0L here, so take with a grain of salt. I don´t think you should be so quick to eliminate Vandy. Vandy is a fine school in the south, and if that´s where you want to work, there´s a great option. I think Cornell and Vandy would land you roughly equal employment prospects in Atlanta just by name. Living in Nashville you´d probably meet with and network with more lawyers practicing in the region you wish to work (the south).
Things to think about:
1) If you want to work in biglaw- check NLJ250 hiring statistics: http://www.lawschooltransparency.com/20 ... tatistics/
Consider that Cornell may be higher just because they´re in NY and it´s got that biglaw market. Consider alumni base and where they´re all located.
2) If you don´t want biglaw, consider other legal employment prospect statistics at both schools and their placement statistics... public service, clerkships.
3) If you don´t know what you want, consider both biglaw and non biglaw private as well as public service. Think about all opportunities holistically.
4) Lastly, consider experiences. Where do you want to live for 3 years? Would a 3 year break from the South do you well? Do you love it so much you want to stay?