NY City Law School Decision Advice

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Which school should I choose?

St. John's (full $)
14
56%
Cardozo (1/3 $)
8
32%
BLS (1/2 $)
3
12%
 
Total votes: 25

law's cool
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NY City Law School Decision Advice

Postby law's cool » Wed Mar 30, 2011 5:50 pm

My choices are Cardozo (1/3 scholarship, top 80% requirement), BLS (half scholarship, top 40% requirement to keep full money), and St. John's (full scholarship, also top 40% requirement).

I would appreciate any advice anyone could give me with this decision. Still waiting on Fordham waitlist but I'll deal with that if I get in.

I plan to work in NY City after law school. Obviously, I'd love to work in "biglaw" if given the opportunity. Realistically, though, I'm more than fine with the idea of working at a mid-sized firm as well. I'm not 100% sure what area of law I want to pursue, but I feel that I am likely to look into IP, business, or bankruptcy law. Cardozo's highly-ranked IP program is certainly a factor in my decision.

I am most concerned with the job prospects coming out of these schools. I keep hearing that I shouldn't overlook St. John's because they offered me so much money and that I would have very similar job prospects coming out of any of the schools I'm deciding between. I'm still not sure how true this is, though.

I suppose I am simply wondering if it is foolish to go down the Cardozo road and forfeit the significant amount of money St. John's is offering. I feel like Cardozo is the obvious choice here but there must be a reason that I keep hearing that it would be a mistake to turn down St. John's in this scenario.

I find it hard to believe that Cardozo and BLS students do not have a fairly substantial edge over St. John's students in the NY City legal market today. Cardozo and BLS grads probably have VERY similar opportunities to one another but I feel like these two schools have separated themselves quite a bit from St. John's at this point (USN rankings aside). Are these views misguided?

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bk1
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Re: NY City Law School Decision Advice

Postby bk1 » Wed Mar 30, 2011 5:54 pm

St. John's. None of these schools are worth paying for so go to the cheapest one. I would be wary of the top 40% stipulation though, maybe try to haggle it down or possibly drop out if the scholarship is lost.

The rank of Cardozo's IP program is meaningless. And if you don't have the pre-law school IP creds it will matter even less.

The reason you hear that it is mistake to take Cardozo is that the job prospects out of all these schools are so poor that you can't justify the possibility of having no debt. While Cardozo is marginally better than BLS and BLS is marginally better than St. John's, the fact remains that the vast majority of grads out of these schools don't end up with jobs that can service $150k+ in debt. So keep your debt low and go to St. John's.

ballpop
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Re: NY City Law School Decision Advice

Postby ballpop » Wed Mar 30, 2011 5:58 pm

The rank of Cardozo's IP program is meaningless. The connections that professor's have and that you can make in the clinic are not.

However, with all that said, I say go to St John's but WORK YOUR ASS OFF to keep the scholly

law's cool
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Re: NY City Law School Decision Advice

Postby law's cool » Wed Mar 30, 2011 6:00 pm

bk1 wrote:St. John's. None of these schools are worth paying for so go to the cheapest one. I would be wary of the top 40% stipulation though, maybe try to haggle it down or possibly drop out if the scholarship is lost.

The rank of Cardozo's IP program is meaningless. And if you don't have the pre-law school IP creds it will matter even less.

The reason you hear that it is mistake to take Cardozo is that the job prospects out of all these schools are so poor that you can't justify the possibility of having no debt. While Cardozo is marginally better than BLS and BLS is marginally better than St. John's, the fact remains that the vast majority of grads out of these schools don't end up with jobs that can service $150k+ in debt. So keep your debt low and go to St. John's.



Would your answer be the same if it were the case that I would have an extremely small amount of debt at Cardozo? With help from my family, I would owe the school approx. $18,000 in the end, which is certainly manageable. I would owe Brooklyn about $4,000.

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bk1
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Re: NY City Law School Decision Advice

Postby bk1 » Wed Mar 30, 2011 6:18 pm

law's cool wrote:Would your answer be the same if it were the case that I would have an extremely small amount of debt at Cardozo? With help from my family, I would owe the school approx. $18,000 in the end, which is certainly manageable. I would owe Brooklyn about $4,000.


If your family is helping pay and you don't mind having them pay the difference then you should take Cardozo considering the cost difference is minimal and the stipulations are loose.

I wouldn't pay my own money for the difference between these schools and if my parents were struggling I wouldn't use theirs. But I guess if my parents were well off and really wanted to then I would take Cardozo for only $18k more than St. John's.

So my vote is Cardozo now.

ballpop
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Re: NY City Law School Decision Advice

Postby ballpop » Wed Mar 30, 2011 6:22 pm

Yea at that point, Cardozo

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FeelTheHeat
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Re: NY City Law School Decision Advice

Postby FeelTheHeat » Wed Mar 30, 2011 6:25 pm

OP, I recommend you changing the poll to reflect the debt load you mentioned earlier. Makes a BIG difference.

law's cool
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Re: NY City Law School Decision Advice

Postby law's cool » Thu Mar 31, 2011 12:23 pm

Thanks for the replies.

My mother (who is an attorney) just sent me this email:

"More attorneys here today all with opinions. All think you should take the money
at St. John's because it is a full merit scholarship and you will do well there.

One attorney recently graduated from Cardozo. She said
her friends from St. John's all have jobs because of the huge alumni network and it is
an "old established base" like at Fordham.

She loved Cardozo but said it was very competitive because the students who go there were extremely smart...most were rejected from NYU, Columbia, etc. so everyone wants to make Law Review because they are upset that they didn't get into the "better schools" in NY."


None of this makes sense to me. I understand the whole "take the money" argument, but it seems that all these lawyers my mother is speaking to think my job prospects will be better at St. John's than at Cardozo. I can't see how they could possibly be right about this.

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bk1
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Re: NY City Law School Decision Advice

Postby bk1 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 12:27 pm

She seems to be making the assumption that you will be better off at St. John's than Cardozo because you will be doing better at St. John's than Cardozo. That is a foolish thing to assume.

Rule11
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Re: NY City Law School Decision Advice

Postby Rule11 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 12:45 pm

bk1 wrote:She seems to be making the assumption that you will be better off at St. John's than Cardozo because you will be doing better at St. John's than Cardozo. That is a foolish thing to assume.


Yup. Also, as an aside (and speaking from extensive experience), older attorneys have literally no clue about the realities of law school. Even partners who are involved in hiring really don't know the first thing about it (probably because their hiring duties comprise only a tiny part of their job).

The correct choice here (assuming that you insist on going to law school) is to go to Cardozo for $18k debt. Brooklyn and St. John's are terrible choices because of the top 40% stipulations--you stand a good chance of losing your scholarship, and then you're paying the same for a worse degree. Drop out the moment your family gives any indication that they might stop being so generous (happens to a lot of people! baby boomers tend to have an "oops" moment when retirement starts to loom and they realize that they might not be able to have every little thing they want anymore if they continue to fulfill their promises).

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afc1910
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Re: NY City Law School Decision Advice

Postby afc1910 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 1:47 pm

.
Last edited by afc1910 on Fri Apr 01, 2011 9:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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MTal
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Re: NY City Law School Decision Advice

Postby MTal » Thu Mar 31, 2011 1:53 pm

they are all rancid toilets...go for free or don't go at all.

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afc1910
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Re: NY City Law School Decision Advice

Postby afc1910 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 2:24 pm

.
Last edited by afc1910 on Fri Apr 01, 2011 9:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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MTal
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Re: NY City Law School Decision Advice

Postby MTal » Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:01 pm

afc1910 wrote:
MTal wrote:they are all rancid toilets...go for free or don't go at all.


Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.

And you do not need to be an ass about it.


That's not an opinion, it's a fact.

alumniguy
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Re: NY City Law School Decision Advice

Postby alumniguy » Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:12 pm

Take the full ride at St. Johns. If you aren't in the top 40% after your first year, drop out of school b/c you aren't getting a good job if you can't obtain top 40% at St. Johns. I mean you could still get your scholarship at Dozo and be in the 70% percentile, but you're not getting a good job no matter what.

What are your goals man? For NYC biglaw - the three are all terrible at placing their graduates. You're going to need to be at the top of your class (firms will likely dip a bit lower into Dozo and Brooklyn, but we're still talking top 10%, maybe even top 5% ITE). I am assuming you aren't biglaw or bust (and if you are, you really really really need to sit down and have a realistic assessment of the chances). For non-biglaw, the alumni connections become big. I'm not saying St. Johns is better in absolute terms, but when faced with no debt, it becomes the best of what you have in front of you.

Presumably, you go to St. Johns, do pretty well and your family can hook up with the appropriate connections that will land your a small firm gig.

The answer is to your question is the school you can get away with for the lowest amount of expended cash.

MP24
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Re: NY City Law School Decision Advice

Postby MP24 » Sat Apr 09, 2011 11:02 am

Hmmm. Where are you commuting from? Or are you planning to live near whatever school you choose.

Living in NYC, I would choose Cardozo/Brooklyn over St. John's as St. John's (although not horribly far) would be an exhausting commute each day.

However, if you were coming from Long Island then the full scholarship at St. John's + the convenience would be a huge plus.

But if you plan on moving near the school you choose than I suppose none of this factors into the decision process.




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