Cornell - Worth it?

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Litt1tUp

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Cornell - Worth it?

Postby Litt1tUp » Tue Mar 28, 2017 2:59 am

*don't have a retake available before you say retake*

So here is the deal - I got my scholly bumped up (very surprised and happy about it) and now I'm looking at Cornell with 120-130k of debt over the 3 years. I have savings and other assets that I theoretically could use to pay off the cost (however, I don't want to lose everything I own over the next 3 years). I am looking to work in Big Law, my target market was SF but after being in NYC for a while, I wouldn't mind being here either.

I got into Berkeley (first choice/dream school) but it's at sticker so I don't think it's worth it anymore.

My other options that I'm considering are UCLA which is around 70-80k because I'd live close to the campus with family so rent/board/food and maybe books would be covered for me. And the other option is UT for 90-100k. I'm not sure these options would give me a confident chance of getting me to the markets I want to go to.

I know everyone on here is debt averse, but I feel like cornell would be worth it at that price for my goals. And after visiting and from what people have told me, it definitely seems like it could give me a good chance at big law. Am I think along the right lines?

cavalier1138

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Re: Cornell - Worth it?

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Mar 28, 2017 5:42 am

That level of debt is manageable from Cornell, and it's definitely worth an extra $50k over UT or UCLA for your goals.

Rigo

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Re: Cornell - Worth it?

Postby Rigo » Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:54 am

Yeah I'd pull the trigger on Cornell.

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UVA2B

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Re: Cornell - Worth it?

Postby UVA2B » Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:58 am

Ithaca makes the most sense here. Congrats on the scholarship bump, and good luck!

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mjb447

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Re: Cornell - Worth it?

Postby mjb447 » Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:59 am

Yeah biglaw isn't too difficult to snag out of Cornell and that's a reasonable amount of debt to service on a biglaw salary.

ponderingmeerkat

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Re: Cornell - Worth it?

Postby ponderingmeerkat » Tue Mar 28, 2017 9:15 am

Pretty sure if you put up a poll, you'd get almost 100% agreement on Cornell. Congrats! 8)

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Litt1tUp

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Re: Cornell - Worth it?

Postby Litt1tUp » Tue Mar 28, 2017 12:22 pm

Thanks everyone! :D

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Thomas Hagan, ESQ.

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Re: Cornell - Worth it?

Postby Thomas Hagan, ESQ. » Tue Mar 28, 2017 12:24 pm

I would do it :D

runinthefront

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Re: Cornell - Worth it?

Postby runinthefront » Tue Mar 28, 2017 1:29 pm

Cornell is the easy choice. Congrats
Last edited by runinthefront on Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

BigZuck

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Re: Cornell - Worth it?

Postby BigZuck » Tue Mar 28, 2017 1:37 pm

I'd retake especially if you've got a good job as is. I'd also make sure you really want to go 130K in debt to get NYC big law if you already have a good job as is.

If the assets or whatever that you've accumulated are gifts/inheritance and not something you built up yourself then YOLO I suppose. I guess I'm just not as bullish as other people on going 130K in debt to end up working NYC big law. Yeah it's not 300K debt or whatever but $1200+ a month out the door for 10 years while also dealing with everything NYC big law entails for however long you stick it out isn't really a "Oh yay congrats DEPOSIT NOW" thing for me.

YMMV though of course.

cavalier1138

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Re: Cornell - Worth it?

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Mar 28, 2017 1:39 pm

BigZuck wrote:I'd retake especially if you've got a good job as is. I'd also make sure you really want to go 130K in debt to get NYC big law if you already have a good job as is.

If the assets or whatever that you've accumulated are gifts/inheritance and not something you built up yourself then YOLO I suppose. I guess I'm just not as bullish as other people on going 130K in debt to end up working NYC big law. Yeah it's not 300K debt or whatever but $1200+ a month out the door for 10 years while also dealing with everything NYC big law entails for however long you stick it out isn't really a "Oh yay congrats DEPOSIT NOW" thing for me.

YMMV though of course.


I mean, my thinking on this was that OP could pay that debt down in a fraction of the time and still be making good money. After tax, NYC biglaw associates still make about $10k a month. OP could double or triple their loan payments, get out of debt, and be free to pursue whatever career track they choose in less than five years.

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Re: Cornell - Worth it?

Postby BigZuck » Tue Mar 28, 2017 2:02 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
BigZuck wrote:I'd retake especially if you've got a good job as is. I'd also make sure you really want to go 130K in debt to get NYC big law if you already have a good job as is.

If the assets or whatever that you've accumulated are gifts/inheritance and not something you built up yourself then YOLO I suppose. I guess I'm just not as bullish as other people on going 130K in debt to end up working NYC big law. Yeah it's not 300K debt or whatever but $1200+ a month out the door for 10 years while also dealing with everything NYC big law entails for however long you stick it out isn't really a "Oh yay congrats DEPOSIT NOW" thing for me.

YMMV though of course.


I mean, my thinking on this was that OP could pay that debt down in a fraction of the time and still be making good money. After tax, NYC biglaw associates still make about $10k a month. OP could double or triple their loan payments, get out of debt, and be free to pursue whatever career track they choose in less than five years.

I thought NYC take home was like 96K or thereabouts before the jump to 180K? So it'd be about 110 now for the year? Maybe that's way off, I don't work in NYC.

My take home in TX is about 8900 every 4 weeks (granted, that doesn't include a maxed out 401K which deducts like 1400 pre tax per 4 weeks). I'd be at about 10K per month without the 401K but that doesn't include a state or city tax like there would be in NYC. If the OP doesn't have a good job and is just baristaing or whatever then the 130K debt for Cornell makes a lot more sense to me.

Anyway I don't know what the OP's job is now but if it's a good one I don't necessarily think paying 100K+ just to snag NYC big law is a great outcome. Then again I might just be projecting.

runinthefront

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Re: Cornell - Worth it?

Postby runinthefront » Tue Mar 28, 2017 2:09 pm

BigZuck's opinions are usually good, but just lol @ TLS if we're going to act like $130k for a T13 education is a bad value over the life of a career, even if OP is out of biglaw in 4 years and on to something else

ETA: my post sounds snarkier than it was originally meant. I just personally think would end up being a decent value for most people, though your post wasn't unreasonable.
Last edited by runinthefront on Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

BigZuck

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Re: Cornell - Worth it?

Postby BigZuck » Tue Mar 28, 2017 2:15 pm

runinthefront wrote:BigZuck's opinions are usually good, but just lol @ TLS if we're going to act like $130k for a T13 education is a bad value over the life of a career, even if OP is out of biglaw in 4 years and on to something else

I think it depends on what that something else is (obviously it's nearly impossible to predict that 7 years in advance but if that something else is back to the old job...)

Anyway dude let me project a little bit.

#projectorsgonnaproject
#hookem

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jbagelboy

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Re: Cornell - Worth it?

Postby jbagelboy » Tue Mar 28, 2017 2:20 pm

I think Cornell at $130k is definitely worth it

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confused_0L

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Re: Cornell - Worth it?

Postby confused_0L » Tue Mar 28, 2017 2:27 pm

Hey Litt1tUp, I'm not trying to steal your thunder here, but I have a similar scholly offer at Cornell - slightly lower.

What is the max that you would pay for Cornell? My estimates are showing that I'd graduate with 170k-180k debt a repayment. At that price, does the debt load start to become too much? My only other option is 150k scholly at a regional flagship.

runinthefront

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Re: Cornell - Worth it?

Postby runinthefront » Tue Mar 28, 2017 2:34 pm

confused_0L wrote:Hey Litt1tUp, I'm not trying to steal your thunder here, but I have a similar scholly offer at Cornell - slightly lower.

What is the max that you would pay for Cornell? My estimates are showing that I'd graduate with 170k-180k debt a repayment. At that price, does the debt load start to become too much? My only other option is 150k scholly at a regional flagship.

You have a relatively small post history, so I lurked. I think in your case, you took TLS wisdom, retook once, and went up six points!!! Congratulations. Now, with a 3.9, you could (lol...I'm about to say something that will make you cringe) always go up again by 3-6 points and be looking at some full rides.

How many schools did you apply to? Have you tried negotiating with other schools? Did you apply to the rest of the T14? Do you have undergrad debt?

I think 170-180k worth of debt is pretty much at or above the debt limit for what I would personally pay for any T13 degree, minus HYS (and I don't think I would even pay that much before maxing out my LSAT tries...). Cornell basically guarantees you biglaw as much as (or even more than) any of the T13s not including HYS, so it's less of "what would I pay for Cornell" and more of "what am I willing to pay for a t13 degree in general?" That's a personal choice, but 180k is a lot of money, as that's an additional 2-4 years of repayment over the 130k previously discussed
Last edited by runinthefront on Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Litt1tUp

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Re: Cornell - Worth it?

Postby Litt1tUp » Tue Mar 28, 2017 3:52 pm

So I had a good job in consulting and when it was found out that I had applied to law school, I was kind of shown the door. (Aka got less clients and a manager who kind of took it personally that I applied) so now I work in management at a global nonprofit. It's a rewarding job but unfortunately doesn't pay as well.

I see what BigZuck is saying and it's a more than fair concern but to be honest I studied for 1.5 years and my PT average was 168. Occasionally I'd break 170, but for the most part 167 is a good reflection of what I can do. The assets I'd use are from money I earned, shares in stocks (got lucky in tech), and some inheritance.

If I was to do something after Big Law it would be to work inhouse. I definitely want to stay corporate side!

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Lavitz

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Re: Cornell - Worth it?

Postby Lavitz » Tue Mar 28, 2017 7:51 pm

Agree with the consensus that Cornell is worth it for OP.

confused_0L wrote:Hey Litt1tUp, I'm not trying to steal your thunder here, but I have a similar scholly offer at Cornell - slightly lower.

What is the max that you would pay for Cornell? My estimates are showing that I'd graduate with 170k-180k debt a repayment. At that price, does the debt load start to become too much? My only other option is 150k scholly at a regional flagship.

Personally, I think I would've been willing to pay 180K, assuming I had to choose between that and not going to law school. But that's just me, and I wanted NYC biglaw. Other goals may not justify Cornell at that price. If you're asking whether you should instead attend the regional flagship or retake, we'd need to know what the regional flagship is, whether you want to work in that market, what your gpa is, etc.

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Johann

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Re: Cornell - Worth it?

Postby Johann » Wed Mar 29, 2017 1:47 am

OPPORTUNITY COST. Cornell at that price is a pretty good deal without knowing your current gig. If you're making good money in a job you DONT MIND. I'd probably take that sure thing. If you go, I'd do some soul searching and make sure:

1) you are okay living and working in a big city the rest of your life (a huge chunk of the high powered legal jobs are in NYC and other 1M+ metros.
2) like law (or st least think you will by talking to lawyers that work in jobs you'd like to have)
3) understand the sacrifices 60 hour weeks come at (family, health, hobbies etc).

If you've done all that and you want to go, the price nor the school are the problem, so jump right in.

ETA - just got to the explanation. Yeah go to law school.



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