To clarify: I was top 1/3, not top 25%. It could have been an anomaly, but I think I literally had one first round interview with a Boston firm through OCI. Compared to about 8 first round interviews at the NYC job fair (which is a one day event), which led to several call backs and several offers. I admit I had no connections to Boston and had bounced around a bit from place to place after undergrad prior to law school. My point is that people with similar stats got several first round interviews and the career services office said that the process is relatively random and that they had seen this situation (i.e., several NYC offers and no Boston interviews) play out a few times before. Certainly plenty of students who didn't grow up in Boston/NE get interviews and offers, but it isn't unheard of to be passed over for no ties either. It is a bit of a crapshoot, which to be honest, most firms hiring regardless of city is a crapshoot.
Also, I've found that it was easier to get NYC than Boston coming from BC (and I assume from BU as well). If you can get a Boston biglaw job, then you are more likely than not also capable of getting a NYC biglaw job. I find the discussion regarding that fact that OP will consider Boston and that means he should attend BU to be worthless. Boston is a much smaller market and it simply doesn't have the number of summer associate positions that NYC has. At BU you have to make a concerted effort to participate in the NYC job fair (although a few NYC firms interview on campus as well - or so other BU posters have mentioned). If you don't go to the job fair, then you likely aren't getting a NYC job. This contrasts to most Boston firms that show up to BU's campus where you're competing with your entire class for the few first round interview spots. This is the primary reason why I think it is easier to land NYC than Boston - there is a certain number of top students who self-select out of traveling to the NYC job fair and this opens up spots for other students to a get a foot in the door.
Lastly, as one previous poster mentioned, Cornell is more highly regarded than BU. No doubt. But law school students don't really understand how this translates (or in my opinion doesn't) in real life. At the outset, we are talking about two great schools - one that is perceived to be better than the other, but we aren't talking about a massive difference is school/student quality akin to a T1 vs. T4 debate. Of course it is always *better* to say you graduated from a better law school. That isn't the issue and if it was the issue we wouldn't even be discussing this choice. The issue is what does OP want out of his legal career.
The first concern should be biglaw opportunities. Cornell places a higher percentage of students in biglaw and likely places its students into better "ranked" firms. However, the percentage isn't massive. We are talking roughly about 10% - 1 in 10 students. I concede that being top 1/3 vs. top 45-50% is a material difference, but we aren't talking long shot odds at either school. So, from a law student perspective Cornell gives better opportunities at getting into biglaw. Well, it also is significantly more expensive. Assuming OP doesn't get biglaw, what happens next? I think it is likely that the non-biglaw opportunities at both schools are fairly equal. Most students will likely find jobs for $70-100k. I'd much rather have only $75k of debt than $220k of debt making sub 6-figures. Finally, it should be noted that more BU stduents probably wont' find jobs, but we are talking bottom of the class. I don't think I would count on this happening.
A secondary concern should be post-biglaw life. If OP is thinking he wants biglaw for a few years (2-6 years) and then wants to lateral in house somewhere for a better QoL, then the extra *prestige* that Cornell may have certainly isn't worth the $100k+ extra debt. Presuming OP gets biglaw, it will be the firm and his/her experiences that determine his future. When you go to lateral interviews, there is little to no emphasis put on school and a whole lot of emphasis placed on your actual skills. It is the polar opposite of summer associate hiring. I assert that any difference in prestige is completely worthless for 95% of the post-biglaw jobs out there. There are some jobs - certain firms that would close lateral options to BU grads but not Cornell grads or perhaps academic positions - that school quality does play a factor. However, these are very, very, very limited in number.