So Wash U is pretty much out of the question.
If I want to work in NYC, make a lot of money (let's not lie)& be happy -- make a decision for me! What would be the best place to eventually land a firm job in NYC? Fordham? Or would it be USC cause it's the best school out of the bunch?
For NYC, I would *guess* it goes (in order) Fordham/GW/Vandy/USC (though that's probably the reverse order of the school's reputations if you flip Vandy and USC). If you're sure you want to be in NY, Fordham has a good alumni base there (like 'SC does in Cali, except on a MUCH smaller scale in terms of actualn effect).
I had a similar choice between Vandy, USC, and Fordham (I didn't apply to GW because everything I've heard is that it's HUGELY overrated). I'm almost certainly going to choose Vandy, and didn't really consider Fordham much because it apparently is extremely regional. Apparently, you can't go much of anywhere besides NYC after graduation (though the other Middle Atlantic states may also be receptive), and, to land a really good NYC job (read: biglaw), some told me you need top 10% (and if biglaw is your goal, you might be better off at Vandy even for NYC).