UT v. Vandy v. Duke v. UVa

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CE2JD
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Re: UT v. Vandy v. Duke v. UVa

Postby CE2JD » Wed Mar 25, 2009 5:20 pm

I've looked at some firm stats in Austin and UVA places better than all schools except the T6 and Texas (of course) in Austin.

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ac1317
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Re: UT v. Vandy v. Duke v. UVa

Postby ac1317 » Wed Mar 25, 2009 5:21 pm

canuck996 wrote:I guess I fail to see the logic that anyone would be a fool to choose Vandy over Duke.

Nashville is an objectively better city than Durham and both places provide similar job prospects and the schools are separated in the rankings by 1 school - hardly an astronomical jump.
Looking at the entering statistics it appears that there are a great number of fools out there because the admissions statistics are eerily similar.
Duke's 2011 median 3.74/169
Vanderbilt's 2011 median 3.72/168

The proximity of the entering statistics demonstrate that you would not be a fool to choose Vandy over Duke.

****


First, what "objective" criteria make Nashville better than Durham? Not that I necessarily disagree here--just that it's a ridiculous statement to make.

As far as Duke vs. Vanderbilt is concerned, who the hell cares about the entering stats? Look at outcomes/job placement, and consider the following:

(a) NLJ 250 placement (a strong indicator, along with clerkship info, of where one would need to place in their class to land a market salary upon graduation):

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=61206

(b) Compare clerkship placement by % of graduating class (relevant for OP, who's very inclined to clerk after graduation):

http://lawclerkaddict2008.blogspot.com/

(c) Placement into "elite" law firms (note: there's a geographic bias in these rankings to schools in the northeast, but I don't see how that affects either Duke or Vanderbilt, since both are in the southeast). This isn't a perfect metric, but it's something of an indicator of overall "prestige": http://www.leiterrankings.com/jobs/2008job_biglaw.shtml

(d) Graduates who've gone into academia: http://www.leiterrankings.com/jobs/2009 ... hing.shtml


My point here isn't to knock Vanderbilt, but rather that there is a consistent, measurable difference in placement opportunities between the two schools. If OP wants clerkships/appellate law, he especially must do all he can to maximize his odds by aiming for the more prestigious option. There is enough of a difference here that, without $$, it doesn't seem to make much sense choosing Vanderbilt over Duke. Especially when the median GPA/LSAT are so comparable.

The Agitator wrote:If Duke has better employment prospects than Vandy with almost identical medians, that's bad - that means even though you have to finish higher in the class at Vandy, you are up against people are essentially as intelligent.


TITCR

chadstew55
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Re: UT v. Vandy v. Duke v. UVa

Postby chadstew55 » Wed Mar 25, 2009 5:34 pm

CE2JD wrote:I've looked at some firm stats in Austin and UVA places better than all schools except the T6 and Texas (of course) in Austin.

but OP doesn't want to be in Texas. that is part of his dilemma in choosing UT, right?

chadstew55
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Re: UT v. Vandy v. Duke v. UVa

Postby chadstew55 » Wed Mar 25, 2009 5:38 pm

canuck996 wrote:
The Agitator wrote:If Duke has better employment prospects than Vandy with almost identical medians, that's bad - that means even though you have to finish higher in the class at Vandy, you are up against people are essentially as intelligent.


Where exactly are you getting this "have to finish higher in your class at Vandy" information??


The Duke class of 2008 and Vandy class of 2007 employment data (because that is what is available to me).

Vault Placement
V5 Duke: 4.6% Vandy: 2.0
V10 Duke: 14.8% Vandy: 2.5%
V25 Duke: 21.9% Vandy: 10%
V50 Duke: 40.3% Vandy: 19.5%
V100 Duke: 56.1% Vandy: 32.5%

Clerkship placement Vandy
Fed Dist. (inc. bankrupt.): Duke: 7.14% Vandy: 6.5%
Fed Cir: Duke: 7.14% Vandy: 2%

Overall (w/ State courts etc.) Duke: 16.8% Vandy: 13.5%

With that information, continue your argument please. (my bad for PMing this to you canuck; I tried to delete it, but I don't know if it worked.)

EDIT: my duke numbers are wrong... I can't count right. give me a minute.
EDIT2: Ok, I fixed the Vault numbers. They make a lot more sense now. Sorry Duke fans who were crapping themselves about me cutting your V10 and V25 %s in half.
Last edited by chadstew55 on Wed Mar 25, 2009 6:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.

jh60405
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Re: UT v. Vandy v. Duke v. UVa

Postby jh60405 » Wed Mar 25, 2009 5:46 pm

I think it would be important to know what kind of job your future wife is looking for. Its not a given that the Raleigh/Durham area will have better opportunities (though it will have a lot more opportunities in certain fields). Its also important to think about commuting time. She may get a job she likes, but it may be 45 minutes from Duke's campus.

txag_09
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Re: UT v. Vandy v. Duke v. UVa

Postby txag_09 » Wed Mar 25, 2009 5:48 pm

Percentages are poor unit of analysis when comparing schools of this size (around 200). The only appreciable numeric difference between the two are in the V100 percentages and even there the difference is 100 to 40 students.

Just pointing that one out. Not knocking the above poster (in fact, thank you for providing the stats).

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ac1317
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Re: UT v. Vandy v. Duke v. UVa

Postby ac1317 » Wed Mar 25, 2009 5:48 pm

txag_09 wrote:
ac1317 wrote:You'd be a fool to take UT or Vandy over Duke and UVA without significant $$$.


Disagree 100%. I am considering UT over UVA and UChicago right now. Sounds like UT would be the best option for you. Austin will definitely have the best job prospects for your spouse, this school is cheaper than all the others (another consideration when talking money), and - despite the size and in-state cap - UT is plenty prestigious. I honestly don't think you would be sacrificing that much by going to UT. Those grads who seek clerkships and out-of-state employment typically get it.

The numbers seem depressed (and not even that much so) because of self-selection. I know it is a broke line, but many UT grads want to go out and make money right when they get it, which explains why they overwhelmingly stay in state (cheap COL means your $160k at Baker Botts in Houston goes further than your $160k at DLA Piper in Chicago) and why only a handful of 3L's take on clerkships (and by a handful I mean about 50-70 per year, which in absolute terms is still decent).


Ok,

1. If someone were in-state and there was a significant tuition difference, what I said wouldn't apply, since I said barring a difference in $

2. "UT is plenty prestigious"--says who? Again, I'm not saying it's awful, but why are you so quick to say this? You can look at the links I posted above and compare that data with UT. For people at the top of their class at UT, sure, there will be plenty of opportunities. The difference lies with the fate of students at the median and right below the median at each UT, UVA, and UChi. That's the real test of how prestigious a school is: what kind of opportunities it opens to students at various places along the curve, and ultimately what kind of "safety net" it can provide by letting you place lower in the class and still land a market job (or a job that isn't shitlaw).

3. I don't understand your point about UT students and self-selection. I got in and was thinking of attending UT, and I know what you mean about the allure of low COL, but from talking to people it was also clear to me that, unless one was near the top of the class, one's best employment prospects would be confined to Texas. I don't think it is all self-selection.

txag_09
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Re: UT v. Vandy v. Duke v. UVa

Postby txag_09 » Wed Mar 25, 2009 6:05 pm

Who says UT is not prestigious is the question. I have seen those numbers plenty of times, and - with the exception of the NLJ 250 stats - I do not see an appreciable difference between the three mentioned schools. As to the NLJ 250 difference, I think you have already addressed this in pointing out the geographic bias.

I stand by my self-selection statement. Logically speaking, UT grads have less impetus to go out of state because there are plenty of large legal markets in state (Houston and Dallas definitely, and even San Antonio, Austin, and El Paso offer plenty of work). What markets are there in NC or VA? I can't think of any that would begin to compare to Houston or Dallas off the top of my head.

And as to the cut-off number for big ticket jobs, that is a point I simply must concede to a degree. I will note that the cut-off for NLJ is still decent (about top 40%) and represents a much larger number of students than it does at Duke or Vandy. I will admit that there is a drop off in prospects for the bottom portion of the class, but I bet the same is true of all schools outside HYSCC and is especially true of all public schools (not knocking them or anything).

chadstew55
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Re: UT v. Vandy v. Duke v. UVa

Postby chadstew55 » Wed Mar 25, 2009 6:14 pm

txag_09 wrote:And as to the cut-off number for big ticket jobs, that is a point I simply must concede to a degree. I will note that the cut-off for NLJ is still decent (about top 40%) and represents a much larger number of students than it does at Duke or Vandy. I will admit that there is a drop off in prospects for the bottom portion of the class, but I bet the same is true of all schools outside HYSCC and is especially true of all public schools (not knocking them or anything).

The drop off for UVA will be more around 80% if I were to guess. If you look at the stats I just posted, even Duke is getting 70% of the class into V100 or Federal clerkships, and if you're only worried about making 100k plus, then around 86% of Duke came out at 100k plus or Federal Clerkship. I would imagine UVA is in the same range. So, it is quite a bit past the top half.

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drylo
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Re: UT v. Vandy v. Duke v. UVa

Postby drylo » Wed Mar 25, 2009 7:55 pm

chadstew55 wrote:
canuck996 wrote:
The Agitator wrote:If Duke has better employment prospects than Vandy with almost identical medians, that's bad - that means even though you have to finish higher in the class at Vandy, you are up against people are essentially as intelligent.


Where exactly are you getting this "have to finish higher in your class at Vandy" information??


The Duke class of 2008 and Vandy class of 2007 employment data (because that is what is available to me).

Vault Placement
V5 Duke: 4.6% Vandy: 2.0
V10 Duke: 14.8% Vandy: 2.5%
V25 Duke: 21.9% Vandy: 10%
V50 Duke: 40.3% Vandy: 19.5%
V100 Duke: 56.1% Vandy: 32.5%

Clerkship placement Vandy
Fed Dist. (inc. bankrupt.): Duke: 7.14% Vandy: 6.5%
Fed Cir: Duke: 7.14% Vandy: 2%

Overall (w/ State courts etc.) Duke: 16.8% Vandy: 13.5%

With that information, continue your argument please. (my bad for PMing this to you canuck; I tried to delete it, but I don't know if it worked.)

EDIT: my duke numbers are wrong... I can't count right. give me a minute.
EDIT2: Ok, I fixed the Vault numbers. They make a lot more sense now. Sorry Duke fans who were crapping themselves about me cutting your V10 and V25 %s in half.


Not saying your 2007 Vandy stats are wrong.. But they've already placed 10 federal circuit clerks for the class of 2009 (>5%).

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reasontobelieve
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Re: UT v. Vandy v. Duke v. UVa

Postby reasontobelieve » Wed Mar 25, 2009 8:01 pm

If you want to clerk, you should go to UVA or Duke. They're both in pretty towns too.

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observationalist
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Re: UT v. Vandy v. Duke v. UVa

Postby observationalist » Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:16 pm

I'll work on getting the Class of '08 list into some sort of spreadsheet and uploaded in the next week or so so you can do a better comparison of how Duke and Vandy used to do before the market retracted. As I've mentioned before, Vandy's class of '09 2L summer placements were solid last year (78% in firms, 64% in NLJ250 firms, 42% in V100), even counting for the fact that some of our top students opt for smaller markets like Birmingham, Charlotte, and Tampa each year. The class size also dropped from 220 to 189 and should be staying at under 200 from now on, including transfers.

All law schools took a hit with the market retraction this year: the question is who weathered it better than the others. Vanderbilt was well-positioned going into this mess... smallest class to place, widest geographic dispersal based on our career interests, still close to three employers for every student at OCI, and a career services office and a faculty that have worked individually with everyone who came up short at OCI. To that end, we'll have Class of '10 stats out later in the spring showing where the 195 or so students in my class are summering. Duke and Vandy both came through last year with full employment lists for grads; I encourage Duke to publish 2L summer lists this year as well, since that's the only data on how people are doing since the market really starting shrinking. The closer we can get to 100% reporting from these schools regarding the most recent data available, the easier time you'll have weighing in on what your prospects will look like a few years from now.

canuck996
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Re: UT v. Vandy v. Duke v. UVa

Postby canuck996 » Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:33 pm

I'd like to address a couple of comments all in one post:

ac1317 stated that "you'd be a fool to take UT or Vandy over Duke w/o significant $$$"
This is patently incorrect. The admissions statistics are relevant in demonstrating that a great number of people do in fact chose Vanderbilt over Duke. I would be surprised if these people are all fools.

I am not saying that the placement stats are wrong but I would really like to see the placement statistics comparing schools from the same graduating class. As to depth within a class, percentage placement in elite, semi-elite, etc. firms is not causative proof that firms go "deeper" in some schools relative to others. The only way to ascertain this information would be to ask hiring partners. I can provide anecdotal evidence about placement, but this information does not add value to the discussion. Similarly, elite law firm placement is not the only point of analysis (also, I am curious about the 2008 numbers). For example, according to the NLJ study, Vanderbilt places "better" than Yale. I don't think that this means that firms are digging deeper into Vandy than Yale.

Vanderbilt is a better fit for some people and Duke may be a better fit for other people. I really enjoy Vanderbilt and encourage everyone to come and take a visit to the school and get a sense for the collegiality and atmosphere of the student body. It is amazing.
Last edited by canuck996 on Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.

mlloyd
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Re: UT v. Vandy v. Duke v. UVa

Postby mlloyd » Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:04 pm

Wow. Thanks for all the information everyone! I've seen a solid argument for each school and though I am now confident that I can't really go wrong, my decision is not getting any easier! I'm flying out to Charlottesville tomorrow for the UVa ASD, so we'll see how that strikes me.

Oh, a quick note (and maybe someone from Vandy can address this). One thing that makes me uncomfortable about Vandy is it's apparent lack of opportunities in both clinics and law reviews. To me these are pretty big deals because while I know GPA is important in law school, being able to make "real contributions" seem to me to be a way to stand out not just from among those in the school but from among those in other schools as well.

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indiana_student
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Re: UT v. Vandy v. Duke v. UVa

Postby indiana_student » Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:21 pm

mlloyd wrote:Wow. Thanks for all the information everyone! I've seen a solid argument for each school and though I am now confident that I can't really go wrong, my decision is not getting any easier! I'm flying out to Charlottesville tomorrow for the UVa ASD, so we'll see how that strikes me.

Oh, a quick note (and maybe someone from Vandy can address this). One thing that makes me uncomfortable about Vandy is it's apparent lack of opportunities in both clinics and law reviews. To me these are pretty big deals because while I know GPA is important in law school, being able to make "real contributions" seem to me to be a way to stand out not just from among those in the school but from among those in other schools as well.


delete
Last edited by indiana_student on Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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observationalist
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Re: UT v. Vandy v. Duke v. UVa

Postby observationalist » Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:54 pm

And just to add onto Indiana's description of the journal/clinical opportunities: ELPAR also takes 10 students from each class to put together its annual publication with ELI in DC. I opted to write onto ELPAR instead of the three traditional journals last year mainly because of my interest in enviro law, but also because I like the fact that I get to combine normal journal experience (editing/cite-checking) with practical experience (working with ELI's advisory committee/meeting with EPA administrators, private GCs, etc). So up to 100 students in a class will get journal experience on their resume... students can actually double up with ELPAR if they do both writeons.

For clinics, I've raised the possibility of starting up an environmental clinic in the next few years with our director. The main thing keeping us from doing it now is a lack of work... were there enough environmental organizations in Tennessee looking to sue people, we'd likely be able to find someone willing to open up a clinic at Vanderbilt. For now, students who want clinical experience can work on an individual basis with an existing non-profit I've spoken with. They've been involved in ongoing administrative hearings (and probably litigation to come soon) regarding development along the Cumberland. We've also got the International Law Practice Lab that's separate from the clinics... check it out, they've handled some really interesting assignments in the last few years under Professor Newton's direction.

But yeah, for how many students we've got I'd say there are enough publications and clinical options for just about everyone who's interested. Also, the externship program is probably very similar to what other schools have... you can get 3 credits per semester for 2 semesters max, or up to 10 for a full semester somewhere else (like DoJ, State Dept, ngos in South America/Africa, etc). One thing we're hoping to change is to get the administration to raise the maximum number of credit hours we can get... some students in my class will have already hit the max after this spring, so if we continue in our jobs next year we'll be doing it on our own time. The ACLU (or alternatively, ATF) is obviously happy to have free help in any form, but I'd have to assume more of us who liked our 2L externships would continue as 3Ls if we could swing it while managing smaller courseloads. I'm actually planning a meeting with the same Dean who Indiana just mentioned to talk about this before the semester wraps up. One thing I've enjoyed is how responsive they are to changing things up here... if you can make an argument as to how something will better prepare us in our careers, you'll have members of the faculty throwing their support behind you.

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countbizaller
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Re: UT v. Vandy v. Duke v. UVa

Postby countbizaller » Thu Mar 26, 2009 12:19 am

mlloyd wrote:Oh, a quick note (and maybe someone from Vandy can address this). One thing that makes me uncomfortable about Vandy is it's apparent lack of opportunities in both clinics and law reviews. To me these are pretty big deals because while I know GPA is important in law school, being able to make "real contributions" seem to me to be a way to stand out not just from among those in the school but from among those in other schools as well.


This is one of the strengths of a bigger school like UT. Lots of journals and clinics. I think we have about 12 journals and 16 clinics. There really is something for everybody.

chadstew55
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Re: UT v. Vandy v. Duke v. UVa

Postby chadstew55 » Thu Mar 26, 2009 12:31 am

canuck996 wrote:ac1317 stated that "you'd be a fool to take UT or Vandy over Duke w/o significant $$$"
This is patently incorrect. The admissions statistics are relevant in demonstrating that a great number of people do in fact chose Vanderbilt over Duke. I would be surprised if these people are all fools.

I'm sorry, I didn't notice that statement before, and I was in no way trying to support it. People choose vandy/UT over UVa/Duke all the time and with good reason. I am considering UT alongside UVA/Duke, and I wouldn't want to call myself a fool if I chose to go to UT lol. I do think bottom halfers at Duke/UVA have a better shot of getting a biglaw job than bottom halfers at UT/Vandy, and that was all I was trying to say. On a similar note to what you were saying, I think choosing a law school is really personal and should be more about visits and personal preference (I think this after visiting schools that I once thought I wanted to go to and now know I could never fit in there and would most likely hate it) and there is a lot more to life than USNEWS and placement statistics- or else I wouldn't be seriously considering going to #16 over #5.

aryncita
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Re: UT v. Vandy v. Duke v. UVa

Postby aryncita » Thu Mar 26, 2009 10:35 am

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Last edited by aryncita on Thu Aug 12, 2010 11:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

mlloyd
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Re: UT v. Vandy v. Duke v. UVa

Postby mlloyd » Fri Mar 27, 2009 9:56 pm

Thanks again everyone!

Just an update: I was very impressed with UVa's open house and Charlottesville was every bit as beautiful and neat as I had been told! Duke is officially out of the picture for me. There's still some reason to prefer UT or Vandy in my mind, but big points for Virginia!




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