Northeastern ($$$) vs. Fordham

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AllAboutUs
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Northeastern ($$$) vs. Fordham

Postby AllAboutUs » Thu May 11, 2017 7:10 pm

Hello, all. First time poster here, though I probably should have done this sooner.

So, as the subject line gives away, I'm deciding between Northeastern and Fordham for law school. I've paid the deposit at both to keep a spot, as I've found it way too difficult to choose. Below are a listing of factors I'm taking into account:

The Northeastern side: They offered me a full ride plus a 2k stipend. My mom said she would pay my rent if I went to NUSL, and I wouldn't have to pay her back. So, I'd graduate debt free, which would be amazing, especially all the horror stories I've heard regarding law school debt. Secondly, the co-op system interests me. I'll readily admit, I'm not completely sure about what type of law I want to study. I'm torn between two vastly different ends of the legal spectrum - criminal defense (public or private) or international law (more trade stuff, not human rights). The co-op system would offer me a chance to try out both corporate and private sides of law. In fact, one of my top law firms choices is on their co-op list and has hired NUSL grads in the past (White & Case). I think the co-op experiences would be great ones to have. Additionally, I'm not quite sure where I want to end up. The co-op system could let me explore a couple of different cities. On the cons side: They don't have grades. This really bugs me and gives me great anxiety, especially since I'm one who believe she could excel to the top of the class easily (that means with a lot of work that I'm more than willing to put in). I understand the grading system that legal recruiters almost exclusively depend on in making offers. Not that grades are the only way to distinguish yourself. If I go to NUSL, I plan on joining law review, moot court, and getting published in a legal journal. I know a top GPA indicates academic strength, but I have to imagine being published would lead recruiters to that conclusion as well, especially if I'm published more than once. Also, my numbers are pretty far above NUSL's averages. That makes me worry slightly about the quality of my classmates, not that I'm really going to law school to make friends. Honestly, if I go to NUSL, I'll be too busy working my butt off to distinguish myself to worry about it. On the plus side, and this is gonna sound dumb, but stay with me, NUSL has a Taekwondo team, and that actually really excites me. I've done TKD since I was 9 and throughout university, and would love to have a team close by that would make me want to work out (something I know is extremely important to my well being but oftentimes gets tossed aside when I'm stressed). At the end of the day, though, I want to practice law. NUSL scares me about my prospective employment prospects.

The Fordham side: The rankings, you could argue, speak for themselves. Fordham is ranked 26 (?) spots higher than NUSL. They have an amazing law review, a huge school that would expose me to so much, and a great alumni network. I also feel I'd fit in more with the students there. Also, they're in the heart of NYC, which is great for biglaw. However, i'm not sure I'd want to live in NYC. Biglaw here is just insane in terms of lifestyle. That being said, when I visited Fordham, it was a place I felt very good about. Also, I would have debt graduating from Fordham, about 110k. Some of it I would have to pay back to my mom, but either way that scares me a lot. I feel like it gives me enough anxiety to just go to NUSL, despite how many people say that law school is an investment. Once again, I'm pretty confident I could crack the top 20% of my class (I know i sound cocky, but i've already ordered the e&e books for my 1l year and will read them before the year starts and have other plans to help along my success.. not afraid to say I'm a gunner either), so that would probably give me my choice of firms that could help me pay off the debt. But then that brings me back to the question of what if I hate the more corporate side of law and decide to take a lower paying criminal defense job?

If you couldn't tell, I'm extremely torn. So, I'm taking to the internet. Should I go with the full ride at NUSL and work my butt off networking and distinguishing myself or should I take on the six-figure debt at Fordham but have a bigger (but not a definite) guarantee of getting a job after graduation? The idea of being debt-free and the flexibility that comes with it relieves some anxiety, but not if I can't find a legal job.

cavalier1138
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Re: Northeastern ($$$) vs. Fordham

Postby cavalier1138 » Thu May 11, 2017 7:15 pm

Neither of these schools is a good option for your goals. Northeastern won't give you any career flexibility. Fordham gives you at least an ok chance at one, but it's not worth sticker for the ~1/3 chance.

What are you current stats?

AllAboutUs
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Re: Northeastern ($$$) vs. Fordham

Postby AllAboutUs » Thu May 11, 2017 7:18 pm

Graduated from the University of Michigan with a 3.7 major GPA. Only got 165 on the LSAT. I don't think NUSL would be terrible for criminal defense, especially public defense. I understand international law is a bigger stretch, but I'm okay with that.

cavalier1138
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Re: Northeastern ($$$) vs. Fordham

Postby cavalier1138 » Thu May 11, 2017 7:23 pm

AllAboutUs wrote:Graduated from the University of Michigan with a 3.7 major GPA. Only got 165 on the LSAT. I don't think NUSL would be terrible for criminal defense, especially public defense. I understand international law is a bigger stretch, but I'm okay with that.


Practicing law is a stretch from Northeastern. International trade law is a pipe dream.

If you want flexibility, both in terms of geographical placement and your ultimate career, you need to retake the LSAT and reapply next cycle.

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ouais_ouais
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Re: Northeastern ($$$) vs. Fordham

Postby ouais_ouais » Wed May 17, 2017 2:33 pm

Based on your posts you should probably go to Fordham. I think the lack of grades will frustrate you.

silenttimer
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Re: Northeastern ($$$) vs. Fordham

Postby silenttimer » Wed May 17, 2017 2:39 pm

"3.7 Major GPA"? What is your LSAC GPA? If 3.7 is your GPA, you should have better options than Northeastern and Fordham with no scholarship. Did you apply to BU or BC?

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RParadela
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Re: Northeastern ($$$) vs. Fordham

Postby RParadela » Wed May 17, 2017 3:01 pm

Don't go to Northeastern under any circumstances. Retake.

IExistedOnceBefore
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Re: Northeastern ($$$) vs. Fordham

Postby IExistedOnceBefore » Wed May 17, 2017 3:02 pm

AllAboutUs wrote:Graduated from the University of Michigan with a 3.7 major GPA. Only got 165 on the LSAT. I don't think NUSL would be terrible for criminal defense, especially public defense. I understand international law is a bigger stretch, but I'm okay with that.


If these are your true stats you should have had better options. What is your lsac Gpa. Where else did you apply? And why not retake?

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ashrice13
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Re: Northeastern ($$$) vs. Fordham

Postby ashrice13 » Wed May 17, 2017 3:22 pm

Honestly, Northeastern isn't the worst decision if you are planning on staying in Boston and want to be a PD. Otherwise, it's not worth the risk. If you want Boston with some career flexibility, I second the BU/BC application. You have the numbers for it.

I'm interested, did you get any money from Fordham? If your GPA is 3.7 that would mean you're above the 75th GPA and at the 75th LSAT so I would expect that to yield some money.

If you're dead set on NOT doing the retake/reapply thing (which is rightly recommended with your goals/need to keep debt down), then I would have to say go Fordham because you'll have zero flexibility at Northeastern.

Also, this is not not not not something to plan on-
AllAboutUs wrote:I'm pretty confident I could crack the top 20% of my class (I know i sound cocky, but i've already ordered the e&e books for my 1l year and will read them before the year starts and have other plans to help along my success..)

Even with Northeastern's numbers being low, don't bank on you being smarter or harder working than your classmates because that simply won't be the case. This is even more true for Fordham. Almost all currenty 1Ls in the OL prep threads recommend NOT doing 0L prep because of how useless it is. I'm not saying don't do it if it makes you feel more comfortable, but definitely don't think you'll be more prepared and therefore have a head start in September.

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dm1683
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Re: Northeastern ($$$) vs. Fordham

Postby dm1683 » Wed May 17, 2017 9:11 pm

Either retake and reapply to BC/BU (preferable) or go to Fordham. They have a 40 percent large firm score, so 110k debt is reasonable. If you go PD route, PSLF should be there assuming trump doesn't annihilate it completely.

As for your extracurricular activities, NYC is the biggest city on the continent. There are tae kwon do teams there. I got a red belt back in high school but then dropped it because of lack of time. HIYAAH!

mrtux45
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Re: Northeastern ($$$) vs. Fordham

Postby mrtux45 » Thu May 18, 2017 9:38 am

As other are saying, I think Fordham or retake is the best move. 110k isn't unreasonable total debt, and Frodham's job prospects are objectively way better than NUSL.

That advice is wholly dependent on the fact you don't know what you want to do. While other posters may trash on Northeastern, it's not a bad option if you want public interest/small firm in Boston. I've had multiple attorneys at different firms tell me that median at BC/BU is regarded as a relative peer to NUSL. And NUSL is above Suffolk/New England, who will be the bulk of your competition. Anecdotal, but take it as you will.

Think hard about your goals. Debt free and making 45-60k is solid, at least imo. Salaries increase, and you could always transition to a firm from PD if you want to make more $. However in the end, I think Fordham or retake gives you the flexibility you seem to want.

Good luck!




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