I would be interested in hearing from students who attend or have recently visited any of the above schools, or from others who know the schools well. My son, who wants to attend law school in Philadelphia and thereafter have a criminal defense practice, is fortunate to have a choice between the three. Cost is not a distinguishing factor since he qualifies for in state tuition at Temple and has received merit scholarships at Drexel and Villanova which make their net tuition even less than Temple's.
He has scoured their websites and is pretty familiar with the info contained there. So far, here's how he distinguishes the schools:
Temple- Number 2 ranked Trial Advocacy Program in the country. He would attend the Evening Division which is a 4 year program thereby enabling him to continue to work a couple of days a week as a law clerk for a well established criminal defense attorney for whom he presently works. Clinical placements in the area of criminal law are available to 4th year Evening students. In addition to FT faculty, has many Philadelphia practitioners and judges as adjuncts.
Drexel -Young school, provisional accreditation (but that is not a major concern, the school has the full resources of Drexel behind it and is attracting well credentialed faculty including area judges and practitioners). Major focus on clinical/field work with a 6 month co-op program, required pro bono hours and 4 quarters of courses in Criminal defense Field Work available.
Villanova - Seems to be a very solid program. An emphasis on a "values" based approach to the study of law, many opportunities for clinicals and externships in the area of criminal law. Also appears to have a strong academic support services system for students. In addition to full time faculty, has many Philadelphia practitioners as adjuncts.
So, for those who currently attend these schools, recently attended them or otherwise know them well, what have your experiences been. Going beyond the facade of the websites, what are your thoughts about the reality of the educational experiences, training, opportunities and student life at these schools? Any thoughts on how these schools would serve the needs and desires of someone who wants to do criminal defense trial work and related litigation.