Hofstra ($$$) v. St. Johns ($$) v. Brooklyn (X)

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TheLaw2015
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Hofstra ($$$) v. St. Johns ($$) v. Brooklyn (X)

Postby TheLaw2015 » Thu May 07, 2015 11:26 am

-The total Cost of Attendance (COA) of each: Hofstra= Little to no debt; St. Johns 30k; and Brooklyn 150k+

-How you will be financing your COA: Parents/Savings/Scholarships

-Where you are from and where you want to work, and other places where you have significant ties: From Long Island, NY; hope to practice anywhere on the Island or if the stars align, NYC.

-Your general career goals: Dream: BigLaw / Reality: Small to Mid-size L.I. Firm / If all else fails: Work for my family.

-Your LSAT/GPA numbers: LSAT 153 and 154, respectively. GPA: 3.5

-How many times you have taken the LSAT: I have one more at bat.

Additional Info:

I am currently one year out of undergrad and I am working full-time at a small LI firm as a paralegal. The plan was to take another year off because my LSAT scores sucked but I decided to throw out some last minute applications (legit on the last day possible) and I got into all three schools I applied to, with some generous merit scholarships. Retake is not out of the question but everyone I know, Family (who know nothing about the legal world, and co-workers/bosses (all of whom went to St. Johns, NY Law or Touro) are all pushing me to take the full ride to Hofstra.

Here is where I stand: I want to go to law school, I have always wanted to go to law school. Everything I did in undergrad was in furtherance of going to law school and then I found TLS. This forum has single handedly made me no longer want to be a lawyer, I can feel the hate and depression in some of your posts. Notwithstanding the foregoing, there are still days, when I avoid TLS for a while and have a good day at work, where I really wish I was already in law school. I am starting to think I should just take the full ride to Hofstra, work my ass off and then try and transfer out. If that doesn't work, if I lose any of my scholarship after 1L, ill drop out and go work for my family. My brother has a successful company, but I rather not be cast in his shadow.

Lastly, I know you all hate these schools and think that nobody should attend them under any circumstance. Trust me, I am ashamed that these are my only options for the time being but it is what it is. I could retake and do better on the LSAT, but there is no guarantee. If you were me, under these circumstances, what would you do?

TL;DR: Hofstra with No Debt or St. Johns (30k)/Brooklyn(150k) with Debt; Don't care about BigLaw, will have a job regardless of the outcome of law school. I want to be a lawyer. What would you do?

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OhBoyOhBortles
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Re: Hofstra ($$$) v. St. Johns ($$) v. Brooklyn (X)

Postby OhBoyOhBortles » Thu May 07, 2015 11:29 am

Start studying up for your third take. I think you already know this is going to be the answer. Knock that third take out of the park and you'll have much better options.

ETA: if you ignore your best option and really don't mind working with your family, go with Hofstra at little to no debt.
Last edited by OhBoyOhBortles on Thu May 07, 2015 11:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

daleearnhardt123
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Re: Hofstra ($$$) v. St. Johns ($$) v. Brooklyn (X)

Postby daleearnhardt123 » Thu May 07, 2015 11:33 am

TCR is probably retake. But assuming it must be one of these three options, Brooklyn should be eliminated right off the bat.

As between Hofstra and St. John's, they're both sewers. But I think st John's' marginal advantage in sanitation (I.e 2x hofstras BL+FC rate) is worth the 30k

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swampman
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Re: Hofstra ($$$) v. St. Johns ($$) v. Brooklyn (X)

Postby swampman » Thu May 07, 2015 11:39 am

Absolutely don't take on debt to go to any of those schools. So Hofstra is your only option here. Two things to remember:
-After 3 years of law school, your chances of getting a job as a lawyer are 57% from Hofstra (It's only 61 from St. Johns).
-If you transfer, you will have no scholarship at the new school. You would probably need to be one of the top two or three people in your class to be able to transfer to a school where paying full tuition was worth it.

TheLaw2015
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Re: Hofstra ($$$) v. St. Johns ($$) v. Brooklyn (X)

Postby TheLaw2015 » Thu May 07, 2015 11:41 am

daleearnhardt123 wrote:TCR is probably retake. But assuming it must be one of these three options, Brooklyn should be eliminated right off the bat.

As between Hofstra and St. John's, they're both sewers. But I think st John's' marginal advantage in sanitation (I.e 2x hofstras BL+FC rate) is worth the 30k


Yeah, not really considering Brooklyn at the moment. I'm hoping they throw me a bone, but I doubt it. So you really think there is zero value in receiving a free law degree from Hofstra? Even if I am guaranteed a job after all is said and done?
Last edited by TheLaw2015 on Thu May 07, 2015 11:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

TheLaw2015
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Re: Hofstra ($$$) v. St. Johns ($$) v. Brooklyn (X)

Postby TheLaw2015 » Thu May 07, 2015 11:43 am

swampman wrote:Absolutely don't take on debt to go to any of those schools. So Hofstra is your only option here. Two things to remember:
-After 3 years of law school, your chances of getting a job as a lawyer are 57% from Hofstra (It's only 61 from St. Johns).
-If you transfer, you will have no scholarship at the new school. You would probably need to be one of the top two or three people in your class to be able to transfer to a school where paying full tuition was worth it.


Thanks for your response. So, answer me this then, would you rather retake or try and be in the top three at Hofstra, keep in mind that I will have work regardless of what happens, so there is little to no risk, besides the fact that I will have a law degree from Hofstra.

Edit: Also, because I am generally unaware of law school transfers, there is no possibility of receiving any scholarship if you transfer?

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TasmanianToucan
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Re: Hofstra ($$$) v. St. Johns ($$) v. Brooklyn (X)

Postby TasmanianToucan » Thu May 07, 2015 11:46 am

Keep in mind that your coworkers and bosses are still thinking in a pre-2007 mindset. There was a time when a diploma from one of those schools gave you a great shot at a good lawyering job. Those days are dead.

You're more employable as a paralegal now than you will be with a degree from one of those schools. Right now you can move to any major city in the US and find work in a matter of weeks. That will not be true with a JD from Hofstra. Be smart. You have a job, so there's no rush. Retake, reapply.

passwordisdoge
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Re: Hofstra ($$$) v. St. Johns ($$) v. Brooklyn (X)

Postby passwordisdoge » Thu May 07, 2015 11:47 am

OP - I think you've got a good idea since you know you want to be in that region, and it seems like you have a relatively good regional network. But you have so much potential to score higher on the LSAT.

Think about this...you're right around the national average on the LSAT. Why the hell is Hofstra giving you a FULL RIDE for around the national average? Not to mention the Class of 2014 had 57.7% of graduates employed in long-term, full-time legal jobs. That's nearly half the class who were NOT employed full time in law.

You could benefit tremendously from a positive retake. I know it sucks.

Traynor Brah
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Re: Hofstra ($$$) v. St. Johns ($$) v. Brooklyn (X)

Postby Traynor Brah » Thu May 07, 2015 11:51 am

If at hofstra you would

1) have no debt
2) you have a guaranteed job waiting for you that
3) you believe you would be happy with

then go for it, of course. But I don't feel like that is case, as you're talking about transferring (terrible idea) and prestige chasing/shaming.

TheLaw2015
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Re: Hofstra ($$$) v. St. Johns ($$) v. Brooklyn (X)

Postby TheLaw2015 » Thu May 07, 2015 11:56 am

Traynor Brah wrote:If at hofstra you would

1) have no debt
2) you have a guaranteed job waiting for you that
3) you believe you would be happy with

then go for it, of course. But I don't feel like that is case, as you're talking about transferring (terrible idea) and prestige chasing/shaming.


You're right. Everyone I know is so proud I received a full ride to Hofstra, I am the only one who isn't. :/ I am definitely viewing it as a means to and end, but then I think about how re-taking is also a means to an end, but if I fuck up my re-take, I will have wasted another year of my life and end up at Hofstra anyway. That's the way I see it.

I really do appreciate all the help. I know that the advice I get from friends/family/co-workers isn't the best possible advice, that's why I decided to make this post. So you could all reinforce what I am choosing to ignore.

Edit: I would have a job as an associate at the firm I work at now or I would go work for my brother, who is pushing for me to go to law school because he wants me to join the company, but wants me to have my law degree.

timbs4339
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Re: Hofstra ($$$) v. St. Johns ($$) v. Brooklyn (X)

Postby timbs4339 » Thu May 07, 2015 12:06 pm

Also remember there's survivorship bias- these are the ones who made it out of Hofstra, got the first job, survived all the potential pitfalls that come with being a solo/small firm lawyer and built great practices and now get to hang out with other successful small firm practitioners. They've left the others long behind.

I know some working lawyers out of Hofstra/St. John's. Look, 50K doing small firm work ain't a bad place to start. If you really think you'd want that, then St. John's with only 30K debt isn't a terrible place to be.

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Re: Hofstra ($$$) v. St. Johns ($$) v. Brooklyn (X)

Postby togoornottogo » Thu May 07, 2015 12:08 pm

I definitely can sympathize with your feelings that TLS can really suck the joy out of wanting to study law. It can be characterized as a pessimistic forum, but I think closer to realistic is a better approximation. That being said, you should not let your mediocre LSAT score make you feel 'ashamed'. Not excelling on this test does not mean that you lack intellectual capability nor the potential to become a terrific lawyer. However, you really should attempt to truly focus on the test and get a score you feel reflects your capabilities.

Going to these schools won't mean that you have no shot at a successful career as a lawyer, but the stats show that you are putting yourself in a hole from the beginning. You are one year out from Undergrad, even if you don't improve with an October retake, at least you can get your apps in earlier and see what happens then. Taking another year for work/study will help you save some more money and at the least you would get these same/comparable offers.

Also don't listen to people offering you advice who know nothing about the legal market/legal field/law school. I get terrible advice from friends like "It doesn't matter where you go to Grad School", and "You can't study for an aptitude test". In the end, pressure from other people that limits your path in life should be ignored. You will be living with this choice in 20/30/40/50 years, not your co-workers, not even your parents.

In conclusion: Don't feel despair/ashamed. Take another go around, but really focus on the test. You are capable of doing well, possibly excelling. Don't forego a better chance at a successful career due to inconsequential pressures.

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swampman
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Re: Hofstra ($$$) v. St. Johns ($$) v. Brooklyn (X)

Postby swampman » Thu May 07, 2015 12:09 pm

TheLaw2015 wrote:
swampman wrote:Absolutely don't take on debt to go to any of those schools. So Hofstra is your only option here. Two things to remember:
-After 3 years of law school, your chances of getting a job as a lawyer are 57% from Hofstra (It's only 61 from St. Johns).
-If you transfer, you will have no scholarship at the new school. You would probably need to be one of the top two or three people in your class to be able to transfer to a school where paying full tuition was worth it.


Thanks for your response. So, answer me this then, would you rather retake or try and be in the top three at Hofstra, keep in mind that I will have work regardless of what happens, so there is little to no risk, besides the fact that I will have a law degree from Hofstra.

Edit: Also, because I am generally unaware of law school transfers, there is no possibility of receiving any scholarship if you transfer?

My point was you shouldn't go with the idea that you will transfer, the odds are incredibly low and a lot of it will be out of your control. And no, there is no possibility of receiving a scholarship if you transfer, you would be paying full tuition at the new school. So even you did really well, say top 10% —which would be an awesome accomplishment— you might be able to transfer to Fordham or even Georgetown, but the cost of going to those schools would mean it would probably be a bad idea to transfer anyway.
So personally, I would retake / find a different career. Also, the poster above mentioned that you are more employable now than you will be after you get your JD. This is true. You should know that you will no longer be able to work as a paralegal once you have a JD. Seriously, nobody will hire you as a paralegal. And your odds of getting a job as a lawyer aren't great either.

TheLaw2015
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Re: Hofstra ($$$) v. St. Johns ($$) v. Brooklyn (X)

Postby TheLaw2015 » Thu May 07, 2015 12:34 pm

I don't know what to do :/

Also, I want to put this out there, I started off studying full time for the LSAT, in two weeks I went from a diagnostic of 151 to an average 160. Then my parents went away and I had to much fun for three weeks with the house all to myself, I was never able to pick myself up after that and ended up with my 153. I told myself I was going to take another year off but took the stupid test again without any studying because of family pressure and got a 154. I really think that if I put the time in I can get, at the very least, a 160. Do you guys think a 160/3.5 would really put me in a better position than I am now? I feel like those numbers would just give me a full ride to St. Johns and maybe like 30k to Brooklyn, leaving me with close to the same decision I have now. This leads me to believe that I should just take the full ride to Hofstra and work my ass off and hope for the best. Worst comes to worst, my options aren't awful.

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Re: Hofstra ($$$) v. St. Johns ($$) v. Brooklyn (X)

Postby OhBoyOhBortles » Thu May 07, 2015 12:36 pm

TheLaw2015 wrote:I don't know what to do :/

Also, I want to put this out there, I started off studying full time for the LSAT, in two weeks I went from a diagnostic of 151 to an average 160. Then my parents went away and I had to much fun for three weeks with the house all to myself, I was never able to pick myself up after that and ended up with my 153. I told myself I was going to take another year off but took the stupid test again without any studying because of family pressure and got a 154. I really think that if I put the time in I can get, at the very least, a 160. Do you guys think a 160/3.5 would really put me in a better position than I am now? I feel like those numbers would just give me a full ride to St. Johns and maybe like 30k to Brooklyn, leaving me with close to the same decision I have now. This leads me to believe that I should just take the full ride to Hofstra and work my ass off and hope for the best. Worst comes to worst, my options aren't awful.


Imagine what you could do if you put in 4-6 months!

TheLaw2015
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Re: Hofstra ($$$) v. St. Johns ($$) v. Brooklyn (X)

Postby TheLaw2015 » Thu May 07, 2015 12:39 pm

timbs4339 wrote:Also remember there's survivorship bias- these are the ones who made it out of Hofstra, got the first job, survived all the potential pitfalls that come with being a solo/small firm lawyer and built great practices and now get to hang out with other successful small firm practitioners. They've left the others long behind.

I know some working lawyers out of Hofstra/St. John's. Look, 50K doing small firm work ain't a bad place to start. If you really think you'd want that, then St. John's with only 30K debt isn't a terrible place to be.


This is so true. My bosses always say to me "Look at me, I graduated from [St. Johns, NY Law School] and I am doing pretty well for myself" and I think to myself, yea well what if I don't get that lucky.

daleearnhardt123
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Re: Hofstra ($$$) v. St. Johns ($$) v. Brooklyn (X)

Postby daleearnhardt123 » Thu May 07, 2015 12:53 pm

OP please clarify how you're funding these schools as is. Is it largely family contributions? You say a 160 will likely yield the same options, but those options are truly a world apart if it's the *schools* funding your COA vs your parents.

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Re: Hofstra ($$$) v. St. Johns ($$) v. Brooklyn (X)

Postby adil91 » Thu May 07, 2015 12:56 pm

TheLaw2015 wrote:
timbs4339 wrote:Also remember there's survivorship bias- these are the ones who made it out of Hofstra, got the first job, survived all the potential pitfalls that come with being a solo/small firm lawyer and built great practices and now get to hang out with other successful small firm practitioners. They've left the others long behind.

I know some working lawyers out of Hofstra/St. John's. Look, 50K doing small firm work ain't a bad place to start. If you really think you'd want that, then St. John's with only 30K debt isn't a terrible place to be.


This is so true. My bosses always say to me "Look at me, I graduated from [St. Johns, NY Law School] and I am doing pretty well for myself" and I think to myself, yea well what if I don't get that lucky.


They were in law school at a time where you could pretty much go to any school and do well. We live in a different time, check out law school transparency, there are only a handful of schools across the country that are worth attending.

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Re: Hofstra ($$$) v. St. Johns ($$) v. Brooklyn (X)

Postby timbs4339 » Thu May 07, 2015 1:03 pm

TheLaw2015 wrote:I don't know what to do :/

Also, I want to put this out there, I started off studying full time for the LSAT, in two weeks I went from a diagnostic of 151 to an average 160. Then my parents went away and I had to much fun for three weeks with the house all to myself, I was never able to pick myself up after that and ended up with my 153. I told myself I was going to take another year off but took the stupid test again without any studying because of family pressure and got a 154. I really think that if I put the time in I can get, at the very least, a 160. Do you guys think a 160/3.5 would really put me in a better position than I am now? I feel like those numbers would just give me a full ride to St. Johns and maybe like 30k to Brooklyn, leaving me with close to the same decision I have now. This leads me to believe that I should just take the full ride to Hofstra and work my ass off and hope for the best. Worst comes to worst, my options aren't awful.


You're always going to be wondering "what if" if you don't retake. Hofstra and SJ will still be there in one year with the same exact offers.

Fuck family pressure. The law school you go to has a huge impact on your first job which has a huge impact on the course of your career, which is decades long. If they are embarrassed having to go back and tell family friends that you decided not to go to law school next year then that is their problem. It's not like you are foregoing law school to smoke meth and follow a band around the country.

timbs4339
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Re: Hofstra ($$$) v. St. Johns ($$) v. Brooklyn (X)

Postby timbs4339 » Thu May 07, 2015 1:08 pm

TheLaw2015 wrote:
timbs4339 wrote:Also remember there's survivorship bias- these are the ones who made it out of Hofstra, got the first job, survived all the potential pitfalls that come with being a solo/small firm lawyer and built great practices and now get to hang out with other successful small firm practitioners. They've left the others long behind.

I know some working lawyers out of Hofstra/St. John's. Look, 50K doing small firm work ain't a bad place to start. If you really think you'd want that, then St. John's with only 30K debt isn't a terrible place to be.


This is so true. My bosses always say to me "Look at me, I graduated from [St. Johns, NY Law School] and I am doing pretty well for myself" and I think to myself, yea well what if I don't get that lucky.


This is understandable. A lot of older lawyers see those schools in a positive light because they gave them a "shot" at an upper class life when nobody else would. Especially in the 60s/70s it was a very different beast- law school was very class stratified, it wasn't so numbers driven where a working class person with a good LSAT/GPA score could get into CLS. For a long time, for example, NYU had a reputation as a school for working class Jewish kids from the metro area not as a school one tier below HYS. It's not that they're lying to you it's just that they see things through a totally different lens- in their mind your biglaw dreams are utterly unrealistic so you might as well just go to Hofstra or St. Johns and start building a practice in small firm land.

Of course it was also possible to go to those schools, do poorly, and not have your life ruined by debt because you could pay your way through as you went.

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transferror
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Re: Hofstra ($$$) v. St. Johns ($$) v. Brooklyn (X)

Postby transferror » Thu May 07, 2015 1:17 pm

TheLaw2015 wrote:I don't know what to do :/

Also, I want to put this out there, I started off studying full time for the LSAT, in two weeks I went from a diagnostic of 151 to an average 160. Then my parents went away and I had to much fun for three weeks with the house all to myself, I was never able to pick myself up after that and ended up with my 153. I told myself I was going to take another year off but took the stupid test again without any studying because of family pressure and got a 154. I really think that if I put the time in I can get, at the very least, a 160. Do you guys think a 160/3.5 would really put me in a better position than I am now? I feel like those numbers would just give me a full ride to St. Johns and maybe like 30k to Brooklyn, leaving me with close to the same decision I have now. This leads me to believe that I should just take the full ride to Hofstra and work my ass off and hope for the best. Worst comes to worst, my options aren't awful.


You can work your ass off at Hofstra but there's no guarantee you'll do well. Your grade being based on one timed essay + forced curve + subjective grading = pretty unpredictable.

But the LSAT is learnable. The grading is objective. And you control when you want to take it. Spend the 4-6 months you were going to use working your ass off at Hofstra to prep for the LSAT with the same intensity, and don't retake until you're satisfied with where you are PTing. It could open up tons of doors for you.

Scoring high on a retake is much more controllable/predictable than being in the top 10% of your class. If you succeed on the high retake, tons of doors will open, and even a low retake doesn't hurt you. But a poor 1L performance at Hofstra will permanently close a lot of doors, and you'll be left either unemployed or working for your family's firm.

Hofstra for free + guaranteed job is justifiable, but it's certainly not your best option and you'd be leaving a lot of chips on the table.

tskela
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Re: Hofstra ($$$) v. St. Johns ($$) v. Brooklyn (X)

Postby tskela » Thu May 07, 2015 1:19 pm

A 3.5 is too good to waste on a mediocre LSAT. You could have options CN and down if you really wanted them

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Re: Hofstra ($$$) v. St. Johns ($$) v. Brooklyn (X)

Postby DaRascal » Thu May 07, 2015 1:49 pm

Free is how you gotta do law school these days. Go to Hofstra and do the best you possibly can! :wink:
What school can you possibly get into without $100k+ in debt that would get you a job in LI? *crickets*

TheLaw2015
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Re: Hofstra ($$$) v. St. Johns ($$) v. Brooklyn (X)

Postby TheLaw2015 » Thu May 07, 2015 2:14 pm

daleearnhardt123 wrote:OP please clarify how you're funding these schools as is. Is it largely family contributions? You say a 160 will likely yield the same options, but those options are truly a world apart if it's the *schools* funding your COA vs your parents.


As is, I received a full ride to Hofstra and will be commuting from home. Parents will pay for books and any school/test prep costs. I could also commute to St. Johns but would rather live closer to campus. If I were to attend Brooklyn, I would stay at my brothers spare apartment in Brooklyn.

I would assume that if I increase my score by six points, St. Johns would up my scholarship to near a full ride, Hofstra would hopefully still be a full ride (right?) and Brooklyn would give me some money, based off of my current situation and some LSN data. I could be wrong though.




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