BU v. St. John's

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CafeParty
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BU v. St. John's

Postby CafeParty » Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:48 pm

I want to be an ADA in the New York area. I, of course, would prefer to work in Manhattan DA’s Office. But I know I’d be happy to work in the Brooklyn DA’s Office, where I’m currently interning.
I am still waiting on financial information from other law schools, but I am currently (and mostly likely ultimately) deciding between BU School of Law and St. John’s University. BU, I am likely to receive no money. And I hear their LRAP is mildly helpful at best. But of course its national prestige and great job prospects are something to consider. But given my 163 LSAT score, I’d imagine I’m at the bottom of the accepted pool there.
St. John’s University has offered me a full scholarship and I can avoid debt completely as I can cover living costs for 3 years. St. John’s has a Prosecution Clinic, as does BU. I believe I have a greater chance of graduating high in class rank there as well, but maybe I’m being optimistic. St. John’s is also appealing because my family is not too far from NYC and the scholarship prevents me from being in debt that forces me to do BigLaw, etc.
Any and all informative advice would be appreciated.

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: BU v. St. John's

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:50 pm

CafeParty wrote:I want to be an ADA in the New York area. I, of course, would prefer to work in Manhattan DA’s Office. But I know I’d be happy to work in the Brooklyn DA’s Office, where I’m currently interning.
I am still waiting on financial information from other law schools, but I am currently (and mostly likely ultimately) deciding between BU School of Law and St. John’s University. BU, I am likely to receive no money. And I hear their LRAP is mildly helpful at best. But of course its national prestige and great job prospects are something to consider. But given my 163 LSAT score, I’d imagine I’m at the bottom of the accepted pool there.
St. John’s University has offered me a full scholarship and I can avoid debt completely as I can cover living costs for 3 years. St. John’s has a Prosecution Clinic, as does BU. I believe I have a greater chance of graduating high in class rank there as well, but maybe I’m being optimistic. St. John’s is also appealing because my family is not too far from NYC and the scholarship prevents me from being in debt that forces me to do BigLaw, etc.
Any and all informative advice would be appreciated.


BU is not worth full price, but SJ is not worth much at all. If these were my absolute only options, I would go with SJ. Are there any offers in the middle?

binghamtonalum
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Re: BU v. St. John's

Postby binghamtonalum » Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:54 pm

I'm in a similar situation as well with a full St. John's scholarship and sticker at other schools, in this job market though, it seems foolish to take on $180,000 worth of loans. I'm leaning towards taking the scholarship myself and starting at $0 rather than in debt.

CafeParty
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Re: BU v. St. John's

Postby CafeParty » Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:55 pm

Aberzombie1892 wrote:BU is not worth full price, but SJ is not worth much at all. If these were my absolute only options, I would go with SJ. Are there any offers in the middle?


Cardozo offered my $18,000 (which is actually quite expensive still). Tried asking for more money via GMU scholarship but the Dean, in essence, kindly replied, "Not gonna happen."

And waiting to get full info from Brooklyn.

Fordham waitlisted.

CafeParty
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Re: BU v. St. John's

Postby CafeParty » Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:56 pm

binghamtonalum wrote:I'm in a similar situation as well with a full St. John's scholarship and sticker at other schools, in this job market though, it seems foolish to take on $180,000 worth of loans. I'm leaning towards taking the scholarship myself and starting at $0 rather than in debt.


I absolutely agree with you. But I do want to get as much info, not from law school web sites, as possible before deciding.

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: BU v. St. John's

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:58 pm

CafeParty wrote:
Aberzombie1892 wrote:BU is not worth full price, but SJ is not worth much at all. If these were my absolute only options, I would go with SJ. Are there any offers in the middle?


Cardozo offered my $18,000 (which is actually quite expensive still). Tried asking for more money via GMU scholarship but the Dean, in essence, kindly replied, "Not gonna happen."

And waiting to get full info from Brooklyn.

Fordham waitlisted.


If you want to be in NYC, choose between SJ and Cardozo (and preferably SJ). If you absolutely have to have the Manhattan DA's Office, I'm not sure about either.

CafeParty
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Re: BU v. St. John's

Postby CafeParty » Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:02 pm

Aberzombie1892 wrote:
CafeParty wrote:
Aberzombie1892 wrote:BU is not worth full price, but SJ is not worth much at all. If these were my absolute only options, I would go with SJ. Are there any offers in the middle?


Cardozo offered my $18,000 (which is actually quite expensive still). Tried asking for more money via GMU scholarship but the Dean, in essence, kindly replied, "Not gonna happen."

And waiting to get full info from Brooklyn.

Fordham waitlisted.


If you want to be in NYC, choose between SJ and Cardozo (and preferably SJ). If you absolutely have to have the Manhattan DA's Office, I'm not sure about either.


Thanks. Again, perfectly happy with Brooklyn DA.

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Robespierre
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Re: BU v. St. John's

Postby Robespierre » Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:04 pm

Cafe, is it the SJ full scholarship with the stipulation that you maintain an upper 40% class standing? Beware of that. The administration there is highhanded. They'll take it away from you if they can find a way.

Rule11
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Re: BU v. St. John's

Postby Rule11 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:05 pm

You shouldn't worry about debt "forcing" you to do biglaw, because biglaw is extremely unlikely to be an option at either school even if you pursue it. That said, prosecution jobs in NYC are as competitive to get as most biglaw. Manhattan ADA is extremely difficult. Kings (Brooklyn) is not as hard, but still very difficult, and they just had big layoffs. The others are also tough, although less so (don't have any info on Staten Island--Richmond county, I think)--but don't let that fool you. Prosecution jobs are objectively very hard to get in NYC (elsewhere too, but especially in NYC).

I'm sorry to be negative, but I wonder whether you have a realistic sense of your chances of attaining your stated goals. If you go to St. John's, I would (being generous) give you a 5 percent chance of getting an NYC DA job (and that includes Staten Island). BU might up that percentage a little bit, but even if it would, it would not be enough to make any debt worth it, let alone full price. BU does not, in general, afford "great" job prospects.

If you are sure you want to go to law school anyway, go to St. John's on a full ride (but are there GPA stipulations?--if so, RUN, don't walk, to the trash can) so that at least your life won't be ruined.

CafeParty
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Re: BU v. St. John's

Postby CafeParty » Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:07 pm

Robespierre wrote:Cafe, is it the SJ full scholarship with the stipulation that you maintain an upper 40% class standing? Beware of that. The administration there is highhanded. They'll take it away from you if they can find a way.


It is. But I am (naively?) thinking I can meet that stipulation. Frankly, if I can't meet that stipulation (i.e. am in the bottom 60% of my class), I am screwing myself by being there anyway...and would not continue there.

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ilovesf
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Re: BU v. St. John's

Postby ilovesf » Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:08 pm

Did you apply to Brooklyn? They also give out lots of scholly money.

Rule11
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Re: BU v. St. John's

Postby Rule11 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:09 pm

CafeParty wrote:
Aberzombie1892 wrote:
CafeParty wrote:
Aberzombie1892 wrote:BU is not worth full price, but SJ is not worth much at all. If these were my absolute only options, I would go with SJ. Are there any offers in the middle?


Cardozo offered my $18,000 (which is actually quite expensive still). Tried asking for more money via GMU scholarship but the Dean, in essence, kindly replied, "Not gonna happen."

And waiting to get full info from Brooklyn.

Fordham waitlisted.


If you want to be in NYC, choose between SJ and Cardozo (and preferably SJ). If you absolutely have to have the Manhattan DA's Office, I'm not sure about either.


Thanks. Again, perfectly happy with Brooklyn DA.


Although my previous post covers this, I just want to emphasize that getting Brooklyn DA from St. John's would be very difficult. Not quite like winning the lottery, but far more like that than settling for a fallback. I don't know you, but when you say stuff like "perfectly happy with Brooklyn DA," you give the impression of not being very aware of your current situation.

CafeParty
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Re: BU v. St. John's

Postby CafeParty » Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:11 pm

ilovesf wrote:Did you apply to Brooklyn? They also give out lots of scholly money.



Sorry about the PM mistake. Yes, I've been accepted to Brooklyn but waiting on scholarship info.

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Bill Cosby
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Re: BU v. St. John's

Postby Bill Cosby » Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:13 pm

ilovesf wrote:Did you apply to Brooklyn? They also give out lots of scholly money.


That's what he's referring to as "BU".

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ilovesf
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Re: BU v. St. John's

Postby ilovesf » Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:17 pm

Bill Cosby wrote:
ilovesf wrote:Did you apply to Brooklyn? They also give out lots of scholly money.


That's what he's referring to as "BU".


Ohhh.. haha. I thought he meant Boston, that's what most people call BU around here.

CafeParty
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Re: BU v. St. John's

Postby CafeParty » Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:17 pm

ilovesf wrote:
Bill Cosby wrote:
ilovesf wrote:Did you apply to Brooklyn? They also give out lots of scholly money.


That's what he's referring to as "BU".


Ohhh.. haha. I thought he meant Boston, that's what most people call BU around here.



I do mean Boston University.

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ilovesf
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Re: BU v. St. John's

Postby ilovesf » Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:20 pm

CafeParty wrote:

I do mean Boston University.


So I was right afterall. If you got into BU, I would think you'd get significant money from Brooklyn, and you can use that for negotiation and leverage.

CafeParty
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Re: BU v. St. John's

Postby CafeParty » Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:23 pm

ilovesf wrote:
CafeParty wrote:

I do mean Boston University.


So I was right afterall. If you got into BU, I would think you'd get significant money from Brooklyn, and you can use that for negotiation and leverage.


You mean use BU to get money out of Brooklyn?

And this warning about a GPA stipulation for scholarships? Sounds pretty standard to me. My undergrad scholarship has requirements...

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Robespierre
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Re: BU v. St. John's

Postby Robespierre » Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:24 pm

CafeParty wrote:
Robespierre wrote:Cafe, is it the SJ full scholarship with the stipulation that you maintain an upper 40% class standing? Beware of that. The administration there is highhanded. They'll take it away from you if they can find a way.


It is. But I am (naively?) thinking I can meet that stipulation. Frankly, if I can't meet that stipulation (i.e. am in the bottom 60% of my class), I am screwing myself by being there anyway...and would not continue there.


Oh dude. Be really careful. It's a conservative school with a highhanded administration (I have some knowledge on this). Rumor has it that they put all the scholarship students in one section and by definition 60% lose the scholly after one year. Even if that's not true, the scenario shows how vulnerable you are with the condition in place.

Also I disagree with you very strongly that if you're below the 60th percentile you are "screwing yourself by being there" and shouldn't continue. Plenty of judges and law firm chairman were in the middle of their classes at Tier 2 schools. Being in the middle of the class at St. John's means simply that you're highly intelligent but not a legal superstar. No shame in it.

And for the same reason, don't be cocky about landing in the top 40%. You have no idea how you'll do in LS and it has nothing to do with your UG grades. A ton of smart people go to SJ and you could easily up in the 59th percentile ... and then you're toast.

I think you should consider this further. And BTW, what is the exact wording of the 40% stipulation? 40% of what exactly? After what point? Any discretion involved?

Good luck.

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Bill Cosby
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Re: BU v. St. John's

Postby Bill Cosby » Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:27 pm

CafeParty wrote:
ilovesf wrote:
CafeParty wrote:

I do mean Boston University.


So I was right afterall. If you got into BU, I would think you'd get significant money from Brooklyn, and you can use that for negotiation and leverage.


You mean use BU to get money out of Brooklyn?

And this warning about a GPA stipulation for scholarships? Sounds pretty standard to me. My undergrad scholarship has requirements...


That's what happens when you make assumptions. :oops:

Have you heard back from these schools yet? Unless you're a URM, you're not likely to get in to BU with a 163.

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Robespierre
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Re: BU v. St. John's

Postby Robespierre » Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:27 pm

Making the scholly conditional is "standard," but 40% is not the standard number, not by a long shot.

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reasonable_man
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Re: BU v. St. John's

Postby reasonable_man » Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:29 pm

First: Lots of people lose that full scholly at SJU.

Second: Neither school will get you a job at the New York County DA's office. You're gunning for, at best, the Kings County DA or the Bronx.

Third: With that in mind, BU will help you marginally in getting into one of those other DA's offices. But SJU with good grades and a demonstrated interest in prosecution (which you have a head start on already), should help you get in the door.

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ilovesf
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Re: BU v. St. John's

Postby ilovesf » Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:30 pm

Yeah, always be weary about your confidence of meeting stipulations.. SJU hands out so many full schollys (to myself included), and a lot of people choose the school because of the scholarship. All law schools are going to be tough, and when a lot of people there are on scholarship, they have to fight hard to keep them. When I talk about negotiation, you pick your top school and write them a nice letter and mention your acceptance to a higher ranked school, and your other scholarship offers. Say you get 25k/yr from Brooklyn, and 20k from Cardozo, and you like Cardozo most. You write Cardozo telling them that they are your first choice, something you like about the program, but you are hesitant about attending because you have received a higher scholarship at Brooklyn, a full scholly at SJU, and been accepted to BU, and attending Cardozo without a higher scholly might be too much of a financial burden. If they would consider offering you more money, you'd love to attend. That being said, I'm not sure how good these schools are for your career path..

CafeParty
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Re: BU v. St. John's

Postby CafeParty » Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:36 pm

ilovesf wrote:Yeah, always be weary about your confidence of meeting stipulations.. SJU hands out so many full schollys (to myself included), and a lot of people choose the school because of the scholarship. All law schools are going to be tough, and when a lot of people there are on scholarship, they have to fight hard to keep them. When I talk about negotiation, you pick your top school and write them a nice letter and mention your acceptance to a higher ranked school, and your other scholarship offers. Say you get 25k/yr from Brooklyn, and 20k from Cardozo, and you like Cardozo most. You write Cardozo telling them that they are your first choice, something you like about the program, but you are hesitant about attending because you have received a higher scholarship at Brooklyn, a full scholly at SJU, and been accepted to BU, and attending Cardozo without a higher scholly might be too much of a financial burden. If they would consider offering you more money, you'd love to attend. That being said, I'm not sure how good these schools are for your career path..


Thanks, everyone. Cardozo is particularly good because they have the nationally recognized Innocence Project...though it is more for the defense side.

CafeParty
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Re: BU v. St. John's

Postby CafeParty » Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:39 pm

Robespierre wrote:
CafeParty wrote:
Robespierre wrote:Cafe, is it the SJ full scholarship with the stipulation that you maintain an upper 40% class standing? Beware of that. The administration there is highhanded. They'll take it away from you if they can find a way.


It is. But I am (naively?) thinking I can meet that stipulation. Frankly, if I can't meet that stipulation (i.e. am in the bottom 60% of my class), I am screwing myself by being there anyway...and would not continue there.


Oh dude. Be really careful. It's a conservative school with a highhanded administration (I have some knowledge on this). Rumor has it that they put all the scholarship students in one section and by definition 60% lose the scholly after one year. Even if that's not true, the scenario shows how vulnerable you are with the condition in place.

Also I disagree with you very strongly that if you're below the 60th percentile you are "screwing yourself by being there" and shouldn't continue. Plenty of judges and law firm chairman were in the middle of their classes at Tier 2 schools. Being in the middle of the class at St. John's means simply that you're highly intelligent but not a legal superstar. No shame in it.

And for the same reason, don't be cocky about landing in the top 40%. You have no idea how you'll do in LS and it has nothing to do with your UG grades. A ton of smart people go to SJ and you could easily up in the 59th percentile ... and then you're toast.

I think you should consider this further. And BTW, what is the exact wording of the 40% stipulation? 40% of what exactly? After what point? Any discretion involved?

Good luck.


I don't have the letter on me but it is a graded standard. 40% in class ranking maintains full, and some other percentages keep partial going.




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