Cornell, UCLA, or Texas?

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

Cost of Tuition & Fees for '10-'11: Cornell ($45k) v. UCLA ($27k) v. Texas ($19k)

Cornell ($45k/year)
18
35%
UCLA ($27k/year)
24
46%
Texas ($19k/year)
10
19%
 
Total votes: 52

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law&golf
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Cornell, UCLA, or Texas?

Postby law&golf » Thu May 13, 2010 3:12 pm

NOTE: DOLLAR AMOUNTS ARE COST OF TUITION AND FEES FOR '10-'11, NOT SCHOLARSHIP AMOUNTS.

I am down to my final three schools, having just received my scholarship offer from Cornell today. I'm planning on working BigLaw (if possible) for a few years after finishing law school, but don't want unending debt.

Cornell is offering a measly $7k per year, especially considering their already astronomical tuition. For tuition & fees debt estimation after 3 years (ignoring accumulated interest and cost of living), I came up with approximately $145k.

UCLA is offering $23.5k per year, and I can achieve residency (and thus in-state tuition) after my 1L year. For a comparable T&F debt, UCLA would leave me with roughly $74k.

Texas is offering non-resident tuition exemption plus ~$10k per year. Texas would be about $60k T&F debt.

I guess my biggest question is whether or not Cornell is "that" much better than Texas or UCLA, and whether it's justifiable to spend more than $70k more to go to Cornell over UCLA or Texas. Should where I want to practice be my bigger concern making this decision? Should I ignore the debt if I think BigLaw is feasible?
Last edited by law&golf on Thu May 13, 2010 4:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Holly Golightly
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Re: Cornell, UCLA, or Texas?

Postby Holly Golightly » Thu May 13, 2010 3:14 pm

The big question is, where do you want to work?

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law&golf
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Re: Cornell, UCLA, or Texas?

Postby law&golf » Thu May 13, 2010 3:19 pm

I'm not 100% sold one way or the other. I probably like LA best. If I went to Cornell, I would try to return to work in Chicago (my hometown) though I would not be disappointed or opposed to working in NYC. I have a lot of friends and family in Austin and Dallas as well, though Dallas is less preferable to LA, Chicago, or NYC.

Rawlsian
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Re: Cornell, UCLA, or Texas?

Postby Rawlsian » Thu May 13, 2010 3:21 pm

Holly Golightly wrote:The big question is, where do you want to work?


I agree with this. You asked if Cornell is that much better, but a better question would be 'is Cornell is a better school?' For all intents and purposes they appear to be peers. Have you visited any of them? Where do you what to work?

UCLAtransfer
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Re: Cornell, UCLA, or Texas?

Postby UCLAtransfer » Thu May 13, 2010 3:23 pm

I think where you want to work is going to be the deciding factor. If its not NY, then UCLA or Texas would make a lot of sense with that little debt. Unless you know you want to work in NY, I personally don't think that the huge difference in cost for Cornell is worth it.

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Holly Golightly
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Re: Cornell, UCLA, or Texas?

Postby Holly Golightly » Thu May 13, 2010 3:24 pm

law&golf wrote:I'm not 100% sold one way or the other. I probably like LA best. If I went to Cornell, I would try to return to work in Chicago (my hometown) though I would not be disappointed or opposed to working in NYC. I have a lot of friends and family in Austin and Dallas as well, though Dallas is less preferable to LA, Chicago, or NYC.

Based on this, I vote for UCLA. I think Cornell would really only be worth the extra debt if you were NYC or bust (or maybe if you were set on returning to Chicago).

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law&golf
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Re: Cornell, UCLA, or Texas?

Postby law&golf » Thu May 13, 2010 3:28 pm

By preference, I'd say: LA > Chicago > NYC > Dallas. Part of my concern is also job prospects: I'd much rather be employed in BigLaw in NYC than struggling to find a job in LA. I'm not sure if it's accurate but I get the sense that if I go to Cornell, I'd have a good shot for work in either NYC or Chicago (though to a much lesser extent), whereas I feel UCLA and Texas constrain me to LA and Dallas, respectively. Is that a fair assessment?

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Holly Golightly
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Re: Cornell, UCLA, or Texas?

Postby Holly Golightly » Thu May 13, 2010 3:31 pm

law&golf wrote:By preference, I'd say: LA > Chicago > NYC > Dallas. Part of my concern is also job prospects: I'd much rather be employed in BigLaw in NYC than struggling to find a job in LA. I'm not sure if it's accurate but I get the sense that if I go to Cornell, I'd have a good shot for work in either NYC or Chicago (though to a much lesser extent), whereas I feel UCLA and Texas constrain me to LA and Dallas, respectively. Is that a fair assessment?

I would agree that UCLA and Texas are more regional than Cornell, but as far as I know they do have awesome pull in LA and Dallas.

keg411
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Re: Cornell, UCLA, or Texas?

Postby keg411 » Thu May 13, 2010 3:48 pm

Holly Golightly wrote:
law&golf wrote:By preference, I'd say: LA > Chicago > NYC > Dallas. Part of my concern is also job prospects: I'd much rather be employed in BigLaw in NYC than struggling to find a job in LA. I'm not sure if it's accurate but I get the sense that if I go to Cornell, I'd have a good shot for work in either NYC or Chicago (though to a much lesser extent), whereas I feel UCLA and Texas constrain me to LA and Dallas, respectively. Is that a fair assessment?

I would agree that UCLA and Texas are more regional than Cornell, but as far as I know they do have awesome pull in LA and Dallas.


Holly has it exactly right. If you are okay with being in-region, UCLA and Texas are excellent schools. If you really want NYC/CHI and mobility in general, then you need to go to Cornell.

If LA is your #1 market, then go to UCLA.

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malfurion
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Re: Cornell, UCLA, or Texas?

Postby malfurion » Thu May 13, 2010 4:01 pm

Is cost of living included in your numbers? If not, that makes the total cost at Texas substantially less than the other two. Unless you badly want California, I don't see how it makes any sense to pick UCLA over Texas here. I also don't think the difference between Cornell and Texas justifies the extra cost, but that's a closer decision.

In summary, if location doesn't matter I go Texas > Cornell > UCLA in this spot. If location matters, then pick the one in the location you want.

tranandy
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Re: Cornell, UCLA, or Texas?

Postby tranandy » Thu May 13, 2010 4:08 pm

Do you like to play golf as your name suggests? Because you can play golf over 300 days a year in LA or Austin, but not so much in Ithaca.

If LA is your preferred market, I would go with UCLA given the differences in cost. UCLA has got LA covered and reach all over the west coast. With your ties to Chicago, you would have a decent chance of returning to Chicago with above average grades from UCLA. Some of the major Chicago firms like Kirkland and Winston interview there.

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law&golf
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Re: Cornell, UCLA, or Texas?

Postby law&golf » Thu May 13, 2010 4:12 pm

malfurion wrote:Is cost of living included in your numbers?


No, it isn't. If it were, Texas would be approximately $30k cheaper than UCLA over the 3 years. Location isn't everything, but it does matter. I really like Austin, but don't like Dallas/Houston as much and it seems more likely I end up there than remain in Austin if I go to UT.

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law&golf
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Re: Cornell, UCLA, or Texas?

Postby law&golf » Thu May 13, 2010 4:17 pm

tranandy wrote:Do you like to play golf as your name suggests? Because you can play golf over 300 days a year in LA or Austin, but not so much in Ithaca.


Yes I do. I've been playing since I was 3 and played D-1 college golf. It's a big factor for me behind the scenes, but I want to be sure I don't compromise my career prospects continuing to play a game that I've tried (and can't) make a living at. I've actually declined another couple T14 acceptances simply because golf wouldn't be possible, and frankly Cornell wouldn't be on my list if I didn't enjoy the surroundings. The cold is a definite turn-off, however.

woeisme
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Re: Cornell, UCLA, or Texas?

Postby woeisme » Thu May 13, 2010 4:26 pm

Cornell is the safest of these and will give you the best shot at biglaw. UCLA would probably have the most connections to Los Angeles. Not sure that UT is worth considering given your options and preferences.

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law&golf
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Re: Cornell, UCLA, or Texas?

Postby law&golf » Thu May 13, 2010 4:33 pm

woeisme wrote:Cornell is the safest of these and will give you the best shot at biglaw.


As an interesting hypothetical, I have some interest in the San Francisco area. Granted it'll be tough either way because it is not a huge legal market and Berkeley/Stanford are both in the area, I'm curious as to whether UCLA or Cornell would have better career prospects there.

de5igual
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Re: Cornell, UCLA, or Texas?

Postby de5igual » Thu May 13, 2010 4:44 pm

law&golf wrote:
woeisme wrote:Cornell is the safest of these and will give you the best shot at biglaw.


As an interesting hypothetical, I have some interest in the San Francisco area. Granted it'll be tough either way because it is not a huge legal market and Berkeley/Stanford are both in the area, I'm curious as to whether UCLA or Cornell would have better career prospects there.


http://californiabar.globl.org/report.php?mi=lawschool&ma=city&miv=&mav=San+Francisco&fn=li&li=30&g=2&pp=5

looks like ucla has a slightly larger network in SF, although both aren't good choices for SF, due in part to the huge competition in the area and also the lack of ties to the area.

edit: your poll is a little misleading. a lot of people are voting the way they are because it looks like cornell is offering you $45K in scholly vs ucla and texas giving much less

CanadianWolf
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Re: Cornell, UCLA, or Texas?

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu May 13, 2010 4:51 pm

I can't offer any additional insights beyond the above suggestions, but I am curious as to which other Top 14 law schools you declined.

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law&golf
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Re: Cornell, UCLA, or Texas?

Postby law&golf » Thu May 13, 2010 4:52 pm

f0bolous wrote:
law&golf wrote:
woeisme wrote:Cornell is the safest of these and will give you the best shot at biglaw.


As an interesting hypothetical, I have some interest in the San Francisco area. Granted it'll be tough either way because it is not a huge legal market and Berkeley/Stanford are both in the area, I'm curious as to whether UCLA or Cornell would have better career prospects there.


http://californiabar.globl.org/report.php?mi=lawschool&ma=city&miv=&mav=San+Francisco&fn=li&li=30&g=2&pp=5

looks like ucla has a slightly larger network in SF, although both aren't good choices for SF, due in part to the huge competition in the area and also the lack of ties to the area.

edit: your poll is a little misleading. a lot of people are voting the way they are because it looks like cornell is offering you $45K in scholly vs ucla and texas giving much less


I know that SF wouldn't be optimal for either school, just curious regarding mobility of either school and whether some degree of geographic proximity makes a difference.

Thanks for the heads up regarding the poll, I've added a couple disclaimers to clarify & it's fully explained in my initial message.

d34d9823
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Re: Cornell, UCLA, or Texas?

Postby d34d9823 » Thu May 13, 2010 4:55 pm

I would go off the reasoning here, your poll is gonna be fucked up because you did the numbers backwards compared to what TLS is used to seeing.

I would say Texas>UCLA>>>Cornell in evaluating your money/school combos. That said, If you want LA (or CA in general), pick UCLA.

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law&golf
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Re: Cornell, UCLA, or Texas?

Postby law&golf » Thu May 13, 2010 4:57 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:I can't offer any additional insights beyond the above suggestions, but I am curious as to which other Top 14 law schools you declined.


I got accepted at Georgetown and Michigan. In an effort to avoid inciting the type of riots I've seen on some of these other boards, I'm going to say it was just a matter of personal preference that I've declined both of these offers :lol:

woeisme
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Re: Cornell, UCLA, or Texas?

Postby woeisme » Thu May 13, 2010 4:59 pm

f0bolous wrote:
law&golf wrote:
woeisme wrote:Cornell is the safest of these and will give you the best shot at biglaw.


As an interesting hypothetical, I have some interest in the San Francisco area. Granted it'll be tough either way because it is not a huge legal market and Berkeley/Stanford are both in the area, I'm curious as to whether UCLA or Cornell would have better career prospects there.


http://californiabar.globl.org/report.php?mi=lawschool&ma=city&miv=&mav=San+Francisco&fn=li&li=30&g=2&pp=5

looks like ucla has a slightly larger network in SF, although both aren't good choices for SF, due in part to the huge competition in the area and also the lack of ties to the area.

edit: your poll is a little misleading. a lot of people are voting the way they are because it looks like cornell is offering you $45K in scholly vs ucla and texas giving much less


No, I think if people thought that that's what the post was saying then everyone would vote Cornell! Also, looking at pure numbers isn't helpful, given the difference in class sizes.

OP, I'd say it's probably about a wash in San Fran. Some firms will certainly prefer Cornell, others will have stronger allegiances to UCLA.

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law&golf
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Re: Cornell, UCLA, or Texas?

Postby law&golf » Thu May 13, 2010 5:00 pm

d34dluk3 wrote:I would go off the reasoning here, your poll is gonna be fucked up because you did the numbers backwards compared to what TLS is used to seeing.


Sorry guys, this is my first poll on here. I did it this way because tuition can vary so much between schools even in the T14 (~$39k in-state at UVa vs. ~$52k at Cornell). Hopefully the disclaimer will clear things up a little going forward.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Cornell, UCLA, or Texas?

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu May 13, 2010 5:02 pm

In that case, I would like to change my vote to Michigan because it offers the most portable degree of all schools to which you were accepted.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Thu May 13, 2010 5:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

februaryftw
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Re: Cornell, UCLA, or Texas?

Postby februaryftw » Thu May 13, 2010 5:03 pm

Call back Michigan and tell her you didn't mean it.

d34d9823
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Re: Cornell, UCLA, or Texas?

Postby d34d9823 » Thu May 13, 2010 5:11 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:In that case, I would like to change my vote to Michigan because it offers the most portable degree of all schools to which you were accepted.
februaryftw wrote:Call back Michigan and tell her you didn't mean it.

+1




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