Help me understand employment data

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admisionquestion
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Help me understand employment data

Postby admisionquestion » Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:09 pm

Okay,

So its finally time to sit down and try to actually make sense of employment data--rather than merely relying on the assumption that higher ranked schools tend to place better.

What data would you recommend if my ultimate question is, "what class rank do I need at a given school if I want a very safe bet of big law?"

A bad way to answer this would be to look at what percent of the class places in NLJ250 firms. Obviously a certain percentage of each class get "prestigious clerkships" and other desirable work and a certain percentage wanted PI etc.

So here is the challenge, what data would best estimate the answer to my question?

I'm hoping to start a discussion --more so then get a direct answer...

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Chucky21
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Re: Help me understand employment data

Postby Chucky21 » Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:16 pm

admisionquestion wrote:Okay,

So its finally time to sit down and try to actually make sense of employment data--rather than merely relying on the assumption that higher ranked schools tend to place better.

What data would you recommend if my ultimate question is, "what class rank do I need at a given school if I want a very safe bet of big law?"

A bad way to answer this would be to look at what percent of the class places in NLJ250 firms. Obviously a certain percentage of each class get "prestigious clerkships" and other desirable work and a certain percentage wanted PI etc.

So here is the challenge, what data would best estimate the answer to my question?

I'm hoping to start a discussion --more so then get a direct answer...


http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNL ... slreturn=1

Take a look at this. Seems like the best bets are with u of chicago and Cornell. I'm leaning towards Cornell b/c of the same reasons you described, and I was waitlisted at chicago. But at both these schools being at the median or above should get you into biglaw if you have decent interviewing skills.

admisionquestion
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Re: Help me understand employment data

Postby admisionquestion » Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:21 pm

I appreciate the response. But that was literally the bit of data I said I was hoping to avoid blindly relying on.

That merely says the % that got biglaw. Not the percentile one needs in order to get big law.

Nothing of course could directly answer my question---but some data could get you a better answer then merely % that got biglaw.

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bk1
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Re: Help me understand employment data

Postby bk1 » Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:31 pm

It doesn't work like that. It's not like if you're in the top 20% you automatically get biglaw and if you're in the top 21% you are automatically out. Here's probably the best way to look at it:

1. If you're talking about non-T14's in general, note that OCI interviews are quite often given out via preselect. Meaning that the firms get to choose who they interview (this is opposed to systems where it's pure lottery and students rank their bids and that determines who gets interviews). Preselect systems often result in the top of the class getting the vast majority of interviews and those outside the top getting nothing or almost nothing. Of course this isn't 100% true but it is important if you're looking at lower ranked schools.

2. I think TLS general knowledge says that those at the top are in a fairly good spot (though they still need to interview well to get an offer). After that things get murkier. If 50% of a school gets biglaw, that doesn't mean that the top 50% are secure. It doesn't even mean that the top 25% are secure. Maybe top 10% are close to secure as one might get, but again you still have to interview. If you spew your assburgers all over your interviewer it might not matter that you have amazing grades.

admisionquestion
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Re: Help me understand employment data

Postby admisionquestion » Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:45 pm

Thank you bk1.

So lets narrow the discussion to t14 or so. I also understand that nobody will give you a job of you interview terribly. But my general question still stands, lets rephrase it by saying: what percentile would one need to have at given schools in order to stand a good shot of getting Biglaw. Or, if you still think thats the wrong question--thats fine--help me think of the right question (which is really what I am trying to ask in this post).

My goal is to determine some hard evidence to compare one school in the t14 to another in terms of big law employment prospects.

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FryBreadPower
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Re: Help me understand employment data

Postby FryBreadPower » Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:55 pm

bk1 wrote:It doesn't work like that. It's not like if you're in the top 20% you automatically get biglaw and if you're in the top 21% you are automatically out. Here's probably the best way to look at it:

1. If you're talking about non-T14's in general, note that OCI interviews are quite often given out via preselect. Meaning that the firms get to choose who they interview (this is opposed to systems where it's pure lottery and students rank their bids and that determines who gets interviews). Preselect systems often result in the top of the class getting the vast majority of interviews and those outside the top getting nothing or almost nothing. Of course this isn't 100% true but it is important if you're looking at lower ranked schools.

2. I think TLS general knowledge says that those at the top are in a fairly good spot (though they still need to interview well to get an offer). After that things get murkier. If 50% of a school gets biglaw, that doesn't mean that the top 50% are secure. It doesn't even mean that the top 25% are secure. Maybe top 10% are close to secure as one might get, but again you still have to interview. If you spew your assburgers all over your interviewer it might not matter that you have amazing grades.


Thank you for enriching my vocabulary with such a gratifying phrase. I estimate that I will use this approximately 37 times in the next 24 hours.

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Chucky21
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Re: Help me understand employment data

Postby Chucky21 » Fri Feb 10, 2012 2:03 pm

bk1 wrote:It doesn't work like that. It's not like if you're in the top 20% you automatically get biglaw and if you're in the top 21% you are automatically out. Here's probably the best way to look at it:

1. If you're talking about non-T14's in general, note that OCI interviews are quite often given out via preselect. Meaning that the firms get to choose who they interview (this is opposed to systems where it's pure lottery and students rank their bids and that determines who gets interviews). Preselect systems often result in the top of the class getting the vast majority of interviews and those outside the top getting nothing or almost nothing. Of course this isn't 100% true but it is important if you're looking at lower ranked schools.

2. I think TLS general knowledge says that those at the top are in a fairly good spot (though they still need to interview well to get an offer). After that things get murkier. If 50% of a school gets biglaw, that doesn't mean that the top 50% are secure. It doesn't even mean that the top 25% are secure. Maybe top 10% are close to secure as one might get, but again you still have to interview. If you spew your assburgers all over your interviewer it might not matter that you have amazing grades.


This seems like a good way to look at it, but obviously it would be safe to say that the higher ranked you are the more likely you get biglaw. I think we have already conceded this point. Yet, if you are in the bottom quarter at a T 14 then it will obviously be tough to get biglaw unless you have some great work experience and networking that would help you get those jobs. Obviously interviewing skills are very important, but it is obviously easier to interview when you have the grades and the percentile rank to back you up.

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banjo
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Re: Help me understand employment data

Postby banjo » Fri Feb 10, 2012 2:06 pm

I plan on using NLJ250 + Clerkship data. Here's the thread: http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/v ... 1&t=150004

Class of 2009 is probably an aberration. Columbia, Chicago, NYU, Penn, and Northwestern all look good. For YHS I think you'd have to add academia to get a good read.

admisionquestion
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Re: Help me understand employment data

Postby admisionquestion » Fri Feb 10, 2012 2:14 pm

Banjo: your post is what I was looking for. Now my question is can people help me determine if clerkship and nlj250 is enough to consider--- should one include academia or any other catagory?

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hung jury
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Re: Help me understand employment data

Postby hung jury » Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:41 pm

admisionquestion wrote:Banjo: your post is what I was looking for. Now my question is can people help me determine if clerkship and nlj250 is enough to consider--- should one include academia or any other catagory?


No, there is no need to consider academia since very, very few people obtain academic placements straight out of their JD. Most still go on to clerkships, firms, or other legal employment before their first fellowship/academic appointment. The only school where it might have a meaningful effect on its numbers is at Yale.

I'd probably just ignore Yale (and its strange placement) for these rankings as it's too unorthodox to fit neatly into the biglaw paradigm.

timbs4339
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Re: Help me understand employment data

Postby timbs4339 » Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:46 pm

admisionquestion wrote:Banjo: your post is what I was looking for. Now my question is can people help me determine if clerkship and nlj250 is enough to consider--- should one include academia or any other catagory?


You also want to pro rate the PI and government numbers. So if 50% of the class gets biglaw+A3 clerkships, and 5% of the class is in PI or government, and the class size is 200, then that's 10 PI people. Half of that is 5, so you really have to be in the top 105 students or 52.5%.

Some people assume that PI/gov't are easier to get from T14 schools and thus the dedicated PI/gov't people are less likely to care about grades in their first year. In my experience (T6) this isn't the case. The dedicated PI/gov't crowd has a fair amount of representation among Law Review members and people with good grades. There's a hierarchy in PI/gov't hiring too, after all.

Now how many people are "dedicated PI/gov't" (meaning they came to law school to do this work and are not OCI refugees who couldn't get biglaw- maybe because of lower grades)? That's hard to tell now, but you can use as a proxy the numbers from before the crash (so 2009).

I'll second that this exercise is of highly dubious value. At my school, it is better to be around the bottom third with a few years of relevant work experience than to be median and K-JD.

A better question might be: what grades from a T14 absolutely bar me from biglaw during OCI no matter my resume (assuming you're not Rhodes Scholar/cured cancer/hedge fund manager) or interviewing skills?
Last edited by timbs4339 on Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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hung jury
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Re: Help me understand employment data

Postby hung jury » Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:51 pm

timbs4339 wrote:
admisionquestion wrote:Banjo: your post is what I was looking for. Now my question is can people help me determine if clerkship and nlj250 is enough to consider--- should one include academia or any other catagory?




I'll second that this exercise is of highly dubious value. At my school, it is better to be around the bottom third with a few years of relevant work experience than to be median and K-JD.

A better question might be: what grades from a T14 absolutely bar me from biglaw during OCI no matter my resume (assuming you're not Rhodes Scholar/cured cancer/hedge fund manager) or interviewing skills.


All this is credited.

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Campagnolo
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Re: Help me understand employment data

Postby Campagnolo » Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:57 pm

Can I ask what relevant work experience is? I hear that phrase around here a lot. Is it relevance to the client? To the firm? I'm out of undergrad 3 years, but did AmeriCorps, then bounced for a while before finding work in a law firm as an admin/legal assistant. I can't imagine this being relevant to anyone. I mean, how many people with big-shot experience (especially in this economy) end up wanting to be a lawyer?

timbs4339
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Re: Help me understand employment data

Postby timbs4339 » Fri Feb 10, 2012 4:03 pm

Campagnolo wrote:Can I ask what relevant work experience is? I hear that phrase around here a lot. Is it relevance to the client? To the firm? I'm out of undergrad 3 years, but did AmeriCorps, then bounced for a while before finding work in a law firm as an admin/legal assistant. I can't imagine this being relevant to anyone. I mean, how many people with big-shot experience (especially in this economy) end up wanting to be a lawyer?


Finance or banking experience is considered relevant and IMO gives the biggest bump. Consulting too. Paralegal at a biglaw firm might give you a bump. I've heard TFA also helps.

It's really helpful to have even a few years of "irrelevant" work experience- it shows you are a bit more mature, gives you something more to discuss that just your 1L summer job, and that you have worked in a professional environment.

Throw in having a technical, science, or engineering degree. Folks with tech degrees get the biggest bump of all. I don't know whether tech work experience makes you more competitive in the IP hiring market over K-JDs with tech degrees.

EDIT: Also forgot working in a foreign country/some job that requires fluency in a second language.

ahnhub
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Re: Help me understand employment data

Postby ahnhub » Fri Feb 10, 2012 4:17 pm

Recent article with information on recent summer associate classes at different schools: http://newsandinsight.thomsonreuters.co ... ut_slowly/

The percentage doing summer SA's should give a somewhat reasonable approximation of who got Biglaw, with caveats:

Some people at every school will opt out of OCI and don't want Biglaw. That number is probably just a handful at Chicago; it may be, I don't know, 5-10% of the class at NYU, Berkeley or Michigan?

So, 77% of UChicago c/o 2012 did a summer SA, and you assume 95% tried to get Biglaw, then 81% who wanted Biglaw got it.
70% of NYU did a summer SA, assume 90% tried to get Biglaw, then 78% who wanted Biglaw got it.

Very crude, but it's a basic way to think through the numbers.

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Campagnolo
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Re: Help me understand employment data

Postby Campagnolo » Fri Feb 10, 2012 5:19 pm

I think the real answer here is not to screw up 1L. If you do, drop out after OCI. That's my plan. It's as "safe" as you can get. Realistically, there is risk in any endeavor, and the margin for error between being top 55% at NYU versus top 60% at Chicago (or whatever), but the risk that you'll flame out in a ball of glory will always be there.

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Nelson
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Re: Help me understand employment data

Postby Nelson » Fri Feb 10, 2012 5:24 pm

Campagnolo wrote:I think the real answer here is not to screw up 1L. If you do, drop out after OCI. That's my plan.

I hope you're exaggerating.

Paul Campos
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Re: Help me understand employment data

Postby Paul Campos » Fri Feb 10, 2012 5:40 pm

Some things to consider, especially for people not going to T6 or T14 schools:

(1) Big law firms engage in a significant amount of affirmative action hiring. If you're not an URM, discount your odds accordingly.

(2) Big law firms engage in a significant amount of hiring driven by covert socio-economic status factors. If your father happens to be the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, or is best friends with someone who is, that's good for you. If you're a middle class kid with no connections to the world of big money, then discount your odds. Example: 35% of UCLA grads get big law (approximately). If you're a white middle class kid your odds are, ex ante, probably more like 20%.

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hung jury
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Re: Help me understand employment data

Postby hung jury » Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:23 pm

Paul Campos wrote:Some things to consider, especially for people not going to T6 or T14 schools:

(1) Big law firms engage in a significant amount of affirmative action hiring. If you're not an URM, discount your odds accordingly.

(2) Big law firms engage in a significant amount of hiring driven by covert socio-economic status factors. If your father happens to be the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, or is best friends with someone who is, that's good for you. If you're a middle class kid with no connections to the world of big money, then discount your odds. Example: 35% of UCLA grads get big law (approximately). If you're a white middle class kid your odds are, ex ante, probably more like 20%.


Definitely agree with this, and it really underscores how difficult it is to get biglaw outside of the top handful of schools. You can probably add (3): Big law firms will go deeper in the rankings for IP attorneys/students with technical backgrounds that are applicable to specific areas of need.

Once you add up all three, this takes up a very large percentage of the students getting biglaw out of schools ranked lower than 10-15. If you don't possess 1-3, and you're going to a school that doesn't place a very significant percentage of its class in AIII clerkships or biglaw, your chances at biglaw are much smaller than they might appear to be based upon the raw percentages.

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Campagnolo
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Re: Help me understand employment data

Postby Campagnolo » Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:07 pm

I love happy threads.

ahnhub
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Re: Help me understand employment data

Postby ahnhub » Sun Feb 12, 2012 9:38 pm

Paul Campos wrote:Some things to consider, especially for people not going to T6 or T14 schools:

(1) Big law firms engage in a significant amount of affirmative action hiring. If you're not an URM, discount your odds accordingly.

(2) Big law firms engage in a significant amount of hiring driven by covert socio-economic status factors. If your father happens to be the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, or is best friends with someone who is, that's good for you. If you're a middle class kid with no connections to the world of big money, then discount your odds. Example: 35% of UCLA grads get big law (approximately). If you're a white middle class kid your odds are, ex ante, probably more like 20%.


Uh, so you're saying 44% of those who get Biglaw at UCLA are URMs or have a Fortune 500 CEO willing to give whoever hires them some business as a personal favor. No.




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