Brooklyn for non-biglaw

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emhellmer
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Brooklyn for non-biglaw

Postby emhellmer » Wed Mar 30, 2011 11:36 am

Hello all. I got pretty close to a full ride to BLS and am considering it over higher ranked schools in other areas that have also given me big scholarships. I'm interested in family, immigration, and civil litigation (shitlaw...but I know several such lawyers who are very happy with what they do). Frankly, I just like Brooklyn and think that New York would be a nice place to hang my hat. However, I am a little nervous considering that this is such a saturated market. Does rank even matter for fools pursuing shitlaw? Can such an attorney afford to live anywhere decent in New York? Any insight would be appreciated (but please understand that I am familiar with the conventional TLS wisdom on rank, debt, biglaw, etc.) Thanks!
Last edited by emhellmer on Wed Mar 30, 2011 11:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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YankeesFan
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Re: Brooklyn for non-biglaw

Postby YankeesFan » Wed Mar 30, 2011 11:39 am

On a full ride BLS sounds like a great choice. My parents currently live there (right between BLS dorms) and its so much fun to live/visit/barhop in the heights. Its also a well-respected school in NY (just not as well respected as the bigger fish in the pond) so as long as you minimize your debt and keep your job prospects in check with reality you should be good to go.

sonervous88
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Re: Brooklyn for non-biglaw

Postby sonervous88 » Wed Mar 30, 2011 11:48 am

not that i'm an expert but my cousin goes there for international law and is a 2L and LOVES it. has had great internship opportunities and loves the people and classes. just letting you know :)

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BarbellDreams
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Re: Brooklyn for non-biglaw

Postby BarbellDreams » Wed Mar 30, 2011 11:51 am

BLS gets trashed a lot on TLS, but at close to fullride I think its a decent choice. What are the other options?

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alexonfyre
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Re: Brooklyn for non-biglaw

Postby alexonfyre » Wed Mar 30, 2011 11:54 am

You were right, for shitlaw the primary goal is to reduce your debt and get a degree by a locally recognized name. Frankly, people coming to you for their car accident aren't going to care or even know the difference between the TTT and the T14, just make sure you know people, you have a slick nickname and have a lot of investment capital (medical costs are expensive.)

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vanwinkle
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Re: Brooklyn for non-biglaw

Postby vanwinkle » Wed Mar 30, 2011 11:56 am

BLS does have a good amount of respect and credibility in the NY PI market. Rank can matter, but so does locality and networking, and because BLS is in NY and has put so many of its alumni into PI, it has an advantage in NY over non-NY law schools. This is especially true if you take advantage of being in NY during the school year and do internships with PI orgs while you're there, which can give you lines on your resume as well as chances to network. And since people at the higher-ranking NYC schools often go to BigLaw if they can, you're looking at potentially less competition now since NYC hiring is picking back up again.

The problem is that hiring there is stagnant right now, and more people from top law schools are aiming for what PI job openings exist because getting higher-paying work is difficult. You're looking at entering an extremely competitive market.

That said, you'd be graduating with far less debt than many, and IBR would still be available to help with your loans if you're really squeezed for debt. There are great places to live in NYC affordably when you graduate, you just have to be willing to live in one of the outer boroughs and not live in the most swanky/trendy communities. I have a friend that just got a pre-war 1BR in Queens for only $1050/mo, it's a decent neighborhood, walking distance from a lot of restaurants and such, and it's only a few blocks from a subway stop. (She looked at cheaper, too, she just really liked that one.)

Study up on IBR and what it can do for you, consider how much debt you'll graduate with, and look at your alternatives. I don't think you'd be making a terrible choice going to BLS on a full ride, as long as you know what you're getting yourself into, which it sounds like you might.

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emhellmer
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Re: Brooklyn for non-biglaw

Postby emhellmer » Wed Mar 30, 2011 12:02 pm

BarbellDreams wrote:BLS gets trashed a lot on TLS, but at close to fullride I think its a decent choice. What are the other options?


$25K to W&L, Tulane, UH, SMU, etc. Full ride to Baylor, Hofstra, Loyola New Orleans, and Stetson. Probably sticker at BC. Like I said, I just like New York (and I like Brooklyn better than Long Island). The conventional wisdom around here I think is that W&L is the obvious choice...I just didn't like it as much as I thought I would when I went to visit.

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alexonfyre
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Re: Brooklyn for non-biglaw

Postby alexonfyre » Wed Mar 30, 2011 12:07 pm

emhellmer wrote:
BarbellDreams wrote:BLS gets trashed a lot on TLS, but at close to fullride I think its a decent choice. What are the other options?


$25K to W&L, Tulane, UH, SMU, etc. Full ride to Baylor, Hofstra, Loyola New Orleans, and Stetson. Probably sticker at BC. Like I said, I just like New York (and I like Brooklyn better than Long Island). The conventional wisdom around here I think is that W&L is the obvious choice...I just didn't like it as much as I thought I would when I went to visit.


I know most of the personal injury community in New Orleans. If you went to Loyola on a full scholly you could easily find a job down there with it, but you would need to network well (which you would need to do anywhere.) Many of the big PI firms are totally run by Tulane, so that wouldn't be a horrible investment either. Only if you wanted to live there, though.

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emhellmer
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Re: Brooklyn for non-biglaw

Postby emhellmer » Wed Mar 30, 2011 12:11 pm

alexonfyre wrote:
emhellmer wrote:
BarbellDreams wrote:BLS gets trashed a lot on TLS, but at close to fullride I think its a decent choice. What are the other options?


$25K to W&L, Tulane, UH, SMU, etc. Full ride to Baylor, Hofstra, Loyola New Orleans, and Stetson. Probably sticker at BC. Like I said, I just like New York (and I like Brooklyn better than Long Island). The conventional wisdom around here I think is that W&L is the obvious choice...I just didn't like it as much as I thought I would when I went to visit.


I know most of the personal injury community in New Orleans. If you went to Loyola on a full scholly you could easily find a job down there with it, but you would need to network well (which you would need to do anywhere.) Many of the big PI firms are totally run by Tulane, so that wouldn't be a horrible investment either. Only if you wanted to live there, though.


Sounds like you and I may have mutual friends in NOLA. I lived in NOLA for many years, love it, but I don't know about spending the rest of my life there. Which is where a Tulane or Loyola degree will probably get me.

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BarbellDreams
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Re: Brooklyn for non-biglaw

Postby BarbellDreams » Wed Mar 30, 2011 12:18 pm

If you really love NY and want to practice there I think BLS is the best choice of everything you listed.

Rule11
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Re: Brooklyn for non-biglaw

Postby Rule11 » Wed Mar 30, 2011 12:19 pm

Are there stipulations on the Brooklyn scholarship?

Be advised that many "shitlaw" jobs are actually quite difficult to get. The ones that aren't hard to get generally are that way because they suffer from extremely high turnover (almost always due to horrendous management and treatment of employees coupled with poverty-line salaries). Most Brooklyn grads I know (and I know quite a few), are permatemps hopping from one doc review project to another. Some weeks they work not at all--others they work 80 to 90 hours in a windowless room, shoulder to shoulder with people who breathe just a little too heavily.

So, I guess what I'm trying to say is that you're doing well to manage your expectations, but you might want to adjust them even further downward from where you are. Still, on a full ride, you may conclude that Brooklyn is worth it (depending on stipulations). Good luck!

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thunderflesh
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Re: Brooklyn for non-biglaw

Postby thunderflesh » Wed Mar 30, 2011 12:19 pm

Just remember to look closely at BLS' stipulations. I seem to remember reading that only about half of the students with scholarships end up retaining 100% of their awards.

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alexonfyre
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Re: Brooklyn for non-biglaw

Postby alexonfyre » Wed Mar 30, 2011 12:33 pm

emhellmer wrote:
alexonfyre wrote:
emhellmer wrote:
BarbellDreams wrote:BLS gets trashed a lot on TLS, but at close to fullride I think its a decent choice. What are the other options?


$25K to W&L, Tulane, UH, SMU, etc. Full ride to Baylor, Hofstra, Loyola New Orleans, and Stetson. Probably sticker at BC. Like I said, I just like New York (and I like Brooklyn better than Long Island). The conventional wisdom around here I think is that W&L is the obvious choice...I just didn't like it as much as I thought I would when I went to visit.


I know most of the personal injury community in New Orleans. If you went to Loyola on a full scholly you could easily find a job down there with it, but you would need to network well (which you would need to do anywhere.) Many of the big PI firms are totally run by Tulane, so that wouldn't be a horrible investment either. Only if you wanted to live there, though.


Sounds like you and I may have mutual friends in NOLA. I lived in NOLA for many years, love it, but I don't know about spending the rest of my life there. Which is where a Tulane or Loyola degree will probably get me.


Probably so! I don't know about the NYC market, but down here, shitlaw jobs go to friends of the attorney who is hiring. You could be top 10% at HLS and lose out a job to a partner's golfing buddy. Generally the jobs aren't posted or anything, you just ask them, and they give you an office in their firm, then throw some cases your way and you are on your own.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Brooklyn for non-biglaw

Postby vanwinkle » Wed Mar 30, 2011 12:39 pm

One thing I'll add: PI places (esp. In NY) care a lot about commitment to the job/cause. If you spend your first two years working your butt off at BLS and getting as much PI experience as you can, you'll have a leg up in job hiring over kids even at higher-ranked schools who wait until after they washed out at OCI to start looking at PI.

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bk1
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Re: Brooklyn for non-biglaw

Postby bk1 » Wed Mar 30, 2011 12:43 pm

Rule11 wrote:Are there stipulations on the Brooklyn scholarship?


This is what would concern me too.

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emhellmer
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Re: Brooklyn for non-biglaw

Postby emhellmer » Wed Mar 30, 2011 2:07 pm

Thanks for all of the input guys.

Well, I'm looking at New York real estate right now...seems like I should add "marry rich" to my plans if my dream is to be a shitlaw attorney in this town...yowza!

Slevin Kelevra 2011
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Re: Brooklyn for non-biglaw

Postby Slevin Kelevra 2011 » Wed Mar 30, 2011 6:10 pm

Just keep your debt to a minimum.

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paratactical
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Re: Brooklyn for non-biglaw

Postby paratactical » Wed Mar 30, 2011 6:15 pm

emhellmer wrote:I lived in NOLA for many years, love it, but I don't know about spending the rest of my life there. Which is where a Tulane or Loyola degree will probably get me.


FWIW, and not to be a Debbie Downer, the schools you're talking about are all putting you at spending a very long time in the area where you go to school, so I would really hesitate to choose a place like BLS if you've never lived in NYC before. Have you lived there? Sorry if I missed it!

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emhellmer
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Re: Brooklyn for non-biglaw

Postby emhellmer » Wed Mar 30, 2011 10:27 pm

paratactical wrote:
emhellmer wrote:I lived in NOLA for many years, love it, but I don't know about spending the rest of my life there. Which is where a Tulane or Loyola degree will probably get me.


FWIW, and not to be a Debbie Downer, the schools you're talking about are all putting you at spending a very long time in the area where you go to school, so I would really hesitate to choose a place like BLS if you've never lived in NYC before. Have you lived there? Sorry if I missed it!


The fact that I am choosing a lifetime home is one of the things that makes my decision very difficult. I like to move. I've lived in New Orleans, Chicago, Houston, San Francisco, Dallas, Tulsa, Austin, LA, even Mexico City. Never New York. Its my understanding that this town was built by people who arrived on a boat from another continent with little more than the clothes on their back; I'm sure I'll be fine. However, the cost of living does get me down, as I find neither suburbs nor $3000/mo. studio apartments to be very appealing. Brooklyn Heights looks reasonbly affordable though, considering the neighborhood.

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nealric
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Re: Brooklyn for non-biglaw

Postby nealric » Wed Mar 30, 2011 10:38 pm

Brooklyn Heights looks reasonbly affordable though, considering the neighborhood.


If you consider $2000/mo for a studio "reasonably affordable".

As someone living in NYC, I would say take the full ride to Baylor. Waaayyyy cheaper cost of living means less debt. Yes, you CAN live in NYC on a shoestring budget, but why would you volunteer for such a project when you can live far more comfortably elsewhere in a market much less saturated with desperate law grads?

Anonymous Loser
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Re: Brooklyn for non-biglaw

Postby Anonymous Loser » Wed Mar 30, 2011 10:39 pm

vanwinkle wrote:One thing I'll add: PI places (esp. In NY) care a lot about commitment to the job/cause. If you spend your first two years working your butt off at BLS and getting as much PI experience as you can, you'll have a leg up in job hiring over kids even at higher-ranked schools who wait until after they washed out at OCI to start looking at PI.


The other posters in this thread are discussing Personal Injury firms.

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emhellmer
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Re: Brooklyn for non-biglaw

Postby emhellmer » Wed Mar 30, 2011 10:53 pm

nealric wrote:
Brooklyn Heights looks reasonbly affordable though, considering the neighborhood.


If you consider $2000/mo for a studio "reasonably affordable".

As someone living in NYC, I would say take the full ride to Baylor. Waaayyyy cheaper cost of living means less debt. Yes, you CAN live in NYC on a shoestring budget, but why would you volunteer for such a project when you can live far more comfortably elsewhere in a market much less saturated with desperate law grads?


Ah, yes. BLS has pretty good student housing at a good price, assuming you don't get kicked out your second year. I'm more concerned with housing after I graduate and am earning, what, $50K a year if I'm lucky, right? Like I said, I may just have to marry rich, LOL!

Waco has a low cost of living because, well, it's gawd-awful. But you are right, there are indeed some surprisingly nice double-wides at a low-price. :-) W&L is the best bet for low cost of living. You can get a palace there in small-town utopia for like, $800 a month.

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nealric
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Re: Brooklyn for non-biglaw

Postby nealric » Wed Mar 30, 2011 11:03 pm

I'm more concerned with housing after I graduate and am earning, what, $50K a year if I'm lucky, right? Like I said, I may just have to marry rich, LOL!


Right. And most apartments here require you to make 80x the monthly rent (i.e. you would need to make at least 80k/yr to rent a studio in Brooklyn heights).

Waco has a low cost of living because, well, it's gawd-awful. But you are right, there are indeed some surprisingly nice double-wides at a low-price


I've been to Waco, and I know it's where the fun goes to die, but it's only for three years, and most of your time will be spent studying anyways. I'm not convinced that W&L job prospects really differ much from Baylor- I can't see the justification in graduating with debt for the difference .

champ33
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Re: Brooklyn for non-biglaw

Postby champ33 » Wed Mar 30, 2011 11:23 pm

If you need to live in luxury or smack in the middle of Manhattan, a studio can be $2000 a month.... but we're talking about Brooklyn. You can live in Williamsburg or Bushwick for 600-900/mo with roommates and they are very close to BLS. To add to the discussion I'm leaning toward St. John's full scholarship this cycle, and I think that people in this thread are right.. if you're okay making 50k at graduation and have very little/no debt, neither BLS nor STJ would be a bad choice.

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BrianGriffintheDog
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Re: Brooklyn for non-biglaw

Postby BrianGriffintheDog » Thu Mar 31, 2011 12:05 am

Although "almost full ride" is tempting, NY's EXPENSIVE. I hope you got some savings on you.




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