Where should I go to to practice Public Interest in NY/NJ?

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

Where should I go for a career in PI?

Brooklyn (Sticker)
1
5%
St. John's (8k/yr)
2
11%
Hofstra (Full Ride)
10
53%
NYLS (Full Ride)
6
32%
Touro (Half Ride)
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 19

mynameisami
Posts: 3
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Where should I go to to practice Public Interest in NY/NJ?

Postby mynameisami » Sun Mar 04, 2012 2:10 pm

Hi! Thanks for taking the time to stop and read this :)

I have a BSW from a large public university. After spending a few years in the field I learned that I am much more interested in public interest law than in getting a MSW and counseling. If a few years go by after graduation and I still cannot land a PI job, I'll go back and get my MSW. I just believe that I owe it to myself to try to pursue my dream career first.
I've seen a lot of negativity on these forums but I am assuming it's because most law students are looking for that big paycheck and that opportunity to work for Biglaw. I could be totally wrong though.
I'm interested in PI and only PI.
I have no real preference on exact location but I do know that I'd like to be in North Jersey, NYC, or Nassau County.
I would be perfectly happy living in any of these areas for the rest of my life (most of family lives in these areas).

I have a UGPA of 3.3 (although LSAC insists it's a 3.1) and an LSAT score of 159. Also, I'm Hispanic but not generally considered a URM.

Here's how my cycle played out:
    -Columbia (Denied)
    -NYU (Denied)
    -Fordham (Denied)
    -Cardozo (Waitlisted)
    -Brooklyn (Admitted)
    -Rutgers Newark (Denied)
    -Hofstra (Admitted)/Full Scholarship
    -St. John's (Admitted)/After negotiations: 8k/yr Scholarship
    -NYLS (Admitted)/Full Scholarship
    -CUNY (Denied)-My PS was about PI but specifically mentioned places I've volunteered that are pretty conservative and my LORs were from people at these places (except one from a professor). Perhaps that contributed to their decision? I hear they're very liberal. I don't know, but regardless, I was quite surprised by this rejection.
    -Touro (Admitted)/Half Scholarship

I know that PI isn't very lucrative so I'm guessing that a full ride is the way to go.
That leaves me leaning toward either Hofstra or NYLS. I'd have to stay in the top 40% to keep the scholarship at Hofstra whereas I'd have to maintain a 3.25 at NYLS (I don't know what percentile that is).

I've seen plenty of "Hofstra v. NYLS" threads but it seems to me like they're a little outdated and/or are directed towards OPs that are praying for that one-in-a-million shot at a Biglaw career. (Okay, so maybe it's more like one-in-a-thousand, but you get my point.) I've also seen plenty of "Neither." responses, but I'm definitely starting law school this fall and I'd like to compare these schools to one another as opposed to schools I didn't get into like Columbia and NYU. I know I'll be competing with graduates from those schools for jobs, but not everyone can get into those schools and I beating myself up over something that I can't go back in time and fix is pointless. I need to try to focus on the decisions I can make now and focus on the present and future.

I know that neither of these schools are well-reputed, but I'd rather go to the school that has the better reputation of the two.
I don't have any family members or close family friends that I can ask for advice, so I really need your help making this important decision.
Which school do you recommend I attend?

Thanks a bunch for your help!

kaiser
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Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 11:34 pm

Re: Where should I go to to practice Public Interest in NY/NJ?

Postby kaiser » Sun Mar 04, 2012 2:13 pm

Don't go to a school where you have to stay top 40%. I am a big proponent of "Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst". And unless you are prepared to pay full sticker should your grades be at median or below, then do not go there. Never assume you will hit this cutoff, because 100% of the kids there think they will hit top 40%, and lo and behold, 60% will be wrong. Contact NYLS to find out where on the curve 3.25 is. Sounds like it is probably median, but you have to find out.

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apslaw1031
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Re: Where should I go to to practice Public Interest in NY/NJ?

Postby apslaw1031 » Sun Mar 04, 2012 2:24 pm

I think you're right. You should go with a full ride.
I could be mistaken but I think the sticker price of tuition at all the schools you were admitted to are comparable.
Idt the difference between Brooklyn and Hofstra's worth 50k/yr with a career in PI as the goal.
Even if you end up paying sticker at either Hofstra or NYLS because you lose your scholarship, you've saved 50k that you otherwise would've spent.
So the total tuition cost would be 100k instead of 150k.
Also, the top 40% stip at Hofstra's easier to maintain than the 3.25 at NYLS. It comes out to about the top 20-25%.
Straight from the TLS profile "the median GPA at NYLS is somewhere around a 2.8". I verified that with a few NYLS students and recent grads that I know.

Besides, Hofstra dominates LI and since you're comfortable being there, I think it's a good choice.
NYLS also has to compete with the schools in NYC but doesn't have that extra market of LI.

Further, a few lawyers that I've talked to all say that Hofstra > NYLS based on reputation alone.

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dingbat
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Re: Where should I go to to practice Public Interest in NY/NJ?

Postby dingbat » Sun Mar 04, 2012 2:47 pm

As you're looking for PI and didn't get into Columbia, NYU or Fordham, go for the money.
(beware the stips). none of those schools are worth significantly more than any other.
Brooklyn might be worth an extra $5k-10k per year,and Cardozo arguably an extra $10k-$15k, but you didn't get that much in Brooklyn and are waitlisted at Dozo (unlikely to get any money)

Therefore, go wherever is cheapest and has the easiest stips. (also see if they section-stack, meaning everyone with a scholarship is in the same section, which increases your chance of losing it compared to the same stips that doesn't stack)

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reformed calvinist
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Re: Where should I go to to practice Public Interest in NY/NJ?

Postby reformed calvinist » Sun Mar 04, 2012 3:13 pm

Definitely one of the full rides. Even if they have stipulations, it's better than sticker or partial (even without stipulations). NYLS has a great location--I don't remember if it's SoHo or somewhere else, I was just in the neighborhood and walked past the school (coincidentally) a couple weeks ago. I remember being really struck by how nice their building is (not that it should be your primary consideration).

This website explains NYLS's grading --LinkRemoved--

kind of a cryptic way of answering a question about the curve that doesn't tell you exactly what the median is. I would imagine that it's worse than Hofstra's stipulation. As someone said above, I think the stipulation is a couple of SD's above the median, which is absolutely insane.

I've heard good things about their public interest programs. If I were making the choice I'd go to whichever one were willing to remove stipulations (worth a shot) and failing that the most lenient one. I don't know that one has a better reputation in the legal community than the other. I'd imagine that Hofstra would get you farther in, say, Nassau County, but I really don't know. From what I understand, it does in fact "dominate" Long Island (though I don't know how big the legal market is there). I don't think NYLS has the same pull on its respective island.

I don't think that NYLS's location in Manhattan makes it so much better than Hofstra for getting a job outside Long Island. And even if it is, the more lenient stipulation tips the scale toward Hofstra.

bdole2
Posts: 271
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2010 5:58 pm

Re: Where should I go to to practice Public Interest in NY/NJ?

Postby bdole2 » Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:58 pm

Why can't you retake? What's one more year?

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TTRansfer
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Re: Where should I go to to practice Public Interest in NY/NJ?

Postby TTRansfer » Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:18 pm

Wait, Rutgers denied you but you got a full scholarship from Hofstra? That lawsuit must really be hurting their application numbers.

timbs4339
Posts: 2733
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:19 pm

Re: Where should I go to to practice Public Interest in NY/NJ?

Postby timbs4339 » Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:20 pm

Right now I would say attending Hofstra seems like the best bet. But you should find out what the curve for NYLS is- the above website makes it seem like a 3.25 is at least top third.

Also contact current students or post in the school-specific threads to find out if either of these schools section stack. That's a huge red flag. If you want to pursue a career in PI your debt needs to be as low as possible because you will not be making very much money for a long time.

Also see if you can negotiate to get the stips removed or lowered to below median.

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apslaw1031
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Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:59 pm

Re: Where should I go to to practice Public Interest in NY/NJ?

Postby apslaw1031 » Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:38 pm

TTRansfer wrote:Wait, Rutgers denied you but you got a full scholarship from Hofstra? That lawsuit must really be hurting their application numbers.


FTR, a girl I graduated college with had a 3.4 and got a 168 on the LSAT and was accepted at Fordham but dinged at Rutgers-Newark this cycle.
As much as we'd all like to think we can accurately predict whether or not a given school would accept someone with any given set of numbers, the reality is that it's not that cut-and-dry. Predictions like that are usually on-the-money, but there'll always be some surprises.

Regardless of what Hofstra gave OP, one would think that Rutgers would at least waitlist someone with a 3.1(3.3) and 159.
Obviously, that's not the case.

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TTRansfer
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Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2012 12:08 am

Re: Where should I go to to practice Public Interest in NY/NJ?

Postby TTRansfer » Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:40 pm

apslaw1031 wrote:
TTRansfer wrote:Wait, Rutgers denied you but you got a full scholarship from Hofstra? That lawsuit must really be hurting their application numbers.


FTR, a girl I graduated college with had a 3.4 and got a 168 on the LSAT and was accepted at Fordham but dinged at Rutgers-Newark this cycle.
As much as we'd all like to think we can accurately predict whether or not a given school would accept someone with any given set of numbers, the reality is that it's not that cut-and-dry. Predictions like that are usually on-the-money, but there'll always be some surprises.

Regardless of what Hofstra gave OP, one would think that Rutgers would at least waitlist someone with a 3.1(3.3) and 159.
Obviously, that's not the case.


She must've done something stupid on her statement or something. Maybe just said, "Fuck Rutgers." on her personal statement.

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apslaw1031
Posts: 67
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Re: Where should I go to to practice Public Interest in NY/NJ?

Postby apslaw1031 » Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:59 pm

TTRansfer wrote:
apslaw1031 wrote:
TTRansfer wrote:Wait, Rutgers denied you but you got a full scholarship from Hofstra? That lawsuit must really be hurting their application numbers.


FTR, a girl I graduated college with had a 3.4 and got a 168 on the LSAT and was accepted at Fordham but dinged at Rutgers-Newark this cycle.
As much as we'd all like to think we can accurately predict whether or not a given school would accept someone with any given set of numbers, the reality is that it's not that cut-and-dry. Predictions like that are usually on-the-money, but there'll always be some surprises.

Regardless of what Hofstra gave OP, one would think that Rutgers would at least waitlist someone with a 3.1(3.3) and 159.
Obviously, that's not the case.


She must've done something stupid on her statement or something. Maybe just said, "Fuck Rutgers." on her personal statement.


Hahaha... Definitely a possibility.

Although I suppose it doesn't matter since she got into Fordham which almost anyone would choose over Rutgers anyway.

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TTRansfer
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Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2012 12:08 am

Re: Where should I go to to practice Public Interest in NY/NJ?

Postby TTRansfer » Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:24 pm

apslaw1031 wrote:Hahaha... Definitely a possibility.

Although I suppose it doesn't matter since she got into Fordham which almost anyone would choose over Rutgers anyway.


Honestly, she was probably yield protected.

BTW, your handle keeps reading like "AspLaw" to me. I get a kick out of that. Aspie Law should pay well.




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