Better school, same result

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delusional
Posts: 1190
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2010 7:57 pm

Better school, same result

Postby delusional » Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:55 am

What are the ramifications of having attended a higher ranked school once you have your first job? If someone gets into HYS, attends and leaves with a biglaw job, is he/she in any different position after graduation based on the HYS label than someone who got a biglaw job out of Columbia, or even Fordham? Or is the difference between schools only in the odds of getting a job, and the types of opportunities that present themselves while in school?

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Perch
Posts: 517
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:36 pm

Re: Better school, same result

Postby Perch » Mon Apr 04, 2011 9:00 am

I too have wondered what the added benefit long-term career wise a degree has outside of getting that first job...looking forward to some others opinions

bigben
Posts: 703
Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2007 2:44 pm

Re: Better school, same result

Postby bigben » Mon Apr 04, 2011 9:17 am

From what I've heard, if you want to lateral into another biglaw job in the first 3-4 years, they will look at your school and grades much like they would for entry level hiring. After that you're judged on what you've done after school. You could argue that your prestige stays on and subtly affects the way clients and colleagues perceive you, but I wouldn't put too much stock in that.

Rule11
Posts: 160
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 2:25 pm

Re: Better school, same result

Postby Rule11 » Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:43 am

It's widely believed on this forum (and elsewhere on the internet) that where you go to school only matters for getting your first job. This myth persists in part because it is so appealing to those who want to believe that they can work their way up from the bottom in the legal profession. Sadly, while it's not entirely untrue, it's not particularly true either (and that's leaving aside things like academia).

Law is a profession obsessed with prestige. Where you went to law school will ALWAYS matter. If you're a biglaw seventh year who does great work but went to a TTT, you won't be precluded from most jobs, but your TTT will hold you back in some places. This is particularly true if you decide you want to shift your trajectory (i.e., you want to back out of biglaw and go into prestigious government, or even just move to a different practice area within biglaw). Yes, your grades will often matter too. And of course you might be fired or laid-off at any time.

The bottom line is that your work product may be king, but most of the time prospective new employers won't have a good way to evaluate it--so your school will remain an important proxy for your potential value.




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