normalien wrote:Just to chip in here, I also go to Cornell. My view is that ITE, I'd never take a chance on Fordham over Cornell.
What fsohn said is true, but particularly with respect to the LR folks, the one situation he refers to is indeed an anomaly and one based on interviewing mistakes.
Just to give some context. I'm not top third but somewhere between the top 50% and 30%, non-URM, and on a secondary journal, and I got four call backs and two offers, from firms falling between V100 and V20. Everyone I know on LR (with the exception of the one person that fsohn mentioned) did fine, and most did very well. For instance, two of my buddies are headed to Davis Polk, one's headed to S&C, another to Clifford Chance, and so on.
From what I've gathered, somewhere around 40% of our class came away with firm offers. (Those numbers are an estimate that I've compiled from talking to Career Services and all the people I know, which is a sizable sample of our relatively small class.) But in the interest of full disclosure, some of my friends think my estimate's about 5-10% too high.
I can't say with any certainty that Fordham's 2010 class didn't match those numbers, but from reading boards and meeting others during call backs, my sense is that Fordham was hit harder.
Also, keep in mind that the economy could be in a totally different place in two years. The T14 has been the T14 for a long time. When the market does rebound fully, the T14 will be the first group of schools to see a corresponding surge in recruitment.
I'm only a 1L, so I cannot say with certainty how the class above me did. (I've heard numbers in the 15 to 25% range, but these are rumors, and I don't want to report anything I can't get confirmed.) Before the bubble, we used to place over a third in biglaw, and as someone mentioned, out to 43.7% in 2008. Fordham's biglaw placement never matched Cornell's. Even now, if I knew someone was absolutely certain they wanted biglaw, I would tell that person to go with the T14. The advantages of choosing Fordham are more obvious for someone like me. As I did in undergrad, I'll be able to intern part time every semester by the time I hit 2L year. I already have a legal internship at a nonprofit about ten blocks from Fordham, and I'll be continuing on there in the spring. I'll be able to get a decent amount of PI experience, and hopefully make the networking connections that will lead me to a job.
ITE, many students at both schools are not getting jobs through OCI. That much I can be reasonably certain of. Cornell is an Ivy and a T14, and we know the school has strong lay prestige. Fordham's strength is in its gigantic alumni network, and in the fact that it's practically right on top of top firms and other organizations. UIUC recently had trouble with employers cutting back on recruitment trips; that probably won't happen here.
If the OP knows she wants biglaw, her odds will be better if she goes to Cornell. If biglaw is not the goal, she ought to talk to our admissions office and see if she can get some money. Fordham doesn't have a ton of money to give, but she is probably an attractive candidate if she's holding onto a Cornell acceptance. That way she'll be able to to make the decision that will make her happiest.
BTW, I also went to undergrad in NYC, and I love living here. I do try to have a study/life balance, or I did prior to November and December. I go to at least one opera a month, and I went out about once a week during the first part of the semester, usually with my classmates, fashion friends, or students at our neighboring school uptown. I love the convenience of subways and buses, and it would be hard to adjust to a car culture. That said, Ithaca has its own charms (I've visited, but not super recently) and OP might very well like it. I would not underestimate the impact of personal happiness on performance in law school. There are a number of factors that should go into this decision.