Hofstra University Maurice A. Deane School of Law
Academics & Programs: There is a “professional, collaborative environment” at Hofstra Law, where the school’s students are huge fans of the “outstanding” administration, who, in many cases, “are willing to bend over backwards to accommodate you.” “The administration is great because they are very accessible and interested in our success as lawyers and as students,” says a 1L. The Career Center here is similarly involved, “not only [in] our futures, but also in helping alumni find new jobs.” Right from the first week of class, Hofstra Law is big on helping students to network with attorneys and alumni and putting a realistic perspective on the possibilities out there (Note: The school does rank students within classes.), though a few students do lament the school’s rather intense focus on work in the public sector, and far more than a few bemoan the lack of “quality internships.” “I’ve had the opportunity to learn about how much work and how many different areas of law you can practice…now I actually know what I can do with a JD,” says a first-year law student. Though not every single person leaves a satisfied customer, the school certainly shows a “desire to improve,” and all who go here pretty much generally agree, “If you are proactive and work hard, Hofstra will work hard for you as well.”
Its location close to New York City helps the school to attract “some legendary professors at the top of their fields,” most of whom are “readily available outside of class, and…seem to genuinely care about the students’ success.” “Not a single one stands on ceremony,” says a student. Most “do not implement harsh variations of the Socratic Method”; they have “real-world experience that they bring to their lectures” and use “practical methods that help students to try [to] learn, rather than simply memorize the material.” Hofstra Law’s focus on practical and legal writing skills “never ceases to pay off during internships/clerkships.” “I thought that Hofstra would not offer the same kind of academic experience as those in the top schools. I was very pleasantly surprised,” says a student. “They are constantly trying to…help develop the students into lawyers.”
Some bigger picture gripes include that the school recently “terminated the whole night program,” and that tuition is not easy on the wallet. “Lower tuition please. I don’t have a money tree in my backyard,” begs a 1L. Classrooms “are adequate for the purpose they serve”; though the technology is up-to-date (lectures are webcast, Wi-Fi is readily available), the facilities as a whole could use a face-lift. Also, as one weary student puts it, “Not to beat a dead horse, but parking is always an issue.”
Campus Life/Facilities: First-year students have all their classes with the same section, so “there is a sense that we are all getting through together.” This instantly creates a nice community for incoming students, who also appreciate their access to 2Ls and 3Ls that “are more than happy to help with information about classes and professors.” “There is some small amount of competition, but that is what keeps us on our toes. It shouldn’t be frowned upon,” says a student. Students are encouraged to work in study groups (and the overwhelming majority do), and “there is a strong desire to help others understand”; students “get lots of support from…fellow law school brothers and sisters.” “We actually like one another!” says a 1L.
While the school’s location on the edge of the somewhat tucked-away neighborhood of Hempstead is far from ideal, “Security on campus is very efficient.” Long Island is “a little boring,” but “there is ample opportunity for social activities,” as the law school itself has many different student organizations, “so it’s easy to find a group of people you can relate to and who have interest[s] in common with you.” Commuting to and from New York City, for school or for fun, is also an option. Law students here do tend to be a bit “stressed out,” but the school as a whole still remains a “very friendly environment that the students really enjoy.” It is a “laid-back atmosphere, [where students are] serious about work but not competitive.”
* The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University.