UCLA vs Cornell - Cornell seems to place A LOT better!

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timeblaze
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UCLA vs Cornell - Cornell seems to place A LOT better!

Postby timeblaze » Fri Jun 17, 2011 7:58 pm

I am from SoCal and am deciding between Cornell and UCLA. I am happy here and would love living near UCLA. I have never been to NYC so it's hard for me to know if I would like it, but I am definitely attached to my car and am not a fan of public transportation :) So, it seems like UCLA might be the better choice. Either way I'll be in about $150K of debt it seems. However, now that I am looking at numbers from the graduating class of 2010, Cornell appears to WAY outplace UCLA.

Graduating class of 2010 @ UCLA: 57% of grads in private practice, and 68.1% of those work in firms sized 101-250/251-500/500+, so 57%x68.1% = 38.8%
http://www.law.ucla.edu/career-services ... stics.aspx

Graduating class of 2010 @ Cornell: 144 grads working in private practice with attorneys 100+ (they don't break it down above 100), so 144/195 = 73.8%
http://www.lawschool.cornell.edu/career ... istics.cfm

Cornell seems to be placing this well for the last 5 years!

Both schools send about 8% into clerkships, so it looks like 46.8% for UCLA versus 81.8% at Cornell for premium placement after law school. Am I missing one of UCLA's employment categories here as being as highly sought after as private practice/clerkships? I'm basically trying to compare % of graduates that get the most appealing choices upon graduation.

According to these numbers, even if I want to work in California (LA, Orange County, San Diego, San Francisco), it feels like it's difficult to justify going to UCLA. Seems like I'm missing something..?
Last edited by timeblaze on Mon Jun 20, 2011 4:41 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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bk1
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Re: UCLA vs Cornell - Cornell seems to place A LOT better!

Postby bk1 » Fri Jun 17, 2011 8:01 pm

Yes Cornell's placement overall is much better than UCLA's. This has to do partially with the fact that it is more prestigious, but also with the fact that Cornell places heavily into NYC and UCLA does not (NYC being the largest legal market by leaps and bounds). However, it is not necessarily so that Cornell's placement is better than UCLA's in LA (or CA for that matter). It might be, it might not be, it's hard to tell because the only real evidence for it is anecdotal.

UCLA could be justified by the possibility that it places in CA than Cornell does, since that is where you want to work. There are more UCLA alums than Cornell alums in CA and it is far easier to network for a CA job when you are in LA than when you are in Ithica. The question comes down to whether a CA firm would take a Cornell grad at an equal class rank to a UCLA grad. But nobody has really come down decisively on one side or the other of this debate. What I will say is that if you want any job in CA then UCLA will give you a better chance at any CA job. If you want the best possible job then Cornell will give you that, but there is a very high likelihood that it will be in NYC and not in CA.

timeblaze
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Re: UCLA vs Cornell - Cornell seems to place A LOT better!

Postby timeblaze » Fri Jun 17, 2011 8:08 pm

OP here: I'd rather have good placement in NYC paying ~$160k than some crappy placement at a small firm paying $70k a year here in Los Angeles, so do I just go with Cornell in this spot? I mean, even if Cornell's placement in California is in the same ballpark as that of UCLA's, it seems like UCLA is too risky. After all, there's no guarantee that I'll be in the top 40% of my class at UCLA. Seems like Cornell places grads just fine who are in the 50-75th percentile of their class according to the statistics.
Last edited by timeblaze on Fri Jun 17, 2011 8:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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bk1
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Re: UCLA vs Cornell - Cornell seems to place A LOT better!

Postby bk1 » Fri Jun 17, 2011 8:09 pm

If you want better placement overall then you should definitely go to Cornell.

CanadianWolf
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Re: UCLA vs Cornell - Cornell seems to place A LOT better!

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Jun 17, 2011 9:25 pm

Not sure if graduating at age 33 or 34 will be a factor with respect to NYC biglaw prospects. May depend upon your background. I've heard both that it will hurt & won't hurt, but I don't know the prior experience and/or client connections of those law grads.

You have interesting options--but they are almost polar opposites in a couple of respects.

mrwarre85
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Re: UCLA vs Cornell - Cornell seems to place A LOT better!

Postby mrwarre85 » Sun Jun 19, 2011 12:44 pm

timeblaze wrote:OP here: I'd rather have good placement in NYC paying ~$160k than some crappy placement at a small firm paying $70k a year here in Los Angeles, so do I just go with Cornell in this spot? I mean, even if Cornell's placement in California is in the same ballpark as that of UCLA's, it seems like UCLA is too risky. After all, there's no guarantee that I'll be in the top 40% of my class at UCLA. Seems like Cornell places grads just fine who are in the 50-75th percentile of their class according to the statistics.


Cornell could probably get you a job in LA if you worked at it.

saladfiend
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Re: UCLA vs Cornell - Cornell seems to place A LOT better!

Postby saladfiend » Sun Jun 19, 2011 1:01 pm

The big difference between UCLA and Cornell is that a lot of students at Cornell are looking for jobs in NYC, which is at least according to this board, the easiest Biglaw market. UCLA students can get jobs in NYC, too, but not that many are interested. And yes, a firm in LA will prefer a UCLA grad over a Cornell one with similar class rank.

saladfiend
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Re: UCLA vs Cornell - Cornell seems to place A LOT better!

Postby saladfiend » Sun Jun 19, 2011 1:10 pm

There are other "prestigious" positions:

Federal gov't honors programs
Public interest (ACLU, etc.)
Movie studios

crossingforHYS
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Re: UCLA vs Cornell - Cornell seems to place A LOT better!

Postby crossingforHYS » Sun Jun 19, 2011 1:34 pm

uuuuhhh....would a firm really prefer someone from ucla over cornell....I always figured they have a lot of ucla grads applying doesn't the firm look for diversity in the law school one went to?

saladfiend
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Re: UCLA vs Cornell - Cornell seems to place A LOT better!

Postby saladfiend » Sun Jun 19, 2011 2:45 pm

crossingforHYS wrote:uuuuhhh....would a firm really prefer someone from ucla over cornell....I always figured they have a lot of ucla grads applying doesn't the firm look for diversity in the law school one went to?


None of us are hiring partners at firms. This is the blind leading the blind, but what I can say is that a helluvalot more partners in LA went to UCLA than Cornell.

crossingforHYS
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Re: UCLA vs Cornell - Cornell seems to place A LOT better!

Postby crossingforHYS » Sun Jun 19, 2011 2:59 pm

saladfiend wrote:
crossingforHYS wrote:uuuuhhh....would a firm really prefer someone from ucla over cornell....I always figured they have a lot of ucla grads applying doesn't the firm look for diversity in the law school one went to?


None of us are hiring partners at firms. This is the blind leading the blind, but what I can say is that a helluvalot more partners in LA went to UCLA than Cornell.


I'm def. not a hiring partner, and yes there are more ucla alums, but I do know hiring partners (altough all at one firm V20)

and this is what they told me when I was picking between uva and ucla---that the allure of being from uva in a saturated los angeles market will give me an edge.

so this may be the view of one person----but still a tidbit.

timeblaze
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Re: UCLA vs Cornell - Cornell seems to place A LOT better!

Postby timeblaze » Sun Jun 19, 2011 4:09 pm

saladfiend wrote:There are other "prestigious" positions:

Federal gov't honors programs
Public interest (ACLU, etc.)
Movie studios


So... does that mean that the numbers that I posted for UCLA placement are actually higher? How much higher are they if I am looking at the % of people who get "prestigious" positions?

timeblaze
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Re: UCLA vs Cornell - Cornell seems to place A LOT better!

Postby timeblaze » Sun Jun 19, 2011 4:11 pm

saladfiend wrote:The big difference between UCLA and Cornell is that a lot of students at Cornell are looking for jobs in NYC, which is at least according to this board, the easiest Biglaw market. UCLA students can get jobs in NYC, too, but not that many are interested. And yes, a firm in LA will prefer a UCLA grad over a Cornell one with similar class rank.


So, do you think UCLA grads are taking low paying positions here in CA instead of trying for biglaw in NYC? I mean, would they really take a $80K job just to stay in Los Angeles if they could actually get a job somewhere else at $160K?

timeblaze
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Re: UCLA vs Cornell - Cornell seems to place A LOT better!

Postby timeblaze » Sun Jun 19, 2011 4:29 pm

..
Last edited by timeblaze on Mon Jun 20, 2011 4:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.

timeblaze
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Re: UCLA vs Cornell - Cornell seems to place A LOT better!

Postby timeblaze » Sun Jun 19, 2011 4:35 pm

My concern over UCLA was triggered after reading these comments on TLS official profile for UCLA:

" I guess I was slightly naive coming into UCLA and thinking that everyone gets good jobs. In a good economy, about 40 percent of the class gets a firm job. The top 40 percent is somewhere around a 3.3 GPA, and I think the median GPA is a little over a 3.2. I looked at last year's OCI list and every single biglaw firm lists a 3.3 GPA cutoff (and journal/moot court) as a requirement. However, 2L’s that I have talked to tell me that most people who actually get offers have a 3.4 or higher, so a 3.3 won't necessarily cut it. It's just the minimum requirement."

" If you are wondering what happens to the people who don't get biglaw, they end up in small firms making $65k a year. I know someone who graduated last year and this is what he ended up doing. He had a 3.15 during OCI and he didn't end up getting a job until after he passed the bar."
Last edited by timeblaze on Sun Jun 19, 2011 5:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

fingersxd
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Re: UCLA vs Cornell - Cornell seems to place A LOT better!

Postby fingersxd » Sun Jun 19, 2011 4:39 pm

Ask UCLA for more money. Then attend.

If you want to ultimately practice in SoCal, I dont see why cornells prestige elsewhere should matter all that much. Also ithaca = car and is 4 hours from nyc. And is COLD.

I might give a slight edge to cornell in placement (even in socal) but not enough that it will really matter, particularly if you are reasonably competent at networking, being in LA and making contacts there will be much more useful.

P.s. Those posts tend to come from bitter students that missed the biglaw boat, but you could substitute most schools in for ucla and find the same complaints. If you want big law you need to be towards the top of your clasd. End of story

saladfiend
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Re: UCLA vs Cornell - Cornell seems to place A LOT better!

Postby saladfiend » Sun Jun 19, 2011 7:20 pm

I don't see someone below the top 40% at Cornell or top 30% or whatever getting a Biglaw job in LA. And that student at Cornell is going to have the same problem that students at UCLA have who are looking for jobs in NYC. UCLA's OCI is mostly LA, San Diego and SF/Silicon Valley firms. Cornell's probably mostly NYC and DC firms. So at either school if you are looking for a job outside those markets, you have to hustle. You can do it, but it requires more work. There are other interviewing programs, and you can send out resumes and cover letters, make calls, etc.

If you want Biglaw in LA, you need high grades and it would help to have connections to LA--either from LA or went to school in LA.

saladfiend
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Re: UCLA vs Cornell - Cornell seems to place A LOT better!

Postby saladfiend » Sun Jun 19, 2011 7:22 pm

timeblaze wrote:
saladfiend wrote:There are other "prestigious" positions:

Federal gov't honors programs
Public interest (ACLU, etc.)
Movie studios


So... does that mean that the numbers that I posted for UCLA placement are actually higher? How much higher are they if I am looking at the % of people who get "prestigious" positions?


There aren't good stats out there. Law school does not guarantee anything. Perhaps you shouldn't go.




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