Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: Syracuse vs. T4s  (Read 1603 times)

samuri99

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 13
    • View Profile
Syracuse vs. T4s
« on: May 21, 2008, 10:15:52 AM »
So I got into Syracuse with 7,500/ year. (but their tuition is 43K!)  I'm on a bunch of other T2 & T3 waitlists also.  I got 3 offers from T4 schools (Tulsa, Duquesne, Florida International out of state) all with BIG money and much lower tuition. 

I know that I want to transfer into a school that has better opportunities with international law. (I think I want to eventually work with a large refugee nonprofit)   I know that everyone says not to count on being good enough to transfer, so I'm kind of afraid to go to a lower ranked school in case I don't do so hot in 1L. I'm also afraid to go to higher ranked Syracuse because if I end up in the middle of my class and cant transfer, I'll end up in 200K of debt!

I emailed Syracuse begging for more money with no success.  I can believe how they expect to get anyone to go there with such high tuition without increasing the amount of aid!

So do I hedge my bets with an expensive 1L at syracuse, or go to a T4? Are the odds of me transferring to somewhere like American or even (dare to dream) georgetown much lower if I'm coming from a T4 as opposed to syracuse?


ps: i'm still waiting to hear from rutgers newark, but thats a long shot

drleather2001

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 129
    • View Profile
Re: Syracuse vs. T4s
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2008, 11:18:12 AM »
I'm going to respond, even though this might be a flame...

1) Do not go to law school with plans to transfer.  There are a few reasons for this.  First and foremost, you need to be in the top 10% or so to have a shot of transferring to a school that is notably superior to the one you are already attending.  Already, this raises a serious question: if you're top of the class, even at a lesser law school, wouldn't your career options be better than if you went to a somewhat higher ranked school and ended up at their median?  With schools below the top 25 or so, it basically boils down to being in the top 15% of the class.  Syracuse, Rutgers, whatever.  If you're already in that rarified air, no need to switch out.  Secondly, there is precious little chance that you'd be able to transfer to a top 50 school coming out of Syracuse, much less a top 14 like Georgetown.  Seriously, you'd probably have to be in the top 3 people in your class and be on law review to stand a chance.

2) The reputation/career difference between Syracuse and the other schools you mention does not merit the huge cost difference.  You'd be essentiall paying 300% of the tuition for a 5% boost in reputation. 

3) All of those schools will allow you to get a decent job in the local law community if you graduate in the top 25% of the class or so.   So, again, unless you have a raging hard-on to work in Syracuse, don't go to Syracuse.  Likewise for the others.
"If Mars had life on it // I might find my wife on it!"
-Brian Wilson

samuri99

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 13
    • View Profile
Re: Syracuse vs. T4s
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2008, 11:45:55 AM »
thanks for the response, its not a flame

Does syracuse really have that bad of a rep? (not being obnoxious, i really don't know)

And although I'm female and cant have a 'hard on' to work...i'm planning on kicking some serious ass in 1L...any idea about how much harder the workload is as a 1L syracuse than the others?

hollowman988

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 746
  • I took her home after midnight...
    • View Profile
Re: Syracuse vs. T4s
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2008, 12:03:43 PM »
thanks for the response, its not a flame

Does syracuse really have that bad of a rep? (not being obnoxious, i really don't know)

And although I'm female and cant have a 'hard on' to work...i'm planning on kicking some serious ass in 1L...any idea about how much harder the workload is as a 1L syracuse than the others?

I don't think the workload's much different. I have a friend who just graduated from Syracuse and is working at a V25 firm in DC next year. But he absolutely worked his nuts off.  Like, realized he cared much more about landing a job in DC than he did about having friends and going to happy hours. Sounds miserable to me, but it worked for him.  He's got a job paying market in the city he wants to live in.
The Victors:
Music to make love to your old lady by?

lawnecon

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 181
    • View Profile
Re: Syracuse vs. T4s
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2008, 12:09:46 PM »
I can't believe Syracuse charges that amount of money for a borderline T2/T3 school which isn't even in a nice area of the country. Personally, I think that tier 2 schools located around or near major cities are ripping students off when they charge 30k a year.

Anyway, even with your scholarship, I think Syracuse is over priced. A couple years ago I received about a 1/2 tuition scholarship to go to Cuse - when it *only* cost $35k a year. I turned it down because I didn't hear great things about the employment opportunities and living in Syracuse in the winter didn't really interest me. I'm not a 100% sure I made the right deicision - I'd probably have less debt, but with the tuition hikes, I'm not sure it would be significant enough to justify going there. There was also a GPA requirement which meant that the scholarship wasn't guaranteed if I couldn't keep my grades up.

That said I do have a friend who went to Syracuse and graduated last year. He said most of his friends had jobs after graduation. He even had a job offer from a local DA's office with a starting salary of $50k per year, and he was in the bottom part of his class.

Based upon what I know about the school and my friend's experience, here's my breakdown of SU Law.

Positives:

-Good name recognition because of the well ranked undergrad and that SU was once a much better regarded law school - The name probably gives you a leg up on most other T3/T4 schools - at least among people who don't follow the rankings

-Great joint degree options - Of course, you usually have to hang around Syracuse during one summer to finish your degree on time - Though, if you're interested in the joint degree - Is it really necessary to get the JD as well?

-Lots of alumni in upstate NY to help with your job search - if you want to live in upstate NY - Buffalo is cheaper though and has a similar benefit

-Syracuse has a low COL which can save you some money

Negatives:

-Incredibly expensive tuition - You better have a plan to pay off your debt. My friend had a lot of help from his family. I would have had help from my family and the scholarship.

-OCI - When I looked a couple years ago, NALP listed only 6 employers who visited Cuse. I think a couple were just JAG offices offering informational interviews.

-Employment overall - You'll have to do a lot of leg work particularly if you want to leave upstate NY and don't want to just do doc review. T2 and ever T1 students often have to struggle to get jobs. Syracuse won't be any different.

- Grades - The curve is under 3.0 and (at least when my friend was there) each class had to fail about 5% of students - including the small writing classes - Technically, I think the grades had to be C- or lower, but you didn't get credit. Having a low GPA (just because of the curve) can hurt you with potential employers.

- Bar exam - Even if you stay upstate, you have to take the dreaded NY bar

There were a couple of girls on this board who accepted almost full rides to SU (with a 3.0 GPA requirement) - It would be interesting to know how their deicision turned out for them. Unfortunately, they haven't come back (that I know of).

Another fellow, FSUGeoff, ended up choosing FIU over Syracuse because of the money issue. I think he was happy with his decision.

As for your other schools, they are probably better options if you want to work in those locations, BUT be careful about the debt.





Villanova Law School Class of '09

"I don't believe in nothing, no more - I'm going to law school!" Jimbo Jones (The Simpsons)

Bulldog86

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 207
    • View Profile
Re: Syracuse vs. T4s
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2008, 03:06:18 PM »
Hate to be the one to say it, but is there any chance of waiting a year and retaking the LSAT? I know nothing about any of these places, but it sounds here like you don't really think Syracuse is worth the debt, and don't really feel strongly about any of your other options.

The standard advice seems to be "Don't go to a school where you would not be happy graduating at the median". Given the grading curves and the unlikelihood of transferring, this seems sound. Everyone's "planning on kicking some serious ass in 1L", but you're somehow going to be the lucky one to end up in the skinny part of the curve? It's possible, but I would hate to bet 200 grand on it...
UVA Law Class of 2011

Ninja1

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 3089
  • ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Syracuse vs. T4s
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2008, 03:07:03 PM »
Syracuse is a pretty good looking school. I had a half tuition scholarship offer from them but turned it down due to my lack of desire to deal with a Syracuse winter. Even with the scholarship, my tuition still would have been about the same as going to a state school and paying out of state for one year.

If I were you, and I really wanted to get into international law and refugee work, I'd seriously look at FIU. Miami is about as close to some real refugee problems as you can get in the United States, and I'd imagine that there are plenty of Cuban, Haitian, and general Caribbean/Central and South American  refugee groups down there that you could work for. Plus, if you get in state tuition after your first year, your tuition would be nothing, especially with a scholarship on the board.
I'mma stay bumpin' till I bump my head on my tomb.

thelawfool

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 666
    • View Profile
Re: Syracuse vs. T4s
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2008, 01:27:00 PM »
FIU Law has a solid immigration clinic.  I'm not personally involved, but there are obviously a ton of those issues in South Florida.  Students that participate get real world experience representing clients and trying cases in court. 
FIU Class of 2009

grover

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 32
    • View Profile
Re: Syracuse vs. T4s
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2008, 05:41:34 PM »
i passed up a 50% offer at Syracuse too...43k/year is scary. especially considering the fact that their tuition was 35k two years ago.  what, is it going to be 50k/year by the time you are in your 3rd year?  for like the 5th or 6th best law school in the state?  i applied there when i saw their tuition listed as 35k in the '08 US News and that was dumb of me not to research it further.  it just seems waaaay overpriced.

it is probably a good education and if you can afford it, it could turn out to be a great situation for you but as someone who doesn't want to practice in syracuse, it was an easy withdrawal.

not wanting to be too negative about your option but i just think it sounds like you are being given some pretty good offers from the other schools and i think after the top 20, the rankings are way overrated.  go with the option that won't cripple you with debt until you are in your mid-40s.

DontQuestionMe

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 218
    • View Profile
Re: Syracuse vs. T4s
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2008, 11:41:32 PM »
I have a friend who just graduated from Syracuse and is working at a V25 firm in DC next year. But he absolutely worked his nuts off.  Like, realized he cared much more about landing a job in DC than he did about having friends and going to happy hours. Sounds miserable to me, but it worked for him.

At least your friend is prepared for BigLaw.