Law School Discussion

Minnesota vs. Rutgers

Minnesota vs. Rutgers
« on: April 25, 2008, 07:13:18 AM »

I have put a seat deposit at Rutgers Camden already.  I have family on the east coast (as does my future wife), and they offered me a generous package that would leave me with little debt when I graduate.  I have no qualms with living in South Jersey/Philly for the forseeable future.

This is all well and good, but the other day I was informed that I was admitted to UMN.  I'm not sure about $ offers yet as I haven't received a packet in the mail.  I know that UMN has a better reputation than Rutgers, but I am concerned about debt and mobility once I graduate.  Minnesota is nice, I've been there several times, and my fiancee could get a great degree at the school as well in her profession. 

Any thoughts?  From the looks of it, Minnesota's Big Law hiring isn't that much better than R-Camden's, but a job in Twin Cities would be virtually guaranteed for the top 50% of the class. 

I'm not honestly sure what kind of law I want to pursue at this time, so debt is definitely a factor.

Re: Minnesota vs. Rutgers
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2008, 08:32:24 AM »
This really seems like a pretty typical where do you want to end up living scenario. Although UMN is ranked much higher than Camden it is not perceived as truly "national" and Camden would most likely offer you better oportunities in the NJ/PA area than UMN. If you dont care where you wind up after graduation for at least a few years UMN might justify the price increase as it is an exceptional school.

Re: Minnesota vs. Rutgers
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2008, 11:27:14 AM »
Thanks, all.

We'll see.  I just wonder what the mobility chances would be for Minnesota after say 2-3 years working in a Twin Cities firm. 

Re: Minnesota vs. Rutgers
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2008, 11:37:23 AM »
I actually had this decision when applying to law school a few years ago.  Unfortunately, I ended up at a different law school than either.  Having said that, I was ready to choose Rutgers-Camden.  The biglaw prospects are not necessarily equivalent, but (for a school ranked so highly), Minnesota's prospects aren't exactly guaranteed. 

If you want to work in NJ/PA/DE and, perhaps even NY...then go with R-C.  If you want Minn, go with Minn.  If you are lucky enough to get biglaw from Minn, your prospects after a few years would be fine.  However, once again, that is not guaranteed.  From what I've heard, Minn tends to be competitive given that biglaw is not guaranteed, debt can be large and so forth.

Visit both and see what happens.

Re: Minnesota vs. Rutgers
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2008, 11:41:34 AM »
Thanks.  You were choosing between the same schools?  Where did you end up? Why was it unfortunate that you went there?

I think I'll end up at Camden.  Being 29 and soon to be married, the lack of substantial debt (and if I get lucky with a 1L/2L summer job, maybe no debt at all) is a huge factor to how we want to shape our lives, what with buying a house and having kids.

If I were 23 (or even 26 and single), I'd say "F it" and take a chance on taking more debt, but there's so much at stake, and graduating with $30K in debt as opposed to $100K is huge.

Re: Minnesota vs. Rutgers
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2008, 11:59:14 AM »
I was choosing between R-C and Minn.  It's unfortunate I didn't actually go to either because I can't be of more help to you.  I ended up going to BC once they came through with some $$. 

Rutgers-Camden is not actually a bad campus.  When I visited, I was pleasantly surprised with the campus and even some of the directly surrounding areas.  The University area in Camden isn't like amazingly nice, but it was much better and safer than I expected.  The key with R-C (as with most places) is just to do well and network the *&^% out of the alumni.  I know of a few people at R-C who did that and are fine and others who are slightly struggling right now. 

Just beware of your's probably provisional on a certain GPA.  That should factor somewhat into your decision. 

Re: Minnesota vs. Rutgers
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2008, 01:57:02 PM »
I got R-C to reduce their requirement on the scholarship to maintaining a 3.0, which if I can't maintain, I probably shouldn't be at law school in the first place.

I visited the campus, and it's fine.  They're also almost done with their new law building, which will be really nice.

Re: Minnesota vs. Rutgers
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2008, 03:03:47 PM »
3.0 is do-able...but what is their curve?  I thought R-C had a harsh curve, but maybe I'm wrong.  Well done though.

The new law building should be nice.  I took my bar classes there last summer and the construction was annoying, but the building appears to be nice.  Also, the on-campus Starbucks, etc. is very nice.

Where are you moving to?  If you want to be right near campus...go with the Victor Building.  It's expensive, but very safe, within walking distance and has secured parking.  If not, try the Cherry Hill area (which is cheaper) or Philadelphia.  Lemme know if you have any ?'s.

Re: Minnesota vs. Rutgers
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2008, 06:51:36 AM »

I was offered $8K/yr at UMN.  Not nearly enough to offset the financial benefits of Rutgers, assuming I don't get any instate money.

Any input on how hard it is to get in state for 2nd and 3rd year?  There are conflicting reports on various threads.  Some say its impossible, and some say it's doable by 2nd semester of 2L.

My fiancee wants to move to Minnesota.  I kind of do too.  But the debt (if their COL calculations and total tuition, etc, are true, the overall cost of UMN will be about $130K, even with my scholly) is scary.  On the other hand, I think job prospects are better coming out of UMN than Rutgers, so paying it down might be easier.

Ugh...planning to visit in two weeks, but I need a deposit extention.  Too much to consider.

Re: Minnesota vs. Rutgers
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2008, 07:12:22 AM »
Nick Wallace (Associate Dean) told me instate residency was doable by 2L at the NYC forum. He's a New Yorker who went there for law school and he said was able to get it and I could expect the same.