CUNY vs. Northeastern (for law in the public interest)

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corwin86
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CUNY vs. Northeastern (for law in the public interest)

Postby corwin86 » Sun Jul 29, 2012 9:32 am

I going to apply to law school this fall and I'm looking for advice about schools. I want to go to a law school that will prepare me well for a doing public interest law (broadly speaking) and I'd like to it be a in large metropolitan area. Both CUNY and Northeastern have reputations for having strong public interest programs. It's important for me to go to a law school where a lot of my classmates also plan to go into public interest--I don't want to feel isolated among a bunch of future corporate lawyers. It would also be nice to go somewhere that doesn't have the awful cut-throat competitiveness that law schools are known for. I plan to visit each school this fall to tour the campuses and talk with a few students about their experience. I don't yet know what field/area of law I want to practice in, but I know it will be public interest-related. Does anybody have any insight on these two schools?

A few things I've considered:
Notheastern is private and great deal more expensive than CUNY (even with my paying out-of-state tutition if I went to CUNY)
More students go right into public interest after graduating at CUNY (41%) than at Northeastern (21%). I'm not sure how important this stat is.
Northeastern offers a co-op program where law students get lots of hands-on experience before graduating.
Northeastern has 5 loan repayment assistance programs (LRAPS). CUNY has only 1 LRAP (according to National Jurist magazine)
CUNY is ranked as the number 1 public interest law school (according to National Jurist magazine).
Northeastern doesn't give letter grades (they use written evaluations) and doesn't rank students.

timbs4339
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Re: CUNY vs. Northeastern (for law in the public interest)

Postby timbs4339 » Sun Jul 29, 2012 12:17 pm

I think you need to really look at your motivations for limiting your list of schools so drastically. Yes, most law schools have student bodies that primarily want to go into private practice and most law students would jump at the chance to make 160K. But they're doing this to pay off their loans, not because they just love corporations that much. I'm not sure what you think the big drawback of attending a law school where most people enter private practice is- is it political? social?

Practically, your choices will really limit the types of organizations you can work for. What are your numbers?

Of your current choices, CUNY is the better bet. Five different LRAP programs aren't that great when your debt is so high. Specialty rankings are meaningless. Both will place into direct legal services organizations in the markets/regions they are located in. At both schools, less than 33% of the students go into public interest right out of law school, counting government in that category, but Northeastern is much more expensive.

See
--LinkRemoved--
http://www.northeastern.edu/law/pdfs/ca ... s-2011.pdf

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Nova
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Re: CUNY vs. Northeastern (for law in the public interest)

Postby Nova » Sun Jul 29, 2012 12:43 pm

CUNY only places about 1/3 of grads in long-term, full-time legal jobs. Less than half the class lands FT/LT jobs in general. Northeastern places slightly better but that isnt saying much. Less than half of their class lands long-term, full-time legal jobs....

These stats are terrible and you should be targeting neither. The best schools for PI are the best schools. You need to go to a better school. What National Juris says doesnt matter.

Cut throat law schools are mostly a myth. No one is going to risk their career to sabatoge you. The competitive nature comes from the curve, which occurs across the board. If anything, lower ranked schools can be cut throat because there is less pie and everyone is hungry.

Keep working on your LSAT and aim higher.
CUNY wrote:•36.9% of graduates were known to be employed in long-term, full-time legal jobs. This figure includes no school-funded jobs..
•45.9% graduates were employed in long-term jobs.
•46.8% graduates were employed in full-time jobs.

--LinkRemoved--
Northeastern wrote:•49.5% of graduates were known to be employed in long-term, full-time legal jobs. This figure includes no school-funded jobs..
•59.3% graduates were employed in long-term jobs.
•66.5% graduates were employed in full-time jobs.

--LinkRemoved--

corwin86
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Re: CUNY vs. Northeastern (for law in the public interest)

Postby corwin86 » Sun Jul 29, 2012 4:37 pm

Sorry, I wasn't clear in my initial post. These are not the only two law schools I'm considering; I'm looking at others as well (Lewis & Clark, UNC, to name a couple). I just wanted to know about the relative strenths and weaknesses of these two schools because they are the two I'm most interested in.

Secondly, I'm NOT taking the LSAT again. I've taken it twice, have a decent score, and am not going to spend the time, energy, and money to do it again. Case closed.

Also, I'm a social justice activist. For social, political, and academic reasons, I want to be at a school where there are other people who have done social justice work and want to continue doing it. I have no illusions that I'm going to enjoy or like law school. I probably won't, but given that I'll be spending 3 years there, I'd prefer to be around students who have an understanding of social inequality, and who can think sociologically.

Do you have any other reasons for counting out these schools besides the job placement rate? I agree it's important to consider, but it's not everything.

Finally, please say what you mean by "better school"? If you mean "higher-ranked school," then say so. Otherwise, I have no idea how you're measuring them. If you are talking about higher-ranked schools, I'll just say that my GPA and LSAT aren't high enough to get me into the top 20 schools, so I'm not going to waste my time on those.

rad lulz
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Re: CUNY vs. Northeastern (for law in the public interest)

Postby rad lulz » Sun Jul 29, 2012 4:46 pm

corwin86 wrote:Sorry, I wasn't clear in my initial post. These are not the only two law schools I'm considering; I'm looking at others as well (Lewis & Clark, UNC, to name a couple). I just wanted to know about the relative strenths and weaknesses of these two schools because they are the two I'm most interested in.

Secondly, I'm NOT taking the LSAT again. I've taken it twice, have a decent score, and am not going to spend the time, energy, and money to do it again. Case closed.

Also, I'm a social justice activist. For social, political, and academic reasons, I want to be at a school where there are other people who have done social justice work and want to continue doing it. I have no illusions that I'm going to enjoy or like law school. I probably won't, but given that I'll be spending 3 years there, I'd prefer to be around students who have an understanding of social inequality, and who can think sociologically.

Do you have any other reasons for counting out these schools besides the job placement rate? I agree it's important to consider, but it's not everything.

Finally, please say what you mean by "better school"? If you mean "higher-ranked school," then say so. Otherwise, I have no idea how you're measuring them. If you are talking about higher-ranked schools, I'll just say that my GPA and LSAT aren't high enough to get me into the top 20 schools, so I'm not going to waste my time on those.

Do you want a legal job? If so, job placement rates ARE pretty much everything in this shit economy.

Better school = school that has better job placement. Usually that means higher ranked.

Your refusal to retake the LSAT is ridiculous.

corwin86
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Re: CUNY vs. Northeastern (for law in the public interest)

Postby corwin86 » Sun Jul 29, 2012 4:55 pm

rad, there's absolutely no reason to be rude in your post. I'm glad you changed the word "moronic" to "ridiculous."

I won't to go into the details here, but I simply don't have the time in my life to study for and retake the LSAT yet again, especially when I don't think I have a bad score. Secondly, I'm not invested in going to a top 20 law school. So if my going to a lower-ranked school means I won't be making 6 figures working for a prestigeous law firm or being a judicial clerk, I can certainly live with that.

Does anybody have any meaningful advice or information about these two schools?

rad lulz
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Re: CUNY vs. Northeastern (for law in the public interest)

Postby rad lulz » Sun Jul 29, 2012 5:03 pm

corwin86 wrote:I won't to go into the details here, but I simply don't have the time in my life to study for and retake the LSAT yet again, especially when I don't think I have a bad score. Secondly, I'm not invested in going to a top 20 law school. So if my going to a lower-ranked school means I won't be making 6 figures working for a prestigeous law firm or being a judicial clerk, I can certainly live with that.

Did you even read the above poast? From these schools, you have a better chance at not getting ANY legal job than actually getting one. No one said anything ab clerkships or big firms.

Also your poast assumes that people who hire from PI orgs don't like to hire from preftigious schools. This assumption is unfounded.

corwin86
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Re: CUNY vs. Northeastern (for law in the public interest)

Postby corwin86 » Sun Jul 29, 2012 5:16 pm

I don't assume public interest organizations don't like to hire from pretigious schools. I'm sure quite a few of them do. I'd simply rather go to a lower-ranked law school with a strong public interest focus. I don't necessarily want a legal job. If I get one that allows me to work on social justice, great. If not, there are non-legal jobs where I'd be happy too. A J.D. is a versatile degree.

But let me repeat: I'm not retaking my LSAT and I'm not applying to top 20 schools. If you think that's ridiculous, I don't really care.

I well aware of CUNY and Northeastern's job placement statistics. No need to post them.

Now, moving back to my original questions, can anyone shed any light on the relative strenths and weaknesses of these schools? Can anyone share information about the academic and social environments of these two schools?

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sunynp
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Re: CUNY vs. Northeastern (for law in the public interest)

Postby sunynp » Sun Jul 29, 2012 5:20 pm

Where do you live and which will be cheaper?
Are you talking about this year or next year?
CUNY has a strong public interest focus. But you probably won't get a job from there. It can be cheap though living in NY is expensive. Will you get in-state tuition at CUNY?

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Nova
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Re: CUNY vs. Northeastern (for law in the public interest)

Postby Nova » Sun Jul 29, 2012 5:23 pm

corwin86 wrote:Do you have any other reasons for counting out these schools besides the job placement rate? I agree it's important to consider, but it's not everything.

Please say what you mean by "better school"? If you mean "higher-ranked school," then say so. Otherwise, I have no idea how you're measuring them. If you are talking about higher-ranked schools, I'll just say that my GPA and LSAT aren't high enough to get me into the top 20 schools, so I'm not going to waste my time on those.


Admittedly, I have never walked the halls of either school. I dont know any graduates from either school. I have never even been to New York City or Boston. I do not have any reason to count these schools out other than their employment statistics. But honestly, that should be sufficient. When I say better school, I am referring to schools that will give you more and better opportunities to reach your PI goals. USNWR =/= job placement. There are T3s that place considerably better in their location than T1s (example: Texas Tech over American).

corwin86
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Re: CUNY vs. Northeastern (for law in the public interest)

Postby corwin86 » Sun Jul 29, 2012 5:27 pm

I'll apply this fall and would start in Fall 2013. I live in NC, and would be hard-pressed not to go to UNC if I were accepted. But UNC is the most selective school on my list, so if I didn't get in, I'd go out of state. I may also apply to NCCU, as it is also in-state and very cheap as law schools go, but I've heard very mixed things about the school.

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top30man
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Re: CUNY vs. Northeastern (for law in the public interest)

Postby top30man » Sun Jul 29, 2012 5:27 pm

rad lulz wrote:
corwin86 wrote:I won't to go into the details here, but I simply don't have the time in my life to study for and retake the LSAT yet again, especially when I don't think I have a bad score. Secondly, I'm not invested in going to a top 20 law school. So if my going to a lower-ranked school means I won't be making 6 figures working for a prestigeous law firm or being a judicial clerk, I can certainly live with that.

Did you even read the above poast? From these schools, you have a better chance at not getting ANY legal job than actually getting one. No one said anything ab clerkships or big firms.

Also your poast assumes that people who hire from PI orgs don't like to hire from preftigious schools. This assumption is unfounded.

You don't have time in your life to retake the Lsat but you have to time in your life to spend 100k+ on a worthless degree? Seriously think about retaking.

corwin86
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Re: CUNY vs. Northeastern (for law in the public interest)

Postby corwin86 » Sun Jul 29, 2012 5:32 pm

I understand that USNWR is what everyone uses as the ultimate guide for what constitutes a better or worse school. However, the rankings of "Best Public Interest Law Schools" put out by National Jurist factors in things like indebtedness and job placement along with what the schools offer programmatically. So I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss those rankings just because they aren't USNWR.

rad lulz
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Re: CUNY vs. Northeastern (for law in the public interest)

Postby rad lulz » Sun Jul 29, 2012 5:34 pm

corwin86 wrote:A J.D. is a versatile degree.

The overwhelming majority of evidence suggests it ain't.

rad lulz
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Re: CUNY vs. Northeastern (for law in the public interest)

Postby rad lulz » Sun Jul 29, 2012 5:37 pm

corwin86 wrote:I understand that USNWR is what everyone uses as the ultimate guide for what constitutes a better or worse school. However, the rankings of "Best Public Interest Law Schools" put out by National Jurist factors in things like indebtedness and job placement along with what the schools offer programmatically. So I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss those rankings just because they aren't USNWR.

Actually we have just been referring to jobs data, not any form of rankings. The jobs data is what's important.

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top30man
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Re: CUNY vs. Northeastern (for law in the public interest)

Postby top30man » Sun Jul 29, 2012 5:39 pm

rad lulz wrote:
corwin86 wrote:I understand that USNWR is what everyone uses as the ultimate guide for what constitutes a better or worse school. However, the rankings of "Best Public Interest Law Schools" put out by National Jurist factors in things like indebtedness and job placement along with what the schools offer programmatically. So I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss those rankings just because they aren't USNWR.

Actually we have just been referring to jobs data, not any form of rankings. The jobs data is what's important.

And Op, lrap programs vary widely between schools. Top schools tend to have the best programs (NYU, Mich etc). If you want public interest, a good school is a better idea.

corwin86
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Re: CUNY vs. Northeastern (for law in the public interest)

Postby corwin86 » Sun Jul 29, 2012 5:46 pm

Now I'm remembering why I rarely use forums like this. People are more interested in being snarky and rude than in giving meaningful advice. And even though I've said 2 or 3 times that I'm not going to apply to top-20 law schools (and added that my LSAT scores wouldn't get me accepted even if I wanted to), people are still saying over and over that I need to go to a "better school" and they're listing top 20 schools as examples. I don't know what else I can say... I. am. not. applying. to. a. top. 20. school. Disabuse yourself of that.

No degree is versatile in an economic recession. But all things being equal, I've found that a J.D. is one of the more versatile degrees in social justice and public interest fields. I've spoken to so many non-profit directors over the years who say they prefer to hire JDs over MPPs/MPAs. I've heard at least two directors of public health departments say they prefer to hire JDs over MPHs because they find that lawyers understand policy more than anyone else.

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Re: CUNY vs. Northeastern (for law in the public interest)

Postby indigomachine » Sun Jul 29, 2012 5:49 pm

CUNY would probably give better access to a wider range of PI organizations, many of which are based in NYC or have offices in NYC. Boston metro has its own share of PI groups / orgs, but I don't think its on the same scale as NYC. In the event that the JD doesn't pan out into legal employment, I feel like you'd be more likely to find non-legal PI work in NYC than Boston.

Would probably help to also consider where you want to live (assuming UNC doesn't pan out). I've lived in both cities (and currently in NYC), and they are very different beasts (outside of both being liberal... though a bit less so with Boston). Have you been to either city?

That stuff aside, it seems a little odd to tout the versatility of a JD as a response to a terrible legal employment market. If your degree isn't giving you a job either requiring a JD or at least preferring a JD, then you could have been in the same position sans wasting 3 years of your life in school (not to mention the ridiculous cost of law school and lost earnings over the period you're in school). I get that you are happy with your score / likely options / not aiming for T20, but that still seems like a silly reason to be dismissive of the employment stats at both schools considering that you're going to law school in hopes of ending up with a job that you couldn't or would be highly unlikely to have gotten without a law degree. People use USNWR on here not so much because it is a great ranking system, but because it correlates with post-graduation employment prospects.

Anyways, I'd vote CUNY for more access to PI orgs / possibly better backup options if the JD doesn't pan out into legal employment. Either way, GL with your cycle. Hope things work out.

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Re: CUNY vs. Northeastern (for law in the public interest)

Postby rad lulz » Sun Jul 29, 2012 5:51 pm

corwin86 wrote:Now I'm remembering why I rarely use forums like this. People are more interested in being snarky and rude than in giving meaningful advice. And even though I've said 2 or 3 times that I'm not going to apply to top-20 law schools (and added that my LSAT scores wouldn't get me accepted even if I wanted to), people are still saying over and over that I need to go to a "better school" and they're listing top 20 schools as examples. I don't know what else I can say... I. am. not. applying. to. a. top. 20. school. Disabuse yourself of that.

Your inquiry is like saying "I've made up my mind to ask my buddy to hit me with a bat. Should I get hit in the kneecaps or in my face?" The credited response is "Don't ask your buddy to hit you with a bat."

Don't ask for advice then complain when it's not what you want to hear.

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Re: CUNY vs. Northeastern (for law in the public interest)

Postby yeff » Sun Jul 29, 2012 5:55 pm

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Last edited by yeff on Mon Jul 30, 2012 7:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: CUNY vs. Northeastern (for law in the public interest)

Postby lobolawyer » Sun Jul 29, 2012 5:57 pm

corwin86 wrote:Now I'm remembering why I rarely use forums like this. People are more interested in being snarky and rude than in giving meaningful advice. And even though I've said 2 or 3 times that I'm not going to apply to top-20 law schools (and added that my LSAT scores wouldn't get me accepted even if I wanted to), people are still saying over and over that I need to go to a "better school" and they're listing top 20 schools as examples. I don't know what else I can say... I. am. not. applying. to. a. top. 20. school. Disabuse yourself of that.

No degree is versatile in an economic recession. But all things being equal, I've found that a J.D. is one of the more versatile degrees in social justice and public interest fields. I've spoken to so many non-profit directors over the years who say they prefer to hire JDs over MPPs/MPAs. I've heard at least two directors of public health departments say they prefer to hire JDs over MPHs because they find that lawyers understand policy more than anyone else.


JDs aren't versatile. It's just that the other degrees you listed are largely worthless - unless they're from a top school. If you're set on NE or CUNY, I'd go with the option that will cost you less. And, with your goals, I'm not sure why you're considering NE. CUNY (from what I hear) has a collegial, small school environment. I think it's common knowledge that the lack of student rankings/grades hurts NE. One of my former profs splits time between UNM and CUNY and she loves the school. But, as others have warned the career prospects won't be great. I'd wager most students go into law school wanting to do some PI work, but between the cost of law school and the limited career options in that field, people change.

That's a long winded way of saying that if these are the only two options you'll consider, you should probably choose CUNY. (Disclaimer: FWIW, I have a friend who chose CUNY over UNM and she still regrets that decision because of the cost of living in NYC and the saturation of law students in the city with similar career goals).

corwin86
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Re: CUNY vs. Northeastern (for law in the public interest)

Postby corwin86 » Sun Jul 29, 2012 5:58 pm

I'm not determined to get a "legal" job. But I think the good about a JD is that one can put it to good use in a variety of non-legal settings. This is all I meant by "versatile". I apologize for the confusion. I'm also not dismissing the job placement stats of either school. I'm well aware of them and am keeping them in mind. I recognize the "risk" of going to a lower-ranked school. But I also recognize the value of going to a school where I'm happy and where I'm likely to meet other people who want to do what I want to do.

I'm not asking for advice about whether I should pick these two schools over a top-ranked school. I'm asking about the relative merits of these two schools.

And thanks for proving my point, rad lulz, about forums like this being completely snarky and useless. I'm complaining because nobody here is answering my question, preferring instead to give me information I didn't ask for and am already aware of.

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Nova
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Re: CUNY vs. Northeastern (for law in the public interest)

Postby Nova » Sun Jul 29, 2012 6:08 pm

corwin86 wrote: And thanks for proving my point, rad lulz, about forums like this being completely snarky and useless.


Lol I give up

corwin86
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Re: CUNY vs. Northeastern (for law in the public interest)

Postby corwin86 » Sun Jul 29, 2012 6:11 pm

Nova wrote: Lol I give up



I'm sorry, but you only gave me employment statistics, which I already knew about. You weren't able to give me any other info on the these two schools.

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flem
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Re: CUNY vs. Northeastern (for law in the public interest)

Postby flem » Sun Jul 29, 2012 6:13 pm

corwin86 wrote:I'm not determined to get a "legal" job.



Then why the fuck go to law school then, herp derpington?




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