USC or Cornell?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )

USC (with yearly $18k scholly) or Cornell (potentially no scholly)?

USC
25
40%
Cornell
37
60%
 
Total votes: 62

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askhos
Posts: 68
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USC or Cornell?

Postby askhos » Thu Apr 22, 2010 2:07 pm

My decision from Cornell is still pending, and since I submitted all of my materials in late January/early February I'm not expecting to hear a decision quicker than some of the other people who have waited a much longer time than me for their decisions from Cornell. Given the huge increase Cornell had in applications, I'm hesitant to believe that they'll let me in.

Nevertheless, USC's deposit deadline is coming up (5/1), and I need to figure out what I would do if Cornell does admit me. Since I don't know if I would get a scholarship offer from Cornell, I'm assuming the worst case scenario in that they won't give me anything.

Some factors to keep in mind:
-LSAT score: 167; UGPA: 3.63
-Cornell is my top choice school
-Apparently Cornell increased it's tuition by $5,000 (making USC the cheaper option if you don't count living expenses)
-Not entirely sure how USC (rank 18) and Cornell (rank 13) compare with job prospects overall. I know USC places well in the West Coast and Cornell, being a t14, places well at a lot of places.
-Never lived in a big city like L.A., but never lived in brutal winter conditions like Ithaca.
-Have no particular preference for any type of law (I decided to figure that out once attending), but I'll probably want to be at either an East Coast or West Coast market.

I think if given the choice right now I would pick Cornell over USC, even if Cornell didn't offer me any money. Some of you may say that it's best to just go with what I want (and thus why even bother posting this on TLS), but I worry that such a decision may be rash and irrational on my part, given the significantly larger debt I would incur as a result.

I appreciate any insight and advice.

Rory1987
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Re: USC or Cornell?

Postby Rory1987 » Thu Apr 22, 2010 2:36 pm

USC for Cali and maybe the Pacific NW, Cornell for anywhere else.

NerdmoD
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Re: USC or Cornell?

Postby NerdmoD » Thu Apr 22, 2010 2:38 pm

askhos wrote:it's best to just go with what I want

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dvd
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Re: USC or Cornell?

Postby dvd » Thu Apr 22, 2010 2:41 pm

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Last edited by dvd on Fri Jul 02, 2010 12:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

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askhos
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Re: USC or Cornell?

Postby askhos » Thu Apr 22, 2010 2:49 pm

dvd wrote:You're chances for Cornell aren't that great at this point. However, if you do get into Cornell, chances are you got some money from UCLA? They are normally as/more generous with money than USC. If you have that option, I would say take that, since that will give you better portability and better placement on the west coast.


I got rejected from UCLA, which probably means I'll get rejected from Cornell as well. I'm just thinking about the hypothetical situation.

Right now my admitted schools are USC, Fordham, and Davis. My waitlisted schools are Berkeley, Michigan, and Hastings.

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bigchris1313
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Re: USC or Cornell?

Postby bigchris1313 » Thu Apr 22, 2010 3:17 pm

If you want to work in Southern California, it's USC in a landslide.

If you want to work in the rest of California, I'm a bit unsure, but my general feeling is that it's a push.

If you want to work elsewhere, you'd definitely prefer to go to Cornell (if you get in, of course).

SandyC877
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Re: USC or Cornell?

Postby SandyC877 » Thu Apr 22, 2010 4:02 pm

Rory1987 wrote:[strike]USC for Cali and maybe the Pacific NW, Cornell for anywhere else.[/strike]


Cornell for everywhere.

USC for So Cal only.

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afghan007
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Re: USC or Cornell?

Postby afghan007 » Thu Apr 22, 2010 5:22 pm

Askhos, I'm also sitting on USC w/18k per year and waiting on Cornell. I'm from the Northeast and am hesitant about being stranded out west. Based on all the talk of strict Southern California placement out of USC, I may retake the LSAT and apply to some better schools closer to home next cycle if Cornell rejects me.

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askhos
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Re: USC or Cornell?

Postby askhos » Thu Apr 22, 2010 5:24 pm

afghan007 wrote:Askhos, I'm also sitting on USC w/18k per year and waiting on Cornell. I'm from the Northeast and am hesitant about being stranded out west. Based on all the talk of strict Southern California placement out of USC, I may retake the LSAT and apply to some better schools closer to home next cycle if Cornell rejects me.


Looks like I'm your doppleganger, I'm in California. And I'm Iranian. That's hawt.

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im_blue
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Re: USC or Cornell?

Postby im_blue » Thu Apr 22, 2010 5:29 pm

Given the choice, you should pick USC only if you're dead set on staying in LA. Cornell is better anywhere else. That said, I'd say your chances at Cornell are low, because you're right at their medians last year, and judging by LSN, that's probably not enough this year.

Rory1987
Posts: 221
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Re: USC or Cornell?

Postby Rory1987 » Thu Apr 22, 2010 6:44 pm

askhos wrote:
dvd wrote:You're chances for Cornell aren't that great at this point. However, if you do get into Cornell, chances are you got some money from UCLA? They are normally as/more generous with money than USC. If you have that option, I would say take that, since that will give you better portability and better placement on the west coast.


I got rejected from UCLA, which probably means I'll get rejected from Cornell as well. I'm just thinking about the hypothetical situation.

Right now my admitted schools are USC, Fordham, and Davis. My waitlisted schools are Berkeley, Michigan, and Hastings.


Well right now with what you have, I'd say Davis for NorCal, Fordham for NYC, and USC for everywhere else.

Cali167
Posts: 64
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 8:30 pm

Re: USC or Cornell?

Postby Cali167 » Thu Apr 22, 2010 6:54 pm

I had this EXACT choice. I went with USC (20k/year, just put my deposit down yesterday). I am dead set on Bay Area law and Cornell was not THAT much more impressive of a school to move across the country and live in ITHACA of all places. Plus, the money gave it that much more to push it over the edge.

If you aren't 100% sure you want Cali law, go to Cornell. If you are, see you in So. Cal.

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holybartender
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Re: USC or Cornell?

Postby holybartender » Thu Apr 22, 2010 7:20 pm

Maybe I'm on crack but I'm from California and I liked Ithaca.

Cali167
Posts: 64
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 8:30 pm

Re: USC or Cornell?

Postby Cali167 » Thu Apr 22, 2010 7:57 pm

holybartender wrote:Maybe I'm on crack but I'm from California and I liked Ithaca.


If you don't know whether or not you're on crack...you're on crack.

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dvd
Posts: 285
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Re: USC or Cornell?

Postby dvd » Thu Apr 22, 2010 7:58 pm

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Last edited by dvd on Fri Jul 02, 2010 12:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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askhos
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Re: USC or Cornell?

Postby askhos » Thu Apr 22, 2010 8:05 pm

For those of you voting for Cornell, do you think it's worth going there even if USC is offering me money? I haven't heard a response to that, just which schools offer better employment prospects.

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holybartender
Posts: 435
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Re: USC or Cornell?

Postby holybartender » Thu Apr 22, 2010 8:08 pm

dvd wrote:
Cali167 wrote:
holybartender wrote:Maybe I'm on crack but I'm from California and I liked Ithaca.


If you don't know whether or not you're on crack...you're on crack.


That's a great rule of thumb! I am going to write that down.


Hard to argue. Crack it is.

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mleibman
Posts: 38
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Re: USC or Cornell?

Postby mleibman » Thu Apr 22, 2010 11:03 pm

Perhaps a better question is not where you want to work, but what kind of law you want to practice.

If its sports or entertainment law, USC.

Anything else, I would say Cornell.

Good luck!

JOThompson
Posts: 1311
Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2009 3:16 am

Re: USC or Cornell?

Postby JOThompson » Thu Apr 22, 2010 11:06 pm

Rory1987 wrote:USC for Cali and maybe the Pacific NW, Cornell for anywhere else.

TITCR.

Deposit at USC if you need, but you should not have double deposits in June. USC will revoke your offer, according to the adcomm I spoke with.

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mleibman
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Re: USC or Cornell?

Postby mleibman » Thu Apr 22, 2010 11:09 pm

askhos wrote:For those of you voting for Cornell, do you think it's worth going there even if USC is offering me money? I haven't heard a response to that, just which schools offer better employment prospects.


My experience, though limited (in that I have yet to apply) is that you should go where you know you will find employment. After all, reducing the tenure of your loan payments (assuming you will be taking out a loan given the expense) is conditional upon employment. Bleak employment opportunities equate a mass of debt, and a real awful way to begin your professional career. I would go where you see yourself doing well. As I previously mentioned, what kind of law you want to practice is also a key factor. In addition to these things, USC has excellent employment figures, with a great alumni network. I would say USC. They have great offerings in many areas of law. Its a great school. And LA is a great place to earn your JD. No to mention, they are offering you money. BUT LA is extremely pricey (expect 2000k/month rent alone!)

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OneKnight
Posts: 429
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 9:00 pm

Re: USC or Cornell?

Postby OneKnight » Thu Apr 22, 2010 11:15 pm

SandyC877 wrote:
Rory1987 wrote:[strike]USC for Cali and maybe the Pacific NW, Cornell for anywhere else.[/strike]


Cornell for everywhere.

USC for So Cal only.


TITCR

woeisme
Posts: 781
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 8:39 pm

Re: USC or Cornell?

Postby woeisme » Fri Apr 23, 2010 1:38 am

askhos wrote:For those of you voting for Cornell, do you think it's worth going there even if USC is offering me money? I haven't heard a response to that, just which schools offer better employment prospects.


Yes, but don't think about this until it's an option. Cause that sucks then...

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askhos
Posts: 68
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Re: USC or Cornell?

Postby askhos » Sat Apr 24, 2010 2:13 pm

Thanks for all of the advice so far!

Part of me wonders whether it would be worth waiting another year and reapplying as soon as applications for 2011 come out, especially if Cornell rejects me. I know my chances of getting into better schools would be improved if all I did was apply much earlier (even without retaking the LSAT), since I know my application made enough of an impression on Michigan and Berkeley to be put on their waiting lists.

I also worry about the whole t14 influence. When I was looking at schools to apply to I didn't even know about the rankings system or the existence of TLS--I just went with the schools that appealed to me for various reasons. But after reading enough discussions on this site, I worry that choosing USC, although still a great school, would limit me in ways that Cornell wouldn't after graduating.

Would I be wasting my time if I sent Cornell a little blurb email about how much I want to go to their school? It wouldn't surprise me if other people are doing this, so they get annoyed by being slowed down reading the same email from all different applicants. I sent them some supplemental materials in early April letting them know I was still interested.

Also, even though I'm pretty sure it doesn't matter, the last schools I'm waiting to hear from are Cornell, Chicago, and Columbia.

Carnival1860
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 5:42 pm

Re: USC or Cornell?

Postby Carnival1860 » Sat Apr 24, 2010 2:24 pm

I also think that your chance getting into Cornell is pretty low at this point but dont give up hope yet (I had similar numbers last year and didnt manage to get into Cornell in the end).

Talking about SC, I agree with all above posters that its reputation is very local (probably even more local than you think). I do not know if the school is only able to target the LA market or its students choose to stay, but the chances of its students ending up practicing in LA/OC are huge.

If you want NorCal, I would say a SC degree can still take you there, but its going to be a lot of work on your own. There are some firms who know that USC is a good school, but have no experiences dealing with its graduates, and recruiters nowadays are pretty risk-averse.

Anyways good luck with whatever choice you take!

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askhos
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Re: USC or Cornell?

Postby askhos » Sat Apr 24, 2010 5:24 pm

The impression I get about Ithaca is that people who don't live there hate it, and the people who do live there love it.




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