Law School Discussion

Rutgers-Newark ASD vs. Seton Hall ASD

Rutgers-Newark ASD vs. Seton Hall ASD
« on: March 30, 2007, 03:26:03 PM »
Ok, let me start by saying when I first considered law school, I visited one school Seton Hall and was hooked.  It was the only place I wanted to attend and only applied to Rutgers cause I didn't want to just apply to one school.   :-\

Anywho, I got accepted into Rutgers first so it was a relief cause I knew atleast I'd be going to law school then I got accepted to Seton Hall so I was like  ;D
Well I attended Rutgers Coffee & More event a week prior to ASD just for the heck of it and found myself intrigued for the first time about Rutgers so I decided to attend their ASD yesterday at the last minute. So with that being said...

For this event you could park in the Rutgers parking lot and pay the student rate of $3.21 (beats parking on the street and worrying you got a ticket-Newark cops are ruthless)  I arrived, got my name tag and was sent to their conference room where the event was to begin.  First the dean made a speech about the benefits of a Rutgers law education and then the panelists (all former Rutgers students of various backgrounds) spoke about Rutgers and their experience.  I must say I found the speeches boring and uneventful.  The real pleasure for me came when current students took us from there and we went into a small conference room to talk "real talk" as one student put it.  As a prospective evening student it was important for me to find out how it was for other evening students handled the rigors of law school while balancing work and family.  To be honest I think that was missing from the panel, all the panel members had been full time day students.

It was from talking to those individuals that I really got a feel for what law school was gonna be like for someone like me and was rather comforting.  We then went downstairs for some light refreshments of cheese, crackers, fruit, and wine.  Also, the diversity was so evident at Rutgers that I could not help but feel at ease and made many contacts in the short hours I was there, exchanging e-mails & phone numbers promising to call one another once we made a decision.  Also, I was accepted into the minority student program which I applied to without knowing too much about it, the brochure on the website I feel is rather vague.  What I did learn from the MSP representative and also from students involved in it was that it was a valuable resource for helping students achieve success in law school and make extensive contacts with MSP alumni through various on-campus events.

It was then that I seriously started to consider Rutgers even more.  So to that end the Rutgers ASD was a success for me.  Next it was on to Seton Hall.

Seton Hall
Seton Hall validated my parking for this event so I didn't have to pay anything.  I entered the building and was greeted to coffee, juice, water and an assortment of pastries and bagels.  Not bad...
I then went into a huge auditorium where the dean introduced members of the seton hall law student softball team who were on their way to virginia to participate in a tournament.  I was shocked to discover that a law school had an athletic team and then found out that they had in fact 3 teams.  Afterward various other faculty members gave speeches about the program at Seton Hall.  To be honest, I felt the speeches were boring once again and in this case rushed as faculty members had to hurry along their planned speeches because someone prior had run over.
Next came a mock class in which the professor treated us as students and asked us relevant questions based upon a recent case.  I really felt engaged during that time but it too was rushed.  We then heard from the student body president as he briefly talked about his experiences at Seton hall.  Afterwhich, a current student gave us a speed tour of the facility and we ended the tour on the first floor for lunch. This consisted of penne pasta, grilled chicken breast, mixed vegetables, rolls and for desert, oatmeal raisin cookies, chocolate chip cookies, and some delicious brownies.
It was during lunch that various faculty members circulated the tables stopping to talk to all the prospective students.  Current students stopped and ate with us as well.  It was the rapor between the current students and faculty which I found to be the most enjoyable.  I found the faculty to be funny, easy to talk to and in one case jokingly referred to as the greatest dancer in the world.   ;D

One student accounted how one of his professors is in a band with him and often brings his guitar to class and sings about cases.  Another told of how a professor treats class like a game show, calling on 30-35 people per class.  Apparently, all the students love him. 

So now it was time to make my decision.  Rutgers deadline is April 1st, to be honest I didn't so much care before if it passed me by because I knew I was going to Seton Hall but now I really had a tough decision to make.

Rutgers-diverse class both ethnically and age wise; has the Minority Student program which could be advantageous if taken advantage of properly; much cheaper tuition because of my NJ residency; not as technologically savy as I would like with some  teachers banning laptops from their class(students surfing the net and playing games was the reason); declining in rankings (currently lower ranked than seton hall)

Seton Hall-more technologically savy (laptops a requirement all tests done on laptop); strong student-centered program ($100,000 given to student organizations, students are members of all boards, i.e. determining curriculum, how school money should be spent); relaxed & easy going teachers giving off a sense community atmosphere; improving in rankings; not much diversity both ethnically and age wise; most students coming straight from undergrad or 1 year later; No minority student program.

So in the end I decided to go with...

Rutgers.   ;D

Who would've thought it.  It seemed that for the stage of life that I'm in (good lawd I sound old, I'm only 27 darn it!)  I need a program that's gonna be more supportive of my obligations as a full-time worker and a mom.  I felt the support system that Rutgers provides is better in this aspect than that of seton hall which really doesn't have a whole lot of older people with those  types of obligations.  Also, the minority student program at Rutgers puts you into a mandatory study group with your peers which for me is a good thing since I tend to be introverted and probably wouldn't seek one out otherwise.  Also, they give you a mentor for every class you take which can only assist in your learning.  Finally, by adhering to these components you are guaranteed an internship through the MSP.  For me this was a critical issue, having not done an internship during undergrad and paying severly for that mistake. :-[  I just couldn't pass all those things up then add to it that the tuition is much more affordable and even though declined in rankings Rutgers has a name to it that will definitely assist me in obtaining a job in NJ which is where I want to work anyway.

Whew, that was a long post but I felt the need to share since I've gotten soo much information from this board and thought I had figured everything out until I actually visited.  My advice, VISIT every place you're considering, you may be pleasantly surprised.

Re: Rutgers-Newark ASD vs. Seton Hall ASD
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2007, 03:31:58 PM »
Oh I'd also just like to add that since I already had free parking from seton hall.  I walked from seton hall to Rutgers (about 5 blocks but big ones) and gave them my acceptance notification plus my admission deposit.  When I got home a nice e-mail was waiting for me informing me they received my deposit and were pleased I was joining the law school.  ;D

Re: Rutgers-Newark ASD vs. Seton Hall ASD
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2007, 06:28:52 PM »
Congrats on your exciting decision!  I was there last night too (you can see my review in another thread).  I mailed my seat deposit to Rutgers today. I will be a 29 year old student from NYC and felt much more comfortable with the student body at Rutgers.  The tuition is great and I loved the emphasis on public service.

BTW, how was the walk from Seton Hall to Rutgers?  It is basically what the walk would be from the path station and I was curious.

Re: Rutgers-Newark ASD vs. Seton Hall ASD
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2007, 09:29:03 PM »
Thanks, congrats to you too. ;D
The walk was fine, the only major (big) street is broad, and the lights there are akin to ny, in that when it turns it's time to go.  Like I said earlier it was about 5 long blocks but the walk back didn't seem to take as long (perhaps because the weight of making a decision was finally gone) :-\

Re: Rutgers-Newark ASD vs. Seton Hall ASD
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2007, 09:15:23 PM »
i meant to post my SH ASD review on this post but couldn't find it earlier. have you heard about this blog from a SH alum who HATES SH? it is freaking hilarious. i discovered it a few weeks ago. although it didn't deter me from considering SH or law school, it is pretty funny. admittedly, i could not sleep the first night after reading his blog out of panic! so u've been warned

Re: Rutgers-Newark ASD vs. Seton Hall ASD
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2007, 08:31:32 AM »
Oh my god.  I hope we don't turn into that.

Re: Rutgers-Newark ASD vs. Seton Hall ASD
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2007, 09:34:43 AM »
The individual behind this blog is a truely sad and pathetic human being.  Anyone who spends so much time hiding behind a computer, complaining about his life on a blog, and blames others for his failures simply does not have what it takes to make it out in the world.

The unfortunate truth about law schools that are not ranked in the top15 or 20 is that if you do not do well in your first year, do not finish near the top of your class, do not take advantage of the resources your school has to offer, and do not possess the social skills required to successfully land a decent job, will simply not find one.

Obviously no one really knows how and why this person ended up in the position that he is in, but we can at least speculate by reading some of his comments.  Instead of taking responsiblity for himself, he specifically blames the school for his failures.  Did he honestly expect to be spoonfed job offers by the school's dean?  Unfortunately, (and this can be said for almost all law schools), career services offices, professors, and deans can only do so much for you.  Doing well in your first year will obviously makes things alot easier, and not doing well clearly makes things more difficult.  Does this mean that it will be impossible to land a decent job?  Does it mean that your life will be over?  Does it mean you should just drop out of school?  Does it mean you will end up like this blogger?? 

OF COURSE NOT!  It means you have to be more proactive and do more things to make yourself more marketable.  If all else fails and your only option is to take a crappy low paying job doing document review so you can payoff your loans, THEN YOU SUCK IT UP AND DO IT!  It is not the end of the world.

I apologize for the rant.  I just cannot stand whiners, laziness, and people who blame the world for their miserable lives.


Re: Rutgers-Newark ASD vs. Seton Hall ASD
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2007, 03:21:52 PM »
you're absolutely right cheeseman. but still funny though don't u think? not even a little bit? c'mon..joke degree (JD), toilet school, poems about sallie mae =)

Re: Rutgers-Newark ASD vs. Seton Hall ASD
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2007, 08:56:07 PM »
Yep, it is rather laughable.

Re: Rutgers-Newark ASD vs. Seton Hall ASD
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2007, 10:03:55 PM »
Just got back to my side of the country after going to both ASDs. In general I agree with the impressions of Considering_law. I did a couple of things off the beaten path during the weekend that I thought I'd highlight in addition.

Rutgers made a point to put me in a tour group, after the panel discussion, with a former Seattleite as well as another U of Wash. grad who was out for the ASD as well. She was able to answer a great deal of our questions in a way that a NY/NJ local wouldn't have and I really appreciated the extra effort. Afterwards three of us potentials went out with a group of about 8 3Ls to Hoboken to have a few beers and talk about the school. This was a real benefit for me, I'd grown weary of only hearing from the ra-ra "insert school here" students. Most of the students who went out with us we not involved with the ASD, and I appreciated a more tempered opinion or two. That said, they all seemed very pleased with their decisions and 3 of them were off to biglaw firms after the Spring.

After the SHU ASD there was an evening in the city hosted by current SHU students for those who'd been offered merit scholarships. It was a group of about 65 potentials and current students in NYC with a full hosted bar and a nice dinner. We got to chat without other faculty around for about 5 hours. The event was a roaring success, everyone seemed to be having a great time and the nature of a very well funded, private, institution was in full effect...I don't want to imagine what the bill was, they paid for EVERYTHING...transit from Newark to NYC via the PATH, dinner, drinks, shuttle back to Newark or vicinity late that night after dinner. That said, my overall feeling of SHU wasn't really helped by the event. The student I talked with the most was absolutely wonderful, but I couldn't shake that rich-kid feeling I got when I was at the ASD earlier in the day...younger crowd than SHU in general, more parents at the ASD, just not my crowd (couple years out of school, engaged, blue-collar family). SHU put on quite the show, my fiance told me she wanted me to go there at the end of the event, but in my gut I just didn't think the place was for me. I still have enough reservations about SHU not to withdraw quite yet, and I put in my Rutgers deposit to buy myself the extra few days before SHU's deadline comes, but I think I'll be at Rutgers in the fall.