Denver v. Camden

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )

Rutgers - Camden v. Denver

Rutgers - Camden
5
29%
U of Denver
12
71%
 
Total votes: 17

User avatar
crossarmant
Posts: 1116
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:01 am

Denver v. Camden

Postby crossarmant » Thu Apr 14, 2011 8:44 am

Hey, I need some suggestions on my predicament from some of the people on here. I can kind of figure out what everyone will suggest anyways, but it's worth asking.

So, I have been accepted to Rutgers - Camden with a $5k scholarship and can get in-state tuition easily enough, which brings tuition to $13k a year. I've also been accepted to University of Denver, unknown about the scholarship since I'm still waiting on my packet in the mail but definitely not enough to rival RU-C's super low cost.

My issue is that, while close enough in the rankings, RU-C seems to place way better than the simple numbers of rankings belie. ~10% NLJ 250 placement and 30% clerkship rate, total cost of attendance for 3 years would be close to $72k. Denver is only one of two schools in the Denver market, which means less competition and what seems like a less crowded market but sticker tuition is $37k and after 3 years the total cost would be close to $150k (assuming no scholarship).

My head says RU-C would most definitely be the way to go and having spent all of my life in the mid-Atlantic/Northeast I am familiar with this part of the country. But, oh my f'ing god, I don't want to live in Philadelphia or New Jersey and would much prefer to live in Denver, CO. It just seems like a completely asanine move to pass up the ultra-low cost and markedly better employment rates of RU-C just because I don't want to live in the Northeast Megalopolis. Please help me with some thoughts!

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Denver v. Camden

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Apr 14, 2011 8:47 am

Have you ever been to Denver ? If so, and you want to live & work there after law school, then attending DU is a great way to establish relationships in that community.
To be blunt, it is hard to recommend Camden/Philadelphia over Denver due to the almost extreme contrast of beauty & cleanliness. However, you may prefer crowded, gritty, northeastern urban settings.

mrwarre85
Posts: 685
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 8:40 pm

Re: Denver v. Camden

Postby mrwarre85 » Thu Apr 14, 2011 10:02 am

Tough one. Gonna have to make a real choice here.

What kinda life do you want, the easy path or the path you really want?

You need to visit first. Also, Denver is a crowded market. Destination city.

User avatar
Wholigan
Posts: 763
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2011 4:51 pm

Re: Denver v. Camden

Postby Wholigan » Thu Apr 14, 2011 10:31 am

crossarmant wrote:So, I have been accepted to Rutgers - Camden with a $5k scholarship and can get in-state tuition easily enough, which brings tuition to $13k a year.


Rutgers is $25k/year. So it will cost you $20k/year unless we are missing something.

crossarmant wrote:My issue is that, while close enough in the rankings, RU-C seems to place way better than the simple numbers of rankings belie. ~10% NLJ 250 placement and 30% clerkship rate, total cost of attendance for 3 years would be close to $72k


Again on the tuition, cost of attendance with only a $5k scholarship at Rutgers is going to come close to $120k. $20k/year tuition + $15-20k per year cost of living, unless you can live with your parents or something at Rutgers. I don't think RU-C places significantly better than the rankings would indicate. Sure, it might place as well as schools ranked in the 60's, but it doesn't place like a T1. The clerkship figure doesn't mean much. That said, it is probably still a much better deal than U Denver at sticker. Hopefully you have spent some time in Denver and don't just want it because it's "anywhere but here." If you just want out of the Northeast and these are your only options, you should probably improve your LSAT if possible, apply next cycle and get more money at a school in a different region.

User avatar
crossarmant
Posts: 1116
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:01 am

Re: Denver v. Camden

Postby crossarmant » Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:14 am

Wholigan wrote:Rutgers is $25k/year. So it will cost you $20k/year unless we are missing something.


Oh, I was looking at the outdated graph they have on their website: http://camlaw.rutgers.edu/tuition-and-financial-aid Says $21,486 for In-State, $31,986 for out-of-state. So, $16,486 and $26,486 with the money.

CanadianWolf wrote:Have you ever been to Denver ? If so, and you want to live & work there after law school, then attending DU is a great way to establish relationships in that community.
To be blunt, it is hard to recommend Camden/Philadelphia over Denver due to the almost extreme contrast of beauty & cleanliness. However, you may prefer crowded, gritty, northeastern urban settings.


I have not been to Denver, though I've been through the Midwest and Mountains. A few of my uncles lived there for a few years and loved it. My grandfather goes there every year and loves it and they all have the same taste in cities as I do. It's not quite an "anywhere but here" mentality, but I am looking for a big change and move. And trust me, I'm not particularly keen on "crowded, gritty urban settings". I live in Richmond, VA at the moment, and it's only like a half step less ghetto than Camden, except it has some nice historical parts and scattered neighborhoods.

I'm still waiting to hear back on scholarships from DU, taking forever in the post. I'm also waiting to hear back from Syracuse (Born/Childhood there, not keen on returning), Seattle U, U of Oregon, and Seton Hall. Really I'm not looking for "BigLaw" or prestige. I just want to be a litigator and pay off my loans within ten years.

HeavenWood
Posts: 2915
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 6:42 pm

Re: Denver v. Camden

Postby HeavenWood » Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:16 am

CanadianWolf wrote:Have you ever been to Denver ? If so, and you want to live & work there after law school, then attending DU is a great way to establish relationships in that community.
To be blunt, it is hard to recommend Camden/Philadelphia over Denver due to the almost extreme contrast of beauty & cleanliness. However, you may prefer crowded, gritty, northeastern urban settings.


Center City Philadelphia and the immediately surrounding areas are quite livable. Philly's suburbs are among the best of the nation.

But you're right, Philadelphia and Denver are two very different cities. That being said, Rutgers on in-state tuition is a much better deal than Denver at (possible) sticker.

Wanna work in Colorado? Your best bet is to retake, reestablish residency in that fine Rocky Mountain state, and go to CU.

Whatever1
Posts: 46
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:00 pm

Re: Denver v. Camden

Postby Whatever1 » Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:18 am

I'm going to be going to Denver myself this fall, but just be aware how much debt $150K really is. You said you want it to be paid off within 10 years, which I think is going to be tough with that much debt. You'd have to make about an $1800 a month payment for 10 years to get it paid off and that could be tricky unless you're making a ton of money which you shouldn't bank on.

Good luck with your decision.

User avatar
Fred_McGriff
Posts: 396
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2010 12:43 pm

Re: Denver v. Camden

Postby Fred_McGriff » Thu Apr 14, 2011 12:10 pm

:lol: When you phrase it as "Denver vs. Camden" it sounds like a lot more of a no-brainer than it is.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Denver v. Camden

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Apr 14, 2011 12:19 pm

Chances of admission to Univ. of Colorado with a LSAT score of 160 & a 2.4 GPA are quite low. Colorado's applications soared this year to the highest ever. Median LSAT was 164 & median GPA 3.61 last year & both are higher this cycle. Boulder, Colorado has been ranked by Forbes as the "smartest city" in the US & the "most educated city" in the country with over 30% of residents holding graduate degrees.
Medians for this cycle at Colorado will settle at either 165 or 166 LSAT & about 3.7 GPA. Applications were up over 12% this year bucking the national trend of an 11.5% decline.

I have spent some time in Philadelphia. The suburbs along the mainline are beautiful, but North Philly & the area around the University of Pennsylvania are not attractive to me. Camden is unattractive. The East is quite different than the Rocky Mountain Region.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Thu Apr 14, 2011 12:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Aqualibrium
Posts: 2011
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:57 am

Re: Denver v. Camden

Postby Aqualibrium » Thu Apr 14, 2011 12:21 pm

crossarmant wrote:Denver is only one of two schools in the Denver market, which means less competition and what seems like a less crowded market...


Denver is also a small legal market with only a handful of legal jobs available that would allow you to comfortably service 150k in debt...

Here are somethings a few CU 3L's had to say about the job market in Denver:

This portion is by the user Rekopter:

What's your GPA/rank? How did OCI go? What did you for 1L and 2L summer employment? Do you have anything set for after graduation? Anecdotally, how about your classmates?


I'm not going to get into any personal details here, but I'll speak generally about OCI.

Denver biglaw is very difficult to get from CU. Most of the cutoffs are top 10 or top 20 percent and nearly every big firm prefers law review. It's very competitive.

A large majority of 3Ls don't have anything lined up for next year. Several have biglaw offers and several have clerkships, but I think about 75%+ don't have a clue.

Would you comment a little more on this? If 75% of the class doesn't have something lined up, what will the majority of them end up doing? If only the top 10-20% are looking at big law what are the other sorts of opportunities out there for CU grads? Do most stay in CO upon graduation? Is the cutoff for BigLaw where it is because of the small market or because Denver has many other T-14 grads coming in?


The universe of legal employers which hire a year in advance is relatively small: biglaw firms, big government agencies (DOJ Honors, for example), and the prestigious clerkships. At CU, I would guess that about 10, maybe 15 of us have clerkships and about the same with biglaw offers.

The bulk of the legal profession is made up by smaller and mid-size law firms and smaller govt positions (DA's, for example) and these employers generally hire as the need arises. DA's offices generally don't make any offers until bar admission. CU graduates generally mirror the attorney profession as a whole--the bulk of our graduates will end up in jobs from this paragraph; fewer in the previous paragraph. And CU does place many graduates in the less-competitive trial and podunk-area clerkships which won't hire until 2011.

The grade cutoffs are what they are because the big firms can afford to be choosy. The vast majority of law students at CU and elsewhere desperately want these high-paying jobs and there are few vacancies in the best of times and very few in times like this. Several of these vacancies are inevitably filled with t14 grads.

I'm not very familiar with the value Colorado companies/firms place on a UC-Boulder JD, but is it similar to that placed on UT JD's in Texas (good enough to compete with pretty much everybody save HYS)? Does its regional appeal extend to nearby states, like New Mexico, or is it primarily limited to Colorado?


(While we are the University of Colorado, the Boulder campus is known as "CU").

We are clearly the best school in CO but we don't have the reputation that Texas does. Several of the big firms here hire out of the t14 in about equal numbers while some tend to have a strong preference for CU, and to a lesser extent DU grads.

Which school(s) place well in Denver then??


CU >> Denver-- but the gap isn't as wide as you'd think by looking at the rankings. CU is also cheaper because you can get easily get in-state tuition after your first year, however if you can get into CU you can probably get $$ from DU.


This portion is by the user Puffer:


If 75% of the class doesn't have something lined up, what will the majority of them end up doing?


Last year's grads are working as trial court clerks, lawyers in small to midsize firms, small government lawyers, solo practitioners, public defenders, businesspeople, restaurant servers, and are going back to school to get a degree in an area people are hiring in (or at least to keep their loans from coming due). "Restaurant server" should probably be higher on that list if it were ranked in order of prevalence.

If you're going to law school at CU (or at any other law school ranked, oh, 20-80), you should be picturing your ideal career path as being a trial court clerk for a year, then networking your way into becoming a lawyer who writes up documents relating to small insurance settlement trust accounts, in a small-ish firm in a Denver suburb, making no more than $60k/yr (and probably closer to $50k) at the outset and working your way up the ladder with 50-60 hour weeks. You will be moderately dissatisfied with your life, living in a rented condo far from downtown, driving a used Corolla, Civic, or Focus (seriously, like 60% of the lawyers in CO drive one of those three vehicles), and drinking too much with other lawyers surprisingly frequently.

I will reiterate, that should not be your fallback option, it's more of a reasonable thing to strive for. Talking biglaw is a bit of a joke amongst the vast majority of law students in this country.

If only the top 10-20% are looking at big law what are the other sorts of opportunities out there for CU grads?


You don't get biglaw from CU, and the foregoing statement requires some explanation.

Maybe 8% of each class at CU has the credentials to get a legitimate biglaw interview (note that URM status is a credential). Maybe 4% have the credentials to get a summer clerkship with a biglaw firm in Denver. Maybe 2% have the lawyering and interpersonal skills necessary to get a permanent offer. In this economy, 0-1% will get such offers.

The 10-20% figure refers to the folks who have a chance to be hired by the larger firms in the Denver market. These firms will give you a biglaw-like paycheck, and require biglaw-like hours to be billed by you, but they won't be ranked on any biglaw list. In this economy, I'd guess that only 5-8% of the class has any particular chance at any such positions.

Do most stay in CO upon graduation?


Yes. If they don't stay in CO upon graduation, it's only to go to Montana, or New Mexico, or something like that. CU places well throughout the mountain west region, and only throughout the mountain west region. Of course, the only real legal market in the mountain west region is Denver.

Is the cutoff for BigLaw where it is because of the small market or because Denver has many other T-14 grads coming in?


Does it matter? The cutoff for biglaw is where it is because there aren't that many biglaw (or biglaw-lite) jobs out there that are attainable by CU grads upon graduation. The competition or the size of the market aren't going to change anytime soon, so they're largely irrelevant.
[/quote]
Last edited by Aqualibrium on Thu Apr 14, 2011 12:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Denver v. Camden

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Apr 14, 2011 12:24 pm

I believe that Denver has the second highest number of federal employees, behind Wash D.C., of course.

HeavenWood
Posts: 2915
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 6:42 pm

Re: Denver v. Camden

Postby HeavenWood » Thu Apr 14, 2011 12:25 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:I have spent some time in Philadelphia. The suburbs along the mainline are beautiful, but North Philly & the area around the University of Pennsylvania are not attractive to me. Camden is unattractive. The East is quite different than the Rocky Mountain Region.


I agree that North Philly sucks, but Penn's campus is nice. Granted, once you get off campus the neighborhood becomes quite sketchy, but one can say that about a lot of urban universities. And no one likes Camden lol.

I'm not putting down Colorado. I just think it's unfair to blanket Philadelphia as some awful, crime-ridden place.

Whatever1
Posts: 46
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:00 pm

Re: Denver v. Camden

Postby Whatever1 » Thu Apr 14, 2011 12:28 pm

Denver's not that small of a market, 8th or 9th biggest market in the country if I remember correctly from a link someone posted on here awhile back. Has something like 1200 attorneys doing big law according to that link. Having said that, however, Philadelphia is a bigger market. But there's also more competition for that market so I'd still give the employment advantage to DU considering that the majority of attornies in Colorado are DU grads.

Since you said you didn't want Big Law, Denver has a branch of the SEC, a branch of the Fed reserve bank, and various govt offices such as the EPA, department of interior etc. Plus you have the state government since Denver is the capital.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Denver v. Camden

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Apr 14, 2011 12:30 pm

Much of Philly & Camden are crime ridden & unattractive & awful.

HeavenWood
Posts: 2915
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 6:42 pm

Re: Denver v. Camden

Postby HeavenWood » Thu Apr 14, 2011 12:40 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Much of Philly & Camden are crime ridden & unattractive & awful.


Stick to Center City and the inner limits of North and South Philly (Northern Liberties, Spring Garden, Graduate Hospital, etc.), University City, Manayunk/Roxborough, Chestnut Hill/Mt. Airy, and you'll be fine. There isn't really anything to do outside those areas anyway.

Sorry for derailing the thread. I'm a proud Philadelphian who won't let his hometown be trashed without a fight. :P

User avatar
RVP11
Posts: 2774
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2007 6:32 pm

Re: Denver v. Camden

Postby RVP11 » Thu Apr 14, 2011 12:41 pm

Whatever1 wrote:Denver's not that small of a market, 8th or 9th biggest market in the country if I remember correctly from a link someone posted on here awhile back. Has something like 1200 attorneys doing big law according to that link.


No way is Denver in the top 10 for legal markets. NYC, Chicago, LA, DC, SF, SV, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta are all much bigger and more important markets. Denver is probably not even in the top 20.

There are about 1000 BigLaw attorneys in Denver. That's not many. About the same as a lot of secondary markets.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Denver v. Camden

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Apr 14, 2011 12:46 pm

Some of those areas are fine if you are comfortable in the South Jersey-Philadelphia area, but they might be a bit much for those born & raised in the South or the West. Folks from Detroit or Chicago or St. Louis should be able to adapt, in my opinion.
If University Hospital is the Univ. of Pennsylvania's hospital then I disagree with you. That is not an atractive area unless compared to North Philly.
The point, however, is that Denver & Philly/Camden are different worlds. Once OP leaves Philly/Camden he may see that area with "new eyes".

HeavenWood
Posts: 2915
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 6:42 pm

Re: Denver v. Camden

Postby HeavenWood » Thu Apr 14, 2011 12:49 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Some of those areas are fine if you are comfortable in the South Jersey-Philadelphia area, but they might be a bit much for those born & raised in the South or the West. Folks from Detroit or Chicago should be able to adapt, in my opinion.
If University Hospital is the Univ. of Pennsylvania's hospital then I disagree with you. That is not an atractive area unless compared to North Philly.
The point, however, is that Denver & Philly/Camden are different worlds. Once OP leaves Philly/Camden he may see that area with "new eyes".


Graduate Hospital (aka Naval Square) is across the river from Penn.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graduate_H ... nnsylvania

I agree that Denver and Philly (no one from Philly associates themselves with Camden) are different worlds. And lol at Philadelphia being like Detroit.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Denver v. Camden

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Apr 14, 2011 1:03 pm

Never wrote that Philly was like Detroit. Just stated that those from Detroit might be okay with Philadelphia. But, I will concede that some parts of Philly qualify.

P.S. I notice that you misconstrue others' posts quite often.

HeavenWood
Posts: 2915
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 6:42 pm

Re: Denver v. Camden

Postby HeavenWood » Thu Apr 14, 2011 1:06 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Never wrote that Philly was like Detroit. Just stated that those from Detroit might be okay with Philadelphia. But, I will concede that some parts of Philly qualify.

P.S. I notice that you misconstrue others' posts quite often.


<3

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Denver v. Camden

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Apr 14, 2011 1:08 pm

Isn't Camden right across the Delaware River from Philadelphia ? Just a few minutes away ?

User avatar
Wholigan
Posts: 763
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2011 4:51 pm

Re: Denver v. Camden

Postby Wholigan » Thu Apr 14, 2011 1:30 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Isn't Camden right across the Delaware River from Philadelphia ? Just a few minutes away ?


Yes. He probably just didn't like your constant use of "Camden/Philly" and "Philly/Camden" to describe it like it's one big city. Most Philadelphians want to distance themselves from Camden, since it's mostly blight. I'm sure he really wouldn't like the recent article in a Notre Dame secondary journal suggesting that Philadelphia join New Jersey and annex Camden. (I'm not kidding.)

HeavenWood
Posts: 2915
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 6:42 pm

Re: Denver v. Camden

Postby HeavenWood » Thu Apr 14, 2011 1:37 pm

Wholigan wrote:
CanadianWolf wrote:Isn't Camden right across the Delaware River from Philadelphia ? Just a few minutes away ?


Yes. He probably just didn't like your constant use of "Camden/Philly" and "Philly/Camden" to describe it like it's one big city. Most Philadelphians want to distance themselves from Camden, since it's mostly blight. I'm sure he really wouldn't like the recent article in a Notre Dame secondary journal suggesting that Philadelphia join New Jersey and annex Camden. (I'm not kidding.)


This. Although quite honestly, Philly has much more in common with South Jersey than the rest of the state. That being said, annexing a small (but crime-ridden) city like Camden with no tax base and minimal tourist revenue is probably not in the city's best interests.

I also like PA's (comparatively) low taxes.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Denver v. Camden

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Apr 14, 2011 1:39 pm

Used the Camden/Philly reference because of the OP's posts.

User avatar
crossarmant
Posts: 1116
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:01 am

Re: Denver v. Camden

Postby crossarmant » Thu Apr 14, 2011 1:42 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Isn't Camden right across the Delaware River from Philadelphia ? Just a few minutes away ?


I mean, it's all the same metro area. It's like people in DC complaining at Arlington and Alexandria aren't part of DC. While technically not part of the city, it's all the Capital Wasteland.

Are the job prospects really that good from Rutgers, at least in comparison to similarly ranked schools?

I would love to go to CU-Boulder, but even if I got a 170 on a second taking of the LSAT I doubt I could get in. My GPA was abysmal due to some emotional turmoil while in undergrad. For what it's worth, while unsure of the classes, I feel that I would perform better in a place I enjoy. While it is cheaper I could foresee myself growing upset/depressed with Philly/Camden and having my grades slump, but I don't know.

Also, when it comes to repaying loans, I'm engaged so it'd be a dual income household from the start so theoretically, almost all of my salary could go towards killing loans in a couple years and still have food on the table and a roof over my head.
Last edited by crossarmant on Wed Apr 25, 2012 4:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.




Return to “Choosing a Law School”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: ponderingmeerkat, quiver and 5 guests