St John's Law or Syracuse Law?

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revan132
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St John's Law or Syracuse Law?

Postby revan132 » Sat Mar 03, 2012 5:22 pm

Hey guys - long time lurker here! I am currently in a huge conundrum regarding which school's offer to accept. I was wondering if the experts here at TLS could tell me which school would be a better choice overall: St John's Law or Syracuse Law. I was almost certain on attending St. John's, but Syracuse gave me twice the scholarship, so it is now in the consideration pool. That being said, I think Syracuse will end up being much cheaper for me (on loans) and it has a brand new housing complex so I won't have to go through the huge headache that is finding an apartment in Queens. As far as academics, from what I have read, they are both pretty comparable. Any thoughts?

TNFSkier16
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Re: St John's Law or Syracuse Law?

Postby TNFSkier16 » Sat Mar 03, 2012 5:30 pm

I can't tell you Syracuse or St. John's but if you do come to Syracuse, don't live in the new dorms - they're ridiculously expensive (~$1100/mo). I found an apartment off campus pretty easily for about $700 less than they'll charge you in the new building - that is unless you don't need to buy furniture or anything. Anything above $1000/mo is very expensive for Syracuse - you could live in a loft apartment downtown for that. Look around. Apartment hunting is no where near as bad as Queens or NYC.

revan132
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Re: St John's Law or Syracuse Law?

Postby revan132 » Sat Mar 03, 2012 5:32 pm

By me, apartments run almost 2k a month, so the prospect of a new housing unit with gym, laundry, full furnishings, and HBO really tempts me. Is it nice at least? Certainly seems so...

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minnbills
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Re: St John's Law or Syracuse Law?

Postby minnbills » Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:54 pm

I would say Syracuse on account of the cost- but first it would be nice to know how much it will actually cost you.

RW65
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Re: St John's Law or Syracuse Law?

Postby RW65 » Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:04 pm

A lot of this has to do with where you want to practice, as well as how much your COA will be at both schools.

You should see if St. John's will match or increase your scholarship amount.

revan132
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Re: St John's Law or Syracuse Law?

Postby revan132 » Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:28 pm

St. John's gave me 5k a year, and Syracuse gave me 10k a year. The academics look pretty similar in terms of ranking (97 vs 100). If I go to St. John's, I will have to go apartment hunting, pay for a gym membership and drive there (also worry about my car), and go to a laundromat. If I go to Syracuse, everything is in close proximity and living wise, is in one building. I currently live on Long Island, so I feel as if the internship opportunities may be more numerous with St John's, but is that a reason to choose one school over another? The housing is much much cheaper when compared with St. John's as well. I was under the impression that as long as I have a degree from a pretty reputable school and place well in the top ranks, I will be able to find a job with a decent starting salary (fingers crossed) a little closer to where I am accustomed to, but after all, things do change and I may very well end up liking it there.

RW65
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Re: St John's Law or Syracuse Law?

Postby RW65 » Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:13 pm

revan132 wrote:St. John's gave me 5k a year, and Syracuse gave me 10k a year. The academics look pretty similar in terms of ranking (97 vs 100). If I go to St. John's, I will have to go apartment hunting, pay for a gym membership and drive there (also worry about my car), and go to a laundromat. If I go to Syracuse, everything is in close proximity and living wise, is in one building. I currently live on Long Island, so I feel as if the internship opportunities may be more numerous with St John's, but is that a reason to choose one school over another? The housing is much much cheaper when compared with St. John's as well. I was under the impression that as long as I have a degree from a pretty reputable school and place well in the top ranks, I will be able to find a job with a decent starting salary (fingers crossed) a little closer to where I am accustomed to, but after all, things do change and I may very well end up liking it there.


First, making a decision about schools based on a difference of $5K is a joke. Don't get me wrong, $5K is a lot of money, but realistically you're going to be taking out a ton more in loans. In this scenario, $5K = $10K.

Can you live at home and go to SJU? I know the commute might not be ideal depending on where you live on LI, but saving that extra money for living expense is huge. You're talking about almost $20K/year if you go by the schools COA. If you can't, SJU has dorms on Union Turnpike about a mile from school. I lived there 1L and they're pretty nice. They have a washer and dryer in the unit, which is usually 3br/2ba. SJU also gives you gym access at no charge and the gym is pretty nice.

In terms of job prospects, either school is really a crap shoot. I know tons of people at SJU that don't have jobs yet. It is pretty scary to be graduating without a job, especially when you know that your loan payments are coming soon. I imagine the same is true for Syracuse. Saying you're going to place in the top ranks does not mean that you are going to. I know that a lot of people tell you that not everyone can land in the top 10%, but it is completely true. There is no way to gauge how you're going to perform in law school. You need to take a realistic look at the job prospects out of both schools. Sure, some people at SJU are working in big firms after graduation, but you're talking about ~10 out of about 250. Those aren't good odds. Look at the data that's out there, read the forums, and go in with your eyes wide open. You probably have a 50/50 shot at a decent job from SJU. It is going to take a lot of hard work, networking, and luck to land something worthwhile.

As I said, just learn the facts and make sure you know what you're getting into before you commit 3 years of your life and ~$200K in real money towards an education that may or may not pay off.

revan132
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Re: St John's Law or Syracuse Law?

Postby revan132 » Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:20 pm

RW65 wrote:
revan132 wrote:St. John's gave me 5k a year, and Syracuse gave me 10k a year. The academics look pretty similar in terms of ranking (97 vs 100). If I go to St. John's, I will have to go apartment hunting, pay for a gym membership and drive there (also worry about my car), and go to a laundromat. If I go to Syracuse, everything is in close proximity and living wise, is in one building. I currently live on Long Island, so I feel as if the internship opportunities may be more numerous with St John's, but is that a reason to choose one school over another? The housing is much much cheaper when compared with St. John's as well. I was under the impression that as long as I have a degree from a pretty reputable school and place well in the top ranks, I will be able to find a job with a decent starting salary (fingers crossed) a little closer to where I am accustomed to, but after all, things do change and I may very well end up liking it there.


First, making a decision about schools based on a difference of $5K is a joke. Don't get me wrong, $5K is a lot of money, but realistically you're going to be taking out a ton more in loans. In this scenario, $5K = $10K.

Can you live at home and go to SJU? I know the commute might not be ideal depending on where you live on LI, but saving that extra money for living expense is huge. You're talking about almost $20K/year if you go by the schools COA. If you can't, SJU has dorms on Union Turnpike about a mile from school. I lived there 1L and they're pretty nice. They have a washer and dryer in the unit, which is usually 3br/2ba. SJU also gives you gym access at no charge and the gym is pretty nice.

In terms of job prospects, either school is really a crap shoot. I know tons of people at SJU that don't have jobs yet. It is pretty scary to be graduating without a job, especially when you know that your loan payments are coming soon. I imagine the same is true for Syracuse. Saying you're going to place in the top ranks does not mean that you are going to. I know that a lot of people tell you that not everyone can land in the top 10%, but it is completely true. There is no way to gauge how you're going to perform in law school. You need to take a realistic look at the job prospects out of both schools. Sure, some people at SJU are working in big firms after graduation, but you're talking about ~10 out of about 250. Those aren't good odds. Look at the data that's out there, read the forums, and go in with your eyes wide open. You probably have a 50/50 shot at a decent job from SJU. It is going to take a lot of hard work, networking, and luck to land something worthwhile.

As I said, just learn the facts and make sure you know what you're getting into before you commit 3 years of your life and ~$200K in real money towards an education that may or may not pay off.


Don't get me wrong man, I'm not making the decision solely on the scholarship that I received. I am currently going to be paying only tuition, as I have a decent chunk of payment coming from my parents. As far as placing in the top ranks, I don't truly know if I will, I just know that I can certainly try my best. Of course it would be ridiculous to speculate and say for certain because nobody truly knows. It really is a crap shoot as you say. I can't really commute because the school is about two hours away from my house in one direction. It would wear me out doing that for three years. The thing that sort of repels me from St. John's housing is the way they treat the residents as if they were freshmen in undergrad. If I am going to be paying good money for housing, I want to be treated my age, and not like some juvenile. As far as job prospects, that is a gamble in either scenario. I am well aware of this. I'd say that they are pretty similar in terms of academics, no?

RW65
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Re: St John's Law or Syracuse Law?

Postby RW65 » Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:45 pm

revan132 wrote:
RW65 wrote:
revan132 wrote:St. John's gave me 5k a year, and Syracuse gave me 10k a year. The academics look pretty similar in terms of ranking (97 vs 100). If I go to St. John's, I will have to go apartment hunting, pay for a gym membership and drive there (also worry about my car), and go to a laundromat. If I go to Syracuse, everything is in close proximity and living wise, is in one building. I currently live on Long Island, so I feel as if the internship opportunities may be more numerous with St John's, but is that a reason to choose one school over another? The housing is much much cheaper when compared with St. John's as well. I was under the impression that as long as I have a degree from a pretty reputable school and place well in the top ranks, I will be able to find a job with a decent starting salary (fingers crossed) a little closer to where I am accustomed to, but after all, things do change and I may very well end up liking it there.


First, making a decision about schools based on a difference of $5K is a joke. Don't get me wrong, $5K is a lot of money, but realistically you're going to be taking out a ton more in loans. In this scenario, $5K = $10K.

Can you live at home and go to SJU? I know the commute might not be ideal depending on where you live on LI, but saving that extra money for living expense is huge. You're talking about almost $20K/year if you go by the schools COA. If you can't, SJU has dorms on Union Turnpike about a mile from school. I lived there 1L and they're pretty nice. They have a washer and dryer in the unit, which is usually 3br/2ba. SJU also gives you gym access at no charge and the gym is pretty nice.

In terms of job prospects, either school is really a crap shoot. I know tons of people at SJU that don't have jobs yet. It is pretty scary to be graduating without a job, especially when you know that your loan payments are coming soon. I imagine the same is true for Syracuse. Saying you're going to place in the top ranks does not mean that you are going to. I know that a lot of people tell you that not everyone can land in the top 10%, but it is completely true. There is no way to gauge how you're going to perform in law school. You need to take a realistic look at the job prospects out of both schools. Sure, some people at SJU are working in big firms after graduation, but you're talking about ~10 out of about 250. Those aren't good odds. Look at the data that's out there, read the forums, and go in with your eyes wide open. You probably have a 50/50 shot at a decent job from SJU. It is going to take a lot of hard work, networking, and luck to land something worthwhile.

As I said, just learn the facts and make sure you know what you're getting into before you commit 3 years of your life and ~$200K in real money towards an education that may or may not pay off.


Don't get me wrong man, I'm not making the decision solely on the scholarship that I received. I am currently going to be paying only tuition, as I have a decent chunk of payment coming from my parents. As far as placing in the top ranks, I don't truly know if I will, I just know that I can certainly try my best. Of course it would be ridiculous to speculate and say for certain because nobody truly knows. It really is a crap shoot as you say. I can't really commute because the school is about two hours away from my house in one direction. It would wear me out doing that for three years. The thing that sort of repels me from St. John's housing is the way they treat the residents as if they were freshmen in undergrad. If I am going to be paying good money for housing, I want to be treated my age, and not like some juvenile. As far as job prospects, that is a gamble in either scenario. I am well aware of this. I'd say that they are pretty similar in terms of academics, no?


Academics are academics, but you need to realize that you're going to school to get a job, not just to get an education. I wouldn't pick one school over the other because of the way you view their "academics" or anything of the like. Figure out where you want to work, then decide. If you want LI/NYC go with St. John's, if you want upstate head to Syracuse. Either way, if you're outside the top 1/3ish after 1L you're better off dropping out than continuing, especially if you strike out at OCI.

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Re: St John's Law or Syracuse Law?

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:04 pm

Syracuse, if you have a plan to get out of town after graduation. The city of Syracuse is depressed & a bit depressing, although the university offers activities to counter that for three years.

P.S. Neither choice offers much regarding career prospects, however. Worth the risk of asking each school for more grant/scholarship money stating that you cannot attend otherwise.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

revan132
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Re: St John's Law or Syracuse Law?

Postby revan132 » Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:08 pm

Is it unlikely to be recruited to a law firm or get a job outside of the surrounding area if you attend there? I can't say I won't like the area (it sure looks nice compared to Queens) but I imagine I would like to return to LI when I am done. Maybe I'll stay in the area if I really like it though, I'm not really sure. Surely the jobs cannot be entirely tied to the school you attend in terms of proximity...

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Re: St John's Law or Syracuse Law?

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:10 pm

If you like the area, then retake & shoot for Cornell.

revan132
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Re: St John's Law or Syracuse Law?

Postby revan132 » Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:22 am

CanadianWolf wrote:Syracuse, if you have a plan to get out of town after graduation. The city of Syracuse is depressed & a bit depressing, although the university offers activities to counter that for three years.

P.S. Neither choice offers much regarding career prospects, however. Worth the risk of asking each school for more grant/scholarship money stating that you cannot attend otherwise.


How would you phrase a correspondence like that out of curiosity? I will certainly give it a shot, as I am in the top percentile as far as admissions, so I may be able to coax some more grant money out of the aid office. At the same time, I don't want to make the email sound like I'm buying a used car off of a dealership... any advice?

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dingbat
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Re: St John's Law or Syracuse Law?

Postby dingbat » Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:46 am

revan132 wrote:
CanadianWolf wrote:Syracuse, if you have a plan to get out of town after graduation. The city of Syracuse is depressed & a bit depressing, although the university offers activities to counter that for three years.

P.S. Neither choice offers much regarding career prospects, however. Worth the risk of asking each school for more grant/scholarship money stating that you cannot attend otherwise.


How would you phrase a correspondence like that out of curiosity? I will certainly give it a shot, as I am in the top percentile as far as admissions, so I may be able to coax some more grant money out of the aid office. At the same time, I don't want to make the email sound like I'm buying a used car off of a dealership... any advice?


Just say you appreciate the offer, but law school is expensive and you really do like the school, but in light of other offers you have received, you were wondering if there's anything they can do?
For St John's, you might want to consider attaching the scholly letter from Syracuse and mention the lower cost of living.

Be aware that scholarships are really used to buy LSAT scores and GPAs (as told to me today by the fin aid dean at a T30), so if both your LSAT and GPA are somewhere in the middle of the schools' medians, you're unlikely to get much more.

revan132
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Re: St John's Law or Syracuse Law?

Postby revan132 » Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:53 am

dingbat wrote:
revan132 wrote:
CanadianWolf wrote:Syracuse, if you have a plan to get out of town after graduation. The city of Syracuse is depressed & a bit depressing, although the university offers activities to counter that for three years.

P.S. Neither choice offers much regarding career prospects, however. Worth the risk of asking each school for more grant/scholarship money stating that you cannot attend otherwise.


How would you phrase a correspondence like that out of curiosity? I will certainly give it a shot, as I am in the top percentile as far as admissions, so I may be able to coax some more grant money out of the aid office. At the same time, I don't want to make the email sound like I'm buying a used car off of a dealership... any advice?


Just say you appreciate the offer, but law school is expensive and you really do like the school, but in light of other offers you have received, you were wondering if there's anything they can do?
For St John's, you might want to consider attaching the scholly letter from Syracuse and mention the lower cost of living.

Be aware that scholarships are really used to buy LSAT scores and GPAs (as told to me today by the fin aid dean at a T30), so if both your LSAT and GPA are somewhere in the middle of the schools' medians, you're unlikely to get much more.


My LSAT is in their 75 percentile and my GPA is completely off the charts (I imagine it is in the upper 90s, they even mentioned how impressed they were by it in the acceptance letter). Think it's worth a shot?

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BEAST_mode
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Re: St John's Law or Syracuse Law?

Postby BEAST_mode » Sun Mar 04, 2012 1:10 am

Don't go to Syracuse if you don't want Upstate. But if you can bear the winters, Syracuse, on scholarship, is not a terrible option for the Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse corridor. Upstate biglaw, to the extent it exists (think Nixon Rochester, Hodgson Buffalo, and Bond Syracuse) would still be out of the question for 90% of your class. I think it is best put this way: While neither option is great, Syracuse for Upstate is better than St. John's for NYC. Both will be useless elsewhere.

edit: As an Upstater, I can honestly say that if you can bear the season, the area is pretty sweet.

revan132
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Re: St John's Law or Syracuse Law?

Postby revan132 » Sun Mar 04, 2012 1:16 am

I also just want to thank everybody who has responded so far! :)

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dingbat
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Re: St John's Law or Syracuse Law?

Postby dingbat » Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:12 am

revan132 wrote:My LSAT is in their 75 percentile and my GPA is completely off the charts (I imagine it is in the upper 90s, they even mentioned how impressed they were by it in the acceptance letter). Think it's worth a shot?


When you say 75th percentile, do you mean 162? (their 25/75 range is 154-162).
If your GPA is "off-the-charts", (for st. johns, I'd guess that means 3.8 or above) and your LSAT is 162 or above, I'd try to get as close to a full scholarship as possible (over 10% of students get this at St Johns, I believe).

In that case, do NOT mention syracuse's offer, just say that while you really want to go to St John's, and it is your first choice (if you have good reasons, feel free to mention a few), the cost is a consideration, especially in light of other offers you have received.

A similar type email got my scholly upped by $20k (at a school that's notoriously stingy)
I was above the 25/75 range.
On the other hand, the only offer I had at the time was from a lower school that they would not have taken into consideration.
So, I mentioned that the school is my first choice (it is) and told them I had other offers (didn't mention where or how much).
I didn't mention why the school was my first choice in that email, because I'd already had some back and forth correspondence and didn't need to re-iterate (I was replying to an email chain, so they could see it by scrolling down).
However, if you do not have such past interaction, I would definitely mention one or two points as to why that school is your favorite, just so they don't think you're trying to BS them.

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sunynp
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Re: St John's Law or Syracuse Law?

Postby sunynp » Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:42 am

If your GPA is so high you should retake and go to a better school. Don't waste a high GPA on these schools.

dissonance1848
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Re: St John's Law or Syracuse Law?

Postby dissonance1848 » Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:32 am

What the poster above said. You need to retake the LSAT, hit 170+, then apply to T14. Going from a 162 to 170+ is quite doable too.

revan132
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Re: St John's Law or Syracuse Law?

Postby revan132 » Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:40 am

I guess I should have clarified a bit more. My 75th percentile was in regards to Syracuse's range, not St. John's. I largely underwhelmed myself on the test, but I am putting that behind me.

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Re: St John's Law or Syracuse Law?

Postby dissonance1848 » Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:53 am

Having a 3.6-3.7 GPA isn't that bad. If you could get your LSAT up 4-6 points, which is definitely possible, you would be at a 166-168, and you could either have a good shot at Fordham (which is way better than either of your current options for biglaw and general legal employment), or get some scholly from lower NY schools (if you want to attend them anyways.

revan132
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Re: St John's Law or Syracuse Law?

Postby revan132 » Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:59 am

dissonance1848 wrote:Having a 3.6-3.7 GPA isn't that bad. If you could get your LSAT up 4-6 points, which is definitely possible, you would be at a 166-168, and you could either have a good shot at Fordham (which is way better than either of your current options for biglaw and general legal employment), or get some scholly from lower NY schools (if you want to attend them anyways.


I honestly don't mind working with what I have to attend a lower NY school ('Cuse, John's). I have money put towards my education for sure, but I'd like to get some more money out of them if I can. Are most schools generally flexible in awarding more scholarship money (Say from 10k to 15k or something)? Also, I think I came off as super-douchey with the off the charts remark, but I do have a 3.8 GPA from a well regarded school (they mentioned it on my admissions letter as well). That was not my intention.

dissonance1848
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Re: St John's Law or Syracuse Law?

Postby dissonance1848 » Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:05 pm

If you have a 3.8 GPA, then my reasoning above is even stronger.

As to haggling for more scholly, usually you need acceptances from higher schools to get them to bite.
Last edited by dissonance1848 on Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: St John's Law or Syracuse Law?

Postby sunynp » Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:07 pm

revan132 wrote:
dissonance1848 wrote:Having a 3.6-3.7 GPA isn't that bad. If you could get your LSAT up 4-6 points, which is definitely possible, you would be at a 166-168, and you could either have a good shot at Fordham (which is way better than either of your current options for biglaw and general legal employment), or get some scholly from lower NY schools (if you want to attend them anyways.


I honestly don't mind working with what I have to attend a lower NY school ('Cuse, John's). I have money put towards my education for sure, but I'd like to get some more money out of them if I can. Are most schools generally flexible in awarding more scholarship money (Say from 10k to 15k or something)? Also, I think I came off as super-douchey with the off the charts remark, but I do have a 3.8 GPA from a well regarded school (they mentioned it on my admissions letter as well). That was not my intention.


Why is it that you are willing to settle for less? I just don't understand it. You can take a year and re-apply and do even better than what you have now. If you want to look at it financially, you can get more money the better you do on the LSAT. You could get a lot more. This is your best chance to maximize your scholarships and to minimize your costs for law school. Why wouldn't you take that chance? Why set yourself up for a lesser school? You should be striving for excellence. The better school you go to or the less money you spend, the more you are setting yourself up for your career.

Don't underestimate how good your GPA is. The LSAT Is a learnable test, you can learn it and do well. There are plenty of study guides here on this site.
If you refuse to listen, you should go to Syracuse and be prepared to somehow get a job somewhere upstate. St. Johns is not worth it.
Last edited by sunynp on Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.




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