CUNY Law School

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    Does anyone have any knowledge of CUNY Law School (aside from the fact that it’s a super-leftist institution)?

    Anyone know what the Jewish situation is there?

    According to Godaven, there is B”H a minyan for Mincha next door to the law school.

    When I went there to sit in on a law class (I believe it was con law), I saw a frum guy with a beard (see here about beards and the importance of having one).


    the law profession is over saturated better go into business than law school.


    1. All law schools in the New York area are left-wing. If you want one that isn’t plan to go to a law school in a “red” state.

    2. All law schools are quite willing to accomodate religious minorities in such matters as making up work missed due to yuntuf.

    3. CUNY law school is not elite, meaning if you want to try to get into “big law” you are better off at NYU or Columbia (but it is still a risk bet). A non-elite law school is a real long shot for getting into “big law”. If you aren’t interested in the elite well paid firms, meaning you are aiming for being a “neighborhood”, keeping your costs lower and avoiding student loans is a high priority (and a law school in the area you want to practice is an advantage).

    4. If you think law school is a meal ticket, you are probably too dumb to get into a good law school


    OK, so I started this law school a few weeks ago.

    There is a minyan for Mincha about two blocks away, though the davening there is kind of fast.

    There is a Chabad/ Chassidic guy there with a long beard, and me (also with a beard). Also another frum guy who is Modern Orthodox or something. Other than that, a lot of Nochrim with political and hashkafic views very different from my own, and very much antithetical to the Torah.

    Hope they will be understanding about the upcoming yomim tovim, and about my need to miss 5 or 6 days of classes. They offered to record the classes for me (when I asked about it last month), but I need to be careful to avoid transgressing amira l’akum.


    Many law professors are jewish. Amira leyisroel is far more chomur than amira leakum.


    You’re wasting home and money. There are thousands of unemployed/underemployed


    You can probably find the course or similar ones on YouTube or other websites if you are worried about asking a Jew to tape it.

    There is a minyan at Citibank building across the street on the 36th floor at 1:35 PM maybe someone there can help you


    some poskim say you can ask one goy to tell a second goy to do the melacha for you (in this case, recording the class). but try not to do that, and instead look for similar lectures online or something.


    Lesschumras – I know.

    Abba_S – Thanks. How do you know about that minyan in Citibank? I actually go to a different minyan two blocks away from the law school. Maybe I will also try out the Citibank one.

    zgt-besser – yes, it’s called amira l’amira.


    It is forbidden to ask a non-Jew to perform a melachah for you on Yom Tov. However, some poskim permit asking a non-Jew to tell another non-Jew to do the melachah. Therefore, if you feel you need the recorded classes, you should ask a non-Jewish classmate to tell another non-Jewish classmate to tape the class. You should ask the first non-Jew to ask the second non-Jew to tape the class before Yom Tov.


    Biur Halachah (306) quotes from Chasam Sofer that it is permitted to tell one non-Jew to tell another before Shabbos to do a melachah on Shabbos. Although Biur Halachah defers this ruling, several authorities agree that this is permitted, and one may rely on this in case of need. See Shevet Halevi (4:29); Mishnah Lemelech (Shabbos, 6:9).


    From Rabbi Shlomo Miller, shlita (frumtoronto Web site)

    Q. If one will be absent from class (school) on yom tov, is one allowed to have a goy record the classes for him? If a goy offers to do it, should one refuse?

    The Rov also advises not to ask a Gentile to ask another, even if the second one does the melocho for the first Gentile and is not even aware of you. However he suggested a permissible way by having the Gentile record a disk for himself and then selling it to you. Thus, he is effectively doing the melocho for his own personal benefit and not for you.


    CUNY Law for a frum girl?? I know it’s extremely left-wing, based on what people have heard or if any frum people are there now- would she be comfortable there and is the school accommodating with the Jewish holidays?

    Advice? Opinions? Thoughts?


    bek_2125 – I am a student in this law school. As you mentioned, it is extremely left-wing, both students and professors (as a rule).

    I took off for all yomim tovim, and they taped the classes for me, more or less. However, they don’t exactly love Jews, and it is extremely painful to sit in a classroom and listen to them preach about how wonderful toeiva marriage is, etc, etc.

    Do you have any specific questions?

    Avi K

    MLK, if the gentile records it for himself why should a Jew be prohibited from listening?

    Bek, as for CUNY law being left-wing, that is true of most law schools although there are individual professors who are conservative or libertarian. CUNY law has a branch of the Federalist Society so apparently there are a significant number of conservative and libertarian students there. The big plus, of course, is the low cost, especially for NYC residents. If one is considering public-service law that is an even bigger consideration as the salaries are much lower (although with the exception of prosecutors’ offices the hours are more or less 9-5).


    Re akuperma’s item 4: Low schools have lowered their standards, because smart prospects see they have little prospect of employment after graduation. If you can pay the freight, most law schools will be glad to take your money.


    Dont go you need to go to a jewish school. What about touro or stern?



    These are not top tier Law Schools………

    Touro Law Tuition $47,000 per year

    CUNY Law Tuition $14,000 per year

    Stern is an Undergraduate college, no law is part of Yeshiva University and its Law School (Cardozo) costs $55,000 per year.

    While Touro and YU are “Jewish’ institutions, their Law School are loaded with non-Jews. The main advantage of them are no classes scheduled on Yom Tov and kosher food in the cafeteria. BUT if you live in NYC these can all easily be commuter schools and food is not an issue.

    Having spent a lifetime in Law and with two of my children and a son in law also lawyers, it is all about graduating and passing the bar exam and getting a license. Unless you plan to work for a major Law Firm or the Federal Government the school is not the deciding factor in hiring. Your performance, where and for whom you clerked and your published law review articles and summer internships make the difference.

    I am also biased in favor of the CUNY system (not just for law). It allowed my parents and many of their Great Depression generation a path out of the low income class with a free and excellent education (based on competitive examination entry). My father A”H went on to law school and a successful business career that enabled him to prosper, raise a frum family and support Jewish institutions. My Mother A”H went to Hunter and later attained 3 post graduate degrees at public university and had a 40 year career in Education.


    mik5- I do have several questions.

    How are the classes that are specifically geared towards public interest- like the Liberty, Equality, and Due Process class, for example? I assume that there is a left-wing focus on the more general classes, such as Torts or Contracts, as well?

    My problem is that if most classes are extremely painful as you say, I don’t know that I can subject myself to three years there. As a frum girl, it might be all the more difficult for me.

    (By the way, are there any other frum people at CUNY Law, to your knowledge? Also, do you stay on campus for breaks or stick to yourself mainly? Any Kosher nearby? Is there an active SJP group?)

    Avi K and CTLawyer, the low tuition at CUNY is definitely a plus. My main objective is to get my law degree as painlessly (and cheaply!)as possible, but honestly I’m not particularly interested in public advocacy.

    Touro is an option, but would it be worth the additional $33,000 per year?

    mik5, What kind of law do you plan on practicing? Would it be wise to go through three years here where the specialty is public advocacy, and then practice something completely different?


    Avi K

    Bek, in what type of law are you interested? To get into Biglaw (advantage: huge pay disadvantage: high pressure to rack up billable hours) you will have to go to an Ivy League school. Even then you will have to be near the top of your class – and there are many legal geniuses in those schools. If you want to open you own firm it obviously does not matter but you will have to put in long hours at low pay in the beginning as in any other business. In any case, so far as I know CUNY law does not exact any contractual or moral obligation to go into public law. However, that seems to be the thrust of its program, which is very much tilted to the left (in fact, unlike other schools it does not have any prosecutorial or business clinics).



    I state first that I am not an advocate for any particular law school. None of my family attended the schools being discussed here. I have hired graduates of all three in my firm over the years. They got a couple of years private practice experience in family law, trusts, estates and contracts and moved on as no hires are considered for partner, only family members.

    I do not think Touro Law is worth an additional $100,000 in expense compared to CUNY Law. CUNY Law mandates and provides a year of clinical experience that is invaluable when seeking a job. Many other law schools have limited clinical positions or only offer clinic as independent study…you have to find a position, report to and have it approved by a faculty advisor you see a few times a semester and pays thousands of dollars for the privilege of doing so. At CUNY Law you’ll work in a Queens firm representing the poor in all kinds of legal work…criminal, housing, immigration, family, product liability, consumer protection, etc. You’ll try cases under the supervision of licensed attorneys. Many law students never get this experience before graduation.

    All law schools will have professors whose idealogy is different than yours. You are not going to law school to be indoctrinated, you are going to learn law and the mechanics of the American (and state) legal system. If you plan on staying and practicing in NY, then CUNY Law may be just fine for you.


    Liberty/ Equality/ Due Process is taught by a left-wing feminist who specializes in toeiva studies. It is definitely unpleasant to hear about how wonderful toeiva marriage is…

    I did not take Torts yet.

    Contracts is OK and for me was somewhat enjoyable.

    Grading is harsh in many classes (at least, that was my experience).

    There is a Chassidic guy there with whom I am a bit friendly.

    There is also a MO kid from BP.

    There is a “Jewish Club.”

    SJP is active (as is the SJP at my alma mater Brooklyn College and many other SJPs). Many students at CUNY Law are virulently pro-Palestinian.

    During the breaks, I usually sit in the lounge and learn Torah on the computer. As I mentioned, there are a few minyanim for Mincha, but that is not relevant to you as a girl.

    Yes, you can definitely get kosher food, or bring from home.

    mik5 – I am sort of interested in crim law. Yes, they are focused on public interest, and yes, some (not all) students are extremely intolerant of conservative views. Both the Chassidic guy and I got into trouble for expressing our views…

    Would it be wise to go through three years here where the specialty is public advocacy, and then practice something completely different?

    Yes, it is OK.


    Mincha isn’t relevant to women? Hum, I must have missed that section of Shulchan Aruch…


    Women are not obligated to daven with a minyan; men are.


    That doesn’t make it “not relevant”.



    If you’re from the few who are unfazed and hardened you could probably manage

    A friend who went to a left wing school had to write a 7000 word dissertation on discrimination

    He wrote on dicrimination against conservatives in Higher Education


    CUNY Law has the motto “Law in the service of the 99%.” For those of such a political/ideological angle, it’s probably a good choice.

    For those interested in public interest law and not making bank, it’s probably a solid choice. I just don’t think CUNY Law grads will be hired by the white shoe firms. If your interest is in helping people, and not necessarily making a lot of money, CUNY Law should be a-ok.



    Most Frum law school grads will not be hired by white shoe firms.

    That hasn’t changed in 100+ years.

    I’m mid 60s and a grad of IVY league University and Law.

    Not a chance that the white shoe firms were interested in a new hire that has shabbos and yuntif time limitations on billing x thousands of hours while slaving away trying to make junior partner, unable to do client luncheons, not shaking hands with clients of the opposite sex, not wanting to be in private (closed door) meetings with opposite sex, etc.

    One of the reason I started my own firm many years ago. My children and SIL who are also lawyers and top tier grads did their internships/clerkships with government agencies and judges so as to avoid those problems. Then they came to poppa.

    You can make a lot of money (or not) in law without being employed by a white shoe firm.


    Time for Truth: Huh? I’m not looking to go to law school…and if I was, I would not consider CUNY.


    Time for Truth……………

    A lawyer doesn’t push/argue his/her beliefs.

    It is his/her job to advocate the best and highest interests of the client. The attorney is the mouthpiece, not the moral compass.

    This is why in law school students are trained to write for both plaintiff and defendant (civil trials), or Prosecutor and Defendant (criminal trials).

    I don’t believe in the death penalty, but in law school I had to write an appellate brief to uphold a death penalty decision in the trial court level. It’s all part of the education. Would I take such an assignment in private practice? no But it doesn’t mean I shouldn’t know how


    law school is so boring med school is so much more exciting.


    It depends who you are. Many people love law school and find it intellectually stimulating.

    Neither one is for me, but if I had to pick one it would definitely be law school. I joke that I should have an honorary law degree anyway, since I helped my husband through law school and the bar exam and learned a lot of law along the way.


    If you or your parent are paying then CUNY is the better choice, if your employer is paying or you are getting a full scholarship then an Ivy League is there better choice. When I went to undergrad, I had a choice between Touro and CUNY (Brooklyn College) and ended up going to Touro because with financial aid Touro was cheaper.

    The problem with med school is the expenses by the time you graduate you may owe 2-3 hundred thousands dollars and it may take 20 years to pay it back.


    Even if you are paying for the degree yourself, your earning potential will be much higher coming out of an Ivy, so it’s a worthwhile investment.


    Not if you are $300,000 in debt. As CTLawyer said if you are Frum you are not going to get hired by White Shoe Firms who want to bill the maximum. Frum people have to take off Shabbos, Yom Tov and for davening. If you don’t get picked up by a firm paying big bucks and work for the government you will be retiring by the time you finish paying off your student loans.


    There are plenty of frum lawyers in BigLaw. It’s not easy, but it can be done.

    Even with a lot of debt, proportionally speaking you’re still financially much better off with high income and high loan repayments– yes, even if you’re making the payments for a very long time.

    You’re also much better off as far as career stability. The job market for lawyers is very tight right now. Without a degree from a good school, you could very well have periods of unemployment.


    Not if you are $300,000 in debt. As CTLawyer said if you are Frum you are not going to get hired by White Shoe Firms who want to bill the maximum. Frum people have to take off Shabbos, Yom Tov and for davening. If you don’t get picked up by a firm paying big bucks and work for the government you will be retiring by the time you finish paying off your student loans.


    Why did you copy and paste your comment from above?

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