Cornell 1L taking questions

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Lavitz
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Re: Cornell 1L taking questions

Postby Lavitz » Sat Nov 05, 2016 11:57 pm

alembicox1188 wrote:3.79/164

I was accepted to Cornell ED earlier this week and I do not expect to get any scholarship. When I applied, I believed that the reputation of a Cornell degree is worth the money. But after withdrawing my other applications I am beginning to get nervous about the cost. I got a full ride to a tier 2 NY school (the only offer I received before the Cornell decision) and I think I could have gotten decent $$$ from a top 30 school.

i know that around half of the students at Cornell are paying sticker. Are these students under more pressure to get good grades compared to those who got scholarships? Is landing a 160k Big Law position the only way to make Cornell worth sticker? Do I have a shot at getting some $$$?

I just want to know the general strategy and outlook of somebody paying sticker (and taking on lots of debt) at a lower top 14. I am really excited about attending Cornell but now I am really starting to think about how I can make my degree viable with lots of debt.

For starters, biglaw is paying 180K now, so that helps.

You might get some small, 7-10K/year scholarship if you're lucky. Theoretically it makes sense that the more debt you have, the more pressure you'll feel to do well. But at the end of the day, it's 1L, and everyone will feel the pressure and be gunning super hard so that they can get good jobs.

I didn't pay sticker so I can't personally speak to the general strategy and outlook. But: If you're sure that you want to be a lawyer, your career will last a long time, and where you start will matter a lot. At Cornell, your odds of getting biglaw will be much better than at some tier 2 school. You'll have to stick with biglaw for a few years to pay off a good chunk of that debt, and it'll probably suck. But long term, you'll pay off the debt, and you'll likely have a better career having gone to Cornell.

With that said, If you think there's any chance you could improve your LSAT score, and you wouldn't mind waiting a year, I'd retake, and if you get a 168 or above, sit out and reapply for $$$. No need to choose between T-14 and low debt if there's still a chance you can have both.

alembicox1188
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Re: Cornell 1L taking questions

Postby alembicox1188 » Sun Nov 06, 2016 12:14 am

wyattg wrote:
alembicox1188 wrote:3.79/164

I was accepted to Cornell ED earlier this week and I do not expect to get any scholarship. When I applied, I believed that the reputation of a Cornell degree is worth the money. But after withdrawing my other applications I am beginning to get nervous about the cost. I got a full ride to a tier 2 NY school (the only offer I received before the Cornell decision) and I think I could have gotten decent $$$ from a top 30 school.

i know that around half of the students at Cornell are paying sticker. Are these students under more pressure to get good grades compared to those who got scholarships? Is landing a 160k Big Law position the only way to make Cornell worth sticker? Do I have a shot at getting some $$$?

I just want to know the general strategy and outlook of somebody paying sticker (and taking on lots of debt) at a lower top 14. I am really excited about attending Cornell but now I am really starting to think about how I can make my degree viable with lots of debt.


Can you take a year off and retake/reapply regular decision? I had a 3.5/167 and got a surprisingly decent scholarship at Cornell, so with your GPA you could probably get serious $$ if you retake.


I really cannot imagine myself taking another year off. I finished my undergrad in May and I am now working a 60k job as a software engineer (work that I do not enjoy). My only LSAT exam was back in June 2015 - I took it then because I originally planned to apply in the 2015-2016 cycle.

I spent around 6 months studying for the LSAT. I took literally every published exam out there. Started cold at 156 and maxed at 165.

At this point I just don't feel like waiting another year, especially after getting into a top 14 school (something that I definitely did not expect). This might not be the right forum to ask, but I am really just looking for somebody to pat me on the back and say that 200k worth of debt is manageable. I know there are people out there who take that route and get by fine. But again, I might be underestimating the burden of that much debt, even with a degree from T-14.

wyattg
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Re: Cornell 1L taking questions

Postby wyattg » Sun Nov 06, 2016 2:27 pm

alembicox1188 wrote:
wyattg wrote:
alembicox1188 wrote:3.79/164

I was accepted to Cornell ED earlier this week and I do not expect to get any scholarship. When I applied, I believed that the reputation of a Cornell degree is worth the money. But after withdrawing my other applications I am beginning to get nervous about the cost. I got a full ride to a tier 2 NY school (the only offer I received before the Cornell decision) and I think I could have gotten decent $$$ from a top 30 school.

i know that around half of the students at Cornell are paying sticker. Are these students under more pressure to get good grades compared to those who got scholarships? Is landing a 160k Big Law position the only way to make Cornell worth sticker? Do I have a shot at getting some $$$?

I just want to know the general strategy and outlook of somebody paying sticker (and taking on lots of debt) at a lower top 14. I am really excited about attending Cornell but now I am really starting to think about how I can make my degree viable with lots of debt.


Can you take a year off and retake/reapply regular decision? I had a 3.5/167 and got a surprisingly decent scholarship at Cornell, so with your GPA you could probably get serious $$ if you retake.


I really cannot imagine myself taking another year off. I finished my undergrad in May and I am now working a 60k job as a software engineer (work that I do not enjoy). My only LSAT exam was back in June 2015 - I took it then because I originally planned to apply in the 2015-2016 cycle.

I spent around 6 months studying for the LSAT. I took literally every published exam out there. Started cold at 156 and maxed at 165.

At this point I just don't feel like waiting another year, especially after getting into a top 14 school (something that I definitely did not expect). This might not be the right forum to ask, but I am really just looking for somebody to pat me on the back and say that 200k worth of debt is manageable. I know there are people out there who take that route and get by fine. But again, I might be underestimating the burden of that much debt, even with a degree from T-14.


Yeah I dunno. Obviously your call but in my case, as much as I was also excited to get into Cornell and wanted to come here, I wasn't gonna do it if I had to pay full tuition. Like you said, people do it--I just decided it wasn't something I wanted to deal with. Even with my half tuition scholarship, I will have lots and lots of debt. It definitely doesn't keep me up at night but it's something I considered thoroughly before I decided to do this. Personally, 2X the debt I will have--i.e. attending without any scholarship -- might well keep me up at night. But that's me.

I get not wanting to wait but given that you're young and that at least you're making a decent out-of-undergrad salary, one year really isn't that big of a deal IMO. And if you could bump your score up to the high 160s (you could), you'd be looking at good money at not only Cornell, but higher ranked schools as well.

In the end I think it comes down to your own comfort level with that amount of debt, not so much whether others would find it feasible or not. Talk to the financial aid person at Cornell, and look into PSLF/LRAP if you're at all interested in going the public interest route. Good luck whatever you end up doing.

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Lincoln
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Re: Cornell 1L taking questions

Postby Lincoln » Mon Nov 07, 2016 7:45 pm

alembicox1188 wrote:3.79/164

I was accepted to Cornell ED earlier this week and I do not expect to get any scholarship. When I applied, I believed that the reputation of a Cornell degree is worth the money. But after withdrawing my other applications I am beginning to get nervous about the cost. I got a full ride to a tier 2 NY school (the only offer I received before the Cornell decision) and I think I could have gotten decent $$$ from a top 30 school.

i know that around half of the students at Cornell are paying sticker. Are these students under more pressure to get good grades compared to those who got scholarships? Is landing a 160k Big Law position the only way to make Cornell worth sticker? Do I have a shot at getting some $$$?

I just want to know the general strategy and outlook of somebody paying sticker (and taking on lots of debt) at a lower top 14. I am really excited about attending Cornell but now I am really starting to think about how I can make my degree viable with lots of debt.


(1) If you are paying sticker and fully financing with debt, you will owe closer to $300K than $200K. IMO that's difficult to service even on a Big Law salary. It sounds like $180K is lots of money (and it is), which should make it easy to pay off even sticker debt, but it's not as easy as it seems. There are other threads on here about paying back debt and calculators where you can figure out your total debt burden and monthly payments, so I won't go into detail about that. Suffice to say that I would not recommend paying sticker unless you have significant savings or other financial support that would help reduce the debt burden.

(2) I think paying sticker is a high-risk-high-reward bet. In my case, I would say it worked out. I paid sticker at Cornell, but because I graduated a few years ago I had less debt that you will. I got pretty much my dream career out of law school, and I think my career prospects are excellent. But lemme tell you, even as a law school lottery winner, the debt burden and the pressure to pay it back is not something to take lightly. It affects planning for a family, career options, your sense of freedom, etc.

(3) The converse is: What if it doesn't work out? I know a solid 4-5 people who did not graduate with a job or who did not get a Big Law or PLSF-eligible job. I know another 10 or so who left Big Law within two years because they hated their jobs and, because your job is 90% of your life when you're a junior associate at a Big Law firm in NYC, also hated their lives. The former category of people are basically fucked for life if they have a significant debt burden. The latter category won't be an option for you if you have $300K in loans because there are no other jobs that will allow you to pay $2,500 in monthly loan payments (unless you are in a PLSF-eligible career), so you'll just have to stay and suck it up.

No one can tell you what the right choice is, because it's so dependent on you, your personality, and your goals. But I hope the above provides some food for thought.

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Re: Cornell 1L taking questions

Postby wyattg » Mon Nov 07, 2016 7:55 pm

Lincoln wrote:I know a solid 4-5 people who did not graduate with a job or who did not get a Big Law or PLSF-eligible job.


Sorry to hijack, but can you elaborate on this, specifically on the people who didn't get a job? Was it just due to bad grades? Bad job market? Both?

Obviously there are no guarantees, but our employment numbers seem solid enough that I'd be curious to know what kind of circumstances lead to no job at graduation.

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Re: Cornell 1L taking questions

Postby 20170322 » Mon Nov 07, 2016 7:56 pm

Considering Cornell heavily, esp if they offer money.

What's the best/cheapest living option in your opinion?

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Re: Cornell 1L taking questions

Postby Lincoln » Mon Nov 07, 2016 8:05 pm

wyattg wrote:
Lincoln wrote:I know a solid 4-5 people who did not graduate with a job or who did not get a Big Law or PLSF-eligible job.


Sorry to hijack, but can you elaborate on this, specifically on the people who didn't get a job? Was it just due to bad grades? Bad job market? Both?

Obviously there are no guarantees, but our employment numbers seem solid enough that I'd be curious to know what kind of circumstances lead to no job at graduation.


Keep in mind this was a few years ago, and I'm generalizing horribly. My year wasn't one of the lost ones (c/o 2011 was worst hit), but the job market has improved a little bit even since I graduated. But obviously no school, including Cornell, has a 100% employment rate. I'd say even people with bad grades got jobs unless they were socially weird. Even socially weird people got jobs if they had good grades. Some socially weird people with bad grades got jobs; a small number did not.

I think the main mistake people make is not being able to be honest with themselves (or asking other to be so) about their interviewing skills and job prospects. Being a lawyer is, in large part, a people profession, and partners want to hire associates who can not only do the work well, but who can present the results of that work in a pleasant and effective way and who can interact with clients and opposing counsel without embarrassing the firm.

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Re: Cornell 1L taking questions

Postby Lincoln » Mon Nov 07, 2016 8:06 pm

SweetTort wrote:Considering Cornell heavily, esp if they offer money.

What's the best/cheapest living option in your opinion?


Living downtown with roommates. It's still the nicest apartment I've ever had (including where I live now as an overpaid Big Law monkey) and I paid $500/mo.

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Re: Cornell 1L taking questions

Postby 20170322 » Mon Nov 07, 2016 8:13 pm

Lincoln wrote:
SweetTort wrote:Considering Cornell heavily, esp if they offer money.

What's the best/cheapest living option in your opinion?


Living downtown with roommates. It's still the nicest apartment I've ever had (including where I live now as an overpaid Big Law monkey) and I paid $500/mo.


Anything in walking distance?

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Re: Cornell 1L taking questions

Postby wyattg » Mon Nov 07, 2016 9:04 pm

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Last edited by wyattg on Mon Dec 05, 2016 3:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Yea All Right
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Re: Cornell 1L taking questions

Postby Yea All Right » Mon Nov 07, 2016 9:43 pm

SweetTort wrote:
Lincoln wrote:
SweetTort wrote:Considering Cornell heavily, esp if they offer money.

What's the best/cheapest living option in your opinion?


Living downtown with roommates. It's still the nicest apartment I've ever had (including where I live now as an overpaid Big Law monkey) and I paid $500/mo.


Anything in walking distance?


Random houses/apartments located S and SW of the law school.

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Lincoln
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Re: Cornell 1L taking questions

Postby Lincoln » Wed Nov 09, 2016 4:46 pm

SweetTort wrote:
Lincoln wrote:
SweetTort wrote:Considering Cornell heavily, esp if they offer money.

What's the best/cheapest living option in your opinion?


Living downtown with roommates. It's still the nicest apartment I've ever had (including where I live now as an overpaid Big Law monkey) and I paid $500/mo.


Anything in walking distance?


I took the bus up the hill sometimes, but I always walked home. It took me about 10 minutes, which apparently some people don't consider walking distance.

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Re: Cornell 1L taking questions

Postby hopefuljumbo23 » Wed Nov 09, 2016 4:49 pm

Yea All Right wrote:
SweetTort wrote:
Lincoln wrote:
SweetTort wrote:Considering Cornell heavily, esp if they offer money.

What's the best/cheapest living option in your opinion?


Living downtown with roommates. It's still the nicest apartment I've ever had (including where I live now as an overpaid Big Law monkey) and I paid $500/mo.


Anything in walking distance?


Random houses/apartments located S and SW of the law school.


What's S/SW of the law school? Is it opp direction of Collegetown?

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Yea All Right
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Re: Cornell 1L taking questions

Postby Yea All Right » Fri Nov 11, 2016 1:22 am

hopefuljumbo23 wrote:
Yea All Right wrote:
SweetTort wrote:
Lincoln wrote:
SweetTort wrote:Considering Cornell heavily, esp if they offer money.

What's the best/cheapest living option in your opinion?


Living downtown with roommates. It's still the nicest apartment I've ever had (including where I live now as an overpaid Big Law monkey) and I paid $500/mo.


Anything in walking distance?


Random houses/apartments located S and SW of the law school.


What's S/SW of the law school? Is it opp direction of Collegetown?


Look up Cornell Law School on Google Maps, then go slightly down and to the left. I know law students who've lived in the houses along Eddy, Stewart, Buffalo, and Seneca (some of the houses contain multiple apartment units).

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Re: Cornell 1L taking questions

Postby lawschool2017712 » Thu Jan 26, 2017 7:02 pm

x
Last edited by lawschool2017712 on Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Cornell 1L taking questions

Postby hopefuljumbo23 » Thu Jan 26, 2017 7:06 pm

lawschool2017712 wrote:Federal clerkships at Cornell - can any current students talk to availability of these?


I'm a 1L, so please take my words with a grain of salt. I don't have much to say but basically my impression is that it seems very doable. You have to be top of the class (my understanding is over top 25%-ish - for reference Dean's list is top 30% and last semester the cut off was 3.645) BUT the good news is that you have time to increase your GPA, since it's not just 1L grades (as it is for big law). Anecdotally, I've met two people that are doing federal clerkships.

District courts, I think, are very doable. I haven't heard much about COAs, so I won't speak to that, but obviously SCOTUS is basically impossible (no surprise there).

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Re: Cornell 1L taking questions

Postby Lavitz » Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:14 pm

hopefuljumbo23 wrote:
lawschool2017712 wrote:Federal clerkships at Cornell - can any current students talk to availability of these?


I'm a 1L, so please take my words with a grain of salt. I don't have much to say but basically my impression is that it seems very doable. You have to be top of the class (my understanding is over top 25%-ish - for reference Dean's list is top 30% and last semester the cut off was 3.645) BUT the good news is that you have time to increase your GPA, since it's not just 1L grades (as it is for big law). Anecdotally, I've met two people that are doing federal clerkships.

District courts, I think, are very doable. I haven't heard much about COAs, so I won't speak to that, but obviously SCOTUS is basically impossible (no surprise there).

You don't necessarily have to be top 25%. A few people, including several TLSers, have gotten good clerkships below top 1/3rd. Of course, grades help, but they're not the entire story.

Since OP PM'd me, I'll just post some general info here for future reference.

The percentage of the class in federal clerkships right after graduation is usually between 5-10%, which is in line with the rest of the T-14 besides HYS, Chicago, and UVA, which usually have over 10%. However, since clerkship hiring has accelerated, a lot of students end up clerking after 1-2 years of working, and so the employment numbers no longer account for them. Hence a rather dismal year last year.

In addition, clerkship resources have definitely improved since I was a 1L. Back then, the public service office was in charge of clerkships, and mostly all they did was maintain symplicity and host one panel to explain to 1Ls how OSCAR works. When Dean P took over, clerkships went way up on the administration's priority list, so we have a separate clerkship office which hosts many more events, sends out weekly e-mails highlighting opportunities and providing advice, etc. So I think the opportunities here are similar to any other lower T-14 now. I can go into more detail in PM though.

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Re: Cornell 1L taking questions

Postby Chipotle85 » Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:00 am

Is flying into Syracuse and taking the Amtrak to Ithaca relatively straightforward? Thinking about visiting and seems like a hard place to get to.

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Re: Cornell 1L taking questions

Postby Lavitz » Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:18 am

Chipotle85 wrote:Is flying into Syracuse and taking the Amtrak to Ithaca relatively straightforward? Thinking about visiting and seems like a hard place to get to.

...There is no Amtrak station in Ithaca. You'd probably have to take a cab or rent a car.

https://sha.cornell.edu/admissions-prog ... ravel.html

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Re: Cornell 1L taking questions

Postby Cow » Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:29 am

Chipotle85 wrote:Is flying into Syracuse and taking the Amtrak to Ithaca relatively straightforward? Thinking about visiting and seems like a hard place to get to.

Unfortunately that's not an option because there isn’t an Amtrak service in Ithaca. You could, however, take a bus from the Syracuse airport to Ithaca, and it will drop you off at a station in downtown Ithaca, about two miles from the law school.

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Re: Cornell 1L taking questions

Postby runinthefront » Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:57 am

Cow wrote:
Chipotle85 wrote:Is flying into Syracuse and taking the Amtrak to Ithaca relatively straightforward? Thinking about visiting and seems like a hard place to get to.

Unfortunately that's not an option because there isn’t an Amtrak service in Ithaca. You could, however, take a bus from the Syracuse airport to Ithaca, and it will drop you off at a station in downtown Ithaca, about two miles from the law school.

Like others have mentioned, the easiest way to get to Ithaca from Syracuse and vice versa is by taking the bus. The one I usually take is called "Trailways" and it's like $32 dollars roundtrip, reliable, and will get you to and from Ithaca in like 1.5 hours. The only issue is that it picks you up/drops you off about a mile or two from campus.

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Re: Cornell 1L taking questions

Postby Chipotle85 » Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:41 am

runinthefront wrote:
Cow wrote:
Chipotle85 wrote:Is flying into Syracuse and taking the Amtrak to Ithaca relatively straightforward? Thinking about visiting and seems like a hard place to get to.

Unfortunately that's not an option because there isn’t an Amtrak service in Ithaca. You could, however, take a bus from the Syracuse airport to Ithaca, and it will drop you off at a station in downtown Ithaca, about two miles from the law school.

Like others have mentioned, the easiest way to get to Ithaca from Syracuse and vice versa is by taking the bus. The one I usually take is called "Trailways" and it's like $32 dollars roundtrip, reliable, and will get you to and from Ithaca in like 1.5 hours. The only issue is that it picks you up/drops you off about a mile or two from campus.

Thanks guys, I clearly misread something about Amtrak going from Syracuse to Ithaca. The bus from Syracuse to Ithaca sounds like the best option.

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Re: Cornell 1L taking questions

Postby Chipotle85 » Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:43 am

One more question: how receptive is Cornell to scholarship negotiations? I was initially pretty happy with their offer but have since realized that I would still have to take out a decent amount of loans to attend.

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Re: Cornell 1L taking questions

Postby hopefuljumbo23 » Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:46 am

Chipotle85 wrote:One more question: how receptive is Cornell to scholarship negotiations? I was initially pretty happy with their offer but have since realized that I would still have to take out a decent amount of loans to attend.


Very. Do you have other scholarships to use as bargaining chips?

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Re: Cornell 1L taking questions

Postby Cow » Fri Jan 27, 2017 1:11 pm

hopefuljumbo23 wrote:
Chipotle85 wrote:One more question: how receptive is Cornell to scholarship negotiations? I was initially pretty happy with their offer but have since realized that I would still have to take out a decent amount of loans to attend.


Very. Do you have other scholarships to use as bargaining chips?

I second this sentiment. Cornell has basically doubled its financial aid spending over the last few years,* so if you have any type of leverage then it's absolutely worth trying to negotiate.

*source: https://bol.bna.com/law-schools-ranked- ... -salaries/




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