Rutgers Newark, Cardozo, Brooklyn, Pace - worth going?

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
rbfplacid
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2015 6:49 pm

Rutgers Newark, Cardozo, Brooklyn, Pace - worth going?

Postby rbfplacid » Mon Apr 20, 2015 9:41 pm

Here's my story:

I'm accepted to those 4 schools with no scholarship. I got rejected from Seton Hall and Fordham. I will not go into debt at any school - though paying $23K (Rutgers) sounds a lot better than paying $50K. I currently live in NYC and I am from northern NJ. I would move to Jersey City and get in-state tuition to attend Rutgers. I would be satisfied working in either market at a private, midsize firm. I don't have a desire for biglaw. I'm a little older and I've seen too many lawyer friends miserable in that environment and have moved back to mid-size firms. I have good connections in the law industry (friends and close family who are lawyers in NY/NJ). I would like to practice environmental law, but not non-profit 'save the world' environmental law and not for the government. I'd like to work on the defense side - maybe toxic tort or some type of environmental litigation. I've been working at the UN in climate change policy and a couple environmental non-profits for the past 9 years with a 2-year gap for a Master's degree from Columbia University in Climate Change Policy - as you can see I'm selling out. My LSAT holds me back (151). I doubt my score would improve much on a retake. I studied a lot already and I currently work full-time. Grades, my consistent interest in environmental issues over the years and a Master's from Columbia is probably what got me in.

My questions - Are these schools worth attending? Do they have good reputations? Is someone with a 151 going to be a good lawyer? I have some interest in possibly practicing in NYC, so Brooklyn and Cardozo are attractive from that point of view.

Please do not tell me to retake. I don't have the time to. Thank you for your candid thoughts.

User avatar
Skool
Posts: 1028
Joined: Mon Dec 23, 2013 3:26 pm

Re: Rutgers Newark, Cardozo, Brooklyn, Pace - worth going?

Postby Skool » Mon Apr 20, 2015 9:53 pm

You overreached with the 151.

User avatar
nealric
Posts: 2391
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:53 am

Re: Rutgers Newark, Cardozo, Brooklyn, Pace - worth going?

Postby nealric » Tue Apr 21, 2015 3:07 pm

Honestly, I would not attend law school if I were in your shoes. Getting a job at a mid-sized firm is not an easy task, especially in a niche field like environmental law. The low LSAT also indicates you may struggle on the bar exam as well. Nothing would be worse than getting deep into debt, spending 3 years of your life, and having nothing to show for it. You don't want to sell out and the find there are no takers.

You say you don't have time to retake, but you DO have time to spend 3 years in law school? The amount of time needed to retake the LSAT is frankly trivial compared to the time it will take to earn back the cost of tuition or the time needed to retake a bar exam.

rbfplacid
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2015 6:49 pm

Re: Rutgers Newark, Cardozo, Brooklyn, Pace - worth going?

Postby rbfplacid » Wed Apr 22, 2015 3:09 pm

Thanks for your thoughts. I'm not taking any loans. I work full time so that limits my LSAT studying time. I would leave and go to school full-time though. I can always work at my father and cousins firm, but I wouldn't really want to initially. I don't really know if that changes anything. I'm still thinking about it. I don't know what you mean by overreaching. I did get in.

rwhyAn
Posts: 294
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:09 pm

Re: Rutgers Newark, Cardozo, Brooklyn, Pace - worth going?

Postby rwhyAn » Wed Apr 22, 2015 10:46 pm

I worked full-time and was able to find time to study for the LSAT. Rutgers is the best option out of these three, but it's not particularly great. I go to R-N, and I'm happy to be there, but I'm fortunate enough to be in a position where my employer is paying for it all. I would not spend $25k/year in tuition to go. I know you say that you won't have any debt, but that's not a compelling enough reason to go, as you'll be paying full tuition. If you spend $1000 on a prep class, devote a few months studying for a retake, and apply next cycle with a 160+, it will save you between $50-75k. Nealric hit the nail on the head about having time to spend 3 years in law school but no time to retake. Retake is the only logical option.

rbfplacid
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2015 6:49 pm

Re: Rutgers Newark, Cardozo, Brooklyn, Pace - worth going?

Postby rbfplacid » Thu Apr 23, 2015 12:24 am

I was working full-time the first time around and probably studied 10-15 hours a week for 4 months. My biggest question is are you saying Rutgers is only worth going to if you get to go for free? Doesn't seem like that speaks much of the school. you're a paralegal? My employer certainly wouldn't pay knowing it'd mean I wouldn't be working there 3 years later. I have a kid on the way too, so that'll be time consuming, lol. I think it may be now or never, but I'll think about it.

rwhyAn
Posts: 294
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:09 pm

Re: Rutgers Newark, Cardozo, Brooklyn, Pace - worth going?

Postby rwhyAn » Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:35 am

I'm not saying it's not worth it if it isn't free, but full tuition is too much in my opinion. I think it is a legitimate option if you can get a half scholarship, which you would most likely get with an LSAT in the 158-162 range. When the average salary coming out of Rutgers (and the other schools listed) is in the $45k-50k range, it's not advisable to pay full freight.

BigZuck
Posts: 10853
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:53 am

Re: Rutgers Newark, Cardozo, Brooklyn, Pace - worth going?

Postby BigZuck » Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:39 am

What do you mean by midlaw?

How easy is it to get that kind of job from one of these schools?

User avatar
nealric
Posts: 2391
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:53 am

Re: Rutgers Newark, Cardozo, Brooklyn, Pace - worth going?

Postby nealric » Thu Apr 23, 2015 2:14 pm

rbfplacid wrote:I was working full-time the first time around and probably studied 10-15 hours a week for 4 months. My biggest question is are you saying Rutgers is only worth going to if you get to go for free? Doesn't seem like that speaks much of the school. you're a paralegal? My employer certainly wouldn't pay knowing it'd mean I wouldn't be working there 3 years later. I have a kid on the way too, so that'll be time consuming, lol. I think it may be now or never, but I'll think about it.


That's not nearly enough studying for the LSAT. 100 hours is a decent minimum for someone who is a strong test taker, and 250 should not be beyond the pale for someone scoring in the low 150s on initial take. If you think that's crazy, keep in mind that you are going to be putting in a lot more than that for the bar and for law school. I put in something like 200 study hours for the bar exam. Many law students put in 40-50 hours of studying in their very first week of law school.

rbfplacid
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2015 6:49 pm

Re: Rutgers Newark, Cardozo, Brooklyn, Pace - worth going?

Postby rbfplacid » Thu Apr 23, 2015 8:24 pm

BigZuck - that's the question I'm most concerned with. I can tell you by the results of my friends who have gone to law school in the area. All graduated between 2008 and 2010, with a couple exceptions. I don't know how much things have changed - for the better or worse. I can't imagine the employment outlook can be any worse than they were in 08/09. None of them seem underemployed, so I would hope my prospects are similar. Any perspective on the likelihood of these outcomes would be appreciated.

Fordham '10 - working in Westchester at 15 person law firm
Pace '10 - working in Westchester at firm with 5 offices in the northeast, 100 or so attorneys
Brooklyn '11 - working at a 100+ firm in the city in corporate law
Brooklyn '11 - working for family business in business development
NYU '02 - at a firm in NYC with 4 offices in NY/NJ area in bankruptcy law - worked at Skadden for 2 years but hated it (one of most prestigious law firms in the world)
Seton Hall '10 - working at 15 person firm in northern NJ in environmental law
NY Law '09 - in house at an insurance company in NYC
Cardozo '15 - starting a clerkship in Jersey City in the fall




Return to “Ask a Law Student / Graduate”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: MSNbot Media and 3 guests