Why Vandy?

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NZA
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Why Vandy?

Postby NZA » Thu Dec 16, 2010 11:29 am

I'm curious, because my numbers are right at the apparent median for Vandy and I applied there this cycle.

BUT, to be quite honest, I had no idea it was even a law school until I got a fee waiver from them. :oops: And then when I started reading this forum, I saw that it appears to be extraordinarily popular.

So I'm a bit curious to know: for all of you people who have known about Vandy for years, why Vandy? What sets it apart and makes it special? Is it the location? Some program? Why does it seem to be discussed and talked about more than, say, UCLA or U-Texas, which appear to be peer schools? Is the fact that TLS seems to have a major hard on for Vandy just a misjudgment on my part?

Just wondering, thanks! :)

krad
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Re: Why Vandy?

Postby krad » Thu Dec 16, 2010 11:36 am

NZA wrote:I'm curious, because my numbers are right at the apparent median for Vandy and I applied there this cycle.

BUT, to be quite honest, I had no idea it was even a law school until I got a fee waiver from them. :oops: And then when I started reading this forum, I saw that it appears to be extraordinarily popular.

So I'm a bit curious to know: for all of you people who have known about Vandy for years, why Vandy? What sets it apart and makes it special? Is it the location? Some program? Why does it seem to be discussed and talked about more than, say, UCLA or U-Texas, which appear to be peer schools? Is the fact that TLS seems to have a major hard on for Vandy just a misjudgment on my part?

Just wondering, thanks! :)


:D I only knew Vandy was a good law school because I'm originally from the south and a few of my Dad's partners went to Vandy Law. People here in CO are like, "What? Where is that? What is 'Vandy'?" And a select few: "Is that the same as Vanderbilt?"

I'm going to guess that RadLaw jumps ITT with some solid responses sometime soon...

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NZA
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Re: Why Vandy?

Postby NZA » Thu Dec 16, 2010 11:43 am

So it might indeed be a regional thing?

zeke18
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Re: Why Vandy?

Postby zeke18 » Thu Dec 16, 2010 11:56 am

NZA wrote:So it might indeed be a regional thing?


From my time on this forum, I would guess that it's because Vandy has more "national reach" than Texas or UCLA. Texas and UCLA place primarily in their respective states. They may have better home markets than Vandy, but a large portion of their seats are reserved for in-state applicants. Basically, Vandy trumps these schools unless you're trying to work in Texas or on the west coast and TLS seems to have a strong east coast bias.

krad
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Re: Why Vandy?

Postby krad » Thu Dec 16, 2010 11:59 am

NZA wrote:So it might indeed be a regional thing?

I'd say in terms of the average lay person, it's more regional. Within the LS community, people seem to know of its prestige (as you mentioned learning about it after receiving a waiver/researching schools/rankings).

I would also venture to guess, and I don't want to get slaughtered here because it's just a guess, that a lot of people on TLS say that Vandy is more national and they want to stay/be up East (NYC, DC, etc.) for the legal markets and Vandy is closer than say, UCLA or UT.

Edit: ha sorry for basically summarizing your post Zeke.

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Quine
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Re: Why Vandy?

Postby Quine » Sun Dec 19, 2010 2:18 am

I was in the same boat last year, more or less. You'll likely get in, and get some good money. Vandy is very generous with the scholarship money - they seem to have more to give out than most schools, and their median scholarship is 15k a year, with 70% (I think) getting merit-based aid. Nashville is a really awesome city, and that's coming from somebody who was planning on being in LA. There's no beach, and it's not New York or Chicago, but it's less expensive, there's lots of things happening, and plenty of local start-up businesses/restaurants. Vandy also has probably one of the nicer law facilities in the country (check out the pics in the forum if you haven't already). The people are nice, and I can say after going through exams here, people do not appear to be nearly as stressed out or vindictive as I had been expecting. The faculty is great, but I think you'll find that at most top schools, if not all law schools. They are also apparently pretty generous about summer stipends for any work in the public sector. They're only 5k for full-time PI work, but it's better than nothing, and I'm under the impression that they're there for the taking (81 last year for a class of 190) so everyone is getting paid over the summer, more or less. And finally, they employment track record at Vandy is probably the most solid outside of the top 12 or so. They are very confident that they'll get everyone a job making more than nothing, and they are pretty open about the statistics.

Let me know if this rant left anything out.


Oh yeah, I don't know why the vandy love. Probably nice posters from vandy, like observationalist.

Rawlsian
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Re: Why Vandy?

Postby Rawlsian » Sun Dec 19, 2010 2:50 am

I think most of the above posters have hit the salient points. Vandy does great job helping their students find employment around the country--both firm work and clerkships. Couple that with the ton of scholarship money Vandy gives out, and it's easy to see why Vandy (when compared to the likely other options a student with Vandy's medians will have) is an attractive choice. There are other perks too, such as Nashville, the School's small class size, and great facilities.

There are some trade-offs: for example, Vandy has a poor LRAP program--this is why the school can afford such generous scholarship aid. This becomes less important though with the new federal programs. The heat also takes some time getting used to.

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observationalist
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Re: Why Vandy?

Postby observationalist » Thu Dec 23, 2010 11:02 am

Quine wrote:I was in the same boat last year, more or less. You'll likely get in, and get some good money. Vandy is very generous with the scholarship money - they seem to have more to give out than most schools, and their median scholarship is 15k a year, with 70% (I think) getting merit-based aid. Nashville is a really awesome city, and that's coming from somebody who was planning on being in LA. There's no beach, and it's not New York or Chicago, but it's less expensive, there's lots of things happening, and plenty of local start-up businesses/restaurants. Vandy also has probably one of the nicer law facilities in the country (check out the pics in the forum if you haven't already). The people are nice, and I can say after going through exams here, people do not appear to be nearly as stressed out or vindictive as I had been expecting. The faculty is great, but I think you'll find that at most top schools, if not all law schools. They are also apparently pretty generous about summer stipends for any work in the public sector. They're only 5k for full-time PI work, but it's better than nothing, and I'm under the impression that they're there for the taking (81 last year for a class of 190) so everyone is getting paid over the summer, more or less. And finally, they employment track record at Vandy is probably the most solid outside of the top 12 or so. They are very confident that they'll get everyone a job making more than nothing, and they are pretty open about the statistics.

Let me know if this rant left anything out.


Oh yeah, I don't know why the vandy love. Probably nice posters from vandy, like observationalist.


In the interest of not upsetting my law school roommate, who went to great lengths to plan exciting group trips both at the beginning and the end of the school year, I wanted to call your attention to this: --LinkRemoved--

For a landlocked city, Nashville sure does have a lot of pontoon boats with slides.

I've also been really impressed with how the Social Justice Program has grown since I first got there in 2007... the student group we started (LSSJ) has really increased its job outreach capabilities and programming offerings, and alumni like myself are always interested in helping people out where we can. Plus, as Quine mentioned the school offers a good amount of funds for PI-minded people. I took a 5K stipend my 1L summer, another 1K stipend as an interdisciplinary Fellow during 2L year, was reimbursed in full to attend 1) the Equal Justice Works Career Fair in DC for interviews and 2) Yale's RebLaw conference, and I'm currently living in Chile pursuing environmental work on a 7-month public interest stipend that is more than enough to have gotten me down here and set up with a very high QOL. None of it erases the debt but it has certainly been enough to keep my head in the game and pursuing the type of work I'm most interested in doing.

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fish tacos
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Re: Why Vandy?

Postby fish tacos » Thu Dec 23, 2010 7:30 pm

It's a southern thing. People in the south know Vanderbilt is a great school. For lay prestige, it's right behind Duke.

It's kind of like WashU in St. Louis. Those of us who are culturally literate know it is a well-respected university (not just law school), but the average person outside of the midwest has probably never heard of it. Seriously, if you aren't from the midwest, give it a try. Most people assume you mean the school out west.

rundoxierun
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Re: Why Vandy?

Postby rundoxierun » Thu Dec 23, 2010 7:34 pm

Yeah, people around the south dont even know UChicago exists.. Vandy has an amazing student body, good location within Nashville, and a beautiful building. Plus, Nashville as a city is really flourishing. I loved, loved, loved my visit to Vandy.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Why Vandy?

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Dec 23, 2010 7:36 pm

Placement for the Vanderbilt Law School Class of 2010 shows:

34 in Tennessee
22 in New York
22 in Wash. D.C.
12 in California
10 in Illinois
9 in Florida
8 in Georgia
6 in Alabama & Texas
4 in Missouri, Maryland & Delaware
2 in Mass., Conn., Virginia, Washington, Ohio, Minnesota & Louisiana

d34d9823
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Re: Why Vandy?

Postby d34d9823 » Thu Dec 23, 2010 7:38 pm

zeke18 wrote:
NZA wrote:So it might indeed be a regional thing?


From my time on this forum, I would guess that it's because Vandy has more "national reach" than Texas or UCLA. Texas and UCLA place primarily in their respective states. They may have better home markets than Vandy, but a large portion of their seats are reserved for in-state applicants. Basically, Vandy trumps these schools unless you're trying to work in Texas or on the west coast and TLS seems to have a strong east coast bias.

This is blatantly false. Vandy is certainly not any stronger in Chicago or New York. Where they are stronger is in the Southeast and some in DC (although good luck getting DC in this market with any of these schools).

I would guess it's popular because it's the strongest school in a popular area that doesn't have a ton of great schools. Texas is mentioned a lot on here for the same reason, though not to the same extent. UCLA is overshadowed in its region.

tarakit
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Re: Why Vandy?

Postby tarakit » Fri Dec 24, 2010 2:18 am

I would guess it's popular because it's the strongest school in a popular area that doesn't have a ton of great schools.


This. As someone from a nearby state, my options are very limited if I want to stay in the region. Alabama and UGA are very good state schools but are not terribly prestigious. Emory is the only other nearby school near the top 20, but it is in Atlanta. (Many Southerners hate Atlanta). Also, job prospects seem to be better out of UGA or UA than out of Emory at the moment. Duke is about 10 hours North of where I live, which is the same distance as WashU. Thus, Vanderbilt is the most logical option for those looking for a prestigious (T-20) school in this area of the country.

Also, yes, everyone is the South has heard of Vanderbilt. However, many people (even some lawyers) do not realize how highly ranked it is. It has improved in the rankings recently, and I have had to explain to people (many of them lawyers) that it is ranked considerably higher than Alabama and UGA.

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BarbellDreams
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Re: Why Vandy?

Postby BarbellDreams » Fri Dec 24, 2010 2:30 am

Quine wrote:I was in the same boat last year, more or less. You'll likely get in, and get some good money. Vandy is very generous with the scholarship money - they seem to have more to give out than most schools, and their median scholarship is 15k a year, with 70% (I think) getting merit-based aid. Nashville is a really awesome city, and that's coming from somebody who was planning on being in LA. There's no beach, and it's not New York or Chicago, but it's less expensive, there's lots of things happening, and plenty of local start-up businesses/restaurants. Vandy also has probably one of the nicer law facilities in the country (check out the pics in the forum if you haven't already). The people are nice, and I can say after going through exams here, people do not appear to be nearly as stressed out or vindictive as I had been expecting. The faculty is great, but I think you'll find that at most top schools, if not all law schools. They are also apparently pretty generous about summer stipends for any work in the public sector. They're only 5k for full-time PI work, but it's better than nothing, and I'm under the impression that they're there for the taking (81 last year for a class of 190) so everyone is getting paid over the summer, more or less. And finally, they employment track record at Vandy is probably the most solid outside of the top 12 or so. They are very confident that they'll get everyone a job making more than nothing, and they are pretty open about the statistics.

Let me know if this rant left anything out.


Oh yeah, I don't know why the vandy love. Probably nice posters from vandy, like observationalist.


TITCR.

There are a few schools in the top 100 that really need a bump in the rankings and Vandy is easily one of them. They are t14 material no questions asked. Generous with scholly money and placement better than some lower end t14s. I would personally go to Vandy before I went to Georgetown or Cornell.

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20160810
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Re: Why Vandy?

Postby 20160810 » Fri Dec 24, 2010 7:24 am

IIRC, my "Why Vandy" statement was something like "Because I don't think I'm getting into Georgetown." I didn't get into Vandy. You are warned.

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lisjjen
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Re: Why Vandy?

Postby lisjjen » Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:10 am

Vandy is of great interest to me. I'm just sad to find out it's not as warm as Austin. It looks like a cleaner and more sophisticated city though (I plan on visiting both of them).

As far as lay prestige (back before I was obsessed with the esoteric world of law school rankings) I knew Vanderbilt was a good school and I knew it was Southern. It made me think of prestigious old men drinking mint juleps in bow ties. With that in mind

a) I know how to tie a bow tie
b) As a fan of Manhattans, I am a big fan of finding ways to guzzle straight whiskey

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yardsale
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Re: Why Vandy?

Postby yardsale » Fri Jan 07, 2011 12:18 am

lisjjen wrote:Vandy is of great interest to me. I'm just sad to find out it's not as warm as Austin. It looks like a cleaner and more sophisticated city though (I plan on visiting both of them).

As far as lay prestige (back before I was obsessed with the esoteric world of law school rankings) I knew Vanderbilt was a good school and I knew it was Southern. It made me think of prestigious old men drinking mint juleps in bow ties. With that in mind

a) I know how to tie a bow tie
b) As a fan of Manhattans, I am a big fan of finding ways to guzzle straight whiskey


Why not combine the two? http://www.southernproper.com/store/gen ... -beau.html

Vandy is one of my top choices, it seems like an amazing place. Every one of my interactions with the school has been a delight, from calling the admissions office with questions to my off-campus interview. Definitely a classy and well-regarded school.

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observationalist
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Re: Why Vandy?

Postby observationalist » Fri Jan 07, 2011 12:53 am

Not sure if this is another reason, but two of us just got nominated by Above the Law for Lawyers of the Year... the distinction can be either good or bad but we're really glad they saw fit to put us in the running this year. It's also (to our knowledge) the first time TLS Posters have been nominated. Doing our best to represent the law school, which is one of the only schools that releases full employer lists of where the graduates go. I recommend people start contacting career services come February to see about getting the list for the Class of 2010. Do the same for the other schools that accept you as well... it's really important that you see where everyone goes off to work. Only a handful of law schools currently disclose the lists, which is the whole reason we got involved in ABA reform in the first place.

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lisjjen
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Re: Why Vandy?

Postby lisjjen » Fri Jan 07, 2011 12:59 am

To Observationalist. I have heard that you are the token troller for Vanderbilt. What, in your mind, are the most important reasons to go to Vanderbilt? If I was to go into equal debt at UT or Vandy, why should I make Nashville my final destination? Right now, the tug of war in my head goes something like

UT

Pros
Great weather
T20
Indie scene
Tex Mex
Unparalleled placement in a state with good economy

Cons
Somewhat limited to TX

Vanderbilt

Pros
Great lay prestige
T20
Jazz scene
Ribs
National Placement whereverI want to go

Cons
It's in TN (don't like country and scared of KKK)

Rawlsian
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Re: Why Vandy?

Postby Rawlsian » Fri Jan 07, 2011 2:20 am

observationalist wrote:Not sure if this is another reason, but two of us just got nominated by Above the Law for Lawyers of the Year... the distinction can be either good or bad but we're really glad they saw fit to put us in the running this year. It's also (to our knowledge) the first time TLS Posters have been nominated. Doing our best to represent the law school, which is one of the only schools that releases full employer lists of where the graduates go. I recommend people start contacting career services come February to see about getting the list for the Class of 2010. Do the same for the other schools that accept you as well... it's really important that you see where everyone goes off to work. Only a handful of law schools currently disclose the lists, which is the whole reason we got involved in ABA reform in the first place.


I just saw that. Congrats: you guys are beating out Kagan, Olson, and Boies. The press has gotta be good for LST, and way to represent Vandy.

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NZA
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Re: Why Vandy?

Postby NZA » Fri Jan 07, 2011 3:56 am

observationalist wrote:Not sure if this is another reason, but two of us just got nominated by Above the Law for Lawyers of the Year...


This is pleasing to hear. :)

Thanks for all the posts, btw...definitely helping me get a better understanding of what exactly the draw for Vandy is.

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observationalist
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Re: Why Vandy?

Postby observationalist » Fri Jan 07, 2011 10:02 am

NZA wrote:
observationalist wrote:Not sure if this is another reason, but two of us just got nominated by Above the Law for Lawyers of the Year...


This is pleasing to hear. :)

Thanks for all the posts, btw...definitely helping me get a better understanding of what exactly the draw for Vandy is.


Thanks Rawlsian and NZA... still three days to go but off to a good start. A lot of people in the legal community genuinely care about the issues we've been trying to amplify and they've given us everything from advice to money to offers for hotel points to attend ABA meetings. At the same time, a lot of people also like to embarrass other members of the legal profession who have screwed up, so they may end up winning out for votes. Not to mention Justice Kagan is clearly in an entirely different league than anyone else on that list.

lisjjen wrote:To Observationalist. I have heard that you are the token troller for Vanderbilt. What, in your mind, are the most important reasons to go to Vanderbilt? If I was to go into equal debt at UT or Vandy, why should I make Nashville my final destination? Right now, the tug of war in my head goes something like

UT

Pros
Great weather
T20
Indie scene
Tex Mex
Unparalleled placement in a state with good economy

Cons
Somewhat limited to TX

Vanderbilt

Pros
Great lay prestige
T20
Jazz scene
Ribs
National Placement whereverI want to go

Cons
It's in TN (don't like country and scared of KKK)


Beside researching the music and food scene in Nashville a little more closely (makes me think you're joking/not actually considering Vanderbilt, but I'll continue anyways), I recommend contacting the schools and asking to see full employer lists for the Class of 2010. Vanderbilt will give it to you, likely sometime in March (they report to the ABA and USNews at the end of February, the 9-month mark after graduation). They've raised some concerns this year about how releasing more information than they have in the past might impact individual privacy, but since 2007 they've disclosed a list showing where just about every graduate found work (including employer name, city, and state). To our knowledge only Duke and Chicago do something similar (though Chicago also publishes individual names and addresses, which goes way beyond what we're asking for with the LST Standard). A few other schools, notably Loyola-Chicago, publish employer lists for a majority of the class, with detailed salary distributions that give you a better idea of what has happened in past years. Vandy has so far only published a few bare bones stats about my class (2010) on the website, so you need to push on them to disclose full lists once they have that ready to go. When contacting UT, you should tell them that Vanderbilt discloses lists and that you think it would be very helpful to see detailed information on the Class of 2010 before making a financial commitment.

Otherwise, neither school will have done as well in 2010 or 2011 as they did back in 2009 (the most recent year for which data is available). That said, it helps these days to have a smaller class size with a much more diverse geographic placement. Those of us who didn't find work with large law firms have still managed to land on our feet, and I have to assume more people fall through the cracks when they're all competing for the same cities. Vanderbilt reduced their class size back in 2008, which has made a world of difference in terms of making sure everyone finds something they want. It also makes the environment far more enjoyable, but that's my own opinion and not everyone wants a law school that feels like high school. I can tell you that my closest group of friends landed up as follows:

DC (Presidential Management Fellow)
DC (boutique labor law firm)
Ann Arbor, MI (Art III Clerkship)
Nashville, TN (Art III Clerkship)
Wilmington, DE (large law firm)
Chicago, IL (med law firm)
Sarasota, FL (small law firm)
Santiago, Chile (enviro public interest work)

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lisjjen
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Re: Why Vandy?

Postby lisjjen » Fri Jan 07, 2011 6:44 pm

observationalist wrote:Beside researching the music and food scene in Nashville a little more closely (makes me think you're joking/not actually considering Vanderbilt, but I'll continue anyways)


I'm very much considering Vanderbilt, but don't know much about Nashville. I live a long, long, long ways away from Tennessee (I'm not really from MN like my profile says) and I have just heard that there is good jazz/blues and bbq in Nashville. I know they are most famous for country music, but I don't like country.

Thanks for the info. That transparency does matter, and Vanderbilt's national reputation does too. A big part of the reason I'm taking up the adcomm on their offer to fly me out is to see Vandy for myself.

canuck996
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Re: Why Vandy?

Postby canuck996 » Fri Jan 07, 2011 7:19 pm

observationalist wrote:
NZA wrote:
observationalist wrote:Not sure if this is another reason, but two of us just got nominated by Above the Law for Lawyers of the Year...


This is pleasing to hear. :)

Thanks for all the posts, btw...definitely helping me get a better understanding of what exactly the draw for Vandy is.


Thanks Rawlsian and NZA... still three days to go but off to a good start. A lot of people in the legal community genuinely care about the issues we've been trying to amplify and they've given us everything from advice to money to offers for hotel points to attend ABA meetings. At the same time, a lot of people also like to embarrass other members of the legal profession who have screwed up, so they may end up winning out for votes. Not to mention Justice Kagan is clearly in an entirely different league than anyone else on that list.

lisjjen wrote:To Observationalist. I have heard that you are the token troller for Vanderbilt. What, in your mind, are the most important reasons to go to Vanderbilt? If I was to go into equal debt at UT or Vandy, why should I make Nashville my final destination? Right now, the tug of war in my head goes something like

UT

Pros
Great weather
T20
Indie scene
Tex Mex
Unparalleled placement in a state with good economy

Cons
Somewhat limited to TX

Vanderbilt

Pros
Great lay prestige
T20
Jazz scene
Ribs
National Placement whereverI want to go

Cons
It's in TN (don't like country and scared of KKK)


Beside researching the music and food scene in Nashville a little more closely (makes me think you're joking/not actually considering Vanderbilt, but I'll continue anyways), I recommend contacting the schools and asking to see full employer lists for the Class of 2010. Vanderbilt will give it to you, likely sometime in March (they report to the ABA and USNews at the end of February, the 9-month mark after graduation). They've raised some concerns this year about how releasing more information than they have in the past might impact individual privacy, but since 2007 they've disclosed a list showing where just about every graduate found work (including employer name, city, and state). To our knowledge only Duke and Chicago do something similar (though Chicago also publishes individual names and addresses, which goes way beyond what we're asking for with the LST Standard). A few other schools, notably Loyola-Chicago, publish employer lists for a majority of the class, with detailed salary distributions that give you a better idea of what has happened in past years. Vandy has so far only published a few bare bones stats about my class (2010) on the website, so you need to push on them to disclose full lists once they have that ready to go. When contacting UT, you should tell them that Vanderbilt discloses lists and that you think it would be very helpful to see detailed information on the Class of 2010 before making a financial commitment.

Otherwise, neither school will have done as well in 2010 or 2011 as they did back in 2009 (the most recent year for which data is available). That said, it helps these days to have a smaller class size with a much more diverse geographic placement. Those of us who didn't find work with large law firms have still managed to land on our feet, and I have to assume more people fall through the cracks when they're all competing for the same cities. Vanderbilt reduced their class size back in 2008, which has made a world of difference in terms of making sure everyone finds something they want. It also makes the environment far more enjoyable, but that's my own opinion and not everyone wants a law school that feels like high school. I can tell you that my closest group of friends landed up as follows:

DC (Presidential Management Fellow)
DC (boutique labor law firm)
Ann Arbor, MI (Art III Clerkship)
Nashville, TN (Art III Clerkship)
Wilmington, DE (large law firm)
Chicago, IL (med law firm)
Sarasota, FL (small law firm)
Santiago, Chile (enviro public interest work)


I haven't been on the board in a long time, but I am offended that I don't see:
Nashville, TN (large law firm)

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Grizz
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Re: Why Vandy?

Postby Grizz » Fri Jan 07, 2011 7:23 pm

observationalist wrote:Santiago, Chile (enviro public interest work)


Blatant self-trolling?




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