Vanderbilt (~25K cost) Vs. UC Hastings (~5K cost)

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

Vandy vs Hastings

Defer at Vandy
1
3%
Vandy this Year
7
24%
Defer at Hastings
1
3%
Hastings this year
0
No votes
Retake the LSAT
20
69%
 
Total votes: 29

WCL24
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Vanderbilt (~25K cost) Vs. UC Hastings (~5K cost)

Postby WCL24 » Tue May 05, 2015 6:48 pm

Hi all,

Been lurking here for awhile; finally ready to jump in and get some of the experts advice. I'm going to apologize up front for the length of this post

Here's a little background:

Originally from New England, did undergrad in Montreal at McGill: 3.3 GPA 168 LSAT (2nd attempt).

On several waitlists, which I don't expect to get off of despite LOCIs:

Columbia
UVA
Michigan
Cornell
Northwestern

And here's where my decision making process is at:

I really liked Vanderbilt, and Nashville. They're giving me 25K per yr (guaranteed renewal) + paying for Vanderbilt in Venice in the summer after 1L. I'd like to do something international after law school. I know I'm a 0L and don't have a perfect picture of what that is, but a few weeks in Venice sound pretty great way to spend summer after 1L. That said, I don't want to practice in Nashville, or the south. My goal would be to move to CA or NY after law school, but not the South. Not opposed to DC, just don't know it.

I'll have to finance the 25K x 3 for the rest of tuition + living expenses for 2yrs (I've got savings for 1).This brings the total debt to 105-110K. Chances of getting out of Nashville: probably doable if I'm in the upper part of the class.

I've already submitted the deposit to Vanderbilt.


As for UC Hastings: I never really considered them (except as a bargaining chip with UCLA). I haven't even been on a tour despite living in the Bay Area. But I have been going back and forth with them, and they just offered me 40K, renewable, this morning. I'm a Ca resident so the total cost of tuition is less than 5K per year. I would get to save costs by moving in with my girlfriend - bringing rent down to 400 per month, wouldn't have to pay to move across the country, go through that headache etc. But chances of getting out of Ca are very slim. I like the bay area - but I'm not crazy in love with it either. Also seems like their international connections and opportunities (while they do have some) are just of lesser quality.
I know someone who transferred from Hastings to Boalt after 1L. I know this isn't guaranteed, but maybe possibility nonetheless. FWIW my LSAT prof (who has been doing this stuff for years) has been trying to get me to take money and transfer throughout this whole process. UC Hastings definitely feels like a lower quality school from what I can tell.

So total UC Hastings debt: 45-50K. Chances of leaving Ca - slim.

I think the main choices I'm considering are:

Defer at Vanderbilt (they will keep the money for me): this allows me to save for another year, but I can't apply elsewhere next year, have to withdraw from waitlists etc.

Screw it: take the LSAT again, hope for a better outcome. If I don't, well I can always resubmit my 168 - probably get the same money from Vandy right? This would also allow me to save money.

Defer at UC Hastings: let me save money and enjoy another year before really diving in.

I could also go to Hastings/Vanderbilt this year. But the more I think about it, and as I'm writing this, I feel like I want another year of freedom from debt.

So what do you all think?

A pretty big decision, and not much time. I really appreciate any input

Username123
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Re: Vanderbilt (~25K cost) Vs. UC Hastings (~5K cost)

Postby Username123 » Tue May 05, 2015 7:03 pm

Do you think you can get that 168 to 170+?

CanadianWolf
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Re: Vanderbilt (~25K cost) Vs. UC Hastings (~5K cost)

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue May 05, 2015 7:05 pm

Among your waitlist schools, Virginia is out of scholarship money. Cornell, Michigan, & Northwestern should be your target schools as Columbia is not likely to offer any scholarship money to one with your numbers.

Since you willing to sit out a year consider retaking the LSAT while riding out the waitlists.

californiauser
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Re: Vanderbilt (~25K cost) Vs. UC Hastings (~5K cost)

Postby californiauser » Tue May 05, 2015 7:07 pm

Hastings shouldn't be considered at any cost.

Did you apply to USC? How much money at UCLA?

Vandy is a regional school; you would need to do pretty well to get to NYC/CA

WCL24
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Re: Vanderbilt (~25K cost) Vs. UC Hastings (~5K cost)

Postby WCL24 » Tue May 05, 2015 7:21 pm

Nope, Didn't do USC - didn't have an specific interest in being in LA to be honest, I don't know it well.

I applied T14 (except HYS) and places who asked me to: UCLA, Vandy, Hastings etc. I got UCLA up to the same money Georgetown gave me (10k) - out of those two I would have chosen Georgetown, but at that cost didn't seem too attractive, and I didn't love GULC. I like Michigan a lot. Meh on Cornell and Northwestern too.

I think I could get up to 170+, its not guaranteed, but doable. My final few practice tests were sometimes in the 170s, but my overall average range was 165 - 169.

Whats so bad about Hastings?

CanadianWolf
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Re: Vanderbilt (~25K cost) Vs. UC Hastings (~5K cost)

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue May 05, 2015 7:25 pm

OP: You may be looking at the wrong factors when judging law schools as Cornell & Northwestern are excellent at placing their respective grads into high paying positions. And both law schools offer substantial scholarship awards each year.

californiauser
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Re: Vanderbilt (~25K cost) Vs. UC Hastings (~5K cost)

Postby californiauser » Tue May 05, 2015 7:27 pm

WCL24 wrote:Nope, Didn't do USC - didn't have an specific interest in being in LA to be honest, I don't know it well.

I applied T14 (except HYS) and places who asked me to: UCLA, Vandy, Hastings etc. I got UCLA up to the same money Georgetown gave me (10k) - out of those two I would have chosen Georgetown, but at that cost didn't seem too attractive, and I didn't love GULC. I like Michigan a lot. Meh on Cornell and Northwestern too.

I think I could get up to 170+, its not guaranteed, but doable. My final few practice tests were sometimes in the 170s, but my overall average range was 165 - 169.

Whats so bad about Hastings?



Its employment numbers are absolutely horrendous.

http://www.lstscorereports.com/schools/hastings/2014/

Compare to Cornell

http://www.lstscorereports.com/schools/cornell/2014/

They Bay Area is way too oversaturated with lawyers. Every T14 is sending students there + all the CA schools send their top kids there. You could easily end up top 10% and graduate jobless.

WCL24
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Re: Vanderbilt (~25K cost) Vs. UC Hastings (~5K cost)

Postby WCL24 » Tue May 05, 2015 7:32 pm

Yeah. That's horrible.

Alright, well now I think the question becomes: Think Vandy would be so pissed as to not give me an equivalent scholarship if I flake this year, retake the LSAT, and apply again to my favorites of T14 + Vandy, maybe UCLA?

NorCalLaw
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Re: Vanderbilt (~25K cost) Vs. UC Hastings (~5K cost)

Postby NorCalLaw » Tue May 05, 2015 8:35 pm

WCL24 wrote:Yeah. That's horrible.

Alright, well now I think the question becomes: Think Vandy would be so pissed as to not give me an equivalent scholarship if I flake this year, retake the LSAT, and apply again to my favorites of T14 + Vandy, maybe UCLA?


They won't be pissed, but nothing is guaranteed for next year, either. That said, you will definitely have options next year if you apply broadly.

If you want to do Bay Area, retake and shoot for Berkeley. You should also probably apply to UC Davis. Again, apply broadly, especially since you are also interested in NY. Honestly, I would decide immediately whether you actually want to do Bay Area or somewhere else; the calculus will change dramatically based on your answer to that question.

Hastings on a full-ride wouldn't be completely awful (class size has been reduced, so future employment numbers will trend upwards from their current abysmal state), but the job market in SF is intense and you really need a solid pedigree to break in. The CoL is also absurd due to rent prices in and around the city; staying with family could bring those down if it's an option, though. PM me if you have any questions about practicing in the Bay Area or about Hastings, I attended quite recently and can offer you an unbiased perspective (short answer is don't go).

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rpupkin
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Re: Vanderbilt (~25K cost) Vs. UC Hastings (~5K cost)

Postby rpupkin » Tue May 05, 2015 8:49 pm

californiauser wrote:
They Bay Area is way too oversaturated with lawyers. Every T14 is sending students there + all the CA schools send their top kids there. You could easily end up top 10% and graduate jobless.

Although I agree that Hastings is a poor choice for just about anyone, the bolded isn't actually true.

People who graduate top 10% at Hastings do quite well. Those students are competitive for associate spots in the top firms in the Bay Area. If I wanted to work in the Bay Area, I'd rather be top 10% at Hastings than, say, median at Penn.

The problem, of course, is that 90% of the class isn't in the top 10%.

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cron1834
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Re: Vanderbilt (~25K cost) Vs. UC Hastings (~5K cost)

Postby cron1834 » Tue May 05, 2015 9:17 pm

Your opportunities don't comport with your goals. I don't think any of the possibilities you've proposed are a good fit for what you want to do. I'd sit out a cycle and retake/reapply, unless there's a really compelling reason why you can't do that.

californiauser
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Re: Vanderbilt (~25K cost) Vs. UC Hastings (~5K cost)

Postby californiauser » Tue May 05, 2015 10:23 pm

rpupkin wrote:
californiauser wrote:
They Bay Area is way too oversaturated with lawyers. Every T14 is sending students there + all the CA schools send their top kids there. You could easily end up top 10% and graduate jobless.

Although I agree that Hastings is a poor choice for just about anyone, the bolded isn't actually true.

People who graduate top 10% at Hastings do quite well. Those students are competitive for associate spots in the top firms in the Bay Area. If I wanted to work in the Bay Area, I'd rather be top 10% at Hastings than, say, median at Penn.

The problem, of course, is that 90% of the class isn't in the top 10%.


There's people on this site who performed well at Hastings and struck out at OCI. It's very possible.

The school puts 14% in federal clerkships and big law. I'd be willing to bet a non-negligible number of those people are engineers/ip credentialed, attractive women (maybe op is), or people with connections.

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rpupkin
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Re: Vanderbilt (~25K cost) Vs. UC Hastings (~5K cost)

Postby rpupkin » Tue May 05, 2015 10:39 pm

californiauser wrote:There's people on this site who performed well at Hastings and struck out at OCI. It's very possible.

Sure. And there are people on this site who were at or above median at a T14 and then struck out at OCI. Unfortunate outcomes can happen just about anywhere to anyone.

Overall, though, top 10% at Hastings is a good place to be. It can simultaneously be true that: (1) applicants should not attend Hastings because its overall employment numbers are terrible, and (2) students who make the mistake of attending Hastings, but then finish at the top of the class, end up fine. There's no contradiction there.

NorCalLaw
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Re: Vanderbilt (~25K cost) Vs. UC Hastings (~5K cost)

Postby NorCalLaw » Tue May 05, 2015 10:50 pm

rpupkin wrote:
californiauser wrote:There's people on this site who performed well at Hastings and struck out at OCI. It's very possible.

Sure. And there are people on this site who were at or above median at a T14 and then struck out at OCI. Unfortunate outcomes can happen just about anywhere to anyone.

Overall, though, top 10% at Hastings is a good place to be. It can simultaneously be true that: (1) applicants should not attend Hastings because its overall employment numbers are terrible, and (2) students who make the mistake of attending Hastings, but then finish at the top of the class, end up fine. There's no contradiction there.


This is true, Hastings is ridiculously polarized in terms of outcomes. A surprisingly huge portion of the top 10% actually transfers straight to Berkeley and a handful of other schools, and they do incredibly well (and don't show up in the school's numbers, either).

Relying on that sort of unlikely outcome is not a good idea, of course.

SFSpartan
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Re: Vanderbilt (~25K cost) Vs. UC Hastings (~5K cost)

Postby SFSpartan » Tue May 05, 2015 11:25 pm

Everyone seems to have beaten this horse to death, but thought I'd add that Hastings is a terrible choice for most people and you should probably retake. I certainly would not choose Hastings again if I could do my LS experience over.

One other interesting item that hasn't hit yet– we are losing 3-5 good professors to schools that are higher up the food chain. Bad news when a bad school can't even keep its faculty

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rpupkin
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Re: Vanderbilt (~25K cost) Vs. UC Hastings (~5K cost)

Postby rpupkin » Wed May 06, 2015 1:23 am

SFSpartan wrote:Everyone seems to have beaten this horse to death, but thought I'd add that Hastings is a terrible choice for most people and you should probably retake. I certainly would not choose Hastings again if I could do my LS experience over.

One other interesting item that hasn't hit yet– we are losing 3-5 good professors to schools that are higher up the food chain. Bad news when a bad school can't even keep its faculty

First, this is irrelevant to employment outcomes for students. Second, schools outside the T6 are always losing faculty to higher ranked schools. I think Berkeley lost several faculty to HYS last year. And I recall a bunch of faculty "trading up" from Penn and UVA a few years ago. If anything, this shows that Hastings recruits talented academics. None of this, of course, should have any impact on an applicant's decision to go to the school,

WCL24
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Re: Vanderbilt (~25K cost) Vs. UC Hastings (~5K cost)

Postby WCL24 » Wed May 06, 2015 12:46 pm

cron1834 wrote:Your opportunities don't comport with your goals. I don't think any of the possibilities you've proposed are a good fit for what you want to do. I'd sit out a cycle and retake/reapply, unless there's a really compelling reason why you can't do that.


Could you explain this a little more? Hastings I don't need any explanation on. But Vanderbilt? I realize its predominantly a regional school; most grads will end up in TN. But given the schools I got into, and the other schools in T15-T20 it seemed the best option as it was the least regional, based on LST numbers. It seemed like, if I did well (I know that's not certain) I would at least have some options for getting to CA or NY. Am I way off on this?

californiauser
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Re: Vanderbilt (~25K cost) Vs. UC Hastings (~5K cost)

Postby californiauser » Wed May 06, 2015 1:00 pm

rpupkin wrote:
californiauser wrote:There's people on this site who performed well at Hastings and struck out at OCI. It's very possible.

Sure. And there are people on this site who were at or above median at a T14 and then struck out at OCI. Unfortunate outcomes can happen just about anywhere to anyone.

Overall, though, top 10% at Hastings is a good place to be. It can simultaneously be true that: (1) applicants should not attend Hastings because its overall employment numbers are terrible, and (2) students who make the mistake of attending Hastings, but then finish at the top of the class, end up fine. There's no contradiction there.


Striking out at a T14 is a completely different and irrelevant to this discussion.

No, this actually isn't true. Graduating in the top 10% at Hastings doesn't guarantee anything or that you'll end up "fine."

Obviously most will, but saying it's a sure thing is (1) pointless since no one knows they'll be top 10% going in and (2) obviously not true.

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cron1834
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Re: Vanderbilt (~25K cost) Vs. UC Hastings (~5K cost)

Postby cron1834 » Wed May 06, 2015 2:22 pm

Vanderbilt has SOME placement in NY, DC, and CA ... but not a lot. The NY & DC folks probably killed it with grades, and the CA folks probably had preexisting ties. Vanderbilt is a good school, but it's not a national school. I think you should be targeting a national school, especially bc of the Canadian factor. Retake/reapply is usually good advice, but I think doubly so for you.

hearsay77
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Re: Vanderbilt (~25K cost) Vs. UC Hastings (~5K cost)

Postby hearsay77 » Wed May 06, 2015 2:38 pm

You said you would want to move to CA if you went to Vandy, but also said you're not in love with the Bay Area, and not a fan of LA. Where else in California were you thinking? If you attend this year, I'd pick Hastings if you prefer California over NY.

WCL24
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Re: Vanderbilt (~25K cost) Vs. UC Hastings (~5K cost)

Postby WCL24 » Wed May 06, 2015 2:54 pm

I know this whole equation is made more difficult by the fact I don't have a set-in-stone place I want to live. I've lived in CA for going on 3yrs, hated it the first 1.5. Now that I've moved to the East Bay I like it more. I've loved NY (when I've visited) but not entirely sure what living there would be like.
Can't tell you how many people (most of the lawyers in the firm I work at went to University of San Francisco - a school even more dismal than Hastings) have advised me to go to school where I want to live.
I don't know where I want to live for sure. But I do want options out of law school, and I don't want to get stuck in the south.

BigZuck
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Re: Vanderbilt (~25K cost) Vs. UC Hastings (~5K cost)

Postby BigZuck » Wed May 06, 2015 2:59 pm

californiauser wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
californiauser wrote:There's people on this site who performed well at Hastings and struck out at OCI. It's very possible.

Sure. And there are people on this site who were at or above median at a T14 and then struck out at OCI. Unfortunate outcomes can happen just about anywhere to anyone.

Overall, though, top 10% at Hastings is a good place to be. It can simultaneously be true that: (1) applicants should not attend Hastings because its overall employment numbers are terrible, and (2) students who make the mistake of attending Hastings, but then finish at the top of the class, end up fine. There's no contradiction there.


Striking out at a T14 is a completely different and irrelevant to this discussion.

No, this actually isn't true. Graduating in the top 10% at Hastings doesn't guarantee anything or that you'll end up "fine."

Obviously most will, but saying it's a sure thing is (1) pointless since no one knows they'll be top 10% going in and (2) obviously not true.

Pumpkin didn't say that literally 100% of the top 10% end up fine duder

He's saying that poop happens and just because you have anecdotes doesn't mean that the exceptions should become the rule.

californiauser
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Re: Vanderbilt (~25K cost) Vs. UC Hastings (~5K cost)

Postby californiauser » Wed May 06, 2015 6:55 pm

BigZuck wrote:
californiauser wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
californiauser wrote:There's people on this site who performed well at Hastings and struck out at OCI. It's very possible.

Sure. And there are people on this site who were at or above median at a T14 and then struck out at OCI. Unfortunate outcomes can happen just about anywhere to anyone.

Overall, though, top 10% at Hastings is a good place to be. It can simultaneously be true that: (1) applicants should not attend Hastings because its overall employment numbers are terrible, and (2) students who make the mistake of attending Hastings, but then finish at the top of the class, end up fine. There's no contradiction there.


Striking out at a T14 is a completely different and irrelevant to this discussion.

No, this actually isn't true. Graduating in the top 10% at Hastings doesn't guarantee anything or that you'll end up "fine."

Obviously most will, but saying it's a sure thing is (1) pointless since no one knows they'll be top 10% going in and (2) obviously not true.

Pumpkin didn't say that literally 100% of the top 10% end up fine duder

He's saying that poop happens and just because you have anecdotes doesn't mean that the exceptions should become the rule.


the only "rule" I've proposed is that you shouldn't expect big law from Hastings regardless of rank, which is not unreasonable considering how TTT it is nowadays

but yes OP please go to Hastings, graduate top 10%, get big law, and report back so bigsuck and rpumpkin can be vindicated

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rpupkin
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Re: Vanderbilt (~25K cost) Vs. UC Hastings (~5K cost)

Postby rpupkin » Wed May 06, 2015 7:28 pm

californiauser wrote:
BigZuck wrote:Pumpkin didn't say that literally 100% of the top 10% end up fine duder

He's saying that poop happens and just because you have anecdotes doesn't mean that the exceptions should become the rule.


the only "rule" I've proposed is that you shouldn't expect big law from Hastings regardless of rank, which is not unreasonable considering how TTT it is nowadays

but yes OP please go to Hastings, graduate top 10%, get big law, and report back so bigsuck and rpumpkin can be vindicated

I realize that californiauser is dumb as a pile of bricks, but I'm kind of warming to his "rage against the strawman" schtick. It has potential.

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L’Étranger
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Re: Vanderbilt (~25K cost) Vs. UC Hastings (~5K cost)

Postby L’Étranger » Wed May 06, 2015 7:48 pm

californiauser wrote: bigsuck


Ha




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