Cornell (Sticker) vs. William and Mary ($$$)

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )

Cornell (sticker) vs. William and Mary ($$$)

Cornell (sticker)
43
62%
William and Mary (45k)
26
38%
 
Total votes: 69

Asleep
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Cornell (Sticker) vs. William and Mary ($$$)

Postby Asleep » Tue Jun 07, 2011 2:25 pm

I hope to practice in the Northeast, ideally in Portland, Maine. I am not looking for BigLaw. William and Mary offered $15,000 a year with no grade stipulations. I was left some money by my grandmother that would just barely cover the costs of W&M, allowing me to graduate debt free. I would graduate from Cornell with about $85,000 plus interest in loans (minus whatever I am able to make over the summers, if anything). I'm a little worried about this amount of debt in relation to the salaries in Maine.

I'm looking for some input and would appreciate any insights you all have!

Edit: I'm sending in my info hoping for some financial aid from Cornell. Unlikely I will get anything at this point, but its worth a try. Should I mention the 45k from W&M or will Cornell not care because it isn't really a peer school?

Thanks again for all the input!
Last edited by Asleep on Sat Jun 11, 2011 1:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Cornell (Sticker) vs. William and Mary ($$$)

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Jun 07, 2011 2:30 pm

Cornell for biglaw, William & Mary for debt free practice of law in Portland, Maine.

Cornell's reputation portrays it as the most hardworking & most competitive law school in the nation. This is great training for NYC biglaw, but unnecessary for practicing law in a small firm in a small town. Read the profiles of both law schools on this website--TLS.

BigRed1988
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Re: Cornell (Sticker) vs. William and Mary ($$$)

Postby BigRed1988 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 2:41 pm

Makes very little sense to go to William and Mary, which does not have national reach and will only give decent placement (if that) in the direct vicinity of the school. Cornell could at least get you there, but why take on the debt if you are not looking for a job which would take a competitively ranked degree to acquire? Did you look at University of Maine? I think it falls just outside the top 100 but it would be perfectly fine for the region, and if you got into Cornell I can't imagine they wouldn't give you a ton of scholarship money. If not, it comes down to personal preferences. Would you rather be in Maine and have trouble paying off your debt with a low paying job or sacrifice where you want to be for no debt?

Personally I vote choosing where you want to be, but I don't have any bearing on what kind of salary you could expect in Portland.

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Corwin
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Re: Cornell (Sticker) vs. William and Mary ($$$)

Postby Corwin » Tue Jun 07, 2011 2:45 pm

I'm not sure how debt averse you are, but $85K of debt from Cornell really isn't a lot of debt. See here for some salary data: --LinkRemoved--. If you are above the top 1/3 of your class, it is likely you will have the option to take a job making 160K. Even if you don't take big law, I would imagine you could get at least somewhere around $80K in Portland, Maine. And having a yearly salary equal to your debt is a great place to be.

I think Cornell is the better option, regardless of what you want to do and where you want to be. You'll still be able to get what you want with minimal debt and you'll leave many more options open for the future.
Last edited by Corwin on Tue Jun 07, 2011 2:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

BigRed1988
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Re: Cornell (Sticker) vs. William and Mary ($$$)

Postby BigRed1988 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 2:49 pm

Wait I must have misread. Is Cornell at sticker or will you graduate with 85K total in debt? Those are very, very different scenarios.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Cornell (Sticker) vs. William and Mary ($$$)

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Jun 07, 2011 2:49 pm

Cornell is sticker, but OP has inheritance money.

Cornell & non-resident Berkeley law students pay the highest law school tuitions in the country.

BigRed1988
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Re: Cornell (Sticker) vs. William and Mary ($$$)

Postby BigRed1988 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 2:56 pm

Right.


Stand by it. If you're 100 percent certain you never want to leave Maine look for cheaper option IN Maine, should be able to get a job in Portland without having to break the seal on the inheritence even. If not, 85K not much debt at all and much better options available.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Cornell (Sticker) vs. William and Mary ($$$)

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:05 pm

My best guess is that OP will be able to get a position in Portland, Maine from either law school, but Cornell has been rated by its own students as a highly stressful & competitive environment---neither of which were disputed by the law dean in the TLS profile. Additionally, some law school applicants whom I know have friends at Cornell Law who confirm this characterization. My concern, therefore, is why spend more money to go through a highly competitive, stressful, biglaw targeting environment when one does not seek biglaw nor practice in a big city.

Anyone else know current Cornell Law students ? If so, please describe your impressions of the law school culture & environment. Thank you !

P.S. The additional $85,000 could make a nice down payment on a home in the Portland, Maine area. (And, yes, I realize that that $85,000 would be borrowed funds.)

Asleep
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Re: Cornell (Sticker) vs. William and Mary ($$$)

Postby Asleep » Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:17 pm

Thanks everyone! I appreciate the input.

I didn't consider UMaine because, while I hope to work in Portland, I don't want to put myself in a position where I have no other options.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Cornell (Sticker) vs. William and Mary ($$$)

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:30 pm

Also, I am not sure about Maine Law School, but I have visited some Tier Two law schools that are not well funded & offer poor training in some areas--such as moot court--that would require correction.

William & Mary is a very well respected law school.

bartleby
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Re: Cornell (Sticker) vs. William and Mary ($$$)

Postby bartleby » Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:47 pm

Asleep wrote:Thanks everyone! I appreciate the input.

I didn't consider UMaine because, while I hope to work in Portland, I don't want to put myself in a position where I have no other options.


Smart play. I vote Cornell because it'll give you more options in case you change your mind. W&M is a really solid school but I think Cornell is on a diff. level. Breaking into the inheritance and still having 85k debt in not that big of a deal IMO.

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TheFutureLawyer
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Re: Cornell (Sticker) vs. William and Mary ($$$)

Postby TheFutureLawyer » Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:43 pm

W&M free vs Cornell 85k.

Even without wanting for BigLaw, I'd still go to Cornell. W&M for free is an amazing offer that cannot be taken lightly. But t13 for 85k is a god-like offer.

edit: also, the title of the thread should be W&M free vs Cornell 85k.

Also, think about how much cooler it sounds to say "I went to Cornell Law School" vs "I went to William and Mary Law School" (though a great school, lay people haven't heard of it).

edit 2: just thought I'd add that this is coming from someone who took an amazing scholarship at a t18-t30.

Asleep
Posts: 89
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:29 am

Re: Cornell (Sticker) vs. William and Mary ($$$)

Postby Asleep » Sat Jun 11, 2011 1:08 am

I'm sending in my info hoping for some financial aid from Cornell. Unlikely I will get anything at this point, but its worth a try. Should I mention the 45k from W&M or will Cornell not care because it isn't really a peer school?

Thanks again for all the input!

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Paraflam
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Re: Cornell (Sticker) vs. William and Mary ($$$)

Postby Paraflam » Sat Jun 11, 2011 1:29 am

TheFutureLawyer wrote:Also, think about how much cooler it sounds to say "I went to Cornell Law School" vs "I went to William and Mary Law School"

You're an idiot.

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gbpackerbacker
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Re: Cornell (Sticker) vs. William and Mary ($$$)

Postby gbpackerbacker » Sat Jun 11, 2011 8:41 am

85k in debt with interests should be like ~10-12k/yr right? That is definitely doable, and worth it for the increased prospects IMO.

RPK34
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Re: Cornell (Sticker) vs. William and Mary ($$$)

Postby RPK34 » Sat Jun 11, 2011 8:57 am

I just happen to know this because I almost went to W&M, but for whatever reason, even though Portland firms generally go to very few OCIs, W&M tends to be one of them for several firms. I know Bernstein Shur does OCI down there and I know Peirce Atwood took a W&M grad a year ago. Not to say Cornell doesn't have a great reputation too, but it seems W&M does alright for itself in Portland.

Regardless, I don't think you can go all that wrong with either choice. Leaving W&M debt free would be awesome, as would Cornell with 85k in debt.

Asleep
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Re: Cornell (Sticker) vs. William and Mary ($$$)

Postby Asleep » Sat Jun 11, 2011 4:11 pm

Sorry to bump again, but does anyone think the W&M scholarship is worth mentioning? I'm leaning towards no - I'm sure most admits had T1 scholarships. Agree/disagree?

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Corwin
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Re: Cornell (Sticker) vs. William and Mary ($$$)

Postby Corwin » Sat Jun 11, 2011 4:43 pm

Asleep wrote:Sorry to bump again, but does anyone think the W&M scholarship is worth mentioning? I'm leaning towards no - I'm sure most admits had T1 scholarships. Agree/disagree?

Worth mentioning to Cornell? I think they're probably out of money at this point, but I suppose it can't hurt to ask. There's another thread about a guy deciding between BU with $$ and Cornell and he said Cornell told him he would have to fill out financial aid.




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