Cornell vs. USC

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OrangeMarmalade

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Cornell vs. USC

Postby OrangeMarmalade » Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:59 pm

Cornell: $75k
USC: $120k

Goal: Work in a business immigration firm (I currently work in this field) in either NY or CA.

I know this is hard to predict, but from observing several classes at both schools and getting a feel of the student body, my guess is that I would probably be at the lower half of the class at Cornell, while I could do better academically at USC. However, Cornell obviously has better ranking + reputation.

Hypothetically speaking, would you recommend still going to a T14, or doing better at a T20? Would a more reputable school or better grades/law review/etc. open more doors for summer positions and job opps? What would give me more flexibility in the long run? From my understanding, grades are less of a concern for immigration law, but I still want to make sure I'm putting myself in the best position I can.

I also felt from ASD and visiting classes that Cornell had a very intense learning environment, which is great, but was also a "sink or swim" type of school. USC had support systems in place Cornell didn't, and the admitted students at least were way more laid back - which has good and bad aspects.

These are generalizations I made from a few visits, so if anyone who goes to these schools can provide greater insight that would also be great.

Thank you!

beinghuman

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Re: Cornell vs. USC

Postby beinghuman » Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:09 pm

I don't know anything about USC but what are these support systems that you mention and that Cornell does not have? No grading curve during 1L? Everyone gets law review? Not trying to be sarcastic but law school is going to be competitive wherever you go and the lower the school, the higher in class ranking you will need to be... If you're ok with NY, Cornell might a good choice and at least you'd be able to work at a law firm and pay off your debt then move on, which might be less likely from USC.

What's the total COA including living expenses? And how much debt are willing to tolerate?

OrangeMarmalade wrote:Cornell: $75k
USC: $120k

Goal: Work in a business immigration firm (I currently work in this field) in either NY or CA.

I know this is hard to predict, but from observing several classes at both schools and getting a feel of the student body, my guess is that I would probably be at the lower half of the class at Cornell, while I could do better academically at USC. However, Cornell obviously has better ranking + reputation.

Hypothetically speaking, would you recommend still going to a T14, or doing better at a T20? Would a more reputable school or better grades/law review/etc. open more doors for summer positions and job opps? What would give me more flexibility in the long run? From my understanding, grades are less of a concern for immigration law, but I still want to make sure I'm putting myself in the best position I can.

I also felt from ASD and visiting classes that Cornell had a very intense learning environment, which is great, but was also a "sink or swim" type of school. USC had support systems in place Cornell didn't, and the admitted students at least were way more laid back - which has good and bad aspects.

These are generalizations I made from a few visits, so if anyone who goes to these schools can provide greater insight that would also be great.

Thank you!

GouldenBear

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Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:21 pm

Re: Cornell vs. USC

Postby GouldenBear » Thu Apr 26, 2018 2:46 pm

I wouldn't speculate on your performance in law school. It's difficult to predict where you'll be in your class--people from prestigious undergrads could be scraping the bottom of the class and people from no-name colleges might be in the top 10%. It's hard to predict.

I would speak to people in the industry that you want to work in and ask them what matters when they're hiring. Do they care about school prestige, such that a few rankings will bump up an applicant? Do they care about GPA? Do they care about dedication? Do they only hire people who have previously interned?

One pro to USC is that the school is close to downtown LA--where a lot of government/non-profit agencies are located so you can easily intern there during the school year and build connections. I'm not sure if Cornell and Ithaca have a similar dynamic, but at USC it's something significant that should not be overlooked. If dedication is a major factor then showing that dedication by interning at a place not only during the summer, but throughout the semester will help.

NY and LA are drastically different, so if you love more than the other then choose the school that is located in that state.

Bigredbear

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Re: Cornell vs. USC

Postby Bigredbear » Thu Apr 26, 2018 3:40 pm

USC seems defensible given the cost difference. And it seems like you'd strongly prefer being in California both short and long term, so I'd say go with USC



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