Time sensitive: Cornell ($220k debt) vs. BU ($85k debt)

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

Cornell ($220k+ debt) or BU ($85k debt)

Cornell
30
28%
BU
77
72%
 
Total votes: 107

FutureInLaw
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Time sensitive: Cornell ($220k debt) vs. BU ($85k debt)

Postby FutureInLaw » Wed Jun 08, 2011 9:38 pm

I just got off the reserve/hold list at Cornell. Copying and pasting an earlier post, but substituting Cornell for Georgetown.

Right now, I'm deciding between Cornell with roughly $220k of debt (plus interest on anything over $100k) and BU with roughly $85k of debt (no interest).

Some factors:
- Job prospects for big law weigh 48%; minimizing debt weighs 48%; appeal of urban environment weighs 4%
- I'd be happy living and working in Boston, NYC or Chicago post-graduation.
- I think I'd want to work at a firm with international offices and opportunities.
- I will be getting up to a $100k interest-free loan from my father (so that would cover the cost of BU).

Question:
- The big question...is the additional $100k+ debt for Cornell (not accounting for interest) worth it?

So freaking confused now...I just paid a deposit on a place in Boston and had accepted I was going there. Any and all thoughts are much appreciated.

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dr123
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Re: Time sensitive: Cornell ($220k debt) vs. BU ($85k debt)

Postby dr123 » Wed Jun 08, 2011 9:39 pm

BU, 135k is a lot of fuckin money

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Perch
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Re: Time sensitive: Cornell ($220k debt) vs. BU ($85k debt)

Postby Perch » Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:24 pm

Very interested in this...not voting since I don't know what I'd recommend, but looking forward to responses.

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Helmholtz
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Re: Time sensitive: Cornell ($220k debt) vs. BU ($85k debt)

Postby Helmholtz » Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:27 pm

I would probably do BU. $220k + a substantial amount of interest for a Cornell Law degree makes me wince.

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Mike12188
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Re: Time sensitive: Cornell ($220k debt) vs. BU ($85k debt)

Postby Mike12188 » Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:28 pm

I voted BU, but take that with a grain of salt considering I chose GULC over Cornell at equal cost. Location and environment played a huge role for me.

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NYC Law
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Re: Time sensitive: Cornell ($220k debt) vs. BU ($85k debt)

Postby NYC Law » Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:29 pm

I'll come clean since you seem nice, I voted BU due to self-interest

elmagic
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Re: Time sensitive: Cornell ($220k debt) vs. BU ($85k debt)

Postby elmagic » Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:34 pm

Helmholtz wrote:I would probably do BU. $220k + a substantial amount of interest for a Cornell Law degree makes me wince.


Ninja edit! But still relevant, OP in the latest NLJ Cornell placed nearly 60% percent of the class, which is nearly double what BU did at 30%.

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Perch
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Re: Time sensitive: Cornell ($220k debt) vs. BU ($85k debt)

Postby Perch » Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:35 pm

Mike12188 wrote:I voted BU, but take that with a grain of salt considering I chose GULC over Cornell at equal cost. Location and environment played a huge role for me.


According to his LSN, he chose BU over GULC already in the cycle...again, I'm very interested in the opinions too. Congrats Future regardless, good luck.

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Mike12188
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Re: Time sensitive: Cornell ($220k debt) vs. BU ($85k debt)

Postby Mike12188 » Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:47 pm

Perch wrote:
Mike12188 wrote:I voted BU, but take that with a grain of salt considering I chose GULC over Cornell at equal cost. Location and environment played a huge role for me.


According to his LSN, he chose BU over GULC already in the cycle...again, I'm very interested in the opinions too. Congrats Future regardless, good luck.


Not exactly sure what that has to do with what I said lol :lol:.

FutureInLaw
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Re: Time sensitive: Cornell ($220k debt) vs. BU ($85k debt)

Postby FutureInLaw » Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:49 pm

Thanks so far. Curious for more thoughts.

Those 58% big law numbers at Cornell are so damn tempting. But then, the $135k+ less debt at BU is so damn tempting too!

I hope, in the end, it's a win-win. I just don't want to have regrets 3-4 years down the road. That's my biggest worry.

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NYC Law
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Re: Time sensitive: Cornell ($220k debt) vs. BU ($85k debt)

Postby NYC Law » Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:51 pm

FutureInLaw wrote:Thanks so far. Curious for more thoughts.

Those 58% big law numbers at Cornell are so damn tempting. But then, the $135k+ less debt at BU is so damn tempting too!

I hope, in the end, it's a win-win. I just don't want to have regrets 3-4 years down the road. That's my biggest worry.


The thing about the NLJ numbers is that they aren't too reliable since Cornell has such a small class size, meaning it's numbers are going to be very volatile from year to year. And this isn't me trying to talk you out of it, it's something I legitimately think about.

That said, if I were you I'd still probably go to Cornell. It just seems like an awesome school, and the extra debt will just be an afterthought if you manage to get a great job, which is more likely coming out of Cornell.

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Helmholtz
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Re: Time sensitive: Cornell ($220k debt) vs. BU ($85k debt)

Postby Helmholtz » Thu Jun 09, 2011 12:06 am

elmagic wrote:
Helmholtz wrote:I would probably do BU. $220k + a substantial amount of interest for a Cornell Law degree makes me wince.


Ninja edit! But still relevant, OP in the latest NLJ Cornell placed nearly 60% percent of the class, which is nearly double what BU did at 30%.


True, but next year's NLJ250 is going to be a Cornell bloodbath. Not sure how things are going to go from there, but it seems like at that point, we'd just be throwing out wild guesses on the Cornell-BU difference.

I think most of my hesitation for Cornell has to do with the epic sticker shock of $220,000. I always rationalized away law school debt (e.g. "sure I'm spending a lot of money now, but I'll make a lot of money in the future") but something about actually taking out the loans and seeing -$XX,XXX beside your name is a little terrifying.

théo
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Re: Time sensitive: Cornell ($220k debt) vs. BU ($85k debt)

Postby théo » Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:06 am

I don't think there's a clear choice between these two options since you give chances at biglaw and minimizing debt the same weight. I would say make your decision based off of soft factors - the location, the culture and feel of the school, things like that. What's your gut reaction to these schools? Are you genuinely excited and happy about one more than the other?

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Kabuo
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Re: Time sensitive: Cornell ($220k debt) vs. BU ($85k debt)

Postby Kabuo » Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:47 am

220k for Cornell? How much does it cost to live in Ithaca?

socraticmethodman
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Re: Time sensitive: Cornell ($220k debt) vs. BU ($85k debt)

Postby socraticmethodman » Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:41 am

OP,
If NYC biglaw was your goal, I'd say bit the bullet and go with Cornell. However, you say you'd be happy living/working in Boston, so my vote goes to BU.

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Grizz
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Re: Time sensitive: Cornell ($220k debt) vs. BU ($85k debt)

Postby Grizz » Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:45 am

BU dawg. We don't know that the biglaw difference is between these two schools now, but it's not worth $135k brah.

alumniguy
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Re: Time sensitive: Cornell ($220k debt) vs. BU ($85k debt)

Postby alumniguy » Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:46 am

BU.

I don't think any legal education is worth $220k. That is going to be 5+ years of a biglaw type salary to just pay back your loans. Considering that most associates don't last more than 3-4 years it just doesn't make sense to me to pay so much for law school.

Cornell certainly places better in biglaw then BU, however, BU does very well itself. If you are top 1/3 you are likely going to find a biglaw job coming out of BU. The structure of the BC/BU job NYC job fair practically ensures that you'll get a few first round interviews if you are above median (at least it did when I went to BC 5 years ago). While you can't really ensure that you are going to be in the top 1/3, you can certainly maximize your potential to be there (and most students that are significantly above medians seem to typically do well - stress the word typically since there are a number of outliers each and every year). Even if you don't land biglaw, with only 85k in debt, you don't *have* to get biglaw. You can get medium/small law and make $90-100 and still be in good shape.

If you have aspirations of academia/clerking/etc., then I think this is more of a debate. But if biglaw is what you are after, I don't think the added costs of Cornell are worth it.

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: Time sensitive: Cornell ($220k debt) vs. BU ($85k debt)

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:47 am

OP - if you would pay sticker to any school outside the T6, then you should pay sticker to Cornell.

However, I do not advocate very high amounts of debt.

alumniguy
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Re: Time sensitive: Cornell ($220k debt) vs. BU ($85k debt)

Postby alumniguy » Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:55 am

NYC Law wrote:
FutureInLaw wrote:Thanks so far. Curious for more thoughts.

Those 58% big law numbers at Cornell are so damn tempting. But then, the $135k+ less debt at BU is so damn tempting too!

I hope, in the end, it's a win-win. I just don't want to have regrets 3-4 years down the road. That's my biggest worry.


The thing about the NLJ numbers is that they aren't too reliable since Cornell has such a small class size, meaning it's numbers are going to be very volatile from year to year. And this isn't me trying to talk you out of it, it's something I legitimately think about.

That said, if I were you I'd still probably go to Cornell. It just seems like an awesome school, and the extra debt will just be an afterthought if you manage to get a great job, which is more likely coming out of Cornell.


I thought Cornell had relatively consistent number in the upper 40s to 50s? I don't think any volatility is attributable to class sizes. Rather, it is attributable to the no-offer situation that occurred at many firms for the class year of the survey (more below). In any event, they consistently beat BU by about 10% points.

FWIW, the NLJ250 for this year while illustrative, is probably not the most ideal set of metrics given that many firms no-offered significant numbers of summers. That wasn't the case last year and probably won't be the case in any year in the near future. Firms have been more conservative when it comes to summer class sizes and are typically back to their pre-ITE offer rates. Either way, I am a big proponent of smaller schools in general because I think they do lead to better job prospects. Many firms want school diversity in their summer classes and that bodes well for small schools.

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: Time sensitive: Cornell ($220k debt) vs. BU ($85k debt)

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Thu Jun 09, 2011 8:01 am

Cornell is normally in the T4-5 T14s in big law placement.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Time sensitive: Cornell ($220k debt) vs. BU ($85k debt)

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Jun 09, 2011 8:31 am

Based on NLJ250 placement:

Cornell--2nd for class of 2010.

Cornell--14th for class os 2009.

Cornell--7th for class of 2008.

Cornell--6th for class of 2007.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Time sensitive: Cornell ($220k debt) vs. BU ($85k debt)

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Jun 09, 2011 8:32 am

I voted for BU due to cost & OP's preference for big city life. But, this is a tough call so OP should, if feasible, visit Cornell before deciding, in my opinion.

P.S. I agree with Mike12188 & many of the other posters above, but Cornell is an opportunity that needs to be considered seriously by OP since OP wants biglaw.

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Perch
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Re: Time sensitive: Cornell ($220k debt) vs. BU ($85k debt)

Postby Perch » Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:04 am

Mike12188 wrote:
Perch wrote:
Mike12188 wrote:I voted BU, but take that with a grain of salt considering I chose GULC over Cornell at equal cost. Location and environment played a huge role for me.


According to his LSN, he chose BU over GULC already in the cycle...again, I'm very interested in the opinions too. Congrats Future regardless, good luck.


Not exactly sure what that has to do with what I said lol :lol:.


ha I was just throwing it out there as maybe it gives a glimpse into his thought process in terms of debt vs. prestige...didn't have much to do with what you said, sorry.

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Cupidity
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Re: Time sensitive: Cornell ($220k debt) vs. BU ($85k debt)

Postby Cupidity » Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:13 am

Cornell may have better career prospects, but as far as biglaw goes, we are talking about 25-30% placement at BU, compared to 35-40% placement at Cornell. If you fall in that 10% it makes sense for you to go to BU, but are the odds of you hitting that range worth $100k?

sch0123
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Re: Time sensitive: Cornell ($220k debt) vs. BU ($85k debt)

Postby sch0123 » Thu Jun 09, 2011 11:31 am

Cupidity wrote:Cornell may have better career prospects, but as far as biglaw goes, we are talking about 25-30% placement at BU, compared to 35-40% placement at Cornell. If you fall in that 10% it makes sense for you to go to BU, but are the odds of you hitting that range worth $100k?



Over time, quite possibly.




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