rocon7383 wrote:I understand that people look at spending 45k per year at a good law school as significantly riskier than going to a not so good law school for free. I get it. In the near term that is certainly true. The thing that really worries me though is the scenario where, despite working my ass off, I catch a few tough breaks curve wise at St. John's, I finish top 30/40%, and NEVER find a good job. And while I meander along, interviewing against competition with JDs from Columbia/NYU/Fordham/Dozo, I never find anything but shit law.
I find it thoroughly frustrating when people make these huge assumptions about certain schools in NYC like Fordham, Cardozo, St. John's or Brooklyn. Yes wanting to work in NYC BIG LAW will be competitive but if you really WANT to work here, you have to WORK in getting the job. You have to do due diligence. The only profession that I know you can easily get a job right out of graduation is the medical career.
Brooklyn is not a bad law school by any stretch. It's a regional school but you will most easily get a decent public interest around the area. Is it worth the sticker price...maybe not. The tuition is high and I am not sure if they participate in LRAP. But still is not a bad school. I believe Cardozo is a little more competitive with BIG LAW placement but you have a much better chance at gaining a mid law or small law job. Mind you Mid law or Small law does not mean small pay. I know of SEVERAL mid-small law firms off the top of my head that pay very well (like 140k) and don't have the crappy work hours or over done stress levels that Big Law has. Fordham gives you a great chance(yes I said great chance) in getting a gig in BIG LAW. The alumni network is huge. You can either be lucky and get a gig right out of school or you may have to wait on the off season when OCI's are not being done to get in. So basically you actually have to go to them. NOT A BIG DEAL BY FAR!!!!! People seem so freakin' lazy on these forums always thinking that the name and rank should automatically get you an open door to BIG LAW. You could even work outside of BIG LAW for a little while and go to them when you have become more developed and possibly bring them potential clients and they would LOVE to take you in just for the potential revenue. This will give you a GREATER starting salary in BIG LAW and your longevity or partner track will be better paved then if you came right out of law school.
And even if you get a law gig below, (God forbid!!!!!!!) 100k, that doesn't mean that you will not move up in salary. For one, yearly reviews can easily boost your salary by 10k, and you can easily take the experience and look for another gig..... DUH!!!!. Your first salary is not your set salary for the rest of your career. That brings me to St. John's. No you are not doomed to having a crappy law gig coming from St. John's. You can definitely and will definitely get a job but where you take it from there is up to you....AS IT IS FOR MANY OTHER LAW STUDENTS!!!!!!!!
The starting salary most likely will be lower, but it will increase over time. How much time is definitely up to you.
By the way I have worked in NYC as a paralegal for 10+ years and developed strong relationships with colleagues, attorneys, partners and agents. So I believe I have a first hand look on how the market operates in NYC. The best asset you can give yourself is gaining CRAZY interpersonal, interviewing and network skills. This will get you jobs, clients and more money EVERYTIME no matter what school you come from.