Seton Hall Law
Seton Hall University School of Law is the only private law school in New Jersey, one of two law schools in the state -- the other being Rutgers University School of Law, with campuses in Newark and Camden, having merged in July 2015. At #63, Seton Hall is higher ranked by US News & World Report than either Rutgers campus pre-merger (Rutgers-Newark, #87 and Rutgers-Camden, #102). Tuition is higher than either Rutgers campus, however, employment outcomes outperform those of both Rutgers campuses. According to ABA data, Seton Hall Law ranked 25th in the nation based on the percentage of Class of 2014 graduates in full-time, long-term positions requiring bar passage. Neither Rutgers appeared in the Top 50.
- 1 Admissions
- 2 Law school culture
- 3 Academics
- 4 Employment prospects
- 5 Synopsis
- 6 Contact information
- 7 Quick reference
Tuition and fees
Tuition for full-time students is $51,018; for part-time students, it is $38,474. Additionally, the school estimates that students living off-campus, but not at home, will spend approximately $22,562 on living expenses, books, health insurance, etc. Overall, the school recommends a total budget of $72,394 yearly for full-time students and $59,796 for part-time students.
To help students combat this debt, the school offers a variety of financial aid options. For the incoming class in 2015, more than 70% received scholarship funding; over 70% of those receiving scholarships received $25,000 or more; and 75% to 85% of funded students typically renew scholarships after the first year. In the most recent data reported to the ABA, the school noted that 37.8% of students received grant and/or scholarship aid. In addition, 55.7% of its grants and scholarships were less than half tuition, 44.3% were half to full tuition, and 0% were full tuition scholarships. Finally, the school gave out less money for part-time students than full-time students - the median grant for full-time students was $20,000, and for part-time students it was $5,425.
One current student who received a half-tuition scholarship feels that the school's expensive tuition helps pay for various benefits that improved campus life immensely. He explains:
I feel like the benefit of going to the private school is astronomical in terms of what they do for students. They have more money to spend, and spend it they do. It's the little things…bags, free food and drink nights, excellent events; it really creates a nice atmosphere for the students. I do not feel like they are pocketing my money without reciprocation.
While these flourishes are nice, job prospects are what matter in the end, and Seton Hall's employment options for graduates (as described in the Employment section at the end of this profile) are among the strongest in the region. Another student, currently attending Seton Hall feels that Seton Hall's tuition is justified:
I don't view Seton Hall Law's tuition in particular as having a "hefty sticker price" because it is comparable to that of similar law schools. Yes, students have to be prepared to pay a significant amount of money to attend SHU Law, but anyone going to any similar law school should expect it to be an expensive endeavor. I definitely think it is reasonable for students to attend Seton Hall regardless of whether they receive a financial aid package. I did not receive any scholarship money and know a number of people who are also taking loans out for the full amount.
The school generally has a top 75% stipulation for keeping scholarship money, and 75-85% of scholarship recipients retain those scholarships after the first year. While this requirement might seem easy to fulfill (one current student described the stipulations as "more than fair"), you never know how you'll end up doing on your finals.. To read a TLS article about funding your legal education, click here. Also, if you plan on pursuing a career in public interest, click here to learn about the new program called Public Service Loan Forgiveness (or PSLF). Finally, to read about a new payment option for federal student loans called IBR (or Income-Based Repayment), click here.
As a side note, applying to Seton Hall will cost $65, unless one obtains a fee waiver, click here.
The following chart gives a numbers profile for the 2013 entering class. To learn more about preparing for the LSAT from some of the highest scorers on TLS, click here.
|75th Percentile LSAT||159|
|25th Percentile LSAT||153|
|75th Percentile UGPA||3.68|
|25th Percentile UGPA||3.12|
According to ABA data, in 2015, the school received 1,544 applications, admitted 751 and 151 matriculated (Day: 120, Evening: 32).
Student who enroll in the full-time program attend classes during the day, and students who enroll in the part-time program can attend classes either during the day or during the evening. The full-time and part-time divisions have "fully comparable programs, and all full-time faculty teach in both divisions." and all full-time faculty teach in both divisions." Students who wish to transfer from the part-time program to the full-time program must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 after the spring semester of their first year, and they must complete "5 credits for residency during a summer session." To find out more about this transferring process, clikhere.
As a side note, the school writes that if an applicant has taken the LSAT more than once, "The Admissions Committee will consider an applicant's entire testing record, but may use the higher score in evaluating the overall strength of your application." Additionally, the school suggests that, "An applicant might consider writing a supplemental statement (in the Admissions Application) to address any circumstances surrounding a standardized test performance that does not reflect his/her best efforts."
Of course, numbers aren't the only part of your application. The school emphasizes that "many additional factors are weighed in our admission process." Some examples might include "graduate education, work experience, school or community service and other interests." Along these lines, your resume is a good way of sharing those factors that make you different in a concise and accessible way. To read some advice about creating a professional law school resume, click here.
Seton Hall's personal statement prompt is very similar to most schools'. The law school asks that applicants submit an essay of "approximately two to three typed pages," and remarks that they are "interested in learning about the process that has led you to decide to become a lawyer and to seek admission to Seton Hall Law." They suggest that you do this by reflecting "upon your personal influences" and by providing them with "examples from your experience." In other words, using the same personal statement as you used for other schools will probably work just fine. That being said, if you want to include specific reasons about why you want to attend Seton Hall, those will surely serve as a bonus in the admissions process. If you're interested in improving your personal statement or even just looking for ideas to write about, Ken DeLeon, the creator of Top-Law-Schools.com, wrote a fantastic guide to personal statements which can be found here for free.
In addition, the school will accept a "supplemental statement" where one can describe "any experiences or circumstances (including any physical and/or psychological difficulties) not mentioned elsewhere in [the] application, that might have adversely affected any previous academic or standardized testing performance." Furthermore, they ask, "Do these circumstances still prevail today? If yes, how would this affect your success in a law school program?" This statement functions as an addendum for students who have a previous mark on their record. You can reassure the school that whatever issues you had in the past will not affect your future performance (and thus increase your chance of acceptance). For more information about writing addenda, click here.
When to apply
There is no Early Decision (ED) or Early Action (EA) option at Seton Hall. However, the school says that, "All applicants are encouraged to file and complete their applications as early as possible." Applications open on September 1st and close on April 1st.
Letters of recommendation
Seton Hall requires one letter of recommendation from applicants written within the last two years. Letters can be submitted "directly to Seton Hall University School of Law by the writer, sent through a college or university credentials service, or be included as part of LSDAS through the Letter of Recommendation service." Finally, the school notes that, "Letters of recommendation must be written on letterhead stationery that includes an address. Letters must be recent and must be signed." To get some additional advice on obtaining letters of recommendation, click here.
The school gives the following information about transferring to Seton Hall:
Applicants for transfer admission must have completed at least 1 year, or one-third of the credits required for graduation, at an ABA-approved law school, and be in good academic standing at their current law schools. Transfer applications must be received and complete by June 25, 2010. The transfer admission process is not rolling, so there is no advantage to applying significantly before the deadline.
In addition, the school reports that "decisions will be made by mid-July for applications received and completed by the deadline." In the last data reported to the ABA, the school noted that 11 students transferred into Seton Hall, and 7 transferred out. To read a fantastic article about transferring, click here.
Urms (or underrepresented minorities)
Because of their disadvantaged histories in the United States, certain minorities enjoy a significant boost in the application process. To read more about this boost and to see whether you classify as an URM, click here. In addition, there are many pre-law programs specifically created to help URM applicants get accepted to top schools. To read more about some of these programs, click here.
Law school culture
Seton Hall University School of Law is located in Newark, NJ. While Newark isn't a bustling metropolis, it does have various recreational opportunities for its residents. First, there are a number of parks in Newark and the surrounding area that students can enjoy when the weather is warm. Choices in Newark include Branch Brook Park, a four-mile stretch that "features thousands of cherry trees that blossom in April," and Weequahic Park, a "public 18-hole golf course" that can be reached by car in five minutes.
Ski resorts and beaches are also in the nearby area. For instance, one can reach the Mountain Creek ski area (located in Vernon, NJ) in "approximately 45 minutes." One can also easily get to various New Jersey beaches; if traveling by car, one should be able to reach a beach in "approximately one hour." In addition, the school's website explains: "The North Jersey Coast line leaves Newark Penn Station regularly bound for beach towns such as Belmar, Spring Lake, Point Pleasant and other New Jersey beaches."
If you are into sports, then the school's location also offers plenty in this regard, with its proximity to the Prudential Center and for soccer, Red Bull Stadium. Teams like the New Jersey Devils (for hockey) are hometown favorites, and students can travel up to nearby New York for Giants, Jets, Knicks, Rangers, Yankees, and Mets games. In addition, Seton Hall has a basketball team, the Pirates, and games are a "popular student event." The school reports that a "limited number of free tickets for selected games during the season are available for law students at the Office of the Dean of Students."
As with most other cities, Newark also offers a variety of museums, shows, and local restaurants for students to enjoy. For instance, the local Newark Museum (which includes the Dreyfuss Planetarium) and Liberty Science Center give students some culture close to home, and nearby New York City offers a multitude of different museums that are "easy to reach via New Jersey Transit and the New York City subway." The nearby New Jersey Performing Arts Center "hosts nationally acclaimed musicians, off-Broadway plays and musicals, as well as local talents," and students can enjoy the classical offerings of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. Finally, there are numerous restaurants in the area (Nico, Dino Bar-b-que, Mmmbello’s, and Iberia Peninsula, to name just a few), and if you ever get bored of the food fare in Newark, you can travel to New York City, where the eating options are endless. One current student was surprised that Newark had so much to offer students:
One of the biggest and most pleasant surprises I had coming here was discovering that there is a lot to do in Newark. Many students live in Newark and love it. There are a half dozen bars that SHU students frequent often after school. There are hundreds of food options, especially in the Ironbound, a predominantly Brazilian/Portuguese area of Newark with a lot of culture. Not to mention the Prudential Center, home of the Devils, Nets, SHU Basketball, concerts, etc. Newark is a transportation hub, and it's easy to get to Hoboken, NJ, another popular location, as well as NYC. You will never be bored in your downtime in this area.
The school offers a detailed look at the various housing options available for students on its website. For instance, students can search for housing in Newark, Hoboken, Jersey City, Manhattan, Westfield, and South Orange/Maplewood, to name just a few communities where Seton Hall students often reside. One student commented on the housing situation:
I don't live in Newark, but my friends who do don't seem to mind it because it is convenient to be located close to school. There are a lot of nice restaurants and bars in Newark and in nearby Jersey City and Hoboken. NYC is also only a 20-minute train ride, so there are definitely social outlets. People generally find housing in Newark, Jersey City, and Hoboken, but there are a lot of people that commute from different places as well. Most of the people I know live relatively close to school, but there are a few who commute a considerable distance. SHU Law doesn't have "on-campus" dorms, but there are two apartments that are about a block or two from school that many students live in.
Another student explains further:
The good thing about Newark is that it's a transportation hub. Newark Penn Station is a block away, which fields stops from NJ Transit, NY/NJ PATH trains, and Amtrak. Cities along the PATH line, such as Hoboken, Jersey City, and Lower Manhattan are all very popular. Newark also has fine accommodations, like the 1180 Building and the Union Building. Both are within walking distance of the law school.
Another student remarked that, although he did not live in Newark his first year at law school, he wished that he had. He further explained, "The city gets a bad rap; however the area where the law school is located is phenomenal. There is never a shortage of restaurants and bars, and I feel safe 24 hours a day."
One current student raved about the facilities at Seton Hall:
The school's facilities are great. There is wireless everywhere in the building, and there are no dead zones like at my undergraduate campus. There are outlets for every seat in the classrooms, and there are communal computers available in the library and computer lab. There are also plenty of printers so you rarely have to wait to print out materials. At my undergraduate school, there were endless lines between classes to print or even to get to a computer. Not the case here. The facility itself is very new and well designed. Also of note is the cafeteria, which makes great food, and the Coffee Shop, which has both Dunkin' Donuts and Starbucks flavors of coffee. Can't go wrong.
Those who want to stay fit while at Seton Hall can go to the school's University Recreation Center. The school's website describes the gym as having "five multipurpose courts for basketball, badminton, and volleyball; a 200-meter indoor track; an 8 lane, 25-yard swimming pool; a fitness/weight room; a dance studio; 4 racquetball courts; and complete locker rooms with saunas." If you're a full-time student at Seton Hall, you can attend this gym free of charge, but part-time students are required to pay $100 per semester. The gym is located on Seton Hall's main University campus, which is located "about 15 minutes away" from the law school. One current student found this distance "a little disappointing."
If you're looking for a gym within walking distance of the law school, you can obtain a membership to the nearby New York Sports Club for cheap. This "full service fitness center" offers a free one-week trial in addition to a "Seton Hall Law School corporate rate." Other facilities on campus are competent but not remarkable. One student writes, "Everything other than the gym is on par with any other law school I have seen."
The Student Body
The school gives the following breakdown for the entering class for the fall of 2008:
|Ages 40 & Up||2%|
|Black / African American Students||6%|
|Asian American Students||7%|
|Hispanic / Latino Students||7%|
|White / Caucasian Students||61%|
|Two or more ethnic groups||13%|
|Other ethnicities / Not Reported||6%|
The school reported in its most recent ABA data that the overall student body was 59% male and 41% female. One current student emphasizes how diverse the student body is:
We are also very diverse. While we are a Catholic school, you wouldn't know it by the population. There are students of all denominations. We predominantly attract from the Northeast, but I have friends from Texas, Florida, California, Washington, Arizona, and Michigan, just to name a few. Internationally we have students from Russia, Brazil, Italy, etc.
In addition, students are overwhelmingly positive about the quality of the student body. One current student writes:
The best part about law school for me has been the friends I have made here. Like I said, Seton Hall does a wonderful job creating an excellent social atmosphere and that allows great friendships to develop. There will always be the annoying people, the competitive ones, and of course the "gunners," but they are the exception rather than the rule.
Another student reaffirms this perspective, writing:
Seton Hall has a very friendly atmosphere and I can honestly say that in only my first year here many of my peers have become my best friends. I definitely think there is a place and a niche for any type of person who goes to school here and that anyone can "fit in." People are not overly competitive; as a matter of fact I have found that the students here go out of their way to help each other.
In fact, one student describes the friendly atmosphere at Seton Hall as the school's greatest asset. He writes, "The biggest positive is the overall atmosphere created at the school of comfort and openness." Another student confirms this perspective at length:
Seton Hall's biggest positive is definitely its atmosphere. The students are friendly, the professors are helpful, and everyone generally gets along. It isn't a cut throat law school; people want to do well but they are not going to sabotage a fellow classmate to get to the top. This, I think, is what sets Seton Hall apart from other law schools. Law school is stressful enough without having to worry about other students potentially trying to hurt your chances of doing well. In my first year experience I have found that my classmates were a huge help and went out of their way to assist me, and each other. Individually we each want to do well, but we also want our classmates and friends to do well too.
Finally, another current student remarks that, while the students at Seton Hall are competitive, it never reaches an unreasonable level:
The friendliness of the students, faculty, administration, and other staff is incredible. SHU has a friendly, laid back attitude. We are competitive somewhat as we rank and have a curve like most schools, but it is a VERY friendly competition. You'll never hear of someone having their notes deleted or tampered with or other sabotage horror stories like at some other more competitive schools in the area. I feel completely safe leaving my laptop out and open in the library, as do most of my friends.
As with most law schools, there are numerous organizations on campus that students can participate in and enjoy in their scarce free time. For instance, students can join diverse clubs (Black Law Students Association, Latin American Law Students Association, Asian Pacific American Law Students Association), religious groups (the Muslim Students Association, St. Thomas More Society, Jewish Law Students Association), and many other types of organizations (Intellectual Property Law Association, Corporate Law Society, Family Law Society etc.). One student remarked about student involvement in clubs:
If you want to be involved you definitely can be. As a 1L I was involved in several organizations and most of my friends were too. Now as 2Ls most of us are on at least one executive board (or e-board). You'll get as much out of the organizations and activities on campus as you put into them.
There are three different student-run journals at Seton Hall Law School. They are: the Seton Hall Law Review, the Legislative Journal, and the Seton Hall Circuit Review. New members to the journals are mainly chosen based on their GPAs as well as their performances in the school's annual writing competition. One student remarks that, "A lot of 1Ls participate in the write-on competition at the end of their first year and are notified of the results by mid-July."
The Seton Hall Law Review is the school's flagship journal; one current student remarks that the Review is "the most prestigious and most competitive, but every journal is great." The journal's website reports that "offers are extended to only twenty-five to thirty students who have completed their first year of law school." Students that are automatically selected to be members of the Law Review include the "top 5 GPAs of those students who participate in the Write-On competition" as well as the "top 10 writing scores (so long as they meet the GPA requirement." The rest of the members are chosen by their GPAs, assuming that they are in at least the top 50% of the write-on competition.
If you are selected to be on the Review, you can look forward to contributing to a journal that has been "cited numerous times by the Supreme Court of the United States, as well as in hundreds of federal and state court cases." The journal is published four times annually and tackles issues as diverse as foreign extradition, gamete donation, and maritime torts. Finally, the journal hosts various symposia (usually annually) on different topics; in 2015, the Symposium was entitled, "Policing the Police and the Community" and included a number of panel discussions, with two keynote speakers.
Another popular publication at Seton Hall is the school's Legislative Journal. Much like the Law Review, students are selected through a combination of write-on score and GPA. Students who are chosen to work on the Legislative Journal can look forward to "[acquiring] valuable skills and expertise in legislative scholarship and in legal writing and editing." Recent issues have addressed topics like labor management relations, the No Child Left Behind Act, and cyberbullying. In addition, much like the Law Review, the Legislative Journal hosts regular symposia; in 2015, the topic focuses on issues related to incarceration, exploring challenges and questions regarding prison reform.
The newest journal at Seton Hall (it was founded in 2004) is the school's Seton Hall Circuit Review. Published twice a year, the Seton Hall Circuit Review is “dedicated to the study of the work of the United States Courts of Appeals. Since only a handful of cases are reviewed by the Supreme Court, the circuit courts stand as the primary judicial law givers for the federal system. The Circuit Review features lead articles on recent important developments at the federal appellate level. In addition to editing lead articles, each member writes a Comment addressing a novel topic embodied in a "circuit split," i.e., an instance where different circuits have announced varying interpretations of the law. New members are chosen based on a combination of their performance in the write-on competition and their GPAs. The Editorial Board is chosen annually by election of the entire Circuit Review membership.” The journal's website states that:
During the selection process, your writing score and Bluebooking exercise weigh slightly more than your GPA. In other words, we are more concerned with your ability to write well and be resourceful, i.e., to use the Bluebook when necessary. There is no hard 3.0 GPA floor.... This weighing scheme is designed to encourage those exceptional writers with a 2.9 to demonstrate writing ability by participating in the competition.
In other words, those who might not qualify for the other journals have a chance of being selected for the Circuit Review.
As is standard practice, first-year students at Seton Hall Law School enroll in a number of required classes. These include staples like Contracts, Torts, Constitutional Law, etc. In their second years, students have a few classes they are required to take (Business Associations, Federal Income Taxation, and Evidence), but the majority of class time is taken up by electives. Students can declare concentrations in Intellectual Property Law or Health Law (which was recently ranked 5th in the nation by U.S. News) and can take courses in subjects as varied as Taxation, Property and Estates Law, Environmental Law, and History and Philosophy of Law. For a full listing of courses available at Seton Hall, click here.
One important way that the school supports its Health Law program is through the Center for Health & Pharmaceutical Law & Policy. This center "comprises three degree programs for JD, LLM and MSJ students, as well a certification program in Health Care Compliance," and also "produces scholarship through journal publication and white papers on emerging legal, ethical, and social issues in health and pharmaceutical law." Seton Hall Law's Health Law program has been ranked among the U.S. News & World Report top 10 for the two decades. One current student commented about the center, "The Center for Health & Pharmaceutical Law draws many incoming students to our school because of the strength and reputation of our Health Law program. Many students concentrate in Health Law and have a great resource at hand through this center."
Another center that enhances the intellectual life at Seton Hall is the Gibbons Institute of Law, Science & Technology. This institute is the bastion on campus for intellectual property law. It provides students with the resources necessary to handle the "complex issues" associated with intellectual property law in the 21st century. For instance, students can pursue a concentration in intellectual property law, and can choose between two different tracks (intellectual property or entertainment law). Classes include Law in the Music Industry, Securities Regulation, and Entertainment Contracts, Negotiation & Drafting, among many others.
There are four different joint degrees that students at Seton Hall can pursue. These include a JD / MA in Diplomacy and International Relations, a JD / MBA, a JD / MD, and an interesting six-year program with the New Jersey Institute of Technology where students earn a BS and JD consecutively. One current student writes, "I know a couple of people who are doing the joint J.D. / M.B.A. program, and they both seem to be satisfied with it." To read more about joint degrees and why one might pursue one, click here and here.
Students interviewed about their professors were overwhelmingly positive. One student commented:
The professors all have very different teaching styles, but I have found all to be effective. I have walked away from my first year feeling as though I have definitely learned a lot, and have been able to apply what I learned throughout my first year in my current summer internship.
Another student reaffirmed this viewpoint, writing:
The professors here are phenomenal. We have no choice in who our first year professors are, but I was not disappointed with any of them. There will always be some professors that are better than others, but I have developed relationships with many of them. Seton Hall maintains an open door policy, and professors respond to attempts at communication extremely quickly.
Finally, yet another student also greatly enjoyed his professors at Seton Hall:
My professors have been very impressive. They are all very qualified and their knowledge is impressive. Several have also been outstanding in the classroom - responsive, organized, funny. Only one of my classes fell below my expectations for in-class performance, but even then the teacher was personable and helpful outside the class, and the exam was very fair.
Overall, students seem very satisfied with their classes. One writes, "There are always the first year legal concepts that basically have no practical effect. However, I view my overall academic experience as being extremely gratifying. The professors have gotten me excited to become a lawyer through stories of their own practices and experiences." Another reinforces this viewpoint, writing, "I do think I have learned a lot over the course of my first year at SHU Law and think the education is a 'practical' one. I have been able to apply a lot of what I learned in my summer internship and was definitely prepared to work at my summer job as a result." Finally, a current student explains how he thinks his Seton Hall education has been practical thus far:
I finally feel that what I am learning in school is practical, as opposed to most of my experience in undergrad. The material is dense but interesting and the practicality is immediately apparent - you are learning about cases that have actually happened, so the legal issues in each case were very important and practical to those parties. It's much more of a training process than solely a learning process.
There are a number of study abroad programs that students can enjoy while at Seton Hall. Locations have included Cairo; Jordan; Chamonix, France; and Zanzibar. Total costs for these trips can be quite expensive, ranging from $6,000 to $10,000 for most Seton Hall students. Curriculum generally focuses on areas of international law, such as European Union Law, International Oil and Tax Law, and International Human Rights, Slavery, Human Trafficking and the Law. Please note that the Zanzibar and Chamonix programs are "winter intersession" programs that last for roughly two weeks in late December.
Seton Hall students who are interested in public interest law will have plenty of opportunities to get first-hand experience with clients before they graduate. As the school's website writes:
Through internships, fellowships and our onsite clinic, Seton Hall Law students put their skills to work as practicing lawyers under the tutelage of professors and practitioners who are renowned in their fields.
One of the main ways that the school approaches public interest law is through its "centers," the Center for Social Justice (CSJ) and the Center for Policy and Research. The Center for Social Justice has seven different clinics that work to give pro bono legal service to those who need it. These clinics include the Civil Rights and Constitutional Litigation Clinic, the Civil Litigation Clinic, the Family Law Clinic, the Equal Justice Clinic, the Immigrants' Rights/International Human Rights Clinic, the Impact Litigation Clinic, and the Juvenile Justice Clinic. One student remarks about the clinical program at Seton Hall:
A lot of 3Ls participate in clinics at Seton Hall and most recommend doing a clinic after their experience. There are a good number of students interested in public interest at SHU Law and who participate in pro bono programs and non-profit organizations while here.
As you might guess from above, the clinics at Seton Hall span a variety of different areas. The school's website explains:
Cases and issues students work on span the range from the local to global. Providing educational equality for urban students, litigating on behalf of the victims of real estate fraud, protecting the human rights of immigrants, and obtaining asylum for those fleeing persecution - these are just some of the issues that CSJ faculty and students team up to address.
One student raves about this center:
One of my summer jobs is through the pro bono program at the CSJ. It has been an excellent opportunity with a public interest center in Newark doing real legal work. The Center has a great reputation and definitely contributes to the overall intellectual environment.
Another student confirms this perspective on the Center for Social Justice, writing:
A large majority of the students at SHU Law participate in programs through the Center for Social Justice, as many of us take part in the pro bono programs the center runs. Even a first semester 1L can participate in pro bono programs that provide the student with great real world legal experience while allowing them to use their legal knowledge in a way that gives back to the community.
Finally, yet another student raves about the center, describing it as a "living, breathing law firm":
Inside the center is a living, breathing law firm. Students who do their clinic here, as well as students who do clinics in other areas are performing the work of real lawyers. They interact with clients and give counsel, and can even argue a case in front of a judge. They're just under the supervision of an attorney, who is usually the professor running the clinic. These clinics are a great opportunity to get some hands on legal work before graduating. The Center for Social Justice in particular does a lot of pro bono work, and being in an urban environment in Newark, there are many opportunities and people in need of this.
In addition, if you are a particularly promising public interest student, you might be named a Center for Social Justice scholar. Two first-year students are chosen for this program each year; one will work with the center's International Human Rights/Rule of Law Project, while the other will work on the Urban Revitalization Project. In each of these projects, students will get the chance to help shape policy in fields where reform is desperately needed. Selected scholars will receive "participation in educational and networking events for CSJ Scholars" and "assistance in locating summer internships at prestigious public interest organizations, with a stipend funded through a Public Interest Legal Fellowship." In addition to this program, there are other fellowship opportunities for public interest students; these include the Distinguished Public Interest Scholarship, and the Public Interest Law Fellowships.
The Center for Policy and Research gives students the opportunity to "gain experience in investigation through research into national policies and practices." The center's most famous project is its Guantanamo Reports, where Fellows of the center analyzed "the government's own data through the systematic review of literally over 100,000 pages of government documents procured through the Freedom of Information Act" in order to "illuminate the interrogations and intelligence practices of the United States." These reports have made a significant splash in the international community; as the school's website writes:
The reports have been introduced into the Congressional record by the Senate Armed Services Committee, the Senate Judiciary Committee, the House Armed Services Committee, and as part of a Resolution by the European Parliament.
Finally, there are several different organizations on campus that are dedicated to public interest law and public policy. These include the Haiti Rule of Law Association, the Family Law Society, the International Law Society, the Public Interest Network, and the Student Outreach Society. Students at Seton Hall certainly have many different venues to get involved in public interest law, and those who have the initiative can receive valuable clinical and fellowship experience before heading off to defend people in the real world.
LRAP (loan repayment assistance program)
Like many other schools, Seton Hall offers a public interest LRAP (or Loan Repayment Assistance Program) to students. In essence, the school offers a low-interest loan (5%) that they must begin to repay as soon as they are no longer participating in the LRAP. As a student stays in the program, he/she will "have a portion of [his/her] indebtedness forgiven" based on the following "sliding" scale:
Completion of 2 years = 20% of year 2 loan forgiven
Completion of 3 years = 40% of year 3 loan forgiven
Completion of 4 years = 60% of year 4 loan forgiven
Completion of 5 years = 80% of year 5 loan forgiven
Those who stay in program for six consecutive years will have their entire loan indebtedness forgiven. This might seem like a great program, but its effectiveness in reducing student debt is slightly dubious. The annual salary cap for students to stay in the program is $60,000, and the maximum annual loan amount is $10,000. Thus, if one does not receive significant scholarship money while at Seton Hall and/or does not meet the numerous requirements to stay in the LRAP, one will almost undoubtedly be in financial trouble. Jobs that qualify for the LRAP include being an attorney "with a not-for-profit organization that provides, directly or through public policy efforts, advocacy advancing the interests of those traditionally underserved by the legal system, or an organization (whether governmental or not-for-profit) that provides constitutionally mandated services to criminal defendants."
In the school's most recent ABA data, it is reported that the vast majority of students that started their legal education at Seton Hall finished their studies there. With a 1st year attrition rate of 12.6%, a 2nd year attrition rate of 0.6%, and a 3rd year attrition rate of 0%, 93.3% were employed in full-time, long-term positions within nine months.
The following chart, prepared by the National Association of Legal Placement (NALP) displays a further breakdown of data. The http://law.shu.edu/Admissions/upload/nalp-2014-graduates-summary-report.pdf latest NALP report] available reflects data for the Class of 2014; new reports are issued in the summer.
|Employer Type||Percent of Employed Graduates That Also Reported Their Employer Type||Median Salary|
|Corporate / Business||12.59%||$65,000|
|Government Service / Public Interest||8.1%||N/A|
|Other (Academic, Military, etc.)||2.10%||N/A|
The median salaries given above are not necessarily accurate, with only two-thirds of the class reporting its salaries. Also note that the second largest category of employment is judicial clerkships, which have low pay and do not qualify for LRAP benefits. A large percentage of Seton Hall Law graduates pursue clerkships immediately after graduation but that is common in New Jersey. According to ABA data reflecting the Class of 2014, Seton Hall Law ranked #1 among graduates in state clerkships; Rutgers-Camden ranked #2 and Rutgers-Newark, #4. However, the website shows that each year Seton Hall Law conducts a post-clerkship survey. For the last class surveyed – the Class of 2013 – within 9 months of completing their clerkship, 98% were in full-time long-term positions, with 67.5% in private practice. The school further breaks down private practice employment by size of firm:
|Firm Size||Percent of Employed Graduates in Private Practice||Average Salary||Median Salary|
|501 or More Attorneys||11.29%||$142,857||$130,000|
|251 to 500 Attorneys||13.91%||$128,889||$130,000|
|101 to 250 Attorneys||11.29%||N/A||N/A|
|51 to 100 Attorneys||20.87%||$113,000||$120,000|
|26 to 50 Attorneys||5.9%||N/A||N/A|
|11 to 25 Attorneys||13.03%||N/A||N/A|
|2 to 10 Attorneys||13.03%||N/A||N/A|
|Firm Size Unknown||7.81%||N/A||N/A|
In 2012-13, 322 employers visited Seton Hall Law for On-Campus Interviews (OCI): 95 in the Fall and 227 in the Spring.
Students do seem positive about summer job prospects. One writes, "I personally cannot weigh in on job prospects since I just finished my first year. However, all of the 1Ls I know have summer internships or research positions, and many of the 2Ls I know have summer work as well." However, it is questionable how well these summer positions translate into real employment after graduation. The school's Office of Career Services helps students prepare for their job searches in a number of ways. One student explains:
I have spoken to Career Services and worked with them throughout my 1L year to get advice, work on my resume, and speak about different career options. My career counselor went out of her way to help me in every way possible from giving me advice on what classes I should consider taking to what summer internships I might want to consider.
Another student reinforces this point, writing:
I have had nothing but positive experiences with the Office of Career Services. They offer a variety of programs including externships, on campus interviews, resume referral programs, mock interview, resume review, and many others. It is no doubt a tough market to find a job, but I feel like they are doing everything they can to help us out.
Finally, yet another student has positive things to say:
The career services office is helpful. While I got my judicial internship through a connection, they still helped by critiquing my resume and discussing other opportunities. Most of my friends who got jobs this summer got them through career services. Besides resume critiques, they offer job specific mock interviews to prepare you for an upcoming interview.
Seton Hall Law School’s job prospects are strong for the vast majority of graduates, and the tuition is competitive with other private law schools in the region. Students provide positive reports of the facilities and the teaching. A high percentage of students retain their financial aid under the school’s policies. The school has a broad variety of clinical and public interest opportunities, and has well-established and well-known programs in health and intellectual property law. Its location allows easy access to leisure, entertainment, and sports venues in New York and northern New Jersey.
Office of Admissions
One Newark Center (or 1109 Raymond Blvd.)
Newark, NJ 07102-5210
973.642.8747 / 888.415.7271
U.S. News Ranking: 63
LSAT Median: 156
GPA Median: 3.412
Multiple LSAT scores: Higher score most likely accepted (with explanation)
Application Deadlines: 04/01 (Regular)
Application fee: $65
Entering class size: 151 (120 day, 31 evening) for the entering class in the fall of 2015-2016
Yearly Tuition: $51,018(full-time), $38,474 (part-time)
Bar passage rate: 86.7% in New York, 90.4% in New Jersey for first-time takers (July of 2015)
Percent of graduates employed 9 months after graduation: 93.3% (Class of 2014, 100% of class reporting)