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Topics - mrimmalawyer

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Where should I go next fall? / A WARNING about Phoenix School of Law
« on: July 16, 2012, 02:54:18 PM »
I've seen a lot of people talking about their acceptances to PSL and I would just like to issue a helpful warning to my fellow potential lawyers:

DO NOT GO THERE.

I am a student who attended school there as a 1L last year. I was thankful enough to transfer out, but this is a rare circumstance. Allow me to bullet point my issues with that school and why it is a death trap:

1. The school is more a business than a school.

You would be surprised how many people do not realize (yes, even the students currently there) that PSL is a for-profit school. It is part of a consortium of schools run by infilaw. This enough should raise flags folks. You are not their concern. REVENUE is their concern. This will be explained further.

2. The school is a C-curve. Most good schools are a B.

When I first got into PSL I was wondering "why would a school this new want to make things *more* difficult for its students?". Then I learned the truth finally after transferring out. PSL keeps you at a C curve to - as other schools have elegantly put it - "trap" you there. Think about it: if it is harder to get good grades, how would you be competitive enough to transfer? The administration is fully aware that most students (as you should) care about their school's ranking. So this is kept in place for that reason and no other. It should also be noted that PSL has you take almost every single of your ABA required 1L courses as a part 1 and 2 (e.g. Contracts I in fall semester, Contracts II in spring semester). Most schools do not do this. And if you attempt a successful transfer, be prepared to get an email saying something to the tune of "congratulations on your acceptance! Oh, by the way, you are not caught up to what we consider a 2L, so you may have to take another semester of units before being back on track). Another trap ploy? You be the judge.

3. The school oddly enough doesn't have a high drop out rate.

This point ties into point #2 very well. What else would make the school look bad besides a mass exodus of people? A mass group of student dropping out. So back to the C curve again. Knowing that is is very tough to get good grades, it is easy to slip under that 2.0 average and be put on probation. So what is PSL's answer to balancing both of these facts? THIS IS A TRUE STORY: I spoke to a student who has stayed below a 2.0 THREE SEMESTERS IN A ROW. They kept readmitting him!  The only thing in the student handbook that can really fail you out is if you start your first semester below a 1.41 (really????) or you fail to maintain a 1.80 after being on probation for a semester - and I even question how much they hold to that!

4. We are in a recession. If grads from NYU are struggling to find jobs, what on earth thinks you can find one with a PSL degree?

PSL will sell all of you with their "Valley of the Sun" Program. This program is about connecting students with nice placement intern / externships in the downtown area. In fairness, I've seen this program have a certain level of success, but here is where it is misleading: A lot of companies are not hiring (see: recession comment) but will GLADLY take free work! So why would they turn you down? The question to be asked here is "well will they hire me AFTER I graduate an make connections by interning here?" and the answer is sadly "most likely no". From what I have personally experienced, PSL students are almost always put at the bottom of the priority list when competing against U of A and ASU law grads; not to mention students from other out of state schools too! So yes, they have a pretty good internship program...but who says you're getting hired there afterwards?

5. I do not get for the life of me how they hire professors.

A lot of the professors are stellar. I truly missed a lot of my 1L profs, but not all of them. PSL has a ton of money to hire good professors. They are a for-profit school, and can waive tons of money in the applicants faces. However, knowing this to be true, somehow they hire the polar opposite. This is the one thing that always perplexed me about the school. Half of them are amazing profs and people. Always available in office hours and really had a knack for teaching. The other half are deadbeats, awkward, constantly getting bad reviews from students yet are never fired, and people who have minimal years in practice but couldn't cut it. So would you rather go to a school with a world-renowned teaching staff, or a school where you are actively taking a gamble similarly to the freshman GE courses in undergrad? And here is the best part. PSL *must* know this. Why? Because after your 1L year when you get to chose classes, you are not told who your profs are until very late. Most students theorize it is because they do not want everyone swarming the good profs and leaving the bad profs classes empty during the add / drop period. Looking out for the students interests huh?

PLEASE NOTE: this posting is my opinion. Observations are not necessarily solid facts. But hey, this is a review is it not?

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