Rutgers plans to merge its law schools

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jack5on
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Re: Rutgers plans to merge its law schools

Postby jack5on » Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:10 pm

InGoodFaith wrote:
paintbynumbers wrote:There is zero chance either law schools move out of the cities they are located in bc they are so engrained into the community and New Brunswick offers nothing. Rutgers-Camden is in a dilapidated area, and the community relies on the law school and all the clinics they offer poor and disabled residents. Same can be said for Rutgers Newark. Also, Rutgers-Camden has a federal courthouse across the street and another across the river in philly. Rutgers newark has a federal courthouse in its vicinity as well. Also, RC has ties to Philly, RN to North Jersey and NYC. Rutgers at NB campus would be illogical and will not happen bc there little to none employment prospects, nor a federal courthouse that is very close.

These are all great points, but unless you are President Barchi you can't say with 100% certainty that the campus situation won't change.


I agree, while perhaps chances are small something major would happen...it cannot be ruled out. The administrators are not omniscient, they may make a mistake or compromise some short term goals/success for long term success. They have to deal with budgets, and other pressures as well. Also, just because people would be upset doesn't mean that it won't happen -- if that were the case then no administrative decisions would be made that upset people....that is clearly not the case.

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Kurohoshi
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Re: Rutgers plans to merge its law schools

Postby Kurohoshi » Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:39 pm

Holy smokes Batman! This is the first I'm hearing of this. I suppose they decided not to send news out to applicants for fear that it would scare people away. Don't think it'll affect things drastically at first but I sent my deposit in a few days ago and would have appreciated a heads up.

Many of you are saying that they will cut costs this way, but if they keep both facilities, where will they cut costs? Rutgers already uses a unified IT staff so it wouldn't be too much of a cutback for technology. And where would they cut administratively? Career services? Admissions? Free pens?

...Winter is coming.

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20130312
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Re: Rutgers plans to merge its law schools

Postby 20130312 » Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:42 pm

One Lexis/Westlaw account. Presumably administrative cutbacks. But yeah I agree, the big savings would be in the facilities... If they decide to go that way.

keg411
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Re: Rutgers plans to merge its law schools

Postby keg411 » Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:45 pm

InGoodFaith wrote:One Lexis/Westlaw account. Presumably administrative cutbacks. But yeah I agree, the big savings would be in the facilities... If they decide to go that way.


They'll probably just have one administration. Probably some small faculty cutbacks. Won't be surprised with a net smaller class size. From the article, they seem to want to keep the Camden and Newark buildings around so that they can hold classes on both campuses (and allow students to pursue both North and South Jersey legal markets).

If I were a current 1L/2L or applicant, I'd definitely think this is GOOD NEWS on the whole. There's a reason the faculty came up with this idea last year and 100% supports it.

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Kurohoshi
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Re: Rutgers plans to merge its law schools

Postby Kurohoshi » Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:05 pm

keg411 wrote:If I were a current 1L/2L or applicant, I'd definitely think this is GOOD NEWS on the whole. There's a reason the faculty came up with this idea last year and 100% supports it.


Well what about things like OCI, or Law Review and the other publications? If students on both campuses are suddenly competing from a state away things will get dicey.

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JuTMSY4
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Re: Rutgers plans to merge its law schools

Postby JuTMSY4 » Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:44 am

keg411 wrote:
InGoodFaith wrote:One Lexis/Westlaw account. Presumably administrative cutbacks. But yeah I agree, the big savings would be in the facilities... If they decide to go that way.


They'll probably just have one administration. Probably some small faculty cutbacks. Won't be surprised with a net smaller class size. From the article, they seem to want to keep the Camden and Newark buildings around so that they can hold classes on both campuses (and allow students to pursue both North and South Jersey legal markets).

If I were a current 1L/2L or applicant, I'd definitely think this is GOOD NEWS on the whole. There's a reason the faculty came up with this idea last year and 100% supports it.


It's definitely good news. The plan, as I understand it, would be to run it like Penn State. And whoever said they would never move out of Camden/Newark is 100% right - there's no reason to and you'd flee 2 major legal markets (3 if you count Greater Newark, which I'd say is fair). So, there will be classes via video and I'd imagine faculty would be reduced by attrition long-term. The NB campus is an afterthought and more of an optional addition (there are commuters to both campuses that spend over an hour driving).

If this is the decisive reason you choose to not attend rutgers, then I've got nothing for you. This isn't Rowan, this is actually strengthening the brand, the education and maybe reducing the cost (which hasn't be increased in 3 years).

Journal and moot court likely won't change for a long time and even then, I know at least 2 of the Camden journals will remain independent (because of funding). OCI may be administered universally, but I can't imagine they'll ever make it less advantageous.

Oh, and hope you're well KEG

keg411
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Re: Rutgers plans to merge its law schools

Postby keg411 » Sat Mar 02, 2013 4:12 pm

JuTMSY4 wrote:
keg411 wrote:
InGoodFaith wrote:One Lexis/Westlaw account. Presumably administrative cutbacks. But yeah I agree, the big savings would be in the facilities... If they decide to go that way.


They'll probably just have one administration. Probably some small faculty cutbacks. Won't be surprised with a net smaller class size. From the article, they seem to want to keep the Camden and Newark buildings around so that they can hold classes on both campuses (and allow students to pursue both North and South Jersey legal markets).

If I were a current 1L/2L or applicant, I'd definitely think this is GOOD NEWS on the whole. There's a reason the faculty came up with this idea last year and 100% supports it.


It's definitely good news. The plan, as I understand it, would be to run it like Penn State. And whoever said they would never move out of Camden/Newark is 100% right - there's no reason to and you'd flee 2 major legal markets (3 if you count Greater Newark, which I'd say is fair). So, there will be classes via video and I'd imagine faculty would be reduced by attrition long-term. The NB campus is an afterthought and more of an optional addition (there are commuters to both campuses that spend over an hour driving).

If this is the decisive reason you choose to not attend rutgers, then I've got nothing for you. This isn't Rowan, this is actually strengthening the brand, the education and maybe reducing the cost (which hasn't be increased in 3 years).

Journal and moot court likely won't change for a long time and even then, I know at least 2 of the Camden journals will remain independent (because of funding). OCI may be administered universally, but I can't imagine they'll ever make it less advantageous.

Oh, and hope you're well KEG


Hey nice to see you around (and good to know that my instinct was right about this latest news) :). Alls well here, just enjoying "Spring" break. Can't believe we're all almost done -- feels like 1L was forever ago.

wfudeacons2005
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Re: Rutgers plans to merge its law schools

Postby wfudeacons2005 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:14 am

Excerpt from e-mail sent to RU-N students. Just to put to sleep any ideas of the campuses moving:

"Nevertheless, the prospect of a unified institution that combines the strengths of both communities is one that those of us who have been involved in the process find very exciting. A combined Rutgers Law School, we believe, could enable us better to address the challenges, of which you are all well-aware, that are currently reshaping legal education and the legal profession nationwide. It is also our hope and expectation that the University will provide tangible support for Rutgers Law so that we can keep legal education accessible and affordable to all qualified students, consistent with the best traditions of public higher education.

Let me quickly, however, dispel any misconceptions about what “Rutgers Law” would entail. First and foremost, Rutgers Law will remain in Newark and Camden. There is absolutely no talk of moving the combined entity to New Brunswick or anywhere else. The public service missions of both schools are inextricably intertwined with their respective local communities, and neither faculty nor administration would countenance a diminution in that commitment. Speaking personally from a Newark perspective as a ’83 graduate, our location has helped define our institution for 105 years, and this merger will not diminish the traditions of the “People’s Electric Law School” in the slightest."

rwhyAn
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Re: Rutgers plans to merge its law schools

Postby rwhyAn » Mon Mar 04, 2013 2:07 pm

wfudeacons2005 wrote:Excerpt from e-mail sent to RU-N students. Just to put to sleep any ideas of the campuses moving:

"Nevertheless, the prospect of a unified institution that combines the strengths of both communities is one that those of us who have been involved in the process find very exciting. A combined Rutgers Law School, we believe, could enable us better to address the challenges, of which you are all well-aware, that are currently reshaping legal education and the legal profession nationwide. It is also our hope and expectation that the University will provide tangible support for Rutgers Law so that we can keep legal education accessible and affordable to all qualified students, consistent with the best traditions of public higher education.

Let me quickly, however, dispel any misconceptions about what “Rutgers Law” would entail. First and foremost, Rutgers Law will remain in Newark and Camden. There is absolutely no talk of moving the combined entity to New Brunswick or anywhere else. The public service missions of both schools are inextricably intertwined with their respective local communities, and neither faculty nor administration would countenance a diminution in that commitment. Speaking personally from a Newark perspective as a ’83 graduate, our location has helped define our institution for 105 years, and this merger will not diminish the traditions of the “People’s Electric Law School” in the slightest."


If they want to keep it affordable, it would be in the best interest to rid themselves of the two campus system and merge it into one, whether it be in NB or Newark. If they just unify the two schools and keep the two locations open, now there are going to be two deans on the payroll, redundancies in faculty, and two libraries and buildings to maintain. Just because there's no talk of moving yet doesn't mean that it will never happen. Look at last year, for example. It was a done deal according to everyone that Camden was going to merge with Rowan, and we all know how that turned out.

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20130312
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Re: Rutgers plans to merge its law schools

Postby 20130312 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 2:12 pm

Couldn't agree more with the poster above. But Rutgers probably won't resort to that until they realize the law schools are hemorrhaging money due to declining enrollment.

wfudeacons2005
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Re: Rutgers plans to merge its law schools

Postby wfudeacons2005 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 2:35 pm

To an extent, I see the point about the schools each having ties to the area and New Brunswick is in the middle of nowhere, comparatively. I firmly believe that this system will be implemented and hold for a while. The New Brunswick debate will reemerge when the Newark and Camden law buildings are in need of a refresh, enrollment is even more in the tank and moving there is the only way to appease both regions of the state.

Also, that Rowan thing was always an uphill battle, IMO. It was a matter of Chris Christie trying to bully the plan through in order to repay a political favor. He totally underestimated the public outcry that followed.

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2LT_CPG
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Re: Rutgers plans to merge its law schools

Postby 2LT_CPG » Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:16 am

wfudeacons2005 wrote:Also, that Rowan thing was always an uphill battle, IMO. It was a matter of Chris Christie trying to bully the plan through in order to repay a political favor. He totally underestimated the public outcry that followed.

Couldn't this new merger move be considered some kind of long-term insurance policy to prevent any other attempts to create some mega South Jersey university, complete with a law school? From what I understood about the Rutgers-Rowan merger debacle, the strongest opposition at Rutgers-Camden understandably came from the law school, since they had the most to lose by losing the Rutgers name and they're arguably the most prestigious part of Rutgers-Camden. Maybe this new move is them hedging their bets by casting their lot in with Newark in case Rutgers-Camden gets thrown to Rowan five or ten years down the road?

Who knows though, I could be wrong. I'll take them at face value and buy the argument that it's to cut down costs. It'll be interesting to see how this affects rankings and enrollment though.

wfudeacons2005
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Re: Rutgers plans to merge its law schools

Postby wfudeacons2005 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 2:45 pm

That's a really interesting take on it - we'll just have to see how it shakes out. The word is that it will be finalized in Fall of 2014. As a current 1LE at RU-N, my big question in the immediate term centers on the impact that the merger has on the job market/recruiting. Will Newark students have the same access to the Philly market that Camden kids do if they seek it out and vice-versa with Camden in the NYC market?

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Re: Rutgers plans to merge its law schools

Postby keg411 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 2:54 pm

wfudeacons2005 wrote:That's a really interesting take on it - we'll just have to see how it shakes out. The word is that it will be finalized in Fall of 2014. As a current 1LE at RU-N, my big question in the immediate term centers on the impact that the merger has on the job market/recruiting. Will Newark students have the same access to the Philly market that Camden kids do if they seek it out and vice-versa with Camden in the NYC market?


I think that's part of the point of the merger, at least according to the article I read (along with one unified school/admission process, one unified OCI and the option to take classes at either campus). But I think if you're a current student, you should consider making sure your summers are done where you want to work; and if you're a current 0L you should still go to the campus that is your preferred location.

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2LT_CPG
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Re: Rutgers plans to merge its law schools

Postby 2LT_CPG » Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:02 pm

Is there precedent for this kind of thing? For example, a single law school with two campuses that are functionally independent, but share admissions and administration? Widener, the crap school in Delaware and Harrisburg comes to mind, but I feel like that's a bad comparison. Maybe Penn State? But I feel like the Carlisle-State College law market is pretty much the same, and can't really be compared to the bifurcated New Jersey market.

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Kurohoshi
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Re: Rutgers plans to merge its law schools

Postby Kurohoshi » Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:12 pm

keg411 wrote:I think that's part of the point of the merger, at least according to the article I read (along with one unified school/admission process, one unified OCI and the option to take classes at either campus). But I think if you're a current student, you should consider making sure your summers are done where you want to work; and if you're a current 0L you should still go to the campus that is your preferred location.


Doesn't that screw over everyone who isn't in the very top of the class even more? That sounds like the tops of each campus will now have a 2 markets to work for, while everyone else gets pushed even farther from the better jobs that they may have had a small shot at.

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Re: Rutgers plans to merge its law schools

Postby keg411 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:21 pm

Kurohoshi wrote:
keg411 wrote:I think that's part of the point of the merger, at least according to the article I read (along with one unified school/admission process, one unified OCI and the option to take classes at either campus). But I think if you're a current student, you should consider making sure your summers are done where you want to work; and if you're a current 0L you should still go to the campus that is your preferred location.


Doesn't that screw over everyone who isn't in the very top of the class even more? That sounds like the tops of each campus will now have a 2 markets to work for, while everyone else gets pushed even farther from the better jobs that they may have had a small shot at.


Unless you're top 5-10% this won't be applicable to you no matter if you go to either of these schools or SHU (and even at those margins, people were shut out of larger firm jobs if you look at the 2012 data). I mean, we're talking about 30 people max no matter what.

And Newark and Camden kids are already competing with each other within NJ anyway whether the schools are one school or two schools; the hope is with the merger that there will be fewer students overall, so fewer people get "screwed over".

wfudeacons2005
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Re: Rutgers plans to merge its law schools

Postby wfudeacons2005 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:35 pm

Fewer students overall really is key here and it would shock me if they missed that with the way applications have been plummeting. I don't have any delusions about this drastically improving employment statistics - though I do think they will improve slightly along with the USN&WR rankings - but I am eager to have a whole new potential market opened up to me. Speaking of Seton Hall, I wonder if this hurts them. Not only will the Rutgers Law branch in Newark continue be way cheaper, it'll also provides access to a South Jersey/Philly market where Seton Hall has little, if any, presence. I really can't see a case for the place continuing to exist over the long run.

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Re: Rutgers plans to merge its law schools

Postby keg411 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:41 pm

Seton Hall will stay around because they have high-powered donors in high places in NJ, and there is a still a very large presence that supports the school and its brand-name (Seton Hall Prep isn't Don Bosco or some of the other big Catholic Prep Schools, but it's still a name within that community in the West Orange/South Orange area).

rwhyAn
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Re: Rutgers plans to merge its law schools

Postby rwhyAn » Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:51 pm

2LT_CPG wrote:Is there precedent for this kind of thing? For example, a single law school with two campuses that are functionally independent, but share admissions and administration? Widener, the crap school in Delaware and Harrisburg comes to mind, but I feel like that's a bad comparison. Maybe Penn State? But I feel like the Carlisle-State College law market is pretty much the same, and can't really be compared to the bifurcated New Jersey market.


Apart from the markets in which they serve, Penn State is almost a perfect example of this, and like the enrollment at Camden has dropped drastically, the enrollment of Carlisle has dropped considerably. And while the smart thing to do at PSU would be to move the entire school to UP as the enrollment at Carlisle is dwindling, the politicians in Carlisle have complained to have the school remain, and now the two PSU schools are seeking separate accreditation. There were only about 40-50 1Ls that enrolled in Carlisle last year, and now they're going to have two administrations, one of which for maybe 150 students--hardly seems worth it. If the PSU plan goes through, it'll be a disaster for Carlisle. Hopefully RU will make the smart financial decision and not succumb to the wants/needs of the politicians, unlike PSU.

If RU were smart, they would create one school with one main location. I hear some of the deans, the Case Western guy comes to mind, say that the employment rates are not significantly worse than in the late 90's/early 2000s past when only 60% of grads would enter the legal market. Why was there not an outcry against law schools back then? It's because the tuition was reasonable and has more than doubled at many schools since, and as a result, not landing a high-paying legal job was not the end of the world since most weren't strapped with the life-altering debt that now cripples many grads. Rutgers needs to say hell to student/faculty ratio metric in US News and consolidate the two schools into one, cutting some bloated faculty salaries in the process. Once again, they would get rid of the need for two buildings, two libraries, and all other costs (electric, heat, etc.) needed to keep the extra, unneeded building operational. If they were able to keep the overall enrollment similar (or even slightly larger) while getting rid of all of the additional expenditures, it would allow them to keep total tuition lower and even offer more scholarships to draw even better students, thus increasing the ranking.

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Re: Rutgers plans to merge its law schools

Postby timbs4339 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:30 pm

A good idea would be to consolidate in a central location, slash tuition, and then have the option for 3L "outplacement" in Newark, Camden, Trenton, etc for a nominal fee or a third year on campus at full tuition. That way you maintain the ability of Rutgers grads to volunteer during the year and hopefully get jobs that way.

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2LT_CPG
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Re: Rutgers plans to merge its law schools

Postby 2LT_CPG » Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:13 pm

timbs4339 wrote:A good idea would be to consolidate in a central location, slash tuition, and then have the option for 3L "outplacement" in Newark, Camden, Trenton, etc for a nominal fee or a third year on campus at full tuition. That way you maintain the ability of Rutgers grads to volunteer during the year and hopefully get jobs that way.

Long term, I'd agree with you. But aren't the law school facilities in both Newark and Camden relatively new? They won't abandon that investment so soon after completion. They'll wait until they get equally or better digs in New Brunswick before making any move. And that's got to be 15-25 years away minimum.

They can still probably dip enrollment though. Or they could have 1L happen at NB and farm the students out later. I'm sure they're considering all of these options, albeit none of them in the short term.

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Kurohoshi
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Re: Rutgers plans to merge its law schools

Postby Kurohoshi » Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:31 pm

I'd say that's still a bad (or at least not great) idea long term. Again, you'd be faced with students who would not have easy access to any major legal market.

As it stand, I imagine that students doing externships or community work can do so within walking distance or a bus ride from campus. If RU consolidated in New Brunswick, getting to those same places would now mean 40 minute trip driving or a 30 minute train ride (not counting getting to the train and waiting for it). Also, for student mixing their extracurricular activities in with classes or making the trip later, they could be attempting this travel during rush hour, cutting serious time out of their already busy schedules.

As a disclaimer, I am a 0L and no nothing of the ways of law school. However, I have worked through a few different types of hectic schedules and travel time/distance is always the last thing you want as an issue.

The problem with farming people out after 1L is that now you're incurring costs for 3 facilities or administrations, and you may be faced with students who develop a hive mind towards the current trends and throw off the balance between the campuses. Just like how enrollment dipped suddenly at Newark a year or 2 ago, couldn't that suddenly happen with one facility? Which would then place more stress on one of the now not-so-well funded external campuses.

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Re: Rutgers plans to merge its law schools

Postby timbs4339 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:19 pm

2LT_CPG wrote:
timbs4339 wrote:A good idea would be to consolidate in a central location, slash tuition, and then have the option for 3L "outplacement" in Newark, Camden, Trenton, etc for a nominal fee or a third year on campus at full tuition. That way you maintain the ability of Rutgers grads to volunteer during the year and hopefully get jobs that way.

Long term, I'd agree with you. But aren't the law school facilities in both Newark and Camden relatively new? They won't abandon that investment so soon after completion. They'll wait until they get equally or better digs in New Brunswick before making any move. And that's got to be 15-25 years away minimum.

They can still probably dip enrollment though. Or they could have 1L happen at NB and farm the students out later. I'm sure they're considering all of these options, albeit none of them in the short term.


They could centralize in Newark or Camden and run a half-staffed branch campus in the other location, sharing the building with another department within Rutgers. I assume that the branch campus would only have clinical or adjunct faculty working in conjunction with the internship programs like a teaching hospital. Much cheaper than a full campus with tenured profs and full range of campus amenities.




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