Value of Top 10-15% of 1L Class

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JimmyLee2010

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Value of Top 10-15% of 1L Class

Postby JimmyLee2010 » Fri Jun 01, 2018 12:18 pm

How much would you pay if someone could guarantee that you would end up in the top 10-15% of your 1L class?

I'm asking this question, because I wonder whether the amount varies by school, and assuming it takes the same amount of time to get into the top 10-15% of your law school class (I know it will vary based on the school, but humor me for the sake of argument), and big law is your goal, then the marginal value of the time you spend studying will change. For example, a blogger I follow logged his "billable" time spent on law school for the second semester of his 1L year and spent 363 hours during the semester. If spending another 100 hours on top of that could guarantee a place in the 10-15% of the 1L class, and the value of that guarantee was $20,000 then the marginal value of study time is $100/hr. (20,000/(100*2 semesters) = $100). If you value your time at $50/hr. then it would make sense to strive for the guarantee at that school. If the marginal value was less than $10,000 then you would be better off enjoying your life.

I haven't thought this through fully, but in selecting a school it might make sense to place this value into the analysis. In other words, let's say I got into one school with a low value for top 10-15% and got $ from another school with a high value for top 10-15%. If the marginal value of getting in the top 10-15% is higher(because fewer people get into big law), then it's more likely that I'd need to spend more time studying. The opportunity cost of that extra study time should then factor into my analysis of whether the $ is worth it to me. For instance, less than $10k would not be worth it in the above analysis.

This is clearly an economist question where I've assumed away reality, but if you'll humor me for a second, I think there would be some value in assessing the perceived value of being in the top 10-15% of your 1L class at different schools. Just give me your gut reaction, i.e, I'm looking at BU and I'd pay $10,000 for a guaranteed spot in the top 10-15% of my 1L class.

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Re: Value of Top 10-15% of 1L Class

Postby hoos89 » Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:02 pm

JimmyLee2010 wrote:How much would you pay if someone could guarantee that you would end up in the top 10-15% of your 1L class?

I'm asking this question, because I wonder whether the amount varies by school, and assuming it takes the same amount of time to get into the top 10-15% of your law school class (I know it will vary based on the school, but humor me for the sake of argument), and big law is your goal, then the marginal value of the time you spend studying will change. For example, a blogger I follow logged his "billable" time spent on law school for the second semester of his 1L year and spent 363 hours during the semester. If spending another 100 hours on top of that could guarantee a place in the 10-15% of the 1L class, and the value of that guarantee was $20,000 then the marginal value of study time is $100/hr. (20,000/(100*2 semesters) = $100). If you value your time at $50/hr. then it would make sense to strive for the guarantee at that school. If the marginal value was less than $10,000 then you would be better off enjoying your life.

I haven't thought this through fully, but in selecting a school it might make sense to place this value into the analysis. In other words, let's say I got into one school with a low value for top 10-15% and got $ from another school with a high value for top 10-15%. If the marginal value of getting in the top 10-15% is higher(because fewer people get into big law), then it's more likely that I'd need to spend more time studying. The opportunity cost of that extra study time should then factor into my analysis of whether the $ is worth it to me. For instance, less than $10k would not be worth it in the above analysis.

This is clearly an economist question where I've assumed away reality, but if you'll humor me for a second, I think there would be some value in assessing the perceived value of being in the top 10-15% of your 1L class at different schools. Just give me your gut reaction, i.e, I'm looking at BU and I'd pay $10,000 for a guaranteed spot in the top 10-15% of my 1L class.


No amount of studying can guarantee placing in the top 10-15%. I think a lot of people make this mistake believing that just "studying more" will guarantee them success...it won't.

Also, any analysis you tried to do based on this would just be garbage in/garbage out because you have literally no idea what the actual hours, values and probabilities are. Not to mention that even if you DO get top 10%, that doesn't guarantee a particular outcome.

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Re: Value of Top 10-15% of 1L Class

Postby JimmyLee2010 » Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:15 pm

I don't necessarily disagree with you for the most part (see my disclaimers about assumptions in the original post), but I'm mostly just interested in seeing what value people place on being in the top 10-15% of their 1L class.

Here's a more detailed response to your reply:

I agree that studying more won't guarantee success, but that's not the point. I want to value a guarantee to see what the value is of the goal, then discount it for probability of attaining that goal and the amount of work to get there to create a value-weighted analysis of options. I believe that is absent from the decision making process for lots of people.

I also agree that lots of people spin their wheels and study incorrectly in law school, get lost in the weeds, etc. With that said, I do think that on average people at the top of the class probably invest more hours and that there is value in weighing additional work in the decision analysis. If you need to land in the top of your class to attain your goal, then you need to work harder than if you could attain your goal with average grades. (This is subject to my prior assumption that the amount of work does not vary by school)

In addition, while getting in the top 10% won't guarantee an outcome (you may pick your nose during an interview or barf on a partner's wife at a summer event, etc.), not getting in the top 10-15% (or some other percentile depending on the school) does guarantee that you will not get a big law job. For you LSAT nerds, it is a necessary condition but not a sufficient one. You can further discount the probability of you making a fool of yourself as part of your decision analysis as well if you want.

I disagree with your garbage in, garbage out comment. Getting people's opinions on the value of landing in the top 10-15% of their 1L class certainly has some value. Think about all of the business decisions that are made based on customer surveys. Obtaining a survey of valuations is certainly better than if I just selected an arbitrary value. It's not perfect, but it's better than nothing.

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Re: Value of Top 10-15% of 1L Class

Postby hoos89 » Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:51 pm

JimmyLee2010 wrote: In addition, while getting in the top 10% won't guarantee an outcome(you may pick your nose during an interview or barf on a partner's wife at a summer event, etc.)


I'm sure you're being facetious, but I suspect you're overestimating the ease with which top 10% gets you a big law job at most schools. It's not required that you do something absolutely atrocious in every interview or during your summer to not get a job.

JimmyLee2010 wrote:not getting in the top 10-15% (or some other percentile depending on the school) does guarantee that you will not get a big law job.


This is not true at all. Law firms don't just toss out all applications below top X%.

JimmyLee2010 wrote:I disagree with your garbage in, garbage out comment. Getting people's opinions on the value of landing in the top 10-15% of their 1L class certainly has some value. Think about all of the business decisions that are made based on customer surveys. Obtaining a survey of valuations is certainly better than if I just selected an arbitrary value. It's not perfect, but it's better than nothing.


Any numbers you get are going to be based on pretty much nothing. "How much is top 10-15% worth?" is an extremely complex question that nobody can accurately answer, and just trying to poll people on an internet forum isn't going to give you much better than an arbitrary number.

JimmyLee2010 wrote:I also agree that lots of people spin their wheels and study incorrectly in law school, get lost in the weeds, etc. With that said, I do think that on average people at the top of the class probably invest more hours and that there is value in weighing additional work in the decision analysis. If you need to land in the top of your class to attain your goal, then you need to work harder than if you could attain your goal with average grades. (This is subject to my prior assumption that the amount of work does not vary by school)


I think you're making a lot of not so great assumptions here. For instance, I doubt that placement in class is that much a function of how hard you work. It's not like "250 hours / semester = median, 350 hours = top 25%, 500 hours = top 10%" or something. If you put in very little work, you're very likely to do poorly. If you do a lot of work, then you are going to do better. But once you reach a certain amount of hours put in, it's not like each additional hour is worth X% of your class or something. If I study 350 hours in a semester and get median, that doesn't mean I could have studied 500 hours and gotten top third. Or 750 hours and top 10%. Your entire premise is based on this false idea that more work leads to better grades (even accounting for people spinning their wheels etc.) but that just is not true. (I also don't think it's fair to that you know the "right" way to study and won't ever spin your wheels, get lost in the weeds, etc.)

The thing you have to realize about law school is this: most people will enter the exam with a very good grasp of the material. They've pretty much all studied their asses off. And the exam is probably open book. Law school isn't about "who knows the most law" it's about "who can write the best exam in the eyes of that professor". That's not a thing you can just brute force your way to by studying an extra 100 hours.

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Re: Value of Top 10-15% of 1L Class

Postby JimmyLee2010 » Fri Jun 01, 2018 6:53 pm

I've responded to your post in detail below, but I'm still curious to know what value people place on being in the top 10-15% of their 1L class.

Imagine the dean came to you and offered to sell you a top 10-15% spot in the 1L class. All ethical issues aside, how much would you pay him?

I'm happy to discuss your disagreement with my approach, but notwithstanding your disapproval, I'm curious to know what people think.

I'm sure you're being facetious, but I suspect you're overestimating the ease with which top 10% gets you a big law job at most schools. It's not required that you do something absolutely atrocious in every interview or during your summer to not get a job.


I doubt either of us have any meaningful data to cite in response to this point. Regardless, I think you have a very good shot of getting a big law job if you're at a t20 where over 40% receive big law placement if you're in the top 10%.

not getting in the top 10-15% (or some other percentile depending on the school) does guarantee that you will not get a big law job.


This is not true at all. Law firms don't just toss out all applications below top X%.


This is absolutely true, and you are completely wrong about this. I've actually seen the recruitment chart that a major vault top 10 law firm uses to screen candidates. You literally cannot get an interview (absent some extenuating circumstances like you're the daughter of a major client) unless you are in the X percentile of Y school. That doesn't mean that you'll get a job, but they cannot interview you. I also know that to be the case at several other major firms.

If you put in very little work, you're very likely to do poorly. If you do a lot of work, then you are going to do better


Yep, that's the point.

Your entire premise is based on this false idea that more work leads to better grades (even accounting for people spinning their wheels etc.) but that just is not true.


I think what you're saying here is that some people will reach a ceiling and no matter how hard they work they will not get in the top 10%. I'm not trying to put words into your mouth, but I think that's what you're driving at. Please correct me if I'm misunderstanding. If that's your point, then I agree. I think that actually supports my point then to some degree. If I'm incapable of getting in the top 10% then I'm wasting my time trying and I should go to a school where I just need to be in the top 50% to get a big law job.

I guess your broader point is that you won't work harder, even if you know you need to get into the top 10% to achieve your goals? If that's your point, then I completely disagree. As you allude to in your post, it is much harder to get into the top 10% than to land in the middle of your class. I think that if I know that I'm going to need to be in the top 10% then I'm going to work a lot harder regardless of whether I actually attain that goal or not.

Law school isn't about "who knows the most law" it's about "who can write the best exam in the eyes of that professor".


I mostly disagree with this statement. Essentially you are saying law school grades are random, which is absolutely not the case. The same students consistently do well throughout law school, which refutes any assertion that grades are random - their performance must be linked to something those students are doing in their exams. Maybe you're saying that some students are better exam takers? If that's the case, then there has to be some benefit to working on your exam taking skills. That approach certainly works for the LSAT and all standardized tests.

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Re: Value of Top 10-15% of 1L Class

Postby Npret » Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:58 pm

Why are you even interested in this question? It’s so pointless I’m assuming there is some reason you care other than idle curiosity.
As far as I know there is no way to guarantee a top 10 % placement, so again I’m wondering, why do you care?

Also you are very wrong. Law school grades are absolutely based on who wrote the best exam in the eyes of the professor. Some people are better at taking exams, studying for the exam, writing well or even typing insanely fast. These people will do well with different professors because they can adapt to the professor.

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Re: Value of Top 10-15% of 1L Class

Postby JimmyLee2010 » Mon Jun 04, 2018 5:36 pm

Also you are very wrong. Law school grades are absolutely based on who wrote the best exam in the eyes of the professor. Some people are better at taking exams, studying for the exam, writing well or even typing insanely fast. These people will do well with different professors because they can adapt to the professor.


I'll respond to your second paragraph first. Did you actually read my post? I hope you stopped at the end of the first sentence and just assumed the content of the remainder. Otherwise your RC skills need some work because this is what I wrote:

The same students consistently do well throughout law school, which refutes any assertion that grades are random - their performance must be linked to something those students are doing in their exams. Maybe you're saying that some students are better exam takers? If that's the case, then there has to be some benefit to working on your exam taking skills. That approach certainly works for the LSAT and all standardized tests.


In response to your first paragraph, I'm assuming you didn't read my earlier posts where I explained why I'm interested in this information because you obviously didn't bother to read my last post.

Please read a post before posting a reply. Thanks.

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Re: Value of Top 10-15% of 1L Class

Postby Npret » Mon Jun 04, 2018 5:50 pm

I read that you don’t think law school grades are random and you “mostly” disagree with the idea that it’s up
to the professors idiosyncratic take and the curve to decide your grade.

I read that you seem to think that the longer you study, the better your grade will be, which isn’t the case.

I guess this is for your own amusement so have fun.

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Re: Value of Top 10-15% of 1L Class

Postby nixy » Mon Jun 04, 2018 6:12 pm

JimmyLee2010 wrote:
Also you are very wrong. Law school grades are absolutely based on who wrote the best exam in the eyes of the professor. Some people are better at taking exams, studying for the exam, writing well or even typing insanely fast. These people will do well with different professors because they can adapt to the professor.


I'll respond to your second paragraph first. Did you actually read my post? I hope you stopped at the end of the first sentence and just assumed the content of the remainder. Otherwise your RC skills need some work because this is what I wrote:

The same students consistently do well throughout law school, which refutes any assertion that grades are random - their performance must be linked to something those students are doing in their exams. Maybe you're saying that some students are better exam takers? If that's the case, then there has to be some benefit to working on your exam taking skills. That approach certainly works for the LSAT and all standardized tests.


In response to your first paragraph, I'm assuming you didn't read my earlier posts where I explained why I'm interested in this information because you obviously didn't bother to read my last post.

Please read a post before posting a reply. Thanks.

Dude. There’s nothing about “some students do well because they adapt well to different professors” that’s at all inconsistent with “the same students do well throughout school.” Yes, because they can adapt to what professors want, not because they know the most law.

I also think “I will definitely be able to work harder” is easier to say now than it is to do at the time, but again, it’s not about working harder. All your classmates will know that they need to be top 10% and they will work harder too.

Which gets to yes, it’s pretty much always better to go to the school where being top 50% gets you biglaw over the school where you have to be top 10%. BUT this isn’t determined in a vacuum. Getting biglaw but being significantly in debt (because you went to the T14 at sticker) isn’t automatically better than not getting biglaw but getting, say, midlaw or local government but not having debt (because you went to a school where you need to be top 10% and didn’t make it - not even because you didn’t work hard but because you got sick before a final, or your dog died, or your SO broke up with you, or maybe you just didn’t quite crack what that prof wanted as well as the rest of your classmates did).

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Re: Value of Top 10-15% of 1L Class

Postby JimmyLee2010 » Mon Jun 04, 2018 6:33 pm

Nixy - thanks for weighing in on my post. I appreciate your response and viewpoint.

Npret's point was that some people are better at taking exams than others. That is consistent with the point I made in my earlier post where I said
Maybe you're saying that some students are better exam takers? If that's the case, then there has to be some benefit to working on your exam taking skills. That approach certainly works for the LSAT and all standardized tests.
I never took the position that the person who knows the most law gets the highest grade. In fact, I emphatically disagree with that statement.

Npret - so you read it, but you just didn't understand what I wrote. That's fine. I don't have time to teach you how to read, but I hope that you take the time to acquire that skill before you start representing clients. And just to be clear: the tone I am taking with you Npret is a direct result of the tone you took with me in your initial post. If you don't like receiving this type of response, then I also suggest that you work on acquiring social skills. They will serve you well in the practice of law.

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Re: Value of Top 10-15% of 1L Class

Postby nixy » Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:51 pm

I'm pretty sure Npret knows a lot more about the practice of law than you do, actually, as he's practiced law. Your question sounds like you're trying to come up with a pseudo-scientific basis for deciding where to go to school, so I'm presuming you haven't.

Also, meant to respond to this earlier:
JimmyLee2010 wrote:This is absolutely true, and you are completely wrong about this. I've actually seen the recruitment chart that a major vault top 10 law firm uses to screen candidates. You literally cannot get an interview (absent some extenuating circumstances like you're the daughter of a major client) unless you are in the X percentile of Y school. That doesn't mean that you'll get a job, but they cannot interview you. I also know that to be the case at several other major firms.

Keep in mind that at the majority of T14 schools, students get interviews through bidding/lottery, not pre-select - that is, they get interviewed before the firm even sees their GPA. I know that there are often grade cut-offs for different firms/schools that come into play, but it's not quite exactly as you describe it.

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Re: Value of Top 10-15% of 1L Class

Postby JimmyLee2010 » Mon Jun 04, 2018 10:49 pm

By the use of the past tense "practiced" I assume he's no longer practicing, which was probably a smart decision.

Thanks for the clarification about interviews. I wonder whether that matters in terms of hiring. Without knowing the answer, my guess is that firms still adhere to their grade cut offs, but I admittedly have no idea.

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Re: Value of Top 10-15% of 1L Class

Postby nixy » Mon Jun 04, 2018 11:12 pm

JimmyLee2010 wrote:By the use of the past tense "practiced" I assume he's no longer practicing, which was probably a smart decision.

I don't know if that's actually true, but this is unnecessary. Whatever you disliked about his tone, Npret didn't resort to ad hominems.

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Re: Value of Top 10-15% of 1L Class

Postby JimmyLee2010 » Tue Jun 05, 2018 12:43 am

I took offense to him questioning my credibility by doubting the veracity of my stated reason for posting. In essence he was calling me a liar and if I was not a liar then I was stupid for asking an allegedly "pointless" question. While not strictly an ad hominem, I interpreted his post as an attack without any substantive discussion of the topic at hand.

Frankly, I cut him a break by just assuming he didn't read the post. When he posted that he did read the post, he confirmed that he was calling me a liar:

.I guess this is for your own amusement so have fun.


At that point, he deserved to be called out. If his feelings got hurt then maybe he'd learn something and refrain from making similar posts in the future.

From now on, I'll leave Npret out of my posts assuming he stops commenting on my thread when he has nothing substantive to add to the discussion.

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Re: Value of Top 10-15% of 1L Class

Postby nixy » Tue Jun 05, 2018 6:53 am

I’m not worried about his feelings, you just look like an asshole when you start telling someone else to learn social skills before they start practicing law.

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Re: Value of Top 10-15% of 1L Class

Postby JimmyLee2010 » Tue Jun 05, 2018 12:09 pm

Now look who's resorting to ad hominens. Apparently, you're a "do as I say, don't do as I do" kind of guy. I guess the choice to be a hypocrite is your own.

My comment about social skills was constructive feedback on his posts. I was being sincere when I said that if he doesn't like people responding to him in that manner, then he should work on his social skills. As you can see throughout this thread, I was polite with everyone who posted on this thread, including you, except him. I wanted to make it very clear that the reason why his posts elicited a negative response, was that they lacked tact. If he wants to elicit a more positive response from people, then he should work on his social skills. If that type of honest feedback offends your sensibilities, then I hope that your ambitions lay outside of big law.

Here's another dose of constructive feedback for you. When you resort to ad hominens as an adult, you should not simply call someone an "asshole." I noticed that you not only used that term in this thread, but in other threads as well. As an adult, that is analogous to a high school student calling someone a "doo doo head." It betrays immaturity and makes you sound unintelligent. If you are going to resort to ad hominens, you should think "show don't tell." Show them they're an asshole, don't just tell them they're an asshole. It's a much more effective approach.

At this point, I'm tired of responding to your posts, so please do not post again on this thread unless you have something substantive to add to the discussion. I hope you have a good day.

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Re: Value of Top 10-15% of 1L Class

Postby nixy » Tue Jun 05, 2018 12:24 pm

Goodness, I didn’t think there were people out there still so offended by the word asshole on the internet. However, you’re right; I don’t know that you’re an asshole. It would be more accurate to say that you’re making statements that come across in a highly asshole-ish manner. Telling someone that you hope they develop social skills that they’re going to need in practicing law comes across as exceedingly condescending when it’s clear that you haven’t practiced law yourself. You give the same impression when you tell me you hope my ambitions lie outside of biglaw. That kind of condescension makes you sound immature and arrogant. If you disagree with his statement, why not do as you suggested and explain your substantive issues with it, rather than take potshots at what you incorrectly believe to be someone’s work experience? What does your opinion of someone’s social skills have to do with the substance of their comment?

(Also you don’t get to decide who does or doesn’t respond to your posts on an open forum, so acting as if you do also comes across as exceedingly condescending.)

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Re: Value of Top 10-15% of 1L Class

Postby JimmyLee2010 » Tue Jun 05, 2018 1:21 pm

Nixy, my polite request that you stop making non-substantive posts on this thread was an invocation of the Mercy Rule. If you want to continue playing, then you're right that I can't stop you, but I'm also not responsible if you get embarrassed either.

If you read my post, my point was that I'm not offended by the word "asshole" and you should strike that word from your repertoire because it's not effective. -1 on your RC score.

You get a +1 for recognizing that my responses to your post and Npret's were condescending. You get a -1 for failing to recognize that was my intention.

You get another -1 for your failure to realize that I did respond to the substantive portion of Npret's post:

Also you are very wrong. Law school grades are absolutely based on who wrote the best exam in the eyes of the professor. Some people are better at taking exams, studying for the exam, writing well or even typing insanely fast. These people will do well with different professors because they can adapt to the professor.

I'll respond to your second paragraph first. Did you actually read my post? I hope you stopped at the end of the first sentence and just assumed the content of the remainder. Otherwise your RC skills need some work because this is what I wrote:

The same students consistently do well throughout law school, which refutes any assertion that grades are random - their performance must be linked to something those students are doing in their exams. Maybe you're saying that some students are better exam takers? If that's the case, then there has to be some benefit to working on your exam taking skills. That approach certainly works for the LSAT and all standardized tests.


Total RC score for your post: -2.

If you're still reading at this point, here's a question for you: does it matter whether I've practiced law? Would you accept my feedback as valid if I was an attorney at a big law firm? I'm interested to hear your response.

In response to your two questions at the end of your thread.

I did explain my substantive issues with his post, and your post for that matter. Go back and reread my posts.

Npret's lack of social skills was a part of the substance of his comment. It's like the saying, "It's not what you say, but how you say it." An author's tone is part of the substance of what he writes, and how people respond to what was written. You should be cognizant of your tone when writing and ensure that it is consistent with your intent. By way of example, I am intending to be condescending in this post because I'm tired of your non-substantive responses to my thread. Accordingly, I think this post has the appropriate tone under the circumstances.

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Re: Value of Top 10-15% of 1L Class

Postby hoos89 » Tue Jun 05, 2018 3:21 pm


This is absolutely true, and you are completely wrong about this. I've actually seen the recruitment chart that a major vault top 10 law firm uses to screen candidates. You literally cannot get an interview (absent some extenuating circumstances like you're the daughter of a major client) unless you are in the X percentile of Y school. That doesn't mean that you'll get a job, but they cannot interview you. I also know that to be the case at several other major firms.


Tell that to all the people I know who got big law jobs from median and below at a top 20 school, including one at a V10. Things just aren't that simple. Sure you won't get a job from OCI, but there are other avenues.


Law school isn't about "who knows the most law" it's about "who can write the best exam in the eyes of that professor".


I mostly disagree with this statement. Essentially you are saying law school grades are random, which is absolutely not the case. The same students consistently do well throughout law school, which refutes any assertion that grades are random - their performance must be linked to something those students are doing in their exams. Maybe you're saying that some students are better exam takers? If that's the case, then there has to be some benefit to working on your exam taking skills. That approach certainly works for the LSAT and all standardized tests.


Not at all. The same people tend to do well throughout law school, but the problem is you have no way of knowing if you're going to be one of those people before you go to law school, and if you're not then just working harder isn't going to get you there.

Npret's lack of social skills was a part of the substance of his comment. It's like the saying, "It's not what you say, but how you say it." An author's tone is part of the substance of what he writes, and how people respond to what was written. You should be cognizant of your tone when writing and ensure that it is consistent with your intent. By way of example, I am intending to be condescending in this post because I'm tired of your non-substantive responses to my thread. Accordingly, I think this post has the appropriate tone under the circumstances.


By this same argument, one might say that you coming across like an asshole is part of the substance of your comment.

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Re: Value of Top 10-15% of 1L Class

Postby catatac » Tue Jun 05, 2018 3:49 pm

My gut says the value of becoming top 10% of your class comes from the legal skill and work ethic you gain. If learning new legal skills and patterns of problem solving (thoroughness of your arguments, etc.) get you into the top 10%, there's no telling how far you can go in whatever you choose to do afterwards. I think the whole game is loving the process of continually getting better at what you are doing. I don't think you can put a price on that.

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Re: Value of Top 10-15% of 1L Class

Postby JimmyLee2010 » Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:12 pm

Thanks for posting. I'd be interested to hear how they got their jobs. To my knowledge that is very rare, and usually occurs by lateraling into a large firm with a partner you work with or something along those lines. Maybe a federal clerkship coupled with a favorable recommendation? The firms I'm familiar with are very strict about their cutoffs and will actually even reject lateral partners with significant books of business if they do not satisfy the academic requirements. I think that doesn't make any sense, but I'm not the one making the decision. I'm sure there are some firms that are more flexible about grades and law school.

I agree that some people have a higher aptitude for law school than others. I also believe that certain people have an aptitude for the LSAT and standardized tests, but within that outer limit there is lots of room for improvement with hard work. To be clear, I don't think that everyone can get in the top 10% of their 1L class, and I don't think that everyone can get above a 170 on the LSAT. I'm making the unremarkable argument that outcomes are tied to work within the confines of your aptitude. I also believe that working smarter may have better results than pure hard work. For instance 40 hours of Kaplan may get you different results than spending 40 hours with Test Masters. I don't see any of that as controversial, but maybe it is.

Is your overall point that no matter where you go you should be working as hard as you can, because no matter how much work you do you have no idea whether that will be enough to achieve your goals as a 1L?

I really didn't expect this thread to go in so many directions. I thought my initial post was pretty straight forward, but live and learn I guess.

Yes, my tone was certainly part of the substance of my comment, but not substantive with respect to the topic in this thread. I'm absolutely guilty of digressing in my responses to comments on this thread. If possible, I'd like to steer the discussion back to the original topic and I appreciate your efforts to accomplish that goal hoos89.

JimmyLee2010

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Re: Value of Top 10-15% of 1L Class

Postby JimmyLee2010 » Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:15 pm

Thanks Catatac. I appreciate your post.

Essentially, you'd set the value as infinite and you should work as hard as possible no matter where you go.



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