Located in Durham, North Carolina, this is one law school you need to consider attending. It is located in the ever-expanding Research Triangle Park, close to Duke University.
The First thing you need to know about North Carolina Central University School of Law is probably more important than any other ranking a law school might have for prospective students. It is ranked Best Bank for Your Buck by PreLaw Magazine.
Sure the law school might not have all of the glitz of a top 10 school, or the U.S. News top law school in your region, but you are also not going to go bust under a mountain of debt just so you can wear the best brand name. Besides, I am here to tell you, that after your graduate and past the bar, nobody much asks were you went to law school or where you graduated in your class. That is just stuff that new attorneys like to list on their websites. They also do not care how deeply in debt you might be as a result of obtaining your law degree.
The PreLaw rankings are important because they do not just look at price. They look at the things that matter, including costs. First, they look at bar passage rates. If it is not likely that you will pass the bar, then the law degree is not much good at any costs. They look at employment rates. Then the look at the cost of your education.
This type of analysis is so important these days as tuition and costs for law school are raising at such a rate, it is very likely you could be paying half as much again for tuition and costs when you graduate as compared to when you started.
At $9.503.13 in tuition and fees for the 2009-10 school year for full time in-state students, NCCU Law grads are carrying little debt after graduation. Eighty-seven percent are employed in some fashion at graduation. And, it has a very high bar passage rate on the first try. Even if you are considered out of state for a period of time, the tuition for NCCU Law School is still cheaper than most public law schools.
One thing that I like is that NCCU Law does not punish you for being a part time student, as some law schools charge exorbitant fees which do not change much whether you are a full time student or part time student. As a result, part time students, that have to work to make a living through law school, so as to keep their debt under control, have to pay a higher costs overall for their education. NCCU has a few moderate fees, many of which adjust to the number of hours taken, so if you have to take fewer hours, you pay less.
What I particularly like about NCCU Law is that instead of trying to compete for U.S. News rankings they merely admit they are a "no frills" law school, and they concentrate on developing practice ready lawyers. The law school has 14 clinical programs and two institutes to train lawyers for the real work they will be expected to do. In short, what this says to me, is to hell with the U.S. News ranking garbage, we are going to concentrate on what really matters to make our graduates prosperous an successful even if it is not the "in thing" to do.
North Carolina Central University has come a long way. Founded in 1909 as the National Religious Training School, it became a taxpayer-funded institution in 1923, being renamed Durham State Normal School. In 1925 it was renamed the North Carolina College for Negroes, which was the nation's only state-supported liberal arts college for black students. In 1969 the North Carolina General Assembly established the institution as one of the State's regional universities and the name was changed to the North Carolina Central University.
The Law School was opened in 1940 and the first entering class consisted of only four students. In 1981 the Law School created an evening program and the student body now includes 550 students. The Law School is now a diversified group. 95 colleges and universities were represented in their 2009 entering class, and 59% of this class were female.
The median LSAT for its day program was 145, and the median GPA was 3.21. For the evening program the 151/3.48.
And, apart from the U.S. News rankings, The Princeton Review ranks NCCU Law as one of the best 11 law schools in the country.
Also, if you are still considering law school, and have not made a choice, NCCU Law has a later application deadline than many law schools. The LSDAS report files must be completed on or before March 31, 2009 to be considered for the fall entering class.
The bottom line is really this. Whatever your background, if you want to be a lawyer, graduate from a good quality law school, with practice-ready skills, with no or little debt, and pass the bar the first time out of the gate, then this might well be the place for you.