Vandy w 65k vs sticker at NU

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NJPitcher
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Vandy w 65k vs sticker at NU

Postby NJPitcher » Tue Mar 20, 2012 3:01 pm

Hey all, I figured I'd make one of these since I'm bored out of my mind at work. I'm looking at basically half off tuition at Vandy vs what is likely sticker at NU. I have some money saved up, so I'm anticipating about 100k of debt after all is said and done at Vandy and 190k of debt at NU (I wish I could footnote on forums, but I'll digress here - Vandy's tuition is about 45, NU is 51. Is NU really only 1k more a year, tution aside? I figured Chicago was much more expensive than Nashville, but the school website's COA would have you believe otherwise...) I may receive some contributions from family, but assuming none I think it's 100k vs. 190k.

I'd like to live/work in the northeast, anywhere between DC and Boston, though I could probably be convinced to live in Atlanta or Chicago. I'm from NJ and live in Philly and have family inbetween. I'd *really* like to clerk after school (I know never guaranteed, but I'd like to give myself a good shot), and then sell my soul for moneys for a little while.

Quality of life is important, ie. good weather and good people are... good. I know I like Vandy people, and I like Chicago as a city, but I haven't seen NU yet nor have I experienced a Chicago winter (or Nashville summer).

Thoughts?

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Vandy w 65k vs sticker at NU

Postby Doorkeeper » Tue Mar 20, 2012 3:07 pm

1. Use Vanderbilt's scholarship to negotiate with Northwestern.

2. Vanderbilt's reach is much more limited than Northwestern. You will be shut out of Chicago/NYC and will have a difficult time getting into DC. On the other hand, Northwestern does place into DC, NYC, and Chicago. You're still taking on 100k of debt with Vanderbilt, so you would need to be happy with working in the South if you don't do well enough to be able to move North.

madmen
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Re: Vandy w 65k vs sticker at NU

Postby madmen » Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:36 pm

1) 20% of Vanderbilt's class goes to either DC or Chicago each year 2) 65k plus interest over 3 years is a lot 3) The difference between their LSAT medians is ONE point. Both schools are great. Make sure to visit both before you make a decision. Don't get caught up in the TLS rat race man. This is the last place you need to be looking for such a personal decision.

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bk1
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Re: Vandy w 65k vs sticker at NU

Postby bk1 » Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:53 pm

(Current NU 1L so take that for what you will.)

This is really tough. I'd say it's a close call. Some thoughts:

1. You wouldn't have to aim for Chicago coming from NU. It's probably easier for NU students to get NYC than Chi anyways.

2. Clerkships aren't really a selling point for any school outside of HYS. Even the best non-HYS schools (the rest of the T14) only place about 10% of their class into clerkships. So while it's something to shoot for, in all likelihood you have a low shot at an A3 and shouldn't base your school decision on that unless one of your options is HYS.

3. Vandy places pretty well in NYC. Not as good as NU but I doubt you would be forced into ATL at Vandy.

4. I'd probably lean Vandy. Even though NU gives you a better shot at your goals (biglaw and working on the east coast), I think that the schools are close enough that looking at the bad outcomes here make Vandy the winner. Worst case scenario coming out of Vandy is you get a job at a small firm making 50k/year and can pay off 100k+interest within 10 years. At NU that worst case scenario is much grimmer considering it would be difficult to pay down 190k+interest in such a short amount of time on that kind of salary.

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drylo
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Re: Vandy w 65k vs sticker at NU

Postby drylo » Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:17 am

Doorkeeper wrote:2. Vanderbilt's reach is much more limited than Northwestern. You will be shut out of Chicago/NYC and will have a difficult time getting into DC. On the other hand, Northwestern does place into DC, NYC, and Chicago. You're still taking on 100k of debt with Vanderbilt, so you would need to be happy with working in the South if you don't do well enough to be able to move North.


Say what?

CanadianWolf
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Re: Vandy w 65k vs sticker at NU

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:31 am

OP: You have an interesting background. 173/3.18 from Swarthmore. Now selling cars to deciding between two elite law schools. Since you were the captain of your college baseball team, I'll vote for Vanderbilt & the scholarship even though I would take Northwestern if targeting the Northeast corridor.

On a more serious note, you need to visit both schools before deciding since the cultures are quite a bit different, in my opinion.

P.S. I still have trouble accepting the image of a Swattie selling cars. Used or new ?

rad lulz
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Re: Vandy w 65k vs sticker at NU

Postby rad lulz » Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:53 am

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Last edited by rad lulz on Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

NJPitcher
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Re: Vandy w 65k vs sticker at NU

Postby NJPitcher » Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:02 am

CanadianWolf wrote:OP: You have an interesting background. 173/3.18 from Swarthmore. Now selling cars to deciding between two elite law schools. Since you were the captain of your college baseball team, I'll vote for Vanderbilt & the scholarship even though I would take Northwestern if targeting the Northeast corridor.

On a more serious note, you need to visit both schools before deciding since the cultures are quite a bit different, in my opinion.

P.S. I still have trouble accepting the image of a Swattie selling cars. Used or new ?


Replying while relatively...well, check the timestamp. Anyways, the cars are new (Audis) and the experience was due to the fact that I knew I was going back to school - I made good money and definitely learned how to negotiate/close a client, which I figure should be a good skill to have. It's been an incredible learning experience, but I'm very happy its time has come. Out of curiosity, does the baseball background really scream Vandy? I'll admit that I'd love to be able to watch good college baseball...

Thanks for the advice all. It seems like the tilt is toward Vandy, which makes me feel better. I really liked it at ASW, I'm just coming to grips with the idea of life outside the t14 (F this sentiment, but unfortunately it exists). If their employment numbers are legitimate though then I think I'd be happy. Any other insights?

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Re: Vandy w 65k vs sticker at NU

Postby Real Madrid » Wed Mar 21, 2012 6:12 am

Doorkeeper wrote:1. Use Vanderbilt's scholarship to negotiate with Northwestern.

2. Vanderbilt's reach is much more limited than Northwestern. You will be shut out of Chicago/NYC and will have a difficult time getting into DC. On the other hand, Northwestern does place into DC, NYC, and Chicago. You're still taking on 100k of debt with Vanderbilt, so you would need to be happy with working in the South if you don't do well enough to be able to move North.


lol, no. You have no idea what you're talking about.

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rayiner
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Re: Vandy w 65k vs sticker at NU

Postby rayiner » Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:29 am

Vanderbilt's placement seems to have evaporated during the recession. In the most recent NLJ250 data, for C/O 2011, NU was at over 50% placement, while Vanderbilt was around 20%: http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNL ... slreturn=1.

Going by the data posted on each school's website, 33% of Vandy C/O 2010 students got employment at firms with 100+ attorneys, while at NU it was 52%.

The recession hit the south very hard. Meanwhile, while the big NYC firms hired plenty of Vanderbilt grads prior to the recession, after they retrenched to their core recruiting schools. As a result only 10% of Vanderbilt's C/O 2010 went to NYC versus 14% for C/O 2009.

$65k is decent money, but only enough IMHO to sway the choice between roughly comparable schools. It's not like it's a full ride that'll let you sit out of the big law rat race.

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franklyscarlet
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Re: Vandy w 65k vs sticker at NU

Postby franklyscarlet » Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:00 am

Tagging this for being in the same situation (except I want to work in the south, but wouldn't mind Chicago).

rad lulz
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Re: Vandy w 65k vs sticker at NU

Postby rad lulz » Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:13 am

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Re: Vandy w 65k vs sticker at NU

Postby rad lulz » Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:54 am

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Last edited by rad lulz on Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Vandy w 65k vs sticker at NU

Postby Doorkeeper » Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:31 pm

rayiner wrote:Vanderbilt's placement seems to have evaporated during the recession. In the most recent NLJ250 data, for C/O 2011, NU was at over 50% placement, while Vanderbilt was around 20%: http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNL ... slreturn=1.


So if Vandy's total biglaw placement is at 20%, and out of that you're splitting those people between the South/NYC/DC, and other markets, I stand to see how how I was fundamentally off here. Keeping in mind OP doesn't want South or Chicago, and specifically Northeast corridor, and further specifies biglaw or bigmoney boutique, you're looking at what, maybe 10-15% of students then?

Yes, "shut out" was too harsh, but if I said "shut out unless you're top 10%", does it make that much difference considering TLS wisdom that you never assume you will be in the top 10-15%?

Obviously Vandy students (rad, drylo) know what's going on at Vandy better than me, but I don't see how I was too far off here considering the data.

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rayiner
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Re: Vandy w 65k vs sticker at NU

Postby rayiner » Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:46 pm

rad lulz wrote:Also a 4% swing in about 8 people. Vandy's a weird place. People give up major market biglawl to work at small Nashville boutiques like Sherrard and Roe and H3GM. It's a weird place.


H3GM hired 2 summers for C/O 2012 and zero the two years before. The other half dozen or so boutiques hire 0-1 summers. The three Nashville firms that hire significant numbers of people are all NLJ250 and thus included in the NLJ250 ranking or the school's 100+ attorney firm figures.

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bk1
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Re: Vandy w 65k vs sticker at NU

Postby bk1 » Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:53 pm

rayiner wrote:$65k is decent money, but only enough IMHO to sway the choice between roughly comparable schools. It's not like it's a full ride that'll let you sit out of the big law rat race.


I kind of go back on forth on this. If OP had no money saved up then I would lean towards NU. But with savings allowing him to keep debt at around 100k, it makes me lean Vandy more.

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rayiner
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Re: Vandy w 65k vs sticker at NU

Postby rayiner » Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:53 pm

bk1 wrote:
rayiner wrote:$65k is decent money, but only enough IMHO to sway the choice between roughly comparable schools. It's not like it's a full ride that'll let you sit out of the big law rat race.


I kind of go back on forth on this. If OP had no money saved up then I would lean towards NU. But with savings allowing him to keep debt at around 100k, it makes me lean Vandy more.


Savings should have no bearing on it. Either way it's Vandy with $65k or NU with $0.

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drylo
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Re: Vandy w 65k vs sticker at NU

Postby drylo » Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:22 pm

rayiner wrote:
rad lulz wrote:Also a 4% swing in about 8 people. Vandy's a weird place. People give up major market biglawl to work at small Nashville boutiques like Sherrard and Roe and H3GM. It's a weird place.


H3GM hired 2 summers for C/O 2012 and zero the two years before. The other half dozen or so boutiques hire 0-1 summers. The three Nashville firms that hire significant numbers of people are all NLJ250 and thus included in the NLJ250 ranking or the school's 100+ attorney firm figures.


Actually, these firms hire more than a total of 4 or 5 people per summer. They may not all come from Vandy in any given summer (or Vandy students who are offered these jobs may not take them as consistently in a particular year), but it could be anywhere between 3 and 10 Vandy students (although 10 is probably high) who are at market-paying boutique (non-NJLJ250) Nashville firms in any given year. Those firms are pretty selective, and when there are only 200 students in the class, that could be anywhere from 2-5% of the class that could be in an NLJ250 job but chose Nashville boutiques instead. Not huge numbers, but significant when you consider that we are talking about high-performing students (and just Nashville, not any other cities in the area).

rayiner wrote:
bk1 wrote:
rayiner wrote:$65k is decent money, but only enough IMHO to sway the choice between roughly comparable schools. It's not like it's a full ride that'll let you sit out of the big law rat race.


I kind of go back on forth on this. If OP had no money saved up then I would lean towards NU. But with savings allowing him to keep debt at around 100k, it makes me lean Vandy more.


Savings should have no bearing on it. Either way it's Vandy with $65k or NU with $0.


Well, he's saying that if you have to borrow money, living expenses and tuition and the like get xx% [representing interest] more expensive right off the bat.

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rayiner
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Re: Vandy w 65k vs sticker at NU

Postby rayiner » Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:05 pm

drylo wrote:Actually, these firms hire more than a total of 4 or 5 people per summer. They may not all come from Vandy in any given summer (or Vandy students who are offered these jobs may not take them as consistently in a particular year), but it could be anywhere between 3 and 10 Vandy students (although 10 is probably high) who are at market-paying boutique (non-NJLJ250) Nashville firms in any given year. Those firms are pretty selective, and when there are only 200 students in the class, that could be anywhere from 2-5% of the class that could be in an NLJ250 job but chose Nashville boutiques instead. Not huge numbers, but significant when you consider that we are talking about high-performing students (and just Nashville, not any other cities in the area).


What percentage of Vanderbilt grads would you say go to boutiques paying six figures (post ITE, not pre ITE)? My overall point is that the non-NLJ250 boutiques don't really hire enough people to make a dent in the 52% versus 22% difference in the NLJ250 placement between Northwestern and Vanderbilt. A look at the NALP data suggests that the NALP non-NLJ250 firms[1] in Nashville didn't hire more than 4-5 people the last couple of years. So unless there are a lot of non-NALP, non-NLJ250 firms hiring Vanderbilt grads, it's hard to explain the difference. Note also that there are a lot of non-NLJ250 firms that hire Northwestern grads.

There are a dozen firms in Chicago with less than 100 attorneys that hire 2-5 people each and pay $135k+. A lot of these are IP boutiques, which are popular with Northwestern students, since a disproportionate number of them have a science/engineering background.[2] So factoring in non-NLJ250 boutiques doesn't necessarily close the gap.

[1] Noting that Bass, Bradley, and Waller are NLJ250 firms.
[2] By virtue of its work-experience requirement and splitter-friendliness.

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Samara
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Re: Vandy w 65k vs sticker at NU

Postby Samara » Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:11 pm

rayiner wrote:
drylo wrote:Actually, these firms hire more than a total of 4 or 5 people per summer. They may not all come from Vandy in any given summer (or Vandy students who are offered these jobs may not take them as consistently in a particular year), but it could be anywhere between 3 and 10 Vandy students (although 10 is probably high) who are at market-paying boutique (non-NJLJ250) Nashville firms in any given year. Those firms are pretty selective, and when there are only 200 students in the class, that could be anywhere from 2-5% of the class that could be in an NLJ250 job but chose Nashville boutiques instead. Not huge numbers, but significant when you consider that we are talking about high-performing students (and just Nashville, not any other cities in the area).


What percentage of Vanderbilt grads would you say go to boutiques paying six figures (post ITE, not pre ITE)? My overall point is that the non-NLJ250 boutiques don't really hire enough people to make a dent in the 52% versus 22% difference in the NLJ250 placement between Northwestern and Vanderbilt. A look at the NALP data suggests that the NALP non-NLJ250 firms[1] in Nashville didn't hire more than 4-5 people the last couple of years. So unless there are a lot of non-NALP, non-NLJ250 firms hiring Vanderbilt grads, it's hard to explain the difference. Note also that there are a lot of non-NLJ250 firms that hire Northwestern grads. There are a dozen firms in Chicago with less than 100 attorneys that hire 2-5 people each and pay $135k+. A lot of these are IP boutiques, which are popular with Northwestern students, since a disproportionate number of them have a science/engineering background.[2]

[1] Noting that Bass, Bradley, and Waller are NLJ250 firms.
[2] By virtue of its work-experience requirement and splitter-friendliness.

Not to derail the thread, but are there threads about boutiques on TLS? I've had a hard time finding comprehensive information on them, especially the kind I am interested in. I'm assuming that a firm that is Chambers Band 1 in a certain practice area that isn't NLJ 250 is considered a boutique in the practice area? Is there a way to find out what a specific boutique's hiring patterns are?

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Re: Vandy w 65k vs sticker at NU

Postby NJPitcher » Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:50 pm

To the Vandy students/anyone who can answer:

If 22% are going to the NLJ250 and about 13% go to clerk, what do the other 65% do? I'm not really concerned with the bottom 3rd because I have a feeling the results are similar for the bottom at either school, but the middle third is probably where the conversation is worth having. At NU it seems like they go to the 250 still, but what of the Vandy kids? Are they still making decent money (I think with the smalled amount of debt I'd be in that I'd consider 6 figures a win), just outside the 250? Salary data for 2009 seems good enough for me (see the stickied thread on this board), but if 2010 is that different (Vandy had half the 250 placement it did in 2009) then I might be more worried. What's the consensus from those that are at the school?

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rayiner
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Re: Vandy w 65k vs sticker at NU

Postby rayiner » Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:58 pm

There is another statistic worth looking at. Compare the 2009 and 2010 data for both schools:
http://law.vanderbilt.edu/prospective-s ... index.aspx
http://www.law.northwestern.edu/career/statistics/

At Northwestern, placement into firms with 500+ attorneys dropped from 55% in 2008 and 54% in 2009 to 40% in 2010. At Vanderbilt, it dropped from 30% in 2008 and 2009 to 15% in 2010. That suggests the recession hit Vandy a lot harder.

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Re: Vandy w 65k vs sticker at NU

Postby NJPitcher » Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:42 am

Shameless bump to further discussion?

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rayiner
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Re: Vandy w 65k vs sticker at NU

Postby rayiner » Sat Mar 31, 2012 11:16 am

NJPitcher wrote:Shameless bump to further discussion?


$65k is decent money, but look at it this way: what do you think the lifetime benefit of getting big law versus not getting it will be? The difference in placement between the two schools is about 20% by the 2010 data. If the lifetime difference in earning is at least $315k, then the difference in placement is worth paying $65k more. The fact that you want to be in the northeast tips the balance IMO.

As a 3L, seeing the stark dichotomy in job outcomes among my classmates (nothing at graduation versus $160k) and having seem the data for in house salaries post big law, I tend to estimate the value of getting big law way higher than $315k over a career. I don't think $1 million would be a low estimate. As such, in your shoes I'd forgo a jump to the next tier pretty much only for a full ride at the tier below. I'd turn down half scholly Columbia for Harvard, I'd turn down half scholly at Michigan for Columbia, etc. Maybe I'm particularly risk averse, but I'd price every 10% difference about $100k.

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Re: Vandy w 65k vs sticker at NU

Postby NJPitcher » Fri May 04, 2012 10:21 pm

So while I had made this thread mostly as a conjecture in the event that I did get in to NU, it's now an actual choice that I have until the 14th to decide (they actually made a decision on a hold candidate?!)... and I'm not much closer to a decision. I had finally sold myself on the softs of Vandy and the ability (enough) to wind up back in the NE, but now gap is starting to look bigger/scarier, but I also remind myself I'll be in 2/3 the debt out of Vandy compared to NU. I guess this bump doesn't really add much information, just that I'd like more help :-/




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