Should I Transfer to Fordham?

A forum for those current students who are or may be transferring from one school to another. Post any questions, advice, or other transfer related comments here.
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Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2018 1:24 pm

Should I Transfer to Fordham?

Postby benbenny » Sun Aug 05, 2018 1:12 pm

Hi all!

I am a rising 2L student going to NYC's CUNY Law's part-time program where I'm happily paying $5k per semester and easily maintaining a 4.0 GPA. I've been admitted to Fordham Law's part time which I would love to attend if only I was certain it was worth the prohibitive cost. In the coming year at least I would be paying sticker price of $43k. Luckily, I have sufficient savings to pay the Fordham tuition without taking out loans, but the opportunity coast is nevertheless significant.

I have two possible career paths that I am currently interested in. The first is to become a US attorney in NYC. My understanding of that track is that it requires at least a couple of years experience elsewhere first. The advantage of going to Fordham law is that it opens the doors to the private law firm world which I feel could be advantageous as experience when I apply to the US attorney office. However, I believe CUNY law has a good reputation in NY for public interest, so I don't think it presents a disadvantage for getting into the US attorney office, but the type of work available to me at graduation would be more limited. The DA's office could be an option, but starting salaries there are $60k which is a bit hard for me to digest.

My second possible career ambition is academia--to maybe become a constitutional law professor. My sense is that neither schools are a great place to start for that type of goal, but perhaps Fordham is better?

Thanks for any advice!


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Joined: Thu May 28, 2015 5:01 pm

Re: Should I Transfer to Fordham?

Postby lavarman84 » Mon Aug 06, 2018 1:24 am

I'm going to be blunt here, and I'm sorry that I'm going to come off as a bit of a dream-crusher. Your second goal is highly unlikely both at Fordham and where you are now. Transferring to Fordham isn't going to give you any sort of advantage there. Legal academia is very competitive and elitist. Your first goal is also unlikely at both Fordham and where you are.

Personally, I'd stay where you are and try to stay at the top of your class. If you're going to have a remotely decent shot at an AUSA gig in NY, you need a prestigious clerkship or two. Being at the top of your class where you are is going to do more for you. If you talk to the clerkship committee at your school, they'll likely try to push for you with judges who have hired from there in the past. As a transfer at Fordham, you'll have to work to attain strong grades there to have that shot. Plus, the significant cost increase just isn't worth it imo.

However, the SDNY is arguably the most competitive AUSA gig in the country, which means that whether you're at Fordham or where you are now, it's going to be very difficult. And EDNY is also one of the most competitive in the nation. That's why you're likely going to need a prestigious clerkship to have any sort of shot. And you might have to try working elsewhere as an AUSA first (not that landing an AUSA gig is ever going to be easy).

Anyways, my advice is stay where you are and try to work hard to land an Article III clerkship. You'll keep the debt down, and if you keep your grades up, you'll have plenty of good options. Your two career ambitions are setting the bar extremely high. There's nothing wrong with setting lofty goals, but either goal is going to be very difficult to achieve.


Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2018 1:24 pm

Re: Should I Transfer to Fordham?

Postby benbenny » Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:57 pm

lavarman84, thank you for your detailed reply. Very helpful. And thanks for being blunt!

What would be your opinion of Cornell? I'm still waiting for a reply from them but need to be ready in case that answer is yes.

I agree that taking out loans would definitely not be worth it. Luckily, I would not have to do that to pay a private school tuition. With respect to Fordham, what about the fact that its considered good for private sector / big law placements? I've heard that the path to a US Attorney job is easier with a few years experience in big law.

Many thanks.

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