stylishlaw wrote:I heard from a buddy of mine at WUSTL that to really lock down BigLaw in this economy you need to be in the top 15-20% (not factoring location). Does that seem right? It seems a bit low given that's almost at the cutoff for what you would need to transfer into a T14. I hope those percentages improve for the class of 2014.
Yes those sound about right. Being in the top 25% will get you some interviews. And keep in mind that while only 19% of the c/o 2010 got NLJ firms, another 5-8% did a clerkship which will likely lead to an NLJ firm down the road, so around a quarter of the class gets an NLJ or NLJ-esque firm. Pre-ITE, WUSTL was over 25% NLJ placement. Also, there are at least three non-NLJ firms that pay 100k+ in St. Louis, and I imagine Kansas City is similar. If you want a mid/big firm, the top 1/4 or top 1/3 of the class or so will probably end up alright in a good economy.
However, to get NYC biglaw from WUSTL, you'll probably need top 10%, maaaaybe top 15% will get you a few interviews. We do place a good percentage of our class into NYC, but it is competitive for the top firms. Landing NYC is definitely possible, and I don't think we get enough credit for our NYC placement. However, if you're uncomfortable working in the Midwest, I'd be wary of going to WUSTL.
I agree with radlaw that Vandy's employment statistics are better than ours, and it is probably worth the extra 45k. However, 150k of debt from a non-elite school is just a lot of money. My personal cutoff point for maximum debt for a non-T14 was 100k, which is close to what I'll be at when I graduate from WUSTL (I actually took a 75k scholly to come here). Vandy is worth a little more debt for, but man... 150k is just a lot.