Lowest you would go if you wanted BigLaw

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utlaw2007
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Re: Lowest you would go if you wanted BigLaw

Postby utlaw2007 » Fri Dec 24, 2010 1:21 am

Nice avatar ksimon2007. Now if Mr. McNair can actually fire Kubiak.

ksimon2007
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Re: Lowest you would go if you wanted BigLaw

Postby ksimon2007 » Fri Dec 24, 2010 1:28 am

utlaw2007 wrote:Nice avatar ksimon2007. Now if Mr. McNair can actually fire Kubiak.


I'm with you...while firing a coach will not cure all it certainly would be the appropriate move...they start 4-2 and promptly begin to play like the NFC West

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BarbellDreams
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Re: Lowest you would go if you wanted BigLaw

Postby BarbellDreams » Fri Dec 24, 2010 2:26 am

This question gets asked every year and I always have the same answer. Rankings do not tell the whole story, you need to look at individual school numbers and the markets they are in. The simple example is I would go to Fordham over a LOT of schools ranked ahead of it because to say that Fordham, because of its ranking, has lower biglaw prospects than schools like Indiana, Iowa, W&M, Georgia, Wisconsin, North Carolina, etc. (all schools rank ahead of Fordham) is ignorant at best. I for one am stunned Fordham doesn't jump all of the listed schools below in the rankings, in my opinion they dont even compare.

The point is, you have to evaluate which market the school is in, I would go "as low" as Fordham but certainly not go to many schools, like the ones that I have listed, that rank ahead if I knew that I wanted big law. Not saying I would be 100% comfortable at Fordham for biglaw, but I would feel like a had an o shot. If my thought process is "Biglaw or suicide", I would likely advice T14+UT+Vandy. Look up the stats on Vandy, it is the smartest school to go to if you cant make t14 (I would go to vandy over some t14s honestly).

*I have absolutely no connection to Fordham law, never attended, applied, etc. I just often use them as an example of how rankings are BS.

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Ragged
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Re: Lowest you would go if you wanted BigLaw

Postby Ragged » Fri Dec 24, 2010 2:43 am

BarbellDreams wrote:*I have absolutely no connection to Fordham law, never attended, applied, etc. I just often use them as an example of how rankings are BS.


Outside of T17 you are right.

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jpSartre
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Re: Lowest you would go if you wanted BigLaw

Postby jpSartre » Fri Dec 24, 2010 3:08 am

Fucking risk adverse lawyer types. "If >75% of students don't get big law then i won't get big law." Jesus.

yanksbgood
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Re: Lowest you would go if you wanted BigLaw

Postby yanksbgood » Fri Dec 24, 2010 4:49 am

BarbellDreams wrote:This question gets asked every year and I always have the same answer. Rankings do not tell the whole story, you need to look at individual school numbers and the markets they are in. The simple example is I would go to Fordham over a LOT of schools ranked ahead of it because to say that Fordham, because of its ranking, has lower biglaw prospects than schools like Indiana, Iowa, W&M, Georgia, Wisconsin, North Carolina, etc. (all schools rank ahead of Fordham) is ignorant at best. I for one am stunned Fordham doesn't jump all of the listed schools below in the rankings, in my opinion they dont even compare.

The point is, you have to evaluate which market the school is in, I would go "as low" as Fordham but certainly not go to many schools, like the ones that I have listed, that rank ahead if I knew that I wanted big law. Not saying I would be 100% comfortable at Fordham for biglaw, but I would feel like a had an o shot. If my thought process is "Biglaw or suicide", I would likely advice T14+UT+Vandy. Look up the stats on Vandy, it is the smartest school to go to if you cant make t14 (I would go to vandy over some t14s honestly).

*I have absolutely no connection to Fordham law, never attended, applied, etc. I just often use them as an example of how rankings are BS.


This. And +1 to vandy. Their placement stats are largely just as good as Cornell and Georgetown. In fact, in some areas, they seem to be even better than these two schools.

irishman86
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Re: Lowest you would go if you wanted BigLaw

Postby irishman86 » Fri Dec 24, 2010 5:52 am

I guess any school above Georgetown.

And I think ATL reported Cornell placing 40% into biglaw, last time I checked, which isn't as terrible as everyone is making it out to be.

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20160810
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Re: Lowest you would go if you wanted BigLaw

Postby 20160810 » Fri Dec 24, 2010 6:21 am

hokie wrote:--LinkRemoved--

I would say Cooley; they are ranked 12th in 2008's Judging the Law Schools above Stanford, Chicago, and Penn so I would venture to say "if Cooley's what you're rockin', then BigLaw's a knockin'" 8)

I don't ban people for lame Cooley jokes, but sometimes I'm tempted to.

We get it. They're a bad law school that pretends they're a good law school. Congratulations on not being fooled. Looks like you have to get up pretty early in the morning to pull one over on ol' hokie.

ksimon2007
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Re: Lowest you would go if you wanted BigLaw

Postby ksimon2007 » Fri Dec 24, 2010 9:28 am

jpSartre wrote:Fucking risk adverse lawyer types. "If >75% of students don't get big law then i won't get big law." Jesus.


lol. love it.

utlaw2007
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Re: Lowest you would go if you wanted BigLaw

Postby utlaw2007 » Fri Dec 24, 2010 9:34 am

@Barbelldreams. You're exactly right. I don't want to spoil anyone's dreams of going BigLaw here. Once you get to law school, especially a top 17 school, you will become aware of more viable career options, even practicing law. But the biggest misconception I see people making on this entire forum is that law students will automatically choose BigLaw over anything else. Everyone on this forum is totally missing the concept of self selection. You guys are all young in the process. So you haven't seen anything better. Those BigLaw penetration numbers that you guys see at the top schools, including Texas and Vandy don't tell the entire strory. You guys erroneously assume that every law student who has an opportunity to go BigLaw does it. That's just not true. One of my friends and lawschool classmate received an offer to work at Baker Botts, which at that time, was the most prestigious Texas law firm. Her final two choices were the most prestigious firm in Texas at the time or a medium size firm in Austin. She chose the medium sized firm. She lamented this decision. And she constantly ran all of her pros and cons of both offices by me. She wasn't top quarter and I don't believe she was even top third. And when she discussed this with me, it seemed at though Baker Botts, the large, prestigious firm, was not a popular choice among UT students. She was drawn to the lifestyle and pacing of the smaller firm. Of course, the smaller firm paid less, but its qualities appealed more to her in the long run.

When I first began law school, I was much like the rest of you guys. I wanted to go BigLaw. I did all the research on BigLaw placement at top 17 schools. I even believed the "average hours worked" stat many of them post on NALP.

utlaw2007
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Re: Lowest you would go if you wanted BigLaw

Postby utlaw2007 » Fri Dec 24, 2010 9:49 am

My friend's situation was not a unique one, either. I would not say that it was the standard fair because it wasn't. But it did happen quite a bit. Let me get back to my own personal story.

So I was gungho about working BigLaw. During my first semester. I had a private discussion with my Legal Reasearch and Writing prof. He was pretty young, too. He was in his forties. He had gone to Cornell for law school. He got a job at Baker Botts in Dallas. For whatever reason, UT Law grads favor Houston over Dallas by a 3 to 1 margin at that time. I have no idea if this was why he was able to penetrate Dallas or not. I'm just sayin. He worked at BigLaw Baker Botts for two years. He then submitted his resignation because he hated it. That experience drove him from the practice of law. I heard this and was like, "that put the nail in the coffin for me and BigLaw." I had heard other horror stories. But to hear this coming from a popular teacher made all those horror stories more credible.

Don't get me wrong. The culture at UT and any other top law school is BigLaw driven. From OCI to all of the seminars, to all of the BigLaw 1L receptions you will have. It's all about BigLaw. So most students wouldn't have it any other way. But I have also seen my own classmates and friends regret the decisions they have made about going BigLaw. I've also seen other clasmates and friends turn down BigLaw from the getgo because they are not made like that or don't embrace BigLaw culture.

utlaw2007
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Re: Lowest you would go if you wanted BigLaw

Postby utlaw2007 » Fri Dec 24, 2010 10:50 am

At the risk of beating a dead horse, go top 17. Follow Barbelldreams' advice and reseasrch the respective market where the school is located. The University of Houston Law Center and SMU Dedman School of Law school fair much better than their respective peers in the t50-70 range because of the huge markets where they are located. Baylor Law School outranks both of them, but going BigLaw from Baylor is a laughable concept. BigLaw from these schools is a long shot at best. But, at least, you have a shot if you attend one of these schools. A high school classmate of mine graduated SMU Law and he's a partner at Bracewell & Guliani in Houston. This is far from commonplace, but it shows there is a little bit of a shot, which for a law school ranked in the 50's is normally unheard of.

ksimon2007
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Re: Lowest you would go if you wanted BigLaw

Postby ksimon2007 » Fri Dec 24, 2010 10:54 am

utlaw2007 wrote:At the risk of beating a dead horse, go top 17. Follow Barbelldreams' advice and reseasrch the respective market where the school is located. The University of Houston Law Center and SMU Dedman School of Law school fair much better than their respective peers in the t50-70 range because of the huge markets where they are located. Baylor Law School outranks both of them, but going BigLaw from Baylor is a laughable concept. BigLaw from these schools is a long shot at best. But, at least, you have a shot if you attend one of these schools. A high school classmate of mine graduated SMU Law and he's a partner at Bracewell & Guliani in Houston. This is far from commonplace, but it shows there is a little bit of a shot, which for a law school ranked in the 50's is normally unheard of.


Just a point of correction. Baylor is ranked below both SMU and UofH.

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bk1
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Re: Lowest you would go if you wanted BigLaw

Postby bk1 » Fri Dec 24, 2010 11:06 am

utlaw2007 wrote:@bk1. My figures come from when I was in school there from 04 to 07. The simple fact of the matter is that I have seen class rank gpa percentages. I have also been witness to what BigLaw has found to be acceptable. I don't know what the figures are now, but I must ask this because I have seen tons of misinformation on this forum about everything. Can you tell me, where these know it alls get there info when they have no firsthand experience with these schools they speak of? By the way, I'm just curious, what is your law school experience? Are you a 1L, a graduate, a lawyer, or someone who is merely in the application process?

As for the size of the Texas legal markets, do you honestly think that Nashville has a large legal market? Houston is very large. The Houston legal market is larger than the entire legal market of Tennessee by itself. It is home to the second most fortune 500 companies next to NYC. Tell me that is not a large legal market. Don't even get me started on the amount of money that is had by much smaller law firms in the city. I know several attorneys who either work for themselves or are partners at small firms and put what any associate/non partner at a large law firm makes financially to shame. My point is that, while I tend to agree that city size does not equate to legal market size (San Antonio is in the country's top ten in population size, but has a puny legal market), the same cannot be said of Houston.


I am a 0L who has spent an ungodly amount of time deciding where I am going to sign my soul away for six figures worth of debt.

How is firsthand experience any better than this? Aggregated data is always going to be better than singular anecdotes. Just because somebody in the bottom quarter at Cornell landed biglaw doesn't mean that is a common occurrence by any stretch of the imagination. Heck, even if your anecdotes are spot on the money, they are so out of date that it is laughable to pass them off as worthwhile. There are a couple other graphs out there with similar data but I don't recall them off hand. The problem with all of them is that they are pre-recession, but I think they are still valuable in giving a general comparison (even though some schools have weathered it better than others).

Do you really think that Vandy's grads mainly go to Tennessee? Of course UT's advantage lies in its ability to hook into Texas, but Vandy fare wells for a different reason: its ability to place broadly. This is not a good or bad thing and doesn't necessarily mean that one has the edge in getting biglaw. It could mean that one has an advantage, but looking at the absolute percentage of students who get biglaw, it really doesn't shake out that way.

I would hazard a guess that despite having all those Fortune 500 companies, that Houston is still not the second largest market when measuring via number of SA spots. And just because some solo practitioners and small firm attorneys make more than biglaw, what the hell does that mean? Do you understand what outliers are? The median salary for a small firm lawyer or solo practitioner is still going to be far lower than a biglaw associate no matter how many anecdotes about those who beat this trend you throw out.

utlaw2007
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Re: Lowest you would go if you wanted BigLaw

Postby utlaw2007 » Fri Dec 24, 2010 11:06 am

Ok. The rankings have changed then. They usually change from year to year when you get that low. It's about time they rank U of H and SMU ahead of Baylor.

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bk1
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Re: Lowest you would go if you wanted BigLaw

Postby bk1 » Fri Dec 24, 2010 11:13 am

utlaw2007 wrote:At the risk of beating a dead horse, go top 17. Follow Barbelldreams' advice and reseasrch the respective market where the school is located. The University of Houston Law Center and SMU Dedman School of Law school fair much better than their respective peers in the t50-70 range because of the huge markets where they are located. Baylor Law School outranks both of them, but going BigLaw from Baylor is a laughable concept. BigLaw from these schools is a long shot at best. But, at least, you have a shot if you attend one of these schools. A high school classmate of mine graduated SMU Law and he's a partner at Bracewell & Guliani in Houston. This is far from commonplace, but it shows there is a little bit of a shot, which for a law school ranked in the 50's is normally unheard of.


I'll agree that schools like SMU are better than those ranked above them, but the further down the rankings you go, the worse they get at approximating placement power. After the top 15-20ish schools or so, paying attention to rankings is laughable. The only reason paying attention to them for the top 15-20 actually makes sense is that, somehow, USNWR rankings at that level do a decent approximation of prestige/placement power. Also, SMU fairs well because of the size of market, yes, but also due to the fact that it lacks much competition. You don't have many T14's clamoring to go Texas (other than ones who may be from there originally) and only has to compete with UT.

As I noted before, if you go to a T17 with intentions of ending up in biglaw, prepare to be disappointed more often than not.

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Re: Lowest you would go if you wanted BigLaw

Postby utlaw2007 » Fri Dec 24, 2010 11:17 am

@bk1. Did you not see my post on Oil & Gas? Do you know how huge that business is? Of course I know Vandy grads don't stay in Tenesse. They go elsewhere. So do UT grads. However, UT grads have the added luxory of being able to stay home. Obviously, I know personal observations don't provide a substitute for hard data. However, does your data include "self selection." No it doesn't. That's all I'm trying to say. You are a newb. I will let you proceed to think that smaller firms and attorneys who make more than BigLaw associates are outliers. But I can tell you that you really have to look at what legal field is being practiced. Then you can compare the median figures of that legal field to BigLaw associate median salaries. Do you think I am not aware of that? I'm an attorney already who has my own law firm. Do you think I have haphazzardly just decided to do criminal or family law and just call it a day? Do you think the attorneys and smaller firms I speak of don't practice Oil and Gas Law or large stakes Commercial Litigation or Personal Injury? Do you even have a clue to how lucrative these fields are? Do you have a clue as to how lucraticve trial law is? Apparently you don't. And that is fine by me.

utlaw2007
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Re: Lowest you would go if you wanted BigLaw

Postby utlaw2007 » Fri Dec 24, 2010 11:43 am

Addtionally, I never said or implied that Houston had the second largest legal market. I just said it had a large legal market.

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Re: Lowest you would go if you wanted BigLaw

Postby utlaw2007 » Fri Dec 24, 2010 12:04 pm

Furthermore, my statement of the small firms and solo attorney revenues where said to better illustrate that legal market size is a lot more than SA spots. And my entire point with that was to rebut your legal market size contention as a whole. It is a very elementary way to review salaries or revenues by lumping all solo practitioners and small firms in the same category when their practice areas vary so greatly which causes their income to vary greatly. It is assinine to lump a wills & estates attorney into the same solo practioner group as a personal injury attorney. It is just as assinine to lump a family law attorney into the same group as an oil & gas attorney. The personal injury and oil & gas lawyers make way more than any BigLaw associate on average. To say these are outliers misrepresents because it implies that these attorneys have experienced some luck of the draw. The point is, any attorney can do oil & gas and make a crapload of money. Technically, they are outliers, but so are BigLaw associates to some degree. So how can you possibly point to one and refute the propensity to make his/her income by saying they are outliers when the same exact thing can be said for BigLaw associates? If you lump BigLaw associates into a group with all transactional attorneys in the country, they are outliers. But lumping a BigLaw associate into the same group as small firm transactional attorneys is misleading just as lumping trial lawyers into the same group as small firm or solo practitioner transactional attorneys is misleading.

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bk1
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Re: Lowest you would go if you wanted BigLaw

Postby bk1 » Fri Dec 24, 2010 12:08 pm

Large is an ambiguous term that doesn't mean much when every single legal market is tiny when compared to NYC.

I am saying that you are the exception and not the rule. That for freshly minted grads, or those a few years out of school, coming by a that kind of salary is enormously rare. Even at places that do well but are not the tippy top (i.e. UT/Vandy/etc), they are not the majority.

Are you trying to say that self-selection accounts for the 20-30% of UT grads who apparently have the opportunity to work in biglaw yet choose not to so you can get to this 55-60% figure?

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bk1
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Re: Lowest you would go if you wanted BigLaw

Postby bk1 » Fri Dec 24, 2010 12:15 pm

utlaw2007 wrote:Furthermore, my statement of the small firms and solo attorney revenues where said to better illustrate that legal market size is a lot more than SA spots. And my entire point with that was to rebut your legal market size contention as a whole. It is a very elementary way to review salaries or revenues by lumping all solo practitioners and small firms in the same category when their practice areas vary so greatly which causes their income to vary greatly. It is assinine to lump a wills & estates attorney into the same solo practioner group as a personal injury attorney. It is just as assinine to lump a family law attorney into the same group as an oil & gas attorney. The personal injury and oil & gas lawyers make way more than any BigLaw associate on average. To say these are outliers misrepresents because it implies that these attorneys have experienced some luck of the draw. The point is, any attorney can do oil & gas and make a crapload of money. Technically, they are outliers, but so are BigLaw associates to some degree. So how can you possibly point to one and refute the propensity to make his/her income by saying they are outliers when the same exact thing can be said for BigLaw associates? If you lump BigLaw associates into a group with all transactional attorneys in the country, they are outliers. But lumping a BigLaw associate into the same group as small firm transactional attorneys is misleading just as lumping trial lawyers into the same group as small firm or solo practitioner transactional attorneys is misleading.


The point of lumping everything together is that there is a certain percentage of grads who will come by "good" positions (say making a nice salary, whatever that may be), whether that is by biglaw or by a smaller, more lucrative practice. My point about outliers was not that they were lucky but that they were rare and I understand your point about biglaw being rare. But, the vast majority of lawyers right out of law school who are making that large salary are biglaw associates.

This is important because, looking at it from a cost/benefit analysis and trying to determine which school will help pay off loans the fastest/easiest, it helps narrow down which schools to choose when someone does not necessarily care as much where they work. Looking at UT for example, if I were about to take on 100k worth of loans I would want to know the percentage of grads who made 100k or more. Because recent grads at small firms making this much money is negligible, it seems easier to simply say biglaw.

utlaw2007
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Re: Lowest you would go if you wanted BigLaw

Postby utlaw2007 » Fri Dec 24, 2010 12:17 pm

No. I think my figures are a combination of self selection and forgone times. Like you said, things are different now. You seem well informed. So obviously, you know way more about the facts and figures than I do at the moment because you are the one going to law school. I'm saying that BigLaw dipped far into our class. I had friends that were 55% get BigLaw jobs out in California. Times have changed, I had forgotten about that.

You are right in your acknowledgement that what I have personally accomplished is rare for someone who isn't that far removed from law school graduation. But my point is that if you take the typical BigLaw senior associate salary of like 250k and compare that to a typical trial lawyer's salary, the trial lawyer wins.

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bk1
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Re: Lowest you would go if you wanted BigLaw

Postby bk1 » Fri Dec 24, 2010 12:21 pm

utlaw2007 wrote:But my point is that if you take the typical BigLaw senior associate salary of like 250k and compare that to a typical trial lawyer's salary, the trial lawyer wins.


My point, as stated previously, is that this is largely immaterial to those who are graduating and must bear the weight of their six figures worth of debt immediately.

utlaw2007
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Re: Lowest you would go if you wanted BigLaw

Postby utlaw2007 » Fri Dec 24, 2010 12:24 pm

I gotcha. And don't get me wrong. The reason a lawyer like me is on this site, is because I found the top law school admissions process very, very intriguing and exciting. At the time, I could talk stats all day to my peers. I knew migration patterns out of a school's region and everything. But sometimes we forget that things change. I wasn't in school THAT long ago. But the economy has tanked since then. I wish you the best and I sincerely hope you get into your first choice. Texas was my first choice. I'll never forget the day I got my acceptance letter. I got two in fact, so i kind of knew before I opened it. Here in Texas, it's like getting admitted to Harvard. I'm quite sure that no matter where you end up, you will have made a great choice because you have done your homework.

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lisjjen
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Re: Lowest you would go if you wanted BigLaw

Postby lisjjen » Fri Dec 24, 2010 4:45 pm

Wow. A lot of really long posts that started blurring together. I just kinda skimmed to the bottom. I blame it on what facebook has done to our generation.

I think the conclusion I'm getting is if you like BBQ, go to UT. If you like cajun, go to Vandy. And if you like daylight, don't go into biglaw.




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