Rutgers vs Seton Hall

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donewithannarbor
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Re: Rutgers vs Seton Hall

Postby donewithannarbor » Sat Mar 01, 2008 12:05 am

I just visited all of the above, and am facing the same choices.

One important thing to consider as a deal breaker between these two, especially if cost matters, is that after 12 months of living in New Jersey you become a resident; one of the assistant Deans at Rutgers, Anita Walton, told me that if you sign the 12-month lease at the Rutgers dorms (I saw for myself that they are good, well-located facilities), the law school will treat you as a resident for your first year. Hearing about that was like getting news of an $8,500 scholarship, and the dorms (which are 8600/12 months at the less spectacular graduate dorm and 10k-ish/12 months at law student-only apartment-style suites with single rooms on the top floors of a new dorm with great views) would preclude having to look around for housing in Newark. Well-located cheap apartments are hard to come by. Seton Hall, without on campus housing, suggests that its law students live in rehabbed downtown high-rises (that are more appropriate for yuppies) that cost 1000-1500/month.

So, I got a small scholarship for Seton, but I'm planning on my costs there to be about 38k/yr (tuition plus 10,000 in housing for a year), whereas Rutgers would be around 30k, as instate tuition is 19.5k.

Both of those places have outstanding facilities. Rutgers is on an actual campus, though, and small stores and bars/restaurants are on the adjacent blocks. If you're going to live IN Newark, which I thought was pretty decent, than Rutgers is probably a better spot. If you're commuting from Hoboken or something, then this probably means less to you, but I still think Rutgers is worth the money.

I think Seton Hall is solid academically, and their employments stats are solid and comparable to Rutgers and St. John's, but a lot of signs point to Rutgers for me.

I'm waiting on Fordham-- it would be a dream-- but I'm not planning for good news. I'm also 50% paid to go to NYLS (that doesn't mean much considering the huge rents in Manhattan), but even with the projected rise in their rankings, I'm thinking that Rutgers is a much safer bet, and I should wait until I graduate to fulfill my urge to move to Manhattan. Anyone disagree with that?

Player30
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Re: Rutgers vs Seton Hall

Postby Player30 » Sat Mar 01, 2008 1:49 am

I just figured no one actually LIVED at RU-Newark. Heard it isn't a very good neighborhood.

vyper
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Re: Rutgers vs Seton Hall

Postby vyper » Sat Mar 01, 2008 10:32 am

The neighborhood really isn't bad imo, at least compared to what I was expecting. Seton Hall is on the main "highway", and surrounded exclusively by office buildings. Rutgers is a few blocks away, between the "office building area" and the Rutgers campus. On the other side of the Rutgers campus is NJIT, and I believe ECC. A few blocks in the other direction from Seton Hall is the Prudential Center, where the Devils now play.

I'm no expert on Newark, but the area seems to be laid out in the following manner:

[Office buildings] [Seton Hall] [Smaller offices/stores] [Rutgers Law] [Rutgers Campus] [NJIT] [ECC] [Assumed not nice area]

Obviously all of Newark isn't nice, and I certainly wouldn't want to live in it (I'm sure partially due to biases from growing up in suburban NJ), but I wouldn't have any trouble commuting to work/school there. There seems to be some buffer between the downtown/university area and the less desirable neighborhoods (but again, I'm no expert on the area).

I was all about going to Rutgers early on, and am already a NJ resident, on top of the $10k/year they're offering me. But Seton Hall offered $30k/year, which makes SHU slightly cheaper (20k vs. 30k total cost). The concerns about state budget cuts really scare me about Rutgers, I could definitely see a continued fall in rankings combined with tuition increases (greater than the expected increases). It's a shame Rutgers has fallen so far in rankings, 10 years ago this wouldn't even be a competition from my understanding, and I wish the answer was more clear cut.

drleather
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Re: Rutgers vs Seton Hall

Postby drleather » Sat Mar 01, 2008 12:19 pm

...

donewithannarbor
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Re: Rutgers vs Seton Hall

Postby donewithannarbor » Sat Mar 01, 2008 12:47 pm

Apparently several thousand R-N students live on campus. There are three tall dorm buildings.

I agree with vyper's assessment, but I will say that my first impression, as a complete outsider from Michigan who stayed three blocks from SH and Rutgers for four nights, was pretty decent.

Let's remember that we'll pretty much have no life as law students, between the the small handful of bars near the RN campus, and the easily-accessed NYC scene where we'll go when we have days off, that's about all we'll need. Near the law school you have cheap food, markets, all the basics. Not a bad situation. Yeah, I felt bored there when I came back from Manhattan, but bored would translate into focused when you're a law student.

I'd like to know more about this slipping ranking...I'm going to look at those websites that track changing rankings over time. How far have they fallen?

drleather
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Re: Rutgers vs Seton Hall

Postby drleather » Sat Mar 01, 2008 2:12 pm

I don't understand the slipping ranking.

the 2007 USNews rankings had Newark at 80th, and now their 77th.

vyper
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Re: Rutgers vs Seton Hall

Postby vyper » Sat Mar 01, 2008 3:17 pm

Rutgers-N was ranked 41 in 1995 and 42 in 1996, year to year rankings of a few spots don't matter as much as the trends imo. I believe the fall began late 90s. Seton Hall was (I believe) the equivalent of a tier 3 school (unranked) around the same time. Keep in mind the methodology used to rank schools and the number of schools ranked (was only top 50 back then) has also changed.

Player30
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Re: Rutgers vs Seton Hall

Postby Player30 » Sat Mar 01, 2008 8:48 pm

I had no idea Rutgers-Newark dropped that sharply. It is worrisome, as I would expect state schools, if anything, to rise in the rankings with the tuition increases at the private schools.

donewithannarbor
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Re: Rutgers vs Seton Hall

Postby donewithannarbor » Sun Mar 02, 2008 6:55 pm

Thanks for that info, Vyper. I couldn't remember this website that tracked movement in the rankings that I once saw, but it was only since 2000 anyway. I think RN has been stable since then.

I guess there are a couple ways of looking at this: Rutgers, which clearly has fallen quite a bit, had established a very strong reputation. I'm sure lots of old-timer lawyers have its history of good rankings in mind. People that watch the rankings closely, though, will observe that Rutgers isn't keeping up with the competition.

Rutgers is in an interesting position because its tuition is quite low for a school of that stature (or any school) at 28k for non-NJ and 19k for instate. On one hand, this makes them more accessible and probably plays a role in the diversity they always harp on; on the other hand, if they let tuition rise to offset their state cuts, they could keep the money flowing on their campus and perhaps keep up with the competition.

As far as I know, the strength of their admitted classes each year has been consistent.

vyper
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Re: Rutgers vs Seton Hall

Postby vyper » Sun Mar 02, 2008 10:22 pm

Rutgers is in an interesting position because its tuition is quite low for a school of that stature (or any school) at 28k for non-NJ and 19k for instate. On one hand, this makes them more accessible and probably plays a role in the diversity they always harp on; on the other hand, if they let tuition rise to offset their state cuts, they could keep the money flowing on their campus and perhaps keep up with the competition.


I'm not so much concerned just with rising tuition as I am with the quality of education falling. While Rutgers' instate tuition allows it to be more accessible, I'm beginning to believe this is more than offset by the larger (in number and amount) merit scholarships offered by Seton Hall. Looking at both schools, the individuals who are paying full tuition are (likely) those with numbers in the bottom part of the LSAT/ugpa spread. Those in the upper spread are likely receiving scholarships from both schools, where Seton Hall (at least in my case) offered a scholarship large enough to not only offset Rutgers' lower tuition, but also offset the scholarship Rutgers offered to the point where total costs are lower at Seton Hall.

I honestly don't think one school is significantly better or worse. I don't believe Rutgers is suddenly going to become a tier 4 school with significantly worse job prospects than it has now. What I do see as a possible future for the two schools is state cuts preventing Rutgers from reacquiring its historic edge over Seton Hall, which at least in terms of students' LSAT/gpa credentials (Seton Hall 3.17-3.66, 158-163) vs (Rutgers-N 3.10-3.57, 154-162), is Seton Hall's win.



Not to drive this into an affirmative action debate, but after discovering Rutgers' policy for Law Review selection, I am leaning even more in favor of Seton Hall. Their selection process:

Applicants in the Minority Student Program ("MSP") indicate this on a card included with their submissions. This card is kept in a sealed envelope until completion of the final phase of grading. At that point, an overall ratio is generated by comparing the number of applicants who submitted MSP cards to the overall number of applicants. No further applicants are accepted if the proportion of applicants who submitted MSP cards and who were already accepted for staff positions is equal to or greater than the overall ratio. If the proportion is less than the overall ratio, additional applicants who submitted MSP cards may be admitted in the order of their ranking until the accepted proportion roughly equals the overall ratio. The MSP factor is thus applied only to those applicants who were placed in the second read by virtue of having demonstrated the ability to produce Law Review-quality work.


I understand the desire for diversity in an entering class, but really have to question where affirmative action ends at Rutgers. If the law review committee picked the top 10 scores for selection without the proper "ratio" and I was number 11, but passed over so the people ranked say 15 and 17 were selected, I'd be more than pissed. Why stop there? Let's examine the top 10% of the class (I know Rutgers-N doesn't rank, but Order of the Coif is top 10% so bear with my rant) and if there aren't enough MSP students in it, add the highest MSP students, even if they're ranked significantly lower?

drleather
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Re: Rutgers vs Seton Hall

Postby drleather » Sun Mar 02, 2008 11:23 pm

There are pros and cons to both schools, but looking at the rankings on such a micro level is, IMO, really a waste of time. Rutgers has a good reputation in the area, and will continue to do well in the area for the foreseeable future. Employers who have drawn from Rutgers for the last 20 years aren't going to say "Uh oh...Rutgers is down 2 spots in the USNews Rankings! Cut 'em off!"
The difference in the rankings of the two schools this year and when you graduate will be immaterial.

vyper
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Re: Rutgers vs Seton Hall

Postby vyper » Sun Mar 02, 2008 11:43 pm

Rutgers has a good reputation in the area, and will continue to do well in the area for the foreseeable future. Employers who have drawn from Rutgers for the last 20 years aren't going to say "Uh oh...Rutgers is down 2 spots in the USNews Rankings! Cut 'em off!"


Absolutely, but we're not talking about a 2 spot drop over 20 years, we're talking about a 40 point drop. Like I said before, individual rankings don't seem important, it's the trends that matter. There are 180ish(?) ABA law schools, Rutgers used to be in the top 25% of that class, now they're in the middle of the pack. There's no positive way to spin that. At the same time, Seton Hall's trend has been upwards. A snapshot in the rankings has Seton Hall slightly higher, but that doesn't matter as much as the fact that the current trend for Rutgers (in aggregate over a 5 year span, a 10 year span, or a 20 year span) is downward, while trend for Seton Hall appears upwards. I'm sure employers who have drawn from Rutgers for the last 20 years aren't gonna simply abandon them, but they may start hiring more Seton Hall grads than they used to.

drleather
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Re: Rutgers vs Seton Hall

Postby drleather » Mon Mar 03, 2008 11:00 am

Maybe, in another 10 years or so, sure, IF they drop significantly further and IF Seton Hall continues to establish itself in the area and jump in the rankings another 10-20 spots.

Rutgers hires well throughout the area primarily because of its alumni network: people who went to Rutgers end up nearby and hire more Rutgers grads, etc...

I'm not saying you should choose one or the other. I'm just saying that I doubt most employers are even aware of what a school's "rank" is. Everything I've heard, from Anna Ivey to anecdotal stories about law careers is that the only people who care about the rankings are prospective law students and the schools themselves. Don't buy into the USNews marketing hype: 60th vs. 80th vs. 85th at a regional school...it doesn't matter, just as 1st vs. 3rd or 8th vs. 11th ultimately doesn't matter on a national level: the job prospects will be more or less the same.

My point is: for schools so similar in so many ways: just go where you feel most comfortable and/or where you'll end up with the least amount of debt. These two factors are far more important to you than where either school will be ranked in 12 years when you're on your second job with a rolodex full of contacts and clients. Let the schools and the class of 2020 worry about it.

t00i
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Re: Rutgers vs Seton Hall

Postby t00i » Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:02 am

donewithannarbor wrote:One important thing to consider as a deal breaker between these two, especially if cost matters, is that after 12 months of living in New Jersey you become a resident; one of the assistant Deans at Rutgers, Anita Walton, told me that if you sign the 12-month lease at the Rutgers dorms (I saw for myself that they are good, well-located facilities), the law school will treat you as a resident for your first year. Hearing about that was like getting news of an $8,500 scholarship, and the dorms (which are 8600/12 months at the less spectacular graduate dorm and 10k-ish/12 months at law student-only apartment-style suites with single rooms on the top floors of a new dorm with great views) would preclude having to look around for housing in Newark. Well-located cheap apartments are hard to come by. Seton Hall, without on campus housing, suggests that its law students live in rehabbed downtown high-rises (that are more appropriate for yuppies) that cost 1000-1500/month.

First year? Did I read this correctly? :shock:

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biochemist
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Re: Rutgers vs Seton Hall

Postby biochemist » Tue Mar 04, 2008 10:17 am

Yes, first year -- and to add to that, you don't have to live in the dorms. If you sign a 12 month lease for any apartment in NJ and submit a copy of the lease to the admissions office, you will qualify for in-state residency.

drleather
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Re: Rutgers vs Seton Hall

Postby drleather » Tue Mar 04, 2008 10:52 am

Who told you this? I'd like to confirm.

Hm.

donewithannarbor
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Re: Rutgers vs Seton Hall

Postby donewithannarbor » Tue Mar 04, 2008 10:59 am

t00i, it's true, as Anita Walton (asst. dean who also is overlord of residency status there) said she basically just switches you to the resident list as soon as you inform them of your 12-mo lease. It seemed to me like you'd be fastracked if you went with the dorm, but that's probably just because I was inquiring about it since Newark housing isn't a very option-filled market downtown. There are a few stretches of rowhouses, and some high-rises (where Seton Hall recommends its students to live) that are expensive. So my plan was to meet some people in the dorms with that I could move out with in the coming years.

It would seem logical that it would apply to 12-mo off-campus leases. But give her a call to confirm that.

It's quite the opposite of my experience at UM, which saps my out of state friends for 30k+/year for all four years. NJ just has better laws.

danimal1440
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Re: Rutgers vs Seton Hall

Postby danimal1440 » Wed Mar 05, 2008 11:19 am

It looks like I will be attending Rutgers. Anita Walton told me the same thing regarding in-state residency and that it did also apply to off-campus leases. I most likely will live in Hoboken or Jersey City. Anyone else in this situation?

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Giles Rich
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Re: Rutgers vs Seton Hall

Postby Giles Rich » Fri Jan 09, 2009 3:08 pm

Just stumbled on this thread. It has a lot of info for people considering either of these schools.

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A'nold
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Re: Rutgers vs Seton Hall

Postby A'nold » Fri Jan 09, 2009 3:41 pm

I applied, but I don't understand the whole, "minority students get ranked against other minorities in proportion to the general class or whatever". That can't be true, right? Also, if they don't rank, how do firms know where you sit in regards to your peers?

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Giles Rich
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Re: Rutgers vs Seton Hall

Postby Giles Rich » Fri Jan 09, 2009 3:52 pm

A'nold wrote:I applied, but I don't understand the whole, "minority students get ranked against other minorities in proportion to the general class or whatever". That can't be true, right? Also, if they don't rank, how do firms know where you sit in regards to your peers?


It looks like that excerpt came straight from the Rutgers Law Review website (last paragraph):
http://pegasus.rutgers.edu/~review/staffSelection.php

skamanindc
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Re: Rutgers vs Seton Hall

Postby skamanindc » Tue Feb 24, 2009 12:13 am

I want biglaw and only biglaw, but I am married and prob will soon have kids and don't like debt. I am still waiting for Fordham's PT decision.

If I do get accepted to Fordham PT, is their sticker price worth it over Rutgers-N FT in-state with 8K scholly? Let's assume I won't be working while in Law School and if I go to Fordham PT will transfer to the FT program after 2nd yr. What do you all think?

the fall
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Re: Rutgers vs Seton Hall

Postby the fall » Tue Feb 24, 2009 11:22 am

Seton Hall just got its first SCOTUS clerk. That will really put them on the map. There are only a handful of schools that have had a SCOTUS clerk in the last 10 years. HYSCC have had lots. After that the number of schools with 2 is few and so is the number of schools with 1. I don't know if that will make a difference in the rankings or if you even care (I don't), but it does seem to speak to the quality of education and student at Seton Hall.

If money were equal, and I realize it isn't, I'd pick Seton Hall. If the money wasn't equal, but close enough, I'd still pick Seton Hall. I don't know what I'd do if the cost was more than 15k a year apart.

crm
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Re: Rutgers vs Seton Hall

Postby crm » Tue Feb 23, 2010 4:36 pm

So, the last post here was a year ago, but I have a friend who is trying to decide between these two right now (pending other decisions). Im thinking that Rutgers has better job prospects than Seton Hall, plus tuition begs worth of attending and RN is lower...what would you all recommend?

keg411
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Re: Rutgers vs Seton Hall

Postby keg411 » Tue Feb 23, 2010 4:59 pm

I know a 3L at SHU who graduated median (maybe below) and loves it. She has a clerkship at one of the local courthouses for post-grad and seems happy with her decision (when I told her I was re-taking the LSAT to get into better schools, she was all "why would you need to? Newark is awesome and RU/SHU are amazing"). The school is not high on my list (I prefer Rutgers), but I guess if you don't go in expecting the world (i.e. BigLaw or any fancy job) maybe things work out okay.

ETA: For anyone who wants NJ and has this choice, TCR is "whichever is cheaper". (It's also "try and get the GPA req. dropped").




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