Vandy w 65k vs sticker at NU

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rayiner
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Re: Vandy w 65k vs sticker at NU

Postby rayiner » Fri May 04, 2012 10:42 pm

NJPitcher wrote: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 :-/


Since you last posted, Vandy has posted C/O 2011 data. You can now compare them directly: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=181415.
Also look at the data for people who ended up at small firms, state clerkships, or unemployed: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=181723&p=5370502#p5370502.

NU is 61% big firm/clerkship, 25% unemployed/undesirable jobs
Vandy is 41% big firm/clerkship, 42% unemployed/undesirable jobs

One thing to note is that for both schools, those two categories account for ~85% of the whole class. The rest is government/PI which is very competitive to get and not a place for people who failed to get big law. So make your decision in light of the fact that you're basically either set or screwed--there isn't much of a comfortable middle ground to fall back on.

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Samara
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Re: Vandy w 65k vs sticker at NU

Postby Samara » Sat May 05, 2012 11:00 am

rayiner wrote: So make your decision in light of the fact that you're basically either set or screwed--there isn't much of a comfortable middle ground to fall back on.

This is exactly why I chose NU at sticker over 84k at WUSTL. I would still take out enough debt from WUSTL that if I strike out at biglaw, I'd be in the screwed category. $225k or $125k, it's still biglaw or bust. So, I had to pick the school that gives me a much stronger chance at set than screwed.

IMO, $65k isn't enough to keep you out of biglaw or bust territory. The difference in job prospects is so large, I would take NU. Maybe if Vandy played to your strengths and goals, you could justify Vandy, but I think in your situation you gotta go NU.

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jenesaislaw
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Re: Vandy w 65k vs sticker at NU

Postby jenesaislaw » Sat May 05, 2012 12:29 pm

The difference between $100k and $190k debt is astounding. I simply couldn't imagine making the decision for NU here. It's a TLS Fantasy that the difference in placement is worth this debt, especially since that 190k will be well over 200k before you even graduate school. (NU full boat, with none of your savings, is 284k if you include interest).

--LinkRemoved--

That is so much money, and the conventional thinking is that if you get biglaw you've made it and justified this debt. That's part of the source of the TLS Fantasy. Turns out that debt is still a pain in the ass, even on a biglaw salary, severely limiting your exit options and social mobility. Moreover, the attrition rate in biglaw is nothing to scoff at. Yeah, you may feel like you can make your $2500 monthly payment (or more!) in year one at 160k, year two at 167k, and half of year three at 175k. But what about when you're one of the statistics? How do you feel about that $2500 monthly payment on 100k? 70k?

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rayiner
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Re: Vandy w 65k vs sticker at NU

Postby rayiner » Sat May 05, 2012 3:01 pm

jenesaislaw wrote:The difference between $100k and $190k debt is astounding. I simply couldn't imagine making the decision for NU here. It's a TLS Fantasy that the difference in placement is worth this debt, especially since that 190k will be well over 200k before you even graduate school. (NU full boat, with none of your savings, is 284k if you include interest).

--LinkRemoved--

That is so much money, and the conventional thinking is that if you get biglaw you've made it and justified this debt. That's part of the source of the TLS Fantasy. Turns out that debt is still a pain in the ass, even on a biglaw salary, severely limiting your exit options and social mobility. Moreover, the attrition rate in biglaw is nothing to scoff at. Yeah, you may feel like you can make your $2500 monthly payment (or more!) in year one at 160k, year two at 167k, and half of year three at 175k. But what about when you're one of the statistics? How do you feel about that $2500 monthly payment on 100k? 70k?


The median* outcome from NU: three years at $145k+ to pay down $190k of debt, then big law exit options.
The median outcome from Vandy: paying off $100k of debt on $70k in small law.

*) The actual median. 145 of 287 reported making $140k+, with another 23 doing federal clerkships. Another 26 making $100k-$140k.

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jenesaislaw
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Re: Vandy w 65k vs sticker at NU

Postby jenesaislaw » Sat May 05, 2012 8:16 pm

Perhaps you missed the third option: none of the above.

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rayiner
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Re: Vandy w 65k vs sticker at NU

Postby rayiner » Sat May 05, 2012 8:17 pm

jenesaislaw wrote:Perhaps you missed the third option: none of the above.


That may well be TCR if you're extremely debt averse. There is a healthy 25% chance of life pwn-age at NU, versus maybe a 40% chance at Vandy: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=181723

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Samara
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Re: Vandy w 65k vs sticker at NU

Postby Samara » Sat May 05, 2012 9:55 pm

jenesaislaw wrote:Perhaps you missed the third option: none of the above.

You're right! I could take the TTT full ride where the median outcome is doc review! Why didn't I think of that?

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Re: Vandy w 65k vs sticker at NU

Postby chasgoose » Sat May 05, 2012 11:24 pm

madmen wrote: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.


If we were judging school value by LSAT medians, people would take NYU/CLS over SLS all the time. 65k plus interest is a lot, but 130k with no job is a lot worse than 200k with one. Vanderbilt does place in NYC/Chi/DC, but not very well. OP is going to have to be OK with working in the South because its a definite possibility. NU has far better national reach.

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thelawyler
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Re: Vandy w 65k vs sticker at NU

Postby thelawyler » Sat May 05, 2012 11:41 pm

Samara wrote:
jenesaislaw wrote:Perhaps you missed the third option: none of the above.

You're right! I could take the TTT full ride where the median outcome is doc review! Why didn't I think of that?


Is there an all of the above option?

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rayiner
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Re: Vandy w 65k vs sticker at NU

Postby rayiner » Sat May 05, 2012 11:56 pm

Samara wrote:
jenesaislaw wrote:Perhaps you missed the third option: none of the above.

You're right! I could take the TTT full ride where the median outcome is doc review! Why didn't I think of that?


That's really the spectrum of choices, isn't it.

Sticker at Lower T14 - 75% chance of six-figure job, 25% chance of dying still in debt.
Half-ride at Vandy/UT/USC - 50% chance of six-figure job, 50% chance of paying off debt in time to pay for kids' college.
Full-ride at T50 - 15-20% chance of six-figure job, 80% chance of making $50k or being unemployed.

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Samara
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Re: Vandy w 65k vs sticker at NU

Postby Samara » Sun May 06, 2012 10:05 am

thelawyler wrote:
Samara wrote:
jenesaislaw wrote:Perhaps you missed the third option: none of the above.

You're right! I could take the TTT full ride where the median outcome is doc review! Why didn't I think of that?


Is there an all of the above option?

Not for splitters like me and not for most applicants.

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Samara
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Re: Vandy w 65k vs sticker at NU

Postby Samara » Sun May 06, 2012 10:43 am

rayiner wrote:
Samara wrote:
jenesaislaw wrote:Perhaps you missed the third option: none of the above.

You're right! I could take the TTT full ride where the median outcome is doc review! Why didn't I think of that?


That's really the spectrum of choices, isn't it.

Sticker at Lower T14 - 75% chance of six-figure job, 25% chance of dying still in debt.
Half-ride at Vandy/UT/USC - 50% chance of six-figure job, 50% chance of paying off debt in time to pay for kids' college.
Full-ride at T50 - 15-20% chance of six-figure job, 80% chance of making $50k or being unemployed.

If your GPA is below 3.5, that's pretty much your ideal set of options. And if you're below ~3.35, you don't even get the second option. The closest you get is half-ride at WUSTL or GW, which is more like a 40/60 split.

There's plenty of reasons to choose one of the options over the others, but IMO OP's situation is best served by option one. It's definitely a tough choice though. For splitters ITE, choosing to go to law school at all is a tough choice.

NJPitcher
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Re: Vandy w 65k vs sticker at NU

Postby NJPitcher » Sun May 06, 2012 11:49 am

Definitely appreciate all the insight!

I should add that throughout school (K-16) I have never been one to be at the top of my class. I know the TLS wisdom is you can never assume top 10%, and in my case I'd like to rule it out. If LS turns out to be a TOTALLY different beast where by some miracle I dominate then so be it, but for the EV maths I should encourage everyone to rule out my finishing in the top 10%. I'm also going to rule out the bottom 10% - maybe more debatable, but still such a small portion of my range that I think I can rule it out.

That leaves the middle 80% of the class in which I can fall. Going off of Rayiner's interpretation of the C/O 2011 data, If I finish in the 10-55% at either school then I should (in theory) be OK, in which case VULS is the way to go. The 55-75% is where NU gets its advantage, as I still (in theory) should be able to big law from NU. The 75-90% hoses me either way, in which case VULS is again the way to go as I'll be crying myself to sleep a little bit less every night.

So it appears that in 3/4 of my expected outcomes, vandy is the way to go. Unfortunately I tend to think my class position is not evenly distributed from 10-90%, and I'll likely fall somewhere in the middle, in which case I'd much rather be at NU.

Soooo can I just deal it twice and decide afterwards which way to go?

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rayiner
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Re: Vandy w 65k vs sticker at NU

Postby rayiner » Sun May 06, 2012 12:24 pm

It doesn't work like that. People get jobs and strike out throughout the grade range, except the top 1/4 or so who mostly get auto offers based on their GPA. And given the nature of the curve, in practice people substantially below median are numerically close to the median GPA.

The only sensible way to do a calculation is expected value. How much do you think a big law career is worth relative to small law over a lifetime. Take 20% of that , and that is how much you should be willing to pay to increase your chances by 20%.

If you insist in looking at it in terms of class rank, here is a better way. Say. 90% of each school tries for big law or clerkship. That means that 67.5% and 44.4% of each school who wanted it got it. The top 25% will get auto offers based on GPA. That leaves 42.5/75 = 57% chance for everyone else at NU, and 19.4/75=26% chance at VLS. In that range your outcome will be mostly decided by hustle, bidding choices, and luck.




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