Columbia v. Duke $$ v. Cornell $$$$

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

Where should I go?

Poll ended at Thu Mar 25, 2010 6:47 pm

Columbia at sticker
22
27%
Duke with 67,500
23
28%
Cornell with 120,000
37
45%
 
Total votes: 82

helpmepick
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Columbia v. Duke $$ v. Cornell $$$$

Postby helpmepick » Mon Mar 15, 2010 6:47 pm

I need some serious help picking between these schools! I like them all for very different reasons.

Some general background: I am very debt averse. I am not sure exactly what type of work I want to do. I entered this whole thing wanting to be a prosecutor, but as of late I'm not sure that is the path I want to take. I do want to do some sort of litigation. I also know that I don't want to go into transactional work or IP, nor do I want to be wed to biglaw upon graduation. I want to practice in NYC.


My specific thoughts on each:

Columbia is clearly the best school I have gotten into. Unfortunately, it is also clearly the most expensive. I am a native New Yorker and thus wasn't too enthused at the prospect of going to law school in the city, as I wanted to go somewhere different for a few years. I also don't think that I'm making that big of a sacrifice by going to a lower ranked school because my goal is not biglaw, and I do not want to be carrying around massive amounts of debt.

Cornell is offering me an unbelievable amount of cash. I am also a Cornell undergrad currently, which is a good and bad thing. I love Cornell, and I have very strong ties to my alma mater. I believe my options coming out of Cornell will not be significantly worse than those ill have at Columbia. However, seven years in one place, especially Ithaca, is lot. I have a feeling that going to a different school could broaden my horizons in some ways.

Duke, financially, is somewhere in between Columbia and Cornell. Their scholarship, while generous, doesn't come as close to Cornell's offer as I'd be comfortable with. However, it is still significantly cheaper than Columbia. It seems to be the best of both worlds, as it is ranked higher and (from what I can tell) offers slightly better employment opportunities than Cornell, but would still give me a chance to save some money rather than pay sticker for Columbia. I'd also be able to move somewhere new and develop a new network (not to mention, live in warmer weather!)

Any thoughts would be appreciated :)

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devilishangelrjp
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Re: Columbia v. Duke $$ v. Cornell $$$$

Postby devilishangelrjp » Mon Mar 15, 2010 6:51 pm

Seems like you already know what you want...You haven't really told us why Duke might be a bad choice for you...

orphanarium
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Re: Columbia v. Duke $$ v. Cornell $$$$

Postby orphanarium » Mon Mar 15, 2010 6:53 pm

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Last edited by orphanarium on Sun Feb 13, 2011 9:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

tropskys
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Re: Columbia v. Duke $$ v. Cornell $$$$

Postby tropskys » Mon Mar 15, 2010 6:56 pm

If you're debt averse and do not know which type of law you'd like to practice, I say Cornell or Duke (if you can get them to offer you a bigger scholarship). Cost of living in the Triangle (Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill) is MUCH less expensive than living in NY so at least you'd save some money there.

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thickfreakness
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Re: Columbia v. Duke $$ v. Cornell $$$$

Postby thickfreakness » Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:08 pm

Try to negotiate the Duke offer up using the Cornell cash. Duke could still be worthwhile if they don't move the offer up a lot, it just depends on how averse you are to spending 7 straight years in Ithaca.

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wadeny
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Re: Columbia v. Duke $$ v. Cornell $$$$

Postby wadeny » Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:51 pm

I would have to think you could get some extra $ from Duke with that Cornell offer, but I think Cornell is probably the better deal in the end. It's only 3 more years in Ithaca, and you should be able to find work somewhere else in the summer anyway.

reverendt
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Re: Columbia v. Duke $$ v. Cornell $$$$

Postby reverendt » Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:55 pm

If you go to duke, you're gonna pay alot of money to get about the same options you'd have at Cornell.
Is the change of scenery worth it for you?
If you just want a nice legal job, go to cornell....

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im_blue
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Re: Columbia v. Duke $$ v. Cornell $$$$

Postby im_blue » Mon Mar 15, 2010 8:50 pm

Some good information in this thread, 7 pages and counting...viewtopic.php?f=1&t=110792

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soullesswonder
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Re: Columbia v. Duke $$ v. Cornell $$$$

Postby soullesswonder » Mon Mar 15, 2010 8:55 pm

reverendt wrote:If you go to duke, you're gonna pay alot of money to get about the same options you'd have at Cornell.
Is the change of scenery worth it for you?
If you just want a nice legal job, go to cornell....


Cornell's recent placement has been closer to USC than to Duke.

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KMaine
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Re: Columbia v. Duke $$ v. Cornell $$$$

Postby KMaine » Mon Mar 15, 2010 8:58 pm

Cornell ended up offering me about 3X as much money as Duke did last year. Duke would not budge on their initial offer. However, it seems like your numbers may be superior to mine. I ended up going to Cornell, but probably would have gone to Duke had they matched. Can understand wanting to get out of Ithaca, but right now your $ is a pretty wide difference for peer? schools. Good luck with your choice. I voted Cornell.

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chutzpah
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Re: Columbia v. Duke $$ v. Cornell $$$$

Postby chutzpah » Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:51 pm

I voted for Cornell based on the fact that you are debt averse and want to practice in NYC. Duke may have better overall placement, but how does it fare specifically in NY?

However, I highly recommend trying out a new place, especially if you plan to return to NY after graduation. I grew up in the city and went to UVA for undergrad and I'm so glad I had that experience. But it was annoying having to explain to people back home that UVA was not the University of Vermont. Duke just won't have the same name recognition as Cornell does.

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soullesswonder
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Re: Columbia v. Duke $$ v. Cornell $$$$

Postby soullesswonder » Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:31 am

chutzpah wrote:I voted for Cornell based on the fact that you are debt averse and want to practice in NYC. Duke may have better overall placement, but how does it fare specifically in NY?

However, I highly recommend trying out a new place, especially if you plan to return to NY after graduation. I grew up in the city and went to UVA for undergrad and I'm so glad I had that experience. But it was annoying having to explain to people back home that UVA was not the University of Vermont. Duke just won't have the same name recognition as Cornell does.


There's a HUGE difference between the lay prestige of state/directional schools and private schools like Duke, so your analogy is very poor. Last time I checked, more Duke grads took the NY Bar than any other bar exam, and Duke is infamous for having a UG full of Northern carpetbaggers. Trust me, it has name recognition.

Where the hell is Bosque when you need him?

insidethetwenty
Posts: 221
Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2008 8:00 pm

Re: Columbia v. Duke $$ v. Cornell $$$$

Postby insidethetwenty » Tue Mar 16, 2010 9:55 am

chutzpah wrote:I voted for Cornell based on the fact that you are debt averse and want to practice in NYC. Duke may have better overall placement, but how does it fare specifically in NY?

However, I highly recommend trying out a new place, especially if you plan to return to NY after graduation. I grew up in the city and went to UVA for undergrad and I'm so glad I had that experience. But it was annoying having to explain to people back home that UVA was not the University of Vermont. Duke just won't have the same name recognition as Cornell does.


Duke places quite well in NYC, actually. Does it place enough better to forgo an extra 50k at Cornell? Probably not...

Duke will have roughly the same name recognition of Cornell. Yes, Cornell is an Ivy, but Duke is recognized at least as well. Not that it matters, anyway, because law firm hiring partners know how important Duke is in relation to Cornell, and that's what's important.

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chutzpah
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Re: Columbia v. Duke $$ v. Cornell $$$$

Postby chutzpah » Tue Mar 16, 2010 10:19 am

Did you really just call UVA a directional school?

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soullesswonder
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Re: Columbia v. Duke $$ v. Cornell $$$$

Postby soullesswonder » Tue Mar 16, 2010 10:27 am

chutzpah wrote:Did you really just call UVA a directional school?


no, I was referring to it as a state school while noting that directional schools (I was thinking of Northwestern) get the same treatment




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