« on: March 15, 2008, 05:53:58 PM »
As an Arizonian with a couple of friends who practice (I'll be 1L in the Fall), I can give you a small amount of anecdotal info regarding the state's legal climate. We have a large, still growing and healthy legal community with an extremely limited amount of law schools feeding new lawyers to the community (as mentioned earlier in the thread).
I'm sure the real estate bust has hurt the whole nation, but our state was crushed by that downward swing and the real estate law gold falling from the sky stopped falling, but many other opportunities continue to exist.
The state bar is considered to be an "easier one", but ASU, which can boast many great attributes, does have an issue graduating people who can pass it at an above average rate. I have no clue why that is. They get high marks in many other areas.
I've had friends that have gone to U of A and love Tucson, and it is quaint, but the real noise is up in Phoenix, IMHO. ASU is in Tempe, right next to Phoenix and is quite the party town. More importantly, both schools have great academic reputations in state. The new Phoenix School of Law in Phoenix is aggressively pursuing a place of good standing in our community. Currently, they only have provisional ABA status until 2010. Their targeted student is the "returning student" or part time student (they have the only in-state part-time law program). While clearly tier 4, I have been impressed with their early strategy and tenacity. Still, ASU and U of A are obviously still the way to go for most students.
The winters here are beautiful and it isn't strange to see people wearing shorts in January. June, July and August are red hot, but luckily most people reading this won't be doing construction work outside then. I have to think that we have more pools per house than any other state, but I can't back that opinion up! Vegas is a four and a half hour drive away, Los Angeles is a little over five hours and Rocky Point, Mexico is about four and a half hours away by car.
Best of luck to anyone looking at any of the AZ schools.