Anybody familiar with Cuny Law (Queens College)?

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ST7740
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Anybody familiar with Cuny Law (Queens College)?

Postby ST7740 » Tue Feb 23, 2010 9:22 pm

Familiar as in studying there or know somebody who studies there.

Yes I know it's a low level school.

Yes I know you wont be hired for a $60,000+ salary in a big firm. I have no interest in criminal law and would have no problem doing public interest law, as a matter of fact, I would be most interested in doing environmental law.

However, I want to know about the school in general and some personal experiences anybody might want to share. And if anyone here is actually there, well, what were your scores like and what special qualification you have (I consider being a minority a "special classification", no intention to offend anyone).

Just trying to scout my chance. I took my first LSAT this February and plan to fill out the online application right after. Have my letters of reccomendation and personal statement all lined up to send in right after I get my LSAT score and just wanting to get a feeling for my chances. If curious, I have a 3.8GPA and expect somewhere in the 150 range on the feb exam. If its lower, I wont bother applying this year, but based on my experiences, it should be around 150.

Thanks in advance to anyone sharing.

hank44
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Re: Anybody familiar with Cuny Law (Queens College)?

Postby hank44 » Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:38 pm

I wouldn't count on the 150 just because you've scored at or near that number...having said that, if you do get 150+, with a 3.8, I'd say you'd be close to a lock - minus how late you're applying that is. Check the avg scores of those admitted. You're way over the gpa, maybe at or below LSAT.

The school is definitely a bargain if you know you want to do some sort of PI or Govt. work, but you don't sound like you've totally convinced yourself thats what you want to do. CUNY is cheap, but three years of tuition and three years of renting in Queens is still an investment. Make sure you really want to work as an attorney, first. (obviously). As for the minority issue, they are known for wanting "diversity" although thats certainly a subjective term. It can only help you I suppose.

Edit: Are you straight out of undergrad/have you been working? If that was your first LSAT, obviously retaking with your gpa would be wise.

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Ayeshabelle
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Re: Anybody familiar with Cuny Law (Queens College)?

Postby Ayeshabelle » Thu Feb 25, 2010 1:30 pm

CUNY Law may be cheap but what you save in $$ may be lost in the limited career prospects. For example, as a law student you may become interested in a kind of law you never imagined before. But a degree from CUNY law all can close a lot of doors in the NYC market. If you are looking for an affordable public legal education and can get in state tuition SUNY Buffalo is a gem. It has much better bar passage rates and job prospects than CUNY and since it is located in Buffalo cost of living is much cheaper than it is in NYC.

ST7740
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Re: Anybody familiar with Cuny Law (Queens College)?

Postby ST7740 » Thu Feb 25, 2010 1:42 pm

Thank you so much for the reply,

I am an undergrad, senior, taking my last class before graduating this spring.

I took the Feb LSAT as my first one, I know, very late, but I had been seriously sidetracked in my planning by medical issues of my own. I had wanted to be a lawyer since before I started college, but I was never really interested in "big firms" or criminal law. Sure, I want to make a lot of money just like everybody, but I dont want to kill myself and have "meaningless" (as I see it) work, I would be much happier working in some sort of public service job, as long as I get paid enough to live on and that I feel whatever work I am doing is meaningful and is helping people.

However I am not a minority (at least I dont consider myself to be so) and I'm afraid that might work against me. I am white, middle class, however I was born in another country and technically an immigrant (came here very young), and I basically wanted to go to CUNY Law since I picked up an interest to become a lawyer. I'm already in the CUNY system, for instance, I did very well in High School (barring some math classes) and could have gone to a number of private colleges, but went to a CUNY undergraduate college because I feel more comfortable in a "diverse" environment of people.

I am trying to transfer as much of this information about me through my personal statement, however, its very hard since it is only 2 pages and I have to cover a number of other factors about me, such as how I ended up in the country and about my illness and how I overcame it.

I am also afraid that I will be at a disadvantage, not only because I am applying SO LATE, but also because I do not have work experience or any public community service experience to report on which may make my statements sound fraudulent. However, I wasnt really able to go out and do much while I was ill, except to study in my classes.

I dont expect anything higher than a 150, because that was pretty much my average score on my practice LSATs and I believe I bombed the games section on the February LSAT (I ran out of time for the last game and had to bubble in a random answer for the last 4 questions or so) and the other games were more difficult than what I encountered on my practice exams.

Another reason, you mention renting, which I luckily dont have to worry about. I live in New York, and I actually live fairly close to the college, so, I dont have to worry about having to rent since I will be able to live at home and attend Law School at the same time. Its in a location that's accesible to me, but I am afraid that my lack of diversity, my lateness in applying and my potentially low LSAT score will prevent me from being accepted. Also I read that it is irrelevant, but my major is Business/Economics which doesnt look nearly as good on an application as say, Philosophy.

I also only have 2 letters of reccomendation, but I believe they should be really strong, as its two professors who have really enjoyed my input in their classes. I couldve gotten more than 2 letters, but I only asked those instructors whom I knew would put in good effort on my part.

Once again, thanks for the input, I will really appreciate any more input that someone else could give me about the school and my chances at getting in there as I am really freaking out. I am planning to throw out an application to Hofstra as well, but in all honestly, I really want to go to CUNY. The reason I have doubts is that I read about one person mentioning that CUNY is an absolutely horrible law school and that one will never find a job after graduating. So I was curious if anybody here actually attended there and if there is any truth to it. I know the job market is hard, but I believe that I have the skills to do well in public service. Might sound fake, but I truly enjoy helping people, especially disadvantaged in some way and if I can earn money doing so, so much the better.

As far as Buffallo (Sorry I saw the reply as I wrote this), the problem is that I live in NYC and I would have to relocate which would be a greater hardship to me, as again, I have certain medical issues that require constant monitoring from my doctor here. Of course I could theoretically find a doctor in Bufallo, but I would rather stay here because I really like the doctor I have now and I believe he does a good job in helping me as well. Also, I assume I would need to drive were I got to Buffallo or out of state, and I am medically not allowed to operate a motor vehicle.

Thanks everyone, I will really appreciate any more input anybody could give me...

Edit : Might help to clarify what my medical issue is. I had brain surgery for a life threatening condition. As a result of the surgery, I began to suffer from seizures, not because the doctors did something wrong, but because of the bad shape my head was in. I also suffered from terrible headaches through the first years of my undergraduate career and had to take a semester after surgery because besides the seizures, I also suffered from a serious deficiency in short term memory (for a while I would not be able to tell you what I had for breakfast...or even two hours ago). So, I took a semester off for rehabilitation, but I don't have a paper to show for it because I did most of the rehabbing at home by myself. I explain all of this in my personal statement, but I am still afraid it may make me look bad.
Last edited by ST7740 on Thu Feb 25, 2010 2:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Ayeshabelle
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Re: Anybody familiar with Cuny Law (Queens College)?

Postby Ayeshabelle » Thu Feb 25, 2010 1:58 pm

You are probably a shoe-in at CUNY Law though I still would recommend you look elsewhere as well. And you need to think about the likelihood that you will actually find a job. Maybe you should wait a year and try out for St. Johns, which is close to Queens College but has much better placement rates. You don't really get to do Law School over, so where you get your degree from really matters. And if you have a lot of special circumstances to write about on your applications you might be best off attaching separate addenda.

ST7740
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Re: Anybody familiar with Cuny Law (Queens College)?

Postby ST7740 » Thu Feb 25, 2010 2:08 pm

Ayeshabelle wrote:You are probably a shoe-in at CUNY Law though I still would recommend you look elsewhere as well. And you need to think about the likelihood that you will actually find a job. Maybe you should wait a year and try out for St. Johns, which is close to Queens College but has much better placement rates. You don't really get to do Law School over, so where you get your degree from really matters. And if you have a lot of special circumstances to write about on your applications you might be best off attaching separate addenda.


Thank you for the input. I dont know about St. Johns, but I would need to get a 160 to have a shot at getting in there. I doubt thats in my range. I am a good student but in generally, I'm one of those people who does horrid on standardized tests. I had the same things with the SAT and college. I had all high grades in High School, but my SAT was very low. And its not that I dont study, I studied hard for the SAT and I did the same thing with the LSAT, I just always do badly on standardized exams like that. It doesnt help that I absolutely freak out during timed exams as well, even when I know what I am doing, I tend to remember that it's timed and "lock up". So it would take a LOT for me to get a 160 and I am not sure that I could do it.

I really want to get into Law School this year as well because I already took 6 years to finish Undergraduate college and I really do not want to delay finishing my education any more. I am not getting any younger... But if CUNY is really that terrible at getting jobs, then perhaps it would be worth it for me to take another year (sigh) as a delay...and besides, I may not even get in.

How is Hofstra? Looking at the avg grades there, I can also get in there. Transportation would be more difficult, but still doable as it is not that far away from the city for me to make it there.

nycparalegal
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Re: Anybody familiar with Cuny Law (Queens College)?

Postby nycparalegal » Thu Feb 25, 2010 2:16 pm

OP what study materials did you use?

ST7740
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Re: Anybody familiar with Cuny Law (Queens College)?

Postby ST7740 » Thu Feb 25, 2010 2:25 pm

nycparalegal wrote:OP what study materials did you use?


The Powerscore bibles, Nova's Master The LSAT book and officially released LSAT's from LSAC that I bought a bunch of.
I looked through other prep books, but they did not seem to offer anything new or anything better then what I had and these materials were really expensive to get as it is, so I just stuck to the 4 books and the LSATs...

Edit : I am not really very social, so I have a lot of free time, and I pretty much spent upwards to 3 hours a day studying, and the month before the test, I would sometimes study from morning to evening with breaks.

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groundkontrol
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Re: Anybody familiar with Cuny Law (Queens College)?

Postby groundkontrol » Thu Feb 25, 2010 2:33 pm

I knew someone who went there and hated it. I'd recommend studying for the LSAT for a while an increasing your score to the 160s. If you have a 3.8 and get in the mid-160s you'll have a good shot at Fordham.

ST7740
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Re: Anybody familiar with Cuny Law (Queens College)?

Postby ST7740 » Thu Feb 25, 2010 2:36 pm

groundkontrol wrote:I knew someone who went there and hated it. I'd recommend studying for the LSAT for a while an increasing your score to the 160s. If you have a 3.8 and get in the mid-160s you'll have a good shot at Fordham.


Any particular reasons for hating it?

I got to a CUNY undergrad college and before I applied I heard of a few students who "hated" it too, but it turns out they hated it because there is not much of a social life in the school I go too, which is absolutely fine by me. Just trying to get as much info as I can, not trying to say the person you know who hated it did so because of non academic reason, but just curious. I really loved/love my CUNY undergrad college...

amclane
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Re: Anybody familiar with Cuny Law (Queens College)?

Postby amclane » Thu Feb 25, 2010 2:38 pm

Visit the school! You live so close. That way you can talk to someone in admissions so that they know you are interested for the right reasons, and that you are very serious about their school.

nycparalegal
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Re: Anybody familiar with Cuny Law (Queens College)?

Postby nycparalegal » Thu Feb 25, 2010 2:39 pm

ST7740 wrote:
nycparalegal wrote:OP what study materials did you use?


The Powerscore bibles, Nova's Master The LSAT book and officially released LSAT's from LSAC that I bought a bunch of.
I looked through other prep books, but they did not seem to offer anything new or anything better then what I had and these materials were really expensive to get as it is, so I just stuck to the 4 books and the LSATs...

Edit : I am not really very social, so I have a lot of free time, and I pretty much spent upwards to 3 hours a day studying, and the month before the test, I would sometimes study from morning to evening with breaks.


Hmmm, well I think you should try to take the test one more time before deciding on a law school. CUNY doesnt have a reputation outside of NYC.

Can you give us a breakdown on how many questions you usually got wrong, on which sections? We may be able to give you some advice on how to improve your score into the low 160s.

ST7740
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Re: Anybody familiar with Cuny Law (Queens College)?

Postby ST7740 » Thu Feb 25, 2010 2:47 pm

nycparalegal wrote:
ST7740 wrote:
nycparalegal wrote:OP what study materials did you use?


The Powerscore bibles, Nova's Master The LSAT book and officially released LSAT's from LSAC that I bought a bunch of.
I looked through other prep books, but they did not seem to offer anything new or anything better then what I had and these materials were really expensive to get as it is, so I just stuck to the 4 books and the LSATs...

Edit : I am not really very social, so I have a lot of free time, and I pretty much spent upwards to 3 hours a day studying, and the month before the test, I would sometimes study from morning to evening with breaks.


Hmmm, well I think you should try to take the test one more time before deciding on a law school. CUNY doesnt have a reputation outside of NYC.

Can you give us a breakdown on how many questions you usually got wrong, on which sections? We may be able to give you some advice on how to improve your score into the low 160s.


Well, for a breakdown of one random LSAT I took from the official book by LSAC, I got most wrong questions in the logical games. I know. Thats the part you're suppose to best improve on, but I went through the whole logic games bible more than once and I still tend to screw up on them. I studied til I got sick to the stomach of any type of logic game and I still couldn't get better performance on them. I do pretty solid on all the other sections, depending on how difficult they are from test to test, but the games always destroy my score. I know its suppose to be easy to improve on, but no matter how much I studied them and the tactics given in both the Logic Games Bible and the Nova book, I still end up screwing up on them.

Its just something I have always been really bad at. I improved to a certain level (when I started studying I could barely do anything in Logic Games), but I reached the ground where I was usually getting 8-9 questions on the logic games right and just could not break through to get better performance. That was a month or so before the LSAT and no matter how much studying I did on that part afterwards, I could not improve my games performance. Its an issue of timing too, I do awful on timed tests and multiple choice in general. I have always done exceptional when I'm allowed to write an essay and such. I wish the writing sample was part of the scored sections on the exams, because I think I wrote a pretty awesome essay that nobody is ever going to read :).

nycparalegal
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Re: Anybody familiar with Cuny Law (Queens College)?

Postby nycparalegal » Thu Feb 25, 2010 2:57 pm

ST7740 wrote:
Well, for a breakdown of one random LSAT I took from the official book by LSAC, I got most wrong questions in the logical games. I know. Thats the part you're suppose to best improve on, but I went through the whole logic games bible more than once and I still tend to screw up on them. I studied til I got sick to the stomach of any type of logic game and I still couldn't get better performance on them. I do pretty solid on all the other sections, depending on how difficult they are from test to test, but the games always destroy my score. I know its suppose to be easy to improve on, but no matter how much I studied them and the tactics given in both the Logic Games Bible and the Nova book, I still end up screwing up on them.

Its just something I have always been really bad at. I improved to a certain level (when I started studying I could barely do anything in Logic Games), but I reached the ground where I was usually getting 8-9 questions on the logic games right and just could not break through to get better performance. That was a month or so before the LSAT and no matter how much studying I did on that part afterwards, I could not improve my games performance. Its an issue of timing too, I do awful on timed tests and multiple choice in general. I have always done exceptional when I'm allowed to write an essay and such. I wish the writing sample was part of the scored sections on the exams, because I think I wrote a pretty awesome essay that nobody is ever going to read :).


check out this thread: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=108641

hank44
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Re: Anybody familiar with Cuny Law (Queens College)?

Postby hank44 » Thu Feb 25, 2010 3:28 pm

If you live in the area and went to CUNY undergrad and want to stay there for law school, I assume you don't really plan on practicing outside of the state, or even the nyc area, right? So forget the fact that CUNY doesn't have an out-of-state reach.

I noticed you said you'd get into Hofstra. Because your GPA is so strong, its definitely possible, but plenty of 153+ and 3.3/3.4 white guys were denied this year. (Me included) Just sayin.

Not that you need to explain yourself to anyone on here, but I was drawn to the fact that you said you werent interested in "firm law or criminal law", but public interest. What exactly does that mean to you? In terms of real, concrete ideas of future jobs. And lastly, this whole idea of "diversity". I have a lower gpa, slightly higher lsat and got in as a white male, so its not like they wont let you in as long as your numbers are median.

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Ayeshabelle
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Re: Anybody familiar with Cuny Law (Queens College)?

Postby Ayeshabelle » Thu Feb 25, 2010 3:39 pm

Perhaps if timing is an issue, you could ask your physician if you are eligible for a time extension on the LSAT due to your medical problems. You may also want to look into one-on-one LSAT tutoring. For some people it helps to have the individual attention to iron out problems. Bibles are made to help the masses and a good tutor can design a program just to help you.

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nycmba
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Re: Anybody familiar with Cuny Law (Queens College)?

Postby nycmba » Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:05 pm

A buddy of mine who is now an ADA in Queens went to CUNY and had a good experience. Keep in mind, as stated before, that CUNY is a school focused on public service. This cycle is sure to be tougher than most, so if your heart (or future career plans) are not willing to work in non-profit or government you'd be better off somewhere else.

Another thing to consider is that the school will be moving locations in 2011. It is not a small move. They are moving several miles west, to edge of Queens closest to Manhattan. That means you'll have to pack up and move after the first year.

The good news is that the new location will literally be one subway stop Manhattan and all that it offers.

nyc33
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Re: Anybody familiar with Cuny Law (Queens College)?

Postby nyc33 » Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:19 pm

The best advice is to retake and don't go to law school unless you get T10, in the region you to practice in (if it's a regional school), with a significant scholarship. Significant as in you graduate with $150,000 or less.

If you want some idealist version of that advice...

CUNY really is a great school that focuses on public interest. If you don't want to practice in NYC, or you don't want to do PI law, DO NOT GO TO CUNY!!

If you do want to practice PI in NYC you should consider these things...

The teachers are great, the new campus is nice, classes are taught with a social justice slant, the comradery among students is unparalleled (because we are not ranked against each other), and Bar passage rate is up to state average now. But...none of these things will get you a job post graduation.

CUNY does amazing at the Public Interest Legal Career Fair at NYU (I would say better than most NYU, or other NY area law students), since most of our interviewers are CUNY Alums themselves and will automatically like you just because of the kinship and your obvious PI devotion. But, it is by no means a cake-walk. You still have to hustle for your summer internships and hustle to get funding because PI internships rarely pay. If you don't get funding, you can count on spending your summer taking classes Mon-Thurs 6-9 pm after a long day of internships (internships that need people to work HARD for free). While you might easily land a PI internship every summer because of CUNY's reputation in the NYC PI community (its a great reputation), you have to make sure to stay in contact with those places, and with alums who work in PI. Those are the people/orgs most likely to hire you out of law school. And, while you will want to take that prized impact litigation/policy internship each summer, your chances of getting hired later will increase by interning with smaller name PI places (don't think ACLU or Human Rights Watch, think the hole-in-the-wall immigration office in Brooklyn, or places like Coalition for the Homeless, Legal Aid Society (direct services), or a DV non-profit start up). I would suggest you search environmental law places in NYC that you would be interested in interning/working with and see if/how many CUNY alums work there, and check when they graduated. That will give you some indication of if you even have a chance of being there post-grad.

If you are a bleeding-heart-liberal, satisfied with working for close to nothing, to help people who have close to nothing, after graduating with $100,000 (in state) in debt, and paying the high cost of living in NYC, CUNY might be the place for you. If you are not easily discouraged, willing to take risks, can afford to take risks (both financial and emotional), are 100% sure about PI and law in general, and about living in NYC, CUNY might be the place for you. If you want to do direct services, work on poverty issues, spend your free time advocating on behalf of those who might not even thank you in the end, CUNY might be for you. If you are a single male who can room cheap, live simple (think $30,000-$45,000), doesn't plan on getting married or having kids soon, and willing to work hard, CUNY might be for you. If you are a female who doesn't mind putting off kids, marriage, or life in general, till later, and living simple for a while, CUNY might be for you. If you are a female/male who has an established husband/wife who will support you through law school and who has a career to carry you through until and if you get a job, CUNY might be for you.

This is why people tell you to retake or don't go...and why some people end up hating it at CUNY. It is also the reason why some people go to CUNY and end up loving it.

rad lulz
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Re: Anybody familiar with Cuny Law (Queens College)?

Postby rad lulz » Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:22 pm


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pedestrian
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Re: Anybody familiar with Cuny Law (Queens College)?

Postby pedestrian » Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:30 pm

You guys, this post is three years old. Probably too late for OP.

rad lulz
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Re: Anybody familiar with Cuny Law (Queens College)?

Postby rad lulz » Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:02 pm

pedestrian wrote:You guys, this post is three years old. Probably too late for OP.

dood is probably getting ready to sleep in a gutter

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Re: Anybody familiar with Cuny Law (Queens College)?

Postby timbs4339 » Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:38 pm

I'd recommend a retake, or to rethink law school as you don't seem to understand what a public interest career out of CUNY is. Much of the PI/gov't careers focus on criminal law, so by taking that out of the equation you've limited your options already. The people who have the most success (i.e. are part of the 36% of CUNY students who get jobs as lawyers) are generally those with demonstrated interest and a history of work in a specific PI field.

I urge you to work as a paralegal in the field or to shadow and meet with real PI practitioners. It's not the movies, you're not going to be litigating big class actions or doing policy reports. You'll be doing direct services PI, working one on one with clients, and this is extremely taxing work. Environmental law is probably a no-go.

That being said, CUNY is about the same as uber-expensive schools like St Johns, NYLS, Touro, and Pace, except that it's roughly four times cheaper and those schools can dangle a 5% biglaw placement carrot in front of naive kids with big dreams. If you can get out with 45K in total debt (which you can if you live at home) it is certainly not a terrible option especially if you accept that its portability is limited and you will have no (i.e. zero) shot at a big or mid-tier private job.




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