Law School Discussion


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Urgent, Please Help

Urgent, Please Help
« on: April 19, 2012, 09:03:53 AM »
Hello everyone,

I currently have 10 hours to make a final decision, and I am having a lot of difficulty.

I will be attending in the fall and making a decision later today.  I had narrowed down my schools to Hofstra Law and Syracuse Law, and I am also now in the back of my mind considering Buffalo Law.

The cost for attending any of the schools is virtually the same.  Buffalo would be in-state tuition plus housing, while Syracuse has given $20,000 in scholarship (2.8 gpa stip), and Hofstra has given $10,000 in guaranteed annual grant funding.

I want to practice in Long Island / NYC and/or in Florida.  I realize all of these schools are ranked just about equally.  I believe they are viewed equally among attorneys and professionals, but I'm curious if everyone feels the same...?  Below are some pros and cons for each school, followed by several questions:

-Haven't really been considering
-Beleive Buffalo has the lowest reputation and is the most regional school (not good for tri-state area jobs or Floriad jobs now or in the future)

-Went to undergrad here, want to be back here
-Really enjoy the campus and being here (feel can be a positive to a very stressful environment)
-Was not very impressed with the program, concerned with a lack of organization and initiative.  Heard about student concerns with the administration and new curve.  Read that 1L students have concerns with the law school, but unsure what these concenrs are.
-Despite the above, leaning towards Syracuse

-I am From Long Island
-Best reputation, especially for long-island and tri-state area
-Easy access to city and long-island law firms for jobs and internships
-Very impressed with alumni and admitted student weekend
-The one deterring factor is that I do not want to spend 3 years in long island at school.  Also did not like the campus.  If I am going to be working hard and stressed in law school, I at least want to be content with my atmopshere, school, and surroundings.

-What should I consider when making these decisions?
-Will Hofstra be much better for getting jobs, espcially in Long Island or NYC?
-Should I be concerned with the doubts I had about Syracuse and the concerns I heard about from students.

Thanks so much for your information and opinions.


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Re: Urgent, Please Help
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2012, 12:44:47 PM »
I think I have responded to you before and remember this is a highly personal decision. One thing with Buffallo is that it is in-state tuition and will be only 17k per year. That is 51k total and you don't have to worry about scholarship conditions or anything like that. Syracuse is 44k per year so 132k over three years and remember these loans are accruing 8.5% interest. So you will be paying about 10,000 in interest alone from Syracuse and only about 4k in interest from Buffallo. As you mentioned none of these schools are much better than the other, but Buffallo is 1/3 of the cost and you don't have to worry about scholarship conditions.

Syracuse you mentioned you went to undergrad there and you like it. That is something to consider if your happy in that location, have friends, etc that is important. However, you mentioned you don't like the organization of the school and it sounds like your gut doesn't like the law school itself. Whatever your reasoning for that reason is may be wrong and maybe it doesn't fit you listen to how you feel. All law schools have a culture and if Syracuse's rubs you the wrong way during a few visits it's going to be even worse when your shelling out a 100,000K plus over three years.

Hofstra you want to be in Long-Island and Hofstra is in Long-Island that is a good combination. While in school you will be able to do internships in Long-Island set-up informational interviews and interact with people in Long-Island, because your there. However, it is just as expensive as Syracuse and student debt attaches to you and you can't get rid of it bankruptcy so be careful with the money.

As for the reputation realistically I don't think anyone in New York is really going to care much about the reputation difference of these schools. New York has Columbia, NYU, and Fordham not to mention plenty of Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Georgetown, Michigan, Penn, and many TOP law school grads want to live/ work in New York. Most people will have no idea of whether one school is 84th or 106th they are about equal all things considered.

Finally nobody can answer this question for you. This is your decision and you will live with it and there will never be a right answer. I have seen you make multiple posts on this site and I imagine others, but nobody here can accurately tell you what to do. For example if your a really shy person, that is uncomfortable in new environments, I might say stay in Syracuse since your comfortable. If your fine anywhere you go then maybe get out as cheaply as possible at Buffalo. I could go on and on, but I and no anonymous poster can really give you any accurate advice. I gave some options to think about, but they are by no means going to make your decision any easier. Just really listen to your gut when making this decision and when it's over forget about it.

Honestly, I went through the same thing when choosing a law school and 99% of 0L's do, but once that decision is made put on a sweatshirt and say your going to X school with pride. No matter what you choose there will always be some "what if" question in your head, but let it go and once you make a decision all this stress will go away. Also realize you have some good options here and any of these schools will probably work out in the long run if you really want to be a lawyer. Good luck to you on your decision.

Re: Urgent, Please Help
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2012, 01:23:02 PM »
Buffalo is really respected in Western NY, but I don't think it's going to help you get a job in NYC. Same with Syracuse. Probably great for Central NY, but not going to far after that. Thats why if you want to work in Long Island/NYC I would definitely vote Hofstra. 

As for Florida, I don't think any of these school is going to have an advantage over eachother in Florida.  You probably would have been much better off going to school down there if that is what you want.

Let us know what you decide! I'm intrigued.  My bet is you stick with the Orange.

Re: Urgent, Please Help
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2012, 01:35:18 PM »
Thanks so much for the detailed opinions so far!

I've never been so perplexed and indecesive about such an important decision.  Just trying to figure out if the better opportunites and reputation of Hofstra in NYC / Long Island outweigh my desire to go to school outside of long island and/or remain in Syracuse (although get out of here after 3 years from now).

I'm also concered about the scholarship stip (2.8 at 'Cuse with a 2.9-3.1 curve), whereas at Hofstra, I would need in top 40 percent to retain 10k and top 50 to remain 5k, with the other 10k guaranteed.


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Re: Urgent, Please Help
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2012, 04:53:23 PM »
Those are valid concerns, and remember there is no right answer. If it were me I would probably do Buffallo none of these schools are head and shoulders above anybody else, but Hofstra and Syracuse are the two of the most expensive law schools in the country while Buffalo is the cheapest.

If your a good lawyer it will get figured out no matter what law school you go to. However, if you have 150,000 in loans accruing interest instead of 50,000 your going to be a lot more stressed out, and might not be able to take some opportunities you really want.

However, I am not you and I know nothing about the New York Legal market so as I always say in my posts take everything I or anyone else says with a major grain of salt, because neither I or anybody else knows you or your situation. 

As I said there is no right answer and there is no wrong answer these are all ABA approved schools, and every ABA approved school gives you the same education more or less. Your 1L will be torts, contracts, property, civ pro, criminal law, and LRW. There might be a variation somewhere for one of the classes, but that is what it will be and in Civ Pro you will read Pennoyer v. Neff whether your at Harvard or Hofstra, Palsgraf in Torts whether at Stanford or Syracuse and so on.

Then is just something personal then I do when I really can't make a decision is just flip a coin or draw something out of a hat. Then I will either go with it or realize what I really want. Certaintly not a fullproof method, but it is something I have done when faced with difficult choices. Perhaps you have some system like that you may want to use.

Again good luck, and whatever you decide I'm sure it will work. Good luck.

Re: Urgent, Please Help
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2012, 05:40:23 PM »
How do you not want to spend 3 years at school on Long Island, but want to practice in Long Island?


Re: Urgent, Please Help
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2012, 06:51:31 PM »
If it was a ten hour window. It is up now. What did you pick and why?