jeeptiger09 wrote:. . . major law firms in Nashville are going to be mostly UT and some Vandy . . .
Nashville--the legal market is pretty saturated in Nashville right now, so much to the extent that most major Nash firms aren't hiring 1Ls. Waller is reformatting their program, Bass Berry isn't taking 1Ls, neither are Baker Donelson, and many others. What I do know about Nashville is that UT, while it doesn't dominate per se, it does very well. No disrespect to the Vandy guy on here, but from what I have heard, UT does just as well as Vandy in Nash. Here's the simple fact: a ton of kids come to UT (both law and undergrad) from the Nashville metro area and there is just a huge UT presence in the Nashville community. In respect to the legal market, many Vandy kids come from the Northeast (or other states) and come to Vandy to use that National reputation to go back home. Nashville firms prefer to hire UT grads (even though they might put higher restrictions grade-wise) because they know UT grads won't work for two to three years and lateral out (used to be a major problem for Nashville firms).
I don't really disagree with the second quoted paragraph for the most part--I think if you look back at my first two posts in this thread, you will see that I gave UT a lot of credit in the Nashville market. I said UT was easily the second-best school for placing in Tennessee (Nashville), and possibly better described as co-#1 with Vandy.
I do think that you are overstating UT's presence in Nashville to say that "major law firms in Nashville are going to be mostly UT and some Vandy" and that "Nashville firms prefer to hire UT grads," though--even with the caveat for wanting higher grades at UT than Vandy. Until you count up all the lawyers at Nashville firms that OCI at Vandy (i.e., the top-tier firms in Nashville) and prove to me that they are "mostly" UT grads, I will remain convinced that it is pretty close to evenly split. You even made a point of talking about how UT is so strong in Nashville because of all the UT students that are from Nashville. Your logical fallacy is that you jumped from that statement (which is probably true) to the conclusion that Nashville firms prefer UT students over Vandy students. A more accurate statement would be that Nashville firms prefer Nashville natives, and partly because more UT students (than Vandy students) are from Nashville, UT is able to place very competitively in Nashville. I think the primary thing is that Nashville firms prefer local natives (especially Nashville natives)... and I think that we could all agree that, all else equal (e.g., both Nashville natives with 3.7 GPAs, good personalities, similar WE, etc.), Nashville firms would not "prefer to hire" the UT grad just because he/she went to UT.
The bottom line is that UT places well in Tennessee (especially in East TN), but the Nashville market especially is pretty tough these days. So if you want to practice in Nashville, and aren't from around here, it will be very tough (although not necessarily impossible). If you want to practice in Knoxville, I am sure you have a pretty good shot at doing that. If you want to go out-of-state, you are going to be relying on your previous contacts with that market (this is true from any school really--the exception being that to the extent that some schools send large numbers to NYC/DC/etc. biglaw, it doesn't matter as much).