H v. T10 for appellate lit

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What should DetroitRed choose?

HLS (~150-175k debt at graduation)
37
28%
Columbia (~100k debt at graduation - Butler)
4
3%
Duke (0 debt at graduation - Mordecai)
84
64%
UVA (~45k debt at graduation)
7
5%
 
Total votes: 132

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rpupkin
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Re: H v. T10 for appellate lit

Postby rpupkin » Fri Feb 20, 2015 3:46 pm

Desert Fox wrote:Even if you are sure you want appellate, which you admit you aren't, it is not worth it.

~10% of HLS students get appellate clerkships, which is essential prerequisite. Duke is probably about 3%. That is only a 7% difference. And the vast majority of people who do appellate clerkships don't do any appellate work in big law. I think 25% would be very generous. So that 7% is now 1.75%. Lets call it 2%.

150k for a 2% differential? Is it worth 7.5 Million to you? Because that is how you are valuing it. Hell even if you got with a full 7% difference that is 2.1 million.

To do a job you heard is cool.

I agree with DF's reasoning here. As he suggested, his estimates are generous: way fewer than 25% of former appellate clerks specialize in appellate law. Appellate groups are tiny. Firms—including the prestigious ones you mentioned—generally can't afford to have associates working full time on appellate matters. Even if you get that COA clerkship and then land in an appellate practice group, you are still likely to be tasked with plenty of non-appellate litigation.

timbs4339
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Re: H v. T10 for appellate lit

Postby timbs4339 » Fri Feb 20, 2015 3:57 pm

rpupkin wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:Even if you are sure you want appellate, which you admit you aren't, it is not worth it.

~10% of HLS students get appellate clerkships, which is essential prerequisite. Duke is probably about 3%. That is only a 7% difference. And the vast majority of people who do appellate clerkships don't do any appellate work in big law. I think 25% would be very generous. So that 7% is now 1.75%. Lets call it 2%.

150k for a 2% differential? Is it worth 7.5 Million to you? Because that is how you are valuing it. Hell even if you got with a full 7% difference that is 2.1 million.

To do a job you heard is cool.

I agree with DF's reasoning here. As he suggested, his estimates are generous: way fewer than 25% of former appellate clerks specialize in appellate law. Appellate groups are tiny. Firms—including the prestigious ones you mentioned—generally can't afford to have associates working full time on appellate matters. Even if you get that COA clerkship and then land in an appellate practice group, you are still likely to be tasked with plenty of non-appellate litigation.


Plus, cases usually come up on appeal after a motion to dismiss, motion for summary judgment, or from an admin decision where the parties have already submitted briefs where the major issues and lines of argument have been fleshed out. Some courts won't even entertain arguments if not raised before the trial court. So a lot of what goes into appellate briefs is coming out of work the lawyers did at the trial level. It's not like the appellate lawyer is crafting every brief from scratch like a fine painting.

Occasionally I'd catch someone referring to a lower court in a brief as "this court"- that's when you knew they'd copied and pasted at least that section directly from their appellate brief and possibly their original motion. (tip: as a junior associate your job will be to run the find all and catch those typos).
Last edited by timbs4339 on Fri Feb 20, 2015 3:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: H v. T10 for appellate lit

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Fri Feb 20, 2015 3:58 pm

This guy is obviously just some professional box checker who doesn't really know what he wants--nothing to see here. Reality will hit him sooner rather than later, after EIP and after his options are more limited.

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DetroitRed
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Re: H v. T10 for appellate lit

Postby DetroitRed » Fri Feb 20, 2015 4:16 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:This guy is obviously just some professional box checker who doesn't really know what he wants--nothing to see here. Reality will hit him sooner rather than later, after EIP and after his options are more limited.


Wow, what an adroit attorney you must be that you've identified my MO on the basis of a few posts.

#sikenah

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nothingtosee
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Re: H v. T10 for appellate lit

Postby nothingtosee » Fri Feb 20, 2015 4:20 pm

DetroitRed wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:This guy is obviously just some professional box checker who doesn't really know what he wants--nothing to see here. Reality will hit him sooner rather than later, after EIP and after his options are more limited.


Wow, what an adroit attorney you must be that you've identified my MO on the basis of a few posts.

#sikenah


You provide a bunch of evidence that you are a prestige obsessed striver who's goal is prestige. [Does Susman even do much appellate? I thought they were mostly trial. IDK. Also, you know Susman's based out of Houston?]

You refuse to state your really good reasons for wanting to do crazily elite prestig-y work.

So...yeah. I mean, it also fits in with doing TFA (mad prestige) and then leaving right away.

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withoutapaddle
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Re: H v. T10 for appellate lit

Postby withoutapaddle » Fri Feb 20, 2015 4:23 pm

160K job with no debt would be awesome. Your savings after five years would be insane.

kaiser
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Re: H v. T10 for appellate lit

Postby kaiser » Fri Feb 20, 2015 4:28 pm

Is there any actual grad on here advocating the H route? Seems like all are in agreement that Duke is the way to go.

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DetroitRed
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Re: H v. T10 for appellate lit

Postby DetroitRed » Fri Feb 20, 2015 4:29 pm

nothingtosee wrote:
DetroitRed wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:This guy is obviously just some professional box checker who doesn't really know what he wants--nothing to see here. Reality will hit him sooner rather than later, after EIP and after his options are more limited.


Wow, what an adroit attorney you must be that you've identified my MO on the basis of a few posts.

#sikenah


You provide a bunch of evidence that you are a prestige obsessed striver who's goal is prestige. [Does Susman even do much appellate? I thought they were mostly trial. IDK. Also, you know Susman's based out of Houston?]

You refuse to state your really good reasons for wanting to do crazily elite prestig-y work.

So...yeah. I mean, it also fits in with doing TFA (mad prestige) and then leaving right away.


Come on, that's unfair. You have no idea why I chose TFA. I had more *preftigious* jobs I could have taken, that would have paid better, and would have been in better cities.

Look, appellate lit is something that really appeals to me. Yes, I know it's hard to get. It's one of the few employment outcomes that I thought there might be a huge difference in obtaining from these schools. That's why I tested the waters.

Sincere responses are welcome, and I thank people who've given them. But seriously, just give your response and move along.

This is like when people ask not to hear 'retake' but are continually told to retake. Except in those cases you can plausibly make the case that you're doing the OP a favor. Here you can't, so chill on me.

ETA: You really cannot criticize someone for leaving TFA after two years. Two years is a long time to work in a windowless basement, for a totalitarian principal, with no job security, for very little pay, in a city you don't like. I agree that if your mentality is to do two years for an admissions bump or something -- that is bad. But honestly, all three of my roommates have been assaulted by students, sometimes severely (like requiring medical attention). I luckily have been spared in that regard, but again, don't judge people for leaving TFA until you actually understand their situation/what goes on in bad TFA regions generally.
Last edited by DetroitRed on Fri Feb 20, 2015 4:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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rpupkin
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Re: H v. T10 for appellate lit

Postby rpupkin » Fri Feb 20, 2015 4:31 pm

kaiser wrote:Is there any actual grad on here advocating the H route? Seems like all are in agreement that Duke is the way to go.

It is interesting. Considering that almost anyone who gets into H has the numbers for a full ride at a lower T14, the TLS conventional wisdom is basically that no one should ever go to HLS unless someone else is paying for it.

timbs4339
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Re: H v. T10 for appellate lit

Postby timbs4339 » Fri Feb 20, 2015 4:32 pm

DetroitRed wrote:
nothingtosee wrote:
DetroitRed wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:This guy is obviously just some professional box checker who doesn't really know what he wants--nothing to see here. Reality will hit him sooner rather than later, after EIP and after his options are more limited.


Wow, what an adroit attorney you must be that you've identified my MO on the basis of a few posts.

#sikenah


You provide a bunch of evidence that you are a prestige obsessed striver who's goal is prestige. [Does Susman even do much appellate? I thought they were mostly trial. IDK. Also, you know Susman's based out of Houston?]

You refuse to state your really good reasons for wanting to do crazily elite prestig-y work.

So...yeah. I mean, it also fits in with doing TFA (mad prestige) and then leaving right away.


Come on, that's unfair. You have no idea why I chose TFA. I had more *preftigious* jobs I could have taken, that would have paid better, and would have been in better cities.

Look, appellate lit is something that really appeals to me. Yes, I know it's hard to get. It's one of the few employment outcomes that I thought there might be a huge difference in obtaining from these schools. That's why I tested the waters.

Sincere responses are welcome, and I thank people who've given them. But seriously, just give your response and move along.

This is like when people ask not to hear 'retake' but are continually told to retake. Except in those cases you can plausibly make the case that you're doing the OP a favor. Here you can't, so chill on me.


I didn't before but now I'm actually interested in hearing your reasons for wanting to do appellate biglaw litigation.

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Pneumonia
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Re: H v. T10 for appellate lit

Postby Pneumonia » Fri Feb 20, 2015 4:34 pm

A generous reading of the responses here indicates that the difference would be marginal. There is actually a strong argument that going to Duke would be marginally better (Mordecai + no debt).

I don't think there is anything approaching a "huge difference" here, but others may disagree.

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Pneumonia
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Re: H v. T10 for appellate lit

Postby Pneumonia » Fri Feb 20, 2015 4:39 pm

rpupkin wrote: It is interesting. Considering that almost anyone who gets into H has the numbers for a full ride at a lower T14, the TLS conventional wisdom is basically that no one should ever go to HLS unless someone else is paying for it.


I'm at H, had T20 full rides but not T14 do to low GPA. HLS gave some need aid, so the difference favored H for me (in my opinion). It was going to be a major debt load for me either way.

You're right about TLS wisdom, but I think there are a lot of people here who for whatever reason (URM, splitter, family paying, unique goals, spouse stuff, etc.) don't fit the TLS assumptions.

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baal hadad
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Re: H v. T10 for appellate lit

Postby baal hadad » Fri Feb 20, 2015 4:46 pm

rpupkin wrote:
kaiser wrote:Is there any actual grad on here advocating the H route? Seems like all are in agreement that Duke is the way to go.

It is interesting. Considering that almost anyone who gets into H has the numbers for a full ride at a lower T14, the TLS conventional wisdom is basically that no one should ever go to HLS unless someone else is paying for it.

I can't think of any regular poaster here who is an atty who would take h w that debt over Duke w no debt

Edit: I am an atty

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baal hadad
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Re: H v. T10 for appellate lit

Postby baal hadad » Fri Feb 20, 2015 4:48 pm

timbs4339 wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:Even if you are sure you want appellate, which you admit you aren't, it is not worth it.

~10% of HLS students get appellate clerkships, which is essential prerequisite. Duke is probably about 3%. That is only a 7% difference. And the vast majority of people who do appellate clerkships don't do any appellate work in big law. I think 25% would be very generous. So that 7% is now 1.75%. Lets call it 2%.

150k for a 2% differential? Is it worth 7.5 Million to you? Because that is how you are valuing it. Hell even if you got with a full 7% difference that is 2.1 million.

To do a job you heard is cool.

I agree with DF's reasoning here. As he suggested, his estimates are generous: way fewer than 25% of former appellate clerks specialize in appellate law. Appellate groups are tiny. Firms—including the prestigious ones you mentioned—generally can't afford to have associates working full time on appellate matters. Even if you get that COA clerkship and then land in an appellate practice group, you are still likely to be tasked with plenty of non-appellate litigation.


Plus, cases usually come up on appeal after a motion to dismiss, motion for summary judgment, or from an admin decision where the parties have already submitted briefs where the major issues and lines of argument have been fleshed out. Some courts won't even entertain arguments if not raised before the trial court. So a lot of what goes into appellate briefs is coming out of work the lawyers did at the trial level. It's not like the appellate lawyer is crafting every brief from scratch like a fine painting.

Occasionally I'd catch someone referring to a lower court in a brief as "this court"- that's when you knew they'd copied and pasted at least that section directly from their appellate brief and possibly their original motion. (tip: as a junior associate your job will be to run the find all and catch those typos).

Also some of those sexy appellate groups at big firms are basically loss leaders to bring actual, paying customers through the door

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smaug
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Re: H v. T10 for appellate lit

Postby smaug » Fri Feb 20, 2015 4:49 pm

OP the reason you're getting crap is because your career goals are pretty close to "I want to be a SCOTUS clerk."

If that's something you end up with the credentials to do, great. There's no way for you to maximize the likelihood of that happening, though.

Also, pro tip: you probably should remove the words "appellate litigation" from your vocabulary when you end up job hunting unless your credentials are absolutely impeccable.

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DetroitRed
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Re: H v. T10 for appellate lit

Postby DetroitRed » Fri Feb 20, 2015 4:51 pm

Jason Taverner wrote:OP the reason you're getting crap is because your career goals are pretty close to "I want to be a SCOTUS clerk."

If that's something you end up with the credentials to do, great. There's no way for you to maximize the likelihood of that happening, though.

Also, pro tip: you probably should remove the words "appellate litigation" from your vocabulary when you end up job hunting unless your credentials are absolutely impeccable.


Noted. But I also asked much more general questions that, lo and behold, I finally got answers to once people cooled off.

Thanks for the advice.

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: H v. T10 for appellate lit

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Fri Feb 20, 2015 4:55 pm

Practicing attorney here.

Ignoring the appellate lit conversation, which is stupid, I could definitely understand someone wanting to go to H over a full ride at Duke. There are long-term career benefits to going to H that might outweigh the 175k cost, and a lot of people just want to say they went to H (which has to count for something, I suppose). When I see H on a lateral candidate's resume, I definitely give them props either consciously or subconsciously for going to an awesome school. That said, I think Coif or magna at a T10 might trump no honors at H (and I think my firm has a GPA cutoff for H around or slightly above the median mark or something, so this might not even be the kind of candidate whose resume I would ever see).

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smaug
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Re: H v. T10 for appellate lit

Postby smaug » Fri Feb 20, 2015 4:56 pm

(maybe you should thoughtfully consider why people needed to "cool off" to give you the advice you wanted, and what that means re: the questions you were asking)

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DetroitRed
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Re: H v. T10 for appellate lit

Postby DetroitRed » Fri Feb 20, 2015 5:01 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:Practicing attorney here.

Ignoring the appellate lit conversation, which is stupid, I could definitely understand someone wanting to go to H over a full ride at Duke. There are long-term career benefits to going to H that might outweigh the 175k cost, and a lot of people just want to say they went to H (which has to count for something, I suppose). When I see H on a lateral candidate's resume, I definitely give them props either consciously or subconsciously for going to an awesome school. That said, I think Coif or magna at a T10 might trump no honors at H (and I think my firm has a GPA cutoff for H around or slightly above the median mark or something, so this might not even be the kind of candidate whose resume I would ever see).


Yes, so this was basically the answer I wanted.

I didn't realize what a cardinal sin it was to declare an interest in a particular, and apparently **quite** competitive, field of law.
Last edited by DetroitRed on Sat Feb 28, 2015 10:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Pneumonia
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Re: H v. T10 for appellate lit

Postby Pneumonia » Fri Feb 20, 2015 5:06 pm

You joke about the carnal sin thing, but saying you want appellate is received by your classmates the same way as saying you want SCOTUS (read: very very poorly). I imagine this holds at OCI as well.

It comes across as "I want all of the gold stars, I heard about a gold star called appellate lit, so I want that one."

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: H v. T10 for appellate lit

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Fri Feb 20, 2015 5:08 pm

Pneumonia wrote:You joke about the carnal sin thing, but saying you want appellate is received by your classmates the same way as saying you want SCOTUS (read: very very poorly). I imagine this holds at OCI as well.

It comes across as "I want all of the gold stars, I heard about a gold star called appellate lit, so I want that one."


Listen to this advice. The last thing on Earth you want to do is alienate your interviewers and, perhaps more importantly, your HLS classmates who will likely be one of your greatest career assets going forward. Do not tell anyone you are gunning for SCOTUS. If you want it, gun for it. But keep it to yourself.

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DetroitRed
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Re: H v. T10 for appellate lit

Postby DetroitRed » Fri Feb 20, 2015 5:11 pm

Pneumonia wrote:You joke about the carnal sin thing, but saying you want appellate is received by your classmates the same way as saying you want SCOTUS (read: very very poorly). I imagine this holds at OCI as well.

It comes across as "I want all of the gold stars, I heard about a gold star called appellate lit, so I want that one."


Yeah, I get that now. Didn't mean to come across as a prestige whore.

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DetroitRed
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Re: H v. T10 for appellate lit

Postby DetroitRed » Fri Feb 20, 2015 5:12 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
Pneumonia wrote:You joke about the carnal sin thing, but saying you want appellate is received by your classmates the same way as saying you want SCOTUS (read: very very poorly). I imagine this holds at OCI as well.

It comes across as "I want all of the gold stars, I heard about a gold star called appellate lit, so I want that one."


Listen to this advice. The last thing on Earth you want to do is alienate your interviewers and, perhaps more importantly, your HLS classmates who will likely be one of your greatest career assets going forward. Do not tell anyone you are gunning for SCOTUS. If you want it, gun for it. But keep it to yourself.


Well then, thank God for anonymous fora ;)

notgreat
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Re: H v. T10 for appellate lit

Postby notgreat » Fri Feb 20, 2015 5:39 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
Pneumonia wrote:You joke about the carnal sin thing, but saying you want appellate is received by your classmates the same way as saying you want SCOTUS (read: very very poorly). I imagine this holds at OCI as well.

It comes across as "I want all of the gold stars, I heard about a gold star called appellate lit, so I want that one."


Listen to this advice. The last thing on Earth you want to do is alienate your interviewers and, perhaps more importantly, your HLS classmates who will likely be one of your greatest career assets going forward. Do not tell anyone you are gunning for SCOTUS. If you want it, gun for it. But keep it to yourself.



Something tells me this guy/gal is going to alienate a lot his classmates and colleagues regardless of what he says. But maybe he can fake not being insufferable.

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rpupkin
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Re: H v. T10 for appellate lit

Postby rpupkin » Fri Feb 20, 2015 5:45 pm

notgreat wrote:Something tells me this guy/gal is going to alienate a lot his classmates and colleagues regardless of what he says. But maybe he can fake not being insufferable.

C'mon. I bet over half of the OP's classmates would have similar goals when starting at HLS. Yeah, there's a bit of "mindlessly chasing prestige" in the OP's posts, but otherwise nothing to suggest that the OP is insufferable.




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