Help choosing law school in NY

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fedukeford17
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Help choosing law school in NY

Postby fedukeford17 » Mon Feb 16, 2015 7:48 pm

LSAT: 164/164
GPA: 3.61

Have been accepted to:
Syracuse (full tuition scholarship, maintain 3.0 GPA)
Cardozo (full tuition scholarship, maintain 2.95 GPA)
Albany (full tuition scholarship, remain in top 50% of class)
Fordham ($20,000/yr scholarship)
Boston U ($15,000/yr scholarship)
BC (no info on scholarship yet)

Still waiting to hear from Cornell.

I'm from Upstate New York, and plan to stay in/around the area. Have no interest in going into Biglaw. I'm interested in environmental law, other PI work, or working at a small/medium sized firm. I interned at the local DA's office where I could probably pretty easily get a job upon graduation. My dad is also a former county judge so I have lots of ties/connections in the area through him.

At this point, I'm basically deciding between Syracuse and Albany. Cardozo and Fordham are out because I have no interest in Biglaw or living in NYC. BU and BC are sort of on the back burner since they are not in NY, but will reconsider if BC offers me substantial money/if I can negotiate with BU. Syracuse is close enough to home that I could live in Syracuse for the 1L year, then commute the last 2 years. I would be able to pay for cost of living out of pocket for the first year, so I would be able to graduate with minimal to no debt, assuming I keep the full tuition scholarship. Their website says that around 80% of their scholarship recipients keep their scholarships, but does anyone know how difficult/what class ranking a 3.0 at Syracuse Law would be? Also, has anyone successfully negotiated stipulations to scholarships at SU?

Albany is a little bit further from home and far enough away that I would live in Albany for all 3 years. Their scholarship stipulation is a little more attractive (top 50%), considering I'd have to be in the top part of the class anyway to have decent job prospects. Local lawyers have told me to go to Albany over Syracuse since its in the capital and would be perfect for a government job, but I would assume the location of the law school has very little/nothing to do with chances of getting government jobs in Albany.

Thanks for any help!

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moonman157
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Re: Help choosing law school in NY

Postby moonman157 » Mon Feb 16, 2015 7:53 pm

Albany seems to have slightly better employment numbers than Syracuse (these should be at this point your only two considerations, regardless of what happens with BU, BC, or Cornell). But see if you can negotiate to get that stipulation removed. Otherwise, Albany on a full ride with ties to the area, a desire to live there, no desire for big law, and legal connections is not a bad decision in my opinion.

BigZuck
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Re: Help choosing law school in NY

Postby BigZuck » Mon Feb 16, 2015 8:00 pm

I don't think your grades are going to matter, you're going to have to hustle and those types of employers don't typically care about grades. Just go to whatever places best into your intended market (as long as it is at a reasonable price of course).

I'd be careful about thinking "I don't want big law, mid law would be cool." Mid law isn't really a thing, at least in so far as it's still a decently high paying, less stress, easier to get alternative to big law (not sure if that's what you meant but a lot of people around here do)

FourtyFour
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Re: Help choosing law school in NY

Postby FourtyFour » Mon Feb 16, 2015 11:16 pm

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Last edited by FourtyFour on Sat May 21, 2016 12:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Rigo
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Re: Help choosing law school in NY

Postby Rigo » Tue Feb 17, 2015 1:11 am

Negotiate to get those stipulations removed or reduced.
Yikes. I have a hard time recommending Albany or Syracuse, but I guess the risk is minimized since they're free tuition.
Albany is my local TTT and they're going through hard times. Drastically reduced enrollment and faculty buyouts. I get the general feeling that Albany is really on the decline, and it's already starting pretty low. Maybe the drastically reduced class sizes will mean more graduates actually get jobs though. I still wouldn't bet on a seemingly sinking ship if I were you.
I don't know much about Syracuse. It seems to make more sense since you're local and have the potential to save on living expenses. Visit both and then decide.

But get rid of those stipulations.

AReasonableMan
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Re: Help choosing law school in NY

Postby AReasonableMan » Tue Feb 17, 2015 7:39 pm

what is a 3.0 at syracuse? unless they section stack i wouldn't sweat the stips too much. if you can't be top half at these schools then law probably isn't for you. if you can't beat the average ttt student's 3 months of work with 1 day of non-hungover studying then you picked the wrong profession.

fedukeford17
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Re: Help choosing law school in NY

Postby fedukeford17 » Wed Feb 18, 2015 6:19 pm

Anyone have any advice on what to say in an email to negotiate removing/reducing stipulations? I sent what I thought was a pretty solid email regarding reducing my stipulations and was basically told no they wouldn't reduce the stipulations. The scholarship from Syracuse right now is full tuition if I remain above a 3.0, or if I get between a 2.8 and a 3.0 after my first 2 semesters I still get $33,000/yr, any lower than that I get nothing. Syracuse says that a 2.8 law school GPA is around their 50th percentile.

I completely agree with the comment regarding me needing to be in the top 50% of the class to have any shot at job. I'm just trying to cover my bases and insure that for some reason I were to drop below that 3.0 (which I have no intention of doing) I would still have my hefty scholarship, because otherwise, as you guys said, it wouldn't really be worth it to attend either of those schools.

donewithannarbor
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Re: Help choosing law school in NY

Postby donewithannarbor » Thu Feb 19, 2015 5:46 pm

I am not sure why you'd rule out a full ride at Cardozo. Seems foolhearty to do so on the basis that you 'don't want big law.' If you do respectably, it will open an array of doors. The fact that it's in NYC doesn't mean that it substantially places people in BigLaw. If anything, there's probably just some selection bias when you read employment numbers. Surely, however, respectable grads who want public interest, small firms, government, can get there.

But I am no Cardozo booster...I will defer to your specialized upstate NY knowledge-- if you really think that employers would think more highly of 'Cuse / Albany than Cardozo, then I guess you have your answer. Might as well ask your sources the same question about Fordham too, because if it significantly more respected than the local ones, then it could be worth the 80k in debt.

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mt2165
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Re: Help choosing law school in NY

Postby mt2165 » Thu Feb 19, 2015 5:59 pm

I would retake for Cornell in the likely case you don't get in this cycle. And I think your options drop off a lot after that, you can go to the other schools (on a full ride with no stips) but you're going to need to absolutely kill it to have good options.

AReasonableMan
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Re: Help choosing law school in NY

Postby AReasonableMan » Thu Feb 19, 2015 10:18 pm

fedukeford17 wrote:Anyone have any advice on what to say in an email to negotiate removing/reducing stipulations? I sent what I thought was a pretty solid email regarding reducing my stipulations and was basically told no they wouldn't reduce the stipulations. The scholarship from Syracuse right now is full tuition if I remain above a 3.0, or if I get between a 2.8 and a 3.0 after my first 2 semesters I still get $33,000/yr, any lower than that I get nothing. Syracuse says that a 2.8 law school GPA is around their 50th percentile.

I completely agree with the comment regarding me needing to be in the top 50% of the class to have any shot at job. I'm just trying to cover my bases and insure that for some reason I were to drop below that 3.0 (which I have no intention of doing) I would still have my hefty scholarship, because otherwise, as you guys said, it wouldn't really be worth it to attend either of those schools.

The GPA itself is arbitrary and misleading. It's like betting that a New York team will score over 10 points on their game on Sunday. If the game is football or basketball, this is a pretty good bet. If the game is hockey or baseball it's a pretty bad bet. You would really want to know the specific ranges, and it'd be bad faith for them to withhold that information.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Help choosing law school in NY

Postby jbagelboy » Thu Feb 19, 2015 10:55 pm

Can't comment on a lot of the local new york schools, but I'll say that fall senior year of college I was in 164/3.6X territory - very similar to yourself - and I decided to do case round oci, wait a while and retake after graduation. I wound up applying later with a 17X/3.7X and having basically everything but super picky GPA schools (YS) open with substantial scholarships in the T14. I'm now a 2L at a school in new york and I'm categorically happier and better off than if I'd applied in college.

I'm only saying this because I empathize with your circumstances, I know the situation you're in with those numbers (although its a lot easier to get in and get $$ now than 3-4 yrs ago) and I can tell you its a world of difference

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DKM
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Re: Help choosing law school in NY

Postby DKM » Thu Feb 19, 2015 11:11 pm

The GPA itself is arbitrary and misleading. It's like betting that a New York team will score over 10 points on their game on Sunday. If the game is football or basketball, this is a pretty good bet.

Have you watched the Jets or Knicks recently?

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AndDontCallMeShirley
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Re: Help choosing law school in NY

Postby AndDontCallMeShirley » Thu Feb 26, 2015 2:54 am

If you're interested in Upstate NY law jobs, esp. low-level government stuff, I'd recommend Albany. There's a strong regional alum network, and it's easier to seek opportunities while attending (than at, say, Syracuse)--you know, being in the capital and all.

(I don't attend... though I know a number of people who do.)

AReasonableMan
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Re: Help choosing law school in NY

Postby AReasonableMan » Fri Feb 27, 2015 4:51 pm

donewithannarbor wrote:I am not sure why you'd rule out a full ride at Cardozo. Seems foolhearty to do so on the basis that you 'don't want big law.' If you do respectably, it will open an array of doors. The fact that it's in NYC doesn't mean that it substantially places people in BigLaw. If anything, there's probably just some selection bias when you read employment numbers. Surely, however, respectable grads who want public interest, small firms, government, can get there.

But I am no Cardozo booster...I will defer to your specialized upstate NY knowledge-- if you really think that employers would think more highly of 'Cuse / Albany than Cardozo, then I guess you have your answer. Might as well ask your sources the same question about Fordham too, because if it significantly more respected than the local ones, then it could be worth the 80k in debt.

Objectively at equal tuition Cardozo is probably going to wind up costing about 40kish more. Area wise it's probably the most expensive law school to live near in the country. You could commute but getting 2 miles past 9 PM by subway can take longer than walking.

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butlerraider1
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Re: Help choosing law school in NY

Postby butlerraider1 » Fri Feb 27, 2015 4:56 pm

OP, PM me if you would like. Fellow Upstate NYer.




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