timbs4339 wrote:A perspective from a T6 grad-
The guy who said the only people who strike out at OCI and can't get biglaw are bottom 10% people or terrible personalities is lying, stupid, or he just stepped out of a time machine from 2006. That wasn't the case for me (except in the hindsight is 40/40 law school career counselor's view that if anyone struck out at CLS EIP they must have vomited on the interviewer) and it wasn't true for many of my classmates either. Granted, we were class of 2012, but I know some c/o 2013 folks who were in the same boat and from what I understand hiring still is quite depressed.
The idea that firms do not have grade cutoffs is also just wrong. The large firms with the biggest summer classes have grade cutoffs much higher than bottom 10%. At CLS it was top third and you are *just about* guaranteed a SA position. After that, it came down to your work experience, language skills, resume, and just plain luck on bidding a list of firms with lower cutoffs or who were hiring a lot of summers. NYU students had some detailed GPA cutoff info, you can try searching for those threads.
The theory that PI people don't take federal clerkships is again, just wrong. The idea that everyone who works PI or gov't is self-selecting is just wrong- it was wrong as applied to several of my friends who are still hoping to get firm jobs after their fellowships. You may be able to get it out of Penn, but PI/gov't, I think, are not for people who don't really want to be lawyers. They are not some "corporatey suity wearing job" like biglaw.
Finally, the point about it being a 40 year investment is a good point if you are a robot. Many people want to enjoy their 20s/early 30s. Spending most of your time cooped up in an office and the lowest guy on the totem pole, only so you can pay in excess of 75% of your annual income to the government (federal, state and city taxes if applicable, and loan payments), is not what people want. Don't underestimate how crappy the lifestyle is. I have a friend who after his SA often disparaged about associates who complained about the hours as "people who never held a real job." He's four months into biglaw and is already looking to quit but can't. And don't assume long hours are unique to biglaw either. I regularly put in 14 hour days as a judicial clerk.
I wish more people thought like this. Everyone on this site is hyper biglaw focused, and it seems like no one has a clue that biglaw is awful
. We're all concerned about whether Penn has a high enough biglaw placement rate, without thinking that biglaw means years of mostly mindless work at unpredictable and nearly always undesirable hours, surrounded by people who are anxious about getting fired but also desperate to leave. I think, despite so many posters on this site being very intelligent people, barely any of them have a good sense of what lawyers do and, despite everyone posting about how bad an investment law school is, everyone is still funneling themselves into the law school -> biglaw to pay off debt and have a job -> years of unhappiness -> escape to a job that just pays less but probably is also mindless with crappy hours.
I applaud all the posters who incessantly post about the poor economy and the difficulty of getting a biglaw associate position, but I wish more people would look at what comes next -- even if you do secure a position, do you actually understand what that job looks like and is that actually what you want to do?