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Author Topic: Emory versus Vandy in Atlanta placement  (Read 1833 times)

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Emory versus Vandy in Atlanta placement
« on: October 02, 2008, 11:43:47 AM »
I have been searching the NALP Directory and realized that Atlanta is really a hotbed for big law firms.  I also found that nearly every single firm recruits at both Vanderbilt and Emory, so my question is this: In Atlanta, which JD would be better to have, Vandy or Emory?  Vandy has a little bit more prestige as well as a slightly higher US News Ranking, but Emory is in Atlanta, which has to mean something.  Any thoughts?
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Re: Emory versus Vandy in Atlanta placement
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2008, 12:46:20 PM »
I have been searching the NALP Directory and realized that Atlanta is really a hotbed for big law firms.  I also found that nearly every single firm recruits at both Vanderbilt and Emory, so my question is this: In Atlanta, which JD would be better to have, Vandy or Emory?  Vandy has a little bit more prestige as well as a slightly higher US News Ranking, but Emory is in Atlanta, which has to mean something.  Any thoughts?

If you are somewhat competent and don't have extensive job history outside of the southeast, you will get plenty of interviews with ATL firms from Emory. I'm sure Vandy is good as well.

I see you got into Duke though. Duke is better. Go there. You will get a job in Atlanta from Duke.

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Re: Emory versus Vandy in Atlanta placement
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2008, 12:52:01 PM »
I have been searching the NALP Directory and realized that Atlanta is really a hotbed for big law firms.  I also found that nearly every single firm recruits at both Vanderbilt and Emory, so my question is this: In Atlanta, which JD would be better to have, Vandy or Emory?  Vandy has a little bit more prestige as well as a slightly higher US News Ranking, but Emory is in Atlanta, which has to mean something.  Any thoughts?

Emory, you got home field advantage. You can network as well as OCI. You can join the local bar associations as soon you get there and start meeting people. If youíre sure you only want to be in Atlanta go to Emory. Itís a no brainer. If you go to Vandy your limited by what firms OCI there and have openings in Atlanta, in other words its all up to the firms rather than you if you get a job there. If there are only 20 opening in Atlanta from OCI and you donít land one youíre going to have to go mass mail or pound the pavement there for a job. Its not like Emory and Vadny are far enough apart to overcome the home field advantage you would have being in town already for three years (assuming you donít sit on your ass or hide in school). If however you would move anywhere you get a job, then the being local advantage diminishes since local contacts wonít help you much outside of the locality.
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Re: Emory versus Vandy in Atlanta placement
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2008, 06:13:42 AM »
One other thing to keep in mind, though I agree generally with the home advantage thought: Vandy is only 3 1/2 - 4 hours away from Atlanta.  So there is surely quite a bit of familiarity with Vandy by all the top firms in Atlanta. You'd also get, most likely, opportunities being from Vandy than other places.
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Re: Emory versus Vandy in Atlanta placement
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2008, 10:11:18 AM »
Definitely Duke (or another T14) over either of those schools.  I just got done with Atlanta callbacks, and while you will meet tons of Vanderbilt and Emory grads interviewing you, the firms will dig deeper into the class at T14 schools.

The Atlanta market seems to be getting pickier about having connections, but it's not so much connections to Atlanta as connections to the south generally speaking.  I just had a long conversation about this with a partner at one of the biggest firms the other day.  Especially in this economy, they want a plausible story for why you are interested in living in the south before they'll spend their time and money on giving you a callback or a summer associate position.

For example, if you know you want to work in Atlanta, but you're not from the south, I would pick Duke or UVA over most other T14 schools.  And probably Vandy over Cornell, Northwestern, etc.  But if you *are* from the south or went to undergrad in the south, it doesn't matter... go to whichever T14 you want (according to the normal reasons for making such a choice).

PS, if you are insistent on either Vandy or Emory, go to Vandy.
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Re: Emory versus Vandy in Atlanta placement
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2008, 03:58:39 PM »
Honestly, I am not insistent on Atlanta at all- actually, I prefer Nashville to any other city.  This was just kind of a what-if sort of thing.

Two things make me lean far more heavily toward Vanderbilt over Duke- money and location.  Based on LSN (which may not be a good basis, but is really the only basis I have), I should expect to get 80k-90k from Vandy and about 40-60k from Duke (assuming the numbers don't change).  That is realistically about $40,000 difference in debt, and, to me, that is a lot.  Also, I am from Kentucky, and I go to school right now about an hour away from Nashville.  I have friends here, my family is close (within 2 1/2 hours), and I love the city of Nashville.  I am not familiar with the Durham-area, and it is a good eight hours driving distance from both my family and my wife's.  This is a big deal to me, as I am very close to my family.

Wow.. that really makes it sound like I have my mind made up, but I really don't.  I love the South, and, really, I would be honored to go to Duke, Vandy, or Emory. 
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Re: Emory versus Vandy in Atlanta placement
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2008, 05:34:03 PM »
I have been searching the NALP Directory and realized that Atlanta is really a hotbed for big law firms.  I also found that nearly every single firm recruits at both Vanderbilt and Emory, so my question is this: In Atlanta, which JD would be better to have, Vandy or Emory?  Vandy has a little bit more prestige as well as a slightly higher US News Ranking, but Emory is in Atlanta, which has to mean something.  Any thoughts?

You're obviously months away from having to make a decision on this, but if you have the time and want to really drill down the numbers you should see if Emory can send you something as to what firms require gpa-wise coming from there, particularly the top firms.  Looking at the OCI list this year, we had 29 Atlanta firms coming to campus, 12 with stated gpa requirements or preferences.  The rest list preferred ranking cutoffs like Top 25/30/50%, but since we don't rank they likely end up gauging based on the number of resumes they receive. No rankings plus a small number of students applying in any particular market is very helpful in selling yourself as a top candidate.  And of the 12 that list gpa requirements, 1 asks for a 3.5, 5 ask for 3.4s, 4 3.3, and 2 have 3.0 requirements (which probably means top 85%, at least for my class... and one of those firms is in the NLJ250).  All of those cutoffs except the 3.0 are also listed preferences, not strict requirements.

And I can't answer in chicken-or-egg fashion whether having connections to a location aids you in getting a job or if it's simply the reason you look for one, but for the 5 3Ls that summered at Alston & Bird's Atlanta office, 4 were from Georgia and one was from Florida.  It's possible those 5 beat out people with similar gpas who didn't have ties to the region, but it's also pretty likely that not many people from other regions bid on Atlanta. What I'm saying is that if you want a job from Vandy in Atlanta you're in good hands, particularly since most ATL firms also have Nashville offices and regularly host the etiquette dinner, Blackacres and info sessions. And as our entrance numbers keep rising every year Career Services works with firms to get them to look at a larger portion of the class.  I made that argument on my own behalf this year with my top firm and it ended up getting me a callback.

What I've found to be true at Vanderbilt and (what I think is a very persuasive argument to come here over both larger schools or those in major markets) is that we are not in heavy competition with each other for jobs.  The class of '07 sent 15 students to Atlanta, which put it 5th behind nashville (23), ny (18), dc and chicago (both 16).  Collectively that's half the class right there, spread fairly evenly throughout 4 of the country's largest legal markets plus our host music city.  Compare that with any similarly-ranked school in NY, DC or Chicago and I think you'll find most students at those schools have more homogenized career goals. Even if those schools boast great job placement (and they all do... that's why they were at some point considered a Top 10 program), people are still competing with their friends for particular firms.  And as the class size increases the personal attention you get from career services (which is important if your gpa ends up at the bottom) is going to be lower. I won't speak to Duke v. Vandy, but our entrance numbers are one LSAT median below theirs and our gpa is .03 lower (see links here: http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=40461).  I'm sure admissions has every intention of netting a fourth consecutive full point LSAT boost for the incoming class, even if we have to work harder next year to get a more competitive group to relax and enjoy themselves here while they begin developing their legal careers.  That will probably mean throwing you a good amount of money, particularly if your interests in Nashville come out in your application/interview.

Also, since the adcomms perv these boards they're probably seeing your posts, and since you opted against anonymity my guess is they're probably already onto you.  Just don't post anything offensive around here and I'm sure you'll be fine when it comes time to doling out scholarships, especially if they think you might actually move to Durham for 3 years without $$ from Vandy.
Vanderbilt University Law School Class of '10

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Re: Emory versus Vandy in Atlanta placement
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2008, 05:37:20 PM »
I think it's also clear that I have a lot of free time on my hands, even though this is actually a busy week for me (classes, debate party, journal selection party, debate around the corner from my house, internship, dc equal justice works career fair field trip, reuniting with friends).
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Re: Emory versus Vandy in Atlanta placement
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2008, 07:31:28 PM »
I think it's also clear that I have a lot of free time on my hands, even though this is actually a busy week for me (classes, debate party, journal selection party, debate around the corner from my house, internship, dc equal justice works career fair field trip, reuniting with friends).
One thing that is maybe a small thing but is big to me- everyone from Vanderbilt that I have met (either on campus or on this site) has been super helpful, and I think that is great.  Thanks for the long reply.
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Re: Emory versus Vandy in Atlanta placement
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2008, 09:04:42 PM »
I think it's also clear that I have a lot of free time on my hands, even though this is actually a busy week for me (classes, debate party, journal selection party, debate around the corner from my house, internship, dc equal justice works career fair field trip, reuniting with friends).
One thing that is maybe a small thing but is big to me- everyone from Vanderbilt that I have met (either on campus or on this site) has been super helpful, and I think that is great.  Thanks for the long reply.
The friendliness of the people at Vanderbilt was one thing that really tipped my scale in favor of attending.  The staff is incredibly friendly, the professors are approachable, and the class is pretty laid back and generally supportive of one another.
Personally, I'm happy I made the choice to go to Vanderbilt and I think that is one of the reasons why.