Michigan vs. Cornell

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )
Post Reply
Spartan98

New
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2019 12:06 pm

Michigan vs. Cornell

Post by Spartan98 » Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:39 pm

Hi guys! I am currently debating between Michigan and Cornell. I have been accepted to both and am conflicted on which to choose. I am interested in Public Interest and would love to work for the ACLU, with my long term goal being the dream of being a Supreme Court Justice. My family lives in Michigan, and Ann Arbor is close to Detroit, which would have good internship opportunities. On the other hand, Cornell has amazing name recognition, I would take the bar in New York, I would be moving somewhere new and experience a new city. Any advice would help! Thank you!

QContinuum

Moderator
Posts: 3594
Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:52 am

Re: Michigan vs. Cornell

Post by QContinuum » Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:49 pm

For impact lit, Michigan's the clear winner over Cornell. Michigan has historical public interest strength, and generally has stronger placement power/brand name all around. Cornell's main strength, meanwhile, is placement into "generic" NYC BigLaw. For someone dead-set on NYC BigLaw, it'd be a close call, with maybe a slight edge to Cornell, but for anything else, Michigan's the easy choice.

That said, given your extraordinary ambitions, you should really be gunning for Yale, or NYU RTK, or Stanford, or Harvard, in that order. What would you be happy doing should you be unable to snag a position with the ACLU?

User avatar
trebekismyhero

Silver
Posts: 1016
Joined: Fri May 22, 2015 5:26 pm

Re: Michigan vs. Cornell

Post by trebekismyhero » Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:52 pm

Good luck on becoming a Supreme Court justice. If you are interested in public interest, I think Michigan makes more sense over Cornell. Michigan has a strong focus on public interest, whereas Cornell seems to be mostly NY big law. But how much debt would you take on to go to either of these? I would negotiate to get more money from each.

QContinuum

Moderator
Posts: 3594
Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:52 am

Re: Michigan vs. Cornell

Post by QContinuum » Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:54 pm

trebekismyhero wrote:But how much debt would you take on to go to either of these? I would negotiate to get more money from each.
If OP is truly all-in on public interest, it may not matter that much (although certainly less debt is always better than more debt!) since they'd have PSLF after 10 years.

My greater concern is what OP sees happening if ACLU doesn't pan out. Even the median Yalie doesn't land ACLU. If the only legal positions that interest OP are ACLU litigator (a'la RBG) followed by SCOTUS Justice (again a'la RBG), going to law school would be a massive gamble with tremendous downside risk.

Spartan98

New
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2019 12:06 pm

Re: Michigan vs. Cornell

Post by Spartan98 » Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:58 pm

Thank you so much for the quick responses!

I know that my aspirations are big, but really, at the end of the day, I just want to help others. I am interested in having a federal clerkship, too. It seems like the consensus is Michigan.

Yes, also, I would garner less debt in Michigan.

Want to continue reading?

Register now to search topics and post comments!

Absolutely FREE!


User avatar
trebekismyhero

Silver
Posts: 1016
Joined: Fri May 22, 2015 5:26 pm

Re: Michigan vs. Cornell

Post by trebekismyhero » Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:08 pm

QContinuum wrote:
trebekismyhero wrote:But how much debt would you take on to go to either of these? I would negotiate to get more money from each.
If OP is truly all-in on public interest, it may not matter that much (although certainly less debt is always better than more debt!) since they'd have PSLF after 10 years.

My greater concern is what OP sees happening if ACLU doesn't pan out. Even the median Yalie doesn't land ACLU. If the only legal positions that interest OP are ACLU litigator (a'la RBG) followed by SCOTUS Justice (again a'la RBG), going to law school would be a massive gamble with tremendous downside risk.
I would have agreed a few years ago, but are people actually getting their debt forgiven? I thought last year only like 80 people nationwide had all their debt forgiven by the govt.

QContinuum

Moderator
Posts: 3594
Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:52 am

Re: Michigan vs. Cornell

Post by QContinuum » Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:14 pm

Spartan98 wrote:Thank you so much for the quick responses!

I know that my aspirations are big, but really, at the end of the day, I just want to help others. I am interested in having a federal clerkship, too. It seems like the consensus is Michigan.

Yes, also, I would garner less debt in Michigan.
Nothing wrong with having big aspirations - that is a good thing! I want to make sure, though, that you don't end up regretting law school. A federal clerkship is a 1-year stint, 2 at most. It is not a career. So, what would you be happy doing, aside from impact litigation at the ACLU?

Spartan98

New
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2019 12:06 pm

Re: Michigan vs. Cornell

Post by Spartan98 » Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:19 pm

I'm really interested in injustice. Things like bringing the Innocent Project to new areas would be neat, getting some experience and opening legal clinics to provide legal assistance to those who need it would be great, too. I assume that I would start like this and make my way towards bigger projects.

User avatar
cavalier1138

Moderator
Posts: 7326
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:01 pm

Re: Michigan vs. Cornell

Post by cavalier1138 » Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:32 pm

trebekismyhero wrote:
QContinuum wrote:
trebekismyhero wrote:But how much debt would you take on to go to either of these? I would negotiate to get more money from each.
If OP is truly all-in on public interest, it may not matter that much (although certainly less debt is always better than more debt!) since they'd have PSLF after 10 years.

My greater concern is what OP sees happening if ACLU doesn't pan out. Even the median Yalie doesn't land ACLU. If the only legal positions that interest OP are ACLU litigator (a'la RBG) followed by SCOTUS Justice (again a'la RBG), going to law school would be a massive gamble with tremendous downside risk.
I would have agreed a few years ago, but are people actually getting their debt forgiven? I thought last year only like 80 people nationwide had all their debt forgiven by the govt.
My understanding of the situation is that a lot of people weren't on the right payment schedules (lenders were at least partially responsible for not explaining it properly to the borrowers). The issue isn't that the government is failing to honor the program commitment; the issue is that there were multiple failures to properly confirm that people who wanted forgiveness were actually on track to qualify.

Want to continue reading?

Register for access!

Did I mention it was FREE ?


The Lsat Airbender

Silver
Posts: 994
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2019 7:34 pm

Re: Michigan vs. Cornell

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Mon Jan 13, 2020 7:36 pm

Spartan98 wrote:I'm really interested in injustice. Things like bringing the Innocent Project to new areas would be neat, getting some experience and opening legal clinics to provide legal assistance to those who need it would be great, too. I assume that I would start like this and make my way towards bigger projects.
The bolded is a dangerous assumption. You should be sure you'd be happy, as many are, with spending your whole career "in the trenches" as a public defender or nonprofit associate. There simply isn't a ton of vertical advancement in this kind of work.

If you want to be involved in founding/running nonprofits then you need money, not a law degree.

Spartan98

New
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2019 12:06 pm

Re: Michigan vs. Cornell

Post by Spartan98 » Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:55 pm

I will be fine! All of my internships have been related to these topics, and I have loved them. Thank you so much, everyone!

acr

Silver
Posts: 791
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2014 11:14 pm

Re: Michigan vs. Cornell

Post by acr » Mon Jan 13, 2020 11:39 pm

Michigan by miles. Nothing wrong with Cornell, great school, but lol @ the idea of "experiencing somewhere new" in Ithaca. It's a...quaint...place, go there for a weekend if you're dying to see what it's like, but it's not like you're deciding between Michigan and a mind blowing experience in somewhere in, like, California, Chicago, NYC, etc. Michigan just has a better PI rep, as others have said, and you'll enjoy the proximity to family during law school.

User avatar
Wild Card

Silver
Posts: 825
Joined: Fri Jan 17, 2014 6:48 pm

Re: Michigan vs. Cornell

Post by Wild Card » Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:16 am

Michigan has a much, much stronger reputation than Cornell, at least when it comes to the law.

And you're a Michigan native--perfect! If you're interested in public interest opportunities, there will be plenty in New York City. And if you change your mind and decide to work in the private sector, all the opportunities will be in New York City too.

Michigan is hands-down the right choice for you.

Register now!

Resources to assist law school applicants, students & graduates.

It's still FREE!


Spartan98

New
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2019 12:06 pm

Re: Michigan vs. Cornell

Post by Spartan98 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:29 am

Thank you so much! Hearing that Michigan has a better reputation helps, as well. No one in my family has gone to law school, so I’ve really been relying on friends and law school research. Thank you!

acr

Silver
Posts: 791
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2014 11:14 pm

Re: Michigan vs. Cornell

Post by acr » Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:53 am

Spartan98 wrote:Thank you so much! Hearing that Michigan has a better reputation helps, as well. No one in my family has gone to law school, so I’ve really been relying on friends and law school research. Thank you!
Michigan will just be more fun as well. Bigger Big 10 school, so endless amounts of student orgs, competitive sports programs, and so on. Ann Arbor is one of the best college towns in America, and there are lots of fun activities/places to see in Michigan. Weekends in Detroit, Chicago, and so on at your fingertips...

Get unlimited access to all forums and topics

Register now!

I'm pretty sure I told you it's FREE...


Post Reply

Return to “Choosing a Law School”