Law School Discussion

Florida Coastal School of Law - 2008 discussion

Florida Coastal School of Law - 2008 discussion
« on: April 15, 2008, 08:35:45 PM »
I am starting this new topic because all of the others are so outdated.

I am graduating from Seton Hall University as an undergrad with a GPA of 3.51 and an LSAT score of 151.  I never took a class bc I am broke, so anybody who is reading this I would seriously suggest it.  I underestimated the test and figured it would be like the SAT's which I got a 1370 on.  BIG BIG MISTAKE.  Do not underestimate.  As a result of my miserable score...most of my initial law school choices were eliminated.  I was born and raised in North Jersey and stayed here for school at SHU.  I was accepted into something called the dual-degree program to go straight to their law school which is ranked somewhere around 65th according to the almighty rankings (yes I am about as bitter as it might sound, if not more).  Unfortunately they are offering me no money, and pulling some crap about how they have to wait for my full transcript for acceptance.  Everyone applying to law school knows that decisions need to be made waaay before right now I am forced to make another choice to ensure enrollment in a fall 08 law school class.  I have applied to the following schools:

Drexel (who offered me a free app. and when they got their ABA approval a month ago, rejected I will give them this face  >:(  )
Albany Law/Union  (who have yet to respond)
Pace (who waitlisted me)
Seton Hall (see above rant for status)

Florida Coastal, Barry and Nova all contacted me and offered me money.  Ppl told me to beware of Nova b/c of its party law school reputation.  Barry didnt interest me.  FCSL gave me 10 grand a year...and right now I am taking it.  I made my deposit tonight and I am pretty pumped about the decision.  The whole weather switch seems great considering it has been bitterly cold here up until a week ago.  I come from a large Italian family, so I will absolutely miss them and probably be horribly home-sick...but other than that it looks as though this should be a fun adventure.

I have worked in a law firm here in Jersey for almost two years as a paralegal and legal assistant, which unfortunately doesnt matter much when applying to law school...but will hopefully help me after graduation when trying to find a job.  I work with some lawyers who just graduated and are doing the same work as me because they say after law school you have to do my job in order to really learn anything.  I am glad I at least got that out of the way, so hopefully I will be viewed as somewhat experienced after passing the BAR.

Now that my whole life story is out of the way, on to

Is there anyone on here who is coming into the Fall 08 class at FCSL?  Cause it would be nice to get to know someone before I get down there.  Also, does anyone have any advice based on anything I have written in this rambling post?  Anyone who might have anything to say to this posting would be very much appreciated.

Thanks guys!

Re: Florida Coastal School of Law - 2008 discussion
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2008, 09:06:27 PM »
As long as you are realistic about what the T4 can do for you then go for it.  I'm not one of these guys who would say "don't bother going to law school," but - from my experience at a T3 - realize it will be a struggle at times and you will not necessarily have pull in the part of the country you're interested in.  Returning to New Jersey, for example, is certainly possible but won't be easy.  Martindale lists only two FCSL graduates in NJ.

I'm just mentioning this because it's important not to have illusions... I thought this tier-hierarchy was crap-talk before coming to law school, and it's not at all. 

Re: Florida Coastal School of Law - 2008 discussion
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2008, 09:14:56 PM »
IIRC, when I was applying to schools last year Florida Coastal was sending out brochures offering a free IPod to anyone that enrolled there. If that's accurate, that might be a pretty damn good indication that you DON'T want to get your JD from them, especially if you're paying 2/3rds of the cost (or more if there are minimum requirements to keep the scholarship). Of course, I may be mixing up the schools... it wasn't someplace I was even considering (nothing outside of commuting range for me).
See if there's any truth to the free IPod offer and then consider what sort of law school has to offer crackerjack prizes to get you to enroll...

PS: You've got an obvious choice with Seton Hall...

Re: Florida Coastal School of Law - 2008 discussion
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2008, 09:16:32 PM »
Go to seton hall.

You can always pull the "I initially went to this school because I relied on being admitted directly into its law school" card.

Re: Florida Coastal School of Law - 2008 discussion
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2008, 09:24:10 PM »
I don't know about the free IPod, but the free plane ticket (up to $500) to come tour the school is valid... I received it in the mail last year.  ;-)

And I would certainly agree that if you have a way into a respectable T2 school like Seton Hall you should take it.

Re: Florida Coastal School of Law - 2008 discussion
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2008, 09:26:43 PM »
I'll second that comment regarding local practice.  If you plan to stay in NJ, don't go to FLCL. Your best bet is to retake the lsat and reapply, this time with more local schools like Rutgers or Penn State in mind.  You may not get money up front, but what you don't get in scholarship money, you will see thricefold in starting salary which will make those loans that much easier to pay off.   

Then again, if you want to practice in Florida, I hear that jobs are readily available for those in the middle pack of FLCL, albeit not too many of them high paying.

Re: Florida Coastal School of Law - 2008 discussion
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2008, 05:14:46 AM »
i would easily take seton hall over fcsl, even over a full ride. 

its understandable that you want to make a decision now rather than later, but i think this is likely one of those situations where sucking it up, being patient and trying to work things out at seton hall is the best thing to do.

i wont trash talk fcsl here, but if money is the big thing, i hope you're not making your decision based on a conditional (im assuming) 10k/year.  looking at the big picture, and assuming that you're taking out additional loans for cost of living, gradutaing from fcsl with a likely 100K+ in debt is not any better than graduating from seton hall with $150K in debt.  just my thoughts.

congrats though, and good luck

Re: Florida Coastal School of Law - 2008 discussion
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2008, 08:35:03 AM »
Florida Coastal offered me $10 grand a year to go there without recieving an application.
They sent me a letter saying that they would take $10 grand off if I went there.  I had never had any contact with them prior to their inducement.
That alone was enough to scare me away.
Why would a school offer me $10g off of tuition if I've never applied there, spoken to anyone associated with the school, or shown any interest whatsoever in them?
Because they are in trouble?  Do they need money?  Is their reputation so bad that they have to offer students who didn't even apply scholarships?
I'm not saying it's a bad school.
I'm saying be careful.
Law school admissions are extremely competitive.  And not in a 'discount' sort of way.  I know people with numbers like yours who didn't get into the law schools they were interested in and decided not to become lawyers.  All I'm saying is that with your numbers, you could be attending a better school.  FCSL has a reputation for being a school that has to resort to using discounts, ipod's, etc. to get people to attend.  They offered me $10 g a year, and an 80 gig Ipod.  Without me having to apply.  Or contact them in any way.
By the way, I don't buy the 'no money' argument.  You can buy your own Kaplan LSAT review book for under $100 and it has all the material you get in the classes.  Inside of 2 months, you could be an expert and have a score that is more reflective of your actual ability.....
And FCSL charges appx. $47k per year.  Even if you keep your scholarship, you're still walking out with around $111k in debt.  Big deal.  You aren't saving any real money.  That school is overpriced for what you get.....  That's why they can offer you $10k.
Think about it....
One thing you might want to consider is that as an attorney, you will be paid to be meticulous and careful - so why begin by committing to attend a law school without carefully considering alternatives?
If I were you, I'd retake the lsat, apply to better schools, and be patient.  FCSL isn't the best bet.  With a higher LSAT score, most schools would offer you a tuition break....


Re: Florida Coastal School of Law - 2008 discussion
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2008, 08:55:04 AM »
Florida Coastal? There's 4th tier and then there's 4th tier. Dude, you're f-ckin' up!


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Re: Florida Coastal School of Law - 2008 discussion
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2008, 09:27:19 AM »
Disclaimer: I am going to be a bit hyperbolic here, but I would not be doing it if I did not think I spoke the truth:

Seriously...You got a 1370 on the SAT... You have NO excuse for a poor LSAT score.

You can't afford NOT to properly prep for the LSAT. You don't need to take a class necessarily, but you should study for at least 100-200 hours.

Take a year off, study this time, and reapply.


Take your pick of:
1. Withdrawing your life savings in cash, throwing it in the dumpster, dousing it with gasoline, lighting it on fire, and dancing.
2. Going to those schools

^ those two options are basically the same thing.