The University of Akron School of Law
150 University Ave.
Akron, OH 44325
AKRON LAW STUDENTS SAY…
Academics & Programs: The University of Akron School of Law is an “undervalued,” “regional law school” that offers a lot of perks. “The tuition is very reasonable,” especially if you can claim residency in Ohio. The bar-passage rate is solid. Course load options are “extremely flexible.” It’s very easy to switch between the full-time and part-time programs. The four specialized centers here “are very well-known.” The “high powered” certificate program in intellectual property is particularly notable. There’s also a certificate in litigation and areas of concentration galore. Akron Law also boasts five joint-degree programs, a couple of “pretty freaking amazing” journals, and the chance to study abroad in Geneva, Switzerland. The curriculum here focuses primarily on the hard-boiled application of law. “If you want a legal education that emphasizes practical skills needed in the real-world,” declares a 1L, “Akron Law is for you.” The trial advocacy program is “outstanding” and the trial team is “one of the best” in the nation, routinely bagging trophies at national tournaments. Clinics are “very strong” and reportedly a cinch to get into. One of the clinics is the Clemency Project, which aids low-income people who have been convicted of crimes in securing pardons from the state governor. Another is the new business legal clinic, which helps people start businesses in the Akron area. As far as academic complaints, some students call the legal writing program “poor.” Also, “Internships and externships placements are not readily available,” and grading can be “pretty harsh.”
Students heap praise on both the faculty and the administration. “The professors at Akron are the crown jewel of the school,” beams a 1L. “They make even esoteric, archaic concepts like the rule against perpetuities interesting and understandable.” “It is evident that they are passionate about teaching.” “Many could probably make double or triple their salary by working in a big-city law firm.” Faculty accessibility outside of class is “great,” too. Professors here are “really interested in helping you find your way as a lawyer.” They are “constantly walking the halls and willing to chit-chat.” “Every professor I have had in class knows my name,” reflects a 3L. The “ultra-helpful” and “very flexible” administration is “also very accessible and interested in the students” and “willing to work with” them.
While you can find Akron Law graduates all over the country, the great mass of alumni ends up practicing in northeast Ohio. While critics charge that the Office of Career Planning “does not do a great job at placing students,” most students seem pretty happy with their post-law school employment prospects. The school has a “good reputation in the region.” “The local bar association has a very close relationship with Akron Law,” and “The school provides countless opportunities for” mentoring and networking.
Campus Life/Facilities: Students tell us, “Akron is in the process of building a brand-new law school.” In the meantime, the current facility “isn’t grotesque-looking” but it’s “less than stellar” and it just “doesn’t feel like a law school.” “The physical plant is a mess,” explains a 3L. “The law school is actually two buildings that were combined in the cheapest way possible.” “Areas of the building can seem cramped.” “The heating and cooling system is consistently broken.” On the plus side, classrooms are adequate. “They are all equipped for wireless Internet access and have plug-ins for every student laptop.” Also, the location is excellent. City, county, state, and federal courts “are all steps from the door of the school.”
The vast majority of students at Akron Law are residents of Ohio. They describe themselves as “pretty outgoing and friendly.” “The biggest surprise about law school is the fact that the other students are normal,” relates a 1L. “I was expecting snobs and nerds but I have found people that I look forward to seeing every day.”
Student opinion concerning the academic atmosphere is decidedly split. Some students perceive “healthy amounts of competition.” Others don’t. “You see your fellow classmates as colleagues,” says a 1L. “Students here aren’t that competitive,” adds a 3L. “I have helped several students and others have helped me study for exams.”
Beyond the confines of the classroom, a respectable number of speakers come to campus and the student bar association is “very active.” Socially, “There is quite a divide between day and evening students” and “there are a lot of cliques.” The city of Akron is “a small, insular community.” It’s not the worst place in the world, but it’s certainly not a world-class city, either. “Downtown Akron is not, shall we say, appealing in many ways,” explains a 2L. “Some areas are nice, but some areas abutting campus are sketchy.”
* The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University.