Rutgers Newark

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Prospectivedebtslave
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Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:25 am

Rutgers Newark

Postby Prospectivedebtslave » Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:02 am

Hello All,

I recently applied to Rutgers Newark, and was accepted with a fair bit of scholarship money. My GPA was a flat 3 and I got a 162. I only applied to this one school because of its affordability due to in state tuition, and the ability to live with my parents who are nearby.

I'm trying to make a final decision on whether or not to attend an am just trying to get a real image of my employment prosepcts. I'm 26 and currently make just over 40k doing editorial work. I'm about 30k in student loan debt and really reluctant to add to that number. Would attending be a reasonable decision? What could I expect to make upon graduation? I've done some research and am (perhaps mistakenly) confident in my ability to do well in school, but would I likely be stuck in a 45-60k job with little prospect for advancement upon graduation? I know biglaw would be unlikely but I'm trying to get a sense of what is attainable.

Thanks for your time.

cavalier1138
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Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:01 pm

Re: Rutgers Newark

Postby cavalier1138 » Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:07 am

Rutgers sends <10% of their class to big firms.

What is your cost of attendance and what are your career goals? I'm guessing that the right move for you is to retake (or at least not go this year), but those are important pieces of information.

rwhyAn
Posts: 314
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:09 pm

Re: Rutgers Newark

Postby rwhyAn » Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:39 am

Current night student about to enter my final year here. Most of the people I know that graduated this year and secured employment were hired as state judicial law clerks, which is a 1-year gig making $45-60K. Most of the bigger and mid-level law firms in NJ will fill their ranks by hiring these clerks after their term has ended. However, many clerks will end up in small law or mid-law making mid to upper 5 figures. For the class of 2018, there were only a handful of people I personally know who were able to secure summer associate positions at big law firms. If you can keep your law school debt less than $30K, it may be worth it, but be prepared for an uphill battle even if you're in the top 10%. The 6-figure jobs, while possible, are not the norm. PM me if you have any questions.

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UVA2B
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Re: Rutgers Newark

Postby UVA2B » Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:45 am

Prospectivedebtslave wrote:Hello All,

I recently applied to Rutgers Newark, and was accepted with a fair bit of scholarship money. My GPA was a flat 3 and I got a 162. I only applied to this one school because of its affordability due to in state tuition, and the ability to live with my parents who are nearby.

I'm trying to make a final decision on whether or not to attend an am just trying to get a real image of my employment prosepcts. I'm 26 and currently make just over 40k doing editorial work. I'm about 30k in student loan debt and really reluctant to add to that number. Would attending be a reasonable decision? What could I expect to make upon graduation? I've done some research and am (perhaps mistakenly) confident in my ability to do well in school, but would I likely be stuck in a 45-60k job with little prospect for advancement upon graduation? I know biglaw would be unlikely but I'm trying to get a sense of what is attainable.

Thanks for your time.


This gets discussed regularly on TLS about non-biglaw outcomes in private sector work, and the information is unfortunately incomplete in accurately assessing if/when salary will increase in smaller firms in non-major hubs. I personally believe it's the safest assumption that you'll make that amount initially and should plan based on that increasing minimally at least initially, but others with different risk profiles may disagree. You absolutely can find small firm jobs where it may start at $50k, but upon gaining some experience and starting to add value to the firm, that number can increase into higher five figures or even six figure compensation. Whether you want to start out assuming you'll find one of those jobs is up to you.

How much debt are you looking at if you went to Rutgers? Adding in $30k UG debt isn't great, but could be minor when compared to potentially $100k debt for law school. And as others may point out, there is always PAYE and RE-PAYE for covering your debt payments if you're comfortable having debt around for that long (while it continues to grow).

Going to a regional like Rutgers could make perfect sense depending on your goals, but if your only goal is improving on your current editorial salary, you should probably try to find an option that gives you a better shot at higher paying work. It can happen from Rutgers, but it's a pretty small minority of the class that will snag that type of job, and with the nature of law school and forced curves, it would be decidedly risky if that's your only goal in outcomes from law school. The only safe schools where you can assume you'll be able to get a job that pays that well is a handful of schools at the top of the much discussed USNWR rankings (roughly speaking, T14 plus a few select regionals place ~50% or better of their grads into traditionally high-paying work).

It's good you're questioning the right path now because there are a bunch of important questions that need to be personally answered before you decide the right path/school/career for you. What you want out of a law degree is pretty much the first question most of the time, but all of the above deserves thought/discussion.

Prospectivedebtslave
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:25 am

Re: Rutgers Newark

Postby Prospectivedebtslave » Wed Jul 26, 2017 1:57 pm

My coa came out to about 39000 using the calculator although I think I may have been too generous. I can rely on some degree of parental support beyond free room and board but I am reluctant to.

As for career goals I hadn't zeroed in on a particular area of the law but I was thinking that I would like to be a practicing attorney in a decent sized firm. If I'm being perfectly honest part of my draw to law school was the perhaps foolish notion that I could make good money doing it. I have no delusions about snagging a big law job and making 160k straight out, I am just trying to figure out how difficult it would be in the current legal job market to end up in a position with opportunities for advancement in a decent size firm coming from Rutgers.

Additionally they offered me a 16000 yearly scholarship, I was wondering if anyone had input on the difficulty maintaining this as I have heard some schools use these as a draw, then make them nearly impossible to maintain due to the forced curve.

Again thank you all very much for your input.

cavalier1138
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Re: Rutgers Newark

Postby cavalier1138 » Wed Jul 26, 2017 2:01 pm

Prospectivedebtslave wrote:Additionally they offered me a 16000 yearly scholarship, I was wondering if anyone had input on the difficulty maintaining this as I have heard some schools use these as a draw, then make them nearly impossible to maintain due to the forced curve.


Is the scholarship conditional? If so, what are the conditions?

Prospectivedebtslave
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Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:25 am

Re: Rutgers Newark

Postby Prospectivedebtslave » Wed Jul 26, 2017 2:07 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
Prospectivedebtslave wrote:Additionally they offered me a 16000 yearly scholarship, I was wondering if anyone had input on the difficulty maintaining this as I have heard some schools use these as a draw, then make them nearly impossible to maintain due to the forced curve.


Is the scholarship conditional? If so, what are the conditions?


I receive my formal acceptance letter today after work, I've been out of town for the last few days on a long planned trip and haven't been able to get into contact with the financial aid office so I will no for sure when I pick up my mail later. All I know is that it is conditional.

cavalier1138
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Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:01 pm

Re: Rutgers Newark

Postby cavalier1138 » Wed Jul 26, 2017 5:27 pm

If the condition is anything other than "good academic standing", don't go. Conditional scholarships are a scam.

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UVA2B
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Re: Rutgers Newark

Postby UVA2B » Wed Jul 26, 2017 5:31 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:If the condition is anything other than "good academic standing", don't go. Conditional scholarships are a scam.


I sincerely doubt they are. Last 509 shows 36/230 had their scholarships reduced/eliminated.

This is why that stipulation needs to be negotiated away or flat-out avoided.

https://law.rutgers.edu/sites/law/files/RutgersLawSchoolStd509InfoReport_0.pdf

Prospectivedebtslave
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Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:25 am

Re: Rutgers Newark

Postby Prospectivedebtslave » Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:30 pm

Scholarship is conditional on a 2.67 gpa. Does anyone know anything about negotiating more money? Success rate, strategies? I kinda screwed the pooch I guess by not having a second school for leverage but could I have some success with it?

uion1715
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Re: Rutgers Newark

Postby uion1715 » Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:42 pm

A back of a napkin calculation gives COA at $69k for the whole three years. Interest/etc. will make the total debt around $90-100k even before adding $30k in undergrad debt; don't really see how Rutgers is feasible at that price point even with free room and board.

nick417
Posts: 201
Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2012 11:09 am

Re: Rutgers Newark

Postby nick417 » Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:45 pm

Prospectivedebtslave wrote:Scholarship is conditional on a 2.67 gpa. Does anyone know anything about negotiating more money? Success rate, strategies? I kinda screwed the pooch I guess by not having a second school for leverage but could I have some success with it?


Negotiating does work but you need to show the school that you have other offers you are weighing. It doesn't sound like you applied anywhere else so that isn't an option. A second option is to talk to the dean (or whoever accepted you) and see if you can get some extra cash by explaining your situation (you want to go to Rutgers but cost are a big concern for you). It may work.

Second, as you rightly pointed out, big law and/or 6 figure salaries are hard to come by for Rutgers alums. As someone else pointed out, the general route is NJ state clerkship ($50K) and then either small or midlaw (salaries fluctuate). But another option not mentioned is the New Jersey Law Division (essentially State AG's office) is robust with various departments. I know graduates from Rutgers who landed government positions after clerking in the $60-$70K range.I heard the State routinely hires law graduates after clerking (I do not have first-hand knowledge but "heard" this). I presume that salary will go up. And the federal government does currently offer student loan debt forgiveness program; working for the State for 10 years can potentially wipe out a part of your loan (although I wouldn't bank on this because I doubt this program lasts through this administration).

Prospectivedebtslave
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:25 am

Re: Rutgers Newark

Postby Prospectivedebtslave » Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:47 pm

No new information to add at this point but I just want to say thank you again to all of you for taking to advise me on this.




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