Penn Law School tops national law journal list
Despite the high cost of tuition, the opportunities offered at the grad school are considered invaluable
March 15, 2012, 6:20 pm · Updated March 16, 2012, 12:57 am·
Law school tuition might be on the rise, but according to rankings released by The National Law Journal last month, it shouldn’t stop applicants from considering Penn Law.
The Journal ranked Penn Law the best valued law school for the 2010-11 academic year. The calculation is based on tuition prices and the percentage of students from the school who get jobs at NLJ Top 250 firms.
Penn Law sent 57 percent of its 2011 graduates to these top firms, a greater number than any of its peer schools. According to the Journal, the tuition — $48,362 — is the 10th highest among the listed schools. However, other top schools with high tuitions did not have as much success in career placement as Penn.
“The hallmarks of Penn Law are a rigorous interdisciplinary legal education and a collegial, supportive environment where students are afforded all manner of professional development opportunities and experiences, and upon graduation are able to tap into the global Penn alumni network,” Associate Dean for Career Planning and Professionalism at the Law School Heather Frattone wrote in an email.
She thinks these characteristics and the small size of the school enable students to build relationships with faculty and CP&P counselors as they develop their career strategies.
2009 Penn Law graduate Bryan Anderson — who is also an associate at the well-known firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz — agreed, adding there is a strong career placement services department that helps prepare for anything from mock interviews to encouraging risks, such as interviewing for “stretch firms.”
“[It] speaks for itself,” said third-year law student and Graduate and Professional Student Assembly Chair Joseph Friedman about Penn’s top spot in the rankings. “It shows that Penn Law students are recognized for having a great potential as law firm associates.”
“Penn Law students also continue to find excellent positions even in a tough economy and the Penn Law School really provides the students with wonderful institutional support in the form of having our own Penn Law career services office.”
According to Anderson, the career placement is only one of the perks of a Penn Law education.
“Geographically, it’s ideally situated for some of the bigger legal markets and certainly for people interested in practicing corporate law,” he said.
He said the proximity to New York and Delaware and the relationship with the Wharton School come together to make an interesting and unique educational experience.
“The job opportunities coming out of Penn were exponentially greater,” said Anderson, who transferred to Penn Law from George Mason University.
Third-year law student Amy Wolf agreed that this further reinforces her decision to attend Penn Law. Additionally, she thinks those who are looking at Penn Law will see how highly Penn is regarded.
“People look at these rankings for guidance and it’s one of many potentially useful tools,” Friedman said. “It’s great for Penn Law and it confirms my experience.”