the most important thing. alumni!!!
It is far from my intention to have this thread devolve into a petty Rutgers vs. Drexel debate. However, when people offer up usubstantiated claims that Rutgers is far and away the better school, I am curious as to why. Citing alumni is convenient, but it's my understanding that the benefits of a large alumni base are its positive effect on employment. Drexel and Rutgers employment statistics are nearly identical, in spite of Drexel's relative lack of alumni. If there are other benefits of having a large alumni base that I am not considering, please let me know. I think both schools offer good avenues into the Philly legal market, and when deciding between the two, the main consideration should be which one costs more. Apologies for spouting off in "c/o" thread.
As a PA native who was looking to go to law school in the Philly area, I hope I can shed some light on this discussion (as unbiased as possible). As you may have suspected from my username, Temple was my first choice; the big three for the Philly market are Temple, Villanova, and Rutgers-Camden (Penn grads usually gun for NYC and DC positions). Temple is historically ranked higher, which doesn't mean much, but also may have the strongest alumni network in Philly if that’s where you're trying to work. Alumni network DOES mean something, especially in the current job market and if you don't have family connections.
I was accepted to Rutgers while getting waitlisted at Temple, Nova, and Drexel (somewhat of a surprise). I was highly impressed by Dean's law day at Rutgers, to say the least, and after doing a walkthrough of Temple's campus later that day, I can honestly say Rutgers has a much nicer campus; it has a small college feel. It seems safer and you don't have major urban streets running through it like at TU. Also, it is literally right over the Ben Franklin Bridge, closer to Philadelphia City Hall and the Federal Courthouse than any PHILLY law school.
While the Rutgers-Rowan merger is cause for concern, don't exclude the law school only because of it. There are even some positives: IF the law school has to change its name, we will be the last class to graduate "Rutgers"-Camden, certainly to appeal to alumni. Also, our incoming class will be almost half the size as last year's, 150 compared to 290. The passion of the faculty and alumni at Rutgers can be seen in the news, but even better in person.
While some younger faculty may leave, something not uncommon for any school, it’d be hard to imagine the longstanding, nationally-leading professors at Rutgers will up and desert the School just because of some political issue.
On a personal note, I know my troubled past is why I was waitlisted at many schools. I have 2 DUIs in my past as well as a 2.8 cumulative GPA. However, Rutgers put a lot of weight this year in personal statements and evaluating each person individually. I decided to relinquish my spot on Temple’s waiting list when I realized I wouldn’t go there even if I was accepted. After enrolling at Rutgers, they even increased my scholarship.
As for Drexel, it is certainly an up-and-coming Philly Law school, and not a bad choice by any means. But as for job prospects coming out of law school, I don’t put it on the same level as Rutgers. Many Rutgers alumni do stay in NJ, but there are certainly opportunities if you’re looking to work in Philly (as I am). Certainly in private firms and even one of the Philadelphia Federal Judges is a Rutgers alum, he makes sure to give Rutgers alumni first chance at clerkships, etc. More Rutgers alumni will want to stay in NJ, so proportionately I think it evens out.
Hope this helps (I apologize for my verbosity), and to those of you joining me at Rutgers-Camden, I can’t wait to work with you this summer or fall