UConn (75%) vs. Brooklyn (90K) vs. Cardozo (30K)

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CB19
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UConn (75%) vs. Brooklyn (90K) vs. Cardozo (30K)

Postby CB19 » Mon May 01, 2017 11:54 am

Maxed out my LSAT administrations so retaking is not an option. Stats are 158 and 3.3 from top 10 UG with excellent WE.

Cardozo offered $30K, total COA = $221K
Brooklyn offered $90K, total COA = $135K (negotiation email pending)
UConn offered 75%, total COA = $86K (can qualify for in-state tuition for years 2 and 3)
*Bonus: Maine Law total COA = $57K which I can pay fully out of pocket

I'd have no loans if I attend UConn and minimal loans with Brooklyn. I've just about eliminated Cardozo from consideration.

Goals: I will aim for but am not set on biglaw. I was a legal assistant at a v3 firm and have several partner contacts there, so I am going to aim to return there. I am also from NY but not set on working in NYC. I would be happy in Boston or really anywhere in New England, including the Portland, Maine market which I may specifically pursue (have spent most of my summers there), hence the presence of Maine Law on the list above. If I can't make biglaw, I would be happier with Connecticut midlaw (Stamford, Hartford, New Haven) than with NYC midlaw.

I am heavily leaning towards UConn mainly because it doesn't close me off from any of the regions I'm considering, and because the COA is so low. I like UConn's small size, significant offerings in environmental law, and big jump in this year's rankings. I was discouraged when I visited Brooklyn and Cardozo. I felt like I wasn't getting the whole truth from people who spoke on the various panels, and the schools seemed too big and impersonal. However, Brooklyn of course has a much stronger alumni network in NYC and has the advantage of proximity, though I'm not sure how much that matters. The guaranteed housing at an unbelievable rate is a big plus (but maybe it shouldn't be). I'm not sure if I should be concerned that NYC biglaw for the most part does not do OCI at UConn, but does at Brooklyn.

On the WL at Minnesota (went to UG in the state) and awaiting a decision from Fordham. Would likely attend either at sticker if admitted.

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Re: UConn (75%) vs. Brooklyn (90K) vs. Cardozo (30K)

Postby trebekismyhero » Mon May 01, 2017 11:58 am

CB19 wrote:Maxed out my LSAT administrations so retaking is not an option. Stats are 158 and 3.3 from top 10 UG with excellent WE.

Cardozo offered $30K, total COA = $221K
Brooklyn offered $90K, total COA = $135K (negotiation email pending)
UConn offered 75%, total COA = $86K (can qualify for in-state tuition for years 2 and 3)
*Bonus: Maine Law total COA = $57K which I can pay fully out of pocket

I'd have no loans if I attend UConn and minimal loans with Brooklyn. I've just about eliminated Cardozo from consideration.

Goals: I will aim for but am not set on biglaw. I was a legal assistant at a v3 firm and have several partner contacts there, so I am going to aim to return there. I am also from NY but not set on working in NYC. I would be happy in Boston or really anywhere in New England, including the Portland, Maine market which I may specifically pursue (have spent most of my summers there), hence the presence of Maine Law on the list above. If I can't make biglaw, I would be happier with Connecticut midlaw (Stamford, Hartford, New Haven) than with NYC midlaw.

I am heavily leaning towards UConn mainly because it doesn't close me off from any of the regions I'm considering, and because the COA is so low. I like UConn's small size, significant offerings in environmental law, and big jump in this year's rankings. I was discouraged when I visited Brooklyn and Cardozo. I felt like I wasn't getting the whole truth from people who spoke on the various panels, and the schools seemed too big and impersonal. However, Brooklyn of course has a much stronger alumni network in NYC and has the advantage of proximity, though I'm not sure how much that matters. The guaranteed housing at an unbelievable rate is a big plus (but maybe it shouldn't be). I'm not sure if I should be concerned that NYC biglaw for the most part does not do OCI at UConn, but does at Brooklyn.

On the WL at Minnesota (went to UG in the state) and awaiting a decision from Fordham. Would likely attend either at sticker if admitted.


Don't do that. That would be crazy. Both are good schools, but in no way worth over $200k

I guess uconn or Maine if you really want to go. You should not spend more than $100k on Brooklyn or Cardozo.

Understand that big law from any of these is pretty unlikely. Your V3 firm will almost certainly not take you back unless you're close to number 1 in the class. And big law of any kind will be almost as hard. So if you're dead set on going, keep debt low

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Re: UConn (75%) vs. Brooklyn (90K) vs. Cardozo (30K)

Postby Rigo » Mon May 01, 2017 11:59 am

CB19 wrote:On the WL at Minnesota (went to UG in the state) and awaiting a decision from Fordham. Would likely attend either at sticker if admitted.

Don't do this.

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Re: UConn (75%) vs. Brooklyn (90K) vs. Cardozo (30K)

Postby grades?? » Mon May 01, 2017 12:02 pm

Let's be very clear- you could be #1 in your class at any of these schools you are currently deciding between and won't get v3, even with contacts. Big law generally is a pipe dream. You need to be okay getting a small law job at around 50k because that is by and far the most likely outcome.

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Re: UConn (75%) vs. Brooklyn (90K) vs. Cardozo (30K)

Postby cavalier1138 » Mon May 01, 2017 12:02 pm

Since "midlaw" is generally considered harder to land than biglaw, I vote for none of the above. Maine means you likely won't be a lawyer. UConn or Brooklyn means that there's a not-insignificant chance you won't be a lawyer. And Cardozo costs too much for your likely salary outcomes. And as people have already indicated, paying sticker at Minnesota or Fordham is financial suicide.

Retaking is an option. It's just an option that will mean taking a little more time in the working world before you take again. But if you absolutely refuse to do that, you should either adjust your goals or not go to law school.

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Re: UConn (75%) vs. Brooklyn (90K) vs. Cardozo (30K)

Postby CB19 » Mon May 01, 2017 12:03 pm

Don't do that. That would be crazy. Both are good schools, but in no way worth over $200k


Even if loans are still low due to family assistance?

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Re: UConn (75%) vs. Brooklyn (90K) vs. Cardozo (30K)

Postby trebekismyhero » Mon May 01, 2017 12:04 pm

CB19 wrote:
Don't do that. That would be crazy. Both are good schools, but in no way worth over $200k


Even if loans are still low due to family assistance?


Yeah, why waste your family's money. Use that for other things

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Re: UConn (75%) vs. Brooklyn (90K) vs. Cardozo (30K)

Postby cavalier1138 » Mon May 01, 2017 12:05 pm

CB19 wrote:
Don't do that. That would be crazy. Both are good schools, but in no way worth over $200k


Even if loans are still low due to family assistance?


Yes, because you shouldn't be imposing on your family to support bad decisions.

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Re: UConn (75%) vs. Brooklyn (90K) vs. Cardozo (30K)

Postby UVA2B » Mon May 01, 2017 12:05 pm

Ok, so you want Biglaw, but would be ok with tougher to get midlaw? Would you be okay with a small firm that pays $45k/year if you likely miss those outcomes from any of these?

If you want to end up in Portland, Maine for cheap is your best option (I guess, although their employment outlook is pretty abysmal).

None of these are great options for what you want to do. I wouldn't go with any of them.

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Re: UConn (75%) vs. Brooklyn (90K) vs. Cardozo (30K)

Postby CB19 » Mon May 01, 2017 12:08 pm

Ok, so you want Biglaw, but would be ok with tougher to get midlaw? Would you be okay with a small firm that pays $45k/year if you likely miss those outcomes from any of these?


I didn't know midlaw was tougher to get. In Portland, the small to midsize firms pay $80K first year, and I would be more than okay with that.

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Re: UConn (75%) vs. Brooklyn (90K) vs. Cardozo (30K)

Postby cavalier1138 » Mon May 01, 2017 12:10 pm

CB19 wrote:
Ok, so you want Biglaw, but would be ok with tougher to get midlaw? Would you be okay with a small firm that pays $45k/year if you likely miss those outcomes from any of these?


I didn't know midlaw was tougher to get. In Portland, the small to midsize firms pay $80K first year, and I would be more than okay with that.


Which ones pay $80k first year? The small firms, or the midsize firms? Because unless Portland has some insane economic structure that allows them to pay almost double the market rate of any other region for small firms, I'm betting it's the midsize firms (which I'm also betting are the Portland equivalent of "biglaw" in a market that size).

Edit: And Maine's salary data supports that view. The 75th percentile salary for private sector grads is $72k.
Last edited by cavalier1138 on Mon May 01, 2017 12:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: UConn (75%) vs. Brooklyn (90K) vs. Cardozo (30K)

Postby UVA2B » Mon May 01, 2017 12:11 pm

CB19 wrote:
Ok, so you want Biglaw, but would be ok with tougher to get midlaw? Would you be okay with a small firm that pays $45k/year if you likely miss those outcomes from any of these?


I didn't know midlaw was tougher to get. In Portland, the small to midsize firms pay $80K first year, and I would be more than okay with that.


That's great, but how many associates do those firms hire in a given year? You're talking about a really small legal market, and you'll have your entire class at Maine shooting for those few coveted jobs (not to mention probably a smattering of BC/BU and T13 from Maine applying to those jobs). There is a reason ~1/3 of the class at Maine are underemployed, not working in long-term, full-time, bar passage-required jobs.

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Re: UConn (75%) vs. Brooklyn (90K) vs. Cardozo (30K)

Postby Stylnator » Mon May 01, 2017 12:12 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:Since "midlaw" is generally considered harder to land than biglaw, I vote for none of the above.


just curious because I didn't know either, why is it harder?

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Re: UConn (75%) vs. Brooklyn (90K) vs. Cardozo (30K)

Postby UVA2B » Mon May 01, 2017 12:14 pm

Stylnator wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:Since "midlaw" is generally considered harder to land than biglaw, I vote for none of the above.


just curious because I didn't know either, why is it harder?


Because midlaw firms will have so few entry-level associate positions available.

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Re: UConn (75%) vs. Brooklyn (90K) vs. Cardozo (30K)

Postby CB19 » Mon May 01, 2017 12:14 pm

Which ones pay $80k first year? The small firms, or the midsize firms? Because unless Portland has some insane economic structure that allows them to pay almost double the market rate of any other region for small firms, I'm betting it's the midsize firms (which I'm also betting are the Portland equivalent of "biglaw" in a market that size).


By "small to midsize" I am referring to the same core set of 5 or 6 firms that each employ 50-150 attorneys. They are large by Maine standards, but I don't know if they would be considered small or midsize by national standards.

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Re: UConn (75%) vs. Brooklyn (90K) vs. Cardozo (30K)

Postby cavalier1138 » Mon May 01, 2017 12:14 pm

Stylnator wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:Since "midlaw" is generally considered harder to land than biglaw, I vote for none of the above.


just curious because I didn't know either, why is it harder?


When people talk about "midlaw", they're usually referring to a firm that pays a salary of around six figures without being big enough to qualify as a "biglaw" firm. They usually also think that people in smaller-than-enormous firms have better hours and quality of life, which is generally not true. But the reason these are harder to get is that the firms just don't exist. As was alluded to above, the kind of firm that pays something more than $45-60k for a first-year associate without being biglaw is likely one of the largest firms in a very small market.

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Re: UConn (75%) vs. Brooklyn (90K) vs. Cardozo (30K)

Postby UVA2B » Mon May 01, 2017 12:24 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
Stylnator wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:Since "midlaw" is generally considered harder to land than biglaw, I vote for none of the above.


just curious because I didn't know either, why is it harder?


When people talk about "midlaw", they're usually referring to a firm that pays a salary of around six figures without being big enough to qualify as a "biglaw" firm. They usually also think that people in smaller-than-enormous firms have better hours and quality of life, which is generally not true. But the reason these are harder to get is that the firms just don't exist. As was alluded to above, the kind of firm that pays something more than $45-60k for a first-year associate without being biglaw is likely one of the largest firms in a very small market.


You're right that it's usually coding for "decent pay but better work-life balance," but these types of firms, particularly in smaller markets like Portland, ME exist. But there's too few of them to bet on getting them.

I just picked a random firm in Portland that fits that bill (Pierce Atwood), and they have 25 associates total. That means you're likely bringing in 2-3 SAs at most. Extrapolate that to the entire market of "midlaw" and you're talking at most 20 SA spots in that entire market. With the number of people targeting Maine (UMaine, BC/BU, T13, etc.), they are just insanely tough to get.

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Re: UConn (75%) vs. Brooklyn (90K) vs. Cardozo (30K)

Postby trebekismyhero » Mon May 01, 2017 12:24 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
Stylnator wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:Since "midlaw" is generally considered harder to land than biglaw, I vote for none of the above.


just curious because I didn't know either, why is it harder?


When people talk about "midlaw", they're usually referring to a firm that pays a salary of around six figures without being big enough to qualify as a "biglaw" firm. They usually also think that people in smaller-than-enormous firms have better hours and quality of life, which is generally not true. But the reason these are harder to get is that the firms just don't exist. As was alluded to above, the kind of firm that pays something more than $45-60k for a first-year associate without being biglaw is likely one of the largest firms in a very small market.


They do exist, but generally not for entry level. There are plenty of firms in major markets that are mid-law. They just rely more on laterals than first years

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Re: UConn (75%) vs. Brooklyn (90K) vs. Cardozo (30K)

Postby cavalier1138 » Mon May 01, 2017 12:27 pm

UVA2B wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
Stylnator wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:Since "midlaw" is generally considered harder to land than biglaw, I vote for none of the above.


just curious because I didn't know either, why is it harder?


When people talk about "midlaw", they're usually referring to a firm that pays a salary of around six figures without being big enough to qualify as a "biglaw" firm. They usually also think that people in smaller-than-enormous firms have better hours and quality of life, which is generally not true. But the reason these are harder to get is that the firms just don't exist. As was alluded to above, the kind of firm that pays something more than $45-60k for a first-year associate without being biglaw is likely one of the largest firms in a very small market.


You're right that it's usually coding for "decent pay but better work-life balance," but these types of firms, particularly in smaller markets like Portland, ME exist. But there's too few of them to bet on getting them.

I just picked a random firm in Portland that fits that bill (Pierce Atwood), and they have 25 associates total. That means you're likely bringing in 2-3 SAs at most. Extrapolate that to the entire market of "midlaw" and you're talking at most 20 SA spots in that entire market. With the number of people targeting Maine (UMaine, BC/BU, T13, etc.), they are just insanely tough to get.


Whoops, I was going for hyperbole. What I meant to say was exactly what you pointed out. The market for SAs is hyper-competitive, even when compared to biglaw, because there are so few positions available.

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Re: UConn (75%) vs. Brooklyn (90K) vs. Cardozo (30K)

Postby Stylnator » Mon May 01, 2017 12:28 pm

If you can be flexible with your goals then I vote for UConn. They don't have a bad placement in CT and the class outcome is definitely not gun for Portland or remain unemployed, which seems to be the case for Maine. The 2016 employment outcomes for UConn aren't that bad but your midlaw outcome caps at about 70k if you're ok with that (look here, salaries are on last page: https://www.law.uconn.edu/sites/default ... -12-17.pdf)

That being said, only 20 students got those midlaw positions (firms between 11-50 attorneys) so I don't know if you'd be in that bunch but it's a better option than Maine.
Last edited by Stylnator on Mon May 01, 2017 12:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: UConn (75%) vs. Brooklyn (90K) vs. Cardozo (30K)

Postby Stylnator » Mon May 01, 2017 12:32 pm

Although if I'm being really honest, I think you're wasting your v3 contacts if you go to any of these schools (since your dream is biglaw). And I say this as someone who's going to UConn and pretty optimistic about it.

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Re: UConn (75%) vs. Brooklyn (90K) vs. Cardozo (30K)

Postby CB19 » Mon May 01, 2017 12:36 pm

Although if I'm being really honest, I think you're wasting your v3 contacts if you go to any of these schools (since your dream is biglaw). And I say this as someone who's going to UConn and pretty optimistic about it.


Thanks for your thoughts. Wasting them in what sense? Just curious. Also, coincidentally, one of these contacts is a Brooklyn grad and one is a UConn grad.

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Re: UConn (75%) vs. Brooklyn (90K) vs. Cardozo (30K)

Postby CB19 » Mon May 01, 2017 12:37 pm

Stylnator wrote:Although if I'm being really honest, I think you're wasting your v3 contacts if you go to any of these schools (since your dream is biglaw). And I say this as someone who's going to UConn and pretty optimistic about it.


Thanks for your thoughts. Wasting them in what sense? Just curious. Also, coincidentally, one of these contacts is a Brooklyn grad and one is a UConn grad.

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Re: UConn (75%) vs. Brooklyn (90K) vs. Cardozo (30K)

Postby UVA2B » Mon May 01, 2017 12:41 pm

CB19 wrote:
Stylnator wrote:Although if I'm being really honest, I think you're wasting your v3 contacts if you go to any of these schools (since your dream is biglaw). And I say this as someone who's going to UConn and pretty optimistic about it.


Thanks for your thoughts. Wasting them in what sense? Just curious. Also, coincidentally, one of these contacts is a Brooklyn grad and one is a UConn grad.


Do your contacts have influence over hiring decisions, like one of them is on the firm's hiring committee who would forego their normal hiring criteria just to hire you? If not, your contacts are being wasted because you don't have a reasonable shot at putting yourself in a V3 at UCONN or Brooklyn or Cardozo because you'd have to be top of your class to qualify for those positions at all (and more realistically, if your contacts don't have some influence over the hiring process, they aren't being wasted at all because they were never going to get you hired to begin with).

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Re: UConn (75%) vs. Brooklyn (90K) vs. Cardozo (30K)

Postby Stylnator » Mon May 01, 2017 12:44 pm

CB19 wrote:
Although if I'm being really honest, I think you're wasting your v3 contacts if you go to any of these schools (since your dream is biglaw). And I say this as someone who's going to UConn and pretty optimistic about it.


Thanks for your thoughts. Wasting them in what sense? Just curious. Also, coincidentally, one of these contacts is a Brooklyn grad and one is a UConn grad.


Wasting them in the sense that you'd go straight from law school to the firm, that just is extremely unlikely to happen and is definitely not something you can bank on going into the law schools you are considering. I'm not saying contacts are a bad thing, but there really is a limit on what they can do for you.

That's pretty cool to see alumni from those schools though! Do you happen to know the route they took to the v3?




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