Page 1 of 1

Cornell vs. UCLA

Posted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 5:00 pm
by devonwhitham
I plan on practicing public interest/labor/immigration law and have been accepted to UCLA's David J Epstein program and Cornell. I love SoCal weather, Westwood, my mother and sister live who live in LA, and I love that the city is on the front lines of the immigrant right's movement. However, I am not entirely sure that I want to live in California forever. I am originally from Massachusetts and my parents have recently separated, my mom moving to LA and my dad staying East. After high school I went to college outside of LA and stayed there for 2 years, before moving to DC for a fellowship. My heart is torn between coasts--I have good friends and family on BOTH SIDES, and I am not comfortable committing to one coast or city at this point. That said, my professional interests lie in immigration/labor policy, and the Southwest is ground zero for much of the work I'm interested in.

I don't like the idea of living in Ithaca for 3 years. I'm from a similar town (Amherst, Ma) and though I'm sure I'd love the beauty and liberal town culture, I have spent the last 7 years in big cities and don't want to spend my mid-twenties in a small town. Furthermore, though I do love to ski and have missed that quite a bit, I think Ithaca winters would be REALLY hard for me after spending 6 years in LA and 1 in mild Washington DC.

I have been generously rewarded (i kid) all of $1,100/yr from UCLA and have yet to hear back from Cornell on $$, but lets assume they offer me a similar pittance. Let's also assume that I do not qualify for in-state tuition at UCLA for this first year (I'm praying otherwise because I am still registered to vote in Cali and paid income taxes to the state of Cali in hopes that I could claim residency. However, so far I haven't gotten any secure answers on this from UCLA--they won't tell me whether I qualify for in-state residency until AFTER I put down a deposit. Nice.) Either way, UCLA will come out somewhat cheaper because I will be sure to establish residency for my second and third year, and I know how to live cheaply in LA already.

So I'm leaning UCLA. But my big concern is that I won't be able to change my mind after law school and find a job back east.

Any thoughts/insights appreciated. This shit is so stressful!

Re: Cornell vs. UCLA

Posted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 5:03 pm
by CanadianWolf
If you want to work in the Southwest US, then UCLA is the clear choice. And, since you prefer large cities & don't want to live in a rural area for the next three years, the choice should be obvious to you. Congratulations on being admitted to two great law schools.

Re: Cornell vs. UCLA

Posted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 5:04 pm
by FlightoftheEarls
Either can get you to the other coast with good grades, but they each place predominantly in their coast.

Pick a coast, but it sounds like you already have. Enjoy UCLA!

Re: Cornell vs. UCLA

Posted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 5:05 pm
by cardinalandgold
FlightoftheEarls wrote:Either can get you to the other coast with good grades, but they each place predominantly in their coast.

Pick a coast, but it sounds like you already have. Enjoy UCLA!

+1 Sounds like you would be happier at UCLA.

Re: Cornell vs. UCLA

Posted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 5:07 pm
by devonwhitham
Thanks FlightoftheEarls! I think you're right, I (mostly) have. Just want to make sure I'm not "crazy". I know how big of a deal the whole T14 thing is, and I just wanted to check with all you wise souls to make sure I wasn't being short-sited.

Re: Cornell vs. UCLA

Posted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 5:07 pm
by devonwhitham
Thank you all! Any Cornell enthusiasts, I still want to hear from you!

Re: Cornell vs. UCLA

Posted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 5:53 pm
by Hopefullawstudent
devonwhitham wrote:Thank you all! Any Cornell enthusiasts, I still want to hear from you!


Here's one: Go to UCLA!

Re: Cornell vs. UCLA

Posted: Fri Apr 30, 2010 6:53 am
by superflush
Why are we calling SoCal the "Southwest"?
Anyway, neither of them are bad choices.

And correct me if I'm wrong, but if you do well enough at UCLA, you should be able to get something on the east coast, especially a few years out of school, right?

Re: Cornell vs. UCLA

Posted: Fri Apr 30, 2010 7:19 am
by roundabout
Go to UCLA. I just decided against it, but it was so, so hard- it was different for me, because I had no interest in SoCal and got into a great school closer to home. Still, it was dang hard, because the Epstein program (which they call PILP, incidentally, and which I was also admitted to) sounds so amazing.

I knew some friends of friends in the Epstein program and they are an absolutely amazing group of people. They are effusive about opportunities both at UCLA and after for people in the program, and not a single one wished s/he was anywhere else. They also said they have no problem placing in other cities (I don't know about UCLA generally, but Epstein has a dedicated set of advisors that work their butts off to place you where you want to go- so pretty much ignore more general advice about UCLA), at least according to those I talked to, but they're 1Ls. That said, their summer placements were diverse. You should contact the Epstein advisor (they call it PILP, by the way) directly by email- she's apparently really helpful.

Last thing- after you put a seat deposit down at UCLA, ask for more money. They told me to ask again after May 1st.

Re: Cornell vs. UCLA

Posted: Fri Apr 30, 2010 8:59 am
by devonwhitham
roundabout, thanks so much for your reply. I have already asked for more $$ once with no luck, but at that point I had only heard from Fordham and UCLA. I'll let them know about Cornell and see if that helps.