Law School Discussion

Deciding Where to Go => Choosing the Right Law School => Topic started by: yankee123 on June 30, 2007, 06:10:25 PM

Title: Need Real Help: BC vs. Fordham vs. Vanderbilt
Post by: yankee123 on June 30, 2007, 06:10:25 PM
     I am new to this site.  I was recently accepted into Vanderbilt off the waitlist, and I now need to choose between BC, Fordham and Vanderbilt.  My situation is as follows:
     I am a resident of New York City, and I believe I will most likely want to work in Manhattan.  I went to my undergraduate school up North, and I feel comfortable here.  I am fairly well off so monetary issues aren't a primary concern, however BC has offered me a 15K scholarship per year.  Fordham and Vanderbilt have so far offered me nothing.
     I am still currently on the Cornell waitlist and will attend if admitted.  I am however very torn over my current options, and any advice would be appreciated, particularly concerning employment options in the Northeast from the three aforementioned schools.  I am also Jewish, and I am curious as to the level of acceptance for Jews down in Tennessee.  Any other feedback would be appreciated.
Title: Re: Need Real Help: BC vs. Fordham vs. Vanderbilt
Post by: lawschoolboundlady on June 30, 2007, 06:11:58 PM
If you want to work in NY, Fordham is your best bet. They pretty much pwn the NY market after Columbia and NYU
Title: Re: Need Real Help: BC vs. Fordham vs. Vanderbilt
Post by: jasonmk on July 01, 2007, 07:47:53 AM
if you're "fairly well off" then 15k a year extra isn't the end of the world, especially if you go into biglaw and spread you debt repayment out over a long period.  Fordham's high presence in NYC probably more than makes up for this monetary difference if that where you want to work.  I was a paralegal in NY, and there were TONS of people from Fordham at my firm, but only a couple BC grads (I applied to both schools as well).

However, if you aren't positive about NYC, Vanderbilt will probably give you the most options elsewhere, as Fordham pretty much locks you into NYC, and to a lesser extent BC to Boston.  Vandy probably has the best QOL of these schools as well.  Though if you aren't "comfortable" with the South, maybe stick with Fordham.
Title: Re: Need Real Help: BC vs. Fordham vs. Vanderbilt
Post by: ford on July 01, 2007, 07:49:52 AM
Fordham!

I don't know if this is true, but I hear your chances are as good as anyone to land a job if you finish top 25% at Fordham.
Title: Re: Need Real Help: BC vs. Fordham vs. Vanderbilt
Post by: bamf on July 01, 2007, 08:05:34 AM
Vandy probably has the best QOL of these schools as well. 

Here is something I will fight you on...

OP, go to Vandy.
Title: Re: Need Real Help: BC vs. Fordham vs. Vanderbilt
Post by: luke on July 01, 2007, 08:14:02 AM

OP, go to Vandy.

agreed
Title: Re: Need Real Help: BC vs. Fordham vs. Vanderbilt
Post by: bamf on July 01, 2007, 08:16:42 AM
Fordham!

I don't know if this is true, but I hear your chances are as good as anyone to land a job if you finish top 25% at Fordham.

I'd love for you to find me a job that you could get with top 25% from Fordham that you couldn't get with top 25% from BC.  But in terms of biglaw placement about 40% of BC and FU's class goes NLJ250, while about 50% of Vandys does.
Title: Re: Need Real Help: BC vs. Fordham vs. Vanderbilt
Post by: luke on July 01, 2007, 08:18:54 AM
More importantly, nobody should count on being in the top 25% of their class.
Title: Re: Need Real Help: BC vs. Fordham vs. Vanderbilt
Post by: bamf on July 01, 2007, 08:19:52 AM
More importantly, nobody should count on being in the top 25% of their class.

thats levitation, homes.
Title: Re: Need Real Help: BC vs. Fordham vs. Vanderbilt
Post by: bitblaster on July 01, 2007, 08:22:48 AM
Tough call.  I'd be inclined to pick Vanderbilt, but Fordham's a better bet if you're sure about where you want to live.  ~25% of Vanderbilt grads went to the northeast in 2006.  That's a fair number for a school in the south.
Title: Re: Need Real Help: BC vs. Fordham vs. Vanderbilt
Post by: MorningStar on July 05, 2007, 09:43:13 AM
Vandy for reasonable placement in NY and especially the rest of the U.S.

Also you will likely enjoy yourself a hell of a lot more at Vandy for 3 years than at Fordham.  Have you visited Vanderbilt LS?  Awesome campus, super laid back atmosphere and I found that there were tons of New Yorkers and other North Easterners at the law school.
Title: Re: Need Real Help: BC vs. Fordham vs. Vanderbilt
Post by: LBJFan on July 05, 2007, 12:02:59 PM
I was attending Vanderbilt when they broke ground on the Hillel. Now its fully built and apparently super nice. It is the Jewish Student Center. There are only like 2 student specific student centers...the black students and the jewish students and seeing as how Vandy is fairly tapped out in the land department, the schools committment to building the Hillel (and finding a good location for it) was very strong and says a lot about the atmosphere for Jewish students.

I think theres a good number...maybe 9-10% of (undergrad) students are Jewish. Not sure about the law school

Vandy is a good choice I think
Title: Re: Need Real Help: BC vs. Fordham vs. Vanderbilt
Post by: MorningStar on July 05, 2007, 10:34:25 PM
I didn't even read the jewish part of the OPs question.  LBJFan is correct.  The Hillel center is quite nice and there seems to be an abundance of jewish students who seem happy and accepted within the community (just like any other ethnicity).  I can associate with a Northerner having apprehensions about moving to TN but Nashville (and even more so Vanderbilt) is extremely progressive.
Title: Re: Need Real Help: BC vs. Fordham vs. Vanderbilt
Post by: Ravynous Elegance on July 05, 2007, 11:14:05 PM
Vandy or Fordham... but I like Vandy's facilities and QOL much more than Fordham's.

Then again, Fordham waitlisted me after having me on 2nd eval for 7 months and telling me they hadn't gotten back to the 2nd eval applications 4 days before waitlisting me. So I might be slightly anti Fordham.
Title: Re: Need Real Help: BC vs. Fordham vs. Vanderbilt
Post by: chucky on July 06, 2007, 01:00:10 AM
Between Fordham and Vandy, I'd flip a coin...that is until the side that represented Vandy won. Unless reasons beyond your law career play a factor (like friends and family etc.), then I would choose Vandy.

Also an important side note...Vandy is known for having more than its fair share of beautiful women... ;)
Title: Re: Need Real Help: BC vs. Fordham vs. Vanderbilt
Post by: UFBoldAsLove on July 06, 2007, 06:37:14 AM
I say Vandy too.  :D
Title: Re: Need Real Help: BC vs. Fordham vs. Vanderbilt
Post by: deedeeleigh on July 06, 2007, 08:08:55 AM
This is anecdotal, but a Vandy LS grad I know seemed to feel really strongly about me going to Fordham over Vandy if I wanted to stay in NYC. He didn't have a hard time exactly finding a job, but it wasn't easy at all either. If you know for sure you want to stay in NYC, I'd say Fordham over Vandy, based on his experience. He was in the top 1/3 of his class, but not top 15 percent.

I think for BigLaw, you're going to need top 1/3 of your class from either school, and Fordham will make NYC that much easier.
Title: Re: Need Real Help: BC vs. Fordham vs. Vanderbilt
Post by: bamf on July 06, 2007, 11:22:47 AM
This is anecdotal, but a Vandy LS grad I know seemed to feel really strongly about me going to Fordham over Vandy if I wanted to stay in NYC. He didn't have a hard time exactly finding a job, but it wasn't easy at all either. If you know for sure you want to stay in NYC, I'd say Fordham over Vandy, based on his experience. He was in the top 1/3 of his class, but not top 15 percent.

I think for BigLaw, you're going to need top 1/3 of your class from either school, and Fordham will make NYC that much easier.

eh, depends on your definition of "biglaw" but I think this would be roughly accurate if you mean "V100 in NYC."
Title: Re: Need Real Help: BC vs. Fordham vs. Vanderbilt
Post by: deedeeleigh on July 06, 2007, 11:30:02 AM
This is anecdotal, but a Vandy LS grad I know seemed to feel really strongly about me going to Fordham over Vandy if I wanted to stay in NYC. He didn't have a hard time exactly finding a job, but it wasn't easy at all either. If you know for sure you want to stay in NYC, I'd say Fordham over Vandy, based on his experience. He was in the top 1/3 of his class, but not top 15 percent.

I think for BigLaw, you're going to need top 1/3 of your class from either school, and Fordham will make NYC that much easier.

Just wondering, how long ago did your friend graduate?

About six years ago, so it definitely might have changed and I think the fact that he was set on NYC and nowhere else might have made him struggle a bit more, and make him a little more pro-Fordham for NYC jobs. But I do know a lawyer making market rate (at a V100 firm) who graduated from Fordham, and she's the one who essentially told me you need to be top 1/3 of your class to get a job like that (generally) out of Fordham. I don't think chances coming out of Vandy will be bad at all, but I do think Fordham will make it a little easier for NYC. It'll limit other areas though.
Title: Re: Need Real Help: BC vs. Fordham vs. Vanderbilt
Post by: miller on July 07, 2007, 02:27:41 PM
Fordham!

I don't know if this is true, but I hear your chances are as good as anyone to land a job if you finish top 25% at Fordham.

I'd love for you to find me a job that you could get with top 25% from Fordham that you couldn't get with top 25% from BC.  But in terms of biglaw placement about 40% of BC and FU's class goes NLJ250, while about 50% of Vandys does.

I hate to disagree with the other eagles posting, but I would say go to Fordham over Vandy if you want to work in NYC.  I agree that if you don't care about returning to NY, I would pick BC or Vandy over Fordham (and I would pick BC over vandy just because of a personal preference of Boston over Nashville).
Title: Re: Need Real Help: BC vs. Fordham vs. Vanderbilt
Post by: miller on July 09, 2007, 09:40:29 PM
As long as your happy with your decision, thats what is important, regardless of BC and Fordham's NYC placement.  Congrats.
Title: Re: Need Real Help: BC vs. Fordham vs. Vanderbilt
Post by: Dr. Miles on July 09, 2007, 10:52:21 PM
As long as your happy with your decision, thats what is important, regardless of BC and Fordham's NYC placement.  Congrats.

no, that's actually the opposite of what's important. this isn't some high school english class where all that matters is how you feel. what matters w/r/t the law school you attend is how that choice will affect your future job prospects.

law school will suck ass no matter where you go. the only reason to go is b/c you will make out on the back end. going to vanderbilt is not a good choice if you can't get a good job in nyc (and you want to work there), no matter how nice it looks or how hot/easy the girls are.

this is not to say vandy is a bad school; just a comment on what one's priorities should be when making this decision.
Title: Re: Need Real Help: BC vs. Fordham vs. Vanderbilt
Post by: raven123 on July 17, 2007, 01:08:46 PM
You need to sack up and go become a commodore.  1) girls are hotter.  2)weather is nicer.  3)you have spent your entire life (excluding college) in new york; probably it will be pretty cool to bring girls (who will themselves be ugly since they go to fordham and hot vandy) back to your parents' apartment.  4) oh yeah, vandy is a better school.  US news told me so.  And the largest synagogue in the country is in nashville
Title: Re: Need Real Help: BC vs. Fordham vs. Vanderbilt
Post by: Ravynous Elegance on July 17, 2007, 05:39:16 PM
You can get a good job from Vandy in NYC. I have friends that have done it. Part of why Vandy was my first choice was their experiences. I LOVE Vandy, and you should def have chosen it.

Title: Re: Need Real Help: BC vs. Fordham vs. Vanderbilt
Post by: yankee123 on July 20, 2007, 12:44:49 PM
I still have not made up my mind.  I will decide by this wednesday between Fordham and Vandebrilt, assuming Cornell doesn't decide to pleasantly intervene.  If anyone has any informed opinions on which one will place better in BigLaw in New York, as well as the rest of the country I would greatly appreciate it.
Title: Re: Need Real Help: BC vs. Fordham vs. Vanderbilt
Post by: HopesandDreams on July 20, 2007, 03:31:09 PM
Vandy, vandy, vandy.
Title: Re: Need Real Help: BC vs. Fordham vs. Vanderbilt
Post by: nubova on July 21, 2007, 09:22:04 AM
1. Fordham for NYC

2. Vandy for the South

3. BC for anywhere else

Title: Re: Need Real Help: BC vs. Fordham vs. Vanderbilt
Post by: MorningStar on July 21, 2007, 09:30:09 AM
I'd say that's wrong. 

BC - Boston
Fordham - NYC (the edge vs. Vandy)
Vandy - South + Everywhere else
Title: Re: Need Real Help: BC vs. Fordham vs. Vanderbilt
Post by: nubova on July 21, 2007, 09:34:32 AM
"BC - Boston
Fordham - NYC (the edge vs. Vandy)
Vandy - South + Everywhere else"

LOL. From the south?
Title: Re: Need Real Help: BC vs. Fordham vs. Vanderbilt
Post by: nubova on July 21, 2007, 10:03:05 AM

I've gotta think Vandy will place better in NYC, even though this is Fordham's home turf. 

Incorrect.  You are always better off going to a school in the market that you want to work in.  You'll realize this after your first year of law school, and even more so after your second.
Title: Re: Need Real Help: BC vs. Fordham vs. Vanderbilt
Post by: Dr. Miles on July 21, 2007, 10:10:32 AM

I've gotta think Vandy will place better in NYC, even though this is Fordham's home turf. 

Incorrect.  You are always better off going to a school in the market that you want to work in.  You'll realize this after your first year of law school, and even more so after your second.

where non-elite schools are concerned, i agree. vandy is a good school, but it's not harvard. my firm only had 1 summer from vandy. while i'm sure self-selection plays a role, the fact is that there just aren't a lot of vandy alums in partnership positions at nyc firms. the school is something of an unknown quantity, and in any case, you don't have partners pushing the firm to recruit there.
Title: Re: Need Real Help: BC vs. Fordham vs. Vanderbilt
Post by: Dr. Miles on July 21, 2007, 10:44:02 AM

I've gotta think Vandy will place better in NYC, even though this is Fordham's home turf. 

Incorrect.  You are always better off going to a school in the market that you want to work in.  You'll realize this after your first year of law school, and even more so after your second.

where non-elite schools are concerned, i agree. vandy is a good school, but it's not harvard. my firm only had 1 summer from vandy. while i'm sure self-selection plays a role, the fact is that there just aren't a lot of vandy alums in partnership positions at nyc firms. the school is something of an unknown quantity, and in any case, you don't have partners pushing the firm to recruit there.


See above.  Vandy may not be Harvard (and only Harvard is), but it's still an elite school.  I'd be hard pressed to find significant differences between NU, GULC, and Vandy, aside from the fact that the former schools are slighly more national, with slightly higher LSAT's. 

I sincerely doubt that Vandy is really an "unknown" quantity in NYC, or anywhere else on the east coast.  Their national reputation rating is only a couple points below Northwestern, I believe.

And again, even if you have Fordham partners pushing to recruit from Fordham, they're only going to take the top 25% - 30% at larger firms.  The rest will have to struggle. 

Saying that Fordham will place "better" in NYC than Vandy is like saying GULC will place better in D.C. than UVA or Chicago.  Yes, GULC has more local alumni, and probably even more local partners.  But the former schools have stronger reputations, and the law of supply and demand will make getting those jobs more competitive for GULC grads. 

vandy is absolutely NOT an elite school. it's a good school, don't get me wrong, but it's not elite. only the top 14 qualify as elite in this profession, and even then some are not nearly as elite as others (ex: duke in nyc). nobody who went to a top school will be impressed when they hear you went to vandy. that's just the way it is.

all i can say is that as a person who lives (and will be working in ) nyc i think you would be much better off at fordham. again, there's just not that many vandy grades at nyc law firms, while there are tons of fordham grads. the school has a huge alumni base here (100 years worth) who actively push their firms to recruit there.

i did my 1st year at fordham. i had several interviews w/fordham alums (both partners and associates) where i made nicey-nice by bs'ing about professors we both had. as you might suspect, i got offers from these firms. that will not happen if you go to vandy.

large law firms have absolutley no reason to prefer a vandy student over a fordham student; rather, they have many reasons to prefer fordham over vandy.
Title: Re: Need Real Help: BC vs. Fordham vs. Vanderbilt
Post by: nubova on July 21, 2007, 11:36:19 AM

I sincerely doubt that Vandy is really an "unknown" quantity in NYC, or anywhere else on the east coast. 


You can doubt it, but I am explicitly telling you as a summer at a top 50 firm that Vandy is not the better school for NYC placement.  You would think you would take a minute to realize that I am in a large summer class filled with top law students and surrounded by law students summering at other top 25 firms in the city.  I have the resources to actaully tell you whether Vandy places well in NYC and I am telling you that it does not place better than Fordham in NYC.  This is not up for debate, no matter what you try to speculate. 
Title: Re: Need Real Help: BC vs. Fordham vs. Vanderbilt
Post by: Dr. Miles on July 21, 2007, 12:06:35 PM
your reliance on usnews data is misguided. nobody knows who they send thse surveys out to, but they're cartainly not only filled out by ny'ers. fordham's rep is great in ny, but outside of the state nobody knows about it. it's self-selection. fordham is a school for ny'ers who want to work in ny. so if us news sends out 10 surveys, 2 to ny'ers and 8 to people in the south, the 2 ny'ers will rate fordham over vandy, but all the southerners will rate vandy over fordham by a longshot. bottom line - the reputational score is not an accurate reflection of the school's reputation in it's own geographic area. another example: i think nyu has about the same rep ranking as michigan. obviously, if you go to nyu you will get a better job in nyc then a um student, all else being equal.

i don't really care about this topic enough to argue it any more. i'm really just trying to find a way to put off studying for the bar. but my final point is just that ny'ers overwhelmingly tend to be ny-centric a-holes. we barely realize there's a world outside ny. so, the kid from fordham has an advantage solely by virtue of going to school in ny. chances are he grew up here or somewhere in the nyc suburbs. absent some sort of compelling connection to nyc, the vandy kid is goinf to lose to the fordham kid. christ, i got offers just b/c i was the same nationality as my interviewee and was living in the neighborhood where he grew up.
Title: Re: Need Real Help: BC vs. Fordham vs. Vanderbilt
Post by: MorningStar on July 21, 2007, 01:43:22 PM
Here are some placement statistics published by The National Law Journal.  While not necessarily pertinent to the NYC debate, they may be useful in giving the OP an idea of Big Law placement at the schools he was looking at. 


"BC - Boston
Fordham - NYC (the edge vs. Vandy)
Vandy - South + Everywhere else"

Nubova:
"LOL. From the south?"

The following also seems to lend credence to my outline of placement.  Fordham and Boston College have strong Big Law placement statistics.  Assuming that a high percentage of these grads are going to Boston and NYC firms respectively, it seems clear that Vanderbilt has the edge in placement nationally.  To reiterate my original post:

BC - Boston
Fordham - NYC
Vanderbilt - Everywhere else WITH the option of Boston or NYC 


Law schools with the highest percentage of graduates hired by NLJ largest 250 firms
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Columbia Law School 69.6% 450 313

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University of Pennsylvania 68.2% 274 187

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University of Chicago 65.1% 192 125

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Harvard Law School 59.2% 571 338

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Duke Law School 56.8% 220 125


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New York University 56.6% 465 263

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Cornell University 56.0% 193 108

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Stanford Law School 54.9% 175 96

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University of Michigan 54.3% 431 234

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University of Virginia 54.1% 375 203

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Northwestern University 54.0% 265 143

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Georgetown University 53.0% 626 332

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University of California-Berkeley 49.0% 300 147

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Vanderbilt University 48.0% 202 97

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Yale Law School 46.8% 203 95

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Boston College 39.1% 284 111

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George Washington  38.8% 482 187

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Fordham University 38.8% 477 185

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University of Texas 38.6% 502 194

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University of Southern California  36.3% 215 78
Title: Re: Need Real Help: BC vs. Fordham vs. Vanderbilt
Post by: nubova on July 21, 2007, 07:03:45 PM
Vandy is a great school, but again, it is not nearly as good at placement in NYC.  This was the point.  Vandy places well at large firms, as do BC and Fordham, but that percentage does not indicate how many went to NYC, which is the issue we are discussing.  Vandy is a great school, don't get me wrong, but if you want to work in NYC, I would never advise someone to go to Vandy.

Finally, I find it amusing that New Yorkers at the top firms in the country are posting on here telling you that you are wrong, and yet, you can't concede that fact. Hilarious. 

Edit: To ensure that I am not trolling, I have no affiliation with Fordham and choose another T25 school over it.