Cornell (sticker) vs. Vandy (50k) vs. UNC (COL only)

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

Which?

Cornell (sticker)
30
45%
Vanderbilt (50k)
28
42%
UNC (COL only)
8
12%
 
Total votes: 66

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westinghouse60
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Cornell (sticker) vs. Vandy (50k) vs. UNC (COL only)

Postby westinghouse60 » Tue Mar 13, 2012 4:44 pm

Been admitted to a few other places, but the options I'm most strongly considering are:

Cornell (sticker)- total COA 200k+
Vanderbilt (50k total)- total COA ~155k
UNC (30k total scholarship+in state tuition+grandparents paying rest)- total COA ~60k

I live in NC and have ties to the south. Would like NYC or southern biglaw, but mostly I just want to pay off loans, so I realize availability of NYC biglaw+higher salary vs southern biglaw might make it the better option. Also I'm assuming I'd have better exit options at an NYC firm...can anyone verify this is true?

I included UNC on the list (I know its not know for biglaw placement) because the COA is relatively low. I don't really know what kind of jobs most UNC grads are getting (gov+PI?) but being only 90k in debt might mean I wouldn't need a biglaw salary to pay off loans. Is this a viable option?

Also, I probably will send a LOCI to UVA where I was waitlisted saying that I would commit to attending if I get in off the waitlist, since it would give me better flexibility between NYC/DC/south and better placement overall vs. Cornell. Assuming I don't get in though, which of my options looks the best?

complete cycle info:
http://lawschoolnumbers.com/westinghouse60
Last edited by westinghouse60 on Fri Apr 20, 2012 10:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

rad lulz
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Re: Cornell (sticker) vs. Vandy (50k) vs. UNC (30k)

Postby rad lulz » Tue Mar 13, 2012 7:45 pm

Your favorite of Vandy or Cornell.

lawyerwannabe
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Re: Cornell (sticker) vs. Vandy (50k) vs. UNC (30k)

Postby lawyerwannabe » Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:01 pm

That is a lot of debt, but for your goals I would go Cornell. Because of your ties, you could go back to the South after you graduate or probably get BigLaw in NYC because that's where everyone from Cornell goes. However, while you can get NYC BigLaw from Vandy, it is much more difficult and going to a southern law school will probably not increase your odds of getting southern BigLaw because you are already from there. It may even decrease your chances because most people at Vandy aim for the South while relatively fewer do from Cornell. HTH.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Cornell (sticker) vs. Vandy (50k) vs. UNC (30k)

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:04 pm

Since you are waitlisted at Duke, Virginia, Penn & Columbia, you need to be patient. If successful getting admitted off of any of these waitlists, then you have bargaining power (unless you commit to get off a waitlist). 175 LSAT scores are not commonplace, demand more. Consider working for a year & reapplying rather than attending Cornell at sticker.

To answer your question, choose between Vanderbilt with $50,000 scholarship or UNC. Although I think that you may be able to do better in terms of acceptances & scholarship money with a 175. But, if I had to make a choice among your current options, it would be UNC.

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westinghouse60
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Re: Cornell (sticker) vs. Vandy (50k) vs. UNC (30k)

Postby westinghouse60 » Wed Mar 14, 2012 7:23 pm

So going from Cornell back to NC is a possibility immediately after graduating? One reason I'm hesitant about Cornell is getting locked into NYC biglaw, since even though that is my goal right now, I might want flexibility down the road.

More general question, but how far do "ties" extend? I'm from NC, so I have ties there, but would I be able to get a job in Nashville/Atlanta out of Vandy since I'm from a nearby state but not that exact city?

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thexfactor
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Re: Cornell (sticker) vs. Vandy (50k) vs. UNC (30k)

Postby thexfactor » Wed Mar 14, 2012 7:26 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Since you are waitlisted at Duke, Virginia, Penn & Columbia, you need to be patient. If successful getting admitted off of any of these waitlists, then you have bargaining power (unless you commit to get off a waitlist). 175 LSAT scores are not commonplace, demand more. Consider working for a year & reapplying rather than attending Cornell at sticker.

To answer your question, choose between Vanderbilt with $50,000 scholarship or UNC. Although I think that you may be able to do better in terms of acceptances & scholarship money with a 175. But, if I had to make a choice among your current options, it would be UNC.


I would prob choose Cornell. Cornell gives you 3x the placement as UNC. Since law is bimodal, your first job will largely determine the trajectory of your career. There is a very good chance that if you attend UNC you will not have a job.
You have a 50/50 chance at Cornell.

My vote is for you to reapply. If not I would choose Cornell.

You can also try to negotiate with Cornell and Vandy. Maybe they will give you more money.

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bk1
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Re: Cornell (sticker) vs. Vandy (50k) vs. UNC (30k)

Postby bk1 » Wed Mar 14, 2012 7:53 pm

Do you have money saved up? If not those total CoA amounts seem off. I also think you're not factoring in interest accrued during school. Assuming that costs stay the same (which is unlikely due to inflation and tuition increases):

Cornell - 260k+
Vandy - 185k+
UNC - 100k+

I honestly don't think Vandy is near cheap enough to justify in this situation. Cornell hands down.

westinghouse60 wrote:So going from Cornell back to NC is a possibility immediately after graduating? One reason I'm hesitant about Cornell is getting locked into NYC biglaw, since even though that is my goal right now, I might want flexibility down the road.


You could probably pay down Cornell debt in around 5 years of biglaw. But it's important to note that by the 5th year 80% of associates have left biglaw.

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dproduct
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Re: Cornell (sticker) vs. Vandy (50k) vs. UNC (30k)

Postby dproduct » Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:04 am

Cornell sticker with 175? I'm sorry :/

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westinghouse60
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Re: Cornell (sticker) vs. Vandy (50k) vs. UNC (30k)

Postby westinghouse60 » Fri Apr 20, 2012 10:27 pm

Going to have to bump this, was leaning pretty hard towards Vandy and not really considering UNC too strongly, but my grandparents told me they would pay the rest of my tuition if I attended UNC, so my total COA there would be $60k (before interest). Is this worth reconsidering for? I don't think it is but it would be less than half of Vandy's COA...

Also, I know most people burn out of biglaw in NYC after 5+ years, but what's the attrition rate look like in smaller market southern biglaw? If I did go to Cornell I would try to pay off loans then lateral somewhere else (not sure how easy this is to do), but it seems like paying down 150k in loans on 115-145k salary in Nashville/Charlotte/Atlanta would be easier than 210k on 160k in NYC, and so going straight to southern biglaw would save me a step and potentially make loans easier to pay off. Any thoughts?

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bk1
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Re: Cornell (sticker) vs. Vandy (50k) vs. UNC (30k)

Postby bk1 » Sat Apr 21, 2012 12:19 am

westinghouse60 wrote:Going to have to bump this, was leaning pretty hard towards Vandy and not really considering UNC too strongly, but my grandparents told me they would pay the rest of my tuition if I attended UNC, so my total COA there would be $60k (before interest). Is this worth reconsidering for? I don't think it is but it would be less than half of Vandy's COA...

Also, I know most people burn out of biglaw in NYC after 5+ years, but what's the attrition rate look like in smaller market southern biglaw? If I did go to Cornell I would try to pay off loans then lateral somewhere else (not sure how easy this is to do), but it seems like paying down 150k in loans on 115-145k salary in Nashville/Charlotte/Atlanta would be easier than 210k on 160k in NYC, and so going straight to southern biglaw would save me a step and potentially make loans easier to pay off. Any thoughts?


Some thoughts:

1. I would try and convince your grandparents to pay you that money no matter where you go by convincing them that UNC limits your job prospects.

2. I think 60k for UNC is worth considering, but you probably won't be getting biglaw.

3. I have been told it's not necessarily easy to lateral between markets (I think the reason being that the kind of law you practice in NYC won't necessarily be as prevalent in the South and thus it won't that easy to lateral).

4. rad lulz knows more about Southern biglaw, but I would guess that one of the limiting factors would be its scarcity. Even with Cornell you're going to have to deal with the fact that there are limited spots open compared to the plethora of NYC biglaw spots. Yes it might be easier to pay off Vandy with Southern biglaw than it would be to pay off Cornell with NYC biglaw, but that doesn't factor in the fact that you likely have a higher chance of NYC biglaw than Southern biglaw.

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Na_Swatch
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Re: Cornell (sticker) vs. Vandy (50k) vs. UNC (COL only)

Postby Na_Swatch » Sat Apr 21, 2012 12:54 am

As others have mentioned, COL in TN is absurdly cheap. A 50k tuition difference, when factoring in interest and COL will easily be 75k+ by the end of the 3 years.

IMO, it comes down to if you would rather have a greater shot at NYC biglaw or you prefer trying to get Southern Biglaw. If your targeting the south, prospects are a wash b/w the two schools, but clearly Cornell gives you a slightly better chance for biglaw in general. The price difference for that chance is substantial tho.
Last edited by Na_Swatch on Sat Apr 28, 2012 1:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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westinghouse60
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Re: Cornell (sticker) vs. Vandy (50k) vs. UNC (COL only)

Postby westinghouse60 » Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:28 pm

That's a good idea, and I'll try to convince them about paying for part of tuition regardless. It comes down to they feel that 30k at UNC is enough to make a difference in total cost, while that amount is negligible at other schools.

What does the "normal" career path look like for an associate after NYC biglaw? That really is the deciding factor, because as everyone has said, given my preferences, deciding between Vandy and Cornell is basically a toss up in terms of odds at biglaw vs. ability to pay off loans (for the first few years after graduation).

Thanks for replies by the way.

woeisme
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Re: Cornell (sticker) vs. Vandy (50k) vs. UNC (COL only)

Postby woeisme » Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:01 am

Na_Swatch wrote:As others have mentioned, COL in Vandy is absurdly cheap. A 50k tuition difference, when factoring in interest and COL will easily be 75k+ by the end of the 3 years.

IMO, it comes down to if you would rather have a greater shot at NYC biglaw or you prefer trying to get Southern Biglaw. If your targeting the south, prospects are a wash b/w the two schools, but clearly Cornell gives you a slightly better chance for biglaw in general. The price difference for that chance is substantial tho.


Nashville may be cheap, but so is Ithaca.... I wouldn't expect there to be much of a difference in cost of living.

I think Cornell is quite a bit better for northeastern firms and for southern firms that have offices in the northeast. With southern focused firms, I'm not sure... It's much closer. There are a lot more Vandy grads than there are Cornellians.

I'd do Cornell here, but I'm also a recent Cornell grad at a southern firm... so kind of biased with these particular options (feel free to PM). Both are solid choices.

rad lulz
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Re: Cornell (sticker) vs. Vandy (50k) vs. UNC (COL only)

Postby rad lulz » Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:07 am

woeisme wrote:I think Cornell is quite a bit better for northeastern firms and for southern firms that have offices in the northeast.

The Northern offices of those Southern firms, yes. The Southern offices, probably not.

woeisme
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Re: Cornell (sticker) vs. Vandy (50k) vs. UNC (COL only)

Postby woeisme » Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:22 am

rad lulz wrote:
woeisme wrote:I think Cornell is quite a bit better for northeastern firms and for southern firms that have offices in the northeast.

The Northern offices of those Southern firms, yes. The Southern offices, probably not.


Oh hai... De ja vu. I mean the latter, but phrased it weirdly... I think the difference between the two is less significant in the south and nearly insignificant (if not a Vandy edge) in southern regional (market-paying or not) firms.

But my impressions are based on only a couple southern markets that I guess we said might not be representative.




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