Fordham 1L Taking Questions

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
akcorps
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Re: Fordham 1L Taking Questions

Postby akcorps » Mon Apr 04, 2011 3:41 pm

Gemini wrote:My question is more for 2L and 3Ls.

If you do REALLY REALLY well your 1L year, are there merit-based scholarship opportunities available at Fordham for those at the top of the class? Or are merit awards only given 0L and that's it?


I believe there is an official merit scholly for those who get the best GPA in each division (Wilkinson Scholarship). I think this would also apply to individual sections within each division, so there are at least 4 recipients possible according to the website's description of the scholarship. However, in order to prevent the top of the class going to a T-14 I have heard that the school makes it worth your while to stay, especially if you make it known you are looking to transfer.

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Gemini
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Re: Fordham 1L Taking Questions

Postby Gemini » Mon Apr 04, 2011 3:43 pm

There are only 4 sections per year? That's 100 students per section, no? :shock:
So you have to be the best out of 100 people. :shock:

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nygrrrl
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Re: Fordham 1L Taking Questions

Postby nygrrrl » Mon Apr 04, 2011 3:48 pm

akcorps wrote:
Gemini wrote:My question is more for 2L and 3Ls.

If you do REALLY REALLY well your 1L year, are there merit-based scholarship opportunities available at Fordham for those at the top of the class? Or are merit awards only given 0L and that's it?


I believe there is an official merit scholly for those who get the best GPA in each division (Wilkinson Scholarship). I think this would also apply to individual sections within each division, so there are at least 4 recipients possible according to the website's description of the scholarship. However, in order to prevent the top of the class going to a T-14 I have heard that the school makes it worth your while to stay, especially if you make it known you are looking to transfer.

To get the correct answer, we will need to summon Opera Soprano (who will have the facts). OPERA SOPRANO!
Also, Gem? There are 12 sections. There are 240 people in the FT division and 80 in the PT division (roughly). I'm not understanding what akcorps is saying.

akcorps
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Re: Fordham 1L Taking Questions

Postby akcorps » Mon Apr 04, 2011 3:57 pm

nygrrrl wrote:To get the correct answer, we will need to summon Opera Soprano (who will have the facts). OPERA SOPRANO!
Also, Gem? There are 12 sections. There are 240 people in the FT division and 80 in the PT division (roughly). I'm not understanding what akcorps is saying.


At an ASD I attended (not Fordham), there was a professor who explained how the grading works within your years and why people tend to get this wrong. You are graded on a forced curve by your section, not by class. Thus, within each section there will be the possibility of a 4.0 student, though it is very unlikely. What I was trying to convey is that each section could theoretically produce a 4.0 student (or other top score), and thus the school would have to provide each top student with a scholarship if they do indeed give them to the top GPAs within each division. In such a scenario there would be as many first in the class as there were sections, but only if each section produces a candidate with an identical top score to every other section.

Does that make more sense? Sorry if this is confusing.

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OperaSoprano
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Re: Fordham 1L Taking Questions

Postby OperaSoprano » Mon Apr 04, 2011 4:13 pm

nygrrrl wrote:
akcorps wrote:
Gemini wrote:My question is more for 2L and 3Ls.

If you do REALLY REALLY well your 1L year, are there merit-based scholarship opportunities available at Fordham for those at the top of the class? Or are merit awards only given 0L and that's it?


I believe there is an official merit scholly for those who get the best GPA in each division (Wilkinson Scholarship). I think this would also apply to individual sections within each division, so there are at least 4 recipients possible according to the website's description of the scholarship. However, in order to prevent the top of the class going to a T-14 I have heard that the school makes it worth your while to stay, especially if you make it known you are looking to transfer.

To get the correct answer, we will need to summon Opera Soprano (who will have the facts). OPERA SOPRANO!
Also, Gem? There are 12 sections. There are 240 people in the FT division and 80 in the PT division (roughly). I'm not understanding what akcorps is saying.


Ah, I'm here. Unless it's been changed, these go to the top 15 students all inclusive, day and evening. The award was $5,000, which is more a token of recognition. It's an honor, but Fordham can't really stop people from going in that sense if they want or need to go. If your grades are that good, you are set. Despite my non
Wilkinson GPA, I was advisor to a couple of people. (Word to the wise- if this is you, do not tell people. You will have fantastic options and you don't need to transfer to exercise them, though some of my friends did. FYR we estimated the grade threshold to be about top 3%, but we would need one of the old math wizards in here to slap a GPA on that. I am estimating north of 3.75, but as you know, we don't have much grade inflation.

akcorps
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Re: Fordham 1L Taking Questions

Postby akcorps » Mon Apr 04, 2011 4:31 pm

OperaSoprano wrote:
nygrrrl wrote:
akcorps wrote:
Gemini wrote:Ah, I'm here. Unless it's been changed, these go to the top 15 students all inclusive, day and evening. The award was $5,000, which is more a token of recognition. It's an honor, but Fordham can't really stop people from going in that sense if they want or need to go. If your grades are that good, you are set. Despite my non
Wilkinson GPA, I was advisor to a couple of people. (Word to the wise- if this is you, do not tell people. You will have fantastic options and you don't need to transfer to exercise them, though some of my friends did. FYR we estimated the grade threshold to be about top 3%, but we would need one of the old math wizards in here to slap a GPA on that. I am estimating north of 3.75, but as you know, we don't have much grade inflation.

This is really interesting to me. No doubt your options are great when you at the top of any class, but especially so the higher the tier you are attending. There are repeated posts here and elsewhere that talk about the horrors of trying to pry your first year grades out of your school in time to apply as a transfer. The general thinking is that schools want to retain their top students (understandably), and this creates an opportunity for high performing students to either push for more aid from their present school, or go to a higher ranked school (there is a thread here on TLS that states to go from a first tier into HYS would require something like top 1-5% and for CCN the cutoff would be like 8-10%). That being said, the new school would not give you any aid to come (officially, but I suspect this may not be true for everyone) creating a disincentive to transfer up, especially out of a school like Fordham where the top of the class will have great opportunities already.

It seems to me that while you might be able to argue effectively with a T2 or T3 that is already generous with aid, Fordham is in a class of its own where these rules do not apply. For someone like Gemini who really needs the $, I am not sure 5k is going to be much of a incentive above and beyond the opportunities available to someone at the top of the class anyway. I would have thought it would be more, but it seems to me that the majority of high GPAs (clearly there are exceptions, OS is one example) are probably already getting good aid.

I think it seems like a bad idea to come to a school with the idea that you will make the top of your class unless you have a good reason to think it will be so. The only indicator that is generally held to be reliable is your LSAT score, but this is not a perfect indicator (I don't know OS's score, but I do know she had problems with aid, so I am figuring it was not above Fordham's 75%, and thus she is an outlier. So, they do exist, and this is why LSAT scores remain a problematic predictor, and yet the best we have!). As this is the best, if imperfect, indicator, the problem is that generally those who did well and are expected to do well probably received merit aid to begin with. Thus, the Wilkinson Scholarship would, at least in theory, seem to reward those who probably need it need it to a lesser degree.

In summation, the Wilkinson Scholarship is helpful, but isn't enough of a reward to take such a big chance on getting. The real rewards of being at the top of your class are the opportunities it provides (employment, transfer, etc.), but I wouldn't go to school betting you will be at the top of your class.

Just my 2 cents.

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Gemini
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Re: Fordham 1L Taking Questions

Postby Gemini » Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:24 pm

Qualifying for that scholarship would give only $5k? That's pretty low, but still, to be able to qualify would signify that you are at the top of your class. There should be no job worries there, at least. IF I were to do REALLY well 1L, of course I'll consider transferring, but it may be just as advantageous to stay and remain at the top of the class.

It just sucks to get an LSAT of 168 and have a great merit award (maybe $10-15k), but do SO fantastically well 1L, but only get $5k.

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OperaSoprano
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Re: Fordham 1L Taking Questions

Postby OperaSoprano » Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:07 pm

Gemini wrote:Qualifying for that scholarship would give only $5k? That's pretty low, but still, to be able to qualify would signify that you are at the top of your class. There should be no job worries there, at least. IF I were to do REALLY well 1L, of course I'll consider transferring, but it may be just as advantageous to stay and remain at the top of the class.

It just sucks to get an LSAT of 168 and have a great merit award (maybe $10-15k), but do SO fantastically well 1L, but only get $5k.


It's more of an honor than it is anything else, at least in my understanding. My year, more than 60% of the class was paying sticker, and among part time students it was more like 80%. Anyone with Wilkinson grades will be set for biglaw to pay down the debt, though some still opt for PI loan forgiveness. There is a current 3L in that position whom I know of. You can transfer, and I have heard of HYS giving need based aid, but otherwise you will almost certainly be paying sticker at your new school. I have also heard the school does a lot for Wilkinson kids, just in terms of prep for OCI, clerkships, etc. It kind of is an acknowledgment that really shined academically here.

For my part, I was favorably surprised by my 1L grades, though they were not in or near the top 3% zone. I worked very hard and felt lucky but would never have counted on even breaking median if I had stopped to think about it. I will say that studies have been done and LSAT alone is a very poor predictor... The good news is that exam taking can be learned, and the people who shared their personal expertise with me left behind their own guides in the law students' forum here. No one should count on amazing grades, but you can improve your chances by learning how professors score exams, and what yours are looking for.

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Gemini
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Re: Fordham 1L Taking Questions

Postby Gemini » Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:08 pm

OS!!!! <3

I've officially deposited my first check for Fordham!!! Fordham, class of 2014, here I come! :)

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OperaSoprano
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Re: Fordham 1L Taking Questions

Postby OperaSoprano » Mon Apr 04, 2011 9:00 pm

Gemini wrote:OS!!!! <3

I've officially deposited my first check for Fordham!!! Fordham, class of 2014, here I come! :)


<3 Congratulations!!! That is fantastic news, and welcome! Come say hi when you are on campus, k? The time flies, believe me. You will not believe how fast it goes.

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nicole88
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Re: Fordham 1L Taking Questions

Postby nicole88 » Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:46 pm

Can a current student tell me about the atmosphere at Fordham? Is there a strong community among the students? Do you have good relationships with your professors outside of class?

I'm choosing between a similarly ranked southern school and Fordham and I know the reputation of New Yorkers and as someone moving to New York with no connections, will I be able to make these connections easily? Or does everyone already have their own agenda/friends/homes and go their separate ways after class?

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Re: Fordham 1L Taking Questions

Postby peterssm » Tue Apr 19, 2011 3:07 am

can anyone talk more about commuting. I'm from NJ, about an hour commute to the school, and seeing that I would have to pay sticker price, commuting would save me a lot of money.

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OperaSoprano
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Re: Fordham 1L Taking Questions

Postby OperaSoprano » Sat Apr 23, 2011 2:40 pm

nicole88 wrote:Can a current student tell me about the atmosphere at Fordham? Is there a strong community among the students? Do you have good relationships with your professors outside of class?

I'm choosing between a similarly ranked southern school and Fordham and I know the reputation of New Yorkers and as someone moving to New York with no connections, will I be able to make these connections easily? Or does everyone already have their own agenda/friends/homes and go their separate ways after class?


Haven't been around in some time, but will do my best to answer. I would say there is some of both. There are definitely people here who had their friends already, and did most of their social stuff off campus. However, there are a ton of people moving from different parts of the country or abroad, and they don't know people, and will want to make new friends and get to know you. I recommend joining organizations like Universal Jurisdiction, where the people are very active and get to know one another. You can also get to know your professors very well... I had more than one volunteer to recommend me, even though I am shy about asking.

I've been overall very happy about the friendliness of students here, and I think it's one of the best things about Fordham.

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Re: Fordham 1L Taking Questions

Postby OperaSoprano » Sat Apr 23, 2011 2:42 pm

peterssm wrote:can anyone talk more about commuting. I'm from NJ, about an hour commute to the school, and seeing that I would have to pay sticker price, commuting would save me a lot of money.


A ton of people commute. If you can live somewhere for free, I would absolutely do it. You may be able to get a student monthly ticket (not sure if NJ Transit does that, but if so, would be a great deal). I recommend the extra splurge for living near school if you are going to get an apartment anyway, but if not, I would personally save the money.

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Re: Fordham 1L Taking Questions

Postby aliarrow » Thu May 05, 2011 7:56 am

Hey everyone, thanks for taking questions. I was set on BU previously, but I'm seriously considering Fordham since they threw a little money my way.

Can anyone expand further on FT and PT relations? Just because I was researching the school and saw a current student on another forum stating its a problem due to PTers having an easier curve (working during the day, less time to study), so this causes some resentment from FTers since they have to do more work to end up in a similar position. Then there's some PT resentment due to FTers taking evening classes for the sake of an easier curve, with them consequently messing up the curve.
Is there any validity to this concern? Or should I disregard it?
(Sorry if this comes off the wrong way, I know many of you are part-time. I'm not putting the program down in any way, just restating what another Fordham student said)

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nygrrrl
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Re: Fordham 1L Taking Questions

Postby nygrrrl » Thu May 05, 2011 9:24 am

aliarrow wrote:Hey everyone, thanks for taking questions. I was set on BU previously, but I'm seriously considering Fordham since they threw a little money my way.

Can anyone expand further on FT and PT relations?


As far as I know, there's no validity to it. (The "PT v. FT" resentment thing - and I have a lot of friends in FT so I'm pretty unbiased.) In fact, I'm still trying to detangle all of what you just wrote, much of which makes no sense to me. (PTers having an easier curve due to working during the day and having less time to study? LOLwhat?)
Yes, PT students take 3 classes instead of the 4 that the FT students take. FT 1L students take classes during the day, PT 1L students take courses at night; there is no choice in the matter. After 1L it becomes about # of credits, not # of classes; everyone gets mixed together. By my estimation, about 40% of the 1L PT students work either PT or FT jobs. We are all held to the same curve. The ONLY point of resentment I've heard is i/r/t the PT students who do not hold jobs - yes, they have it easier in many respects (not working, 3 classes, same curve) - but most of those students transfer to FT after 1L and really, no one seems that bothered by it. (Well, maybe some of the uber gunners. The rest of us are pretty "Meh" about it. For what it's worth, the Ad Comm seems to be working very hard to recruit WORKING students into the PT division, in order to change that dynamic.) I can't speak to feelings in 2/3/4L because I'm not there yet - but I haven't heard of PT/FT resentment issues from any of me 2/3/4L friends. Are you sure the person who was saying this actually GOES to Fordham? :lol:
I'm in the middle of prepping for study group - will continue to think on this and I'll see if I can send OS here to clarify: just know that we're all slamming with exams right now and not as speedy with the responses as we might like to be.

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Re: Fordham 1L Taking Questions

Postby akcorps » Thu May 05, 2011 10:41 am

nygrrrl wrote:
aliarrow wrote:Hey everyone, thanks for taking questions. I was set on BU previously, but I'm seriously considering Fordham since they threw a little money my way.

Can anyone expand further on FT and PT relations?


As far as I know, there's no validity to it. (The "PT v. FT" resentment thing - and I have a lot of friends in FT so I'm pretty unbiased.) In fact, I'm still trying to detangle all of what you just wrote, much of which makes no sense to me. (PTers having an easier curve due to working during the day and having less time to study? LOLwhat?)
Yes, PT students take 3 classes instead of the 4 that the FT students take. FT 1L students take classes during the day, PT 1L students take courses at night; there is no choice in the matter. After 1L it becomes about # of credits, not # of classes; everyone gets mixed together. By my estimation, about 40% of the 1L PT students work either PT or FT jobs. We are all held to the same curve. The ONLY point of resentment I've heard is i/r/t the PT students who do not hold jobs - yes, they have it easier in many respects (not working, 3 classes, same curve) - but most of those students transfer to FT after 1L and really, no one seems that bothered by it. (Well, maybe some of the uber gunners. The rest of us are pretty "Meh" about it. For what it's worth, the Ad Comm seems to be working very hard to recruit WORKING students into the PT division, in order to change that dynamic.) I can't speak to feelings in 2/3/4L because I'm not there yet - but I haven't heard of PT/FT resentment issues from any of me 2/3/4L friends. Are you sure the person who was saying this actually GOES to Fordham? :lol:
I'm in the middle of prepping for study group - will continue to think on this and I'll see if I can send OS here to clarify: just know that we're all slamming with exams right now and not as speedy with the responses as we might like to be.

Seriously, I am happy to see someone address this FUD in a rational way for once. What motivation would a school have for applying an easier curve to one division over another. You do realize that curves are generally made known, right? This would be a nightmare when it comes to hiring especially as the degrees supposedly do not say "Evening Division" on them. I would presume this is because it would not be in the schools interest to degrade the value of one of their programs.

Secondly, if you think law professors care one way or another about whether their class is going to be too much for you or not then I think you need to re-evaluate your expectations for law school. This is why there is a grading curve in the first place, to make students compete for their grades.

Thirdly, I have gone to part-time and evening programs exclusively for my undergrad. If some dumbass day student had ever said something to me it would show their ignorance. Not only are evening students generally working as hard or harder because of their other life commitments, but they truly want to be there. If they didn't it would be much easier to just not be. As a result, discussions are presumably more mature and the students have better real world insight that extends beyond what's happening on campus.

Lastly, who cares? If whether or not someone likes or dislikes you based on what program you went to bothers you then what the hell are you going to do when you work somewhere and someone has better credentials than you do? I personally wouldn't let some douchebag get me down over some pissing contest like what division I am a part of compared to them.

But, then again, I am still a 0L so take my advice for what its worth.

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Re: Fordham 1L Taking Questions

Postby aliarrow » Thu May 05, 2011 10:41 am

Thanks! I would be curious to hear OS' take if she stops by anytime soon.
The post was from June 2010, and the Fordham student might have even been alumni, so it might have been a different dynamic, especially with all the restructuring Fordham has done with the Part-Time Program.
And good luck on finals!

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Re: Fordham 1L Taking Questions

Postby nygrrrl » Thu May 05, 2011 10:52 am

aliarrow wrote:Thanks! I would be curious to hear OS' take if she stops by anytime soon.
The post was from June 2010, and the Fordham student might have even been alumni, so it might have been a different dynamic, especially with all the restructuring Fordham has done with the Part-Time Program.
And good luck on finals!

Thanks.
Just wanted to add that we all compete on an equal plain for journals, honors and jobs, based on our grades - which are all on the same curve. The only difference between FT and PT students (after 1L) is the number of course credits permitted, per semester.

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Re: Fordham 1L Taking Questions

Postby aliarrow » Thu May 05, 2011 10:59 am

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Last edited by aliarrow on Fri May 13, 2011 1:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

akcorps
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Re: Fordham 1L Taking Questions

Postby akcorps » Thu May 05, 2011 11:07 am

aliarrow wrote:I understand that the actual curve is the same, the thing I was getting at is if there is a difference in work required to be top 20% or whatever in FT vs. PT

OK, so reasoning this out the answer is maybe. If every section has a curve then every section sets its own competition level. I would think that the school would like an even mix of talent and ability in order to try to even out the competitiveness, but there is always the possibility that one section might be harder or easier than another. To what degree do you think that this could be objectively measured? I doubt very much that there is any real difference so much as a perceived difference that evening divisions sections are easier because of this or that. I also suspect the exams are the same as the ones given to day students as the faculty seems to teach across divisions.

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Re: Fordham 1L Taking Questions

Postby aaaaaah » Thu May 05, 2011 12:01 pm

Sorry if this has been asked, but what's the FT 1L schedule like? I mean, I know there's one class in the morning and one in the afternoon, but about what time in the morning? Basically, I'm trying to figure out how early I'll need to wake up for a long-ish commute.

Thanks!

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Re: Fordham 1L Taking Questions

Postby OperaSoprano » Thu May 05, 2011 1:52 pm

aliarrow wrote:I understand that the actual curve is the same, the thing I was getting at is if there is a difference in work required to be top 20% or whatever in FT vs. PT


Not sure what you mean by a difference in work. PT people are taking one class under a full course load per semester, so for someone doing that on top of 40 hours of work per week, that is a shit ton more work (just in terms of hours required being awake and at tasks) to be top 20%. For someone not working or interning at all, I would argue that they put in a fewer hours than their FT classmates do, but it comes back to bite them at OCI (and non biglaw interviews), because interviewers do notice that you were/are a part time student, and will ask what other meaningful activities you were doing with your time. I am not saying that full time work is the only justified reason to go PT-- far from it. I did not work full time my first year, but I turned a volunteer gig at a legal nonprofit into a great internship, and it turned out to be the perfect balance for me. The hours I was there were almost exactly commensurate with the extra hours I would have spent working on my third class (not counting legal writing) had I been a FT student, so it worked out in an interesting way.

As for any hostility between PT and FT students, nope. I have a bunch of friends who started in the FT sections, and I never saw it in the slightest. To give you some perspective, I am about to be a rising 3L.

Also note that after 1L year, PT and FT students take a bunch of classes together even if the PT kids don't switch over, because of the number of FT kids who like evening classes. The school is really nice about accommodating everyone. You might say I am practically a full time evening student because of all the interning I do during the day-- it was a habit that died hard even after I got on a journal and started taking four/five classes instead of three. (We have some discretion as 2Ls and can take up to 16 credits. I had to be actively prevented from this when my friends saw the rest of my schedule, and I am still thanking the people who made me drop my sixth class.)

People are nice here. No one will jump on you, and the PT class is small now. Numbers count for USNews, as you well know. Admissions tries to be holistic, though it's a law school, so that is aspirational rather than a realistic goal, but it's still cool that they even have it as an aspiration, IMO. I've been happier here than I could have been anywhere else for the past two years, and that is truly saying something, given my own story. Is it perfect? No. It's law school, lol. But it's been damn good for what it is, even during finals.

akcorps
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Re: Fordham 1L Taking Questions

Postby akcorps » Fri May 06, 2011 4:57 pm

I was hoping nygrrrl and OS (or anyone else who knows) might be able to help me understand the way the PT schedule works after your first year. For example is it possible to stack your classes back to back on a night or two in order to cut down on the number of nights you are in class? I did this pretty much every semester as an UG in order to cut down on class nights, is it possible to do the same in LS?

Also, is it possible to finish your 1L classes in the summer and not go into the day program just to ease up on the number of classes in your remaining semesters? I thought I read you cannot graduate in less than 8 semesters even if you do this, is that true?

Also, does anyone know how difficult Fordham makes it to take a semesters leave? I might have some family issues that would be much better taken care of if I could take a leave at some point.

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Re: Fordham 1L Taking Questions

Postby patently_awesome » Tue May 10, 2011 4:26 pm

2L evening student here. Just finished exams! Yes!

akcorps wrote:For example is it possible to stack your classes back to back on a night or two in order to cut down on the number of nights you are in class? I did this pretty much every semester as an UG in order to cut down on class nights, is it possible to do the same in LS?


The school (and I believe the NY Bar) requires that all law students take classes over at least three days. Fordham makes FT students take classes over 4 days in at least one upper class semester. After that, the best you can do is 3 days/week - and yes, it's worth it.

akcorps wrote:Also, is it possible to finish your 1L classes in the summer and not go into the day program just to ease up on the number of classes in your remaining semesters? I thought I read you cannot graduate in less than 8 semesters even if you do this, is that true?


There is a 6 credit residency requirement that you must fulfill before graduating. Each FT semester is 1 credit, each PT semester is 0.75 credits, and each summer semester is 0.5 credits. That means that without taking summer classes the FT program is 3 years and the PT program is 4 year. If you take 2 summer semesters you can graduate from the PT program in 3.5 years. I do know some people who took summer classes for the sole reason of lightening up the credit load later on.

akcorps wrote:Also, does anyone know how difficult Fordham makes it to take a semesters leave? I might have some family issues that would be much better taken care of if I could take a leave at some point.


I don't think that will be a problem. You have to finish within 7 years and fulfill all of the credit residency requirements, but other than that you should be able to take a semester off here and there.




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