How does one choose a law school to attend in Delaware? There may be a large number of law schools just over the border in Philadelphia, but when it comes to choosing a Delaware law school the choice is quite simple. There is just one ABA-approved law school within the state's borders. If you are thinking of completing your legal education in Delaware you'll want to know what this school offers.
Widener University Delaware School of Law
Widener University operates two campuses of their law school, one in Wilmington, Delaware called the Widener University Delaware School of Law (Delaware Law School,) and the other in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania called Widener University Commonwealth Law School. These campuses split into independent law schools in 2015. Although both remain a part of Widener University, they are separately administrated and operate independently with their own deans and faculty.
Since this article covers Delaware law schools, we will focus on the Wilmington school. Delaware Law School is rated by the U.S. World & News Report as a "second tier" law school, though its part-time program is very highly regarded. Post-graduation employment rates for Delaware Law School are unfortunately somewhat low, despite the school's location in the epicenter of U.S. corporate activity, which provides many opportunities for those interested in corporate and business law.
Wilmington's status as the corporate capital of the world have led to high regard for Delaware Law School's corporate law program, their Institute of Delaware Corporate and Business Law, and their law review on the topic, The Delaware Journal of Corporate Law. The school also offers a Masters in Jurisprudence in Corporate Compliance that is the only such program approved by the Corporate Compliance Board in the United States.
Delaware Law School graduates have occupied many prestigious positions in Delaware and nationally. Former Vice President Joe Biden taught at Delaware Law School for almost two decades as an adjunct professor. The school's alumni include many politicians, including numerous state assemblypeople, congresspeople, and Don McGahn II, White House Counsel for President Donald Trump.
On the other hand, Delaware Law School's bar passage rate is considerably lower than that of many of Pennsylvania's law schools. Temple University, for example, is a much higher ranked Pennsylvania law school that also, as it happens, has a lower tuition than Widener University. On the other hand, attending the only local law school can be a point of pride and locals both recognize and respect Delaware Law School's reputation.
There has been discussion of Widener University establishing another, more elite law school within Delaware's borders. The response has been largely negative. Critics have argued that there are many markets in which there are too many law schools and, consequently, too many lawyers competing for a limited number of positions, driving down the market as a whole. Delaware Law School has been against the proposal and expressed dismay at what they perceived to be an unflattering characterization of the quality of their services.
After choosing to set your sights on a particular law school you'll be ready to face your next set of challenges. Getting admitted to law school, financing your legal education, passing the bar, and finding your first job will all involve complicated considerations. FindLaw's Law Students section contains resources to help you grapple with these issues with confidence.