Drexel University College of Law, Philadelphia, PA
by Heather Jung
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<<For the first quarter, classes were held in Drexel University's main buildings since the college of law's building was not yet complete. The four-story building was completed in January of 2007 and features seven classrooms of varying sizes, a two-floor library, a two-story atrium and balcony, and office space for various student organizations. Drexel's college of law has received provisional accreditation from the ABA.
The average undergraduate GPA for the inaugural class was 3.4, and the average LSAT score was 156. Of the 181 students enrolled, 107 have completed some form of post-baccalaureate work, and 67 have completed advanced degrees. According to acting dean Jennifer Rosato, next year's class will be just as impressive.
"Above all, we are committed to excellence—excellence in the faculty we hire, excellence in the students we admit, excellence in the courses we offer, excellence in the co-op externships we have created, and excellence in the facilities we build," Rosato said.
The college of law's website says that the school offers a traditional law school curriculum "to ensure that its graduates are well-equipped to pass the bar examination upon graduation and to be competent legal professionals. That means that it will offer its students classes in all of the subjects that are tested on the bar examination; and that Drexel Law students (like students in any law school) may pursue a general program in the law. A rich variety of upper-division courses will be complemented by the co-op program and clinical opportunities." Students who want to pursue more specialized degrees can choose from three areas of concentration: intellectual property, healthcare, and entrepreneurial business.
Acknowledging that it is not sufficient for graduating law students to merely think like lawyers, administrators at Drexel Law have designed a new cooperative educational program, which is based on the university's well-established program.
Through the program, students learn how to think like lawyers but also learn about the business of the industry they have chosen to pursue. The program places students in off-campus organizations where they are guided by on-site attorneys. Students who participate in the program work for as many as 25 hours per week and receive six credits per quarter.
"A Drexel Law student will be able to do a 'deep dive' and learn substantive information in one of the concentration areas," the Pennsylvania Department of Education said. "This depth will provide students with the ability to be not only a productive member of the bar but also of the business community in Philadelphia and the greater Commonwealth of Pennsylvania […]. On account of this deep-dive feature of the J.D. program, Drexel students will likely graduate with the most current knowledge in those areas of legal need and will be able to be productive sooner than their counterparts from other more traditional law schools."
Drexel College of Law has committed itself to professionalism, making the aim of nurturing it one of its founding principles. In order to facilitate that ideal, the school has created the Public Interest Law Program. The program's goal is to inspire students to work in public interest throughout their legal careers. Students at the college of law must complete 50 hours of mandatory pro bono service.
According to the school's website, students who attend Drexel University College of Law will not only be studying but will also be "connected to the bright and vibrant city" of Philadelphia. The city is home to a number of museums, such as the Philadelphia Art Museum, the African American Museum, and the Rodin Museum; the "world's largest urban park;" performing arts venues, such as the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts; several sports teams, including the 76ers and Phillies; and scenic bike paths that host the USPRO Cycling Championships.
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