Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad Law Center
Academics & Programs: Nova Southeastern University’s Law Center is a large law school not too far from Miami that offers “a strong emphasis on legal writing” and a “hands-on approach to legal education.” Highfalutin theory definitely isn’t the focus at NSU. Here, you “learn how to be a good legal practitioner.” NSU’s critical skills program coaches students on everything from the basics of briefing cases during first year to bar exam preparation during third year. An “invaluable” clinical program that includes options in seven different areas of law provides a tremendous number of students with “practical experience before becoming an attorney.” There are certificate programs in health law and international law. NSU also offers a host of study abroad opportunities. Especially noteworthy are the dual-degree law programs in both Barcelona and Venice that allow students to study civil law systems in addition to American common law. Completion of either one results in two law degrees in two different countries, which is an undeniably impressive set of credentials.
A couple of students say that the administration is “prompt in addressing students’ needs,” but the overwhelming sentiment seems to be that “it takes forever to get anything done” and that the top brass is “out of touch.” “However, the professors are in touch,” promises a 1L. “The professors really do care about your success.” Some faculty members “have inflated egos” or simply are “not that good.” On the whole, though, the “intense, demanding, and entertaining faculty” is “worth every tuition dollar.” “I am most pleased with the knowledge, practical experience, and teaching skills possessed by my professors,” reflects a 3L. Outside of class, Nova Southeastern’s faculty is “extremely approachable.” “They are always willing to help outside of the classroom and are very encouraging,” promises a 2L. “Almost everyone has an open-door policy.” “Some of the professors will sit and talk with you at great length about topics relevant to class and irrelevant,” adds a 1L.
The facilities here are mixed. “The campus is absolutely beautiful.” “The buildings around the law school are beautiful,” too. “The law school building itself is bland,” though. It’s “fairly industrial and has a built-on-a-budget feel.” “The chairs are uncomfortable” in many classrooms. “The library is ugly” and “could definitely use more study rooms.” Some students say that Internet connectivity is “great” while others call it “horrible.” “The school is very advanced technologically,” explains a 3L. “However, half the time the technology is not working.”
Some students call the work of the Career Development Office “unparalleled.” Others tell us that students are “on their own with regard to finding employment and getting internships.” Sentiment regarding job prospects is similarly mixed. One faction of students says that Nova Southeastern is “very reputable locally” while another faction gripes that the school “lacks sufficient connections to major law firms.”
Campus Life/Facilities: Nova Southeastern is home to “a wide diversity of students” in terms of ethnicity, social class, age, background, and pretty much every other category. Students describe themselves as “bright and “motivated.” They are “nice and considerate,” too, except possibly when it comes to the delicate subject of class rank. Some students maintain that the academic atmosphere is “generally cooperative” even then. “Fellow students make sure that you know the information and help out as much as possible,” promises a 2L. However, many others say that the struggle for precious A’s is tense (especially among full-timers) because “overall grades are curved” pretty harshly. “This is a competitive classroom experience,” flatly advises a 1L.
“Weekends are nonexistent” for a few die-hard studiers. However, those students who do choose to put away their books “generally get along” and manage to squeeze in a respectable amount of social activity. There are some commuter aspects here, but “it is easy to make friends” if you put forth the effort. “Students regularly hang out together when we aren’t studying,” reports a 1L. You can choose to become involved in “many organizations” on campus. “The school’s location is definitely a big advantage” as well. It’s warm and sunny most of the time, of course, and beautiful beaches aren’t far away. Downtown Fort Lauderdale is nearby and Miami is not too far south.
* The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University.