“Smaller classes, smaller community, close-knit school identity.” Much at Gonzaga University, a small Jesuit school in Spokane, Washington, is couched in terms of size, but size does not define the school. With a “very accessible” administration, an “amazing” classroom environment, and “intellectual property professors who are experts in their field,” Gonzaga’s impact on students is larger than its size would suggest. Perhaps that’s because its size affords students a chance to work closely with administrators and instructors alike. “Communication between faculty and students is pretty good,” students note, with leadership that is “very accessible and approachable but respectable.” The same is said about the “great” professors here. “All seem qualified, engaging, and effective instructors,” a group who “come from excellent schools from around the country and have many years of professional experience.”
Technology and access to information is paramount at Gonzaga. The “top notch” facilities and “incredibly helpful library assistants” make research a breeze. “There is a concerted effort to familiarize students with every online resource that is available (as well as) with information in more traditional formats.” In addition, “the library and staff work very hard to ensure students have access to the most relevant and up to date materials.” This works hand-in-hand with the accolades the legal research and writing program receives. This four-semester program, with an optional fifth semester, gives students “an ability to research better than most and have experience drafting multiple legal memorandums, motions to the court, and appellate briefs.”
The new required skills labs during 1L year “need drastic improvements,” due in part to an inconsistent approach between professors, but this is balanced by the two-year LRW program, “which really helps a student compete for hard to get internships and compete with bigger schools like University of Washington.” The idea is to give students practical, hands-on experience that will allow them to succeed in the real world. The school also has “an excellent mentorship program that they do not force the students to participate in even though it is an excellent opportunity.” In addition, “the clinic and externship requirements are great. They require real world experience so you are practice ready when you graduate.” Overall, the “wonderful facilities, faculty that cares about the students, and very helpful professional development office” make Gonzaga stand taller than its size would seem to allow.