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East coast v. West coast
Cornell 39%  39%  [ 65 ]
USC 60%  60%  [ 98 ]
Total votes : 163
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 Post subject: Re: USC v. Cornell Want to be in CA after graduation
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 1:57 pm 
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This is a tricky decision. I almost wish I didn't get into one of the schools (Cornell or USC) to make this decision a hell of a lot easier.


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 Post subject: Re: USC v. Cornell Want to be in CA after graduation
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 2:13 pm 
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SBL wrote:
RVP11 wrote:
tlslsnlsp wrote:

Thus, are you claiming that it's better to go to Columbia for SF than Berkeley?


Stepping in here - YES, Columbia >>>>>> Berkeley in every market in the United States, if you have the requisite ties. That includes SF.

Not sure I agree with this, w/r/t SF only. For one thing, small/mid-sized firms miiiight do OCI at CLS, but they ALL do OCI at Cal, so there are more fallback choices for someone who misses biglaw. For another, SF firms care a lot about ties, so for someone without NorCal ties going to Cal might be a good way to establish a connection to SF. Lastly, I'm assuming you were referring to private practice and not PI. I think when you're looking at PI/gov in CA and especially SF, some of CLS's advantage diminishes.


I assume all topics are about BigLaw placement until OP specifies otherwise, just because it's the most common goal.

I don't think there's a single big firm in this country that isn't going (much) deeper into CLS's class than it is into Berkeley's. Of course you have more fallback options in the Bay Area if you go to Berkeley. But if you go to CLS you're much less likely to have to "fall back" on anything.


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 Post subject: Re: USC v. Cornell Want to be in CA after graduation
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 2:15 pm 
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Horchata wrote:
This is a tricky decision. I almost wish I didn't get into one of the schools (Cornell or USC) to make this decision a hell of a lot easier.


Visit Cornell. If you like it, go. This choice isn't so obvious that you should ignore purely subjective things like how each place feels, where you'll be more comfortable, etc. FWIW, I've found that if you've never lived anywhere but CA it's good to check out a new part of the country for a while.


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 Post subject: Re: USC v. Cornell Want to be in CA after graduation
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 2:16 pm 
RVP11 wrote:
SBL wrote:
RVP11 wrote:
tlslsnlsp wrote:

Thus, are you claiming that it's better to go to Columbia for SF than Berkeley?


Stepping in here - YES, Columbia >>>>>> Berkeley in every market in the United States, if you have the requisite ties. That includes SF.

Not sure I agree with this, w/r/t SF only. For one thing, small/mid-sized firms miiiight do OCI at CLS, but they ALL do OCI at Cal, so there are more fallback choices for someone who misses biglaw. For another, SF firms care a lot about ties, so for someone without NorCal ties going to Cal might be a good way to establish a connection to SF. Lastly, I'm assuming you were referring to private practice and not PI. I think when you're looking at PI/gov in CA and especially SF, some of CLS's advantage diminishes.


I assume all topics are about BigLaw placement until OP specifies otherwise, just because it's the most common goal.

I don't think there's a single big firm in this country that isn't going (much) deeper into CLS's class than it is into Berkeley's. Of course you have more fallback options in the Bay Area if you go to Berkeley. But if you go to CLS you're much less likely to have to "fall back" on anything.

From the mouth of a hiring partner at White and Case who went to Berkeley: "Compared to NYU, Columbia, Mich, UVA, and obviously Harvard, Yale, and Stanford, Berkeley is TTT"


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 Post subject: Re: USC v. Cornell Want to be in CA after graduation
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:29 pm 
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For big law generally, cls is unquestionably better, but for someone who wants sf and doesn't have ties I would probably advise Berkeley.


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 Post subject: Re: USC v. Cornell Want to be in CA after graduation
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 5:11 pm 
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SBL wrote:
For big law generally, cls is unquestionably better, but for someone who wants sf and doesn't have ties I would probably advise Berkeley.

SBL wrote:
Not sure I agree with this, w/r/t SF only. For one thing, small/mid-sized firms miiiight do OCI at CLS, but they ALL do OCI at Cal, so there are more fallback choices for someone who misses biglaw. For another, SF firms care a lot about ties, so for someone without NorCal ties going to Cal might be a good way to establish a connection to SF. Lastly, I'm assuming you were referring to private practice and not PI. I think when you're looking at PI/gov in CA and especially SF, some of CLS's advantage diminishes.

Without a doubt, you're entirely correct that Berkeley is a better choice for students who want the Bay Area and don't have strong ties already. Based on the facts we're presented with (and hence the reason RVP said Columbia >>> Cal), though, the person making this decision already has these ties. With those ties established, I'd also rather be median at Columbia looking for SF biglaw than median at Berkeley. Without those ties, I agree that I'd definitely want to be at Berkeley.

Back to OP's question: The USC/Cornell question is far closer, as Cornell's significantly better placement in biglaw is predominantly because of it's focus on NYC, which is the "easiest" primary market to land a firm job in. It's much tougher to say that a T14 school's placement in NYC is indicative of any placement ability across other primaries merely because of solid NYC placement. That's the reason why people who advocate for schools like Cornell (and Penn, for that matter, which is rather similar to Cornell in this respect) for non-NYC markets doesn't seem to sit as well with me, whereas arguing for a schools like MVNuD for NYC isn't nearly as much of a stretch. Self-selection plays into it somewhat, but you can only claim "we just happen to consistently self-select into the easiest market" for only so long, and I agree that strong NYC placement doesn't by itself make Cornell a better choice for LA.

Being the relatively rare individual targeting LA firms from a better (albeit only slightly, and primarily on the east coast) school like Cornell, however, may prove helpful as compared to being one of hundreds of USC kids clamoring for the same jobs in the same market. Despite this noteworthy (and surprisingly frequently overlooked) advantage, I think I'd personally side with USC on this choice only because of the severely limited number of LA firms that OCI with Cornell. Anywhere north of 13-14 firms and I would feel much more comfortable, but having only 5 firms at OCI (according to NALP) makes me nervous.

Back to Adm.Doppleganger's question: My response, however, was to whether schools like Michigan and Virginia would give you an advantage over USC in LA. Pre-ITE, many of the best LA firms could probably be reached from MV at a class percentile threshold where even landing a firm job from USC wasn't a guarantee. Top 25% at MV gave you a chance at nearly any firm in LA, except Irell and MTO. I would be surprised if the top LA firms weren't going predominantly to the top 10% graduates at USC pre-ITE, and especially so ITE.

Also worth considering is the fact that firms have cut down classes from 25 SAs to 12 SAs, and the brunt of this has frequently been born by great-but-not-exceptional (sorry, non-T14 seemed like a stupid descriptor) local schools like USC that place largely in their market. Whereas pre-ITE USC/UCLA might have accounted for 12-14 students, with 1-2 Loyola/Pepperdine and 9-12 T14ers, many of these firms have tried to keep ties with T14 schools and continued to hire 1-2 students at T14s where they normally recruit. It's much easier for firms to reduce 12-14 USC/UCLA students in a SA class down to 5-7 USC/UCLA students in order to maintain some relationship with these T14 schools. For this reason alone, a school that places in a wide spread of markets can be helpful, and a smaller class size may help as well.

lisjjen wrote:
And then there's the Trojan network. USC has put out as many billionaires as Cornell - don't doubt that they have a wealthy and loyal alumni base.

The USC placement numbers already account for this network. It's not like 28% of the class (or whatever it was pre-ITE) gets firm jobs + whatever number is benefitted by the alumni network. These benefits are already internalized by the figures you're looking at. I don't mean to discount the value of having a strong alumni network - it's one of my favorite things about Michigan - but only to suggest that statements that USC "owns" LA because of its alumni network aren't backed up by what it takes to get hired by a firm there as compared to from other national T10 schools, assuming ties.

danquayle wrote:
And this "diversity" stuff is silly. Law firms hire where they have established pipelines - where they've had success before and where a lot of them probably graduated from. For southern California, I'd only take HYS, Berk and maybe UCLA over USC. USC has a death grip on Southern California generally.

See my above posts. Also, are you suggesting that LA firms don't have established pipelines to the other T14 schools with strong California placement?

danquayle wrote:
Let me ask you this: Do you think there are any LA law firms that recruit at Cornell but not USC? Now let me ask you the opposite.

This doesn't necessarily follow - at USC's OCI you certainly cannot interview with all of the LA law firms that recruit at USC. After you reach a certain threshold number of firms, the total number of law firms at a school becomes less and less relevant. As I mentioned above, though, Cornell's lack of LA firms certainly hurts it, and in this case your statement holds true. However, going back to the schools my initial post responded to (MV), the slightly lower number of LA firms doesn't hurt these schools nearly as much once you have more LA firms than you'll even be able to interview with.


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 Post subject: Re: USC v. Cornell Want to be in CA after graduation
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 5:54 pm 
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good post flightoftheearls, thanks


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 Post subject: Re: USC v. Cornell Want to be in CA after graduation
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 6:10 pm 
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FlightoftheEarls wrote:
lisjjen wrote:
And then there's the Trojan network. USC has put out as many billionaires as Cornell - don't doubt that they have a wealthy and loyal alumni base.

The USC placement numbers already account for this network. It's not like 28% of the class (or whatever it was pre-ITE) gets firm jobs + whatever number is benefitted by the alumni network. These benefits are already internalized by the figures you're looking at. I don't mean to discount the value of having a strong alumni network - it's one of my favorite things about Michigan - but only to suggest that statements that USC "owns" LA because of its alumni network aren't backed up by what it takes to get hired by a firm there as compared to from other national T10 schools, assuming ties.


Who are you trying to bs here? That 28% is ITE, and that's NLJ 250 ITE. There's tons of firms outside of NLJ 250. The percentage going into private practice is actually ~80%.

For me personally, USC looks like it's going to cost about half of what Cornell would cost, and I'd rather be in L.A. than the middle of nowhere in New York.


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 Post subject: Re: USC v. Cornell Want to be in CA after graduation
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 6:38 pm 
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lisjjen wrote:
Who are you trying to bs here? That 28% is ITE, and that's NLJ 250 ITE. There's tons of firms outside of NLJ 250. The percentage going into private practice is actually ~80%.


There are a ton of firms outside the NLJ250, but very few of those firms can help you pay back $150k+ in a reasonable amount of time.


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 Post subject: Re: USC v. Cornell Want to be in CA after graduation
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 6:54 pm 
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lisjjen wrote:
FlightoftheEarls wrote:
lisjjen wrote:
And then there's the Trojan network. USC has put out as many billionaires as Cornell - don't doubt that they have a wealthy and loyal alumni base.

The USC placement numbers already account for this network. It's not like 28% of the class (or whatever it was pre-ITE) gets firm jobs + whatever number is benefitted by the alumni network. These benefits are already internalized by the figures you're looking at. I don't mean to discount the value of having a strong alumni network - it's one of my favorite things about Michigan - but only to suggest that statements that USC "owns" LA because of its alumni network aren't backed up by what it takes to get hired by a firm there as compared to from other national T10 schools, assuming ties.


Who are you trying to bs here? That 28% is ITE, and that's NLJ 250 ITE. There's tons of firms outside of NLJ 250. The percentage going into private practice is actually ~80%.

When did we start talking about all private practice graduates? We are and have been talking biglaw placement (until somebody indicates there is another field they're interested in) - the NLJ is an imperfect measure, but it's not an irrelevant measure. We're not talking about the tons of small and mid-sized law firms with quality paychecks and reasonable working hours that will help people pay down the 180k+ of law school debt while living the life. While it's great that USC has 76% private practice for c/o 2009 (speaking of "who are you trying to bs here," calling c/o 2009 placement figures "ITE"?: http://lawweb.usc.edu/careers/statistics/ :roll: ), only a limited portion of that figure is coming from biglaw firms ITE.

Further, that's definitely not an accurate ITE figure; rather, that's post-no offers for c/o 2010. The data from 2011 that comes out in a year is ITE OCI hiring, and it's likely going to be worse for schools across the board.

Finally, tone down the hostility a bit. I'm not trying to bullshit anyone - I've been through this process (albeit for SF) and have plenty of friends who are going to LA, and I'm only trying to offer one person's experience who has seen how this process actually plays out ITE. Some people may find that helpful, and you're free to disregard. In any event, take the aggressiveness elsewhere.


lisjjen wrote:
For me personally, USC looks like it's going to cost about half of what Cornell would cost, and I'd rather be in L.A. than the middle of nowhere in New York.

That's fair. With a significant price differential between Cornell/USC, I'd make the same decision given those two options.


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 Post subject: Re: USC v. Cornell Want to be in CA after graduation
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 6:59 pm 
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Could someone here define "quality paycheck"?


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 Post subject: Re: USC v. Cornell Want to be in CA after graduation
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 7:02 pm 
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FlightoftheEarls wrote:
Finally, tone down the hostility a bit. I'm not trying to bullshit anyone - I've been through this process (albeit for SF) and have plenty of friends who are going to LA, and I'm only trying to offer one person's experience who has seen how this process actually plays out ITE. Some people may find that helpful, and you're free to disregard. In any event, take the aggressiveness elsewhere.


My apologies. I get started and then I don't know when to stop. I was looking at the NLJ 250 stats for 2011 that put USC at 28%. At sticker, I will agree. Cornell is probably better considering they both cost $210k. I, however, cannot bring myself to pay sticker. That is why I am hunting from the middle of my pack of acceptances - to balance good schools with good scholarships.


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 Post subject: Re: USC v. Cornell
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 7:09 pm 
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danquayle wrote:
Curry wrote:
You have ties to Socal. Go to Cornell.


You're advising a guy to leave his target market to go to a slightly better school? Are you all crazy?

Cornell has better prospects nationally, but ALL the Southern California firms are going to interview at USC. Not so for Cornell. Not to mention that, yes, he can network while at USC. It's not like the T-14 is some kind of golden ticket everywhere. If he ends up being bottom 25% at Cornell he's WAY WAY WAY more screwed in SoCal than being bottom 25% at USC.

Cornell is national in the sense that yes, you can place everywhere. But its target market and strongest one is in NY. That's what the OCI is going to more geared towards. You don't go to a school that targets New York when you want to go to USC.


I agree with this (although I intentionally left of the end of danquayle's post because I disagree somewhat that the diversity stuff is silly). [Caveat to my post: I don't have any experience with the LA market specifically, but I am extrapolating from my experience elsewhere.]

The point is that your grades are what is going to get you a job in LA. All else equal, does anybody think LA firms are going to hire a 3.2 from Cornell ahead of a 3.3 from USC? If so, I think you are crazy. Now if the GPA is the same, it's much more uncertain--I suppose different firms could come to different conclusions re: alumni loyalty vs. school diversity.

I just don't understand why anybody would push the OP to leave SoCal to go to Cornell simply because it has "more national prestige" that would carry to CA. That's silly. If OP wants to go to Cornell, then by all means, do it... but to tell him that Cornell is an objectively better decision than USC is a whole different matter.


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 Post subject: Re: USC v. Cornell Want to be in CA after graduation
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 7:11 pm 
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Hannibal wrote:
Could someone here define "quality paycheck"?

Printed on good paper, signed properly, not post dated, good watermark, etc


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 Post subject: Re: USC v. Cornell Want to be in CA after graduation
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 7:13 pm 
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I read some of the first page so I apologize if someone else brought this up, but seasonal affective disorder is a real thing to be aware of for anyone moving to a northern school from a sunny location. If you've only lived in southern california, it would really really suck to find out that you were affected by SAD when you are trying to gear up for your second semester of 1L. 90% of people probably think this post is stupid melodrama, but as someone who moved north for undergrad and who had problems with this, I can assure you that the 10% chance that this will affect you is worth thinking about.


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 Post subject: Re: USC v. Cornell Want to be in CA after graduation
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 7:14 pm 
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lisjjen wrote:
FlightoftheEarls wrote:
Finally, tone down the hostility a bit. I'm not trying to bullshit anyone - I've been through this process (albeit for SF) and have plenty of friends who are going to LA, and I'm only trying to offer one person's experience who has seen how this process actually plays out ITE. Some people may find that helpful, and you're free to disregard. In any event, take the aggressiveness elsewhere.


My apologies. I get started and then I don't know when to stop. I was looking at the NLJ 250 stats for 2011 that put USC at 28%. At sticker, I will agree. Cornell is probably better considering they both cost $210k. I, however, cannot bring myself to pay sticker. That is why I am hunting from the middle of my pack of acceptances - to balance good schools with good scholarships.

No worries. You're free to criticize my data all you want (I would too, since I think the NLJ figures by themselves are a terrible metric for judging schools), but it isn't entirely irrelevant for big firm placement. Also, the 2011 data they released two weeks ago is still for c/o 2010 (http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNLJ.jsp?id=1202483173162), so we really won't see ITE OCI hiring statistics for another year. Needless to say, it won't be beautiful, but I don't think it will be an enormous drop for most schools.

lisjjen wrote:
At sticker, I will agree. Cornell is probably better considering they both cost $210k. I, however, cannot bring myself to pay sticker. That is why I am hunting from the middle of my pack of acceptances - to balance good schools with good scholarships.

Fair enough. And like I said, I'd take USC in this situation, even with both at sticker (assuming I was deadset on LA). If I was considering NYC as well, I'd switch to Cornell at sticker. Once the situation becomes non-NYC-heavy T14 schools like MVBDNu, I'd once again switch back to those schools for LA, provided there's a sufficient number of LA OCI firms (~14+).


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 Post subject: Re: USC v. Cornell
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 7:31 pm 
drylo wrote:
danquayle wrote:
Curry wrote:
You have ties to Socal. Go to Cornell.


You're advising a guy to leave his target market to go to a slightly better school? Are you all crazy?

Cornell has better prospects nationally, but ALL the Southern California firms are going to interview at USC. Not so for Cornell. Not to mention that, yes, he can network while at USC. It's not like the T-14 is some kind of golden ticket everywhere. If he ends up being bottom 25% at Cornell he's WAY WAY WAY more screwed in SoCal than being bottom 25% at USC.

Cornell is national in the sense that yes, you can place everywhere. But its target market and strongest one is in NY. That's what the OCI is going to more geared towards. You don't go to a school that targets New York when you want to go to USC.


I agree with this (although I intentionally left of the end of danquayle's post because I disagree somewhat that the diversity stuff is silly). [Caveat to my post: I don't have any experience with the LA market specifically, but I am extrapolating from my experience elsewhere.]

The point is that your grades are what is going to get you a job in LA. All else equal, does anybody think LA firms are going to hire a 3.2 from Cornell ahead of a 3.3 from USC? If so, I think you are crazy. Now if the GPA is the same, it's much more uncertain--I suppose different firms could come to different conclusions re: alumni loyalty vs. school diversity.

I just don't understand why anybody would push the OP to leave SoCal to go to Cornell simply because it has "more national prestige" that would carry to CA. That's silly. If OP wants to go to Cornell, then by all means, do it... but to tell him that Cornell is an objectively better decision than USC is a whole different matter.


A 3.3 from USC might strike out at a firm job in LA. The 3.2 from Cornell might strike out at a firm job in LA. The probability that the 3.2 from Cornell strikes out at a firm job in LA is higher than it is for the 3.3 kid from USC. Here's the difference. That same guy with a 3.2 at Cornell has a shot, although definitely NOT a super strong one, at getting a job anywhere else. The 3.3 from from USC? A marginal shot at best. The difference between the 3.3 USC and the 3.2 Cornell for LA is minimal (with ties to LA). Sure they might take the USC guy, assuming they are hiring that deep into the class. The problem is, they're not. The LA market has been destroyed by the financial meltdown and LA firms and LA schools are hurting badly. I have it on good authority that UCLA Law only placed around 30% of its class in biglaw at OCI last year (was told this by the dean of admissions with whom I speak to quite often). If Cornell currently places even 40% of its grads in biglaw (which is probably a bit low given the improving NYC economy), the chance of you getting biglaw at Cornell is much higher than it is from USC. Sure you might be taking a small hit in getting into the market of your choice. You do however take a HUGE increase in your chances of getting a job anywhere else. Cornell is an objectively better decision than USC if getting a job to pay off your 200k in debt is a bigger concern than staying in Los Angeles. If OP is even remotely rational about this, it becomes clear that getting a job should be a higher priority than staying in a particular market. I totally understand that the OP wants LA and doesn't necessarily want NYC. That makes sense to me. It doesn't however make sense if that need to be in LA supersedes his wanting to earn a salary.

Edited cause i can't type


Last edited by Curry on Mon Mar 14, 2011 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: USC v. Cornell
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 7:48 pm 
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Curry wrote:
drylo wrote:
danquayle wrote:
Curry wrote:
You have ties to Socal. Go to Cornell.


You're advising a guy to leave his target market to go to a slightly better school? Are you all crazy?

Cornell has better prospects nationally, but ALL the Southern California firms are going to interview at USC. Not so for Cornell. Not to mention that, yes, he can network while at USC. It's not like the T-14 is some kind of golden ticket everywhere. If he ends up being bottom 25% at Cornell he's WAY WAY WAY more screwed in SoCal than being bottom 25% at USC.

Cornell is national in the sense that yes, you can place everywhere. But its target market and strongest one is in NY. That's what the OCI is going to more geared towards. You don't go to a school that targets New York when you want to go to USC.


I agree with this (although I intentionally left of the end of danquayle's post because I disagree somewhat that the diversity stuff is silly). [Caveat to my post: I don't have any experience with the LA market specifically, but I am extrapolating from my experience elsewhere.]

The point is that your grades are what is going to get you a job in LA. All else equal, does anybody think LA firms are going to hire a 3.2 from Cornell ahead of a 3.3 from USC? If so, I think you are crazy. Now if the GPA is the same, it's much more uncertain--I suppose different firms could come to different conclusions re: alumni loyalty vs. school diversity.

I just don't understand why anybody would push the OP to leave SoCal to go to Cornell simply because it has "more national prestige" that would carry to CA. That's silly. If OP wants to go to Cornell, then by all means, do it... but to tell him that Cornell is an objectively better decision than USC is a whole different matter.


A 3.3 from USC might strike out at a firm job in LA. The 3.2 from Cornell might strike out at a firm job in LA. The probability that the 3.2 from Cornell strikes out at a firm job in LA is higher than it is for the 3.3 kid from USC. Here's the difference. That same guy with a 3.2 at Cornell has a shot, although definitely a super strong one, at getting a job anywhere else. The 3.3 from from USC? A marginal shot at best. The difference between the 3.3 USC and the 3.2 Cornell for LA is minimal (with ties to LA). Sure they might take the USC guy, assuming they are hiring that deep into the class. The problem is, they're not. The LA market has been destroyed by the financial meltdown and LA firms and LA schools are hurting badly. I have it on good authority that UCLA Law only placed around 30% of its class in biglaw at OCI last year (was told this by the dean of admissions with whom I speak to quite often). If Cornell currently places even 40% of its grads in biglaw (which is probably a bit low given the improving NYC economy), the chance of you getting biglaw at Cornell is much higher than it is from USC. Sure you might be taking a small hit in getting into the market of your choice. You do however take a HUGE increase in your chances of getting a job anywhere else. Cornell is an objectively better decision than USC if getting a job to pay off your 200k in debt is a bigger concern than staying in Los Angeles. If OP is even remotely rational about this, it becomes clear that getting a job should be a higher priority than staying in a particular market. I totally understand that the OP wants LA and doesn't necessarily want NYC. That makes sense to me. It doesn't however make sense if that need to be in LA supersedes his wanting to earn a salary.


Well, I don't necessarily disagree with you about some of what you are saying. It's true that Cornell places more people into NLJ 250 firms. But again, the plurality of those jobs are in NY, and the majority of the Cornell students are going to NY. Furthermore, the NLJ 250 numbers are one metric that we can use to look at job placement, but not necessarily the end all, be all.

About the location issue... you are assuming that the only rational mindset is biglaw anywhere > California. If your goal is biglaw and you don't care where you work, then yes Cornell is generally probably a better decision if cost is equal between the two. (But even then, there are reasons why one might rationally choose USC over Cornell.) But it is not crazy to be more committed to a certain location than to practicing in a biglaw firm. It's all a very personal decision. For OP, if cost is the same at either place, then it is important to think about his priorities. If being in California is one of the most important things to him, then why would he pack up and go to Ithaca, NY, for three years when it is not even likely to give him a better chance of getting a job he wants?


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 Post subject: Re: USC v. Cornell Want to be in CA after graduation
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 7:49 pm 
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dang, this poll thread is fucking boss. OP better thank a bitch


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 Post subject: Re: USC v. Cornell Want to be in CA after graduation
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 7:51 pm 
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paulinaporizkova wrote:
dang, this poll thread is fucking boss. OP better thank a bitch

:lol:

You certainly have a way with words. OP, my vote's for Cornell.


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 Post subject: Re: USC v. Cornell
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 7:59 pm 
drylo wrote:

Well, I don't necessarily disagree with you about some of what you are saying. It's true that Cornell places more people into NLJ 250 firms. But again, the plurality of those jobs are in NY, and the majority of the Cornell students are going to NY. Furthermore, the NLJ 250 numbers are one metric that we can use to look at job placement, but not necessarily the end all, be all.

About the location issue... you are assuming that the only rational mindset is biglaw anywhere > California. If your goal is biglaw and you don't care where you work, then yes Cornell is generally probably a better decision if cost is equal between the two. (But even then, there are reasons why one might rationally choose USC over Cornell.) But it is not crazy to be more committed to a certain location than to practicing in a biglaw firm. It's all a very personal decision. For OP, if cost is the same at either place, then it is important to think about his priorities. If being in California is one of the most important things to him, then why would he pack up and go to Ithaca, NY, for three years when it is not even likely to give him a better chance of getting a job he wants?

Because even if being in California is one of the most important things to him, the fact that his chances of getting a job from Cornell are so much more superior to him than his chances out of USC should sway his decision towards Cornell. there are very few instances in which I can think of where USC is a better bet than Cornell for someone that has ties to LA. Marriage/significant other, family, kids, guaranteed job, medical reason. After that Cornell becomes the better choice simply because it drastically improves his chances of getting a job. You are overestimating USC's placement power. Far more USC grads than you'd like to admit are going to spend a large chunk of the the rest of their lives paying off law school loans because of the way the LA market is.


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 Post subject: Re: USC v. Cornell Want to be in CA after graduation
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 8:16 pm 
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chasgoose wrote:
Yeah I said Cornell. It's T-14 vs. not, its a tiny graduating class so there are fewer to go around and even less that want to go to CA. As many have said, you have ties to CA so its not like you will get questions about why you want to go there to work, and there will be drastically less competition for CA jobs from Cornell than there will be at USC. Also, if you decide you love the East Coast and never want to go back to SoCal (highly unlikely) Cornell will position you far better for East Coast jobs.

The only hesitation you should have about Cornell is Ithaca and the weather. Ithaca is on a whole different level of cold from NYC/Philly/Boston and the isolation is pretty severe (especially if you have grown up near a major metropolitan area). The transition from West Coast to East Coast is always difficult, but Ithaca makes it even worse. Some might argue that this isn't important and that its only 3 years and whatever other nonsense, but for some people its a HUGE problem. I grew up in AZ and went to school on the East Coast and I know my academic performance suffered my first winter because its just so depressing and bleak. People don't realize the psychological effect their environment has on them and if you have never experienced real winter you are in for a rude awakening. That said, after college I moved to LA and vowed never to return to the East Coast and I will probably be going to school in NYC next year.


This always makes me cringe a little bit. I heard someone say something like, "Well, because School X is in the T14..." and it actually made me wince.


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 Post subject: Re: USC v. Cornell
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:02 pm 
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Curry wrote:

A 3.3 from USC might strike out at a firm job in LA. The 3.2 from Cornell might strike out at a firm job in LA. The probability that the 3.2 from Cornell strikes out at a firm job in LA is higher than it is for the 3.3 kid from USC. Here's the difference. That same guy with a 3.2 at Cornell has a shot, although definitely NOT a super strong one, at getting a job anywhere else. The 3.3 from from USC? A marginal shot at best. The difference between the 3.3 USC and the 3.2 Cornell for LA is minimal (with ties to LA). Sure they might take the USC guy, assuming they are hiring that deep into the class. The problem is, they're not. The LA market has been destroyed by the financial meltdown and LA firms and LA schools are hurting badly. I have it on good authority that UCLA Law only placed around 30% of its class in biglaw at OCI last year (was told this by the dean of admissions with whom I speak to quite often). If Cornell currently places even 40% of its grads in biglaw (which is probably a bit low given the improving NYC economy), the chance of you getting biglaw at Cornell is much higher than it is from USC. Sure you might be taking a small hit in getting into the market of your choice. You do however take a HUGE increase in your chances of getting a job anywhere else. Cornell is an objectively better decision than USC if getting a job to pay off your 200k in debt is a bigger concern than staying in Los Angeles. If OP is even remotely rational about this, it becomes clear that getting a job should be a higher priority than staying in a particular market. I totally understand that the OP wants LA and doesn't necessarily want NYC. That makes sense to me. It doesn't however make sense if that need to be in LA supersedes his wanting to earn a salary.

Edited cause i can't type


I am generally starting to think this^. I'd like to stay in LA, but if it doesn't work out life will go on (especially since I'll be able to pay down my loans). This is really hard choice especially because a few in my family have gone to USC and obviously people they know also went there. It's like freak'n cult. On the other hand, the lawyer I interned for a while back (Harvard Law grad) told me unequivocally to go to Cornell. I'm still on the fence, but teetering. I'm going to both SC and Cornell within the month for ASD so that will have some sway over the decision, as well.

Thank you everyone for contributing to this thread. I know others who are looking at it to make a good decision, as well. thank'n bitches..funny shit


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 Post subject: Re: USC v. Cornell
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:34 pm 
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Horchata wrote:
Curry wrote:

A 3.3 from USC might strike out at a firm job in LA. The 3.2 from Cornell might strike out at a firm job in LA. The probability that the 3.2 from Cornell strikes out at a firm job in LA is higher than it is for the 3.3 kid from USC. Here's the difference. That same guy with a 3.2 at Cornell has a shot, although definitely NOT a super strong one, at getting a job anywhere else. The 3.3 from from USC? A marginal shot at best. The difference between the 3.3 USC and the 3.2 Cornell for LA is minimal (with ties to LA). Sure they might take the USC guy, assuming they are hiring that deep into the class. The problem is, they're not. The LA market has been destroyed by the financial meltdown and LA firms and LA schools are hurting badly. I have it on good authority that UCLA Law only placed around 30% of its class in biglaw at OCI last year (was told this by the dean of admissions with whom I speak to quite often). If Cornell currently places even 40% of its grads in biglaw (which is probably a bit low given the improving NYC economy), the chance of you getting biglaw at Cornell is much higher than it is from USC. Sure you might be taking a small hit in getting into the market of your choice. You do however take a HUGE increase in your chances of getting a job anywhere else. Cornell is an objectively better decision than USC if getting a job to pay off your 200k in debt is a bigger concern than staying in Los Angeles. If OP is even remotely rational about this, it becomes clear that getting a job should be a higher priority than staying in a particular market. I totally understand that the OP wants LA and doesn't necessarily want NYC. That makes sense to me. It doesn't however make sense if that need to be in LA supersedes his wanting to earn a salary.

Edited cause i can't type


I am generally starting to think this^. I'd like to stay in LA, but if it doesn't work out life will go on (especially since I'll be able to pay down my loans). This is really hard choice especially because a few in my family have gone to USC and obviously people they know also went there. It's like freak'n cult. On the other hand, the lawyer I interned for a while back (Harvard Law grad) told me unequivocally to go to Cornell. I'm still on the fence, but teetering. I'm going to both SC and Cornell within the month for ASD so that will have some sway over the decision, as well.

Thank you everyone for contributing to this thread. I know others who are looking at it to make a good decision, as well. thank'n bitches..funny shit



All of my responses assumed staying in SoCal was your top priority. If you want the best job on graduation period, then go to Cornell. If you want a job in SoCal after graduation, go to USC.

One thing maybe to consider is that you could always get a Big Law job in NYC, get a few years, and then try to lateral back to SoCal. It's far easier to take a step down into legal employment than it is to step up.


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 Post subject: Re: USC v. Cornell
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:12 pm 
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danquayle wrote:
Horchata wrote:
Curry wrote:

A 3.3 from USC might strike out at a firm job in LA. The 3.2 from Cornell might strike out at a firm job in LA. The probability that the 3.2 from Cornell strikes out at a firm job in LA is higher than it is for the 3.3 kid from USC. Here's the difference. That same guy with a 3.2 at Cornell has a shot, although definitely NOT a super strong one, at getting a job anywhere else. The 3.3 from from USC? A marginal shot at best. The difference between the 3.3 USC and the 3.2 Cornell for LA is minimal (with ties to LA). Sure they might take the USC guy, assuming they are hiring that deep into the class. The problem is, they're not. The LA market has been destroyed by the financial meltdown and LA firms and LA schools are hurting badly. I have it on good authority that UCLA Law only placed around 30% of its class in biglaw at OCI last year (was told this by the dean of admissions with whom I speak to quite often). If Cornell currently places even 40% of its grads in biglaw (which is probably a bit low given the improving NYC economy), the chance of you getting biglaw at Cornell is much higher than it is from USC. Sure you might be taking a small hit in getting into the market of your choice. You do however take a HUGE increase in your chances of getting a job anywhere else. Cornell is an objectively better decision than USC if getting a job to pay off your 200k in debt is a bigger concern than staying in Los Angeles. If OP is even remotely rational about this, it becomes clear that getting a job should be a higher priority than staying in a particular market. I totally understand that the OP wants LA and doesn't necessarily want NYC. That makes sense to me. It doesn't however make sense if that need to be in LA supersedes his wanting to earn a salary.

Edited cause i can't type


I am generally starting to think this^. I'd like to stay in LA, but if it doesn't work out life will go on (especially since I'll be able to pay down my loans). This is really hard choice especially because a few in my family have gone to USC and obviously people they know also went there. It's like freak'n cult. On the other hand, the lawyer I interned for a while back (Harvard Law grad) told me unequivocally to go to Cornell. I'm still on the fence, but teetering. I'm going to both SC and Cornell within the month for ASD so that will have some sway over the decision, as well.

Thank you everyone for contributing to this thread. I know others who are looking at it to make a good decision, as well. thank'n bitches..funny shit



All of my responses assumed staying in SoCal was your top priority. If you want the best job on graduation period, then go to Cornell. If you want a job in SoCal after graduation, go to USC.

One thing maybe to consider is that you could always get a Big Law job in NYC, get a few years, and then try to lateral back to SoCal. It's far easier to take a step down into legal employment than it is to step up.


I think this is pretty solid advice: "If you want the best job on graduation period, then go to Cornell. If you want a job in SoCal after graduation, go to USC."


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