Vandy (Sticker) vs. UGA (In-state), For Real This Time

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

Which?

Vandy ($44,900/yr + COL)
71
54%
UGA ($14,148/yr + COL)
61
46%
 
Total votes: 132

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TheBigMediocre
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Vandy (Sticker) vs. UGA (In-state), For Real This Time

Postby TheBigMediocre » Tue Jun 22, 2010 4:40 pm

Vanderbilt just let me in off the wait list, no aid. I posted a hypothetical situation about this before, but now that it is a reality I'd like more input.

Schools:
Vanderbilt @ sticker ($44,900/yr + COL)
UGA w/ in-state tuition equalization ($14,148/yr + COL)

Financial situation:
I'd have to take out full loans. I am debt averse but also do not have any debt from undergrad.

About me: I'm interested in big law but not deadset on it. I want to settle in Atlanta or Charleston, SC. Let me know if you need any other information.

I'm really surprised by the amount of anxiety this is bringing me.

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gogators
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Re: Vandy (Sticker) vs. UGA (In-state), For Real This Time

Postby gogators » Tue Jun 22, 2010 4:45 pm

TheBigMediocre wrote:Vanderbilt just let me in off the wait list, no aid. I posted a hypothetical situation about this before, but now that it is a reality I'd like more input.

Schools: Vanderbilt @ sticker ($44,900/yr + COL)
UGA w/ in-state tuition equalization ($14,148/yr + COL)

About me: I'm interested in big law but not deadset on it. I want to settle in Atlanta or Charleston, SC. Let me know if you need any other information.

I'm really surprised by the amount of anxiety this is bringing me.


UGA you're stuck in GA, Vandy not necessarily. Also, Vandy outperforms Emory in Atlanta so it most likely does well against UGA as well. Money is a concern, but only you can decide that.

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deadpanic
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Re: Vandy (Sticker) vs. UGA (In-state), For Real This Time

Postby deadpanic » Tue Jun 22, 2010 4:52 pm

While that it is quite a bit of debt, I still say Vandy.

You are going to be well ahead of any UGA grad going for the same job in ATL or Chucktown for that matter.

Southernlaw57
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Re: Vandy (Sticker) vs. UGA (In-state), For Real This Time

Postby Southernlaw57 » Tue Jun 22, 2010 4:55 pm

Full Disclosure: I'm deposited at UGA (In-state also) and on Vandy's waitlist.

If I didn't have significant ties to Athens, I would tell Vandy yes as soon as they called (if they called). I've talked with attorneys in the Columbia area who are impressed by UGA, but the mention of being on Vandy's waitlist definitely sparked more interest from them. I can only assume Charleston would be similar.

The debt difference is significant (90k), but if you can overlook that I think the answer is Vandy as it is the better choice for both markets you are interested in.

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MartianManhunter
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Re: Vandy (Sticker) vs. UGA (In-state), For Real This Time

Postby MartianManhunter » Tue Jun 22, 2010 5:08 pm

Vandy does give better biglaw options and the ability to work throughout the south (and the ability to leave it). Is the Charleston market even all that hard to crack? UGA could probably get you there. Debt is slavery. If you're deadset on Atlanta then go to UGA and work that network hard. Biglaw options in the city are there but you may top out at midlaw depending on performance.

southernboy
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Re: Vandy (Sticker) vs. UGA (In-state), For Real This Time

Postby southernboy » Tue Jun 22, 2010 5:08 pm

I understand that Vandy is a great school. But do you guys not understand what 210K worth of debt means?? Even if he ended up in the top of his class at vandy and nailed a 160K salary, which is def not garaunteed ITE, that would STILL be hard to pay off. And assuming that he ends up at median at both schools, I doubt his salary is going to be that much different between UGA and Vandy. The only difference is that he'll have almost 3X as much debt at Vanderbilt.
Seriously, having mobility is not worth 210K. I'm not saying that Vandy isn't good or even better than UGA, because it is. But its not worth the money. At least with UGA you'd be looking at <100K worth of debt

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TheBigMediocre
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Re: Vandy (Sticker) vs. UGA (In-state), For Real This Time

Postby TheBigMediocre » Tue Jun 22, 2010 5:13 pm

Also if this makes a difference, I have no desire to ever practice any place other then the Southeast.

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deadpanic
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Re: Vandy (Sticker) vs. UGA (In-state), For Real This Time

Postby deadpanic » Tue Jun 22, 2010 5:14 pm

southernboy wrote:And assuming that he ends up at median at both schools, I doubt his salary is going to be that much different between UGA and Vandy. The only difference is that he'll have almost 3X as much debt at Vanderbilt.


Yes they would. Vanderbilt placed almost 50% of its last class into BigLaw. I forget UGA's #, but there is no way it is even close to that.

steph404
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Re: Vandy (Sticker) vs. UGA (In-state), For Real This Time

Postby steph404 » Tue Jun 22, 2010 5:16 pm

UGA is well respected in Atlanta biglaw. The only reason Vandy outperforms Emory is because more Emory kids go to NY/DC and don't stick around.

The massive student debt is not worth potential mobility that it doesn't sound like you are looking for.

keg411
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Re: Vandy (Sticker) vs. UGA (In-state), For Real This Time

Postby keg411 » Tue Jun 22, 2010 5:18 pm

southernboy wrote:I understand that Vandy is a great school. But do you guys not understand what 210K worth of debt means?? Even if he ended up in the top of his class at vandy and nailed a 160K salary, which is def not garaunteed ITE, that would STILL be hard to pay off. And assuming that he ends up at median at both schools, I doubt his salary is going to be that much different between UGA and Vandy. The only difference is that he'll have almost 3X as much debt at Vanderbilt.
Seriously, having mobility is not worth 210K. I'm not saying that Vandy isn't good or even better than UGA, because it is. But its not worth the money. At least with UGA you'd be looking at <100K worth of debt


The $200k would make me ill. Anyway you could squeeze your family with help on COL?? At least for the first year or so? Tuition alone at Vandy would be over $130k (where as at UGA it would be 43k). If you can't, it's a really tough pill to swallow, even for the better opportunities.

OP, if you have any connections in the legal field in ATL/Charleston, I would take UGA for the debt relief. You aren't "Big Law or Bust", you are debt averse and ATL is a target market. If you don't have any connections and need all the help you can get with school name (and can get some relief from your family so you don't have to take out $200k in loans), go Vandy.

ETA: For disclosure, I'm on the UGA WL (it's so.damn.cheap <3).
Last edited by keg411 on Tue Jun 22, 2010 5:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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romothesavior
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Re: Vandy (Sticker) vs. UGA (In-state), For Real This Time

Postby romothesavior » Tue Jun 22, 2010 5:18 pm

~70k v. ~180k and you want to practice in GA?

I say UGA. But I do love Vandy.

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TheBigMediocre
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Re: Vandy (Sticker) vs. UGA (In-state), For Real This Time

Postby TheBigMediocre » Tue Jun 22, 2010 5:49 pm

I also have a little apprehension because I feel that if there is actually any correlation between LSAT/GPA and law school performance, that I will be a little fish in the Vanderbilt Ocean as opposed to Lake UGA. Is this something to consider at all?

redeye
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Re: Vandy (Sticker) vs. UGA (In-state), For Real This Time

Postby redeye » Tue Jun 22, 2010 6:13 pm

Although Vandy is a strong school the implications of 180K+ debt are something you should seriously consider. If you miss the Big Law boat, which is still likely coming from a T20 ITE that level of debt could become a profound struggle to pay off. Law School grades and Big Law hiring is still somewhat of a crap shoot despite one's best efforts. There are plenty of T14 grads doing doc review. Be careful.

canuck996
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Re: Vandy (Sticker) vs. UGA (In-state), For Real This Time

Postby canuck996 » Tue Jun 22, 2010 6:20 pm

TheBigMediocre wrote:I also have a little apprehension because I feel that if there is actually any correlation between LSAT/GPA and law school performance, that I will be a little fish in the Vanderbilt Ocean as opposed to Lake UGA. Is this something to consider at all?


I personally wouldn't worry about this. I went to Vandy as a transfer student. At my first school I had a full scholarship and was far above the 75% LSAT/GPA combos. I did well at my first school, but actually did better at Vandy even though my LSAT/GPA were much closer to the bottom 25%.

From what I have seen anecdotally, LSAT/GPA does not really correlate all that closely to success in law school. If you do well at Georgia, chances are you would do well at Vandy. If you do poorly at Vandy, chances are you would have done poorly at Georgia.

Rawlsian
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Re: Vandy (Sticker) vs. UGA (In-state), For Real This Time

Postby Rawlsian » Tue Jun 22, 2010 6:32 pm

I voted Vandy. Aside from my bias,I think you'll have better opportunities: not just for big law, but a solid shot at clerkships as well--Vandy will have around 12% of its class in article III clerkships this year.

Did you get a chance to visit Vandy? My visit sealed the deal for me. Vandy has a beautiful campus, the people I met were smart and witty, the facilities are top notch (except for the lockers), and Nashville was a (surprisingly) fun town. It clicked for me. My only beef was that the city didn't seem very bicycle friendly.

I recommend talking to some lawyers in the areas you'd be interested in working. Find out if they think Vandy would be worth the extra money. I understand financial decisions are personal, but it might be helpful to have some opinions from people a few years removed from their law school debt.

TheBigMediocre wrote:I also have a little apprehension because I feel that if there is actually any correlation between LSAT/GPA and law school performance, that I will be a little fish in the Vanderbilt Ocean as opposed to Lake UGA. Is this something to consider at all?


One of best reasons to go to law school (or school period) is to have the opportunity to surround yourself with dynamic people. Not only do you learn easier--immersed in a symbiotic give and take--but you form relationships that challenge you, that keep you sharp, that force you to examine and feel your convictions intimately. I'm not sure how much of a difference there is in student quality between UGA and Vandy, but if you have a shot to be a little fish in an ocean, go for it man.

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Barolo
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Re: Vandy (Sticker) vs. UGA (In-state), For Real This Time

Postby Barolo » Wed Jun 23, 2010 1:08 am

You've happily trolled for UGA for some time and you seem adamant in your market preference. Vandy seems notably stronger than UGA -- but for your purposes, it seems that UGA can get you as far. In Atlanta, they love them some Dawgs. The prestige gap in Charleston might point more strongly to Vandy. But then the money thing. UGA is cheap. Vandy is cool but not that much cooler.

The key question is this: how much of a prestige whore are you?

I'm voting UGA.

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eandy
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Re: Vandy (Sticker) vs. UGA (In-state), For Real This Time

Postby eandy » Wed Jun 23, 2010 1:32 am

Rawlsian wrote:I voted Vandy. Aside from my bias,I think you'll have better opportunities: not just for big law, but a solid shot at clerkships as well--Vandy will have around 12% of its class in article III clerkships this year.

The OP knows this, but I will point this out for the benefit of others who might be making this decision:

It might be a little different this year, but the numbers in the 2010 USNWR have UGA and Vanderbilt as virtually the same for clerkships.
All judicial clerkships: Vandy 15% UGA 17%
Article III federal: Vandy 10.6% UGA 10.4%

savagecheater
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Re: Vandy (Sticker) vs. UGA (In-state), For Real This Time

Postby savagecheater » Wed Jun 23, 2010 1:34 am

TheBigMediocre wrote:I also have a little apprehension because I feel that if there is actually any correlation between LSAT/GPA and law school performance, that I will be a little fish in the Vanderbilt Ocean as opposed to Lake UGA. Is this something to consider at all?


Don't think like this.

I would go Vandy.

It opens a lot of doors. If you want GEORGIA, then UGA it is. If you're not set on Georgia, take Vandy.

motiontodismiss
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Re: Vandy (Sticker) vs. UGA (In-state), For Real This Time

Postby motiontodismiss » Wed Jun 23, 2010 1:42 am

I feel like one should apply Murphy's Law here. Bottom of the class at Vanderbilt would do better than bottom of the class at UGA imo.

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eandy
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Re: Vandy (Sticker) vs. UGA (In-state), For Real This Time

Postby eandy » Wed Jun 23, 2010 1:44 am

motiontodismiss wrote:I feel like one should apply Murphy's Law here. Bottom of the class at Vanderbilt would do better than bottom of the class at UGA imo.

Bottom of the class at Vandy has twice the debt, so if you are at the bottom of the class at Vandy you are twice as screwed if you don't get a job.
I think that is the struggle here: is it worth the extra money(risk) to go to Vandy?

motiontodismiss
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Re: Vandy (Sticker) vs. UGA (In-state), For Real This Time

Postby motiontodismiss » Wed Jun 23, 2010 1:57 am

eandy wrote:
motiontodismiss wrote:I feel like one should apply Murphy's Law here. Bottom of the class at Vanderbilt would do better than bottom of the class at UGA imo.

Bottom of the class at Vandy has twice the debt, so if you are at the bottom of the class at Vandy you are twice as screwed if you don't get a job.
I think that is the struggle here: is it worth the extra money(risk) to go to Vandy?


They can't garnish a paycheck you don't earn or seize assets you don't have....

....what are they gonna do, put you in prison?

keg411
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Re: Vandy (Sticker) vs. UGA (In-state), For Real This Time

Postby keg411 » Wed Jun 23, 2010 8:50 am

motiontodismiss wrote:
eandy wrote:
motiontodismiss wrote:I feel like one should apply Murphy's Law here. Bottom of the class at Vanderbilt would do better than bottom of the class at UGA imo.

Bottom of the class at Vandy has twice the debt, so if you are at the bottom of the class at Vandy you are twice as screwed if you don't get a job.
I think that is the struggle here: is it worth the extra money(risk) to go to Vandy?


They can't garnish a paycheck you don't earn or seize assets you don't have....

....what are they gonna do, put you in prison?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debtors%27_prison

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Grizz
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Re: Vandy (Sticker) vs. UGA (In-state), For Real This Time

Postby Grizz » Wed Jun 23, 2010 9:21 am

MartianManhunter wrote:Is the Charleston market even all that hard to crack?



IIRC, it is very insular.

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Grizz
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Re: Vandy (Sticker) vs. UGA (In-state), For Real This Time

Postby Grizz » Wed Jun 23, 2010 9:25 am

steph404 wrote:The only reason Vandy outperforms Emory is because more Emory kids go to NY/DC and don't stick around.


I don't know where you came up with this, but no lawyer, law student, ANYONE has even expressed anything similar to this statement.

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TheBigMediocre
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Re: Vandy (Sticker) vs. UGA (In-state), For Real This Time

Postby TheBigMediocre » Wed Jun 23, 2010 9:25 am

rad law wrote:
MartianManhunter wrote:Is the Charleston market even all that hard to crack?



IIRC, it is very insular.


It is, but I have a fair number of connections. As an aside, but I just looked at a COL comparison calculator and a starting salary of $85k in Charleston is the equivalent to a starting salary of $188k in NYC.




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