Not so much at Chicago IMHO - I agree about decent shot at NU though, although that may depend a bit on how long you've been out of undergrad. NU loves kids not straight out.
Do you ever stop trolling?
To be clear, you are in a thread about Vanderbilt where the OP expressed concerns which observationalist addressed. Don't be a feminine hygiene product. JeNeSaisPatience.
Visit, interview, send the form in with a brief "Thank-You" letter to your interviewer (probably G. Todd Morton).
Then, in about a month, send in a LOCI.
This is just my opinion... but you want to space things out, since they probably won't look at the WLs again until late March. If you send the LOCI now, they won't have heard from you in months by the time they review your application again.
As a Vandy 1L, I can tell you that our career services office is incredibly helpful and dedicated to getting every student the job they want - for California firms, you're going to have to do a bit more of the legwork yourself because Vandy career services doesn't have ties as strong on the west coast, but they'll give you as much as you give them. If you're in there with your counselor every week devising strategy and getting advice, you'll have to do extraordinarily badly in your classes to totally fail in your goal.
Pump the brakes, son. You can screw around with career services as much as your little heart desires--and I'm a big proponent of networking--but if you do "extraordinarily badly," you won't be getting any kind of California biglaw.