October 3, 2013 1:25 am at 1:25 am #610786
Are there any frum jews in top law schools (Yale,Harvard,Stanford,Columbia,Chicago,NYU) If so how did they get in? Where did they go for Undergrad? What where there grades? How is the quality of life for frum jews at these schools?October 3, 2013 1:55 am at 1:55 am #977678
Stop trolling bro. I was on here once last year trying to have a serious discussion on the topic and everyone else was a bunch of yeshiva guys in class at NYU Law School.October 3, 2013 2:26 am at 2:26 am #977679
well i seriously want to knowOctober 3, 2013 2:43 am at 2:43 am #977680
Yes, there are frum Jews in top law schools. Their backgrounds vary. Some have yeshiva degrees. Some have Touro degrees. Some have online degrees. Some even have degrees from real schools like Queens College or Brooklyn College. It’s probably worth pointing out that outside of the frum community, it is not common for people to go from Touro or even Brooklyn College to a top law school. Most people at top law schools went to top undergrads as well.
Grades-wise, my perception is that there is no trend among frum students at law school. We’ve discussed the rumored Fordham study, and a friend even tried to get hold of it. Nothing I’ve seen leads me to think there is any truth to it though. The frum students I know might trend slightly higher than average, but that is mainly because I don’t know anyone who was at the very bottom of their class.
Actually come to think of it I just remembered that the top graduate at Harvard a few years back was a frum guy. He went on to be a Supreme Court clerk and is now at a big firm. He worked on the metzitza b’peh case pro bono. Poor guy – they never had a chance.October 3, 2013 2:43 am at 2:43 am #977681ihearMember
actully intrestingly enough since touro had two guys go to harvard last semester they are having someone come down to touro from harvard to speak to the school about their specifilly prob law school but possibly their school in generalOctober 3, 2013 3:01 am at 3:01 am #977682
Of course there are. All you need is a briliant LSAT and a sterling academic record and an amazing application.
Unless you are planning a career other than as a practising lawyer, or unless you plan to work in your father’s law firm – law school is extremely hard work and is a high pressure environment since the grading is competitive, and grade point (especially during the first year) is what leads to jobs. The economic pressue is intense since law schools can cost as much as a house, and there’s no certainty there ‘s a pot of gold at the end.
As with all students in non-Jewish colleges, the fall can be a nuisance. Elite law schools rarely if ever have classes on weekends or evenings, and tend not to have classes on Friday. Rescheduling or making up something from a yuntuf is a lot easier than dealing with a client who wants you to bail him out on Shabbos.October 3, 2013 3:21 am at 3:21 am #977684
do law schools really let you reschedule classes and where do these people live if they arent married and is there a frum community at all these schools. (Obviosly NYU and Columbia)October 3, 2013 3:28 am at 3:28 am #977685
At most schools you choose your own classes after your first year. There are rarely classes on Friday afternoon – even in the first year nobody likes them and after that, no one would sign up for them. The biggest issue can be yom tov, but those usually are at the beginning of the semester. Schools usually make allowances for frum people, though the degree to which they make the allowances differs. some schools will video the classes on request. Others will only tape it. Some schools make a big fuss about not recording class for travel days – i.e. erev yom tov. I actually know someone who was refused a recording when he had to miss class for a funeral, because he wanted to leave in the afternoon and the funeral wasn’t until the next morning.
My understanding is that there is not a large frum community near Stanford. Frum people at Yale associate with the Waterbury community (in addition to whatever frum life is around Yale’s campus). Frum people at Columbia/NYU can live in Brooklyn. Frum people at Harvard tend to go off the derech.October 3, 2013 3:36 am at 3:36 am #977686
I heard from a yungerman who went from BMG to Harvard Law this year that there are 11 yeshiva guys in this years class.
This fellow already has an internship lined up at a very prestigious firm for the coming summer.October 3, 2013 3:41 am at 3:41 am #977687dunnoMember
There’s quite a decent Jewish community in Boston if you land up in Harvard.October 3, 2013 4:40 am at 4:40 am #977688jewishfeminist02Member
My husband is in law school at Cornell. There is a small but vibrant frum community there (although it’s mostly made up of undergrads, a handful of grad students, and a handful of families who live and work in Ithaca). He got in with a degree and top grades from Swarthmore, where there is no frum community (he went there before he became frum).
Cornell Law School, so far, has been very accommodating for us. The ten-day writing competition to get onto law review overlapped with Shavuos last year, so they allowed the frum students to start and end later than the others.October 3, 2013 5:09 am at 5:09 am #977689
Because law school applications are down, there are exponentially fewer top lsat scores. Top schools who rely on such scores to maintain their US news ranking are taking the lsat score more seriously as a result. This benefits yeshiva guys. The recent fisher v. texas decision didn’t hurt either although it doesn’t affect private schools much.October 3, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm #977690
A friend of mine and my personal rav is someone who worked on semicha (with some of the leading geniuses of our generation, I might add) while attending Rutgers Law School, and he says that Rutgers was most responsive to his needs. Rutgers is not a top law school, however. I know that many schools even offer courses in Mishpat Ivri (Adiel Schremer teaches at Harvard; Rabbi Saul Berman, whom I’ve had the pleasure of davening with at Ramath Orah, teaches at Columbia; Rabbi Neil Danzig, at BU; Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein at Loyola in LA, etc.)
I’d imagine that top law schools would be most receptive to your needs, as the legal community is obviously going to very sensitive to areas such as equal accomodations, civil rights laws, etc. They certainly know the perils of Title VII lawsuits and whatnot (Title VII offers protections to sabbath observers and whatnot).October 3, 2013 1:14 pm at 1:14 pm #977691bklynmomParticipant
“Frum people at Harvard tend to go off the derech”.
There have been and are frum students in Harvard, Boston has many Chabad and other Judaic centers and serious learning programs. Since most religious Harvard students are serious and attending for academic reasons they are not the ‘partying bunch”. There is a Boston Kollel and families to connect to.October 3, 2013 1:30 pm at 1:30 pm #977692EnderParticipant
Jwash: to tie your recent questions together there are currently Ner Yisroel grads in Chicago, Penn, Columbia, and Georgetown, not to mention all the ones in the lower tier 1 schools like GW, Maryland, Cordoza, Fordham, etc.October 3, 2013 1:42 pm at 1:42 pm #977693
I don’t know how you left Michael Broyde off the list? If he can remember which persona he is using.October 3, 2013 2:35 pm at 2:35 pm #977694heretohelpMember
VM, while their backgrounds do vary, they do not have online undergraduate degrees.October 3, 2013 2:41 pm at 2:41 pm #977695
In response to: “do law schools really let you reschedule classes and where do these people live if they arent married and is there a frum community at all these schools. (Obviosly NYU and Columbia) “
There is probably a frum community at every major university in America. In general, the lines become blurred between “modern” and “hareidi”. It won’t kill you daven at a minyan with people who disagree with you about Israeli politics (which is the major difference between the two camps). If you go away from home, you will probably want to rent an apartment near the frum community, rather than live on campus. Commuting has its own issues. Anyone who thinks college is for partying will have dropped out long before graduate school. If someone wants to go off the derekh, there are a lot easier and cheaper ways to do do than to go to Harvard. If you are going to school and living with your parents or spouse, the extent of Jewish life on campus is laregly irrelevant since as is the case with most commuters, you remain a part of your home community. If you go to a place with a small community, you’ll find that the smaller the community the friendlier they are and the less importance is attached to modern/hareidi issues. In all fairness, there are virtually no universities worth going to in cities that lack a kosher shul and a mikva.
Rescheduling exams is protected by law and custom. For classes you sometimes can get a record, or can borrow notes – few teachers take attendance, and in many ways the only importance of class at that level is to know the teacher’s opinions on the subject matter. Missing a few classes is hardly an issue. There are many minoritity groups in universities, and American universities have a strong tradition (going back over 50 years) of being accommodating to all minorities. Even when elite universities had Jewish quotas (meaning before the Civil Rights Act of 1964, though most school had already abolished them before they became illegal), rescheduling exams for religious holidays wasn’t a serious problem (as opposed to getting admitted).October 3, 2013 3:40 pm at 3:40 pm #977696
I would have listed Emory, but alas, I don’t know what the nome de plume du jour is.October 3, 2013 4:03 pm at 4:03 pm #977697
In response to some responses to my post:
1. The Kollel in Boston is not in Cambridge, it’s in Brookline. While some yeshivish students at all the local universities go there to learn, most frum people living in Cambridge don’t even know it exists. There is Chabad and some kiruv organizations at Harvard, but they have a bit of a problem in that the students are too smart and focused to fall for the regular kiruv shpiel. The only students in Cambridge whom anyone has a chance at being mekarev are the Lesley University students. They turn up for the events, like the purim costume parties, but the non-frum students stay non-frum and the frum students go off the derech.
2. I have a close friend who got an online degree and went to a top law school. My impression was that online degrees are less valued than yeshiva degrees though.October 3, 2013 5:31 pm at 5:31 pm #977698
If someone wants to go off the derekh, there are a lot easier and cheaper ways to do so than to go to Harvard.
If you think going to a fancy university makes you special or better or more superior to someone learning in yeshiva or working as a schlepper in a frum business – you are already way off the derekh only you don’t realize it yet.October 3, 2013 6:19 pm at 6:19 pm #977699
The culture in secular universities is not conducive to Jewish continuity, on the whole.
The “I’m ok, you’re ok,” relativistic, anything goes, truth is whatever you want it to be, do what you want when you want mentality of college campuses is soul-numbing. Drinking, pot smoking, casual sex, and many other aveirot go on their. And our kids, raised with shabbat dinners and kosher kitchens at home, are not immune.October 3, 2013 8:30 pm at 8:30 pm #977700dafbiyunParticipant
At Columbia law , 1988, there were 7-10 yeshiva guys each year( and 1 or 2 frum girls). Every one of us stayed completly frum. Because we were such a small minority we stayed amongst our own. RD , perhaps in your (proudly) MO world you have a problem with kids going to university.It really is ironic: the MO’s who preach to us how importent secular studies are are the ones victomized by university, while the yeshivish crowd remains unaffected by it.Not really surprising , if you think about it.October 3, 2013 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm #977701
If you were really yeshivish, you wouldn’t have gone to Columbia. You’re engaging with modernity and making a big concession to modernity by leaving the kollel and getting an education.October 4, 2013 2:37 am at 2:37 am #977702
and im just wondering what the people in law school do for money if they are marriedOctober 4, 2013 3:04 am at 3:04 am #977703
“and im just wondering what the people in law school do for money if they are married “
The same as anyone who isn’t employed (for whatever reason) who is married. Relatives can support you. You can borrow money. You can work full time and go to school part time (which is not an option at elite law schools, but is an option at the rest). You have the same issues as anyone who gets married before they are self-supporting (hardly a rare instance).October 4, 2013 3:21 am at 3:21 am #977704
so im just not clear what people do before they are self supportingOctober 4, 2013 3:23 am at 3:23 am #977705
is it possible to get a teaching job in your ba for example if you major in history can you get a job at the local yeshiva teaching historyOctober 4, 2013 3:49 am at 3:49 am #977706
Jwashing – I don’t know if you are considering attending a top law school yourself. Based on your demonstrated writing ability (including clarity and grammar) I’d say it’s not an option for you in the near future. You don’t have the basic writing skills that most elementary school students have. Law school requires elite writing skills. There are other career options that don’t require elite writing skills.October 4, 2013 5:54 am at 5:54 am #977707jewishfeminist02Member
A few points by my husband (who spent way too much time researching this stuff when he was applying):
Note: Everything mentioned here is based on my memory of statistical data found on law school websites and admissions paraphernalia. I’m sure everyone can say “Ploni got into Harvard with a 155” and “Almoni got a Federal clerkship and a job at Skadden with a 3.3 from Brooklyn Law,” but there are usually exceptional reasons for this situations. More importantly, for every Ploni and Almoni, there’s a Yankl with a 180/4.0 who “only” got into U of Texas and a Shmuel who was #1 in his class at Yale and ended up working for an ambulance chaser.
While law schools technically have individual ranks, the legal community thinks of them in groups. There are “Top 3” (called “HYS” – Harvard, Yale, Stanford – even though their order fluctuates from year to year), “Top 6” (those mentioned by OP), “Top 14,” “First Tier” (Top 50, although US News now includes the top 100 in the first tier), and if you need to know about anything below that, it’s probably not worth going to law school unless you have a full scholarship, a guaranteed job, or some other compelling reason.
Go to the “hourumd” website!!! It lets you type in your LSAT score and undergrad GPA (do not check “minority,” since yidden don’t count as UNDER-REPRESENTED minorities), and will generate a list of self-reported statistics about how people with your scores fared at the top 100 law schools, and how much they received in scholarships on average. It’s incredibly powerful information to have, and for me, its predictions were eerily accurate.
Employment prospects (at least for non-minority students) depend not only on the prestige of the school, but the school’s regional connections and your local ties to the area where you want to work. To work in NYC, going to NYU (#6) will be more helpful than either Stanford (#3) or Chicago (#4) because NYU has more large NYC firms attending their on-campus job fairs. To work in LA, after Stanford, the best bets are UCLA (#17) and USC (#18). To work in a “smaller city” (e.g. Baltimore, Boston, Atlanta, etc.), if you’re not already from the city itself, it’s wise to go to the best-ranked law school within 200 miles (I won’t go through the entire country, but feel free to ask me questions about specific cities).
Part-time isn’t really an option. Georgetown and GW (both just slightly outside of the Top 14) are the best part-time programs, but their full-time programs have limited job prospects (neither is strong in NYC, Georgetown is okay for DC (but not a strong enough bias to compete against Top 14 schools) and GW students struggle to compete with Georgetown – I turned down a full scholarship at Georgetown for that very reason). Also, employment statistics for part-time programs are difficult to obtain, and are usually weaker than the corresponding full-time program. Law firms are hesitant to hire graduates of part-time programs unless there is a compelling reason (e.g. single mothers, etc.) because it looks like a lack of commitment or effort.
As for money, it’s really all about a combination of scholarships and loans. However, look into IBR (income-based repayment) and public-interest loan forgiveness programs offered by both the federal government and the law schools themselves. At schools like Harvard and Yale, the loan forgiveness programs basically work as an insurance program guaranteeing that you won’t have to pay your loans if you make less than $80k a year. Other schools won’t help out unless you commit to working in public interest law (usually at a salary of $40-60k), but if you do, they will pay off your loans in their entirety. And through the IBR program, the federal government (may Hashem revive it speedily in our days) will pay any loan payments in excess of approximately 15% of your income. While $200,000 of debt looks and sounds scary, it’s not necessarily as debilitating as it looks.
Brief (hah!) thoughts on specific schools mentioned above:
Harvard: The kollel is in Brighton, not Brookline. The 86 bus runs from Cleveland Circle to Harvard Square and takes about half an hour. In additional to the kollel, there are two other yeshivish and two MO shuls within a relatively short walk. The MO community on campus is confined to the Hillel, and some frum people go to Chabad, but in general, it’s worth the commute (and housing in Brighton is cheaper than Cambridge anyway).
Yale: While Waterbury is great, don’t forget that there are several Orthodox shuls and a Yeshiva in New Haven itself. The law school has a reputation for being “academic” and “theoretical”: a third of their students go on to clerkships with Federal judges. This doesn’t necessarily translate into developing the skills and connections necessary to be a well-paid corporate attorney.
Stanford: Unless you want to live on the West Coast, don’t bother.
Chicago: Great school, but I didn’t apply because the academic program is strongly influenced by Milton Friedman and “law and economics” theory. While I believe that “law and economics” is a valuable field for research, I think one course in law school is sufficient, rather than having it as an underlying theme in the entirety of one’s studies.
Penn: Everyone forgets about it! I think it’s ranked #8 or so, and has one of the largest frum campus communities in the country. Job prospects aren’t as good in NYC as with Columbia and NYU, but it’s a degree that carries weight wherever it goes. Philly is a great place to live – several yeshivish shuls in the Northeast, a community kollel and at least five shuls in Lower Merion, one of the most elite yeshivos in the country, and a huge MO community at the Penn Hillel (two strong minyanim for shacharis, 10:00 ma’ariv every weeknight, shiurim every night of the week, mishmar on Thursdays, etc.)
Emory: R’ Broyde is an amazing scholar, a chaver of the Beis Din of America, and a frequent contributor to the Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society as well as Tradition. There is a large Jewish population (one of the highest percentages in the country, around 30%), but there is not much happening on campus. However, R’ Broyde’s shul (YI of Toco Hills) is about two miles away from campus, and is also a short walk from the Yeshivish Shul and Community Kollel (Beth Jacob). In the opposite direction, the quality and selection of kosher food (including pre-prepared food – important for someone in law school, at least before marriage) at Kroger’s is impressive even by NYC standards. I still wonder to this day if I should have chosen Emory over Cornell.
Cardozo: While Cardozo gets a lot of hype in the frum community for obvious reasons, that hype doesn’t spread far enough into the employment world. Cardozo fell out of the first tier last year. In NYC, it has to compete with Columbia, NYU, Cornell (yes, Cornell is considered part of the NYC local job market) and Fordham, all of which are significantly more competitive. Outside of NYC, it has limited name recognition because its name does not correspond to that of its university (and I’m sure that was intentional).October 4, 2013 5:26 pm at 5:26 pm #977708
@frumnotyeshivish if your stupid enough to think i actually put time into what i write online in a random forum than that is a serious problem with the way you look at society i happen to know somene who went on a full scholorship to harvard on for english and if you saw how this guy texts you wouldnt believe itOctober 6, 2013 5:09 pm at 5:09 pm #977709whats_in_a_nameMember
Law schools do not care where your degree comes from as a general rule. Ultimately, what matters is your GPA and LSAT [ie. an 85% GPA from Harvard is not worth more than a 90% from Touro]. Maybe all things being equal your university/college may make a difference, but even then, your personal statement will likely be the difference-breaker.
In first year, our classes were assigned and we were not given discretion to switch our schedules. That said, there were enough people to borrow notes from and audio recordings were made readily available to accommodate those who could not attend lecture for religious observances.
In regard to living with no income, you can make it work through applying for a Line of Credit, bursaries and scholarships. If your wife is working, that obviously makes things MUCH easier. If not, budgeting will be a key to your survival off of minimum money. If you can find a cheaper place to live during those three years (such as living with family) though not ideal, that is also very helpful.October 6, 2013 6:31 pm at 6:31 pm #977710OneDayAtAtimeMember
As for living expenses while in Law School, perhaps the same parents and in-laws that would support you indefinitely in Kollel would support you through law school.October 6, 2013 6:54 pm at 6:54 pm #977711
Penn is rated really high, excellent reputation, rigorous education, hard to get into though.October 6, 2013 8:31 pm at 8:31 pm #977712Shlomo RadomskaMember
Law school applications are down as well as law jobs and starting salaries. To attend law school and need to borrow $100K in student loans in this jobs environment is crazy! Without the loans it is worth the effort.October 6, 2013 8:38 pm at 8:38 pm #977713
@jwashing – it doesn’t take more effort to write “then” over “than” – it takes some elementary knowledge that you clearly don’t have. I’d cite you twenty more examples but I don’t have the time or patience to prove an obvious point.October 6, 2013 8:55 pm at 8:55 pm #977714
I know 2 people in Harvard. One got in from Touro and one got in with a BTL (Yeshiva Degree).
The guy with the BTL gave a course on how simple it is. I don’t know all the details but one major point is that b/c of ethnic/racial laws, Harvard needs to be X% White, X% Black, X% Oriental, X% European, etc…….
A lot of Jews fall under the later category and therefore Harvard has no choice but to except them under penalty of discrimination.October 6, 2013 9:15 pm at 9:15 pm #977715
I think you would want to update the affiliations of Michael Broyde. I believe he has been dismissed from BDA because of some of his actions that they felt were not appropriate. These included fabricating sources for positions of his that he purported were in accordance with Halacha.October 6, 2013 9:59 pm at 9:59 pm #977716
gotbeer: there are plenty of European people for Harvard to accept- Jews are not needed to fill any quotas. And either way, Jews aren’t European per se, they’re the citizens of the country in which they live, no?
It’s funny, not law school, but a friend of mine just told me about someone she knows who got into dental school with a BTL and SELF-STUDIED DATs. I’m incredibly impressed. The LSAT is not necessarily learning new information so much as new skills, to the best of my knowledge- however, the DATs and MCATs require a whole lot of knowledge you can’t get in yeshiva (bio, chem, etc.).October 7, 2013 3:21 am at 3:21 am #977717
I didn’t say Jews are European. I said they are Ethnic European and Harvard cannot say no to Jews just b/c they are Jews. The guy I know got in b/c of the quota that had to be filled.
What your saying is that African-Americans aren’t African-Americans, they are just Americans. I’m saying that African-Americans are American with African ethinticity.October 7, 2013 3:44 am at 3:44 am #977718
Gotbeer, I am not sure which quota you are talking about but I am pretty sure you must be mistaken. There is no requirement for Orthodox Jews and top law schools are about 20% Jewish almost by default. Also, while I don’t think diversity is a requirement of private schools (like almost all top schools except Berkeley, Michigan and Virginia) and even at the public schools would not require frum people, the schools like to have diversity so that they have a wide spectrum of viewpoints and experiences among their students.October 7, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am #977719
Diversity isn’t just a matter of de facto “quotas” done to avoid the appearance of being discriminatory. The weirder you are, the better. The logic is that diversity brings unique perspectives to an organization.
A kollel person with a BTL who has a fantastic LSAT and writes and essay demonstrating great knowledge of American history is “weird”. Someone applying to college who went to a hasidic yeshiva with no secular studies, has only a GED (which isn’t needed for the better schools, only the public schools), and presents 30 credits of AP/CLEP and 700s on the SAT is “unusual.” Someone who went to a “modern” yeshiva, and has an ivy B.A. and completed a conventional pre-law program is somewhat “boring” at a law school.October 7, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm #977720heretohelpMember
Gotbeer- what you are saying makes no sense. Its pretty simple. There are way more “Europeans” or whites, or white Jews or non-Jewish whites applying to Harvard Law than there are places for them. The overall acceptance rate is around 15 or 16%. Being “European” doesn’t help to get you in, it makes it harder to get you in and makes it easier for them to keep you out.October 7, 2013 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm #977721
Affirmativa Action hasn’t helped us, it’s easier to get in if ur another nationality/race/ethnicityOctober 7, 2013 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm #977722
I think everybody is missing my point. As ‘popup’ mentioned (KUDOS), there is is a quota b/c of Affirmative Action to be filled and I never said that Jews get in b/c they are Jews. Jews get in b/c of there ethnicity not their religion.
@heretohelp: Apparently this guy I know got in b/c of the reason that I stated and not only that but he also gave a class on how to do it also. I would give his phone number but that’s confidential.
Trust me, it worked…………………..October 8, 2013 12:01 am at 12:01 am #977723
funny I tried getting into schools myself prob. should have gotten a race change first..October 8, 2013 12:55 am at 12:55 am #977724Torah613TorahParticipant
All the frum Jews in top law schools post on Yeshiva World. Make your own assessment of what this says about their frumkeit, top law schools, Yeshiva world posters, or YWN itself.October 8, 2013 2:15 am at 2:15 am #977725
The whole POINT of affirmative action is that there isn’t a quota for white people. It’s sort of filled automatically. (Also Asians, but that’s a different story.) And when I said that Jews aren’t European, I didn’t mean nationality-wise, I meant as far as in what group they’re being categorized. Then I realized that “European” apparently = “white” and I was like, “Ohhhh.”
Nobody is being accepted in order to fill a quota of white people, because they have enough white people. The quotas are for underrepresented groups (under which qualification neither white people nor Jews can be counted). Those quotas make it HARDER for white people to get in.
Your friend seems to either know something absolutely nobody else knows, like to pull your leg or have major misconceptions about affirmative action.
Signed, someone who researched affirmative action to see if she qualified as a Hispanic (I do, but I don’t feel that it’s ethical)October 8, 2013 2:32 am at 2:32 am #977726
I agree with Torah613torah about all the top law school students being on YWN coffee room. The only real question to be sorted out is whether there is anyone here who is NOT a student at a top law school.October 8, 2013 2:41 am at 2:41 am #977727
VM: Actually, I never had the courage to out myself, but I’m not a high school girl. I’m not even a secret agent Pentagon geneticist masquerading as a high school girl. I’m actually a student at a top law school masquerading as a secret agent Pentagon geneticist masquerading as a high school girl.
So you’ve got your first one! We should make our own thread.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.