Saturday, July 19, 2014

Buffalo Roaming "Very Well" from Wall Street to Main Street

For a university named after a city named after a species of quadroped that proved incredibly endangerable in the face of technological change, University of/at Buffalo/SUNY/whatever graduates are tearing it up:
For all U.S. law schools, NALP reported that 84.5 percent of graduates from the Class of 2013 were either employed or enrolled in an academic degree program nine months after graduation.  The UB Law School’s figure is 84.1 percent, very close to the national average, with 190 of 233 UB Law School 2013 grads securing employment within nine months after graduating, says Lisa M. Patterson, UB Law School’s associate dean for career services.
Shoot that from a train, you cynics.  As the piece goes on to explain, Buffalo is even better than most law schools because it has more people employed in traditional law jobs (69% v. 64%) and doesn't hire its own graduates and places more people in further graduate study programs (almost double the national average!).  Doing very well, indeed.
“The quality of our educational program combined with our affordability enables our graduates to enter practices from Wall Street to Main Street.”
Ms. Patterson just may win a lifetime supply of Valvoline this year at the Christmas banquet.  That's a beautiful soundbite.  Poetry even.

The median reported salary at Buffalo for 2012 was around $50k.  With a 75% salary at $65k, they're obviously placing well on Wall Street.  As all right-thinking people know, the estimated debts (see LST's costs page) ranging in the 60 - 180k range can be easily paid back with the above-national-average employment prospects making that median $50k reported salary.  Investment in education is poetry, too.

This, too, is poetry:

Buffalo Soldier, Rockstar Barrister:
There was a Buffalo Soldier in the heart of America,
Almost went to Cornell, instead he went to SUNY,
Learning on arrival, educated for survival.


  1. Wasn't Buffalo trying to ride the "global human rights" wave? I can't believe they're selling out by talking about "jobs." What are these "jobs," anyway?

    At least the principal dean doesn't talk about "jobs." He's got a fat paycheck coming in, what more could anyone want?

  2. I went to the Buffalo website and was unable to find any photos, bios, or any mention of the deans at all. Any prospective student should think long and hard about doing business with people who seem to have gone deeply undercover.

    1. Wow.. you are 100% right.

      The site has changed since the last time I visited it. They list faculty, yes. But the Dean-level faculty member positions are nowhere to be found.

      As far as law schools, this is extremely odd. This, in fact, is the first one I've seen where they do not prominently feature those positions.

      SUNY B. will still hobble you financially. You still have to do exceptionally well to land a good job. Beyond that, it has no rep or base beyond the upstate NY area.

  3. It's actually here:

    The link can be accessed from the main page "Faculty & Staff" >> Dean's office.

    But they aren't exactly making it stand out, to be sure.

  4. I too am a SUNY Buffalo law grad, class of 2004. I graduated undergrad Phi Beta Kappa and had a partial scholarship to SUNY. I passed the bar on the first try. I couldn't find any job whatsoever for 6 months after graduation. I eventually took a job in a retail clothing store to make ends meet as student loans came due. 6 months later I got a job with a solo for $20 an hour no benefits. I got sick with a long term illness I have, I missed two weeks work and he fired me. Depressing as it was, as unemployment began to wear out, I felt lucky to get food stamps and began to see it as a positive way forward in my life. Then a friend at a party referred me to a document review staffing firm she had some luck with and that was my lucky break. I started making $35 an hour and did document review for two years. I loved it. I had no health benefits by health problems were stable and I was making enough to afford a decent apartment and life was greatly improving. Then, amazingly, I got an offer for a government job I had applied for on a whim and I remain in that job today. I am now a productive member of society and I use my law degree every day.

    So I had a positive outcome, however, it was a very painful path, and one I do not wish anyone else to have to tread. The education at the school is great. However, the reputation of the school is not. In a recent dialog with a law firm partner I have befriended from a sports activity I participate in, he flatly said, even years out he would not consider me, despite years working for the government or anyone from a non-ivy league school or at least Duke and only in the top half of their class. That's the plain truth in the 2014 legal market.

    I have been in a hiring position in my agency, and unfortunately, we have begun to only hire attorneys from more elite schools as well. Having gone to a lesser one, I have advocated strongly for some candidates who interviewed well and went to schools like Buffalo, however, upper management will not even consider them. In short, had I been applying for my job today, I would have no chance at it.

    Regardless of the education, the career services office at Buffalo is very weak, and opportunities are dwindling for non-tier one grads. I had a wonderful experience there. I met my partner there. But I cannot under any circumstances recommend the school to anyone in todays market. I'm just being honest.

    1. Thanks for commenting. Obviously, you needed to network more.

    2. That's quite a story, with an unexpected happy ending. Sorry about your troubles along the way. Many people would have given up in your situation, and no one should expect an easy time coming out of Buffalo.