NLJ250, Biglaw and Berkeley

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jim-green
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NLJ250, Biglaw and Berkeley

Postby jim-green » Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:45 am

I am in at Berkeley, and WL at Chicago and NYU. Wondering if I should just go to Berkeley instead of trying to kill myself getting off the WL at Chicago or NYU by say, retaking the LSAT in June.

Background: I am a biomedical engineer with a PhD, 6 years of work experience in a biotech company, including 3 patents. My wife studied computer science, just got out of grad school and she tells me her job prospects are good in the Bay Area, NY or DC. She doesn't know much about how good her job scene would be in Chicago. We have a kid as well. So if I do go to Chicago or NYU, I would not be able to uproot them for a summer position or final 3L permanent job in the Bay Area. That is, I'll probably have to find a job in the same city where I go to law school.

A few questions.

1. What is the NLJ250? The website says it is 'The National Law Journal's annual survey of the nation’s largest law firms,' however is this Biglaw? One of the firms listed there is Jones Day, which offers $145K salary. However, Biglaw is supposed to offer $160K, so maybe all the firms in NLJ250 are not Biglaw or what I should aim for.

2. I ask this because a poster on TLS told me that instead of US news ranking, I should look at the NLJ250 go-to-schools ranking. On this ranking, Penn is #1 and Harvard is #4 (I guess because Harvard students do more clerkships). However, this ranking must be for more than Biglaw firms, because it says 45% of Berkeley grads got into NLJ250 firms. However, the Berkeley website says only 30% of Berkeley grads got into firms of >500 lawyers. So, the NLJ250 must be medium firms as well, right?

3. Is there a smaller list like NLJ20 that I should aim for? E.g., As a biomedical engineer, I would work for only the top 10 companies (Amgen, Gilead, etc.)
So perhaps I should see what is Berkeley's rank on this smaller NLJ20 list.

4. I'm beginning to doubt the advice I am getting from some folks who say to go to Berkeley because of the IP law jobs in the Bay Area. There are 5000 NLJ250 lawyers in the Bay Area, but 21000 NLJ250 lawyers in New York, so surely there must be more IP law jobs in New York as well. DC has 13000 NLJ250 lawyers, so surely it must have more IP law jobs than the Bay Area as well, right?

Thanks,
Jim
Last edited by jim-green on Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Veyron
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Re: NLJ250, Biglaw and Berkeley

Postby Veyron » Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:51 am

jim-green wrote:I am in at Berkeley, and WL at Chicago and NYU. Wondering if I should just go to Berkeley instead of trying to kill myself getting off the WL at Chicago or NYU by say, retaking the LSAT in June. A few questions.

1. What is the NLJ250? The website says it is 'The National Law Journal's annual survey of the nation’s largest law firms,' however is this Biglaw? One of the firms listed there is Jones Day, which offers $145K salary. However, Biglaw is supposed to offer $160K, so maybe all the firms in NLJ250 are not Biglaw or what I should aim for.

2. I ask this because a poster on TLS told me that instead of US news ranking, I should look at the NLJ250 go-to-schools ranking. On this ranking, Penn is #1 and Harvard is #4 (I guess because Harvard students do more clerkships). However, this ranking must be for more than Biglaw firms, because it says 45% of Berkeley grads got into NLJ250 firms. However, the Berkeley website says only 30% of Berkeley grads got into firms of >500 lawyers. So, the NLJ250 must be medium firms as well, right?

3. Is there a smaller list like NLJ20 that I should aim for? E.g., I am an Electrical Engineer, and I would work for only the top 10 companies (Intel, Apple, etc.,) Then maybe I should see what is Berkeley's rank on this smaller NLJ20 list.

4. I'm beginning to doubt the advice I am getting from some folks who say to go to Berkeley because of the IP jobs in the Bay Area. There are 5000 NLJ250 lawyers in the Bay Area, but 21000 NLJ250 lawyers in New York, so surely there must be more IP jobs in New York as well. DC has 13000 NLJ250 lawyers, so surely it must have more IP jobs than the Bay Area as well, right?

Thanks,
Jim


The Vault 100 is what you seek (although a small number of those firms pay under 160). The NLJ 250 does, as you seem to have guessed, include firms that would be considered "midlaw."

If I were you and I was set on BIGLAW, I'd try really hard to get into one of the other two schools. Berkeley has been doing pretty bad in that department lately because of the weakness of the CA market and the lack of a real grading system. That being said, the IP angle is going to give you a real leg up. The leading IP market is actually DC.

jim-green
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Re: NLJ250, Biglaw and Berkeley

Postby jim-green » Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:56 am

Thanks, and I meant 'as an EE' in my original post, not 'I am an EE.' (I am actually a biomedical engineer, minor electives in EE.) I edited my post above after reading your quote. I also added some background. My reason for Biglaw is just that it is not worth giving up my present job for less.
Veyron wrote:
jim-green wrote:3. Is there a smaller list like NLJ20 that I should aim for? E.g., I am an Electrical Engineer, and I would work for only the top 10 companies (Intel, Apple, etc.,) Then maybe I should see what is Berkeley's rank on this smaller NLJ20 list.
The Vault 100 is what you seek (although a small number of those firms pay under 160). The NLJ 250 does, as you seem to have guessed, include firms that would be considered "midlaw."

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BruceWayne
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Re: NLJ250, Biglaw and Berkeley

Postby BruceWayne » Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:10 am

People need to look at their individual circumstances when they read these charts and think about career options. A bio engineer with a PHD and 6 years of WE in biotech (including 3 patents) should choose Boalt over Chicago and NYU even if he HAS been accepted to the latter 2---in the case of a waitlist it's not even worth questioning. The OP will CLEAN UP with his resume and a JD from Boalt (the second best IP school in the nation) in regards to IP jobs. And I don't just mean in the California market either. There's really no point in going to NYU or Chicago for you. Honestly, unless you get into HYS (especially Stanford) you should go to Boalt.

ahnhub
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Re: NLJ250, Biglaw and Berkeley

Postby ahnhub » Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:17 am

jim-green wrote:I am in at Berkeley, and WL at Chicago and NYU. Wondering if I should just go to Berkeley instead of trying to kill myself getting off the WL at Chicago or NYU by say, retaking the LSAT in June.

Background: I am a biomedical engineer with a PhD, 6 years of work experience in a biotech company, including 3 patents. My wife studied computer science, just got out of grad school and she tells me her job prospects are good in the Bay Area, NY or DC. She doesn't know much about how good her job scene would be in Chicago. We have a kid as well. So if I do go to Chicago or NYU, I would not be able to uproot them for a summer position or final 3L permanent job in the Bay Area. That is, I'll probably have to find a job in the same city where I go to law school.

A few questions.

1. What is the NLJ250? The website says it is 'The National Law Journal's annual survey of the nation’s largest law firms,' however is this Biglaw? One of the firms listed there is Jones Day, which offers $145K salary. However, Biglaw is supposed to offer $160K, so maybe all the firms in NLJ250 are not Biglaw or what I should aim for.

2. I ask this because a poster on TLS told me that instead of US news ranking, I should look at the NLJ250 go-to-schools ranking. On this ranking, Penn is #1 and Harvard is #4 (I guess because Harvard students do more clerkships). However, this ranking must be for more than Biglaw firms, because it says 45% of Berkeley grads got into NLJ250 firms. However, the Berkeley website says only 30% of Berkeley grads got into firms of >500 lawyers. So, the NLJ250 must be medium firms as well, right?



Are you looking at this page for that number?: --LinkRemoved--
Those are statistics for Class of 2010. The NLJ 250 survey you're looking at is for Class of 2011. And it looks like 45% were in firms of >500 lawyers for Class of 2010, which means 2010 and 2011 turned out similarly.
Last edited by ahnhub on Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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lovejopd
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Re: NLJ250, Biglaw and Berkeley

Postby lovejopd » Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:24 am

Veyron wrote:
jim-green wrote:I am in at Berkeley, and WL at Chicago and NYU. Wondering if I should just go to Berkeley instead of trying to kill myself getting off the WL at Chicago or NYU by say, retaking the LSAT in June. A few questions.

1. What is the NLJ250? The website says it is 'The National Law Journal's annual survey of the nation’s largest law firms,' however is this Biglaw? One of the firms listed there is Jones Day, which offers $145K salary. However, Biglaw is supposed to offer $160K, so maybe all the firms in NLJ250 are not Biglaw or what I should aim for.

2. I ask this because a poster on TLS told me that instead of US news ranking, I should look at the NLJ250 go-to-schools ranking. On this ranking, Penn is #1 and Harvard is #4 (I guess because Harvard students do more clerkships). However, this ranking must be for more than Biglaw firms, because it says 45% of Berkeley grads got into NLJ250 firms. However, the Berkeley website says only 30% of Berkeley grads got into firms of >500 lawyers. So, the NLJ250 must be medium firms as well, right?

3. Is there a smaller list like NLJ20 that I should aim for? E.g., I am an Electrical Engineer, and I would work for only the top 10 companies (Intel, Apple, etc.,) Then maybe I should see what is Berkeley's rank on this smaller NLJ20 list.

4. I'm beginning to doubt the advice I am getting from some folks who say to go to Berkeley because of the IP jobs in the Bay Area. There are 5000 NLJ250 lawyers in the Bay Area, but 21000 NLJ250 lawyers in New York, so surely there must be more IP jobs in New York as well. DC has 13000 NLJ250 lawyers, so surely it must have more IP jobs than the Bay Area as well, right?

Thanks,
Jim


The Vault 100 is what you seek (although a small number of those firms pay under 160). The NLJ 250 does, as you seem to have guessed, include firms that would be considered "midlaw."

If I were you and I was set on BIGLAW, I'd try really hard to get into one of the other two schools. Berkeley has been doing pretty bad in that department lately because of the weakness of the CA market and the lack of a real grading system. That being said, the IP angle is going to give you a real leg up. The leading IP market is actually DC.


Hey, what do you mean by Berkeley lacking a real grade system?.... :shock: Can you clarify on this?~~~~

ahnhub
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Re: NLJ250, Biglaw and Berkeley

Postby ahnhub » Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:28 am

lovejopd wrote: Hey, what do you mean by Berkeley lacking a real grade system?.... :shock: Can you clarify on this?~~~~


They grade on an Honors/Pass system:

10% High Honors
30% Honors
Everybody else- Pass (with discretionary Substandard Passes thrown in)

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beachbum
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Re: NLJ250, Biglaw and Berkeley

Postby beachbum » Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:33 am

BruceWayne wrote:People need to look at their individual circumstances when they read these charts and think about career options. A bio engineer with a PHD and 6 years of WE in biotech (including 3 patents) should choose Boalt over Chicago and NYU even if he HAS been accepted to the latter 2---in the case of a waitlist it's not even worth questioning. The OP will CLEAN UP with his resume and a JD from Boalt (the second best IP school in the nation) in regards to IP jobs. And I don't just mean in the California market either. There's really no point in going to NYU or Chicago for you. Honestly, unless you get into HYS (especially Stanford) you should go to Boalt.


+1. And really, if the choice is between HYS or substantial money at Berkeley/almost any T14, I'd go with the latter. OP's IP credentials paired with a T14 degree are going to destroy at OCI, and the extra debt for HYS (or CCN) probably isn't worth it.

jim-green
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Re: NLJ250, Biglaw and Berkeley

Postby jim-green » Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:34 am

ahnhub wrote:They grade on an Honors/Pass system:
10% High Honors
30% Honors
Everybody else- Pass (with discretionary Substandard Passes thrown in)
Isn't this what HYS do as well. So HH=A, H=B, and P=C or so, right? Then firms can use that kind of a scale to calculate GPA, right? Or maybe HH=A, H=A-, and P=B+, etc.

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Re: NLJ250, Biglaw and Berkeley

Postby jim-green » Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:36 am

beachbum wrote:+1. And really, if the choice is between HYS or substantial money at Berkeley/almost any T14, I'd go with the latter. OP's IP credentials paired with a T14 degree are going to destroy at OCI, and the extra debt for HYS (or CCN) probably isn't worth it.
Thanks, this is really helpful! However, my LSAT and GPA are not enough to get me $$ at Berkeley or anywhere in the T14. Also, my savings are too much for need-based aid. So, I'm thinking in terms of just going to the best ranked school, irrespective of money.

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Re: NLJ250, Biglaw and Berkeley

Postby r6_philly » Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:40 am

BruceWayne wrote:People need to look at their individual circumstances when they read these charts and think about career options. A bio engineer with a PHD and 6 years of WE in biotech (including 3 patents) should choose Boalt over Chicago and NYU even if he HAS been accepted to the latter 2---in the case of a waitlist it's not even worth questioning. The OP will CLEAN UP with his resume and a JD from Boalt (the second best IP school in the nation) in regards to IP jobs. And I don't just mean in the California market either. There's really no point in going to NYU or Chicago for you. Honestly, unless you get into HYS (especially Stanford) you should go to Boalt.


I am not convinced that school's IP program does anything for you if you have such a strong resume as long as you are in the range. Especially when you go to OCI before being allowed to take advantage of any IP program any school has to offer.

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yeast master
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Re: NLJ250, Biglaw and Berkeley

Postby yeast master » Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:42 am

OP,
You'll be just fine at Boalt. Even at my school, which is ranked in the 40s, bio PhDs are getting a lot of good offers. And the bay area and Silicon Valley have plenty of biotech IP jobs that pay 160k.

jim-green
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Re: NLJ250, Biglaw and Berkeley

Postby jim-green » Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:45 am

Thanks, I have been following your comments on TLS for a while. When do you graduate from Penn? I am WL at Penn as well.
I agree with you, because that is what I heard in other places on TLS as well - a school's IP rank does not matter, only US news rank does. The US news rank = reputation = jobs.
r6_philly wrote:I am not convinced that school's IP program does anything for you if you have such a strong resume as long as you are in the range. Especially when you go to OCI before being allowed to take advantage of any IP program any school has to offer.

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Re: NLJ250, Biglaw and Berkeley

Postby r6_philly » Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:53 am

jim-green wrote:Thanks, I have been following your comments on TLS for a while. When do you graduate from Penn? I am WL at Penn as well.
I agree with you, because that is what I heard in other places on TLS as well - a school's IP rank does not matter, only US news rank does. The US news rank = reputation = jobs.
r6_philly wrote:I am not convinced that school's IP program does anything for you if you have such a strong resume as long as you are in the range. Especially when you go to OCI before being allowed to take advantage of any IP program any school has to offer.


2014. Can't wait!

I chose Penn over Berkeley for financial reasons, and no one on my 1L SA interviews had any issue about where I chose to go to school. It is all about my WE and UG grades.

Best of luck at Penn, pm me if you have questions.

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Re: NLJ250, Biglaw and Berkeley

Postby BruceWayne » Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:54 am

jim-green wrote:Thanks, I have been following your comments on TLS for a while. When do you graduate from Penn? I am WL at Penn as well.
I agree with you, because that is what I heard in other places on TLS as well - a school's IP rank does not matter, only US news rank does. The US news rank = reputation = jobs.
r6_philly wrote:I am not convinced that school's IP program does anything for you if you have such a strong resume as long as you are in the range. Especially when you go to OCI before being allowed to take advantage of any IP program any school has to offer.


There's some truth to what he's saying. But that applies more when you're talking about schools with huge overall reputation differences. Chicago and NYU don't have a significant difference in overall reputation vs. Boalt unless you're talking about each school's home market. And Boalt is such a power house in regards to IP that, unless he's focused on the Chicago or NYC markets (and honestly in the case of the latter market even then I would lean Boalt for IP in his situation) it just makes more sense. Boalt's IP faculty and coursework are incredible, and IP firms all know Boalt. When you're talking about schools with basically equivalent reputations something like this has a lot more meaning--it becomes a good tie breaker. I mean honestly other than the obsession with these rankings, what exactly is the argument for him going to Chicago or NYU again (especially considering that he hasn't even been accepted to either school)?

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Re: NLJ250, Biglaw and Berkeley

Postby r6_philly » Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:58 am

BruceWayne wrote:There's some truth to what he's saying. But that applies more when you're talking about schools with huge overall reputation differences. Chicago and NYU don't have a significant difference in overall reputation vs. Boalt unless you're talking about each school's home market. And Boalt is such a power house in regards to IP that, unless he's focused on the Chicago or NYC markets (and honestly in the case of the latter market even then I would lean Boalt for IP in his situation) it just makes more sense. Boalt's IP faculty and coursework are incredible, and IP firms all know Boalt. I mean honestly other than the obsession with these rankings, what exactly is the argument for him going to Chicago or NYU again (especially considering that he hasn't even been accepted to either school)?


Anecdote, but I had no problem getting IP firms' attention from Penn. I am actually going to be a SA at a powerhouse firm. MVPB are peer schools, just go with what make sense generally.

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BruceWayne
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Re: NLJ250, Biglaw and Berkeley

Postby BruceWayne » Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:02 pm

r6_philly wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:There's some truth to what he's saying. But that applies more when you're talking about schools with huge overall reputation differences. Chicago and NYU don't have a significant difference in overall reputation vs. Boalt unless you're talking about each school's home market. And Boalt is such a power house in regards to IP that, unless he's focused on the Chicago or NYC markets (and honestly in the case of the latter market even then I would lean Boalt for IP in his situation) it just makes more sense. Boalt's IP faculty and coursework are incredible, and IP firms all know Boalt. I mean honestly other than the obsession with these rankings, what exactly is the argument for him going to Chicago or NYU again (especially considering that he hasn't even been accepted to either school)?


Anecdote, but I had no problem getting IP firms' attention from Penn. I am actually going to be a SA at a powerhouse firm. MVPB are peer schools, just go with what make sense generally.


You realize what you're saying strengthens my point right? At worst it won't matter if he chooses Boalt over the other 2; at best he has a school that is known for being very strong in IP. And to be honest with you the top 14 outside of HYS are basically peers that vary in strength based on region.

jim-green
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Re: NLJ250, Biglaw and Berkeley

Postby jim-green » Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:06 pm

Thanks man, this is helpful. My questions stem from the responsibility of having to support my wife and kids. If it was just me, I wouldn't care so much. Hence, I am trying to be as careful as possible and not just 'go to Boalt because it is a good school' but go to the best school possible 'for my situation' so as to minimize any financial risk from giving up my present job.
yeast master wrote:OP,
You'll be just fine at Boalt. Even at my school, which is ranked in the 40s, bio PhDs are getting a lot of good offers. And the bay area and Silicon Valley have plenty of biotech IP jobs that pay 160k.

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skers
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Re: NLJ250, Biglaw and Berkeley

Postby skers » Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:12 pm

You are in an excellent position OP. As r6 is saying, I think your skill set is solid wherever you go. If you get $$ elsewhere in the t13 I'd at least consider it as you will likely clean up at OCI wherever you go.

vacate123
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Re: NLJ250, Biglaw and Berkeley

Postby vacate123 » Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:15 pm

.
Last edited by vacate123 on Sat Mar 31, 2012 5:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jim-green
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Re: NLJ250, Biglaw and Berkeley

Postby jim-green » Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:27 pm

Thanks, exactly, this is a big reason I am debating whether to go to law school at all, what school to go to, and what firms to target. I'm too old to make a major mistake financially and then start over again. I know patent prosection is less prestigious than litigation, but is it less paid as well, and are there fewer prosecution jobs than lit jobs?

I don't know much about lit, because all my experience is in research and prosecution (helping outside counsel write up patents). Hence, I am not sure I will like lit or be good at it.
vacate123 wrote:how old r u? u interested in lit? u said phd+6 years. Are you like 35? i have a friend who started law school at a t14 at the old ass age of 38, and he was top 15%. he struck out OCI despite having an engineering phd. might wanna look into patent prosecution, in which case you should just go to whatever law school you can get into with full scholly

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skers
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Re: NLJ250, Biglaw and Berkeley

Postby skers » Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:32 pm

Do you have a good job right now that allows you to pay the needs of your family? If so, personally I would probably not go to law school (absent $$ in the t13)

vacate123
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Re: NLJ250, Biglaw and Berkeley

Postby vacate123 » Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:33 pm

DUDE!!
If you wanna do prosecution, it does.not.matter where you go to law school.
nobody gives a s$it

take a full scholarship at Peoples College of Law. NOBODY CARES in the prosecution world.

You'll make 6 figures, steady lifestyle.

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Rotor
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Re: NLJ250, Biglaw and Berkeley

Postby Rotor » Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:34 pm

vacate123 wrote:how old r u? u interested in lit?
u said phd+6 years. Are you like 35?
i have a friend who started law school at a t14 at the old ass age of 38, and he was top 15%. he struck out OCI despite having an engineering phd.

might wanna look into patent prosecution, in which case you should just go to whatever law school you can get into with full scholly
Beware of anecdotal information. I went through OCI at the age of 44, was around median and had multiple offers despite having a liberal arts degree and no PhD. (Totally outing myself, but I think most Boalties know who I am anyway).

To those who say Berkeley's Biglaw hiring has been horrible, that just is not a true statement-- at least relative to what's gone on in the industry as a whole. The reputation got started with class of 2011's OCIP when word spread they got slaughtered, but based on the NLJ250 list, it looks like that "slaughter" was in line with what most of the T14 when through-- Penn's outstanding performance notwithstanding. For at least three years, we have been in the top 10 of the NLJ250 (and yes, I know the two are not synonymous but it is a good proxy; as for the other years, I just don't have the data). There have been some people who have been shut out, but those I know who were tended to focus exclusively on Bay Area firms. Those willing to go elsewhere tended to do very well, including the "impossible" DC market.

Finally, I don't know where you heard Jones Day only pays 145. They pay 160. After the first year, though it's confidential compensation not lock-step like the others. Could be good for some, bad for others. But because the lock-step rates are so well advertised, I can't imagine they pay significantly below market even on the confidential program because they would have people running for the doors.

Edit: Just took a look at nalpdirectory.com. It looks like some of the offices in lower COL cities (I looked at Pittsburgh) do pay 145. But in the major markets, NYC, DC, SF, etc. (even Texas, a notorious low COL area) they pay 160.
Last edited by Rotor on Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jim-green
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Re: NLJ250, Biglaw and Berkeley

Postby jim-green » Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:38 pm

TemporarySaint wrote:Do you have a good job right now that allows you to pay the needs of your family? If so, personally I would probably not go to law school (absent $$ in the t13)
Thanks, yes exactly, this is a big reason I am debating whether to go to law school at all. The tuition is not an issue. The opportunity cost is. And if my wife strikes out getting a good job, we'll be sunk.




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