I am a very proud Barry Law student going into my third year. I had numerous other options, including second and third tier law schools. I do not regret my decision to stay at Barry for certain reasons. First, Barry is a great school and it has some very brilliant and talented students. The only drawback within the institution is that they have a very political administration that needs to be a little more organized. However, in the two years that I have attended already, I have seen progression in that area. The professors are excellent, Trial team and Moot Court are recognized nationally, and the bar passage rate is increasing. Also, Orlando ROCKS!!!!
True, there are trailers behind the faculty building. However, when I sat before Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia last year in a study abroad class, he didn't care about that. When I clerked for a judge in Tampa this summer, he didn't ask me about the trailers behind my school. While I am currently interning for an international software company, the attorneys in the legal department don't care about the facilities at my law school. The quality of my work and my professionalism concern these people. Barry prepared me well. This is the bottom line: If you are a determined, hard-working, and intelligent person, you will do very well at Barry. The cost will be lower because the school will provide you with great scholarships. You will have similar opportunities that have been available to many other students. Barry will make you a strong and ethical lawyer. But, if you do not do well and don't take law school seriously, it will be a very expensive education.
Only a certain percentage are going to get merit scholarships... I don't think it's realistic to assume that only people that are not determined, hard-working, and intelligent won't get these scholarships. Most rational people who understand the legal job market would not choose a school like Barry unless they thought they could be near the top of the class. Anyone on this board can tell anecdotes about going to a poorly-ranked school, doing well, getting a scholarship, getting a great job, etc., but for every story like this there is at least one story about someone who can't find a legal job and is struggling to make their student loan payments. No one goes into law school planning on being the second story, but at any law school (and especially non-public tier 4s), people need to know that it could happen to them regardless of how smart they think they are or how they did in undergrad.