rayiner wrote:Just to point out one thing re: the numbers, at least for the T14. This isn't a "ranking" measuring "clerkship placement power." It's a listing of how many people at each school went into clerkships. For C/O 2009, many people who could have gotten clerkships decided to pursue $160k instead. This is especially true for places like CLS, NYU, which are biglaw-focused and full of people who don't want to leave NYC, and NU which is biglaw focused and full of old people who want to get back to work.
And a clerkship isn't work? People going to school in places like Philadelphia aren't interested in being in a city and that's why they're more likely to clerk? Living outside of a big city for a few years means people won't get out to advance their careers? People at other schools don't choose 160k over clerkships as well?
I don't know - they're easy explanations for self-selection, but I don't really buy it. Also, just because almost everyone at a school like NU has work experience doesn't mean that the same doesn't hold true for almost 3/4 of the students at other schools. If anything, I think an equally plausible argument can be made that 160k is much more immediately attractive for students who have never made actual money, whereas people with established careers might be more inclined to see the value of a clerkship for their future. Self-selection may
explain some things, but I don't think it explains this nearly as well as suggesting that NYU and Columbia students just don't want non-SDNY clerkships, or that 25% more NU students have had pre-law school careers and therefore automatically are more likely to want $160k.
Edit: Also, I seem to recall NU students boasting about great NLJ placement and suggesting that the school placed better in a metric of particular interest only to biglaw-bound students because firms were all about NU's work experience requirement (which I believe, insofar as the firms liked the particular students
' work experience, but I think had little to do with NU apart from collecting them in one place - a very smart strategy, nonetheless). Considering that, I find it interesting that A3 clerkships, which by most accounts are far more difficult to obtain than a NLJ firm and are particularly valuable regardless of whether one wants to litigate in biglaw or public interest (and hence, might be more representative of student's actual interests than just looking at NLJ numbers and pretending like that tells a real story), are now merely "how many people went into clerkships" but not a "ranking measuring clerkship placement power." I must ask: For the one metric that seems to be the most universally desired for litigators across all different fields of law, why the changed tone now?