Law School Discussion

Rutgers Newark ASD Review

Rutgers Newark ASD Review
« on: March 29, 2007, 06:21:38 PM »
in the interest of full disclosure, i had my heart set on rutgers-newark, already sent in my deposit and withdrew from the only other school i applied to (seton hall). well, applied to fordham but got a ding there.set on being a corporate lawyer and work at biglaw after graduation. anyhoo, so keep this is mind as i write down as much as i could remember.

-driving there and looking at my surroundings didn'g give me a warm fuzzy feeling. kinda scary at some areas but that's newark for you
-the building itself is very nice.rooms, bathroom, facilities are a LOT better than Fordham and at par or even better than Penn Law (took my LSAT at Penn).
-i thought the Dean was funny. i liked how he said he wants to be known as the Party Dean of Rutgers. Rutgers is celebrating its 100th year as a law school in 2008, so expect a lot of partying next year. sounds fun
-the panelists were an interesting mix. there were 3 recent grads working for sullivan, fried frank, and lowenstein respectively. some clerking for supreme court justices. it was boring hearing their stories but im surprised that most panelists said some of their co-graduates are in Biglaw firms in NYC.
-you can tell that Rutgers is really geared toward public interest law. and if you want to work in government or be a politician in Jersey, this is the place to be. Supreme Court justices, the Governor's cabinet..most are Rutgers Law Alum.
-interesting tidbit, one of the attorneys fired by Gonzales a few weeks ago was a Rutgers alum HAHA!
-they didn't serve dinner. just some light refreshments. well it is a state university
-the current student assigned to our table was great. helpful. but loves rutgers a LOT though. all the classes were awesome, they have amazing IP, environment, corporate, amazing everything. the loyalty and love was sweet, but it kinda sounded like donald trump.
-diverse mix. very impressive. if you were to ask me the percentage of caucasians, asians, african american, i couldnt tell you. it's hard to tell, that's how diverse it was (at least with the attendees). as for age, it was hard to tell. there were young looking ones, some with blackberries and in work attires which tell me they were late 20s or early 30s, and some with white hair =)
-lastly, i did not fall in love with Rutgers. not that i expected to. or maybe coz i knew i was going there regardless, so they didn't have to win me over? but it didn't feel like, yes i belong here, or i love it here! hopefully that will change the next 3 years!!

off to seton hall tomorrow. although ive withdrawn, they are serving breakfast and lunch, so at least I get some of my $65 application fee back =)

Re: Rutgers Newark ASD Review
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2007, 09:35:05 PM »
I was there too.  I went in completely neutral, with no expectations, and left with a much better impression than I had after my visit to Seton Hall (which felt very generic to me).  As mentioned in the previous post, it was incredibly diverse, both in race and age (though I realized later some of those older people were probably parents).  I took the Path train and the NJ light rail from lower Manhattan.  The commute was about an hour.  I did not feel unsafe at all.  As soon as I got off the stop for Newark there was a police man outside the station.  I saw university police and Newark police during my short walk to the Law school building.  Numerous students were using this route as well and Rutgers buildings (and a big renovated gym) line the street.  I think I was expecting much worse from Newark, after all the bad press it has received.  I don't know what the rest of the town is like but the surrounding area around the school was not bad at all.  Then again, I'm from Brooklyn and not easily intimidated.

I spoke to a lot of the students there about Newark and my impressions was that they are all kind of over the fact that it isn't the best neighborhood.  In fact, most of them seemed to take a certain pride in its grittiness and brush off the fear that others might associate with the neighborhood. They are there for school, not to settle down next door - the area gets the job done.  They were all very passionate about the clinics, and Newark seems to be a needy city and it sounds like there are a lot ofopportunities.

So, the Dean gave a witty funny speech.  Because I am so interested in public service it really resonated with me.  The panelists all told their different stories.  Then we went on a tour.  The building was really really nice and new looking. It is wireless and Mac friendly. I liked it better than Seton Hall which felt very black/white/gray corporate to me.  Then we had a reception, not dinner, but still, deviled eggs, sushi, and chicken skewers.  My small touring group sat down and questioned our guide.  The administrators were walking around and were extremely nice andaccessible .  I got to talk with several of them directly and they were eager to help.  Unlike some other NYC/NJ schools, Rutgers considers gov't work and prosecutors eligible for their loan repayment program - very good news for me. 

Being a slightly older student, I felt a little out of place with all the other prospectives straight from undergrad.  I was even older than our guide.  But as the night died down, some upperclassmen came by the tables and were really friendly.  I wound up talking to them for a really long time - they were extremely candid and not official representatives or anything so I wasn't suspicious when they all talked about how happy they were.  Seriously.  Though they all said they were miserable as 1Ls - but so is everyone.  They emphasized that they loved thecamaraderie and support of the student body.  The students were the furthest thing from prestige obsessed or crazy-competitve.  Some of them lived in Hoboken and Jersey City.  Some lived right in Newark in renovated brownstones for a minimal rent and some lived in student housing.  The ones that lived in Newark were content.  They all expressed the feeling that they were getting a great education for a fraction of the price at other schools.

So, I wound up being pleasantly surprised.

Re: Rutgers Newark ASD Review
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2007, 03:28:56 AM »
Great comments.

Did you guys get the feeling that people *are* getting jobs? I know seton hall has been accused of hiding the ball because so many of their students take those 30K a year lower court clerkships, so their employment numbers look good in terms of % employed.

I just want to make sure that this is not true of Rutgers as well.

Re: Rutgers Newark ASD Review
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2007, 05:03:24 AM »

someone in my group asked that and the guide said the usual. if you get excellent grades or top 10%, you can get any job in any of the OCIs. other than that, the standard answer was, rutgers is a regional school, and has established MAJOR contacts in jersey and new york law firms, especially jersey. but if you ever want to practice in the west coast or anywhere else, they willw ork with you in establishing contacts either by externships or clinical programs in that area, or clerkships. career services also stated that about 35% did clerkships, while 50% did private practice/law firms. i think seton hall has 80% in clerkships? not sure.

Re: Rutgers Newark ASD Review
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2007, 05:38:36 AM »

Did the professors you saw seem to be high quality?

I am interested in business/corporate too, so good to see your comments.

Where are you thinking about living?

Re: Rutgers Newark ASD Review
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2007, 07:01:15 AM »
I was there last night as well, and overall, I came away impressed with Rutgers.  I've lived in and around NYC for many years, so I wasn't expecting an urban paradise in Newark.  That said, the neighborhood where the law school is located is pretty nice, with the Newark Museum and a library close by, lots of old buildings, pizzerias etc.  I live in Hoboken and work in NYC, and, rushing from my job, I took the PATH to Hoboken then caught a NJTransit train from there to Broad St which is about five blocks from the campus.  If I enrolled at Rutgers, this would be my noraml commute and for that, it was great, riding on a comfortable train above ground, rather than being subterranean and overcrowded on the PATH or NY subway.  The train from Hobken to Broad street is less than 20 minutes.

The dean of the law school and the dean (bichoux?) were both warm and engaging.  The panel discussion was enlightening; they obviously made an effort to present a diverse group of alumni in terms of race, age, law school experience and current professional status.  I also spoke with the head of the career center.  She also seemed very warm and wanting to help.  Needless to say, the student guides had nothing but good things to say about the school.  One prospective student asked them to compare R-N to SH; our guide (seemed like a very smart guy, former Marine) made two points: Rugers was better for corporate law and public interest law; SH had a leg up in judicial clerkships.  Being in the military for several years after undergrad, he also felt that Rutgers was more open to older students where, at SH, the vibe is overwhelmingly young, ie straight out of undergrad.

I capped off the open house with a beer at McGoverns, the well-known law student watering hole just across the street.  Being a Brooklyn native and a somewhat reluctant Jersey resident, I am particulary attuned to the "Jersey" vibe (no offense jerseyites), and it was on display at McGoverns, but you could also see the diversity of the school there.  I hate to pin myself as a lush, but having a reliable Irish bar emeshed in campus life is a plus.

I am still undecided, between R-N, SH, Brooklyn (waiting on Cardozo), but Rutgers did not seem like a bad place to get an edumacation.

Re: Rutgers Newark ASD Review
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2007, 09:21:55 AM »
To add to this thread:  I just got off the phone with the financial lady, who was quite possibly the nicest financial aid representative I have ever dealt with. I met her last night at the reception and she just spent awhile on the phone with me talking about establishing residencey and the work study program.

I agree with what was said about jobs after graduation. The head of the career center also spoke about really encouraging students to clerk, and I find this very beleivable considering how much they advocate public service.  There are also numerous opportunites to clerk because of something to do with the way the NJ courts work but I can't remember the details.  However, I think most of the alumni panel speakers were working for firms.  The students I spoke to last night said that no one is going to baby you, but if you take the initiative, you can get a lot out of the career services center.  One girl said it was actually very competitve to get a public service job - she wound up getting a position in Korea for the summer.  It made me realize how valuable my years of work experience and contacts are going to be when I graduate - even if I did feel older than everyone.

Re: Rutgers Newark ASD Review
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2007, 10:54:54 AM »
yikes! i am in trouble. just got back from seton hall ASD and absolutely loved it, loved the the vibe, and really really enjoyed the whole experience. i was so set on rutgers too! still am but i actually had to talk to the adcom guy and asked about withdrawing my withdrawal!!! will write a review on SH shortly.

Re: Rutgers Newark ASD Review
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2007, 01:23:53 PM »
I couldn't make the Seton Hall even so I am eagerly awaiting your post.  I'll be at the Merit Scholar thing tomorrow and will try to tour the campus.  We'll see...

Re: Rutgers Newark ASD Review
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2007, 01:41:56 PM »
I went on an informal tour earlier this week.  I wrote my impressions here:,85330.msg2101448.html#msg2101448