Alexandria wrote:lawschool22 wrote:So the consensus seems to be that there is a distinct advantage for HYS and breaking into DC. But for CCN vs other schools like UVA, it is a bit murky.
Do we have any idea what the advantage is for a school like H? If we're talking about needing to be top 10% for lower T14, what is the approximate cutoff for Harvard grade wise? How about for CCN? How about UVA et al.?
What I'm eventually going to be choosing between is likely H (no $), CCN ($), and rest of T14 ($$), and I am trying to guesstimate the marginal increase in value of each school as you move up in rankings to see what makes the most sense for someone targeting DC, while weighing that increase against the increase in total COA.
One thing I wonder is -- why DC? Is it just geographic, or are you interested in a particular type of practice? The thing that makes DC practice great to me is all of the interesting substantive niches you can get into, rather than just being a generic litigation or corporate associate. If you do have a reason to go into a particular regulatory area -- like a history in labor relations or a burning desire to do FDA work, faculty expertise in those areas is something you might want to consider in picking from among relatively similarly situated law schools. But none of that is going to change the fact that you have to have great grades to get your foot in the door for an interview. It might just give you an edge in an interview over a more "generic" candidate. My firm, for example, definitely cared about what my substantive interests were, and I was interviewed and taken to lunch by attorneys in those areas.
It's definitely a combination of things. Geography for one, as I really don't want to be in NYC long-term as a preference thing (I could do it for three years as a student though), I have family and friends in DC, and I have an interest in federal government positions (most likely as a lateral, unless HLS makes it a possibility right out of school). I am also quite interested in some of the specific practice areas that only exist in DC as well.
I am certainly content with NYC as an ultimate outcome as I know it is the most likely outcome foe biglaw. But for many reasons DC is my goal, and whatever I can do to improve my chances of that I am willing to do.