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

Postby of Benito Cereno » Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:18 am

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.

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Re: Cornell w/120K versus Columbia at sticker

Postby djgoldbe » Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:45 am

of Benito Cereno wrote:
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.


Where exactly do you attend that gives you this information/outlook?

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Re: Cornell w/120K versus Columbia at sticker

Postby HiLine » Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:03 am

When it comes down to T14 less HYS, I don't think the school's reputation matters more than how you perform relatively in your class. Going to Cornell probably will make you a higher-ranked law student and thus a more desirable one to employers. Taking into account the ~135K debt difference, I don't see why you would choose otherwise.

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Re: Cornell w/120K versus Columbia at sticker

Postby of Benito Cereno » Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:06 am

djgoldbe wrote:
of Benito Cereno wrote:
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.


Where exactly do you attend that gives you this information/outlook?

0L. but in my strange little cloistered world pretty much every single adult I knew from childhood is a nyc biglaw partner and pretty much every friend from school attended or is attending a T14 school and working in nyc biglaw. I took a few years off after college to do graduate work so I am a little behind most of my high school and college peers but I think I have a pretty damn informed perspective. Off the top of my head I can think of 16 people I know who went to or are at Cornell law and 27 who went to or are at CLS. Also, after reading this thread I asked two family friends who were over for dinner at my parents last night, one of whom is a senior partner at Wachtell and the other a partner at Covington and both of whom have in the past been involved in recruitment, their opinion of the career options of Cornell grads in this economy etc. Both couldn't believe anyone would consider going to Cornell over CLS no matter how much scholarship offered unless you're looking to take up a job at a family firm or work in some low paying but not prestigious field of law, such as local divorce law or local DA.

Also, the general consensus I get is that there is a pretty big drop off after MVPN. I consistently hear attorneys say that T10 is much more meaningful in terms of opportunities and respect than T14.

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Re: Cornell w/120K versus Columbia at sticker

Postby djgoldbe » Mon Mar 15, 2010 12:02 pm

Well, I respect and appreciate your experience and opinion on the matter. I think, given the type of people you know and are talking to (and the type of jobs they are at), what you say is possibly true. However, that's a pretty small bubble your talking about. Wachtell and Covington partners are not exactly your average lawyers and certainly not an average job - even for biglaw. And, importantly, given that background and that advice I can see where 120K debt seems like a smaller deal.

However, I think for the vast vast majority of people who are taking a higher elevation view of the legal market and law schools, Cornell is still a damn good school to come out of with 0 debt. Whether or not this all is relevant to the OP's concerns and desires, I am not sure.

(BTW Wachtell also recruits disproportionately from CLS. If you look at Covington's recruitment you would think GWU is >>>> CLS. Such narrow views can be deceiving)

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Re: Cornell w/120K versus Columbia at sticker

Postby elmagic » Mon Mar 15, 2010 12:41 pm

LOL at this whole thread.

Brief summary:
OP makes thread hoping everyone votes for Columbia so he can sleep better at night
Majority votes for Cornell
OP defends choice
-200k
Dinner w/ Senior Partner at Wachtell
???

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Re: Cornell w/120K versus Columbia at sticker

Postby AngryAvocado » Mon Mar 15, 2010 12:47 pm

HiLine wrote:When it comes down to T14 less HYS, I don't think the school's reputation matters more than how you perform relatively in your class. Going to Cornell probably will make you a higher-ranked law student and thus a more desirable one to employers. Taking into account the ~135K debt difference, I don't see why you would choose otherwise.


Lay prestige might significantly drop off after HYS, but reputation absolutely matters in hiring. Take a look at some of stats and figures in this thread and you'll see there are substantial differences between a school like CLS and a school like Cornell (hell, there are significant differences between schools like CLS and schools like MVP for that matter). Look at the V100 hiring numbers (http://lawfirmaddict.blogspot.com/2006/ ... ement.html) from a few years back and check out how CLS placed 80% in V100 to Cornell's 43%. There are pretty drastic differences even within the T14 in placement, and that's what I think a lot of the Cornell proponents are overlooking. The people that suggest this is a no-brainer in favor of Cornell keep accusing everyone else of prestige whoring, and yet nobody has posted any persuasive evidence that Cornell and Columbia even resemble equals when it comes to placement in any arena.

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Re: Cornell w/120K versus Columbia at sticker

Postby djgoldbe » Mon Mar 15, 2010 1:33 pm

AngryAvocado wrote:
HiLine wrote:When it comes down to T14 less HYS, I don't think the school's reputation matters more than how you perform relatively in your class. Going to Cornell probably will make you a higher-ranked law student and thus a more desirable one to employers. Taking into account the ~135K debt difference, I don't see why you would choose otherwise.


Lay prestige might significantly drop off after HYS, but reputation absolutely matters in hiring. Take a look at some of stats and figures in this thread and you'll see there are substantial differences between a school like CLS and a school like Cornell (hell, there are significant differences between schools like CLS and schools like MVP for that matter). Look at the V100 hiring numbers (http://lawfirmaddict.blogspot.com/2006/ ... ement.html) from a few years back and check out how CLS placed 80% in V100 to Cornell's 43%. There are pretty drastic differences even within the T14 in placement, and that's what I think a lot of the Cornell proponents are overlooking. The people that suggest this is a no-brainer in favor of Cornell keep accusing everyone else of prestige whoring, and yet nobody has posted any persuasive evidence that Cornell and Columbia even resemble equals when it comes to placement in any arena.


Perhaps you missed that link is for summer associates? Perhaps more people who attend/already live in NYC would take a summer job in V100 (the majority of which are in NYC / Chicago / DC) than those who don't live there? Which would also explain why Cornell is higher than Mich or UVA...

The most recent info I can find of actual hiring would be:

http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNL ... hbxlogin=1

Which puts CLS at 54% to Cornell's 41%, a 13% difference. Numbers pre-recession were similar (actually less) in difference

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=108517

With 2008 seeing 70% to 62%, an 8% difference.

In 2005:

http://pdfserver.amlaw.com/nlj/20080414 ... trends.pdf

It was about a 7% difference.

That is obviously for NLJ 250 not Vault 100, which I could not find compiled numbers for. Again, I don't really see this as all that relevant to the OP's concerns but if you're going to accuse people of not bringing up placement numbers you cannot come back with summer associate numbers. Anyone who has looked at placement numbers knows CLS isn't placing 80% of its class in V100. Even at its peak it was only placing ~70% in NLJ 250 (with last year at 54%), and even then Cornell was only 8% back. Granted, perhaps that number differential is magnified in V100 but to claim it is some huge amount is clearly not supported by any numbers shown as of yet.

Personally, off of the NLJ numbers we have, a ~10% difference in biglaw class placement does not (to me) justify taking out 150K in loans (If it were biglaw I was going for). That is a calculus I make personally, and which every person needs to make personally. But lets at least get the numbers out there...

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Re: Cornell w/120K versus Columbia at sticker

Postby Jules Winnfield » Mon Mar 15, 2010 1:37 pm

!
Last edited by Jules Winnfield on Sat Mar 27, 2010 4:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Cornell w/120K versus Columbia at sticker

Postby Dignan » Mon Mar 15, 2010 1:52 pm

of Benito Cereno wrote:Also, after reading this thread I asked two family friends who were over for dinner at my parents last night, one of whom is a senior partner at Wachtell and the other a partner at Covington and both of whom have in the past been involved in recruitment, their opinion of the career options of Cornell grads in this economy etc. Both couldn't believe anyone would consider going to Cornell over CLS no matter how much scholarship offered unless you're looking to take up a job at a family firm or work in some low paying but not prestigious field of law, such as local divorce law or local DA.

You should ask your family friends to join this thread. That way, I can be called a clueless idiot by people on both sides of this debate. :)

Seriously, Benito, thank you for sharing the anecdote.

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Re: Cornell w/120K versus Columbia at sticker

Postby AngryAvocado » Mon Mar 15, 2010 1:58 pm

djgoldbe wrote:
AngryAvocado wrote:
HiLine wrote:When it comes down to T14 less HYS, I don't think the school's reputation matters more than how you perform relatively in your class. Going to Cornell probably will make you a higher-ranked law student and thus a more desirable one to employers. Taking into account the ~135K debt difference, I don't see why you would choose otherwise.


Lay prestige might significantly drop off after HYS, but reputation absolutely matters in hiring. Take a look at some of stats and figures in this thread and you'll see there are substantial differences between a school like CLS and a school like Cornell (hell, there are significant differences between schools like CLS and schools like MVP for that matter). Look at the V100 hiring numbers (http://lawfirmaddict.blogspot.com/2006/ ... ement.html) from a few years back and check out how CLS placed 80% in V100 to Cornell's 43%. There are pretty drastic differences even within the T14 in placement, and that's what I think a lot of the Cornell proponents are overlooking. The people that suggest this is a no-brainer in favor of Cornell keep accusing everyone else of prestige whoring, and yet nobody has posted any persuasive evidence that Cornell and Columbia even resemble equals when it comes to placement in any arena.


Perhaps you missed that link is for summer associates? Perhaps more people who attend/already live in NYC would take a summer job in V100 (the majority of which are in NYC / Chicago / DC) than those who don't live there? Which would also explain why Cornell is higher than Mich or UVA...

The most recent info I can find of actual hiring would be:

http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNL ... hbxlogin=1

Which puts CLS at 54% to Cornell's 41%, a 13% difference. Numbers pre-recession were similar (actually less) in difference

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=108517

With 2008 seeing 70% to 62%, an 8% difference.

In 2005:

http://pdfserver.amlaw.com/nlj/20080414 ... trends.pdf

It was about a 7% difference.

That is obviously for NLJ 250 not Vault 100, which I could not find compiled numbers for. Again, I don't really see this as all that relevant to the OP's concerns but if you're going to accuse people of not bringing up placement numbers you cannot come back with summer associate numbers. Anyone who has looked at placement numbers knows CLS isn't placing 80% of its class in V100. Even at its peak it was only placing ~70% in NLJ 250 (with last year at 54%), and even then Cornell was only 8% back. Granted, perhaps that number differential is magnified in V100 but to claim it is some huge amount is clearly not supported by any numbers shown as of yet.

Personally, off of the NLJ numbers we have, a ~10% difference in biglaw class placement does not (to me) justify taking out 150K in loans (If it were biglaw I was going for). That is a calculus I make personally, and which every person needs to make personally. But lets at least get the numbers out there...


I love how people keep posting the 2009 data (the year of the "no-offers") as if it is doctrine, especially when we haven't even seen the '09 clerkship data. But anyhow, I'll bite. If you look at raw NLJ 250 placement, the difference of around 10-15% during the boom years is still (I'd argue) significant--though not nearly as drastic as the differences in placement in V50 and V100 firms. But, for one of the two types of law OP is talking about (appelate lit), the placement into "elite" firms is undoubtedly a much better indicator of how well CLS does vs. Cornell than just raw NLJ250 stats. As others have noted, app lit firms & boutiques are some of the most competitive firms to break into, and the just browsing through the links chuckbass posted suggest that CLS enjoys far more than a 10-15% advantage there. I would also argue that elite PI is similar in that "elite" firm placement is probably a better indicator than NLJ250, and I think chuckbass' links support that also, but it is obviously a bit harder to quantify.

To sum up, though, you're right that raw biglaw placement is probably the one area where Cornell is comparable (though still significantly weaker) to Columbia. As you go higher and higher up the food chain, however, the difference becomes markedly more drastic.

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Re: Cornell w/120K versus Columbia at sticker

Postby Dignan » Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:02 pm

elmagic wrote:LOL at this whole thread.

Brief summary:
OP makes thread hoping everyone votes for Columbia so he can sleep better at night
Majority votes for Cornell
OP defends choice

Actually, I started this thread in the hopes that someone would talk me into going to Cornell. As many have said, $120K is a lot of money to turn down. I am genuinely on the fence here.

Although Cornell has more votes in the poll, the Columbia people are, it seems to me, making stronger arguments. I'd love for someone to make a good case for Cornell--something more than just "it's a T14 and an Ivy League school."

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Re: Cornell w/120K versus Columbia at sticker

Postby Jules Winnfield » Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:16 pm

.
Last edited by Jules Winnfield on Sat Mar 27, 2010 4:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Cornell w/120K versus Columbia at sticker

Postby imchuckbass58 » Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:27 pm

Jules Winnfield wrote:Also, you said you don't want to practice transactional law and, should you pursue a CLS education, you'll most likely have to practice transactional law (ie-BIGLAW) if, not for anything else, to be off your debt.


Transactional law does not equal biglaw. There are substantial amounts of biglaw work that are not transactional.

Most biglaw firms have two main practice areas: transactional and litigation. Transactional mostly involves structuring deals or other transaction where nobody is being sued - M&A, bankruptcy, equity/debt issuance, PE fund formation, etc.

Litigation involves actually suing people (or being sued) and either fighting it out in court or in motion practice - commercial lit, antitrust, white collar, IP, arbitration etc. All this is not transactional work, even though it is done by biglaw firms.

There are also other smaller areas of biglaw practice that are not transactional - trusts and estates, regulatory, etc.

Also, OP says he wants to do appellate lit, elite PI or intellectual property. If he does PI, Columbia's LRAP is pretty great and will take care of him. If he does appellate lit or IP, he will either work for a biglaw firm or a small boutique that operates like a biglaw firm (in terms of salary, hierarchy, hours, etc.) since those are the only firms that do that type of work.

OP should correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding is he does not want to do transactional work, not that he doesn't want to work in biglaw period.

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Re: Cornell w/120K versus Columbia at sticker

Postby Jules Winnfield » Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:32 pm

.
Last edited by Jules Winnfield on Sat Mar 27, 2010 4:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Cornell w/120K versus Columbia at sticker

Postby djgoldbe » Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:33 pm

I love how people keep posting the 2009 data (the year of the "no-offers") as if it is doctrine, especially when we haven't even seen the '09 clerkship data. But anyhow, I'll bite. If you look at raw NLJ 250 placement, the difference of around 10-15% during the boom years is still (I'd argue) significant--though not nearly as drastic as the differences in placement in V50 and V100 firms. But, for one of the two types of law OP is talking about (appelate lit), the placement into "elite" firms is undoubtedly a much better indicator of how well CLS does vs. Cornell than just raw NLJ250 stats. As others have noted, app lit firms & boutiques are some of the most competitive firms to break into, and the just browsing through the links chuckbass posted suggest that CLS enjoys far more than a 10-15% advantage there. I would also argue that elite PI is similar in that "elite" firm placement is probably a better indicator than NLJ250, and I think chuckbass' links support that also, but it is obviously a bit harder to quantify.

To sum up, though, you're right that raw biglaw placement is probably the one area where Cornell is comparable (though still significantly weaker) to Columbia. As you go higher and higher up the food chain, however, the difference becomes markedly more drastic.


I would like to see some firm compilations of V50 and V100. Based off of appelate lit and what chuckbass posted, I would say CLS may have significantly more than Cornell, but not necessarily many more than (or as many as) Georgetown or Texas, which leads me to believe (as I said before) that it is more of the students selection and the institutions focus rather than any difference in prestige.

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Re: Cornell w/120K versus Columbia at sticker

Postby of Benito Cereno » Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:13 pm

Jules Winnfield wrote:
imchuckbass58 wrote:
Jules Winnfield wrote:Also, you said you don't want to practice transactional law and, should you pursue a CLS education, you'll most likely have to practice transactional law (ie-BIGLAW) if, not for anything else, to be off your debt.


Transactional law does not equal biglaw. There are substantial amounts of biglaw work that are not transactional.

Most biglaw firms have two main practice areas: transactional and litigation. Transactional mostly involves structuring deals or other transaction where nobody is being sued - M&A, bankruptcy, equity/debt issuance, PE fund formation, etc.

Litigation involves actually suing people (or being sued) and either fighting it out in court or in motion practice - commercial lit, antitrust, white collar, IP, arbitration etc. All this is not transactional work, even though it is done by biglaw firms.

There are also other smaller areas of biglaw practice that are not transactional - trusts and estates, regulatory, etc.

Also, OP says he wants to do appellate lit or PI. If he does PI, Columbia's LRAP is pretty great and will take care of him. If he does appellate lit, he will either work for a biglaw firm or a small boutique that operates like a biglaw firm (in terms of salary, hierarchy, hours, etc.) since those are the only firms that do that type of work.

OP should correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding is he does not want to do transactional work, not that he doesn't want to work in biglaw period.


Would that really be sensible for him to go into PI and sink in 6-figures just for CLS's LRAP? When he could do the same for free and get into Cornell's LRAP?

And thanks for clearing up the BIGLAW structure. I must admit that I'm not BIGLAW inclined but I knew that a sizeable part of BIGLAW is transactional. Whatever the case, thanks for your insight.

the problem is that people tend to assume that just because PI doesn't pay well that the jobs are easy to get. its actually the exact opposite. good PI jobs at NGOs, government agencies, DA offices etc are really really really competitive. BIGLAW isn't actually that competitive compared to PI work. If PI is the goal you should almost always go to the highest ranked schools. You're just not going to get a decent PI position coming out of cornell unless you're really highly ranked and even then you're fighting for very few positions against the best students from T10 schools. If PI is the goal then CLS is a great option, its placement is way way better than cornell in a much wider range of PI areas and has great LRAP. I mean in order for your arguments to hold you would need to have some evidence that cornell is a relatively safe bet for PI work. I agree that 120k is a lot of money but most people who get into columbia can get a similar amounts from schools between 9 and 25. And to be frank Cornell's PI opportunities are closer to a school like Vandy or Illinois or GWU than Columbia. So if the argument is: take the 120k because it gives you the freedom to do lots of interesting PI work instead of getting stuck doing transactional law I just don't see any evidence that a cornell JD + less debt = lots of PI options. In fact, one of the biggest draws of schools like NYU and Columbia is their ability to make PI careers quite possible due to their excellent PI networks/prestige and LRAp programs. If you want a career in PI then going to CLS is a fantastic option. But in the end everything here comes down to whether or not we can just assume that cornell being kinda ivy league means if you graduate with only 60k in debt you'll be free to do good PI work. But in the end, it seems that using your logic nobody should go to CCN schools, since all those students could likely graduate with 120-70k less debt at a school in the top20 (and frankly Cornell has more in common in this economy and outside of NY biglaw with top20 than top6 schools).




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