Fordham vs. WUSTL

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Fordham vs. WUSTL

Fordham
59
51%
WUSTL
57
49%
 
Total votes: 116

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La Grind Date
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Re: Fordham vs. WUSTL

Postby La Grind Date » Sun May 23, 2010 12:52 pm

rad law wrote:
romothesavior wrote:
JCougar wrote:Although I think WUSTL is a strong school, I'd like to know how their median starting salary is $120K, when only 27.5% of the class of 2009 got biglaw jobs. $120K is biglaw salary in medium-sized markets, but half of the class is clearly not getting these jobs. It's more like top third at best.


I had this exact conversation with Dean Spivey, and would be happy to have it with anyone else. Just PM me.


Post it here? I'm not very invested in this discussion at all, but I'm interested to hear this.


me too

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romothesavior
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Re: Fordham vs. WUSTL

Postby romothesavior » Sun May 23, 2010 12:56 pm

Apparently I didn't read far enough down, but najumobi pretty much hit the nail on the head a few posts up. The majority of the 27% in big law are making 140-160, while another quarter or so are making about 120-140, and the rest are making below that, which gives you the median of 120. Wash U places a lot of students into smaller markets and non-NLJ firms that still pay well. (So basically, non-market paying Chicago mid-law firms or high-paying non-NLJ 250 firms in smaller markets, etc.) But admittedly, those not reporting are likely unemployed or underemployed, which could potentially drive that number a little lower.

Don't take my word as gospel truth... I'm just passing along the information I gathered when I called the CSO to talk about employment/salary numbers a few weeks ago.

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Re: Fordham vs. WUSTL

Postby JCougar » Sun May 23, 2010 12:59 pm

romothesavior wrote:
JCougar wrote:Although I think WUSTL is a strong school, I'd like to know how their median starting salary is $120K, when only 27.5% of the class of 2009 got biglaw jobs. $120K is biglaw salary in medium-sized markets, but half of the class is clearly not getting these jobs. It's more like top third at best.


I had this exact conversation with Dean Spivey, and would be happy to have it with anyone else. Just PM me.


All I can say is that if WUSTL has somehow managed to place 20% of its class into non-NLJ 250 jobs that pay six figures, that's an absolutely remarkable feat that no other school so far has been able to accomplish.

I'm not trying to hate on the school, because I obviously really want to go there. It would be my best option if I got in. But if I do get in, I'm going to want to have a realistic expectation of my job prospects.
Last edited by JCougar on Sun May 23, 2010 1:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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romothesavior
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Re: Fordham vs. WUSTL

Postby romothesavior » Sun May 23, 2010 1:01 pm

Also, this whole attitude of "THERE IS NO MIDLAW" is blatantly false. It is a myth perpetuated by some people on TLS. There is a decent legal sector known as mid-law, and while it is certainly not easy to break into, it is still an option for a good number of students.

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Re: Fordham vs. WUSTL

Postby romothesavior » Sun May 23, 2010 1:03 pm

JCougar wrote:
romothesavior wrote:
JCougar wrote:Although I think WUSTL is a strong school, I'd like to know how their median starting salary is $120K, when only 27.5% of the class of 2009 got biglaw jobs. $120K is biglaw salary in medium-sized markets, but half of the class is clearly not getting these jobs. It's more like top third at best.


I had this exact conversation with Dean Spivey, and would be happy to have it with anyone else. Just PM me.


All I can say is that if WUSTL has somehow managed to place 20% of its class into non-NLJ 250 jobs that pay six figures, that's an absolutely remarkable feat that no other school so far has been able to accomplish.


JCoug, like I said, I am just passing along the information that was given to me. I am not saying I am 100% sold either, but I thought I would just pass that info along. If you are really skeptical or upset about it, just call their office to discuss it. Spivey and the career services office have been incredibly receptive to me with all my calls/visits/emails.

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Re: Fordham vs. WUSTL

Postby JCougar » Sun May 23, 2010 1:05 pm

romothesavior wrote:Also, this whole attitude of "THERE IS NO MIDLAW" is blatantly false. It is a myth perpetuated by some people on TLS. There is a decent legal sector known as mid-law, and while it is certainly not easy to break into, it is still an option for a good number of students.


There is some midlaw, but it's far more rare than small law and more rare than biglaw. I'm just going by the placement statistics I've seen from other schools. The percent going into private practice in firms with 50-150 attorneys or less is incredibly low.

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Re: Fordham vs. WUSTL

Postby Grizz » Sun May 23, 2010 1:06 pm

romothesavior wrote:But admittedly, those not reporting are likely unemployed or underemployed, which could potentially drive that number a little lower.


Median reported makes sense, but median IRL? No.

This reporting problem is not limited to Woostle, of course.

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Re: Fordham vs. WUSTL

Postby JCougar » Sun May 23, 2010 1:19 pm

romothesavior wrote:
JCougar wrote:
romothesavior wrote:
JCougar wrote:Although I think WUSTL is a strong school, I'd like to know how their median starting salary is $120K, when only 27.5% of the class of 2009 got biglaw jobs. $120K is biglaw salary in medium-sized markets, but half of the class is clearly not getting these jobs. It's more like top third at best.


I had this exact conversation with Dean Spivey, and would be happy to have it with anyone else. Just PM me.


All I can say is that if WUSTL has somehow managed to place 20% of its class into non-NLJ 250 jobs that pay six figures, that's an absolutely remarkable feat that no other school so far has been able to accomplish.


JCoug, like I said, I am just passing along the information that was given to me. I am not saying I am 100% sold either, but I thought I would just pass that info along. If you are really skeptical or upset about it, just call their office to discuss it. Spivey and the career services office have been incredibly receptive to me with all my calls/visits/emails.


Maybe I have to talk to Spivey himself, because the one time I tried to e-mail the CSO, they were playing games with me and dodging my questions.

I wouldn't say that I'm mad, though. It's still my top choice. Pretty much every school out there is like this. It goes with the territory. It's part of the game. Even the T14 exaggerate their placement stats.

The fact is, WUSTL is becoming a more national school. They have decent connections in New York, DC, Chicago, and the rest of the Midwest. And they had some of the nation's very top firms coming to OCI before ITE. And they likely will continue this trend into the future. It's ability to place people nationally is probably underrated on here. I don't doubt that they're moving upward and really doing everything they can to turn the place into an elite institution. And I don't doubt that their CSO is doing a good job.

What I do doubt is that in reality, a student from WUSTL with grades at median is actually going to make six figures more often than not. I believe a $120K median private sector salary for sure. But I don't believe that $120K is the real median for the entire class. Perhaps this is where the confusion lies.

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Re: Fordham vs. WUSTL

Postby romothesavior » Sun May 23, 2010 1:23 pm

Also, FWIW, I voted Fordham but I'm kinda torn on this one. Fordham is not a NE school. It is a NYC school, period. Well over 90% of its grads stay in NYC. I'm sure a good deal of that is self-selection, but still... if everyone is staying in NYC, then there won't be much of an alumni base to tap into in other NE cities, and I doubt they will have much in the way of non-NYC OCI. Getting out of NYC will take a lot of work on your part. If you want NYC, go to Fordham all the way. But if you want Boston, DC, etc., then its a pretty close call. For NE flexibility, neither school is a great option. BC or BU would have been your best bets.

You should take into consideration other factors, such their campuses, the differences in the two cities, the atmosphere at the two schools, cost of living, quality of living, etc. These two schools are very different. Have you visited either one?

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Re: Fordham vs. WUSTL

Postby najumobi » Sun May 23, 2010 1:36 pm

JCougar wrote:
najumobi wrote:]the nlj 250 are firms that have at least 174 lawyers. i'm sure there are lots of firms with fewer lawyers that pay six figures.
it wasn't stated in that post but the median of 120k is a result of 94% of grads in the class reporting.


Is that 94% of the class responding to the survey, or 94% of the class reporting salary? I know a lot of people respond to the survey but don't report their salary. Non-NLJ 250 firms that pay anywhere close to $120K are few and far between. There's certainly not enough of them out there to cover 22.5% of anyone's class. Even many NLJ 250 firms pay less than $120K if they are not in major markets. Indianapolis I think is $110K for biglaw. Tampa biglaw pays anywhere from $100K to $125K. Kansas City is probably similar. So even some of that 27.5% that gets biglaw is not making $120K.

It takes a good school to place 33% of your class into either good clerkships or biglaw. But I'm not under any delusions that the average student at median at WUSTL is going to be on easy street.

94% is the for the percentage of the class who reported a salary. i don't think anyone would care about reporting the percent responding if only geographical placement was involved and salary stats weren't computed and disclosed.

also people always say that at the T14 the average student can get a six figure job, but tons of lower ranked students (those ranked merely ranked in the top 75%) get them as well (at least prior to ITE). so just because median students at michigan are getting high paying jobs doesn't necessarily mean median students at wustl aren't getting high paying jobs. I think the difference between the T14 (and texas, vandy, usc, ucla) and schools like gw, bc,bu,uiuc, fordham, emory, wustl, and nd is that their students have to do more work to get high paying jobs....the acquisition of jobs aren't as streamlined b/c students from the latter group of schools aren't getting as many interviews and callbacks through OCI as students from the former.

of course it's expected that the stats for the classes of 2010 and 2011 will be much worse than those of 2009.

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Re: Fordham vs. WUSTL

Postby keg411 » Sun May 23, 2010 1:40 pm

rad law wrote:
romothesavior wrote:But admittedly, those not reporting are likely unemployed or underemployed, which could potentially drive that number a little lower.


Median reported makes sense, but median IRL? No.

This reporting problem is not limited to Woostle, of course.


Agree 100% with the bolded. I wish schools would report their real figures. It's really misleading, deceptive and unfair to every applicant (and this starts at the top ranked schools; it's not just a TTT/TTTT phenomenon).

As for OP's question - it depends where in the Northeast. Fordham is really for NYC/NY suburbs (and a limited in NJ/southern CT). WashU is really for the Midwest and not the NE at all. If Boston is what you're looking for, you really need BU/BC. If it's Philly, then a huge scholarship to one of the lower-ranked Philly feeder schools (I'm guessing you don't have T13 numbers with you choices).

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Re: Fordham vs. WUSTL

Postby retinadoc » Sun May 23, 2010 1:48 pm

Great discussion. I agree that the atmosphere of the two schools may be very different. I agree that WUSTL seems to be on the rise and does seem to be gaining a more national reputation. However, Fordham is also excellent. Lawyers I have spoken to in NYC and CT are much more familiar with (and favor) Fordham. I would be happy to practice in NY, but I don't have to be there. I have visited Fordham and will travel to WUSTL this week. I hope to speak with the CSO and, also, to look at reasonable places to live. Any suggestions? I hope to have a better feel for the two schools after the trip.

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Re: Fordham vs. WUSTL

Postby najumobi » Sun May 23, 2010 1:52 pm

JCougar wrote:Maybe I have to talk to Spivey himself, because the one time I tried to e-mail the CSO, they were playing games with me and dodging my questions.

I wouldn't say that I'm mad, though. It's still my top choice. Pretty much every school out there is like this. It goes with the territory. It's part of the game. Even the T14 exaggerate their placement stats.

The fact is, WUSTL is becoming a more national school. They have decent connections in New York, DC, Chicago, and the rest of the Midwest. And they had some of the nation's very top firms coming to OCI before ITE. And they likely will continue this trend into the future. It's ability to place people nationally is probably underrated on here. I don't doubt that they're moving upward and really doing everything they can to turn the place into an elite institution. And I don't doubt that their CSO is doing a good job.

What I do doubt is that in reality, a student from WUSTL with grades at median is actually going to make six figures more often than not. I believe a $120K median private sector salary for sure. But I don't believe that $120K is the real median for the entire class. Perhaps this is where the confusion lies.
i actually don't think wustl's diverse geographical placement can be majorily attributed to students getting offers from firms all over the country through OCI. my theory is that WUSTL students come from all over the country and that they're able to make/use good connections (of course with the help of OCS) to get good jobs in the region that they're from for the most part. this is different from a school like chicago, since i think chicago places the majority of it's students into regions all over the country through oci. i think this is what makes a school "national" and separates the t14 from other schools.

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Re: Fordham vs. WUSTL

Postby JCougar » Sun May 23, 2010 2:00 pm

najumobi wrote:
JCougar wrote:
najumobi wrote:]the nlj 250 are firms that have at least 174 lawyers. i'm sure there are lots of firms with fewer lawyers that pay six figures.
it wasn't stated in that post but the median of 120k is a result of 94% of grads in the class reporting.


Is that 94% of the class responding to the survey, or 94% of the class reporting salary? I know a lot of people respond to the survey but don't report their salary. Non-NLJ 250 firms that pay anywhere close to $120K are few and far between. There's certainly not enough of them out there to cover 22.5% of anyone's class. Even many NLJ 250 firms pay less than $120K if they are not in major markets. Indianapolis I think is $110K for biglaw. Tampa biglaw pays anywhere from $100K to $125K. Kansas City is probably similar. So even some of that 27.5% that gets biglaw is not making $120K.

It takes a good school to place 33% of your class into either good clerkships or biglaw. But I'm not under any delusions that the average student at median at WUSTL is going to be on easy street.

94% is the for the percentage of the class who reported a salary. i don't think anyone would care about reporting the percent responding if only geographical placement was involved and salary stats weren't computed and disclosed.

also people always say that at the T14 the average student can get a six figure job, but tons of lower ranked students (those ranked merely ranked in the top 75%) get them as well (at least prior to ITE). so just because median students at michigan are getting high paying jobs doesn't necessarily mean median students at wustl aren't getting high paying jobs. I think the difference between the T14 (and texas, vandy, usc, ucla) and schools like gw, bc,bu,uiuc, fordham, emory, wustl, and nd is that their students have to do more work to get high paying jobs....the acquisition of jobs aren't as streamlined b/c students from the latter group of schools aren't getting as many interviews and callbacks through OCI as students from the former.

of course it's expected that the stats for the classes of 2010 and 2011 will be much worse than those of 2009.


If those stats really are from 94% of the class reporting salary, and if they reflect the entire class median rather than the private practice median, then that's pretty incredible.

But your point is credited about working harder to get jobs. In very few careers do employers come to your school practically begging to interview you. It's normal to apply to 100 jobs without hearing anything back, and having to network your way into places. I think a lot of law students feel entitled to get a job easily without doing the work that most other people do to get a job, and that ends up hurting them. I'm sure students below median get six figure jobs all the time simply because they worked harder and smarter at trying to find a job. And students in the top 25% of the class struck out at OCI because they came off as unprofessional in their interviews or interviewed at firms in cities where they had zero prior connections, and didn't apply to other jobs as a backup.

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Re: Fordham vs. WUSTL

Postby JCougar » Sun May 23, 2010 2:07 pm

najumobi wrote:i actually don't think wustl's diverse geographical placement can be majorily attributed to students getting offers from firms all over the country through OCI. my theory is that WUSTL students come from all over the country and that they're able to make/use good connections (of course with the help of OCS) to get good jobs in the region that they're from for the most part. this is different from a school like chicago, since i think chicago places the majority of it's students into regions all over the country through oci. i think this is what makes a school "national" and separates the t14 from other schools.


That's true as well, but the way you start building those national connections is by having your alumni spread out all over the country. A school has to have a pretty good reputation in the first place to draw a national student body, which WUSTL is clearly doing right now. In fact, that's kind of an advantage to being located in St. Louis. It forces alumni to spread out over the country. Fordham will continually be saddled with a NYC self-selecting contingent. WUSTL can be free to build a national alumni base. It may take a few years before the increasingly national student base at WUSTL starts making partner at top firms, but eventually, I think their national mobility is only going to improve.

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Re: Fordham vs. WUSTL

Postby JCougar » Sun May 23, 2010 3:07 pm

And FWIW, both these schools at equal cost = toss up. Fordham is going to be more expensive though, because COL is astronomical compared to WUSTL, so keep that in mind.

I do have to warn OP, though, that once you visit the WUSTL campus, you can easily fall in love.

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Re: Fordham vs. WUSTL

Postby retinadoc » Mon May 24, 2010 1:44 pm

I do have to warn OP, though, that once you visit the WUSTL campus, you can easily fall in love.

I hope to have some more clarity concerning the decision by the end of my visit to WUSTL. It wouldn't be bad if I fell in love with the campus....I am sure that it will be a very different living experience than that afforded by Fordham. Leaving tomorrow afternoon....

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Re: Fordham vs. WUSTL

Postby Always Credited » Mon May 24, 2010 1:55 pm

I see a transparency discussion unfolding, and feel the need to offer some input on the subject.

Although not directly related to the thread's main discussion, you should know that the only way to ensure that a school's reported salary/employment data is accurate is to do extensive research on your own. I did such research for GWU and found that all information reported is indeed as close to 100% accurate as one could reasonably expect.

This goes beyond just asking the school for the numbers; a school isn't going to publish a set of numbers and then admit to you, personally, that the "real" stats are something other than what was published. Rather than ask the school, verify through other sources by nailing down from the school exactly which firms hired grads, and then contact those firms, or those offices, or those agencies. Find out what the pay scale is at those places, and see if it tends to match the published data. Get in touch with current students and see what you can find out. Although not 100% accurate, with enough independent research you can get a sense of whether the presented data is misleading.

If it is, DANGER WILL ROBINSON.

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Re: Fordham vs. WUSTL

Postby retinadoc » Fri May 28, 2010 10:02 am

Returned from trip to WUSTL. The school is incredible! I have nothing but positive thoughts about the academic program, facilities, campus, administrative support, etc. The only reservation I still face is whether the claims of strong placement in both DC and NYC are sufficient to counter the known excellent placement of Fordham in NYC. I also wonder whether Fordham provides an equally stimulating and supportive academic environment. Any additional thoughts?

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Re: Fordham vs. WUSTL

Postby romothesavior » Fri May 28, 2010 10:20 am

OP, it all just comes down to whether you are interested in NYC or elsewhere. Fordham clearly trumps WUSTL in NYC, but WUSTL will win out just about everywhere else (places like D.C., Chicago, etc.) I know you want the Northeast, but does Northeast = NYC for you? If yes, then go to Fordham. If not, then it is more of a tossup, but probably WUSTL (especially given that you loved it so much).

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Re: Fordham vs. WUSTL

Postby retinadoc » Sat May 29, 2010 5:51 pm

One last trip into NYC tomorrow and then decision will be finalized. The reality is that they are both excellent schools, although different in atmosphere. WUSTL will only be gaining in national reputation if current trends continue; Fordham is incredibly well-regarded in the NY area (probably more so than WUSTL), but more limited outside of it.

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Re: Fordham vs. WUSTL

Postby Regionality » Sat May 29, 2010 5:55 pm

retinadoc wrote:One last trip into NYC tomorrow and then decision will be finalized. The reality is that they are both excellent schools, although different in atmosphere. WUSTL will only be gaining in national reputation if current trends continue; Fordham is incredibly well-regarded in the NY area (probably more so than WUSTL), but more limited outside of it.


Where are you leaning?

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Re: Fordham vs. WUSTL

Postby JCougar » Mon May 31, 2010 10:20 pm

I just wanted to add an addendum to this discussion. I looked up WUSTL's "class represented by salary statistics" ranking on Law School Transparency, and they're actually one of the best (as in they fudge their numbers the least). But that doesn't mean they don't do it. Most of the schools that report these [private sector] median salary statistics to US News have around 50% or so of their class actually [strike]reporting salary[/strike] represented by their private sector reported salaries. Regarding what was reported to US News for the 2009 rankings, WUSTL's percent of class represented by [private sector] salary statistics is over 60% according to Law School Transparency, which is good enough to put it in the top 20 of all law schools that report these statistics. So kudos to WUSTL.

They reported to US News for the 2009 rankings that their median private sector salary was $120k, with 85% of their private sector graduates reporting salary and 62% of their class working in law firms. So that's not the median for the entire class; however, this data is over a year old. But that translates into about 30% of their class making 120K or more at graduation, which is what the NALP % of graduates going into NLJ250 firms would suggest. Then there's those who get clerkships that take up probably another 5% of the class or so, and there's a few at the top of the class that might self-select into PI. It's probably safe to say that if you are above median at WUSTL and you work dilligently in your job search (as opposed to sitting on your ass and relying only on OCI) you can probably land a pretty good job. But good jobs don't become a sure thing until you get solidly into the top third.

The salary statistics are kind of a prisoner's dilemma. If you are completely honest while other schools exaggerate, you only hurt yourself. So the incentive is for everyone to exaggerate, because they don't count on other schools telling the truth. So reporting exaggerated salary statistics without adding the disclaimer about how they only represent ~50% of the class ends up being par for the course for pretty much every law school. Looks like WUSTL is doing significantly better than everyone else though.

--LinkRemoved--

Another edit: I think I misunderstood that statistic at first. The "% of class represented by salary statistics" refers to the percent of the class represented by the private sector statistics, not the percent of class responding to the salary question on the survey. So in other words, WUSTL's median private sector salary of 120K represents the median of what 61% of the class is making. Some of the other 39% of the class got prestigious clerkships, and some self-selected into PI. Some got decent government jobs. But 120K seems to be a little bit high for the overall class median. And these statistics were from before ITE.
Last edited by JCougar on Mon May 31, 2010 10:56 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Fordham vs. WUSTL

Postby Grizz » Mon May 31, 2010 10:27 pm

Hey cougar, do you have the link to that? I can't seem to find it on the LST site.

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Re: Fordham vs. WUSTL

Postby JCougar » Mon May 31, 2010 10:27 pm

rad law wrote:Hey cougar, do you have the link to that? I can't seem to find it on the LST site.


edited to add the link :)




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