Cornell Career Services hosted its 42nd annual Law School Day and Graduate School Day this week, attracting postgraduate institutions from across the country. Held on Tuesday, Sept. 26 and Wednesday, Sept. 27 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., the events gave prospective students from Cornell and nearby colleges an opportunity to meet with admissions representatives.
This year’s events were the first to be held in the Statler Hotel Ballroom, a much more comfortable, accessible and accommodating space for both program representatives and students than the previous Barton Hall location, Cornell Pre-Law and Graduate Programs Assistant Kristine Goggan told The Sun. After utilizing a virtual format last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event returned to in-person with a later start date to better fit the busy class schedules of interested students, according to Goggan.
Law School Day
“It’s an opportunity for students to speak directly with law school representatives to ask them about their admissions requirements and specialty programs,” Goggan said.
Law School Day hosted over 40 law schools from across the country. According to Goggan, every school in attendance this year had previously participated.
“We have a lot of schools that reach out every year, and they want to make sure that they get a spot at our fairs,” said Erica Kryst, executive director of Cornell Career Services. “We’ll usually send some outreach out to graduate programs that we’ve worked with before or that we know our students want to be at.”
Brenda Tabolt, admissions counselor at the University of North Carolina School of Law, said that UNC Law regularly sends representatives to the fair, as students from Cornell and other nearby schools frequently apply.
Lisa Bertrand, assistant director of admissions at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University, noted Pace’s similar desire to connect with prospective students.
“Pace has a vested interest in letting a wide variety of students learn about the offerings that we have at the law school, and we’re certainly interested in recruiting students from all across the country, and sometimes even across the world,” Bertrand said.
Over 260 students attended Law School Day, according to Goggan. While the event is held on the University’s campus and attended primarily by its students, interested students from other nearby schools — including Ithaca College, St. Bonaventure University and Cayuga Community College, among others — are invited and welcome to attend.
Adrian Hilton grad learned about the event from the career development toolkit in the Masters of Engineering portal on Canvas, Cornell’s main learning management platform. Hilton said he is a military veteran from the Air Force currently using the GI Bill — a law that provides educational support to servicemembers, veterans and their dependents — to attend Cornell. Hilton also intends to use the GI Bill to pursue law school.
Grad School Day
The following day, the Statler Hall Ballroom was once again crowded with students and admissions representatives. To accommodate for the 85 tabling schools and programs, the event spilled downstairs, with the Yale/Princeton and Pennsylvania rooms hosting health-related masters programs.
“Ask as many questions as possible, and it’s never too early to start looking at life post-graduation,” said Nicole Mineau, site director for Utica University’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science and Nursing. Utica University heard of the event through Handshake and decided to come to Cornell due to the fact that the accelerated nursing program at Utica gives a fast pathway to students who plan to enter the healthcare field.
Julia Hoffert, a representative from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, said that many students apply from Cornell every year. She expressed that in recruiting Cornellians, the school tries to emphasize how Ross’s Programs match what Cornell students “bring to the table.”
More than 400 students from a wide range of backgrounds registered for Grad School Day, but some said they did not feel like their interests were equally represented.
“I did wish there was more representatives for physician assistant programs, which is what I’m interested in,” said Fataha Rahman ’25.
Hugh Peng ’25 plans to apply to Ph.D. programs to dive deeper into his earth and atmospheric sciences and landscape architecture studies. While he said he was generally happy with the event, Peng wished to see more representatives from Ph.D. programs and greater geographic diversity among the attending schools.
“One thing I’m a little disappointed about is that I didn’t see many schools from the West Coast — University of California, Berkeley or Stanford — it would’ve been good to see them,” Peng said.
Kryst explained that while Cornell Career Services invites schools from across the country each year, steep travel costs regularly prevent many West Coast schools from making the trip to Ithaca.
“We’re excited to bring it back in person, and it’s great to see students learning about all the different types of programs that are out there that maybe they didn’t know about before,” Kryst said. “We’re excited to do it again next year.”
Carly Hermann ’27 is a Sun contributor and can be reached at [email protected].