Penn v.Villanova

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Clearly
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Re: Penn v.Villanova

Postby Clearly » Thu May 14, 2015 4:11 pm

usn26 wrote:
TasmanianToucan wrote:This one is actually giving me more pause than most, partly because OP outperformed his numbers so dramatically. Retaking/reapplying would really only be best here if there are a lot of points left on the table. Either way is a risk. Taking the offer now is a lot of debt, but if he retakes and gets the same result/marginal increase he could be contemplating the same options except with GULC instead of Penn.

I've gotta ask again: OP, did you prepare thoroughly for the LSAT? Did you hit/outperform your best practice tests?

Same, my advice is take a practice test and see what happens. Going from 161 to the 170 that would be the bare minimum for Penn money is just not as easy as "retake, profit" makes it sound.

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Re: Penn v.Villanova

Postby mikedw426 » Thu May 14, 2015 4:13 pm

TasmanianToucan wrote:This one is actually giving me more pause than most, partly because OP outperformed his numbers so dramatically. Retaking/reapplying would really only be best here if there are a lot of points left on the table. Either way is a risk. Taking the offer now is a lot of debt, but if he retakes and gets the same result/marginal increase he could be contemplating the same options except with GULC instead of Penn.

I've gotta ask again: OP, did you prepare thoroughly for the LSAT? Did you hit/outperform your best practice tests?


Honestly, I would have been able to do more. I only studied for about 2 1/2 months for last year's December LSAT in a manner which at the time I thought was thorough. Essentially, I just took as many practice tests as I could and did as many spare problems as I could find, but I likely left some points on the table because I had a lot to focus on school-wise and with my job/internship.In retrospect December was far too late to wait for taking the first time, but I made a late decision to take it and go to law school. I'm confident I can score higher than 161 I'm just unsure how much higher on test day. I definitely did not outperform my highest practice at the time (169).

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Clearly
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Re: Penn v.Villanova

Postby Clearly » Thu May 14, 2015 4:23 pm

Then I would retake, but you better bust your ass and do it right, I believe that you can do it, but you're in a small group of people that failing to improve, or only improving a little, could leave you with worse options than you have now. What was your section breakdown? Where do you lose your points.

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Re: Penn v.Villanova

Postby mikedw426 » Thu May 14, 2015 4:25 pm

NYCFAN1 wrote:What does your fiance do?

Penn might be defensible if she's a doctor with low/no debt, high paid engineer, etc.. Otherwise, Penn at sticker is a terrible idea.

Retaking is most certainly the most prudent option.


Unfortunately, she's not a doctor. But she'll be working as a corporate accountant at Deloitte so within the next 3 to 5 years her salary will likely be anywhere from 85,000 to 100,000 plus benefits since upward mobility there is pretty common for hard workers. Only tough part is she'll have a decent amount of undergrad debt she also has to pay off. I'm sure she'd be willing to help but i certainly would not want to put the pressure of Penn Law debt on her, plus I want to be fair and take her priorities into account also.

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Re: Penn v.Villanova

Postby mikedw426 » Thu May 14, 2015 4:27 pm

Clearly wrote:Then I would retake, but you better bust your ass and do it right, I believe that you can do it, but you're in a small group of people that failing to improve, or only improving a little, could leave you with worse options than you have now. What was your section breakdown? Where do you lose your points.


I got all but one point out of Logic games, my logical reasoning wasn't too bad though it could have been better (about 20 or 21 out of 25), but my RC was by far the worst, <20 correct in both sections.

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usn26
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Re: Penn v.Villanova

Postby usn26 » Thu May 14, 2015 4:32 pm

mikedw426 wrote:Honestly, I would have been able to do more. I only studied for about 2 1/2 months for last year's December LSAT in a manner which at the time I thought was thorough. Essentially, I just took as many practice tests as I could and did as many spare problems as I could find, but I likely left some points on the table because I had a lot to focus on school-wise and with my job/internship.In retrospect December was far too late to wait for taking the first time, but I made a late decision to take it and go to law school. I'm confident I can score higher than 161 I'm just unsure how much higher on test day. I definitely did not outperform my highest practice at the time (169).

Clearly wrote:Then I would retake, but you better bust your ass and do it right, I believe that you can do it, but you're in a small group of people that failing to improve, or only improving a little, could leave you with worse options than you have now. What was your section breakdown? Where do you lose your points.


Wait, his highest PT ever was a 169? How often did you hit that, OP?

2.5 months isn't a lot of time to practice, but I don't think the retake helps you significantly until you hit median (169 now, probably 168 next year), and you'd want to be hitting that consistently on PT's, and hopefully consistently getting better than that to account for a test day drop.

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Re: Penn v.Villanova

Postby mikedw426 » Thu May 14, 2015 4:34 pm

Anyway, i think Penn with full tuition this fall is all but off the table for me. I'm still deciding between retaking with goal of scholarship to Penn or simply sticking with Nova though. I should mention that I spoke to a U.S. Senator (who will remain anonymous for the purpose of this discussion) who went to Penn Law, and to make a long story short he suggested I go to Nova this fall, graduate top 5/10% of the class and become heavily involved in law review. Personally, that opinion carries a lot of weight to me. Any other thoughts on that scenario (Nova this fall, top 5% and law review)? Also wondering what your thoughts would be on earning a JD/MBA, can that make me more competitive coming out of Nova?

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Re: Penn v.Villanova

Postby tealeaves12 » Thu May 14, 2015 4:38 pm

mikedw426 wrote: I should mention that I spoke to a U.S. Senator (who will remain anonymous for the purpose of this discussion) who went to Penn Law, and to make a long story short he suggested I go to Nova this fall, graduate top 5/10% of the class



what a dick lol

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Re: Penn v.Villanova

Postby mikedw426 » Thu May 14, 2015 4:40 pm

usn26 wrote:
mikedw426 wrote:Honestly, I would have been able to do more. I only studied for about 2 1/2 months for last year's December LSAT in a manner which at the time I thought was thorough. Essentially, I just took as many practice tests as I could and did as many spare problems as I could find, but I likely left some points on the table because I had a lot to focus on school-wise and with my job/internship.In retrospect December was far too late to wait for taking the first time, but I made a late decision to take it and go to law school. I'm confident I can score higher than 161 I'm just unsure how much higher on test day. I definitely did not outperform my highest practice at the time (169).

Clearly wrote:Then I would retake, but you better bust your ass and do it right, I believe that you can do it, but you're in a small group of people that failing to improve, or only improving a little, could leave you with worse options than you have now. What was your section breakdown? Where do you lose your points.


Wait, his highest PT ever was a 169? How often did you hit that, OP?

2.5 months isn't a lot of time to practice, but I don't think the retake helps you significantly until you hit median (169 now, probably 168 next year), and you'd want to be hitting that consistently on PT's, and hopefully consistently getting better than that to account for a test day drop.


I had a cluster of scores that were around 169 in the final weeks leading up to the test: 2 169's, 2 168's and a 167 in no particular order. It was steady progress from when i first started around 158 and finally began consistently reaching high 160s. I have no doubt that with a couple of extra weeks, even just 2 more, I'd have broken 170 in practice. Obviously if I retake I'll begin studying for the October LSAT immediately upon that decision, should give me a solid 4.5 to 5 months.

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Re: Penn v.Villanova

Postby Username123 » Thu May 14, 2015 4:41 pm

Top 5%, or any other class ranking above median, is pretty hard to predict from what I understand given the subjective nature and number of factors that play into the style of law school exams. Maybe you are getting over the flu during first semester exams. Maybe you just aren't great at taking law school exams or some external conflict causes your studies to take a backseat for a little bit. You might be the smartest person in the school, but with how law school exams are, you never know what you will rank in the class.

As for JD/MBA, why would you be interested in that? That is just more money for limited (and sometimes even more limited than just a JD) job opportunities.

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Re: Penn v.Villanova

Postby usn26 » Thu May 14, 2015 4:41 pm

mikedw426 wrote:I should mention that I spoke to a U.S. Senator (who will remain anonymous for the purpose of this discussion) who went to Penn Law, and to make a long story short he suggested I go to Nova this fall, graduate top 5/10% of the class and become heavily involved in law review.


There's just… so much going on here.

Yes, just go be at the top of your class at Nova and profit. That'll definitely work.

ETA:

mikedw426 wrote:I had a cluster of scores that were around 169 in the final weeks leading up to the test: 2 169's, 2 168's and a 167 in no particular order. It was steady progress from when i first started around 158 and finally began consistently reaching high 160s. I have no doubt that with a couple of extra weeks, even just 2 more, I'd have broken 170 in practice. Obviously if I retake I'll begin studying for the October LSAT immediately upon that decision, should give me a solid 4.5 to 5 months.


It's been done before, and you seem smart enough to pull it off. I wouldn't want to go in essentially needing a 168/169+ never having hit 170, but if you're confident go for it.

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Clearly
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Re: Penn v.Villanova

Postby Clearly » Thu May 14, 2015 4:45 pm

While you're at it, why not just be top 5% at Penn?

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Re: Penn v.Villanova

Postby mikedw426 » Thu May 14, 2015 4:46 pm

tealeaves12 wrote:
mikedw426 wrote: I should mention that I spoke to a U.S. Senator (who will remain anonymous for the purpose of this discussion) who went to Penn Law, and to make a long story short he suggested I go to Nova this fall, graduate top 5/10% of the class



what a dick lol


HA! Lol. Yeah maybe a slight back handed compliment there depending how you interpret it. But in his defense he admitted that he didn't get in to Penn right from undergrad, he actually transferred after 1L. Essentially he feels a prospective law student who's top 5 or 10% at Nova can have the same career prospects as someone who's slightly above average/average at Penn.

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Re: Penn v.Villanova

Postby tealeaves12 » Thu May 14, 2015 4:48 pm

mikedw426 wrote:
tealeaves12 wrote:
mikedw426 wrote: I should mention that I spoke to a U.S. Senator (who will remain anonymous for the purpose of this discussion) who went to Penn Law, and to make a long story short he suggested I go to Nova this fall, graduate top 5/10% of the class



what a dick lol


HA! Lol. Yeah maybe a slight back handed compliment there depending how you interpret it. But in his defense he admitted that he didn't get in to Penn right from undergrad, he actually transferred after 1L. Essentially he feels a prospective law student who's top 5 or 10% at Nova can have the same career prospects as someone who's slightly above average/average at Penn.


haha i mean i wasn't being a prestige whore - i agree with that, I was just laughing at the bad advice (for the same reasons that others have pointed out. it's harder than it sounds/a lot more unpredictable than you'd think, etc.).

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Re: Penn v.Villanova

Postby mikedw426 » Thu May 14, 2015 5:04 pm

I'm considering the JD/MBA because I feel the MBA could make me more versatile not only in the corporate legal sector but also in the financial sector or working for any number of corporations, though Big Law is my immediate goal. In my view, it can give me more options than simply having a JD can, especially coming from Nova as opposed to an institution like Penn where a JD is more than enough for many graduates. Moreover the JD is already free and the MBA is relatively inexpensive, at least when my personal long term debt is considered. Also, I know the finishing top 5% thing sounds easier than it actually is to accomplish, but I feel I'm up to the task. I am totally willing to work harder than i ever have to achieve that goal. I don't want to sound like i am not prepared to do the same at Penn, but i simply can't take on 1/4 million in debt this year and i also can't shake the fear of waiting one whole year to get started again. Its likely just my inexperience in these matters, but that seems rather counterintuitive to me. In your guys' experience, that is likely my best option though, correct?

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Re: Penn v.Villanova

Postby mikedw426 » Thu May 14, 2015 5:06 pm

Apologies if I'm jumping all over the place here in terms of questions and topics. I just feel you guys have a lot to offer and I do not want to miss any opportunity to ask any of my pressing questions that factor in to making my decision. Thanks for being so responsive!

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Re: Penn v.Villanova

Postby rondemarino » Thu May 14, 2015 5:22 pm

mikedw426 wrote:I'm considering the JD/MBA because I feel the MBA could make me more versatile not only in the corporate legal sector but also in the financial sector or working for any number of corporations, though Big Law is my immediate goal. In my view, it can give me more options than simply having a JD can, especially coming from Nova as opposed to an institution like Penn where a JD is more than enough for many graduates. Moreover the JD is already free and the MBA is relatively inexpensive, at least when my personal long term debt is considered. Also, I know the finishing top 5% thing sounds easier than it actually is to accomplish, but I feel I'm up to the task. I am totally willing to work harder than i ever have to achieve that goal. I don't want to sound like i am not prepared to do the same at Penn, but i simply can't take on 1/4 million in debt this year and i also can't shake the fear of waiting one whole year to get started again. Its likely just my inexperience in these matters, but that seems rather counterintuitive to me. In your guys' experience, that is likely my best option though, correct?


Is a big pay day your goal? Or is there some area of law that you're interested in? This interest in an MBA and your late interest in law school are setting off some alarm bells. Also, I really doubt a Villanova MBA adds that much.

Some things to consider:
(http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm? ... id=2510907)
(https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktak ... lly-matter)

Finally, I have hard time believing Wikipedia isn't up to date on this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University ... ble_alumni)

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Re: Penn v.Villanova

Postby TasmanianToucan » Thu May 14, 2015 5:25 pm

I would not go to Nova, for free or otherwise. Even if you pull off top 5% and get the job you want, there are probably limits to how high you can rise with a Nova degree. It's far harder to measure than first job, which is why it's not talked about as much, but it's true. Article III judges do not come out of Nova. Not many law firm partners either. And I bet your senator buddy doesn't have senator friends who went there either. (Although I'm not sure who that buddy is, because all of the US senators who went to Penn seem to be, well, dead.)

My point is that while you may be able to get the same outcome for your first job (although the odds are against it), you probably won't be able to get the same outcome at the other end of your career so long as you stay in law. You can get rid of debt, but that degree is for life.

I understand about the fear of that much debt, though. Which is why the middle path is sitting out a year and retaking.


Edit: I was wrong.
Last edited by TasmanianToucan on Fri May 15, 2015 9:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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usn26
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Re: Penn v.Villanova

Postby usn26 » Thu May 14, 2015 6:01 pm

mikedw426 wrote:Also, I know the finishing top 5% thing sounds easier than it actually is to accomplish, but I feel I'm up to the task. I am totally willing to work harder than i ever have to achieve that goal.


A solid percentage of the rest of the class (way more than 5%) also has that attitude. You'll probably do well, but to do that well you'll need to have a better combination of hard work, talent, and luck than all those other hard workers. If there are 8 people there who are equally smart and hardworking but catch some lucky breaks on exams, you're out of the top 5%.

Not saying you won't/can't. Just don't take it for granted, be realistic, and be prepared with a plan B.

(Re: MBA... why would you pay for a Villanova MBA? That can't be a good idea.)

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Clearly
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Re: Penn v.Villanova

Postby Clearly » Thu May 14, 2015 6:06 pm

Uh. I know you are confident and up for it or whatever, but until you take law school finals you don't understand how impossible it is to say that. Everyone at that school will understand they need to get killer grades to get a job and will all be working just as hard as you, beating 95% of them is very unlikely.

Also you can try to justify it however you like, but the reality is the overwhelming majority of nova students won't make good money, don't be stupid and assume you'll be different. If you want to make comfortable income, go to a top school. Either retake and pay less, or go and pay sticker, or decide that biglaw isn't important to you, but assuming you can get the best of both worlds by assuming you'll best 95% of your classmates on arbitrarily graded issue spotters is the silliest option you've presented.

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Re: Penn v.Villanova

Postby bretby » Thu May 14, 2015 6:24 pm

mikedw426 wrote:Thank you so much for all of your input. It seems to me that the consensus is: Penn is still my better option even considering the debt but that I should retake the LSAT and reapply to Penn for at least some merit scholarship. Honestly, I would love to retake and have a potential shot at money to such a great school but I have a few obstacles with that option. First, I'll probably take a lot of flack (especially from family) for turning down a full scholarship, even though at Nova they are more common than most people realize. Second, like I said, I never thought I was going to get any of the offers like the ones I received and so I never gave any real thought to taking a year off and retaking the LSAT until now. That being said, it does sound like that's my best option to have a fruitful career I'm just very hesitant to turn down the money I've been offered and to take another year to go through this process all over again. I would really like to stay in Philly and if I decide not to reapply next year, should I be paying more attention to my Temple offer?


I'm really surprised by how many people on this board make decisions about law school based, at least in part, on fear of what their family will say. Don't worry about it; I guarantee they don't care about it as much as you think they do.

You should absolutely retake. Move to Philly with your girlfriend, get a job, save some money, study for the LSAT and retake.

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Re: Penn v.Villanova

Postby chuckbass » Thu May 14, 2015 7:58 pm

TasmanianToucan wrote:I would not go to Nova, for free or otherwise. Even if you pull off top 5% and get the job you want, there are probably limits to how high you can rise with a Nova degree. It's far harder to measure than first job, which is why it's not talked about as much, but it's true. Article III judges do not come out of Nova. Not many law firm partners either. And I bet your senator buddy doesn't have senator friends who went there either. (Although I'm not sure who that buddy is, because all of the US senators who went to Penn seem to be, well, dead.)

My point is that while you may be able to get the same outcome for your first job (although the odds are against it), you probably won't be able to get the same outcome at the other end of your career so long as you stay in law. You can get rid of debt, but that degree is for life.

I understand about the fear of that much debt, though. Which is why the middle path is sitting out a year and retaking.

What is this shit 0L advice? I'm sorry, but if someone gets a firm job out of Nova, they're not less likely to make partner than a Penn grad at the same firm.

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Re: Penn v.Villanova

Postby NYCFAN1 » Thu May 14, 2015 9:44 pm

TasmanianToucan wrote:I would not go to Nova, for free or otherwise. Even if you pull off top 5% and get the job you want, there are probably limits to how high you can rise with a Nova degree. It's far harder to measure than first job, which is why it's not talked about as much, but it's true. Article III judges do not come out of Nova. Not many law firm partners either. And I bet your senator buddy doesn't have senator friends who went there either. (Although I'm not sure who that buddy is, because all of the US senators who went to Penn seem to be, well, dead.)

My point is that while you may be able to get the same outcome for your first job (although the odds are against it), you probably won't be able to get the same outcome at the other end of your career so long as you stay in law. You can get rid of debt, but that degree is for life.

I understand about the fear of that much debt, though. Which is why the middle path is sitting out a year and retaking.


What are you basing this on? I do think that it is easier to make partner out of an elite school, but only because of the soft benefits (alumni, networking in law school, etc.), but I don't know how you can possibly quantify the added value of an elite degree. Villanova is (I think?) a fairly well respected name in Pennsylvania. If OP was talking Cooley vs. Penn then I would agree that there may be limits on how high he can rise.

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Re: Penn v.Villanova

Postby BiglawAssociate » Thu May 14, 2015 11:22 pm

OutCold wrote:I'm a Penn grad. Didn't go for full tuition, but had a large amount of undergrad debt that puts me in the same position as someone who paid full tuition and very little for undergrad. Look, the notion that having such a large amount of debt is unmanageable is not entirely true, but you have to understand the limitations that it puts on you. You will have to work in biglaw for at least four or five years and aggressively pay down your debt. You will also be living a more frugal lifestyle than your counterparts. You don't have the option of washing out of biglaw early if you hate it. The loans become much more manageable after the first two years when you account for salary and bonus increases, but then you have to fight the temptation to increase your QOL rather than pump the entirety of the increases into loans. What people do not make mention of is the fact that once you have paid down a large chunk of debt by year four or five, you will have options to refinance that loan if you want to leave biglaw. Say you start with $300k debt like I did--by year the end of year four, you are down to $150-175k depending on how aggressive you are paying down. At that point, you can refinance and also potentially extend the loan out to 15-20-25 years instead of the standard 10 year term. This dramatically shrinks your monthly required payment and will allow you to live on the lower salary you will take if you leave biglaw. 300k at 7% over ten years is a payment of around $3400 a month. $175k at the same rate and same ten years is about $2000 a month. At 20 years, that $175k at the same rate becomes a payment of about $1300 a month. You will be paying for a long time, but you can get your loans to place where they are not impeding your ability leave biglaw without defaulting or severely impairing your ability to live.

I'm not recommending paying full tuition at Penn, but it is perfectly doable if you understand the repercussions. You give up a lot of freedom. You will likely be paying loans for a LONG time. However, the myth that you need to stay 7-8 years in biglaw is incorrect.


Um, how the fuck are any of those repayment plans doable?

Paying sticker for any law school (including Yale) is completely and utterly moronic

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Re: Penn v.Villanova

Postby stego » Fri May 15, 2015 4:19 am

NYCFAN1 wrote:
TasmanianToucan wrote:I would not go to Nova, for free or otherwise. Even if you pull off top 5% and get the job you want, there are probably limits to how high you can rise with a Nova degree. It's far harder to measure than first job, which is why it's not talked about as much, but it's true. Article III judges do not come out of Nova. Not many law firm partners either. And I bet your senator buddy doesn't have senator friends who went there either. (Although I'm not sure who that buddy is, because all of the US senators who went to Penn seem to be, well, dead.)

My point is that while you may be able to get the same outcome for your first job (although the odds are against it), you probably won't be able to get the same outcome at the other end of your career so long as you stay in law. You can get rid of debt, but that degree is for life.

I understand about the fear of that much debt, though. Which is why the middle path is sitting out a year and retaking.


What are you basing this on? I do think that it is easier to make partner out of an elite school, but only because of the soft benefits (alumni, networking in law school, etc.), but I don't know how you can possibly quantify the added value of an elite degree. Villanova is (I think?) a fairly well respected name in Pennsylvania. If OP was talking Cooley vs. Penn then I would agree that there may be limits on how high he can rise.


The irony is that New Hampshire's US Senator Kelly Ayotte has a JD from Villanova, but yeah, probably don't base your law school decision on where US Senators went to law school.

I'm not a big law person but my impression is that (1) most big law associates don't want to make partner anyway and (2) going to the right school helps get your foot in the door, but it doesn't determine who makes partner because that's based more on your job performance over several years.




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