New Jersey Schools/Market

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tfb1986
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New Jersey Schools/Market

Postby tfb1986 » Sat Jan 25, 2014 1:36 pm

I'm currently considering attending either Rutgers-Newark or Seton Hall. I have full tuition scholarship offers at both and with my wife working would graduate with little to no debt provided I maintain the scholarship (stips are 3.0 at Rutgers and 2.8 or top 75% at Seton Hall). My goal is to work in a large NJ firm. I know Seton Hall is often bashed on TLS but based on Law School Transparency and other employment data it seems like Seton Hall has slightly better placement than Rutgers. My question are:

1. Which school gives me a better chance at landing the type of job I'm interested in?
2. With such a large number of of people from these schools getting clerkships after graduation and many NJ firms hiring clerks exclusively, does anyone have any insight into what type of positions the majority of these schools' grads get after clerking for a judge?

I appreciate any insight anybody has on this topic. Thanks.

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Nova
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Re: New Jersey Schools/Market

Postby Nova » Sat Jan 25, 2014 1:43 pm

My goal is to work in a large NJ firm


both schools are bad options for this

odds are too stacked against you
Last edited by Nova on Sat Jan 25, 2014 1:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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guano
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Re: New Jersey Schools/Market

Postby guano » Sat Jan 25, 2014 1:43 pm

to work for a big firm, your best bet would be a T14, Rutgers and Seton Hall both place around 10% in big firms. They're really fairly evenly tied for employment prospects.

If you go to either of those schools, intern for as many judges as you can, and do externships when you can't. Many large Jersey firms have abandoned or curtailed SA programs and instead hire predominantly from state clerks (or fed clerks) so you want to position yourself to get one of those

As for what happens to the clerks that don't get biglaw, fuck if I know. There are plenty of fairly big companies in NJ, so I guess quite a few would go work for them

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sublime
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Re: New Jersey Schools/Market

Postby sublime » Sat Jan 25, 2014 1:48 pm

..

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guano
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Re: New Jersey Schools/Market

Postby guano » Sat Jan 25, 2014 1:54 pm

sublime wrote:Anecdotal, but my best friend went to Rutgers-Newark, graduated in 2013, and is struggling to find a job.

The tri-state arealower-ranked schools are rough.

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sublime
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Re: New Jersey Schools/Market

Postby sublime » Sat Jan 25, 2014 1:57 pm

..

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guano
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Re: New Jersey Schools/Market

Postby guano » Sat Jan 25, 2014 2:02 pm

sublime wrote:
guano wrote:
sublime wrote:Anecdotal, but my best friend went to Rutgers-Newark, graduated in 2013, and is struggling to find a job.

The tri-state arealower-ranked schools are rough.



That too. Although I think the combination makes each individual problem worse in total.

Well, Jersey is a particularly tough market. NYC is a whole different story - lots of jobs, but lots more competition

mom2law
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Re: New Jersey Schools/Market

Postby mom2law » Sat Jan 25, 2014 2:16 pm

Although much maligned here, state court clerkships are still one gateway to NJ firms. Seton Hall was historically the best source for them, but the number of applications and the percent from top schools has been hugely increasing. If you would ultimately be satisfied with essentially any legal job in NJ should you fail to get a big firm, and with little to no debt, it's not a terrible option. If you can't be in the top 75% at Seton Hall you wouldn't be successful anywhere else anyway, so those stips don't bother me....not that even the lowest level judges in NJ need to take anyone without great grades, LR, etc nowadays. Keep in mind that the overwhelming majority of state judges went to local schools themselves, and some still have strong school loyalty.

LafayetteJeff
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Re: New Jersey Schools/Market

Postby LafayetteJeff » Sat Jan 25, 2014 2:18 pm

this might help you: http://top-law-schools.com/forums/viewt ... 1&t=223092

At either school (I'm a very recent R-Newark alum) the top 15-20%, law review, and those with good connections will go to their choice of NY firm, NJ firm (but there are increasingly limited choices, as the big NJ firms are really not growing, and most hire out of clerkships, both state and federal depending on the firm), or NJ Supreme (quite a few) or federal clerkships (a few). The top 15-60% are going in very large numbers to state clerkships, or to small/mid size firms, government agencies (though their hiring is really low). After clerkships or government experience, you are pretty well situated to advance nicely whether in private practice, prosecutors offices etc. The bottom 40% at both schools are have to be scrappy, and i've seen both some surprises and some disappointments there. To be honest, though, the disappointments are fewer, and a lot of these people are still great people who go on to get one more degree and then are ready to go, or they jump right in putting their own shingle out.

Its not all doom and gloom. While NJ big law firms are not a growth sector, there's plenty of opportunity. I am going to brainstorm 20 or so friends from Rutgers '10-'13 and tell you what they've done (they're certainly a wide array of folks; i'll indicate if they were Law Review):

-state court clerkship to midsize NJ firm, makes 100k [a pretty common track]
-midsize NYC firm (makes 125k).
-NYC law department
-clerkship then McCarter/English (x2) (one L. Rev)
-clerkship then Gibbons
-clerkship, small firm, another small firm
-NJ Supreme Clerk then Clearly Gottlieb (L. Rev.)
-midsize NJ firm making under 100k (L. Rev.)
-big NJ firm to federal clerkship (L. Rev)
-federal clerkship to big NJ firm (L. Rev)
-federal clerkship
-year of public interest work, then Bingham in NYC
-DOJ honors (L. Rev.)
-small NYC crim. practice to borough DA's office
-big NJ intellectual property practice (L. Rev.)
-Sullivan & Cromwell to in-house
-Lowenstein Sandler
-Cahill Gordon (L. Rev.)
-Debevoise x3 (two L. Rev.)
-non-law employment and additional degree prepping for patent bar
-clerkship to state AG's office
-insurance law firm to AIG

I agree with Mom2Law-- if you want to practice anywhere outside a white shoe/big firm, state court clerkships are an excellent start.

LafayetteJeff
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Re: New Jersey Schools/Market

Postby LafayetteJeff » Sat Jan 25, 2014 2:21 pm

P.s. tfb1986: congrats. what an excellent and enviable situation. I am grateful that I was able to keep my debt low and am paying it off quickly. Being debt-free straight through is fantastic, and one less thing to stress about. You're going to do very well.

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stillwater
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Re: New Jersey Schools/Market

Postby stillwater » Sat Jan 25, 2014 2:22 pm

Bottomline is that these schools provide a shooting-the-moon opportunity to become a lawyer in any real or meaningful capacity. This is further curtailed by your desire to work for a big firm. These schools just don't have the placement power to reasonably achieve the goals you are looking to accomplish.

timbs4339
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Re: New Jersey Schools/Market

Postby timbs4339 » Sat Jan 25, 2014 8:52 pm

stillwater wrote:Bottomline is that these schools provide a shooting-the-moon opportunity to become a lawyer in any real or meaningful capacity. This is further curtailed by your desire to work for a big firm. These schools just don't have the placement power to reasonably achieve the goals you are looking to accomplish.


Look, if you wouldn't be happy working anywhere but biglaw, don't go to law school at all or retake for a T14. If you'd actually want to be a lawyer, it's a different story. But these schools are not good bets if you just want a corporate type job in a tall building.

donewithannarbor
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Re: New Jersey Schools/Market

Postby donewithannarbor » Mon Jan 27, 2014 4:04 pm

Tfb1986- congrats, great dilemma to have.

I basically agree with Timbs' message-- if you really want to practice law, there's plenty of opportunity. I have R-Newark classmates who are in most of the big name firms. But it's actually kind of cool that, unlike a top 15 school, 50-60 % of my colleagues are NOT in the same types of places all doing doc review and writing their first briefs in year 2 or 3. As I scan my Linkedin, I see that my classmates are practically everywhere, and it seems that most are headed on very rewarding paths (and note: there are some very lucrative areas of law outside of big law).

Let me address your exact situation/questions.

1. Not really. My experience has clearly indicated that the NJ big firm brass is a mix of Seton, Rutgers, and Ivy leaguers that came home to NJ.* The majority of partners I worked with at a big NJ firm were from neither school, though I had enjoyable experiences working with several partners from Rutgers, and a couple more from Seton. Associate hiring really slowed down at my former firm, and they now recruit law clerks (ironically, i am now a federal clerk). The firm thinks highly of Rutgers and has some special programs with it (I'll PM you some detail). It also thinks highly of Seton, in particular, the health law group reliably hires one Seton person per year (given Seton's health law certificate program). As I look around at other firms, there are a spattering of my classmates at most of them.
2. Good question, since Rutgers and Seton put grads into state court clerkships at some of the highest rates in the country (if I recall, about 37%, give or take, of each schools classes recently). I am a couple years out, and am seeing my classmates who did state court clerkships first move on to a wide range of places now. I know App. Div. clerks have been hired by Gibbons, a great Newark firm, and Law Div. clerks have been hired by McCarter and Genova Burns. The majority of folks coming out of law/chancery division clerkships are at mid-size firms around Jersey, and some others go into government; both settings provide some great experience doing deps and arguing motions. 4-6 grads per year have been getting N.J. Supreme Clerkships, which obviously open major doors, including big law. And then there are federal clerkships, another obvious door opener, but many of the DNJ judges want people who have practiced for two years (like me), so that's a conundrum. Only three people I know went straight to federal clerkship before practice. Bottom line: if your personable, smart, and have the experience of any clerkship under your belt, you're getting hired by a law firm. If you do law division, you'll need to be tenacious to get the bigger name firms, but you have to realize that you can get good experience at smaller places. If you do App. Div. or higher, the road is pretty well paved for your big firm ambitions.

*National Jurist's dubious attempt at law school rankings did do us the service of counting how many alums of each U.S. law school work at NLJ200 firms, and how many alums are "Super Lawyers." The former is actually kind of helpful. It found that there are more Rutgers alums than Seton alums at the top 200 firms. But most of those are big NY firms like Debevoise, Hughes Hubbard, Cleary Gottlieb….I think that the only NJ firm on that list today is McCarter and English. As far as the "Super Lawyers" list, the Jurist reported that Rutgers and Seton are even in terms of alums on that list. I note: Seton's classes have been much larger than R-Newark's the last two decades.

I urge you to keep an open mind during law school, wherever you go. I found I had a lot of potential interests of areas of practice, and they grew during my three years. After my clerkship, I may well do something much different than defense work at an NJ firm. It is great that you have that very solid goal in mind, but for your own sake (and owing to NJ's hiring slowdown) be mindful of other areas you may want to practice in, and definitely prepare for the high probability that you may do a one year clerkship before joining a firm (most people's clerkships are very rewarding, mind you).

tfb1986
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Re: New Jersey Schools/Market

Postby tfb1986 » Tue Jan 28, 2014 7:53 pm

Thanks for the information everyone. I should have said in my original post that I'm not dead set on biglaw as my only option, rather it is my current goal and I was just looking to see if either school offered better opportunities than the other. Nonetheless, thank you all for the help.




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