night a weekend you venture out as a law student, including some really great local restaurants. [Additionally, it’s only a] short drive to larger cities like Rochester and New York. [And] summers [in] Syracuse are the best: sunshine, moderate temperatures, and tons of festivals!” Though one pragmatic student does counter that Syracuse can be “trying in the winter.”
When it comes to their peers, law students at Syracuse are decidedly mixed. Some steadfastly assert that their fellow students are “competitive.” However, others assure us that they “[are] not cutthroat” and blame the competitive nature on a curve “which can be unforgiving.” And plenty more outright disagree, confidently stating that their peers are “generous and helpful to others.” One happy student goes as far as saying that “It feels like a family.” Further, for older students who might have children or separate lives, the school attempts to foster “a sense of community” by “organizing monthly get-togethers.” Whether you attend is up to you, and essentially, “The experience is what you make of it.”
* The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University.