D-bag, I am unsurprised to hear that Fordham is looking to expand placement. It always surprised me that so few Fordham grads venture further afield. I had assumed self selection played a role, since Fordham obviously attracts students who love New York. I am one of them, by the way. I come by my infatuation honestly. Fordham was my first choice, and I took my waitlist to heart, because I knew I would have to leave the city I had grown to love so much (I was on hold at Cardozo too.) Two weeks ago, Cardozo admitted me with a very nice scholarship, and four days later, I got into Fordham, after 99 days on the waitlist.
You probably made the right choice given how Cardozo handles scholarship students--all of them go into the same section, thus becoming the "hard" section, and obviously given the requirements on the scholarships, the majority won't end up keeping theirs for next year. They're rough, although it's clear that Cardozo is a school that's going places.
Knowing my story, I hope you will forgive my passionate outburst. This acceptance meant the world to me. The day after I got in, I went up to the school to pay my seat deposit, and had a 45 minute conversation with Dean Brown in the admissions office. We talked about many things, but I got the sense that Fordham was definitely making a push for greater national recognition, and I was very happy to hear it. My family is in the Bay Area, and if I ever leave New York, this is likely where I will go. Dean Brown told me about active alumni in San Francisco and Palo Alto. In your opinion, is the school becoming more national? Do you see this as a feasible goal, especially if NYC is in for a slower recovery than hoped for?
I'm no expert on this, but I think it's a feasible goal in the long-term. One of Fordham's draws is for people who are out of state but want to practice in NY. Chances are that many of them aren't willing to remain in NY, especially after they burn out on BIGLAW, as many of them do. Anecdotally speaking, most of the Fordham alumni that I have met in the NY area, have originally been from the tri-state area.
Has the school been helpful to you in pursuing your non-biglaw career goals? You mentioned that you loved PIRC, and I hope I'll also spend a lot of time there. You also said you disliked many of the other students. Do you feel the competition changes people's personalities? This is the one aspect of law school I am not looking forward to. (Before I got into Fordham and Cardozo, I was all set to pay my seat deposit at Northeastern, if that tells you anything.) I want to bond with my classmates, not live in fear of them.
They're definitely helpful, but we still really have to self-initiate public interest job search if we want it, as opposed to those who seek BIGLAW. The only governmental employee I saw on the OCI list was NYC Law Department, and I don't even know how they snuck in. During Spring OCI, I believe we had US Attorney's Office and Army JAG interviewing 1Ls. I feel that competition definitely changes people's personalities, and you really often get to see the worst of people. The social life at Fordham is lacking, albeit there is some, as a result. On the other hand, the public interest driven folk are usually the nicest. I can't say anything bad about any Stein Scholar that I've met.
In your first post, you advised 0Ls to retake and go to NYU. I was a bit taken aback by your lack of enthusiasm for Fordham. Obviously anyone who can get into a T14 should go, but I had always thought Fordham was unique in the T30 because of the options it offered. When I got in, I called off my planned retake, even though it seemed likely that I would break 170 and have higher ranked options. I was happy, and grateful to have Fordham. I hope I made the right decision; I think another round of applications would have killed me. Given my GPA, Cornell would probably be my ceiling anyway.
You've already made your decision, there's no reason to second-guess it, just know what you're in for. I think those who are in still in position to retake, should, and in the alternative, just wait out the year. We're in uncertain times right now and it's a better idea to get a handle on things before deciding to make a $150k+ investment.
I do want you to know that the people in this year's incoming class are amazing. I've gotten to know many of my fellow PT classmates-to-be, and all are friendly, helpful, and awesome people. Fordham will be in good hands when this class matriculates. I hope the school will take care of us as well.
I find that people in PT are usually a bit different when compared to the FT gunners. You should try to find a part-time internship while in your PT year to ensure that you're getting experience and don't look bad to employers. From what I gather, doing PT without an employment reason raises eyebrows. You'll probably be hard pressed to find something of a truly legal nature, but I think places like the Innocence Project often need all the hands they can get on deck.