How is Fordham Law regarded in NYC? alumni network?

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DanInALionsDen
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Re: How is Fordham Law regarded in NYC? alumni network?

Postby DanInALionsDen » Fri Feb 05, 2010 3:15 am

I would bet that for those who want it, GW places just as well, if not better than Fordham in NYC. This is speculative, but I think that GW's NYC biglaw placement numbers, if lower than Fordhams are only so due to self selection. Moreover, GW doesn't seem to have the budgetary issues that Fordham does, and seems much more generous with scholarships. I think that the feeling that Fordham is underrated comes from the perception that everyone must want a biglaw job in NYC, and that since Fordham seems to deliver this more easily that GW or perhaps even BU, that it must not be ranked properly, but again, this doesn't take into account self selection; people from other schools are more likely to spread out into various legal markets, whereas at Fordham next to everyone wants to stay in NYC and often go into biglaw.

I would argue that this, in itself creates a good alumni network for the institution in NYC, and bolsters its reputation within the city, but I also imagine it must be a drawback to have everyone in your class clamoring for employment in the same market. Besides this, Columbia and NYU already have most of biglaw locked down, and in this economy, with hiring so limited, they probably have ALL of biglaw pretty well filled. If, say, only the top 30% at NYU are getting biglaw jobs in this economy, than chances are almost no one from Fordham is getting such a job, since firms can pick their fill from Columbia and NYU, without even getting through those schools' above median students. In my opinion, above median at Columbia and NYU, would likely beat the very top of Fordham in placement.

As for how the law school is regarded in NYC: I'm pretty sure everyone knows it's the school you go to if you can't get into Columbia or NYU, but are too good for Brooklyn or Cardozo. I think Fordham students are probably thought to have more in common as far as ability with Columbia and NYU's student body, than Brooklyn or Cardozo's. That said, I would not be surprised if Cardozo overtook Fordham in the rankings within the next decade or so...

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OperaSoprano
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Re: How is Fordham Law regarded in NYC? alumni network?

Postby OperaSoprano » Fri Feb 05, 2010 3:42 am

DanInALionsDen wrote:I would bet that for those who want it, GW places just as well, if not better than Fordham in NYC. This is speculative, but I think that GW's NYC biglaw placement numbers, if lower than Fordhams are only so due to self selection. Moreover, GW doesn't seem to have the budgetary issues that Fordham does, and seems much more generous with scholarships. I think that the feeling that Fordham is underrated comes from the perception that everyone must want a biglaw job in NYC, and that since Fordham seems to deliver this more easily that GW or perhaps even BU, that it must not be ranked properly, but again, this doesn't take into account self selection; people from other schools are more likely to spread out into various legal markets, whereas at Fordham next to everyone wants to stay in NYC and often go into biglaw.

I would argue that this, in itself creates a good alumni network for the institution in NYC, and bolsters its reputation within the city, but I also imagine it must be a drawback to have everyone in your class clamoring for employment in the same market. Besides this, Columbia and NYU already have most of biglaw locked down, and in this economy, with hiring so limited, they probably have ALL of biglaw pretty well filled. If, say, only the top 30% at NYU are getting biglaw jobs in this economy, than chances are almost no one from Fordham is getting such a job, since firms can pick their fill from Columbia and NYU, without even getting through those schools' above median students. In my opinion, above median at Columbia and NYU, would likely beat the very top of Fordham in placement.

As for how the law school is regarded in NYC: I'm pretty sure everyone knows it's the school you go to if you can't get into Columbia or NYU, but are too good for Brooklyn or Cardozo. I think Fordham students are probably thought to have more in common as far as ability with Columbia and NYU's student body, than Brooklyn or Cardozo's. That said, I would not be surprised if Cardozo overtook Fordham in the rankings within the next decade or so...


Fordham's strength, now and in the future, is certainly bolstered by its location. It is far easier and cheaper for NYC firms to interview here than it is at GW. This doesn't mean that GW students can't get NYC biglaw; they most assuredly can. What it does do is prevent Fordham from falling victim to the type of location based depletion of OCI firms that happened at Illinois this past year. (Chi firms opted to cut expenses by limiting recruitment to Chicago, Northwestern, and Michigan.) Fordham hasn't seen that problem. Hiring is down for sure, but top students here are still as well off here as they would be if they left for CLS or NYU.

Cardozo is a fine school, but it will not overtake Fordham in the next decade. The fact that Fordham has done so much with such a teensy budget says volumes. The school is ranked where it is because of funding issues, IMO. If Fordham could buy more students away from the T14, in the manner that GW can, it would rise very quickly. This is not an attack on GW, but a reflection on the reality of how schools raise their numbers.

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OperaSoprano
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Re: How is Fordham Law regarded in NYC? alumni network?

Postby OperaSoprano » Fri Feb 05, 2010 4:13 am

ahshav wrote:(1) Fordham has done significantly better in years past than the other non-T14 NYC-area schools. That being said, rumor has it (and it is just a rumor, AFAIK - if proven wrong, I will edit, and remove this line), that Fordham did no better than Cardozo this past OCI.
(2) Similarly, Fordham has, admittedly, a higher caliber student body - as measured by UG GPA and LSAT - than other non-T14 schools. Nevertheless, I tend to believe that this is a result of (1), combined with tradition and history - and not the other way around.
(3) I have no real knowledge of Fordham's faculty - but if they treat their students like their admissions office does, then I wouldn't want to be in such a classroom.



1) If hiring was down here, it was almost certainly worse at BLS and Cardozo, considering Fordham has historically had somewhere between double and triple the biglaw placement percentage enjoyed by those schools. We won't know anything more specific until 2009 figures are officially released. I will not make any claims or counterclaims until I have actual numbers, which will shed some light on this point, and put all the speculation to rest.

2) I know at least a few people who turned down Cornell and UCLA for Fordham. Numbers here are competitive, though not the highest outside the T14. That honor probably belongs to Vandy.

3) As an actual current student, I do have knowledge of Fordham's faculty, and I've been pretty happy with my professors so far. I'm not going to post specific information, but people can always PM me. I have also spoken with a number of people in the admissions office, and while they could use a larger staff to handle the huge influx of applicants this cycle, everyone there I have ever met with has been unfailingly polite and helpful. There are legitimate criticisms that could be made of the school (I think lack of funding to give scholarships is the big one, and I hope Fordham can turn this around), but faculty and administration quality are not shabby at all. I also just met with the registrar, and she is extremely thoughtful and helpful.

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observationalist
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Re: How is Fordham Law regarded in NYC? alumni network?

Postby observationalist » Fri Feb 05, 2010 9:30 pm

OS, all I can say is that your argument gets a lot easier to present to skeptics about Fordham's placement once you can convince school to release some current employment information. Class of 2009 stats, as you know, are also outdated... all schools are going to count their graduates who were hired and then deferred for that year as being employed when they send in the numbers to NALP at the end of this month, even though for many of them their future employment status is uncertain. Vandy's Class of 2009 was actually better than 2008; it's not until you get to 2010 that the drop-off happens.

I don't have anything else constructive to add to the thread except to remind people that they should be asking the schools for useful information regarding Class of 2010 and 2011 2L summer placement. That is really the best indicator of how well schools are weathering the market retraction. If I were speculating, the reason Vandy's OCI reportedly went better than either GULC or Cornell's this year has nothing to do with prestige (obviously we're TTT) and everything about geographic diversity. This, obviously, is an issue for Fordham as much as it is for Cornell. The biggest strength Fordham has (like OS stated) is the location... this probably benefits students who take the initiative and make the most of being in the city, particularly those who used to be a lock for biglaw but are now on the margins. The people at the margins at Vanderbilt certainly have a harder time flying out to meet with employers and attend networking events if they're not looking at firms in the southeast (which is about 2/3s of the class in any given year). As one 2L mentioned today in class, this seems to be the year of nepotism... those who can count on connections are pulling through and finding work, while those who don't are out of luck absent a very strong academic record.

I'm looking forward to seeing Fordham's employment list in the next few months. Assuming the school felt comfortable releasing both before-ITE and after-ITE data (someone will need to explain what that means), you could look at the drop and figure out from there how much Fordham's location has buffered it from the nationwide drop in job opportunities.

ahshav
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Re: How is Fordham Law regarded in NYC? alumni network?

Postby ahshav » Fri Feb 05, 2010 9:43 pm

BTW - generally, employment info is self-reporting (students report to their schools, and that info is processed and sent to NALP, etc), so it's hardly ever a complete picture. Unfortunately, the only way to really know is to wait until the upcoming summers will be hired full-time and then look at incoming associates, by school, on firms' websites.

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Re: How is Fordham Law regarded in NYC? alumni network?

Postby observationalist » Sat Feb 06, 2010 4:04 pm

ahshav wrote:BTW - generally, employment info is self-reporting (students report to their schools, and that info is processed and sent to NALP, etc), so it's hardly ever a complete picture. Unfortunately, the only way to really know is to wait until the upcoming summers will be hired full-time and then look at incoming associates, by school, on firms' websites.


You're right. And even then, a substantial number of employers don't get around to putting up new associate bios until they make it at least a year through... FWIW smaller firms actually seem to be better at getting up the bios than the larger ones. But we can all agree that the Class of 2009 stats represent a different hiring standard than what we are now facing. The law schools may not follow up on all of their students, but if one were to be caught lying the school could potentially out them to character and fitness. From our own CSO Dean, every few years or so they get a graduate whose family pressures make them feel so ashamed about their job prospects that they refuse to report what they're doing for work. I see no reason to grant very limited exceptions to the reporting requirements for personal reasons like that one. But otherwise, there should be a mandatory reporting requirement in place for all ABA-approved law schools, enforced either by the ABA's accreditation requirements, NALP, or the USNews ranking methodology.

One prospective law student (for another school, not Fordham or Vandy) just quoted a median private practice salary of 125K for a school where, as it turned out, only 44% of the class reported salaries. Assuming schools are very good at tracking down top performers (which they are), the total percentage of the class was probably around 20% making >125K. A solid 10% were listed in private practice but were actually making 45K or less, presumably in undesirable jobs. Despite all that, the prospective seemed to ignore those figures and instead interpret the information as saying that, for those who self-select into private practice, the median salary is 125K. And in this economy, that same law school is likely putting 10% in >125K jobs with well over half the class out of luck. Their choice to continue publishing a private sector median of 125K seems to be intentionally misleading.

Fordham's salary reporting rate happens to be one of the best, and far less misleading than most schools (including many higher-ranked ones). This could mean that nearly all law students are satisfied enough with their outcomes to report them, or it could mean the school holds itself to a higher ethical standard than many of its peer schools, or a combination of the two. Regardless, greater transparency is always a good thing and looks favorably on how a law school operates. I think this is still true even when the numbers of top performers drop off due to less top jobs being available in the market.

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chicago520
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Re: How is Fordham Law regarded in NYC? alumni network?

Postby chicago520 » Mon Feb 08, 2010 11:46 pm

OperaSoprano wrote:
DanInALionsDen wrote:I would bet that for those who want it, GW places just as well, if not better than Fordham in NYC. This is speculative, but I think that GW's NYC biglaw placement numbers, if lower than Fordhams are only so due to self selection. Moreover, GW doesn't seem to have the budgetary issues that Fordham does, and seems much more generous with scholarships. I think that the feeling that Fordham is underrated comes from the perception that everyone must want a biglaw job in NYC, and that since Fordham seems to deliver this more easily that GW or perhaps even BU, that it must not be ranked properly, but again, this doesn't take into account self selection; people from other schools are more likely to spread out into various legal markets, whereas at Fordham next to everyone wants to stay in NYC and often go into biglaw.

I would argue that this, in itself creates a good alumni network for the institution in NYC, and bolsters its reputation within the city, but I also imagine it must be a drawback to have everyone in your class clamoring for employment in the same market. Besides this, Columbia and NYU already have most of biglaw locked down, and in this economy, with hiring so limited, they probably have ALL of biglaw pretty well filled. If, say, only the top 30% at NYU are getting biglaw jobs in this economy, than chances are almost no one from Fordham is getting such a job, since firms can pick their fill from Columbia and NYU, without even getting through those schools' above median students. In my opinion, above median at Columbia and NYU, would likely beat the very top of Fordham in placement.

As for how the law school is regarded in NYC: I'm pretty sure everyone knows it's the school you go to if you can't get into Columbia or NYU, but are too good for Brooklyn or Cardozo. I think Fordham students are probably thought to have more in common as far as ability with Columbia and NYU's student body, than Brooklyn or Cardozo's. That said, I would not be surprised if Cardozo overtook Fordham in the rankings within the next decade or so...


Fordham's strength, now and in the future, is certainly bolstered by its location. It is far easier and cheaper for NYC firms to interview here than it is at GW. This doesn't mean that GW students can't get NYC biglaw; they most assuredly can. What it does do is prevent Fordham from falling victim to the type of location based depletion of OCI firms that happened at Illinois this past year. (Chi firms opted to cut expenses by limiting recruitment to Chicago, Northwestern, and Michigan.) Fordham hasn't seen that problem. Hiring is down for sure, but top students here are still as well off here as they would be if they left for CLS or NYU.

Cardozo is a fine school, but it will not overtake Fordham in the next decade. The fact that Fordham has done so much with such a teensy budget says volumes. The school is ranked where it is because of funding issues, IMO. If Fordham could buy more students away from the T14, in the manner that GW can, it would rise very quickly. This is not an attack on GW, but a reflection on the reality of how schools raise their numbers.



I take issue with your last point, but in a few months we shall see what the new trends are.

ahshav
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Re: How is Fordham Law regarded in NYC? alumni network?

Postby ahshav » Tue Feb 09, 2010 12:13 am

observationalist wrote:From our own CSO Dean, every few years or so they get a graduate whose family pressures make them feel so ashamed about their job prospects that they refuse to report what they're doing for work. I see no reason to grant very limited exceptions to the reporting requirements for personal reasons like that one. But otherwise, there should be a mandatory reporting requirement in place for all ABA-approved law schools, enforced either by the ABA's accreditation requirements, NALP, or the USNews ranking methodology.


I would have no problem with that, but for two significant, practical issues.

(1) It's not enforceable. Students might not report for a variety of reasons apart from shame, e.g., they simply don't like their school, they just don't care. Students also might lie because of shame (or the highly unlikely - they want their alma mater's prestige to rise, so they lie...).

(2) I don't see how ABA has "jurisdiction" (for lack of a better word). I may be wrong, but I was under the impression that the ABA is responsible for the level of education, and ethics - not career prospects. As for NALP, that is a toothless organization that has done so much more to harm students, schools, and employers, than any good I see. Take, for example, the amount of time an offer must stay open, the limit on the number of offers one student may retain (and for how long), and the ban on accepting more than one offer. In the rest of the working world, this would be perceived as utterly ridiculous. Maybe less so ITE, but outside of NALP's realm - people accept multiple offers (and try to play employers off each other). And USNews should stop. Just stop. The rankings methodology it employs is a topic for another thread (if not an entire book) - but I just don't see that it truly benefits anyone other than Mort Zuckerman...


Non-sequitor re: NALP - it is very odd that an organization that deals with the study of law, claiming (it has no real power) to enforce what are basically unenforceable agreements.

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beesknees
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Re: How is Fordham Law regarded in NYC? alumni network?

Postby beesknees » Tue Feb 09, 2010 12:33 am

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Last edited by beesknees on Sat Dec 04, 2010 6:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ahshav
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Re: How is Fordham Law regarded in NYC? alumni network?

Postby ahshav » Tue Feb 09, 2010 12:36 am

beesknees wrote:I like how so many people only consider CLS and NYU, then Cornell, and then the other NY schools when considering the NYC market. Yes, it is a large market (though with less jobs now ITE), but why do people seem to forget that much of the rest of the T10 will place a decent amount of grads in NYC, taking still more of those top jobs away from the local schools. Then you have to consider the not-quite T14s (like Vandy and even BU); NYC is also a sizable market for those schools as well.

So after all those kids, sure there are still jobs left for the local schools, but it seems funny that people will say CLS, NYU, Cornell, then Fordham for NYC instead of what seems more accurate: CLS, NYC, Cornell, any other T10...


Very true.

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Re: How is Fordham Law regarded in NYC? alumni network?

Postby observationalist » Tue Feb 09, 2010 12:38 am

ahshav wrote:
observationalist wrote:From our own CSO Dean, every few years or so they get a graduate whose family pressures make them feel so ashamed about their job prospects that they refuse to report what they're doing for work. I see no reason to grant very limited exceptions to the reporting requirements for personal reasons like that one. But otherwise, there should be a mandatory reporting requirement in place for all ABA-approved law schools, enforced either by the ABA's accreditation requirements, NALP, or the USNews ranking methodology.


I would have no problem with that, but for two significant, practical issues.

(1) It's not enforceable. Students might not report for a variety of reasons apart from shame, e.g., they simply don't like their school, they just don't care. Students also might lie because of shame (or the highly unlikely - they want their alma mater's prestige to rise, so they lie...).

(2) I don't see how ABA has "jurisdiction" (for lack of a better word). I may be wrong, but I was under the impression that the ABA is responsible for the level of education, and ethics - not career prospects. As for NALP, that is a toothless organization that has done so much more to harm students, schools, and employers, than any good I see. Take, for example, the amount of time an offer must stay open, the limit on the number of offers one student may retain (and for how long), and the ban on accepting more than one offer. In the rest of the working world, this would be perceived as utterly ridiculous. Maybe less so ITE, but outside of NALP's realm - people accept multiple offers (and try to play employers off each other). And USNews should stop. Just stop. The rankings methodology it employs is a topic for another thread (if not an entire book) - but I just don't see that it truly benefits anyone other than Mort Zuckerman...


Non-sequitor re: NALP - it is very odd that an organization that deals with the study of law, claiming (it has no real power) to enforce what are basically unenforceable agreements.


You raise some very good points. USNews could tweak its methodology to demand more information from schools in the way of output variables (eg number employed in jobs that actually require a JD, vs number employed generally). Or they could introduce a new component entirely where they rank a school's level of transparency regarding employment prospects, penalizing those who don't release full employment lists and elevating those who do. If that were to happen Fordham, incidentally, could quickly see its rank move up. That might bring about compliance easier than anything the ABA could hope to do.

In our opinion it's all about creating a way to place a premium on transparency in the market, with or without USNews or other players. Websites like TLS can point out the flaws in reported statistics and ensure that a larger subset of the entire applicant pool knows enough to question the numbers. Sophisticated institutions + uninformed prospective market = information asymmetry. According to a comment Ken made a few months ago on here, TLS is easily capturing more than half of all prospective law students.

And if ABA didn't feel comfortable asserting itself by raising the standards under their delegated authority, a really dedicated movement could try and get the Dept of Ed to change the regs. To me, doing this just seems a lot more difficult than just collectively calling for more information and making the schools that do a poor job of it look bad. There is huge potential to hone in on the most egregious reporting errors and engage law school administrators in some sort of discussion. And as far as Fordham goes my guess is they'd lead the charge in coming forth with the information people really want to know.

Just a thought. Back to getting this paper turned in...


[Edit... did not respond to your NALP comments but that is odd. NALP actually has some of the best information out there but so much of it is collected from the schools using confidentiality clauses that all they can really do in the way of studying is identify trends in the aggregate. I guess they could start telling schools they're making information public if they wanted, but since they collect the info for free and then sell back the studies they publish I'm not sure how well the idea of open and free information plays into their model.]

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Re: How is Fordham Law regarded in NYC? alumni network?

Postby observationalist » Tue Feb 09, 2010 12:46 am

One more comment and then I'll stop hijacking the thread... USNews did serve as an information-forcing device at one point in time, but I do think on the whole it now has a negative impact on how schools operate. If there were other sources out there releasing solid information on job prospects, people wouldn't need to rely on the USNews rankings as a proxy for placement ability and the rankings would matter less. Schools complain about the USNews influence as much as students do, so at least in this regard they have an incentive to release better information to the public.

Public = prospectives for the most part, since you're the ones deciding whether to invest 200K or so over the next three years.

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chicago520
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Re: How is Fordham Law regarded in NYC? alumni network?

Postby chicago520 » Wed Feb 10, 2010 2:40 pm

beesknees wrote:I like how so many people only consider CLS and NYU, then Cornell, and then the other NY schools when considering the NYC market. Yes, it is a large market (though with less jobs now ITE), but why do people seem to forget that much of the rest of the T10 will place a decent amount of grads in NYC, taking still more of those top jobs away from the local schools. Then you have to consider the not-quite T14s (like Vandy and even BU); NYC is also a sizable market for those schools as well.

So after all those kids, sure there are still jobs left for the local schools, but it seems funny that people will say CLS, NYU, Cornell, then Fordham for NYC instead of what seems more accurate: CLS, NYC, Cornell, any other T10...



This is true of Chicago, NYC, Boston, LA, and even Houston. Not everyone from t10...or even cls or nyu stay in Nyc. The "local" schools sure as hell do. Yes, Fordham is a local school. they stay in state.

ahshav
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Re: How is Fordham Law regarded in NYC? alumni network?

Postby ahshav » Wed Feb 10, 2010 3:34 pm

observationalist wrote:You raise some very good points. USNews could tweak its methodology to demand more information from schools in the way of output variables (eg number employed in jobs that actually require a JD, vs number employed generally).
...

According to a comment Ken made a few months ago on here, TLS is easily capturing more than half of all prospective law students.


I think the basic problem with rankings, regardless of the methodology, is the way they are used. It seems as if students/prospectives use rankings as a measure of job prospects - the higher the ranking (taking into account regional strength, to some extent), the better the job prospects. And I'm not sure, but the converse appears to be true, as well - the higher a school is ranked (again, factoring in regional strength, and the alma maters of partners), the more likely a Biglaw firm will hire from that school. It's almost as if the educational quality of a school is secondary to its reputation.

And more than than half of all prospective students -really? I wonder what kind of effect that has on applications, school choices, etc.

N.B. I don't think you're hijacking the thread, I mean the conversation has become rather tangential to the OP's question, but it's a pretense-free, honest discussion (I think) - which is generally not the norm when people's feelings and futures are factors. So, overall - positive.

With that - back to catching up on reading, and hoping for another snow day tomorrow...

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Re: How is Fordham Law regarded in NYC? alumni network?

Postby NY88 » Sat Feb 13, 2010 4:30 pm

Don't forget that Fordham is part of the Jesuits (Georgetown, Boston College etc.).
Very strong alumni connections. They place better than some of the Top 10 in NYC Big Law.

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Re: How is Fordham Law regarded in NYC? alumni network?

Postby fortissimo » Sat Feb 13, 2010 4:44 pm

beesknees wrote:I like how so many people only consider CLS and NYU, then Cornell, and then the other NY schools when considering the NYC market. Yes, it is a large market (though with less jobs now ITE), but why do people seem to forget that much of the rest of the T10 will place a decent amount of grads in NYC, taking still more of those top jobs away from the local schools. Then you have to consider the not-quite T14s (like Vandy and even BU); NYC is also a sizable market for those schools as well.

So after all those kids, sure there are still jobs left for the local schools, but it seems funny that people will say CLS, NYU, Cornell, then Fordham for NYC instead of what seems more accurate: CLS, NYC, Cornell, any other T10...


People confuse the percentage placed in NYC with how deep firms actually dig into your class. Pre-ite, lower T10s could place the bottom 1/3 into NYC (I've seen the GPA cut-offs), while more competitive people in the class gunned for other markets. NYC was seen as a safety market for many T10 students.

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Re: How is Fordham Law regarded in NYC? alumni network?

Postby Renaixença » Wed Feb 24, 2010 6:27 pm

of Benito Cereno wrote:A friend who is a partner at Wachtel said that a graduate from a school like Hoftra, NY Law, Seton Hall, will need to actively convince him that they aren't third rate mediocrities.


. . . and he'll need to actively convince me that he isn't the pompous swine you make him out to be.




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