Notre Dame vs. William & Mary vs. Fordham

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William & Mary vs. Notre Dame vs. Fordham @sticker

William & Mary
56
21%
Notre Dame
131
50%
Fordham
74
28%
 
Total votes: 261

jwrit07
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Notre Dame vs. William & Mary vs. Fordham

Postby jwrit07 » Sat Jan 30, 2010 8:24 pm

This is my first time posting on TLS, I have been a long time lurker. I value a lot of the insight TLS users seem to have and more or less everyone seems to be on the same page.

I have the option of attending Notre Dame, William & Mary, or Fordham all at sticker price. Like almost everybody else I desire to do BIGLAW preferably in DC, Chicago, NYC, Cali, or Texas. So far I am leaning between Notre Dame or W&M (slight edge to ND) but am a little concerned about W&M's BIGLAW placement (I just cant find enough stats on it). Initially Fordham was my dream school but it seems to have taken a huge hit in this economy. Any insight would be greatly appreciated. (Please explain answers in detail)

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OperaSoprano
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Re: Notre Dame vs. William & Mary vs. Fordham

Postby OperaSoprano » Sat Jan 30, 2010 8:40 pm

If you want NYC biglaw, come to Fordham hands down. It's the city itself that has taken a hit, so that basically hurts all schools that serve this market. Firms are still hiring (a bunch came here for our employer receptions, including a V5 that I had assumed was staffed by HYS types). Now that the banks seem to be reviving, perhaps firms that serve them will respond in kind.

If you don't mind working in the midwest, ND is very credited, but they are suffering too, according to current students. It's hard to know what's going to happen, but all three schools are very solid choices, and you should make your selection by region.

jwrit07
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Re: Notre Dame vs. William & Mary vs. Fordham

Postby jwrit07 » Sat Jan 30, 2010 8:50 pm

Of the three Notre Dame seems to have the best National Placement. I'm well aware that its reputation is strongest in the midwest but graduates seem to be able to spread out throughout the country better than Fordham and William & Mary. Im surprised no ones picked W&M in the poll yet. It seems like its a fairly well respected law school in the mid atlantic region.

Not to focused on choosing a school solely based on USNW's. While Notre Dame is at 23, W&M 28, and Fordham 30 in the rankings, it isn't a big enough difference for me (given the yearly fluctuations) for me to choose one school over another.

I guess it really comes down to whether I want to work in NYC, DC area, or Chicago. Either seem like they would be a great place to be an attorney but I'm just not ready to choose where I'm going to be the next "X" number of years in my life. Notre Dame is appealing because it seems to place a decent amount of people in each of those markets, so more or less I can stall for a few years on the decision of where I'm going to be living. Thanks for your insight OperaSoprano!

articulably suspect
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Re: Notre Dame vs. William & Mary vs. Fordham

Postby articulably suspect » Sat Jan 30, 2010 8:52 pm

jwrit07 wrote:This is my first time posting on TLS, I have been a long time lurker. I value a lot of the insight TLS users seem to have and more or less everyone seems to be on the same page.

I have the option of attending Notre Dame, William & Mary, or Fordham all at sticker price. Like almost everybody else I desire to do BIGLAW preferably in DC, Chicago, NYC, Cali, or Texas. So far I am leaning between Notre Dame or W&M (slight edge to ND) but am a little concerned about W&M's BIGLAW placement (I just cant find enough stats on it). Initially Fordham was my dream school but it seems to have taken a huge hit in this economy. Any insight would be greatly appreciated. (Please explain answers in detail)


It's tough to speculate which school will have better biglaw placement in a few years, I have no clue. All three will limit you regionally and all three are competing with T14s, as well as other T30s, in JD saturated cities. It will be difficult to obtain employment in CA/TX coming out of these three law schools.

Have you visited any of these schools/regions? Might be a good idea if it's possible.

jwrit07
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Re: Notre Dame vs. William & Mary vs. Fordham

Postby jwrit07 » Sat Jan 30, 2010 8:58 pm

Unfortunately I have not only yet to visit any of these three schools but I've never been to their respective markets in which they place graduates. However I will be visiting all three towards the end of March/early April. I think this might make my decision a little easier nonetheless, I'd like to get the ball rolling and see what insight others might have.

jwrit07
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Re: Notre Dame vs. William & Mary vs. Fordham

Postby jwrit07 » Sat Jan 30, 2010 9:13 pm

anyone got anything to say about William & Mary???

Bankhead
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Re: Notre Dame vs. William & Mary vs. Fordham

Postby Bankhead » Sat Jan 30, 2010 9:24 pm

Holy shit this poll is fucked up. Of course Fordham is the obvious choice for biglaw.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Notre Dame vs. William & Mary vs. Fordham

Postby vanwinkle » Sat Jan 30, 2010 9:26 pm

Fordham for NYC BigLaw, ND for BigLaw anywhere else in the country, IMO. Drop W&M and decide between Fordham and ND.

jwrit07
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Re: Notre Dame vs. William & Mary vs. Fordham

Postby jwrit07 » Sat Jan 30, 2010 9:35 pm

Bankhead wrote:Holy shit this poll is fucked up. Of course Fordham is the obvious choice for biglaw.


Well, as I alluded to earlier, initially Fordham Law was my "Dream School". I did not quite have the numbers for top14 so was looking for the next best thing. A back door into BIGLAW if you will. Because Fordham is solely dependent on the NYC market makes me have some trepidation about choosing Fordham and being stuck, with no opportunities outside of NYC. If the economy takes a double-dip, like many people think it will, NYC will undoubtedly be hit hard again.

While I am aware it isn't wise to pick schools based on cycles in the economy (because who really knows what the legal market is going to be like in 3 or 4 years) I still think ND or W&M might be a safer bet in terms of lateral movement, albeit I obviously need to be a the top of my class if I want to have any shot at BIGLAW at all.

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UFMatt
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Re: Notre Dame vs. William & Mary vs. Fordham

Postby UFMatt » Sat Jan 30, 2010 9:52 pm

W&M for DC biglaw. Cheap to moderate CoL.

Fordham for NY biglaw. High CoL in NY.

ND for Chicago or elsewhere. Cheap CoL. This choice gets my vote.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Notre Dame vs. William & Mary vs. Fordham

Postby vanwinkle » Sat Jan 30, 2010 9:55 pm

jwrit07 wrote:While I am aware it isn't wise to pick schools based on cycles in the economy (because who really knows what the legal market is going to be like in 3 or 4 years) I still think ND or W&M might be a safer bet in terms of lateral movement, albeit I obviously need to be a the top of my class if I want to have any shot at BIGLAW at all.

I will give ND real national credit because they have strong lay prestige and an extremely loyal alumni network. If you want a school that gives you opportunities above its rankings, ND is probably it.

However, outside the T20 I don't think you can beat Fordham for NYC, and a lot of BigLaw hiring is in NYC.

W&M should not be a real consideration either way.

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danidancer
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Re: Notre Dame vs. William & Mary vs. Fordham

Postby danidancer » Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:00 pm

Wow. I'm making almost this exact same decision (barring a T14 reach acceptance), except I have scholarships at W&M and ND (Fordham would be sticker). Definitely visit all three if you have the chance... I'm planning to.

The only thing I have to add to what's been said is to carefully weigh the total cost of attendance for each school. I actually researched this for myself last night. The figures below are the total cost of attendance for 2009/10 for each school, multiplied by 3 to give a ball park estimate of the ultimate total you would be borrowing, living expenses included.

Fordham: $208,740
Notre Dame: $167,160
William & Mary: $141,288

Of course this doesn't take tuition increases or inflation into account, but I still think it's a valuable comparison. Also note that the W&M figure is for out-of-state for all 3 years. It's not impossible to get in-state privileges for 2L and 3L there, and if you are able to, that would bring the total cost down by apx. $20K.

I went into the process thinking T14 or Fordham or bust, but now I'm not so sure... I'm pretty emotionally tied to NYC, and of course Fordham places best in NYC, but is that better placement really worth an extra $70K-90K in student loans? In this economy? I'm not so sure. W&M would give you a great shot at biglaw in Richmond or Hampton Roads, or even into DC if the economy turns around. ND's vast alumni network probably gives it the most national portability, and in a good economy, it feeds fairly well into the Chicago biglaw market.

Good luck with your decision!

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vanwinkle
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Re: Notre Dame vs. William & Mary vs. Fordham

Postby vanwinkle » Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:07 pm

danidancer wrote:I went into the process thinking T14 or Fordham or bust, but now I'm not so sure... I'm pretty emotionally tied to NYC, and of course Fordham places best in NYC, but is that better placement really worth an extra $70K-90K in student loans? In this economy?

I know Fordham is pretty stingy with financial aid, but you should see what happens if you tell them that you'll attend if they match the ND scholly. The worst they can do is say no, they won't revoke your acceptance just for asking the question.

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danidancer
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Re: Notre Dame vs. William & Mary vs. Fordham

Postby danidancer » Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:16 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
danidancer wrote:I went into the process thinking T14 or Fordham or bust, but now I'm not so sure... I'm pretty emotionally tied to NYC, and of course Fordham places best in NYC, but is that better placement really worth an extra $70K-90K in student loans? In this economy?

I know Fordham is pretty stingy with financial aid, but you should see what happens if you tell them that you'll attend if they match the ND scholly. The worst they can do is say no, they won't revoke your acceptance just for asking the question.


Thanks! Yeah, I am definitely planning to try and negotiate with Fordham. I think I stand a chance for money at WUSTL and BC as well, which is why I've been holding off, but with February around the corner I should probably just go for it. ND and W&M have both been very generous to me: apx. $20K/year at both (ie apx. $110K out of pocket at ND and just $85K at W&M). Makes the thought of paying sticker at Fordham rather ludicrous, actually... :(

jwrit07
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Re: Notre Dame vs. William & Mary vs. Fordham

Postby jwrit07 » Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:24 pm

danidancer wrote:Wow. I'm making almost this exact same decision (barring a T14 reach acceptance), except I have scholarships at W&M and ND (Fordham would be sticker). Definitely visit all three if you have the chance... I'm planning to.

The only thing I have to add to what's been said is to carefully weigh the total cost of attendance for each school. I actually researched this for myself last night. The figures below are the total cost of attendance for 2009/10 for each school, multiplied by 3 to give a ball park estimate of the ultimate total you would be borrowing, living expenses included.

Fordham: $208,740
Notre Dame: $167,160
William & Mary: $141,288

Of course this doesn't take tuition increases or inflation into account, but I still think it's a valuable comparison. Also note that the W&M figure is for out-of-state for all 3 years. It's not impossible to get in-state privileges for 2L and 3L there, and if you are able to, that would bring the total cost down by apx. $20K.

I went into the process thinking T14 or Fordham or bust, but now I'm not so sure... I'm pretty emotionally tied to NYC, and of course Fordham places best in NYC, but is that better placement really worth an extra $70K-90K in student loans? In this economy? I'm not so sure. W&M would give you a great shot at biglaw in Richmond or Hampton Roads, or even into DC if the economy turns around. ND's vast alumni network probably gives it the most national portability, and in a good economy, it feeds fairly well into the Chicago biglaw market.

Good luck with your decision!


Thanks for the breakdown of cost! Once again it's proving my assumption that Fordham would be the most riskiest option of the three, especially considering its over $200k! As I will be paying sticker at all three this is going to be a very important factor.

Now I'm thinking, OK, so I go to Fordham....On top of having to pay back $200k plus in loans in NYC with a salary of only $160K, that doesn't seem to be a very wise movie. NYC is RIDICULOUSLY expensive (even for somebody making 160k a year) For that matter anybody have any idea what BIGLAW/$160K will even get you in Manhattan. While a salary of $160k is by no means chump change, and while pulling in these sort of figures you might have a lot of problems-but money isn't one of 'em, I just don't know if I can go into that sort of debt and then go live in one of the most expensive parts of the U.S. And I suppose I need to keep in mind that I must be at least be top 1/2 of my class at Fordham to stand any real shot at BIGLAW, in a good economy! Great insight Danidancer

jwrit07
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Re: Notre Dame vs. William & Mary vs. Fordham

Postby jwrit07 » Sat Jan 30, 2010 11:04 pm

I think Fordham may be out....That is unless anybody can make a compelling argument otherwise???

Everyone's feedback has been greatly appreciated.

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Re: Notre Dame vs. William & Mary vs. Fordham

Postby Blindmelon » Sat Jan 30, 2010 11:08 pm

I love WM, but thats just me. If you want NYC, then its Fordham. If you want biglaw anywhere, take ND, but only because the COL is lower than NYC.

Any chance you'll get the in-state tuition grant from WM? Tons of people get it, and if you do, I'd go there.

jwrit07
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Re: Notre Dame vs. William & Mary vs. Fordham

Postby jwrit07 » Sat Jan 30, 2010 11:15 pm

Blindmelon wrote:I love WM, but thats just me. If you want NYC, then its Fordham. If you want biglaw anywhere, take ND, but only because the COL is lower than NYC.

Any chance you'll get the in-state tuition grant from WM? Tons of people get it, and if you do, I'd go there.


With regards to your question about in state tuition, right off the bat I would not get in state tuition from any of these schools. I've heard William & Mary allows students who show some interest of staying in Virginia after they graduate allows people after their FIRST YEAR to get in state tuition. If I was able to get in state tuition after 1L that would make W&M the cheapest option by far.

William & Mary was my first acceptance and i didn't hear anything from anybody else for almost 2 months. In my mind I had been preparing to attend W&M and probably would have been completely satisfied. Just recently I have heard back from ND and Fordham making my decision a little more difficult. Still very thankful though. This was a very tough cycle and there are a lot of people who won't be going anywhere.

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Re: Notre Dame vs. William & Mary vs. Fordham

Postby showNprove » Sat Jan 30, 2010 11:20 pm

In other words, you want a high-paying job in any city where a firm will take you. The answer, clearly, is Notre Dame. If you had a preference for NYC, then I would say either ND or Fordham, depending on which you like more. Since that's not the case, and you already prefer ND, there shouldn't be much of an issue.

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Re: Notre Dame vs. William & Mary vs. Fordham

Postby Pearalegal » Sat Jan 30, 2010 11:22 pm

+1 to the above. Plus, everyone seems to forget secondary markets that have firms that pay market (albeit, you usually have to prove a connection to the area). If you're just (not in a negative way) looking for money, it would be stupid not to consider those options.

ND wins in most of those markets compaired to your other options, hands down.

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Re: Notre Dame vs. William & Mary vs. Fordham

Postby narkizopoint » Sat Jan 30, 2010 11:23 pm

William & Mary is what I voted, c'mon it was mentioned on Jeopardy tonight gotta give it to them.

jwrit07
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Re: Notre Dame vs. William & Mary vs. Fordham

Postby jwrit07 » Sat Jan 30, 2010 11:27 pm

narkizopoint wrote:William & Mary is what I voted, c'mon it was mentioned on Jeopardy tonight gotta give it to them.


Yes, they seem to have several students on Jeopardy or the school itself referenced on Jeopardy quite a bit. Probably has something to do with the fact that its the oldest law school in the U.S.

articulably suspect
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Re: Notre Dame vs. William & Mary vs. Fordham

Postby articulably suspect » Sat Jan 30, 2010 11:29 pm

jwrit07 wrote:
danidancer wrote:Wow. I'm making almost this exact same decision (barring a T14 reach acceptance), except I have scholarships at W&M and ND (Fordham would be sticker). Definitely visit all three if you have the chance... I'm planning to.

The only thing I have to add to what's been said is to carefully weigh the total cost of attendance for each school. I actually researched this for myself last night. The figures below are the total cost of attendance for 2009/10 for each school, multiplied by 3 to give a ball park estimate of the ultimate total you would be borrowing, living expenses included.

Fordham: $208,740
Notre Dame: $167,160
William & Mary: $141,288

Of course this doesn't take tuition increases or inflation into account, but I still think it's a valuable comparison. Also note that the W&M figure is for out-of-state for all 3 years. It's not impossible to get in-state privileges for 2L and 3L there, and if you are able to, that would bring the total cost down by apx. $20K.

I went into the process thinking T14 or Fordham or bust, but now I'm not so sure... I'm pretty emotionally tied to NYC, and of course Fordham places best in NYC, but is that better placement really worth an extra $70K-90K in student loans? In this economy? I'm not so sure. W&M would give you a great shot at biglaw in Richmond or Hampton Roads, or even into DC if the economy turns around. ND's vast alumni network probably gives it the most national portability, and in a good economy, it feeds fairly well into the Chicago biglaw market.

Good luck with your decision!


Thanks for the breakdown of cost! Once again it's proving my assumption that Fordham would be the most riskiest option of the three, especially considering its over $200k! As I will be paying sticker at all three this is going to be a very important factor.

Now I'm thinking, OK, so I go to Fordham....On top of having to pay back $200k plus in loans in NYC with a salary of only $160K, that doesn't seem to be a very wise movie. NYC is RIDICULOUSLY expensive (even for somebody making 160k a year) For that matter anybody have any idea what BIGLAW/$160K will even get you in Manhattan. While a salary of $160k is by no means chump change, and while pulling in these sort of figures you might have a lot of problems-but money isn't one of 'em, I just don't know if I can go into that sort of debt and then go live in one of the most expensive parts of the U.S. And I suppose I need to keep in mind that I must be at least be top 1/2 of my class at Fordham to stand any real shot at BIGLAW, in a good economy! Great insight Danidancer


I'm not a Biglaw prospects guru, I'm not in the least bit interested in the field, but I think you're way underestimating what it takes to crack Biglaw coming out of Fordham. I've heard, ITE, top 10-15% to have a shot, which is on the generous side. Please anyone feel free to correct me, again, Biglaw is not my thing, just passing along what I've read on these boards.

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OperaSoprano
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Re: Notre Dame vs. William & Mary vs. Fordham

Postby OperaSoprano » Sat Jan 30, 2010 11:35 pm

I love my school to pieces, and would not have gone anywhere else. NYC COL is expensive, but it's ridiculous to claim $160k wouldn't give you a very good life here. I live on student loans, and I have a very good life here. I'm not living like a princess, but I have a shared apartment a block from Central Park, and I have everything I need.

I'm not going to badmouth ND. I can think of at least one person who loves that school as much as I love Fordham. I think the person who recommended visiting is 100% right. These schools are extremely different-- like night and day. ND is a fabulous school, but it wouldn't be right for me at all. ND is also far wealthier than Fordham is; my school is not being stingy-- Fordham has nothing more to give. I wish it were otherwise, and I would love to see more scholarships in the offing. I think our profile is only going to rise, what with the new law school building, and Fordham is gaining recognition outside this area, though most grads tend to stay nearby. Fordham will always have New York, and Lincoln Center is our quad. Every day on my way to class, I walk in front of the Met. I can't put a price tag on that. I expect to work in PI and have my loans forgiven, but I promised myself at the outset I would not let money make this choice for me. I followed my heart, and I'm very glad I did.

OP, when the school is right, I firmly believe that you will know.

Re biglaw at Fordham: we traditionally placed top third out to forty percent. During the boom we hit 43.7%, plus another 7% or so doing clerkships, so top half was pretty set. We don't have 2009 numbers, but I would guess hiring is down by half or more. I have only anecdotal evidence, so I don't want to speculate or post information that is incorrect. This phenomenon is happening across the board-- things are probably really bad at the NYC T2 and T3 schools. This economy won't last forever, though.

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OperaSoprano
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Re: Notre Dame vs. William & Mary vs. Fordham

Postby OperaSoprano » Sat Jan 30, 2010 11:39 pm

Anecdotally (all we have are anecdotes at this point, from any school) ND kids are facing a similar situation, though they tend to disperse a lot more. There is no school below the T14 where things are going well, and even the T14 kids worry. :(

Even if things rock this semester, I'm going to stick with my school. I'm really happy here. You should come visit if you are considering it, and certainly go visit ND and W&M.




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