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Author Topic: New York Law and harsh curve  (Read 6776 times)

nj7

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New York Law and harsh curve
« on: March 17, 2006, 12:19:23 AM »
Even though there is a harsh curve, doesn't the Comprehensive Program they have for the bottom of the class make it almost impossible to fail out? It seems like the school is rather supportive. Any comments?

lek

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Re: New York Law and harsh curve
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2008, 04:34:06 PM »
Not exactly. You are correct in stating that the Comprehensive Curriculum Program does apply to the bottom of the class as well as a mandatory extra semester for the lowest ranking students (for added instruction of necessary skills per the school and for higher bar passage rate practically as those students are forced to take the February Bar). However, this does not necessarily mean that students in the Comprehensive program do not fail out. In fact the Comprehensive program, at least four year version, forces students to take mandatory classes throughout law school in specific harder courses during the second and third year which are tested heavily on the New York Bar Exam such as Corporations, Wills and Trusts and New York Practice.

The Plus side is that this is generally very good preparation for the bar and the schools passing rates have gone up as a result. The negative is very little ability for students who do poorly or just bellow the curve in their first semester to specialize in any area of law or take any classes they feel would interest them. Further, by forcing the lower half (it is almost about half), of the class to take the most difficult courses these students are almost guaranteed to remain in the lower end of the class. Consider an example of a student in the upper half of the class taking Sports Law as an elective during her second year as well as Corporations. Then a student in the program who must take Corporations is precluded from taking Sports Law and then must take Wills and Trusts (a much harder class) instead. The lower ranked student will have a much more strenuous workload. This is especially daunting during second semester of first year when grades are most important for achieving employment especially in New York City out of a lower prestige school such as New York Law. Students in the program already have the disadvantage of lower first semester grades now coupled with some of the most difficult courses the school offers during their second semester.

In general students in the program do not tend to fail out in droves as is the case in most law schools after first semester (your tuition is to valuable to drop you), however many do drop out second or third semester. The realization that they will not be able to study what they are most interested in or specialize in anything (which would help greatly in getting a job out of NY law if not top 10 in the class), and likely remain in the lower half of the class due to being compelled to take harder classes then their piers and resulting career implications cause many students to reconsider law school.

Hope this sheds some light on the program and implications as well as answer your question.

Ashlee

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Re: New York Law and harsh curve
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2008, 12:43:20 PM »
It's a 1.7 to fail out and the curve is 2.67.  My year was the 1st year that CCP was implemented for.  In order to be in CCP, you had to have a 2.55 or lower.  Soooooo, basically not much lower than the curve.  For my year, it was based upon 1st SEMESTER grades.  Not your 1st year grades.  So technically, you could have ended up w/ a higher CUMULATIVE gpa than a lot of other people but you were screwed and they weren't.  The administration said it was 'unfair' to put them in CCP b/c they didn't take the 1st required CCP class.  They claim to have since changed that.  Also, none of this was included in the admissions information given to my year (you receive brochures based upon information from the previous year and since CCP hadn't been implemented that year, it was never included in our admissions).

CCP is a ridiculous program b/c those people are forced to take the extremely difficult courses instead of 'easy A' courses that everyone else can take.  The effect being that it its IMPOSSIBLE for you to bring up your GPA.  You will ALWAYS have a low gpa.  In addition, if you have the honor of staying for the 'extra' semester, you don't get any ranking.  So pray to god that no employers ask for it.

lek

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Re: New York Law and harsh curve
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2008, 12:32:54 PM »
I would agree completely with Ashlee comments. Similar experience to friends who started the first year of the program. Try explaining to future employers that you are not ranked in the upper one third of the class because while your buddies were taking sports law you were forced to take corporations and wills and estates.

Out of New York Law your employers will not care what classes you have taken you are basically an untrained employee to them the only thing that may get you a decent job is if you are in the top 1/3 of the class. Now if the school actually offered CCP students or regular students for that matter practical courses or even internships with civil and supreme court judges (CCP students can not do this for credit while top of the class can easy A and irrelevant for top of the class), or following ID lawyers around and actually learning something practical that 90% will use in practice maybe it would actually be worth something. Instead CCP students are forced to take the hardest classes which are completely irrelevant for anything they may do in practice.

This mandated schedule also precludes them from establishing an area of specialty which is one of the few things that would allow even a student with good grades to get a decent job out of NY Law. This was my error, with no specialty out of NY Law and slightly above AVG grades competing with Columbia and NYU you are destined for the lowest paying insurance defense or landlord tenant jobs. Most of these firms start associates at 30-55K.

Trust me nobody is going to ask you about constitutional law at your job interviews. Have you ever seen a Court room or a pleading for that matter alternatively may come up.

Ashlee

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Re: New York Law and harsh curve
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2008, 05:23:27 PM »
CCP students also aren't allowed to take summer classes, be on Moot Court or get an internship.  So say 'bye bye' to padding your resume and making prospective employers forget about the crappy grade you got in the Federal Income Tax class that you HAD to take even though its no longer tested on the NY bar.  But then again, that would mean they'd have to actually look at the courses that you took instead of just skipping to your GPA.  That doesn't happen.  All that is seen is that GPA.  And lack of rank if you had the honor of being in CCP-7.

Plus it was the same story everytime.  Your GPA & ranking will never be higher than those of non-CCP students because they're able to supplement their bad grades with grades from courses such as Internet Law (they only had to sign into a chatroom for 1 hour every Monday - my friend would do it from her apartment while drinking wine or having people over).  Also there were always a couple of CCP students who did MUCH better than non-CCP students when they were taking the same class.  Not just counting those that got lucky b/c they missed the 1st semester cut-off.  It was all because of those 1st semester grades. 

lek

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Re: New York Law and harsh curve
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2008, 04:28:34 PM »
“CCP students also aren't allowed to take summer classes, be on Moot Court or get an internship.”

Wow was unaware of this. Considering that internships relating to a specialty  in a particular area of law are one of the few ways even a student with excellent grades would obtain a decent job in the overly saturated and competitive New York City market coming out of a lower school like New York Law this is a really big deal.

In my own experience and that of my friends it is very difficult to obtain a job with even above average grades out of New York Law. In my case the only thing that finally got me in the door (and trust me I don’t make a lot of money), was an internship and recommendation from a well known Supreme Court Judge. Without internships out of New York Law be prepared to make 30-45K working either landlord tenant or No Fault law. At best very low end litigation. Plaintiff’s firms start at about 25-30K (yes this is shocking but actually what you are worth to them with no experience), while defense firms start at about 45-50K. I have heard several instances of employers telling associates that it is harder for them to find secretaries in New York City then lawyers.