Pace University School of Law
Academics & Programs: Pace Law School in the suburbs of New York City offers “a good mix of legal theory and practical lawyering skills.” Environmental law and international law are the stand-out programs here. “Pace is the place to go if you want to specialize in environmental law,” advises a 2L. Numerous course offerings, a host of externships, and a hands-on environmental litigation clinic provide “unparalleled” opportunities in environmental law and make the program “the heart and strength of this school.” The international law program offers an impressive array of internship and study abroad opportunities. You can intern at a war crimes tribunal, for example, or work at a private law firm in some exotic locale. If environmental law and international law don’t excite you, Pace also boasts no fewer than fourteen other concentrations and a ton of centers and special programs.
Despite a couple professors “who need to retire” or who “obsess over their scholarship,” the faculty on the whole is “very enthusiastic” and “truly excellent.” Pace isn’t particularly small by law school standards but students tell us that it nevertheless has a very “intimate” feel. “Professors know your name and who you are.” “The faculty really puts a lot of effort into being available and helpful,” promises a 3L. Professors “are here for the students and that is how they act.” They are “always available to answer questions relating to course material or to speak about general concerns or issues” outside of class.
When it comes to the administration at Pace, students say, “You get everything you need at Pace, most of what you want, and you can get around the things you don’t want.” Students point out that “the administration does an excellent job of providing out-of-classroom opportunities” and appreciate the fact that “the administration and faculty continually emphasize an ‘open-door’ policy and truly do adhere to it.” Case in point: “If they aren’t accessible during their office hours, you can reasonably expect an e-mail within twelve hours or so!” Other students are less enthusiastic, pointing out that though Pace’s “well-meaning” administrators “certainly try” to help students, things “could be tightened up.”
Career prospects are either great or under-leveraged, depending on whom you ask. Satisfied students say that the staff works “very hard to ensure that all students are placed in a variety of practical experiences.” They also point out that “there are excellent opportunities for internships and externships in several fields of law.” “Pace faculty members…have good connections and…[take] an interest in [students’] education and future careers.” Critics contend that the Career Development Center only “caters to the top ten percent of the student body.” Further complicating matters is Pace’s modest national profile. “The school needs to be more active in selling its programs,” urges a 3L. “I think my school is the best kept secret in this geographic area, and that is not a good thing.”
Campus Life/Facilities: Students can’t say enough good things about their “stellar” facilities. The “small and beautiful” campus is “a mix of gothic and modern buildings” and “it’s an actual campus, not just a building or two.” Classrooms are “pristine, roomy, and bathed in natural sunlight, with auditorium-style seating and comfortable chairs.” The library is “very comfortable.” Technology is cutting-edge and “the wireless service is excellent.”
“There is no shortage of intelligent, hardworking students at Pace,” says a 3L. “Pace is filled with students who are extremely bright, but happened to not have the time to take a million practice LSAT tests because we were working or had other pressing responsibilities.” Some students call the academic atmosphere “very cooperative.” Others point out that there is “a tougher curve” here. “Pace certainly has a competitive atmosphere and has plenty of cutthroat students,” asserts a 2L.
“White Plains is an expensive place to live, but many students commute and the choices for living are unlimited.” The proximity to New York City is “socially and occupationally beneficial.” Students “have easy access to all the big city’s perks without having to live there,” explains a happily suburban 2L. On campus, there are “a lot of student groups.” “Excellent, high-profile guest speakers” are reportedly common. “Student organizations are very present, vocal, and their events are very well-communicated through e-mails [and] campus updates,” though “you actually have to read something to know what’s going on” one satisfied student wryly points out. On this “close-knit,” “supportive” campus, “students take time out of their busy schedule to get involved and support one another.”
Overall, there is a “very cooperative atmosphere and strong sense of community. Social life is there if you want it, but you’re not an outcast if you don’t.” Most students, however, choose to partake of the campus’ many social offerings. “Students from all years tend to mingle and go out together.” “Huge groups of students flock to the bars on weekends for happy hours and various social events,” relates a 2L.
* The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University.