Fark-o-vision wrote:Alex-Trof wrote:paulinaporizkova wrote:Alex-Trof wrote:Thanks!
Can someone explain the last column to me better? It looks like about 50% of class (with some variation) on average becomes partners for each school in t14. Then another Big Law statistic shows that only 20% of associates become partners. So is it because it is easier to become partner in Mid Law/Small Law? Why the discrepancy?
sounds like it's because the law school you go to helps you make partner. among those 20% in your general biglaw stat, probably around 50% of them are t14 grads- percentages chosen to make the two stats you gave be inclusive of each other. (i say this assuming that the more likely you are to attend a t14, the more likely you are to gun for/get big law if you don't want (can't get) PI, clerkship, etc)
I thought so too, but thinking more about it, I am not so sure anymore. Why would law school you went to matter in terms of promotions in Big Law? Once you get a job, its not like you're going to form cliques with fellow alumni and be more liked by partners that graduated from the same school. I mean, I can see partners marginally caring about what school you went to when promoting you, but I doubt it is a very important factor. I also doubt that people who went to lower ranked law schools are less capable to be noticed/liked/promoted than T14 people. It might actually be the opposite since only the very top kids from lower ranked schools do Big Law and it is harder to get into.
What on God's earth would convince you that this magically stops when you become an adult? Sorry, but life is full of Mean Girls. People are always looking for a way to pack-up, and individuals are always looking to differentiate themselves from you on criteria that may be meaningless (I.e., the renowned Harvard and Trojan Networks). Can you overcome that by performing well, or poorly? I would hope so and data seems to suggest it. However, most have also indicated that biglaw associates get very few chances to distinguish themselves until they are at least being considered for a partner position. Who do you think the Harvard alum is going to keep an eye out for--the one guy they hired from DePaul, or the fellow Harvard grad who took eight minutes to learn whatever the old man's nickname was on campus?
My experiences, both as a paralegal in a big law firm and working as a consultant on my own, support this sentiment. The end game of becoming a partner turns on either 1) being handed down clients from a partner who trusts you, or 2) somehow getting your own clients. In both cases, I think your alma mater will have some influence. People definitely remain cliquey with the alumni from their schools at firms and partners really seem to want to "pass the torch" (aka, their clients) to those with similar backgrounds. It's certainly not always the case, but it seemed especially prevalent in practice groups that tended to hire the best person or two from certain T1 or T2 schools in addition to their smattering of T14 associates. Clients and their in-house counsels also went to school somewhere and may or may not view certain schools more favorably as a result. Of course, getting a good track record and racking up some unique experiences (closing big deals, participating in big trials/litigs, etc.) will probably always be more important than background on the firm level, but, in many cases, even getting onto the teams that take on those projects will somewhat depend upon a partner liking your background or a client requesting you be on the project. All other things being equal, partners and clients tend to give priority to their own.
EDIT: Let me also add, that such networks don't necessarily always work out in the favor of T14 grads. I knew one partner, for example, who absolutely hated working with or hiring Yale grads; instead, he created a really great team that was about 50% from his alma mater (a T2/T3 school). The partners and non-equity partners he was grooming to take his clients were, unsurprisingly, also from that school.