The Accuracy of the T6's Self-Reported Big Law Employment #s

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skers
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Re: The Accuracy of the T6's Self-Reported Big Law Employment #s

Postby skers » Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:33 am

I think the bigger problem comes in the OCS staff at Columbia refusing to offer an explanation. They're not making excusing like deferred start dates, or misreported data from students, or clerkships (which BTW are already accounted for elsewhere in NYU and Columbia data--also all schools would show this discrepancy if this were the cause). I don't think it's unreasonable to think this was a problem from large class size in a worse economy.

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Re: The Accuracy of the T6's Self-Reported Big Law Employment #s

Postby ThomasMN » Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:35 am

TemporarySaint wrote:I think the bigger problem comes in the OCS staff at Columbia refusing to offer an explanation. They're not making excusing like deferred start dates, or misreported data from students, or clerkships (which BTW are already accounted for elsewhere in NYU and Columbia data--also all schools would show this discrepancy if this were the cause). I don't think it's unreasonable to think this was a problem from large class size in a worse economy.


What I am wondering is where the discrepancy in CLS's numbers are? Heck, I'm not even a fan of either NY T6, but it looks to me that Columbia's numbers are basically on the ball and it's NYU that might be off.

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Re: The Accuracy of the T6's Self-Reported Big Law Employment #s

Postby run26.2 » Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:40 am

ThomasMN wrote:
TemporarySaint wrote:I think the bigger problem comes in the OCS staff at Columbia refusing to offer an explanation. They're not making excusing like deferred start dates, or misreported data from students, or clerkships (which BTW are already accounted for elsewhere in NYU and Columbia data--also all schools would show this discrepancy if this were the cause). I don't think it's unreasonable to think this was a problem from large class size in a worse economy.


What I am wondering is where the discrepancy in CLS's numbers are? Heck, I'm not even a fan of either NY T6, but it looks to me that Columbia's numbers are basically on the ball and it's NYU that might be off.

Add up the percentages for firms that are 250+ lawyers. That gets you to a total of 68.7%. Then multiply that by 403 graduates (bar admission required). That yields about 277 people. But the NLJ250 number is 239, a difference of 38 people.
Last edited by run26.2 on Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Accuracy of the T6's Self-Reported Big Law Employment #s

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:41 am

ThomasMN wrote:I just ran the numbers, albeit in my head and somewhat rounded, but I don't see there being that much of a difference if any between the NLJ 250 numbers and what CLS reported. Their website puts out that of 430 students 76.1% were employed in law firms(327). Of those 327, 71.8% were in firms with 100+ lawyers - admittedly, some of those firms might not be NLJ250 - which gives us about 235 students they are claiming in NLJ250ish firms. NLJ250 numbers from LST say that they had 239 students out of 433 in the NLJ250. Where is the conspiracy?

For the class of 2010, CLS reports that 61.2% of employed graduates got jobs in firms with 501+ lawyers, and 7.5% got jobs with firms that have 251-500 lawyers. These firms are all in the NLJ 250.

61.2 + 7.5 = 68.7%. 68.7% of 415 (the number of employed grads) = 285 jobs that are definitely in the NLJ 250.

285 - 239 (the number reported by the NLJ) = 46. That's the number of missing jobs.

ETA: I posted this at the same time as run. Our numbers are different because he uses the number of graduates in bar admission required jobs for his calculation and I use the total number employed. Either way, there is a problem.
Last edited by AntipodeanPhil on Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Accuracy of the T6's Self-Reported Big Law Employment #s

Postby run26.2 » Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:42 am

AntipodeanPhil wrote:
ThomasMN wrote:I just ran the numbers, albeit in my head and somewhat rounded, but I don't see there being that much of a difference if any between the NLJ 250 numbers and what CLS reported. Their website puts out that of 430 students 76.1% were employed in law firms(327). Of those 327, 71.8% were in firms with 100+ lawyers - admittedly, some of those firms might not be NLJ250 - which gives us about 235 students they are claiming in NLJ250ish firms. NLJ250 numbers from LST say that they had 239 students out of 433 in the NLJ250. Where is the conspiracy?

For the class of 2010, CLS reports that 61.2% of employed graduates got jobs in firms with 501+ lawyers, and 7.5% got jobs with firms that have 251-500 lawyers. These firms are all in the NLJ 250.

61.2 + 7.5 = 68.7%. 68.7% of 415 (the number of employed grads) = 285 jobs that are definitely in the NLJ 250.

285 - 239 (the number reported by the NLJ) = 46. That's the number of missing jobs.

I would guess it is the bar admission required for an NLJ job.

ETA: I reread the chart. I think you're right.
Last edited by run26.2 on Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Accuracy of the T6's Self-Reported Big Law Employment #s

Postby jk2011 » Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:43 am

ThomasMN wrote:I just ran the numbers, albeit in my head and somewhat rounded, but I don't see there being that much of a difference if any between the NLJ 250 numbers and what CLS reported. Their website puts out that of 430 students 76.1% were employed in law firms(327). Of those 327, 71.8% were in firms with 100+ lawyers - admittedly, some of those firms might not be NLJ250 - which gives us about 235 students they are claiming in NLJ250ish firms. NLJ250 numbers from LST say that they had 239 students out of 433 in the NLJ250. Where is the conspiracy?


Stopped reading there.

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Re: The Accuracy of the T6's Self-Reported Big Law Employment #s

Postby JusticeHarlan » Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:44 am

AntipodeanPhil wrote:
JusticeHarlan wrote:I think it's likely the schools themselves have different definitions of "employed" with respect to deferred associates who haven't actually started work yet. Some with over-inflated numbers like CLS/NYU may count them (because they do have a job offer) and some schools like Yale or Chicago with more accurate numbers don't (because they don't actually have a job). Makes some sense to me, though obviously it's just a guess.

So, your idea is:

1. CLS and NYU list somone as employed in big law if he or she starts immediately OR has a deferred offer.
2. Chicago and Yale only list someone as employed in big law if he or she starts immediately.
3. The NLJ data only includes people who started immediately.

Here's the problem: how are the Chicago and Yale students who have deferred offers listed by Chicago and Yale, in their employment data? Your idea precludes them from being listed as employed in big law - the job type they actually secured. But they can't be listing them as unemployed, because Chicago and Yale have almost no unemployment.

That's a fair question. I'll take a look at the specific data and see if my hypothesis holds up or not. To clarify, we're looking at class of 2010, right?

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Re: The Accuracy of the T6's Self-Reported Big Law Employment #s

Postby ThomasMN » Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:44 am

Legit, I was reading the CLS chart in the same manner that I was reading the NYU chart: my bad.

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Re: The Accuracy of the T6's Self-Reported Big Law Employment #s

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:55 am

ThomasMN wrote:Legit, I was reading the CLS chart in the same manner that I was reading the NYU chart: my bad.

Yeah, different t14 schools do the percentages differently, and some use absolute numbers. Trying to compare them on equal terms is a big mess and basically involves doing a lot of your own math.

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Re: The Accuracy of the T6's Self-Reported Big Law Employment #s

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:58 am

JusticeHarlan wrote:To clarify, we're looking at class of 2010, right?

Indeed. That's the only year CLS provides the firm-size breakdown of their employment data.

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Re: The Accuracy of the T6's Self-Reported Big Law Employment #s

Postby run26.2 » Wed Mar 14, 2012 1:17 am

The discrepancy could be explained if the NLJ is reporting the number of associates at the firms on a date prior to 9 months out and people at NYU and Columbia found jobs after that reporting period. It does seem odd that so many would find work at the biggest firms though.

Or maybe these schools have some deal worked out with a couple of firms in NYC for temp employment?

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Re: The Accuracy of the T6's Self-Reported Big Law Employment #s

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Wed Mar 14, 2012 1:26 am

run26.2 wrote:The discrepancy could be explained if the NLJ is reporting the number of associates at the firms on a date prior to 9 months out and people at NYU and Columbia found jobs after that reporting period. It does seem odd that so many would find work at the biggest firms though.

Or maybe these schools have some deal worked out with a couple of firms in NYC for temp employment?

NLJ 250 firms hire almost all their new associates through 2L OCI, and the remaining few through 3L OCI. There is no way that 1/5th of those hired by the NLJ 250 - or even 1/10th, for that matter - could have found their jobs after graduation.

And if 100 students at CLS and NYU were getting hired for temporary employment by NLJ 250 firms as part of some special scheme, wouldn't we have heard about it? A scheme that large would be hard to conceal, and there is an enormous amount of data about t14 hiring reported on this site.

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Re: The Accuracy of the T6's Self-Reported Big Law Employment #s

Postby splitsplat » Wed Mar 14, 2012 1:46 am

Seems like you already know the answer Phil, do you just want someone else to come out and say it?

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Re: The Accuracy of the T6's Self-Reported Big Law Employment #s

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Wed Mar 14, 2012 1:59 am

splitsplat wrote:Seems like you already know the answer Phil, do you just want someone else to come out and say it?

I honestly have no idea. It seems seriously unlikely that both schools would knowingly misrepresent their data. An obvious explanation would be some kind of error or misunderstanding in collating the numbers or calculating the percentages, but it seems weird to think CLS and NYU would both make mistakes. Another explanation could be that a number of different factors each partially account for the discrepancy, but then why is there no discrepancy at all at other schools? The more factors one posits, the less likely it is that none of them apply to the others. If there was something else obvious to explain the discrepancy, Paul Campos would have thought of it.

What's tricky about this is that any explanation has to both: (a) explain the discrepancy; and (b) not apply to Chicago and Yale.

It's also odd and worrying that CLS wouldn't comment when the New York Post asked about this.

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Re: The Accuracy of the T6's Self-Reported Big Law Employment #s

Postby birdlaw117 » Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:05 am

NLJ250 =/= firms with over 250 attorneys.

So, unless we assume that zero Yale students, zero Chicago students, only 1 Duke student, only 2 Michigan students, etc. ended up working at NLJ250 firms with fewer than 250 attorneys there is something wrong with the methodology. I don't know what that flaw is (and frankly, I don't give a fuck), but take your pick on which one of these things you believe is more likely.

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Re: The Accuracy of the T6's Self-Reported Big Law Employment #s

Postby skers » Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:08 am

birdlaw117 wrote:NLJ250 =/= firms with over 250 attorneys.

So, unless we assume that zero Yale students, zero Chicago students, only 1 Duke student, only 2 Michigan students, etc. ended up working at NLJ250 firms with fewer than 250 attorneys there is something wrong with the methodology. I don't know what that flaw is (and frankly, I don't give a fuck), but take your pick on which one of these things you believe is more likely.


You're not getting what is being said. There is a difference in what is being reported by the schools for this placement and what is being reported by the NLJ250 for this placement. The 1 duke or 2 Michigan numbers are discrepancies between the two data sets.

ETA: Also, how many firms with 250 attorneys aren't in the NLJ250?

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Re: The Accuracy of the T6's Self-Reported Big Law Employment #s

Postby PMan99 » Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:14 am

AntipodeanPhil wrote:
splitsplat wrote:Seems like you already know the answer Phil, do you just want someone else to come out and say it?

I honestly have no idea. It seems seriously unlikely that both schools would knowingly misrepresent their data. An obvious explanation would be some kind of error or misunderstanding in collating the numbers or calculating the percentages, but it seems weird to think CLS and NYU would both make mistakes. Another explanation could be that a number of different factors each partially account for the discrepancy, but then why is there no discrepancy at all at other schools? The more factors one posits, the less likely it is that none of them apply to the others. If there was something else obvious to explain the discrepancy, Paul Campos would have thought of it.

What's tricky about this is that any explanation has to both: (a) explain the discrepancy; and (b) not apply to Chicago and Yale.

It's also odd and worrying that CLS wouldn't comment when the New York Post asked about this.


The discrepancy is actually bigger when you consider that almost 100 of the NLJ 250 are under 250 attorneys.

There's a possibility that the NLJ250 has a less than perfect response rate. If some big NY firms didn't get any Yale or Chicago grads and also didn't reply to the NLJ250 then this would cause big gaps at (H)CN and also explain the smaller gaps seen at the less NY-centric schools.

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Re: The Accuracy of the T6's Self-Reported Big Law Employment #s

Postby birdlaw117 » Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:17 am

TemporarySaint wrote:
birdlaw117 wrote:NLJ250 =/= firms with over 250 attorneys.

So, unless we assume that zero Yale students, zero Chicago students, only 1 Duke student, only 2 Michigan students, etc. ended up working at NLJ250 firms with fewer than 250 attorneys there is something wrong with the methodology. I don't know what that flaw is (and frankly, I don't give a fuck), but take your pick on which one of these things you believe is more likely.


You're not getting what is being said. There is a difference in what is being reported by the schools for this placement and what is being reported by the NLJ250 for this placement. The 1 duke or 2 Michigan numbers are discrepancies between the two data sets.

ETA: Also, how many firms with 250 attorneys aren't in the NLJ250?

You're not getting what I said. Campos' shit is conflating NLJ250 (250 largest US firms) with 250+ attorney firms. These are not the same thing. The weird thing is that it's actually working in an opposite direction (making the discrepancy even bigger). But that makes me think something is weird because I doubt other schools send practically zero students to NLJ250 firms with fewer than 250 attorneys. For example, do you think Wachtell hired anyone from Yale? If so, then there is something messed up (would create a negative difference).

There are firms in the NLJ250 with fewer than 250. So there would be a negative difference if ANY students worked at those based on this methodology. There seems to be a direct relationship with class size and an inverse relationship with placement power. This would be explained by more students and a higher % in the biggest firms (very rough/really shitty proxy of prestige).
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Re: The Accuracy of the T6's Self-Reported Big Law Employment #s

Postby skers » Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:25 am

birdlaw117 wrote:
TemporarySaint wrote:
birdlaw117 wrote:NLJ250 =/= firms with over 250 attorneys.

So, unless we assume that zero Yale students, zero Chicago students, only 1 Duke student, only 2 Michigan students, etc. ended up working at NLJ250 firms with fewer than 250 attorneys there is something wrong with the methodology. I don't know what that flaw is (and frankly, I don't give a fuck), but take your pick on which one of these things you believe is more likely.


You're not getting what is being said. There is a difference in what is being reported by the schools for this placement and what is being reported by the NLJ250 for this placement. The 1 duke or 2 Michigan numbers are discrepancies between the two data sets.

ETA: Also, how many firms with 250 attorneys aren't in the NLJ250?

You're not getting what I said. Campos' shit is conflating NLJ250 with 250+ attorney firms. These are not the same thing. The weird thing is that it's actually working in an opposite direction (making the discrepancy even bigger). But that makes me think something is weird because I doubt other schools send practically zero students to NLJ250 firms with fewer than 250 attorneys. For example, do you think Wachtell hired anyone from Yale? If so, then there is something messed up (would create a negative difference).

There are firms in the NLJ250 with fewer than 250. So there would be a negative difference if ANY students worked at those based on this methodology. There seems to be a direct relationship with class size and an inverse relationship with placement power. This would be explained by more students and a higher % in the biggest firms (very rough/really shitty proxy of prestige).


The data Campos is talking about was released by Columbia last week. I think people are confusing that with the data Columbia put on their website awhile ago.

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Re: The Accuracy of the T6's Self-Reported Big Law Employment #s

Postby birdlaw117 » Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:28 am

TemporarySaint wrote:The data Campos is talking about was released by Columbia last week. I think people are confusing that with the data Columbia put on their website awhile ago.

Not sure what this has to do with conflating NLJ 250 with 250+ attorney firms... but cool dude. Thanks for the info. The stuff on CLS' website gave the same info as what he uses in his blog post.

Also, NYU's website made me believe the discrepancy was actually 10 more than he reported, but I may have done my math wrong/I still don't know why I put that much effort into it.

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Re: The Accuracy of the T6's Self-Reported Big Law Employment #s

Postby skers » Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:31 am

birdlaw117 wrote:
TemporarySaint wrote:The data Campos is talking about was released by Columbia last week. I think people are confusing that with the data Columbia put on their website awhile ago.

Not sure what this has to do with conflating NLJ 250 with 250+ attorney firms... but cool dude. Thanks for the info. The stuff on CLS' website gave the same info as what he uses in his blog post.


I don't know if Campos is conflating that data since he's responding to data released by NYU and Columbia to the NALP last week (which I don't know if other schools did or not), but without seeing what the data he is basing his conclusions off of (unless it's just exactly what is on their website), it's hard to make firm explanatory conclusions either way.

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Re: The Accuracy of the T6's Self-Reported Big Law Employment #s

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:34 am

birdlaw117 wrote:NLJ250 =/= firms with over 250 attorneys.

So, unless we assume that zero Yale students, zero Chicago students, only 1 Duke student, only 2 Michigan students, etc. ended up working at NLJ250 firms with fewer than 250 attorneys there is something wrong with the methodology. I don't know what that flaw is (and frankly, I don't give a fuck), but take your pick on which one of these things you believe is more likely.

Two pieces of data:

(1) NLJ 250: number of graduates employed in firms with 160+ lawyers.

(2) School reported data: number of graduates employed in firms with 250+ lawyers.

Campos’ discrepancy: For CLS and NYU, (2) is significantly larger than (1).

Your claim: (1) should be larger than (2), since (1) includes a much larger number of firms. The fact that (1) and (2) are equal at Chicago and Yale and almost equal at other schools suggests something is wrong with their numbers also.

Problem: I don’t think Campos is claiming that (1) and (2) are equal at Chicago or Yale. The fact that they are nearly equal at other schools just suggests that those other schools also face the problem Campos has identified, to a lesser extent than NYU and CLS.
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Re: The Accuracy of the T6's Self-Reported Big Law Employment #s

Postby birdlaw117 » Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:35 am

TemporarySaint wrote:
birdlaw117 wrote:
TemporarySaint wrote:The data Campos is talking about was released by Columbia last week. I think people are confusing that with the data Columbia put on their website awhile ago.

Not sure what this has to do with conflating NLJ 250 with 250+ attorney firms... but cool dude. Thanks for the info. The stuff on CLS' website gave the same info as what he uses in his blog post.


I don't know if Campos is conflating that data since he's responding to data released by NYU and Columbia to the NALP last week (which I don't know if other schools did or not), but without seeing what the data he is basing his conclusions off of (unless it's just exactly what is on their website), it's hard to make firm explanatory conclusions either way.


This quote leads me to believe it is broken down by 500+ attorney firms, 251-500, and 100-250:
No more than 448 (the real number is lower to the extent that any grads in associate track positions at NLJ250 firms were working at firms of less than 251 attorneys).


He mentions the possibility that the discrepancy would be larger if this were the case, but then fails to recognize how that should affect the other schools' data that he mentions.

Again, I don't know what the flaw in this methodology is, but it seems fairly clear to me that there is something wrong with it.

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Re: The Accuracy of the T6's Self-Reported Big Law Employment #s

Postby birdlaw117 » Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:39 am

AntipodeanPhil wrote:
birdlaw117 wrote:NLJ250 =/= firms with over 250 attorneys.

So, unless we assume that zero Yale students, zero Chicago students, only 1 Duke student, only 2 Michigan students, etc. ended up working at NLJ250 firms with fewer than 250 attorneys there is something wrong with the methodology. I don't know what that flaw is (and frankly, I don't give a fuck), but take your pick on which one of these things you believe is more likely.

Two pieces of data:

(1) NLJ 250: number of graduates employed in firms with 160+ lawyers.

(2) School reported data: number of graduates employed in firms with 250+ lawyers.

Campos’ discrepancy: For CLS and NYU, (2) is significantly larger than (1).

Your claim: (1) should be larger than (2), since (1) includes a much larger number of firms. The fact that (1) and (2) are equal at Chicago and Yale suggests something is wrong with their numbers also.

Problem: I don’t think Campos is claiming that (1) and (2) are equal at Chicago or Yale. The fact that they are nearly equal at other schools just suggests that those other schools also face the problem Campos has identified, to a lesser extent than NYU and CLS.

It may not be his claim, but it must be true in order for everything to work out. Explain to me what happens with Campos' "study" when someone from Yale works at Wachtell, an NLJ250 firm with fewer than 250 attorneys.

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Re: The Accuracy of the T6's Self-Reported Big Law Employment #s

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:49 am

All these "numbers" are enough to make a 0L's head spin. You guys should all probably just relax and come to NYU! No, really.

But. No. Really.

I am finding this all quite perplexing and frankly I don't know enough 3Ls and 2011 graduates to know what's up, but the class of 2013 seems to have been quite resoundingly successful, with a few weird outliers, in big firm placement, and the info that OCS (yes, also potentially doctored, but why?) gave us indicates the same for 2012. Why the apparent exaggerations in the data? Can't figure it. However—and this is truly wild speculation on my part—but with a class of 475 or so, NYU really is a big enough school that you can imagine them fudging some figures without anyone really knowing. The size means that nobody knows every other student, or even most students, in their class, and so the difference between 60% or 70% of people, or whatever it is, having private sector jobs won't ever really conflict with any one person's experience at NYU. It's interesting to think about. I don't know.




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