Lavitz wrote:Alum, willing to answer questions, checking in. For now will just say: from NYC, liked Ithaca, thought it was a nice break from city life.
outside of the T6, is Cornell the best for NYC Biglaw? and since there's a difference between V100 and V10 firms (at least I'm pretty sure), how should that factor in someone's decision to attend a given law school vs another?
I'm not a big fan of tiers. If you just look at raw placement, it's probably Penn and Cornell consistently doing the best outside of the "T6," to the extent that's a thing. But when you factor in self-selection, the ultimate biglaw placement power of all the lower T-14 should be roughly the same. Cornell may have a slight edge in NYC because of location, traditional relationships with employers, and loyal alumni base concentrated in NYC.
If you're asking about Cornell doing well placing people not just into biglaw firms generally, but into the most prestigious firms vis a vis the Vault rankings, I would respond first that the Vault rankings are pretty arbitrary. It bears repeating that it's literally just a survey of current associates asking them to rank their rival law firms. But, second, even assuming they're a somewhat useful proxy for quality, we do pretty well for ourselves. See the discussion of V10 placement here
. And, as far as I know, most of the top firms have been increasing their hiring at Cornell lately.
As for how much placement into the "most prestigious" firms matters for any given individual choosing between schools, there have been plenty of threads on that. I think this boils down to: what are the odds, if you go to Cornell vs. another school, that you will strike out vs. not strike out, or get a more prestigious vs. less prestigious firm? This depends on a lot of factors. Will you be happier in one place than the other, thus leading you to perform better on exams relative to your peers, thus giving you a shot at better firms? Will your class have an unprecedented amount of gunners for some reason? Will you take advantage of any resources available at Cornell (location, alumni, career services, etc.) that are not available at another school? Moreover, even if you land a "more prestigious" firm, prestige isn't a perfect correlation for exit options. Those will depend on firm practice area strengths, clients, and reputation in certain quarters. No matter what school you go to, you'd want to research this kind of thing before OCI and try to get a firm that will give you the most opportunities in the career paths you think you're most likely to follow.
So basically, I don't know. If the difference is small, I wouldn't put too much weight on whether a school sends a few more people to V10 or whatever than the next school. If you're choosing between Columbia and Cornell at equal cost, then sure, you should go to Columbia. But even there, the odds that you'd land a more prestigious firm that you otherwise wouldn't get if you went to Cornell are probably so small that I personally wouldn't spend too much more to go to Columbia. (Besides the fact that you may want to spend a decent amount more just to be in NYC for 3 years, but imo how much more you spend for that reason is a personal rather than professional decision.)
For what it's worth, I chose Cornell over NYU for $$$ reasons and don't regret it at all. I'm confident I would have ended up with virtually the same outcome but would have paid a lot more at NYU.