Vanderbilt Law vs. Fordham University

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Bigsby
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Vanderbilt Law vs. Fordham University

Postby Bigsby » Mon May 07, 2012 7:13 pm

Hey everyone! I just got into Vanderbilt Law!! I'm really excited!

Though I'm quite proud of myself, I really need your help. So far I was set on Fordham but now that I've gotten into Vanderbilt, I'm not sure what I wanna do! I'm shooting to work in NYC but I really want to go to the best school possible for that. Though Fordham has a big alumni network in NYC and the biglaw chances in NY are okay at best next to NYU and columbia and cornell, is the strength and reputation of Vanderbilt as a school good enough to offset these things? I imagine not many nyc law firms come to visit vanderbilt so I wonder how much of a shot I have to get NYC firms/summer internships? More Fordhamians get NYC jobs but I feel like that's self-selection. I don't want to end up working in the South, I want to return to the northeast area. I feel silly thinking that Fordham might be a smarter option and my gut says GO TO VANDY, and i've scouted the forums. Could not come up with any definitive statistics.

I was basically wondering what a TLSer would think. Please make your decision independent of financial considerations (assume that I am going to either school and can graduate debt-free...I got goood money from vanderbilt and with some $$$ from working and family I am most likely going to vanderbilt debt free). I like both areas though I like NYC more. What do you guys reckon?

Thank you so much!

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Vanderbilt Law vs. Fordham University

Postby Doorkeeper » Mon May 07, 2012 8:30 pm

So can you graduate from both schools debt-free, or just Vanderbilt?

Bigsby
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Re: Vanderbilt Law vs. Fordham University

Postby Bigsby » Mon May 07, 2012 8:34 pm

Both, my good sir!

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top30man
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Re: Vanderbilt Law vs. Fordham University

Postby top30man » Mon May 07, 2012 8:53 pm

Bigsby wrote:Both, my good sir!

I'd say Vanderbilt. The placement is much better and major ny firms come to oci. You'd probably have to have a high rank but no higher than from Fordham.

Bigsby
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Re: Vanderbilt Law vs. Fordham University

Postby Bigsby » Mon May 07, 2012 10:04 pm

thank you! interesting response....any other opinions?

de5igual
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Re: Vanderbilt Law vs. Fordham University

Postby de5igual » Mon May 07, 2012 10:18 pm

you got good $$ from Vanderbilt? so why isn't a T14 an option?

LS-boundNYC
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Re: Vanderbilt Law vs. Fordham University

Postby LS-boundNYC » Mon May 07, 2012 10:26 pm

I had this exact decision last year (except no money involved). I chose Fordham because I was already in NYC and wasn't ready to leave, I was able to continue working and help pay my way through school, and I figured that for firm work, the NY ties would pay off. In making that decision, I recognized that I'd lose out on the really prestigious firms (though I've gathered that even they aren't impossible for the tippity top of Fordham's class), some good gov't gigs (esp. in DC, since Fordham is very much a regional school), and clerking (which would be tough even from Vandy, I assume).

Essentially, I decided that I liked New York more and wanted to work here. Plus, I had no interest in working in south. In the end, I took the risk and chose Fordham, and I have not regretted that for a minute.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Vanderbilt Law vs. Fordham University

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon May 07, 2012 10:35 pm

NYC & Nashville are quite different; you should be able to decide this on your own.

Bigsby
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Re: Vanderbilt Law vs. Fordham University

Postby Bigsby » Mon May 07, 2012 10:57 pm

Well, if I had my way, I'd want to stay in NYC but I don't wanna pick location over opportunity. I want to eventually work in NYC but that doesn't necessarily mean that Fordham is the best option between the two. I like Nashville as well, I've been there before and I really enjoy it. So it's not a matter of 'pick your city', i'll be fine at both. I want to make the decision that will best help me work at an NYC firm. Though it seems obvious that since Fordham is in NY, thus go to NY, I've been getting mixed results and I am at a loss now so all this information is very appreciated.

@F0bolous, I dunno :-/ I've been waitlisted at Cornell, Gtown and Michigan so I'm just kinda sitting around. But yeah...

CanadianWolf
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Re: Vanderbilt Law vs. Fordham University

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon May 07, 2012 11:00 pm

Fordham may the better option since you can get internships/externships throughout the year in your target location of NYC.

P.S. Let Cornell & Michigan know that you are willing to pay sticker price (if, in fact, you are).

Bigsby
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Re: Vanderbilt Law vs. Fordham University

Postby Bigsby » Mon May 07, 2012 11:14 pm

Thank you canadianwolf! I will let them know; i think i mentioned that before and they were like 'we are need blind' or something.

so your vote is for fordham then eh? thanks for letting me know, cheers!

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thelawyler
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Re: Vanderbilt Law vs. Fordham University

Postby thelawyler » Tue May 08, 2012 2:14 am

I'd say Vandy if you're okay with the move. Sounds awesome without debt.

Bigsby
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Re: Vanderbilt Law vs. Fordham University

Postby Bigsby » Tue May 08, 2012 2:21 am

Thanks Lawyler,

Could you be more specific with your recommendation? I'm fine with the move for sure; I have a lot of friends who will be staying in the NYC area and my musical opportunities/contacts (since I do film/musical scoring as a job) for $$$ are all around here, but like I said, if Vandy will get me closer to my job of working at an NYC firm then I'm definitely going with opportunity vs. location. Besides I've worked in Nashville before and really enjoyed it.

What makes you say Vandy over Fordham? Let's say I was "work-in-NYC or bust", would Vandy be the smarter choice?

Thanks again!

P.S. I'm not looking for any excuses to go to either school, I really just wanna make the right decision for my future career, assuming I had to pick between these two schools only.

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thelawyler
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Re: Vanderbilt Law vs. Fordham University

Postby thelawyler » Tue May 08, 2012 3:42 am

So most of the major firms do come to Vandy, although you might have to do some mailings as well to get some additional interviews. I do want to say that although Vandy seems to only have a slight edge in NLJ recently, the gap used to be much greater in the past, so if there is a bit of a recovery, perhaps we can see the reputation pulling for Vandy again.

I also heard many people are not gunning for NYC at Vandy, and because of that, you aren't fighting tooth and nail for those crucial interview spots. More chances to shine if you have above median grades.

Additionally, Vandy places far more into Clerkships so you have to consider that number into there as well. Maybe add 6-8% or so to that advantage.

Overall, I'd say it has a 10-15% edge normally in Big Law + Clerk employment and thus it is worth it for same cost.

Bigsby
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Re: Vanderbilt Law vs. Fordham University

Postby Bigsby » Tue May 08, 2012 12:53 pm

Yeah that seems to be what the major vandy argument is...do employers really care about the fact that im unique just because im from a reputable school? i never knew that was actually a factor, i figured it was all a numbers game.

shows what i know! haha thanks man

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dingbat
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Re: Vanderbilt Law vs. Fordham University

Postby dingbat » Wed May 09, 2012 12:07 am

If you're NY or bust Fordham is a better option.
Vandy places better into biglaw (I'll concede NY biglaw for argument's sake) but if you don't outshine the competition, at least Fordham feeds into the NY market for non-biglaw

If you are open to going anywhere Vandy is a step up, but for NY or bust, Firshsm gives more opportunity
(median at either won't get biglaw; median at Vandy won't get NY)

Bigsby
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Re: Vanderbilt Law vs. Fordham University

Postby Bigsby » Wed May 09, 2012 1:04 am

Really? So even if I am median at Vandy, I won't even be able to get a job in NY but Fordham will? It seems way riskier then to go to Vanderbilt because I'll have to ensure I'm higher than median just to get an NY job. But then where's the Vandy cutoff between NY non-BigLaw job and a BigLaw job?

Also, where did you get this information from? Not that I don't believe you, you're extremely helpful and you've given me great advice on my other posts but I just wanna know where these people are getting information that I can't seem to find.

Thank you.

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dingbat
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Re: Vanderbilt Law vs. Fordham University

Postby dingbat » Wed May 09, 2012 8:20 am

Bigsby wrote:Really? So even if I am median at Vandy, I won't even be able to get a job in NY but Fordham will? It seems way riskier then to go to Vanderbilt because I'll have to ensure I'm higher than median just to get an NY job. But then where's the Vandy cutoff between NY non-BigLaw job and a BigLaw job?

Also, where did you get this information from? Not that I don't believe you, you're extremely helpful and you've given me great advice on my other posts but I just wanna know where these people are getting information that I can't seem to find.

Thank you.

Median might not be accurate. I think that if you're at the top of either school, you'll have no problem.
But, if at Vanderbilt you're below the cutoff for biglaw's interviews at OCI, there won't be any NY opportunities left, whereas at Fordham, if you miss the biglaw cutoff, there are plenty of other NY (non-biglaw) opportunities at Fordham's OCI.
That being said, if you really screw up and don't land a job at OCI for either, I think your NY opportunities will be about the same from either school - hustling as a 3L

To sum up: top of the class, fine either way; bottom of the class, screwed either way. middle of the class, Fordham gives better NY (non-biglaw) opportunities.

note: I don't know what constitutes top at Vandy.

answer23
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Re: Vanderbilt Law vs. Fordham University

Postby answer23 » Wed May 09, 2012 3:21 pm

Median might not be accurate. I think that if you're at the top of either school, you'll have no problem.
But, if at Vanderbilt you're below the cutoff for biglaw's interviews at OCI, there won't be anymight be some NY opportunities left, whereas at Fordham, if you miss the biglaw cutoff, there are plenty of other NY (non-biglaw) opportunities at Fordham's OCI Staff attorney and Doc review positions at Fordham’s OCI.
That being said, if you really screw up and don't land a job at OCI for either, I think your NY opportunities will be about the same from either school - hustling as a 3Ldrastically different at each school. Employed with a bar requirement at Vanderbilt and Under-Employed at Fordham.

To sum up: top of the class, fine either way; bottom of the class, Royally screwed either wayat Fordham middle of the class, Fordham gives better NY (non-biglaw) opportunities. you more under-employment opportunities.

note: I don't know what constitutes top at Vandy.

Fixed

Bigsby
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Re: Vanderbilt Law vs. Fordham University

Postby Bigsby » Wed May 09, 2012 7:01 pm

See! This is exactly what I mean. I keep getting mixed signals from everyone about this decision. Some say Fordham definitely, some say Vandy, and this is pretty much what i've been dealing with when combing the internet and doing research into which school to go to.

answer, where did you get this information? you seemed pretty sure of yourself and i really appreciate your response and I just wanted to know if you could back this up with some sort of source.

thanks again for your response, i really do appreciate it! don't let my stress come off as rudeness! i dont mean that in the slightest

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: Vanderbilt Law vs. Fordham University

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Wed May 09, 2012 8:39 pm

OP - It's not an easy decision. No one here can predict how your grades will turn out or if luck will fall in your favor. You have to realize that big law is unlikely to happen from either school (significantly less than 50%).

Vandy is certainly a better school, and if you are okay with not being in NYC, or even the northeast, it would be the better option by far. If you absolutely must have NYC, however, it's difficult to justify choosing it over Fordham.

My advice would to be not to worry about working in NYC and just go to Vandy.

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dingbat
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Re: Vanderbilt Law vs. Fordham University

Postby dingbat » Wed May 09, 2012 9:17 pm

Bigsby wrote:See! This is exactly what I mean. I keep getting mixed signals from everyone about this decision. Some say Fordham definitely, some say Vandy, and this is pretty much what i've been dealing with when combing the internet and doing research into which school to go to.

answer, where did you get this information? you seemed pretty sure of yourself and i really appreciate your response and I just wanted to know if you could back this up with some sort of source.

thanks again for your response, i really do appreciate it! don't let my stress come off as rudeness! i dont mean that in the slightest

Don't worry about it.
It isn't that simple, which is why it's tough to figure out.
Basically, if you must absolutely have NY, go to Fordham.
If you couldn't care less about NY, go to Vanderbilt

Vanderbilt is a better school but it is not that much better so it's a question of how much location matters to you, which is not something anyone else can answer for you.

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thelawyler
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Re: Vanderbilt Law vs. Fordham University

Postby thelawyler » Wed May 09, 2012 9:35 pm

answer23 wrote:Median might not be accurate. I think that if you're at the top of either school, you'll have no problem.
But, if at Vanderbilt you're below the cutoff for biglaw's interviews at OCI, there won't be anymight be some NY opportunities left, whereas at Fordham, if you miss the biglaw cutoff, there are plenty of other NY (non-biglaw) opportunities at Fordham's OCI Staff attorney and Doc review positions at Fordham’s OCI.
That being said, if you really screw up and don't land a job at OCI for either, I think your NY opportunities will be about the same from either school - hustling as a 3Ldrastically different at each school. Employed with a bar requirement at Vanderbilt and Under-Employed at Fordham.

To sum up: top of the class, fine either way; bottom of the class, Royally screwed either wayat Fordham middle of the class, Fordham gives better NY (non-biglaw) opportunities. you more under-employment opportunities.

note: I don't know what constitutes top at Vandy.

Fixed

I will second this.

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dingbat
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Re: Vanderbilt Law vs. Fordham University

Postby dingbat » Thu May 10, 2012 12:00 am

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=183053
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Yes, Vandy is better than Fordham across the board. But it's not that much better.

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thelawyler
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Re: Vanderbilt Law vs. Fordham University

Postby thelawyler » Thu May 10, 2012 12:34 am

If we consider jobs that we prefer to have to be ones that are JD-required...

20% chance at a JD preferred job (Fordham) vs a 6% of that (Vandy).
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Also note that the short-term jobs is smaller. So less JD-Preferred and less short time out of Vandy. And there's 4% "Professional" and only 1% "Professional" at Vandy, which basically makes the unemployment numbers the same as most of those Professional jobs are likely not McKinsey.

Being below median at Vandy seems to give you better odds of not completely making your JD useless. Not ideal at both, but risk of it being worse at Fordham are statistically much higher. Add in the fact that the "good jobs" seem to reach about 15% deeper into Vandy, and you've created reason on both ends to choose Vandy for the same price. Lower risk below median, lower risk above median.




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