Fordham Job Prospects vs. Low T14 (ie-Cornell) Job Prospects

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shaps6
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Fordham Job Prospects vs. Low T14 (ie-Cornell) Job Prospects

Postby shaps6 » Tue Jun 01, 2010 2:10 pm

First, like several others on this forum, I am also debating between Fordham and Cornell, but I'm curious about this stuff in general, too.

I'm hearing different things from different people about a Fordham grad's job prospects.

People who graduated from a t14 generally claim that a Fordham grad will face significant challenges in trying to find a job in this economy and that a serious, career-minded student should always attend a t14 if the opportunity presents itself, regardless of award money, attachments to a certain city, or other factors that might tempt someone away from a t14. Some have even gone so far as to say that they don't know any Fordham students that have jobs this year.

Graduates of Fordham (and even its peer schools) will tell you that those people are full of it and that Fordham will get you the same kind of job (I guess we're talking about BigLaw...?) as a t14.

Both say that you have to be higher in the rankings, but the specific cutoff varies. T14 people say 10-15%, while others claim that firms hire deeper into the class.

So which is it? Does anyone know? Should someone piss on a significant Fordham scholarship to attend a lower-ranked t14 like Cornell? Is it really worth it or are those who attended a T14 sharing in some sort of elitist bias and less likely to see any other way about starting a legal career other than by attending a T14?

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KMaine
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Re: Fordham Job Prospects vs. Low T14 (ie-Cornell) Job Prospects

Postby KMaine » Tue Jun 01, 2010 4:07 pm

Nobody knows the specific cutoff in this economy. It is safe to say that Cornell will give you a somewhat better shot at Biglaw ITE than Fordham. It may also be true that the "fallback" jobs may be better at Cornell than Fordham. Plenty of lawyers have done VERY well for themselves coming out of Fordham.

How much more you are willing to pay for that increased opportunity is a matter of opinion. Many would do Fordham for half price over Cornell, some would not. The thinking there would be that you still have some shot at the best jobs, and if it does not pan out, you are in less debt.

I chose Cornell over slightly "better" schools because it was cheaper for me. Sometimes I wonder if it would have been better had I gone the other route. I won't know if my decision paid off until OCI.

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mec30
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Re: Fordham Job Prospects vs. Low T14 (ie-Cornell) Job Prospects

Postby mec30 » Tue Jun 01, 2010 4:21 pm

I ran some rough (very rough) numbers, and here is what I came up with.

I looked at Cornell's numbers vs Fordham's. I assumed no inflation and an equal COA (210,000). This is calculated for a person who received a 100k scholarship from Fordham and nothing at Cornell. I also assume that this person could fall anywhere (as far as GPA is concerned) in the class. Using the 2009 numbers for NLJ250 placement & clerkships, for any given student, about 30 percent get "biglaw" at Fordham, where the number is about 50 percent for Cornell students. For the students that don't get biglaw I assumed they would be making 50k for 10 years; for those that do, 160k for 10 years.

The average student loan term is 10 years and I amortized a principle of 210,000 or 110,000 at 8%. I assumed that the average Cornell graduate is taxed at an effective tax rate of 33 percent while the average Fordham graduate was at 30 percent.

Given all those assumption (of which there are many, TBF) the average Fordham graduate has an average yearly payout of 49,456.03 (70651.47 pre-tax) whereas the Cornell graduate has an annual yearly payoff of 49,865.04 (74425.44 pre-tax).

So take that for what it's worth.

Other considerations that might be important to someone may be mobility (how far/fast does each climb the corporate ladder), law review chances, general prestige, location, ect.
Last edited by mec30 on Tue Jun 01, 2010 4:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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mec30
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Re: Fordham Job Prospects vs. Low T14 (ie-Cornell) Job Prospects

Postby mec30 » Tue Jun 01, 2010 4:28 pm

Cornells pre-ITE outcomes are much better btw.

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OperaSoprano
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Re: Fordham Job Prospects vs. Low T14 (ie-Cornell) Job Prospects

Postby OperaSoprano » Tue Jun 01, 2010 4:36 pm

KMaine wrote:Nobody knows the specific cutoff in this economy. It is safe to say that Cornell will give you a somewhat better shot at Biglaw ITE than Fordham. It may also be true that the "fallback" jobs may be better at Cornell than Fordham. Plenty of lawyers have done VERY well for themselves coming out of Fordham.

How much more you are willing to pay for that increased opportunity is a matter of opinion. Many would do Fordham for half price over Cornell, some would not. The thinking there would be that you still have some shot at the best jobs, and if it does not pan out, you are in less debt.

I chose Cornell over slightly "better" schools because it was cheaper for me. Sometimes I wonder if it would have been better had I gone the other route. I won't know if my decision paid off until OCI.


Nicely explained, KMaine. I agree.

OP, I can tell you that the class of 2011 at just about every school had a very rough time of it, but people here still got biglaw. In smaller numbers, obviously, and no one knows when we'll see a return to our traditional top third to 40% placement. Cornell is a safer bet for biglaw, but not a guarantee either ITE. I have friends at T14s who just received their OCI data and are freaking out. I haven't seen Fordham's yet, but I suspect we aren't out of the woods yet. Fordham was the right option for me , but I wasn't set on biglaw. I called off my retake, so I'll never know whether T14 schools would have been an option for me. If you are dead set on biglaw, you should go to the highest ranked school you can get, no matter the cost. If your goals are more flexible, you might consider personal happiness, opportunity costs, where you'd like to live, etc. People have taken the money and been happy with that choice. It depends on you.

shaps6
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Re: Fordham Job Prospects vs. Low T14 (ie-Cornell) Job Prospects

Postby shaps6 » Tue Jun 01, 2010 4:38 pm

mec30 wrote:
Given all those assumption (of which there are many, TBF) the average Fordham graduate has an average yearly payout of 49,456.03 (70651.47 pre-tax) whereas the Cornell graduate has an annual yearly payoff of 49,865.04 (74425.44 pre-tax).




I'm unclear as to whether you're referring to the average salary after taxes, average salary after taxes and loans, or something else entirely.

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mec30
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Re: Fordham Job Prospects vs. Low T14 (ie-Cornell) Job Prospects

Postby mec30 » Tue Jun 01, 2010 4:47 pm

shaps6 wrote:
mec30 wrote:
Given all those assumption (of which there are many, TBF) the average Fordham graduate has an average yearly payout of 49,456.03 (70651.47 pre-tax) whereas the Cornell graduate has an annual yearly payoff of 49,865.04 (74425.44 pre-tax).




I'm unclear as to whether you're referring to the average salary after taxes, average salary after taxes and loans, or something else entirely.


It's the yearly risk-weighted return of attending Fordham with 100k or Cornell with nothing for the average 0L based on 2009 hiring data (taking into account the bi-modal distribution of law salaries) after loan payments (and taxes).

So it's not strictly an average.




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