FiveSermon wrote:Yeah, Vandy doesn't place most of it's grads into the south because of self placement. That's like saying Cornell places most into NYC because of self placement but that they have a "cache" with DC. Vandy might have decent placing power for NYC but it's nowhere near what you see from NYC oriented schools.
This ain't cuz people didn't bid right bro. Most OCI's took place after the crash anyways. Stop attributing it to people bidding to southern firms instead of aiming for NYC.
From reading this and the above posts, I think you have some basic misunderstandings about the 2008 placements (Vandy and Cornell), and about school reach in general (primary markets, ect). I'll address reach first.
It's hard to know which school places better in each region, but the number of firms from a region at each school's OCI can serve as a rough proxy for a school's placement power in that region. Above, I mentioned OP should consider Cornell if she/he wants NYC biglaw, not because of the NLJ go-to numbers, but because Cornell typically has 50-60 NLJ NYC firms at its OCI while Vandy only has around 20. However the schools are even, or the numbers are inverted, for every other city and region in the country.
I do think students select either Cornell or Vandy based where they want to work. The South East is generally Vandy's primary destination, but fewer than 50% of each graduating class (including 2010) stay in the SE; and the majority of employers at Vandy's OCI (2L) are from outside of the SE. Conversely, around 70% of Cornell grads head to NYC and a majority of the firms at Cornell's OCI are from NYC. All of this information is publicly available; so it makes sense to abstract that people choose these schools based on these desired outcomes, especially since a large chunk of students at both schools likely had both the Cornell or Vandy option.
In 2008, the offer rate in NYC, where most Cornell students went for SA, was dramatically higher than nearly every other city. Nearly 65% of Vandy students did their SA in the South or Midwest--regions that had offer rates below 50%. When the students bid during the summer, they didn't know what would happen in Sept and Oct, and they certainly didn't know the offer rates would decline in certain regions as markedly as they did.
Of course, even if Vandy students wanted to compensate for the low offer rates outside of NYC by bidding on NYC, they would have less access to NYC firms through OCI than Cornell. But I don't think that fact means that Cornell and Vandy are not peer schools. Both schools are still placing similarly in SA gigs--50% of the Vandy's class of 2010 had NLJ250 SA positions. Also keep in mind that that around 14% of Vandy's 2010 class are doing article III clerkships.