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GULC v Cornell

Posted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 1:08 pm
by usn26
Although I'm still hoping for some waitlist movement, it's June now and I have to just make a decision here rather than taking up spots. I doubt TLS can provide much insight since it's mostly a personal decision, but maybe this will help me get a little clarity.

The schools you are considering
Cornell and GULC

The total Cost of Attendance (COA) of each.
Money is not a factor. pm if you need details.

Where you are from and where you want to work, and other places where you have significant ties (if any)
From and will probably settle in Mid-Atlantic area.

Your general career goals
I want JAG, which should be attainable if my medical stuff checks out. If it doesn't, I strongly prefer a clerkship, federal government work, or PI. Legal career of last resort would be ADA somewhere, or BigLaw in MD/DC/VA or Philly. I can leave law practice easily enough (JD would be helpful in my current field), but prefer to practice for a few years.

Your LSAT/GPA numbers/how many times you have taken the LSAT
3.4/170. 170 is expiring, 164 on my latest take. I assume that means I have 2 left. But there's no tangible advantage to retaking.


I really like Ithaca, and Cornell's class size and job placement are much more comforting than the numbers at Georgetown. But given my geographic and career preferences GULC seems like a more natural fit. I also have a preference to be around other military/vet types, which seems easier at GULC. On the other hand, living in DC seems like a nightmare, whether that's in the sardine-can on-campus room I'm signed up for now, or if I decided to branch out and look for something in town.


I'm about 52/48 GULC at this point, but I'm pretty torn.

Re: GULC v Cornell

Posted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 1:11 pm
by BasilHallward
Well that 52/48 number really helps out. Enjoy the idyllic paradise that is Ithaca.

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Posted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 1:19 pm
by Gray
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Re: GULC v Cornell

Posted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 1:25 pm
by CanadianWolf
Personal preference in your situation.

Re: GULC v Cornell

Posted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 1:45 pm
by usn26
Well this thread is actually serving its purpose by making me think this through. Leaning GULC.

Re: GULC v Cornell

Posted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 1:46 pm
by PumaPounce
If NYC biglaw was listed first in your general career goals, then you might lean toward Cornell. But if you're interested in government work, then I would go to GULC in a heartbeat. No brainer since it's literally three blocks from the center of government. Cornell's numbers are marginally better, but not for the field you seem to be heading towards.

And living in DC isn't bad at all... I've always had good times in DC. Ithaca is pretty, but everything shuts down after 10pm.

Re: GULC v Cornell

Posted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 1:54 pm
by TheodoreKGB
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Re: GULC v Cornell

Posted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 1:59 pm
by TasmanianToucan
It's a choice between the opportunity to achieve your optimal outcome vs. a near-guarantee of achieving a desirable outcome. It's a gamble. But considering your financial situation and the fact that you can easily shift back into a JD advantage job, I would go for it. GULC.

Re: GULC v Cornell

Posted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 5:06 pm
by WeeBey
Since money doesn't matter, why didnt you ED anywhere? With a 3.4/170 + vet, you probably couldve got Penn or UVa.

Re: GULC v Cornell

Posted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 5:14 pm
by rpupkin
Your two preferred career paths are PI and government. And you don't want to work in NYC. GULC seems like the better choice here.

By the way, living in DC is not a nightmare at all. It's expensive (though not SF/NYC expensive), but otherwise it's a very livable city. I'd rather spend three years in DC than three years in Ithica.

Re: GULC v Cornell

Posted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 6:21 pm
by usn26
WeeBey wrote:Since money doesn't matter, why didnt you ED anywhere? With a 3.4/170 + vet, you probably couldve got Penn or UVa.


Well, I decided to ED Duke, and told one of their adcomms as much at a law school fair. She told me to hold off and maybe convert my application to ED if unsuccessful at first. After I got into GULC so quick (9 day turnaround) I got cold feet about commitment and never asked for ED round II. Mistake. If I hadn't gotten into GULC in early November I probably would have just rolled with a series of ED apps. In retrospect I wish that's what I did.

rpupkin wrote:By the way, living in DC is not a nightmare at all. It's expensive (though not SF/NYC expensive), but otherwise it's a very livable city. I'd rather spend three years in DC than three years in Ithica.


I grew up around Ithaca and lived in the city for a year. I'm used to plenty of space and easy driving everywhere. I find living in the Philly suburbs frustrating, so I can't imagine moving to DC.

Re: GULC v Cornell

Posted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 6:44 pm
by rpupkin
usn26 wrote:
rpupkin wrote:By the way, living in DC is not a nightmare at all. It's expensive (though not SF/NYC expensive), but otherwise it's a very livable city. I'd rather spend three years in DC than three years in Ithica.


I grew up around Ithaca and lived in the city for a year. I'm used to plenty of space and easy driving everywhere. I find living in the Philly suburbs frustrating, so I can't imagine moving to DC.

Understood. But given your interests, you're probably going to have to work for at least a few years in an urban environment of some sort. And as urban environments go, DC is pretty chill. There's lots of open space, and the populated parts aren't dense. I don't love DC--I wouldn't want to live there long-term--but given your biases, it actually sounds like a decent city for you. NYC/Philly would be way worse.

Re: GULC v Cornell

Posted: Thu Jun 11, 2015 1:53 pm
by Robespierre
Cornell. If you end up as a median student -- and you'd be well-advised to assume you will -- you're in much better shape coming out of Cornell. Placement rates are better and with Cornell's small class size you are a scarce commodity. At GULC you're just another one of the hundreds of guys with average grades.

It is true that D.C. might provide a better environment for pursuing your specific career goals. But I don't think that outweighs Cornell's better general placement power. At most, it's a wash. And then there's your apparent preference for the Ithaca lifestyle.

Re: GULC v Cornell

Posted: Thu Jun 11, 2015 1:57 pm
by rpupkin
Robespierre wrote:Cornell. If you end up as a median student -- and you'd be well-advised to assume you will -- you're in much better shape coming out of Cornell. Placement rates are better and with Cornell's small class size you are a scarce commodity. At GULC you're just another one of the hundreds of guys with average grades.

Dude, what do you think Cornell's placement would look like if you removed NYC firm jobs from the equation? OP has zero interest in NYC.

I don't see what you're seeing.

Re: GULC v Cornell

Posted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 10:42 am
by krads153
If you want JAG, it doesn't matter where you go - what's more important is having connections.

That said, if you don't want biglaw, I think it's fine to go to GULC. Non-biglaw hiring is mainly about connections and it will be easier having more connections in PI and government from GULC.

Re: GULC v Cornell

Posted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 11:20 am
by usn26
krads153 wrote:If you want JAG, it doesn't matter where you go - what's more important is having connections.


What makes you think connections are important for JAG?

Re: GULC v Cornell

Posted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 11:38 am
by krads153
usn26 wrote:
krads153 wrote:If you want JAG, it doesn't matter where you go - what's more important is having connections.


What makes you think connections are important for JAG?


I know a couple of people in JAG or are going to JAG. A couple from my class in law school (granted I went to a T-14, but graduated a few years ago). It's not essential to know people, but it helps. One of the guys I know who is going to JAG this year graduated from a school ranked 50 to 100 and his parents are close with a former West Point grad who was in the military....(these are basically all family friends). It also helps to have military experience before trying to join JAG (but you already know this). Anecdotal, but I don't really think JAG cares that much about your school's ranking.