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Brooklyn Law School, Brooklyn, NY
by Jen Woods
For instance, on February 11, 2002, law professors Lawrence Solan and Anthony Sebok discussed the legal issues regarding compensation for 9/11 victims and the Federal bailout of the airlines. The meeting was part of the "Understanding September 11: Probing the Past, Looking to the Future" forum series.
The law school also offers a jurisprudence seminar titled, "Advanced Problems: The Law After 9/11." Law professor Gary Minda teaches the class, which focuses on constitutional law, immigration, homeland security, technology, and other subjects that have been impacted by the war on terrorism.
The school, founded in 1901, has established a solid reputation over the last 100 years. It was recently ranked 58th among the top 100 law schools in the United States in the U.S. News & World Report 2007 Graduate School Ranking.
Statistics show that most BLS graduates are well-equipped to begin practicing law right out of school. Eighty-four percent of the June 2005 graduates passed the July 2005 New York Bar Examination, and 97 percent of those who graduated in the top half of the class passed. The average state pass rate is 76 percent.
The school's career center also plays a vital role in preparing students for the work world. Attorney counselors maximize students' marketability by teaching them job search skills and career strategies. The career center offers recruitment programs, workshops, and panel discussions.
In addition, prestigious national and New York City law firms—as well as major public sector employers—visit the campus in the fall semester to interview students for summer and permanent positions. An Alumni Mock Interview Program is also offered to prepare students for real interviews.
Over the last three years, about 97 percent of graduates have found employment within nine months of graduation. With numbers like that, it should come as no surprise that only about a quarter of nearly 5,000 applicants are accepted. The average GPA is 3.4, and LSAT scores range from 161 to 164.
The required first-year classes provide a general overview of the law and are designed to sharpen students' analytical skills. Students must also complete a seminar course, where they will develop skills like negotiation, counseling, drafting, and interviewing. The seminars, which are roughly half the size of most other classes, allow students to work intimately with faculty on their assignments throughout the semester.
Upper-class students have much more control over the courses they take, as they have more than 240 classes to choose from. Every spring a faculty panel discussion is held to help students decide on the best classes, clinics, and seminars for them.
Unique hands-on training is offered as part of the school's clinical program. Under the supervision of faculty, students represent clients; and they appear in every type of state, federal, and administrative court on both the trial and appellate levels. The students gain experience with interviewing, drafting, counseling, negotiation, fact investigation, and oral and written advocacy. Students can choose to work in a broad range of legal areas, including bankruptcy, immigration, securities arbitration, criminal prosecution and defense, real estate practice, children's law, and mediation.
The school also has one of the largest externship programs in the country, placing more than 150 students in law offices, public agencies, nonprofit organizations, offices of corporate counsel, and judicial chambers every semester and during the summer.
The law school publishes four student-edited legal journals, The Brooklyn Law Review, Brooklyn Journal of International Law, The Journal of Law and Policy, and The Brooklyn Journal of Corporate, Financial and Commercial Law. Students who choose to contribute to the journals have the opportunity to refine their legal research, writing, analytical, and organizational skills.
Notable alumni include United States Representative Herman Badillo, New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, criminal defense lawyer Bruce Cutler, former judge of the United States Court of International Trade James Lopez Watson, TV newscaster and talk show host Geraldo Rivera, and singer/songwriter Paul Simon.
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