Syracuse vs. Brooklyn vs. NYLS?

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Nyclawstudent3355

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Syracuse vs. Brooklyn vs. NYLS?

Postby Nyclawstudent3355 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 1:05 am

Hi guys,

Hoping for some advice on choosing between Syracuse and Brooklyn. Syracuse has offered a $30k/year scholarship; Brooklyn would be full price.

- GPA 2.85/LSAT 163

- I 100% want to work in big law in either corporate or real estate.

- I currently work as a paralegal at a tier 1 firm (Gibson Dunn/Greenberg Traurig/Holland & Knight type). I would be able to come back as a summer associate during law school.

- Ultimately want to work in NYC. Significant connections there.

- Will be graduating debt free regardless but the scholarship is definitely a significant number which I will definitely take into consideration.

Which school would you choose if you were in my position? Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!

QContinuum

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Re: Syracuse vs. Brooklyn vs. NYLS?

Postby QContinuum » Sat Jan 12, 2019 12:40 pm

Nyclawstudent3355 wrote:- I currently work as a paralegal at a tier 1 firm (Gibson Dunn/Greenberg Traurig/Holland & Knight type). I would be able to come back as a summer associate during law school.

How sure are you about this? Is this guaranteed in writing from the firm? Or is this a verbal reassurance from a partner that "of course you'd be able to summer here!"? Because the verbal reassurance wouldn't really mean anything (unless the partner in question is like the office's leading rainmaker or managing partner or whatnot, and even then I'd recommend really circling back and asking the tough questions, like... "you mean regardless of my 1L grades?").

cavalier1138

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Re: Syracuse vs. Brooklyn vs. NYLS?

Postby cavalier1138 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 1:37 pm

Yeah, I would be absolutely shocked if a firm like Gibson was extending guaranteed offers like that just based on your paralegal work. People at top schools routinely don't get callbacks from that tier of firm.

Nyclawstudent3355

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Re: Syracuse vs. Brooklyn vs. NYLS?

Postby Nyclawstudent3355 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 2:16 pm

Connection is through chair of practice group who got me the paralegal job out of undergrad.

Also, for what it’s worth, 2 former paralegals in my group have come back as summer associates during my time at the firm. Both went to schools ranked similarly.

cavalier1138

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Re: Syracuse vs. Brooklyn vs. NYLS?

Postby cavalier1138 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 2:43 pm

Nyclawstudent3355 wrote:Connection is through chair of practice group who got me the paralegal job out of undergrad.

Also, for what it’s worth, 2 former paralegals in my group have come back as summer associates during my time at the firm. Both went to schools ranked similarly.


How were those students' grades? Is your connection on the hiring committee? And are they saying "Look forward to seeing you come back as a summer," or are they handing you a set of forms to sign that guarantee you a spot in their 2021 summer class, regardless of your school rank and GPA?

You seem to be aware that biglaw is not likely from either Syracuse of Brooklyn, so if you're going to put all your eggs in this basket, you'd better make sure it's a really good basket.

Nyclawstudent3355

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Re: Syracuse vs. Brooklyn vs. NYLS?

Postby Nyclawstudent3355 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 3:06 pm

Unfortunately I have no insight with respect to their grades.

Would I be able to ask for an official offer in writing without coming across badly? To your knowledge, do official offers like that ever even happen?

If I were to hypothetically get the summer associate job, would this help to level the playing field significantly in terms of potentially working at another big law firm? Or do they really only care about which law school you go to and summer associate experience is just a small factor?

Also, I have only taken the LSAT once. Considering my low GPA, would retaking be a potential option? Would, say, a 167 get me into a different tier of schools?

Npret

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Re: Syracuse vs. Brooklyn vs. NYLS?

Postby Npret » Sat Jan 12, 2019 5:23 pm

NYLS is a scam school don’t go there.

I wouldn’t count on biglaw from any of these schools. Is the firm paying your tuition? Does your partner friend have enough power to get you a job? What if something happens there?

Nyclawstudent3355

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Re: Syracuse vs. Brooklyn vs. NYLS?

Postby Nyclawstudent3355 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:06 pm

OK, I’ll try to clarify a little more: the “partner friend” helped me get the paralegal job. That connection has been maintained but I don’t directly work for him. I believe there is a potentially stronger connection with the partner that I work for as I have a reputation as having a good work ethic and producing good work doing assignments that would otherwise be done by first years.

Those connections together make me confident about returning as a summer despite only having verbal offer.

Back to the original question: Syracuse or Brooklyn?

QContinuum

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Re: Syracuse vs. Brooklyn vs. NYLS?

Postby QContinuum » Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:38 pm

Nyclawstudent3355 wrote:OK, I’ll try to clarify a little more: the “partner friend” helped me get the paralegal job. That connection has been maintained but I don’t directly work for him. I believe there is a potentially stronger connection with the partner that I work for as I have a reputation as having a good work ethic and producing good work doing assignments that would otherwise be done by first years.

Those connections together make me confident about returning as a summer despite only having verbal offer.

Back to the original question: Syracuse or Brooklyn?

If you can't get your offer guaranteed, neither. Syracuse places 10% into BigLaw; Brooklyn 19%; NYLS 12%. None of these schools are likely to land you BigLaw in the free market. There's no way you (or any other 0L - this isn't intended as any slight against you or your abilities) can count on outperforming ~95% of your 1L yearmates (Syracuse/NYLS) or ~85-90% of your classmates (Brooklyn).

If (and only if) you do get your offer guaranteed, then whichever school is cheaper.

Nyclawstudent3355 wrote:Would I be able to ask for an official offer in writing without coming across badly? To your knowledge, do official offers like that ever even happen?

I don't think it needs to come across badly at all. (And even if it does come across badly, much better to find out now than later, as a law student, when you're counting on them to welcome you back and they deny having ever extended you an offer.)

I think that if they are unwilling to put anything down in writing, that would say a lot about the (lack of) reliability of their verbal "offer."

cavalier1138

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Re: Syracuse vs. Brooklyn vs. NYLS?

Postby cavalier1138 » Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:16 am

Nyclawstudent3355 wrote:Back to the original question: Syracuse or Brooklyn?


For your goals the answer is neither. You can't count on an informal offer, and no other firm is going to touch you if you aren't at the top of your class in either of these schools.

Nyclawstudent3355 wrote:Also, I have only taken the LSAT once. Considering my low GPA, would retaking be a potential option? Would, say, a 167 get me into a different tier of schools?


A sub-3.0 GPA is going to keep you out of most of the T13 (there have been exceptions for particularly high LSAT scores, but that's not predictable). However, if you can push your score to 169+, you have a chance at admission to splitter-friendly schools in the T20. And if your only career goal is biglaw, that should be your goal. In an ideal world, you'd be gunning for a T13 admission, but since that GPA is going to make your cycle unpredictable, you may have to settle for a slightly more regional school. That said, there's no reason you should be settling for any of the schools you're currently considering.

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Re: Syracuse vs. Brooklyn vs. NYLS?

Postby LSATWiz.com » Sun Jan 13, 2019 4:52 pm

In my experience, the only time being a paralegal matters is if you are borderline without being a paralegal, meaning they are not sure on whether to extend an offer. I know people who did not even get a screener from firms that gave similar “guarantees” because they were .1 below the GPA curve at a t-14 school. I’d really make sure I’m not equating someone saying they’d like to me habe back with a guaranteed summer associate position if I was attending a school that would otherwise give me a 10 percent chance for any similar position. Something else to consider is 10 percent placement does not mean a 10 percent chance at any specific destination.

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Re: Syracuse vs. Brooklyn vs. NYLS?

Postby LSATWiz.com » Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:12 am

I'd add that if you're capable of being a successful paralegal at a big law firm and breaking a 160 while working big law hours, you're capable of getting a full ride to Syracuse. I've helped people into get to these kinds of schools with eighth-grade reading levels and IQ's probably in the 80-85 range. You'd probably have some advantage going in, but law school grades are not entirely about ability. There is a lot of luck, and other things that have to break right. Some students at these schools may be unable to read a case simply because they can't read at an 11th or 12th-grade level, but be great at applying law and vice versa. You still want to mitigate risk by getting a full scholarship, and $200k pretax is not as much as it seems when you factor in loans.

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Re: Syracuse vs. Brooklyn vs. NYLS?

Postby Dahl » Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:11 pm

Nyclawstudent3355 wrote:Unfortunately I have no insight with respect to their grades.

Would I be able to ask for an official offer in writing without coming across badly? To your knowledge, do official offers like that ever even happen?

If I were to hypothetically get the summer associate job, would this help to level the playing field significantly in terms of potentially working at another big law firm? Or do they really only care about which law school you go to and summer associate experience is just a small factor?

Also, I have only taken the LSAT once. Considering my low GPA, would retaking be a potential option? Would, say, a 167 get me into a different tier of schools?


If you were to get the SA job, you'd (hopefully) be asked back as an associate. Is the Summer Associate program at your firm different than most others? Or are they offering you an SA job for 1L summer only? I've never heard of firms caring that much about their former paralegals. A friend of mine worked for Paul Weiss before law school, was in the top third (but not top quarter) of her law school (Fordham) and got a screener but no callback there. So this sounds like an unusual situation.

With a 167 you're veering closer to splitter territory, but if your goal is Big Law, you should be aiming for the 170s.



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