Our Law School Road Trip

We're visiting law schools across the U.S. and documenting our journey

Let’s Go for a Ride

The point is to remember the journey students take when they dare to dream of becoming a lawyer.

Lawdragon CEO Katrina Dewey is visiting all 200-plus law schools in the U.S., with insights, anecdotes and reviews. We’ve visited close to 100 schools so far, starting in Malibu, Calif., at Pepperdine, and traveling to Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New York, Washington, D.C., Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine. So Far.

THE JOURNEY

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Day 40: Cardozo Law Makes its Mark in IP, Dispute Resolution, Innocence Project

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The Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University is one of Manhattan’s six law schools, and by far the youngest, with its first graduating class in 1979. Since then, it has built pathways to careers for more than 13,000 graduates who work in big firms, public interest, legal aid, financial services and government. One of its signature achievements is The Innocence Project, which has helped more than 350 wrongfully convicted men and women win release.

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Day 35: Marquette Law School Inspires Passion in Alums

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Marquette University Law School offers a strong private option for Wisconsin students. Based near downtown Milwaukee, it has a long history of providing strong legal education within the Jesuit tradition of service. Its alumni include top private corporate firm lawyers, leading plaintiff advocates, corporate counsel, judges and politicians.

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Day 34: University of Wisconsin School of Law Leads with Law In Action

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The University of Wisconsin Law School is a terrific state school. Located on the historic Madison campus, it blends history, a future focus and practical foundation just steps from the state’s government and judicial leadership. The alumni roster is 14,000 strong and includes standouts in government and law from throughout the U.S.

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Day 33: University of Chicago Law School Defines Elite Legal Education

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The University of Chicago School of Law is an enormously influential and fabulous law school. To a perfectly objective prospective law student, if you get in, you should really consider going here.* The school has the highest job placement metric – 98 percent – of any law school, and is the second-smallest of the nation’s elite schools.

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Day 30: John Marshall Law School Chicago is Illinois’ Biggest Law School

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At a whopping 938 students (at last count) John Marshall Law School Chicago is roughly 200 students larger than the state’s second-largest (IIT Chicago Kent). And that tells you almost everything you need to know about this sprawling downtown Chicago law school that enrolls huge classes from which a large number fail or transfer.

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Day 29: Loyola Law School Chicago Offers Great Networking & Education Options

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Loyola University Chicago School of Law has a lot going for it. Named in honor of legendary Chicago trial lawyer Philip H. Corboy, it packs a heavyweight alumni punch with judges and politicians including Attorney General Lisa Madigan and her dad, longtime speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives Mike Madigan, as well as elite trial lawyers.

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Day 28: IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law Gives Students a Practical Edge

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Chicago offers some of the best law schools in the country, and IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law boxes well above its weight here. It offers a rich history and an impressive array of leadership from its graduates, programs and innovations like an in-house legal clinic that operates as a law firm, and an early focus on technology and innovation.

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Day 27: Northern Illinois University College of Law Offers Small Size, Low Tuition

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The third of Illinois’ public law schools and the youngest is Northern Illinois University College of Law in DeKalb. It’s one of the smallest law schools in the U.S., with a total enrollment of 265. Its attributes are a very low resident tuition of $22,130 and proximity to Chicago and its suburbs, while offering students a small-town rural setting to learn.

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Day 26: University of Illinois Law School Tops State’s Public Options

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The University of Illinois College of Law in Urbana Champaign is one of the best public law schools in America, and easily the best option in Illinois. Established in 1897, the “downstate” school offers strong academics, an excellent network of 11,000 alums and leadership dedicated to making the school’s future as strong as its past.

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Day 23: Loyola New Orleans Law School Navigating Challenging Straits

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Loyola University New Orleans – College of Law is in challenging times, facing shrinking class size and tight budgets from its parent University. The school has – like other Louisiana law schools – produced its share of power brokers, including from the Landrieu family, one of whom – Judge Madeleine Landrieu ’87 – was recently announced as the next Dean.

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Day 15: Baylor Stands Out With Practical Skills Training

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Go to Baylor Law School if you are attracted to its quarterly system, allowing a student to graduate in 27 months. Though you will pay high tuition, scholarships are abundant, you will have a very good shot at passing the bar, top practical skills training and a strong likelihood of employment in a small to midsize Texas law firm.

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Day 14: St. Mary’s Law School Provides Students a Sense of Mission

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St. Mary’s School of Law makes one of the more compelling cases for not measuring all schools by the same yardstick. A deeply Catholic school, it caters to the large Hispanic and military population in San Antonio Southward, many of whom attend law school here to return to the Border and help immigrant families or join the judiciary or power base of South Texas.

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Day 13: Texas A&M Goes Boldly Into Law School Fray

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They do things big in Texas. So when the state’s largest public university decided to enter the legal education fray, it did so on a scale intended to succeed. It acquired the former Texas Wesleyan Law School for $73M in 2013, and has invested tremendous resources in the Ft. Worth-based school since, peeling back the typically diffuse law school focus and lasering instead on international law, intellectual property and dispute resolution.

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Day 12: University of Texas Law School A Powerhouse Without Peer

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The University of Texas Law School at Austin should be on every prospective student’s ‘consider’ list. The school is head and shoulders the best for more than 1,000 miles in every direction, with a passionate alumni base, academics, leadership, cost-effectiveness and job pipeline that are second to none. It also happens to be in a state that is #2 in corporate headquarters and a city that is booming like almost nowhere else. We’re hooked.

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