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Messages - BeauEnigma

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1
Remarq,

I did sense that students were very serious about their studies, but I really didn't feel that it was cutthroat. One of the student ambassadors that I emailed said that the only real competitive group are the international law students, primarily because they have to later compete with the bigger IL schools and have to meet high grade expectations. While the 1L grading curve can create competition, the students we spoke with said there are no moments of people ripping pages out of books or sending around computer viruses to sabotage others. Almost every student we talked to mentioned some group of friends that they study with and do papers with. I think this is all because of SUCOL's emphasis on the importance of networking, making alumni connections, and staying connected in a positive way to keep your career moving forward. It is a fact that the guy next to you in law school today could be a partner in the firm that you want to be a part of tomorrow.

Hope that helps!

2
Bogart,

In regards to library construction, I don't really have any information on that. In fact, this is something that has been frustrating me as well. From time to time you hear mention of this new library and facilities renovation planned for the future, but I have not had any direct source confirmation. Like you, I am incredibly interested in the design for my own architectural interest. One student on TLS (or some other blog) had said it was going to be designed by the guy that designed the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame... but that too has yet to be confirmed by anyone. Although, the spoke nothing of these future plans, I can't complain too much because I didn't ask.

My interaction with other visitors was, unfortunately, fairly limited for several reasons. There seemed to be a very introspective atmosphere during the ASD, possibly because a majority of the visitors are still undecided and were thinking quite a bit about what was being said. The second reason, and perhaps I was the only one that felt this way, but a large number (at least 80%) brought parents along which made it unnecessary for anyone to meet new people because they already had someone to share their feelings with throughout the event. While I do understand that for some it seemed logical to bring your parents to the ASD, I chose not to for several reasons: this is my decision 100%, I am funding this by myself, and I knew that if I brought them I wouldn't meet new people. I guess I expected others to do the same, and perhaps I was wrong in expecting more of a social atmosphere that really is more appropriate at orientation. I don't think the lack of interaction should give the impression that it will be a particularly unsocial class, but rather that they are a very thoughtful group of people, serious about making the right decision and still on the fence at this point. In the end I did meet this awesome girl from Virginia who came alone as well and was also interested in International Law and a dual degree at Maxwell. We exchanged email addresses and are going to let each other know our decision.

The weirdest vibe was during the question and answer sessions. I had very specific international law questions, and I've been emailing that department quite a bit, so I really didn't have that many general questions that would be appropriate for these sessions. Unfortunately, others seemed to have the same problem so there were more awkward silences then I think the faculty, staff, and student presenters had expected. This is either because people were too nervous to speak in public, or had done their homework and didn't have that many questions.

While I was not able to get a good grasp on the vibe of the future 1L class, I was able to get a great vibe from the current students. EVERYONE that we met was really helpful and friendly, more importantly these students weren't all "Student Ambassadors" who basically make it their job to act that way, these were all people that genuinely like the school and wanted to share that. As expected, the 1Ls all looked slightly disheveled and tired, the 2Ls were a bit better, and the 3Ls all looked like professionals. We sat in on a 1L Property Law class, which was way more interesting than I thought in part because of the teacher and also because of the case they chose (something about a will dispute) for their midterm that they were going over. The woman that taught it was so direct and to the point, dragging the facts out of people and rarely giving them the answer, while adding a little humor from time to time. The students had a whole range of outfits, from casual to business casual, but I didn't see any pajamas. Everyone was on Facebook when the class started (hilarious), but they minimized the window when the professor began to speak. Those that dared distract themselves with it were later called on and humiliated a little with some humor. Overall, the idea of a friendly and fun community (something Syracuse claims sets them apart from a lot of the other law schools) was proven. One student said that there is some competition, but that it is all placed inwards..."students compete with themselves more than each other," she noted the plethora of study groups people form and how they even help each other finish midterms and finals.


3
Hey, I went to the ASD on April 3rd. Overall I came away more impressed than I had expected, especially because the facilities weren't as bad as people on here and other websites seemed to report. All of the classrooms that we saw (which represented all types of classrooms; large lecture to small meeting rooms) were very comfortable with good sized wheely chairs that had excellent support, nice marker boards that had multiple layers, overhead projectors, LCD projectors, great lighting, plugs under the table for recharging computers (with access at every seat) and good sight-lines to the board and other students. The mock courtrooms were especially nice, great wooden detail and a good representation of an actual courtroom in terms of setup (as well as usable doors representing the judges chambers and the holding area). On the first floor of one of the two main buildings there was a very large locker room for students to use. Lockers are assigned one the first day of classes and students keep them for all three years. One of our tour guides commented on how convenient they were because the books can get heavy and you don't need to bring them home all of the time, also in the winter you can store boots and have nice comfortable shoes waiting for walking to class. There are also several student lounge areas, a really great cafe (so you don't have to leave the COL buildings if you don't want to), LCD panel TVs for watching keeping on top of March Madness and study carols.

The library is one element that you often hear comments about on the web, and something that US News uses to create its rankings. While it is true that the library is not the newest of facilities, I really didn't find it as bad as the rumors. There are multiple printers and copiers (ALL free and easily hooked to your computer to print your own stuff), various group study rooms, two large silent rooms (one with great natural light as it is situated in the atrium), and a plethora of resources (including a floor of international law resources). The staff there were incredibly friendly and the hours are created in such a way that it really is there when you need it. The librarian even said that they give out their email, phone number, fax, and other contact information so that when they aren't around you can contact them for help. The only real down side is that there is a very slight 80's tang to the atrium area and the construction of the "newest" addition to the library.

Offices for various student resources are quite convenient, more so than at many other schools. This is mainly because the law school is really situated in two buildings that are linked together. Right outside of the library is the financial aid and admissions office, and down the hall from that (literally a yard or two away) is the career development department. We interacted with both departments twice at the ASD and both times I found them to be direct and helpful. Ann Myers in particular was quite refreshing; instead of blowing steam and saying that jobs will be thrown at you at Syracuse, she made it very clear that if you do not make the effort to meet with them, they cannot help you. She reiterated several times that she hates when students say "I don't want to bother you, but can you help me with this?" She said it was her job to be bothered and we must bother her as often as we desire. She was very approachable when I talked to her later and seemed to genuinely care about helping people find the jobs. I've heard some complaints online about how "worthless" that department is, but after meeting with her and rereading those comments, I believe that those complainers probably never really met with Career Development on a regular basis. Ever student that we talked to said that they are incredibly efficient and helpful, but each one made it very clear that you must meet with them to establish a relationship, otherwise they can't do anything for you.

I don't really know what else to say at the moment, but if anyone has specific questions, fire away! I am still waiting to hear back from one school, but Syracuse really did surprise me.

4
On a side note, does anyone know if they give travel stipends?

I don't believe they do offer travel stipends. Usually only community colleges and schools with a decent commuter population offer stipends. However, I think there is a way that you can be reimbursed on your taxes at the end of the year. When I lived in NYC, if you saved receipts and kept a log of the money you spent on tranportation to work or school, and it turned out to be over a certain amount, you were able to file for it. I am not 100% on exactly how this was done, but I remember getting papers about it every year at work and school. Either way it is probably worth calling Syracuse to find out. Perhaps they could give you a bit more financial aid to cover it. Where would you be commuting from?

Sorry, I should have been more specific. I meant to visit the school for ASD etc.

Ah, okay. Sorry about that. According to the brochure, and the admissions office, they are reimbursing the hotel, but not the travel. You also have to be 150+ miles from the school... whether they verify that or not I don't know.

5
On a side note, does anyone know if they give travel stipends?

I don't believe they do offer travel stipends. Usually only community colleges and schools with a decent commuter population offer stipends. However, I think there is a way that you can be reimbursed on your taxes at the end of the year. When I lived in NYC, if you saved receipts and kept a log of the money you spent on tranportation to work or school, and it turned out to be over a certain amount, you were able to file for it. I am not 100% on exactly how this was done, but I remember getting papers about it every year at work and school. Either way it is probably worth calling Syracuse to find out. Perhaps they could give you a bit more financial aid to cover it. Where would you be commuting from?

6
First off, comotellamas, I can see why you would say what you've said about Syracuse. I am from Central NY, and I have to agree that growing up here really made me itchy and feel like I'd die if I didn't get out. Then I did, I went to NYC for 5 years and then overseas for a while. It took me a while, but coming back to it all now, after seeing other parts of the world. I don't think this area is quite the dump I used to. In fact I've grown to really love it. I do think that for some people used to a LOT of options at night, multiple choices in weekend activities and a speedy public this place may feel claustrophobic. However, what you do find up here is the ability to make a real community, for better or for worse, because you really get to know everyone around you. I think that can be incredibly comforting. Not to mention Syracuse is close to the Fingerlakes, and area that resembles California in the spring and summer with incredible wine, entertainment and unbelievable hiking trails. Not to mention to fall foliage. Although, again, I can see why for some people this area isn't a good fit, and the honest opinion to that affect is completely valid.

Now, it is interesting that someone mention the new library and the new funding being raised and put into the school. I too received a scholarship and it is one of the reasons I am so heavily considering Syracuse. However, I am a bit curious as to why, if all of this is happening, why are they not throwing it out all over their website. I've heard a few people talk about the new library and the large amount of money now being put into the budget, but I can't find a single word edgewise. It isn't even mentioned on their website. Am I not looking in the right place, or is there some reason why they wouldn't shout this kind of information out? Where have people been getting this information so far?
 

 


7
Northeastern / Re: Northeastern for Big Law? Pros/cons?
« on: February 16, 2009, 10:14:49 PM »
I completely disagree with TheDudeMan about it being a waste to go to Law School if you aren't going to just be a lawyer. The fact is a J.D. prepares you for a number of positions besides being a lawyer. I personally am going to get a Masters and a J.D., simply because the J.D. gives you so many wonderful skills for various future careers. I also know of a woman who works for a Russian Cultural organization that is affiliated with the embassy. She had a Bachelors in Russian studies, but was unable to find a job. She went for a masters and was able to get her current position, but knows of many other individuals who had a bachelors in Russian Studies, later received a J.D., and now work in the Embassy as diplomatic officials!

Most importantly, while I understand that this discussion board is a nice place for people to vent, I find it interesting that most use it as a way to post rants that are poorly stated and at times cruel. When someone is opening a topic and is asking for advice, is it really necessary to insult and use such extreme statements? There is a difference between "sugarcoating" and being "polite." While I am a citizen of this digital age, I find it extremely disappointing that people so often lurk on these message boards to hurt others and release their own bitter feelings.

Yes, Northeastern is not T1. Yes, often there are those Big Law firms that will look at where you graduate from and deny you a position, but in the end it is hard work that is rewarded the most. While I am not a student at Northeastern, I can assure everyone from being in NYC and talking to people you will get a great education from there, an education that will only be accelerated if you work hard. I think this is something we forget when we begin to bicker about T1 or T2 or T4. There are students from ALL of these schools that fail and fall away. In the end a large part of the end results will come from what YOU put into it.

If you have the option to go to a T1 then do it, but if you can't for any reason just make sure you work hard. There will always be jerks out there that will insult you based on your school selection simply to make themselves feel better. That negative energy will eventually eat them up.

8
Syracuse / Re: Syracuse Law: Past, Present and Future
« on: February 16, 2009, 02:22:10 PM »
Maybe I should start with a question for current students (or anyone that knows).

Do you notice any changes being made, or is anyone discussing changes to be made, to stimulate a rise in the rankings?
Also, there was a rumor about a new Library in the future, is this true?

9
General Board / Syracuse Law: Past, Present and Future
« on: February 16, 2009, 12:08:55 AM »
Hello everyone!

I am an accepted student who is very interested in the College of Law at Syracuse. After doing some searches I understand that there is a lot of strong emotions (negative and some positive) regarding Syracuse University College of Law, as seen through posts on here and elsewhere. It seems as though there have been a lot of changes at the school throughout the past 40 years that have caused it's rankings to rise and fall dramatically and for their to be wide gaps in success of former students, as well as opinions. As I understand it, a lot of this has resulted from past Dean's, budgeting problems, and issues with the administrative staff responsible for job placement after graduation.

All of this said, I believe that it is time we opened a new discussion board on here for people to discuss this very issue... especially current administration and current students. I am NOT interested in what the school was like in the PAST, but am interested in knowing if they've begun to make amends with past issues and if the school is in fact (as rumors would have us believe) really tightening up to increase the experience of students and their academic environment, ensure the future of the College of Law as being just as highly esteemed as Syracuse University itself, and taking care of current students as well as alumni.

I like what I see at Syracuse, you just can't help but notice all of the dramatic things posted on here and other places about the college. So, here we go, lets have mature and undramatic discussion about how Syracuse is now, what changes are being made, and where the Deans and Faculty see the future of Syracuse College of Law.

10
Syracuse / Syracuse Law: Past, Present and Future
« on: February 16, 2009, 12:02:42 AM »
Hello everyone!

I am an accepted student who is very interested in the College of Law at Syracuse. After doing some searches I understand that there is a lot of strong emotions (negative and some positive) regarding Syracuse University College of Law, as seen through posts on here and elsewhere. It seems as though there have been a lot of changes at the school throughout the past 40 years that have caused it's rankings to rise and fall dramatically and for their to be wide gaps in success of former students, as well as opinions. As I understand it, a lot of this has resulted from past Dean's, budgeting problems, and issues with the administrative staff responsible for job placement after graduation.

All of this said, I believe that it is time we opened a new discussion board on here for people to discuss this very issue... especially current administration and current students. I am NOT interested in what the school was like in the PAST, but am interested in knowing if they've begun to make amends with past issues and if the school is in fact (as rumors would have us believe) really tightening up to increase the experience of students and their academic environment, ensure the future of the College of Law as being just as highly esteemed as Syracuse University itself, and taking care of current students as well as alumni.

I like what I see at Syracuse, you just can't help but notice all of the dramatic things posted on here and other places about the college. So, here we go, lets have mature and undramatic discussion about how Syracuse is now, what changes are being made, and where the Deans and Faculty see the future of Syracuse College of Law.

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