jk11287 wrote:Just to weigh in on the previous debate (hey, I've got lack of law school acceptances insomnia) without re-igniting the flame, I wouldn't worry too much about job prospects. While the entire legal market obviously took a hit, we have over a year before we really have to even think about that. You can't base your entire career/life on the economy right now. While I'm sure (sorry, no numbers/pictures...only common sense) that a lot of NYC firms may look to NYU/Columbia first to hire, I also know that Fordham places in biglaw exceptionally well when held against comparable schools. And SanBun, while you may be correct that Fordham students' presence at law firms has been declining as of late, I would attribute that just as much to the fact that we they already made up a smaller proportion of the population overall. From what I've read, it doesn't seem like they are cutting Fordham students and keeping NYU/Columbia, but rather a lot of cutting back all around.
And again, not to antagonize, but I think money should be a primary consideration when it comes to Fordham. I think its a great school, I would consider myself lucky to go there...but when it comes down to it, if you're paying sticker price and trying to pay rent in one of the craziest real estate markets on the planet, it is simply a practical concern to try to way the cost/benefit of the school.
I have to add to this, but, while giving tours to prospective students at my undergrad today I randomly met a Fordham 2L. I asked her about her OCI and she said she doesn't have a job lined up this summer. Instead of focusing on the NY legal market, she is shifting gears towards the NJ area. She also claimed that about the top 5% are currently getting jobs as opposed to the 85% in the past. Of course this is a little exaggerated, but I am now weary of even applying. Thoughts?
It's not that bad (meaning it's definitely over 5%), but it's certainly not what it was in years past. This is happening everywhere, even in the T14, and it has people freaked out. Here is the thing to keep in mind. In previous years, between 80 and 90% of students had jobs lined up by graduation (87.9%, the most recent figure according to USNews.) However, at least half of these people did not get their jobs through OCI. Fordham used to place between a third and 40% of the class in NLJ250 jobs, and these are the employers who recruit on campus. People working for public interest organizations and smaller firms generally have to be more proactive and go out and make it happen, by networking (yes, it does suck) and volunteering in the community (which doesn't suck at all, lol.)
OCI has been decimated everywhere. People now have to do a lot more of the latter, because they cannot rely on the former, and this is not what a lot of people bargained for. Fordham was never going to be a biglaw guarantee (in '08, 43.7% of the class took NLJ250 jobs, which I believe is the highest percentage on record), so in theory people knew this when they signed up. However, the school is still very well respected, and our alumni network is gigantic. I know this firsthand, because I had to call alumni to invite them to our public service auction. If you are looking for an easy path to $160k, this is not it. However, I feel that my school has so much more to offer than biglaw. I don't want biglaw myself (probably headed for public service), and while the corporate law program here is strong, it's not really my thing.
People are still getting jobs. I don't think we'll have 85% employed prior to graduation, but it is crazy to claim that you have to be in the top 5% to get a job. Biglaw hiring is definitely down, but by the time 2013 does OCI, things will hopefully be better across the board. I don't know what the biglaw percentage was this year, if this is what your friend was talking about. This is just what I've seen, and it's not unique to Fordham. My friends at HLS are worried, though probably needlessly.
I'm very happy with my choice, though a big part of me wants to stay part time, so I can graduate in '13. I love my life here, and I'm in no hurry to leave, even if I get a fantastic job. My friends all say I should come back one day and be dean of students.