Law School Discussion


Hofstra or Syracuse

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Hofstra v.s. Syracuse

Hofstra v.s. Syracuse
« on: April 09, 2012, 09:34:38 PM »
Good Evening Everyone,

First, I am very appreciative for this board and everyone's assistance throughout this law school application and selection process.

I will be attending law school in the fall, and I will not be retaking the lsats. I've been trying to find the school that will provide the most opportunistic future while balancing for the least possible debt.

Both schools have provided the same amount of funding to date (although some of Hofstra's is guaranteed each year):
-Hofstra has given me $10,000 in annual renewable grants. In addition, they have offered $10,000 in annual scholarship with a top 40% GPA for full retention and top 50% for half. Their curve is between a 3.0 and 3.2.
-Syracse has given me $20,000 in annual scholarship with a 2.8 or higher gpa. Their curve is between a 2.9 and 3.1.

I am wondering if I would have an advantage in attending Hofstra due to their strong Long Island reputation. I aspire to practice in Long Island, and then down the road, practice in Florida. Syracuse has a stronger national reputation. I attended undergrad at Syracuse. I'm comfortable with the environment and in doing my work there, and I'm wondering if it would be advantageous/disadvantageous/neutral to attend the same or a different university? How much does school and tapping into a new alumni base matter?

Thank you so much for your insight and opinions.

Re: Hofstra v.s. Syracuse
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2012, 05:37:53 AM »
First I would like to congratulate you, and remind you how great it is to be in the position of choosing between two good schools apposed to picking one just to go. Having said that I know how stressful choosing one is, I just choose one myself. Both schools are good schools. I don't know what your motivation is for wanting to work on Long Island, but I would think Hofstra will probably be a much better place for your career prospects if you decide you want to work on Long Island. 
I know lawyers who went to both schools and are doing well for themselves so either way I think you will be in luck.

Re: Hofstra v.s. Syracuse
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2012, 08:37:23 AM »
I don't know the price of Syracuse, but Hofstra is very expensive. I also live on Long Island and have worked in various law firms, one in the Hofstra area, I wouldn't say Hofstra has that great of a reputation. Thats just IMO though, I would definetely chose Syracuse.


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Re: Hofstra v.s. Syracuse
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2012, 10:08:51 AM »
The scholarship conditions are always something to consider and a 2.8 at Syracuse might sound easy, but odds are it won't be. Even staying in the top 50% of the class at Hofstra will not be easy in fact there is a 50% chance you won't be in the top 50%. Both schools are very expensive. Hofstra 41k per year 22k living expenses. Syracuse 44k per year 18k living expenses. So it is basically a 62-63k annually.

I am not exactly clear on what the numbers of the scholarships, but you can figure that out. The conditions are very important and remember the school doesn't want you to keep it. They are getting 10,000 if you don't make the cut there won't be any foul play or anything like that, but they are not going to jump through hoops to make sure you keep it. Just always remember law schools and education is a business first and foremost.

With that said you stated you want to work in Long Island. If that is what you are after then you should probably go to Hofstra that way you can intern with law offices in Long Island when your in school. You won't have this option if you are in Syracuse, which as I understand is nothing more than a college town. One point of concern is that you state you want to be in Florida in the end, and my question is why not go to law school in Florida now? If that is where you want to end up then start there. Once you get your roots dug somewhere it is pretty hard to leave I know people do it, but the odds are against you. Florida also has three in-state tuition schools, which make it the least expensive states aside from the Dakotas to get an ABA approved legal education.

Another factor that should really play a big role in your decision is how you personally feel about the schools. Each school really has their own culture to it and whether you like that culture or not will be a question only you can answer. Visit the schools talk to students, professors, administrators, and see how you feel about the school. When I was deciding I remember loving some places and hating others, but it was nothing great or awful the schools themselves did just my personality didn't fit with some places while it did with others. Nobody else knows your personality, likes, and dislikes better than yourself and remember your the one that is living with the decision so consider your personal feelings above everything else.

In closing realize I and everyone on this board as well as other sites are nothing more than anonymous internet posters, and whatever advice you get should be scrutinized. I am just writing on here to kill time in between breaks, and my advice may be 100% wrong and there is no repercussions for me if I am wrong. Same goes for everyone else posting anonymous on the internet. Well good luck to you and congratulations on your acceptances and scholarships.

Re: Hofstra v.s. Syracuse
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2012, 08:33:00 AM »
Thanks so much for the responses so far!  If both schools are equal in ranking, does it not really matter which  school I attend (personal preference)?  How much of an advantage would Hofstra give me to the long-island and tri-state area over Syracuse?

Since I attended SU, am I better off branching out into a new school to utilize two alumni bases?

Finally, how can I tell which school's scholarship is easier or harder to retain?
Hofstra - top 40% for full or top 50% for half, curve = 3.0-3.2
Syracuse  - 2.8 or above gpa, curve = 2.9-3.1


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Re: Hofstra v.s. Syracuse
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2012, 12:37:06 PM »
The rankings in this situation should play no role in this decision. Hofstra and Syracuse are not "ELITE" schools they are fine, and truthfully have no idea, which is better in the rankings and odds their rank will change each year your in school. The reality is the Hofstra alums will think Hofstra is better and Syracuse alums will think Syracuse is better and everybody else won't care.

Hofstra is probably better for long island simply because it is in Long-Island. Lawyers in Long-Island will hire law-student interns, and you can't do an internship in Long-Island if your going to school in Syracuse at least not during the school year. If you do internships you meet people, and a job or leads to a job could result.

With that said if you are really comfortable in Syracuse and really like it there then maybe you should stay there. I don't really know how you personally feel about Syracuse, but if you have a ton of friends, relationship, apartment, etc then you will be able to really focus on school first year. If you hate Syracuse and have a dingy apartment, and all your friends are gone, then get out. I don't know which of the situations you have, but just being comfortable is something to consider, because 1L is hard. 

As for the scholarships nobody on this board can answer the question. What you should do is call the school and ask how many student's keep it they are the ones that no the answer, and if they give you a cagy response be really skeptical. I asked a few places some where honest with me, and said only about 25% of the students keep it, and others gave really vague answers i.e "Don't worry about it you will keep it" or "Work hard and you will keep it", and I didn't appreciate those vague responses, because I know they know it is literally millions of dollars in scholarship money they are giving so they are hiding the ball or completely incompetent if somebody at the school doesn't know the answer to what is happening to millions of dollars. So just ask the schools, and don't be afraid to get a lot of details. Your talking 50-60k in tuition money it's no joke. If you were buying a house, car, etc you ask questions and for some reason 0L's think it will just work out, and they need to impress the school. Remember your the customer and your tuition is paying their salary. So ask questions and lots of them, because there is a lot of money on the line.

Good luck