Vandy vs. WashU vs. Indiana vs. W&L vs. Bama vs. Belmont

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

Which law school should I attend?

Vanderbilt
43
78%
WashU
2
4%
Indiana
3
5%
W&L
0
No votes
Alabama
4
7%
Belmont
3
5%
 
Total votes: 55

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singingintherain
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Vandy vs. WashU vs. Indiana vs. W&L vs. Bama vs. Belmont

Postby singingintherain » Wed Mar 09, 2011 9:11 pm

My goals are to work in Nashville and to minimize debt. I didn’t apply to any T14s because I’m unwilling to pay sticker. I have no undergraduate debt, and I’m leaning toward transactional law.

Vanderbilt – Highest ranked school I applied to. Received $60k scholarship and can live at home, saving room and board costs. Currently an undergraduate here. Estimated debt (most of which is tuition): $75,000-$85,000.

Washington University in St. Louis – Surprisingly generous $114k scholarship at a school ranked only slightly below Vanderbilt. Wouldn’t have to live with parents. Estimated debt (most of which is living expenses): $72,000.

Indiana – Highest ranked school to offer full-tuition scholarship, with no stipulations. Will visit soon. Estimated debt (living expenses, fees, books): $60,000.

Washington & Lee – Loved its small size and rural setting when I visited. Farthest from my target market. Full-tuition scholarship with 3.25 GPA stipulation, which is about top 60%. Estimated debt (living expenses, fees, books): $60,000.

University of Alabama – The only school to offer full tuition plus $2k annual stipend. Loved the people when I visited. Estimated debt (living expenses, fees, books): $50,000.

Belmont – The only school where I could graduate totally debt-free. New law school, opening this fall in my target market of Nashville. Full-tuition scholarship; could live at home and borrow nothing. Estimated debt: $0.

Thoughts? (Feel free to vote in the poll, but I'm most interested in your comments.) :D

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beachbum
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Re: Vandy vs. WashU vs. Indiana vs. W&L vs. Bama vs. Belmont

Postby beachbum » Wed Mar 09, 2011 9:12 pm

Vandy, and it's not even close.

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pinkcamellia
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Re: Vandy vs. WashU vs. Indiana vs. W&L vs. Bama vs. Belmont

Postby pinkcamellia » Wed Mar 09, 2011 9:41 pm

Vandy all the way, my friend. Congrats on a great cycle!

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singingintherain
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Re: Vandy vs. WashU vs. Indiana vs. W&L vs. Bama vs. Belmont

Postby singingintherain » Wed Mar 09, 2011 9:47 pm

pinkcamellia wrote:Vandy all the way, my friend. Congrats on a great cycle!


Thanks so much for the encouragement. :) I targeted schools that were known to be generous with scholarships, and I am very honored to have so many great options.

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patrickd139
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Re: Vandy vs. WashU vs. Indiana vs. W&L vs. Bama vs. Belmont

Postby patrickd139 » Wed Mar 09, 2011 10:15 pm

It's going to cost you $60k in living expenses to go to IU-B?! :shock:

Since you want to end up in Nashville, have ties to the area, and went to UG there, I'd suggest Vandy. Given your career goals, lots of things will have to go poorly for you to regret the decision.

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mez06
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Re: Vandy vs. WashU vs. Indiana vs. W&L vs. Bama vs. Belmont

Postby mez06 » Wed Mar 09, 2011 10:21 pm

Would you/could you really function by living at home?

TheFactor
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Re: Vandy vs. WashU vs. Indiana vs. W&L vs. Bama vs. Belmont

Postby TheFactor » Wed Mar 09, 2011 10:22 pm

beachbum wrote:Vandy, and it's not even close.

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dpk711
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Re: Vandy vs. WashU vs. Indiana vs. W&L vs. Bama vs. Belmont

Postby dpk711 » Wed Mar 09, 2011 10:23 pm

beachbum wrote:Vandy, and it's not even close.


TITCR

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patrickd139
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Re: Vandy vs. WashU vs. Indiana vs. W&L vs. Bama vs. Belmont

Postby patrickd139 » Wed Mar 09, 2011 10:24 pm

mez06 wrote:Would you/could you really function by living at home?

Excellent question. Why could you live at home and go to Belmont, but not live at home and to go Vanderbilt?

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singingintherain
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Re: Vandy vs. WashU vs. Indiana vs. W&L vs. Bama vs. Belmont

Postby singingintherain » Wed Mar 09, 2011 10:28 pm

patrickd139 wrote:It's going to cost you $60k in living expenses to go to IU-B?!


The $60k estimate may be on the high side. IU-B's website lists about $2,700 a year for books and fees, plus living expenses for nine months ranging from $11,376 to $20,968. That's a pretty broad range, with one end sounding unrealistically low and the other unreasonably high. I guessed somewhere in the middle, but maybe the low end is more accurate than I thought.
Last edited by singingintherain on Wed Mar 09, 2011 10:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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singingintherain
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Re: Vandy vs. WashU vs. Indiana vs. W&L vs. Bama vs. Belmont

Postby singingintherain » Wed Mar 09, 2011 10:30 pm

patrickd139 wrote:Why could you live at home and go to Belmont, but not live at home and to go Vanderbilt?


Sorry for the confusion. :D I would be living at home to attend either of these schools. However, Vandy's scholarship still leaves quite a bit of tuition to be paid.
Last edited by singingintherain on Wed Mar 09, 2011 10:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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singingintherain
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Re: Vandy vs. WashU vs. Indiana vs. W&L vs. Bama vs. Belmont

Postby singingintherain » Wed Mar 09, 2011 10:36 pm

mez06 wrote:Would you/could you really function by living at home?


I really think I could, though I would be interested to hear other people's thoughts or experiences.

My parents are very respectful of boundaries and space, and I probably wouldn't spend that much time at home anyways. Living on my own would be a plus for the out-of-state schools, but I wouldn't be willing to take on the extra debt if I were going to school in Nashville.

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hokie
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Re: Vandy vs. WashU vs. Indiana vs. W&L vs. Bama vs. Belmont

Postby hokie » Wed Mar 09, 2011 10:58 pm

if you can live at home I say do it all the way. As long as your parents aren't super intrusive or nagging (which judging by your post they aren't), then why not save all that $$$ you would otherwise spend on rent, utlities, and (possibly meals). Even if they were, I would still say do it and save the money; pretty much just go home to sleep :wink: . Oh and definitely Vandy all the way

ATR
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Re: Vandy vs. WashU vs. Indiana vs. W&L vs. Bama vs. Belmont

Postby ATR » Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:18 am

Yeah, don't go to Belmont. When I retook the LSAT in December, our idiot proctor offered this gem to someone who was considering Belmont: "That should be good! I mean, with all of the Vandy and UT degrees floating around, a Belmont degree should help you out!" Obviously hiring doesn't work that way.

Go to Vanderbilt.
Last edited by ATR on Mon Mar 14, 2011 5:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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rman1201
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Re: Vandy vs. WashU vs. Indiana vs. W&L vs. Bama vs. Belmont

Postby rman1201 » Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:22 am

beachbum wrote:Vandy, and it's not even close.


Seriously... Its only 15k more than the other viable options and offers vastly superior job opportunities for where you want to work, in addition to a strong school to keep on your resume for life. To not pick Vandy would take debt aversion to a new, almost retarded, level.

keg411
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Re: Vandy vs. WashU vs. Indiana vs. W&L vs. Bama vs. Belmont

Postby keg411 » Thu Mar 10, 2011 1:26 am

dpk711 wrote:
beachbum wrote:Vandy, and it's not even close.


TITCR

HeavenWood
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Re: Vandy vs. WashU vs. Indiana vs. W&L vs. Bama vs. Belmont

Postby HeavenWood » Thu Mar 10, 2011 2:05 am

keg411 wrote:
dpk711 wrote:
beachbum wrote:Vandy, and it's not even close.


TITCR

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singingintherain
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Re: Vandy vs. WashU vs. Indiana vs. W&L vs. Bama vs. Belmont

Postby singingintherain » Thu Mar 10, 2011 9:35 am

rman1201 wrote:
beachbum wrote:Vandy, and it's not even close.


Seriously... Its only 15k more than the other viable options and offers vastly superior job opportunities for where you want to work, in addition to a strong school to keep on your resume for life. To not pick Vandy would take debt aversion to a new, almost retarded, level.


It's certainly true that the difference in price between Vandy and the others is almost negligible at this point. (Though 15k still feels like a lot to me! :roll:)

When I applied, I thought Vanderbilt was the no-brainer choice for anyone who wants to work in Nashville. However, a few local attorneys have told me it can be easier to stand out as a job applicant in Nashville if you are NOT from Vandy. I'd be interested to hear thoughts about this.

Kate Monster
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Re: Vandy vs. WashU vs. Indiana vs. W&L vs. Bama vs. Belmont

Postby Kate Monster » Thu Mar 10, 2011 9:37 am

singingintherain wrote:
patrickd139 wrote:It's going to cost you $60k in living expenses to go to IU-B?!


The $60k estimate may be on the high side. IU-B's website lists about $2,700 a year for books and fees, plus living expenses for nine months ranging from $11,376 to $20,968. That's a pretty broad range, with one end sounding unrealistically low and the other unreasonably high. I guessed somewhere in the middle, but maybe the low end is more accurate than I thought.



As an M.A. student I've lived in Bloomington for two years and about $11,000-$13,000 is a reasonable estimate for living here nine months, but unless you're living in a dorm (and seriously, don't) you're probably living in Bloomington all year, or at least paying rent, and around $15,000 (a little more or a little less depending on your bills and living habits) for twelve months is reasonable. Of course if you plan to do work that you actually get paid for during the summer, then figure on less loan money. I usually cover a year's rent with academic year refunds and all my expenses up til April or May with around $12,000 and just need a bit of money to pay bills and have food over the summer. Largely it depends on what type of apartment you want, the usual rules apply: close to campus usally equal high rent and crappy apartments, few can afford an actual nice apartment on campus, further from campus equals nicer apartments and lower rent.

But honestly, with the choices you have I wouldn't really go to IUB unless there's a particular draw to a class, program, professor, SO, or whatever that you haven't mentioned. If you've kept your sanity this long living with your parents, a few more years probably won't kill you and I'd vote Vandy like pretty much everyone else.

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rman1201
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Re: Vandy vs. WashU vs. Indiana vs. W&L vs. Bama vs. Belmont

Postby rman1201 » Thu Mar 10, 2011 10:17 am

singingintherain wrote:
rman1201 wrote:
beachbum wrote:Vandy, and it's not even close.


Seriously... Its only 15k more than the other viable options and offers vastly superior job opportunities for where you want to work, in addition to a strong school to keep on your resume for life. To not pick Vandy would take debt aversion to a new, almost retarded, level.


It's certainly true that the difference in price between Vandy and the others is almost negligible at this point. (Though 15k still feels like a lot to me! :roll:)

When I applied, I thought Vanderbilt was the no-brainer choice for anyone who wants to work in Nashville. However, a few local attorneys have told me it can be easier to stand out as a job applicant in Nashville if you are NOT from Vandy. I'd be interested to hear thoughts about this.


Any sort of 'boost' you may get from having a novel school for the city (if it really exists) would be vastly outweighed by the boost of a strong alumni network. The only exception would be a T14, but you aren't considering those.

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patrickd139
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Re: Vandy vs. WashU vs. Indiana vs. W&L vs. Bama vs. Belmont

Postby patrickd139 » Thu Mar 10, 2011 10:25 am

rman1201 wrote:
singingintherain wrote:
rman1201 wrote:
beachbum wrote:Vandy, and it's not even close.


Seriously... Its only 15k more than the other viable options and offers vastly superior job opportunities for where you want to work, in addition to a strong school to keep on your resume for life. To not pick Vandy would take debt aversion to a new, almost retarded, level.


It's certainly true that the difference in price between Vandy and the others is almost negligible at this point. (Though 15k still feels like a lot to me! :roll:)

When I applied, I thought Vanderbilt was the no-brainer choice for anyone who wants to work in Nashville. However, a few local attorneys have told me it can be easier to stand out as a job applicant in Nashville if you are NOT from Vandy. I'd be interested to hear thoughts about this.


Any sort of 'boost' you may get from having a novel school for the city (if it really exists) would be vastly outweighed by the boost of a strong alumni network. The only exception would be a T14, but you aren't considering those.

To this, I would add that doing well at Vanderbilt (a school whose strong reputation precedes it, especially in Nashville) would also outweigh any potential novelty affect.

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drylo
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Re: Vandy vs. WashU vs. Indiana vs. W&L vs. Bama vs. Belmont

Postby drylo » Fri Mar 11, 2011 4:43 am

singingintherain wrote:
rman1201 wrote:
beachbum wrote:Vandy, and it's not even close.


Seriously... Its only 15k more than the other viable options and offers vastly superior job opportunities for where you want to work, in addition to a strong school to keep on your resume for life. To not pick Vandy would take debt aversion to a new, almost retarded, level.


It's certainly true that the difference in price between Vandy and the others is almost negligible at this point. (Though 15k still feels like a lot to me! :roll:)

When I applied, I thought Vanderbilt was the no-brainer choice for anyone who wants to work in Nashville. However, a few local attorneys have told me it can be easier to stand out as a job applicant in Nashville if you are NOT from Vandy. I'd be interested to hear thoughts about this.


Did you not apply to UT (Knoxville)?

While I definitely understand the thought about it being easier to stand out if you are not at Vandy, I still think Vandy is the best place to go if you want to work in Nashville. Tennessee is a close second, I think--there are tons of UTK grads working in Nashville. If you had a top scholarship there, it would be worth more consideration than any of your other options.

The problem with being at Vandy is that there are a fair number of Vandy students who will interview at the Nashville firms... this presents a couple challenges: (1) convincing them that you really want to be in Nashville (which should not be a problem for a Nashville native and Vandy undergrad); (2) how to distinguish yourself from all the other Vandy students wandering around at OCI who have similar grades (which can still be a problem for you).

But the thing is, this is more about the Nashville market than about Vandy. In other words, it doesn't matter where you go to school--the Nashville market will still be a pretty small legal market with a lot of talented law students trying to get jobs there (from multiple sources--primarily Vandy law students and Nashville natives at other law schools).

So to sum it up, Nashville is a competitive legal market. I honestly believe that doing well at Vanderbilt puts you in the best possible position to get a job in Nashville. Of course, there is no guarantee about how well you will do in law school, but in your situation, Vandy is going to give you the best chance to do what you want to do.

I would be happy to answer more questions by PM.

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singingintherain
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Re: Vandy vs. WashU vs. Indiana vs. W&L vs. Bama vs. Belmont

Postby singingintherain » Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:23 am

drylo wrote:Did you not apply to UT (Knoxville)?

While I definitely understand the thought about it being easier to stand out if you are not at Vandy, I still think Vandy is the best place to go if you want to work in Nashville. Tennessee is a close second, I think--there are tons of UTK grads working in Nashville. If you had a top scholarship there, it would be worth more consideration than any of your other options.

The problem with being at Vandy is that there are a fair number of Vandy students who will interview at the Nashville firms... this presents a couple challenges: (1) convincing them that you really want to be in Nashville (which should not be a problem for a Nashville native and Vandy undergrad); (2) how to distinguish yourself from all the other Vandy students wandering around at OCI who have similar grades (which can still be a problem for you).

But the thing is, this is more about the Nashville market than about Vandy. In other words, it doesn't matter where you go to school--the Nashville market will still be a pretty small legal market with a lot of talented law students trying to get jobs there (from multiple sources--primarily Vandy law students and Nashville natives at other law schools).

So to sum it up, Nashville is a competitive legal market. I honestly believe that doing well at Vanderbilt puts you in the best possible position to get a job in Nashville. Of course, there is no guarantee about how well you will do in law school, but in your situation, Vandy is going to give you the best chance to do what you want to do.

I would be happy to answer more questions by PM.


I did apply to UTK, but their offer was considerably less than the others, making them around the same cost to me as Vanderbilt. From what I've seen on TLS and LSN, I think UT-Knoxville may be using its top scholarships to go after out-of-state students.

I think you are right that the real issue for me is the Nashville market. I have been wrestling with that question for weeks. Career services people at some of the out-of-state schools say I would have no problem getting back to Nashville from their schools, and they point to specific alumni as "proof." But when I look at the numbers, Vanderbilt grads clearly dominate the Nashville legal market. If out-of-state students were truly that much more attractive to Nashville firms than Vandy grads, it looks like we'd be seeing a lot more of them at the Nashville firms.

I really appreciate your insight! :D

Slevin Kelevra 2011
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Re: Vandy vs. WashU vs. Indiana vs. W&L vs. Bama vs. Belmont

Postby Slevin Kelevra 2011 » Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:27 am

Vandy is head and shoulders above the rest.




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