Cornell w/120K versus Columbia at sticker

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )

Which school?

Cornell with $120K
186
65%
Columbia at sticker
102
35%
 
Total votes: 288

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Dignan
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Cornell w/120K versus Columbia at sticker

Postby Dignan » Fri Mar 12, 2010 3:12 pm

I know the last thing this forum needs is another one of these questions, but I'm looking for all the feedback I can get. Cornell has offered me one of their Dean's Scholarships ($40K/yr). I will, I assume, have to pay sticker at CLS. About me:

    I'm not sure where I want to live after graduation: I might want to remain on the East Coast; I might want to return to the West Coast (where I'm from).

    I'd like to take a shot at landing a federal clerkship after school.

    I have a professional background in IT, and I have an interest in IP, but I am open to other areas of the law.

    I am 95% sure that I do not want to do transactional law in a big firm.

    I think I would enjoy both Ithica and NYC (for different reasons, obviously).

I have other options besides Cornell and Columbia, but I'd like to keep the focus on those two schools for the sake of this discussion. Trolls are welcome.

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swc65
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Re: Cornell w/120K versus Columbia at sticker

Postby swc65 » Fri Mar 12, 2010 3:20 pm

How much time do you have to decide? If you have a lot, you might want to wait for the employment numbers to come out for c/o 09. This way you could see how well each school did ITE (even though people say c/o 10 will be worse).

Cornell's employment stats for 09 are listed here
--LinkRemoved--

Some people have expressed doubts that Cornell placed so much of its class in big law and these numbers are from May. So take it fwiw.


Also, do you have any realistic hope of getting need-aid from Columbia?

What about living expenses? Are your parents helping you out with that? If not, that adds even more of a cost differential between the two schools.

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Aeroplane
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Re: Cornell w/120K versus Columbia at sticker

Postby Aeroplane » Fri Mar 12, 2010 3:21 pm

If I was pretty sure that I wanted to spend my career in private practice (as you seem to be), then I'd take the $$$ at Cornell for sure.

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jks289
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Re: Cornell w/120K versus Columbia at sticker

Postby jks289 » Fri Mar 12, 2010 3:21 pm

Dignan wrote:I know the last thing this forum needs is another one of these questions, but I'm looking for all the feedback I can get. Cornell has offered me one of their Dean's Scholarships ($40K/yr). I will, I assume, have to pay sticker at CLS. About me:

    I'm not sure where I want to live after graduation: I might want to remain on the East Coast; I might want to return to the West Coast (where I'm from).

    I'd like to take a shot at landing a federal clerkship after school.

    I have a professional background in IT, and I have an interest in IP, but I am open to other areas of the law.

    I am 95% sure that I do not want to do transactional law in a big firm.

    I think I would enjoy both Ithica and NYC (for different reasons, obviously).

I have other options besides Cornell and Columbia, but I'd like to keep the focus on those two schools for the sake of this discussion. Trolls are welcome.


How much does debt matter to you? Columbia is going to be better on all counts, so I think that is the answer unless you want to do public interest or go into another lower paying field. Or if you feel strongly about not wanting to be handcuffed to a certain biglaw lifestyle. Columbia is going to give you more options with your career, but no debt is going to give you more flexibility with your life. So I think it comes down to personal values. There really isn't a wrong answer here. Congratulations on both schools and the scholarship!

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Cornell w/120K versus Columbia at sticker

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Fri Mar 12, 2010 3:23 pm

If you want big law or want to make use of Columbia's awesome LRAP, go with Columbia.

If you don't want big law but not sure what you want to do, might be best to limit debt.

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stratocophic
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Re: Cornell w/120K versus Columbia at sticker

Postby stratocophic » Fri Mar 12, 2010 3:24 pm

Dignan wrote:I know the last thing this forum needs is another one of these questions, but I'm looking for all the feedback I can get. Cornell has offered me one of their Dean's Scholarships ($40K/yr). I will, I assume, have to pay sticker at CLS. About me:

    I'm not sure where I want to live after graduation: I might want to remain on the East Coast; I might want to return to the West Coast (where I'm from).

    I'd like to take a shot at landing a federal clerkship after school.

    I have a professional background in IT, and I have an interest in IP, but I am open to other areas of the law.

    I am 95% sure that I do not want to do transactional law in a big firm.

    I think I would enjoy both Ithica and NYC (for different reasons, obviously).

I have other options besides Cornell and Columbia, but I'd like to keep the focus on those two schools for the sake of this discussion. Trolls are welcome.

I'd take the money. 250k in debt vs. less than 100k between those two is a fair chunk of change. The fact that it's Columbia is the only thing that makes this difficult.

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Dignan
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Re: Cornell w/120K versus Columbia at sticker

Postby Dignan » Fri Mar 12, 2010 3:26 pm

swc65,

I have until April 1 to respond to Cornell's offer.

I have no realistic hope of getting need aid from CLS. And I will receive no money from my parents. I've saved up enough money (I've been out of school and working for several years) to cover COL in Ithica for three years, so I would come out of Cornell debt-free. That wouldn't be true at CLS, obviously.

Thanks for the link on Cornell's employment stats.

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Jay-Electronica
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Re: Cornell w/120K versus Columbia at sticker

Postby Jay-Electronica » Fri Mar 12, 2010 3:28 pm

The wrong answer here is going 200K into debt, as opposed to graduating law school with little to none.

160K salary with 200k in debt strapped on. Will it be better than the salary you will potentially earn coming out of Cornell without that cinder black strapped to your ankle?

Take the money and RUNNNNNNNNNNNN!

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gossipgirl
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Re: Cornell w/120K versus Columbia at sticker

Postby gossipgirl » Fri Mar 12, 2010 3:30 pm

Edit: Complete fail on my part

If you don't want to do transactional law, I say go to Cornell for sure. Save money and still have a chance at some of your dream scenarios.
Last edited by gossipgirl on Fri Mar 12, 2010 3:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Dignan
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Re: Cornell w/120K versus Columbia at sticker

Postby Dignan » Fri Mar 12, 2010 3:36 pm

Aeroplane wrote:If I was pretty sure that I wanted to spend my career in private practice (as you seem to be), then I'd take the $$$ at Cornell for sure.

Actually, I am not sure that I want to spend my career in private practice. Like many on here, I have dream-type scenarios that are possible to achieve but that I feel would be foolish to count on. I am interested in going the clerkship--->appellate lit in DC route. Or maybe trying to get into the DOJ honors program. As JKS289 indicates, CLS is going to better for this type of thing.

On the other hand, I would still have to do rather well at CLS (top 10% of the class, probably) to have a shot at one of those dream careers in the law. And I'd still have a shot at one of those careers coming out of Cornell, but it would be harder.

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stratocophic
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Re: Cornell w/120K versus Columbia at sticker

Postby stratocophic » Fri Mar 12, 2010 3:40 pm

Dignan wrote:
Aeroplane wrote:If I was pretty sure that I wanted to spend my career in private practice (as you seem to be), then I'd take the $$$ at Cornell for sure.

Actually, I am not sure that I want to spend my career in private practice. Like many on here, I have dream-type scenarios that are possible to achieve but that I feel would be foolish to count on. I am interested in going the clerkship--->appellate lit in DC route. Or maybe trying to get into the DOJ honors program. As JKS289 indicates, CLS is going to better for this type of thing.

On the other hand, I would still have to do rather well at CLS (top 10% of the class, probably) to have a shot at one of those dream careers in the law. And I'd still have a shot at one of those careers coming out of Cornell, but it would be harder.

Seems like it's going to depend on some luck to get to the dream jobs either way you choose. Columbia has higher risk/reward, but the competition's undeniably stiffer. Cornell's the safer bet, particularly if you're coming out with no debt whatsoever. Best of luck

09042014
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Re: Cornell w/120K versus Columbia at sticker

Postby 09042014 » Fri Mar 12, 2010 3:48 pm

I'd take Cornell in a heart beat, and I'm no Cornell fan.

120K is a lot of money. A whole lot of money. It'll probably equal two years of hard fought savings with a big law salary (when you take salary and subtract expenses).

Would you trade 120K for the ability to do 20-30% worse in your class and get big law? Would you take 120K for a shot at the most elite firms? If not Cornell should be your choice.

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swc65
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Re: Cornell w/120K versus Columbia at sticker

Postby swc65 » Fri Mar 12, 2010 3:56 pm

Dignan wrote:swc65,

I have until April 1 to respond to Cornell's offer.

I have no realistic hope of getting need aid from CLS. And I will receive no money from my parents. I've saved up enough money (I've been out of school and working for several years) to cover COL in Ithica for three years, so I would come out of Cornell debt-free. That wouldn't be true at CLS, obviously.

Thanks for the link on Cornell's employment stats.



I would give Columbia a chance to throw some money at you before making a final decision. Your numbers are high even for Columbia. So email finaid or admissions at Columbia and tell them what your offer at Cornell is and that you would prefer to go to Columbia. Let them know your deadline date too. If they do not give you anything, then graduate debt free from Cornell! Have fun NOT paying a 2k per month student loan bill.

sumus romani
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Re: Cornell w/120K versus Columbia at sticker

Postby sumus romani » Fri Mar 12, 2010 3:57 pm

Let's not forget about interest on those extra loans too. We're talking 10's of thousands of dollars here.

lawduder
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Re: Cornell w/120K versus Columbia at sticker

Postby lawduder » Fri Mar 12, 2010 3:59 pm

cornell cornell

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UFMatt
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Re: Cornell w/120K versus Columbia at sticker

Postby UFMatt » Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:04 pm

Unless you're independently wealthy or your career plans fit into Columbia's LRAP, go with Cornell. That's a boatload of money.

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Jules Winnfield
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Re: Cornell w/120K versus Columbia at sticker

Postby Jules Winnfield » Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:05 pm

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Last edited by Jules Winnfield on Sat Mar 27, 2010 4:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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AngryAvocado
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Re: Cornell w/120K versus Columbia at sticker

Postby AngryAvocado » Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:09 pm

Jules Winnfield wrote:Seriously, OP?

Cornell.

Why aren't these type of threads locked?


It ain't that simple. People turn down Darrows and Hamiltons for HYS regularly, and I don't see how this decision is much different.

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Dignan
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Re: Cornell w/120K versus Columbia at sticker

Postby Dignan » Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:13 pm

stratocophic wrote:
Dignan wrote:
Aeroplane wrote:If I was pretty sure that I wanted to spend my career in private practice (as you seem to be), then I'd take the $$$ at Cornell for sure.

Actually, I am not sure that I want to spend my career in private practice. Like many on here, I have dream-type scenarios that are possible to achieve but that I feel would be foolish to count on. I am interested in going the clerkship--->appellate lit in DC route. Or maybe trying to get into the DOJ honors program. As JKS289 indicates, CLS is going to better for this type of thing.

On the other hand, I would still have to do rather well at CLS (top 10% of the class, probably) to have a shot at one of those dream careers in the law. And I'd still have a shot at one of those careers coming out of Cornell, but it would be harder.

Seems like it's going to depend on some luck to get to the dream jobs either way you choose.

With the possible exception of Yale, it's always going to depend on some luck, very hard work, or some combination thereof to get a dream job. I mean, students finishing in the middle of the pack at Harvard aren't landing COA clerkships.

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of Benito Cereno
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Re: Cornell w/120K versus Columbia at sticker

Postby of Benito Cereno » Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:14 pm

Dignan wrote:
Aeroplane wrote:If I was pretty sure that I wanted to spend my career in private practice (as you seem to be), then I'd take the $$$ at Cornell for sure.

Actually, I am not sure that I want to spend my career in private practice. Like many on here, I have dream-type scenarios that are possible to achieve but that I feel would be foolish to count on. I am interested in going the clerkship--->appellate lit in DC route. Or maybe trying to get into the DOJ honors program. As JKS289 indicates, CLS is going to better for this type of thing.

On the other hand, I would still have to do rather well at CLS (top 10% of the class, probably) to have a shot at one of those dream careers in the law. And I'd still have a shot at one of those careers coming out of Cornell, but it would be harder.

did you get any money from chicago or nyu becuase cls actually almost always matches (well at least for nyu as far as I can tell. also I wouldn't be surprised if notifying cls of 120k from cornell got you something).
Even without money, go with cls. As it now stands going to cornell still leaves you with a pretty big chance of striking out at nyc biglaw, at CLS its not guaranteed but even in this economy something like 75% gets biglaw or clerkships. Taking full ride at Cornell over CLS isn't like taking full ride at Columbia instead of Harvard. Taking Columbia still pretty much leaves you with the same future earnings potential as Harvard (if not highest level prestige jobs such as boutique litigation or COA); on the other hand, going to cornell right now does involve a pretty serious difference in likelihood of successful placement in biglaw firms (especially x10 if you don't want to stay in nyc. The 120k you'd be passing up to go to CLS isn't just buying prestige.

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Dignan
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Re: Cornell w/120K versus Columbia at sticker

Postby Dignan » Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:20 pm

Jules Winnfield wrote:Seriously, OP?

Cornell.

Why aren't these type of threads locked?

I'm not sure why a moderator would lock this thread. I think this is a common dilemma. I know that Cornell w/120K versus CLS isn't that common, but many people struggle with the choice between choosing a generous scholarship or paying sticker at a more prestigious school.

Check out LSN. Last year, the overwhelming majority of CLS Hamilton recipients ($146K) turned down their scholarship in favor of paying sticker at one of HYS. You might think those people are idiots, but they seem to be following some form of conventional wisdom. I don't think your take on these things is so obvious as to merit the closing of discussion.

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Chichaca
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Re: Cornell w/120K versus Columbia at sticker

Postby Chichaca » Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:23 pm

Jules Winnfield wrote:Seriously, OP?

Cornell.

Why aren't these type of threads locked?

By that logic, they'd have to lock all of TLS... thus putting themselves out of business.

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Jules Winnfield
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Re: Cornell w/120K versus Columbia at sticker

Postby Jules Winnfield » Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:24 pm

.
Last edited by Jules Winnfield on Sat Mar 27, 2010 4:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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stratocophic
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Re: Cornell w/120K versus Columbia at sticker

Postby stratocophic » Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:25 pm

Dignan wrote:
stratocophic wrote:
Dignan wrote:
Aeroplane wrote:If I was pretty sure that I wanted to spend my career in private practice (as you seem to be), then I'd take the $$$ at Cornell for sure.

Actually, I am not sure that I want to spend my career in private practice. Like many on here, I have dream-type scenarios that are possible to achieve but that I feel would be foolish to count on. I am interested in going the clerkship--->appellate lit in DC route. Or maybe trying to get into the DOJ honors program. As JKS289 indicates, CLS is going to better for this type of thing.

On the other hand, I would still have to do rather well at CLS (top 10% of the class, probably) to have a shot at one of those dream careers in the law. And I'd still have a shot at one of those careers coming out of Cornell, but it would be harder.

Seems like it's going to depend on some luck to get to the dream jobs either way you choose.

With the possible exception of Yale, it's always going to depend on some luck, very hard work, or some combination thereof to get a dream job. I mean, students finishing in the middle of the pack at Harvard aren't landing COA clerkships.
Exactly. Would you rather give yourself a greater chance at the dream job by gambling X amount of dollars for what may well be the same employment if it doesn't pan out (although access to V10 firms is definitely a point for CLS)? I might, if I wanted the dream job enough. Tough decision :|

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Jules Winnfield
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Re: Cornell w/120K versus Columbia at sticker

Postby Jules Winnfield » Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:25 pm

.
Last edited by Jules Winnfield on Sat Mar 27, 2010 4:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.




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