Is the smaller class size really an asset ITE?

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miamiman
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Is the smaller class size really an asset ITE?

Postby miamiman » Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:06 pm

So, as someone still digesting those NLJ 250 stats, I couldn't help but take pause at the parity across the top 10 or so. Is small class size still relevant ITE? Can current law students comment upon what they are seeing in terms of placement and how class size is helping/hurting?

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jawsthegreat
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Re: Is the smaller class size really an asset ITE?

Postby jawsthegreat » Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:08 pm

Penn says that small class are FTL according to the new NLJ numbers.

td6624
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Re: Is the smaller class size really an asset ITE?

Postby td6624 » Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:10 pm

Vandy says it's FTW

miamiman
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Re: Is the smaller class size really an asset ITE?

Postby miamiman » Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:13 pm

penn's placement %s were corrected, fwiw.

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RVP11
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Re: Is the smaller class size really an asset ITE?

Postby RVP11 » Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:14 pm

Small class size is still relevant. A smaller class size means you're a rarer commodity in a world in which firms are still trying to maintain school diversity in their shrinking SA classes.

The downside of small schools is they have more difficulty hitting critical mass in firms' partnerships, don't tend to have as strong national placement, etc. This is more of a long-term concern, though.

Overall, smaller class is FTW in the current economy. But it shouldn't be a huge consideration.

miamiman
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Re: Is the smaller class size really an asset ITE?

Postby miamiman » Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:18 pm

theonlythoughtfulposterthusfar,JSUVA2012 wrote:
The downside of small schools is they have more difficulty hitting critical mass in firms' partnerships, don't tend to have as strong national placement, etc. This is more of a long-term concern, though.

Overall, smaller class is FTW in the current economy. But it shouldn't be a huge consideration.


can you clarify/expand?

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DGLitcH
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Re: Is the smaller class size really an asset ITE?

Postby DGLitcH » Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:19 pm

what does ITE stand for? I see it a lot recently

miamiman
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Re: Is the smaller class size really an asset ITE?

Postby miamiman » Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:21 pm

DGLitcH wrote:what does ITE stand for? I see it a lot recently



in this economy.


most important three words you'll hear.

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RVP11
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Re: Is the smaller class size really an asset ITE?

Postby RVP11 » Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:24 pm

miamiman wrote:
theonlythoughtfulposterthusfar,JSUVA2012 wrote:
The downside of small schools is they have more difficulty hitting critical mass in firms' partnerships, don't tend to have as strong national placement, etc. This is more of a long-term concern, though.

Overall, smaller class is FTW in the current economy. But it shouldn't be a huge consideration.


can you clarify/expand?


Difficulty hitting critical mass? There are some big firms whose partnerships are largely composed of Harvard, or Virginia, or Michigan, or GULC, or Columbia, or NYU grads. OTOH, you'd be hard-pressed to find a major firm with one of Yale/Stanford/Cornell/Duke/Vanderbilt contributing a plurality of the partnership. This might have some slight impact on getting voted into partnership - I don't know for a fact. But for social and other reasons, I think it's something to consider at least. (You're already getting to the nitpicky stage when something like class size is a consideration.)

I still think, in the current economy, you need to focus on the short-term - getting a job at or before graduation. In that case you'd rather not be 1 out of 400+, holding all other factors constant.

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Re: Is the smaller class size really an asset ITE?

Postby miamiman » Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:27 pm

so let's take Virginia. Is it better to be at NU or Virginia, all else equal? not trying to troll but same rank, slight differences otherwise, 100 or so student difference per class.

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RVP11
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Re: Is the smaller class size really an asset ITE?

Postby RVP11 » Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:30 pm

miamiman wrote:so let's take Virginia. Is it better to be at NU or Virginia, all else equal? not trying to troll but same rank, slight differences otherwise, 100 or so student difference per class.


You mean if we assume two schools are equal except one has 250 per class and the other has 350? I'd take the school with 250 for a variety of reasons, one of them being tiny placement boost.

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Re: Is the smaller class size really an asset ITE?

Postby miamiman » Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:31 pm

JSUVA2012 wrote:
miamiman wrote:so let's take Virginia. Is it better to be at NU or Virginia, all else equal? not trying to troll but same rank, slight differences otherwise, 100 or so student difference per class.


You mean if we assume two schools are equal except one has 250 per class and the other has 350? I'd take the school with 250 for a variety of reasons, one of them being tiny placement boost.


I pulled my ED at michigan in some part (however small) because I felt that being one/370 would hurt me.

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chadwick218
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Re: Is the smaller class size really an asset ITE?

Postby chadwick218 » Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:33 pm

At NU, all of our doctrinal classes are taught in sections no larger than 62 people or so ... I find this to be a major asset in terms of participation and a more intimate experience than a class of say 90 or 100.

With respect to class sizes themselves, I think that it does make a difference. Often, firms will decide to take an equal # of students from respective schools. W/r/t the Chicago market, assuming that a particular firm may always try to hire students in the top 1/3, Chicago or NU may be seen as a plus over Michigan.

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RVP11
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Re: Is the smaller class size really an asset ITE?

Postby RVP11 » Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:39 pm

chadwick218 wrote:At NU, all of our doctrinal classes are taught in sections no larger than 62 people or so ... I find this to be a major asset in terms of participation and a more intimate experience than a class of say 90 or 100.


At UVA we take some 1L classes with 60 and some with 90. I must say I haven't been able to tell any difference whatsoever.

The benefits of the smaller class size are more likely going to be outside of the classroom.

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rayiner
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Re: Is the smaller class size really an asset ITE?

Postby rayiner » Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:51 pm

You got to the key word in your original post: "parity".

All else being equal, smaller class sizes are better. Firm's interest in LS diversity is very real, and it's much easier to get a number of firms to hire 1-2 grads each than 2-3 grads each.

The thing is that everything isn't equal here. Michigan/Virginia have a definite prestige advantage over NU/Duke/Cornell. The two factors tend to cancel each other out, leading to the parity which you see in a range of data (Vault placement, NLJ250 placement, Leiter's prestigious firm placement list, etc).

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Re: Is the smaller class size really an asset ITE?

Postby miamiman » Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:57 pm

rayiner wrote:You got to the key word in your original post: "parity".

All else being equal, smaller class sizes are better. Firm's interest in LS diversity is very real, and it's much easier to get a number of firms to hire 1-2 grads each than 2-3 grads each.

The thing is that everything isn't equal here. Michigan/Virginia have a definite prestige advantage over NU/Duke/Cornell. The two factors tend to cancel each other out, leading to the parity which you see in a range of data (Vault placement, NLJ250 placement, Leiter's prestigious firm placement list, etc).



then you would have expected better %s out of Chicago/Penn -- didn't see that.

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rockchalk86
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Re: Is the smaller class size really an asset ITE?

Postby rockchalk86 » Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:59 pm

Penn's numbers were corrected to 7th with 50.8% or something close to that.

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rayiner
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Re: Is the smaller class size really an asset ITE?

Postby rayiner » Mon Feb 22, 2010 11:20 pm

miamiman wrote:
rayiner wrote:You got to the key word in your original post: "parity".

All else being equal, smaller class sizes are better. Firm's interest in LS diversity is very real, and it's much easier to get a number of firms to hire 1-2 grads each than 2-3 grads each.

The thing is that everything isn't equal here. Michigan/Virginia have a definite prestige advantage over NU/Duke/Cornell. The two factors tend to cancel each other out, leading to the parity which you see in a range of data (Vault placement, NLJ250 placement, Leiter's prestigious firm placement list, etc).



then you would have expected better %s out of Chicago/Penn -- didn't see that.


You would if the data reflected only hiring. Instead, it also reflects the fact that a shit ton of NYC 2L SA got their offers yanked. NYC was responsible for half the NLJ250 job losses last year, but accounts for a quarter of the associates. Schools that place heavily into big NYC firms got hit the hardest.

generals10
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Re: Is the smaller class size really an asset ITE?

Postby generals10 » Mon Feb 22, 2010 11:32 pm

FWIW, I've been talking to a ton of partners at highly-regarded firms recently, and most of them have said that they see small class size as a significant advantage, especially with smaller SA classes. Not an overpowering factor (even a lot of partners seem to get hard at the idea of HLS, for example), but it does help. One talked about how SLS and YLS grads were especially in demand in his East Coast market because they were few and far between, and another at a small boutique said that their hiring every year is dominated by the perceived need to get one each from the big three.

Of course, there are counter-arguments: broad alumni base (if you look at that 2005 chart that lists the top schools' representation at 2-3 top firms in each major market, Harvard and Columbia tend to have a significant presence at nearly every firm) would probably be the biggest, and you could extend that to partners, as a previous poster did.

The students I've talked to at smaller schools also seem to think there's less of a competitive atmosphere, since for all but the most sought-after jobs there aren't a ton of classmates gunning for the same spots. Caveat: all of my discussions with students at small schools have been with YLS, SLS and Chicago students. I'm not sure if what they say applies equally to schools like Penn, Duke, Cornell, Vandy--although I imagine it does, to some extent.

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Re: Is the smaller class size really an asset ITE?

Postby miamiman » Mon Feb 22, 2010 11:38 pm

generals10 wrote:FWIW, I've been talking to a ton of partners at highly-regarded firms recently, and most of them have said that they see small class size as a significant advantage, especially with smaller SA classes. Not an overpowering factor (even a lot of partners seem to get hard at the idea of HLS, for example), but it does help. One talked about how SLS and YLS grads were especially in demand in his East Coast market because they were few and far between, and another at a small boutique said that their hiring every year is dominated by the perceived need to get one each from the big three.

Of course, there are counter-arguments: broad alumni base (if you look at that 2005 chart that lists the top schools' representation at 2-3 top firms in each major market, Harvard and Columbia tend to have a significant presence at nearly every firm) would probably be the biggest, and you could extend that to partners, as a previous poster did.

The students I've talked to at smaller schools also seem to think there's less of a competitive atmosphere, since for all but the most sought-after jobs there aren't a ton of classmates gunning for the same spots. Caveat: all of my discussions with students at small schools have been with YLS, SLS and Chicago students. I'm not sure if what they say applies equally to schools like Penn, Duke, Cornell, Vandy--although I imagine it does, to some extent.



where are you in school?

generals10
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Re: Is the smaller class size really an asset ITE?

Postby generals10 » Mon Feb 22, 2010 11:41 pm

miamiman wrote:
generals10 wrote:FWIW, I've been talking to a ton of partners at highly-regarded firms recently, and most of them have said that they see small class size as a significant advantage, especially with smaller SA classes. Not an overpowering factor (even a lot of partners seem to get hard at the idea of HLS, for example), but it does help. One talked about how SLS and YLS grads were especially in demand in his East Coast market because they were few and far between, and another at a small boutique said that their hiring every year is dominated by the perceived need to get one each from the big three.

Of course, there are counter-arguments: broad alumni base (if you look at that 2005 chart that lists the top schools' representation at 2-3 top firms in each major market, Harvard and Columbia tend to have a significant presence at nearly every firm) would probably be the biggest, and you could extend that to partners, as a previous poster did.

The students I've talked to at smaller schools also seem to think there's less of a competitive atmosphere, since for all but the most sought-after jobs there aren't a ton of classmates gunning for the same spots. Caveat: all of my discussions with students at small schools have been with YLS, SLS and Chicago students. I'm not sure if what they say applies equally to schools like Penn, Duke, Cornell, Vandy--although I imagine it does, to some extent.



where are you in school?


0L deciding among HSC. Thought that was somewhat implied in my post, but as a disclaimer: I know nothing, and any perceived trolling or actual insight is completely accidental. Just have been talking to a lot of hiring partners and students who have gone through OCI and thought some of those conversations might be relevant.

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bees
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Re: Is the smaller class size really an asset ITE?

Postby bees » Mon Feb 22, 2010 11:53 pm

School A has 300/class - 100 target NYC, 100 target DC, and 100 target LA

School B has 200/class - 100 target NYC, 100 target DC

I think there is something to be said for this, no?

I know the numbers don't work out like this, but I think a larger class size that sends a greater percentage of its students to more markets doesn't lose out as much as some people might think to a small class size that targets only one or two cities.

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thelawguy777
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Re: Is the smaller class size really an asset ITE?

Postby thelawguy777 » Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:25 am

This is such an interesting topic...

I think it's a double edged sword. On one side a larger class size means a larger alumni network (Harvard). On the other had smaller class size plays into the school-diversity argument mentioned before (btw, Chicago actually went out of their way to point this out when I went and visited).

I got rejected from Harvard and will most likely get some form of $$ from Chicago. Would I trade the Chicago $$ for a Harvard acceptance? You bet. Harvard is an awesome school that cranks out 500 lawyers a year. I don't have a problem admitting that I got rejected from a better school. It's hard to sort out the good advice from the bad on TLS due to crazy bias coming into play... We have people at schools ranked 30 acting like they place the same as Columbia. We also have t-14ers thinking that the paper their school is going to give them will transform them instantly into a supreme court justice. Point being, there are two points of view, and most will simply cheer for their side. (sorry if this was a rant)

With that said, :-) I come from a small undergrad, and a small town. Having a small class size, and thus the opportunity to know everyone in my class really is attractive to me. Call it an issue with feeling secure, but there is some funny feeling of completeness knowing everyone in my class...

miamiman
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Re: Is the smaller class size really an asset ITE?

Postby miamiman » Tue Feb 23, 2010 9:03 am

I spoke to the director of career services at chicago last night. I asked him how the smaller class size drives outcomes at uofc. He said that the most typical scenario is that a firm or an office will be seeking 2 kids and, given that its hard to predict how interested other students from the school will be in the firm, they sometimes dig deeper into the class to get that other student. He said that iterated over the course of 200 or so firms, you find this recurring again and again: firms need to dig their hands deeper in smaller classes to get 2 kids.

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Re: Is the smaller class size really an asset ITE?

Postby daviddel03 » Tue Feb 23, 2010 9:55 am

how does berkeley fit into this discussion?




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