« on: October 22, 2012, 01:46:00 PM »
Practically speaking location is probably the most important factor to consider when choosing a law school for several reasons explained below.
1) LAW SCHOOL DOES NOT EXIST IN A VACUUM
Although law school is difficult you will have plenty of time to socialize and more importantly you will deal with the realities of living in one of the most crowded and diverse cities on a day to day basis. If you attend law school in New York you will deal with the subway, crowds, noise, etc. So first if your from Tennesee this will be a big culture shock.
On top of that you will be far away from your family, friends, and comforts of home. You will go to a new city in a new school not knowing anyone and this can be difficult for many people. If you have not been away from home before this may be something to consider. I have lived in New York City and tell you it is not for everyone and although it may sound glamorous and look cool on T.V. there are a lot of headaches attached with living in NY. However, there are a lot of amazing things as well, but starting something as a difficult as law school away from all your support group family, friends, etc can be to much to handle for some and others do great it is a very individual thing.
2) IF YOU WANT TO LIVE IN NEW YORK THEN LAW SCHOOL IN NEW YORK
As Roald suggests if you want to live in New York then go to law school in New York. There are 7 law schools in NY state alone and 3 more in New Jersey not to mention numerous people from around the country are seeking in NY jobs. So most NY places are not likely to fly out of state to Tennessee, Memphis, or even Vanderbilt there are plenty of recent grads looking for work in NY city as it is.
Furthermore, you can get internships in school in NY if your in NY. You can't clerk for a NY judge 20 hours a week during law school if your in NY and furthermore, even if you wanted to have an interview out in New York you would need a flight, hotel, etc and since there are already thousands of recent grads in NY looking for work a firm is not going to spend money on those items you will cover the cost yourself and on a law student salary of 0 dollars a week that can be a lot of money.
On top of that your professors and career services departments will know people locally so at Hofstra the career services will interact with primarily NY firms and agencies. While in Tennessee they will work with Tennessee firms and agencies.
This is a real consideration and if you can live at home and get cheap tuition that is huge. You may not end up liking living in NY as it is not for everybody, but the debt you incur there will be very real and accruing interest. So really think about how much you want to live in NY before accruing 200,000+ in debt accruing 8% interest a year.
Especially since it is certainly possible to go to law school in Tennessee and pass & take the NY bar then move to NY trying to find a job. Although for the reasons stated above this may be difficult to accomplish finding a job in NY city when you have no affiliation with NY and thousands of other recent JD's will be looking for work well be difficult.
4) REALITY OF LAW SCHOOL
Law school is a long 3 years and most people make new friends get into a serious relationship, get an apartment they like, and simply get settled in over 3 years wherever they are. Therefore, if you go to law school in Tennesee or Memphis you may get into a serious relationship, get a job your comforable with, etc etc and odds are you won't leave. Most people I went to law school with stayed in the location I'm in, but during 1L many people said they planned to move to NY, L.A., or somewhere else after graduation. Some did, but the vast majority stayed put for the factors I mentioned above.
In my anonymous internet poster opinion which doesn't mean a lot location is probably the biggest factor to consider when choosing a law school. If your dream is to be a lawyer in NY the best way to make that happen is by going to law school in New York. However, if you have never lived there I would consider doing that and making sure you like it before making a 3 year 200,000 commitment on something you simply think will be amazing. NY has a lot of great things, but a lot of annoyances that are not for everybody. Good luck to you.