Employment in Pittsburgh

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lawschoolnonsense
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Employment in Pittsburgh

Postby lawschoolnonsense » Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:54 pm

Following law school, I know that I want to work in Pittsburgh. Additionally, I'm not big law or bust. Mid-law would be perfectly fine with me.
Last edited by lawschoolnonsense on Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

lawschoolnonsense
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Re: Employment in Pittsburgh

Postby lawschoolnonsense » Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:00 pm

bump....
any input is appreciated.

tinlawman
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Re: Employment in Pittsburgh

Postby tinlawman » Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:04 pm

lawschoolnonsense wrote:bump....
any input is appreciated.


First of all, I don't recommend bumping after 6 minutes.

Secondly, do you have residency in PA? If you really absolutely know you want to work in Pittsburgh, I guess Pitt law would be ok. Do you live in Pittsburgh now? If you don't, I would reconsider whether you know for sure that you want to work in Pittsburgh.

Either way, I would wait to see what BC offers you.

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eaglemuncher
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Re: Employment in Pittsburgh

Postby eaglemuncher » Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:05 pm

lawschoolnonsense wrote:bump....
any input is appreciated.


Well, now that you put it that way...

I can't imagine that any one those schools really do any better in Pittsburgh than Pitt, and even if GW does place better, the $ difference between Pitt in-state at half price and GW full price is HUGE.

But that is just my guess, I have no clue as to the emplyment prospects of either of those schools in Pittsburgh.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Employment in Pittsburgh

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:06 pm

Pitt.

lawschoolnonsense
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Re: Employment in Pittsburgh

Postby lawschoolnonsense » Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:07 pm

tinlawman wrote:
lawschoolnonsense wrote:bump....
any input is appreciated.


First of all, I don't recommend bumping after 6 minutes.

Secondly, do you have residency in PA? If you really absolutely know you want to work in Pittsburgh, I guess Pitt law would be ok. Do you live in Pittsburgh now? If you don't, I would reconsider whether you know for sure that you want to work in Pittsburgh.

Either way, I would wait to see what BC offers you.


Yes, I have residency in PA.
Yes, I have lived in the Pittsburgh area my entire life.

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Ersatz Haderach
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Re: Employment in Pittsburgh

Postby Ersatz Haderach » Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:08 pm

1) Cornell
2) BC $$$
3) Pitt

This is assuming you're committed to that market no matter what. There could even be an argument for Pitt over all of them, but I wouldn't go for it unless you're super debt-averse and the scholarship is guaranteed. GW at sticker...I really don't know.

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Flustercluck
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Re: Employment in Pittsburgh

Postby Flustercluck » Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:15 pm

Ersatz Haderach wrote:1) Cornell
2) BC $$$
3) Pitt

This is assuming you're committed to that market no matter what. There could even be an argument for Pitt over all of them, but I wouldn't go for it unless you're super debt-averse and the scholarship is guaranteed. GW at sticker...I really don't know.


Gonna respectfully disagree on Cornell, mainly because OP is focused on Pittsburgh. Market Salary in Pittsburgh is significantly lower than a 160k in a major market. 160k = easier to pay off full sticker from Cornell. 100k = Still a good salary, but not as easy to manage 200k of debt. Cornell makes sense for major markets, but for Pittsburgh, Pitt w/$$ is most bang for least buck.

* Also important, Pitt in state = 25k tuition. Factor in 1/2 tuition scholly, his three year total tuition related debt = less than 40k. 1 year Cornell tuition > 40k

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pjo
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Re: Employment in Pittsburgh

Postby pjo » Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:21 pm

OP, I was in a similiar position to you this cycle and ultimately decided on going to UVa at sticker. Originally I was going to send you this as a PM but I'm actually looking to get some thoughts on my situation too. Being from W. PA, I'm looking to make my way back to Pittsburgh after law school. Before getting accepted to UVa, I had narrowed down my decision to GW at sticker and Pitt with the typical 12k scholly. I decided on UVa because going there won't close any doors in Pittsburgh AND it will also open up potential employment in other markets (OH/NY/VA), which in your case I think GW would be perceived the same for all intensive purposes. The thing is, the Pittsburgh legal market is moving...slow. It wasn' hit as hard as the other markets but consequently it will probably take at least twice as long to recover. The Pittsburgh Business Times just did a story on this today actually. Basically it said that the Big(ger) firms in Pittsburgh have increased their summer class sizes (like from 4 to 6) but aren't anywhere close to what they were in pre 2008 (about 15/class). Furthermore, firms don't know if they will ever get that big again. After the recession, firms began to look into increasing lateral hires, rather than increasing new associate hires. This has worked out tremendously well for most of the firms and as the saying goes, "if it aint broke, why fix it?" Firms have realized it's better to take on more laterals at the expense of taking on fewer entry level associates. Several Hiring partners have noted that the new norm for entry into Big/Semi-Big Law in Pittsburgh may now be: 1.Graduate 2.Work Small law in counties like Butler/New Castle/Washington & build a book of business 3. Lateral into Big/Semi-Big law. What this means is, as a Pitt grad, you will be competing for less spots, against T14 ppl AND Case ppl (don't rule out Case, 4 of 6 of Reed Smith's new assocaites are Case grads with work experience). If you go to Pitt and you're on Law Review, I'd be surprised to learn if you couldn;t at least get a mid-law job (think Goehring Rutter & Boehm size) but it's hard for me to imagine that LR+Pitt=Shoo-in for Pittsburgh Biglaw like it did in the past. Just talk to some Pitt grads (like I did) the majority are working 1. Doc review for Big firms or 2. working at small firms (think 5-15 attorneys). A handful have mid-law jobs and even less have Biglaw. What I'm saying is, I would love to return to Pittsburgh, but for me the quality of my job > geographic location. Going to UVa or GW, IMO, increases your chances of getting the job you want. Maybe it won't be in Pittsburgh, or maybe it will. Idk though, it's just my two cents. I'd love to hear others' thoughts.

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snapdragon
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Re: Employment in Pittsburgh

Postby snapdragon » Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:21 pm

If W&L is cheaper than Pitt overall, I'd take that - it's a full ride, COL in Lexington is cheap, and you could probably bring the degree back to Pittsburgh if you have strong ties, or, you have the VA option if you don't.

Aqualibrium
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Re: Employment in Pittsburgh

Postby Aqualibrium » Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:24 pm

Assuming no money from BC and no admission/no money from Cornell, I'd advise the following:

Negotiate more money out of Pitt and go there.

OR

Go to W&L with the full ride if it is cheaper than Pitt overall. You'll give yourself the opportunity to tap Virginia, and to a lesser extent other Southern markets and DC. I know that isn't what you want right now, but it's always good to have options. With regards to work in Pittsburgh, you'll have to do more leg work to get back there, but it is certainly doable for someone from a school as good as W&L who is from the area. Employers will understand the lure of the full ride, and it's not like you'd be completely abandoning the region.

I personally passed on large scholarships in my home state for a full ride & stipend at a school a few states over. During the 2L job search, I was able to tap the market my school was in as a fall back, explore other markets nearby, and target markets in my home state as well. Ended up accepting a job at a very prestigious firm in my home state. The best part is, I'll graduate without a cent of student loan debt.

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Ersatz Haderach
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Re: Employment in Pittsburgh

Postby Ersatz Haderach » Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:26 pm

Flustercluck wrote:
Ersatz Haderach wrote:1) Cornell
2) BC $$$
3) Pitt

This is assuming you're committed to that market no matter what. There could even be an argument for Pitt over all of them, but I wouldn't go for it unless you're super debt-averse and the scholarship is guaranteed. GW at sticker...I really don't know.


Gonna respectfully disagree on Cornell, mainly because OP is focused on Pittsburgh. Market Salary in Pittsburgh is significantly lower than a 160k in a major market. 160k = easier to pay off full sticker from Cornell. 100k = Still a good salary, but not as easy to manage 200k of debt. Cornell makes sense for major markets, but for Pittsburgh, Pitt w/$$ is most bang for least buck.


You're absolutely correct from a financial perspective. I personally would go to Pitt in an instant if that's where I wanted to work. I go to Case Western and I went there for exactly those reasons: debt-averse, committed to Northeast Ohio, had $$$$, why go elsewhere?

On the other hand, I didn't have an offer from Cornell or a similar school. Would I have made the same choice? I don't know. Especially if I was hell-bent on BigLaw. (I'm not) I guess think carefully about your financial priorities, visit the schools, and go with your gut.

Re: the last post, a number of people in this year's class at Case are from Pittsburgh and plan to go back there. I didn't know that many were already there.

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Flustercluck
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Re: Employment in Pittsburgh

Postby Flustercluck » Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:27 pm

pjo wrote: What I'm saying is, I would love to return to Pittsburgh, but for me the quality of my job > geographic location. Going to UVa or GW, IMO, increases your chances of getting the job you want. Maybe it won't be in Pittsburgh, or maybe it will. Idk though, it's just my two cents. I'd love to hear others' thoughts.

Pjo is pretty spot on. My answer was entirely based on the literal question, "which is best in terms of employment in Pittsburgh?" That is a completely different question than "which is the best decision?" in which I agree that not focusing on Pittsburgh would be best. But in that case I'd most definitely take W&M half or W&L full over GW sticker.

lawschoolnonsense
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Re: Employment in Pittsburgh

Postby lawschoolnonsense » Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:38 pm

Thanks. All of this is pretty helpful.

Pjo, thank you especially for taking the time to write all of that. I think for me, geographic location+friends and family weigh more heavily than the quality of my job. That being said, I don't want to get stuck doing real shitlaw right out of school, so it's certainly a factor in my decision.

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pjo
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Re: Employment in Pittsburgh

Postby pjo » Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:41 pm

I just want to mention one other thing for the OP's sake that has been mentioned here regarding W&L. Yes, W&L is agood school and yes having $0 in law school debt would be great, but thinking that legal recruiters from ANY firm in Pittsburgh will be impressed with W&L is just speaking without fully understanding how insular Pittsburgh is. For instance, when I got into UVa and told some ppl that's where I'd be heading, many ppl asked why I wasn't going to Duquesne (the local T4). I understand lay prestige is worthless, but some of these ppl were actually legal secretaries. I also had one atty ask if BC was a "decent" school (and he went to BU). Point is, I'm going to a T10 and I also have fairly good connections to attorneys/firms in the city and I am worried about my potential in Pittsburgh. I'm not going to out myself, but just trust me on this. at one of the big firms in the city there is a legal recruiter sitting at their desk with about 50 resume in front of them from kids ranging from T6 to T4. Only 6 ppl will get SA spots. This doesn't include the resumes that were emailed. It's a tough market to crack, and I didn;t want to put all my eggs in one basket: hence my decision to go to UVa.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Employment in Pittsburgh

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:51 pm

Agreed. Wash. & Lee is not Virginia. W&L has seen a steady 3 year decline in USNews rankings. Pitt should be a much better choice for the OP. W&L has a distinct reputation at both the undergraduate & law school level that does not, in my opinion, match up well for those seeking employment in Pittsburgh. There is a reason that W&L has to give free apps to everybody.

Rule11
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Re: Employment in Pittsburgh

Postby Rule11 » Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:02 pm

The idea that you'd "be happy with midlaw" is not much less fantastical than targeting biglaw. "Midlaw," where it even exists, is hard to get, particularly at the entry level. Luckily you're not considering terrible schools, but the schools you're talking about don't make something like midlaw some sort of likely fallback option either.

Maybe I'm being hard on you, but you should just make sure that your attitude isn't "I'll just do midlaw, bro" or you may be in for an unpleasant surprise.

Aqualibrium
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Re: Employment in Pittsburgh

Postby Aqualibrium » Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:11 pm

.
Last edited by Aqualibrium on Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Aqualibrium
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Re: Employment in Pittsburgh

Postby Aqualibrium » Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:12 pm

pjo wrote:I just want to mention one other thing for the OP's sake that has been mentioned here regarding W&L. Yes, W&L is agood school and yes having $0 in law school debt would be great, but thinking that legal recruiters from ANY firm in Pittsburgh will be impressed with W&L is just speaking without fully understanding how insular Pittsburgh is. For instance, when I got into UVa and told some ppl that's where I'd be heading, many ppl asked why I wasn't going to Duquesne (the local T4). I understand lay prestige is worthless, but some of these ppl were actually legal secretaries. I also had one atty ask if BC was a "decent" school (and he went to BU). Point is, I'm going to a T10 and I also have fairly good connections to attorneys/firms in the city and I am worried about my potential in Pittsburgh. I'm not going to out myself, but just trust me on this. at one of the big firms in the city there is a legal recruiter sitting at their desk with about 50 resume in front of them from kids ranging from T6 to T4. Only 6 ppl will get SA spots. This doesn't include the resumes that were emailed. It's a tough market to crack, and I didn;t want to put all my eggs in one basket: hence my decision to go to UVa.



I think you've caught me on one point, I have no knowledge of the Pittsburgh market. I will say this though, my advice is from the perspective of a 2L who got job offers (midlaw and biglaw) in some of the most insular and difficult to break into markets, from a school that no one in those markets, or on TLS, would traditionally look at. I personally think that geographic diversity (with regards to law school) is something that can work in your favor. In my experience it did.

A legal employer won't ask a Pittsburgh kid @ W&L why he didn't go to Duquesne, and OP doesn't have acceptances that will open up the types of doors a school like UVA would (Also, it's less about being "impressed" and more about not being laughed of the desk when you're talking about the "prestige" of schools that aren't a t10 imo). If W&L is cheaper than Pitt in the long run, it's a very good choice in my opinion.

As far as combating the insular nature of legal markets, I did the following:

If I wanted to interview at a firm that didn't traditionally recruit at my school, I made a chart that showed the class of 2012's entering statistics and US News Rank at each of the schools they recruited from and my own school. When you present that data in a readable format, it was very often the case that the students in my class statistically outperformed the students at some of (and in limited cases all of) the schools those firms recruited at I got interviews/callbacks/offers from places that had never ever hired a student from my school. In one callback, the partner didn't know where my school was located...I got the offer.
Last edited by Aqualibrium on Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Employment in Pittsburgh

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:20 pm

Duquesne is a very poor example.

lawschoolnonsense
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Re: Employment in Pittsburgh

Postby lawschoolnonsense » Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:21 pm

Rule11 wrote:The idea that you'd "be happy with midlaw" is not much less fantastical than targeting biglaw. "Midlaw," where it even exists, is hard to get, particularly at the entry level. Luckily you're not considering terrible schools, but the schools you're talking about don't make something like midlaw some sort of likely fallback option either.

Maybe I'm being hard on you, but you should just make sure that your attitude isn't "I'll just do midlaw, bro" or you may be in for an unpleasant surprise.


No, I understand what you're saying. I take no offense.

I'm not targeting midlaw as a fall back by any means. I was simply trying to convey that I'm not biglaw or bust. Would I work biglaw in Pittsburgh if given the chance? Sure. Would I work midlaw? Of course. I'm just trying to keep an open mind and assess the situation.

Furthermore, I was vaguely aware of how ridiculously insulated the Pittsburgh legal market is. Upon searching the directories of some of the bigger firms in Pittsburgh, it does seem that going to Pitt Law offers a leg up in many ways. I'm really looking for other people's thoughts on this since quite frankly I need to learn more about the market before making any sort of decision.

Your input is appreciated.

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pjo
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Re: Employment in Pittsburgh

Postby pjo » Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:27 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Duquesne is a very poor example.


Not really. Apparently you aren't from Pittsburgh. Would that addage be true if you switch Pitt w/ Duquesne? Of course. But still, don't discredit Duquesne name recognition in Pittsburgh. All I was trying to get across was someone on LR at W&L has the same chances in Pittsburgh as someone on LR from Duquesne. It's true, believe it or not. Someone on LR from Pitt though will have better prospects in Pittsburgh than both of them, at least most of the time.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Employment in Pittsburgh

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:39 pm

pjo: Do you think that Duquesne (a tier four law school with well below average bar pass rates) is on par with Pitt for recruiting/legal employment in the Pittsburgh area ? Thanks !

P.S. I just reread your post above. Your comparison & equal footing of Wash & Lee law review students with Duquesne law review students is interesting, although a bit difficult to embrace. W&L is a tier one law school & Duquesne is a poorly performing tier four.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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pjo
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Re: Employment in Pittsburgh

Postby pjo » Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:46 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:pjo: Do you think that Duquesne is on par with Pitt for recruiting/legal employment in the Pittsburgh area ? Thanks !


Did I ever say it was? Go back and read my post. I specifically say Pitt > Duq. When I said Duquesne I was by no means comparing it to Pitt so much as I was comparing Duquesne's job prospects, in Pittsburgh, to that of a comparable student at W&L and their prospects in Pittsburgh. But that's neither here nor there and OP isn't considering Duquesne; however, I was using that example to show a relation between how certain schools are perceived by recruiters in Pittsburgh and how insular the market is.

And by the way, in response to your changed post, for the past couple years Duquesne has had the second highest bar passage rate in PA, second to only Penn. So I’m not really sure where you’re getting your info from. But really, bar passage rates? When was the last time that had any bearing on someone’s decision on TLS?

lawschoolnonsense
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Re: Employment in Pittsburgh

Postby lawschoolnonsense » Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:52 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:pjo: Do you think that Duquesne (a tier four law school with well below average bar pass rates) is on par with Pitt for recruiting/legal employment in the Pittsburgh area ? Thanks !

P.S. I just reread your post above. Your comparison & equal footing of Wash & Lee law review students with Duquesne law review students is interesting, although a bit difficult to embrace. W&L is a tier one law school & Duquesne is a poorly performing tier four.


As I understand the Pittsburgh legal market, pjo's remarks on Duquesne are undoubtedly correct.




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