Law School Discussion

Seton Hall or Rutgers Newark. which one would you choose?

Seton Hall or Rutgers Newark. which one would you choose?
« on: March 08, 2005, 06:40:59 AM »
Take money completely out of the situation.....

which is the better school?  i guess in many ways what you are chosing is reputation.  so, which school has more of a chance to move up or down in the rankings in the next 5 years?

My initial thought is Rutgers is better and has a better reputation. 

Are there any RU students out there who love (hate) it?

Are there any SH students out there who love (hate) it? 

I am really trying to decide which one. 

Thank you.

Re: Seton Hall or Rutgers Newark. which one would you choose?
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2005, 07:29:51 PM »
I go to Seton Hall. Here is what I think. Just overall, when I was considering the two schools, Seton Hall's Bar Pass Rate is much better than Rutgers. Rutgers isn't even above the state average and Seton Hall's is way above it. Seton Hall has a more social feel I think than Rutgers does. It is a private school, so it has much more money, which means better programs and events for its students. That doesn't mean Rutgers won't have events, but my roomie's boyfriend goes to Rutgers and our experiences have been much different in that realm. Also, Seton Hall is in a better area than Rutgers because it is only a block from Penn Station and it is right by all of the big law firms in Newark. Rutgers is further away by the Broad Street Station and you have to walk several blocks in the ghetto to get there.

In terms of reputation, I think it depends on where you want to practice. I believe Rutgers has a more national reputation in terms of hte name of the school. It places better nationally than Seton Hall. But Seton Hall I believe has a better reputation in NJ itself. In terms of numbers, I believe Seton Hall's LSAT medians are higher than Rutgers this year, which I think is something US News looks at. Seton Hall raised its median to 160 this past year with the 75% being a 162 and 25% being a 158. That said, I don't think either school is going to make a huge jump and they will probably stay around the same ranking to each other. It really doesn't matter that much where a school is ranked once you get outside of top 25 and especially when you get into a Tier 2. Neither school is going to jump to Tier One any time soon.

As far as my personal experience with SH -- Professor are great. If you are looking for an atmosphere where professors are always available and leave their doors open and know your name, etc. then SH is the place to go. It is very student centered. It isn't perfect of course. Career Services could step it up a notch (although I do have a paid internship this summer as a 1L and they helped). Another thing to think about in terms of aesthetics and personal comfort is that SH is going to redo its cafeteria, bookstore, and student lounge over the summer.

I don't know as much about Rutgers, but there is as much info as I could give. They are both good schools. I don't know that it matters that much which one you go to in the long run. I feel like SH is more of a laid back atmosphere (although still competitive) and that Rutgers has more of an older crowd of students and is much less social.

Hope that helps.

Re: Seton Hall or Rutgers Newark. which one would you choose?
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2005, 11:33:29 AM »
Nothern Girl, while I admire your candor I have to strongly disagree with you on several points.

First of all, location.  Seton Hall and Rutgers Newark are literally 3 blocks from each other.  Seton Hall is at Raymond between Broad and Mulberry and Rutgers is at Raymond and Washington. The "ghetto" as you call it does not stop at Broad street as you imply. (some may argue that the entire city of newark is a ghetto...but that's an entirely different debate) ;D 

Secondly, as far as the social context is concerend, Rutgers has a very social atmosphere that extends from the fact that it is associated with a major university campus and also the fact that it is located in an actual law school, as opposed to a few floors of an office building like Seton Hall.  The student organizations are very active and there is always something going on either at the law school itself or next door with the undergrads.

As far as facilities the 2 schools are similar in quality.  Seton Hall, while located in an office building, does have very nice interior and state of the art design for their classrooms and library and I hear they are planning to undertak a little remodelling in the  near future. Rutgers Law School's new building itself was just recently constructed in 1999 so it has similar state of the art capabilities and a very large 3 story library with plenty of space.

What Northern Girl said about Bar Passage rates is true.  Seton Halls' is higher than Rutgers and higher than the state average.  But where Rutgers falls shy in bar passage rate they make up for it in job placement.  Rutgers has a better repuation with the law firms in both the NJ and NY area, as evidenced by their higher average starting salaries. Seton Hall hovers around 80-85k starting in the private sector, while Rutgers hovers around 100-105k starting.

The difference between the reputation of the two schools is murky today, but it has not been such a gray area historically.  Law firms, lawyers and judges are very familiar with the rankings during their time in which there was a clear distinction between Rutgers and Seton Hall.  In fact, as recently as 15 years ago, Rutgers was a tier 1 law school, ranked at #40 in 1990, #41 in 1995, and #42 in 1996.  However, Rutgers has continued to commit themsleves to public advocacy, minority recruitent, and admitting students with life experience (as opposed to LSAT scores) which are not elements held in high regard by USNews & World Report today, thus the tier 2 ranking. To my knowledge, Seton Hall has never been a tier 1 law school. 

jfk2 - you take price out of the equation which is the largest substantive difference between the two schools IMHO.

I'll echo Northern Girl and say that they are both good schools and you really can't go wrong with either one.


Re: Seton Hall or Rutgers Newark. which one would you choose?
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2005, 03:47:38 PM »
Hey Burning Sands -

Are you currently at law school in NJ?

I realize the location of both law schools as I go to SH. My point was that if you are commuting on the train, SH is a nicer commute. SH is only a block from Penn Station and right next to Gateway Center and whatnot so there are many people walking around and I feel much safer there. Alternately, Rutgers is a much farther walk from Penn Station, and from what I have gathered from their students, people go to the Broad Street station. From there they have to walk several blocks to school past slaughterhouses and they do not feel as safe.

I agree that both schools are probably social. My point was that SH has a much younger feel to it. Rutgers is indeed on a campus, but it is on a campus in Newark, and Newark is not the place to be after dark. They both have activities - my point was just that SH has more money. In comparing my experience to my roomie's bf, who attends Rutgers, we've realized that SH activities seem to be a bit more lavish you could say. One of the reasons why I was attracted to SH was its continuously high student satisfaction ranking, which I believe comes from the social school atmosphere. The professors have open door policies and are very friendly and always willing to give time to students. This is not to say Rutgers provides no social life - it is just a different kind of one from my personal experience and comparisons.

Both facilities are very nice. SH is 5 floors of an office-like atmosphere, but many people claim to like that. It makes them feel like they are in a more professional atmosphere. In addition, our school connects through a sky bridge to the adjacent building which houses several attorney's offices and the Newark Club, which further promotes this atmosphere. Sometimes I think it would be really nice to have a campus, but then I realize that it is Newark and I don't want to hang out in Newark regardless. Also, Rutgers is public, so it is open to all. SH is not, so I just feel safer there.

Although there is no campus as you said, there is an apartment building about 2 blocks away wherein many students have chosen to reside this year. I suppose this fosters a collegial environment for those who live there, but probably not the same as Rutgers campus. In the end though, both schools are commuter schools in general, so it really doesnt matter.

Reputation-wise, you are definitely right about Rutgers national reach. I am not so sure I agree with you on the NJ reputation. I think SH has been overly committed to getting its students judicial clerkships in NJ, and places most of its students in NJ. Most people from NJ that I talked to before attending school told me to go to SH because they knew it better than Rutgers. Rutgers definitely has better placement and higher starting salary, but like you said both schools are comparable. I go to SH, so I'd have to say I think it is a better school. I think the professors make it a better school because they are so focused on the students.

That said, I think Rutgers is also an excellent school. True, they used to be Tier One. SH has only been around 50 years, so it has not had that same opportunity. But I don't think either will shift to Tier One any time soon anyway. Like Burning Sands said, you can't go wrong. If you are in-state, consider tuition. If that is not an issue, visit both schools and pick the one at which you feel most comfortable.

Re: Seton Hall or Rutgers Newark. which one would you choose?
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2005, 03:58:51 PM »
oh yea...and if you are thinking of working in NYC, then I definitely say go to Rutgers. SH is slowly increasing placement there, but it is definitely not as good as Rutgers.

Re: Seton Hall or Rutgers Newark. which one would you choose?
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2005, 04:13:37 PM »
The only thing I have to add is that Rutgers Law School's building is no longer open to the public.  There's a big fat security process that you have to go thru now so its annoyingly safe there.

Re: Seton Hall or Rutgers Newark. which one would you choose?
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2005, 08:25:40 AM »
I want to thank you both for your detailed and well reasoned response.  It seems that you gave a pretty clear picture as to the benefits of both, and I can really not go wrong with either. 

I have decided to attend RU-Newark in the Fall on a full time basis.  My decision was based mostly on personal reasons, and although I asked to have $ out of it, it is partially due to finacial concerns. (Plus my mom is a D.A.G in  Newark and actually RU will be closer to where I will be parking.)

That being said, I feel bad rejecting SH.

Burning Sands- I liked your comment about how RU has been historicially a better school.  I think that matters. I also think that there is something to be said for rejection rate, and the overall difficulty of admittance.  The price and shear competition for adittance will surely see RU in good stead 10 years from now, because essentially what I am deciding on is a reputation (because i concede that academically the schools are a push)

Notherngirl-  Thank you for your insight, i have heard similair high praise from other students.  I would be ecstatic if I was going to SH, and i had assumer before the process started that I would be going there. 

oh well, if you have any other tibits or adice they would be appreciated.

Re: Seton Hall or Rutgers Newark. which one would you choose?
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2005, 07:45:31 AM »
Not sure what you mean when you say that academically both schools are a "push", but I'll see ya in the fall.