Law School Discussion

Deciding Where to Go => Choosing the Right Law School => Topic started by: Giove on May 28, 2013, 02:18:53 AM

Title: Barry or Coastal?
Post by: Giove on May 28, 2013, 02:18:53 AM
Hi all. I've been lurking here a while (a long while, actually) and really appreciate all the useful info. Just seeking a bit of advice as I try to make up my mind about this fall.

I'm pretty much tied to Florida because of wife and daughter, so it's basically down to Barry or Coastal (because of LSAT and UGPA). Visited both schools and Coastal struck me as nice but kind of a money grab. Went to an open house last month at Barry and their faculty blew me away and seemed genuinely interested in me during an open house and a subsequent visit. Of course, that could all be for show. (In fairness, Coastal faculty were nice, too, but it kind of came across as a bit phony).

I'm leaning toward Barry, but wondered if anyone can provide some insight as to Barry's "personal touch" and whether it's genuine or just window dressing for the open house. I've heard all the T4 arguments, etc., but I think a law school education is what the individual makes of it, so I'm not too worried in that regard. What's most important to me is: 1) An environment where I'm really treated as an individual, and 2) Bar passage. I know Barry hit 92% on bar passage last time around, and now they have some new program for 1Ls that includes early bar prep and a free iPad. I'm not going to choose a school based solely on a free iPad, of course, but it does seem like their head is in the right place. Coastal didn't really seem to have any kind of "unusual" approach to bar prep, other than studying like hell (I can do that anywhere).

All insights appreciated. Thanks!!
 

 
Title: Re: Barry or Coastal?
Post by: livinglegend on May 29, 2013, 11:43:25 PM
As I mentioned before take all anonymous internet poster advice with a grain of salt mine included.

With that said I think you really need to listen to your gut when choosing a law school and if Barry struck you as a place you wanted to be listen to your gut. Many 0L's try to make the law school decision much more complicated than it needs to be I know I did when I was a 0L thinking there was something I was missing and some right answer I would be pointed to, but it really isn't that complicated.

At any ABA law school Barry, Coastal, Harvard, Stanford, etc you will learn the law your 1L will consist of Torts, Contracts, Property, Civil Procedure, and you will read Supreme Court cases like Palsgraf in Torts to learn proximate cause, Pennoyer v. Neff in Civ Pro to learn about notice so on and so forth. What really makes a difference in your educational experience is the location of the school and the culture of the school and whether it is a fit for you or not.

If you have visited both schools and Barry felt right then Barry is probably the right fit. As for the T4 bashing take it with a grain of salt what law school boils down to is your expectations and I imagine you have the common sense to realize that if you attend these schools you will probably not be sitting on the Supreme Court or end up as a Partner at Cravath. However, you can be employed as an attorney, which can be a very rewarding career.

I can tell you I did not attend Harvard or a Top 25 school, but I graduated, passed the bar, and work as a City Attorney and I love it. I do occasionally work with the Attorney General and Harvard Grads who frankly are smarter than me, but I play a role in it and if you know what you are getting into with these schools it can be great experience.

The internet bashing comes from people who impose their expectations on others when I went to law school I had no ambition of being a big law partner or Supreme Court Justice and frankly I don't think I am smart enough to do it. Same as when I got a scholarship to a division II school for basketball I knew I was not going to the NBA and Lebron James would have laughed at a D II scholarship, but I am not Lebron James. However, I enjoyed my college B-Ball experience and could have played in European leagues etc not the NBA though.

I am kind of rambling, but I just want you to go into law school with the appropriate expectations, which is where I think all the confusion about T4's and law school in general comes up. As for the actual question if you liked Barry then go to Barry good luck.
Title: Re: Barry or Coastal?
Post by: Giove on May 30, 2013, 03:31:53 AM
Thanks so much for the thoughtful response, Livinglegend. You are right, of course. I tend to be a "go with the gut" kinda guy, but I also tend to research things to death beforehand.

My brother-in-law (now deceased) graduated from Barry and told me he'd do the same all over again. He had a quite successful practice before dying unexpectedly in 2011. The professors at Barry are certainly no slouches, and my gut tells me they genuinely are interested in seeing me succeed. Like you said, I have no delusions that I will be a Supreme Court justice or anything remotely close. I just want to be happy and successful in the practice of law, and it sounds like you are the living proof that a law school education is what you make of it.

Thanks again. Much appreciated.  8)
Title: Re: Barry or Coastal?
Post by: chanab44 on August 28, 2013, 01:54:12 AM
This is a great information and  i am searching from many time thanks a lot
Title: Re: Barry or Coastal?
Post by: lrt8000 on September 02, 2013, 11:52:27 AM
Neither. Your chances of getting a decent job graduating from either schools is not good.
Title: Re: Barry or Coastal?
Post by: MiamiJD on September 04, 2013, 07:28:34 PM
You have probably already made your choice at this point, however, if not, then avoid both of those schools. Run away from them as quickly as humanly possible.  I am a 2010 grad from a T1 who works in a midsize law firm (75-100 attorneys).  We have offices in Miami, Orlando, and Tampa.  I can tell you for a fact that we only will consider UF, UM, FSU, and the occasional Nova/Stetson grad (depending on GPA) when we hire.  Florida has a ridiculous amount of law schools, and all of them outside of UF, UM, FSU, and Stetson (to a certain extent), are producing thousands of grads who aren't finding any work. 

Now, before you tell me you don't want to work in biglaw/midlaw, I will give you a breakdown of the current legal market in Florida. Given that I work here, am a recent grad, and am active in many local bar associations, including the Young Lawyers Division, I think I may be qualified to do so: 

1. Most UF, UM, and FSU grads take the biglaw, midlaw, and boutique small law firms.  They also get first priority when it comes to prosecutors and PDs. 

2. Most Stetson and Nova grads end up in foreclosure and foreclosure defense mills, or midlaw jobs in their respective geographic locations (depending on GPA and work history).

3. Most Florida A&M, Ave Maria, Barry, Florida Coastal, St. Thomas, and Cooley grads aren't hired, anywhere.  If they are lucky, they get jobs doing low level crim law/family law just to scrape by.

4. Florida is an attractive location to live, which means there are plenty of those (like myself) who went to an out of state T1 school and moved here, taking priority over all the low level schools (Vanderbilt, Emory, University of North Carolina and University of Georgia all have graduates who flock down here).

I am sure we all have anecdotal evidence of a friend or relative who secured a job from a low ranked school. But that is an  exception, not the rule.  Florida is an incredibly competitive legal market, with thousands of grads taking the bar each year.  You want to pass the bar, just sign up for Bar/Bri (which is a bar review course, if you aren't familiar with it).  The bar is teachable.  Getting a job, however, is not.

If you absolutely HAVE to go to law school (which I don't understand why that would be the case anyways), check out Florida A&M. It's a poorly ranked school (welcome to Florida), but it has super cheap tuition, so at least you have that going for you.
Title: Re: Barry or Coastal?
Post by: livinglegend on September 04, 2013, 10:36:47 PM
I will disagree with the poster obviously do not expect anyone to hand anything to you from any law school, but to say every single graduate goes into foreclosure shows very little understanding. Additionally the poster's firm may only hire from UF, UM, and FSU, but your firm is not the only game in town. I could also find an abundance of firms that would not consider a UM grad.

It is not a one size fits all situation and there are agencies and firms that will hire a Barry or Coastal grad and there are firms and agencies that would not touch a Barry or Coastal grad with a 10 foot pole. If you are attending Barry or Coastal you should have realistic expectations and not expect a Judicial Clerkship or an offer from Cravath, but you shouldn't expect that from UM, FSU, or UF either.

Here are 27 employed lawyers from Barry. http://www.superlawyers.com/lawschool/Barry-University-Dwayne-O-Andreas-School-of-Law/fad60c2a-84c4-102c-aca4-000e0c6dcf76.html

I imagine the poster above sees unemployed grads and those looking for work. However, that does not mean 100% of grads from these schools are in the same boat.

I just hate to see quotes like "run away from them as quickly as humanly possible." Apply common sense when choosing your law school, but don't listen to doom and gloom posters.

Title: Re: Barry or Coastal?
Post by: MiamiJD on September 05, 2013, 06:10:32 AM
I will disagree with the poster obviously do not expect anyone to hand anything to you from any law school, but to say every single graduate goes into foreclosure shows very little understanding. Additionally the poster's firm may only hire from UF, UM, and FSU, but your firm is not the only game in town. I could also find an abundance of firms that would not consider a UM grad.

It is not a one size fits all situation and there are agencies and firms that will hire a Barry or Coastal grad and there are firms and agencies that would not touch a Barry or Coastal grad with a 10 foot pole. If you are attending Barry or Coastal you should have realistic expectations and not expect a Judicial Clerkship or an offer from Cravath, but you shouldn't expect that from UM, FSU, or UF either.

Here are 27 employed lawyers from Barry. http://www.superlawyers.com/lawschool/Barry-University-Dwayne-O-Andreas-School-of-Law/fad60c2a-84c4-102c-aca4-000e0c6dcf76.html

I imagine the poster above sees unemployed grads and those looking for work. However, that does not mean 100% of grads from these schools are in the same boat.

I just hate to see quotes like "run away from them as quickly as humanly possible." Apply common sense when choosing your law school, but don't listen to doom and gloom posters.


Every single one of those individuals graduated between 2000-2009, before the giant legal market collapse.  Find me a list of 27 attorneys who graduated in 2011 or 2012 from Barry who are employed in firms of 2-10 attorneys. I know there's KEL in Orlando, but that's a notorious defense mill.  I am not bashing Barry or Coastal.  If the legal market were booming, they would be a great choice among potential lawyers.  But right now, when law school is such a risky bet, going to the lowest ranked schools is not common sense (which is, of course, common sense).

You want to apply some more common sense when choosing law school? How about listening to someone who works in the industry, who works in the state you want to practice in, who graduated after the collapse, who managed to get a job, and who plays an active role in the local legal community with other young lawyers. You want to pass the bar? Go to any school. You want to get a job that is going to allow you to pay back your insurmountable student loans? Go to a reputable school. I'm not posting this because I have an abundance of free time (I have a 2100 hour billable requirement after all). I am posting this because I want to see this profession succeed in Florida, and not get drowned out in an influx of 411 Pain ads.
Title: Re: Barry or Coastal?
Post by: livinglegend on September 05, 2013, 01:24:50 PM
Those 27 are Super Lawyers and you do not get on that list right out of law school, which is why they are graduated from 2000-2009 and there is nobody prior to 2002, because Barry was not founded until 1999. However, if you want some firms that have hired attorneys that graduated from Barry post 2010 check the links below found in a five second google search.

http://shuffieldlowman.com/attorneys/

http://www.iplawfl.com/

http://www.zkslawfirm.com/

http://www.kelattorneys.com/

Is Barry a world renowned law school? No

Can you find legal employment in Orlando? Yes

Will anything be handed to you from Barry? No

Will you learn the same thing at Barry as you do at UM, UF or any other ABA school? Yes

If your a lawyer I imagine you read International Shoe in Civil Procedure and as I did at my law school. Palsgarff in Torts etc, etc. The Supreme Court didn't spend time drafting separate opinions and the law is the law.

Bottom line is Barry is an ABA school and if you graduate then pass the bar you will have a law license. What you do with that license is up to the individual and I know there are plenty of Barry Grads that did not succeed and plenty of others that have. The same can be said of UM, UF, FSU and every single ABA school.

Again I am not trying to say Barry is some elite institution or even recommending the OP attends, but to say you should run away as fast as humanly possible and say you will either be unemployed or stuck doing foreclosure defense is a little to extreme.

However, this is an anonymous internet poster board and as I advise anyone making the life altering decision to attend law school taking anything you read on this board or others with a grain of salt. Michael Scott does a good job of explaining why in this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFBDn5PiL00

MiamiJd may be right and I have never been to Florida, but I am a licensed employed attorney in California, which like Florida has an abundance of law schools. I have also heard from many anonymous internet posters that people do not hire from certain schools. However, I appear in front of judges that went to these "schools" and I think it would be unwise to tell the judge the school they attended is awful.

Additionally, I see associates hired from these schools and I even recently hired someone from one of these schools that "nobody" hires from. I imagine the same is true in Florida and again I recommend anyone making a three year and $100,000 commitment of attending law school to speak to individuals face to face about individual schools and hiring practices.

Anonymous internet posters myself included can say whatever they want for all anyone knows I am the Dean of Harvard Law School or I could be a bum in a public library using the free internet to claim I am an attorney.  Or claim to be an associate who has to bill 2,100 hours and know everything about the Florida Legal Market essentially anyone on the internet can be whoever they want to be.

You can obtain some helpful advice on these boards, but take everything with a grain of salt.





Title: Re: Barry or Coastal?
Post by: Maintain FL 350 on September 05, 2013, 03:52:01 PM
Again I am not trying to say Barry is some elite institution or even recommending the OP attends, but to say you should run away as fast as humanly possible and say you will either be unemployed or stuck doing foreclosure defense is a little to extreme.

Exactly, and this is the crux of the issue. The same caveats that apply to any lower ranked school apply to Barry and Coastal. These schools may be good choices or they may be awful choices depending on what the OP wants to do with their degree.

If you want to work at a large firm in Miami then these schools probably aren't going to get you there. For that matter, I'm not even sure that UM or UF would be the best choice in that scenario. I'm sure there are plenty of Duke, NYU, and Harvard grads who would be happy to live on the beach and are looking for work in Miami.

However, if your goal is to open a family law solo practice or join a small criminal defense firm in the suburbs a degree from either school might be just fine, especially with a scholarship. I think the key to is be entirely realistic and informed about the market and your options. If you are unrealistic, you'll be bitter and disappointed. If you are prepared and experienced, however, you can do fine. It really does come down to the individual. 

I'm suspicious of blanket statements regarding what "all" or "most" graduates of a particular school will inevitably end up doing. I meet lawyers here in CA every single day who graduated from lower ranked (even non-ABA) schools and who are successful and content. It just depends on what you want to do, and whether you know how to get there.   
Title: Re: Barry or Coastal?
Post by: livinglegend on September 05, 2013, 06:56:55 PM
Could not agree more with Maintain satisfaction or disappointment depends entirely on expectations. Believe it or not everyone wants the same thing and there are plenty of people that are passionate about foreclosure defense, family law, criminal law etc. Barry can certainly get you a job doing that or even as a D.A P.D etc. It is also possible to work for firms etc, but harder and some doors will be closed.

Frankly Cravath is not hiring anyone from UM or Barry. You won't find many Supreme Court Clerks fro
 Those schools either.

Reading the OP's post it sound like they have no desire to work for a big firm and want to be an attorney in Orlando certainly doable from Barry. Had the OP I want make a minimum off 100,000 k out the gate and work in a NY firm Barry would be a terrible choice, but each person has their own situations and if someone wants to be an Attorney in Orlando Barry is a fine choice, but outside of that it won't open many doors.
Title: Re: Barry or Coastal?
Post by: bobol on October 04, 2013, 09:10:34 PM
Beware of any school that has a high attrition rate.

For the most recent class reported to the ABA, Barry starts with a 1L class of 293 and 17.5% either failed out or decided not to return for year 2.  Barry's Florida Bar pass rate was approximately 10% lower than the state average.
https://officialguide.lsac.org/RELEASE/SchoolsABAData/SchoolPage/SchoolPage_Info/ABA_LawSchoolData.aspx?sid=187

Florida Coastal, a for profit school started its recent 1L class with 580 students.  A whopping 30.% either failed out or chose not to return to Coastal for their 2d year.  Coastal's Florida Bar pass rate was approximately 4% lower than the state average.
https://officialguide.lsac.org/RELEASE/SchoolsABAData/SchoolPage/SchoolPage_Info/ABA_LawSchoolData.aspx?sid=184

If you compare the attrition rates of Barry and Coastal with other Florida law schools you will see that in most  instances Barry and Coastal are much higher. 

In my opinion Barry has a high attrition rate but Coastal has an unconscionable attrition rate.

Good luck.





Title: Re: Barry or Coastal?
Post by: livinglegend on October 13, 2013, 12:07:50 AM
Attrition rate is something to consider, but an important thing to realize is that attrition does not always mean failing out. Barry for example has a 17.5% attrition rate and 48 students did not come back for 2L. However, only 20 of the 48 did not come back due to academic reasons

Of the remaining 28 students 21 transferred likely to better schools no it is not bad attrition it is good for those 21 students. The other 7 students likely decided the law was not for them or went on to some other opportunity.

In reality well under 10% failed out due to academic reasons and the majority of academic attrition comes from part-time studnets who try to balance legal education and a job , which doesn't work out.

I don't think anyone is arguing Barry or Coastal are elite institutions, but you really need to read into these statistics there is a lot more detail in them.
Title: Re: Barry or Coastal?
Post by: livinglegend on October 13, 2013, 12:23:09 AM
Statistics can be manipulated to say whatever they want and I am all for lawschooltransparency's mission, but frankly what does "underemployed" mean?

http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=hofstra here is their and in the ABA data it says 218 of 363 graduates have bar passage required jobs and this is only 9 months after graduation, which is a flaw in the data collection. The reality is no ABA law student from any school can even be employed in a bar passage required job until 7 months after they graduate. The reason for this is you graduate in May then you take the bar in July and results in most states are released in October or November. So if you graduate in May you cannot work as a licensed attorney until 6 months after you graduate then very few people hire during the holiday season and you can't even really look for work until January, which is 9 months.

Additionally, the situation of each person is unique to them I know one person from my school got a job as a D.A., but failed his drug test he is not employed, because he has a drug problem it has nothing to with the school.

Another classmate of mine had a father that was diagnosed with Cancer and had 6 months to live instead of looking for work my classmate stayed with his father until the end. He found a job, but again it shows not everyone is in the same boat.

On top of that half of the class as Hofstra finished in the bottom half and 25% of the students finished in the bottom quarter and if you finish in the bottom quarter of Hofstra is going to be easy? No.

Further analysis 21% of their students did not pass the bar and that means only 79% of students can obtain jobs that require bar passage. Again, passing the bar has a lot more to do with the individual than the school itself it is an insanely difficult test that requires intense focus and preparation for months. Many people are unsuccessful their first go around.

Bottom line is these stats do not really say anything you cannot measure people in this manner. You can measure LSAT scores of incoming students that is objective criteria, but what each person does in their career and their goals are unique to each individual and not every single law school graduate is 25 year old kid who passes the bar on their first try, wants to go straight into the working world, and has no obstacles during the timeframe right after graduation.

Any ABA school Hofstra included will provide you with a solid legal education and provide you with the opportunity to take the bar exam. If you successfully pass the bar and are deemed morally fit to practice you will be given a law license and what you do with that has a lot more to do with you than the name of your law school. 
Title: Re: Barry or Coastal?
Post by: Citylaw on October 14, 2013, 04:56:15 PM
Just though I would share some good news about Barry than won a Mock Trial competition in San Francisco beating in state Rivals Stetson and Florida State along with ten other schools. I was in a judge in this competition and was impressed with all schools involved, but Barry definitely deserved the win.

The results also show it is about the individual student not the name of the law school.

http://www.ggulitigation.com/our-in-vino-competition.html
Title: Re: Barry or Coastal?
Post by: livinglegend on October 16, 2013, 11:46:03 PM
That is the beauty of trial competitions and just like real trial nobody cares about what school you went in the heat of litigation. Congrats to the Barry students that won the competition.
Title: Re: Barry or Coastal?
Post by: Citylaw on October 27, 2013, 01:08:43 PM
Indeed or in the vast majority of the legal profession or any profession if you get results nobody cares where you came from.

Tom Brady was the 199th Draft Pick

The following QB's were drafted ahead of him

 Chad Pennington, Marshall - Drafted by the New York Jets in Round 1, Pick 18.
Giovanni Carmazzi, Hofstra - Drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in Round 3, Pick 65.
Chris Redman, Louisville - Drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in Round 3, Pick 75.
Tee Martin, Tennessee - Drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in Round 5, Pick 163.
Marc Bulger, West Virginia - Drafted by the New Orleans Saints in Round 6, Pick 168.
Spergon Wynn, SW Texas State - Drafted by the Cleveland Browns in Round 6, Pick 183.

None of them are in the league anymore and the only two that had any impact were Chad and Mark.

Tom Brady got results and is going to the Hall of Fame and may be one of the greatest QB's of all time.

The same story can be told in every profession and if you apply yourself in anything you can accomplish great things. Barry stepped up and beat schools like University of Texas, Hastings, University of Florida etc all of them are fine schools, but that Barry team was the best and they won.