Tulane University Law School
Academics & Programs: Tulane University Law School is “extremely enjoyable because it provides you with the same resources as all the top law schools, with a more laid-back atmosphere.” “The quality of teaching is superb.” The “world-renowned faculty” here is full of “experts and kick-ass attorneys” who are “funny, extremely smart, and extremely approachable.” “They are highly qualified and accomplished but remain accessible and down-to-earth.” Some students call the administration “ridiculously awesome,” too. The deans are “nice and helpful,” they say, “and most of them teach a 1L or 2L class, which gives you the opportunity to be exposed to them early on in your career.” More critical students call the management merely “vaguely competent.”
Tulane is home to “quite a few unique programs and strengths.” In addition to “exceptional clinical opportunities” and a host of dual-degree programs, students edit no fewer than eight journals. Tulane also offers certificates in international and comparative law, admiralty law, environmental law, sports law, and civil law. Also, Louisiana is a civil law state (whereas every other state is a common law state), so students are exposed to two very different legal systems. “The ability to follow a common law or civil law track not only opens up opportunities in Louisiana, but it also makes an international law career more feasible.” The big academic complaint here is the research and writing program. “I am not sure whoever designed it has ever heard the term ‘best practices,’” speculates a 1L. “If you came as a strong technical writer, you will leave with no new skills. If you did not, you are on your own.”
Students note that the academic program is competitive and challenging, and it is important to maintain strong performance if you want to gain the interest of local employers. Tulane is “extremely active in helping everyone secure summer employment and beyond.” Students also note that their school’s brand name is often a real advantage on a resume. “We’re the best law school in Louisiana, and the firms know it,” brags a 2L. “We are not all competing for the same thirty spots at the top law firm in our city because our goals are incredibly diverse,” adds a 2L.
Campus Life/Facilities: Facilities wise, Tulane has “a wonderful library.” Some students say that “classrooms are nice.” Others disagree. “The actual building and classrooms are forgettable,” they tell us. “The horrid ergonomics of it all!” bemoans a 2L. “To plug in your laptop can take two minutes and can set the stage for an awkward encounter with the person sitting next to you while you fumble around under the table like a teenager on a first date.”
New Orleans is definitely located in “the American South, and many students come from the South.” Geographic diversity is pretty abundant, though. Some eighty-five percent of the students come from a state other than Louisiana. About twenty percent of the students represent an ethnic minority. There’s a “wide range of International Students” and plenty of “diversity of opinion and background.” Some students insist that “there’s no cutthroat competition here.” They say that the typical student is as “friendly, cooperative, and as laid-back as a stressed law student could possibly be.” Others tell us that competition exists “but it’s not as prevalent until exam time.”<p>
Outside of class, Tulane students are an “extremely social,” “fun-loving bunch.” There are “plenty of cliques, largely organized according to special interests areas of law, ethnicity, and age.” At the same time, the environment is “very collegial.” “The community atmosphere is a definite plus.” Quite a few students “enjoy a good party.” There are “a lot of the smart kids who had fun in undergrad” here, and their good times continue unabated in law school. “Socializing is in overdrive at TLS,” cautions a 2L, “which can be a distraction from your studies if you let it.” “Most people go out at least once or twice a week.” “Whether it’s a run-of-the-mill bar review or renting out a restaurant on the Mardi Gras parade route, there’s always a social event on the horizon.”<p>
Off campus, the Big Easy is reportedly “the most relaxed city in the USA” and “a perfect place to unwind on weekends or after finals.” Students love the food, the nightlife, and the “warm winter weather.” There’s the debauchery of Bourbon Street, of course, but there’s also an array of “incredible” streets and neighborhoods. “The sidewalk bistros and beautiful, lush scenery add significant character to your day-to-day experience as a law student.” Beyond the city of New Orleans, “there are lots of good places for weekend trips in the area” as well.
* The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University.