5 Professor Personalities That Make BC Law Great

In honor of BC Law earning a #8 spot on Princeton Review’s 2023 Law School Rankings: Best Professors list, I have attempted to distill the five most common BC Law Professor personality types that make them the best of the best. As a disclaimer, there are undoubtedly fantastic professors who were not mentioned on this list due to my limited experience and response sample size. Additionally, many professors will fit into multiple categories, and other amazing professors are in a category of their own that did not make the list for the sake of brevity.

Without further ado:

  1. The Professor Who Reminds You of Your Favorite High School Teacher

These professors’ commitment to their students’ success is apparent from the first day of class— if not before! They prioritize instructional clarity and ensure every student learns the content inside and out before exam day. Oftentimes this professor spends the first part of class on review and uses a panel-system for on-call students to help alleviate any nerves. They tend to learn student’s names fairly quickly and probably have asked you to complete some sort of get-to-know-you exercise at the beginning of the semester. These professors provide ample practice opportunities and leave you confident walking into your exam or writing your paper. They also tend to be very passionate about the content they teach, which is not only infectious with their students, but means they also prioritize readying their students for practice.  

Examples of BC Law Professors: 

  • Natalya Shnitser (Corporations; Fiduciary Obligations and the Law; Regulation Workshop)
  • Cheryl Bratt (Law Practice I and II)
  • Jeffrey Cohen (Applied Legal Concepts; Law Practice I and II; Evidence)

2. The Precision Professor

For these professors, everything is exact. Their class structure is extremely consistent which makes it easy to anticipate the important material from the readings. They are amazing at pacing the class– both during the class itself and sticking to their planned syllabus. These precision planners leave little room for surprises and make it effortless for their students to follow the structure of the course. They often provide mid-semester assignments to help break up the material, like papers or practice exams, and they provide ample heads-up to allow you to plan ahead. They have likely taught their classes many times previously, and their organization of the material cannot be topped. For these professors especially– use their syllabus to outline! 

Examples of BC Law Professors:

  • Joseph Liu (Intellectual Property Survey; Trademark)
  • Kent Greenfield (Constitutional Law: Speech and Religion; Constitutional Law; Supreme Court Experience)
  • Joseph Manning (Environmental Law)

3. The Renaissance Professor

The Renaissance Professors have a broad wealth of experience that they humbly share in pieces throughout the semester for their students to pick up throughout the course. They can talk to virtually anyone about anything without exhausting their knowledge, while bringing you with them in the conversation rather than leaving you behind. They tend to approach different issues differently, rather than adopting a one-size-fits-all approach, and bring the same customization to their students. This personalized approach means these professors might admit that they are not huge proponents of exams for learning purposes.They are great professors to ask for clarification in office hours because they are able to explain the same concept in many different ways, and hold in-depth conversations with you about any of your interests. 

Examples of BC Law Professors: 

  • Alfred Yen (Torts; Sports Law; Intellectual Property Survey)
  • Vlad Perju (European Union Law; Jurisprudence; Future of Constitutional Democracy) 
  • Mark Brodin (Civil Procedure; Evidence; Scientific and Forensic Evidence Seminar)

4. The Approachable and Compassionate Professor

It might be surprising for a law school, but BC Law is home to many professors who are the kindest, most genuine, and caring people you will ever meet. They are invested in getting to know every student in the class and probably had a printed roster with pictures of each student on the first day. These professors love student feedback, and usually ask for it mid-semester because they want to tailor their teaching to each class’s preferences. They are professors who are flexible and will always be available outside of class for extra help or career questions. Law school can be very stressful, but these professors help their students to confidently approach the challenge, knowing they have their professor’s support behind them. 

Examples of BC Law Professors:

  • Mary Sarah Bilder (Constitutional History: The Framing; American Legal History)
  • Michael Cassidy (Evidence; Criminal Law)
  • Dave Rangaviz (Criminal Procedure)

5. The Beyond-The-Classroom Professor

These professors become fan favorites not only for their work inside the classroom, but also for their contributions to the BC Law community outside of it. They are the professors who host events outside of class for students, provide career advice, extend networking opportunities, write recommendations, and get to know their students beyond the classroom. These professors often have alums keeping in touch with them after graduation and become career-long mentors. The Beyond-The-Classroom Professors really shine when students meet with them in office hours about their career aspirations. 

Examples of BC Law Professors: 

  • Ingrid Hillinger (Contracts; Secured Transactions; Business Bankruptcy)
  • Brian Quinn (Corporations; Mergers & Acquisitions; Venture Capital)
  • Father Frank Herrmann (BC Defenders: Compassionate Release & Parole Clinic; Community Enterprise Clinic)

Reilly Doak is a second-year student at BC Law. Contact her at doaka@bc.edu. For more on her favorite professors, don’t miss her Q&A with Professor Bratt!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s