Law School Discussion

Albany vs Widener

Albany vs Widener
« on: March 28, 2012, 03:00:25 PM »
I'm trying to decide which of these law schools to attend. I recently visited Albany for their ASD and I liked the energy of the school but I wasn't in love with the neighborhood. I haven't visited Widener's DE campus yet because their ASD is in April but I live in DE so I've heard some things about the school. Both of these schools are not that great in rankings (Widener is not even ranked on US News while Albany is 113). I know that rankings at this point don't really matter for these schools but I am concerned about job prospects coming out of them. I know with Albany since it's the state capital for NY and the only law school in the area you are surrounded by federal and state job opportunities, however I am worried that because it's the only law school that the area is already over-saturated. Furthermore, when I went to the ASD I noticed that many of the the alumni went to SUNY Albany for undergrad and just went to Albany Law. It was pretty much the same thing for the students who spoke on ASD. I felt disappointed that there wasn't a lot of geographical variety. I mean I'm not expecting alumni from Alaska or anything but I at least would have liked to hear from people who are currently working in PA/NJ which I don't think is too far out of reach since it is a school located in NY. My plan is to work in PA, DE, or NJ after graduating from law school. Widener is also a mixed bag. I've read that their grading curve is harsh, as a result it's hard to find an internship or a job when you're competing with other law schools such as UPenn, PennState, Temple, Rutgers, etc. However, some people have commented to me that in spite of its perceived reputation there are job opportunities out there for Widener law grads. Anyway, my dilemma is that I don't know which school to attend. Both schools are not offering me any scholarships so I guess it depends on tuition cost which is the same for both because Widener charges the same whether you live in DE or not. I am deeply conflicted about which school to attend so I would really like it for someone who is currently attending or know anyone attending either one of these schools to comment, especially recent grads. Please make any comments about job prospects, internships, classes, profs, lifestyle, etc. about these schools.

Re: Albany vs Widener
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2012, 04:13:14 PM »
Widener has like a 50% attrition rate.  I've heard grads do well in DE, but that is still a huge risk- think about that: almost half the people that go there get kicked out.

I've heard good things about Albany, but if you want to practice in DE you may have to risk Widener.  Even though, Albany is the obvious better choice.

Did you apply to the Baltimore or Philly schools?  Either location would be better for someone who wants to practice in DE, but doesn't want to risk going to a tier 4 that kicks out half their people out after the first year. 

Re: Albany vs Widener
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2012, 04:45:42 PM »
Thanks for your reply. What good things have you heard about Albany and why do you think Albany is the better choice? I also don't plan on just working in DE but also PA.

Re: Albany vs Widener
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2012, 07:23:50 PM »
Albany has a nice atmosphere, is in the state capitol and they have a decent market in upstate NY- Just what I heard from a grad.  Their stats show the same.

Good luck trying to practice in DE or PA coming out though, unless you have a connection.  Widener is the opposite- bad atmosphere and in DE (you know what DE is like administratively and demographically). 

If you plan on practicing in PA, there are tons of good schools in PA.  However, Widener Harrisburg is a debt trap and there are no jobs there.

I'm a little curious why Albany is even on your radar if you want to practice in PA or DE.  If I had to choose between these schools I'd pick Albany and be open to living in upstate NY. Widener is just too risky and I can't bring myself to trust schools that do like that. But if you've got your heart set on DE or PA you shouldn't really go to Albany.  Why didn't you apply to any PA schools if that is where you want to practice?