Fordham or Brooklyn ($$)

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bobloblawschool

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Fordham or Brooklyn ($$)

Postby bobloblawschool » Tue Mar 07, 2017 12:22 pm

Any advice other than "retake" is appreciated! I am in my mid-30s and ready to move forward in my career, I have delayed in favor of retake for entirely too long and do not want to be a paralegal for the rest of my life. That being said, I haven't received the official scholarship info from Fordham as of yet, but let's assume they will not give me any $. I am negotiating with Brooklyn and hoping to get the scholarship high enough to keep my tuition under $10K per year. Assuming Fordham at close to sticker and Brooklyn tuition at $8K per year, any thoughts on which one I should attend?

Thanks! :D

bobloblawschool

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Re: Fordham or Brooklyn ($$)

Postby bobloblawschool » Tue Mar 07, 2017 12:28 pm

I forgot to add that I do not care about Biglaw, and I have no idea as of yet what area of the law I want to practice, or where.

celticsfan

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Re: Fordham or Brooklyn ($$)

Postby celticsfan » Tue Mar 07, 2017 12:29 pm

It's tough to answer this question without your stats or career goals. Feel free to PM me if you don't want to share those here.

cavalier1138

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Re: Fordham or Brooklyn ($$)

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Mar 07, 2017 12:30 pm

I mean, if you don't have any career goals, I'm not sure how to answer the question at all. You're in your 30s; surely you have some idea of why you want a JD.

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Re: Fordham or Brooklyn ($$)

Postby Mikey » Tue Mar 07, 2017 12:32 pm

Fordham at sticker is not a good idea, and BK at 8k/yr will leave you with debt you more than likely won't be able to service.

What are you stats

bobloblawschool

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Re: Fordham or Brooklyn ($$)

Postby bobloblawschool » Tue Mar 07, 2017 1:34 pm

Apparently I need to add some clarification: I love the law. I have been working in law for ten years, specifically in litigation. Do I want to be a litigator? Probably not. So, I am open to exploring all of the areas of law, which, if I am not mistaken, is the purpose of 1L. I enjoy drafting/negotiating contracts and have developed a newfound interest in immigration law through pro bono opportunities. I am big on public interest and government work as well, so there's that. I will also continue my paralegal career at a Fortune 500 company through the end of law school (with the potential for a career beyond).

As for stats, I'd prefer not to share and don't find it terribly relevant in this scenario. My amended question is as follows: keeping in mind that I have a decent salary coming in, is Fordham at sticker or Brooklyn at $8K per year a better investment (less risk), taking into consideration academics, employment opportunities, debt load, community, alumni network, etc.?

cavalier1138

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Re: Fordham or Brooklyn ($$)

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Mar 07, 2017 1:53 pm

Wait, is this for a part-time program?

Again, I really think you're too old to not have a better idea of some vague career track for yourself. If you don't want to go into litigation, I have no idea why you're now excited about immigration law, which is mostly about direct advocacy for your client. And the bigger problem is that without specific career aspirations, telling you about the relative employment opportunities out of these schools is useless, because that only matters when you're weighing the career you want against your ability to pay off your debt.

But since you don't want to provide any real details, can you at least give a rough COA at these schools (based on actual scholarships, not your hopeful scholarships)? There are certain points where the actual cost will be too much for you to realistically pay back on your likely salary from these schools.

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Ferrisjso

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Re: Fordham or Brooklyn ($$)

Postby Ferrisjso » Tue Mar 07, 2017 2:06 pm

Brooklyn's a no brainier here. If you only have several days to make the decision(March 15th is my deadline not sure about you) I'd go for it! Fordham is objectively better but you're only going to have about 10-15%(like 20% versus 35% or something like that) more of the class get BLFC jobs(even if you don't want them, they are a pretty good indicator of placement for most places). I do not think in any world that the marginally better odds and prestige is worth over 100k extra in money, don't get me wrong it's worth more but alot less than that. This is typical, I rarely see Fordham threads where they go higher than 15k unless the student can do better than them numberswise(which for NY means T13). However it sounds like your scholarship with Brooklyn isn't official yet, how much money do you have as of now?

bobloblawschool

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Re: Fordham or Brooklyn ($$)

Postby bobloblawschool » Tue Mar 07, 2017 2:17 pm

Thank you for the insightful response, Ferrisjso.

Cavalier: Yes, this is for the part-time program. Vague career track that can be gleaned from my previous posts: contracts or public interest law. One does not have to litigate to work in public interest. There are the ever-growing areas of compliance, policy, etc.

While I have heard your criticism (twice) regarding whether my age corresponds appropriately with knowing exactly what I want to pursue, it does not have anything to do with the question, and something tells me you like to spend your time on this forum offering your opinions in response to questions that were never asked. A 25 year old may not have an idea, as a 45 year old may not. So what? Which school has the flexibility?

As for my salary (since you made an assumption there as well), I have been doing this paralegal thing long enough to be in the high five-figure/low six-figure range. Of course I desire career growth and feel that my passion, intelligence, knowledge, and skills can be better utilized as an actual attorney.

ACTUAL scholarships as of now: Fordham: Unknown, if any (waiting on the letter); and Brooklyn: $20K per year

cavalier1138

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Re: Fordham or Brooklyn ($$)

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Mar 07, 2017 2:26 pm

bobloblawschool wrote:Thank you for the insightful response, Ferrisjso.

Cavalier: Yes, this is for the part-time program. Vague career track that can be gleaned from my previous posts: contracts or public interest law. One does not have to litigate to work in public interest. There are the ever-growing areas of compliance, policy, etc.

While I have heard your criticism (twice) regarding whether my age corresponds appropriately with knowing exactly what I want to pursue, it does not have anything to do with the question, and something tells me you like to spend your time on this forum offering your opinions in response to questions that were never asked. A 25 year old may not have an idea, as a 45 year old may not. So what? Which school has the flexibility?

As for my salary (since you made an assumption there as well), I have been doing this paralegal thing long enough to be in the high five-figure/low six-figure range. Of course I desire career growth and feel that my passion, intelligence, knowledge, and skills can be better utilized as an actual attorney.

ACTUAL scholarships as of now: Fordham: Unknown, if any (waiting on the letter); and Brooklyn: $20K per year


Ok, speaking as another student in my 30s, that answer isn't good enough. The whole point is that neither of these schools offers flexibility, so you can't go to one or the other on the expectation of things just sort of falling into place. Sorry if that isn't the response you're looking for, but your question hasn't got an answer if you don't provide even a modicum of detail. The problem here is that you're asking people to pick A or B when the correct answer would be Z. Incidentally, while compliance is a growing career field for lawyers, policy is a shrinking one. There may be plenty of policy jobs, but they're going to people with MPPs, not people with JDs.

But as for the financial considerations...
I didn't actually make any assumptions about your current salary. I'm speaking to your salary after school, which will not be anywhere near six figures from either of these schools, especially if you go the PI route (which is another thing to consider before you decide to take the leap). So since this is a part-time program for you, what is your actual estimated debt at the end of each program? It's hard for anyone else to make this calculation, because you're the only one who knows your anticipated salary during school, living expenses, etc.

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Re: Fordham or Brooklyn ($$)

Postby bobloblawschool » Tue Mar 07, 2017 2:37 pm

I am not looking for anything to fall into place at all, nor did I ever imply that. Whether you are also in your 30s has no relevancy to whether your opinion about the level at which I should know my career goals is warranted or necessary.

I can't imagine that law schools do not have flexibility in what type of law a student wants to pursue. I understand that certain law schools have specialized curricula, but if you had to know what you were going to specialize in immediately upon arrival to 1L, I doubt that most of the student population would be there right out of college.

A decrease in salary down the road to start does not bother me. Since I will be making my current salary while I attend law school, I will be making payments toward my loans concurrently. Of course, the less I can take out in loans, the better -- but I want to be sure that if I am taking out more, it makes sense to.

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Re: Fordham or Brooklyn ($$)

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Mar 07, 2017 2:44 pm

bobloblawschool wrote:I can't imagine that law schools do not have flexibility in what type of law a student wants to pursue.


I can't imagine that you've looked at employment prospects from these schools in much detail.

It's not so much about the type of law as it is the level at which you practice it. Anyone can become a solo practitioner in any field. But do you want to practice immigration law with Amnesty? Do you want to practice immigration law with a local advocacy group? Do you want to work for the federal government? The state government? The local government? Do you want to work at a small firm doing compliance? Do you want to work in-house?

You can have almost any specialization you want, but these schools will automatically cut off about half the career tracks I just listed. Specialized programs are meaningless, because your specialization training is going to be on-the-job.

But again, you keep not answering the actual question: what is your anticipated COA at each school? The reason no one's giving you definitive answers about how good/bad a choice [X] is at [price] is that we don't know how much you actually think you'll be paying.

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UVA2B

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Re: Fordham or Brooklyn ($$)

Postby UVA2B » Tue Mar 07, 2017 2:46 pm

bobloblawschool wrote:I am not looking for anything to fall into place at all, nor did I ever imply that. Whether you are also in your 30s has no relevancy to whether your opinion about the level at which I should know my career goals is warranted or necessary.

I can't imagine that law schools do not have flexibility in what type of law a student wants to pursue. I understand that certain law schools have specialized curricula, but if you had to know what you were going to specialize in immediately upon arrival to 1L, I doubt that most of the student population would be there right out of college.

A decrease in salary down the road to start does not bother me. Since I will be making my current salary while I attend law school, I will be making payments toward my loans concurrently. Of course, the less I can take out in loans, the better -- but I want to be sure that if I am taking out more, it makes sense to.


The problem isn't that you haven't asked a question or that you haven't provided a clear goal for your JD, but the information you have provided is insufficient to give sound advice because we don't know so many of your variables.

In order to get solid advice from these forums, answer these questions to the best of your ability:

1. What type of job do you want? It can be somewhat generic/vague, but you should have some semblance of an idea (for instance, if you're talking contract work, that could range from $40k small firm work to $180k BigLaw jobs). Some clarity provided on this will help those giving advice understand where you expect this JD to carry you and parse what the relative likelihood is of you getting your desired outcome.

2. Where do you want to end up? It seems pretty clear here you want to be in NYC long-term, but if that's not the case, you need to reevaluate both of these options, cause they aren't good ones.

3. What is the calculated COA at both schools? Even though you can defray cost by going part-time, that's still real money you're investing, so the amount of money you'll have to pay for the degree should very much matter to you when weighed against the type of job you want following graduation.

4. What is the fallback option if you don't get what you want? I'm hoping you can just stay at your current job if you can't land a job as an attorney, which is a very real possibility at both of these options. That should absolutely be a consideration when you're talking about investing hundreds of thousands of dollars for this opportunity to start a new career.

Fordham at sticker is pretty much a categorically bad idea, and $8k/year for Brooklyn isn't much better, but no quality advice can actually be given based on what you've told us so far. Anyone offering an opinion about the better option is likely insufficiently weighing all relevant factors since you haven't provided all of the relevant factors.

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elendinel

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Re: Fordham or Brooklyn ($$)

Postby elendinel » Wed Mar 08, 2017 10:14 am

My two cents:

Based on the extremely slight information you gave, all I can tell is that, as a PT student who applied to these schools under similar circumstances, you must have low stats or bad softs if your scholarship offers remain the same. My LSAT score was 164 (first take) and I still got offered full scholly at BLS and 20k/year Fordham before negotiating. Unless you are just really bad at multiple choice, specifically, this probably means you aren't going to end up in the top 10% (likely not even top 20%) of either school. This means knowing your career goals is of utmost importance (even if they are subject to change while in school), because the employment stats at both schools aren't close to 100%, and they vary substantially depending on the specific type of work you want to do. So what you want is important; one school may be significantly better for getting a job at one specific organization or sector than another. People here aren't telling you that you need career goals to be judgy, they're telling you because your goals directly affect which school makes the most sense. Please also note that I have to do a lot of assuming here still, just to give you advice on whether or not to be more open about your stats and what you want.

The fact that you refuse to articulate a plan, the likelihood that you have low stats, and the fact that you think both of these schools allow you the flexibility to figure things out as you go makes me think you haven't done a whole lot of research into how law school works or what you can realistically get out of it. If your top career goal is to stay with your current employer while staying open to whatever opportunities (limited as they may be) your school provides, and if that's a realistic goal, then the naiveté doesn't matter much. But if your top goal is to switch fields, you really need to do more thinking about what you want out of law school, or need to tell us about what you really want here. When you score a 180 and have a 4.0 GPA, then you have the flexibility to figure out a plan as you go; when you don't have either, you have to be more focused, to ensure employment where you want to be. This is especially true if you're in your 30s and want to start your new career ASAP.

bobloblawschool

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Re: Fordham or Brooklyn ($$)

Postby bobloblawschool » Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:33 am

160. Excellent softs. Active in social advocacy work for the past ten years. Pretty good at multiple choice. ABA-certificated post-bacculaureate paralegal, graduated with high distinction (#1 in my class). I know that's nothing like law school, and my grades are not included in my overall GPA, but the transcript is in my file. Cool story about your 164 and full ride to BLS. For the amount of research I've done on law school (I applied in 2012, decided not to attend at the last minute so I could retake/have five years of time for additional research), that's pretty rare for a 164, so congratulations.

So, for the last time, my career goals are either to get into contracts or PI. I am still negotiating my scholarships, but received a letter from Fordham today for a $5k scholarship, which to me is the same thing as no scholarship.

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Re: Fordham or Brooklyn ($$)

Postby Charlie802 » Thu Mar 09, 2017 6:34 pm

bobloblawschool wrote:160. Excellent softs. Active in social advocacy work for the past ten years. Pretty good at multiple choice. ABA-certificated post-bacculaureate paralegal, graduated with high distinction (#1 in my class). I know that's nothing like law school, and my grades are not included in my overall GPA, but the transcript is in my file. Cool story about your 164 and full ride to BLS. For the amount of research I've done on law school (I applied in 2012, decided not to attend at the last minute so I could retake/have five years of time for additional research), that's pretty rare for a 164, so congratulations.

So, for the last time, my career goals are either to get into contracts or PI. I am still negotiating my scholarships, but received a letter from Fordham today for a $5k scholarship, which to me is the same thing as no scholarship.


I don't think BLS would be a bad decision for you considering you most likely have some law connections from your work experience. Maybe try to negotiate with them? 160, solid softs should be a full ride. Fordham is definitely higher ranked, but I'm not sure the debt load outweighs the added opportunity it presents. Especially if you don't want big law. Look at law school transparency and make sure you're making an informed decision. At the end of the day pick whatever feels right. I would go to the ASD for each since you clearly live in the city and can.

Edit: is the BLS a conditional scholarship? If so I'd be careful. Also, did you apply to other NYC schools?
Last edited by Charlie802 on Thu Mar 09, 2017 7:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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trebekismyhero

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Re: Fordham or Brooklyn ($$)

Postby trebekismyhero » Thu Mar 09, 2017 6:39 pm

I guess Brooklyn. Fordham at almost sticker definitely not worth it.

But if you are making just over $100k now, you are almost certainly going to end up taking a decent size pay cut or staying in your current position as a paralegal. Unless your firm bumps you up to an associate. Just doesn't really seem worth it to me, but to each their own.



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