I apologize to everyone for taking forever to get this up. I toured Campbell within the first week of senior year and between law school applications, papers, and starting a new job it got pushed back and back. Without further adieu, my review of Campbell Law.
Campbell is conveniently located on Hillsborough Street, about two blocks from the State Capitol and three from the General Assembly, Court of Appeals, and State Supreme Court. This is a huge improvement over the previous location of the school, in Buis Creek, about 45 minutes south of Raleigh. Parking isn’t much of an issue for students, even with them being in a downtown environment. Three Ls are fortunate enough to have parking in the parking deck under the building. 2Ls receive parking privileges in a parking lot next to the building, and 1Ls have spots a few blocks from the building. The cost of which is included in your fees.
The school and life:
The building is within walking distance of all of downtown Raleigh’s nightlife. To the west, about four blocks away, is Fayetteville street. Home to the county courthouse and numerous bars, along with a plethora of restaurants, there is no shortage of dining options for students away from the building. To the north Campbell is about a fifteen minute walk from Glenwood South, the night club scene of Raleigh. So when not studying students have plenty of options. Inside the law school itself there is a decent assortment of vending machines and a coffee shop that runs throughout the day. Although not amounting to a ton of in-building dinning, it certainly stacks up to be more than some law schools.
The first floor is devoted to one half of the library as well as administrative offices and a large foyer where the event I was attending began. Campbell recently moved into its current location in 2009, so the building is brand new and certainly comes with all the bells and whistles one would expect of a law school in the 21st century. The building has three additional floors of classrooms, offices for professors, and meeting space. There are a handful of large 100+ student rooms for 1L classes. There’s nothing particularly amazing about these rooms, being fairly uniform amongst law schools. However, some of the smaller rooms for 2L and 3L classes were quite impressive. Being so new, the school has provided for several creature comforts. Whether it’s the desks and chairs or the views that are offered from the smaller classrooms, the aesthetics are quite nice. I never thought of Raleigh as having a decent skyline. However, Campbell’s location made it quite apparent.
The school houses several courtrooms for class use, as well as the actual North Carolina Business Court that is in session during law school hours. The judge of the court has vowed to only accept clerks from Campbell, a factor that will certainly aid the students there in procuring courtroom experience. It was readily apparent from administration and students that Campbell understands its place in the legal community of North Carolina. There emphasis on courtroom settings is well intended, as many students go on to handling affairs in the smaller towns of North Carolina and for the state and local government.
Perhaps the most disappointing aspect apparent in the school is the apparent lack of clinics. The school only sponsors two clinics, both aided at social justice work. This makes it especially attractive to students interested in such lines of work, but clearly less so to others. With Campbell’s price tag being in the upper $30k range and its status as a 4th tier school it seems debt would be a significant issue at the school. This was instilled by administration during their talk with us, as they handed out booklets on “paying for your legal education”. Obviously some will view this as a positive, with the school being upfront about the dangers of large debt (something many law schools are not voicing) while still others will see this as a sure sign that Campbell graduates are destined to the less well paid public sector of legal service.
Living within walking distance of the school is certainly not an issue for students. Being in downtown Raleigh there is a wide variety of options and housing literally across the street. Apartments range anywhere from $450 for a studio apartment a half-mile away to $1,500 for 12 foot ceilings and great views at The Hue two blocks away. After talking to a few of the law students at Campbell it was apparent that living arrangements are as diverse as you would expect, although everyone emphasized either living alone or with fellow law students.
The school seems to strive to be honest and upfront with students, and to be realistic with them about the chances present in the North Carolina legal community. If you can get some money to go there, it seems it’d be a pretty good choice for anyone looking at public sector law.