GW $$$ vs. Vanderbilt $$ (Updated with unexpected scholly)

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )

What would you do?

GW with 30k/year and free first year housing
33
41%
Vanderbilt with 24k/year
47
59%
 
Total votes: 80

wired
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Re: Sorry to pile on, but... GW $$$ vs. UCLA vs. Vanderbilt $$

Postby wired » Mon Mar 01, 2010 1:53 pm

td6624 wrote:
wired wrote:I think the big question you need to ask yourself is what type of environment do you want during law school. GW has a huge class and is right next to the DC mall. Vanderbilt has a small class and is in Nashville. With the scholarships offered and differences in cost of living, you aren't looking at too much of a difference in debt after school. I would say that the $15k from first year housing would be the main difference.


The problem with these factors is that I prefer the small class size of Vandy, but I prefer the bustling location of GW. It seems like those two may cancel each other out?

I'm in way over my head here.


This is ME thinking out loud; you really ought to decide this for yourself.

It seems to me like the school size will be a more important factor since you will have summer positions and post-graduation that will let you experience atmosphere.

td6624
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Re: Sorry to pile on, but... GW $$$ vs. UCLA vs. Vanderbilt $$

Postby td6624 » Mon Mar 01, 2010 1:54 pm

wired wrote:
td6624 wrote:
wired wrote:I think the big question you need to ask yourself is what type of environment do you want during law school. GW has a huge class and is right next to the DC mall. Vanderbilt has a small class and is in Nashville. With the scholarships offered and differences in cost of living, you aren't looking at too much of a difference in debt after school. I would say that the $15k from first year housing would be the main difference.


The problem with these factors is that I prefer the small class size of Vandy, but I prefer the bustling location of GW. It seems like those two may cancel each other out?

I'm in way over my head here.


This is ME thinking out loud; you really ought to decide this for yourself.

It seems to me like the school size will be a more important factor since you will have summer positions and post-graduation that will let you experience atmosphere.


Thanks. I know this is in my hands, but it's always good to get as many different perspectives as possible.

I appreciate the responses (and I appreciate in advance those yet to come!).

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Dany
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Re: Sorry to pile on, but... GW $$$ vs. UCLA vs. Vanderbilt $$

Postby Dany » Mon Mar 01, 2010 2:06 pm

td6624 wrote:I'm thinking this is going to come down to impressions I get from visits.

This. We really can't tell you what to do, OP. This one's a toss-up, and you'll just have to see which you like better. You have substantial scholarships at two great schools, so pick the one you fall in love with after you visit. This is going to be personal preference from here on out. :)

DukeHopeful
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Re: GW $$$ vs. Vanderbilt $$ (Updated with unexpected scholly)

Postby DukeHopeful » Mon Mar 01, 2010 2:07 pm

You say you'd rather be handcuffed to DC than to the South, but to me that doesn't sound very logical. The South is huge, with quite a few big markets, and a ton of small and mid-size markets. DC is DC only. Perhaps you don't envision yourself a fan of the South, but I can't see that being the case unless you've just never spent much time here. (I don't know if this the case or not, feel free to correct me with your justification.) There are so many different markets/areas in the South that I think anyone could find a place that they'd be happy in. Aside from Duke and some UVA grads, Vandy is pretty solid in the South. GW is competing with quite a few big-name schools in DC, including the aforementioned Duke and UVA, as well as GULC and other T14s.

I don't know the exact COL in Nashville, but I can tell you DC is outrageously expensive. Not just for housing, which you're lucky to get that first year paid for, but for most other things. $8 beers, $10 Jack and Cokes, etc. Again, I can't comment on Nashville, but at my school, I can find bars all over with $1 beer nights on Thurs, Fri, and Sat nights. It adds up over a year.

I happen to know a managing partner at an NLJ250 firm in the South, who is a Vandy grad. I just spoke with him this weekend, and all he could talk about was how big Vandy is in the South. He was telling me that at one point, five of the six managing partners at the largest firms in the South were all Vandy grads.

My vote would be Vandy, even though I love DC. GULC might be different, but with your options, I'd go with Vandy so long as you know you'd be happy there for three years.

td6624
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Re: GW $$$ vs. Vanderbilt $$ (Updated with unexpected scholly)

Postby td6624 » Mon Mar 01, 2010 2:12 pm

DukeHopeful wrote:You say you'd rather be handcuffed to DC than to the South, but to me that doesn't sound very logical. The South is huge, with quite a few big markets, and a ton of small and mid-size markets. DC is DC only. Perhaps you don't envision yourself a fan of the South, but I can't see that being the case unless you've just never spent much time here. (I don't know if this the case or not, feel free to correct me with your justification.) There are so many different markets/areas in the South that I think anyone could find a place that they'd be happy in. Aside from Duke and some UVA grads, Vandy is pretty solid in the South. GW is competing with quite a few big-name schools in DC, including the aforementioned Duke and UVA, as well as GULC and other T14s.

I don't know the exact COL in Nashville, but I can tell you DC is outrageously expensive. Not just for housing, which you're lucky to get that first year paid for, but for most other things. $8 beers, $10 Jack and Cokes, etc. Again, I can't comment on Nashville, but at my school, I can find bars all over with $1 beer nights on Thurs, Fri, and Sat nights. It adds up over a year.

I happen to know a managing partner at an NLJ250 firm in the South, who is a Vandy grad. I just spoke with him this weekend, and all he could talk about was how big Vandy is in the South. He was telling me that at one point, five of the six managing partners at the largest firms in the South were all Vandy grads.

My vote would be Vandy, even though I love DC. GULC might be different, but with your options, I'd go with Vandy so long as you know you'd be happy there for three years.


Thanks. It's not that I think I'd be unhappy in the South. But I've always seen myself in DC, NYC, or Chicago. I've spent a reasonably significant amount of time in the South and traveling through it. I have an aunt and uncle in Nashville who went to UT-K.

The cost of living is definitely something to think about too.

And starting March 9th my boyfriend and I can get married in DC if we want. Heh heh. Don't see that happening in a Southern state any time soon.

DukeHopeful
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Re: GW $$$ vs. Vanderbilt $$ (Updated with unexpected scholly)

Postby DukeHopeful » Mon Mar 01, 2010 2:22 pm

It definitely sounds like you have some significant personal reasons for wanting to choose GW over Vandy, which shouldn't be overlooked. I guess your decision will come down to weighing your personal reasons with future career opportunities.

Also, I wouldn't say that Vandy "handcuffs" you to the South. If you do well at Vandy, it's a fairly portable degree. There's no rule saying you'd have to stay in the South. Just one more thing to think about.

BenJ
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Re: GW $$$ vs. Vanderbilt $$ (Updated with unexpected scholly)

Postby BenJ » Mon Mar 01, 2010 2:55 pm

New scholarship -> Still GW, although the decision should rightfully be a lot tougher. Again, USNWR underrated GW last year (it was #20 in 2008), and a lot of people on TLS underrate it as a result. Your strong personal preference for the DC area makes it hard to justify taking less money at Vanderbilt for what are essentially similar job prospects. Yes, Vanderbilt places well across the South, but if you'd rather be in DC or the Northeast or Chicago, that's irrelevant, and GW is the obvious choice. Basically, Vandy dominates the Southern markets (behind Duke and UVA, of course, and competing with UT and Emory, but still very strong considering the relatively low number of strong schools per capita and that Southern law firms rarely hire anyone from a non-Southern school) but has less pull than many other T30s outside of the South--overall, that gives it employment statistics comparable to the lower T14, but that masks a strong regional bias. Vandy doesn't "handcuff" you to the South, but GW is better for anywhere outside the South.
Last edited by BenJ on Mon Mar 01, 2010 2:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Oban
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Re: GW $$$ vs. Vanderbilt $$ (Updated with unexpected scholly)

Postby Oban » Mon Mar 01, 2010 2:56 pm

Al Gore Invented the internets while at Vandy. That's something to consider.

td6624
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Re: GW $$$ vs. Vanderbilt $$ (Updated with unexpected scholly)

Postby td6624 » Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:01 pm

BenJ wrote:New scholarship -> Still GW, although the decision should rightfully be a lot tougher. Again, USNWR underrated GW last year (it was #20 in 2008), and a lot of people on TLS underrate it as a result. Your strong personal preference for the DC area makes it hard to justify taking less money at Vanderbilt for what are essentially similar job prospects. Yes, Vanderbilt places well across the South, but if you'd rather be in DC or the Northeast or Chicago, that's irrelevant, and GW is the obvious choice. Basically, Vandy dominates the Southern markets (behind Duke and UVA, of course, and competing with UT and Emory, but still very strong considering the relatively low number of strong schools per capita and that Southern law firms rarely hire anyone from a non-Southern school) but has less pull than many other T30s outside of the South--overall, that gives it employment statistics comparable to the lower T14, but that masks a strong regional bias. Vandy doesn't "handcuff" you to the South, but GW is better for anywhere outside the South.


For a reference point, this is pretty much where my head is right now. Thanks for articulating it so much better than I could.

DukeHopeful
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Re: GW $$$ vs. Vanderbilt $$ (Updated with unexpected scholly)

Postby DukeHopeful » Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:07 pm

BenJ wrote:New scholarship -> Still GW, although the decision should rightfully be a lot tougher. Again, USNWR underrated GW last year (it was #20 in 2008), and a lot of people on TLS underrate it as a result. Your strong personal preference for the DC area makes it hard to justify taking less money at Vanderbilt for what are essentially similar job prospects. Yes, Vanderbilt places well across the South, but if you'd rather be in DC or the Northeast or Chicago, that's irrelevant, and GW is the obvious choice. Basically, Vandy dominates the Southern markets (behind Duke and UVA, of course, and competing with UT and Emory, but still very strong considering the relatively low number of strong schools per capita and that Southern law firms rarely hire anyone from a non-Southern school) but has less pull than many other T30s outside of the South--overall, that gives it employment statistics comparable to the lower T14, but that masks a strong regional bias. Vandy doesn't "handcuff" you to the South, but GW is better for anywhere outside the South.


Citations for this? I'd have to disagree. GW places 64% into the South Atlantic (which includes DC, DE, FL, GA, MD, NC, SC, VA, WV but I think we can probably agree this overwhelmingly goes to the DC market). More than half of Vandy grads leave the South after graduating. Only 43% of Vandy grads remain in the South, with 27% going to the Northeast, 14% going to the West/Southwest, and 13% to the midwest. GW puts just 17% into the NY, NJ, PA market, and a meager 6% into the Pacific (AK, CA, HI, OR, WA). I would say that it seems as though Vandy is pretty much a better bet placement-wise just about anywhere outside of DC.

http://www.top-law-schools.com/vanderbi ... _Placement

http://www.law.gwu.edu/Careers/prospect ... stics.aspx

DukeHopeful
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Re: GW $$$ vs. Vanderbilt $$ (Updated with unexpected scholly)

Postby DukeHopeful » Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:08 pm

td6624 wrote:
BenJ wrote:New scholarship -> Still GW, although the decision should rightfully be a lot tougher. Again, USNWR underrated GW last year (it was #20 in 2008), and a lot of people on TLS underrate it as a result. Your strong personal preference for the DC area makes it hard to justify taking less money at Vanderbilt for what are essentially similar job prospects. Yes, Vanderbilt places well across the South, but if you'd rather be in DC or the Northeast or Chicago, that's irrelevant, and GW is the obvious choice. Basically, Vandy dominates the Southern markets (behind Duke and UVA, of course, and competing with UT and Emory, but still very strong considering the relatively low number of strong schools per capita and that Southern law firms rarely hire anyone from a non-Southern school) but has less pull than many other T30s outside of the South--overall, that gives it employment statistics comparable to the lower T14, but that masks a strong regional bias. Vandy doesn't "handcuff" you to the South, but GW is better for anywhere outside the South.


For a reference point, this is pretty much where my head is right now. Thanks for articulating it so much better than I could.


As I said before, you have significant personal reasons for wanting to be in DC. My post above was just to clarify some of the data in job prospects.

td6624
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Re: GW $$$ vs. Vanderbilt $$ (Updated with unexpected scholly)

Postby td6624 » Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:20 pm

DukeHopeful wrote:
td6624 wrote:
BenJ wrote:New scholarship -> Still GW, although the decision should rightfully be a lot tougher. Again, USNWR underrated GW last year (it was #20 in 2008), and a lot of people on TLS underrate it as a result. Your strong personal preference for the DC area makes it hard to justify taking less money at Vanderbilt for what are essentially similar job prospects. Yes, Vanderbilt places well across the South, but if you'd rather be in DC or the Northeast or Chicago, that's irrelevant, and GW is the obvious choice. Basically, Vandy dominates the Southern markets (behind Duke and UVA, of course, and competing with UT and Emory, but still very strong considering the relatively low number of strong schools per capita and that Southern law firms rarely hire anyone from a non-Southern school) but has less pull than many other T30s outside of the South--overall, that gives it employment statistics comparable to the lower T14, but that masks a strong regional bias. Vandy doesn't "handcuff" you to the South, but GW is better for anywhere outside the South.


For a reference point, this is pretty much where my head is right now. Thanks for articulating it so much better than I could.


As I said before, you have significant personal reasons for wanting to be in DC. My post above was just to clarify some of the data in job prospects.


I see that, and I appreciate it. It certainly seems clear that Vandy grads are able to fan out all across the country much better than GW grads. If I were open to living in any part of the country, Vandy would be the correct choice. But since I'm sort of limiting myself to places like DC/Chicago/NYC, GW might still come out on top.

Take the chances from both schools of finding employment in those three cities and combine them, forgetting the fact that GW has a built-in advantage by being in DC. That's the way I'm looking at it, and it doesn't really seem to tilt clearly either way.

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Grizz
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Re: GW $$$ vs. Vanderbilt $$ (Updated with unexpected scholly)

Postby Grizz » Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:40 pm

DukeHopeful wrote:Citations for this? I'd have to disagree. GW places 64% into the South Atlantic (which includes DC, DE, FL, GA, MD, NC, SC, VA, WV but I think we can probably agree this overwhelmingly goes to the DC market). More than half of Vandy grads leave the South after graduating. Only 43% of Vandy grads remain in the South, with 27% going to the Northeast, 14% going to the West/Southwest, and 13% to the midwest. GW puts just 17% into the NY, NJ, PA market, and a meager 6% into the Pacific (AK, CA, HI, OR, WA). I would say that it seems as though Vandy is pretty much a better bet placement-wise just about anywhere outside of DC.

http://www.top-law-schools.com/vanderbi ... _Placement

http://www.law.gwu.edu/Careers/prospect ... stics.aspx


+1.

OP, if you were 100% sure you'd want DC, I'd say go with GW, but because you're not, Vandy has better placement all around, plus the 72K you got there is real nice. Go to Vanderbilt.

Oban
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Re: GW $$$ vs. Vanderbilt $$ (Updated with unexpected scholly)

Postby Oban » Mon Mar 01, 2010 4:05 pm

ITT: Op wants to go to GW, but unsure + Vandy Trolls.

dakatz
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Re: GW $$$ vs. Vanderbilt $$ (Updated with unexpected scholly)

Postby dakatz » Mon Mar 01, 2010 4:08 pm

You sound like you are heavily leaning toward staying in DC. GW def seems like the right choice for you. Vandy isn't so much better as to warrant you leaving the city you want to be in.

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Re: GW $$$ vs. Vanderbilt $$ (Updated with unexpected scholly)

Postby observationalist » Tue Mar 02, 2010 6:04 pm

FWIW a lot of Vandy students who want DC end up spending a semester there doing a full-time externship at DOJ, EPA, State Dept etc. You can spend just about a full year in DC while getting your JD at Vanderbilt, provided you worked there 1L and 2L summers and did a semester externship. I'd thought about doing DOJ for 2L spring... when I'd interviewed with one of their attorneys I was told that they typically get parttime students from the local schools during the schoolyear and that the prospects of having a fulltime extern was appealing (at least for that division). Our 3rd annual ELPAR conference (held in conjunction with ELI) will be on the Hill in April, which I went to last year and had a great time. If you're interested in international law Professor Newton sets up a lot of people with externships either in Washington or abroad, so that's something to consider as well. GW beats us in sure numbers, but as I pointed out in a UT vs. Vandy thread you're looking at more students in a given class at GW aiming for the DC market than there are students in my entire class of 190. GW will always do well in DC but as with all law schools, the benefits of the brand name only attach to those in the top X% of the class. Schools that are performing well right now have diversified their classes (and shrinking them when necessary) in order to keep that % from shrinking to a negligible number. Before accepting $$ anywhere you need to ask the school for information on current job placement for the 2L and 3L classes, as that should be weighing greater than many other considerations at this point.

For the personal evaluation I strongly recommend visiting Nashville during one of the ASWs to see whether or not the place has anything to offer you. I grew up in the provincial northeast and had never considered moving to the midsouth until I got accepted and came down to visit... since then I've spent the better part of the last three years showing visitors around and otherwise enjoying the time I've had. Saturday night was the Barrister's Ball at the War Memorial downtown, where Mayor Dean (Vandy JD) and his wife (Vandy JD) made an appearance, after which a large group of law students crashed Lonnie's for latenight karaoke down on Printer's Alley.* Sunday night I hit up free bluegrass at Station Inn. Spring break starts this coming weekend but when I return a bunch of us are seeing Foreigner midweek at the Ryman (best music venue on earth, even for the non-churchgoers like myself).


*Just reminded myself that Lonnie gave me his business card Saturday and I need to email him the article I wrote for barbizmag... which you can find online here: http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/sb/barb ... ex.php#/48

[Edit: was going to write more about why I like Nashville but the barbiz article does a better job at conveying that... plus it comes with pics!]

td6624
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Re: GW $$$ vs. Vanderbilt $$ (Updated with unexpected scholly)

Postby td6624 » Tue Mar 16, 2010 6:12 pm

UCLA threw me $30k. I'm not thinking this has any bearing.

(Yes, this is a thinly veiled bump because Vandy keeps steadily creeping up on me and I am completely riddled with anxiety. Feel free to yell at me and tell me to WAIT UNTIL I SEE THEM because in my heart of hearts I know that's what I have to do).

:-/

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Dany
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Re: GW $$$ vs. Vanderbilt $$ (Updated with unexpected scholly)

Postby Dany » Tue Mar 16, 2010 6:47 pm

td6624 wrote:UCLA threw me $30k. I'm not thinking this has any bearing.

(Yes, this is a thinly veiled bump because Vandy keeps steadily creeping up on me and I am completely riddled with anxiety. Feel free to yell at me and tell me to WAIT UNTIL I SEE THEM because in my heart of hearts I know that's what I have to do).


--ImageRemoved--

td6624
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Re: GW $$$ vs. Vanderbilt $$ (Updated with unexpected scholly)

Postby td6624 » Tue Mar 16, 2010 7:20 pm

memegenerator, eh? never seen that.

could come in handy...

and thank you. i needed that.

mitz1489
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Re: GW $$$ vs. Vanderbilt $$ (Updated with unexpected scholly)

Postby mitz1489 » Wed Feb 02, 2011 12:05 pm

td6624 wrote:
DukeHopeful wrote:You say you'd rather be handcuffed to DC than to the South, but to me that doesn't sound very logical. The South is huge, with quite a few big markets, and a ton of small and mid-size markets. DC is DC only. Perhaps you don't envision yourself a fan of the South, but I can't see that being the case unless you've just never spent much time here. (I don't know if this the case or not, feel free to correct me with your justification.) There are so many different markets/areas in the South that I think anyone could find a place that they'd be happy in. Aside from Duke and some UVA grads, Vandy is pretty solid in the South. GW is competing with quite a few big-name schools in DC, including the aforementioned Duke and UVA, as well as GULC and other T14s.

I don't know the exact COL in Nashville, but I can tell you DC is outrageously expensive. Not just for housing, which you're lucky to get that first year paid for, but for most other things. $8 beers, $10 Jack and Cokes, etc. Again, I can't comment on Nashville, but at my school, I can find bars all over with $1 beer nights on Thurs, Fri, and Sat nights. It adds up over a year.

I happen to know a managing partner at an NLJ250 firm in the South, who is a Vandy grad. I just spoke with him this weekend, and all he could talk about was how big Vandy is in the South. He was telling me that at one point, five of the six managing partners at the largest firms in the South were all Vandy grads.

My vote would be Vandy, even though I love DC. GULC might be different, but with your options, I'd go with Vandy so long as you know you'd be happy there for three years.


Thanks. It's not that I think I'd be unhappy in the South. But I've always seen myself in DC, NYC, or Chicago. I've spent a reasonably significant amount of time in the South and traveling through it. I have an aunt and uncle in Nashville who went to UT-K.

The cost of living is definitely something to think about too.

And starting March 9th my boyfriend and I can get married in DC if we want. Heh heh. Don't see that happening in a Southern state any time soon.


Im actually in the same boat as you (minus scholarships from either school). I can't decide whether I want to go to Vandy or GW and have just kind of always envisioned myself in DC. What did you end up choosing if you don't mind me asking?

Rory1987
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Re: GW $$$ vs. Vanderbilt $$ (Updated with unexpected scholly)

Postby Rory1987 » Wed Feb 02, 2011 12:22 pm

If you want to stay in IL, then why don't you go to UIUC for free?

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Bildungsroman
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Re: GW $$$ vs. Vanderbilt $$ (Updated with unexpected scholly)

Postby Bildungsroman » Wed Feb 02, 2011 12:23 pm

CHECK YO POST DATES.

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Re: GW $$$ vs. Vanderbilt $$ (Updated with unexpected scholly)

Postby Grizz » Wed Feb 02, 2011 12:24 pm

Bildungsroman wrote:CHECK YO POST DATES.


CHECK YOU ATL MEMES

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Re: GW $$$ vs. Vanderbilt $$ (Updated with unexpected scholly)

Postby Bildungsroman » Wed Feb 02, 2011 12:26 pm

rad law wrote:
Bildungsroman wrote:CHECK YO POST DATES.


CHECK YOU ATL MEMES


I don't know what this means. Did I inadvertently co-opt an ATL meme?

mitz1489
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Re: GW $$$ vs. Vanderbilt $$ (Updated with unexpected scholly)

Postby mitz1489 » Wed Feb 02, 2011 12:28 pm

rad law wrote:
Bildungsroman wrote:CHECK YO POST DATES.


CHECK YOU ATL MEMES


touche. totally misread it.




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