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Indiana University - Bloomington Law School

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IU-Bloomington is one of the very worst placesQuite BrightPreLaw and Legal
IU-Bloomington is one of the very worst places to be a law student.
Back in the 70's and 80's, it was thought that there would be a high demand for lawyers to work on business transactions while working for large firms. Law schools strove to meet and exceed this demand by boosting enrollments with promises of high salaries. Of course, most graduating students would not be able to work at these large law firms since there were far too few places at the law firms and far too many graduates. Lesser graduates, and graduates of lesser schools had to compete for an increasingly shrinking supply of less desirable legal work for lower pay. Yet, the law schools kept turning out more lawyers, so that the law firms could have the pick of the graduates. The fate of graduates who were not picked was not really considered; these graduates were/are considered disposable, and will hopefully find non-legal positions. In this way, the law firms tried to create a lot of artificial competition for a few jobs.

In other words, instead of training attorneys, the entire process was reconfigured so that it could become a lengthy and time-consuming way of weeding out candidates to work at large law firms, at the candidate's expense. The real training was supposed to occur on the job.

IU-Bloomington Law School continued to adhere to this model in spite of any downturns in the market for lawyers.

While this is true for a lot of law schools, there are some peculiarities about IU-Bloomington. First, know that the faculty are generally unhappy. They are, by and large, Ivy Leaguers with Ivy League egos and arrogance who have dropped out of the rat race without having practiced law very much. They were able to do this because IU will hire just about anyone with an Ivy League law degree and/or a suitable judicial clerkship experience. At IU, they are paid about as much as regular professors are paid, and they have to suffer living in a boring and unstimulating rural university town, dealing with the midwestern hoi polloi (a.k.a. the students and staff). Due to their arrogance, and their backgrounds, they treat students (not generally fellow ivy grads) like they are in Kindergarten, and think of students as morons.

While this may be true of the faculty generally, there are also some older faculty members who are decent human beings. They can be counted on to deliver solid teaching, while being utterly uninspiring.

The school is definitely not socially conscious. There seems to be an undercurrent of support for all things socially irresponsible which are carried out by powerful individuals. (In case you are in doubt, this is the way many "conservative" judges outside of San Francisco view the situation too.)

I would encourage anyone interested in IU-Bloomington to sit in on classes mid-semester for a sufficient period of time to see all of this for themselves.

The architecture of the school may seem nice to begin with, but you will quickly come to find it bland and impersonal like the school.

While other graduates of better law schools can look forward to asking the question: "will I have my first choice of job?", everyone at Indiana asks the question: "will I get a job?" In many cases, the answer to this question is "no." Do not believe the school's statistics on this question. Ask to see the job surveys themselves; note when the surveys were completed and how many of the people who graduated filled them out; and also note if any follow-up surveys were done (they aren't--as far as I know). I received no help from IU in any way after graduation, or before graduation.

All of these things are demoralizing as to a law student and contribute to IU's unhealthy atmosphere. The reputation/ranking of the school is out of touch with reality. It should really be much nearer to the bottom of the pile.

If you are an Indiana resident on a budget, and you don't mind spending the rest of your life in Indiana, doing the very worst legal work there is (and believe me, you will wish you were working for McDonalds instead), feel free to enroll at IU-Bloomington law school. Hopefully, you will do really really well under this sort of adversity, and get a job that would have been available to any average student who went to a better law school.

Alumna Female -- Class 2000
Starting Job: Lawyer;
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