Cornell vs. BU

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Cornell vs. BU

Poll ended at Sun Apr 11, 2010 3:30 pm

Cornell (95K Total Debt)
37
60%
BU (25K Total Debt)
25
40%
 
Total votes: 62

dakatz
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Cornell vs. BU

Postby dakatz » Sun Apr 04, 2010 3:29 pm

So Cornell just came through with a little scholarship, and was wondering for some opinions on this particular matchup. I also have a Chicago acceptance, but I'm pushing that aside for now so that I can do the pros/cons of just these two schools. People may have read my threads before about trying to pick a school, but I'll repeat some of the key stuff.

-I was an undergrad at BU and am very comfortable in the city. I have many friends and contacts there.
-I am from the NJ/NY area and would ideally like to work somewhere in the mid-Atlantic region upon graduation, though I wouldn't mind being in New England.
-I don't really know what I would like to do upon graduation. I'm not dead-set on biglaw or anything like that, though I wouldn't mind at least having that option available.
-I don't mind cold weather, or the environment of Ithaca. I went to visit and found the town/campus very nice and conducive to study.

Bottom line is, after calculating all my expenses and factoring in the money I saved up and the scholarships I earned, Cornell would put me around 95K in debt, and BU would leave me about 35K in debt. I am in negotiation with BU to increase this scholarship. If they bump it a sufficient amount, then the situation changes. But, I'd like to hear your thoughts on the current scenario.
Last edited by dakatz on Mon Apr 05, 2010 5:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

dakatz
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Re: Cornell vs. BU

Postby dakatz » Sun Apr 04, 2010 3:47 pm

Bumping this up so people keep voting. Thanks. Btw, Happy Easter to everyone celebrating.

dakatz
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Re: Cornell vs. BU

Postby dakatz » Sun Apr 04, 2010 4:34 pm

Hmm, seems to be real close so far. Anyone care to elaborate as to why they picked what they did? I would really appreciate it.

keg411
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Re: Cornell vs. BU

Postby keg411 » Sun Apr 04, 2010 4:44 pm

dakatz wrote:Hmm, seems to be real close so far. Anyone care to elaborate as to why they picked what they did? I would really appreciate it.


I picked Cornell, but I'm a bit biased as my sis is a 3L there and has had nothing but amazing opportunities (she is BigLaw secure). I'm guessing COL would probably also run you much cheaper in Ithaca (it is EXTREMELY cheap), so you should keep that in mind with your total COA #'s and they might be closer than just the tuition #'s appear.

However, I wouldn't think you were crazy for picking BU if you like it more, want to stay in Boston and want to take on as little debt as possible.

dakatz
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Re: Cornell vs. BU

Postby dakatz » Sun Apr 04, 2010 4:46 pm

keg411 wrote:
dakatz wrote:Hmm, seems to be real close so far. Anyone care to elaborate as to why they picked what they did? I would really appreciate it.


I picked Cornell, but I'm a bit biased as my sis is a 3L there and has had nothing but amazing opportunities (she is BigLaw secure). I'm guessing COL would probably also run you much cheaper in Ithaca (it is EXTREMELY cheap), so you should keep that in mind with your total COA #'s and they might be closer than just the tuition #'s appear.

However, I wouldn't think you were crazy for picking BU if you like it more, want to stay in Boston and want to take on as little debt as possible.


Can you tell me a bit more about your sister's experiences at Cornell? If she is biglaw secure, I'm guessing she did well? Anything she particularly liked/disliked? Sorry about all the questions, but I'm down to the wire on my time to make this decision :)

keg411
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Re: Cornell vs. BU

Postby keg411 » Sun Apr 04, 2010 5:03 pm

dakatz wrote:
keg411 wrote:
dakatz wrote:Hmm, seems to be real close so far. Anyone care to elaborate as to why they picked what they did? I would really appreciate it.


I picked Cornell, but I'm a bit biased as my sis is a 3L there and has had nothing but amazing opportunities (she is BigLaw secure). I'm guessing COL would probably also run you much cheaper in Ithaca (it is EXTREMELY cheap), so you should keep that in mind with your total COA #'s and they might be closer than just the tuition #'s appear.

However, I wouldn't think you were crazy for picking BU if you like it more, want to stay in Boston and want to take on as little debt as possible.


Can you tell me a bit more about your sister's experiences at Cornell? If she is biglaw secure, I'm guessing she did well? Anything she particularly liked/disliked? Sorry about all the questions, but I'm down to the wire on my time to make this decision :)


First off, she's lurking out there somewhere to follow me :lol:.

Edited: for Anonymity purposes

dakatz
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Re: Cornell vs. BU

Postby dakatz » Sun Apr 04, 2010 5:12 pm

keg411 wrote:
dakatz wrote:
keg411 wrote:
dakatz wrote:Hmm, seems to be real close so far. Anyone care to elaborate as to why they picked what they did? I would really appreciate it.


I picked Cornell, but I'm a bit biased as my sis is a 3L there and has had nothing but amazing opportunities (she is BigLaw secure). I'm guessing COL would probably also run you much cheaper in Ithaca (it is EXTREMELY cheap), so you should keep that in mind with your total COA #'s and they might be closer than just the tuition #'s appear.

However, I wouldn't think you were crazy for picking BU if you like it more, want to stay in Boston and want to take on as little debt as possible.


Can you tell me a bit more about your sister's experiences at Cornell? If she is biglaw secure, I'm guessing she did well? Anything she particularly liked/disliked? Sorry about all the questions, but I'm down to the wire on my time to make this decision :)


Edited

Thanks a lot for the info. I heard that Cornell students really do study hard, but I guess that is expected for law school, and it would be the case anywhere. About Chicago, its not just my numbers being borderline that scares me, its the self-proclaimed intensity, and intellectual rigor of Chicago that they are notorious for. I just don't feel like my personality/traits are a good match with that sort of environment. As much as people say "go to the best school you get into", I just can't see that applying across the board, especially if the school really doesn't seem right for me.

hooty86
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Re: Cornell vs. BU

Postby hooty86 » Sun Apr 04, 2010 6:07 pm

.
Last edited by hooty86 on Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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KMaine
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Re: Cornell vs. BU

Postby KMaine » Sun Apr 04, 2010 6:31 pm

I am not really sure why this poll is so close. IMO it is Cornell by a longshot. I am, of course, biased because I go here, but I did not even apply to BU even though I am from NE. BU has a great faculty and provides good opportunities in Boston for top students along with some limited regional/national reach. I think you are likely to have much better options coming out of Cornell.

I did pass on higher ranked schools for money at a relatively lower ranked school, but I think Cornell - BU is too much of a drop when it is not sticker v. close to free.

dakatz
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Re: Cornell vs. BU

Postby dakatz » Sun Apr 04, 2010 7:52 pm

KMaine wrote:I am not really sure why this poll is so close. IMO it is Cornell by a longshot. I am, of course, biased because I go here, but I did not even apply to BU even though I am from NE. BU has a great faculty and provides good opportunities in Boston for top students along with some limited regional/national reach. I think you are likely to have much better options coming out of Cornell.

I did pass on higher ranked schools for money at a relatively lower ranked school, but I think Cornell - BU is too much of a drop when it is not sticker v. close to free.


Can you perhaps tell me a bit more about your experiences at Cornell? Anything you particularly like/dislike? Also, any thoughts on employment prospects? Thanks.

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KMaine
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Re: Cornell vs. BU

Postby KMaine » Sun Apr 04, 2010 8:25 pm

One of the thing I like the best about Cornell is the people. I really enjoy my classmates, they are all very different but almost all very smart/interesting/amazing people.

I fell like I have had some of the best professors in the counrty. Even the most well-known take the time to make their classroom teaching top-notch and are very available to talk with their students (if you are into that).

I guess that I have worked pretty hard, but it is not like the horror stories that you hear about. Legal Writing (Lawyering) takes a little too much time, being a for-credit class here. But it is one of my strong-suits so I am kind of happy that it is graded.

I am not sure that anybody knows exactly what the job prospects will be like next year, all signs seem to point to at least somewhat better than last year. I just thought, in my estimation, I would rather take my chances here than at BC/BU (not that there is anything that I dislike about those schools).

Not all of my professors have been excellent, but I think that can be said about any place. I like Ithaca pretty well, though outside of Ithaca, there is not much up here. It is hard to think of any more negatives. The winter was more mild than I thought it would be. I really like it here and would make the same decision again.

dakatz
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Re: Cornell vs. BU

Postby dakatz » Mon Apr 05, 2010 5:19 pm

Small update today, in that BU decided to up my scholarship offer by another 10K. So that would change the equation, leaving me with only about 25K in debt out of BU. Does this tilt the scales at all? Or is the consensus to still pick Cornell with just under 100K in debt. Is there really that big a difference in employment prospects out of Cornell and BU? They are separated by only a few spots in the rankings...

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kittenmittons
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Re: Cornell vs. BU

Postby kittenmittons » Mon Apr 05, 2010 5:22 pm

If you have any inkling of biglaw, go to Cornell.

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jonas
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Re: Cornell vs. BU

Postby jonas » Mon Apr 05, 2010 5:33 pm

I know you said you didn't want to discuss Chicago, but that seems like it would be the clear winner here.

dakatz
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Re: Cornell vs. BU

Postby dakatz » Mon Apr 05, 2010 5:42 pm

jonas wrote:I know you said you didn't want to discuss Chicago, but that seems like it would be the clear winner here.


I just don't think Chicago is the environment for me for a number of reasons. I REALLY want to stay on the East Coast, and have no desire to go out mid-West. My girlfriend of 5 years can only go to either NY or Boston, but she can't come out to Chicago. I think I ultimately have to factor that in. Plus, I don't think the notorious "intellectual rigor and intensity" of that school is a match for me. ITE, I'm sure that bottom 25% of the class at Chicago is having a very hard time, and various accounts confirm this from many T-14 schools. With 6 figures of debt, and a high probability (trust me, I don't think I would really excel academically against that kind of competition), of finishing so low in my class, I just can't see how its justified for my situation. I know that people consistently say "go to the best law school you can get into", but I can't see that being applicable across the board. There needs to be some point where one goes to the best law school that is best for them.
Last edited by dakatz on Mon Apr 05, 2010 5:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

dakatz
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Re: Cornell vs. BU

Postby dakatz » Mon Apr 05, 2010 5:46 pm

kittenmittons wrote:If you have any inkling of biglaw, go to Cornell.


The most recent Go-To Law Schools list had Cornell's class of 2009 with about 41 percent going to biglaw, and about 35 percent at BU. Those numbers seem very close to me. Now, I know the real damage won't be obvious until I see class of 2011 numbers, but I would guess that the numbers would still fall (and hopefully in the next few years, rise) proportionally. And the overall difference between the two in biglaw hiring doesn't sound so huge, as you make it out to be.

SweeneyTodd
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Re: Cornell vs. BU

Postby SweeneyTodd » Mon Apr 05, 2010 6:02 pm

dakatz wrote:
jonas wrote:I know you said you didn't want to discuss Chicago, but that seems like it would be the clear winner here.


I just don't think Chicago is the environment for me for a number of reasons. I REALLY want to stay on the East Coast, and have no desire to go out mid-West. My girlfriend of 5 years can only go to either NY or Boston, but she can't come out to Chicago. I think I ultimately have to factor that in. Plus, I don't think the notorious "intellectual rigor and intensity" of that school is a match for me. ITE, I'm sure that bottom 25% of the class at Chicago is having a very hard time, and various accounts confirm this from many T-14 schools. With 6 figures of debt, and a high probability (trust me, I don't think I would really excel academically against that kind of competition), of finishing so low in my class, I just can't see how its justified for my situation. I know that people consistently say "go to the best law school you can get into", but I can't see that being applicable across the board. There needs to be some point where one goes to the best law school that is best for them.



I completely agree with the bolded response so, I voted for Cornell. As long as you know you aren't selling yourself short (i.e. competition at Chicago) I say go to the school that you feel is best for you and will still give you great opportunities.

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kittenmittons
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Re: Cornell vs. BU

Postby kittenmittons » Mon Apr 05, 2010 6:07 pm

dakatz wrote:
kittenmittons wrote:If you have any inkling of biglaw, go to Cornell.


The most recent Go-To Law Schools list had Cornell's class of 2009 with about 41 percent going to biglaw, and about 35 percent at BU. Those numbers seem very close to me. Now, I know the real damage won't be obvious until I see class of 2011 numbers, but I would guess that the numbers would still fall (and hopefully in the next few years, rise) proportionally. And the overall difference between the two in biglaw hiring doesn't sound so huge, as you make it out to be.


The NLJ 250 is a rancid metric for biglaw. The V100 (V50 really) is much better survey of firms paying market or near-market and Cornell kills BU in that.

See 2006 2L SAs: http://lawfirmaddict.blogspot.com/2007/ ... ement.html

ls10
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Re: Cornell vs. BU

Postby ls10 » Mon Apr 05, 2010 6:29 pm

dakatz wrote:Small update today, in that BU decided to up my scholarship offer by another 10K. So that would change the equation, leaving me with only about 25K in debt out of BU. Does this tilt the scales at all? Or is the consensus to still pick Cornell with just under 100K in debt. Is there really that big a difference in employment prospects out of Cornell and BU? They are separated by only a few spots in the rankings...


Although I may be biased as a 3L BU Law student, I think that you should seriously consider going to BU with a much larger scholarship over Cornell with close to 100K in debt. For one thing, your monthly payments on your loans will be SIGNIFICANTLY lower with only 25k in debt from BU compared to close to 100k from Cornell. You said you aren't dead-set on biglaw, and you would definitely have that option (for ex, I knew people with summer associate positions at firms in Boston, New York, DC, Chicago, Seattle, and San Francisco last summer), among others, coming from BU; I honestly do not think that your employment prospects will be *significantly* better coming out of Cornell than BU to justify such a difference in overall debt. Unless you are really in love with Cornell for some reason or you really want to attend a T14 or something, I don't think it's worth turning down that large of a scholarship from BU.

I love it here. It is a fantastic place to study the law and, overall, a very friendly and social environment. Although the tower is ugly, it's fine inside. More importantly, the people are incredible. If you haven't already visited BU, I would strongly suggest you do so. I'd imagine most people would like it here.

Good luck in making a decision, and congratulations on great options.

dakatz
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Re: Cornell vs. BU

Postby dakatz » Mon Apr 05, 2010 6:38 pm

Had a chance to visit BU and really liked it. The professors were great and all the students there seemed to love it. At Cornell, there wasn't a ton of interaction with students or professors so I didn't get quite as good a feel for the school. Though I had no problem with Ithaca, and the school facility itself was beautiful. I might head over to Chicago this weekend just to see what I think about it.




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