A couple of people in the thread mentioned how Newark sucks, so I thought I'd chime in. I worked in Newark for 5 years, in University Heights and really enjoyed it.
It is true that Newark is one of the rougher American cities you are likely to come across, however, this does not mean that you are shot on sight, it just means that you have to mind yourself a little more than you might in other places (although I've seen some pretty bad stuff in Philly too).
As far as nightlife and restaurants, there are plenty. There is a neighborhood called The Ironbound which has one of the largest Portugese populations outside of Portugal. There are numerous top notch yet affordable portugese restaurants in the area to check out. There are also a lot of festivals in that area during the summer. Also, for the best hamburger anywhere, check out McGovern's over by New St, where the Rutgers-Newark campus is (the law school is off campus, and much nicer looking than the campus).
Newark has a very large and beautiful park, called Branch Brook park. Newark has more Cherry trees than D.C. (a place with a lot of cherry trees) and every year they have a cherry blossum festival. If you happen to be in town around May, take a drive through Branch Brook park.
Sopranos fans across the country will find places that look awfully familiar. You'll see guys walking around who look like Paulie all the time.
There are tons of law firms in Newark. Newark is the largest city in New Jersey, a state with a lot of people, and a lot of money, so it stands to reason that you won't have a hard time finding places to work.
It is only fair to mention: if you are not comfortable in areas that are not 99% white people, you are not going to like Newark. I'm not saying that this is why people don't like it, but I would be foolish to think that it does not affect people's thinking unconsciously.
All in all, Newark would be a fine place to go to school. Then again, Philly is nice too.