Law school seeks prospects, proponents from outside NY
BY JODI SOKOLOWSKI
|First-year student Heidi Jones feels comfortable at UB Law, in part because of an atmosphere she describes as noncompetitive.|
When Heidi Jones was researching law schools, she set criteria to limit her list of prospects.
The law school had to be within five hours of her hometown, in north-central Pennsylvania, have fewer than 300 students in the incoming class and offer courses on community and economic development and mediation.
Jones narrowed her options down to two choices — the University of Pittsburgh and University at Buffalo.
She visited both and immediately felt comfortable with the Buffalo region, UB and its law school. But the final decision came down to the covers of the schools’ respective alumni magazines. Pitt Law featured a photograph of an alumnus working for NASCAR. UB Law’s highlighted a student interning in Tanzania for human rights.
“That was the final piece of evidence. It was progressive,” said the first-year UB Law student.
What’s in the mix
UB Law’s recruiting efforts rely on a variety of factors that may influence a prospective law student’s decision. They include a relatively low tuition, non-competitive and collegial atmosphere, a variety of educational clinics, a New York City program and a wide alumni network.
“I think it’s a combination of those things. Students are looking for a complete law-school experience,” said UB Law’s vice dean for admissions and financial aid, Lillie Wiley-Upshaw.
Jones said UB Law’s Community Economic Development Clinic and meeting with its director, Lauren Breen, on her one-day visit here, coupled with finding Pitt Law’s clinics to be “marginalized” and “not integrated,” helped in her decision-making.
Although she hadn’t heard about UB Law before her search, once she was on its radar, “they did a good job of outreach,” she said.
Through direct-mail campaigns and e-mails, as well as appearances at law-school recruiting fairs and legal conferences, UB Law staff stress the school’s culture and the quality and affordability of its legal education to prospective students. Its fall recruiting tour goes statewide and coast to coast.