WUSTL full ride vs Cornell 135k?

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davidcasaletto
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WUSTL full ride vs Cornell 135k?

Postby davidcasaletto » Fri Mar 13, 2015 9:45 pm

Please lend your opinions and any supplemental facts you may know.

I am debt averse, I want Big Law but dont want to NEED big law or else. I do have a passion for justice, i would love to prosecute white collar crime, or be a federal defender or something in this vein (I think). I like the idea of grinding out hardcore for 2-3 years at a big firm but don't want to be halfway through my thirties before I leave. I wonder - is it really 60+ hours a week and working every saturday like people here say? Or is there exageration at play? I wouldn't mind grinding hard for three years, but I'd be way happier banking that cash than using it to pay off debt. I like the idea of NYC Biglaw but would be happy doing Biglaw anywhere really as long as I had good exit options still. I want to keep my options open to perhaps not even doing biglaw. I don't know if Cornell would prepare me well for a career in anything but big law, I know WUSTL has a top ranked clinical program which seems promising on the PI end, not sure how meaningful it actually is for job outcomes though. Also, the faculty is important to me, i dont want my law school experience to feel like a BIGLAW degree mill with everything catered to that end, I am very interested in politics as well and dream of one day running for an office.

With WUSTL: 45k in loans (living expenses + books)

With Cornell: 90k in loans (tuition + expenses + books)

I have 17k in subsidized loans from undergrad.

I don't want to have so much debt that I need to do biglaw to be comfortable with my earnings.

Accepted to Georgetown as well, waitin to hear scholarship info.

These are my best two options, I have scholarships at Fordham (120k), USC(135k) and Vanderbilt(90k),

I would like to make $$ 2L summer as an SA and pay that towards my debt immediately, at WUSTL or Cornell.

Please advise

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chuckbass
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Re: WUSTL full ride vs Cornell 135k?

Postby chuckbass » Fri Mar 13, 2015 9:53 pm

WUSTL 1L here: Cornell, hands down

ETA: you should take Cornell no matter what, but you should also try to figure out what you want to do. You say you want a 2L SA, so that doesn't make it sound like you actually want PI at all if you're already thinking about that.
Last edited by chuckbass on Fri Mar 13, 2015 10:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

thatsnotmyname
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Re: WUSTL full ride vs Cornell 135k?

Postby thatsnotmyname » Fri Mar 13, 2015 9:57 pm

It seems you have two main questions here:

1) Is BigLaw really as awful as everyone says?
2) Where should I go to law school?

With your first question, I can't help you as I'm an 0L, so I don't have a unique perspective to offer. But based on everything I've heard and my interactions with BigLaw and former BigLaw associates, it does sound like BigLaw is an extremely miserable environment.

For your second question, it doesn't seem like you have a very well defined sense of what your career goals are but I would definitely go with Cornell if I were in your shoes. You will be graduating with a reasonable amount of debt from a T14, giving yourself a great shot at BigLaw, and keeping the largest number of doors open.

mvp99
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Re: WUSTL full ride vs Cornell 135k?

Postby mvp99 » Fri Mar 13, 2015 10:11 pm

Cornell duh

davidcasaletto
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Re: WUSTL full ride vs Cornell 135k?

Postby davidcasaletto » Fri Mar 13, 2015 10:21 pm

scottidsntknow wrote:WUSTL 1L here: Cornell, hands down

ETA: you should take Cornell no matter what, but you should also try to figure out what you want to do. You say you want a 2L SA, so that doesn't make it sound like you actually want PI at all if you're already thinking about that.


Well I want it because I want Biglaw as a possibility, and thats the way in. Also because it will allow me to chip away a good chunk of my principal debt in 10 weeks. During 1L Id love to do a (probably unpaid) internship with a federla defenders office or a judge.

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BiglawAssociate
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Re: WUSTL full ride vs Cornell 135k?

Postby BiglawAssociate » Fri Mar 13, 2015 10:23 pm

Biglaw can be pretty terrible and on average I'd guess you're in the office between 55 to 60 hours a week (not necessarily billing). For transactional, some weeks will be 100+; other weeks will be slower. If you're in litigation, the hours are steadier but on average longer.

Your debt at Cornell isn't too terrible to consider taking Cornell over WUSTL. Just keep in mind you're going to have to do biglaw a few years to even get a net worth of zero...

BigZuck
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Re: WUSTL full ride vs Cornell 135k?

Postby BigZuck » Fri Mar 13, 2015 10:37 pm

Clinics and stuff don't really matter, it's all kind of the same crap at every law school and Cornell will prepare you to do whatever lawyerly thing as well as pretty much any other school.

It sounds like you want to make money and you'll inevitably be lining up at the big law drone factory doors along with everyone else so I'd roll with Cornell here

What do you mean by a passion for justice?

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DoveBodyWash
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Re: WUSTL full ride vs Cornell 135k?

Postby DoveBodyWash » Fri Mar 13, 2015 10:37 pm

Cornell.

davidcasaletto
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Re: WUSTL full ride vs Cornell 135k?

Postby davidcasaletto » Fri Mar 13, 2015 10:41 pm

BigZuck wrote:Clinics and stuff don't really matter, it's all kind of the same crap at every law school and Cornell will prepare you to do whatever lawyerly thing as well as pretty much any other school.

It sounds like you want to make money and you'll inevitably be lining up at the big law drone factory doors along with everyone else so I'd roll with Cornell here

What do you mean by a passion for justice?


Yes I will be lining up...But, I think I could get the same big law salaried job from WUSTL with far less debt, thats why it's still in consideration!

By passion for justice, i mean i love seeing (what I consider to be) the right thing being done, and especially for improved circumstances for other people. Non-law examples: an underprivileged student whom no one mentored or had too much faith in being introduced to higher education and being helped to engage, believe in themselves, and eventually emerge successful financially in a way they may have never considered possible.

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BiglawAssociate
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Re: WUSTL full ride vs Cornell 135k?

Postby BiglawAssociate » Fri Mar 13, 2015 10:44 pm

davidcasaletto wrote:
BigZuck wrote:Clinics and stuff don't really matter, it's all kind of the same crap at every law school and Cornell will prepare you to do whatever lawyerly thing as well as pretty much any other school.

It sounds like you want to make money and you'll inevitably be lining up at the big law drone factory doors along with everyone else so I'd roll with Cornell here

What do you mean by a passion for justice?


Yes I will be lining up...But, I think I could get the same big law salaried job from WUSTL with far less debt, thats why it's still in consideration!

By passion for justice, i mean i love seeing (what I consider to be) the right thing being done, and especially for improved circumstances for other people. Non-law examples: an underprivileged student whom no one mentored or had too much faith in being introduced to higher education and being helped to engage, believe in themselves, and eventually emerge successful financially in a way they may have never considered possible for them.


Honestly, before I practiced in biglaw, I would have said go to Cornell - no brainer. But honestly, I might take WUSTL full ride and not do biglaw at all. My friends who are happiest (and some of them struck out of OCI) are the ones who are not doing biglaw. My friends (who struck out of OCI) got fed government/in house straight out from law school; some are in public interest. If I didn't have loans from law school, I probably wouldn't have done biglaw in the first place. But c'est la vie.

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Re: WUSTL full ride vs Cornell 135k?

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Fri Mar 13, 2015 10:45 pm

Cornell

davidcasaletto
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Re: WUSTL full ride vs Cornell 135k?

Postby davidcasaletto » Fri Mar 13, 2015 10:49 pm

BiglawAssociate wrote:
davidcasaletto wrote:
BigZuck wrote:Clinics and stuff don't really matter, it's all kind of the same crap at every law school and Cornell will prepare you to do whatever lawyerly thing as well as pretty much any other school.

It sounds like you want to make money and you'll inevitably be lining up at the big law drone factory doors along with everyone else so I'd roll with Cornell here

What do you mean by a passion for justice?


Yes I will be lining up...But, I think I could get the same big law salaried job from WUSTL with far less debt, thats why it's still in consideration!

By passion for justice, i mean i love seeing (what I consider to be) the right thing being done, and especially for improved circumstances for other people. Non-law examples: an underprivileged student whom no one mentored or had too much faith in being introduced to higher education and being helped to engage, believe in themselves, and eventually emerge successful financially in a way they may have never considered possible for them.


Honestly, before I practiced in biglaw, I would have said go to Cornell - no brainer. But honestly, I might take WUSTL full ride and not do biglaw at all. My friends who are happiest (and some of them struck out of OCI) are the ones who are not doing biglaw. My friends (who struck out of OCI) got fed government/in house straight out from law school; some are in public interest. If I didn't have loans from law school, I probably wouldn't have done biglaw in the first place. But c'est la vie.


You don't have money banked up for an exit and loans falling off like tender ribs? You really would prefer to make 55k (like 35k after taxes) ? honestly?

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BiglawAssociate
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Re: WUSTL full ride vs Cornell 135k?

Postby BiglawAssociate » Fri Mar 13, 2015 10:54 pm

davidcasaletto wrote:
BiglawAssociate wrote:
davidcasaletto wrote:
BigZuck wrote:Clinics and stuff don't really matter, it's all kind of the same crap at every law school and Cornell will prepare you to do whatever lawyerly thing as well as pretty much any other school.

It sounds like you want to make money and you'll inevitably be lining up at the big law drone factory doors along with everyone else so I'd roll with Cornell here

What do you mean by a passion for justice?


Yes I will be lining up...But, I think I could get the same big law salaried job from WUSTL with far less debt, thats why it's still in consideration!

By passion for justice, i mean i love seeing (what I consider to be) the right thing being done, and especially for improved circumstances for other people. Non-law examples: an underprivileged student whom no one mentored or had too much faith in being introduced to higher education and being helped to engage, believe in themselves, and eventually emerge successful financially in a way they may have never considered possible for them.


Honestly, before I practiced in biglaw, I would have said go to Cornell - no brainer. But honestly, I might take WUSTL full ride and not do biglaw at all. My friends who are happiest (and some of them struck out of OCI) are the ones who are not doing biglaw. My friends (who struck out of OCI) got fed government/in house straight out from law school; some are in public interest. If I didn't have loans from law school, I probably wouldn't have done biglaw in the first place. But c'est la vie.


You don't have money banked up for an exit and loans falling off like tender ribs? You really would prefer to make 55k (like 35k after taxes) ? honestly?


It's not really that much money, given how high interest rates are on loans and how expensive big cities are. Plus, taxes already take half. My friend who is a 7th year still has over 50k in loans (and maybe 200k savings); my friend who is a 6th year has 50k in loans (and 300k savings). That's very little money compared to what you have to give for this job and the 3 years of paid schooling. Not-worth-it.

So yes, I'd rather make 55k in a suburban city/town than working biglaw hours for supposedly high biglaw pay in a big city.

What I don't think most realize is that working as a lawyer (even a biglawyer) will NOT make you rich. Even biglaw partners start out making less than finance people in their 30s, even after 12+ years of practicing. If you want to make money, don't go into law. Finance owns the crap out of law/medicine. There are 30 year old asset managers making 900k a year, and you're sitting around billing 50 to 60 hours a week to make peanuts in comparison.

My best exit (not plan, but just happened to fall into my lap) was marrying into money. Because I could never save a million dollars working in biglaw and basically nobody does unless you're a partner. And less than 0.01% of associates even make partner at a biglaw firm.

BigZuck
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Re: WUSTL full ride vs Cornell 135k?

Postby BigZuck » Fri Mar 13, 2015 11:03 pm

I think if you want to help people or make the world a better place there are probably far better ways to do that than going to law school. Your desire to do that and make money are probably going to be mutually exclusive.

Also, you probably won't get big law from WUSTL. You probably will from Cornell. There's a pretty large placement gap between the schools. Doesn't mean WUSTL is a bad school, it's not, but if you want big law then go to Cornell.

mvp99
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Re: WUSTL full ride vs Cornell 135k?

Postby mvp99 » Fri Mar 13, 2015 11:07 pm

True about finance guys/gals. Although they do sacrifice even more... but that sacrifice is exponentially compensated compared to law/medicine.

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LawsRUs
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Re: WUSTL full ride vs Cornell 135k?

Postby LawsRUs » Fri Mar 13, 2015 11:19 pm

no brainer cornell

Big Dog
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Re: WUSTL full ride vs Cornell 135k?

Postby Big Dog » Fri Mar 13, 2015 11:20 pm

Big Red.

rackylo
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Re: WUSTL full ride vs Cornell 135k?

Postby rackylo » Fri Mar 13, 2015 11:27 pm

Cornell.

Cornell's much better BigLaw prospect justifies the 45k difference.

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BiglawAssociate
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Re: WUSTL full ride vs Cornell 135k?

Postby BiglawAssociate » Fri Mar 13, 2015 11:31 pm

mvp99 wrote:True about finance guys/gals. Although they do sacrifice even more... but that sacrifice is exponentially compensated compared to law/medicine.


My coworker's wife is 31 and makes 900k a year doing asset management. Works 50 hours a week. Only has a bachelor's degree in business....FML.

mvp99
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Re: WUSTL full ride vs Cornell 135k?

Postby mvp99 » Fri Mar 13, 2015 11:58 pm

BiglawAssociate wrote:
mvp99 wrote:True about finance guys/gals. Although they do sacrifice even more... but that sacrifice is exponentially compensated compared to law/medicine.


My coworker's wife is 31 and makes 900k a year doing asset management. Works 50 hours a week. Only has a bachelor's degree in business....FML.


Nice. But is that the norm or an exception?

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BiglawAssociate
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Re: WUSTL full ride vs Cornell 135k?

Postby BiglawAssociate » Sat Mar 14, 2015 12:01 am

mvp99 wrote:
BiglawAssociate wrote:
mvp99 wrote:True about finance guys/gals. Although they do sacrifice even more... but that sacrifice is exponentially compensated compared to law/medicine.


My coworker's wife is 31 and makes 900k a year doing asset management. Works 50 hours a week. Only has a bachelor's degree in business....FML.


Nice. But is that the norm or an exception?


Probably exception, but still pretty normal to start out (straight out of college) making a base of lower six figures in finance. And bonus on top of that. It's much better financially to go into finance than law.

Biglawyers (and obviously lawyers generally) don't make that much money in the grand scheme of things.

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amw342
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Re: WUSTL full ride vs Cornell 135k?

Postby amw342 » Sat Mar 14, 2015 12:11 am

Definitely Cornell. I haven't read anything yet, but based on the title of the thread, Cornell.

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cron1834
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Re: WUSTL full ride vs Cornell 135k?

Postby cron1834 » Sat Mar 14, 2015 2:39 pm

The WUSTL students ITT said Cornell. You should too.

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chuckbass
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Re: WUSTL full ride vs Cornell 135k?

Postby chuckbass » Sat Mar 14, 2015 2:58 pm

cron1834 wrote:The WUSTL students ITT said Cornell. You should too.

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Re: WUSTL full ride vs Cornell 135k?

Postby Username123 » Sat Mar 14, 2015 3:03 pm

Cornell, no question. You're closing doors that you still want open if you were to choose WUSTL over Cornell.




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