>>>Fordham Law is ranked #27 in the nation- its a Tier 1 school. It doesn't have the same prestige as NYU, Cornell or Columbia- but its certainly more than just a "decent regional school" in my opinion.
Brooklyn and Cardozo are ranked #58, Fordham is #27 (which is firmly within Tier 1)- and if you look at the stats for the entering classes, you'll see that Fordham's is several cuts above Brooklyn and Cardozo- which are both still great schools that both have the top quarter of their classes getting into BigLaw after graduation. Sure NYU grads can all get into BigLaw, but half of Fordham's class can, which is still pretty damn impressive.
Both Brooklyn and Cardozo are significantly better than Hofstra and St. John's. It and Hofstra are still not on the same level as Brooklyn or Cardozo. Only about the top 10% of Hofstra and St. John's could get into BigLaw, instead of the top 25% from Brooklyn and Cardozo.
SUNY Buffalo is a Tier 2 school- NYLS is either a Tier 3 or a Tier 4 school, I don't remember which, but I do remember that Buffalo is Tier 2.
Okay you are correct if you were to blindly rely only on the US News Rankings.
The way I wrote it is the way law firms and the NYC legal community overall views all schools based on an average of the school's quality from about 1996 to the Present.
Fordham is a solid regional school, and it is indeed Tier 1, however bottom of the class (50% and below) end up working at the SAME law firms as BLS and Cardozo grads. I should know because I had friends in that same boat (and guess what, they received interviews at small firms just like the rest of BLS/Cardozo people).
another misconception is the diference between Hofstra/SJU and BLS/Cardozo. I went to BLS and while I always thought BLS and Cardozo were leagues above Hofstra/SJU in terms of admissions, their local rep is still pretty solid. My law firm makes NO DISTINCTION between a Brooklyn grad and a Hofstra grad. Sad but true. You still need to be top 20% from all 4 schools to get a BIGLAW job.
The reason a BLS student ranked top 32% may end up at a big law firm whereas a Hofstra 2L ranked in the same 32% may not is due ot intangibles, like undergrad attended (BLS student may have gone to Williams College and written a paper about corporate governance or something). Also, BLS offers competitive clinics that are attractive to employers when listed on a resume. Hofstra has bad clinics in my opinion, esp for students who have no interest in civil litigation or public sector/criminal law work.
For ex: Brooklyn offers the Securities Arb clinic which gives students an advantage over similarly situated students at other local schools like Hofstra/SJU/NYLS and grades being EQUAL, an employer who handles Securities cases will prefer the Brooklyn student who participated in that clinic over a NYLS/Hof/SJU student who didn't have that opportunity because the school does not offer that particular clinic.
In that sense, then YES students at Brooklyn and Cardozo edge out the rest by a SMALL margin.
But when it comes to standard small and mid-sized firms that practice general commercial litigation, there IS NO difference. Ask any attorney at the Nassau County Supreme courthouse, Queens County or in Brooklyn, and they will all tell you,"I think NYU, Col and Fordham are top schools, but once you get into T2,T3 it doesnt matter *&^%."