3.5 out of 5 Stars
Ole Miss is in my opinion on par with any ivy league or other "prestigious" university out there. The classes are taught through the Socratic method and strike a balance between theory and practical study; however they tend to emphasize practical study more. This is a better method in my opinion because they actually prepare you for practicing law once you graduate, so that you are not thrown into the field with nothing but legal theory to guide you. First year students are required to complete a trial and appellate brief, and they must also present their appellate brief in a moot court setting against another team presided over by a panel of three "justices." Graduation requirements require a minimum 2.0 GPA and you must complete legal profession, an advanced writing class, and a skills class (such as the Mississippi Innocence Program, Street Law, Elder Law...etc. - all of which often give you the opportunity to gain real experience in the court room or advise real clients).
Grading is on a curve your first year, which makes it very competitive. However, there is not a "cutthroat" atmosphere at all and students are encouraged to work together. The second and third years are much more laid back and allow you to choose classes that emphasize your field of interest. Ole Miss has certificate programs for Criminal Law, Remote Sensing (Space) Law, and others. I also think we are the only law school to offer a program in Remote Sensing Law.
Most of our faculty are well versed lawyers and have graduated from impressive programs from all over the nation. Professor Cochran is famous for many reasons, but mainly due to his relationship with John Grisham which shows itself subtly in many of Grishams books. Professor Czarnasky was originally an MIT grad. and worked on with the gov. for a while in the area of chemical weapons I believe. He is also a U.N. representative for the Vatican along with another one of our professors after a paper they wrote impressed the pope. Professor Bell is famous for her treatise Bell on Family Law which is nationally respected as one of the best family law treatises out there. All of our professors are heavily published and well respected. Several have helped write E&E books such as professor Hofhiemmer. We also have one of the only International Law classes offered I believe, and the professor flies in from Washington every week to teach it. We also have a rapidly growing environmental law field lead by Professors Case, Otts, and Pace. Professor Case teaches several environmentally related classes, and Professor Pace and Otts head up the Sea Grant Law Program which is an adjunct of the law school and focuses on issues dealing with Ocean, Coastal, Energy, and Natural Resource law.
There are many study abroad programs. This past year I knew students that participated in a program in Korea which allowed them to help prepare cases for their national court. Also their is heavy participation in our Cambridge program every year, but there are also many other opportunities.
The workload is what you would expect from any good law school, which means its heavy. However, it is not more than a student can handle once they figure out the ropes. There is a lot of reading, but also a lot of practical work and projects to prepare you for practicing after graduation.Quality of Life
The cost of living just depends on how close you want to be to the school or the square. There are plenty of options and even the furthest ones out are not more than a 5-10 minute drive to campus at the max. If you want to live close to the square a 2 bedroom will probably cost you anywhere between 650-800 a month. However there are many exceptions, and Ole Miss has a great networking system for finding compatible roomates. If this is out of your price range there are many complexes that range from one to five miles away from campus that are much cheaper. The cheapness doesn't reflect quality only distance, and a great distance from campus in oxford would only be considered about a 10 min max drive.
The Campus is beautiful and it would be hard to find one that compares. The college has been around since 1848 and is one of the oldest public colleges in the nation. It is very colorful and the landscape services department is nationally known. Also the famous grove is a great spot to relax or study and you can always find something going on there.
Our facilities are top notch. We just moved into a our new LEED certified law school, which has been outfitted with top of the line technology, and takes advantage of natural light to save electricity through its numerous windows witch provide a great view of the beautiful landscape surrounding the school. As mentioned the building is LEED certified and there is a huge emphasis placed on moving towards a more sustainabile environment. There are recycling bins everywhere and almost everything used in the building comes from recyclibale material or will be recycled after use. The law school also includes a cafe, with a great breakfast and lunch menu. There is also an extensive computer lab in our new library, as well as other computer access points spread throughout the library. The new lawschool also takes advantage of several large touch screed LCD screens placed through out the facility. These screens allow you to find professors offices, maps of campus, course assignments, and many other useful materials.
Ole Miss is known for its social atmosphere, so community relations is top notch. It has also been ranked as the top party school in the nation and usually stays within the top three. However, this is only because of our undergraduate Greek participaton. The Law School definitely does not contribute to this, but having said that if you need to get out and have a good time you won't have a problem. The square in Oxford is famous for its social atmosphere, and there are an abundance of famous restaurants 3 of which are owned by John Currence who is currently on Top Chef. I believe there are a total of 19 or 20 bars on the square as well with just as many restaurants and shops. The music and arts scene in Oxford is also outstanding. Ole Miss is a liberal arts college and we have produced many famous writers and musicians. John Grisham for instance, who wrote his first novels in our old law school library. Also you can't forget Faulkner and his house Roanoke is still there and students often go and have picnics in the yard surrounding the old house. Also Proud Larry's has been voted as one of the top ten bars in America and has helped many bands get off their feet. As to the overall happiness I would rate it as a 10. Oxford is just a great town it is small and quaint, but also bustling with activity and you can find a niche in whatever area you are looking for.Admissions
Your are required to submit two letters of recommendation preferably from previous undergraduate professors, usually need to score around 155-160 or more on LSAT, and an essay is required which explains your interest in attending law school. There are many scholarship and financial aid opportunities, even more so than at most schools because of the abundant amount of alumni funded scholarships (there is a good balance between merit and need based scholarships).Level
Some of the professors use the Socratic method. The school has a good mix of theory v. practical study, it is probably about 50/50. Class sizes for 1L's are large as expected. The school is very competitive, but relationships are generally friendly. The median for the curve for 1L's is set at 2.7. There seems to be a lot of opportunity to study abroad and/or join academic programs.Quality of Life
Cost of living in Mississippi is pretty low. Home prices are very low. The school just finished a brand new law building that is exceptional.Admissions
LSAT, Personal Statement, Resume, Personal references.Level
The faculty at Ole Miss are amazing! You will find that the Professors at Ole Miss Law are not only excellent instructors in the classroom, but are also first class mentors when class ends. The First Year's curriculum is heavily theoritical and in many ways follows the traditional law school model that everyone expects (Socratic method, gobs of reading, nervous students), but the 2nd and 3rd years offer a dynamic environment in which students may choose to take only applied classes or on the other hand prepart to become Academics by taking entirely theoritical type courses. The flexibility of the legal education provided at Ole Miss is crucial to students that have a set goal and understand what courses will benefit them the most.Quality of Life
The facilities at Ole Miss Law are hands down some of the best in the entire country! We have a brand new law school that is beautiful and students love attending classes within its heavily sunlit interior. I would rank our facilities as certainly in the top 10% of the entire United States.Admissions
Standard application process: LSAT, Essay, References. Lots of Scholarship opportunities as many alumni have left numerous endowments to the Law School which provide dozens of small (but extremely helpful) scholarship sources.Level
Socratic method is used frequently in first year classes. There is a very competitive atmosphere. Grading is on a curve.Quality of Life
Our school just moved to a new building, so everything there is fantastic.Admissions
LSAT, application process, LSAC/LSDAS, personal statement all requiredLevel
Our law school moved to a new facility in January of 2011. Our facility is more student/faculty/staff friendly. The lay-out of the building allows more visibility and interaction between students, faculty, and staff.
Cost of living can be affordable but it depends on individual taste and budget. Off-campus housing is where the majority of students live and in Oxford the housing options are plentiful and varied.
There different community activities and festivals during the year. The Gertrude Ford Center often host different performing arts events. Football season is a major draw for social crowds, along with baseball in the spring. Memphis, TN is a little more than an hour away and they often have concerts and events.
Reports of crime have been seldom during my time here, but just because its not reported doesn't mean it doesn't happen. But the environment is more safe than not.
While being in law school you have to find a balance. If you like to work-out join the gym at the University or go running at one of the local parks. We do have a movie theatre, but its small. Shopping is limited unless you are a big fan of shopping on the square but there is more shopping in Southhaven which is on the way to Memphis.Admissions
The application process involves the application, personal statement, LSAT score, LSAC, transcripts from undergraduate institution, three letters of recommendation, financial aid application. (the earlier your application is completed and submitted gives you the opportunity to be considered for more scholarship opportunities)Level
LSSB, Socratic methodQuality of Life
The legal writing program 1L students encounter is intense but highly instructive, giving students many opportunities to receive feedback. Classes offered are, more often than not, practical--but there are exceptions. One of the best classes I have taken was Jurisprudence, which is a completely theoretical class. Class size for 1L students generally varies from 50 to 65, depending on the year. Legal Writing classes are much smaller--about 20 students. Upper level class size varies depending on the subject. Where Evidence may have 70 seats, I have had classes like International Law of Armed Conflict and International Space Law with fewer than 15 students. Grading in first-year classes follows a strict curve with class averages reportedly set close to 2.8 on a 4.0 scale. Some professors in upper-level classes like Evidence continue to apply the 1L curve.
Because of the strict 1L curve, students here--at least those within the top half of the class--compete with each other than one might think. Competition for Law Journal and Moot Court Board membership is particularly heated.
The University of Mississippi offers a popular study abroad program at Downing College of Cambridge University.
From my experience, faculty routinely approach promising students with research opportunities.
Notable faculty include Prof. George Cochran (former clerk for two Supreme Court justices, and member of the Warren Commission), Dr. Jack Nowlin, Prof. Joanne Gabrynowicz, and Prof. Christopher Green.Quality of Life
The quality of life at the University of Mississippi is second to none. Oxford is an affordable place to live, and the University's willingness to grant in-state tuition to out-of-state students after one year of residency makes a quality legal education extremely affordable. In state tuition hovers around $10,000 per year, representing one of the best values out there. The new law school building--the first LEED certified building in the state of Mississippi--is a palace.
Oxford is a bit of an anomaly in rural Mississippi, as it is home to numerous restaurants, art galleries, concert venues, bars, and cultural events.
The Grove also is a foundational experience for life at Ole Miss.
Crime is very low in Oxford, and it is a safe town. Every student I know loves living here and hates the prospect of having to leave.Admissions
The University of Mississippi School of Law required a long-form application, an open-ended essay, LSAT results, undergraduate transcript, and letters of recommendation. In particular, the admissions office wanted to know why I wanted to attend the University of Mississippi.Level
Most professors are not strictly Socratic and encourage interaction in a variety of ways, such as role play. I would say most classes have an even balance of lecture and Socratic teaching. All professors are extremely knowledgeable. Class size for 1L classes are not too big, but not small. Around 63 in each section. The National Space and Aviation Law center is unique and is the reason I applied to Ole Miss. Old Miss has the only JD certificate program in space, aviation, and remote sensing. We have several notable faculty in their field and some up and coming faculty. Study abroad program is excellent, grading can be a bit harsh. But the new law school building is amazing.Quality of Life
Cheap, accessible to campus, library is amazing, entire building is amazing, safe, secure, even a decent cafe in the law school building. Over all, a great place to go to law school.Admissions
Nothing stood out as different from any other law school I applied to. Although, specifying you wanted to study space and aviation law seems to give your application a major boost towards acceptance if you have a demonstrated interest.Level
The faculty-student ratio means we get to know our professors and benefit from their direct mentorship. I was somewhat surprised by how good the faculty is--there is a lot of impressive talent, and they don't mind sharing what they know. Our professors will pick up a phone to make calls for you and work closely with you to get you where you want to be. Classes are rigorous, but the clinics are where you really learn how to practice law. The National Center for Justice and the Rule of Law has cranked out fine criminal lawyers who understand what's at stake and how to keep the process fair, skills that are in desperate need in our state. It is competitive and cooperative at the same time; students respect each other and rudeness is highly discouraged.Quality of Life
Low cost of living, beautiful town, world-class dining (home of THREE Beard Award-winning chefs), low crime, and SEC football. And the law school is brand new, gorgeous, and state-of-the-art.Admissions
Admissions and scholarship process went very smoothly. I was in constant contact with the Director of Admissions the entire process.Level