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Author Topic: Please Help-- Penn State vs. Rutgers-N  (Read 1674 times)

Team Awesome

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Re: Please Help-- Penn State vs. Rutgers-N
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2008, 05:46:29 PM »

Penn State's quality is way below Rutgers, and Rutgers has a better reputation in the Philly area. If you're looking at New York, then Penn State is worth sh*t. Penn State JUST incorporated Dickinson, so maybe in 5 yrs or so they'll be better because Penn State can pump more money into it, but for now Dickinson isn't that great. It's good for Harrisburg and decent for Philadelphia, but it's going to be hard to compete against the Penn, Temple, Villanova and Rutgers kids if you're coming from way out at Dickinson. You just don't have the same access and doors will probably be closed b/c of it.

If you can get into Temple, go there. Their trial advocacy program is one of the best in the U.S. I'm fairly certain their mock trial team consistently beats out UPenn.

On a less-important note, I walk by the new law building at University Park every day to and from classes, and it's hideous. It looks like a giant airport terminal and is really far from anything else on campus, and about a half an hour walk from downtown. And by "downtown" I mean the College Ave. If you haven't visited State College, you might want to do that. It's a glorified small town and there's naught to do here but go to bars or drive to Harrisburg/Philly/Pittsburg. That's just my opinion though.

Some strange brand loyalty issues going on here...

Very uncharacteristic of the school in question as well. My initital response to that post was 'Stop talking poo on my glorified small town!' If someone can't find anything to do in Happy Valley but go to bars or drive hours away, that's on them. Really, it's a charming town with plenty to do not that you'll have tons of time in law school to explore anyways. Now I'm trolling for a school I no longer attend...

Team Awesome

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Re: Please Help-- Penn State vs. Rutgers-N
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2008, 08:26:48 PM »

My years at Penn State have been from ages 17-20, so even bars were out of the question. Also, you're kidding yourself if you think that the drinking culture doesn't crush all else.

Anyway... there's a difference between the undergraduate experience and the graduate experience. Do you know why Penn State is transitioning to the UP campus? Because there's no growth in central PA. Even with moving to Happy Valley, they're banking on nostalgic PSU people because hey, who the hell ever heard of Carlisle?

Seriously though. Dickinson should be bottom rung safety. I really don't think of it as Penn State. Hell, it doesn't even have in-state/out-of-state tuition. It costs as much as some T14 schools but without the prestige. Unless you love it, I wouldn't recommend it. (begin nasty countercomments here)

Nothing nasty to add here. I clearly had a different, more positive experience at PSU. I'm going somewhere else for law school but I would never discourage others from exploring that option with my own negativity.

I will say this. There are people on this board who have gone through their cycles and have come out with a decision to attend Penn State - Dickinson. I bet a lot of them are pretty darn excited to get started. Chiming in to say it should be a bottom rung safety is inconsiderate, condescending and, well, rude. Maybe in a year when you've gone through your own cycle, you'll have a more positive perspective.

JamieB

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Re: Please Help-- Penn State vs. Rutgers-N
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2008, 06:48:24 PM »
Thanks for everyone's input.

I'm an international student so in state tuition is out of the question wherever I go. 
I just wanted to know what the reputation difference was with respect to the law schools.

I've visited both PSU at UP and Newark for Rutgers and I came to the conclusion that Penn State's campus was 10x nicer than that of Rutgers, felt a lot safer, and nothing seemed depressing.  However, the law school at the moment seems very disorganized and according to USNews the starting salaries of PSU graduates are almsot half that of Rutgers grads.

Rutgers on the other hand has a nice law building but the surround city and campus are gloomy at best.  If you haven't been there, the law building is the only building on the whole campus that isn't gray and mental institution looking.  Although the campus isn't as nice as PSU, the law school seemed much more organized and the starting salaries like I said before are really a lot higher.   

I'm leaning towards Rutgers now--  but I already sent my visa info to PSU... damn.  anyone know how to get them to redirect it to another school?

kilroy55

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Re: Please Help-- Penn State vs. Rutgers-N
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2008, 02:09:06 PM »
Quote from: PSU ftw
Seriously though. Dickinson should be bottom rung safety. I really don't think of it as Penn State. Hell, it doesn't even have in-state/out-of-state tuition. It costs as much as some T14 schools but without the prestige. Unless you love it, I wouldn't recommend it. (begin nasty countercomments here)

Somehow I think those of us who attended law school at PSU-Dickinson, and paid more in tuition in 3 years than you will pay in 4, think of ourselves as Penn State.  But, hey what the hell do I know.  My diploma only has The Pennsylvania State University on it. 

Also, the new building looks great.  World reknown firm designed, green facility.  Looks better than half the drab buildings at university park already and it isn't even completed.

tommy1

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Re: Please Help-- Penn State vs. Rutgers-N
« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2008, 02:13:19 PM »
Choose Rutgers...
unless you are a penn resident and plan on working there its pointless and a waste to go to psu.
go to rutgers. its overall a much better choice

DCLabor25

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Re: Please Help-- Penn State vs. Rutgers-N
« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2008, 12:32:40 AM »

Penn State's quality is way below Rutgers, and Rutgers has a better reputation in the Philly area. If you're looking at New York, then Penn State is worth sh*t. Penn State JUST incorporated Dickinson, so maybe in 5 yrs or so they'll be better because Penn State can pump more money into it, but for now Dickinson isn't that great. It's good for Harrisburg and decent for Philadelphia, but it's going to be hard to compete against the Penn, Temple, Villanova and Rutgers kids if you're coming from way out at Dickinson. You just don't have the same access and doors will probably be closed b/c of it.

If you can get into Temple, go there. Their trial advocacy program is one of the best in the U.S. I'm fairly certain their mock trial team consistently beats out UPenn.

On a less-important note, I walk by the new law building at University Park every day to and from classes, and it's hideous. It looks like a giant airport terminal and is really far from anything else on campus, and about a half an hour walk from downtown. And by "downtown" I mean the College Ave. If you haven't visited State College, you might want to do that. It's a glorified small town and there's naught to do here but go to bars or drive to Harrisburg/Philly/Pittsburg. That's just my opinion though.

Some strange brand loyalty issues going on here...

Very uncharacteristic of the school in question as well. My initital response to that post was 'Stop talking poo on my glorified small town!' If someone can't find anything to do in Happy Valley but go to bars or drive hours away, that's on them. Really, it's a charming town with plenty to do not that you'll have tons of time in law school to explore anyways. Now I'm trolling for a school I no longer attend...

My years at Penn State have been from ages 17-20, so even bars were out of the question. Also, you're kidding yourself if you think that the drinking culture doesn't crush all else.

Anyway... there's a difference between the undergraduate experience and the graduate experience. Do you know why Penn State is transitioning to the UP campus? Because there's no growth in central PA. Even with moving to Happy Valley, they're banking on nostalgic PSU people because hey, who the hell ever heard of Carlisle?

Seriously though. Dickinson should be bottom rung safety. I really don't think of it as Penn State. Hell, it doesn't even have in-state/out-of-state tuition. It costs as much as some T14 schools but without the prestige. Unless you love it, I wouldn't recommend it. (begin nasty countercomments here)

Bottom rung safety?  Wow, I can not disagree more.  Look, if you are hell-bent on trying to get a job in NYC or DC, then, no, PSU Dickinson is not the right school for you.  But if you are fine with staying inside PA and there are some financial incentives being thrown your way, then the school can make a lot of sense.  Your right that it does not have in-state/out-of-state and that it costs a lot of money, but that's true of most law schools (I, for one, believe that people should take this cost into consideration in a serious way -- more on that later)

What's more, they did not open the UP campus because "there is no growth in central PA" -- that is simply not true.  The Harrisburg area has a half-million people and is the third largest area in the state.  The state government employs a ton of attorneys.  The real reason they opened the UP campus was because they thought that linking the law school more closely to the flagship research university would interest more students and thus raise its USNWR ranking.  That might or might not happen in the long run, but it has nothing to do with the rate of growth in central PA (which, by the way, anybody living in the Harrisburg area can attest that the area is doing very well economically.  It's unemployment rate is below both the state and national averages; its population has grown; and, unlike the rest of the country, its property values have actually increased in the past year)

The bottom line for me when comparing these two schools would be two factors -- overall costs and where you want to be.  All of the PA/NJ second tier schools are the same story -- you need good grades in order to get a big firm job.  I'd seriously look at where it will cost the least and then weigh in where you want to live.

BTW, two other points -- Temple is a good school, but I don't think it would be a slam dunk.  The scholarship amounts you describe are relatively small, so maybe Temple does make better sense.  But while having a great trial advocacy program is nice, it's not going to mean THAT much when it comes to firm hiring.  Firms care most about grades and law review (as well as important work experience in some circumstances) -- a great trial team is probably not going to be your lifeline.  I'd be very, very, very cautious about taking tiny increases in USNWR rankings to mean THAT much.  Another poster on here started a blog about his miserable job prospects coming out of Temple.  I am not saying that he is exactly the norm, but you have to realize that Temple isn't Harvard either.

Second point -- as a previous poster already pointed out, Penn State did not just buy over Dickinson.  It happened 8 years ago.  And has caused a ton of fighting.  The reason why you have had so much drama is that Dickinson has a very loyal alumni base throughout the state of PA who really love that school -- including people like Tom Ridge, federal judges, and more attorneys in Pittsburgh/Harrisburg/Philly than one can name.  If you want to stay in PA and especially if you are fine with being in central PA, it's really a good school to consider, now possibly more so than ever given its USNWR jump. 

DCLabor25

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Re: Please Help-- Penn State vs. Rutgers-N
« Reply #16 on: July 03, 2008, 12:41:09 AM »
Thanks for everyone's input.

I'm an international student so in state tuition is out of the question wherever I go. 
I just wanted to know what the reputation difference was with respect to the law schools.

I've visited both PSU at UP and Newark for Rutgers and I came to the conclusion that Penn State's campus was 10x nicer than that of Rutgers, felt a lot safer, and nothing seemed depressing.  However, the law school at the moment seems very disorganized and according to USNews the starting salaries of PSU graduates are almsot half that of Rutgers grads.

Rutgers on the other hand has a nice law building but the surround city and campus are gloomy at best.  If you haven't been there, the law building is the only building on the whole campus that isn't gray and mental institution looking.  Although the campus isn't as nice as PSU, the law school seemed much more organized and the starting salaries like I said before are really a lot higher.   

I'm leaning towards Rutgers now--  but I already sent my visa info to PSU... damn.  anyone know how to get them to redirect it to another school?

One other quick note -- I'd take the salary info with a grain of salt.  How many Rutgers grads responded to the survey?  One thing I liked about PSU was that something like 192 out of 196 students ended up responding to their last salary survey.  Anybody who has studied these surveys knows thats REALLY high.  It's obvious that Penn State is trying to contact as many grads as possible in order to give people an accurate picture.  Most schools, however, only want their successful grads to respond in order to boost the numbers, not give an honest idea of real starting salaries.  I have no idea how many people responded to the Rutgers salary, but I think it's a question worth asking.

Beyond that, you have to consider the cost of living differences.  There is a WORLD OF DIFFERENCE between living in central PA or Pittsburgh and living pretty much anywhere in NJ.  And, in many instances, the salaries have not kept pace with the increased costs of living.  I would just take that into consideration -- I would even look at adjusting the raw amounts using a COL calculator on the internet.  It's not an apples to apples comparsion -- not even close and I would not make a decision thinking it is.  Just a thought. 

stateofbeasley

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Re: Please Help-- Penn State vs. Rutgers-N
« Reply #17 on: July 03, 2008, 08:25:21 PM »
Another poster on here started a blog about his miserable job prospects coming out of Temple.  I am not saying that he is exactly the norm, but you have to realize that Temple isn't Harvard either.

Referring to me?  ;D

It's difficult for most people coming out of Temple.  But things are much much worse for Dickinson grads in the Philadelphia area.  Temple, Rutgers, and Villanova have a huge presence in the crowded Philly market.  And to make matters worse, Drexel is throwing more JD's out into the fray.

Dickinson has the advantage in central PA.  Dickinson is the big force in the Harrisburg market.

What is alarming about Dickinson is the cost - paying private school tuition that can total $120,000 will be very painful when you have to start repaying the loan on a $40,000/year salary.

Sergio

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Re: Please Help-- Penn State vs. Rutgers-N
« Reply #18 on: July 03, 2008, 11:37:30 PM »
Do Drexel grads actually get jobs?  It's not even fully accredited yet.