Is barry a decent law school?

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Knott86J
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Is barry a decent law school?

Postby Knott86J » Mon Apr 30, 2007 7:37 pm

I've been accepted to several law schools for this fall 2007. Ive narrowed it down to either attending Barry Law in Orlando, or Washburn in topeka. Washburn is statistically the better school. I would prefer to go to Barry because it's close to home, but im hesitant to choose the lower ranked school. Does Barry have poor ratings simply because it's such a new school? Would i be better off going to Washburn?

jasmia2000
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Postby jasmia2000 » Mon Apr 30, 2007 11:50 pm

Knott -

I was also accepted to Barry on a partial scholarship, and I seriously considered it after doing some research. I know that some people in this forum may disagree with me regarding rankings and the impact it can have on your legal career, but here's my opinion (for what it's worth)... I think that Barry is ranked lower because of how new it is, but their bar passage rate for first time takers last year was 72% (which isn't too bad, considering that the Florida bar is considered to be pretty tough). I think the school also has a low student to faculty ratio, which is always a good thing. Are you planning/considering practicing in Florida? If so, Barry may be a good choice.

I have a few friends that are attorneys, and they all went to 4th tier law schools, but are doing quite well for themselves. One is a partner in a 500 attorney national litigation firm, another runs a solo practice in Las Vegas, and the third is VP of the legal department for a gaming company. From their experiences, I gather that tier 4 graduates may have to take lower paying jobs right out of school, but work experience and personal skill sets become more important as one progresses through their careers.

Hope this helps - best of luck to you!

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Formerbruin
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Postby Formerbruin » Tue May 01, 2007 1:21 am

At the same time, 1 of 5 peers/ judges says Barry is better than marginal! Look at the bright side Katkins!

06072010
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Postby 06072010 » Tue May 01, 2007 1:45 am

I'm from Orlando, so let me give you the scoop on Barry. Before I get going, I actually looked at Barry when I started the whole law school thing because I could live at home and go to law school for damn near free - so I'm not just talking out of my ass.

Barry blows. I know several faculty members, and they're quality people. They can teach the law. They're witty and informative and all around great professors. They graduated from the usual suspects (T14), which I think speaks to the high competitiveness in law academia, and less about the draw power of the school.

Have you been able to visit? The most exciting part of the phone-booth -sized campus are the vending machines. I think Barry is located is an extremely dumpy section of town. Parking is in dirt lots. Hiring prospects are grim. The tuition is obscene. All else fails and you want to be in O-town, go to FAMU - yeah, it's provisional, but it's also 8g's. FAMU is on the fast track for full accreditation. Who cares about bar pass rate? It's job prospects that make or break the day, and Barry just doesn't cut it. UF. arguably the best school in the state, doesn't even get much portability, so Barry is going to limit you to Florida - big time.

You really should visit and see for yourself before making a decision. Meet with the professors and talk with students. That's a lot of debt for those kind of job prospects.

jasmia2000
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Postby jasmia2000 » Tue May 01, 2007 2:38 am

I went to Barry's website and they said that the bar passage rate was up 13% from the previous year (which was at 59%) putting them at 72%. I think this is a relatively new development, so it probably wouldn't be reflected in USN's most recent rankings.

IFKC
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Postby IFKC » Tue May 01, 2007 3:02 am

As another person who lived in Orlando for 6 years, I agree; Barry sucks.

Could you do well going/coming out of there? Yes. But if you are that type of person you will succeed anywhere, and Barry isn't going to help much.

Sorry and best of luck.

06072010
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Postby 06072010 » Tue May 01, 2007 11:19 am

I think bar passage is a relatively insignificant statistic as far as rankings are concerned. It's weighted 2% of the total rankings score, compared to 4% for employment rates at graduation and 14% for employment nine months after graduation. Don't expect monumental jumps in ranking for Barry anytime soon.

jryen2
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Re:

Postby jryen2 » Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:20 pm

For what it's worth, Barry is really turning out to be a decent school. The tuition is high in comparison to state schools, but they give a good deal of financial aid to their incoming students. At one point the percentage of students receiving merit-based student aid was 95%. The bar passage rate is up to 79.1% as of last count, and they're developing some good clinics and extracurriculars. To compare Barry to FAMU is ridiculous. FAMU is still provisional and their law school is riddled with scandals (including missing funds, and a LRW professor who submitted a paper for peer review that was plagued with blatant grammatical errors). Another cool thing about Barry is that if you are in the top 10% after your first year, you will get a scholarship equivalent to 75% of tuition. Barry is becoming a good competitor to Florida Coastal, but is still falling shy of the state schools (FSU, UF, FIU). For those students who don't have top marks, Barry is a decent school and a good choice.



PKSebben wrote:I'm from Orlando, so let me give you the scoop on Barry. Before I get going, I actually looked at Barry when I started the whole law school thing because I could live at home and go to law school for damn near free - so I'm not just talking out of my ass.

Barry blows. I know several faculty members, and they're quality people. They can teach the law. They're witty and informative and all around great professors. They graduated from the usual suspects (T14), which I think speaks to the high competitiveness in law academia, and less about the draw power of the school.

Have you been able to visit? The most exciting part of the phone-booth -sized campus are the vending machines. I think Barry is located is an extremely dumpy section of town. Parking is in dirt lots. Hiring prospects are grim. The tuition is obscene. All else fails and you want to be in O-town, go to FAMU - yeah, it's provisional, but it's also 8g's. FAMU is on the fast track for full accreditation. Who cares about bar pass rate? It's job prospects that make or break the day, and Barry just doesn't cut it. UF. arguably the best school in the state, doesn't even get much portability, so Barry is going to limit you to Florida - big time.

You really should visit and see for yourself before making a decision. Meet with the professors and talk with students. That's a lot of debt for those kind of job prospects.

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aguyingeorgia
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Re: Is barry a decent law school?

Postby aguyingeorgia » Fri Feb 15, 2008 12:00 am

I have a friend at Barry, top 10%, and loves it.

For whatever thats worth. He is my friend so that doesn't bode well for him or his choices.

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brokendowncar
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Re: Is barry a decent law school?

Postby brokendowncar » Fri Feb 15, 2008 12:51 am

Barry is ranked last in terms of reputation scores for ABA accredited schools. I am not saying it won't get better, but it isn't where it needs to be right now. Check out sock's blog.
http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=18621&start=25

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BondGirl
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Re: Is barry a decent law school?

Postby BondGirl » Fri Feb 15, 2008 1:21 am

Guys...his other choice is in Kansas... :roll:

Where would you rather go to school; Orlando or Kansas? Even more important...where do you want to practice? Most law schools are regional out of the top schools.

Also, I doubt there's a real difference between any of the schools in the third or fourth tier, and rankings matter very little once you get past the top schools.

Just my $0.02.

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brokendowncar
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Re: Is barry a decent law school?

Postby brokendowncar » Fri Feb 15, 2008 1:28 am

His choice isn't go to law school immediately or die though. He could take some time, work, and improve his application (LSAT score) enough to give himself a better set of options.

Of course, I just realized the OP was made last april... Oh well.

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BondGirl
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Re: Is barry a decent law school?

Postby BondGirl » Fri Feb 15, 2008 1:36 am

Good point

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Cowboy
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Re: Is barry a decent law school?

Postby Cowboy » Fri Feb 15, 2008 11:33 am

Also, I doubt there's a real difference between any of the schools in the third or fourth tier


I would have to disagree strongly with this point. There are HUGE differences in quality inside the 3rd and 4th tiers. There are solid regional schools, good state colleges with low tuition, and then there are bad choices. The law firms in the regions served by these regional schools are well aware of the differences and hire accordingly.

You cannot mean to say that you consider good, solid, regional T3/T4 schools like

Cleveland-Marshall
Suffolk
Quinnipiac
Akron
Hofstra
Hamline
Arkansas
Duquesne

to be on par with the schools that were founded solely as cash cows (we all know who these are)?

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ks2pa
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Re: Is barry a decent law school?

Postby ks2pa » Fri Feb 15, 2008 3:12 pm

Guys...his other choice is in Kansas... :roll:

Where would you rather go to school; Orlando or Kansas? Even more important...where do you want to practice? Most law schools are regional out of the top schools.


Why is living in Kansas eye roll worthy? Especially when compared to living in Orlando! Attending LS at washburn means he could live in Lawrence and commute to Topeka. If he does well he could practice in KC or practice in the Johnson County area of Kansas. Both are very nice places to live.

I would choose Washburn. Washburn grads do well in Kansas and in the KC metro area. It has an inflated sense of prestige in state since lay people think it is a much higher ranked law school than it actually is.

06072010
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Re: Is barry a decent law school?

Postby 06072010 » Fri Feb 15, 2008 3:23 pm

I think the tuition Barry charges is criminal. I know some professors at Barry personally, and they're great. For some, it might be the right choice, but I'm sure that 95% merit-aid number isn't bringing the tuition under what FAMU charges. Basically, both schools are ridiculously regional - might as well attend the cheapest one. Last time I checked Barry's website, I couldn't even find employment statistics - that's telling. I also have a friend who is a Barry grad in the top 20%. He gets coffee.

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Oklahoma Mike
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Re: Is barry a decent law school?

Postby Oklahoma Mike » Fri Feb 15, 2008 3:31 pm

I have to agree that there are big differences between different t3/t4 schools.

I'd definitely pick Washburn if you don't mind living in Kansas. The options for Washburn grads who are worse than top 20% aren't really good- but the odds for Barry grads don't really seem good wherever you graduate.

If you have to live in Florida FAMU seems to be the better choice.


I wonder what the OP decided to do. OP, are you at Barry? How did the first half of 1L go?

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brokendowncar
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Re: Is barry a decent law school?

Postby brokendowncar » Fri Feb 15, 2008 5:10 pm

Only six total posts, I would imagine he doesn't still check this site.

coreyalan23
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Re:

Postby coreyalan23 » Wed Apr 02, 2008 12:35 am

...
Last edited by coreyalan23 on Thu Apr 16, 2009 4:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Genki
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Re: Is barry a decent law school?

Postby Genki » Wed Apr 02, 2008 1:21 am

coreyalan23 wrote:Most here will and do disagree!! But understand this: most here are incoming 1Ls who are going to T1 schools and are here to brag and feel like hot stuff.

The best advice I have found is this:

My previous landlord, the senior partner of a prestigious Orlando law firm told me "it is better to go to a mediocre school and end up looking extraordinary, by graduating at the top, than to go to a great school and end up looking mediocre, by graduating in the middle"

Here's a guy who actually hires new lawyers from time to time, so I value his opinion greatly. . .

I graduate UFlorida in a month with a 3.65 and a 161 lsat and have been accepted to UF, Stetson, and Barry. I asked e-mailed my old landlord and asked him again-- He said, "do you think you can graduate at the top at UF?"

"I don't know, i'm average going in . . . "

"Can you graduate the top at Barry?"

"Seeing as I am accustomed to performing at a much higher level, and at a much better school, than 95% of anyone going to Barry, i'd have to be cocky and say, ABSOLUTELY!"

"The feeling in our camp is we like people at the top of their classes"

So, there you go.

Nothing wrong with being a big fish in a small pond-- one benefit is that being the 'big fish' allows you to take advantage of Law Review and Moot Court. Whereas squeaking into the best school you possibly can doesn't give you terribly great odds on taking advantage of limited programs.


I see what you are saying here. However, an important thing to remember is that attending a school like Barry means that you don't have a safety net. One may think that they can graduate at the top of Barry, but there is always the possibility that they won't perform as well as they think. You might get sick, have family issues, or any number of challenges that may affect your grades in law school. Also, there are many people that do well in their area of study as a UG that have trouble in law school because of the concepts/teaching styles etc. The bottom line is there is NO GUARANTEE that anyone will be able to finish in the top of their school no matter where they go - and then where are you? a law grad with few job prospects and buried in debt.

Certainly, there are people who can have a fantastic career graduating from any school, but there is also a huge risk that goes with some schools. If I were in the situation of the original poster, I would take a year off, retake the LSAT and try to get into a better school.

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aguyingeorgia
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Re: Is barry a decent law school?

Postby aguyingeorgia » Wed Apr 02, 2008 1:35 am

I've got a friend at Barry that said he'd be happy to answer any questions.

sdhockey09
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Re: Is barry a decent law school?

Postby sdhockey09 » Thu Apr 10, 2008 10:57 pm

I've been to Barry's campus (I go to school in Florida) and I have to admit that its facilities are pretty sub-par. They have 2 nice looking buildings and most of the rest of the school is in trailers(never been in the inside so I'm going from the outside view). They give out money like it is candy, to practically anyone it seems, so that is a plus if money is a big issue. As far as decency, I think it is decent. The thing is, is that you are competing in Florida against UF, FSU, UM and Stetson, plus all the other schools down south, so with Barry being so young it just doesn't carry the name that the others have built over time. If you like the place and the location (Orlando is cool, but where Barry is located is not right next to Disney/Universal...more like 30 plus minutes away) then go ahead. It's admission standards are not the highest, so it hurts its rank a bit, but if you will be happy there and enjoy it do as you wish. If you can't go anywhere else and get a boat load of money from them, I think it would be worth it, otherwise, I'd probably look elsewhere. Cost is a big issue as it costs about as much as Stetson or UM without the history and alumni base that those two schools do, so that can make it a little harder at times.

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kkhtlk
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Re: Is barry a decent law school?

Postby kkhtlk » Thu Apr 10, 2008 11:05 pm

orlando gets old fast.

in my opinion, go to barry if:
1 - you have some unnatural affection for barry u school of law
2 - you get a free ride
3 - some combination of the above

otherwise, invest in your future by working for a year or two, saving money, improving your lsat score, and aiming for at least stetson.

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rmyoun06
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Re: Re:

Postby rmyoun06 » Thu Apr 10, 2008 11:06 pm

coreyalan23 wrote:My previous landlord, the senior partner of a prestigious Orlando law firm told me "it is better to go to a mediocre school and end up looking extraordinary, by graduating at the top, than to go to a great school and end up looking mediocre, by graduating in the middle"

Careful with this. My roommate is tenth in his class of 180 at U of Louisville (a T1 school) and on the law review, but he can't find a job for his 2L summer. Big fish/small pond isn't guaranteed to yield the results you want anymore than medium fish/medium pond is.

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aguyingeorgia
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Re: Is barry a decent law school?

Postby aguyingeorgia » Thu Apr 10, 2008 11:07 pm

My friend is a top student at Barry... not much problem finding a job... in Florida.




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