CUNY vs FIU

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lordnader
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CUNY vs FIU

Postby lordnader » Mon Feb 06, 2012 6:52 pm

So I've been accepted to both places, and my heart is torn between the two. CUNY's public interest program really resonates with what I want to do, and it's NYC, and the job market does not seem as bad as South Florida's (particularly considering this article: http://www.forbes.com/sites/kurtbadenha ... le-cities/).

However, I grew up in South Florida, am still a Florida resident, and have two family members who graduated from FIU. I have many friends who have specifically graduated from or are attending FIU law now, and they love it. My wife's and my family and friends are still there, the ones I've missed since being stationed in the midwest almost three years ago now. Even the weather is awesome. My only worries is the fleeting job market (my wife is a civil engineer, so I'm worried about her prospects as well as mine, though we're both graduates of Florida schools) and the fact that I may not exactly be able to do public interest at FIU.

Ironically it looks like CUNY works with FIU on some immigrant law issues, so the two are connected.

Does it make a difference that a school calls you? I called CUNY today asking about a few different things, and the admissions department was not particularly enthusiastic, though they transferred me to a helpful lady in the career department. I sent an email to FIU today asking about admitted student events, and they called me just now giving me the information and telling me they'd follow up on veteran's affairs issues with me. Also I emailed a student organization at FIU and received an immediate response.

I'm active duty military soon to separate so 9/11 GI Bill basically makes financing a smaller issue than it normally is. FIU's tuition would be fully funded, while CUNY's tuition would cost about $3000 for the first year and, if I gain residency, free after that.

What do you think? I have to make a decision for both before 1 Apr, and I don't know if I'll be able to visit the campuses beforehand. I appreciate your time!

MrAnon
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Re: CUNY vs FIU

Postby MrAnon » Mon Feb 06, 2012 7:02 pm

I can't tell whether this is real or not, but if you have to go to law school, you should go to FIU.

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romothesavior
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Re: CUNY vs FIU

Postby romothesavior » Mon Feb 06, 2012 8:06 pm

Less than half of CUNY's 2009 class had full-time, JD-required jobs 9 months out of law school. If FIU is anything like the other Florida TTT/TTTTs on this list, then the same goes for them.

http://balkin.blogspot.com/2011/09/sobering-numbers-law-graduates-who-do.html

lordnader
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Re: CUNY vs FIU

Postby lordnader » Tue Feb 07, 2012 3:01 pm

@Mr Anon, oh yes it is real. Unfortunately, because of timing and scores, I'm not able to go for top schools, but I'm not looking for prestige or big dollars.

@romothesavior, I'm definitely conscious of whether I'll have a job coming out. Looking at FIU's ABA info on LSAC, they're at 91% employment with 4% pursuing graduate degrees, while CUNY's at 89%. I'm wary that the numbers are sometimes skewed to favor the school, but I don't have any proof of that. Your link is from 2009; do you have updated information?

I appreciate your comments.

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20130312
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Re: CUNY vs FIU

Postby 20130312 » Tue Feb 07, 2012 3:12 pm

lordnader wrote:Looking at FIU's ABA info on LSAC, they're at 91% employment


massive facepalm

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romothesavior
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Re: CUNY vs FIU

Postby romothesavior » Tue Feb 07, 2012 3:42 pm

lordnader wrote:@romothesavior, I'm definitely conscious of whether I'll have a job coming out. Looking at FIU's ABA info on LSAC, they're at 91% employment with 4% pursuing graduate degrees, while CUNY's at 89%. I'm wary that the numbers are sometimes skewed to favor the school, but I don't have any proof of that. Your link is from 2009; do you have updated information?

Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever trust job data from law schools. Never ever ever. Also, the data is from 2009, but the market has probably gotten even worse since then. Their data is probably even worse. Finally, these numbers represent all real legal jobs, not "good outcome" legal jobs. Most of these job are not good.

Going to either of these schools is financial suicide.

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2LT_CPG
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Re: CUNY vs FIU

Postby 2LT_CPG » Tue Feb 07, 2012 3:56 pm

CUNY's moving to Long Island City next year, so even if you visit their current campus, it'll be entirely different when you matriculate. Take a few days and read a lot of this forum and you'll get a better sense of why the above posters are kind of being dicks to you for asking a relatively simple question.

I can speak to CUNY because I've done a good amount of research into it, and I'm a current military applicant who visited it last month. Be wary because they had a terrible bar passage rate this year and their reputation is taking a hit. However a lot of the common critiques for that kind of thing - a third tier school getting a bad bar passage year - is moot because of CUNY's unique PI focus, dirt cheap tuition, and social mission. Nevertheless, reputation matters, and you want a school that trains its students to pass the bar.

If you want to do PI and you know that's what you want, CUNY's probably best for you given your numbers. Just don't assume you can take that CUNY JD and use it to do PI work in Florida - you'll be committing to working in PI in New York.

romothesavior wrote:Going to either of these schools is financial suicide.

Did you read the part where he said he has GI Bill benefits that would allow him to go to CUNY for $3,000 1L, and then for free afterwards? If $3,000 + CoL for three years with a working partner is 'financial suicide' you have a bigger fear of debt than the House Republicans.

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romothesavior
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Re: CUNY vs FIU

Postby romothesavior » Tue Feb 07, 2012 4:31 pm

2LT_CPG wrote:
romothesavior wrote:Going to either of these schools is financial suicide.

Did you read the part where he said he has GI Bill benefits that would allow him to go to CUNY for $3,000 1L, and then for free afterwards? If $3,000 + CoL for three years with a working partner is 'financial suicide' you have a bigger fear of debt than the House Republicans.

Financial suicide was probably the wrong term. Financially it isn't bad, but you're looking at a coin flip shot at getting a job.

MrAnon
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Re: CUNY vs FIU

Postby MrAnon » Tue Feb 07, 2012 5:54 pm

Others in this thread have been hostile to your plans, and with good reason because normally CUNY v. FIU is lose v. lose. My idea is that you have someone paying for your education AND you have family that graduated from FIU and I presume are already working in law. They will get you a job. They almost will have to I would think. But anyway that's why I would go to FIU and not even consider CUNY.

lordnader
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Re: CUNY vs FIU

Postby lordnader » Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:00 pm

Does anyone have any links to reliable employment statistics or at least why I shouldn't trust the ABA statistics? I'm new to the forum and will take some time to browse. I appreciate the comments, even the hostility, because it makes me think critically about the situtation. However, if I can't trust the ABA information nor a two year old grid, then I'm not really left much more than an assessment of "facepalm," "financial suicide," and "lose vs. lose," which doesn't give me anywhere to go and honestly are less valuable than allegedly inaccurate statistics.

My best man graduated from a tier 4, 100% funded by scholarship, and is working for a DA in South Florida and really enjoys his job, though he doesn't make a lot of money, and his days aren't always great. I'm not looking for a substantial salary, especially to pay off the school loans I don't have and won't have. I'm applying only to schools that will be fully or mostly funded by the GI Bill; actually CUNY so far is the only one that isn't fully funded. In terms of job prospects, are these schools bad choices because I likely won't be making $100k a year, or because they're legitimately awful schools? Help me out here please.

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romothesavior
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Re: CUNY vs FIU

Postby romothesavior » Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:13 pm

lordnader wrote:Does anyone have any links to reliable employment statistics or at least why I shouldn't trust the ABA statistics?

Here is what I found on misleading job statistics after a quick Google search:
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-10-21/business/ct-biz-1021-chicago-law-placement-20111021_1_law-schools-job-data-law-placement
http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNLJ.jsp?id=1202516512301&slreturn=1
http://www.cardozojurist.com/2011/11/aba-drags-feet-in-stopping-law-schools%E2%80%99-misleading-job-statistics/

Your school isn't one of the twelve listed here, but I would bet my life that both are doing the same crap (most law schools are):
http://newsandinsight.thomsonreuters.com/Legal/News/2012/02_-_February/Twelve_law_schools_sued_by_graduates_over_misleading_employment_data/

Did you read the link I posted above? That was posted by a law professor at WUSTL who has been doing extensive research on the current job market and is about to publish a very thorough book on the subject. He probably knows more about the subject than anyone out there right now. Here's some more of his stuff:

http://balkin.blogspot.com/2011/10/poor-employment-market-for-law-grads.html
http://balkin.blogspot.com/2010/06/wake-up-fellow-law-professors-to.html

So no, don't trust a word these schools are telling you. Your odds of getting a job (any full-time J.D. required job, in other words a real lawyering job) at either one of these schools is 50/50 at the very best. It isn't the worst investment in the world since you will have low financial costs, but you would really be doing yourself a potential disservice settling for these terrible schools.

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2LT_CPG
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Re: CUNY vs FIU

Postby 2LT_CPG » Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:24 pm

lordnader wrote:Does anyone have any links to reliable employment statistics or at least why I shouldn't trust the ABA statistics? I'm new to the forum and will take some time to browse. I appreciate the comments, even the hostility, because it makes me think critically about the situtation. However, if I can't trust the ABA information nor a two year old grid, then I'm not really left much more than an assessment of "facepalm," "financial suicide," and "lose vs. lose," which doesn't give me anywhere to go and honestly are less valuable than allegedly inaccurate statistics.

My best man graduated from a tier 4, 100% funded by scholarship, and is working for a DA in South Florida and really enjoys his job, though he doesn't make a lot of money, and his days aren't always great. I'm not looking for a substantial salary, especially to pay off the school loans I don't have and won't have. I'm applying only to schools that will be fully or mostly funded by the GI Bill; actually CUNY so far is the only one that isn't fully funded. In terms of job prospects, are these schools bad choices because I likely won't be making $100k a year, or because they're legitimately awful schools? Help me out here please.

I'll answer to I preempt the others who are all going to tell you yes to both of your questions. First, a peek at what they're going to say, which is basically a summary of this forum:

"Don't go to law school unless you get into a Top 14 'national' school, unless you're offered significant scholarship money at the best regional school so as to minimize debt and minimize risk of not finding a job after graduation. If you don't have the LSAT or GPA (but mostly LSAT) for this scenario, retake and score a 170+."

This is a valid concern for a lot of people given the state of the economy. A lot of law schools mess with their employment statistics that is, if not deceptive, paints a rosy picture.

That said, I reiterate what I said before, if you want to do public interest, you want to work in New York City, and you can't get in anywhere else, go to CUNY. I can't speak to FIU, but if you want to settle in Florida, I'd go there. Wisdom is that unless you go to a national school (Top 14 in the country), go to school where you want to practice.

Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits rock, and you can use them to killer effect at some great schools. Plus, if you're a veteran, you have a good soft factor that will help in admissions. If you can't get in anywhere else, consider studying for the LSAT some more and retake in June so you can apply next cycle early, with a better score that opens up better schools.

But if you're dead set on going to school this coming cycle, that probably doesn't matter. Third Tier schools, despite the reputation they get on this forum, sometimes do pretty well in the regions they're in, or in niche markets. CUNY has carved out a niche in PI in New York, but that's all it does, so if you choose CUNY, you're basically locking yourself into PI.

All of the, "If you go pay sticker price at a Third Tier school, you will be unemployed, sad, your girlfriend will dump you, your dog will kill itself, and you will die!" talk on this forum is partly because it's an echo chamber for disgruntled and overly competitive law students and law school applicants, so take it with a grain of salt. In the end, the two schools you're trying to choose from are good-for-their-price schools with niche or regional markets they feed into, and you can basically go to both of them cost-free.

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romothesavior
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Re: CUNY vs FIU

Postby romothesavior » Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:28 pm

2LT_CPG wrote:"Don't go to law school unless you get into a Top 14 'national' school, unless you're offered significant scholarship money at the best regional school so as to minimize debt and minimize risk of not finding a job after graduation. If you don't have the LSAT or GPA (but mostly LSAT) for this scenario, retake and score a 170+."

This is close to accurate. I'd say his GI bill situation takes the place of "significant scholarship money" and it obviously minimizes the risk to some degree. But it is still three years of his life we're talking about. I'd hate for OP to waste his time in LS for three years and graduate unemployed or in some crappy job. And by "crappy" I don't just mean low-paying. Working for 30-60k with no debt is fine. By crappy I mean a job he hates, and when you're at a school like these, the opportunities to do interesting legal work is not great.

If OP were able to raise his LSAT a few points and get into a solid regional school, he could use the GI bill there, still go for virtually free, and have much better employment prospects.

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2LT_CPG
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Re: CUNY vs FIU

Postby 2LT_CPG » Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:46 pm

romothesavior wrote:
2LT_CPG wrote:"Don't go to law school unless you get into a Top 14 'national' school, unless you're offered significant scholarship money at the best regional school so as to minimize debt and minimize risk of not finding a job after graduation. If you don't have the LSAT or GPA (but mostly LSAT) for this scenario, retake and score a 170+."

This is close to accurate. I'd say his GI bill situation takes the place of "significant scholarship money" and it obviously minimizes the risk to some degree. But it is still three years of his life we're talking about. I'd hate for OP to waste his time in LS for three years and graduate unemployed or in some crappy job. And by "crappy" I don't just mean low-paying. Working for 30-60k with no debt is fine. By crappy I mean a job he hates, and when you're at a school like these, the opportunities to do interesting legal work is not great.

If OP were able to raise his LSAT a few points and get into a solid regional school, he could use the GI bill there, still go for virtually free, and have much better employment prospects.

I agree with you, but this site forgets a lot that the normal job market sucks as well. If he wants to go this cycle, he's going to go. Maybe he can't raise his LSAT, or maybe he can't afford to take next year off, half looking for a part-time job, half studying LSAT stuff. For a lot of people, lower-ranked regional schools are valid options, especially for people interested in public interest. This guy says upfront he wants public interest, and he got into viable options where he could very feasibly get a job from post-grad. He isn't looking for NYC biglaw asking, "Where do I go, Barry or NYLS? I want to be a SCOTUS justice." He's a GI Bill-eligible guy with financial support who wants PI. That's an attainable goal for people going to CUNY. (Again, no real knowledge about FIU.)

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sunynp
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Re: CUNY vs FIU

Postby sunynp » Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:51 pm

romothesavior wrote:
2LT_CPG wrote:"Don't go to law school unless you get into a Top 14 'national' school, unless you're offered significant scholarship money at the best regional school so as to minimize debt and minimize risk of not finding a job after graduation. If you don't have the LSAT or GPA (but mostly LSAT) for this scenario, retake and score a 170+."

This is close to accurate. I'd say his GI bill situation takes the place of "significant scholarship money" and it obviously minimizes the risk to some degree. But it is still three years of his life we're talking about. I'd hate for OP to waste his time in LS for three years and graduate unemployed or in some crappy job. And by "crappy" I don't just mean low-paying. Working for 30-60k with no debt is fine. By crappy I mean a job he hates, and when you're at a school like these, the opportunities to do interesting legal work is not great.

If OP were able to raise his LSAT a few points and get into a solid regional school, he could use the GI bill there, still go for virtually free, and have much better employment prospects.


Romo - - what are the solid regional schools you think OP should shoot for if he raises his LSAT score? This is a serious question. I wouldn't even know what to recommend to someone in OP's situation. Debt isn't an issue but job prospects are (as almost always) an issue.

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romothesavior
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Re: CUNY vs FIU

Postby romothesavior » Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:04 pm

If he's from Florida, I'd say UF, FSU, and Miami would be great choices since they'd be free. Grizz has a better grasp of the market in Florida, so maybe he could chime in.

Also, this sentiment is just so ridiculous to me:

If he wants to go this cycle, he's going to go.


No one has to go to law school, and they certainly don't have to go immediately. Sometimes, an extra year can make all the difference in the world.

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2LT_CPG
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Re: CUNY vs FIU

Postby 2LT_CPG » Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:11 pm

romothesavior wrote:No one has to go to law school, and they certainly don't have to go immediately. Sometimes, an extra year can make all the difference in the world.

No doubt. I meant it more in the sense of, "If his mind is set to going to law school and no one can talk him out of retaking and applying next cycle, he's going to go this cycle." Sorry if that was unclear.




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