Law School Discussion

Deciding Where to Go => Choosing the Right Law School => Topic started by: mc0515 on June 13, 2012, 12:15:26 PM

Title: full ride Brooklyn v full price fordham
Post by: mc0515 on June 13, 2012, 12:15:26 PM
I got a full ride to Brooklyn and planned on going after being waitlisted at Fordham. I found out I was accepted a few days ago and now have less than two days to decide. I may be able to get some financial aid from Fordham but it's unlikely. I have no UG debt but am am not sure if Fordham is worth the extra $200,000?
Title: Re: full ride Brooklyn v full price fordham
Post by: tdawg7669 on June 13, 2012, 02:42:49 PM
Fordham probably gives you around a 20% shot at biglaw rather than a 10%. IMO in this legal market Fordham is a trap school. It has the reputation that makes kids willing to give up their scholarships at lower ranked schools but doesnt have the placement to match.

From law school transparency:
Fordham long term legal employment:68%
under employment: 21%

Brooklyn:
long term legal employment: 59%
underemployment: 21%


So basically 10% more of the class is getting big law/clerkships. I dont think it is worth 200,000.
Title: Re: full ride Brooklyn v full price fordham
Post by: Maintain FL 350 on June 13, 2012, 02:53:21 PM
A couple of things to consider:

What are the stipulations on Brooklyn's offer? If they're generous and the scholarship is relatively easy to keep, that makes the Brooklyn offer more attractive. If the offer requires you to maintain a high class rank, that's obviously less attractive since you may lose it anyway.

What do you want to do after law school? If you want biglaw or a prestigious federal job, Fordham might offer a better chance assuming you perform very well once you're there. Performing well in law school is very different from performing well in undergrad, it's much more difficult to predict. If your goal is smaller firms or local govt jobs, Brooklyn might be just fine.

The real issue is debt. I'm not very familiar with the NY market, but I doubt that Fordham is really worth 200k compared to a full ride at Brooklyn. Fordham is ranked higher, but it's not an "elite" school, like Columbia or NYU. Most firms and agencies that will hire someone from Fordham will probably also hire someone from Brooklyn. If you were contemplating a full ride at Brooklyn vs. sticker price at NYU/Columbia, that would be a different story and I'd say go for the elite institution. It's important to be entirely realistic about how much a degree from a particular school will help you. I don't doubt that Fordham has a better overall reputation, but 200k worth of debt is a huge gorilla on your back after graduation. Less debt (or no debt!) from Brooklyn will give you much needed flexibility after law school. In this market you need to be competitive and adaptable, not chained to a debt which limits your options.

Good Luck!
Title: Re: full ride Brooklyn v full price fordham
Post by: mc0515 on June 13, 2012, 04:37:59 PM
All I have to do to keep my scholarship is stay in the top 20% of my class, and based on my academic performance I can even receive more money
Title: Re: full ride Brooklyn v full price fordham
Post by: Maintain FL 350 on June 13, 2012, 05:02:29 PM
All I have to do to keep my scholarship is stay in the top 20% of my class, and based on my academic performance I can even receive more money

I know nothing about you or your abilities, OP, but staying in the top 20% of your class at any law school is no small feat. I'm not saying you can't do it, just be aware that you may lose that scholarship and will have to decide whether to continue at Brooklyn or not. In law school you won't be competing against slackers like you were in undergrad. Those people have already been weeded out. Pretty much everyone in your class will be smart, accomplished, and ambitious. In other words, just like you. Many of them will be competing to retain their own scholarships as well.

Law school is competitive in a way thats hard to describe. It's very different from undergrad and its difficult to predict how you will perform. Again, I'm not saying you can't do it, but top 20% is no joke. You could try to negotiate better terms with Brooklyn. Maybe shoot for scholarship retention based on good standing or at least top half. It's worth a shot.
Title: Re: full ride Brooklyn v full price fordham
Post by: legend on June 13, 2012, 05:15:52 PM
Roald is 100% correct there is an 80% chance you will not be in the top 20%. Every student at every ABA school on the first day sincerly thinks they will be in the top 10 or 20% of the class, but everyone is smart, hard working and motiviated at every school. This NY times article does a great job explaining these law school scholarships. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/01/business/law-school-grants.html?pagewanted=all . These students all went in thinking I can get a 3.0 no problem, asked no questions, and assumed everything would work out. That is entirely their fault and as an individual smart enough to get into law school you should know to enough to ask questions if someone is giving you 100,000.

So ask Brooklyn about this scholarship, negotiate for better terms, tell Fordham you have a scholarshp to get money from them. You have nothing to lose by negotiationg and fighitng for yourself, but no school is going to go out of their way to help you they are businesses first and foremost and your a paying customer that is how you should look at the relationship. Back I enrolled I got better terms and extra 15k added simply by asking for it. I can't say the same will happen, but many students are scared of their schools, but there is no reason to be. Education is a business your a customer look out for yourself, because nobody else is going to. Don't be like the students in this article who simply assuemd everything would be fine and then started complaining. Be proactive and things can work out.

I personally loved law school, but you have to pay attention to things like the 20% requirement etc. As to the quality of the individual schools I"m sure there is probably not much difference. At every ABA school you essentially learn the same thing torts, criminal law, civil procedure, contracts, property, and you read Supreme Court cases involving those subjects. I doubt it would be much different at Brooklyn or Fordham and whatever prestige Fordhahm has over Brooklyn is likley immaterail. NYC is full of Harvard, Yale, Stanford, NYU, Columbia, Georgetown, Penn, U-Chicago, just top-tier school lawyers. Many places will likley have no idea that Fordham is any better or worse than Brooklyn. However, I know absoultely nothing about the NY job market.

Also realize I and anyone else that posts on this board is an anonymous internet poster that knows nothing about you, your situaiton, or what is best for you so take whatever you read with a heavy grain of salt. Choosing your law school is a highly personal decision that will have a profound impact on your life and remember this is your money, your time, and your career nobody could know what is better for you than yourself. So use your gut when making this decision.

Good luck whatever you decide.
Title: Re: full ride Brooklyn v full price fordham
Post by: mc0515 on June 13, 2012, 07:07:49 PM
80%* woops
Title: Re: full ride Brooklyn v full price fordham
Post by: Maintain FL 350 on June 13, 2012, 07:11:54 PM
Much better.
Title: Re: full ride Brooklyn v full price fordham
Post by: legend on June 13, 2012, 08:05:09 PM
Yea that is better a deal, but call and ask them make sure that is the case. Ask questions there may be some loophole in there ask how many students lost their scholarship last year, how how many people will be in your cohort, all kinds of things can happen. My school did this which caused my ranking to go down for a semester they didn't count all the part-time students or something I really don't know what happened, but 80 students went missing so my rank of 29/300 suddenly became 29/200. Then the next semester it went back up to 300. I dropped from top 10% to top 15%. I was near the top of the class, but had you been 175/300 and that drop occured you woudl be down to 175/200 which would be a drop from the top 58% to the top 87% which would result in loss in the scholarship. I don't know how common stuff like that is and my numbers might be slightly if it was years ago, but I wouldn't put it past a school to manipulate their numbers to get 100,000 dollars out of you.

Point is just ask detailed questions choosing a law school is like buying a house leave no stone unturned. I may seem a little paranoid about it, but you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by asking detailed questions.

Again good luck
Title: Re: full ride Brooklyn v full price fordham
Post by: tdawg7669 on June 13, 2012, 08:55:44 PM
Guys it IS the top 80% at Brooklyn. I received the same deal. It is actually all laid out on the website for admitted students after you log in. I guess they received enough bad press from section stacking that they changed their policy.
Title: Re: full ride Brooklyn v full price fordham
Post by: legend on June 13, 2012, 10:32:47 PM
You are probably right, but all I am saying is check and be dilligent about it. A quick statement from the financial aid office saying top 80% we have a really great policy is insuffiicnet. If you went to a car dealer and they said this car gets great gas mileage, it is safe, it is the best value out there and a great deal. You woulldn't just take him at his word. The car salesman is trying to sell you the car and they are not lying or doing anythign wrong, but they have a bottom line to sell you that car. They want you to enjoy the car, think they are a nice guy, all that good stuff, but they want the money first and foremost.

Law school is no different they will tell you all the great things they offer, all the policies they changed, etc. Every law school does want you to succeed and do well as a lawyer, but they are businesses first and foremost and money is the bottom line. So all I am saying is ask again and again how it is calcuated as the example I gave above illustartes schools can manipulate the numbers in a vareity of ways. Also don't be afraid to bargain for better terms say I will come if you can guarntee me the scholarship for all three years if I stay in good standing. Law students have all the power in June & July the schools are hustling to fill their seats and you have a good chance of getting benefits if you ask for them espeically considering you must be far above their numbers if they are offering you that much money.

My advice may be 100% wrong, but you really have nothing to lose by making sure you are getting the best deal possible. The law school you select may be one of the biggest investments in your life make sure you leave no stone unturned.

I also want to point my posts are not meant to reflect negatively on Brooklyn in anyway I am sure it is a fine school, but no matter what school your attending you should negotiate, ask questions, etc.


Title: Re: full ride Brooklyn v full price fordham
Post by: tdawg7669 on June 14, 2012, 03:27:59 AM
I emailed the dean directly. Im not judging you, Im just clarifying for anybody who was wondering as I was skeptical at first too. Also I think it is now an ABA requirement that schools give full disclosure on scholarship retention stats/requirements. Even still the huge class size at Brooklyn scares me(not for scholarship purposes). Same for Fordham. I get a bad vibe from schools with giant class sizes(except for Harvard and the like obviously) in an already saturated legal market.
Title: Re: full ride Brooklyn v full price fordham
Post by: Anti09 on June 15, 2012, 09:34:49 PM
If you pay sticker at Fordham, you're gonna have a bad time.  Brooklyn way is the only way.  Just be prepared to drop out if you lose your scholly.
Title: Re: full ride Brooklyn v full price fordham
Post by: Nathaniel on June 28, 2012, 09:14:59 AM
I got into Indiana Bloomington and Baylor with full-rides; something like that.  If that were the case now, I'd consider going to one of them.  But that's in light of the fact that I already was admitted, accepted, and then attended a top-twenty law school.