School of Law Receives 3 Top-Ten Rankings in Princeton Review
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Dean Shelley Broderick
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
UNIVERSITY OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA DAVID A. CLARKE SCHOOL OF LAW FEATURED IN THE PRINCETON REVIEW'S "THE BEST 172 LAW SCHOOLS: 2011 EDITION"
Washington, D.C., October 12, 2010 – The University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law (UDC-DCSL) is one of the nation's most outstanding law schools, according to The Princeton Review. The education services company features the school in the new 2011 edition of its book, "The Best 172 Law Schools” (Random House / Princeton Review, on sale date Oct. 12, 2010, $22.99).
UDC-DCSL is one of 67 schools in the book (39% of the 172) that appear on one or more of the book's top-ten ranking lists. It is 2nd on the list for Most Liberal Students, 4th for Most Diverse Faculty, and 10th for Best Environment for Minority Students. Only six law schools had more top ten rankings than UDC-DCSL, whose three listings tied six other law schools. [Note: not all schools profiled in the book appear on its ranking lists – 67 appear on one or more lists, 105 don't appear on any of its lists.]
Princeton Review does not, however, rank excellence in clinic programs, a major focus of UDC-DCSL’s legal education, and for which it was ranked in the top ten in America by US News and World Report earlier in 2010.
In addition to its top-ten rankings, "The Best 172 Law Schools: 2011 Edition" has two-page profiles of the schools with write-ups on their academics, student life and admissions, plus ratings for their academics, selectivity and career placement services. In the profile on UDC-DCSL the Princeton Review editors describe the school as "a great bargain. The two pillars that set UDC apart are its all-consuming commitment to public interest law and its stellar clinical program." They quote from students attending UDC-DCSL who say "You learn skills that you just cannot learn from casebooks. You will have experiences that many first-level associates can only dream of having.” "The professors want to see you succeed and faculty accessibility couldn’t possibly be any better.” "Friendly and cooperative best describes our law school environment and the relationships among students."
In a "Survey Says . . . " sidebar in the profile, The Princeton Review lists topics that UDC-DCSL students it surveyed were in most agreement about. The list includes: "[Liberal students and students love Washington, D.C.]." The Princeton Review's 80-question survey for the book asked students about themselves, their career plans, and their schools’ academics, student body and campus life.
According to the Princeton Review:
The small David A. Clarke School of Law at the University of the District of Columbia is one of a handful of ABA-accredited law schools at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. By all accounts, UDC is "a great bargain.” It’s "dirt cheap” if you are a resident of Washington, D.C. Even if you aren’t, it’s still remarkably affordable since "the school now has a scholarship program that offers free tuition to 20 activists.” Otherwise, the two pillars that set UDC apart are its "all-consuming” "commitment to public interest law” and its stellar clinical program. This school was founded with the mission to train students from groups underrepresented at the bar and it remains "committed to social justice and advocacy through the law.” Students agree that UDC is "a law school with a conscience” and that they will graduate with "a strong sense of public service and how to serve their communities as lawyers.” The clinical program goes hand in hand with this ethos. Under the supervision of a practicing attorney, all students must complete 700 hours of "hands-on work” assisting low-income clients with substantive, real legal issues before they graduate. "Our clinical experience is like none other,” a 3L boasts. Students gush that they learn skills "that you just cannot learn from casebooks” and they tell us that the clinical requirement provides the expertise necessary "to start practicing law immediately.” "You will have experiences that many first-level associates can only dream of having,” a 2L promises.
Princeton Review continues:
The employment situation for UDC graduates is unique, primarily because it stresses public service so much. The administration and a tremendous number of the students who enroll here want to provide access to the legal system to people who don’t have much money. A very solid percentage of graduates obtain judicial clerkships. Graduates also find jobs at small law firms, with the federal government, and with nonprofit organizations of all sizes. Older UDC alumni have gone on to become judges in a host of states. Ultimately, if you want to start out as a public defender, or work for a federal agency or a public interest organization, UDC is an ideal law school.
Princeton Review does not rank the law schools in the book on a single hierarchical list from 1 to 172, or name one law school best overall. Instead, the book has 11 ranking lists of the top 10 law schools in various categories. Ten lists are based on The Princeton Review's surveys of 18,000 students attending the 172 law schools profiled in the book. (Only schools that permitted The Princeton Review to survey their students were eligible for consideration for these lists.) Conducted during the 2009-10, 2008-09, and 2007-08 academic years, the student surveys were primarily completed online. One list, "Toughest to Get Into,” is based solely on institutional data. (All schools in the book were eligible for consideration for this list.) The lists are posted at www.PrincetonReview.com.
According to Robert Franek, Princeton Review Senior VP-Publishing,
"We are pleased to recommend UDC-DCSL to readers of our book and users of our website as one of the best institutions they could attend to earn a law school degree. We chose the 172 schools for this book based on our high opinion of their academic programs and offerings, as well as our review of institutional data we collect from the schools. We also strongly consider the candid opinions of students attending the schools who rate and report on their campus experiences at their schools on our student survey for the book."
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