djgoldbe wrote:Dignan wrote:imchuckbass58: Thank you for providing all that information. That's very informative. And, yes, Harvard or Yale (especially Yale) would be better for my goals. But I'm on hold at the former (a lot of us with less than a 3.85 GPA are struggling to get in this year) and I have probably a 10% shot at the latter. Right now, I'm proceeding under the assumption that I'm not getting into either.
djgoldbe: You're right, of course. I realize that my dream career path is extremely competitive, and that there's a good chance that I will fail. I'm definitely taking a gamble here. To have a shot at my dream career, you estimate that I'd probably have to be top 10% at CLS versus top 6-7% at Cornell. If I can be convinced that the difference is that small, I probably will go to Cornell. Everything I've read, however, suggests the difference is more like top 10% at CLS versus top 2-3% at Cornell. On what do you base the 6-7% estimate for Cornell?
As someone else said before, Cornell grads go overwhelmingly to biglaw. I am inclined to believe this is largely self-selection. I have no hard fact to support this other than the fact that other, lower ranked schools (ie Georgetown, Texas, UCLA, Vandy) all place significantly more grads into such positions (Govt, PI, etc). For instance, in the links posted above for prominent appellate practices, you find as many (if not more) people from Texas and Georgetown than you do from Columbia. That being said, it may be that Texas/Georgetown might have more connections in these areas. However, I am inclined to think that Cornell as an institution is not the reason for the lack of such placement, but you would do well to ask a Cornell student about that. This is an answer I would like to know as well.
However, with your stats it would seem that $ to georgetown, duke, or full rides to UT/Vandy would give you the best of both financial security and prospects. However, if you are restricted to CLS vs Cornell, the questions I posed above seem most relevant.
Its not self-selection. Cornell quite simply does not have the ability to place its students to any significant extent outside of new york biglaw. They're pretty decent at doing so, but they are as close as you get to a regional school in the T14. Take a look at the types of employers coming to Columbia OCI or the regions where Columbia grads find jobs. Its quite apparent that even if many of them pick nyc, in their case its because its just so well set-up for them and not because their options are limited. I think what we have here is a whole lot of prestige whoring for Cornell actually. Everyone is assuming that because its in the T14 and is a semi-Ivy league school that it really must give so many great options. Michigan, Virginia, Penn are all lower ranked schools than Columbia that offer similar opportunities in perhaps lower quantities. Cornell just isn't in that league. The idea that a cornell jd and 120k less debt is going to let you have so many diverse options is just absurd. Your options will be pretty much the same as most other cornell grads: if you're top third you can probably get into one of the lesser NYC biglaw firms. I think this thread is bringing out a lot of the latent delusions 0Ls have about the career options for lawyers in general and especially for a mediocre school like cornell.