National reach, T14, T20

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helix23
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National reach, T14, T20

Postby helix23 » Sat Sep 29, 2012 9:44 pm

I apologize in advance if this is currently being addressed elsewhere or is common knowledge on TLS, but...

What is the best methodology for determining how much national reach schools in the T14 and T20 have?

Simply put, I have done most of my applications for this cycle (blanketed the T14), but am on the fence about applying to schools such as UCLA and Vanderbilt because I really don't know where I want to eventually practice, and thus want to keep my options open. Will a JD from UCLA or Vanderbilt severely limit my geographical potential? (*Note, I do have ties in California.)

I have been referring to LST, but it is hard to tell how much is self-selection and how much actually represents potential reach.

For instance, UC Berkeley: --LinkRemoved--

66.2% California, 8.6% DC, 5.2% New York. The 5.2% for NY isn't very impressive and would indicate that Berkeley doesn't have a lot of reach. But, this may also indicate that graduates simply choose to stay in California.

Or take Virginia: --LinkRemoved--

California isn't listed as a top destination. Does this mean the school doesn't have good reach there, despite being a T14?

I hope what I am asking makes sense and I won't be surprised if there is no good answer out there. Just making sure there isn't a resource I have missed.

P.S. And just so we cover more bases, is a better way to determine reach to just search top firms websites and see where their associates went and subsequently what office they end up in?

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dingbat
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Re: National reach, T14, T20

Postby dingbat » Sat Sep 29, 2012 9:54 pm

To some extent, all schools are regional, with the exception of Harvard and Yale (Stanford?). However, how well a school travels is a real question. Undoubtedly Berkeley grads can get jobs on the east coast and Columbia/NYU can succeed quite well in the west, but the vast majority choose to stay in the same location. At the same time, some "lesser" schools are perceived as being on par, if not better, than some major schools on the other side. UCLA and USC will be perceived in Los Angeles as being easily as good as, if not better than, UVA or Duke, and possibly Penn or NYU. While the better schools (read "T18") tend to have much more recognition around the country than a lot of the lesser schools, it's really not that easy to generalize. If you're interested in particular markets and/or schools, you can ask specifically which schools are well-regarded in said market, or which markets a school places in. Other than that, good advice is to figure out where you want to end up before picking a law school

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helix23
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Re: National reach, T14, T20

Postby helix23 » Sat Sep 29, 2012 10:03 pm

dingbat wrote: Other than that, good advice is to figure out where you want to end up before picking a law school


truth.

Gagnam Style
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Re: National reach, T14, T20

Postby Gagnam Style » Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:51 am

There's no way that USC/UCLA have a better reputation in California than Duke. Maybe Boalt?

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: National reach, T14, T20

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:15 am

Dingbat's point is that you need to know where you want to practice before you decide on what law school to attend.

For example, if we assume that you get into all T14s aside from HYS,
If you want NYC, CCNPC are your best bets
If you want Chicago, Chi/N are your best bets.
If you want the south, UVA/Duke are your best bets.
If you want California, Berkeley is your best bet.
If you want secondary markets, generally, it doesn't matter if you have pre-existing ties there.
Outside of HYS, there is not a best school for DC.

That's not to say other schools in the T14 cannot give you those markets, it's just that you would be taking an unnecessary risk by not choosing the best schools for a region.

As for schools outside that group, you would be taking a massive hit in job prospects even for T18 schools as desirable as Vanderbilt or USC.

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bruinfan10
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Re: National reach, T14, T20

Postby bruinfan10 » Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:20 am

Gagnam Style wrote:There's no way that USC/UCLA have a better reputation in California than Duke. Maybe Boalt?

As someone who's worked in both LA and SV (finally starting in SF this summer), I can say you're completely wrong. UCLA/U$C have phenomenal reputations in California, Duke not so much. If OP was totally sure s/he wanted to work in California, I'd choose UCLA over Duke in a heartbeat, and as icing on the cake the UCLA scholarship money would probably be better.

Lower T14s aren't exactly going to turn heads in LA, SF, or SV, whereas UCLA/U$C (and of course Boalt) often will impress people. I ended up choosing Michigan over Boalt and (a full ride to) UCLA because a) Berkeley wouldn't give me a scholarship and b) because I was pretty sure a Michigan grad would have an advantage breaking into Chicago, NYC, and DC over an equally situated UCLA grad. I hadn't picked my market yet, so the extra portability appealed to me.

TL;DR - OP, I think you get marginally better national portability overall from a lower T14, but you lose some edge in California. The fact that you have ties should compensate for that though, so just follow the scholarship money.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: National reach, T14, T20

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:45 am

Aberzombie1892 wrote:Dingbat's point is that you need to know where you want to practice before you decide on what law school to attend.

For example, if we assume that you get into all T14s aside from HYS,
If you want NYC, CCNPC are your best bets
If you want Chicago, Chi/N are your best bets.
If you want the south, UVA/Duke are your best bets.
If you want California, Berkeley is your best bet.
If you want secondary markets, generally, it doesn't matter if you have pre-existing ties there.
Outside of HYS, there is not a best school for DC.

That's not to say other schools in the T14 cannot give you those markets, it's just that you would be taking an unnecessary risk by not choosing the best schools for a region.

As for schools outside that group, you would be taking a massive hit in job prospects even for T18 schools as desirable as Vanderbilt or USC.


I think lists like this are helpful on a general level, but they shouldn't be taken as gospel. A couple things I noticed that were wrong about this for Texas:
1) Chicago/Columbia with Texas ties is better than all other HYS options, including UVA and Duke.
2) Going to UT instead of going to UVA/Duke will not cause a massive hit in job prospects if your goal is Texas. (But if your goal is biglaw or bust and you're willing to do NYC, then, yes, you are taking a hit in terms of prospects.) While Texas firms go deeper into UVA and Duke's classes, it's not a huge difference. (And at a few firms UT people will have an advantage.)

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Re: National reach, T14, T20

Postby bk1 » Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:57 am

bruinfan10 wrote:As someone who's worked in both LA and SV (finally starting in SF this summer), I can say you're completely wrong. UCLA/U$C have phenomenal reputations in California, Duke not so much. If OP was totally sure s/he wanted to work in California, I'd choose UCLA over Duke in a heartbeat, and as icing on the cake the UCLA scholarship money would probably be better.

Lower T14s aren't exactly going to turn heads in LA, SF, or SV, whereas UCLA/U$C (and of course Boalt) often will impress people. I ended up choosing Michigan over Boalt and (a full ride to) UCLA because a) Berkeley wouldn't give me a scholarship and b) because I was pretty sure a Michigan grad would have an advantage breaking into Chicago, NYC, and DC over an equally situated UCLA grad. I hadn't picked my market yet, so the extra portability appealed to me.

TL;DR - OP, I think you get marginally better national portability overall from a lower T14, but you lose some edge in California. The fact that you have ties should compensate for that though, so just follow the scholarship money.


There's opinions and then there's hiring. At 2 other non-Berkeley lower T14s, the large SV firms seem to consistently callback people around median. I'm skeptical that UCLA/USC callback medians are that low. UCLA/USC's struggling NLJ250 numbers don't lend any confidence that they'd have an advantage for CA biglaw.

That being said, if I were 100% sure I wanted to work in CA and nowhere else then I'd be inclined to take UCLA/USC. I don't think that lower T14s lose anything vs those 2 i/r/t biglaw but I suspect that being local makes it a bit easier to get non-biglaw jobs.

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bruinfan10
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Re: National reach, T14, T20

Postby bruinfan10 » Mon Oct 01, 2012 12:32 pm

bk1 wrote:There's opinions and then there's hiring. At 2 other non-Berkeley lower T14s, the large SV firms seem to consistently callback people around median. I'm skeptical that UCLA/USC callback medians are that low. UCLA/USC's struggling NLJ250 numbers don't lend any confidence that they'd have an advantage for CA biglaw.

That being said, if I were 100% sure I wanted to work in CA and nowhere else then I'd be inclined to take UCLA/USC. I don't think that lower T14s lose anything vs those 2 i/r/t biglaw but I suspect that being local makes it a bit easier to get non-biglaw jobs.

That's really encouraging to hear, given all the stats on lower T14 median kids striking out nationally, let alone in the notoriously tough SF/SV market. I wasn't aware things were so rosy in the Bay, but I also don't know if you're talking about ultra-selective offices like DPW/Quinn SV, giant local offices like Sonsini SV, midlaw, or what. I don't mean this in a challenging way, but I'm sure OP would benefit from seeing your source re: these consistent callbacks. I wouldn't have banked on getting a Bay Area biglaw job coming out of a lower T14 at median in a million years when I was making this decision, but maybe you know something I don't.

My main point was that if you go to Duke/Cornell/Georgetown thinking you're gonna impress California biglaw employers more than the "less-prestigious" UCLA/U$C kids, you're gonna have a bad time. And you're absolutely right that for non-biglaw jobs like state prosecutor/defender, UCLA/U$C have a major edge.

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bk1
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Re: National reach, T14, T20

Postby bk1 » Mon Oct 01, 2012 12:50 pm

bruinfan10 wrote:That's really encouraging to hear, given all the stats on lower T14 median kids striking out nationally, let alone in the notoriously tough SF/SV market. I wasn't aware things were so rosy in the Bay, but I also don't know if you're talking about ultra-selective offices like DPW/Quinn SV, giant local offices like Sonsini SV, midlaw, or what. I don't mean this in a challenging way, but I'm sure OP would benefit from seeing your source re: these consistent callbacks. I wouldn't have banked on getting a Bay Area biglaw job coming out of a lower T14 at median in a million years when I was making this decision, but maybe you know something I don't.

My main point was that if you go to Duke/Cornell/Georgetown thinking you're gonna impress California biglaw employers more than the "less-prestigious" UCLA/U$C kids, you're gonna have a bad time. And you're absolutely right that for non-biglaw jobs like state prosecutor/defender, UCLA/U$C have a major edge.


Well I wouldn't consider it that encouraging. I don't think things are rosy. I think if you're okay with SV then things are better, but it's not great (and consider that SV corporate work has weather ITE fairly well though there has been a recent dip in the second half of this year). It's still quite easy to strike out in SF/SV. The SV big native firms (Cooley/Fenwick/WSGR) have some of the biggest SA classes in the area. That being said, it's quite hard to get the satellite offices since those places often hire less than 5-10 SAs each. Even with good stats you are fighting over a very minimal number of spots. Overall the aggregate callback median for SF/SV seems to be around top 1/3 (but that's just from eyeballing it). The problem is that when you only have so many bites at the apple, your odds of striking out are higher even if they aren't grade whoring. NYC firms with similar median callback medians hire a metric crapton more kids than the SF/SV firms.

I don't think that people are necessarily "impressed" by lower T14s, but their hiring patterns tend to suggest that they are willing to be as lenient (possibly even more) with class rank at lower T14s than they would. My source is the callback median data that I have seen from my own T14 (published by the CSO) as well as the data I've seen from another T14.

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Re: National reach, T14, T20

Postby ndirish2010 » Mon Oct 01, 2012 12:58 pm

Generally, though, schools become less regional as you get better grades. However, you usually are limited to the school's alumni base and the place where you're from (strong ties plus a school with a good name can help you break into a secondary market).

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Re: National reach, T14, T20

Postby bruinfan10 » Mon Oct 01, 2012 1:14 pm

bk1 wrote:Well I wouldn't consider it that encouraging. I don't think things are rosy. I think if you're okay with SV then things are better, but it's not great (and consider that SV corporate work has weather ITE fairly well though there has been a recent dip in the second half of this year). It's still quite easy to strike out in SF/SV. The SV big native firms (Cooley/Fenwick/WSGR) have some of the biggest SA classes in the area. That being said, it's quite hard to get the satellite offices since those places often hire less than 5-10 SAs each. Even with good stats you are fighting over a very minimal number of spots. Overall the aggregate callback median for SF/SV seems to be around top 1/3 (but that's just from eyeballing it). The problem is that when you only have so many bites at the apple, your odds of striking out are higher even if they aren't grade whoring. NYC firms with similar median callback medians hire a metric crapton more kids than the SF/SV firms.

I don't think that people are necessarily "impressed" by lower T14s, but their hiring patterns tend to suggest that they are willing to be as lenient (possibly even more) with class rank at lower T14s than they would. My source is the callback median data that I have seen from my own T14 (published by the CSO) as well as the data I've seen from another T14.

I agree with this 100% in the context of biglaw hiring. My only question is how much of a boost you get from say, Duke, over UCLA - I don't have access to the callback medians for either school - but I would be surprised if Duke gives you significantly more of a GPA cushion for California.
Last edited by bruinfan10 on Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: National reach, T14, T20

Postby goden » Mon Oct 01, 2012 1:20 pm

If one has SF/SV ties and attends a non-CA lower T14, would the ties to SF/SV be a plus for LA biglaw hiring? Or would that only count for SF/SV firms?

And if one went to USC/UCLA, does this change the calculus? Or would having ties in SF/SV still give someone a better shot for a biglaw job in SF/SV over a biglaw job in LA, despite attending an LA school?

Given no ties to either (or equal ties to both), I was under the impression that the LA biglaw market > SF/SV biglaw market in terms of available SA positions and relative ease of obtaining a job. Am I incorrect in thinking this?

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Re: National reach, T14, T20

Postby IAFG » Mon Oct 01, 2012 1:23 pm

(Assuming a non-NYC target market) if you have ties, it's not that important. If you don't have ties, you're probably in trouble anyway, so it's not that important in a different way. Either way, it shouldn't really be a crucial factor for you.

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Re: National reach, T14, T20

Postby rad lulz » Mon Oct 01, 2012 1:27 pm

National reach to non-NYC/DC markets to which you do NOT have preexisting ties is an elaborate flame.

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Re: National reach, T14, T20

Postby bruinfan10 » Mon Oct 01, 2012 1:29 pm

goden wrote:If one has SF/SV ties and attends a non-CA lower T14, would the ties to SF/SV be a plus for LA biglaw hiring? Or would that only count for SF/SV firms?

And if one went to USC/UCLA, does this change the calculus? Or would having ties in SF/SV still give someone a better shot for a biglaw job in SF/SV over a biglaw job in LA, despite attending an LA school?

Given no ties to either (or equal ties to both), I was under the impression that the LA biglaw market > SF/SV biglaw market in terms of available SA positions and relative ease of obtaining a job. Am I incorrect in thinking this?

LA tends to have bigger classes and generally speaking, it can be an easier market to break into than the Bay. It's also known to be a little less focused on ties than SF/SV. If you're from Norcal and went to law school in LA, I doubt you'd have any problem selling ties to either market.

To give you an idea of how much emphasis the Bay places on ties, I grew up in the Palo Alto area, and SF interviewers specifically questioned me on why I wanted to move into the city. I'm also comparatively young, so the SV firms specifically asked me whether I really wanted to stay on the Peninsula when associates generally prefer SF's faster paced urban environment. For the sake of comparison, when I was hired in LA last summer, they asked me whether I was from CA originally and moved on. Either way it sounds like you'd be OK in either market.
Last edited by bruinfan10 on Mon Oct 01, 2012 1:36 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: National reach, T14, T20

Postby IAFG » Mon Oct 01, 2012 1:30 pm

rad lulz wrote:National reach to non-NYC/DC markets to which you do NOT have preexisting ties is an elaborate flame.

It's more a relic than it is a flame. Once upon a time, in an economy quite unlike our own, Michigan bros consistently got SF with no ties, and people went to national schools so they could defer deciding which market-paying city to go to. These were the days when Tucker Max, who grew up in the SE, got Fenwick from Duke with no ties.

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Re: National reach, T14, T20

Postby rad lulz » Mon Oct 01, 2012 1:33 pm

IAFG wrote:
rad lulz wrote:National reach to non-NYC/DC markets to which you do NOT have preexisting ties is an elaborate flame.

It's more a relic than it is a flame. Once upon a time, in an economy quite unlike our own, Michigan bros consistently got SF with no ties, and people went to national schools so they could defer deciding which market-paying city to go to. These were the days when Tucker Max, who grew up in the SE, got Fenwick from Duke with no ties.

I try not to consider the glory years, because I get depressed and filled with regret about going to law school.

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Re: National reach, T14, T20

Postby helix23 » Mon Oct 01, 2012 2:02 pm

I'm glad this thread is getting some traffic.

I haven't had the chance to parse through all the posts carefully, but what I am putting together is that based on my ties in CA, barring any significant scholarship boost, a choice such as Duke or Cornell would be better than UCLA/USC. If it's true that they place better in NYC than UCLA/USC, this compounded with my CA ties would give me more leverage on both markets since I don't need UCLA/USC to place well in CA.

Please feel free to disagree with my logic.

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Re: National reach, T14, T20

Postby IAFG » Mon Oct 01, 2012 2:07 pm

helix23 wrote:I'm glad this thread is getting some traffic.

I haven't had the chance to parse through all the posts carefully, but what I am putting together is that based on my ties in CA, barring any significant scholarship boost, a choice such as Duke or Cornell would be better than UCLA/USC. If it's true that they place better in NYC than UCLA/USC, this compounded with my CA ties would give me more leverage on both markets since I don't need UCLA/USC to place well in CA.

Please feel free to disagree with my logic.

Well, here is my only hesitation.

You miss out on (smaller and local) firms coming to OCI, and pretty much have to mass mail. I don't think that's a good reason to not go T14, but it's a reason.

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helix23
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Re: National reach, T14, T20

Postby helix23 » Mon Oct 01, 2012 2:36 pm

IAFG wrote:Well, here is my only hesitation.

You miss out on (smaller and local) firms coming to OCI, and pretty much have to mass mail. I don't think that's a good reason to not go T14, but it's a reason.


Assuming you mean smaller, local CA firms. This would only be necessary if I didn't have a successful summer associate gig.

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Re: National reach, T14, T20

Postby Ruxin1 » Mon Oct 01, 2012 2:38 pm

helix23 wrote:
IAFG wrote:Well, here is my only hesitation.

You miss out on (smaller and local) firms coming to OCI, and pretty much have to mass mail. I don't think that's a good reason to not go T14, but it's a reason.


Assuming you mean smaller, local CA firms. This would only be necessary if I didn't have a successful summer associate gig.


Oh in that case, you sound like a good fit at Duke.

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helix23
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Re: National reach, T14, T20

Postby helix23 » Mon Oct 01, 2012 2:39 pm

Ruxin1 wrote:
helix23 wrote:
IAFG wrote:Well, here is my only hesitation.

You miss out on (smaller and local) firms coming to OCI, and pretty much have to mass mail. I don't think that's a good reason to not go T14, but it's a reason.


Assuming you mean smaller, local CA firms. This would only be necessary if I didn't have a successful summer associate gig.


Oh in that case, you sound like a good fit at Duke.


why's that?

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IAFG
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Re: National reach, T14, T20

Postby IAFG » Mon Oct 01, 2012 2:41 pm

helix23 wrote:
IAFG wrote:Well, here is my only hesitation.

You miss out on (smaller and local) firms coming to OCI, and pretty much have to mass mail. I don't think that's a good reason to not go T14, but it's a reason.


Assuming you mean smaller, local CA firms. This would only be necessary if I didn't have a successful summer associate gig.

I am so confused. Are you under the impression smaller, local firms don't have summer classes?

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helix23
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Re: National reach, T14, T20

Postby helix23 » Mon Oct 01, 2012 2:42 pm

IAFG wrote:
helix23 wrote:
IAFG wrote:Well, here is my only hesitation.

You miss out on (smaller and local) firms coming to OCI, and pretty much have to mass mail. I don't think that's a good reason to not go T14, but it's a reason.


Assuming you mean smaller, local CA firms. This would only be necessary if I didn't have a successful summer associate gig.

I am so confused. Are you under the impression smaller, local firms don't have summer classes?


no




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