« on: May 31, 2013, 04:52:58 PM »
Legend offers great advice on this site and he is a helpful poster; take what he says with more than a grain of salt. I wanted to add on to what I said earlier. I don't want to make it sound like I'm saying that Rutgers, St. John's, etc. are better schools because they are ranked higher by USNWR. Legend is right, outside the t14 schools or so, rankings really don't matter. The rankings inside the top 14 are somewhat pointless as well, as a JD from UVA isn't going to open more doors than a JD from Cornell. The rankings for the top 3 schools, Yale Harvard and Stanford, are pretty much the only USNWR rankings that matter. But what I've heard from people in the legal field is that there is such a thing as "local rankings." For example, if you wanted to work and live in Philadelphia, you should figure out what schools give you the best chance of doing that. UPenn is obviously the #1, followed by Temple, Villanova, Rutgers-Camden, Drexel, and Widener. So this is why it is vital to recognize what geographic location you'd like to live in. You obviously seem to be leaning on NYLS, but if you want to live in New Jersey, Rutgers-Newark or Camden would be a better choice. If it is NYC where you'd like to be, then NYLS would be an option.
I urge you to ignore the rankings published by USNWR, but to research which schools give you the best employment options in the area you'd like to live. I know it's easy to fall into the trap of placing emphasis on a school's ranking, but they really are pointless. If you wanted to work in NYC, going to Pepperdine University in California (just a random thought) because it is a Tier 1 school rather than NYLS would be a terrible decision. BUT, if you have the ability to attend a school that places better into your desired market, that is the better route to take. For what it's worth, I chose to not attend a Tier 1 school in another state and to go to a Tier 2/3 school in my desired market. For the financial aspect of your decision, I trust that you've done the research on how big of an investment law school is.
Once again, good luck