Supreme Court Justice Ruth Ginsburg said law school should be a place where students can grow and mature as people. She said students should have the sense they are participating in a shared adventure with their peers and professors.
In the midst of law school it is difficult to evaluate how well your school does this job. Most students are just trying to stay above the mountains of reading, research and writing. Now, having passed the bar and experienced a year as an attorney, I can confidently say Gonzaga Law School does an excellent job of taking care of its students professionally and personally.
When I attended Gonzaga Law, I always felt that I was more than a number. The faculty and staff seemed genuinely concerned with my well-being. The Student Bar Association’s numerous family-oriented activities allowed me to socialize with my fellow law students but not forfeit precious family time with my wife and child. (How many law schools sponsor a family Easter egg hunt?)
The Career Services Office actively helped me obtain a federal clerkship, not because of the prestige a clerkship brings to the school, but because they wanted the best for me. When I was alerted for mobilization to Iraq with my Army National Guard unit, every professor worked out a plan so I could graduate early in case of deployment. When I had financial difficulties, the school did its best to help me find scholarships.
The question “what makes a good law school” will generate hundreds of subjective responses. What I know is at Gonzaga Law I received great service with a smile. The school not only helped turn my brain of mush into the mind of a lawyer (as they said in “The Paper Chase”), but the personal touch of the school helped me grow as a person. Dean Bill Bowen of University of Arkansas Law School said, “Here we don’t just make you valuable to prospective employers, we make you valuable to society.” Gonzaga is doing just that.