Am I crazy for attending UPenn at sticker (Poll)?

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Am I crazy for attending UPenn at sticker?

Yes
65
23%
No
212
77%
 
Total votes: 277

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Am I crazy for attending UPenn at sticker (Poll)?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Fri Feb 08, 2013 2:51 pm

I've come to believe that whether it makes sense to go to any law school at sticker really just depends on your personal circumstances. Many, if not most, people you'll encounter at T10 or so schools, in my experience, are from at least moderate money. They might not be able to pay out of pocket for law school— and a lot of them are even financing the whole cost with loans—but they still have a safety net. Even if your family isn't rich, if they're probably able to help you with your loans if push comes to shove and you really need it (say your dad puts off retiring a few years or whatever, it sucks but it's an option), then T10, T14, etc., at sticker isn't such a bad idea.

If you're borrowing $250k to go to any law school and your parents/grandma/whatever really don't have any room to help and you really, absolutely need to get and keep a high-paying job to pay it back, then you're taking a pretty big risk. I don't care if it's Harvard you're paying for. Best case scenario, you get biglaw and it works out, but you're still committing about a decade of your life to getting back to zero, financially, while working in a field you may or may not like, and you have to be extremely concerned about your job security the whole time. Keep in mind that you can "succeed," get a large firm job at graduation, show up in the 60% or whatever the number may be with "good" employment outcomes, and then get fired in year one, two, three, etc., while still owing a ton of money. You might keep your job but the threat of layoffs if you underperform could still be always in the back of your mind, stressing you out. You might hate it but feel obligated to spend years of your life doing it.

Not everyone borrowing sticker price is in the same position. People who, at the end of the day, won't starve or default on their loans have a much lighter psychological burden.

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Nickg415
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Re: Am I crazy for attending UPenn at sticker (Poll)?

Postby Nickg415 » Fri Feb 08, 2013 2:59 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:Best case scenario, you get biglaw and it works out, but you're still committing about a decade of your life to getting back to zero, financially, while working in a field you may or may not like, and you have to be extremely concerned about your job security the whole time.


I've wondered about this. How long does it take to get your loans to a place where you can start to feel as though you are not "stuck in big law" due to debt. While it might take a while to get it down to zero I am sure even 100,000 of debt would be fine in a smaller market at a firm getting paying 3rd or 4th year associate salary. Also it seems as though, even if I wanted to pay off all my loans, I live off of 50k-60k and spending the other 60-80k (whatever it is after taxes) paying off the student loans and be done in under 5 years.

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Dato
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Re: Am I crazy for attending UPenn at sticker (Poll)?

Postby Dato » Fri Feb 08, 2013 3:04 pm

This.

Nickg415 wrote:A lot of people are throwing out 60% almost as a cut off that I need to make (If I end up in the bottom 1/3 i'm screwed) but is it likely that this 60% is make up of top a majority of students from the top 30-40% and and then the rest scattered throughout the class distribution with man people opting out of big law for clerkship, PI, JD/MBA work? If that is the case wouldn't bottom third only mean that I need to polish my interview and cast a larger net? Obviously we would need to know what percent of students shoot for big law to truly understand the likely hood of obtaining it but it seems unlikely that everyone is gunning for it and only 60% of those people are landing a gig (and those 60% are only the people in the top 60%).


NOT this.

JCougar wrote:As for finishing in the bottom third...you simply won't get Biglaw if you are below the GPA cutoffs. They will throw your resume straight into the trash. Most people who attend Penn are taking out an enormous amount of debt to go there, and even if they are interested in PI, etc. will be lured into Biglaw if they can get it, and lateral into PI later. There's a few exceptions (I know someone in the top 2% here that absolutely refused to participate in OCI because she's interested in plaintiff-side work), but for the most part, people that "self-select" into public interest do so only after it's apparent that they've struck out at Biglaw.

So I doubt if there's really much of that effect that you describe, where the people at Penn that do not get Biglaw do so willfully. There will be a few people like that, but not many.


Source? None. Don't make up things like GPA cutoffs unless you can back them up with substance. Lawyers don't like bold, unsubstantiated statements. The cutoff you speak of doesn't exist.

First, Penn doesn't publish class rank or give out GPAs.
There is some professor discretion, but 1L grades for each course are generally as follows:
A: 15% | A-: 15% | B+: 27.5%| B: 27.5% | B- 15%. A+ and C are discretionary.

Firms simply cannot, and do not have the time to calculate your GPA. They are dealing with thousands of applicants each year. THERE IS NO GPA CUTOFF. Ask any hiring partner that does OCI at Penn. They take a cursory look at your transcript. If they see all B-, it would probably be an auto-ding. But nobody gets all B-. It just doesn't happen.

On another note, not doing biglaw isn't the end of the world. There is Tollrap, new and overhauled. I encourage you to look it over if you might consider public interest work. Penn's endowment is big enough to make sure that no graduate is suffocating with debt. Dean Fitts just threw a huge ice themed donor party for his most recent donation drive, which brought in 500 million bucks. People just aren't stressing out about employment because there's nothing to stress about.

I would assume that all T-10s are like this, with nominal variations. Also somebody said that a Penn degree isn't portable... Come on. T-10's in general are portable. A small majority of Penn students are from VA/DC/MD/DE/PA/NJ/NY so most select this region. There are also a lot of us from other areas. People go wherever they want. Everyone I know that aimed at CA got CA, everyone I know that aimed at WA got WA, everyone I know that aimed at FL got FL, everyone I know that aimed TX got TX, everyone I know that aimed at MA got MA.

EDIT: Another misconception is that people who transition out of biglaw end up with low paying gigs. Many, perhaps most, go in-house (making tons). Others go to smaller firms, where they make easily 200k+ (they have experience at that point, they aren't going to come in at the 115k/yr that a smaller firm might pay its rookie SAs). Other's go to high impact litigation boutique firms where they make baaaank. Others go to government agencies and, while admittedly taking a pay cut, still do well. By that time have the experience for GS14-GS-15 (100k-155k).
Last edited by Dato on Fri Feb 08, 2013 3:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Am I crazy for attending UPenn at sticker (Poll)?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Fri Feb 08, 2013 3:12 pm

Nickg415 wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:Best case scenario, you get biglaw and it works out, but you're still committing about a decade of your life to getting back to zero, financially, while working in a field you may or may not like, and you have to be extremely concerned about your job security the whole time.


I've wondered about this. How long does it take to get your loans to a place where you can start to feel as though you are not "stuck in big law" due to debt. While it might take a while to get it down to zero I am sure even 100,000 of debt would be fine in a smaller market at a firm getting paying 3rd or 4th year associate salary. Also it seems as though, even if I wanted to pay off all my loans, I live off of 50k-60k and spending the other 60-80k (whatever it is after taxes) paying off the student loans and be done in under 5 years.

If you take on sticker debt and pay 40K in year one, putting all raises into debt service going forward, you still won't be under 200K until sometime in year 3. There is a fairly large jump in pay from years 3 to 4 so if you can survive through the end of year 4 you'll be in a more comfortable spot, but it takes a long time to get ahead of the interest on sticker debt.

rad lulz
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Re: Am I crazy for attending UPenn at sticker (Poll)?

Postby rad lulz » Fri Feb 08, 2013 3:26 pm

Dato wrote:I would assume that all T-10s are like this, with nominal variations. Also somebody said that a Penn degree isn't portable... Come on. T-10's in general are portable. A small majority of Penn students are from VA/DC/MD/DE/PA/NJ/NY so most select this region. There are also a lot of us from other areas. People go wherever they want. Everyone I know that aimed at CA got CA, everyone I know that aimed at WA got WA, everyone I know that aimed at FL got FL, everyone I know that aimed TX got TX, everyone I know that aimed at MA got MA.

How many of those people had average grades and were NOT from the area or had strong preexisting ties.

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francesfarmer
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Re: Am I crazy for attending UPenn at sticker (Poll)?

Postby francesfarmer » Fri Feb 08, 2013 3:31 pm

Dato wrote:This.

Nickg415 wrote:A lot of people are throwing out 60% almost as a cut off that I need to make (If I end up in the bottom 1/3 i'm screwed) but is it likely that this 60% is make up of top a majority of students from the top 30-40% and and then the rest scattered throughout the class distribution with man people opting out of big law for clerkship, PI, JD/MBA work? If that is the case wouldn't bottom third only mean that I need to polish my interview and cast a larger net? Obviously we would need to know what percent of students shoot for big law to truly understand the likely hood of obtaining it but it seems unlikely that everyone is gunning for it and only 60% of those people are landing a gig (and those 60% are only the people in the top 60%).


NOT this.

JCougar wrote:As for finishing in the bottom third...you simply won't get Biglaw if you are below the GPA cutoffs. They will throw your resume straight into the trash. Most people who attend Penn are taking out an enormous amount of debt to go there, and even if they are interested in PI, etc. will be lured into Biglaw if they can get it, and lateral into PI later. There's a few exceptions (I know someone in the top 2% here that absolutely refused to participate in OCI because she's interested in plaintiff-side work), but for the most part, people that "self-select" into public interest do so only after it's apparent that they've struck out at Biglaw.

So I doubt if there's really much of that effect that you describe, where the people at Penn that do not get Biglaw do so willfully. There will be a few people like that, but not many.


Source? None. Don't make up things like GPA cutoffs unless you can back them up with substance. Lawyers don't like bold, unsubstantiated statements. The cutoff you speak of doesn't exist.

First, Penn doesn't publish class rank or give out GPAs.
There is some professor discretion, but 1L grades for each course are generally as follows:
A: 15% | A-: 15% | B+: 27.5%| B: 27.5% | B- 15%. A+ and C are discretionary.

Firms simply cannot, and do not have the time to calculate your GPA. They are dealing with thousands of applicants each year. THERE IS NO GPA CUTOFF. Ask any hiring partner that does OCI at Penn. They take a cursory look at your transcript. If they see all B-, it would probably be an auto-ding. But nobody gets all B-. It just doesn't happen.

On another note, not doing biglaw isn't the end of the world. There is Tollrap, new and overhauled. I encourage you to look it over if you might consider public interest work. Penn's endowment is big enough to make sure that no graduate is suffocating with debt. Dean Fitts just threw a huge ice themed donor party for his most recent donation drive, which brought in 500 million bucks. People just aren't stressing out about employment because there's nothing to stress about.

I would assume that all T-10s are like this, with nominal variations. Also somebody said that a Penn degree isn't portable... Come on. T-10's in general are portable. A small majority of Penn students are from VA/DC/MD/DE/PA/NJ/NY so most select this region. There are also a lot of us from other areas. People go wherever they want. Everyone I know that aimed at CA got CA, everyone I know that aimed at WA got WA, everyone I know that aimed at FL got FL, everyone I know that aimed TX got TX, everyone I know that aimed at MA got MA.

EDIT: Another misconception is that people who transition out of biglaw end up with low paying gigs. Many, perhaps most, go in-house (making tons). Others go to smaller firms, where they make easily 200k+ (they have experience at that point, they aren't going to come in at the 115k/yr that a smaller firm might pay its rookie SAs). Other's go to high impact litigation boutique firms where they make baaaank. Others go to government agencies and, while admittedly taking a pay cut, still do well. By that time have the experience for GS14-GS-15 (100k-155k).

Can anyone second this post which makes me feel crazy for questioning whether to go to penn?

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Rahviveh
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Re: Am I crazy for attending UPenn at sticker (Poll)?

Postby Rahviveh » Fri Feb 08, 2013 3:35 pm

ercmilla wrote:
ChampagnePapi wrote:OP what are your current career and salary prospects? That's something to think about that helped me make my own decisions


What career prospects in your opinion should dissuade someone from taking out the debt to fund law school?

Also, salary prospects are difficult to predict at the age most folks make the decision to go to law school (22-26 presumably). They also have relatively low salaries due to entry-level work.


This is going to be different for everyone so I don't have an opinion on that.

If I was making 80-100k doing something interesting (engineering, finance, etc) then there is no way I would go unless I got HYS or a T14 at a significant discount (meaning 100k or less of total debt).

Then again, I'm not actually in that position so that's easy for me to say.

I just think that if you're the typical LOLibArts graduate then going to a T14 at sticker is defensible... but I'm a 0L so whatever.
Last edited by Rahviveh on Fri Feb 08, 2013 3:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Dato
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Re: Am I crazy for attending UPenn at sticker (Poll)?

Postby Dato » Fri Feb 08, 2013 3:37 pm

rad lulz wrote:
Dato wrote:I would assume that all T-10s are like this, with nominal variations. Also somebody said that a Penn degree isn't portable... Come on. T-10's in general are portable. A small majority of Penn students are from VA/DC/MD/DE/PA/NJ/NY so most select this region. There are also a lot of us from other areas. People go wherever they want. Everyone I know that aimed at CA got CA, everyone I know that aimed at WA got WA, everyone I know that aimed at FL got FL, everyone I know that aimed TX got TX, everyone I know that aimed at MA got MA.

How many of those people had average grades and were NOT from the area or had strong preexisting ties.


A few. Self selection plays a huge role here, so much so that wondering too much becomes worthless. If you have zero ties to a region how likely is it that you will spontaneously want to spend your life there? By ties I don't mean family ties, I mean just having spent some time there.

The closest thing to the incredibly unlikely hypo of a person who has never spent time in a place but somehow wants to live there is the following: I know people who had visited Cali a few times on vacation, loved it and wanted it. So they did their 1L summer out there and that gave them fodder for interviews. All you need is to have something to say if the "why this city?" question happens to arise. The acceptable answer threshold is pretty low for T10 grads applying to areas with high quality of life. They assume everyone wants to be there. Just give them something to nibble on. It will be 15 seconds of your interview, tops. It's not brain surgery.

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helix23
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Re: Am I crazy for attending UPenn at sticker (Poll)?

Postby helix23 » Fri Feb 08, 2013 3:40 pm

Nickg415 wrote:
helix23 wrote:
Maybe I'm being nit-picky, but you should include Federal Clerkships as a "good outcome" (~10% per year at UPenn). Many people that grab these sought-after positions follow up their term with biglaw alongside signing bonuses and other goodies. My buddy and college roommate clerked for the supreme court and signed on with a firm that paid all of his law school debt (he paid sticker at a UPenn peer btw). That's the dream (and not realistic), but it happens.


Wait the firm both paid for his debt and paid him what I would assume to be market salary??!!


not sure what's going on but you keep quoting things that I didn't write but they are showing up as my quotes? sorta weird.

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suralin
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Re: Am I crazy for attending UPenn at sticker (Poll)?

Postby suralin » Fri Feb 08, 2013 4:36 pm

francesfarmer wrote:
Dato wrote:This.

Nickg415 wrote:A lot of people are throwing out 60% almost as a cut off that I need to make (If I end up in the bottom 1/3 i'm screwed) but is it likely that this 60% is make up of top a majority of students from the top 30-40% and and then the rest scattered throughout the class distribution with man people opting out of big law for clerkship, PI, JD/MBA work? If that is the case wouldn't bottom third only mean that I need to polish my interview and cast a larger net? Obviously we would need to know what percent of students shoot for big law to truly understand the likely hood of obtaining it but it seems unlikely that everyone is gunning for it and only 60% of those people are landing a gig (and those 60% are only the people in the top 60%).


NOT this.

JCougar wrote:As for finishing in the bottom third...you simply won't get Biglaw if you are below the GPA cutoffs. They will throw your resume straight into the trash. Most people who attend Penn are taking out an enormous amount of debt to go there, and even if they are interested in PI, etc. will be lured into Biglaw if they can get it, and lateral into PI later. There's a few exceptions (I know someone in the top 2% here that absolutely refused to participate in OCI because she's interested in plaintiff-side work), but for the most part, people that "self-select" into public interest do so only after it's apparent that they've struck out at Biglaw.

So I doubt if there's really much of that effect that you describe, where the people at Penn that do not get Biglaw do so willfully. There will be a few people like that, but not many.


Source? None. Don't make up things like GPA cutoffs unless you can back them up with substance. Lawyers don't like bold, unsubstantiated statements. The cutoff you speak of doesn't exist.

First, Penn doesn't publish class rank or give out GPAs.
There is some professor discretion, but 1L grades for each course are generally as follows:
A: 15% | A-: 15% | B+: 27.5%| B: 27.5% | B- 15%. A+ and C are discretionary.

Firms simply cannot, and do not have the time to calculate your GPA. They are dealing with thousands of applicants each year. THERE IS NO GPA CUTOFF. Ask any hiring partner that does OCI at Penn. They take a cursory look at your transcript. If they see all B-, it would probably be an auto-ding. But nobody gets all B-. It just doesn't happen.

On another note, not doing biglaw isn't the end of the world. There is Tollrap, new and overhauled. I encourage you to look it over if you might consider public interest work. Penn's endowment is big enough to make sure that no graduate is suffocating with debt. Dean Fitts just threw a huge ice themed donor party for his most recent donation drive, which brought in 500 million bucks. People just aren't stressing out about employment because there's nothing to stress about.

I would assume that all T-10s are like this, with nominal variations. Also somebody said that a Penn degree isn't portable... Come on. T-10's in general are portable. A small majority of Penn students are from VA/DC/MD/DE/PA/NJ/NY so most select this region. There are also a lot of us from other areas. People go wherever they want. Everyone I know that aimed at CA got CA, everyone I know that aimed at WA got WA, everyone I know that aimed at FL got FL, everyone I know that aimed TX got TX, everyone I know that aimed at MA got MA.

EDIT: Another misconception is that people who transition out of biglaw end up with low paying gigs. Many, perhaps most, go in-house (making tons). Others go to smaller firms, where they make easily 200k+ (they have experience at that point, they aren't going to come in at the 115k/yr that a smaller firm might pay its rookie SAs). Other's go to high impact litigation boutique firms where they make baaaank. Others go to government agencies and, while admittedly taking a pay cut, still do well. By that time have the experience for GS14-GS-15 (100k-155k).

Can anyone second this post which makes me feel crazy for questioning whether to go to penn?


+1

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JCougar
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Re: Am I crazy for attending UPenn at sticker (Poll)?

Postby JCougar » Fri Feb 08, 2013 4:37 pm

Dato wrote:Source? None. Don't make up things like GPA cutoffs unless you can back them up with substance. Lawyers don't like bold, unsubstantiated statements. The cutoff you speak of doesn't exist.

First, Penn doesn't publish class rank or give out GPAs.
There is some professor discretion, but 1L grades for each course are generally as follows:
A: 15% | A-: 15% | B+: 27.5%| B: 27.5% | B- 15%. A+ and C are discretionary.

Firms simply cannot, and do not have the time to calculate your GPA. They are dealing with thousands of applicants each year. THERE IS NO GPA CUTOFF. Ask any hiring partner that does OCI at Penn. They take a cursory look at your transcript. If they see all B-, it would probably be an auto-ding. But nobody gets all B-. It just doesn't happen.


wat?

Is Penn's OCI lottery only?

Also, firms certainly do calculate your GPA/class rank. Each one has their own internal class-rank estimates from the schools they recruit from, even if the school doesn't publish cutoffs beyond a certain point.

You really don't seem to know much about how OCI recruiting works. If they are pre-selecting for interviews, they won't even look at your resume if you're below the cutoff.

SportsFan
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Re: Am I crazy for attending UPenn at sticker (Poll)?

Postby SportsFan » Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:10 pm

JCougar wrote:
Dato wrote:Source? None. Don't make up things like GPA cutoffs unless you can back them up with substance. Lawyers don't like bold, unsubstantiated statements. The cutoff you speak of doesn't exist.

First, Penn doesn't publish class rank or give out GPAs.
There is some professor discretion, but 1L grades for each course are generally as follows:
A: 15% | A-: 15% | B+: 27.5%| B: 27.5% | B- 15%. A+ and C are discretionary.

Firms simply cannot, and do not have the time to calculate your GPA. They are dealing with thousands of applicants each year. THERE IS NO GPA CUTOFF. Ask any hiring partner that does OCI at Penn. They take a cursory look at your transcript. If they see all B-, it would probably be an auto-ding. But nobody gets all B-. It just doesn't happen.


wat?

Is Penn's OCI lottery only?

Also, firms certainly do calculate your GPA/class rank. Each one has their own internal class-rank estimates from the schools they recruit from, even if the school doesn't publish cutoffs beyond a certain point.

You really don't seem to know much about how OCI recruiting works. If they are pre-selecting for interviews, they won't even look at your resume if you're below the cutoff.

Its lottery only, yeah, no pre-select. From reading on here, it seems some firms will calculate GPA's, and others will basically just look at your grades and see if you roughly match what they're looking for. They can't calculate rank (though obviously they can estimate it).

Anyway, some of this pro-Penn trolling is really bothering me, and I like it here. :x

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JCougar
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Re: Am I crazy for attending UPenn at sticker (Poll)?

Postby JCougar » Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:29 pm

SportsFan wrote:Its lottery only, yeah, no pre-select. From reading on here, it seems some firms will calculate GPA's, and others will basically just look at your grades and see if you roughly match what they're looking for. They can't calculate rank (though obviously they can estimate it).

Anyway, some of this pro-Penn trolling is really bothering me, and I like it here. :x


Alright, this at least makes some sense then--at least in the sense that Dato has reason to not realize firms have GPA cutoffs. With less prestigious schools like WUSTTTL that have mostly pre-select, and the cutoffs are published in symplicity.

But even if the school is lottery-only, the firms still have GPA cutoffs--they just don't publish them. It's how the V10 keeps their V10 prestige over the V25, and so on. And they absolutely have a somewhat accurate estimate of GPA/class rank for each school they interview from.

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hume85
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Re: Am I crazy for attending UPenn at sticker (Poll)?

Postby hume85 » Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:35 pm

helix23 wrote:
Nickg415 wrote:
helix23 wrote:
Maybe I'm being nit-picky, but you should include Federal Clerkships as a "good outcome" (~10% per year at UPenn). Many people that grab these sought-after positions follow up their term with biglaw alongside signing bonuses and other goodies. My buddy and college roommate clerked for the supreme court and signed on with a firm that paid all of his law school debt (he paid sticker at a UPenn peer btw). That's the dream (and not realistic), but it happens.


Wait the firm both paid for his debt and paid him what I would assume to be market salary??!!


not sure what's going on but you keep quoting things that I didn't write but they are showing up as my quotes? sorta weird.


He was quoting someone that was quoting you and accidendtly quoted you.

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star fox
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Re: Am I crazy for attending UPenn at sticker (Poll)?

Postby star fox » Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:40 pm

Correct me if I'm wrong (ignorant 0L here) but I'm guessing most people that get spit out by BigLaw after a few years aren't hitting the unemployment lines. I'd imagine that with their experience and connections made through BigLaw that they would be able to quickly transition into a different high-paying gig (not as high as the BigLaw salaries but still a good wage none the less) that would make it possible to re-pay loans.

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JCougar
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Re: Am I crazy for attending UPenn at sticker (Poll)?

Postby JCougar » Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:45 pm

john7234797 wrote:Correct me if I'm wrong (ignorant 0L here) but I'm guessing most people that get spit out by BigLaw after a few years aren't hitting the unemployment lines. I'd imagine that with their experience and connections made through BigLaw that they would be able to quickly transition into a different high-paying gig (not as high as the BigLaw salaries but still a good wage none the less) that would make it possible to re-pay loans.


You can get another decent job, but it's far from a sure thing. Especially if you count "high-paying" as anything near the $160K associate positions make.

There really is very little data regarding how Biglaw cast-offs fare as a whole, and what they end up making.

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Nickg415
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Re: Am I crazy for attending UPenn at sticker (Poll)?

Postby Nickg415 » Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:51 pm

Wrong name wrote:not sure what's going on but you keep quoting things that I didn't write but they are showing up as my quotes? sorta weird.


Ha just went back and changed it. Thats what I get from trying to do extensive posts from my phone.

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BruceWayne
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Re: Am I crazy for attending UPenn at sticker (Poll)?

Postby BruceWayne » Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:11 pm

Dato wrote:Source? None. Don't make up things like GPA cutoffs unless you can back them up with substance. Lawyers don't like bold, unsubstantiated statements. The cutoff you speak of doesn't exist.

First, Penn doesn't publish class rank or give out GPAs.
There is some professor discretion, but 1L grades for each course are generally as follows:
A: 15% | A-: 15% | B+: 27.5%| B: 27.5% | B- 15%. A+ and C are discretionary.

Firms simply cannot, and do not have the time to calculate your GPA. They are dealing with thousands of applicants each year. THERE IS NO GPA CUTOFF. Ask any hiring partner that does OCI at Penn. They take a cursory look at your transcript. If they see all B-, it would probably be an auto-ding. But nobody gets all B-. It just doesn't happen.

On another note, not doing biglaw isn't the end of the world. There is Tollrap, new and overhauled. I encourage you to look it over if you might consider public interest work. Penn's endowment is big enough to make sure that no graduate is suffocating with debt. Dean Fitts just threw a huge ice themed donor party for his most recent donation drive, which brought in 500 million bucks. People just aren't stressing out about employment because there's nothing to stress about.

I would assume that all T-10s are like this, with nominal variations. Also somebody said that a Penn degree isn't portable... Come on. T-10's in general are portable. A small majority of Penn students are from VA/DC/MD/DE/PA/NJ/NY so most select this region. There are also a lot of us from other areas. People go wherever they want. Everyone I know that aimed at CA got CA, everyone I know that aimed at WA got WA, everyone I know that aimed at FL got FL, everyone I know that aimed TX got TX, everyone I know that aimed at MA got MA.

EDIT: Another misconception is that people who transition out of biglaw end up with low paying gigs. Many, perhaps most, go in-house (making tons). Others go to smaller firms, where they make easily 200k+ (they have experience at that point, they aren't going to come in at the 115k/yr that a smaller firm might pay its rookie SAs). Other's go to high impact litigation boutique firms where they make baaaank. Others go to government agencies and, while admittedly taking a pay cut, still do well. By that time have the experience for GS14-GS-15 (100k-155k).


Wow this is incredibly inaccurate and quite frankly dangerous information. The idea that firms don't have GPA cutoffs is so incredibly wrong that I really hope this person is an 0L passing on hearsay.

ALL firms have GPA cutoffs. The odd thing about this post is that they actually say that if they see all B- they reject you--that's a GPA cutoff regardless of how rare you think that GPA is. And the reality is this: the GPA cutoffs are lot wider than that. Realistically a Penn transcript with B-, B, B-, B+, B, B for example is going to be below almost every firm's GPA cutoff. Hell I've had lawyers at countless big firms even tell me that's how it works. I've even had associates at big firms interview me for screeners and comment how great my interview was, and say that they were not allowed to give me a callback because the firm told them my grades were below the cutoff (I'm at a Penn peer school). People, are you living under a rock? This is a buyer's market---law students/young lawyers are simply in excess supply with abysmal demand.

And I'm not sure where this weird thing about firms not using a calculator to come up with an EXACT to the decimal GPA means firms don't have GPA cutoffs. No they don't whip out a calculator. They simply glance and toss if they don't see enough of grades they like (or too many of those they don't). Those resumes go straight into the trash. That's why sticker debt is so risky.

And the national reach thing is just straight wrong. Besides where you have ties, NYC/DC, and to a lesser extent the region of the school you attend, no school outside of HYS has national reach unles you are at the very top of your class. Someone at Penn with median grades and no ties to California isn't getting a San Francisco or Chicago firm job.

All that being said. If your options vs. Penn sticker are bachelors degree from average U and no job lined up you're not crazy for going Penn sticker. But something like strong regional in the area you want to live for free or close to it would be better.

People this is a post from someone who fell below firms' GPA cutoffs at a top 14.
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Last edited by BruceWayne on Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:35 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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ndirish2010
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Re: Am I crazy for attending UPenn at sticker (Poll)?

Postby ndirish2010 » Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:13 pm

Didn't read the whole thread, but you're not crazy. Doesn't mean the proposition is without risk, but crazy is attending a non-T14 private at sticker.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Am I crazy for attending UPenn at sticker (Poll)?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:16 pm

Dato wrote:The cutoff you speak of doesn't exist.
No.
Dato wrote:Firms simply cannot, and do not have the time to calculate your GPA.
Recruiting Director: [plugs eight numbers into a calculator, divides by 8.]
Dato wrote:THERE IS NO GPA CUTOFF.
NO.

Firms indeed have GPA cutoffs. Some of them have harder cutoffs than others, but you can bet your ass you are not getting a look at, e.g., Davis Polk with a 3.0.

Your post seems to suggest that firms go to Penn and only skim your transcript to see if you have B-minuses, and if not, then you're good. That is complete crazy talk. Are they going through each candidate's transcript and calculating their GPA to the hundredth place? Probably not. But you can tell pretty quickly whether a 1L has something like a 3.9, a 3.7, a 3.4, and if you don't think that is a—perhaps THE—major factor in deciding whether or not a firm will hire you, then your advice is dangerously misguided.

Edit: Somehow missed BruceWayne's post, so, +1 to all that.

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JCougar
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Re: Am I crazy for attending UPenn at sticker (Poll)?

Postby JCougar » Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:28 pm

BruceWayne wrote:Hell I've had lawyers at countless big firms even tell me that's how it works. I've even had associates at big firms interview me for screeners and comment how great my interview was, and say that they were not allowed to give me a callback because the firm told them my grades were below the cutoff (I'm at a Penn peer school). People, are you living under a rock? This is a buyer's market---law students/young lawyers are simply in excess supply with abysmal demand.


Yup. I got a few lottery interviews where I was below the cutoff, and one interviewer--an alumnus of my school--looked at my transcript first thing and sighed, "Well this interview will at least be good practice for you."

Lottery interviews are not an end around firm cutoffs. That's why firms get annoyed when the school forces you to do only lottery interviews. The interviews with the people below the cutoff are quite simply a waste of their time.

I had another interview with an even more prestigious firm after that, and the guy responded to my thank you e-mail later that day and said "that was the best interview I've had in a while, you'll hear from us soon." I didn't hear a peep. The dude got back to the hiring committee and they were like "nothing matters if they are below the GPA cutoff.

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BruceWayne
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Re: Am I crazy for attending UPenn at sticker (Poll)?

Postby BruceWayne » Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:37 pm

JCougar wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:Hell I've had lawyers at countless big firms even tell me that's how it works. I've even had associates at big firms interview me for screeners and comment how great my interview was, and say that they were not allowed to give me a callback because the firm told them my grades were below the cutoff (I'm at a Penn peer school). People, are you living under a rock? This is a buyer's market---law students/young lawyers are simply in excess supply with abysmal demand.


Yup. I got a few lottery interviews where I was below the cutoff, and one interviewer--an alumnus of my school--looked at my transcript first thing and sighed, "Well this interview will at least be good practice for you."


Lottery interviews are not an end around firm cutoffs. That's why firms get annoyed when the school forces you to do only lottery interviews. The interviews with the people below the cutoff are quite simply a waste of their time.

I had another interview with an even more prestigious firm after that, and the guy responded to my thank you e-mail later that day and said "that was the best interview I've had in a while, you'll hear from us soon." I didn't hear a peep. The dude got back to the hiring committee and they were like "nothing matters if they are below the GPA cutoff.


Yeah that happened to a guy I knew at my top 10. The interviewer looked at his transcript and then told him that the big firm route was not realistic for him with his grades. The interviewer then started to ask him if he had started looking at state/local government jobs and tried to give suggestions.

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JCougar
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Re: Am I crazy for attending UPenn at sticker (Poll)?

Postby JCougar » Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:45 pm

Dato wrote:First, Penn doesn't publish class rank or give out GPAs.
There is some professor discretion, but 1L grades for each course are generally as follows:
A: 15% | A-: 15% | B+: 27.5%| B: 27.5% | B- 15%. A+ and C are discretionary.


The funny thing is, anyone with half a brain could take these very statistics and plug them into a program, and create a very accurate GPA distribution curve at Penn.

The rest of your post is just absolutely wrong. I am not sure how you can be so mis-informed about the way things work.

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banjo
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Re: Am I crazy for attending UPenn at sticker (Poll)?

Postby banjo » Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:06 pm

Is anyone who has seen OCI data willing to post (edit: guess) some of these cutoffs for a firm, just as an example? I think every 0L would like to see what they look like, how the "tiers" play out, and for the OP's sake, where Penn falls on the spectrum.

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Nelson
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Re: Am I crazy for attending UPenn at sticker (Poll)?

Postby Nelson » Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:45 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:
Dato wrote:THERE IS NO GPA CUTOFF.
NO.

Firms indeed have GPA cutoffs. Some of them have harder cutoffs than others, but you can bet your ass you are not getting a look at, e.g., Davis Polk with a 3.0.

Your post seems to suggest that firms go to Penn and only skim your transcript to see if you have B-minuses, and if not, then you're good. That is complete crazy talk. Are they going through each candidate's transcript and calculating their GPA to the hundredth place? Probably not. But you can tell pretty quickly whether a 1L has something like a 3.9, a 3.7, a 3.4, and if you don't think that is a—perhaps THE—major factor in deciding whether or not a firm will hire you, then your advice is dangerously misguided.

I've seen the OCI data. It's pretty obvious which firms want what grades. It's also pretty much what people would expect. There are some firms that take people with close to straight Bs, but it's certainly not every firm. Our career services will admit it (though they'll say there's no GPA cutoff because Penn doesn't rank, they will tell you what firms your mix of grades will get you). No school likes to admit that that's the case, but it's the same everywhere.

Edited to add: as a 1L paying not-sticker but not far enough from sticker, I can tell you that this decision looks a lot more questionable now that my loans are capitalizing like crazy. I don't think it's worth it at 250k+ in principal (with the capitalized interest) at graduation.




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