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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

School of Law earns national recognition

Aidan Sheedy

The Quinnipiac University School of Law earned top national rankings for its building and programs in the PreLaw Magazine’s winter 2024 issue. 

The National Jurist publication recognized Quinnipiac’s School of Law as a leader in international law and employment law, awarding the school an “A-” for both categories. 

Jennifer Brown, dean of the School of Law, said she is “glad to know that our efforts are recognized.”

“We at Quinnipiac more generally put a lot of value on experiential learning,” Brown said. “I think we have great opportunities for students to kind of get out there, to travel or in the case of workplace law, to actually help to resolve workplace disputes.”

The Center on Dispute Resolution and the Civil Justice Clinic are among the assets available to students in Quinnipiac’s employment and labor externship program.

The law school’s dispute resolution center offers a certificate training in mediation skills to all enrolled students.

When it comes to workplace law, Brown said, lawyers need to master statutory and regulatory laws and understand conflict management.

Brown also pointed out a comment an alum left under the school’s Facebook post: “As an employment and labor law practitioner, I can say confidently the workplace law concentration prepared me for the field in Connecticut.”

Students in the Civil Justice Clinic have worked with the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, the body that handles workplace disputes and employment discrimination claims.

“We thought carefully about what lawyers in those fields need to know and what they need to be exposed to,” Brown said. “We’ve tried to make sure that the curriculum includes those kinds of courses and we guide the student through them.” 

Speaking on the international law rank, Brown mentioned learning trips law students take to Guatemala, Oxford, England and Dublin to study human rights and learn more about the concentration.

With a 97.1% debt-to-income ratio, Quinnipiac earned a spot among the top schools for salary versus debt. PreLaw Magazine listed the average income for a Quinnipiac School of Law graduate at $83,420 and debt at $81,000. 

“We really try to be reasonable about our expenses,” Brown said. “But you know, legal education is expensive because of things like the experiential opportunities.”

She added that the school tries to help students through financial aid and merit scholarships, as well as offering a part-time program and evening classes so students can progress through law school while also working at law firms. 

“Maybe that also helps a little bit with some of the expenses and to at least hold within reasonable boundaries the kind of borrowing that they have to do,” Brown said. 

Quinnipiac’s School of Law Center on the North Haven Campus earned an “A+” rank and overall second place on the list, with an aesthetic score of 4.25 out of 5. 

“I have been to other law schools, and I would agree Quinnipiac is the nicest,” first-year law student Robert Schroeder said. “I’m sure there are nicer law schools, but I know for a fact that there are other law schools that aren’t as nice.”

However, aesthetic points make up only 50% of the overall score, per the PreLaw Magazine. Square feet per student make up 10% and the third biggest category taking up 15% is the number of hours the school’s library is open. The rest is divided between parking opportunities and other amenities. 

“It’s just pretty, and when I saw (the ranking) I was happy it was getting recognition and I think it was warranted,” Schroeder said.

The school’s library is open 24/7 almost every day of the year. Brown explained that this is due to the understanding that everyone has different times when they feel productive, so officials made the space available for the students at any time. 

“I happen to think we have a really beautiful building,” Brown said. “But I think we got a lot of that recognition because of the way the building serves the students.”

No. 7 Stetson University and No. 1 University of Memphis were the only other universities with the same open hours that found their spot on the “A+” list alongside Quinnipiac.

The School of Law Center includes a 150-seat courtroom, a legal clinic, a mock trial practice room and more than two dozen classrooms and seminar-style rooms, according to the official facilities website

“Our building has created office space for student organizations, so that when students are building those leadership and project management skills through those organizations,” Brown said. “Whether it’s a competition team or a public interest law project, they have offices where they can do that and not every law school has that kind of space for students to use.” 

Brown said she was also invited to a conference in Texas to present to fellow deans and associate deans about the School of Law’s building and the planning that went into designing it. 

Although this is not the first time Quinnipiac’s School of Law has received national recognition, Brown believes there are other parts of the school and its programs that are overlooked — specifically, the advocacy and the mock trial program.

“We’re competing head-to-head with schools like Harvard and UCLA or NYU, in a sense we kind of punch above our weight,” Brown said. “I would love to see that part of our curriculum continue to grow and continue to get more and more recognition because I certainly think they deserve it.” 

Brown is stepping down from her deanship this June after a decade in the role, and according to her, she always had a “love-hate relationship” with rankings.

“It’s nice to be recognized, it really is,” Brown said. “At the same time, I’ve learned to take rankings with a grain of salt, because I don’t necessarily feel that we become a better school if another school is worse than us (in the ranking) … In that sense, well, I just think rankings can be a flawed instrument for measuring quality.”

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About the Contributors
Alexandra Martinakova
Alexandra Martinakova, Editor-in-Chief
Aidan Sheedy
Aidan Sheedy, Photography Editor

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