Cornell v Northwestern

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mallman

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Cornell v Northwestern

Postby mallman » Sat Mar 26, 2016 3:05 pm

Cornell: 90k scholarship
Northwestern: 90k scholarship

I've eliminated all other schools I've applied to except Michigan, where I'm waitlisted. Not really holding my breath for it, though.

Because I am interested in government work, I'm leaning toward Cornell. At their ASD it seemed like they were actively trying to recruit/invest in more PI students, whereas I get the feeling NU is more geared toward biglaw. I'd like to work in DC.

I'm guessing my total debt, if I were unable to increase my scholarships, would be around $160k at graduation. I have no undergrad debt, but I'm financing this entirely on my own so I'm kind of debt averse. Although I'm pretty sure I'm leaning toward Cornell, I guess another question I have is: Is 90k a large enough scholarship to consider debt financing either of these schools?

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Lavitz

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Re: Cornell v Northwestern

Postby Lavitz » Tue Mar 29, 2016 11:30 am

Disclaimer: I know nothing of Northwestern's government placement, nor do I know much about government hiring in general. The most I can say is that Cornell with 90K isn't a bad deal if you're willing to do biglaw as a backup. If it were less than 90K, I'd probably retake for more money. If you're at least median and you hustle, you have a shot at biglaw in DC, which is where you want to be. If you're below median, you'd probably want to focus on NYC instead. Also, I'm assuming when you say you want to do government work in DC, you're talking about DOJ or some sort of federal agency, which I believe would be difficult to get--at least right out of school. I think the more common path is to spend time in DC biglaw and/or clerk and then shift into government. The few people I know who really want to do government work are doing that, although I think there might be some going straight to an agency like the EPA. Either way, Cornell should be fine for your goals, but no idea if it's better than NU.

krads153

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Re: Cornell v Northwestern

Postby krads153 » Tue Mar 29, 2016 12:35 pm

I think your COA will be a lot higher than 160k...Cornell is one of the most expensive law schools.

Also what's their LRAPs like? If you want to do gov and have a high debt load, that's what is most important (a lot of the LRAPs will rely on IBR). My recollection is that neither has a good LRAP program....

Budfox55

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Re: Cornell v Northwestern

Postby Budfox55 » Wed Mar 30, 2016 8:57 pm

Bump. I have a similar choice with similar goals, but diff $$$ amounts. Still negotiating so seeing what the final amounts will be. Interested on people's thoughts on this.

juliuscasear90

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Re: Cornell v Northwestern

Postby juliuscasear90 » Wed Mar 30, 2016 9:22 pm

Cost living + tuition + interest will be > 160k. More like 190k upon graduation.

I'd go with Northwestern but its a toss-up.

CFC1524

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Re: Cornell v Northwestern

Postby CFC1524 » Wed Mar 30, 2016 9:41 pm

krads153 wrote:I think your COA will be a lot higher than 160k...Cornell is one of the most expensive law schools.

Also what's their LRAPs like? If you want to do gov and have a high debt load, that's what is most important (a lot of the LRAPs will rely on IBR). My recollection is that neither has a good LRAP program....


Cornell reworked its LRAP program in 2015 - not sure how it worked before, but now you receive an annual award equal to the amount of your total yearly IBR or PAYE payment. You don't have to place your loans in IBR or PAYE, but the award will be calculated as if you had. There's a discretionary cap at 15,000 per year, with a max salary of 80,000.


160-190 is a little too much debt for my taste - would probably recommend retaking for more money, but it's not totally indefensible. Not sure either school is going to have an advantage with BigFed hiring straight out of school - as posters above indicated, most people tend to transition into government from Biglaw as gov jobs are pretty hard to come by. Cost being equal, the choice between Cornell and NW probably comes down to where you want to work. You can shoot for DC from either, but if you happen not to get it (and DC is pretty grade selective, so that's somewhat of a possibility), would you rather work in Chicago or NYC?

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Mr. October

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Re: Cornell v Northwestern

Postby Mr. October » Thu Mar 31, 2016 1:33 pm

I'm actually going to Northwestern this fall and I think overall it is a slightly better school. However, if you're dead set on working in DC I've heard NYC firms generally have better contacts in DC than Chicago firms do. If you work in Chicago, some people feel you're a bit more stuck regionally than if you work on the East Coast. I'm not sure if that's true, but that's the collective wisdom as I've heard it.

I know you hate the idea of retaking the LSAT, but it really isn't unreasonable to expect getting 90K from either school. I know NW just got a huge donation from the Pritzker family and they're already increasing the money paid out in scholarships. If you do super well maybe you could even get into a school like Columbia or NYU that would allow you to jump straight into public interest law without big law experience.



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