[quote="mrtoren"][quote="twb136"]I go to RU-Camden. You have any questions, I can probably tell you what really goes on. The in-state tuition thing is true and fairly painless. If you do it earlier, say May, and you elect Jump Start then you will most likely get in-state for the summer course. We are a close community, you will get to know the deans and professors pretty well almost immediately.
The part-time program is definitely not close to fifty percent. I'd estimate it is less than ten percent of the class size. There is however a hybrid set up that makes day and night students interact a lot. You could very well be full time and have a night class.
If and when you visit, try and contact someone (even me, if need be) so you can actually get a feel for what it is like. Admitted Students Day in the spring is actually really well done and this year we hope to do more to show you what the actual experience is like.
Any questions, just ask.
1) Give us a feel for the area. How safe is it? Are there any local grocery stores, bars, or other entertainment venues?
Safe? Yes. Look up the crime stats if you want to know more. The area has a lot of police forces because of the bridge, the fed court house and Rutgers. The immediate area is most likely safer than all other surrounding law schools (except Nova). You will run into a homeless person once and a while and the farther you venture from school in Camden, the sketchier it becomes. Grocery stores are non existent, liquor stores are everywhere. Majority of people who live around campus are at the Victor Lofts or on campus. They drive to super markets that are about 10 mins away. There is one local bar, Victor Pub. It is where everyone goes if in Camden but outside of that there are a ton of bars along the PATCO line in Center City or in Westmont/Haddonfield. Entertainment there is an outdoor concert venue on the waterfront that gets pretty much all major acts and you get a ridiculous discount for being a Rutgers student. Like the grocery stores, if you want to go to the movies it is a 10 minute drive.
2) Where do you recommend living first year? If going off-campus, what areas do you recommend?
First-year, if you have the money and want to live with a lot of other law people then get an apartment at the Victor. It is expensive though. One bedroom runs around $1100-1400/month. If you want peace and quiet and a suburban feel, head to Collingswood. Prices vary but it is extremely cheap. It comes down to how much and what type of living experience you want. Collingswood is a 15 minute commute by train and the Victor is a 10 minute walk. On campus, there are new dorms being erected for grads, I know nothing other than they will sometime soon be available. A car isn't "essential" but rule of thumb is if you want to go anywhere in NJ, you will need a car. You can take PATCO to Philly all the time but it is nice to have your car.
3) How is the job situation looking?
Job situation in general is dismal for all law schools. Do not let anyone tell you different. It looks to be picking up a little bit but it is tough to see right now. If you keep your head in your books and take the time to network then you will do fine finding a job. Depending on what law you think you are interested in should direct where you want to go for an education and work opportunities. You want to learn how to write well or do some form of public service or advocacy? Come here. You want to learn how to be a trial attorney? Consider Temple.
4) How do graduates fare after finishing their clerkships? Do they land respectable firm jobs?
This ties in with the job market but Rutgers-Camden does have the second highest placement rate for clerkships in the country with Yale first. We have a federal court house literally across the street from the campus. If you plan on practicing in Philadelphia or South Jersey then you cannot go wrong coming to Rutgers. With most law schools, everyone takes care of their own and there are plenty of judges in the area and a lot of partners at major firms in Philadelphia who are from Rutgers-Camden.
5) What is one thing you would have liked to know before attending?
Looking back and trying to think about it, I really do not know. I am not trying to play the part of some overly optimistic student but it took me about two years total from commitment to attend law school to actually choosing a school. So I did a lot of homework prior. I would urge anyone to make sure you want to come to law school and second make absolute sure that you want to go to a specific law school. Just visit the schools you are thinking about. If the school is in CA or TX, spend the extra $1000 to travel for a few days and make sure you will like it. First year is bad enough, you do not need extra grief because you will be homesick or do not like the area. When I visited the schools I liked, Rutgers was actually last on my list before I visited. Then I came, felt extremely comfortable and decided to give it a chance. Choosing the right school isn't something to take lightly. Rutgers is one of the cheapest schools in the nation, but if you do not want to be here then you should not come just to save $15K.