ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

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JCougar
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby JCougar » Mon Apr 28, 2014 4:41 pm

Yanky91 wrote:Chicago is a good legal market (for those who don't know haha).


No, it's not.

It is possibly the worst legal market out there right now. The only area that I think might be worse is California, but I'm not even sure about that.

Chicago is basically the only destination city in the Midwest, and it has UofC, NW, WUSTL, ND and about 75% of the B1G TEN state flagships (including UM) in surrounding flyover country trying to jam their graduates into one legal market that is severely hurting as it is. And that's before you count the T2 local schools such as Kent, Loyola, and DePaul. The oversupply of lawyers here is mindblowing. To top it off, IL has a bar exam that anyone with a pulse can pass. At least CA and NY cull some of the oversupply in this fashion.

If you cannot get into UofC, NW, or UM, do not plan on finding paid work in Chicago.

wlee1220
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby wlee1220 » Mon Apr 28, 2014 6:45 pm

Nomo wrote:
wlee1220 wrote:Goal(s): Either Public Health Related PI; Labor and Employment Related PI, Biglaw. Would prefer to be in Atlanta, but am ok with Philly and South Jersey
Regional Ties: Philly, Southern NJ, Atlanta
School(s): Vandy @ 130K, Rutgers-C @ 75K, Temple @ 80K
Other pertinent information: Aunt just recently sold property and willing to give me some money to contribute to COA so figures may be less, 5K left on undergrad loans (hope to have those paid off before school starts), riding waitlists at Penn and Duke


I really don't like any of these options for your goals. I wouldn't go to law school . . . and paying sticker (or near sticker) off a waitlist wouldn't be better.


If I were to get Vandy under 100K, then would that be a good decision? I forgot to mention I'm AA Male URM (if that counts for anything). I would retake but I've already maxed out, and with budget cuts coming to my job in June, everyone is scrambling and unsure if we will still have a job past June 1st. I'd rather go this cycle if I could, and I'm hoping my aunt helps me enough with COA to cut down quite a bit on the loans.

Yanky91
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby Yanky91 » Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:58 pm

JCougar wrote:
Yanky91 wrote:Chicago is a good legal market (for those who don't know haha).


No, it's not.

It is possibly the worst legal market out there right now. The only area that I think might be worse is California, but I'm not even sure about that.

Chicago is basically the only destination city in the Midwest, and it has UofC, NW, WUSTL, ND and about 75% of the B1G TEN state flagships (including UM) in surrounding flyover country trying to jam their graduates into one legal market that is severely hurting as it is. And that's before you count the T2 local schools such as Kent, Loyola, and DePaul. The oversupply of lawyers here is mindblowing. To top it off, IL has a bar exam that anyone with a pulse can pass. At least CA and NY cull some of the oversupply in this fashion.

If you cannot get into UofC, NW, or UM, do not plan on finding paid work in Chicago.


I think there is truth to some of what you're saying. However, if what you're saying is 100% the case, then where did all the UIUC grads of 2013 get jobs (especially the 25% employed at big firms)? I heard that almost all of the 25% and a lot of the rest of the class is employed in Chicago. Also, you have to consider the fact that most of the grads out of Northwestern and U of C, WUSTL, and ND leave the area or are not looking for employment in Chicago (you can tell this based on the ABA employment locations). Chicago is the third largest city in the U.S. and has a ton of major industries and law firms and even more minor industries and small firms. I think Chicago is why UIUC (a school that was wrapped up in a tremendous scandal just two years ago) has a score of 72% on LST and 25% bigfirm. However, I do agree that the market is saturated, but I think that is the case for most, if not all, big cities. For a graduate of UIUC, I think Chicago is the place to expect to be working though.

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JCougar
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby JCougar » Tue Apr 29, 2014 12:07 pm

The question you should be asking isn't what the 25% of UIUC graduates who got biglaw are doing. The question is what are the 75% who did not doing? And how much are they making. The answer is 1) unemployed/volunteering, or 2) slaving away at some shitlaw firm making $30K/year.

Also, I would be wary of the 25% of UIUC to biglaw. 2013 was their last class with legitimate, T25 medians. All the classes after that have TTT medians, and if you think Biglaw is going to continue to recruit from a TTT class when jobs are scarce and they have plenty of better options, I would think twice.

Nomo
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby Nomo » Tue Apr 29, 2014 1:27 pm

Yanky91 wrote:
Nomo wrote:
Yanky91 wrote:Goal(s): To be employed as a lawyer in a midsize to large firm, or have a federal/state clerkship, within 9 months after graduating.
Regional Ties: MD, VA, D.C. (but I am open to moving. The only real ties are family in D.C. and MD)
School(s): UIUC full ride, Wake basically full ride (I paid seat deposits at both).
Other pertinent information: I will pay with fed loans. I didn't get a good vibe from Wake (I don't know how much that matters). I liked UIUC. Chicago is a good legal market (for those who don't know haha). Wake's employment numbers got hammered this year, and I think it is pretty scary.


UIUC. But, why exactly do you want a clerkship. Is it just to make sure you get a better mid/biglaw firm. Because clerkships are tough (though some state clerkships are much easier). Either way, you're not likely to be working at a big or mid sized firm coming from UIUC or Wake Forest. So just make sure you feel good about your backup plans.


Yeah, a clerkship would be a good move to further my career, and the lifestyle and pay is pretty good. I think I have a pretty good shot at mid/big law out of UIUC no? 25% is not that bad....


I mean . . . its not out of reach. But, obviously you've got a pretty good chance of landing in the 75%, not the 25%.

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Pragmatic Gun
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby Pragmatic Gun » Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:48 pm

Interested in Pi and government work. I want to work with an international NGO like Human Rights Watch. DC seems to be the most logical choice. Plus I would love to practice there.

Top choice: GWU.

COA (w/o interest): $110K

Connection to a non-profit in the area. Have a family member living and interning for a Congressman. But I'm merely posting these for the sake of following the guidelines and would not rely on them.

Chew away.
Last edited by Pragmatic Gun on Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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goldenboy514
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby goldenboy514 » Wed Apr 30, 2014 12:08 am

Already paid deposit and committed, but having second thoughts about attending all together. The debt, though lower than many others, is making me really second guess the decision. Currently have a dead end 40k/yr job with 2 years WE. Maxed out LSAT attempts.
Goal(s): Biglaw, Midlaw
Regional Ties: Grew up in the Philadelphia/New Jersey area, have significant ties to Philadelphia. Interned for a top 10 Philly firm and have several significant connections to attorneys practicing in NJ/Philly.
School(s): Penn @ ~140 COA. (This number does not include contributions from savings/ SA salary.
Other pertinent information: Interested in working and living in the Philadelphia market. No undergrad debt. SO currently in graduate school in area.
Also was granted ~10k/yr in subsidized loans through the school.

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Bikeflip
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby Bikeflip » Wed Apr 30, 2014 12:20 am

Pragmatic Gun wrote:Interested in Pi and government work.
Top choice: GWU.
COA (w/o interest): $110K
Connection to a non-profit in the area. Have a family member living and interning for a Congressman.

Chew away.



A non-profit? And a Congressman? Those are only 2 small (and probably low paying) connections to justify $110,000 ($120,000), and PSLF is probably going to get gutted.

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Bikeflip
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby Bikeflip » Wed Apr 30, 2014 12:23 am

goldenboy514 wrote:Already paid deposit and committed, but having second thoughts about attending all together. The debt, though lower than many others, is making me really second guess the decision. Currently have a dead end 40k/yr job with 2 years WE. Maxed out LSAT attempts.
Goal(s): Biglaw, Midlaw
Regional Ties: Grew up in the Philadelphia/New Jersey area, have significant ties to Philadelphia. Interned for a top 10 Philly firm and have several significant connections to attorneys practicing in NJ/Philly.
School(s): Penn @ ~140 COA. (This number does not include contributions from savings/ SA salary.
Other pertinent information: Interested in working and living in the Philadelphia market. No undergrad debt. SO currently in graduate school in area.
Also was granted ~10k/yr in subsidized loans through the school.


Seems like a decent enough bet, esp if you can live at home to minimize the debt even more.

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goldenboy514
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby goldenboy514 » Wed Apr 30, 2014 12:33 am

Bikeflip wrote:
goldenboy514 wrote:Already paid deposit and committed, but having second thoughts about attending all together. The debt, though lower than many others, is making me really second guess the decision. Currently have a dead end 40k/yr job with 2 years WE. Maxed out LSAT attempts.
Goal(s): Biglaw, Midlaw
Regional Ties: Grew up in the Philadelphia/New Jersey area, have significant ties to Philadelphia. Interned for a top 10 Philly firm and have several significant connections to attorneys practicing in NJ/Philly.
School(s): Penn @ ~140 COA. (This number does not include contributions from savings/ SA salary.
Other pertinent information: Interested in working and living in the Philadelphia market. No undergrad debt. SO currently in graduate school in area.
Also was granted ~10k/yr in subsidized loans through the school.


Seems like a decent enough bet, esp if you can live at home to minimize the debt even more.


My bad, this does include living at home COA. Thanks for the reply

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Pragmatic Gun
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby Pragmatic Gun » Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:13 am

Bikeflip wrote:
Pragmatic Gun wrote:Interested in Pi and government work.
Top choice: GWU.
COA (w/o interest): $110K
Connection to a non-profit in the area. Have a family member living and interning for a Congressman.

Chew away.



A non-profit? And a Congressman? Those are only 2 small (and probably low paying) connections to justify $110,000 ($120,000), and PSLF is probably going to get gutted.


I updated my post. I want to work for an international NGO or a government branch that deals with international affairs. My future goal is to work for an international criminal tribunal, and I want to lay the groundwork for that.

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JustHawkin
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby JustHawkin » Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:48 am

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Last edited by JustHawkin on Wed May 14, 2014 9:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

Informative
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby Informative » Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:17 am

If you want BigLaw, the T14 should be the goal, but there are five or six schools that still place well in BigLaw regardless of their USN ranking.

The list of schools fluctuates, but the usual staples that are there year after year are: UT, Vandy, USC/UCLA, BC/BU, Fordham, and GW. These are the only schools I would even consider outside of the T14 if I wanted BigLaw.

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JustHawkin
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby JustHawkin » Wed Apr 30, 2014 11:51 am

Informative wrote:If you want BigLaw, the T14 should be the goal, but there are five or six schools that still place well in BigLaw regardless of their USN ranking.

The list of schools fluctuates, but the usual staples that are there year after year are: UT, Vandy, USC/UCLA, BC/BU, Fordham, and GW. These are the only schools I would even consider outside of the T14 if I wanted BigLaw.

Was that in reply to me?

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Bikeflip
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby Bikeflip » Wed Apr 30, 2014 12:44 pm

Pragmatic Gun wrote:
Bikeflip wrote:
Pragmatic Gun wrote:Interested in Pi and government work.
Top choice: GWU.
COA (w/o interest): $110K
Connection to a non-profit in the area. Have a family member living and interning for a Congressman.

Chew away.



A non-profit? And a Congressman? Those are only 2 small (and probably low paying) connections to justify $110,000 ($120,000), and PSLF is probably going to get gutted.


I updated my post. I want to work for an international NGO or a government branch that deals with international affairs. My future goal is to work for an international criminal tribunal, and I want to lay the groundwork for that.


You and everyone else would love to do that. Still not buying it, esp looking at their employed by the school numbers.

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby Nomo » Wed Apr 30, 2014 1:18 pm

goldenboy514 wrote:Already paid deposit and committed, but having second thoughts about attending all together. The debt, though lower than many others, is making me really second guess the decision. Currently have a dead end 40k/yr job with 2 years WE. Maxed out LSAT attempts.
Goal(s): Biglaw, Midlaw
Regional Ties: Grew up in the Philadelphia/New Jersey area, have significant ties to Philadelphia. Interned for a top 10 Philly firm and have several significant connections to attorneys practicing in NJ/Philly.
School(s): Penn @ ~140 COA. (This number does not include contributions from savings/ SA salary.
Other pertinent information: Interested in working and living in the Philadelphia market. No undergrad debt. SO currently in graduate school in area.
Also was granted ~10k/yr in subsidized loans through the school.


Seems fine. . . As long as you can live with working for a small firm if the biglaw thing doesn't work out. You've obviously got a pretty good shot, but the chance of not getting big/midlaw is real.

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby Nomo » Wed Apr 30, 2014 1:22 pm

JustHawkin wrote:I'll throw my hat in the ring. 1 year out of UG with some decent legal admin assistant work experience.
Goal(s): Clerkship>FedGov>Biglaw>Midlaw
Regional Ties: Grew up in lower New England, have significant ties to CT and Boston.
School(s): GULC @ ~105 COA. Worst case scenario; does not include contributions from savings and/or SA salary.
Other pertinent information: Interested in working and living anywhere from DC on South, but will head back home if I feel it's necessary to get the job I need to obtain my goals. ~10k undergraduate debt. SO currently in graduate school in medical field in a nearby metro area.


I think that's a good price for GULC. One concern is that you, like most people, have mentioned a bunch of jobs that are hard to get. You need to be comfortable with the possibility of getting something that's easier to get. A pretty big chunk of GULC students do not get biglaw, midlaw, clerkships, BigFed, or fancy PI.

Nomo
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby Nomo » Wed Apr 30, 2014 1:23 pm

Pragmatic Gun wrote:Interested in Pi and government work. I want to work with an international NGO like Human Rights Watch. DC seems to be the most logical choice. Plus I would love to practice there.

Top choice: GWU.

COA (w/o interest): $110K

Connection to a non-profit in the area. Have a family member living and interning for a Congressman. But I'm merely posting these for the sake of following the guidelines and would not rely on them.

Chew away.


You absolutely should not be going to GWU at that price with those goals.

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JustHawkin
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby JustHawkin » Wed Apr 30, 2014 1:39 pm

Nomo wrote:I think that's a good price for GULC. One concern is that you, like most people, have mentioned a bunch of jobs that are hard to get. You need to be comfortable with the possibility of getting something that's easier to get. A pretty big chunk of GULC students do not get biglaw, midlaw, clerkships, BigFed, or fancy PI.


What are some examples? Just general small law PI?

ETA: I ask because you only hear all the details on the good jobs that everyone wants. I'd like to hear more on the alteratives that can also allow me to service this comparatively smaller debt load.

Nomo
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby Nomo » Wed Apr 30, 2014 1:49 pm

JustHawkin wrote:
Nomo wrote:I think that's a good price for GULC. One concern is that you, like most people, have mentioned a bunch of jobs that are hard to get. You need to be comfortable with the possibility of getting something that's easier to get. A pretty big chunk of GULC students do not get biglaw, midlaw, clerkships, BigFed, or fancy PI.


What are some examples? Just general small law PI?

ETA: I ask because you only hear all the details on the good jobs that everyone wants. I'd like to hear more on the alteratives that can also allow me to service this comparatively smaller debt load.


I graduated from a lower T-14 a couple years ago. I know someone working in firms of 5 attorneys doing plaintiffs work, including a lot of class actions making around. I know someone working in a 30 attorney firm that does a lot of insurance defense, and general litigation making around. I know someone who is a prosecutor in the town he grew up in. I know a few public defenders. I know a few people who work for state government agencies. I know people who work for legal aid doing direct civil representation of poorer folk. I know people who took lesser clerkships (federal magistrate's, staff attorneys offices, state trial and appellate clerkships, etc.) I know people who are in the 2-year DOJ EOIR program (this isn't really big fed, because it doesn't lead to a full-time job like the rest of DOJ honors). All these jobs start between 40 and 60k.

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JustHawkin
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby JustHawkin » Wed Apr 30, 2014 1:57 pm

Nomo wrote:I graduated from a lower T-14 a couple years ago. I know someone working in firms of 5 attorneys doing plaintiffs work, including a lot of class actions making around. I know someone working in a 30 attorney firm that does a lot of insurance defense, and general litigation making around. I know someone who is a prosecutor in the town he grew up in. I know a few public defenders. I know a few people who work for state government agencies. I know people who work for legal aid doing direct civil representation of poorer folk. I know people who took lesser clerkships (federal magistrate's, staff attorneys offices, state trial and appellate clerkships, etc.) I know people who are in the 2-year DOJ EOIR program (this isn't really big fed, because it doesn't lead to a full-time job like the rest of DOJ honors). All these jobs start between 40 and 60k.

Thanks for the info. I feel that, with my debt load, work at the state level would be doable, and I could ride GULC's LRAP program, I believe. I fux with it.

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Pragmatic Gun
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby Pragmatic Gun » Wed Apr 30, 2014 1:59 pm

Bikeflip wrote:
Pragmatic Gun wrote:
Bikeflip wrote:
Pragmatic Gun wrote:Interested in Pi and government work.
Top choice: GWU.
COA (w/o interest): $110K
Connection to a non-profit in the area. Have a family member living and interning for a Congressman.

Chew away.



A non-profit? And a Congressman? Those are only 2 small (and probably low paying) connections to justify $110,000 ($120,000), and PSLF is probably going to get gutted.


I updated my post. I want to work for an international NGO or a government branch that deals with international affairs. My future goal is to work for an international criminal tribunal, and I want to lay the groundwork for that.


You and everyone else would love to do that. Still not buying it, esp looking at their employed by the school numbers.


I'm not surprised by these responses. It corroborates my biggest fear. So my Plan B is to work at a large firm, pay off my debts, and go into public interest. Workable?

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby Yanky91 » Wed Apr 30, 2014 2:08 pm

JCougar wrote:
Also, I would be wary of the 25% of UIUC to biglaw. 2013 was their last class with legitimate, T25 medians. All the classes after that have TTT medians, and if you think Biglaw is going to continue to recruit from a TTT class when jobs are scarce and they have plenty of better options, I would think twice.


I don't think a firm will stop hiring from a school because their median LSAT fell. This is evident by the fact that their median LSAT fell from a 167 three years ago to a 163, and their big law employment was unaffected (in 2011 all the numbers fell, and the scandal had just broke). In fact, their big law employment has steadily been increasing over the years, as their medians fell (LSAT and GPA). If what you're saying is true, then what about UNC: median 161, Ohio State: median 160, Wisconsin-Madison: 161, and other schools whose medians fell, but maintained their employment? I just think UIUC has the employment it has because it has a strong alumni network, and a strong reputation in IL. A hiring manager/partner isn't going to say, "Oh you went to UIUC, let me check their medians"…… at least I don't think that. I could be wrong.

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby Nomo » Wed Apr 30, 2014 3:02 pm

Pragmatic Gun wrote:I'm not surprised by these responses. It corroborates my biggest fear. So my Plan B is to work at a large firm, pay off my debts, and go into public interest. Workable?


No. Not workable for 2 of reasons.

First, to get biglaw is really hard to get out of GW. Many want it, few get it. Biglaw is a reasonable backup plan for students at the top 3-6 schools at best . . . everyone else needs a backup plan for if they don't get biglaw.

Second, biglaw will require you to get a 2L SA. But, your international goals will likely also require you to use your 2L summer in certain types of international work. Can't do both.

A realistic backup plan needs to be something that at least 80 to 90 percent of GW students can actually get. Looking at the number of unemployed or underemployed GW students the idea of a backup plan is problematic in and of itself. At best your backup plan should be something like, personal injury work for a 3 attorney firm making 40k/yr.

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Pragmatic Gun
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby Pragmatic Gun » Wed Apr 30, 2014 3:17 pm

Nomo wrote:
Pragmatic Gun wrote:I'm not surprised by these responses. It corroborates my biggest fear. So my Plan B is to work at a large firm, pay off my debts, and go into public interest. Workable?


No. Not workable for 2 of reasons.

First, to get biglaw is really hard to get out of GW. Many want it, few get it. Biglaw is a reasonable backup plan for students at the top 3-6 schools at best . . . everyone else needs a backup plan for if they don't get biglaw.

Second, biglaw will require you to get a 2L SA. But, your international goals will likely also require you to use your 2L summer in certain types of international work. Can't do both.

A realistic backup plan needs to be something that at least 80 to 90 percent of GW students can actually get. Looking at the number of unemployed or underemployed GW students the idea of a backup plan is problematic in and of itself. At best your backup plan should be something like, personal injury work for a 3 attorney firm making 40k/yr.


My father knows a couple of lawyers, and my stepmohter's old boss with whom she has a good relationship owns a law firm in Manhattan. The company for which I work had an in house counsel but quit. My supervisor told me the owners got excited when they found out that I'm heading to law school. Plus my girlfriend's brother is a lawyer at a small.

There's that.




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