« on: March 13, 2005, 04:47:38 PM »
Hey Burning Sands -
Are you currently at law school in NJ?
I realize the location of both law schools as I go to SH. My point was that if you are commuting on the train, SH is a nicer commute. SH is only a block from Penn Station and right next to Gateway Center and whatnot so there are many people walking around and I feel much safer there. Alternately, Rutgers is a much farther walk from Penn Station, and from what I have gathered from their students, people go to the Broad Street station. From there they have to walk several blocks to school past slaughterhouses and they do not feel as safe.
I agree that both schools are probably social. My point was that SH has a much younger feel to it. Rutgers is indeed on a campus, but it is on a campus in Newark, and Newark is not the place to be after dark. They both have activities - my point was just that SH has more money. In comparing my experience to my roomie's bf, who attends Rutgers, we've realized that SH activities seem to be a bit more lavish you could say. One of the reasons why I was attracted to SH was its continuously high student satisfaction ranking, which I believe comes from the social school atmosphere. The professors have open door policies and are very friendly and always willing to give time to students. This is not to say Rutgers provides no social life - it is just a different kind of one from my personal experience and comparisons.
Both facilities are very nice. SH is 5 floors of an office-like atmosphere, but many people claim to like that. It makes them feel like they are in a more professional atmosphere. In addition, our school connects through a sky bridge to the adjacent building which houses several attorney's offices and the Newark Club, which further promotes this atmosphere. Sometimes I think it would be really nice to have a campus, but then I realize that it is Newark and I don't want to hang out in Newark regardless. Also, Rutgers is public, so it is open to all. SH is not, so I just feel safer there.
Although there is no campus as you said, there is an apartment building about 2 blocks away wherein many students have chosen to reside this year. I suppose this fosters a collegial environment for those who live there, but probably not the same as Rutgers campus. In the end though, both schools are commuter schools in general, so it really doesnt matter.
Reputation-wise, you are definitely right about Rutgers national reach. I am not so sure I agree with you on the NJ reputation. I think SH has been overly committed to getting its students judicial clerkships in NJ, and places most of its students in NJ. Most people from NJ that I talked to before attending school told me to go to SH because they knew it better than Rutgers. Rutgers definitely has better placement and higher starting salary, but like you said both schools are comparable. I go to SH, so I'd have to say I think it is a better school. I think the professors make it a better school because they are so focused on the students.
That said, I think Rutgers is also an excellent school. True, they used to be Tier One. SH has only been around 50 years, so it has not had that same opportunity. But I don't think either will shift to Tier One any time soon anyway. Like Burning Sands said, you can't go wrong. If you are in-state, consider tuition. If that is not an issue, visit both schools and pick the one at which you feel most comfortable.