Law School Discussion

New England Law | Boston or UMass Dartmouth School of Law

New England Law | Boston or UMass Dartmouth School of Law
« on: May 09, 2012, 04:57:26 PM »
I got accepted into New England School of Law and UMass Dartmouth School of Law.  UMass recently received provisional ABA accreditation.  I am planning to attend part-time evening program. 

UMass is very close to my work and lot cheeper then NESL.

NESL has a better taxation program.

Thank you so much for all of your inputs.

Re: New England Law | Boston or UMass Dartmouth School of Law
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2012, 09:59:27 PM »
I don't have any personal experience with either school, so keep that in mind as you read this. To me, it sounds like UMass is probably a better bet.

1) It's cheaper, a huge advantage. Since neither school currently has a huge reputation, you might as well save money.

2) The UMass system is fairly well respected, and I think there's a good chance that UMass Law will eventually build up a solid reputation. Having a strong, well recognized parent institution supporting the law school is invaluable. It means that even though the law school is new, the institution already has experience with administration, fundraising, setting up financial aid programs, etc. All of that experience will come into play when the law school applies for full ABA approval. The ABA looks at everything from long term financial viability, to employment policies and administrative stability. Also, UMass has already hired some pretty good people, including Malagrino (formerly of La Verne and USD) for property. All good signs. 

3) NESL, on the other hand, has probably peaked and isn't going any higher.

Re: New England Law | Boston or UMass Dartmouth School of Law
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2012, 12:02:44 PM »
Share what you have learned about UMass, please.  I poked around a little and really got no where- which makes me suspect there isn't too much going on for students in the Dartmouth area. I have real hopes for UMass, but idk.

NESL or UMass?  Both are risky, buy Roald's analysis is a good one.  In Mass, of all the schools on the lower end, UMass is probably you're best bet.  Problem is, its still a gamble.  But so is Suffolk, W. NE and NESL. Don't scoff at going cheaper- that is a huge deal, huge. Good luck.

Re: New England Law | Boston or UMass Dartmouth School of Law
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2012, 09:40:58 AM »
Thank you so much for all of your responds.  I am a CPA and have almost 7 years of experience in taxation.  I want to specialize in taxation.

Here are my analyses:

UMass Dartmouth Evening Division:

Provisional ABA Accredited.
Tuition is $25000 cheaper than NESL.
Only 10 minutesí away from my work.
They have a great transitional to Law School program.  I can take one class in this summer prior to start the Law School and I will have a less load on my first semester.

New England Law | Boston Evening Division:

Fully ABA Accredited.
Coupe hours commute. 
Reputation is lot better than UMass Dartmouth.

Re: New England Law | Boston or UMass Dartmouth School of Law
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2012, 10:13:05 AM »
UMass doesn't have a tax clinic or at least vita?  Really?  I don't know too much about tax law, but you may need a LLM anyways.  Idk there.

Does UMass have any class reciprocity with any law schools?  I would if I were them- meaning you can still take the classes if you wish.

I wouldn't say NELS's rep is a lot better- its still a low end school. GL

Re: New England Law | Boston or UMass Dartmouth School of Law
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2012, 10:17:29 AM »
Although I'm not a tax attorney, I doubt that the extra five classes in taxation offered at NESL will make much difference when it comes to getting a job. In my experience, employers rarely pay much attention to the specifics of your transcript. Your background in accounting will likely be the prime factor. However, my understanding is that tax is one of the few areas of legal practice where an LL.M is preferred (required for some jobs). Maybe the extra classes would help you get into a good LL.M program.

Here's the thing (and please understand that I don't mean this as criticism): neither school is very prestigious, so you might as well save the money. I'm not sure that I'd agree that NESL's reputation is a lot better than UMass's. NESL has been around a while, and has always been a lower tier school. UMass is new, which means they don't yet have a reputation. However, in my opinion UMass has the potential to become a very good school. Frankly, I think it will quickly surpass NESL, Suffolk, and Northeastern. Remember, "new" doesn't mean "bad". The UMass system is large and well respected, and this will benefit the law school immensly.

In my neck of the woods (CA), we've had two new schools pop up (UC Irvine and Chapman) within the last decade. Chapman quickly passed up its competition in Orange County (Whittier and WSU), and UCI is slated to pass up everyone in southern California except UCLA and (maybe) USC! Not bad for start-ups. 

Lastly, the time you'll save commuting is important. Especially in your first year, law school is almost unbelievably demanding. An easy commute, low stress day will really help. In the end, remember that I have no actual experience with either school. Do what you think is right for you!

Good Luck!

Re: New England Law | Boston or UMass Dartmouth School of Law
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2012, 05:34:53 PM »
No kidding. A couple hour commute first year- Dude, you need those three to four hours a day- not want, need.  If you go to law school in Boston you'll need to be closer, unless you go part time.

Not trying to be mean, but how much have you thought this through?

Re: New England Law | Boston or UMass Dartmouth School of Law
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2012, 06:58:46 AM »
Again, thank you so much everyone.  If I do choose to go to NESL I will have to quit my job sooner or later. It is not practice to drive every day to Boston.  You all right UMass make complete sense to me.  I have sign up for the summer class at UMass so I will have a one less class in the summer.

I have one more question, while I will be taking summer class at the UMass, this will give me opportunity to explore more about law school.  I have an option to quit the Law School after summer class and prior to the orientation.  Do you all think I should paid $600 to NESL to hold a seat for me, just in case?  This way I will have an option in August if something didnít work out at the UMass?  Today is the last day to make payment at the NESL. :-\

Re: New England Law | Boston or UMass Dartmouth School of Law
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2012, 11:14:35 AM »
That all depends on your financial resources.  You can have a safety net if you choose and can afford it, but I'd make a commitment if I were you.

Does UMass not charge a seat deposit?  That would up the cost to $1200.

Seat deposits are designed to force the average person to make a commitment to a school as to open seats up in schools you plan on not attending.  As a matter of manners and courtesy to someone one NESL's waitlist you may want to withdraw rather than linger until fall.

Idk, your reluctance to commit to UMass should tell you something.  Maybe you should just wait a year.  You seem unsure.  Don't go to a law school you will regret in the future. 

Roald and I both prefer UMass of these two, but like Roald said UMass is new and we don't know yet what their potential will be.  Regardless, NESL is a risky and frighteningly expensive choice, UMass maybe risky, we just don't know how much yet.  GL

Re: New England Law | Boston or UMass Dartmouth School of Law
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2012, 12:40:51 PM »
Having graduated from UMass Dartmouth undergrad, it is likely they may become ABA approved in the time you are there.  However, it seems more practical to go to the school that gives you more of the taxation classes you want.  Can't you take the train in to Boston?  My parents live about 20 minutes from U-Mass and it only takes me about 35 - 40 minutes to get to Boston from there.   Look into taking the T.  The commute from route 24 is not bad until you get to the 93.  There must be a stop and ride somewhere in that area, Brockton, or maybe closer.  I know it's a lot more money, but I think you should go to the school that focuses more on the type of practice you want to do.  I work full-time and commute about one hour to school and about a half hour back with no traffice at night.  If the T runs fairly consistently after your classes, then it might be worth it.  You can always read on the way there.  Where do you live?