drylo wrote:whitman wrote:I am interested in public interest, environmental law, development, public policy, etc - how do you guys think Vandy is for students with those interests? Is there much institutional support? Many students with shared interests? Or is it more of a private practice, go big or go home kind of culture at Vandy?
I honestly don't know a whole lot about what you are interested in (PI, environmental, etc.). I have never sought it out, and my best friends are all pursuing the firm route. That said, I don't feel like it is "go big or go home" at all--at least if "go big" means go to NYC/DC biglaw. There is great diversity here in terms of what people want to do. Like anywhere, the majority will go into private practice, but even then people seem to geographically disperse (by choice) a fair amount.
As to your PI/environmental, this is me summoning observationalist...
Personally, some of best friends are crazy interested in enviro law and I can say that there is definately a large contingent of 2L's who aren't going with the traditional firm route at least in terms of what you're thinking. Many of these will be working for firms, however, they will be doing solely enviro work. For the other areas you mentioned, I know some interested in those routes, with some of those avoiding firms to pursue, however this is the minority in my opinion. Hope that helps.