Capital University Law School
Academics & Programs: Capital University Law School “in the heart of downtown” Columbus, Ohio “is a great place to study law,” particularly if you seek a balance between “legal theory and actual practice.” The “broad range of courses” here emphasizes “practical lawyering skills.” “The legal writing program is awesome,” says one student. A wealth of externships, internships, and clerkships offers “the best hands-on experience possible.” The law school is “only a few short blocks from the Ohio Supreme Court” and is “nestled within two miles” of a bevy of other state and federal courthouses and agencies. Capital has “outstanding” part-time and evening programs and “All of the offices are open longer hours to accommodate this group of students.” The “highly reputable” National Center for Adoption Law and Policy “offers a great way to gain expertise” and “get connected with family-law attorneys.” Another plus is an Advanced Bar Studies course “designed to prepare 3Ls for taking the bar.” It seems to be working. “We are ecstatic about our third-in-the-state passage rate this year,” raves a 3L. Employment prospects are also good. Capital is “respected in the Columbus legal community” and has “a strong reputation with local government and private firms for producing students with strong research and writing skills and good practical knowledge.” “Many loyal alumni practice locally,” so it goes without saying that students find plenty to keep them in Columbus and at Capital.
“With very few exceptions, the teaching faculty is top-notch as communicators and mentors.” There is also “an excellent base of adjunct professors who are practitioners by day.” Capital’s “devoted, highly prepared, [and] usually pretty easygoing” professors “make an effort to stay easily accessible.” “So far, minus one pompous and unhelpful professor, my experience with Capital’s faculty has been amazing,” comments a 1L. “Most professors emphasize the real-world aspects of the curriculum as well as what is required to perform well on the bar exam.” Some professors “could make class more interesting,” though. Also, be warned: “There is no grade inflation here.” Something like “four to eight percent of students in first-year classes” receive an A. The “median grade” is more like a “B-minus.” “When someone gets an A at Capital, it should be an unambiguous signal to an employer that the person is highly qualified in the subject matter,” explains a student.
The “approachable” administration is “improving every year” and “open to criticisms and suggestions.” The “Registrar, Career Services staff, and even the security guards are incredibly friendly and helpful.” “Not a lot of people fall through the cracks.” Organization can be “very lackluster sometimes,” though. There are “small mix-ups (e.g., a classroom for the class not being large enough to accommodate all the students),” and the “terrible” scheduling process is “tiresome.”
Campus Life/Facilities: Capital’s “aesthetically boring” facilities are “pretty much completely modern.” So “don’t be fooled by the gray, outdated exterior.” Classrooms are “all equipped with stateof-the-art technology.” “The wireless Internet throughout the school is wonderful,” claims one student, “The building is a maze.” Also, some areas get “a little crowded with everyone’s books and laptops.”
There is both “a strong sense of camaraderie” and “a somewhat competitive atmosphere” here. Capital is “small” and “very family-oriented.” “Everyone is friendly and willing to help out,” says one student. Competition for coveted A’s can be stiff, though. “It is best not to mention grades except among close friends.” “There seems to be a sort of divide among students at the law school.” “Day and evening students don’t interact much at all,” and most agree that “the day program is much more competitive.” “The evening program is much more relaxed in class” because “Most people have very busy lives outside of school.” “Evening students are a different breed,” explains one student. “I can honestly report that studying law with people whose resumes are already filled with diverse experience has been very rewarding.”
“Students here are generally pretty vocal about issues that matter to them.” Ethnically, “Students are mainly white,” but “There is a great minority community.” You’ll find a very high number of “nontraditional law students” here and a “wide range in age” and “professions.” “Some spend their days talking about drinking and parties, while other more serious students spend their days studying,” observes a 2L. “It is quite obvious which students are fresh out of undergrad.”
There are “lots of student organizations” and “ways to get involved.” “Communityservice projects are everywhere,” and “The main law fraternities are very active.” Capital sponsors “planned social hours” and “a lot of events and different opportunities for students to get to know each other.” “It is very easy to find a group of people with similar interests both in and out of the legal field.” Students give the city of Columbus high marks. “It’s not San Francisco or Boston,” but “There are usually student-group sponsored happy hours at various bars downtown” and “social nights in and around Columbus at other bars.” “Often after classes are over on Friday or after a midterm, an impromptu group will just go out somewhere.”
* The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University.