Quinnipiac University School of Law
The Quinnipiac University School of Law, located in Hamden, CT, was established in 1990 and fully accredited by the ABA in 1995. It is the youngest law school in Connecticut and still has many hurdles to overcome before becoming a top law school, but is enjoying a steady and growing regional reputation. It serves just under 400 students in a scenic suburban setting.
Admissions & tuition
The admissions process at Quinnipiac is slightly more competitive than that of most other Tier 3 law schools, both in terms of the numbers required to secure admission and in terms of the percentage of applicants accepted. Most recently, Quinnipiac accepted only 41.4% of applicants (of which a scant 13.7% chose to attend), and between 2001 and the present they have averaged an acceptance rate of only 28.9%.
For the most recent full-time matriculants, the 25th-to-75th percentile range for GPA was 3.10 to 3.63. For LSAT scores, the range was 156 to 160. The medians were 3.32 and 158. Students with numbers below those medians will need to appear truly exceptional in order to stand a good chance of being accepted, whereas students above those 75th percentiles will likely find themselves in the running for serious scholarship money. The school also has a part-time program, and its medians are 3.29 and 153.
Quinnipiac University School of Law has high tuition, even for a private law school. Tuition for the full-time program costs $40,780 for the academic year, and $28,780 for the typical part-time program course load. This does not include the cost of housing, food, books and other requisite expenses that all law students face; students would be wise to budget at least another $10,000 annually for such expenses.
Employment prospects & bar passage
Most recently, a respectable 90.8% of Quinnipiac grads passed the bar on their first attempt, compared to 88% statewide. Between 2001 and the present, Quinnipiac graduates have averaged a Bar passage rate of 77.4%, compared to a statewide Connecticut average of 80.5% during that time period.
The school no longer releases statistics regarding the percentage of their graduates who have secured employment by or before the time of graduation; this suggests that not terribly many Quinnipiac students have done so. When Quinnipiac did release such statistics, most recently in 2004, the figure was 45.6%. The good news, however, is that within 9 months of graduation, the vast majority of Quinnipiac graduates secure employment. Most recently, the exact percentage who had done so was 96.4%. Still, these statistics serve as a reminder that graduating at or near the bottom of one's class at Quinnipiac Law is to be avoided at all costs. For graduates working in the private sector, the median salary was $75,000.
Quinnipiac prides itself on its small class sizes and claims to provide an intimate academic environment where students don't get lost in the shuffle. Their student-to-faculty ratio of 11-to-1 is much better than that of similarly ranked law schools, which suggests the school's claims with regard to personal attention and small class sizes are not without merit.
The school prides itself on its 50,000 square foot law library. Quinnipiac also provides 15 different clinic and externship programs, so students with varying interests will likely be able to pursue a course of study that leads them in the desired direction. Quinnipiac also offers a JD/MBA.
Quality of life
Hamden, CT, is a small New England town that is mainly known for its New English scenery, for being the location of Quinnipiac University, and for being the one-time home of inventor Eli Whitney. Although Hamden's suburban vibe doesn't give off the classic college town atmosphere, Hamden's proximity to major cities is likely enough to keep boredom at bay for the busy law student. The town is very affluent, as less than 5% of its families fall below the poverty line. Although Hamden is a quiet place, that could be just what a hard-working perspective law student needs to focus on his or her studies and succeed in law school.
Quinnipiac is relatively successful for a new law school. The school's bar passage rates are good, and the majority of its graduates do find work. However, without a substantial national reputation or a sizable alumni base, students may find that it is an uphill battle to go from Quinnipiac to the better firms of New York or Boston. Prospective students should carefully weigh the costs and benefits of a legal education at Quinnipiac before they opt to attend.
U.S. News Ranking: Tier 3
LSAT Median: 158 (FT), 153 (PT)
GPA Median: 3.32 (FT), 3.29 (PT)
Application Deadlines: N/A
Application fee: $40
Entering class size: 113 (FT), 47 (PT)
2009-2010 Tuition: $40,780
Bar passage rate: 90.8%
Median Private Sector Salary: $75,000 (Class of 2008, 73% reporting)