Emory scholly v. T14 sticker

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Emory scholly v. T14 sticker

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sat Feb 02, 2013 1:55 am

BruceWayne wrote:By the way, that whole "people are saying it's better to make 50K than 160K need to stop" bit was some serious strawmanning. People are just saying it can be better to take a government job (that tend to have incredible job security) with LRAP if you have sticker debt at a top 14 than to take a biglaw job in NYC where you won't last more than 3-4 years.

That's not what I was talking about. A dude in another thread straight up said that you'd be better off making 50K a year than working three years in BigLaw and then going in-house at 120K in salary if you've got sticker debt.

Anyways, good talk.

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Re: Emory scholly v. T14 sticker

Postby Shmoopy » Sat Feb 02, 2013 2:07 am

BruceWayne wrote:
Wait a minute--so your whole issue with the guy's post was that he obviously pulled that figure out of his ass? .


I'm just an innocent bystander here, but my reading is that the issue with comparing 1.8k/mo towards loan payments vs 1.8k/mo towards investments for retirement assumes that the person with no loan payments has that much to contribute to retirement each month. The problem is that the person making the loan payments is taken to be someone making 160k, whereas the person without the loan payments may not be making that much money. The difference in long-term return on biglaw and investment return on the loan payments is only relevant if one has a way to make biglaw money without the loans. The choices are more likely to be 160k with loan payments or else less income with less loan payments, so LST guy's comparison isn't necessarily fair.
Last edited by Shmoopy on Sat Feb 02, 2013 2:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Emory scholly v. T14 sticker

Postby BigZuck » Sat Feb 02, 2013 2:18 am

LST guy once told a poster that it was better for him to go to Alabama than UT if he wanted to become a lawyer because Alabama's employment score was like 2% higher. Totally ignored the vastly better options for UT grads (not to mention the fact that the poster was a Texas resident). When I asked him to clarify he fled the thread. Again, LST is amazing but I would take his posts on here with at least a couple grains of salt.

Also it seems to me that BW's schtick is so far up his butt even he does not know what points he is trying to make sometimes. This whole thread took a turn for the weird but at least what tiago is saying makes sense.

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Re: Emory scholly v. T14 sticker

Postby suralin » Sat Feb 02, 2013 2:33 am

BruceWayne wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:
brucewayne wrote:
One thing that's often overlooked, besides the difficulty of staying in biglaw for more than 3 years, is the lost investment income. If you're paying $1800 a month in loans instead of saving that money, it adds up to millions of dollars in retirement that the extra income from UVA (or wherever) may not justify.


This is a VERY intelligent analysis--great post.

LOL. If by very intelligent you mean ridiculously stupid then I agree. What idiot thinks the average Emory grad has $1800 a month to toss into savings?


You really DO believe that people stay in biglaw as long as they want don't you? I understand the naivete to an extent--but the extreme confidence in it is a bit odd. Yes if you land a biglaw associate position, make your loan payments, and then hold on to that job for 7 years and make partner you will come out on top lol.


Why is there so much strawmanning going on ITT?

I didn't see anyone even try to assert the bolded, or say anything like "hold on to that job for 7 years and make partner you will come out on top"? There's literally no reference to that here, so where are you getting any of this from and what are you even speaking to?

I don't understand why people feel like they must overstate the case to try to win an argument.

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Re: Emory scholly v. T14 sticker

Postby bizzybone1313 » Sat Feb 02, 2013 2:52 am

What about Vanderbilt?

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Re: Emory scholly v. T14 sticker

Postby ck3 » Sun Feb 03, 2013 1:08 pm

I would really like to hear more about how LRAP at T14 schools effects these decisions. I have a full tuition offer at UGA which is in the area where I live and it would be great to live in Georgia after graduation though I am not averse to any part of the country if the situation is right. I would still have to borrow for living expenses. Another factor is that I own a house in GA so if I leave for T14, I have to sell or lease the house. I do not have any t14 offers yet but if I get one or more, the LRAP potential will be a significant part of my decision making process. So I would love for those who are more knowledgeable to comment more on how LRAP comes into the process. To me it seems like it is almost an insurance policy on your loan payments that insures you against a low salary. But maybe I am wrong.

Please share your thoughts.

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Re: Emory scholly v. T14 sticker

Postby smaug_ » Sun Feb 03, 2013 1:35 pm

ck3 wrote:I would really like to hear more about how LRAP at T14 schools effects these decisions. I have a full tuition offer at UGA which is in the area where I live and it would be great to live in Georgia after graduation though I am not averse to any part of the country if the situation is right. I would still have to borrow for living expenses. Another factor is that I own a house in GA so if I leave for T14, I have to sell or lease the house. I do not have any t14 offers yet but if I get one or more, the LRAP potential will be a significant part of my decision making process. So I would love for those who are more knowledgeable to comment more on how LRAP comes into the process. To me it seems like it is almost an insurance policy on your loan payments that insures you against a low salary. But maybe I am wrong.

Please share your thoughts.


I'm sure someone with more experience can explain in more detail, but taking LRAP into account is very difficult.

First, finding a good, LRAP qualifying job is more difficult than getting biglaw. It cannot be considered a backup plan because unless you tailor your law school (and pre law) experiences to show a dedication to the public interest, you're probably not going to have it as a real option.

Beyond the difficulties in finding a position, even if you find one and do not have law school debt to worry about, you still might have difficulty making ends meet. You could do some awesome work as a criminal attorney or even for Legal Aid (I'm sure people will disagree with that) but unless you have a SO who can help out or come from a wealthy family, your lifestyle isn't going to be fun. Given the relative ease of finding a biglaw job and the "comfort" (monetary comfort, at least) afforded by a biglaw salary, many are dissuaded from a PI career.

Finally, for most of the prestigious/interesting PI work, you're going to want to have biglaw experience anyway. Given that many PI organizations are underfunded, it shouldn't be surprising that they cannot afford to train new hires like biglaw can. Biglaw is great training and can funnel people into sustainable PI careers.

But, when choosing a school is the topic of discussion, the important thing to remember is that a T14 gives you a shot at these things. If you go to a T14 you might have the opportunity to make a meaningful choice as to where and how you'd like to start your career. For the majority of students coming out of law school, that isn't true. Some food for thought.

Also, :lol: 'ing pretty hard at the BW/Tiago conversation above.
Suralin wrote:I don't understand why people feel like they must overstate the case to try to win an argument.

Trying to win an argument can be hard. I think Tiago's point should be considered: if you do the math (and I encourage everyone here to do their own math) TLS' new "160k isn't that great compared to X" bit is pretty risible. Although I disagree with BW's logic on most things here, I think that many 0Ls do not consider how big of a gamble they're making or the realities of sticker cost at a T14. Maybe I'll come around to his point of view seven months from now, but even taking the worst case scenario into consideration, I think that the T14 is likely the better option here. My reasoning is that the Atlanta market seems to be brutal for nearly anyone. I think UGA and Emory probably have issues based on that alone.

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Re: Emory scholly v. T14 sticker

Postby BruceWayne » Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:09 pm

@ ck3. PM me because my experiences/background are very relevant for someone with your interests.

Hibiki, your analysis of LRAP relies on a flawed premise that a lot of guys like Tiago Splitter and others who have not gone through the legal job search--getting a biglaw job is NOT easier than getting a LRAP qualifying job. People on here who haven't gone through OCI's summered etc. and hustled for a job seriously do not understand that biglaw is atrociously hard to get for most law students. Even at the top 14 it's hard (instead of just very hard). Here's the hard reality that people just don't want to accept: if you land below median at any non HYS top 14 biglaw is VERY hard to achieve (especially non NYC biglaw). It is not anywhere near as easy to land just from attending a top 14 (and that includes "CCN") as people like to think. Big firms have brutally hard and fast cutoffs that they rely on.

Now as far as landing a LRAP qualified job. Basically what that means is landing a job that uses legal skills for state, county, and federal government. Or for some sort of non-profit. These jobs are difficult to land as well, but for very different reasons. Once you land below median you are not automatically out of the running for these jobs. The issue is that they do not have a structured hiring process and many of them have budgetary issues. However, students who network like crazy, reach out to alumni, do internships with these groups during school, and are constantly on the lookout for opportunities can land these job. And that's regardless of their grades. On the other hand once you land below a firm's GPA cutoff it is OVER. You CANNOT work for these firms. It is that simple.

As far as the point of this overall thread, I don't know if I clearly lean one way or the other for the OP. Mainly because he/she seems to be unsure of what they want to do and where they want to work. But if it was the Southeast/Georgia I would lean Emory unless they could get 100K+ from UVA.

And Hibiki you're right about the Atlanta market being hard. But, the good thing about going to UGA or Emory for cheap for someone who wants to work there, is that they will be connected to the market. By that I mean that they will be aware of the small firms and local government jobs that are there. These jobs are the only option in Atlanta for someone with below median grades from a top 14 or below top 1/3 at UGA/Emory. But the problem with the top 14 person is that they will not be able to network or be aware of those sorts of options in Atlanta.

People who haven't gone through the process, like Tiago, often heavily overestimate what the name/prestige of a top 14 does for you. In reality, unless you're talking about HYS (which employers treat as truly special institutions that open up doors from their name alone) going to a top 14 is really just about buying your way into the school's 2L OCI process. The top 14 are all visited by a ton of firms every year for their OCI that don't all flock to the lower ranked schools. But once you miss that boat the luster of the degree significantly diminishes. At that point region, networking, and experience all play a much bigger role than school name.

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Re: Emory scholly v. T14 sticker

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:15 pm

BruceWayne wrote:People on here who haven't gone through OCI's summered etc. and hustled for a job seriously do not understand that biglaw is atrociously hard to get for most law students. Even at the top 14 it's hard (instead of just very hard). Here's the hard reality that people just don't want to accept: if you land below median at any non HYS top 14 biglaw is VERY hard to achieve (especially non NYC biglaw). It is not anywhere near as easy to land just from attending a top 14 (and that includes "CCN") as people like to think. Big firms have brutally hard and fast cutoffs that they rely on.


At least 40% of below median students got V100 offers during Columbia's 2011 EIP.

BruceWayne wrote:People who haven't gone through the process, like Tiago, often heavily overestimate what the name/prestige of a top 14 does for you. In reality, unless you're talking about HYS (which employers treat as truly special institutions that open up doors from their name alone) going to a top 14 is really just about buying your way into the school's 2L OCI process. The top 14 are all visited by a ton of firms every year for their OCI that don't all flock to the lower ranked schools. But once you miss that boat the luster of the degree significantly diminishes. At that point region, networking, and experience all play a much bigger role than school name.


I don't overestimate anything. I came to CLS for the OCI process and if I can't get a job that way it'll be back to the old career.

On another note, ck3 may be confusing IBR with LRAP. LRAP generally requires that you go into qualifying public interest work which, as BruceWayne said, is very hard to get. Generally on LRAP a school will help you make your loan payments and if you stay on the job long enough your debt will be forgiven. In many cases, this dovetails with Public Service Loan Forgiveness, which is a government program where the government will forgive your loans if you work in public service for ten years. PSLF exists regardless of whether your school has LRAP or whether you qualify for LRAP. IBR is another government program which simply limits your loan payments based on your income. After 25 years (soon to be lowered to 20) the government forgives the remaining debt. The big difference between IBR and PSLF is that while PSLF debt is forgiven tax-free, IBR-forgiven debt is taxable as income to you. So if you've been making minimum payments for 20 years on your sticker-debt and then get loan forgiveness through IBR you will have an enormous tax bill to deal with.
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Re: Emory scholly v. T14 sticker

Postby suralin » Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:19 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:People on here who haven't gone through OCI's summered etc. and hustled for a job seriously do not understand that biglaw is atrociously hard to get for most law students. Even at the top 14 it's hard (instead of just very hard). Here's the hard reality that people just don't want to accept: if you land below median at any non HYS top 14 biglaw is VERY hard to achieve (especially non NYC biglaw). It is not anywhere near as easy to land just from attending a top 14 (and that includes "CCN") as people like to think. Big firms have brutally hard and fast cutoffs that they rely on.... On the other hand once you land below a firm's GPA cutoff it is OVER. You CANNOT work for these firms. It is that simple.


At least 40% of below median students got V100 offers during Columbia's 2011 EIP.


BruceWayne wrote:just from attending a top 14 (and that includes "CCN")


?
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Re: Emory scholly v. T14 sticker

Postby rad lulz » Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:19 pm

BruceWayne wrote:People who haven't gone through the process, like Tiago, often heavily overestimate what the name/prestige of a top 14 does for you. In reality, unless you're talking about HYS (which employers treat as truly special institutions that open up doors from their name alone) going to a top 14 is really just about buying your way into the school's 2L OCI process. The top 14 are all visited by a ton of firms every year for their OCI that don't all flock to the lower ranked schools. But once you miss that boat the luster of the degree significantly diminishes. At that point region, networking, and experience all play a much bigger role than school name.

This.

In fact, unless your T14 is in the market you want to work, you're at a disadvantage to locals (which you alluded to above).

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Re: Emory scholly v. T14 sticker

Postby suralin » Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:25 pm

rad lulz wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:People who haven't gone through the process, like Tiago, often heavily overestimate what the name/prestige of a top 14 does for you. In reality, unless you're talking about HYS (which employers treat as truly special institutions that open up doors from their name alone) going to a top 14 is really just about buying your way into the school's 2L OCI process. The top 14 are all visited by a ton of firms every year for their OCI that don't all flock to the lower ranked schools. But once you miss that boat the luster of the degree significantly diminishes. At that point region, networking, and experience all play a much bigger role than school name.

This.

In fact, unless your T14 is in the market you want to work, you're at a disadvantage to locals (which you alluded to above).


Okay, that makes sense. But at the same time, that doesn't seem like a fair comparison since you're not holding everything else constant; i.e., surely if you can hustle and network your ass off at a non-T14, you can do so as well at a T14 (if below BigLaw cut-offs)?

So I guess the takeaway is just that geographic region and ties matter even at a T14?

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Re: Emory scholly v. T14 sticker

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:28 pm

Suralin wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:People on here who haven't gone through OCI's summered etc. and hustled for a job seriously do not understand that biglaw is atrociously hard to get for most law students. Even at the top 14 it's hard (instead of just very hard). Here's the hard reality that people just don't want to accept: if you land below median at any non HYS top 14 biglaw is VERY hard to achieve (especially non NYC biglaw). It is not anywhere near as easy to land just from attending a top 14 (and that includes "CCN") as people like to think. Big firms have brutally hard and fast cutoffs that they rely on.... On the other hand once you land below a firm's GPA cutoff it is OVER. You CANNOT work for these firms. It is that simple.


At least 40% of below median students got V100 offers during Columbia's 2011 EIP.


BruceWayne wrote:just from attending a top 14 (and that includes "CCN")


?

I don't doubt his contention that firms have grade cutoffs, but it's obvious that at least at Columbia those cutoffs are very low even for some V100 firms. Now that everything below a B is discretionary here there aren't going to be that many people eliminated from BigLaw contention by grades alone.

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Re: Emory scholly v. T14 sticker

Postby rad lulz » Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:32 pm

Suralin wrote:
rad lulz wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:People who haven't gone through the process, like Tiago, often heavily overestimate what the name/prestige of a top 14 does for you. In reality, unless you're talking about HYS (which employers treat as truly special institutions that open up doors from their name alone) going to a top 14 is really just about buying your way into the school's 2L OCI process. The top 14 are all visited by a ton of firms every year for their OCI that don't all flock to the lower ranked schools. But once you miss that boat the luster of the degree significantly diminishes. At that point region, networking, and experience all play a much bigger role than school name.

This.

In fact, unless your T14 is in the market you want to work, you're at a disadvantage to locals (which you alluded to above).


Okay, that makes sense. But at the same time, that doesn't seem like a fair comparison since you're not holding everything else constant; i.e., surely if you can hustle and network your ass off at a non-T14, you can do so as well at a T14 (if below BigLaw cut-offs)?

So I guess the takeaway is just that geographic region and ties matter even at a T14?

People at local schools have a networking advantage just by being there. You can hit the lunch circuit or clerk for a small firm during the year in a way you can't if you're not physically there. Local schools also have a pretty expansive local network.

Edit: yes, region and ties matter. "National reach" is basically a myth.
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Re: Emory scholly v. T14 sticker

Postby smaug_ » Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:32 pm

BruceWayne wrote:Hibiki, your analysis of LRAP relies on a flawed premise that a lot of guys like Tiago Splitter and others who have not gone through the legal job search--getting a biglaw job is NOT easier than getting a LRAP qualifying job. People on here who haven't gone through OCI's summered etc. and hustled for a job seriously do not understand that biglaw is atrociously hard to get for most law students. Even at the top 14 it's hard (instead of just very hard). Here's the hard reality that people just don't want to accept: if you land below median at any non HYS top 14 biglaw is VERY hard to achieve (especially non NYC biglaw). It is not anywhere near as easy to land just from attending a top 14 (and that includes "CCN") as people like to think. Big firms have brutally hard and fast cutoffs that they rely on.


I'll readily admit that my only basis for thinking that biglaw is an easier path is anecdotal. That said, I'm more willing to believe PI minded folks who ended up with biglaw when they say that good PI work is harder to come by than biglaw. They have one thing and want the other, which seems to imply that it is harder to get. There might be people on LRAP who wanted biglaw, but I'd doubt that many of them are in good PI jobs. So, I hope that my post isn't too optimistic. If anything, I'd suggest that the wishful thinking here is often done by people who didn't get biglaw and are still grinding for something more. But missing the biglaw boat and still grinding doesn't apply to any of the older posters ITT, right?

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Re: Emory scholly v. T14 sticker

Postby suralin » Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:35 pm

rad lulz wrote:
Suralin wrote:
rad lulz wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:People who haven't gone through the process, like Tiago, often heavily overestimate what the name/prestige of a top 14 does for you. In reality, unless you're talking about HYS (which employers treat as truly special institutions that open up doors from their name alone) going to a top 14 is really just about buying your way into the school's 2L OCI process. The top 14 are all visited by a ton of firms every year for their OCI that don't all flock to the lower ranked schools. But once you miss that boat the luster of the degree significantly diminishes. At that point region, networking, and experience all play a much bigger role than school name.

This.

In fact, unless your T14 is in the market you want to work, you're at a disadvantage to locals (which you alluded to above).


Okay, that makes sense. But at the same time, that doesn't seem like a fair comparison since you're not holding everything else constant; i.e., surely if you can hustle and network your ass off at a non-T14, you can do so as well at a T14 (if below BigLaw cut-offs)?

So I guess the takeaway is just that geographic region and ties matter even at a T14?

People at local schools have a networking advantage just by being there. You can hit the lunch circuit or clerk for a small firm during the year in a way you can't if you're not physically there. Local schools also have a pretty expansive local network.


Ah I see. Wouldn't a local T14 be even better then? You get the dual advantages of a more extensive OCI and the local networking advantage you mentioned... unless for some reason you can't do that at a T14?

Sorry in advance for the noobiness.

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Re: Emory scholly v. T14 sticker

Postby somewhatwayward » Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:50 pm

BruceWayne wrote:@ ck3. PM me because my experiences/background are very relevant for someone with your interests.

Hibiki, your analysis of LRAP relies on a flawed premise that a lot of guys like Tiago Splitter and others who have not gone through the legal job search--getting a biglaw job is NOT easier than getting a LRAP qualifying job. People on here who haven't gone through OCI's summered etc. and hustled for a job seriously do not understand that biglaw is atrociously hard to get for most law students. Even at the top 14 it's hard (instead of just very hard). Here's the hard reality that people just don't want to accept: if you land below median at any non HYS top 14 biglaw is VERY hard to achieve (especially non NYC biglaw). It is not anywhere near as easy to land just from attending a top 14 (and that includes "CCN") as people like to think. Big firms have brutally hard and fast cutoffs that they rely on.

...On the other hand once you land below a firm's GPA cutoff it is OVER. You CANNOT work for these firms. It is that simple.


You are again projecting your personal experience onto not only everyone at UVA but everyone at all non-HYS T14s. You are right that bad grades will keep you out of many firms and decrease your chances at getting a firm job. But as far as I can tell at CLS, they don't act as an absolute bar to a firm job, mainly because there are hundreds of firms who have different requirements and needs. Below a 3.0 or multiple B-s definitely gets dicey, but very few people are that low. I personally know two people at CLS with below a 3.0 who got jobs through EIP....those two people may make up 5-10% of people with grades that low. But you are implying median is the cutoff, not 3.0. That is simply not empirically true. 85% of the CLS c/o 2012 who participated in EIP got offers (I have seen the data). Some kids with terrible grades may not participate (although I think that is a dumb decision - I mean, why not?), so maybe firms aren't going down to the bottom 10% of the class, but they are clearly going below median regularly. Big law is not "VERY HARD" to achieve at below median (but not bottom of the class) from CLS. It is, however, unpredictable. Median people will fail to get offers while my friends with sub-3.0 will. This next point, however, I agree on....

BruceWayne wrote:People who haven't gone through the process, like Tiago, often heavily overestimate what the name/prestige of a top 14 does for you. In reality, unless you're talking about HYS (which employers treat as truly special institutions that open up doors from their name alone) going to a top 14 is really just about buying your way into the school's 2L OCI process. The top 14 are all visited by a ton of firms every year for their OCI that don't all flock to the lower ranked schools. But once you miss that boat the luster of the degree significantly diminishes. At that point region, networking, and experience all play a much bigger role than school name.


I don't know how much the school does for you if you strike out (and you wanted big law).

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Re: Emory scholly v. T14 sticker

Postby BruceWayne » Sun Feb 03, 2013 4:20 pm

hibiki wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:Hibiki, your analysis of LRAP relies on a flawed premise that a lot of guys like Tiago Splitter and others who have not gone through the legal job search--getting a biglaw job is NOT easier than getting a LRAP qualifying job. People on here who haven't gone through OCI's summered etc. and hustled for a job seriously do not understand that biglaw is atrociously hard to get for most law students. Even at the top 14 it's hard (instead of just very hard). Here's the hard reality that people just don't want to accept: if you land below median at any non HYS top 14 biglaw is VERY hard to achieve (especially non NYC biglaw). It is not anywhere near as easy to land just from attending a top 14 (and that includes "CCN") as people like to think. Big firms have brutally hard and fast cutoffs that they rely on.


I'll readily admit that my only basis for thinking that biglaw is an easier path is anecdotal. That said, I'm more willing to believe PI minded folks who ended up with biglaw when they say that good PI work is harder to come by than biglaw. They have one thing and want the other, which seems to imply that it is harder to get. There might be people on LRAP who wanted biglaw, but I'd doubt that many of them are in good PI jobs. So, I hope that my post isn't too optimistic. If anything, I'd suggest that the wishful thinking here is often done by people who didn't get biglaw and are still grinding for something more. But missing the biglaw boat and still grinding doesn't apply to any of the older posters ITT, right?


It is easier IF you land above the median. That's the other side of what I was saying earlier. PI employers (excluding big fed and a few others) don't hire based primarily off of grades and their hiring is very unstructured. They hire off of qualitative factors. Whereas big firms are essentially: step 1) does this person meet the grade cutoff (if no resume is discarded/no callback is given from screener)? step 2) Do you meet the firm's (rather low) interpersonal skill requirements based off of the callback step? 3) If the answer to step 2 is yes then you are hired. Big firm hiring is extremely structured/streamlined (see the OCI process, hiring based on school/grade combo, and hiring from summer classes). Thus, the irony of biglaw is that, while it's very hard to get from an overall perspective, once you do hit that GPA requirement it's probably THE easiest type of legal job to get. I mean the employers literally come to you (via the OCI process) and all you have to do is submit your resume and transcript to them via symplicity. Some of them don't even require cover letters. After that go on a screener where you just chat about yourself and sports, then go to a callback and get a free lunch after meeting people at the firm and voila--you've got a six figure job lined up.

No matter what your grades are, PI hiring just doesn't work like that. Government and non-profit employers want to see demonstrated interest in their type of work, they want someone with professionalism who can also relate to the common man (many of them work with everyday people much more than big firms do), often they want you to prove your dedication by working an unpaid internship and interning during the school year (like Rad mentioned). Further, they want to see that you've done things like mock trial and clinics while in law school (as well as taking courses in the subject areas that they practice. They also care about references and recommendations.


somewhatwayward wrote:You are again projecting your personal experience onto not only everyone at UVA but everyone at all non-HYS T14s. You are right that bad grades will keep you out of many firms and decrease your chances at getting a firm job. But as far as I can tell at CLS, they don't act as an absolute bar to a firm job, mainly because there are hundreds of firms who have different requirements and needs. Below a 3.0 or multiple B-s definitely gets dicey, but very few people are that low. I personally know two people at CLS with below a 3.0 who got jobs through EIP....those two people may make up 5-10% of people with grades that low. But you are implying median is the cutoff, not 3.0. That is simply not empirically true. 85% of the CLS c/o 2012 who participated in EIP got offers (I have seen the data). Some kids with terrible grades may not participate (although I think that is a dumb decision - I mean, why not?), so maybe firms aren't going down to the bottom 10% of the class, but they are clearly going below median regularly. Big law is not "VERY HARD" to achieve at below median (but not bottom of the class) from CLS. It is, however, unpredictable. Median people will fail to get offers while my friends with sub-3.0 will. This next point, however, I agree on....


First, I think you are evaluating some of what I'm saying in too pedantic a fashion. I certainly realize that some people below median at non HYS top 14's get biglaw. What I am saying is that their chances are AWFUL. Go talk to the vast majority of people below median at non HYS top 14s and see how many of them are headed to biglaw. The nlj 250 charts show this alone (again I realize that just because 40%, for example of a school on the nlj chart gets biglaw that that doesn't mean it's exactly the top 40%).

You may disagree but let me say something that you and Tiago's post both highlight that I think is doing more for your school than you realize. In fact, I believe that's why they recently changed their policy. These big firms DEFINITELY have hard and fast cutoffs. That's why it's best to have a very murky grading system--particularly for grades below the median. From what you and Tiago are describing Columbia has enough damn sense to make it VERY difficult to get grades below a B (unlike idiotic schools like UVA that allow professors to give out ANY grade they want as long as the MEAN of the course is a 3.3). For most biglaw firms that is going to be an absolute cutoff. Thus, by making it very difficult to get that sort of grade at CLS, your school has set up a system where it's actually difficult for a student to get the grades that would put them below every big firm's cutoff. Now don't get me wrong--I don't think that's the only thing helping CLS out in regards to placing well. I personally believe that they have sort of a perfect storm for keeping employment high as a non HYS top 14. They are in the city with the most big firm jobs, while being an ivy league top 14. That's perfect because it combines the top 14 prestige that people often overestimate with the regional factor (which people often underestimate). Kids at Columbia can intern during the year with major legal employers and network in a city with a ton of lawyers. That's CRITICAL for a below median student--all while KEEPING the top 14 prestige.
Last edited by BruceWayne on Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Emory scholly v. T14 sticker

Postby bk1 » Sun Feb 03, 2013 4:37 pm

BruceWayne wrote:Whereas big firms are essentially: step 1) does this person meet the grade cutoff (if no resume is discarded/no callback is given from screener)? step 2) Do you meet the firm's (rather low) interpersonal skill requirements based off of the callback step? 3) If the answer to step 2 is yes then you are hired.

Step 2 to 3 is not as easy as you imply it is. Step 1 to 2 also isn't necessarily easy, even for someone with the grades.

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Re: Emory scholly v. T14 sticker

Postby Borg » Sun Feb 03, 2013 4:51 pm

bk1 wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:Whereas big firms are essentially: step 1) does this person meet the grade cutoff (if no resume is discarded/no callback is given from screener)? step 2) Do you meet the firm's (rather low) interpersonal skill requirements based off of the callback step? 3) If the answer to step 2 is yes then you are hired.

Step 2 to 3 is not as easy as you imply it is. Step 1 to 2 also isn't necessarily easy, even for someone with the grades.


Agreed. I think that firms in general actually don't care about grades as much as people are led to believe. I know people in the bottom 1/3 at both HYS and CCN who got V100 jobs (some people even in V10 with bad grades), and the evidence posted above from Columbia is pretty compelling in terms of their ability to place nearly everyone who wants it.

If you go in thinking they are going to carefully parse your grades and not pay much attention in the interview, you're doing it wrong. In my experience the process during the first round is (1) do I like this person? If yes, continue to (2) are their grades prohibitively bad? If no, proceed to (3) invite interviewee to callback. Building rapport with interviewers is the most crucial aspect of the whole thing.

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Re: Emory scholly v. T14 sticker

Postby AllTheLawz » Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:15 pm

Borg wrote:
bk1 wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:Whereas big firms are essentially: step 1) does this person meet the grade cutoff (if no resume is discarded/no callback is given from screener)? step 2) Do you meet the firm's (rather low) interpersonal skill requirements based off of the callback step? 3) If the answer to step 2 is yes then you are hired.

Step 2 to 3 is not as easy as you imply it is. Step 1 to 2 also isn't necessarily easy, even for someone with the grades.


Agreed. I think that firms in general actually don't care about grades as much as people are led to believe. I know people in the bottom 1/3 at both HYS and CCN who got V100 jobs (some people even in V10 with bad grades), and the evidence posted above from Columbia is pretty compelling in terms of their ability to place nearly everyone who wants it.

If you go in thinking they are going to carefully parse your grades and not pay much attention in the interview, you're doing it wrong. In my experience the process during the first round is (1) do I like this person? If yes, continue to (2) are their grades prohibitively bad? If no, proceed to (3) invite interviewee to callback. Building rapport with interviewers is the most crucial aspect of the whole thing.


Ding ding.. we finally have a winner. Everyone is overestimating both the importance of grades at the very top schools and severely underestimating the importance of interpersonal factors. A person in the 3rd quartile at Chicago or Columbia that strikes out stood a very, very good chance of striking out at HYS as well, even assuming same performance. At that point the person is almost certainly weak in ways beyond grades.

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Re: Emory scholly v. T14 sticker

Postby BruceWayne » Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:46 pm

Borg wrote:Agreed. I think that firms in general actually don't care about grades as much as people are led to believe. I know people in the bottom 1/3 at both HYS and CCN who got V100 jobs (some people even in V10 with bad grades), and the evidence posted above from Columbia is pretty compelling in terms of their ability to place nearly everyone who wants it.

If you go in thinking they are going to carefully parse your grades and not pay much attention in the interview, you're doing it wrong. In my experience the process during the first round is (1) do I like this person? If yes, continue to (2) are their grades prohibitively bad? If no, proceed to (3) invite interviewee to callback. Building rapport with interviewers is the most crucial aspect of the whole thing.


You're looking at it the wrong way. They don't carefully parse your grades and then interview you. They have a person quickly run through the bids on symplicity and then they discard those bids with GPAs below the floor at preselect schools so that those below the cutoff don't even get a screener. For 0Ls what this means is that you NEVER get to interview with the firm. You are finished before you even get a chance to start. That's something that is not publicized enough on here. Many people like to talk about how you can do so much with an interview and how much those matter--well if you end up below median and then get 3 preselects from OCI, guess you how much your interview skills matter then? You can't interview with an employer who will not talk to you. Further, many associates who interview for screeners are told straight up by their firm that they are not allowed to give callbacks--regardless--to those below a certain GPA. At lottery schools they interview you in the screener, and then check GPA's before they give out either the callback or if not that stage then before the offer. And if it's a close call between you and someone else at the callback stage many firms will take a look at the transcript again. Again, I think what many people don't realize is that firms will not even give you a SCREENER if your GPA is below the cutoff.

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Re: Emory scholly v. T14 sticker

Postby SportsFan » Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:04 pm

Do you guys have any idea what the GPA cutoffs for some big firms are? Or is this specific information basically impossible to find?

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Re: Emory scholly v. T14 sticker

Postby Borg » Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:15 pm

BruceWayne wrote:
Borg wrote:Agreed. I think that firms in general actually don't care about grades as much as people are led to believe. I know people in the bottom 1/3 at both HYS and CCN who got V100 jobs (some people even in V10 with bad grades), and the evidence posted above from Columbia is pretty compelling in terms of their ability to place nearly everyone who wants it.

If you go in thinking they are going to carefully parse your grades and not pay much attention in the interview, you're doing it wrong. In my experience the process during the first round is (1) do I like this person? If yes, continue to (2) are their grades prohibitively bad? If no, proceed to (3) invite interviewee to callback. Building rapport with interviewers is the most crucial aspect of the whole thing.


You're looking at it the wrong way. They don't carefully parse your grades and then interview you. They have a person quickly run through the bids on symplicity and then they discard those bids with GPAs below the floor at preselect schools so that those below the cutoff don't even get a screener. For 0Ls what this means is that you NEVER get to interview with the firm. You are finished before you even get a chance to start. That's something that is not publicized enough on here. Many people like to talk about how you can do so much with an interview and how much those matter--well if you end up below median and then get 3 preselects from OCI, guess you how much your interview skills matter then? You can't interview with an employer who will not talk to you. Further, many associates who interview for screeners are told straight up by their firm that they are not allowed to give callbacks--regardless--to those below a certain GPA. At lottery schools they interview you in the screener, and then check GPA's before they give out either the callback or if not that stage then before the offer. And if it's a close call between you and someone else at the callback stage many firms will take a look at the transcript again. Again, I think what many people don't realize is that firms will not even give you a SCREENER if your GPA is below the cutoff.


A) To my knowledge, none of HYSCCN are preselect schools. I'm only talking about those here, but correct me if I'm wrong about NYU.

B) If you have bad grades, don't bid on fucking Cravath. It's that simple. You look through prior results, see who was grade sensitive, and avoid them. If you build a good relationship with interviewers it won't be a close call and they aren't going to carefully parse your grades. If you go in thinking about your grades beyond merely avoiding firms that are out of reach and with the mindset that grades will be dispositive then you're already fucked.

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Re: Emory scholly v. T14 sticker

Postby BruceWayne » Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:22 pm

SportsFan wrote:Do you guys have any idea what the GPA cutoffs for some big firms are? Or is this specific information basically impossible to find?


They're different for different schools and different firms (also note that schools FIERCELY guard this info). But here's an article that gives an example of how things work.

http://abovethelaw.com/2011/09/an-insid ... g-process/

" The S&C grade guideline for Michigan is a 3.7 / A- average.
The maximum number of summer callbacks is 15 (out of 18 interviews per schedule).
Callbacks for permanent positions (as opposed to summer positions): “Our 3L hiring target is focused on filling needs in GP [General Practice - S&C-speak for Corporate] and Litigation, applying the usual standards.”

A) To my knowledge, none of HYSCCN are preselect schools. I'm only talking about those here, but correct me if I'm wrong about NYU.

B) If you have bad grades, don't bid on fucking Cravath. It's that simple. You look through prior results, see who was grade sensitive, and avoid them. If you build a good relationship with interviewers it won't be a close call and they aren't going to carefully parse your grades. If you go in thinking about your grades beyond merely avoiding firms that are out of reach and with the mindset that grades will be dispositive then you're already fucked.


So what do you suggest for students who fall below all of the firms cutoffs? Or are you just assuming that no one actually gets grades that put them below all firms' cutoffs? Also I'm not sure where the HYSCCN limitation is coming from. Are you implying that all of those schools are able to place anyone at any rank into biglaw and that what you're talking about doesn't pertain to the rest of the top 14?
Last edited by BruceWayne on Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:28 pm, edited 4 times in total.




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