Texas vs. Vandy vs. side thoughts

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )

Given circumstances, which would you choose?

Vanderbilt (25,000 per year + one-time 5,000 stipend)
2
11%
Texas (Non-resident tuition exemption plus 6,000 per year)
3
16%
UC Davis (full ride)
8
42%
USC (30,000 per year)
2
11%
UCLA (20,000 per year)
4
21%
 
Total votes: 19

YungSlumLord
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2014 3:14 pm

Texas vs. Vandy vs. side thoughts

Postby YungSlumLord » Mon Apr 13, 2015 3:15 pm

Hello,

I am currently stuck in choosing between Texas and Vanderbilt while not officially ruling out my other options. Texas, Vanderbilt, and USC are the only schools and cities I really enjoyed on my visits.


-The schools you are considering

Texas, Vandy, UC Davis, USC, UCLA

-My Personal COAs (does not include loan fees or interest. Excludes health insurance and car payments. Figures based on 9 months, not full year)
Texas: $131,354
Vanderbilt: $131,931
UC Davis: $45,525
USC: $143,184
UCLA: $140,147.91

I am a little suspcious of the USC and UCLA numbers and think they may have understimated personal expenses in their website's numbers.

-How you will be financing your COA, i.e. loans, family, or savings
I am one year post grad and don't have much savings. I expect to receive about $12,000/year assitance from family, while taking the rest out in loans.


-Where you are from and where you want to work, and other places where you have significant ties (if any)

I'm from Northern California and would prefer to work anywhere in California since it's simply a great state. However, I am flexible and undertsand that given the current legal market one must be willing to accept the best opportunities wherever they may be. So basically CA is preferred, but not make or break.


-Your general career goals

I'm not 100% certain at this point if I wish to go down the BigLaw route, but it seems some form of private practice is likely.


-Your LSAT/GPA numbers

168/167, 3.7


-How many times you have taken the LSAT

Twice


What does everyone think?

The Dark Shepard
Posts: 450
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2014 3:49 pm

Re: Texas vs. Vandy vs. side thoughts

Postby The Dark Shepard » Mon Apr 13, 2015 3:20 pm

When did you apply? I feel you've underperformed your numbers. Do you not have any lower T14 acceptances/scholarship?

Nomo
Posts: 700
Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2014 2:06 am

Re: Texas vs. Vandy vs. side thoughts

Postby Nomo » Mon Apr 13, 2015 3:21 pm

YungSlumLord wrote:My Personal COAs (does not include loan fees or interest. Excludes health insurance and car payments. Figures based on 9 months, not full year)


Its hard to give good advice when we don't know what your actual costs are. Why aren't you including loan fees, interest, health insurance, or car payments? Why aren't you considering how much money you'll need for a full year?

User avatar
Capitol_Idea
Posts: 10707
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:54 am

Re: Texas vs. Vandy vs. side thoughts

Postby Capitol_Idea » Mon Apr 13, 2015 3:24 pm

Retake and try to get just a couple points higher, take another year to get some W/E, and apply again to UT, Vandy, and lower and mid t14. Bounce scholly offers until you've got something decent.

I wouldn't go at these cost figures given the potential you've got with your current GPA/LSAT scores.

YungSlumLord
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2014 3:14 pm

Re: Texas vs. Vandy vs. side thoughts

Postby YungSlumLord » Mon Apr 13, 2015 4:16 pm

Nomo wrote:
YungSlumLord wrote:My Personal COAs (does not include loan fees or interest. Excludes health insurance and car payments. Figures based on 9 months, not full year)


Its hard to give good advice when we don't know what your actual costs are. Why aren't you including loan fees, interest, health insurance, or car payments? Why aren't you considering how much money you'll need for a full year?


Didn't include health insurance because I'll still be on my parents plan throughout law school and I can waive the school HI fees. Parents also pay for car and gas.

Other amounts haven't been included because can't say where I'll be living/what I'll be doing those other 3 months of the year. Was going to add loan fees and interest amounts once I take a harder look at the loan situation in the next few days

User avatar
Winston1984
Posts: 1789
Joined: Sun Mar 17, 2013 12:02 pm

Re: Texas vs. Vandy vs. side thoughts

Postby Winston1984 » Mon Apr 13, 2015 4:17 pm

If you go to UCLA/USC you have to go into biglaw to pay off those loans (or rely on PSLF). I think Vandy and UT are out because they won't get you back to CA, and it would be an uphill battle getting a job in Texas/the South. Davis is defensible at that cost, but not if you want biglaw.

Personally, I think you should retake, or go with Davis. UCLA/USC are just too expensive. If you could get them to ~$100k (or less) then they would be a reasonable option.

YungSlumLord
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2014 3:14 pm

Re: Texas vs. Vandy vs. side thoughts

Postby YungSlumLord » Mon Apr 13, 2015 4:21 pm

zacharus85 wrote:Retake and try to get just a couple points higher, take another year to get some W/E, and apply again to UT, Vandy, and lower and mid t14. Bounce scholly offers until you've got something decent.

I wouldn't go at these cost figures given the potential you've got with your current GPA/LSAT scores.



FYI, I applied mid-December. I'm just not sure how worth it it would be to take another year off when I have nothing to prove that I'll improve on another retake. My score went down from 168 to 167 on my initial retake.

To be honest, there aren't any other schools anywhere on the list that I'd like to go to, higher ranked or not. At what COA at Vandy and UT would you consider more realistic?

User avatar
starry eyed
Posts: 2048
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2014 11:26 am

Re: Texas vs. Vandy vs. side thoughts

Postby starry eyed » Mon Apr 13, 2015 4:23 pm

if you have to enroll this cycle, between Davis/USC/UCLA and TX/Vandy, i would choose davis/USC/UCLA for that price difference and your desire to be in CA.

Davis and USC/UCLAS give an apx equal shot at Full time law job (USC/UCLA may be 10% or so more) but USC/UCLA gives you a ~20% or so increase in your odds of getting Biglaw or fed clerkship. Personally i don't think an extra 20% chance is worth 100k

User avatar
transferror
Posts: 816
Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2014 5:42 pm

Re: Texas vs. Vandy vs. side thoughts

Postby transferror » Mon Apr 13, 2015 4:24 pm

OP - did you include the ≈ 35k from your parents in the COA numbers? Have you tried to get UCLA to match USC's offer?

I agree UT and Vandy should be out of the picture b/c of cost and geographic preference, especially if you have no ties to the South (and you've only indicated CA ties).

Edited for clarity

User avatar
Tiago Splitter
Posts: 15508
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:20 am

Re: Texas vs. Vandy vs. side thoughts

Postby Tiago Splitter » Mon Apr 13, 2015 4:28 pm

Definitely try to negotiate USC and UCLA against each other.

User avatar
zombie mcavoy
Posts: 428
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2015 10:11 pm

Re: Texas vs. Vandy vs. side thoughts

Postby zombie mcavoy » Mon Apr 13, 2015 4:50 pm

Considering your goals and COAs, Vandy and UT are, plainly, not good options here.

UCLA and USC are both worth 10K over Vandy or UT for your goals, but that COA is far too high for my taste to make either worth the it. That's a fine price to pay for Davis but that closes off a lot of options, too. Either get USC to cut that cost significantly (they seem to have low balled you), or retake, IMO.

User avatar
KMart
Posts: 3628
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2014 1:25 am

Re: Texas vs. Vandy vs. side thoughts

Postby KMart » Mon Apr 13, 2015 4:55 pm

USC/UCLA for your goals if attending this year is a must. Davis shuts off too many options IMO, although a fair price for the school, and UT/Vandy can not get you back to California.

YungSlumLord
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2014 3:14 pm

Re: Texas vs. Vandy vs. side thoughts

Postby YungSlumLord » Mon Apr 13, 2015 4:57 pm

zombie mcavoy wrote:Considering your goals and COAs, Vandy and UT are, plainly, not good options here.

UCLA and USC are both worth 10K over Vandy or UT for your goals, but that COA is far too high for my taste to make either worth the it. That's a fine price to pay for Davis but that closes off a lot of options, too. Either get USC to cut that cost significantly (they seem to have low balled you), or retake, IMO.


I've tried negotiating with each school, and even tried renegotiating. The only school that even budged on an intial offer was Notre Dame, and that scholarship was the lowest of low balls.


Assuming I graduated top 25% or so in my class at Davis (I wouldn't expect anything less), what career options would I have exactly? This is something I haven't been able to get a solid answer on from anyone really.

EDIT: My COA numbers DO NOT factor in any assitance from parents or savings. So maybe subtract those total figures by roughly $30k and that would be my COA that will have to be supplemented by loans.

User avatar
starry eyed
Posts: 2048
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2014 11:26 am

Re: Texas vs. Vandy vs. side thoughts

Postby starry eyed » Mon Apr 13, 2015 4:59 pm

YungSlumLord wrote:
zombie mcavoy wrote:Considering your goals and COAs, Vandy and UT are, plainly, not good options here.

UCLA and USC are both worth 10K over Vandy or UT for your goals, but that COA is far too high for my taste to make either worth the it. That's a fine price to pay for Davis but that closes off a lot of options, too. Either get USC to cut that cost significantly (they seem to have low balled you), or retake, IMO.


I've tried negotiating with each school, and even tried renegotiating. The only school that even budged on an intial offer was Notre Dame, and that scholarship was the lowest of low balls.


Assuming I graduated top 25% or so in my class at Davis (I wouldn't expect anything less), what career options would I have exactly? This is something I haven't been able to get a solid answer on from anyone really.



you realize you're gonna be around people around the same intelligence as you?

the lsat is a gameable, learnable, oftentimes lucky, exam; so i wouldn't expect it to correlate as much as you may think to good law school grades.

User avatar
zombie mcavoy
Posts: 428
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2015 10:11 pm

Re: Texas vs. Vandy vs. side thoughts

Postby zombie mcavoy » Mon Apr 13, 2015 5:12 pm

YungSlumLord wrote:
zombie mcavoy wrote:Considering your goals and COAs, Vandy and UT are, plainly, not good options here.

UCLA and USC are both worth 10K over Vandy or UT for your goals, but that COA is far too high for my taste to make either worth the it. That's a fine price to pay for Davis but that closes off a lot of options, too. Either get USC to cut that cost significantly (they seem to have low balled you), or retake, IMO.


I've tried negotiating with each school, and even tried renegotiating. The only school that even budged on an intial offer was Notre Dame, and that scholarship was the lowest of low balls.

Assuming I graduated top 25% or so in my class at Davis (I wouldn't expect anything less), what career options would I have exactly? This is something I haven't been able to get a solid answer on from anyone really.

EDIT: My COA numbers DO NOT factor in any assitance from parents or savings. So maybe subtract those total figures by roughly $30k and that would be my COA that will have to be supplemented by loans.

Keep asking USC. They'll blink.

You can't assume you'll get good grades. Stop playing with those kind of hypotheticals. You have no reason to think you'll do better than the vast majority of your classmates on a forced curve. Assume an average outcome at each school.

If you will graduate with 100K debt from USC or UCLA I guess either is probably an acceptable long-term investment. It's still an unnecessarily large amount of debt, though. Again, do not go to Vandy or UT. (UT student here FWIW).

YungSlumLord
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2014 3:14 pm

Re: Texas vs. Vandy vs. side thoughts

Postby YungSlumLord » Mon Apr 13, 2015 5:20 pm

zombie mcavoy wrote:
YungSlumLord wrote:
zombie mcavoy wrote:Considering your goals and COAs, Vandy and UT are, plainly, not good options here.

UCLA and USC are both worth 10K over Vandy or UT for your goals, but that COA is far too high for my taste to make either worth the it. That's a fine price to pay for Davis but that closes off a lot of options, too. Either get USC to cut that cost significantly (they seem to have low balled you), or retake, IMO.


I've tried negotiating with each school, and even tried renegotiating. The only school that even budged on an intial offer was Notre Dame, and that scholarship was the lowest of low balls.

Assuming I graduated top 25% or so in my class at Davis (I wouldn't expect anything less), what career options would I have exactly? This is something I haven't been able to get a solid answer on from anyone really.

EDIT: My COA numbers DO NOT factor in any assitance from parents or savings. So maybe subtract those total figures by roughly $30k and that would be my COA that will have to be supplemented by loans.

Keep asking USC. They'll blink.

You can't assume you'll get good grades. Stop playing with those kind of hypotheticals. You have no reason to think you'll do better than the vast majority of your classmates on a forced curve. Assume an average outcome at each school.

If you will graduate with 100K debt from USC or UCLA I guess either is probably an acceptable long-term investment. It's still an unnecessarily large amount of debt, though. Again, do not go to Vandy or UT. (UT student here FWIW).


I sent USC another email yesterday, hoping to hear back. Why do people on TLS view UT and Vandy so disfavorably? Got that vibe even before posting this with my $$$ situation by reading other threads.

User avatar
Winston1984
Posts: 1789
Joined: Sun Mar 17, 2013 12:02 pm

Re: Texas vs. Vandy vs. side thoughts

Postby Winston1984 » Mon Apr 13, 2015 5:24 pm

YungSlumLord wrote:
zacharus85 wrote:Retake and try to get just a couple points higher, take another year to get some W/E, and apply again to UT, Vandy, and lower and mid t14. Bounce scholly offers until you've got something decent.

I wouldn't go at these cost figures given the potential you've got with your current GPA/LSAT scores.



FYI, I applied mid-December. I'm just not sure how worth it it would be to take another year off when I have nothing to prove that I'll improve on another retake. My score went down from 168 to 167 on my initial retake.

To be honest, there aren't any other schools anywhere on the list that I'd like to go to, higher ranked or not. At what COA at Vandy and UT would you consider more realistic?


Maybe I'm not understanding this, but are you saying you would only attend one of these 5 law schools? Like you wouldn't attend any T14?

YungSlumLord
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2014 3:14 pm

Re: Texas vs. Vandy vs. side thoughts

Postby YungSlumLord » Mon Apr 13, 2015 5:28 pm

Winston1984 wrote:
YungSlumLord wrote:
zacharus85 wrote:Retake and try to get just a couple points higher, take another year to get some W/E, and apply again to UT, Vandy, and lower and mid t14. Bounce scholly offers until you've got something decent.

I wouldn't go at these cost figures given the potential you've got with your current GPA/LSAT scores.



FYI, I applied mid-December. I'm just not sure how worth it it would be to take another year off when I have nothing to prove that I'll improve on another retake. My score went down from 168 to 167 on my initial retake.

To be honest, there aren't any other schools anywhere on the list that I'd like to go to, higher ranked or not. At what COA at Vandy and UT would you consider more realistic?


Maybe I'm not understanding this, but are you saying you would only attend one of these 5 law schools? Like you wouldn't attend any T14?


Let me rephrase. I'm not particularly interested in any specific T14 school. Obviously, acceptance and $ from some of those would appeal to anyone, including myself. But I never really set my sights on any of them and so I wouldn't factor admission into them in my decision to take another year off. Make sense?

User avatar
Winston1984
Posts: 1789
Joined: Sun Mar 17, 2013 12:02 pm

Re: Texas vs. Vandy vs. side thoughts

Postby Winston1984 » Mon Apr 13, 2015 5:31 pm

YungSlumLord wrote:
Winston1984 wrote:
YungSlumLord wrote:
zacharus85 wrote:Retake and try to get just a couple points higher, take another year to get some W/E, and apply again to UT, Vandy, and lower and mid t14. Bounce scholly offers until you've got something decent.

I wouldn't go at these cost figures given the potential you've got with your current GPA/LSAT scores.



FYI, I applied mid-December. I'm just not sure how worth it it would be to take another year off when I have nothing to prove that I'll improve on another retake. My score went down from 168 to 167 on my initial retake.

To be honest, there aren't any other schools anywhere on the list that I'd like to go to, higher ranked or not. At what COA at Vandy and UT would you consider more realistic?


Maybe I'm not understanding this, but are you saying you would only attend one of these 5 law schools? Like you wouldn't attend any T14?


Let me rephrase. I'm not particularly interested in any specific T14 school. Obviously, acceptance and $ from some of those would appeal to anyone, including myself. But I never really set my sights on any of them and so I wouldn't factor admission into them in my decision to take another year off. Make sense?

I understand what you are saying, but this line of thinking doesn't make sense to me.

User avatar
zombie mcavoy
Posts: 428
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2015 10:11 pm

Re: Texas vs. Vandy vs. side thoughts

Postby zombie mcavoy » Mon Apr 13, 2015 5:33 pm

YungSlumLord wrote:Why do people on TLS view UT and Vandy so disfavorably? Got that vibe even before posting this with my $$$ situation by reading other threads.

We don't. UT is great. It just doesn't make much sense for people who live outside of Texas/who don't have a strong desire/reason to be in Texas to come here. Same with Vandy w/r/t the south, but perhaps to a lesser extent because it has slightly more diverse placement into regions that are not as insular as Texas (but that is possibly a factor more of the student body composition, relative to UT, and not the school's placement power).

If you want to be in California, there is almost no circumstance where Vandy or UT are going to be a better option than UCLA or USC, unless there is a dramatic scholarship spread (which there will almost never be b/c USC is typically more/as generous).

YungSlumLord
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2014 3:14 pm

Re: Texas vs. Vandy vs. side thoughts

Postby YungSlumLord » Mon Apr 13, 2015 5:48 pm

zombie mcavoy wrote:
YungSlumLord wrote:Why do people on TLS view UT and Vandy so disfavorably? Got that vibe even before posting this with my $$$ situation by reading other threads.

We don't. UT is great. It just doesn't make much sense for people who live outside of Texas/who don't have a strong desire/reason to be in Texas to come here. Same with Vandy w/r/t the south, but perhaps to a lesser extent because it has slightly more diverse placement into regions that are not as insular as Texas (but that is possibly a factor more of the student body composition, relative to UT, and not the school's placement power).

If you want to be in California, there is almost no circumstance where Vandy or UT are going to be a better option than UCLA or USC, unless there is a dramatic scholarship spread (which there will almost never be b/c USC is typically more/as generous).


So you really believe then that a JD from Vandy/UT would really provide me with dire opportunities in CA? I'm well aware of the statistics and such, but it seems odd to me that I would have so much trouble doing so given that both of those schools arguably have somewhat of a national reach and that I've had great encounters with attorneys who work in CA and graduated from both of those schools.

User avatar
lawschool1741
Posts: 332
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2014 6:32 pm

Re: Texas vs. Vandy vs. side thoughts

Postby lawschool1741 » Mon Apr 13, 2015 5:55 pm

YungSlumLord wrote:
zombie mcavoy wrote:
YungSlumLord wrote:Why do people on TLS view UT and Vandy so disfavorably? Got that vibe even before posting this with my $$$ situation by reading other threads.

We don't. UT is great. It just doesn't make much sense for people who live outside of Texas/who don't have a strong desire/reason to be in Texas to come here. Same with Vandy w/r/t the south, but perhaps to a lesser extent because it has slightly more diverse placement into regions that are not as insular as Texas (but that is possibly a factor more of the student body composition, relative to UT, and not the school's placement power).

If you want to be in California, there is almost no circumstance where Vandy or UT are going to be a better option than UCLA or USC, unless there is a dramatic scholarship spread (which there will almost never be b/c USC is typically more/as generous).


So you really believe then that a JD from Vandy/UT would really provide me with dire opportunities in CA? I'm well aware of the statistics and such, but it seems odd to me that I would have so much trouble doing so given that both of those schools arguably have somewhat of a national reach and that I've had great encounters with attorneys who work in CA and graduated from both of those schools.

When you are making decisions on law schools, all you can do is play the odds. No one can predict the future here and all anyone knows is the likelihood of a given outcome. Yes, it is possible that UT/Vandy can get you back to CA but it is far from likely. Are you willing to bet $100k and 3 years on the fact that at least one person was able to do it?

BigZuck
Posts: 10872
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:53 am

Re: Texas vs. Vandy vs. side thoughts

Postby BigZuck » Mon Apr 13, 2015 5:58 pm

I've been pleasantly surprised at how well respected UT is on the coasts. But thats for people with good to excellent grades. Not average grades. Which is what you should expect.

In CA, opportunities out of Vandy/UT won't be anywhere close to as good, on average, as they would be at USC/UCLA.

PM me if you really care to hear about UT's reach into CA. But honestly, you should erase both UT/Vandy from your list and not even think about them any more.

User avatar
zombie mcavoy
Posts: 428
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2015 10:11 pm

Re: Texas vs. Vandy vs. side thoughts

Postby zombie mcavoy » Mon Apr 13, 2015 6:06 pm

YungSlumLord wrote:
zombie mcavoy wrote:
YungSlumLord wrote:Why do people on TLS view UT and Vandy so disfavorably? Got that vibe even before posting this with my $$$ situation by reading other threads.

We don't. UT is great. It just doesn't make much sense for people who live outside of Texas/who don't have a strong desire/reason to be in Texas to come here. Same with Vandy w/r/t the south, but perhaps to a lesser extent because it has slightly more diverse placement into regions that are not as insular as Texas (but that is possibly a factor more of the student body composition, relative to UT, and not the school's placement power).

If you want to be in California, there is almost no circumstance where Vandy or UT are going to be a better option than UCLA or USC, unless there is a dramatic scholarship spread (which there will almost never be b/c USC is typically more/as generous).


So you really believe then that a JD from Vandy/UT would really provide me with dire opportunities in CA? I'm well aware of the statistics and such, but it seems odd to me that I would have so much trouble doing so given that both of those schools arguably have somewhat of a national reach and that I've had great encounters with attorneys who work in CA and graduated from both of those schools.

Relative to UCLA and USC, yep.

YungSlumLord
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2014 3:14 pm

Re: Texas vs. Vandy vs. side thoughts

Postby YungSlumLord » Mon Apr 13, 2015 6:42 pm

Gotcha. Appreciate the responses, everyone. It's too bad that USC's offer isn't enough to make it anything less than the most expensive school for me.

Something I asked earlier but didn't receive an answer to was what major differences can I expect between graduating from Davis and USC? Davis is only a short drive from my hometown of Sacramento, so it obviously has quite a bit of pull there. I have some modest connections to local attornies via family friends and such, though nothing too significant.

There is also the possibility of me commuting either my 3L year from home. It's a 50 minute drive so a pretty long commute, but could save basically all my living expenses my final year. I think that 3L year would probably be the most realistic one to do this in, but correct me if I'm wrong.




Return to “Choosing a Law School”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest