University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law
Academics & Programs: The University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law offers “small class sizes”; “a very friendly, welcoming environment”; and “a price tag that lets students pursue careers in public service and nonprofit organizations” without racking up a gargantuan debt. Opportunities to gain practical experience are plentiful. The “strong” judicial externship program “can accommodate students interested in everything from bankruptcy court to superior court to district court.” Clinics offer “hands-on experience” in eight areas including immigration, child advocacy, and indigenous peoples’ law. “This school is the most student-focused academic institution I have ever attended,” says a happy 3L. Faculty members “truly care about their students” and “are available constantly.”
In the classroom, professors “make every effort to make the classes interesting and enjoyable,” and “The small-section format during first year allows students to build a relationship with at least one professor.” “They encourage discussion before and after class and are more than willing to provide letters of recommendation and reference.” “They are approachable, friendly, and most even greet you by name as they pass you in the lobby or going to and from class.” “Most are around campus all day and not just available during their office hours.” “I e-mailed my property professor on a Sunday at roughly 10:30 P.M., with a pretty lengthy question,” describes a 2L. “The question was answered at length by 10:45 P.M.” “The administration is great too,” enthuses a 1L. “Everyone is very helpful and interested in you getting a good education.” “The quality of instruction is outstanding, and the responsiveness of the faculty and staff are remarkable. I am so very happy that I ended up at the U of A,” sums up one pleased student.
Some students tell us that the “very helpful” Career and Professional Development Office at the U of A is “active in helping students connect with amazing internship and job opportunities in both the public sector and in law firms” in Arizona, California, and other Western states. If a student “is clear about where she wants to live or what she wants to do, the Career Office will give that student personal attention to strategize a plan to get there,” although some complain that “they don’t care what job you get, as long as you get one somewhere.”
Campus Life/Facilities: Facilities on campus are impressive. “The new building is gorgeous, especially the library. Tons of technology and connectivity. Little things like plugs at every desk and the latest projectors for classrooms make a big difference.” Another student concurs, “The classrooms are brand-new and state-of-the-art—in my Family Law Class last semester we were able to video conference with a teacher in Canada to talk about divorce law without any extraneous equipment. Everything we needed to video chat was in the classroom!”
There is a “relaxed Arizonan attitude” among the “amazingly friendly, smart” students at the U of A. “There is definitely competition here, as is unavoidable, but the school has a very laid-back atmosphere that allows you to keep things in perspective.” “The second and third-year students are very active in assisting the first-years adapt to law school through tutorials for all first-year classes,” and teaching assistants “help with briefing and outlining.” “Despite the curve, grades are not a big issue among students, and we tend to be excited for others’ successes,” declares a 1L. “This place is the opposite of cutthroat.” Small sections for first-year students “are really conducive to forming lasting friendships.” “I became very close with the other twenty-six students in my small section and continue to be good friends with several of them,” says a 2L. “There is an overriding sense that everyone, from faculty to administration to students, really wants to be at the school and wants to see the school succeed.”
The social atmosphere is “very vibrant.” “There are thirty-plus student organizations that cover different religious, political, social and ethnic categories.” That translates into lots of events. “ “I have had so much fun in law school,” gushes a 1L. “Almost every day, there are informative and thought-provoking guest speakers, panel discussions, or film screenings, especially during the lunch hour.” Intramural sports are also popular. Social life tends to be “polarized between younger people coming straight out of college and older students with families.” “The crowd divides into three groups,” elaborates a 3L, “the married/serious relationship/older crowd, the nerds who rarely go out, and those who are trying to extend their undergraduate experience by going to law school.” Without question, if you are “interested in partying, you cannot beat the University of Arizona bar scene.” The U of A campus itself is “beautiful, complete with palm trees and a gigantic, ideal student union.” “The weather is ideal.” The low cost of living is “fabulous, especially from a student’s perspective.” If you like outdoor activity, there are “myriad” activities within minutes of campus, including hiking, biking, swimming, and rock climbing.
* The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University.