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Messages - lek

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New York Law School / Re: The real question about NYLS
« on: August 19, 2008, 05:05:01 PM »
This is actually not the case. The fact that New York Law School’s tuition is about 50K a year is deplorable especially considering the real salaries (not fake statistics reported by the school), coming out of New York Law for almost anyone but top 10 in the class or those with excellent connections is probably about 30-50K a year. There are much more affordable options. In New York consider CUNY Law School which actually prepares students for careers in litigation or generally in the New York State Court system which a majority of students from lower end New York City Schools will be actually employed  after graduating and passing the bar exam. University at Buffalo also has a much more affordable law school.
   
I would advise potential students to take into account the fact that while you may be able to afford NY Law by taking out privet loans these are often at huge interest rates, anyplace from 91/2 to 12-13%. Even with a scholarship and three years of full time work experience at a mid sized NY city firm I am still in about 50 thousand dollars of debt which is doing well compared to many of my colleagues from New York Law School. Out of several of my colleagues who graduated with me I would calculate the average salary after three years (some three and a half), at about 60K. Consider the fact that this is after three years experience for all but one of us at respective same firms. A far lower rate of monetary advancement then you would see out of business school or even many graduate programs. At my firm and many I associate with or friends are employed with the starting salaries for first year associates is about 40-50K jumping to 55 after about 7 months and requisite billing numbers and actualization rate (the client actually pays for and are not cut by partners). This is almost impossible to meet so most associates jump to 55 after a full year.

   I am not trying to suggest that New York Law is wrong for everybody. Would just advise potential students to think about whether they really want to practice law and whether it is a worthwhile investment. I know many friends who are stuck practicing working long hours and weekends at jobs they hate because of their debt. Go to Court houses and see what lawyers do for a living. Not trials but Preliminary Conferences and Motion practice. Ask lawyers and judges what they think of employment opportunities out of New York Law. How much would they pay you? I was shocked when after passing both the New York and New Jersey Bar Exams my first offer (did not take the job), was 30K a year for a mandatory 8AM-7:30PM day. If you do make the decision to attend NY Law and are not wealthy at least have an idea of what you are getting into. 

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New York Law School / Re: New York Law and harsh curve
« on: August 19, 2008, 04:28:34 PM »
“CCP students also aren't allowed to take summer classes, be on Moot Court or get an internship.”

Wow was unaware of this. Considering that internships relating to a specialty  in a particular area of law are one of the few ways even a student with excellent grades would obtain a decent job in the overly saturated and competitive New York City market coming out of a lower school like New York Law this is a really big deal.

In my own experience and that of my friends it is very difficult to obtain a job with even above average grades out of New York Law. In my case the only thing that finally got me in the door (and trust me I don’t make a lot of money), was an internship and recommendation from a well known Supreme Court Judge. Without internships out of New York Law be prepared to make 30-45K working either landlord tenant or No Fault law. At best very low end litigation. Plaintiff’s firms start at about 25-30K (yes this is shocking but actually what you are worth to them with no experience), while defense firms start at about 45-50K. I have heard several instances of employers telling associates that it is harder for them to find secretaries in New York City then lawyers.                      

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New York Law School / Re: New York Law and harsh curve
« on: August 05, 2008, 12:32:54 PM »
I would agree completely with Ashlee comments. Similar experience to friends who started the first year of the program. Try explaining to future employers that you are not ranked in the upper one third of the class because while your buddies were taking sports law you were forced to take corporations and wills and estates.

Out of New York Law your employers will not care what classes you have taken you are basically an untrained employee to them the only thing that may get you a decent job is if you are in the top 1/3 of the class. Now if the school actually offered CCP students or regular students for that matter practical courses or even internships with civil and supreme court judges (CCP students can not do this for credit while top of the class can easy A and irrelevant for top of the class), or following ID lawyers around and actually learning something practical that 90% will use in practice maybe it would actually be worth something. Instead CCP students are forced to take the hardest classes which are completely irrelevant for anything they may do in practice.

This mandated schedule also precludes them from establishing an area of specialty which is one of the few things that would allow even a student with good grades to get a decent job out of NY Law. This was my error, with no specialty out of NY Law and slightly above AVG grades competing with Columbia and NYU you are destined for the lowest paying insurance defense or landlord tenant jobs. Most of these firms start associates at 30-55K.

Trust me nobody is going to ask you about constitutional law at your job interviews. Have you ever seen a Court room or a pleading for that matter alternatively may come up.

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New York Law School / Re: Opinions about NYLS
« on: July 22, 2008, 05:20:28 PM »
I will try and touch on several of the opinions cited in this post. In the spirit of disclosure I am a graduate of New York Law School who currently works as an attorney in New York City. I have been employed at a law firm for the past three years and have tried to respond in respect to my own experiences and that of my classmates, now collegues, who attended New York Law School.

If New York Law School really wanted to improve it’s rankings the easiest way to achive this goal  would be to greatly increase admission standards and drastically shrink the size of entering classes. Alternatively, the school has consistently in the past five years lowered admission standards, increased tuition and greatly increased the size of the entering class. This despite the glut of attorneys, most from far higher ranked schools, currently seeking employment in New York City. The truth is the law school’s goal, and every law school’s goal for that matter is to make as much money as possible.

As far as the posters remarks about the comprehensive curriculum program I suggest readers look into my prior post regarding both the positives and negatives of this program on this forum located on the post entitled harsh curve. What I will point out is that while students in the program are given very good bar preparation they are more or less relegated after one semester of law school to the worst paying lowest ranking insurance defense or no fault jobs in the legal industry. Students graduating from New York Law School in the middle to upper end of the class are in themselves at a great disadvantage finding even reasonable paying legal jobs in New York. Students placed in the program and forced to take the hardest courses in the school and not specialize in a specific area of law, are guaranteed lower grades throughout law school and very poor job placement.

I will touch on the two other topics namely atmosphere and practical courses as I think I have covered job prospects and tier. In general there is no campus atmosphere at New York Law. Students are often very friendly first semester and quickly learn to hate one another by third semester. This is brought on by a realization of the incredibly competitive New York Legal market and the fact that all students are already at a disadvantage in going to a lower prestige school in New York City. In general by the end of second year students see each other as direct competition for future jobs.

As far as practical courses most law schools do not teach their students anything resembling what they will actually be doing as lawyers. Sadly this is the case for New York Law which as a lower tier school should take notes from CUNY and teach students practical skills such as how to write discovery motions and participate in compliance conferences or fill out Court orders for resolving discovery motions. Even a trip to a Court (New York County Civil and Supreme Courts are literally two blocks away) would be useful.  Most student do not even see the inside of a Court room while in Law School let alone know what business gets transacted in Court daily. This is the case despite the fact that 70% of graduates if not more will be working in low end insurance defense litigation positions or No fault/landlord tenant jobs in which these skills are essential. As a result most students coming out of NY law will be employed by firms for one year in a kind of learning position. They will be expected to bill hours and know everything about motions and court but will be paid as a novice or intern at about 40-50K a year.

To sum up I am not stating that this is the experience of all graduates however, a great majority will deal with similar issues and have had similar experiences at New York Law. 

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New York Law School / Re: New York Law and harsh curve
« on: July 22, 2008, 04:34:06 PM »
Not exactly. You are correct in stating that the Comprehensive Curriculum Program does apply to the bottom of the class as well as a mandatory extra semester for the lowest ranking students (for added instruction of necessary skills per the school and for higher bar passage rate practically as those students are forced to take the February Bar). However, this does not necessarily mean that students in the Comprehensive program do not fail out. In fact the Comprehensive program, at least four year version, forces students to take mandatory classes throughout law school in specific harder courses during the second and third year which are tested heavily on the New York Bar Exam such as Corporations, Wills and Trusts and New York Practice.

The Plus side is that this is generally very good preparation for the bar and the schools passing rates have gone up as a result. The negative is very little ability for students who do poorly or just bellow the curve in their first semester to specialize in any area of law or take any classes they feel would interest them. Further, by forcing the lower half (it is almost about half), of the class to take the most difficult courses these students are almost guaranteed to remain in the lower end of the class. Consider an example of a student in the upper half of the class taking Sports Law as an elective during her second year as well as Corporations. Then a student in the program who must take Corporations is precluded from taking Sports Law and then must take Wills and Trusts (a much harder class) instead. The lower ranked student will have a much more strenuous workload. This is especially daunting during second semester of first year when grades are most important for achieving employment especially in New York City out of a lower prestige school such as New York Law. Students in the program already have the disadvantage of lower first semester grades now coupled with some of the most difficult courses the school offers during their second semester.

In general students in the program do not tend to fail out in droves as is the case in most law schools after first semester (your tuition is to valuable to drop you), however many do drop out second or third semester. The realization that they will not be able to study what they are most interested in or specialize in anything (which would help greatly in getting a job out of NY law if not top 10 in the class), and likely remain in the lower half of the class due to being compelled to take harder classes then their piers and resulting career implications cause many students to reconsider law school.

Hope this sheds some light on the program and implications as well as answer your question.

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