Hofstra and Rutgers are ranked the same really but I do know Rutgers has the better reputation and obviously in state tuition is the big bonus there.
The one good thing about Hofstra is that the price scares away the overqualified kids so you are likely to have a better class rank at a private school as opposed to the kid with the 3.5 165 who is only staying home b/c of the cheaper tuition...
There's a difference in rep between NYLS and Hofstra. Actually, depending on what legal circle you're in, a significant one.
My family's been in the legal field for generations and Hofstra is, at this point, comparable to St. John's.
On the other hand, the people I've met through them seem to compare NYLS with CUNY and Pace.
I know that, in my case, I can rely on my family for a job as an attorney after graduation if I don't land the type of job I want, so I feel secure taking a financial "risk" like paying sticker for a school like Hofstra. If you look at a list of all of the schools that feed into the NY market (outside of the non-NY t14), Hofstra's basically middle-of-the-road in terms of reputation, so it's not a bad way to go if you can stomach the price.
The school's doing pretty well, especially considering that it's relatively young (founded in 1970).
Personally, I went to visit both Hofstra and St. John's before making a decision between the two, and just really liked Hofstra.
I'm going to go see them both one more time before making that absolute final commitment though. I just want to be sure I'm making the right decision for me.
I think a lot of it comes down to personal preference... I'd just go take a tour or head to the ASW to see if it's a good fit.
And hey, if you're really that bitter or reluctant about going to Hofstra, you could always sit out a year, retake the LSAT, and reapply. (Had to! It's tls, after all, lol)