Can work experience help overcome effects of going to a school in a different market?

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Thomas Hagan, ESQ.
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Re: Can work experience help overcome effects of going to a school in a different market?

Postby Thomas Hagan, ESQ. » Tue Apr 18, 2017 7:42 pm

rpupkin wrote:
Thomas Hagan, ESQ. wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
Thomas Hagan, ESQ. wrote:I was just wondering if VLS over Fordham was the right call because I obviously know that there are better options out there for NYC Biglaw over Vandy. Should I have gotten in to HLS/CLS/NYU to put myself in a better situation? Of course.

Look, if you told me that you were "NYC big law or bust, and my options are Fordham or Vandy," I would tell you to retake/reapply or not go to law school. But now, after having already made the questionable decision to attend one of these schools, you're basically asking us to assure you that your specific choice was less bad than the other choice. This is pointless. You made your decision. Now move on and do your best at Vandy.


Haha understood, I'll be sure to quote you whenever somebody wants to go to NYC BL out of anywhere outside of the T13, and I tell them "just don't go to law school." Thanks for your input, moving on now!

I sincerely wish you good luck at Vandy. I hope you do well and get that NYC big law job. My only advice is that you think about other options (which could include non-big-law gigs in York).


Thanks, I appreciate that.

Never did I ever say "NYC biglaw or bust." That's just my first choice because my end goal is to hopefully jump ship in a couple of years to a US Attorney's Office*. I would be more than comfortable starting off at the Manhattan/BK DA's Office or even working BL in a secondary market and moving to NYC after some years. I definitely am open to Plan B options but hopefully, I'll end up in NYC again somehow (whether it's through NYC Biglaw or not).

I definitely could've phrased my OP better, and should've asked if people thought Vandy gave someone who wants NYC Biglaw, more than a coin-flip chance at getting what he/she wants - since there's a good deal of selection-bias. Yeah, if it was T-13 vs. Fordham, it would be a little more clear cut but it's a little murkier with somewhere like Vandy. I don't disagree with you at all.

*EDIT: I know you're going to say that AUSA SDNY/EDNY is a unicorn job. You're 100% correct. However, I'm working here at EDNY/SDNY right now and there are a bunch of Fordham and Vandy alumnus here so I at least know it's possible.

Npret
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Re: Can work experience help overcome effects of going to a school in a different market?

Postby Npret » Tue Apr 18, 2017 7:50 pm

Thomas Hagan, ESQ. wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
Thomas Hagan, ESQ. wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
Thomas Hagan, ESQ. wrote:I was just wondering if VLS over Fordham was the right call because I obviously know that there are better options out there for NYC Biglaw over Vandy. Should I have gotten in to HLS/CLS/NYU to put myself in a better situation? Of course.

Look, if you told me that you were "NYC big law or bust, and my options are Fordham or Vandy," I would tell you to retake/reapply or not go to law school. But now, after having already made the questionable decision to attend one of these schools, you're basically asking us to assure you that your specific choice was less bad than the other choice. This is pointless. You made your decision. Now move on and do your best at Vandy.


Haha understood, I'll be sure to quote you whenever somebody wants to go to NYC BL out of anywhere outside of the T13, and I tell them "just don't go to law school." Thanks for your input, moving on now!

I sincerely wish you good luck at Vandy. I hope you do well and get that NYC big law job. My only advice is that you think about other options (which could include non-big-law gigs in York).


Thanks, I appreciate that.

Never did I ever say "NYC biglaw or bust." That's just my first choice because my end goal is to hopefully jump ship in a couple of years to a US Attorney's Office*. I would be more than comfortable starting off at the Manhattan/BK DA's Office or even working BL in a secondary market and moving to NYC after some years. I definitely am open to Plan B options but hopefully, I'll end up in NYC again somehow (whether it's through NYC Biglaw or not).

I definitely could've phrased my OP better, and should've asked if people thought Vandy gave someone who wants NYC Biglaw, more than a coin-flip chance at getting what he/she wants - since there's a good deal of selection-bias. Yeah, if it was T-13 vs. Fordham, it would be a little more clear cut but it's a little murkier with somewhere like Vandy. I don't disagree with you at all.

*EDIT: I know you're going to say that AUSA SDNY/EDNY is a unicorn job. You're 100% correct. However, I'm working here at EDNY/SDNY right now and there are a bunch of Fordham and Vandy alumnus here so I at least know it's possible.

If you are working with alums, why not ask them for advice and build connections? They will be more helpful than we the general advice we can give you.

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Thomas Hagan, ESQ.
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Re: Can work experience help overcome effects of going to a school in a different market?

Postby Thomas Hagan, ESQ. » Tue Apr 18, 2017 7:56 pm

Npret wrote:
Thomas Hagan, ESQ. wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
Thomas Hagan, ESQ. wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
Thomas Hagan, ESQ. wrote:I was just wondering if VLS over Fordham was the right call because I obviously know that there are better options out there for NYC Biglaw over Vandy. Should I have gotten in to HLS/CLS/NYU to put myself in a better situation? Of course.

Look, if you told me that you were "NYC big law or bust, and my options are Fordham or Vandy," I would tell you to retake/reapply or not go to law school. But now, after having already made the questionable decision to attend one of these schools, you're basically asking us to assure you that your specific choice was less bad than the other choice. This is pointless. You made your decision. Now move on and do your best at Vandy.


Haha understood, I'll be sure to quote you whenever somebody wants to go to NYC BL out of anywhere outside of the T13, and I tell them "just don't go to law school." Thanks for your input, moving on now!

I sincerely wish you good luck at Vandy. I hope you do well and get that NYC big law job. My only advice is that you think about other options (which could include non-big-law gigs in York).


Thanks, I appreciate that.

Never did I ever say "NYC biglaw or bust." That's just my first choice because my end goal is to hopefully jump ship in a couple of years to a US Attorney's Office*. I would be more than comfortable starting off at the Manhattan/BK DA's Office or even working BL in a secondary market and moving to NYC after some years. I definitely am open to Plan B options but hopefully, I'll end up in NYC again somehow (whether it's through NYC Biglaw or not).

I definitely could've phrased my OP better, and should've asked if people thought Vandy gave someone who wants NYC Biglaw, more than a coin-flip chance at getting what he/she wants - since there's a good deal of selection-bias. Yeah, if it was T-13 vs. Fordham, it would be a little more clear cut but it's a little murkier with somewhere like Vandy. I don't disagree with you at all.

*EDIT: I know you're going to say that AUSA SDNY/EDNY is a unicorn job. You're 100% correct. However, I'm working here at EDNY/SDNY right now and there are a bunch of Fordham and Vandy alumnus here so I at least know it's possible.

If you are working with alums, why not ask them for advice and build connections? They will be more helpful than we the general advice we can give you.


That's true in the sense that they provided valuable connections and general advice. However, in terms of the specific questions, they obviously pushed hard for their school and gave me the "you can go anywhere with a (Vandy or Fordham) degree" spiel.

I actually thought that people here could provide less biased answers, and I value all of your opinions. So why not? haha

BigZuck
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Re: Can work experience help overcome effects of going to a school in a different market?

Postby BigZuck » Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:04 pm

As someone who basically went to the same school as Vandy, I will say that I do not think it gives you getter than a coin flips chance at NYC big law. Generally, I'd say about or less than a 1/3 chance.

Probably shouldn't say this because it goes against basically my entire post history but I will: I don't know any IRL TLSers who didn't end up with a good outcome from UT. If you apply what you read/learn here you'll probably be fine.

Y
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GHH-t
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Re: Can work experience help overcome effects of going to a school in a different market?

Postby GHH-t » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:50 am

rpupkin wrote:
GHH-t wrote:I'm a Vandy grad and when I was in school, a very small percentage of the class wanted to go to NYC, meaning it was wide open. Probably the most competitive markets were Nashville, Atlanta, and DC. But if you wanted to go to Chicago, New York, San Francisco, or LA, the world was your oyster. Firms like to have diversity of top law schools. It means more referrals.

The bolded is true, but I'm going to be a little harsh here: Vandy isn't a top school; it's a good regional school. Students at good regional schools can get big law in major markets outside of their region, but they generally need at least good (and often excellent) grades to feel comfortable about their chances. If OP ends up at median (and he should assume that's where he'll end up), there's a decent chance that he strikes out in big law.


The managing partners of Squire Patton Boggs, King & Spalding, and Alston & Bird, might disagree with your assessment that Vanderbilt is a regional law school. Most students go to Vanderbilt because they actively discourage asshats from going there and there's a ton of peer pressure not to be an openly competitive jerk.

Many of the students went there turned down higher ranked schools, because Vandy's placement numbers are excellent, the weather is terrific, and it's colegial. It's consistently #17 in the rankings. In my case, I turned down, Cornell, Texas, and USC. My wife, turned down Yale, Harvard, Duke, and UVA because she got a full ride. Students toward the bottom may have difficulty with placement, but if you're top half you're good to go. The wife could go anywhere and ended up a law professor. I was top quarter, but not on law review and lateraled to an AM Law 100 in a major city after 2.5 years as a securities class action litigator. It helped that a classmate had the office next to the hiring partner. The Vanderbilt mafia is a thing and we look out for our own.

By and large, once you're in practice, it's about skill set rather than law school. If the OP doesn't go straight to New York, but goes to a decent firm, gets trained in a big firm practice area, he'll have no problem lateraling there, assuming the legal economy isn't in a recession.

I've worked with lawyers from all of the top law schools. Yale folks tend to be great because they're neurotic as hell, but beyond that a lot of the so-called T14 grads are hit or miss. Many of them never got over the fact that they went to Harvard.

Success in law has much more to do with effort than natural brilliance. And with that, I'm back to the grind.

cavalier1138
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Re: Can work experience help overcome effects of going to a school in a different market?

Postby cavalier1138 » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:57 am

GHH-t wrote:Students toward the bottom may have difficulty with placement, but if you're top half you're good to go.


We get it. You love your alma mater. Vanderbilt is a great school.

But do you see how you kind of undercut your own point? No one defines a "top school" by how well the upper end of the class does. You and your wife did well, but you were also at the top of your class. Vanderbilt students around median probably aren't getting NYC biglaw offers. Lateraling from a biglaw firm in a smaller market is always a possibility, but I don't think it's quite the revolving door you make it out to be.

BigZuck
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Re: Can work experience help overcome effects of going to a school in a different market?

Postby BigZuck » Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:05 am

Lol

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waldorf
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Re: Can work experience help overcome effects of going to a school in a different market?

Postby waldorf » Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:37 am

rpupkin wrote:
Thomas Hagan, ESQ. wrote:I was just wondering if VLS over Fordham was the right call because I obviously know that there are better options out there for NYC Biglaw over Vandy. Should I have gotten in to HLS/CLS/NYU to put myself in a better situation? Of course.

Look, if you told me that you were "NYC big law or bust, and my options are Fordham or Vandy," I would tell you to retake/reapply or not go to law school. But now, after having already made the questionable decision to attend one of these schools, you're basically asking us to assure you that your specific choice was less bad than the other choice. This is pointless. You made your decision. Now move on and do your best at Vandy.


So attending a non T13 is a "questionable decision"? Guess every other law school should just close.

I mean, I'm totally not sympathetic to those who post on here "Cooley vs. People's College of Law" and expect to be able to pay their debt. But Vandy is a great school to attend if you've used up your retakes, have a good scholarship, and are aware of your options.

As a lowly 0L who knows nothing about NYC BL, I can't answer your question, but I've always enjoyed your posts - so good luck Thomas! I'm sure you'll do very well at Vandy :)

BigZuck
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Re: Can work experience help overcome effects of going to a school in a different market?

Postby BigZuck » Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:45 am

bwaldorf wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
Thomas Hagan, ESQ. wrote:I was just wondering if VLS over Fordham was the right call because I obviously know that there are better options out there for NYC Biglaw over Vandy. Should I have gotten in to HLS/CLS/NYU to put myself in a better situation? Of course.

Look, if you told me that you were "NYC big law or bust, and my options are Fordham or Vandy," I would tell you to retake/reapply or not go to law school. But now, after having already made the questionable decision to attend one of these schools, you're basically asking us to assure you that your specific choice was less bad than the other choice. This is pointless. You made your decision. Now move on and do your best at Vandy.


So attending a non T13 is a "questionable decision"? Guess every other law school should just close.

I mean, I'm totally not sympathetic to those who post on here "Cooley vs. People's College of Law" and expect to be able to pay their debt. But Vandy is a great school to attend if you've used up your retakes, have a good scholarship, and are aware of your options.

As a lowly 0L who knows nothing about NYC BL, I can't answer your question, but I've always enjoyed your posts - so good luck Thomas! I'm sure you'll do very well at Vandy :)

Attending non-T14s with big law goals is pretty questionable, generally speaking. It just is. But of course lots of factors come into play.

And yes, many, many law schools should just close (not saying Vandy is one of those though, Vandy is fine. It's just not a particularly strong school when it comes to NYC big law)

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existentialcrisis
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Re: Can work experience help overcome effects of going to a school in a different market?

Postby existentialcrisis » Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:53 am

bwaldorf wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
Thomas Hagan, ESQ. wrote:I was just wondering if VLS over Fordham was the right call because I obviously know that there are better options out there for NYC Biglaw over Vandy. Should I have gotten in to HLS/CLS/NYU to put myself in a better situation? Of course.

Look, if you told me that you were "NYC big law or bust, and my options are Fordham or Vandy," I would tell you to retake/reapply or not go to law school. But now, after having already made the questionable decision to attend one of these schools, you're basically asking us to assure you that your specific choice was less bad than the other choice. This is pointless. You made your decision. Now move on and do your best at Vandy.


So attending a non T13 is a "questionable decision"? Guess every other law school should just close.

I mean, I'm totally not sympathetic to those who post on here "Cooley vs. People's College of Law" and expect to be able to pay their debt. But Vandy is a great school to attend if you've used up your retakes, have a good scholarship, and are aware of your options.

As a lowly 0L who knows nothing about NYC BL, I can't answer your question, but I've always enjoyed your posts - so good luck Thomas! I'm sure you'll do very well at Vandy :)


It's a questionable decision if you're big law or bust.

No one enters law school thinking they'll be below median, obviously a bunch of people every year will be. T14s help because 1. "Median" is often amorphous and the schools intentionally make it difficult to discern. 2. Firms, especially NYC firms, are often willing to dig pretty deep into the class.

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Greenteachurro
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Re: Can work experience help overcome effects of going to a school in a different market?

Postby Greenteachurro » Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:03 pm

Kind of sounds like you want someone to validate your decision. Honestly, just talk to alumni and look at the data from FU and Vanderbilt and then decide whether or not either school gives a decent shot at your goals. But definitely talk to alumn, because despite the TLS perception of data, there are often variables that are difficult to get from the data.

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rpupkin
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Re: Can work experience help overcome effects of going to a school in a different market?

Postby rpupkin » Fri Apr 21, 2017 12:53 am

bwaldorf wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
Thomas Hagan, ESQ. wrote:I was just wondering if VLS over Fordham was the right call because I obviously know that there are better options out there for NYC Biglaw over Vandy. Should I have gotten in to HLS/CLS/NYU to put myself in a better situation? Of course.

Look, if you told me that you were "NYC big law or bust, and my options are Fordham or Vandy," I would tell you to retake/reapply or not go to law school. But now, after having already made the questionable decision to attend one of these schools, you're basically asking us to assure you that your specific choice was less bad than the other choice. This is pointless. You made your decision. Now move on and do your best at Vandy.

So attending a non T13 is a "questionable decision"?

Not at all. In fact, I think that more applicants should consider attending good regional schools in the region they want to practice, particularly when those schools are substantially cheaper—due to scholarships or lower tuition or both—than schools in the T13.

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Re: Can work experience help overcome effects of going to a school in a different market?

Postby lurker816 » Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:43 pm

I made this choice! I haven't done OCI yet but I regret this choice. While career services hasn't fully distributed the data yet and this year is the first year of a Vandy-only NY job fair (which might bode well), the # of NY firms that recruit here is much, much smaller than at Fordham (or even GW) & there are basically no networking opportunities for them here, whereas at those schools you'll at least have some (even if they're not NYU or Harvard level quasi sponsorship). IRL people seem to have ended up where they wanted, but the current 2L class doesn't talk about grades so much (unlike 1L class, in my experience) so it's difficult to know how many people struck out. I know the DPW and Cravath people have exceptional grades, but that might be true anywhere else as well.

It is true that people want a diversity of markets far, far more than at Fordham which might make dealing with OCI a little less stressful in the moment, but I can say in a vacuum w/r/t job stress I regret this choice and would have chosen differently last year. I feel this way for a number of reasons, but based on sheer # of firms + variety of firms + spots in classes, despite the rates, Fordham might be a better choice in this regard. And, this might be 1L panic speaking (and I am definitely not biglaw or bust, nor am I debt financing, which makes me rather lucky). But the # of times I have looked at the page of a firm I'm interested in only to see that they recruit at Fordham and not Vandy has not been small. I'm not sure if I have SO much more to contribute but feel free to PM.




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