EMERGENCY ADVICE: Vandy (sticker) vs. Alabama (Full Ride)

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )

What school should I pick?

Poll ended at Sat Jul 31, 2010 3:44 pm

Vandy (sticker)
31
26%
Alabama (guaranteed full ride + book scholarship)
87
74%
 
Total votes: 118

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Grizz
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Re: EMERGENCY ADVICE: Vandy (sticker) vs. Alabama (Full Ride)

Postby Grizz » Wed Jul 28, 2010 1:29 pm

I know OP made his post, but there's some stuff in the following that made me cringe.

Rik Smits wrote:I'm an undergrad at Vandy and absolutely hate Alabama with a passion, but I would still pick Alabama, given your circumstances. Like others have said, you can transfer next year if you find Alabama to be a poor fit, but I doubt you will.


Transferring is much harder than you make it seem. I doubt OP will, because most people don't have the grades to. That said, still go to Bama.

I also think the portability aspect of an Alabama degree is being underrated. It's a fine institution, and whenever I look through the attorneys list of Nashville firms, there are always lawyers from Alabama, Kentucky, etc. You aren't limited to Birmingham if you graduate from Alabama - there are other options out there.


Past hiring =/= future hiring. If OP is concerned, I'd run a search of recently hired associates in firms in the region OP wants.

edit: which still won't give you a perfect picture. Self selection comes into it. I'd also ask current students or career services.

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Rik Smits
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Re: EMERGENCY ADVICE: Vandy (sticker) vs. Alabama (Full Ride)

Postby Rik Smits » Wed Jul 28, 2010 1:36 pm

rad law wrote:I know OP made his post, but there's some stuff in the following that made me cringe.

Rik Smits wrote:I'm an undergrad at Vandy and absolutely hate Alabama with a passion, but I would still pick Alabama, given your circumstances. Like others have said, you can transfer next year if you find Alabama to be a poor fit, but I doubt you will.


Transferring is much harder than you make it seem. I doubt OP will, because most people don't have the grades to. That said, still go to Bama.

I also think the portability aspect of an Alabama degree is being underrated. It's a fine institution, and whenever I look through the attorneys list of Nashville firms, there are always lawyers from Alabama, Kentucky, etc. You aren't limited to Birmingham if you graduate from Alabama - there are other options out there.


Past hiring =/= future hiring. If OP is concerned, I'd run a search of recently hired associates in firms in the region OP wants.

edit: which still won't give you a perfect picture. Self selection comes into it. I'd also ask current students or career services.

Thanks for offering different input. I'm an 0L so my input isn't worth much. Admittedly, I don't know much about transferring law schools, but I do know about the UG transfer process. Apples to oranges, I'm sure.

sdv
Posts: 124
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Re: EMERGENCY ADVICE: Vandy (sticker) vs. Alabama (Full Ride)

Postby sdv » Wed Jul 28, 2010 2:05 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Once again you miss the point. It was a rhetorical question.


Well I was trying to be diplomatic about it, but forget it. You know nothing about why I'm going where I'm going, so to assume I'd make a different decision if I wasn't getting the same amount of money is completely wrong.

CanadianWolf
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Re: EMERGENCY ADVICE: Vandy (sticker) vs. Alabama (Full Ride)

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Jul 28, 2010 2:09 pm

You should have tried diplomacy on your first go around instead of destroying your credibility.

Rawlsian
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Re: EMERGENCY ADVICE: Vandy (sticker) vs. Alabama (Full Ride)

Postby Rawlsian » Thu Jul 29, 2010 3:21 pm

Disclaimer: Vandy OL
Op, I'll argue for Vandy--at least to add another perspective.
Total Litigator wrote: If this was Alabama v. Duke it would be a closer arg...


This has been said (I believe incorrectly) a couple times ITT. I really don't see how the argument changes: Whether Vandy is worth sticker is a fair question; but there isn't a real objective difference between Vandy and the lower t-14. If you're talking about student quality (understood numerically), big law, or art. III clerkship placement: there is a marginal difference at best, with the differences giving Vandy the advantage as often as not.

You've mentioned you wouldn't mind working in Alabama which, as others have pointed out, would be you're likely destination as a UA grad. But you'll also be competing with 190 other UA grads for the same jobs. Over the last five years about 7 Vandy grads/year have headed to Alabama, giving you less competition and making you a more attractive candidate. Last year 8 Vandy grads secured employment in Alabama. If you're interested in the individual firm placement, go here --LinkRemoved--. Ask UA for their individual placement statistics--this is important information for making a calculated decision!

Of course you'll have a much easier time finding employment in Atlanta out of Vandy than you would from UA. Vandy will give you national portability; UA won't. How ambitious are you? The answer to that question should inform your decision as well.

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hwstewart
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Re: EMERGENCY ADVICE: Vandy (sticker) vs. Alabama (Full Ride)

Postby hwstewart » Thu Jul 29, 2010 6:00 pm

Rawlsian wrote:Disclaimer: Vandy OL
Op, I'll argue for Vandy--at least to add another perspective.
Total Litigator wrote: If this was Alabama v. Duke it would be a closer arg...


This has been said (I believe incorrectly) a couple times ITT. I really don't see how the argument changes: Whether Vandy is worth sticker is a fair question; but there isn't a real objective difference between Vandy and the lower t-14. If you're talking about student quality (understood numerically), big law, or art. III clerkship placement: there is a marginal difference at best, with the differences giving Vandy the advantage as often as not.

You've mentioned you wouldn't mind working in Alabama which, as others have pointed out, would be you're likely destination as a UA grad. But you'll also be competing with 190 other UA grads for the same jobs. Over the last five years about 7 Vandy grads/year have headed to Alabama, giving you less competition and making you a more attractive candidate. Last year 8 Vandy grads secured employment in Alabama. If you're interested in the individual firm placement, go here --LinkRemoved--. Ask UA for their individual placement statistics--this is important information for making a calculated decision!

Of course you'll have a much easier time finding employment in Atlanta out of Vandy than you would from UA. Vandy will give you national portability; UA won't. How ambitious are you? The answer to that question should inform your decision as well.


I appreciate your input, but I just want to clarify something.

I don't have any doubts re: my ambition and didn't choose Alabama as an indication of choosing the easier of my options. Implications like that make my skin crawl. My decision was informed almost entirely on the notion that while Vandy does offer better initial prospects in terms of salary and placement, it does not (imo) justify the cost @ sticker. This is especially reinforced by the fact that I A) am fine with the idea of working in Alabama for a while, bham especially, and have pretty significant connections therein, B) I only want to work in the south for the long term, making national portability pretty moot, C) I'm married with goals such as seeing my children + wife (read: sweatshop big law may not be up my ally) and if I do choose to go that route I would prefer to put that money in my pocket vs loan repayments. Additionally, I think the conventional wisdom is really oversimplified saying that you're shackled to Alabama if you go to UA. Given, you may have to work harder (and make career services work harder) to go beyond the south, but as I've mentioned that's generally farther afoot than I'm interested in. Most students who go to Alabama are only interested in staying in Alabama, which creates an illusion that Alabama students have no options. Atlanta is very very doable and considering most grads are gunning for Alabama markets, the running for other markets is pretty thin amongst Alabama peers, comparatively speaking. My ambitions are the same, I just put a premium on accomplishing them on my terms.

I love Vandy and if I were considering half the debt then I wouldn't hesitate to commit. My circumstances and my belief that Vandy's prestige + slightly better initial career prospects don't justify the cost points me in the direction Alabama. Roll Tide!

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General Tso
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Re: EMERGENCY ADVICE: Vandy (sticker) vs. Alabama (Full Ride)

Postby General Tso » Thu Jul 29, 2010 7:04 pm

I think Bama is the right choice for the OP, but I also think it gets far too much love on TLS. Alabama doesn't really have any major markets like Atlanta. Its GDP is among the lowest in the nation. I haven't seen any stats showing that highly ranked SEC schools like Bama, Tennessee, Kentucky offer any better employment prospects than lower ranked ones like LSU and Ole Miss.

IMO the best job prospects out of an SEC school are Vandy, UF, UGA.

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Grizz
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Re: EMERGENCY ADVICE: Vandy (sticker) vs. Alabama (Full Ride)

Postby Grizz » Fri Jul 30, 2010 12:33 am

General Tso wrote:I think Bama is the right choice for the OP, but I also think it gets far too much love on TLS. Alabama doesn't really have any major markets like Atlanta.


So true. It's not some regional powerhouse. But it is the right choice.

Rawlsian
Posts: 387
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 3:53 pm

Re: EMERGENCY ADVICE: Vandy (sticker) vs. Alabama (Full Ride)

Postby Rawlsian » Fri Jul 30, 2010 12:47 pm

hwstewart wrote:
Rawlsian wrote:Disclaimer: Vandy OL
Op, I'll argue for Vandy--at least to add another perspective.
Total Litigator wrote: If this was Alabama v. Duke it would be a closer arg...


This has been said (I believe incorrectly) a couple times ITT. I really don't see how the argument changes: Whether Vandy is worth sticker is a fair question; but there isn't a real objective difference between Vandy and the lower t-14. If you're talking about student quality (understood numerically), big law, or art. III clerkship placement: there is a marginal difference at best, with the differences giving Vandy the advantage as often as not.

You've mentioned you wouldn't mind working in Alabama which, as others have pointed out, would be you're likely destination as a UA grad. But you'll also be competing with 190 other UA grads for the same jobs. Over the last five years about 7 Vandy grads/year have headed to Alabama, giving you less competition and making you a more attractive candidate. Last year 8 Vandy grads secured employment in Alabama. If you're interested in the individual firm placement, go here --LinkRemoved--. Ask UA for their individual placement statistics--this is important information for making a calculated decision!

Of course you'll have a much easier time finding employment in Atlanta out of Vandy than you would from UA. Vandy will give you national portability; UA won't. How ambitious are you? The answer to that question should inform your decision as well.


I appreciate your input, but I just want to clarify something.

I don't have any doubts re: my ambition and didn't choose Alabama as an indication of choosing the easier of my options. Implications like that make my skin crawl. My decision was informed almost entirely on the notion that while Vandy does offer better initial prospects in terms of salary and placement, it does not (imo) justify the cost @ sticker. This is especially reinforced by the fact that I A) am fine with the idea of working in Alabama for a while, bham especially, and have pretty significant connections therein, B) I only want to work in the south for the long term, making national portability pretty moot, C) I'm married with goals such as seeing my children + wife (read: sweatshop big law may not be up my ally) and if I do choose to go that route I would prefer to put that money in my pocket vs loan repayments. Additionally, I think the conventional wisdom is really oversimplified saying that you're shackled to Alabama if you go to UA. Given, you may have to work harder (and make career services work harder) to go beyond the south, but as I've mentioned that's generally farther afoot than I'm interested in. Most students who go to Alabama are only interested in staying in Alabama, which creates an illusion that Alabama students have no options. Atlanta is very very doable and considering most grads are gunning for Alabama markets, the running for other markets is pretty thin amongst Alabama peers, comparatively speaking. My ambitions are the same, I just put a premium on accomplishing them on my terms.

I love Vandy and if I were considering half the debt then I wouldn't hesitate to commit. My circumstances and my belief that Vandy's prestige + slightly better initial career prospects don't justify the cost points me in the direction Alabama. Roll Tide!


I apologize: I was careless with my choice of words, and I certainly didn't mean to disparage your personal drive. I meant that many later career options are (at least in part) determined by your initial placement. So a better school can go a long way towards giving you opportunities for a "higher" career ceiling, which in turn may justify the additional cost. Alabama is a great school. And in your position I would probably also take UA--relocating the week before orientation after you already have a house is impractical.




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