Oklahoma City University School of Law
Academics & Programs: Students are held to high standards at Oklahoma City University School of Law. At this private college, professors “really make you work for your grade,” and the school’s tough curve inspires “students who have a strong work ethic to compete with each other” for the top spots. Despite the challenges, it is difficult to get lost in the lecture hall at OCU. “Professors and administrators alike know students’ names outside of the classroom,” and “smaller class sizes” ensure the opportunity “to get more individualized attention if need be from professors.” A 1L enthuses, “I have a personal relationship with all my teachers, and they know me by name. That’s an incredible feeling, especially when the material is hard.”
Outside the classroom, there are numerous ways for students to get extra help with the material, and “Oklahoma City University’s staff is devoted to making the students that pass through the halls of this school successful.” For example, the comprehensive Study for Success program offers a series of seminars and special workshops designed to help 1Ls adjust to law school. In this and other ways, students say they get a great return on investment. Yes, OCU is “expensive,” but “the administration really goes out of the way to make sure you are getting what you pay for.” A current student attests, “I cannot recall hearing ‘there is no budget for that.’ In fact I have watched complaints by a vocal minority answered with drastic action when the complaint was reasonable.”
Students praise the academic experience at OCU, especially its “smart and talented” instructors. Bringing real-world knowledge to the classroom, “Professors are not only brilliant scholars but are also experienced attorneys in their respective fields.” In addition to the broad core curriculum, “Oklahoma City University places special emphasis on legal research and writing skills.” Students agree that the writing component is key to their education, but also “one of the most challenging aspects of the 1L year.” Among other unique curricular and extracurricular offerings, the school’s American Indian Wills Clinic, Immigration Law Clinic, and Innocence Clinic allow students to work directly with clients, under the supervision of a faculty member. In fact, OCU is “the top in the state, and one of the leading schools in the country for Native American law.” OCU students can also gain course credit for externships at Oklahoma government agencies, state and federal courts, and in corporate counsel offices. Another feather in the school’s cap includes the fact that OCU “has the highest bar pass rate in the state.” Rather than expecting students to prepare on their own time, the school “takes bar prep very seriously, offering free bar prep classes weekly during the final year of school.”
When it comes time to take their education out into the real world, OCU’s “Alumni network is extensive and encouraging,” with former students living across the United States, as well as internationally. OCU has a “solid employment record,” but students say they would benefit from “more internship opportunities and more networking opportunities” during the program. While they tend to place well in Oklahoma City, students are eager to point out that, “a law degree from OCU could easily take you anywhere in the country or even internationally.” For that reason, many say the school’s most important goal is “getting its name out beyond just the local region.”
Campus Life/Facilities: For penny-pinching students, Oklahoma City provides the attractive combination of “low cost of living and high quality of life.” The school’s main campus is “located close to downtown Oklahoma City, which is a growing and diverse community,” now home to close to 1.2 million residents. Though it remains relatively affordable, Oklahoma City boasts an active nightlife, a growing arts district, and “a great NBA team, and many students share season tickets.”
The greater Oklahoma City University campus is home to over 4,000 students, adding a bustling backdrop to the law school. Law students tell us that the “campus is beautiful,” though they also admit that “the classrooms are a little cramped sometimes.” Fortunately, “the law school spent over $1 million renovating facilities—including the law library—this past year. Construction was a bit of an inconvenience but future students will be able to enjoy the benefits of the upgrades to the facilities.”
Among law students, the school boasts a “close-knit environment,” where a general sense of camaraderie prevails. While academics are tough, the “Student body isn’t overly competitive.” A student explains, “The difficulty of the experience binds us together.” Students participate in events hosted by the Student Bar Association, or take part in one of the School of Law’s numerous clubs and associations, from the Women Law Students’ Association, to Military, International & National Security Law Association, to the Health Law Association.
* The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University.