## A school's value relative to its NLJ250/clerkship placement

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Mattalones

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### A school's value relative to its NLJ250/clerkship placement

[This discussion started in another thread and it seemed to need its own topic: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=108528] - This thread shows the percent of the class that goes into NLJ250 firms or judicial clerkships for the T49 law schools.
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After looking at data like that on the above thread (which is very useful ... Thanks to the OP!!!), I find my self left to do the same thing as most other people on this forum by speculating "my chances" at procuring NLJ250 placement. At the same time, it remains true that generalized statistics don't instantiate (e.g. You can't rightfully say, "Only 40% of people from school X get NLJ250 jobs, so my chances of getting an NLJ250 job are only 40%."). This is clear to me, but consider an example to clarify (if you already agree, just skip the example and go to the part marked with "***").

Example - Think about two very different people at the same school:
1) The super-person who came in to school X with a 4.0+ and a 180 with a full ride, and then busts a 4.0 in 1L would have performed just as well if the school had different placement stats into NLJ250 firms.
2) The super slacker who slide through UG and the LSAT primarily on smarts, who gets about a 2.0 in 1L: This guy (or girl) just performs this way, and his (or her) school's NLJ250 placement percent clearly didn't make her perform this way.

I know these are extreme examples, but it is just to make the point clearer by contrasting. So, the super-person will likely be the person to get a good NLJ250 job, and the slacker clearly won't be the top candidate.

***I admit that there is a minimum threshold of NLJ250 placement potential for going to law school to make sense (assuming the person has NLJ250 as a goal). What I am curious about is, "What is this threshold for a decently-hard-working and intelligent law student?" In other words, if someone very competent and capable of becoming decently successful at an NLJ250 firm is choosing a law school based on its placement, what MINIMUM percentage of NLJ250 placement should that person look for in a law school to feel decently secure in choosing that law school?

I know that incoming stats will not project this and I am not relying on that. There are a lot of variables that come into play as well (e.g. journal involvement, how aggressively you market yourself, interviewing skills). Just keep in mind what the schools' placement stats alone would get you.

What I know cannot be the answer:
*100% NLJ250/Judicial Clerkship Placement
*"Just go to Yale, dude!"
*"Stay away from TTT and TTTT schools, man."

There has to be some rational, approximate balance, and I have not seen much discussion of it on TLS.

Any thoughts???
Last edited by Mattalones on Sun Feb 21, 2010 7:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

thegrandinquisitor

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### Re: A school's value relative to its NLJ250/clerkship placement

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Last edited by thegrandinquisitor on Fri Apr 30, 2010 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Kohinoor

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### Re: A school's value relative to its NLJ250/clerkship placement

--ImageRemoved--

Mattalones

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### Re: A school's value relative to its NLJ250/clerkship placement

Wow ... Haters! Anyone have something useful to say?

Renzo

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### Re: A school's value relative to its NLJ250/clerkship placement

TL, DR.

But skimming it, I'd say

Mattalones

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### Re: A school's value relative to its NLJ250/clerkship placement

Renzo wrote:TL, DR.

But skimming it, I'd say

I have to disagree. If 1% NLJ250 placement is too low for someone with a goal of getting into an NLJ250 firm to feel secure going to that law school, then there's a minimum threshold. If 100% NLJ250 placement is more than sufficient for someone with a goal of getting into an NLJ250 to feel safe going to that law school, then there's an upper limit. Since those upper and lower limits exist, there has to be an ideal range that captures a reasonable trade off between risk and security for getting an associate position in an NLJ250 firm out of LS. I would guess it's between 35% and 45% for a lot of people with NLJ250 as a goal.

rayiner

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### Re: A school's value relative to its NLJ250/clerkship placement

Mattalones wrote:I have to disagree. If 1% NLJ250 placement is too low for someone with a goal of getting into an NLJ250 firm to feel secure going to that law school, then there's a minimum threshold. If 100% NLJ250 placement is more than sufficient for someone with a goal of getting into an NLJ250 to feel safe going to that law school, then there's an upper limit. Since those upper and lower limits exist, there has to be an ideal range that captures a reasonable trade off between risk and security for getting an associate position in an NLJ250 firm out of LS. I would guess it's between 35% and 45% for a lot of people with NLJ250 as a goal.

The answer you want to hear: if getting in the top 1/3 or so at a school gives you a good shot at an NLJ250 job, then that school is pretty safe because if you work hard you should be able to get at least top 1/3. The bottom 2/3 is generally full of high-LSAT slackers with bad GPAs who only got in because of USNWR numbers-gaming, and people who don't read TLS, etc.

That's not the answer I'm going to give you.

OperaSoprano

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### Re: A school's value relative to its NLJ250/clerkship placement

rayiner wrote:
Mattalones wrote:I have to disagree. If 1% NLJ250 placement is too low for someone with a goal of getting into an NLJ250 firm to feel secure going to that law school, then there's a minimum threshold. If 100% NLJ250 placement is more than sufficient for someone with a goal of getting into an NLJ250 to feel safe going to that law school, then there's an upper limit. Since those upper and lower limits exist, there has to be an ideal range that captures a reasonable trade off between risk and security for getting an associate position in an NLJ250 firm out of LS. I would guess it's between 35% and 45% for a lot of people with NLJ250 as a goal.

The answer you want to hear: if getting in the top 1/3 or so at a school gives you a good shot at an NLJ250 job, then that school is pretty safe because if you work hard you should be able to get at least top 1/3. The bottom 2/3 is generally full of high-LSAT slackers with bad GPAs who only got in because of USNWR numbers-gaming, and people who don't read TLS, etc.

That's not the answer I'm going to give you.

<3 Rayiner.

The answer probably depends on how risk averse you are, and what other factors, such as WE, you can bring to the table.

Aeroplane

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### Re: A school's value relative to its NLJ250/clerkship placement

Mattalones wrote:I have to disagree. If 1% NLJ250 placement is too low for someone with a goal of getting into an NLJ250 firm to feel secure going to that law school, then there's a minimum threshold. If 100% NLJ250 placement is more than sufficient for someone with a goal of getting into an NLJ250 to feel safe going to that law school, then there's an upper limit. Since those upper and lower limits exist, there has to be an ideal range that captures a reasonable trade off between risk and security for getting an associate position in an NLJ250 firm out of LS. I would guess it's between 35% and 45% for a lot of people with NLJ250 as a goal.
The answer will depend on individual risk tolerance, but I think 35-45% is reasonable as long as there's a tolerable backup plan. I think a lot of people misinterpret the % placement though by reading it over-rigidly, i.e. by assuming that 35% placement means you 1) have to be in the top 35% to have a shot and 2) that top 30-35% is practically a guarantee. I don't have data to back this up, but my anecdata-based guess is that it's quite a bit more fluid than that and 35% placement probably indicates that people above median have a shot, and some people in the top 1/3 won't get anything.

Big Shrimpin

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### Re: A school's value relative to its NLJ250/clerkship placement

Kohinoor's post FTW

I'm laughing tears

TigerBeer

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### Re: A school's value relative to its NLJ250/clerkship placement

rayiner wrote:
Mattalones wrote:I have to disagree. If 1% NLJ250 placement is too low for someone with a goal of getting into an NLJ250 firm to feel secure going to that law school, then there's a minimum threshold. If 100% NLJ250 placement is more than sufficient for someone with a goal of getting into an NLJ250 to feel safe going to that law school, then there's an upper limit. Since those upper and lower limits exist, there has to be an ideal range that captures a reasonable trade off between risk and security for getting an associate position in an NLJ250 firm out of LS. I would guess it's between 35% and 45% for a lot of people with NLJ250 as a goal.

The answer you want to hear: if getting in the top 1/3 or so at a school gives you a good shot at an NLJ250 job, then that school is pretty safe because if you work hard you should be able to get at least top 1/3. The bottom 2/3 is generally full of high-LSAT slackers with bad GPAs who only got in because of USNWR numbers-gaming, and people who don't read TLS, etc.

That's not the answer I'm going to give you.

Don't forget URMs! Splitters and URMs are what make low-ranked schools great investments for hard workers who just got screwed over by the LSAT.

Kohinoor

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### Re: A school's value relative to its NLJ250/clerkship placement

TigerBeer wrote:
rayiner wrote:
Mattalones wrote:I have to disagree. If 1% NLJ250 placement is too low for someone with a goal of getting into an NLJ250 firm to feel secure going to that law school, then there's a minimum threshold. If 100% NLJ250 placement is more than sufficient for someone with a goal of getting into an NLJ250 to feel safe going to that law school, then there's an upper limit. Since those upper and lower limits exist, there has to be an ideal range that captures a reasonable trade off between risk and security for getting an associate position in an NLJ250 firm out of LS. I would guess it's between 35% and 45% for a lot of people with NLJ250 as a goal.

The answer you want to hear: if getting in the top 1/3 or so at a school gives you a good shot at an NLJ250 job, then that school is pretty safe because if you work hard you should be able to get at least top 1/3. The bottom 2/3 is generally full of high-LSAT slackers with bad GPAs who only got in because of USNWR numbers-gaming, and people who don't read TLS, etc.

That's not the answer I'm going to give you.

Don't forget URMs! Splitters and URMs are what make low-ranked schools great investments for hard workers who just got screwed over by the LSAT.

I'm actually enrolled at UVA under my government name and two alts just to bolster the bottom 10%.

thickfreakness

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### Re: A school's value relative to its NLJ250/clerkship placement

TigerBeer wrote:
rayiner wrote:
Mattalones wrote:I have to disagree. If 1% NLJ250 placement is too low for someone with a goal of getting into an NLJ250 firm to feel secure going to that law school, then there's a minimum threshold. If 100% NLJ250 placement is more than sufficient for someone with a goal of getting into an NLJ250 to feel safe going to that law school, then there's an upper limit. Since those upper and lower limits exist, there has to be an ideal range that captures a reasonable trade off between risk and security for getting an associate position in an NLJ250 firm out of LS. I would guess it's between 35% and 45% for a lot of people with NLJ250 as a goal.

The answer you want to hear: if getting in the top 1/3 or so at a school gives you a good shot at an NLJ250 job, then that school is pretty safe because if you work hard you should be able to get at least top 1/3. The bottom 2/3 is generally full of high-LSAT slackers with bad GPAs who only got in because of USNWR numbers-gaming, and people who don't read TLS, etc.

That's not the answer I'm going to give you.

Don't forget URMs! Splitters and URMs are what make low-ranked schools great investments for hard workers who just got screwed over by the LSAT.

Because OBVIOUSLY all URMs and splitters tend be at the bottom of the class. And obviously lower ranked schools don't ever let in splitters or URMs, so they don't have these bottom feeding lepers sucking up space in the class.

Mattalones

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### Re: A school's value relative to its NLJ250/clerkship placement

Aeroplane wrote:The answer will depend on individual risk tolerance, but I think 35-45% is reasonable as long as there's a tolerable backup plan. I think a lot of people misinterpret the % placement though by reading it over-rigidly, i.e. by assuming that 35% placement means you 1) have to be in the top 35% to have a shot and 2) that top 30-35% is practically a guarantee. I don't have data to back this up, but my anecdata-based guess is that it's quite a bit more fluid than that and 35% placement probably indicates that people above median have a shot, and some people in the top 1/3 won't get anything.

I think that you make a good point about risk aversion playing an important role in deciding this question. Another important piece that you bring up is the overly-rigid interpretation of the "35% placement" statistic. The main part I'm concerned about is, "If I kick ass in LS and make the top 25% (not to say I will; just for sake of argument), is it likely that I'll get screwed over and not be able to find a job that I want anyway?" This might be a likely outcome at someplace like Western State University (not to bash anyone who goes there ... I just looked up the lowest ranked USNWR law school). It is extremely unlikely at Yale, however. I am looking for the LS (or LSs) where it is certain enough that hard work will serve you well for a NLJ250 job (e.g. somewhere like Fordham, BU, UNC, Wake Forest ...)? I know it is going to have person-to-person variation, but I am still curious to hear people's reasoning on this topic.

James Bond

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### Re: A school's value relative to its NLJ250/clerkship placement

OP, I love your show. Favorite on TV. I hate your post though. Just...stop

Mattalones

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### Re: A school's value relative to its NLJ250/clerkship placement

James Bond wrote:OP, I love your show. Favorite on TV. I hate your post though. Just...stop

I don't get it, but if people really don't share interest in this topic, I'll rely on other research. It seemed like something that many people would consider when choosing a law school: "Am I likely to get where I want given my acceptances?" ... Such anger here.

270910

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### Re: A school's value relative to its NLJ250/clerkship placement

Mattalones wrote:
James Bond wrote:OP, I love your show. Favorite on TV. I hate your post though. Just...stop

I don't get it, but if people really don't share interest in this topic, I'll rely on other research. It seemed like something that many people would consider when choosing a law school: "Am I likely to get where I want given my acceptances?" ... Such anger here.

You're just phrasing things poorly. I understand / understood what you're getting at, and did my best to respond in the post you originally asked in.

Mattalones

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### Re: A school's value relative to its NLJ250/clerkship placement

disco_barred wrote:
Mattalones wrote:
James Bond wrote:OP, I love your show. Favorite on TV. I hate your post though. Just...stop

I don't get it, but if people really don't share interest in this topic, I'll rely on other research. It seemed like something that many people would consider when choosing a law school: "Am I likely to get where I want given my acceptances?" ... Such anger here.

You're just phrasing things poorly. I understand / understood what you're getting at, and did my best to respond in the post you originally asked in.

I appreciated your post in the other thread. How would you phrase it? I want to get it out so that people will be able to share their thoughts about it.

Aeroplane

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### Re: A school's value relative to its NLJ250/clerkship placement

Mattalones wrote: The main part I'm concerned about is, "If I kick ass in LS and make the top 25% (not to say I will; just for sake of argument), is it likely that I'll get screwed over and not be able to find a job that I want anyway?" This might be a likely outcome at someplace like Western State University (not to bash anyone who goes there ... I just looked up the lowest ranked USNWR law school). It is extremely unlikely at Yale, however. I am looking for the LS (or LSs) where it is certain enough that hard work will serve you well for a NLJ250 job (e.g. somewhere like Fordham, BU, UNC, Wake Forest ...)? I know it is going to have person-to-person variation, but I am still curious to hear people's reasoning on this topic.
The bolded is the problem with your query. Your propensity for hard work won't be the biggest factor in your law school grades, as long as it is above a certain very low threshold. There is some correlation between LSAT and 1L grades, but it's not strong enough to apply to a single individual with any reliability.

That being said, if your personal risk comfort level is "any place I'll be likely to get an NLJ250 job in the top 25%" then I'd say to not even consider schools with less than 15% NLJ250 placement. The exact %age would depend on your WE and interview/social skills.

Renzo

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### Re: A school's value relative to its NLJ250/clerkship placement

Kohinoor wrote:I'm actually enrolled at UVA under my government name and two alts just to bolster the bottom 10%.

I like the juxtaposition of Black Panther and internet nerd in this post.

TTT-LS

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### Re: A school's value relative to its NLJ250/clerkship placement

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Last edited by TTT-LS on Tue Jul 06, 2010 6:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

dextermorgan

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### Re: A school's value relative to its NLJ250/clerkship placement

James Bond wrote:OP, I love your show. Favorite on TV. I hate your post though. Just...stop

Just in case anyone is confused Mattalones =/= Me.

This is terrible.

TigerBeer

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### Re: A school's value relative to its NLJ250/clerkship placement

TTT-LS wrote:
TigerBeer wrote:Splitters and URMs are what make low-ranked schools great investments for hard workers who just got screwed over by the LSAT.

This is both hilarious and wrong. Lots of splitters absolutely dominate in law school, and there are a fair few URMs who do so as well. But keep on rationalizing that low LSAT score/making pointless predictions if you want to.

sigh.

Lawschoolman

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### Re: A school's value relative to its NLJ250/clerkship placement

TTT-LS wrote:
TigerBeer wrote:Splitters and URMs are what make low-ranked schools great investments for hard workers who just got screwed over by the LSAT.

This is both hilarious and wrong. Lots of splitters absolutely dominate in law school, and there are a fair few URMs who do so as well. But keep on rationalizing that low LSAT score/making pointless predictions if you want to.

Concur! I love it how people make stupid predictions just to make themselves feel better. Looking at stats, predicting stats, making up stats, etc., will do absolutely NOTHING for you. Study your hardest, hope for the best, be good to others, and good things might come your way.