Is there ANY reason I should turn down UCLA for Vandy if I want West Coast?

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rozes

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Is there ANY reason I should turn down UCLA for Vandy if I want West Coast?

Postby rozes » Tue Apr 18, 2017 7:38 pm

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Last edited by rozes on Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Thomas Hagan, ESQ.

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Re: Is there ANY reason I should turn down UCLA for Vandy if I want West Coast?

Postby Thomas Hagan, ESQ. » Tue Apr 18, 2017 7:52 pm

Although I'm pushing hard for Vandy since I just submitted my deposit there, I think UCLA might be the better call here. It's not like UCLA has a terrible culture and LA is LA haha I just think UCLA is a much better goal for your career goals and that should transcend any other reason to attend any other law school (no matter how great Vandy is).

I actually didn't really like nashville and wanted to go to school in NYC. I ended up choosing the school that, I believe, give sme the best chance to achieve my career goals. Although I would've loved to stay in NYC for law school, the higher chance to achieve my goals ultimately won the day.

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UVA2B

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Re: Is there ANY reason I should turn down UCLA for Vandy if I want West Coast?

Postby UVA2B » Tue Apr 18, 2017 7:58 pm

You want the West Coast, but do you want LA or more Bay Area outside of WA? I won't pretend to be able to discern UCLA's inter-CA ability to place outside of LA, but I've heard anecdotally around here that Bay Area can be tough even from UCLA. UCLA would still undoubtedly be the better call for West Coast generally compared to Vandy, but I just thought I would clarify that point.

That's a lot of debt for either option, especially if you want to place outside of their regions of strength (LA vs. South/some NYC). I'd just say it's a pretty big gamble, but your level of comfort for that debt is up to you. I would not go to Vandy wanting the West Coast, and I'd really only be happy with UCLA if I were happy in the LA area (reserving the right to be wrong if others more familiar with UCLA's placement power throughout CA chime in, so this part of my opinion is absolutely a grain of salt argument).

Vandy is out in my mind, UCLA is ok for your goals, albeit at a pretty hefty price tag.

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guynourmin

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Re: Is there ANY reason I should turn down UCLA for Vandy if I want West Coast?

Postby guynourmin » Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:03 pm

Is the reason you're not going to UWashington really because they haven't posted their most recent employment figures? That seems.... Odd, right?

rozes

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Re: Is there ANY reason I should turn down UCLA for Vandy if I want West Coast?

Postby rozes » Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:24 pm

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Last edited by rozes on Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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rpupkin

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Re: Is there ANY reason I should turn down UCLA for Vandy if I want West Coast?

Postby rpupkin » Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:29 pm

rozes wrote:Can I justify going to Vanderbilt if I want to be on the West Coast and UCLA is a viable option?

No.

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Re: Is there ANY reason I should turn down UCLA for Vandy if I want West Coast?

Postby dabigchina » Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:34 pm

Not even close. No

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jbagelboy

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Re: Is there ANY reason I should turn down UCLA for Vandy if I want West Coast?

Postby jbagelboy » Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:52 pm

Two quick points.

I wouldn't put too much stock in a single year of employment outcomes. Vanderbilt does not have consistent year over year significantly superior numbers than UCLA; in a down year, UCLA will have higher numbers than Vandy. So I'd put that aside and consider the schools roughly peers in terms of employment.

On an even more granular level, I especially wouldn't give any weight to Vanderbilt's "superior" 9-month clerkship stat. Keep in mind first that this is just one snapshot of clerks produced by a school, not its total placement power. Southern judges move much later than California and New York judges, so 2Ls and 3Ls are far more likely to be clerking after graduation in the regions to which Vandy sends a lot of clerks than UCLA (which will have more clerks a year or two out). Also important to note that many souther schools post impressive 9mo clerkship data in part due to the general lower desirability--and hence reduced competitiveness--of southern districts. This doesn't hold for all or even most judges (I'm certainly not disparaiging dixie clerkships), but when a UCLA students wants a CDCal clerkship, they are competing against a much denser field of applicants from many elite east coast schools. So for these reasons that figure has little value.

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rpupkin

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Re: Is there ANY reason I should turn down UCLA for Vandy if I want West Coast?

Postby rpupkin » Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:01 pm

jbagelboy wrote:Two quick points.

I wouldn't put too much stock in a single year of employment outcomes. Vanderbilt does not have consistent year over year significantly superior numbers than UCLA; in a down year, UCLA will have higher numbers than Vandy. So I'd put that aside and consider the schools roughly peers in terms of employment.

On an even more granular level, I especially wouldn't give any weight to Vanderbilt's "superior" 9-month clerkship stat. Keep in mind first that this is just one snapshot of clerks produced by a school, not its total placement power. Southern judges move much later than California and New York judges, so 2Ls and 3Ls are far more likely to be clerking after graduation in the regions to which Vandy sends a lot of clerks than UCLA (which will have more clerks a year or two out). Also important to note that many souther schools post impressive 9mo clerkship data in part due to the general lower desirability--and hence reduced competitiveness--of southern districts. This doesn't hold for all or even most judges (I'm certainly not disparaiging dixie clerkships), but when a UCLA students wants a CDCal clerkship, they are competing against a much denser field of applicants from many elite east coast schools. So for these reasons that figure has little value.

Good points. I'm impressed that UCLA tends to place as well as it does in A3 clerkship placement considering that its home district is flooded with clerkship applicants from HYSCCNB.

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Re: Is there ANY reason I should turn down UCLA for Vandy if I want West Coast?

Postby Pure Applesauce » Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:24 pm

tbh neither school sounds good at those prices

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UVA2B

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Re: Is there ANY reason I should turn down UCLA for Vandy if I want West Coast?

Postby UVA2B » Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:26 pm

rpupkin wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:Two quick points.

I wouldn't put too much stock in a single year of employment outcomes. Vanderbilt does not have consistent year over year significantly superior numbers than UCLA; in a down year, UCLA will have higher numbers than Vandy. So I'd put that aside and consider the schools roughly peers in terms of employment.

On an even more granular level, I especially wouldn't give any weight to Vanderbilt's "superior" 9-month clerkship stat. Keep in mind first that this is just one snapshot of clerks produced by a school, not its total placement power. Southern judges move much later than California and New York judges, so 2Ls and 3Ls are far more likely to be clerking after graduation in the regions to which Vandy sends a lot of clerks than UCLA (which will have more clerks a year or two out). Also important to note that many souther schools post impressive 9mo clerkship data in part due to the general lower desirability--and hence reduced competitiveness--of southern districts. This doesn't hold for all or even most judges (I'm certainly not disparaiging dixie clerkships), but when a UCLA students wants a CDCal clerkship, they are competing against a much denser field of applicants from many elite east coast schools. So for these reasons that figure has little value.

Good points. I'm impressed that UCLA tends to place as well as it does in A3 clerkship placement considering that its home district is flooded with clerkship applicants from HYSCCNB.


A West Coast Columbia phenomenon then?

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Gitaroo_Dude

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Re: Is there ANY reason I should turn down UCLA for Vandy if I want West Coast?

Postby Gitaroo_Dude » Wed Apr 19, 2017 2:13 am

Hey ____ (pretty sure I know who this is, lol),

Like your OP links, I was in the exact same spot a week ago. Ultimately chose UCLA, but I hope the following considerations can be helpful:

1. I spoke to current Vandy students from CA, Vandy grads, current students who aren't from CA, and my alum interviewer who works out here now but isn't a CA native. Pretty much all of them told me that if CA was my top market, to go UCLA as long as the money was roughly similar. That said, like you experienced, all the CA 3Ls I interacted with are coming back to CA. My own impression is that CA is doable with good grades, but you can't put all your eggs in the West Coast basket. The ultimate deciding factor for me was that I basically had to be okay with working in NYC as a fallback should I be unable to return home to CA. I don't think NYC will be a good fit for me, but you might be okay with a few years there before working your way back to the West. I think as long as you're not CA or bust, Vandy is justifiable.

2. I went to UCLA's ASD two weeks ago and really enjoyed it. Westwood is a different beast than Nashville for sure, and I do think students at UCLA were a little more honest about the stress they're under (I appreciated the candor on this though). I admittedly didn't get that same kind of "we're all having a blast" vibe that Vandy gave off, but the current students I met were all positive about the school and good people. I also think it boasts some distinct advantages over Vandy though. The student body just has way more representation and diversity, and as someone who grew up in the Bay I felt a lot more comfortable in that environment. There's a distinct California laid-back vibe that permeates everything about the school, which again is something I have a natural affinity for. I guess ultimately I liked it enough that I could emotionally justify attending UCLA over Vandy.

3. Everything else I've said aside, I still would have probably chosen Vandy if not for my GF. It ultimately pushed me over the edge of staying in CA, but if your personal circumstances allow for more flexibility I think Vandy can be a good choice. UCLA is definitely the option of least resistance, which appealed to me, but I think your own personal risk tolerance ultimately will win out. I totally get not reading too much into Vandy's employment stats for a single year, but they've been surging for the last few years and I think their small class sizes and career service connections will keep them around 50% going forward.

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Dr. Nefario

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Re: Is there ANY reason I should turn down UCLA for Vandy if I want West Coast?

Postby Dr. Nefario » Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:06 am

Its not even close. As others have said, one year or even two of employment data is not as big a deal as people make it out to be. Vandy is certainly not work 6k more than UCLA especially since you want to be on the west coast. Moving across the country with goals of ending right back where you are is never a good plan (unless its a t14).

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Re: Is there ANY reason I should turn down UCLA for Vandy if I want West Coast?

Postby Barrred » Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:36 am

rozes wrote:the 75% employment to 90% employment stats...admittedly scare me

rozes wrote: My immediate post-grad career goals are biglaw


Something to consider: the 25% and 10% unemployed after graduation are almost certainly the bottom 25% and 10% of the class at those schools respectively.

Its always a good idea to hedge your bets and pick a school that does well even for its lowest performing students (in case you are such a student), but at a certain point in the law school selection process you have to bet on yourself. You're not at all taking a crazy risk by betting that you will be in the top 75% of your class at UCLA (if you are biglaw or bust, you are already implicitly betting that you are going to be in the top 25% there).

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Re: Is there ANY reason I should turn down UCLA for Vandy if I want West Coast?

Postby WheninLaw » Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:36 pm

rpupkin wrote:
rozes wrote:Can I justify going to Vanderbilt if I want to be on the West Coast and UCLA is a viable option?

No.


This is right.

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Re: Is there ANY reason I should turn down UCLA for Vandy if I want West Coast?

Postby SFSpartan » Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:43 pm

Here to point out that wanting to be in Seattle but not going to UW because they haven't posted employment outcomes yet would be an unbelievably stupid thing to do. If you want Seattle, and are from WA, go to UW.

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guynourmin

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Re: Is there ANY reason I should turn down UCLA for Vandy if I want West Coast?

Postby guynourmin » Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:44 pm

SFSpartan wrote:Here to point out that wanting to be in Seattle but not going to UW because they haven't posted employment outcomes yet would be an unbelievably stupid thing to do. If you want Seattle, and are from WA, go to UW.


rozes wrote:Overall placement stats aren't that great relative to my other two options, and as much as I want to be in Seattle, I would rather have a better chance at healthy employment in a market I don't prefer.

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Re: Is there ANY reason I should turn down UCLA for Vandy if I want West Coast?

Postby SFSpartan » Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:51 pm

guybourdin wrote:
SFSpartan wrote:Here to point out that wanting to be in Seattle but not going to UW because they haven't posted employment outcomes yet would be an unbelievably stupid thing to do. If you want Seattle, and are from WA, go to UW.


rozes wrote:Overall placement stats aren't that great relative to my other two options, and as much as I want to be in Seattle, I would rather have a better chance at healthy employment in a market I don't prefer.


Fair enough. Looks like I read too quickly. My bad

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guynourmin

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Re: Is there ANY reason I should turn down UCLA for Vandy if I want West Coast?

Postby guynourmin » Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:54 pm

SFSpartan wrote:
guybourdin wrote:
SFSpartan wrote:Here to point out that wanting to be in Seattle but not going to UW because they haven't posted employment outcomes yet would be an unbelievably stupid thing to do. If you want Seattle, and are from WA, go to UW.


rozes wrote:Overall placement stats aren't that great relative to my other two options, and as much as I want to be in Seattle, I would rather have a better chance at healthy employment in a market I don't prefer.


Fair enough. Looks like I read too quickly. My bad


nah, its a fair question and I asked the same thing. the OP does make it sound like the reason they've written off UW is because they haven't posted employment stats, and unbelievably stupid would be an understatement if that was the case!



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