Vandy vs. GW vs. UMinn

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ibwgbc11
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Vandy vs. GW vs. UMinn

Postby ibwgbc11 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:25 pm

Hello everyone. I think that I'm pretty much decided, but I wanted to get some input to see what people think. I was accepted to a good number of schools but based on scholarships and my research on career prospects, I have narrowed it down to these three. My goal is to do a judicial clerkship upon graduation and then go into firm work. I hate to peg myself with the term "biglaw" but, yeah, I guess you could put it that way for what kind of firm I am hoping to work in. I'm from the Midwest originally and now live in the Northeast. Location isn't a huge deal to me and I'm looking to go to a school that gives me geographic options. I have a good deal of money saved up for law school and got decent money at all three of these schools. The rest will be taken care of with a loan from my parents.

So here are the final three:

Vanderbilt (72k scholarship, Debt load to parents would be 80k upon graduation)

Pros: Really liked my visit there. Career services at Vandy seem superb. I really like the small class size. Nashville is cool, cheap, and would be a new adventure. Vandy seems to do pretty well with clerkships and Vanderbilt grads seem to have a higher degree of mobility than these other two schools.

Cons: I would have to get a car (shrug).


GWU (101k scholarship, Debt load to parents would be 80k upon graduation)

Pros: Could stay on the East Coast. DC would be a great place to spend three years.

Cons: I feel like GW limits me more to the East Coast and in particular to DC and NYC which are both fine cities, but are extremely high in the Cost of Living department. Also, from what I can tell, GW's clerkship numbers don't appear to matchup to Vandy's or Minnesota's. Also, I feel like given the fact that my debt load coming from GW would be the same as it would out of Vanderbilt, it would make more sense to go Vanderbilt all things being equal.


Minnesota (120k scholarship, Debt load to parents would be 40k upon graduation)

Pros: I'm from the Midwest (though not really that part of the Midwest, haha) and I know I would enjoy the twin cities. It would leave me with the smallest debt load. It's clerkship numbers seem fairly strong.

Cons: I feel like a Minnesota degree limits me geographically, at least in the short term, to Minnesota, the Dakotas, Wisconsin, and Chicago. Also, I get the sense that all is not well in the legal market in that part of the country which makes me a bit concerned (I mean, I know it isn't great everywhere but it seems a bit worse there). Also, like Vanderbilt, I would have to drive.


So, thoughts anyone? I guess my post makes it fairly obvious as to where I am leaning, but any input would be much appreciated.
Last edited by ibwgbc11 on Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

JOThompson
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Re: Vandy vs. GW vs. UMinn

Postby JOThompson » Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:32 pm

If you want a shot at biglaw, go to Vandy. There's a significant placement/prestige gap between Vandy and your other two schools. Well worth the extra debt IMO. You should still recognize that the market is tough and you won't have any guarantees even with a JD from a fairly venerable school like Vanderbilt.

stylishlaw
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Re: Vandy vs. GW vs. UMinn

Postby stylishlaw » Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:35 pm

See you in Nashville

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enron123
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Re: Vandy vs. GW vs. UMinn

Postby enron123 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 1:31 pm

Would have preferred you say that you are not debt averse rather than debt to parents...just saying + you underestimate the COA of each

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bk1
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Re: Vandy vs. GW vs. UMinn

Postby bk1 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 1:42 pm

Go to Vandy.
Last edited by bk1 on Wed Apr 06, 2011 1:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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akili
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Re: Vandy vs. GW vs. UMinn

Postby akili » Wed Apr 06, 2011 1:44 pm

Enjoy Nashville

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patrickd139
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Re: Vandy vs. GW vs. UMinn

Postby patrickd139 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 1:45 pm

akili wrote:Enjoy Nashville

CanadianWolf
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Re: Vandy vs. GW vs. UMinn

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Apr 06, 2011 1:49 pm

What is the difference in federal clerkship placement between Minnesota & Vanderbilt ? If you are able to secure an Article III clerkship in the Midwest, do you think that that would increase the portability of a Minnesota law degree ?

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: Vandy vs. GW vs. UMinn

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 1:54 pm

"Portability" is mainly a myth.

Instead people should ask:
1. What schools are you looking at?
2. Where do you have ties to?

You can work overseas with a Cooley degree, or work in Los Angeles with a U Miami degree if your ties and grades are acceptable.

JOThompson
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Re: Vandy vs. GW vs. UMinn

Postby JOThompson » Wed Apr 06, 2011 1:58 pm

Aberzombie1892 wrote:"Portability" is mainly a myth.

Instead people should ask:
1. What schools are you looking at?
2. Where do you have ties to?

You can work overseas with a Cooley degree, or work in Los Angeles with a U Miami degree if your ties and grades are acceptable.

Ties may be a substitute for the national portability of a particular JD, that's true. For people who don't benefit from strong connections or ties to an area, a big name JD can land them a job in many distant markets with less footwork.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Vandy vs. GW vs. UMinn

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Apr 06, 2011 2:01 pm

"Portability" is not a myth. Portability is an issue to be considered in your situation with respect to both law school & judicial clerkship.

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geoduck
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Re: Vandy vs. GW vs. UMinn

Postby geoduck » Wed Apr 06, 2011 2:27 pm

http://www.usnews.com/education/best-gr ... aw-schools

Yeah. That 4.3 is significantly higher than 4.1. Course, GW doesn't even make the list.

According to the ABA data, last reported cycle 31/33 Vandy students passed the New York bar and 23/26 UMN students passed the NY bar. GWU had 135/142, so if you're deadset on starting in NY that might be your best bet (sounds like it isn't).

http://blogs.forbes.com/kurtbadenhausen ... ke-160000/

According to this, the average private firm Vandy student makes $92,400 out of school compared to $85,000 for UMN and $83,500 for GWU (which is concerning given how many students they send to NY).

But you want a clerkship to start right? Let's look at the ABA data again. UMN and GWU don't know the status of one each while Vandy doesn't know the status of two of their grads. Of the known grads, GWU leads with 46 judicial clerks out of 529 grads (9.5%), UMN has 38 judicial clerks out of 253 grads (38%), and Vandy has 31 judicial clerks out of 222 grads (14.8%). So GWU wins in number, UMN in percent.

For biglaw (since you want both clerkship and biglaw) check this ranking system out:
http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNL ... 2443758843

That puts Vandy at #12 with 89/189 big law placements, GWU at #21 with 176/557 placements, and UMN at #35 with 45/232 placements.

Of course if you're going to clerk first, then you wouldn't be involved in that data as far as I am aware. So let's sum up....

Recruiter reputation: Vandy, UMN, GWU
New York placement: GWU, Vandy, UMN
Starting Salary: Vandy, UMN, GWU
Clerking (total number): GWU, UMN, Vandy
Clerking (percent of grads): UMN, Vandy, GWU
Big law (total number): GWU, Vandy, UMN
Big law (percent of grads): Vandy, GWU, UMN

Vandy has three wins with recruiter rep, starting salary, and big law percentage and one loss with total number of clerks.
UMN has one win with percentage of clerks and three losses with NY placement and both big law catagories.
GWU has three wins with NY placement, total number of clerks and total number of big law.

In my mind, percentage is more important than total number since GWU is bigger than the other two schools put together. Discounting both total number categories and the NY placement categories, Vandy has three wins, UMN one, and GWU zero.

So unless you really really really want to work in NY right out of school, forget GWU. Out of the remaining, Vandy is better for big law (and therefore salary) and UMN is better for clerkship. Both can take you to the east coast. Both have alumni networks in every state. Also, it's pretty easy to get housing within walking/bus/biking distance from UMN, so you don't need to drive unless you just absolutely have to have a yard or something.

HeavenWood
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Re: Vandy vs. GW vs. UMinn

Postby HeavenWood » Wed Apr 06, 2011 3:56 pm

Vandy. It's well worth 80k.

Slevin Kelevra 2011
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Re: Vandy vs. GW vs. UMinn

Postby Slevin Kelevra 2011 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 4:39 pm

Unless you got a full ride at Minn, I would take it off the list. Placement stats just aren't worth it.

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geoduck
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Re: Vandy vs. GW vs. UMinn

Postby geoduck » Wed Apr 06, 2011 4:47 pm

Slevin Kelevra 2011 wrote:Unless you got a full ride at Minn, I would take it off the list. Placement stats just aren't worth it.


Surprise! He got a full ride at Minn. Tuition at least. Good job reading though.

ibwgbc11
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Re: Vandy vs. GW vs. UMinn

Postby ibwgbc11 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 5:28 pm

enron123 wrote:Would have preferred you say that you are not debt averse rather than debt to parents...just saying + you underestimate the COA of each


Maybe I wasn't clear. I know those numbers are low (80k, 80k, and 40k) because I'm subtracting the money that I have personally saved up for law school. Those numbers reflect what I would have to borrow from my parents to attend each. I hope that's clear. I also have some money invested, but I'd prefer not to touch that unless I get desperate.

Thanks for the responses everyone, especially to whoever posted all that data.
Last edited by ibwgbc11 on Wed Apr 06, 2011 5:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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tallboone
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Re: Vandy vs. GW vs. UMinn

Postby tallboone » Wed Apr 06, 2011 5:36 pm

geoduck wrote:
But you want a clerkship to start right? Let's look at the ABA data again. UMN and GWU don't know the status of one each while Vandy doesn't know the status of two of their grads. Of the known grads, GWU leads with 46 judicial clerks out of 529 grads (9.5%), UMN has 38 judicial clerks out of 253 grads (38%), and Vandy has 31 judicial clerks out of 222 grads (14.8%). So GWU wins in number, UMN in percent.



I am not great at math, but I'm pretty sure 38 judicial clerks out of 253 grads is not 38% of grads clerking...

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Grizz
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Re: Vandy vs. GW vs. UMinn

Postby Grizz » Wed Apr 06, 2011 5:58 pm

patrickd139 wrote:
akili wrote:Enjoy Nashville

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BarbellDreams
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Re: Vandy vs. GW vs. UMinn

Postby BarbellDreams » Wed Apr 06, 2011 6:01 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:"Portability" is not a myth. Portability is an issue to be considered in your situation with respect to both law school & judicial clerkship.


This.

OP, pick Vandy.

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geoduck
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Re: Vandy vs. GW vs. UMinn

Postby geoduck » Wed Apr 06, 2011 6:16 pm

tallboone wrote:
geoduck wrote:
But you want a clerkship to start right? Let's look at the ABA data again. UMN and GWU don't know the status of one each while Vandy doesn't know the status of two of their grads. Of the known grads, GWU leads with 46 judicial clerks out of 529 grads (9.5%), UMN has 38 judicial clerks out of 253 grads (38%), and Vandy has 31 judicial clerks out of 222 grads (14.8%). So GWU wins in number, UMN in percent.



I am not great at math, but I'm pretty sure 38 judicial clerks out of 253 grads is not 38% of grads clerking...


You're absolutely correct. I was copying over the ABA numbers and accidentally put the same number in twice. The correct percent is 16.7%.

Edit: And my advice to OP would be to visit Vandy and UMN and choose from them. Screw GWU. TLS has a hard-on for Vanderbilt, hence all the Vandy love in this thread. All three are good choices but you're gonna have to be top 20% in any to do what you are wanting. And if you are in top 10% to either, you'll have equally good opportunities. At this point, you're picking home markets.




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