Law School Discussion

Hofstra vs. Buffalo.

Hofstra vs. Buffalo.
« on: March 17, 2006, 05:27:33 PM »
Hey all.  These are the only 2 schools I have been accepted to so far. No scholarship info from either yet.   I would like to hear everyone's opinions on which you would attend.

A few things I have considered. Buffalo is much cheaper, but according to, Buffalo grads make alot less then Hofstra grads after graduation.(even when factoring for cost of living, which I did on my own) 

Hofstra is closer to home, and I would'nt mind living on Long Island after graduation cause it is much closer the lehigh valley/philly then Buffalo. I would'nt really want to live in buffalo after graduation. 

Weather. -advantage Hofstra.

Buffalo grads, despite coming in with lower LSAT scores then Hofstra grads, have a 10 percent higher bar passage rate.

from what I have heard the buffalo area seems nicer, but I have never visited either city(I will probably visit hofstra, Buffalo is a bit too far for me to reach)

Both schools seem to have the areas of specilization i am intersted in, but I am more impressed with the clinics/externship oppurtunities in buffalo.

Anything else I should be considering? thanx in advance.

Re: Hofstra vs. Buffalo.
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2006, 08:21:58 PM »
If you really like NYC and want to be near it, I'd go to Hofstra. It's only 40 or so minutes away by train. Hofstra places well on Long Island and decently in the city, so you could still be pretty close to Philly. I don't really know how Buffalo places in NYC.

If cost is the issue, than Buffalo is definitely cheaper and I would go there. Buffalo is a city and Hofstra is in the suburbs, so it depends on the kind of atmosphere you want. Buffalo is also a little ahead of Hofstra in the rankings, but not really by much.

I'd visit both and make a could go there and hate one.

My friend went to SUNY Buffalo though and she complained about the snow a lot, so while Long Island can get a blizzard every so often, it's nothing compared to the lake effect snow up in Buffalo.

I hope this helps a little.  :)


Re: Hofstra vs. Buffalo.
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2006, 07:21:31 AM »
Let's go Buffalo

Re: Hofstra vs. Buffalo.
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2006, 07:38:25 PM »
thanks for the replies. At the moment I am leaning towards buffalo, cause it is 18 thousand a year cheaper, and based on my own criteria It seems like a better school.  The distance does sort of suck, but oh well. The money I save would allow me to go into public interest law, even if it is a bit further from home then i would like.

the town drunk

Re: Hofstra vs. Buffalo.
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2006, 10:15:34 AM »
I would definitely choose Hofstra if I were you. 

Re: Hofstra vs. Buffalo.
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2006, 06:35:56 PM »

I am currently an 1L at UB (rising 2L).

Let me try to answer some of your questions.

Tuition, Debts, Average Starting Salary:
Yes, Buffalo is definitely cheaper. There is no question about this. As far as starting salary goes, the reason why it is lower is because most students who attend here (and those who stay), are from Western New York. UB has strong presence in WNY - I don't think Syracuse could really compete with UB in terms of prestige and tuition. However, Western NY has lower cost of living. Since it's cheap to live in WNY, the living wages are lower, which is why the average starting salary is lower (it's not due to the quality of the school). Now if you decide to go back to NYC to work, you get to negotiate your salary. So it's really about how you market yourself, and where you choose to work.

Clinics are only open to 2L's & 3L's. You can just "enroll" directly in a clinic. You need instructor approval. Usually this means you write a statement of interest or something that makes your application stand out. Some professors will decide solely on your GPA, but again, if you have taken a class with that professor before, and if you could demonstrate your interest in that particular area of law, you have a good chance of making it in. Because UB is the ONLY law school in Buffalo, you have less competition in a sense, because you're not competing against other schools to serve this community.

I suggest you visit Buffalo and UB before you decide. Some people hate the climate (winter lasts 4-6 months), some people hate the suburbian feel to this city. The downtown is bleak and everything seems to close on Sundays. There's not much to do in downtown aside from bars and grills. However, if your goal is simply to study and work, that is not a problem.

Many students from my year came from out of state. Some prefer to leave WNY and go east to NYC. Whatever your preference is, you need to remember that most firms that recruit on-campus are from WNY, not from NYC. You could go back to NYC for a few weekends (if you have relatives who live in NYC, housing shouldn't be a problem) for recruiting events. The school does keep a list of recruiting fairs in NYC.

So in the end, it's really comes down to your debt-sensitivity and your ability to market yourself. If you are debt-adverse and have no problem marketing yourself (doing a bit more work to go to NYC recruiting events), then UB might be a better choice. On the other hand, if money is not a problem and you don't mind being in debt for 3-5 years post-graduation as long as it's convenient for you to find a job in NYC, then Hofstra is probably a better choice for you.

Good luck with your endeavor.

Any questions please feel free to contact me.

Re: Hofstra vs. Buffalo.
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2006, 07:46:36 PM »
Hey, thanks for the advice. 

As for as the social scene, I am not really that worried about it.
I don't drink alcohol, Don't like Dance clubs, ect... I am assuming that During Law school I will be extremely busy and not have that much time for socializing anyhow.
I will probably spend most of my time in Amherst....

The climate does'nt really worry me that much, I lived in state college, PA, which is extremely cold because it is located on a mountain. Okay, not as cold as buffalo, but still cold. 

Cost is definetly an issue for me, since I will have to take out private loans in addition to government loans.+ I am interested in Public interest law, and I feel like going to a school that costs 33,000 a year will close that door. Even If I don't go in PIL(I hear it is hard to find a job), I think I am more likely to work in a small firm then a large one.

I definetly don't want to stay in Buffalo after graduation- I want to live closer to home (I live about 45 miles west of philly) Whether that be NYC, Long Island, Philadelphia, Atlantic City,  Harrisburg, or some small town in between I am fine.  You seem to be suggesting that You know of people who have succesfully found jobs in NYC, but what about other places outside upstate NYC?  What is the feasibility of finding a job in a place in PA or NJ  that does'nt usually have Buffalo grads apply? (I realize this is a difficult Q to answer, but any insight you have would be appreciated).   

I will go on a visit to buffalo @ some point, but I want to wait to hear back from a few other schools. 

Re: Hofstra vs. Buffalo.
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2006, 08:25:08 PM »
The way I see it, there are a few options if you're considering work outside Buffalo:

1. For your 1st & 2nd year summer in law school, look for internship in the city you want to work in. This way, you build up your contact in that city. Hopefully you like your internship well enough to find a lawyer mentor who can then guide you to local opportunities .

2. UB has a mentorship program. You are paired up with a local lawyer or judge (though they also ask you where you want to practice, etc.) and you can build trust with this professional mentor to find a way to assert your status outside of UB. In the tri-state area, UB is still a pretty decent school. Again, your GPA and Networking skill as well as your course of study (do you have a particular preference for certain area of law, are you in law review, etc.) all play into factor.

3. Mentorship alone doesn't guarantee you a job. So you need to actively search out recruiting events and send out A LOT of resumes. I am not kidding you when I tell you that some students send out over 200 resumes and only get 7-10 interview call-backs. You need to be prepared to make that kind of effort if you're not in the top-tier (as in the first top 15 schools).

4. PIL might not pay as much, but you don't need to go into PIL right away. As you've mentioned, you're interested in small firms. There are also mid-sized firms that do pro bono work. UB is a good place to start because you are not as worried about debts when you get out of school, and you have some flexibility in the minimum salary.

5. If you are worried about passing the bar or finding a job right away, I would suggest looking at the Dual-Degree programs. The great thing about UB is there are several programs which you could apply AFTER you enroll in law school. You could apply fro JD/MBA or JD/MPH (Masters in Public Health) your first or second year of law school. This is extremely flexible compared to other schools. It also boosts your marketability.

6. After living in NY for a year, you qualify as resident. If you apply for dual degree, the tuition is only 1/2 of in-state law school tuition (or so I have heard. Check with School of Preventive Mediciine just to make sure). So if you can't find a job right away, you could complete your 2nd degree (a master's) and then look for a job that pays well in the city you live in.

7. You can transfer out if you keep up with your schoolwork. I'm not saying this is easy because there are pretty bright students in UB, and second, law school examinations is completely different from anything you have ever taken. But some people are just very good at it. If you do well your first year, you could try to transfer out to a law school that interests you more. Not saying this is a guaranteed option, but it is certainly an option.

8. When you interview for a job, emphasize why you want to work in that city. If you have family ties in that city, that's an EXCELLENT reason (b/c that way the company can be certain you want to settle there, and they might be less worried that you would leave.) You want to express your understanding of local clientals. You would have that advantage if you do your research & keep up with local news.

9. UB Alumni are everywhere. This school is very old (and even though we only have 750 students, the smallness of the classes make people very close to each other). We have a very strong alumni network (UB raised the most $ amount from alumni). Although many alumni are centered in Western New York (some judges and law partners), you can find out who lives in the city you're interested in by using something like Westlaw or LexisNexis services (Martindale Hubble Lawyer Locator Service, which they'll train you at law school).

10. Students are not as cut-throat. There are plenty of associations and (mostly friends you'll make) who will point you to job opportunities both inside and outside the state. I'm sure you'll find students who are interested in practicing in the same cities you're interested in, and you could help each other out. It could be a Western New York thing, but students who end up attending UB tend to be more laidback and helpful than other schools I've heard of (esp. 4th tier schools).

So the big picture is how well you seize opportunities to market yourself. Yes, WNY is pretty desolate. Yes, most students here are from Western New York, but it doesn't mean people don't practice in other places aside from NYC. I am planning to go back to the West Coast myself.

For PIL, you could apply for scholarships. UB has a BPIL organization whose sole purpose is to raise money for students who are interested in a Public Interest area of law. You can apply for summer fellowship if you're doing an unpaid public interest internship. We even have a career office branch that's devoted PURELY to public interest opportunities (separate from the regular career office, though they often work closely together).

Re: Hofstra vs. Buffalo.
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2006, 09:44:48 PM »
hey, thanks alot  for the indepth advice. I appreciate it.

Re: Hofstra vs. Buffalo.
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2006, 10:16:02 AM »
You're welcome! Anytime you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask.