University of Cincinnati College of Law
Clifton Ave. & Calhoun St.
Cincinnati, OH 45221
Academics & Programs: Students at the University of Cincinnati get the “small class sizes” and “intimate environment” typical of a private college while paying the comfortable, low tuition you would expect from a public institution. With roughly 125 students in each entering class, the school strikes an “excellent” balance with “its affordability, reputation, small class size, and excellent faculty. Students agree that UC professors are an “amazing and diverse group of people who care just as much for teaching and students as they do about publishing their own work.” UC is particularly noted for its focus on “public interest” and “international” law; however, “There is no shortage of brilliant legal minds in a broad range of subjects—that goes for students as well as the professors.” In addition to the accomplished tenured faculty, students rave about the school’s recent acquisition of “exceptional young faculty members that have great teaching skills to match their great scholarship.” A 2L sums it up, “As one of the smallest public law schools in the country, I feel my educational experience has been fantastic, and yet, at very little cost. Because our class consists of only 128 people, all of my professors know my name.”
University of Cincinnati runs several “amazing” legal institutes and research centers focused on unique topics such as domestic violence, law and psychiatry, and corporate law. Through these centers, students can earn credit hours while doing fulfilling and useful work in the community. Many students make particular note of the Ohio Innocence Project, an institute at the University of Cincinnati through which students conduct substantive work to impact legislative reform, and work on real criminal cases. The institute also brings notable speakers to campus. Students also have the opportunity to research and write for the school’s renowned publications, including the Human Rights Quarterly, Law Review, and Freedom Center Journal. While students at other schools might scramble for spots on the school’s law review or clinic programs, “Since the school is small, each student can participate in and get involved in a number of organizations.”
Thanks to an “ambitious but not overly competitive student body,” the learning environment is charged, but not cutthroat, at University of Cincinnati. A 3L attests, “While academic achievement is always a numbers game in law school, the atmosphere at UC is nonpretentious and noncontentious.” When it comes to the job and internship placements, University of Cincinnati maintains a “deep and well-regarded history as a legal educational institution” both locally and nationally. As a result, most students say the school “is a great place for students with all different kinds of career aspirations, and especially has a public interest/human rights orientation that I think is unparalleled in the Midwest.” In fact, “Public interest students can actually obtain funding for their summer jobs through the school’s Summer Public Interest Fellowship Program.” Most UC grads stay in the Cincinnati area and meet with good results while those looking outside the region must do a little extra legwork to find a good placement. “While plenty of our grads go on to excellent careers in major firms, federal clerkships, and other government positions, I don’t feel like our school does enough PR work to get out-of-town employers interested in our students,” says one student.
Campus Life/Facilities: For starving students/aspiring lawyers, Cincinnati is an excellent home base offering the unbeatable combination of “small town prices (housing, dining, entertainment) with big city amenities.” For both professional and recreational pursuits, the UC campus is pleasantly located “close to downtown so it’s easy to get to work, ballgames, and entertainment.” While Cincinnati has its charms, students complain that the law school could use “more outlets and better lighting.” “Windows would be nice,” adds another. However, students are optimistic that the school will consider remodeling the law school along with other campus projects. The good news is that “the new parking garage has been built, and there are brand-new (and attractive) living units pretty much right across the street.” Not to mention that a few “ice cream shops have opened within a short walk from school.”
Despite the rigors of the academic curriculum, “The students that are here create a suitable balance between academic and social life. There are plenty of opportunities to go out and have fun and not be completely overwhelmed with school.” On and off campus, “There are frequently SBA social events for students, such as happy hours at local bars.” In fact, the SBA is very active and “most of the students are friends and spend time together outside of the law school.” On the other hand, students remind us that Cincinnati also attracts “a large contingent of commuter students who spend little if no time involved in the school outside of actual class.”
* The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University.