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Author Topic: New England Law Boston?  (Read 6957 times)

shannonmh

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New England Law Boston?
« on: January 24, 2011, 02:29:20 PM »
I was just accepted into New England Law in Boston. Still waiting to hear back from Widener and St. John's. I can't find much online about New England Law reviews... Is it a good school? Also got into Barry University and Florida Coastal but may decline those for New England...

BikePilot

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Re: New England Law Boston?
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2011, 03:43:13 PM »
Is this the school you are referring to?  New England School of Law (NESL - http://www.nesl.edu/ )?

I attended an event there once, nice location and facilities.  I don't know much about the academics.  I went to dinner afterward with a group of students from the school and most seemed to be having a lot of trouble finding work. 
HLS 2010

bigs5068

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Re: New England Law Boston?
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2011, 05:09:45 PM »
As someone happily attending a lower ranked school I will give some advice. To answer the first question I am sure NESL or any of the schools you listed are "Good." Any ABA school will do a good job teaching you the law, but there are other schools that will do an outstanding job of teaching you the law. I would say Barry, Florida Coastal, NESL, and the other schools you listed will do a good job. However, you are going to be in competition for jobs particularly in Boston with people that attend the outstanding schools like Harvard. Still NESL will likely teach you the law sufficiently to pass the bar and if you are really committed you will find employment, but it will not be easy. You will likely be rejected by some places based on your school's name alone. This will not happen in the majority of cases, but it will happen from time to time. I imagine that would be especially true in the Boston area.

Barry & Florida Coastal are not in huge legal markets from what I understand. FCSL is the only school in Jacksonville and I do not imagine people across the country are flooding into the Jacksonville market. Based on that it might be easier to find employment at FCSL or Barry. These are just hunches from some second year law student in California who has never been to Florida.

Another huge consideration is cost. If you are interested in living in Florida I might consider FIU. It is a state school with really cheap tuition if you happen to be a Florida resident. I believe Barry & FCSL are in the neighborhood of 30k annually while FIU is only 10k. Attending FIU will save you 60k opposed to those other schools and I don't think any of those schools will impress, but you will have less debt, which is huge. Particularly considering if you are taking out loans your debt is accruing interest at approximately 8%. If you take out 100k in loans you will be adding 8k a year to it by not spending a penny. FIU is in Miami though and you will be competing with University of Miami, Florida, Florida State, and I imagine a good chunk of people from elite schools nationwide consider working in Miami.

The most important thing above all else is go to school in a location you want to live in. If Boston is where you want to be then go to NESL. If Jacksonville is where you want to be FCSL. New York then St. Johns. etc None of the schools you listed have national appeal and there is a very strong possibility that wherever you go is where you will end up living for several years. If you are considering a tier 2,3,4 school I really think this should be the breakdown in deciding a school. Again, this only my opinion and I am second year law student, which means I don't really know very much so it take it with a grain of salt. Anyways, here is my breakdown.

1. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION.

2. Cost if you can attend a state school or get a substantial scholarship to a certain school then take it. 

3. Check out this website to see what students are really making from given schools lawschooltransparency.com. Realize the ABA & U.S. News standards for counting employment are not very good. In that working for starbucks counts as employment just as much as being managing partner of a huge law firm. This site looks a little more in depth at the reality of salaries.

4. If there is any special program you are interested in the take it into consideration. If you want to do Criminal Litigation and the school has several courses in that it might be a good fit. As an example my school on top of having Criminal Law & Procedure, which I imagine every school has we have advanced criminal practice, criminal litigation etc that enhance your knowledge in that particular area. You can look at this at any schools course schedule and see if the elective offerings they have are of interest to you.

5. Finally consider the rankings as the 5th option and if the school is top in it's region then move this up higher. For example if you want to move to Nebraska then go to University of Nebraska. It is top in it's market I imagine Idaho is the same thing. On the flip side even if a school is moderately ranked like University of San Francisco for example it is 5th in it's own market so any national ranking it has is moot. People in the bay look at the ABA schools in the following order Stanford, Berkeley, Hastings, Santa Clara, USF, GGU. I think USF is 86th nationally right now, which is tier 2 and decent, but being 5th in it's own market does not help it much. On the flip side a school like Idaho or Wyoming I imagine is in the tier 3/4 range, but they are number 1 in the market. So the opposite is true. Well those are just ramblings and maybe you can take something of value out of it.

Good luck.




BikePilot

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Re: New England Law Boston?
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2011, 05:25:57 PM »
Just a note, location probably matters a lot for some types of practice and many schools.  Its essentially irrelevant to biglaw hiring from what I've seen.  DC firms hire Stanford grads, SF firms hire HLS grads and vice versa.  No one really goes to HLS 'cause they wanna practice in Boston (some do practice in Boston though of course) and I'd guess the same is true of Stanford and the bay area.  Bay area firms might chose Stanford first, but the rest of Big's ranking is way off base (for big law) because firms are totally happy to hire from anywhere geographically.  For example, I don't think anyone would dispute that an HLS grad has a better shot at biglaw in SF than a GGU grad. Big law is its own world though and maybe small-law or local government positions give preference to local students.

All that said, I haven't met a NESL grad in biglaw yet (but i am fairly new to biglaw) and if as a NESL student you'd be largely limited to the Boston area (I don't know if this is true) you might be in trouble as Boston is probably one of the most competitive legal environments in the country.  There are loads of good to great law schools in New England and other than NYC Boston is really the only other city worth living/working in for most people.  Its also a pretty awesome city.  Between BU, BC and HLS alone there are probably more qualified, new law grads right there in the city than the local market can absorb.
HLS 2010

bigs5068

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Re: New England Law Boston?
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2011, 05:46:57 PM »
I don't think location matters for Biglaw either. I do not think there are many tier 3/4 grads working in Biglaw. If that is someone's goal then attending a tier 3/4/ school is a bad idea. If someone wants to be an Assistant District Attorney or something along those lines then location matters. That seems more along the line of employment tier 3/4 grads can expect.

I think if you go to a t14 school your degree is national and you can go anywhere so as you said. This makes location a moot point. Everyone knows about Harvard, but outside of San Francisco and even inside of it GGU is not that well known. If I were to go New York and say I went to GGU I woudl be willing to bet 90% of people would never have heard of it. On the flip side if someone from Cardozo or Touro came to San Francisco nobody would have heard of it.

Columbia, Stanford, Berkeley, NYU, Harvard, etc are known everywhere. So as you said location is a moot point. The OP is probably not considering those schools and for tier 2/3/4 students I think location is one of the most important things to consider. This is essentially because that is where you are going to end up working. To confirm I checked out LSAC I only looked at two schools, but I imagine the same thing would apply. University of Akron's employment stats indicate 79.5 of graduates are employed in state. While 11% of Harvard grads were employed in state. Essentially if you are choosing a school that is not nationally known you are likely going to be tied to that location. There are exceptions of course, but a degree from Akron, GGU, Santa Clara, Hamline, etc is not that portable and you will likely be in the area you graduated from.

the white rabbit

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Re: New England Law Boston?
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2011, 05:22:15 AM »
I was just accepted into New England Law in Boston. Still waiting to hear back from Widener and St. John's. I can't find much online about New England Law reviews... Is it a good school? Also got into Barry University and Florida Coastal but may decline those for New England...

What do you mean by "a good school?"  Is a school that teaches you enough to pass the bar "a good school" (as bigs seems to suggest)?  Are you looking for a school that will provide a good return on investment in terms of your earning capacity?  Are you exceptionally wealthy and just looking for a degree to hang on your wall?  I know it seems a little silly to ask, but the answer to your question depends on what you mean by "good."
Mood: Tired but cheerful.  :)

bigs5068

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Re: New England Law Boston?
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2011, 12:15:49 PM »
In the long and I mean long run New Law it will probably pay off, if the OP really wants to be a lawyer. It is nowhere near the caliber of school either you or Bikepilot attended and there is no disputing that. However, money is not always everything either. I started doing this internship this semester and I really enjoy it. I made more money in summer doing other work I found enjoyable, but what I am doing is helping people that cannot afford legal assistance deal with family law problems. This is not glamorous work by any means. It is at the courthouse and every morning there is a line out the door of people that need help. They generally really need it. Some people are off their rocker, but the majority are just parents trying to help their kids and they don't know what to do.  They are stoked to hear from anyone that has even the slightest about what they are talking about. GGU has provided me with the knowledge to help them and it is a good feeling. Particularly, since I myself dealt with quite a bunch of b.s. when my parents split up. I do get some money for doing this, but not very much. However, I do feel really good helping these people and the vast majority of them are extremely thankful. I could not do this if I was not in law school.  That is just an example of a tier 4 degree working out for someone.

I am well aware that me or the OP are unlikely to sit on the Supreme Court or become a partner at White & Case or anything. BikePilot works in Biglaw and imagine you do as well. I don't think a degree from GGU will ever open that door for me or the OP or any number of tier 2/3/4 grads. However, there is a lot of opportunity to help people out there if you are willing to do it. You are not going to get rich either and unfortunately law school is ridiculously expensive. So that creates quite a dilemma. However,  GGU has taught me how to do deal with a lot of things I face there and hopefully they have taught me enough to pass the bar as well. The bottom line is tier 2,3,4 schools teach you more than how to pass the bar and you can find employment etc.

However, the reason many tier 2,3,4 grads are disappointed is because they have unrealistic expectations and don't get the info. When the OCI came up at my school there were several people upset that no Vault 100 firms were coming in. I did not say anything, but in my mind I was thinking where do you think you are? A few employers signed up, but they were mostly public interest organizations. 3 Biglaw firms did come, but there are 226 students at my school. Only 3 big law firms showed to interview with no guarantee of a spot. You had to be in the top 15% of the class for career services to send your resume. So if BigLaw was your goal when coming in you have been severely disappointed.

Anyways, when I came to my visit for school I asked what to expect and they told me the honest to god truth. "Nobody is going to roll out the red carpet for you, but you can find work. Come to this school if you really want to be a lawyer." Very succinct and honest statement, but many people that come to tier 3/4 schools don't ask these questions. They expect things to just work out and then at graduation they say nobody told me that xyz would not happen. Then sites like JDunderground get formed.

louiebstef

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Re: New England Law Boston?
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2011, 01:14:55 PM »
Bigs,

Very well put, IMO.  Obviously I cannot give even as much advice as you do, being a 0L.  What I do have, is quite a bit of experience and other successful careers behind me.  You know what they say about hindsight.  It's true.  My own experiences have led me not to want BigLaw, and all the money and crap that goes with it.  Luckily, my age and debt aversion won't even allow BigLaw onto the radar.

I will most likely either attend a T3/T4 here in Florida (Stetson/FIU), or if very lucky pay the very low tuition at FSU/UF.   I came to these conclusions for many of the same reasons you state.  Depending on my LSAT score, I might have an outside chance at some $$ from mid/lower T1's.   I have decided that if the relative cost (with scholly $$) is similar to UF/FSU, I will consider them.  Retired military officers, especially "war veterans" are at a distinct advantage for employment in the public sector--in any location.  I believe as long as I can be in the top 25-30% or so, I should be able to find something.   I have even had feelers from a couple of the small-midsize firms I have worked with here locally, so small-firm law is not out of the question for me, either.

OP should follow their gut.  The very last thing one wants is to make a hasty decision that results in a mountain of non-dischargeable debt.  If BigLaw is your target, then aim at the T-14 and prepare for the payments.  If not, there really are other options. 
"Why be a lawyer? I'm already an ass.  Might as well go professional!"

shannonmh

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Re: New England Law Boston?
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2011, 02:03:28 PM »
Thank you everyone for your advice!

By "good" school I mean that I want to graduate feeling that I obtained a good education. I attended a small Undergraduate University and I feel like the small school atmosphere had some subpar professors and that I did not walk away with a worthwhile education, just a BA in Communication. New England Law Boston is a smaller school and since that is the school I am leaning towards, it worries me. 

Kurt Cobain

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Re: New England Law Boston?
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2011, 06:05:23 PM »
I got accepted there too! I'm from Boston, and they do have a good local rep, so I'm considering it. It is a lower-ranked school though, so what the previous posters said will still apply despite it's good local rep.