Upon arrival at the Syracuse airport Iíd have to say that while not large, it seemed to be sufficient for the area. Rented a car, and the only car available was a Towncar and I was upgraded over my economy car for like 10 bucks a day more, which was sweet. I stayed at the Genesse Grande and it was very nice for the price. The first day we arrived in town around 4:30 so there wasnít much to do, so I walked around campus. The campus seemed very nice, and the architecture of some of the buildings was very striking, gothic in nature. ( though Iím no buff) The campus is very urban and in the middle of the downtown area. The students seemed very solemn and serious, at least compared to FSU where you see smiles and people socializing all the time. The cold obviously had something to do with it Iím sure.
The city itself seemed old and dilapidated for the most part. The area known as Armory square seemed nice, and was obviously revitalized recently with many shops and bars.(more on it later) I ate the First night at the Dinosaur Bar-b-q, shocked doesnít even describe my reaction. I heard it was good, but being form the South I was skeptical. I can say in all honesty it was the best Bar-b-q I have ever had, and would recommend it to anyone. After that I was exhausted and went to sleep.
Breakfast at the Hotel was good, and then went for my tour of the Law School. The building from the outside seemed nice, but nothing much compared to some of the others on campus. There is however a parking structure across the street dedicated to 2 and 3 Lís which is great especially given the cold. 1Lís park just a bit further, but still much closer then the 1 mile I walk almost everyday to class at FSU.
The tour guide was an older 1L student(25), but she told me that around 75% of the class starts right out of undergrad. The library seemed OK, nothing special, and the rest of the building was nice. The courtroom I saw was very nice, with cameras and good technology throughout. The entire complex is wireless internet ready, and there was a tech support office if you had problems. The classrooms I saw were nice, better then Miamiís in my opinion. There were lockers and changing rooms, as my guide said people were always doing interviews on campus. This is contrary to the NALP report of only 16 firms doing OCI. I sat in on a class, it was a 1L elective, Employment Law. I have nothing to compare it too, but the professor seemed interesting and the students had thoughtful comments to add. He knew everyone by name without referring to a chart. The student in the class were all very nice to me, and were glad to have me. It seemed a very supportive bunch of kids.
After the class I talked to financial aid and the career center. All the support staff, including the admissions and everyone was very helpful and went out of there way to accommodate me. They had Mid-terms later in the week (some graded, some not) yet were still able to help me in every regard. The financial aid officer told me everything I needed to know, but not to expect much in grants, maybe a few thousand, but when I asked they encouraged me to appeal the scholarship decision. (I received none) The career lady was very honest, and told me that the TOP jobs go to the top students, but the reputation is strong, and if you work at a smaller firm for a few years and succeed, a lateral movement to a bigger firm is very doable.
That night I went out to Armory square to se what the nightlife had to offer. It was quiet but it was also a Tuesday night. I found a local girl to talk to, and she showed me a very good time!
. The bars were nice, for a smallish city, better then Tallahassee, at least in terms of quality, maybe not people.
The next day I went to look at apartments, in a variety of locations, most of the ones in the city seemed old, and had not much to offer in terms of amenities. I found 1 place I really liked called Newbury which is 1 exit south on 81(5 mins away), and they told me it was mostly Graduate and Law students and it included utilities (a big deal as they can be 200+ a month). For about 675 you get a 2 bedroom thats 1000sqft+, that included full kitchen appliances(dishwasher!), and by far the nicest and newest ones. Iím looking for a roommate so if your thinking Syracuse go ahead and PM me. I could write a lot more but this is going on forever, if anybody has any questions Iíll try to answer them as best as I can.
To close, Being from Florida, Syracuse is a huge adjustment, but I could see myself there. It is not the best school, but I think its can provide you with all your looking for, if you are willing to put in the extra effort and legwork