something a practicing big law lawyer told me: is this BS?

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philly93
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something a practicing big law lawyer told me: is this BS?

Postby philly93 » Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:43 pm

so i was talking to a big law attorney about how to go about selecting schools. and he mentioned the following things:

- T6 almost guarantees you a big law firm.
- most of the t14 almost certainly gives yo a big law firm job offer.

these two were things that i expected however he went on to say: the problem in choosing t-14 schools are that they change in their rankings a lot (mostly from 7-14) and this means while you might have entered a t-14 school you might graduate at a school that is out of the t-14.

i find that hard to believe because when i looked up the law school rankings for the last few years the t-14 has maintained pretty standard.

what are your thoughts about this?

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: something a practicing big law lawyer told me: is this BS?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:48 pm

philly93 wrote:he went on to say: the problem in choosing t-14 schools are that they change in their rankings a lot (mostly from 7-14) and this means while you might have entered a t-14 school you might graduate at a school that is out of the t-14.

Yeah not even close.

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Pumpkin_Pie
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Re: something a practicing big law lawyer told me: is this BS?

Postby Pumpkin_Pie » Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:49 pm

T14 is pretty constant - it's T1 and T2 that change around a lot.

Also, there are no guarantees, an attorney should know that...

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dingbat
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Re: something a practicing big law lawyer told me: is this BS?

Postby dingbat » Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:53 pm

The T14 has been the T14 since the rankings started. No school ever dropped out of the T14, and except for a draw for 14th spot last year, no school broke in. HYS almost guarantees biglaw. All the T14 except Georgetown place over half their students in biglaw. However, there are no guarantees in life and it's possible to fuck it up. Don't worry about individual rankings, worry more about cost and location. Yes, there's a noticeable difference in placement between Columbia and, say, Duke, but how much of a price difference that's worth is open to debate. Also, Berkeley places better in California than almost any other T14, while NU places much better in Chicago, etc.

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: something a practicing big law lawyer told me: is this BS?

Postby XxSpyKEx » Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:03 am

dingbat wrote:HYS almost guarantees biglaw.


LOL... Not accurate at all:

Harvard
http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=harvard
48.7% large law firms + 16.3 federal clerkships = 65%. That's over a 1/3 that couldn't/didn't get biglaw, and this assumes all federal judicial law clerks are able to get biglaw (not necessarily true ITE-- the 2L SA hiring system complicates law clerk hiring for law clerks who either didn't do/get a SA or got no offered).

Stanford
49.5% large law firms + 23.4% federal clerkships = 72.9%. That's over 1/4 that couldn't/didn't get biglaw. Again, same inaccurate assumption re: all fed law clerks being able to get biglaw.

Yale
33.2% large law firms + 33.2% federal clerkships = 66.4%. That's over a 1/3 that couldn't/didn't get biglaw. Same assumption.

As an anecdote, I personally know a few grads who went to H and one who went to S (c/o 2011), all of whom also clerked at the same court as I did, and I know for a fact that they all struggled to find legal jobs (I guess kind of like everyone else ITE). HYS are not some kind of magical unicorns that are immune from the economy.

dingbat wrote:All the T14 except Georgetown place over half their students in biglaw.


This is inaccurate as well. See, e.g., http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=uva ; http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=michigan .

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Icculus
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Re: something a practicing big law lawyer told me: is this BS?

Postby Icculus » Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:20 am

XxSpyKEx wrote:
dingbat wrote:HYS almost guarantees biglaw.


LOL... Not accurate at all:

Harvard
http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=harvard
48.7% large law firms + 16.3 federal clerkships = 65%. That's over a 1/3 that couldn't/didn't get biglaw, and this assumes all federal judicial law clerks are able to get biglaw (not necessarily true ITE-- the 2L SA hiring system complicates law clerk hiring for law clerks who either didn't do/get a SA or got no offered).

Stanford
49.5% large law firms + 23.4% federal clerkships = 72.9%. That's over 1/4 that couldn't/didn't get biglaw. Again, same inaccurate assumption re: all fed law clerks being able to get biglaw.

Yale
33.2% large law firms + 33.2% federal clerkships = 66.4%. That's over a 1/3 that couldn't/didn't get biglaw. Same assumption.

As an anecdote, I personally know a few grads who went to H and one who went to S (c/o 2011), all of whom also clerked at the same court as I did, and I know for a fact that they all struggled to find legal jobs (I guess kind of like everyone else ITE). HYS are not some kind of magical unicorns that are immune from the economy.

dingbat wrote:All the T14 except Georgetown place over half their students in biglaw.


This is inaccurate as well. See, e.g., http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=uva ; http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=michigan .


This assumes everyone wants biglaw. Many people at these schools go the PI or academia route. Nice try. Did not get big law is not the same as could not.

Ti Malice
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Re: something a practicing big law lawyer told me: is this BS?

Postby Ti Malice » Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:29 am

XxSpyKEx wrote:
dingbat wrote:HYS almost guarantees biglaw.


LOL... Not accurate at all:

Harvard
http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=harvard
48.7% large law firms + 16.3 federal clerkships = 65%. That's over a 1/3 that couldn't/didn't get biglaw, and this assumes all federal judicial law clerks are able to get biglaw (not necessarily true ITE-- the 2L SA hiring system complicates law clerk hiring for law clerks who either didn't do/get a SA or got no offered).

Stanford
49.5% large law firms + 23.4% federal clerkships = 72.9%. That's over 1/4 that couldn't/didn't get biglaw. Again, same inaccurate assumption re: all fed law clerks being able to get biglaw.

Yale
33.2% large law firms + 33.2% federal clerkships = 66.4%. That's over a 1/3 that couldn't/didn't get biglaw. Same assumption.

As an anecdote, I personally know a few grads who went to H and one who went to S (c/o 2011), all of whom also clerked at the same court as I did, and I know for a fact that they all struggled to find legal jobs (I guess kind of like everyone else ITE). HYS are not some kind of magical unicorns that are immune from the economy.

dingbat wrote:All the T14 except Georgetown place over half their students in biglaw.


This is inaccurate as well. See, e.g., http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=uva ; http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=michigan .


What Icculus said. "Did not" and "could not" are distinct.

People here at YLS with straight Ps routinely get BigLaw, unless they're social misfits who can't interview properly. Even then they'll probably get offers. Contrary to your key assumption, BigLaw is a disappointing fall-back option for a large portion of the class here.

nebula666
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Re: something a practicing big law lawyer told me: is this BS?

Postby nebula666 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:45 am

XxSpyKEx wrote:
dingbat wrote:HYS almost guarantees biglaw.


LOL... Not accurate at all:

Harvard
http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=harvard
48.7% large law firms + 16.3 federal clerkships = 65%. That's over a 1/3 that couldn't/didn't get biglaw, and this assumes all federal judicial law clerks are able to get biglaw (not necessarily true ITE-- the 2L SA hiring system complicates law clerk hiring for law clerks who either didn't do/get a SA or got no offered).

Stanford
49.5% large law firms + 23.4% federal clerkships = 72.9%. That's over 1/4 that couldn't/didn't get biglaw. Again, same inaccurate assumption re: all fed law clerks being able to get biglaw.

Yale
33.2% large law firms + 33.2% federal clerkships = 66.4%. That's over a 1/3 that couldn't/didn't get biglaw. Same assumption.

As an anecdote, I personally know a few grads who went to H and one who went to S (c/o 2011), all of whom also clerked at the same court as I did, and I know for a fact that they all struggled to find legal jobs (I guess kind of like everyone else ITE). HYS are not some kind of magical unicorns that are immune from the economy.

dingbat wrote:All the T14 except Georgetown place over half their students in biglaw.


This is inaccurate as well. See, e.g., http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=uva ; http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=michigan .


54.4% of Harvard grads work in private practice and 48.7% of them got Biglaw. The 25th-75th percentile in salaries is 160k with a 155k average (99% of salaries reporting). That means that around 90% of those at H who went for private practice got biglaw. I'm assuming that the other 21.1% who got clerkships (16.3% Federal) wanted them. The 30.7% of Harvard grads in public interest / government probably wanted to be in that area. NOT EVERYONE WANTS BIGLAW. I don't think a lot of them are "settling" for these jobs because they couldn't find something they liked. There are also 5% in Business, people seeking other degrees and academia, etc.


timbs4339
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Re: something a practicing big law lawyer told me: is this BS?

Postby timbs4339 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:11 am

nebula666 wrote:
54.4% of Harvard grads work in private practice and 48.7% of them got Biglaw. The 25th-75th percentile in salaries is 160k with a 155k average (99% of salaries reporting). That means that around 90% of those at H who went for private practice got biglaw. I'm assuming that the other 21.1% who got clerkships (16.3% Federal) wanted them. The 30.7% of Harvard grads in public interest / government probably wanted to be in that area. NOT EVERYONE WANTS BIGLAW. I don't think a lot of them are "settling" for these jobs because they couldn't find something they liked. There are also 5% in Business, people seeking other degrees and academia, etc.


Compare those numbers to the c/o 2009- 65% at firms, and about half the number in government/PI. Certainly some people who are "settling."

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suralin
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Re: something a practicing big law lawyer told me: is this BS?

Postby suralin » Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:07 pm

philly93 wrote:so i was talking to a big law attorney about how to go about selecting schools. and he mentioned the following things:

- T6 almost guarantees you a big law firm.
- most of the t14 almost certainly gives yo a big law firm job offer.

these two were things that i expected however he went on to say: the problem in choosing t-14 schools are that they change in their rankings a lot (mostly from 7-14) and this means while you might have entered a t-14 school you might graduate at a school that is out of the t-14.

i find that hard to believe because when i looked up the law school rankings for the last few years the t-14 has maintained pretty standard.

what are your thoughts about this?


Shitboomer?

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IAFG
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Re: something a practicing big law lawyer told me: is this BS?

Postby IAFG » Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:25 pm

If USNWR ranked NU 50th next year we would have roughly the same placement power. Firms come to schools based on their own impressions of schools, not what USNWR says about them.

AllTheLawz
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Re: something a practicing big law lawyer told me: is this BS?

Postby AllTheLawz » Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:26 pm

timbs4339 wrote:
nebula666 wrote:
54.4% of Harvard grads work in private practice and 48.7% of them got Biglaw. The 25th-75th percentile in salaries is 160k with a 155k average (99% of salaries reporting). That means that around 90% of those at H who went for private practice got biglaw. I'm assuming that the other 21.1% who got clerkships (16.3% Federal) wanted them. The 30.7% of Harvard grads in public interest / government probably wanted to be in that area. NOT EVERYONE WANTS BIGLAW. I don't think a lot of them are "settling" for these jobs because they couldn't find something they liked. There are also 5% in Business, people seeking other degrees and academia, etc.


Compare those numbers to the c/o 2009- 65% at firms, and about half the number in government/PI. Certainly some people who are "settling."


The people "settling" typically aren't going government/PI. Government jobs and fellowship resources (a necessity for PI) are pretty competitive and most people who end up getting them didn't change b/c they missed biglaw. Those who are actually settling are usually the ones that end up at smaller, non-vault private practice shops (although some of that non-biglaw percentage is people going to super prestigious small firms). I think one thing that has changed is that less people who think they want PI are defaulting to firms now since it takes a little more effort to get biglaw compared to how it used to be. I was actually really shocked with how few people struck-out and how little recruiting had to do with grades. I only knew of two people who initially struck-out. Both were the type who probably had no business at OCI (e.g. resumes filled with PI, general "dreamer" attitudes, and spent all 1L year talking about how they would never go to a firm).

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IAFG
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Re: something a practicing big law lawyer told me: is this BS?

Postby IAFG » Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:31 pm

XxSpyKEx is looking at the outlier year 2011. All the information I am hearing out of HLS suggests that 2011 was worse than more recent cycles. And even then, it was a pretty safe bet.

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: something a practicing big law lawyer told me: is this BS?

Postby XxSpyKEx » Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:31 pm

IAFG wrote:XxSpyKEx is looking at the outlier year 2011. All the information I am hearing out of HLS suggests that 2011 was worse than more recent cycles. And even then, it was a pretty safe bet.


I know people who went to HLS (and SLS), who obviously did well enough to land a good fed clerkship (but did not have offers out of 2L OCI), but still struggled a lot with finding legal employment. They certainly don't think their law school was a "safe bet." Obviously, 2011 was the worst year, and things have picked up a lot since then, but even then, biglaw hiring isn't what it was 5 years ago, which makes things less of a sure thing at any law school (except, perhaps, YLS).

timbs4339 wrote:
nebula666 wrote:
54.4% of Harvard grads work in private practice and 48.7% of them got Biglaw. The 25th-75th percentile in salaries is 160k with a 155k average (99% of salaries reporting). That means that around 90% of those at H who went for private practice got biglaw. I'm assuming that the other 21.1% who got clerkships (16.3% Federal) wanted them. The 30.7% of Harvard grads in public interest / government probably wanted to be in that area. NOT EVERYONE WANTS BIGLAW. I don't think a lot of them are "settling" for these jobs because they couldn't find something they liked. There are also 5% in Business, people seeking other degrees and academia, etc.


Compare those numbers to the c/o 2009- 65% at firms, and about half the number in government/PI. Certainly some people who are "settling."


This. I think it's a bit naive to assume that the people who went into PI or business went there because that's what they wanted. That's not much different than arguing that 99.9% of people who attended Cooley didn't want biglaw and they were not settling (pretty sure Cooley's shady office of admission would probably even tell you that). I think the number of people who attend HYS, wanting PI is typically pretty low (around 10% or less). Unfortunately, federal government has a tendency to fall into the PI category, which a lot of people want (federal government is usually more competitive than biglaw). But I highly doubt 20.7% of HLS's c/o 2011 went into federal government.

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IAFG
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Re: something a practicing big law lawyer told me: is this BS?

Postby IAFG » Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:39 pm

You have to be pretty damn risk averse to look at HLS's placement, know that 2011 was the worst year, know some people will choose PI, know some JD-MBAs will choose business, know some people get fellowships, and then still say it's not a safe bet.

philly93
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Re: something a practicing big law lawyer told me: is this BS?

Postby philly93 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:15 pm

thanks for the replies guys, it's really helpful reading all these comments. i'm only a sophomore but i find your discussion very valuable in getting info about the job market.

But i am a little confused with the discussion. there's all this talk of Yale and harvard and it makes it seem like if you don't go to them then the odds are against you to get a big law offer (or any kind of secure legal job). i know not everyone wants big law, but i do (might change haha). and i believe i saw that columbia placed more students in big law in NYC (obvi due to location and prestige) than harvard or yale. so why aren't more people obsessed with Columbia or NYU if they want biglaw?

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Re: something a practicing big law lawyer told me: is this BS?

Postby Kikero » Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:25 pm

philly93 wrote:thanks for the replies guys, it's really helpful reading all these comments. i'm only a sophomore but i find your discussion very valuable in getting info about the job market.

But i am a little confused with the discussion. there's all this talk of Yale and harvard and it makes it seem like if you don't go to them then the odds are against you to get a big law offer (or any kind of secure legal job). i know not everyone wants big law, but i do (might change haha). and i believe i saw that columbia placed more students in big law in NYC (obvi due to location and prestige) than harvard or yale. so why aren't more people obsessed with Columbia or NYU if they want biglaw?


If you're a sophomore, don't worry about this right now.

That being said, every school in the T14 (I believe) places a higher percentage of students into biglaw than Yale, that doesn't mean don't go to Yale if you want biglaw, it just means that a lot of people who go there don't. While HYS might all place less into biglaw than Columbia, Penn, or Northwestern, conventional wisdom says they still give you a much better shot at it, but a lot of people just don't take that shot.

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IAFG
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Re: something a practicing big law lawyer told me: is this BS?

Postby IAFG » Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:27 pm

Gross simplification: at Northwestern, biglaw is what you do when you're successful. At Yale, it's what you do when you fail to get something better, like academia or policy work in DC.

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suralin
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Re: something a practicing big law lawyer told me: is this BS?

Postby suralin » Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:28 pm

Kikero wrote:
philly93 wrote:thanks for the replies guys, it's really helpful reading all these comments. i'm only a sophomore but i find your discussion very valuable in getting info about the job market.

But i am a little confused with the discussion. there's all this talk of Yale and harvard and it makes it seem like if you don't go to them then the odds are against you to get a big law offer (or any kind of secure legal job). i know not everyone wants big law, but i do (might change haha). and i believe i saw that columbia placed more students in big law in NYC (obvi due to location and prestige) than harvard or yale. so why aren't more people obsessed with Columbia or NYU if they want biglaw?


If you're a sophomore, don't worry about this right now.

That being said, every school in the T14 (I believe) places a higher percentage of students into biglaw than Yale, that doesn't mean don't go to Yale if you want biglaw, it just means that a lot of people who go there don't. While HYS might all place less into biglaw than Columbia, Penn, or Northwestern, conventional wisdom says they still give you a much better shot at it, but a lot of people just don't take that shot.


Yup. You have to remember that placement stats only show placement stats, not placement abilities. The two are definitely correlated, but less so for certain schools, e.g., YHS.

philly93
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Re: something a practicing big law lawyer told me: is this BS?

Postby philly93 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:32 pm

gotcha. that really helps a lot. I came across this link and wanted to share it with y'all.

http://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/l ... or-in-2013

it predicts for more big law firm hirings! so hopefully the legal market is somewhat better when i graduate law school in 2018/2019! haha

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CyanIdes Of March
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Re: something a practicing big law lawyer told me: is this BS?

Postby CyanIdes Of March » Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:47 pm

philly93 wrote:gotcha. that really helps a lot. I came across this link and wanted to share it with y'all.

http://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/l ... or-in-2013

it predicts for more big law firm hirings! so hopefully the legal market is somewhat better when i graduate law school in 2018/2019! haha


SHhhhhhHhHHhhhhhhh!

We don't need people getting optimistic about the legal market and flooding back in with apps to law school. From now until we all graduate the story is: the legal market sucks and going to law school is the worst/most costly mistake you could ever make.

Which is true in many cases.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: something a practicing big law lawyer told me: is this BS?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Thu Jan 03, 2013 5:00 pm

philly93 wrote:gotcha. that really helps a lot. I came across this link and wanted to share it with y'all.

http://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/l ... or-in-2013

it predicts for more big law firm hirings! so hopefully the legal market is somewhat better when i graduate law school in 2018/2019! haha


Class of 2010 saw 5,869 employed in firms of 100+ attorneys and 18,329 employed in a firm of any kind. Class of 2011 saw 4,757 employed in a firm of 100+ attorneys and 17,666 employed in any kind of firm. Meanwhile, the class of 2009 came in at an 8,026/20,145 split. So the article's conclusion that "law firms have been steadily increasing their hiring since 2009" is just plain wrong.

http://www.nalp.org/uploads/NationalSum ... ls2010.pdf

http://www.nalp.org/uploads/NatlSummCha ... of2011.pdf

http://www.nalp.org/uploads/NatlSummary ... ssof09.pdf

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dingbat
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Re: something a practicing big law lawyer told me: is this BS?

Postby dingbat » Thu Jan 03, 2013 5:01 pm

philly93 wrote:gotcha. that really helps a lot. I came across this link and wanted to share it with y'all.

http://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/l ... or-in-2013

it predicts for more big law firm hirings! so hopefully the legal market is somewhat better when i graduate law school in 2018/2019! haha

Thd article is tripe.
As for long term, if the economy improves, hiring improves. Duh! But what if it doesn't improve? A college kid could have written that article without doing any research beyond looking up figures on google. Oh wait...

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IAFG
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Re: something a practicing big law lawyer told me: is this BS?

Postby IAFG » Thu Jan 03, 2013 5:03 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
philly93 wrote:gotcha. that really helps a lot. I came across this link and wanted to share it with y'all.

http://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/l ... or-in-2013

it predicts for more big law firm hirings! so hopefully the legal market is somewhat better when i graduate law school in 2018/2019! haha


Class of 2010 saw 5,869 employed in firms of 100+ attorneys and 18,329 employed in a firm of any kind. Class of 2011 saw 4,757 employed in a firm of 100+ attorneys and 17,666 employed in any kind of firm. Meanwhile, the class of 2009 came in at an 8,026/20,145 split. So the article's conclusion that "law firms have been steadily increasing their hiring since 2009" is just plain wrong.

http://www.nalp.org/uploads/NationalSum ... ls2010.pdf

http://www.nalp.org/uploads/NatlSummCha ... of2011.pdf

http://www.nalp.org/uploads/NatlSummary ... ssof09.pdf

inorite? i like how they don't even claim to have a source.

but if things ever do pick up, the midlevel market is going to be hot. we're lucky for that.




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