Cornell v. USC halp!

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

Help me decide!

Cornell
10
91%
USC
1
9%
 
Total votes: 11

CiFULA
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2012 9:15 am

Cornell v. USC halp!

Postby CiFULA » Wed Apr 22, 2015 10:53 pm

-The schools you are considering
The schools I'm considering are Cornell and USC. I also got into UCLA but their offer has been lower than either of Cornell's and USC's so presumably, they are off the table.

-The total Cost of Attendance (COA) of each. COA = cost of tuition + fees + books + cost of living (COL) + accumulated interest - scholarships. Here is a helpful calculator.
I arrived at the COA based off of the COA spreadsheet from ls22.
School:Scholarship Amount:COA
Cornell:90k:180k
USC:135k:100k

-How you will be financing your COA, i.e. loans, family, or savings
Have about 20k in savings. This amount was used to arrive ath the 180k and 100k amounts above. The balance will be financed via loans. Parents might be able to pitch in a little bit but I don't want to straddle them with my debt issues. We're poors, so like most people, money is an issue for us.

-Where you are from and where you want to work, and other places where you have significant ties (if any)
I am from NY. Not a fan.. Always saw myself moving out west, but it never really happened. Everything I've done was basically confined to NY/the North-East. It was the path of least resistance. I feel like if I go to Cornell, I'm really pidgeonholing myself into NY. I will admit, I am being starry eyed here, and have no clue what CA/CA biglaw is like. I understand biglaw is going to be brutal irrespective of the market but it seems like NY is the most intense (iirc, according to TLS, LA is like 200-300 less billables and requires less facetime?). CA seems to have better weather, better col (at least SoCal), nicer people, more interesting industries, not super fast paced, etc. - what's not to like? Feel free to let me know I'm being dense or whatever if this is way off base.

-Your general career goals
I have worked as a paralegal in NY for a large firm and so I am fairly well acquainted with the lifestyle. Obviously, it can suck horribly (hours, unpredictability, difficult people to work with, work can be dense, bureaucracy, constant second guessing, paranoia, etc.) but I actually didn't find the experience horrible and could see myself doing this as an attorney. I have fairly thick skin and I found that the work can be interesting. I think I would enjoy it more as I developed an expertise or w.e. Eventually, I guess I'd go in-house somewhere. In NY, it seems the only exit options are financial institutions though, and I don't really think that's where I would like to end up.

Ideally, I guess it would be CA biglaw> biglaw anywhere else including NY> midlaw, etc. I don't know what midlaw really is though. In these types of threads, people always seem to say if you are okay working in CA even in mid/small law, go to the regional school (UCLA/USC). Otherwise, take the t14. Are these "midlaw/small law" positions "bad" outcomes? I guess I'd take biglaw in any market over anything midlaw/small law. Obviously Cornell has the better safety net in this regard, but it seems I would be confined to NY, as I have no ties elsewhere.

-Your LSAT/GPA numbers
169/3.7

-How many times you have taken the LSAT
The LSAT defeated me. I took the exam 3x and scored the best on my initial attempt... I don't even know what happened. I studied during all the time I had outside of work, and even quit work to study for a final retake. Was PTing around 171-180 for my final attempt. Left the exam super confident only to find out I bombed.

-Misc info/recap
Ivy undergrad. Not a fan of NY, despite it being my hometown. Got waitlisted throughout the t14.. Attended both schools' ASDs. Really liked USC. Cornell was okay. Seemed a bit stuffy. Weather also sucks for half the year amirite?
Bottom line is, would it be crazy for me to take USC and their 37.5% employment rate over Cornell's 70% for SoCal without ties? If I went to USC, I would target LA and mass mail NY and other markets. If I went to Cornell, I would target NY and mass mail CA and other markets.

Thanks in advance!

Big Dog
Posts: 1191
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2009 9:34 pm

Re: Cornell v. USC halp!

Postby Big Dog » Wed Apr 22, 2015 10:58 pm

I'll say retake and reapply next year.

But absent that, without ties, SoCal will be difficult, and really difficult from Ithaca. So, if you are California-dreamin', Your best shot is to attend a Calif LS; welcome to the Trojan Family.

UCLA is usually competitive with 'SC, so you might send them a LOCI and ask for more cash.

User avatar
Clemenceau
Posts: 859
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:33 am

Re: Cornell v. USC halp!

Postby Clemenceau » Wed Apr 22, 2015 11:13 pm

CiFULA wrote:-The schools you are considering
The schools I'm considering are Cornell and USC. I also got into UCLA but their offer has been lower than either of Cornell's and USC's so presumably, they are off the table.

-The total Cost of Attendance (COA) of each. COA = cost of tuition + fees + books + cost of living (COL) + accumulated interest - scholarships. Here is a helpful calculator.
I arrived at the COA based off of the COA spreadsheet from ls22.
School:Scholarship Amount:COA
Cornell:90k:180k
USC:135k:100k

-How you will be financing your COA, i.e. loans, family, or savings
Have about 20k in savings. This amount was used to arrive ath the 180k and 100k amounts above. The balance will be financed via loans. Parents might be able to pitch in a little bit but I don't want to straddle them with my debt issues. We're poors, so like most people, money is an issue for us.

-Where you are from and where you want to work, and other places where you have significant ties (if any)
I am from NY. Not a fan.. Always saw myself moving out west, but it never really happened. Everything I've done was basically confined to NY/the North-East. It was the path of least resistance. I feel like if I go to Cornell, I'm really pidgeonholing myself into NY. I will admit, I am being starry eyed here, and have no clue what CA/CA biglaw is like. I understand biglaw is going to be brutal irrespective of the market but it seems like NY is the most intense (iirc, according to TLS, LA is like 200-300 less billables and requires less facetime?). CA seems to have better weather, better col (at least SoCal), nicer people, more interesting industries, not super fast paced, etc. - what's not to like? Feel free to let me know I'm being dense or whatever if this is way off base.

-Your general career goals
I have worked as a paralegal in NY for a large firm and so I am fairly well acquainted with the lifestyle. Obviously, it can suck horribly (hours, unpredictability, difficult people to work with, work can be dense, bureaucracy, constant second guessing, paranoia, etc.) but I actually didn't find the experience horrible and could see myself doing this as an attorney. I have fairly thick skin and I found that the work can be interesting. I think I would enjoy it more as I developed an expertise or w.e. Eventually, I guess I'd go in-house somewhere. In NY, it seems the only exit options are financial institutions though, and I don't really think that's where I would like to end up.

Ideally, I guess it would be CA biglaw> biglaw anywhere else including NY> midlaw, etc. I don't know what midlaw really is though. In these types of threads, people always seem to say if you are okay working in CA even in mid/small law, go to the regional school (UCLA/USC). Otherwise, take the t14. Are these "midlaw/small law" positions "bad" outcomes? I guess I'd take biglaw in any market over anything midlaw/small law. Obviously Cornell has the better safety net in this regard, but it seems I would be confined to NY, as I have no ties elsewhere.

-Your LSAT/GPA numbers
169/3.7

-How many times you have taken the LSAT
The LSAT defeated me. I took the exam 3x and scored the best on my initial attempt... I don't even know what happened. I studied during all the time I had outside of work, and even quit work to study for a final retake. Was PTing around 171-180 for my final attempt. Left the exam super confident only to find out I bombed.

-Misc info/recap
Ivy undergrad. Not a fan of NY, despite it being my hometown. Got waitlisted throughout the t14.. Attended both schools' ASDs. Really liked USC. Cornell was okay. Seemed a bit stuffy. Weather also sucks for half the year amirite?
Bottom line is, would it be crazy for me to take USC and their 37.5% employment rate over Cornell's 70% for SoCal without ties? If I went to USC, I would target LA and mass mail NY and other markets. If I went to Cornell, I would target NY and mass mail CA and other markets.

Thanks in advance!


Frankly, I don't know a ton about the socal legal market, other than that tls makes it sound fairly competitive/hard to crack

You also haven't mentioned any specific career goals

With this in mind, going to usc and strapping yourself with $100k in debt, without any specific career goals, sounds like a generally bad idea

But hey the weather will be great

Gkmc
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2015 10:39 pm

Re: Cornell v. USC halp!

Postby Gkmc » Wed Apr 22, 2015 11:48 pm

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Last edited by Gkmc on Fri Aug 14, 2015 5:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Cobretti
Posts: 2560
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:45 am

Re: Cornell v. USC halp!

Postby Cobretti » Thu Apr 23, 2015 12:09 am

I don't get how you were waitlisted across the t14 with your numbers. Not going to pry into your app too much, but have you at least had other people read your personal statement? Judging by how many times you've taken the LSAT I'm assuming you didn't apply late this cycle, but if that is the case you might be best off just reapplying next cycle when apps open.

With that being said, if you really want to make it out west without any existing ties, you 100% will have to go to school there. Did you apply to Cal?

CiFULA
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2012 9:15 am

Re: Cornell v. USC halp!

Postby CiFULA » Thu Apr 23, 2015 8:47 am

Thanks for the responses everyone. I actually tried negotiating with UCLA already but every time it's an uphill climb trying to pry more money out of them. Their offer ended up not being competitive enough, even after negotiations. Some people seem to indicate success negotiating after the deposit deadline. At this point though, I prefer USC over UCLA, which I didn't think would be the case going into the cycle.

The SoCal market does scare me since firm class sizes are definitely smaller there, making it less likely that I'll land one of the positions. When I was at USC, current students were pushing how biglaw was really easy to obtain if that was your end goal, but I mean, the only current students who would go to the reception are those who got jerbs I suppose.

Specific goals wise, you're right, I don't have anything concrete aside from vague notions of in-house. Seems kind of too far in advance to predict where my path will lead. Biglaw isn't guaranteed, and even if you get that, the practice group you're assigned to can be a bit of a crapshoot depending on the needs of the firm. Broadly speaking, I was in a transactional practice group and I enjoyed that kind of thing. I don't think I would pursue lit.

Thanks for letting me know about what competing offer worked for you! Unfortunately, I don't have another offer in hand offering me that kind of money.

Yup, I'm equally confused. No C&F issues or whatever. I guess my numbers are shittier than I thought or I applied late, even though CW here says it's on time/early. I basically sent my apps in during Thanksgiving except for like 4 schools that this board says a why x? statement would help getting admission to. Sent those remaining ones in before New Year's. I had other people read my essay, including a teacher I'm close with. There was a lot of revision to it, so it wasn't a circle jerk of stroking my ego. I think I ended up writing a good PS - addressed why law unique to my circumstances and more about me/what I bring to the table without saying it outright.
I was actually gunning hard for Berkeley so I tailored my entire app to them and sent that in before Thanksgiving. First quartile waitlist for my efforts doe. I was thinking I'd get in at least one other place but waitlists galore.

User avatar
cron1834
Posts: 1921
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2014 1:36 am

Re: Cornell v. USC halp!

Postby cron1834 » Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:37 am

This seems a bit like an underperform to me, too. Go look at some of the recent choosing threads. Reapplying at the earliest possible date (October?) should at least be on the table here.

dustybottoms7
Posts: 83
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2014 12:22 pm

Re: Cornell v. USC halp!

Postby dustybottoms7 » Thu Apr 23, 2015 1:13 pm

bump! I'm in a similar situation with a little bit more from Cornell. interested to see what others have to say.




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