aes6b wrote:So, if I just am looking at employment prospects (particularly biglaw), wouldn't Northwestern be the clear-cut winner?
Obviously Mich and VA place more students in clerkships, but if my primary interest is making sure I'm employed after school, is Northwestern worth taking over UVA and Michigan?
Also, would this mean that in order to get biglaw from Vandy, I'd have to be around top 20% versus above median at the other schools?
1. NU - I don't think NU is the obvious winner at all based on NLJ250 data (as noted above however, if you want Chicago then yes NU is the winner). NU takes more people with work experience and people believe that this helps boost their employment stats (I'm not sure how true this is. I'm inclined to believe it but I haven't gone through OCI here yet). I'm also not sure if NU is more self-selective towards PI than other schools (which it might be since it tends to take people who have worked in finance/consulting/etc moreso than other schools). The general belief is that the lower T14 are peer schools if you want to work in NYC biglaw (but of course in other markets it generally pans out that: NU has an edge for Chicago, Duke/UVA have an edge for the South, Berkeley has an edge for CA, Penn has an edge for NYC, etc). And as I said before, A3 clerks generally could have gone to biglaw had they chosen to do that instead so it's not like you can say that just because a school places fewer kids in biglaw and more in clerkships that it is therefore worse at biglaw.
2. Vandy - No, it doesn't mean that. As I said, this data is lagged. The class of 2011 did OCI in 2009 and were the first class to to really feel the brunt of the economic collapse. You will be doing OCI in 2013 if you start law school this fall. Things won't be as good as the boom times of the mid 2000's but they won't be as bad as the bottom of the legal market that was 2009. Recent OCI data on TLS seems to suggest that Vandy has definitely rebounded but of course is still below the T14.
As I said in my above post, I think if you're okay with NYC biglaw that Vandy for at half price is better than sticker at a T14. If you absolutely need Chicago biglaw then NU.