Wake Forest University School of Law
1834 Wake Forest Road
Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27109
TippingTheScales (2013): 49
U.S. News (2013): 36
AboveTheLaw (2013): 30
WAKE FOREST LAW STUDENTS SAY…
Academics & Programs: Ideally sized, Wake Forest School of Law is “extremely generous with aid money” and “provides an intimate community while still being academically challenging.” “There aren’t very many specialized course offerings,” but “the size is fantastic because you can really connect with the professors.” “Sections are relatively small, but not annoyingly so,” “and in a bevy of upper-level classes you get seminars with just a handful of students.” Classrooms are “colorful, stimulating, and full of open discussion.” “I can’t imagine an atmosphere more conducive to building competent and ethical legal professionals,” says a 3L. “The only students who don’t enjoy it are the ones who want to sit in the back of a large class and blend into the rest of the numbers. That strategy has little success at Wake.” The legal writing program is “extensive” and “practical training opportunities are excellent”—especially if you’re interested in litigation. “I had the opportunity to try cases before graduation and take a deposition on my own,” reports a 3L. “I feel like I could go into practice today and have some idea of what I am doing.”
There are “a few crusty old battle-axes” on the faculty. On the whole, though, students at Wake revere their “diverse and brilliant,” “amazing,” and “entirely accessible” professors. Their “doors are always open and they genuinely care about their students, not only academically, but personally as well.” Administratively, the school “does a lot visibly to try and work hard for their students.” The top brass is “fantastic” and “ready to help students without hesitation.” “When you have a concern, they are able to do something about it right away,” says a 1L, “unlike at a large school where people can get lost in the shuffle.” “Some of the midlevel administration is mediocre,” though, and “not very organized.”
“The facilities are relatively new compared to many other schools in the region.” “They certainly aren’t terrible.” “There has been a big technology push, especially in the library.” “Every carrel has plugs and lights.” “The courtyard is always abuzz with students when the weather is nice.” The larger undergraduate campus is “gorgeous.” However, the consensus among students here is that Wake “desperately needs more space.” “The law school is in the most horribly designed building on earth,” gripes a 3L. “Getting from one class to the next requires training.” Between classes, hallways are “crowded” with “mobs of law students.” Group study space is “limited,” too.
Students are confident about their job prospects. About seventy percent take the private practice route on graduation. The Carolinas and Georgia are the most frequent destinations but a law degree from Wake Forest travels pretty decently. It’s not at all uncommon for grads to find work in New York, Texas, California, and a number of other states. We hear some grumbling that Career Services is “very much set in the old go-work-in-large-law-firm mentality.” Also, internship and externship options are somewhat scarce. Career Services provides “tremendous amounts of resources,” though, and the staff “actively facilitates students in finding a job that fits them and their individual preferences, personality, and long-term plans.” “The school also does a great job of providing opportunities to meet lawyers and judges.”
Campus Life/Facilities: “One of the best things about Wake is the diversity of backgrounds and hometowns,” declares a 1L. “We get people from all over the country.” Students come here “with a broad range of” experiences and “there is an excellent balance of political views” represented in each entering class. Some students say that the academic environment is “very competitive.” Others say that “there are the occasional gunners” but it’s a miniscule group. Still other students tell us that “there is a strong sense of cooperation and collegiality.” “I have not felt an ounce of competition in this school,” swears a 1L.
“Winston-Salem isn’t New York” but it’s “a very cute little city” with “warm Southern temperatures” throughout most of the year and there’s affordable housing “within walking distance or a short drive” from campus. Socially, “there is not much else going on in students’ lives aside from school.” “There are definitely cliques.” “Because of the small size, everyone knows everyone’s business” and “the gossip mill runs completely amok.” Nevertheless, most everyone is very happy. “This school is vibrant,” promises a 2L. “There is always something going on. We have a broad spectrum of guest speakers on a regular basis.” “Wake has a lot of lunch programs,” adds a 1L, “and they usually feed us.” “I got a ton of free food,” notes a nostalgic, satiated 3L. “Football and basketball games are a big draw with most law students during the fall and winter.” There are weekly bar reviews and “lots of” opportunities for weekend revelry. “I did not think I would ever be able to recapture the community atmosphere, social bonds, and personal experience that made my undergraduate experience at a small liberal arts college unique,” beams a 1L. “However, Wake Law has done the impossible.”
* The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University.