Phoenix School of Law
Academics & Programs: This brand-spanking new school received accreditation from the ABA in June 2010, making it the only private law school in Arizona with both full and part-time programs. Though this lack of tradition means that many areas of the school can still be considered “reactive,” students claim Phoenix Law is “on the cusp,” and its eventual reputation rests on its performance in the next few years. As of now, the rapidly growing (and somewhat expensive) school seems to be aiming to become a “unique, niche law school targeting nontraditional students with practice ready skills.” Indeed, “practice readiness” is something the school not only proclaims it focuses on, but also “genuinely centers most of its activities toward.”
“Phenomenal” professors are very devoted to their students and “will work with you on any issues and really encourage excellence.” The mix of adjunct and full-time teachers “are very accessible, treat us as colleagues, and devote hours to practical, hands-on applications of the law.” Phoenix Law has “great teachers and very high expectations” (including a strict attendance policy and a C curve), making the achievement of the elusive A difficult, but there’s ample help available from the “knowledgeable, intelligent” professors, and the school even offers intersession classes, which provides even more class availability. “There are many options for class times, if you are willing to take a night class.” “The school’s administration could not do more to try to help and encourage students to succeed. Every school activity and function is centered toward student success,” says a student.
Though the name of the school could certainly use some rooftop screaming, its strong practical focus on experience is highly employable, which bolsters its reputation among those firms that are familiar with Phoenix Law. The externship programs and Center for Professional Development are well-lauded, leading one student to claim that “more than any other school I researched, it really bridges the gap between law school and a law career.” The school has also recently begun small-sized review classes, “which are very informative because they discuss how to approach bar questions.”
Campus Life/Facilities: There’s a lack of competition at Phoenix Law, due to the friendly, Southwestern nature of the students. “When someone wants notes because they missed class, notes are provided. When someone needs help understanding something, there’s always student help nearby. I think the cooperative nature of the student body is a huge asset of this school,” says a 3L. Most students are from Phoenix and the sprawling suburbs, and many have come here to embrace a career change. The increased attempt by the administration to gain student opinions is reflected in their recent strides of reaching out to night students to help them to participate in school functions.
Though the school itself doesn’t have much of a campus, “It feels like a law school” in its aesthetics. Classes are held in one building located in downtown Phoenix; outfitted with high tech classrooms and common areas designed to facilitate student collaboration. The library is “clean and organized, and the staff is incredibly helpful.” Most students have some form of transportation at their disposal but “There is also a light rail and bus system with which people can get anywhere in the city.” Social events do exist but typically occur in the city itself. The older average age of students means that many must attend to full-time jobs and families instead of socializing with their fellow classmates.
* The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University.