bobbybird wrote:Thank you for your response. This, honestly, was my feeling from what I've read thus far about Cornell. It seems like such an undervalued school for it's employment data, so now that I'm in with the potential to get very good scholarship money, it's really high on my list. However, I keep doubting myself, thinking maybe I'm missing something critical.
To give you some food for thought - 8 people last year from the 1L class chose to pay more money to go to an objectively worse (using the data points you chose) [[EDIT - decided to fact check. NYU does have a better big firm score by .8%. However, NYU's clerkship placement is -2.1% comparatively, making it a loss of -1.3 for the two data points. I could edit this post for a better example, but I think most of what I say is still ok., just covering myself w/ this edit]] school and pay more money for it. I am speaking of those who transferred to NYU. I guess you can wonder why so many people did that (mind you, 17 transferred out of Cornell, only two of which went to HYS).
Without this being too cryptic, consider (1) Cornell's location. There are varying opinions on Ithaca and whether it's a good place to study or not. I fall in the camp that Ithaca was pretty awesome and is an excellent place to study. (2) Cornell's student body. The group tends to be a bit younger compared to some other t14. This, anecedotally, helps shape the atmosphere of the 1L class. In addition, there is indeed an isolating factor about Ithaca (compared to, say, NYC) whereby the attributes of the class are amplified. I'm not just talking out of my ass but a few current 1Ls have PM'd me saying the same thing. (3) Your career goals. Cornell is a NYC big law feeder. It is comparatively difficult to get many resources from the school or find like-minded individuals who don't want NYC big law. If you're in this camp who wants NYC big law, then great. If not, maybe you'd do better at somewhere like NYU that tends to have a broader class in terms of employment interests. That is not to say that PILU or CALSA or whatever don't do a good job in bringing like-minded individuals together - but they can't be as good as NYU for PI or places like Berk or Stanford for CA west coast.
Those are just some thoughts. Congrats on your acceptance and future money, though! Cornell is an excellent school and a great place to study - just maybe not for everyone. Using big firm % and clerkship % should not be the only consideration in choosing to spend three years somewhere, really.