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Author Topic: Tell me about BU  (Read 14616 times)

jsr315

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Re: Tell me about BU
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2005, 05:20:02 PM »
I graduated from BUSL in 2004.  Attending BUSL was the worst decision I ever made.  I was excited about the school when I enrolled.  All of the law school guides gave the place good reviews.  In particular, Princeton Review claimed that the professors at BU "rock."  Employment statistics on the school's website and in law school guides stated that over 95% of BUSL students had jobs at graduation with the median salary being $125,000. 

These were lies.  The professors, in my view, were average at best.  I thought that the professors at the small liberal arts school I attended were on the whole clearer, friendlier and at least as intelligent.  With regards to career prospects, maybe 25%-30% of the students in my class scored jobs with high-paying law firms.  Roughly 50% of the students in my class had no job at graduation.  This 50% included students who attended undergrads like Harvard and Yale.    For all I know, many of the students in my class who did not have jobs at graduation do not have jobs to this day.  And, in case you were wondering, you have to pay back your loans regardless of whether you are hired by a law firm. 

I was surprised by how little respect employers have for BUSL.  It is currently ranked #19 in the nation by USNews.  But if you are in the middle of your class at BUSL you are basically an untouchable.  No law firm will take you seriously.  You may not even be able to land a job as an assistant district attorney in some remote county prosecuting drunk drivers.  If you graduate in the middle of your class, you will have spent roughly $100,000 on your legal education and you will be LUCKY to find a legal job paying $40,000 a year.  You may not be able to find ANYONE willing to hire you.  Your dreams of becoming a powerful, highly-respected, well-paid attorney will be just that--dreams. 

Unless you are independently wealthy,  attending BUSL is not a safe risk.  Take a year off from school, and re-take the LSAT.  Score about 5-6 points higher the second time around, and you should be able to get into a school that actually will help you get a decent job (know that there is a WORLD of difference between how Cornell Law is perceived and how BUSL is perceived, even though the schools are only about 5-6 spaces apart in the USNews rankings ).  And remember that your odds of scoring a high-paying job coming from BUSL are about 3/10.  These are pretty bad odds, especially when $100,000 is at stake. 

MITgrad

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Re: Tell me about BU
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2005, 01:49:40 PM »

Sorry to hear BU didn't work out for you. Imagine if you attended this year; a handful of their top faculty recently moved to other law schools. That great faculty they used to has been seriously diminished. You will probably find a job, just keep looking. Good luck man.


J D

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Re: Tell me about BU
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2005, 03:22:40 PM »
I think their faculty is still quite solid, though.  They've recently lost Lawrence to GW (being hired as a Dean), and Randy Barnett will be visiting faculty at Georgetown in the Fall (he also has an offer from Illinois), but I haven't heard of any other major moves out of BU.  Certainly not as many as have been exiting NW for other schools the last couple years.  Who else has been moving?
"I never think of the future.  It comes soon enough."--Albert Einstein

MITgrad

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Re: Tell me about BU
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2005, 04:00:53 PM »

You can check it out on Brian Leitter's website. I dont remember the link right now. He usually tracks the big prof moves. There were a couple other moves that I saw on there in the past two years. There used to be a lot of great experts at BU like three years ago, but a lot have left. I heard some of the students were upset because these teachers were really good; BU used to be known for its profs.
Ironic: Finally jump in the rankings and reach the highest in school history, but slowly loose your faculty.

J D

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Re: Tell me about BU
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2005, 06:24:51 PM »

You can check it out on Brian Leitter's website. I dont remember the link right now. He usually tracks the big prof moves. There were a couple other moves that I saw on there in the past two years. There used to be a lot of great experts at BU like three years ago, but a lot have left. I heard some of the students were upset because these teachers were really good; BU used to be known for its profs.
Ironic: Finally jump in the rankings and reach the highest in school history, but slowly loose your faculty.

I read Prof. Leiter's blog regularly.  I have already noted the major faculty moves he has down from the past couple years (Lawrence, Barnett).  Which other faculty have left so far in say, the past five years?  Where did they go?  Where are they now?I also find it interesting that his 2003-2004 survey still rates their faculty quite well, notwithstanding the moves.  Let's also not forget that some prof's have actually been moving to BU from other places (like Lawson and K. Hytlon from Northwestern).
"I never think of the future.  It comes soon enough."--Albert Einstein

jsr315

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Re: Tell me about BU
« Reply #15 on: July 17, 2005, 06:38:10 PM »
Justice Luttig: "Don't listen to jsr315. He must be a disgruntled fool with no personality and a bad attitude." 

Most students at BUSL are very friendly.  Unfortunately, there are also a small number of insecure assholes at BUSL who need to make fun of others in order to feel better about themselves.  Justice Luttig is a case in point.  Don't put too much stock in what he says.  For instance, he writes that top 25% BUSL grads have "identical" job prospects compared with Harvard Law grads.  Yeah, right. Consider that the valedictorian of my class at BUSL clerked on U.S. District Court along with kids from Harvard Law who were ranked #352 and #413 in their graduating class--no comparison in job prospects between the schools. 

Luttig IS right when he says you can get a job with a BUSL degree if you are a good networker.  But that's true of any other school.  It's possible to get a job with a small-to-medium sized law firm in NYC or Boston with a law degree from Suffolk, Northeastern, Yeshiva, Golden Gate University, New England School of Law, Touro, or any number of other lower ranked schools provided you are a good networker and get lucky.  What prospective students should ask themselves is whether they want to have to depend on their networking skills and luck to get a job.  It doesn't say much for BUSL if the average student--i.e., the student ranked in the middle of the class--is viewed as an untouchable by big law firms and has to rely on family connections, a glowing personality, a steady handshake and proper alignment of the stars in order to find a legal job. 

As far as faculty moves go, I can't say that I'm surprised.  My impression is that BUSL has a very transient faculty.  No one seems happy to be there.  I don't know if any of this has changed, but when I was there the place was about as cheery as a morgue--the students didn't have jobs, the faculty felt underappreciated and the administration was under fire.  Given this environment, it does not surprise me that longstanding members of the faculty like Lawrence and Barnett would want to get out of dodge.

 

nubova

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Re: Tell me about BU
« Reply #16 on: July 25, 2005, 03:35:06 PM »
bump

Suzieq830

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Re: Tell me about BU
« Reply #17 on: March 18, 2006, 11:56:36 AM »
wow is BU really that awful? alot worse than BC? I'm deciding between the two now but BU has just offered me a 15k scholarship whereas i havent gotten my finaid packet from BC. is BC so much better id be willing to shell out 45k extra?

J D

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Re: Tell me about BU
« Reply #18 on: March 18, 2006, 12:10:31 PM »
These posts actually are quite dated, from about 2 years ago (before the current Dean ad interim came in to take over for the last, not-so-well-liked-by-the-students Dean).  The whole atmosphere is markedly different now, according to the older students I've talked to.  It's really a wholly different school, just in the same ugly tower.  But seriously, come and visit and see for yourself.  Faculty and students really enjoy it here, and the quality of learning is top notch.  The jobs situation has also markedly improved: at 2L OCI, from what I've heard, Ropes & Gray hired 10 students for summer associates, while Hale & Dorr took about another 8, just to give a sampling.  Our Career Development person is on cloud nine in terms of how this season went, and I would think her standards would be set a little high (she, like many of our Career Development staff, used to work at Harvard before they came here).
"I never think of the future.  It comes soon enough."--Albert Einstein

challandler

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Re: Tell me about BU
« Reply #19 on: March 18, 2006, 01:02:09 PM »
Suzie, it's not as bad as as jsr315 is making it out to be, but I think too many people pick a school, as jsr said, with "dreams of becoming a powerful, highly-respected, well-paid attorney."  Well, that's not a realistic dream for most attornies graduating from most law schools.  The average starting for lawyers nationwide is something along the lines of $40,000 per year.  For the bulk of students law school is simply a bad investment.  My guess is that most prospective students either (1) don't look at the statistics, (2) don't understand the statistics, or (3) think so highly of themselves that they expect to be in the 75th percentile at their school.  Law school is a risk, and some simply have bad experiences.  However, you should also keep in mind that someone like jsr (or any student, for that matter) only has one law school experience.  He can't comment on whether the teachers at BC are better, or how their job prospects compare.  However, a statistical analyisis may help give some kind fo insight.

BU places 38% of their class in New England, with another 28% in NY, NJ, and PA. 
BC places 53% in New england, and 20% in NY, NJ, & PA.

About 25% of BU's New England private practice attornies end up in Vault 100 or comparable firms.
About 51% of Bu's NY/NJ/PA attornies end up in these same top jobs (this discrepancy makes sense given that the lower you are int he class, the harder it is to find a job outside of the city/state of your school).

BC's numbers are 34% and 52% for these same regions. 

BU has about 290 students per year, BC has about 260.  Both have about 67% of their graduates enter private practice. 

Of the ~74 BU grads in private practice in NE each year, ~18 end up with these kind of top jobs. Of the ~54 BU grads in NY/NJ/PA, ~28 get top jobs.

Of the ~92 BC grads in NE, ~31 with top jobs.  Of the ~35 BC grads in NY/NJ/PA, ~18 get top jobs.

Thus, of all BU grads in these two regions, ~24% end up with jobs at Vault 100 or comparable firms
Of all BC grads in these two regions, ~26% end up with jobs at top firms.

Not much difference, though not a lot of hope if you have a dream of being powerful and rich.

As far as salary goes, both list a median of 125K in private practice. BU has 58% return the survey, BC has 65%.  If we assume the worst-case scenario (the lowest-paid grads don't return their surveys, and those students not in private practice make less than those who are in private practice), we can infer the following:

Those reporting salary information represent only the top 39% of BU's wage-earners.  At least the top 20% of BU's class makes $125,000 per year.  No more than 29% of BU's class makes more than $50,000 per year. 

Those reporting salary information for Bc represent only the top 44% of BC's wage-earners.  At least 22% of BC's class makes $125,000 per year.  No more than 33% of BC's class makes more than $95,000 per year. 

Again, this is worst-case scenario, and the salary inconsitencies at the bottom end of BU and BC seem a little suspicious to me (sugesting some selection bias somewhere).  Nevertheless, the data above indicates that it would be foolhardy to enter law school having any expectation that you will break $100,000 per year (and probably foolhardy to expect that you will break $50,000 per year).  As far as placement goes, these are some of the top schools in the country.  Propspects at lesser schools are much bleaker.

As for choosing between BU and BC, it seems that BC has slightly better placement, although mostly in Boston.  BU sends more students elsewhere.  Those $45,000 in loans come out to about an extra $500 per month in payments (if you are trying to get them paid off in 10 years).  It certainly isn't apparent that the average BC student will do that much better than the average BU student (although I wish I could investigate that salary data a little more), and if you do end up at the bottom (or even the middle) of your class that $500 might be your food budget.