Everywhere you go on this forum, NYLS is shunned, loked down upon, and disregarded as a school.
I'm currently a 1L at NYLS and I'm happy to tell you what really goes on on our campus.
First, I'm in the top 10% there and I have a Federal Judge internship already lined up for the summer. Additionally, I am applying for transfer.
If I am not accepted to where I'm applying for transfer, I won't be sad. NYLS has been great to me and I really enjoy the school. The faculty are knowledgeable and (some) friendly. Many of the faculty are distinguished and they testify at Congress ranging from the financial situation of this country (Prof. Houman Shadab) to debates about the death penalty (Prof. Robert Blecker).
There are many other faculty that I haven't experienced, these professors are only from my section. (5 sections, 4 full time and 1 part time).
The school was established a long time ago, but its facilities are new. They finished construction of the new building and this is where our classes are held. The three old buildings have been converted into two newly renovated buildings that connect the entire school. The school occupies nearly an entire block in TriBeCa.
The library is new, and it is underground. It doesn't get much quieter than that for studying. No honking and the walls are insulated so you don't hear the trains going by.
Of course, no matter how much I like the school, I must be objective and give you a fair look at the negatives too.
The school is Tier 3 and is competing in the same job market as NYU, Columbia, Fordham, and even Brooklyn Law. All ranked higher than NYLS and all with not necessarily "more" options at OCI, but definitely more "better" options.
The school is actively trying to raise its rank. They have a few staff dedicated to this task. At least NYLS knows where they are ranked and are trying to fix it.
When you talk to fellow students, they are generally happy with where they are at and enjoy it. There are a few negative nancys in our classes and most of their negativity comes from what they've read here.
The atmosphere is not ultra-competitive but our 1L class was the most competitive any faculty had seen in a while. Additionally, our 1L class had the highest average GPA and highest average LSAT score in the school's history. Factor? Possibly...
For a research assignment, a single student actually ripped pages out of a book. First time, according to the Law Librarian, that had ever happened there.
The alumni network is huge! I mean HUGE! But our elites include the likes of Judy Scheindlin (Which I got to meet and get a photo with) - Judge Judy for those of you not knowing. No presidents, no supreme court justices (well, one from the early 1900's I think...).
Getting a biglaw job out of NYLS is difficult, but doable. Most of biglaw goes to Fordham and up.
Finding employment (for me) wasn't difficult and I'm already talking with some big law firms in NYC. Be on top of things and you will have an advantage.
NYLS's curve has been fixed from where it was in the early 2000's...it was the only B- curve in NYC making it more difficult for NYLS alum to compete because their GPA was marred. Now, we are at an equivalent curve with the rest of NYC.
We have gunners and suckers just like any law school and just like any law school they get made fun of. We also have some very smart people. However, like me, they want to transfer out because of the stigma of the school. Guess what, this only adds to the stigma. NYLS's students are literally holding NYLS back by leaving the school.
In sum, if you want to work in NYC, NYLS is not a bad decision. If you can go to T14, or any other NYC school (except HOFSTRA/ CUNY), then you should probably choose the other.
Don't be disappointed if NYLS is where you go...great school and I'm looking forward to seeing them progress in the future.
If you have any specific questions, I'd love to answer them for you.
Coolgrnmen: Thank you for the objective opinion. I have been accepted into NYLS for the Fall of 2011 and thought Admitted Students Day was teriffic. The faculty and students I met, in conjunction with the outstanding building in a prime location truly swayed me. Although I am waiting to hear back from St. John's, Brooklyn, Hofstra and Fordham, I question whether "name" or "rankings" are really all that significant outside of the T14. What are your thoughts? I feel I may perform better in a gorgeous, high-tech facility in lower Manhattan as opposed to crumbling-down Hofstra or dingy Brooklyn. I am not thrilled with the location of St. John's. Also, I get the vibe that *some* TLSers are number-obsessed computer geeks with no hint of personality or networking skills (some are on here posting all day, LOL). I expect that a good GPA and great character are sufficient to achieve success after NYLS. Aside from this website, I feel very good about the opportunities that can be had at "4th tier" NYLS.
In sum, do you feel you are at a disadvantage competing for jobs as a NYLS student when faced against students from Brooklyn/Hofstra/St. John's?