Texas vs. Vanderbilt vs. Cornell

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Esc
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Re: Texas vs. Vanderbilt vs. Princeton Law

Postby Esc » Sat Apr 03, 2010 11:33 pm

soullesswonder wrote:
Esc wrote:
jsarna1 wrote:
Forgive me for being skeptical, but are you sure that's just current 3Ls with Article III and not total Article III placement for this hiring cycle or all 3L clerkship gigs? For Article IIIs Vandy's total went from 18 in '09 to 28 in '10. Texas was at 46 in '09, and while 60 in '10 seems believable enough, if that stat doesn't include recent grads the true number might be 70-75, which sounds like a HUGE jump.


Texas hired a UChicago prof who took over their clerkship program and they have been pouring money and resources into it per them. The jump seems to reflect this, and at the ASW they seem to expect this trend to continue. Vanderbilt has 8 COA clerks this year and Texas has 20. I do like that the BigLaw prospects from Vandy seem to be higher. It seems that Texas' constitutional law program is better than Vandy's... any thoughts on this?


Prof. Kadens is quite a powerhouse. One correction is that only about 45 of the 60 clerks are Article III. 19 of those are COA, the rest district. The other 15 are mostly bankruptcy judges, with a few state supreme court judges thrown in.

Those are all 3Ls though - I have no idea how many alums are clerking.

There are a ton of Con Law classes offered here, with some very esteemed profs. Dunno how it compares to Vandy.


Thanks for the correction. Texas has what? about 400 grads? That would put about 11% of 3Ls with Article III clerkships. observationalist said that he expected about 10% of Vandy 3Ls to have federal clerkships, so the two would appear to be very close.


UT's class size has been shrinking, so I'm not sure how many were in that particular class year (2010). Class of 2009 had ~420 grads, the classes of 2011 and 2012 have ~375-385 students each.

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Re: Texas vs. Vanderbilt vs. Princeton Law

Postby fortissimo » Sat Apr 03, 2010 11:39 pm

soullesswonder wrote:
najumobi wrote:
soullesswonder wrote:
Where did you get the 14% stat? That seems high for Vandy, and I have never seen one that high. That would definitely make things interesting... Texas had 60 clerkships out of a class of ~400 which is ~15%. The percentages for Vandy are better, but Texas sends a large number of students to BigLaw. I haven't gotten a scholarship offer from Princeton Law yet, just got in, but the money from Vandy and Texas is about equal. It's most likely coming down to those two. I have heard that both schools can take me back to Chicago, but Texas seems promising when you're 16 and pregnant because of the wide spectrum of opportunities in the state of Texas. I do like 7 hour drive over an 18 hour one, especially with the SO at ND.

I got the 14% stat from observationalist, who provided a breakdown here:
http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=75513&start=175
the 28 total federal clerkship placements includes recent grads...so the number for just class of 2010 is lower. it seems observationalist didn't subtract recent grads from the 28 value when figuring out the percentage out of 195 total class of 2010 students.


C'mon, think for a minute...there will be 2010 grads who get clerkships a year or two out as well, so statistically it's a wash. We're talking about total clerkship placement, not the number of clerkships that follow immediately after 3L year. Every other school that talks about its placement rate for classes of 09 or 10 is going to include recent grads as well.


...The statistics doesn't mean much when we don't know Cornell's placement this year.

(For example, Michigan's clerkship placement increased from 14% in previous years to over 20% this year...I bet many schools have increased clerkship placement because of the biglaw contraction.)

At same costs, I'd go to Cornell because it's more national. Winters "up north" aren't that bad people. It's not like the humidity you guys have to suffer through down South.
Last edited by fortissimo on Sat Apr 03, 2010 11:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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KMaine
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Re: Texas vs. Vanderbilt vs. Cornell

Postby KMaine » Sat Apr 03, 2010 11:49 pm

I would also suggest that OP visit all or most of the schools. Allso, let all the schools know about your other financial aid offers. I squeezed a little more money out of Cornell by playing off my Duke offer. I chose Cornell over Vanderbilt and didn't find it to be much of a contest (though I want to work in Boston). IMO Cornell has more prestige nationally, but we may be talking about a few percentage points. It is rather silly to be comparing clerkship numbers down to one percent b/c they do tend to fluctuate. I would not take TX for working in Chicago unless they give you much more $ than the other two and you want to hedge your bets. Good luck.

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jsarna1
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Re: Texas vs. Vanderbilt vs. Cornell

Postby jsarna1 » Sun Apr 04, 2010 1:46 am

I really appreciate the responses. I have visited both Vandy and UT, and I really liked them both. I am talking to Vandy's director of clerkships and I am also in touch with UT's financial aid office. If I'm able to squeeze out some more money from them, their offer would be better than Vandy's. They are practically equal at the moment, which for me, really isn't helpful. Cornell admitted me too late to plan a visit, so I'm trying my best to do research on the side. In the end, I don't mind working in Texas, which is one reason why Texas is relatively attractive. Assuming I'm in the middle of my class, I should still be able to find employment in Texas, whereas at Vandy, it may be more difficult. April 15 is just coming too soon...

Of course, all of this is moot if I get into UChicago off the waitlist this summer. lol

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Re: Texas vs. Vanderbilt vs. Cornell

Postby Grizz » Sun Apr 04, 2010 4:29 am

I've been following this thread closely, as I've got a similar decision, Vandy vs. Texas. I'm strongly leaning towards Vandy, but I appreciate all the thoughtful responses.

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soullesswonder
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Re: Texas vs. Vanderbilt vs. Princeton Law

Postby soullesswonder » Sun Apr 04, 2010 10:26 am

fortissimo wrote:Winters "up north" aren't that bad people. It's not like the humidity you guys have to suffer through down South.


People get better looking as you move towards the equator. Heat and humidity is just God's way of encouraging them to wear less clothing.

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jsarna1
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Re: Texas vs. Vanderbilt vs. Cornell

Postby jsarna1 » Sun Apr 04, 2010 12:56 pm

Hey rad, may I ask why you are leaning strongly towards Vandy?

And soulless is right... the girls in Austin and Nashville beat the pants off the girls from the schools above the Mason-Dixon line.

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Re: Texas vs. Vanderbilt vs. Cornell

Postby observationalist » Sun Apr 04, 2010 2:10 pm

[Lack of brevity forthcoming.]

Just wanted to clarify the clerkship numbers for Vanderbilt, since I had originally guessed and then went back and actually tallied up the placements. Because I take issue with how law schools count recent graduates in with their clerkship stats, I've taken the liberty of splitting out the Class of 2010 so you can see how many current 3Ls have obtained Article III placements. Also, I was an idiot and mistakenly thought federal bankruptcy judges count as Article III when they don't... was corrected by one of my Texan friends yesterday during a drive down to Franklin, TN for some of the best gumbo and fried oysters I've had north of New Orleans. It has been ridiculously nice out in Nashville lately and we're still a few weeks away from finals so we've been doing everything we can to get outside and enjoy it here. My friends ended up hanging out with Dave and Hillary from Lady Antebellum at Loser's the other night, and not that anyone cares but Tim Tebow was hanging out as well. (Anti-UF trolling). It's fun living in the south's most popular party spot, especially when the weather gets like this.

Anyways, here's the stats:

Total Art III district clerkships for the 2009-2010 hiring season: 21
Total Art III appellate clerkships (including our first Chief J SCOTUS clerk with an '05 grad): 9
Total federal bankruptcy clerkships: 3
Grand total: 33 (17% of the graduating class)
Total Art III only: 30 (15% of the graduating class... THIS is the stat schools hold up in claiming their clerkship placement, not the next one).

Totals for class of 2010 only:
District: 18
Appellate: 8 (everyone except the Roberts clerk is class of '10)
Bankruptcy: 3
Total federal: 29 (but with two students getting two clerkships each, so really just 27)
Total Art III only: 26 (but really 24... I imagine most schools count total clerkships and divide by the class, not just total number of students. I won't name names but I expect Michigan's numbers include this double-counting)
Total % of the Class of 2010 with at least one federal clerkship: 14%
Total % of the Class of 2010 with at least one Art III clerkship: 12%

So 15% is our new Art III Clerkship placement for the 2009-2010 season, and of my class 12% will be heading off to Art III Clerkships.

Also, Vandy's NLJ250 placement pre-ITE was higher than Cornell's. Unfortunately, Class of 2009 data is the most recent we can compare unless and until both schools come forward with Class of 2010 and 2011 2L placement lists. Despite having a lower reputation which makes it more difficult to recruit top students from around the country, Vanderbilt's entering class medians have been higher than Cornell's for the last three years in a row (with UT now pulling in stronger students as well). We come from more states and will be heading off to more states/countries after graduation than Cornell as well, with their primary focus on NY. Nobody's saying Cornell isn't a great program, but at this point trying to put down another incredibly successful program on the grounds that Vanderbilt isn't "as national" is a little awkward, especially when you consider that of the three schools being discussed in this thread, two of them keep over half their graduating class in-state after graduation, while the one that reportedly isn't as national actually places a majority of graduates outside their home region.

About the increase in clerkships, I definitely expect we'll see other top programs placing a higher percentage this year, though like I mentioned most programs are going to hide the real Class of 2010 stats by referring to total clerkships in the manner shown above. Whether Cornell improves its clerkship stats remains to be seen; it has always hurt them to be the third best program in the most competitive circuits while schools like Vanderbilt and UT control their own regions. We also benefit from having a very strong clerkship coordinator, and I can guarantee our numbers would not have improved this year if it weren't for his individual abilities at contacting judges on behalf of the school and keeping up on everyone to get applications in as soon as possible. Unless Cornell has someone of comparable abilities I do not expect their placement numbers will be as high as ours this year... this is not subtle trolling but my genuine belief. If and when Cornell publicizes their placement stats I'm happy to look at them and retract this statement if I'm wrong.

Finally, one of the strongest arguments Cornell advocates have used on TLS to make against attending Vanderbilt is that we don't place as many grads in the largest law firms, thus making us a regional school that gets shut out of top firms. I used to argue (unsuccessfully) that our lower NLJ250 placement was a mixture of self-selection to non-NLJ250 markets and having two years of abnormally large class sizes (which reduced total percentages). The self-selection hasn't gone away; we still have top grads heading to cities like Birmingham and Memphis next year. But now our NLJ250 placement (a NY-biased group of firms) is higher than Cornell's. We are placing more grads in large firms and more grads in prestigious clerkships. Our students are academically stronger. We have more fun (though arguably Austin is just as good of a time). And we are more geographically diverse. I'll accept the argument that the two schools are comparable, but it's hard to explain away Vanderbilt's success over the last four years while Cornell has struggled in its ongoing competition against other feeder programs to NY biglaw. They have to adapt how they place their graduates or this market retraction is going to hit them harder than other schools.

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Re: Texas vs. Vanderbilt vs. Cornell

Postby soullesswonder » Sun Apr 04, 2010 2:19 pm

observationalist wrote:Image

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Re: Texas vs. Vanderbilt vs. Cornell

Postby Grizz » Sun Apr 04, 2010 2:51 pm

jsarna1 wrote:Hey rad, may I ask why you are leaning strongly towards Vandy?


Basically, I see Vandy and Texas as peer schools, each largely funneling kids into work in their prospective regions (with exceptions of course, as both schools place nationally). Though I have never been to Texas, I don't really see myself working there at all. I know Texas places all over, but it seems that a lot of their grads end up in Texas due to self-selection/being a regional school. As of now, my goal is to work in Atlanta (or another city in the South), where Vanderbilt grads do well. After TN, the next highest number of Vandy grads is in GA. The chairmen of the two biggest law firms in ATL, King & Spalding and Alston & Bird, are both Vandy grads (brothers, actually). The Vandy alumni network here seems really strong; I did a quick search of some big law firms with ATL offices for Texas and Vandy grads (keep in mind some of the numbers include UG, as noted).

King & Spalding
Texas - 3
Vandy - 30

Jones Day (incl. UG)
T - 2
V - 9

Alston & Bird (incl. UG)
T - 1
V - 55

DLA Piper
T - 0
V - 4

Greenberg Traurig
T - 1
V - 6

Troutman Sanders (incl. UG)
T - 0
V - 20

Kilpatrick Stockton (incl. UG)
T - 0
V - 8

Sutherland, Asbill, & Brennan
T - 2
V - 12

Powell Goldstein/Bryan Cave
T - 0
V - 9

Smith, Gambrell, & Russell (incl. UG)
T - 1
V - 10

I know some of the numbers difference can be attributed to self-selection, and that going to Texas would in no way preclude me from getting a job in Atlanta. However, it is hard to turn down the extensive Vandy alumni network there. Furthermore, it seems that Vandy does well in many southern states; if for some reason I don't want/get ATL, I have other options.

I would love to visit Austin, unfortunately, I may not be able to by the deposit deadline. I visited Vandy, and I liked the small class size, that the students were really social, and the bars/music of Nashville.

So that's my 2 cents. I'm very happy about my Texas acceptance, and I want to give Texas a fair shake, so I'm doing a bunch of last-minute research, but still heavily leaning Vandy.

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Re: Texas vs. Vanderbilt vs. Cornell

Postby reverendt » Sun Apr 04, 2010 2:56 pm

Take everything with a grain of salt...TLS is notoriously anti-Cornell and pro-Vandy.

All things being equal....go to Cornell. Ivy league, top 14, etc.

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Re: Texas vs. Vanderbilt vs. Cornell

Postby Grizz » Sun Apr 04, 2010 3:03 pm

soullesswonder wrote:
observationalist wrote:Image


Hahah +1

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Re: Texas vs. Vanderbilt vs. Cornell

Postby jsarna1 » Sun Apr 04, 2010 5:06 pm

observationalist... thanks a lot for your response! And don't worry about the length. I have a phone call with Prof. Bressman tomorrow to discuss Vandy's clerkship program, but I appreciate having a student's view as well. The numbers are definitely impressive. I was happy to see both UT and Vandy get a SCOTUS clerk this term. I'm not opposed to working in Texas, and as a big college football fan, UT is appealing in that sense. UT's Supreme Court clinic is also a really cool thing for me. I do like Vandy's placement and the fact that it would probably be easier to go to Chicago from Vandy (although not a necessity for me). I'm still waiting on my Cornell financial aid, but at this point, I'd say Cornell is #3 for me. I really am averse to putting too much stock in US News, and have used Leiter and Vault among others as resources here. But thank you everyone for the responses and if anyone has anything to add, I really appreciate it! Happy Easter to those who celebrate!

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Re: Texas vs. Vanderbilt vs. Cornell

Postby gogators » Sun Apr 04, 2010 5:09 pm

rad law wrote:
soullesswonder wrote:
observationalist wrote:Image


Hahah +1


+1000

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Re: Texas vs. Vanderbilt vs. Cornell

Postby thickfreakness » Sun Apr 04, 2010 5:13 pm

soullesswonder wrote:
observationalist wrote:Image


OBSERVATIONALIST, WITH NO REGARD FOR CORNELL LIFE.

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Re: Texas vs. Vanderbilt vs. Cornell

Postby observationalist » Mon Apr 05, 2010 12:11 am

reverendt wrote:Take everything with a grain of salt...TLS is notoriously anti-Cornell and pro-Vandy.

All things being equal....go to Cornell. Ivy league, top 14, etc.


I'm going to need to dig up some old posts from back when I used to say pretty much the same thing I do now and people laughed at me. There are a lot of very passionate Cornell students on TLS that love their school and will tell you just about everything you might want to know about living in Ithaca. It's a great program and I'm convinced they're holding up better right now than some of the larger programs like GULC... it's a lot easier to place 190 grads in a shrinking market than 700.

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Re: Texas vs. Vanderbilt vs. Cornell

Postby observationalist » Mon Apr 05, 2010 12:14 am

thickfreakness wrote:
soullesswonder wrote:
observationalist wrote:Image


OBSERVATIONALIST, WITH NO REGARD FOR CORNELL LIFE.


Haha... first comparison of this kind ever. I should mention I'm from Boston and watching Garnett talk ish to Lebron on the court today was great... they even did a slow replay of KG mouthing off as he walked away at the end of the game.

I apologize for coming off heavy-handed. I reiterate that Cornell has a strong program... the sooner they start coming out with updated placement information the sooner we can make more fair comparisons between what I consider to be peer programs.

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Re: Texas vs. Vanderbilt vs. Cornell

Postby jsarna1 » Mon Apr 05, 2010 12:32 am

I can understand people attending the schools to be a little disgruntled by this or that, but I'm asking for people to sell their school, so need to apologize. Obviously, I think all three are peers, otherwise I would have made the decision already. I know in my experience, Texas and Vanderbilt have been much more proactive and useful in answering questions and giving out information, and the fact that I'm still waiting on aid from Cornell, with less than two weeks to go, doesn't speak too highly of their front office.

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Re: Texas vs. Vanderbilt vs. Cornell

Postby Grizz » Mon Apr 05, 2010 12:43 am

jsarna1 wrote:know in my experience, Texas and Vanderbilt have been much more proactive and useful in answering questions and giving out information


The openness regarding Vandy's hiring data was one of the things that really attracted me.

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Re: Texas vs. Vanderbilt vs. Cornell

Postby woeisme » Mon Apr 05, 2010 12:46 am

jsarna1 wrote:I can understand people attending the schools to be a little disgruntled by this or that, but I'm asking for people to sell their school, so need to apologize. Obviously, I think all three are peers, otherwise I would have made the decision already. I know in my experience, Texas and Vanderbilt have been much more proactive and useful in answering questions and giving out information, and the fact that I'm still waiting on aid from Cornell, with less than two weeks to go, doesn't speak too highly of their front office.


I feel like your best shot at getting (merit) aid from Cornell is if you let them know about your money from Texas. I doubt they'll match it, but they'll probably throw you something.

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Re: Texas vs. Vanderbilt vs. Cornell

Postby soullesswonder » Mon Apr 05, 2010 1:39 am

rad law wrote:
jsarna1 wrote:know in my experience, Texas and Vanderbilt have been much more proactive and useful in answering questions and giving out information


The openness regarding Vandy's hiring data was one of the things that really attracted me.


Duke is the only school that has given me the same kind of access to placement info - I think it's because both schools (Duke and Vandy) know their placement is stronger than their general rep and therefore stand to gain from increased transparency.

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Re: Texas vs. Vanderbilt vs. Cornell

Postby thickfreakness » Mon Apr 05, 2010 7:51 am

soullesswonder wrote:
rad law wrote:
jsarna1 wrote:know in my experience, Texas and Vanderbilt have been much more proactive and useful in answering questions and giving out information


The openness regarding Vandy's hiring data was one of the things that really attracted me.


Duke is the only school that has given me the same kind of access to placement info - I think it's because both schools (Duke and Vandy) know their placement is stronger than their general rep and therefore stand to gain from increased transparency.



So true. I think that's probably why I'm trying to pick between Duke and Vandy right now. To me, the commitment to transparency and reality with career services, faculty, etc. is one of the most important factors in a school (besides cost, yikes!). The situation's never going to be flat-out bad at either school, so why be deceptive, especially when most people who do a few minutes of casual research can figure out that most of those salary figures are bogus anyway?

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Re: Texas vs. Vanderbilt vs. Cornell

Postby Rory1987 » Wed Feb 02, 2011 7:06 pm

observationalist wrote:[Lack of brevity forthcoming.]

Just wanted to clarify the clerkship numbers for Vanderbilt, since I had originally guessed and then went back and actually tallied up the placements. Because I take issue with how law schools count recent graduates in with their clerkship stats, I've taken the liberty of splitting out the Class of 2010 so you can see how many current 3Ls have obtained Article III placements. Also, I was an idiot and mistakenly thought federal bankruptcy judges count as Article III when they don't... was corrected by one of my Texan friends yesterday during a drive down to Franklin, TN for some of the best gumbo and fried oysters I've had north of New Orleans. It has been ridiculously nice out in Nashville lately and we're still a few weeks away from finals so we've been doing everything we can to get outside and enjoy it here. My friends ended up hanging out with Dave and Hillary from Lady Antebellum at Loser's the other night, and not that anyone cares but Tim Tebow was hanging out as well. (Anti-UF trolling). It's fun living in the south's most popular party spot, especially when the weather gets like this.

Anyways, here's the stats:

Total Art III district clerkships for the 2009-2010 hiring season: 21
Total Art III appellate clerkships (including our first Chief J SCOTUS clerk with an '05 grad): 9
Total federal bankruptcy clerkships: 3
Grand total: 33 (17% of the graduating class)
Total Art III only: 30 (15% of the graduating class... THIS is the stat schools hold up in claiming their clerkship placement, not the next one).

Totals for class of 2010 only:
District: 18
Appellate: 8 (everyone except the Roberts clerk is class of '10)
Bankruptcy: 3
Total federal: 29 (but with two students getting two clerkships each, so really just 27)
Total Art III only: 26 (but really 24... I imagine most schools count total clerkships and divide by the class, not just total number of students. I won't name names but I expect Michigan's numbers include this double-counting)
Total % of the Class of 2010 with at least one federal clerkship: 14%
Total % of the Class of 2010 with at least one Art III clerkship: 12%

So 15% is our new Art III Clerkship placement for the 2009-2010 season, and of my class 12% will be heading off to Art III Clerkships.

Also, Vandy's NLJ250 placement pre-ITE was higher than Cornell's. Unfortunately, Class of 2009 data is the most recent we can compare unless and until both schools come forward with Class of 2010 and 2011 2L placement lists. Despite having a lower reputation which makes it more difficult to recruit top students from around the country, Vanderbilt's entering class medians have been higher than Cornell's for the last three years in a row (with UT now pulling in stronger students as well). We come from more states and will be heading off to more states/countries after graduation than Cornell as well, with their primary focus on NY. Nobody's saying Cornell isn't a great program, but at this point trying to put down another incredibly successful program on the grounds that Vanderbilt isn't "as national" is a little awkward, especially when you consider that of the three schools being discussed in this thread, two of them keep over half their graduating class in-state after graduation, while the one that reportedly isn't as national actually places a majority of graduates outside their home region.

About the increase in clerkships, I definitely expect we'll see other top programs placing a higher percentage this year, though like I mentioned most programs are going to hide the real Class of 2010 stats by referring to total clerkships in the manner shown above. Whether Cornell improves its clerkship stats remains to be seen; it has always hurt them to be the third best program in the most competitive circuits while schools like Vanderbilt and UT control their own regions. We also benefit from having a very strong clerkship coordinator, and I can guarantee our numbers would not have improved this year if it weren't for his individual abilities at contacting judges on behalf of the school and keeping up on everyone to get applications in as soon as possible. Unless Cornell has someone of comparable abilities I do not expect their placement numbers will be as high as ours this year... this is not subtle trolling but my genuine belief. If and when Cornell publicizes their placement stats I'm happy to look at them and retract this statement if I'm wrong.

Finally, one of the strongest arguments Cornell advocates have used on TLS to make against attending Vanderbilt is that we don't place as many grads in the largest law firms, thus making us a regional school that gets shut out of top firms. I used to argue (unsuccessfully) that our lower NLJ250 placement was a mixture of self-selection to non-NLJ250 markets and having two years of abnormally large class sizes (which reduced total percentages). The self-selection hasn't gone away; we still have top grads heading to cities like Birmingham and Memphis next year. But now our NLJ250 placement (a NY-biased group of firms) is higher than Cornell's. We are placing more grads in large firms and more grads in prestigious clerkships. Our students are academically stronger. We have more fun (though arguably Austin is just as good of a time). And we are more geographically diverse. I'll accept the argument that the two schools are comparable, but it's hard to explain away Vanderbilt's success over the last four years while Cornell has struggled in its ongoing competition against other feeder programs to NY biglaw. They have to adapt how they place their graduates or this market retraction is going to hit them harder than other schools.


This thread is excellent.




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