Choosing between UVA, Cornell & Vandy. Input needed!

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

Which school should I attend?

Cornell w/ 45k scholarship
15
36%
Vandy w/ 75k scholarship
4
10%
UVA (Only if they offer a scholarship)
11
26%
UVA (Even if they don't offer a scholarship)
12
29%
 
Total votes: 42

hobojarpen
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Choosing between UVA, Cornell & Vandy. Input needed!

Postby hobojarpen » Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:28 pm

Background:
- I'm born and raised in Southern California.
- I attended USC for undergrad.
- I'm Asian-American.

Personal Preferences:
- I want to work in CA or NY firms.
- I'd prefer a cost of living that's on the lower side.
- The weather and how fun the city that my school is in matters little to me.

Major factors I'm juggling:
- For Cornell, I'd be able to take a bus ride to see my mom in NYC on weekends.
- For UVA, they're a T-10 school for a reason and can boast of having an alumni in each of the T-100 law firms out there.
- For Vandy, they've given me $80k in scholarship as opposed to little to nothing from UVA or Cornell (at this point).
- Two schools I still need to hear from: NYU (no response yet) & Harvard (held)

I've been juggling all the information I have so far, and I am still struggling a bit to get closer to a decision. I'm hoping that some of you, based on what I've written above, may give me some helpful/direct input that will help me inch closer to a decision. If there are any clarifications I can make that will make it easier to answer certain questions, please ask and I'll respond promptly as possible.

Thanks!
Last edited by hobojarpen on Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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AntipodeanPhil
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Re: Choosing between UVA, Cornell & Vandy. Input needed!

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:36 am

I don't think the $80k should make the difference. If you fail to land big law with only $120k in debt, you're still in big trouble. Since UVA gives you the best chance at NYC big law, I would go with UVA.

The second prize for many people who fail to get big law from Vandy is some variety of Southern mid law - a lot of Vandy grads end up in TN, GA, and FL. Without ties to the South, you're not going to land Southern mid law.

If you can, you should try and negotiate some money from UVA while waiting on NYU.

t14fanboy
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Re: Choosing between UVA, Cornell & Vandy. Input needed!

Postby t14fanboy » Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:57 am

I would personally take Vandy out of the equation and choose between Cornell and UVa based on fit as they are pretty much peers (some Cornell trolls will come at me saying that it has the edge in NYC). Without knowing your numbers, I can't say if you have a good shot at money from either schools so in the end it comes down to where you want to spend the next three years.

TheFactor
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Re: Choosing between UVA, Cornell & Vandy. Input needed!

Postby TheFactor » Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:28 pm

UVA. You can drive to see you mom.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Choosing between UVA, Cornell & Vandy. Input needed!

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Mar 08, 2012 1:58 pm

Send in your deposit to Harvard & see if they accept it. Beyond that, being a bus ride away from your mother should not be a factor if you want to do well in a competitive environment such as Cornell Law School.

Since you want to work in NYC after law school, Cornell seems to be the best choice unless Harvard says yes.

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Chucky21
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Re: Choosing between UVA, Cornell & Vandy. Input needed!

Postby Chucky21 » Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:01 pm

It would appear that Cornell does have the edge in NYC at this point in time. If the bus ride into the city is a positive for you as well then that is just another reason to pick Cornell. Also with a smaller class size at Cornell you would have a rarer degree in the market place which bodes well for your placement. Granted, doing well at both Cornell and UVA will get you into NYC, but Cornell has the edge and is well known for placing exceptionally well in NYC.

woeisme
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Re: Choosing between UVA, Cornell & Vandy. Input needed!

Postby woeisme » Fri Mar 16, 2012 4:23 pm

t14fanboy wrote:I would personally take Vandy out of the equation and choose between Cornell and UVa based on fit as they are pretty much peers (some Cornell trolls will come at me saying that it has the edge in NYC). Without knowing your numbers, I can't say if you have a good shot at money from either schools so in the end it comes down to where you want to spend the next three years.


This. I mean I do think Cornell has the edge for NYC biglaw, but it's not that substantial. And UVA will probably do better with clerkships. All else being equal, I'd say Cornell, but personal preference needs to play a role here. Visit both and choose whichever you like more, I guess. Or, if that's not an option, pick whichever one you think you'd like more and/or spend less money at. Cost of living is perhaps comparable between the two, yeah? The reasons you gave for picking each individual school are silly in my opinion. I doubt you're going to be visiting your mom all the time from Cornell. On the other hand, the prestige of Virginia over Cornell is not going to be that significant and to the extent that UVA has more grads in firms it'd be a factor of its larger size more than anything.

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oscodasa
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Re: Choosing between UVA, Cornell & Vandy. Input needed!

Postby oscodasa » Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:34 pm

I was between UVa and Cornell about this time last year as well. I visited Cornell and it.was.awkward. The only happy student I saw all day was my tour guide, and even that was questionable. Prior to visiting, I was warned by a partner at a law firm that they stopped recruiting from Cornell because all of their recruits were a "bad fit" socially and by the end of my visit I could see why. No one seemed to enjoy it there, everyone was going through the motions like a sad drone. It may be the case that the day I visited was particularly dreary for the majority of people who crossed my path...but somehow I doubt it. Conversely, when I visited UVa, strangers stopped me in the hall to offer their help and tell me how much they love the school. I chose UVa and can't emphasize enough how glad I am that I did. I haven't heard anything else about Cornell, from students or otherwise, so it may be the case that my experience and the partner's opinion are isolated incidents. But I can tell you that if quality of life or your overall well being are important to you, UVa will not disappoint. Besides, you know, it's not a bad school academically either ;)

Good luck!

woeisme
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Re: Choosing between UVA, Cornell & Vandy. Input needed!

Postby woeisme » Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:48 am

oscodasa wrote:I was between UVa and Cornell about this time last year as well. I visited Cornell and it.was.awkward. The only happy student I saw all day was my tour guide, and even that was questionable. Prior to visiting, I was warned by a partner at a law firm that they stopped recruiting from Cornell because all of their recruits were a "bad fit" socially and by the end of my visit I could see why. No one seemed to enjoy it there, everyone was going through the motions like a sad drone. It may be the case that the day I visited was particularly dreary for the majority of people who crossed my path...but somehow I doubt it. Conversely, when I visited UVa, strangers stopped me in the hall to offer their help and tell me how much they love the school. I chose UVa and can't emphasize enough how glad I am that I did. I haven't heard anything else about Cornell, from students or otherwise, so it may be the case that my experience and the partner's opinion are isolated incidents. But I can tell you that if quality of life or your overall well being are important to you, UVa will not disappoint. Besides, you know, it's not a bad school academically either ;)

Good luck!


Wow. Are you sure you visited the right Cornell? That was not my experience at all! And I really am skeptical about that firm story... Which firm was it (the good ol' tell or it didn't happen). Anyway, I guess that's why there is so much emphasis on personal fit. I didnt visit UVa, but my friends at Cornell that did indicated a preference for Cornell. OP should def visit both.

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Br3v
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Re: Choosing between UVA, Cornell & Vandy. Input needed!

Postby Br3v » Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:03 am

UVA

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oscodasa
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Re: Choosing between UVA, Cornell & Vandy. Input needed!

Postby oscodasa » Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:13 am

woeisme wrote:
oscodasa wrote:I was between UVa and Cornell about this time last year as well. I visited Cornell and it.was.awkward. The only happy student I saw all day was my tour guide, and even that was questionable. Prior to visiting, I was warned by a partner at a law firm that they stopped recruiting from Cornell because all of their recruits were a "bad fit" socially and by the end of my visit I could see why. No one seemed to enjoy it there, everyone was going through the motions like a sad drone. It may be the case that the day I visited was particularly dreary for the majority of people who crossed my path...but somehow I doubt it. Conversely, when I visited UVa, strangers stopped me in the hall to offer their help and tell me how much they love the school. I chose UVa and can't emphasize enough how glad I am that I did. I haven't heard anything else about Cornell, from students or otherwise, so it may be the case that my experience and the partner's opinion are isolated incidents. But I can tell you that if quality of life or your overall well being are important to you, UVa will not disappoint. Besides, you know, it's not a bad school academically either ;)

Good luck!


Wow. Are you sure you visited the right Cornell? That was not my experience at all! And I really am skeptical about that firm story... Which firm was it (the good ol' tell or it didn't happen). Anyway, I guess that's why there is so much emphasis on personal fit. I didnt visit UVa, but my friends at Cornell that did indicated a preference for Cornell. OP should def visit both.


I'll PM you the firm...not a NY partner but any office completely writing off a T14 was surprising to me. OP should definitely visit both, it's completely a question of personal preference. My experience was that it was awkward and slightly depressing, but to each their own.

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KMaine
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Re: Choosing between UVA, Cornell & Vandy. Input needed!

Postby KMaine » Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:18 am

I am very happy at Cornell (and pleased with my choice to attend over other t-14s) so can offer another counter-argument to the above. Also, the people I spoke to during recruiting all seemed very pleased with Cornell grads. OP, it is a matter of personal preference. If I were you, I would probably to to UVA unless you visit Cornell and like it much better.

rad lulz
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Re: Choosing between UVA, Cornell & Vandy. Input needed!

Postby rad lulz » Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:23 am

AntipodeanPhil wrote:I don't think the $80k should make the difference. If you fail to land big law with only $120k in debt, you're still in big trouble.

The second prize for many people who fail to get big law from Vandy is some variety of Southern mid law - a lot of Vandy grads end up in TN, GA, and FL. Without ties to the South, you're not going to land Southern mid law.

It's a pretty solid prize, but I agree. Without some ties to one of Vanderbilt's more traditional markets (CA is not one), I wouldn't go to Vanderbilt at that price.

Though sticker at Cornell and UVA is absolutely daunting.

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A Swift
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Re: Choosing between UVA, Cornell & Vandy. Input needed!

Postby A Swift » Thu Mar 29, 2012 2:49 pm

UVA. Start batting practice now.

Why? -> You will crush NYC at OGI and Cornell is an awful awful awful place. Cornell is where fun goes to die.

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sundance95
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Re: Choosing between UVA, Cornell & Vandy. Input needed!

Postby sundance95 » Thu Mar 29, 2012 2:52 pm

A Swift wrote:UVA. Start batting practice now.

Why? -> You will crush NYC at OGI and Cornell is an awful awful awful place. Cornell is where fun goes to die.

QF subtle RIGOR trolling.

bobbyh1919
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Re: Choosing between UVA, Cornell & Vandy. Input needed!

Postby bobbyh1919 » Thu Mar 29, 2012 3:52 pm

Some of Cornell's NYC edge is undoubtedly from people self selecting there. UVA can certainly get you to NYC, should that be where you want to go and provided you're not at the bottom of the class.

I've only been to UVA, but from what I've heard the two schools are pretty far apart on the T-14 social life spectrum. I know you said it doesn't matter how the weather or social scene is, but I would definitely spend some time in Ithaca and then see if you still don't care. Especially coming from SoCal, I'd imagine the transition is a huge one.

hobojarpen
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Re: Choosing between UVA, Cornell & Vandy. Input needed!

Postby hobojarpen » Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:59 pm

Wow, appreciate the input from everyone. Thanks!

So yeah, in the past few weeks, I visited UVA and Cornell's ASWs, and will be visiting Vandy's upcoming ASW as well. I got a ton of input and information at each of the ASWs and I feel like I now have a pretty clear vision of which factors to look at in selecting a law school. As for the vibes of the schools, other than a mediocre public transit system (UVA) and ridiculous uphills (Cornell), both cities made equally good impressions on me. Also, the people I met at both schools were very warm and friendly. So yeah, I didn't really encounter anything at either school that made me raise my eyebrow.

On another note, I should mention that since the time of my original post, Cornell gave me a scholarship offer (not nearly as generous as Vandy's offer). Though I have yet to get a scholarship offer from UVA, it should be noted that during UVA ASW's finaid seminar, they said that a second round of scholarship offers would be sent out in early April, so I guess I still have a shot at getting a scholarship offer from UVA.

From talking to tons of friends who are in law school as well as current students I met at those two schools, it seems I should select the school that presents the best opportunities for me (as obvious as that sounds). So, in reference to what AntipodeanPhil said earlier in this thread along with the fact that Cornell offered me a scholarship offer, I think it's safe to say Vandy's probably an even more distant option now than it was a few weeks prior. So yeah, as of this moment, it looks to be a two-horse race between UVA & Cornell. (FWIW, I've also been held at Harvard and WL'ed at Penn, UMich, Duke, Northwestern, Georgetown, UCLA and USC)

For me, my goal is to ultimately come back home and work in big CA firms (no preference between NorCal & SoCal). However, I'd also have no problems with starting work in NYC and then trying to work my way back home from there.

Bottom line:
For me, the most important factor is big firm opportunities in NY and/or CA. So considering that 1) Cornell is as competitive as UVA is re: big firm placement in NYC/CA (if not more so) 2) Cornell offered me a scholarship offer 3) I have tons of family/friends in NYC, I guess I'd have to give Cornell the edge. However, things could change if UVA offers me a competitive scholarship or if I get into Harvard via a miracle.

edit - I added a poll, so feel free to share your opinions via voting. Thanks!

t14fanboy
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Re: Choosing between UVA, Cornell & Vandy. Input needed!

Postby t14fanboy » Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:05 pm

If UVa gives you nothing, go to Cornell. Also, neither school is optimal for southern california.
Last edited by t14fanboy on Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

woeisme
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Re: Choosing between UVA, Cornell & Vandy. Input needed!

Postby woeisme » Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:06 pm

hobojarpen wrote:Wow, appreciate the input from everyone. Thanks!

So yeah, in the past few weeks, I visited UVA and Cornell's ASWs, and will be visiting Vandy's upcoming ASW as well. I got a ton of input and information at each of the ASWs and I feel like I now have a pretty clear vision of which factors to look at in selecting a law school. As for the vibes of the schools, other than a mediocre public transit system (UVA) and ridiculous uphills (Cornell), both cities made equally good impressions on me. Also, the people I met at both schools were very warm and friendly. So yeah, I didn't really encounter anything at either school that made me raise my eyebrow.

On another note, I should mention that since the time of my original post, Cornell gave me a scholarship offer (not nearly as generous as Vandy's offer). Though I have yet to get a scholarship offer from UVA, it should be noted that during UVA ASW's finaid seminar, they said that a second round of scholarship offers would be sent out in early April, so I guess I still have a shot at getting a scholarship offer from UVA.

From talking to tons of friends who are in law school as well as current students I met at those two schools, it seems I should select the school that presents the best opportunities for me (as obvious as that sounds). So, in reference to what AntipodeanPhil said earlier in this thread along with the fact that Cornell offered me a scholarship offer, I think it's safe to say Vandy's probably an even more distant option now than it was a few weeks prior. So yeah, as of this moment, it looks to be a two-horse race between UVA & Cornell. (FWIW, I've also been held at Harvard and WL'ed at Penn, UMich, Duke, Northwestern, Georgetown, UCLA and USC)

For me, my goal is to ultimately come back home and work in big CA firms (no preference between NorCal & SoCal). However, I'd also have no problems with starting work in NYC and then trying to work my way back home from there.

Bottom line:
For me, the most important factor is big firm opportunities in NY and/or CA. So considering that 1) Cornell is as competitive as UVA is re: big firm placement in NYC/CA (if not more so) 2) Cornell offered me a scholarship offer 3) I have tons of family/friends in NYC, I guess I'd have to give Cornell the edge. However, things could change if UVA offers me a competitive scholarship or if I get into Harvard via a miracle.

edit - I added a poll, so feel free to share your opinions via voting. Thanks!


Makes sense to me. Thanks for the update! 8)

envisciguy
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Re: Choosing between UVA, Cornell & Vandy. Input needed!

Postby envisciguy » Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:09 pm

Cornell with money sounds like your best bet.

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Choosing between UVA, Cornell & Vandy. Input needed!

Postby Doorkeeper » Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:09 pm

Cornell or UVA. Take your pick.

hobojarpen
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Re: Choosing between UVA, Cornell & Vandy. Input needed!

Postby hobojarpen » Wed Apr 04, 2012 2:19 pm

Sounds good. I'm going to email/call and try to negotiate for scholarship $ with UVA. If nada, then Cornell. If UVA offers a competitive scholarship package, then I'd lean towards UVA.

hobojarpen
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Re: Choosing between UVA, Cornell & Vandy. Input needed!

Postby hobojarpen » Sun Apr 08, 2012 3:16 am

I finally came back home today, only to read a letter from UTexas that basically offered me a total scholarship of $76,500. Should this change anything at all?

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Choosing between UVA, Cornell & Vandy. Input needed!

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Sun Apr 08, 2012 3:31 am

hobojarpen wrote:I finally came back home today, only to read a letter from UTexas that basically offered me a total scholarship of $76,500. Should this change anything at all?


You're not a TX resident are you? If not, that is basically the equivalent money offered by Vandy. Neither really shouldn't be in the picture if you have money from Cornell and your goal is NYC or CA.

woeisme
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Re: Choosing between UVA, Cornell & Vandy. Input needed!

Postby woeisme » Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:38 am

hobojarpen wrote:I finally came back home today, only to read a letter from UTexas that basically offered me a total scholarship of $76,500. Should this change anything at all?


Nah..




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