Hi, sorry for the delay. Was majorly busy with work..
To answer your questions:
* Did you primarily find these placements through the school or is it something that you did completely on your own?
Both. I did not have any legal experience when I enrolled at Brooklyn Law. My first legal experience was my 1L summer job with a federal judge. I secured that internship via the Judicial Externship/Clinic Program at BLS. Working for a state or federal judge in 1L summer is an extremely popular choice for most students.
I also worked part time for a NY County Lawyer's Assoc'n Bar Committe. I secured that job via Emplawyernet, a service provided FREE to all BLS students and alumni (i,e BLS alums submit job ads directly to the school for posting).
My 2L summer job was secured via On Campus Interviewing, and my 3L part time job was secured via Emplawyernet. I started working at a mid sized law firm shortly after graduation by sending my resume and cover letter directly to the law firm.
* What was your experience in getting a job after graduation?
See above. I did not have a job by the time I graduated because I had piss poor grades (not top 1/2). I simply sent out about 100 resumes to all the small and mid-sized law firms. I interviewed for jobs in August and was offered an associate position on the spot.
* Did you have a job lined up for some time prior to graduation?
Nope. See above.
* and how did you find the job prospects/ alumni network while looking for a job?
Alumni network is super helpful. I was able to have my resume referred to law firm hiring partners directly because of the contacts I had made at BLS. I was heavily involved in student activities and several BLS graduates that were ahead of me 1-2 yrs were always willing to help me out and would refer my resume directly instead of making me go through the standard pile of resumes that rarely get read by a Hiring Commmittee.
The key thing is, many NYC law firms have tons of BLS alums. You will know so many people when you graduate, and its all about your reputation. Last week in court I ran into a law school classmate, so just remember - the legal world is VERY small and law school can feel like high school some times (if you are popular, the world id your oyster. If you shun everyone, no one will want to help you).
And in other questions-
* Where did you live? (I am planning on living in the new Feil Hall- but regardless would be interested in knowing.)
I commuted from Queens. I did not wwant to undertake additional loan deb. The student housing is very nice though, and sometimes during finals I would sleep over my friend's apartment near the school. The student body is pretty social - and there is no distinction between students who live near the school/in the studenr housing and students who commute from other boroughs or NJ/upstate NY.
* Did you find the student body highly competitive?
Not any more so than other schools. Students generally help each other out, and like any school there are people who piss you off and people who are friendly. Those who want to be competitive and refuse to help a classmate usually get the same treatment back in some form or another. Once 1L grades are out, no one cares. The most "tense" semester is fall of 1L, because no one knows what the expect. There are a few students who are very annoying and will only create study groups based on incoming LSAT/GPA/prestige of undergrad attended - but they will soon learn how foolish that is when first semester grades come out.
* And on a non academic topic- how was the "social" experience at BLS. Did you find that some of your classmates were "friends" outside of class?
Definitely. My best friend from law school was my closest friend at work (I referred her into my law firm about 2 weeks after I started). We still keep in touch and its nice to see familiar faces in the courthouse.
Hope this answers most of your questions and if you need anything, please don't hesitate to pop me an email.