UT vs UCLA

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kurama20
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Re: UT vs UCLA

Postby kurama20 » Mon Nov 02, 2009 3:31 pm

I'm sorry but the more I find out about Texas and when I look at their placement, I'm really having a hard time seeing how Cornell is in another league than Texas is. To be honest I think that they are pretty comparable---they just have different focuses.

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Bronte
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Re: UT vs UCLA

Postby Bronte » Mon Nov 02, 2009 3:42 pm

Applicant2010 wrote:Do you have the 2008 chart? I only can find the 2005 one...


http://www.law.com/img/nlj/charts/20090 ... chools.jpg

imisscollege wrote:what's your opinion on the accuracy of this?


I believe the near-T14s, especially Vandy, are very strong. There is definitely a steep cutoff between T14s/near-T14s and the rest, however.

kurama20 wrote:I'm sorry but the more I find out about Texas and when I look at their placement, I'm really having a hard time seeing how Cornell is in another league than Texas is. To be honest I think that they are pretty comparable---they just have different focuses.


Source? Looking at the old 2005 chart, there's a steep cutoff after Vandy that excludes UT/UCLA. http://pdfserver.amlaw.com/nlj/20080414 ... trends.pdf

EDIT: I'm talking biglaw here, with NLJ 250 as a proxy. I'd love to see some stats that show that UT has some regional, market-paying firms that are not in the NLJ 250, or something of the sort. Of course, I'm also talking status quo. ITE, everything's up in the air.

imisscollege
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Re: UT vs UCLA

Postby imisscollege » Mon Nov 02, 2009 3:48 pm

where would you argue that this whole "near-t14" prestige (comparable to that of cornell) ends? usc? bu?

Kretzy
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Re: UT vs UCLA

Postby Kretzy » Mon Nov 02, 2009 3:50 pm

imisscollege wrote:where would you argue that this whole "near-t14" prestige (comparable to that of cornell) ends? usc? bu?


I think the dropoff right now is between USC and WUSTL, but WUSTL is continuing to climb. The dropoff will probably be after WUSTL in the near future, as it widens the gap between itself and the Boston schools/midwestern state Universities.

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kurama20
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Re: UT vs UCLA

Postby kurama20 » Mon Nov 02, 2009 4:31 pm

Bronte wrote:
Applicant2010 wrote:Do you have the 2008 chart? I only can find the 2005 one...


http://www.law.com/img/nlj/charts/20090 ... chools.jpg

imisscollege wrote:what's your opinion on the accuracy of this?


I believe the near-T14s, especially Vandy, are very strong. There is definitely a steep cutoff between T14s/near-T14s and the rest, however.

kurama20 wrote:I'm sorry but the more I find out about Texas and when I look at their placement, I'm really having a hard time seeing how Cornell is in another league than Texas is. To be honest I think that they are pretty comparable---they just have different focuses.


Source? Looking at the old 2005 chart, there's a steep cutoff after Vandy that excludes UT/UCLA. http://pdfserver.amlaw.com/nlj/20080414 ... trends.pdf

EDIT: I'm talking biglaw here, with NLJ 250 as a proxy. I'd love to see some stats that show that UT has some regional, market-paying firms that are not in the NLJ 250, or something of the sort. Of course, I'm also talking status quo. ITE, everything's up in the air.


Something like 78 percent of Cornell's class goes to NYC--essentially every firm in NYC is on the nlj250. Something like 68 percent of Texas' class goes to market paying jobs in Texas---where a very small fraction of the firms are on the nlj250 (then again to a lot of people on TLS big law only exists in NYC). It's a classic case of the much beloved TLS magic bullet known as "self selection" except that in this case it's pretty easily verified. The massive NYC bias of the nlj250 is one of the reasons why it has a school like Penn blowing out Stanford.

Army2Law
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Re: UT vs UCLA

Postby Army2Law » Mon Nov 02, 2009 4:42 pm

If you end up at UT you may end up adding Texas to your list. Austin is an awesome city and so are the other major metropolitan areas. Plus, if you decide to stay in Texas you get the benefit of no state income tax. I'm not a native Texan, but living for Austin for a year before I deployed to Iraq helped to push Texas to number 2 on my list behind only Harvard. People hate on Texas (the state) a lot, but I think it's mostly unwarranted. Just my 2 cents.

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Kronk
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Re: UT vs UCLA

Postby Kronk » Mon Nov 02, 2009 4:56 pm

I would attend Texas over Georgetown or Cornell.

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Bronte
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Re: UT vs UCLA

Postby Bronte » Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:06 pm

kurama20 wrote:Something like 78 percent of Cornell's class goes to NYC--essentially every firm in NYC is on the nlj250. Something like 68 percent of Texas' class goes to market paying jobs in Texas---where a very small fraction of the firms are on the nlj250 (then again to a lot of people on TLS big law only exists in NYC). It's a classic case of the much beloved TLS magic bullet known as "self selection" except that in this case it's pretty easily verified. The massive NYC bias of the nlj250 is one of the reasons why it has a school like Penn blowing out Stanford.


That's good to hear, and I had a feeling that was your reasoning. It would be nice to see a source for this "market-paying non-NLJ 250" theory. Not saying you're bullshitting--I've heard this elsewhere and it makes sense.

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Re: UT vs UCLA

Postby imisscollege » Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:07 pm

VoidSix wrote:I would attend Texas over Georgetown or Cornell.


Do you really like the south?

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Kronk
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Re: UT vs UCLA

Postby Kronk » Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:20 pm

No. I actually really dislike the South and most of Texas (although Austin is phenomenal). However, Texas is just better at preparing students for clerkships and academia than a number of T14s.

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Re: UT vs UCLA

Postby Kretzy » Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:28 pm

VoidSix wrote:No. I actually really dislike the South and most of Texas (although Austin is phenomenal). However, Texas is just better at preparing students for clerkships and academia than a number of T14s.


+1, couldn't have said it better.

imisscollege
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Re: UT vs UCLA

Postby imisscollege » Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:29 pm

I'm not disagreeing or anything but this information will likely be very relevant to a big decision I have to make in the next few months. I'm curious about what you're basing all of that on. Thanks

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kurama20
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Re: UT vs UCLA

Postby kurama20 » Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:48 pm

Bronte wrote:
kurama20 wrote:Something like 78 percent of Cornell's class goes to NYC--essentially every firm in NYC is on the nlj250. Something like 68 percent of Texas' class goes to market paying jobs in Texas---where a very small fraction of the firms are on the nlj250 (then again to a lot of people on TLS big law only exists in NYC). It's a classic case of the much beloved TLS magic bullet known as "self selection" except that in this case it's pretty easily verified. The massive NYC bias of the nlj250 is one of the reasons why it has a school like Penn blowing out Stanford.


That's good to hear, and I had a feeling that was your reasoning. It would be nice to see a source for this "market-paying non-NLJ 250" theory. Not saying you're bullshitting--I've heard this elsewhere and it makes sense.


OK to do this to the level that it really deserves is a bit tedious---as you would basically have to look up all the Texas firms--but here's another good proxy. The following links are for Texas big law firms in the various Texas markets. You will quickly notice how few of these firms are listed on the nlj250--yet almost all of them pay 125K+--also these salary figures are pretty outdated so at this point they are probably higher. Another thing is that some of those firms are actually more prestigious and pay more than some of the NYC centered firms that Cornell places into, Susman Godrey being a great example. Susman Godfrey is not on the nlj 250 but it actually pays something like 160K + 60 percent and higher bonuses to it's associates. On top of that the firm is more selective than essentially any V10 except Wachtell. There are other high end very selective boutiques in Texas as well.

These boutique type firms simply do not appear on the nlj250 because they aren't huge and they aren't in NYC. The Cali market, to a lesser extent, features a similar situation and its the reason why you see Stanford and Boalt doing relatively poorly on the nlj250 compared to their peers. Another thing to keep in mind is that when you work in big law in Texas you are taking a good deal more of your paycheck home than people in NYC---Texas has no state income tax and it has a much lower cost of living than NYC. And again I'm not saying UT is better than Cornell---just that the two schools are comparable--a lot more so than what I had been led to believe by many on here.

http://www.infirmation.com/shared/searc ... _abbrev=TX
http://www.infirmation.com/shared/searc ... _abbrev=TX
http://www.infirmation.com/shared/searc ... _abbrev=TX
http://www.infirmation.com/shared/searc ... _abbrev=TX

VoidSix wrote:No. I actually really dislike the South and most of Texas (although Austin is phenomenal). However, Texas is just better at preparing students for clerkships and academia than a number of T14s.


TITCR

Damn, voidsix has really been on his game about schools lately. In response to the bolded see: Duke, Cornell, and Penn (though it seems Penn is trying to address this).

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Bronte
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Re: UT vs UCLA

Postby Bronte » Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:51 pm

Kurama20--nice.

showNprove
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Re: UT vs UCLA

Postby showNprove » Mon Nov 02, 2009 6:11 pm

I just thought I'd share this old post of mine from last cycle regarding Texas's placement:

showNprove wrote:
Snooker wrote:show -

I'm personally very interested in Texas, because of the opportunity to graduate with minimal loan, so it would serve me well to be so biased in favor of the school! But I am skeptical that employment prospects are that good, and CSOs tend to inflate employment statistics such as to imply employment prospects are much better than they actually are, for example, by reporting only people who took jobs through OCI and such. The whole practice is very corrupt but competition forces it.

In the stats reported, it's difficult to tell what "law firm" and "government" employment entails exactly. Some will be biglaw and DoJ, some will be PI lawyers and public defenders. One should never trust salary averages as an indication of anything; If 40% of the class gets 160k salary and the other 40% gets 60k, with nothing in between, the average salary will be an optimistic 100k and the median a disappointing 60k.

I recall the law school buzz book (available on Google Book Search) has a student interview saying that top 50% is the cutoff for biglaw, and biglaw is a good line in the sand to draw. A lot of posters here seem to agree. It's common to hear the same reported for Vanderbilt and Georgetown, which are in the same 'mini-tier' as Texas (so "T-14" seems rather meaningless). I've heard socal grads say it's 25% for their class, and I figure UCLA grads are the same given the similar reputations of the schools.

I hypothesize that grads in the top 75% of schools above Georgetown are at the biglaw cutoff. These schools let in a lot of less qualified applicants in under the 25% margin due to super-softs and diversity. HYS and probably Berkeley are immune because there's no grades there and the schools are super-prestigious; any graduate from there is very much set.

This should all be very relevant to the law school candidate, since the most important ranking is really how the school will prepare you for life when you graduate: whether you will have the opportunities you are striving for. I would NEVER attend SoCal over Texas because socal is so much more of a risk. Likewise, despite Georgetown's magical place in the T-14, it doesn't seem much more appealing than Texas.

There's little doubt that the recession will change these figures some. Texas' economy is strong; NY in chaos, so we may well expect Texas grads doing better this year than NYU. In general, these percentage figures will have shrunk some depending on where you go, but if a general list of "placement percentages" can be made for the various schools relative to a broad biglaw standard, I think we'll have a much more valuable ranking than USNews' giant circus.

First, I want to agree with everything you said, but before we put UT's reporting policies in the same league as Cardozo's, let's play with some numbers.

For the class of 2007, Texas reports that 248 of their 408 students have gone on to law firms. That is 60.8%. Of these 248 graduates at law firms, their average salary is $142,000. This is with 207 of the 248 graduates reporting, or 84.5% of now-law-firm graduates.

Now that we have the numbers, let's look at the riskiest scenario. Let's say a Texas-to-firm graduate is either going to make the $160k market salary or crap. This is obviously unlikely, as many graduates will make less in the Texas markets (say, $145k), but pegging this figure at the highest conceivable amount will yield a greater number of graduates at the other end of the spectrum--the low salaries--giving us the "worst-case scenario," in terms of probability of ending up at the bottom.


Now, let's assume that all the low-paying firm jobs pay $65k, a very optimistic number. The worst-case scenario, then, is that 18.6% of Texas-to-firm graduates will make $65k.

Now, let's assume that all the low-paying firm jobs pay $35k, a very pessimistic number. The worst-case scenario, then, is that 14.2% of Texas-to-firm graduates will make $35k.


Using these figures, we find that 168 to 178 of 408 (41.3% to 43.5%) graduates found market-paying jobs under the "worst-case scenario," under the assumption that each and every person who did not report his salary was not making market.

So, in the absolute worst possible situation, which as I define as the highest probability of not making more than $65k at a firm, the top 55.5% will either get a market-paying firm job or a judicial clerkship (41.3% to firm, 14.2% to clerkships).


Still, if we assume that the average salary is also indicative of those who did not respond--which is relatively safe, considering Texas is a very good school--then, at worse, 49.5% to 52.5% of Texas grads will make market pay at a firm. Therefore, in the worst-case scenario with no assumptions made about the 15.5% who did not report salaries, 63.7% to 66.7% of Texas graduates will either get a market-paying job or a judicial clerkship.


Now, neither of these estimates are what one would consider optimistic. Even the second one, which makes a pretty big favorable assumption about those who didn't report, is making an even more unfavorable assumption about those who did--that the greatest number of people possible will be making $65k or less. Also, neither estimate includes people who choose to go into government, public interest, business, academia, or military work.


Although the stats themselves are from better economic times, if you compare them to, say, Georgetown's placement in better economic times, you won't find much of a difference.

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Re: UT vs UCLA

Postby notme » Mon Nov 02, 2009 9:08 pm

I actually don't think the full t-14 are "National." I took UCLA over a low level t-14 for LA. While the t-6 might have an advantage in LA, I don't think any of the t-7 through t-14 would have an advantage over UCLA, or even USC, here. I assume the same is true for UT in Texas. Someone said that they couldn't believe how regional the non-t-14 were. I think that the regional nature of schools begins to play a part after the t-6.

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Re: UT vs UCLA

Postby helvidius2010 » Mon Nov 02, 2009 9:39 pm

While particular firms and judges (clerkships) may have absolute cutoffs, it is overall more accurate to look at the rankings in the 10-20 range (possibly elsewhere, but that is not in discussion here) as a sliding scale rather than as a national-regional cliff after #14. It is just convenient to use the number 14 because the T14 has been comprised of the same schools for a number of years, and they are the only schools who have ever been ranked in the USNWR top 10. But that has nothing to do with placement. Fact is, you have to do a little better in your class at UT/UCLA/Vandy to get the same portability and level of opportunities as you would for DNCG. But by the same measure, you have to do a little better in your class at DNCG to get the same portability and opportunities as you would for BPVM.

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kurama20
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Re: UT vs UCLA

Postby kurama20 » Mon Nov 02, 2009 10:34 pm

notme wrote:I actually don't think the full t-14 are "National." I took UCLA over a low level t-14 for LA. While the t-6 might have an advantage in LA, I don't think any of the t-7 through t-14 would have an advantage over UCLA, or even USC, here. I assume the same is true for UT in Texas. Someone said that they couldn't believe how regional the non-t-14 were. I think that the regional nature of schools begins to play a part after the t-6.



Actually Michigan does a good deal better in Cali than USC and UCLA----I believe Penn and UVA do better too.

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Re: UT vs UCLA

Postby DoGooderLaw1984 » Tue Nov 17, 2009 1:02 pm

Both are exceptional schools and the idea that they are "regional" is absurd (does this mean hiring committees at NYC and DC firms have never heard of UCLA, UT, US News, etc.? These are people who specialize in finding the best lawyers, not your grandma whose views on law school come from The Paper Chase or knowing where the Obamas went).

Unless you are at the bottom of the barrel in law school or make bad decisions for your two summers, you are far better off going to school like UCLA or UT than a school like Fordham or American. I guarantee that many of your professors at UCLA or UT will have extensive experience and networks in the major cities and you will be well-connected. And then if you spend at least your 2nd summer where you want to practice, you are in better shape than the vast majority of people competing with you for a job.

So, choose UCLA or UT over what might be a lower-quality school that happens to be in a city you want to work. And of those two, choose UCLA.

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Re: UT vs UCLA

Postby rondemarino » Tue Nov 17, 2009 1:12 pm

Personally, if location was irrelevant, I'd pick the regional school (Cornell/GULC/Vandy/UCLA) with the smallest class size.

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Re: UT vs UCLA

Postby columbo » Tue Nov 17, 2009 1:29 pm

Another thing to consider is that by going to UT, you add all of the huge Texas legal markets as places you can land a job. You'll have demonstrated ties to the region to talk up during interviews with Texas firms: I decided to go to UT because I want to start a family in Houston/Dallas/Austin/San Antonio, because (a), (b), (c) [fill in different reasons for different cities]. You don't really need ties to move to LA or SF, so attending UCLA may not help you in your job search in this way. And if you already have ties to LA and SF and they are helpful in getting a job, you're better off adding another market by going to Texas than strengthening them. In fact, I think this is a reason to consider going to Texas over Georgetown; the market Georgetown serves is another one that you can easily argue you're interested in even if you've never been there and went to school elsewhere. Going to school at Texas might even be a good thing for certain DC jobs.

Edit - the above all assumes that you finish in the top quarter or better at each of the schools. If you did worse than that, then I don't know which school would be best. My hunch is that Texas would be the right choice, since it is the best school in its region by far. In CA, UCLA plays second fiddle to Berkeley AND Stanford, and in DC, firms have their pick of below median HYSCCNB students, who they probably prefer to below median Georgetown students.
Last edited by columbo on Tue Nov 17, 2009 1:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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rondemarino
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Re: UT vs UCLA

Postby rondemarino » Tue Nov 17, 2009 1:35 pm

columbo wrote:Another thing to consider is that by going to UT, you add all of the huge Texas legal markets as places you can land a job. You'll have demonstrated ties to the region to talk up during interviews with Texas firms: I decided to go to UT because I want to start a family in Houston/Dallas/Austin/San Antonio, because (a), (b), (c) [fill in different reasons for different cities]. You don't really need ties to move to LA or SF, so attending UCLA may not help you in your job search in this way. And if you already have ties to LA and SF and they are helpful in getting a job, no point in strengthening them further when you can add another market by going to Texas. In fact, I think this is a reason to consider going to Texas over Georgetown; the market Georgetown serves is another one that you can easily argue you're interested in even if you've never been there and went to school elsewhere. Going to school at Texas might even be a good thing for certain DC jobs.


This is horrible advice.

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Re: UT vs UCLA

Postby columbo » Tue Nov 17, 2009 1:38 pm

You ignored the following sentence and wasted a lot of space by quoting my entire post. You also provided no reasoning or factual basis for your statement. Very useful contribution to the discussion, thanks!

Edit - another thing to consider might be the curves at the different schools. I don't know how much time recruiters at law firms spend dissecting law school transcripts, but my impression is that they don't spend too much time doing this. If you're interviewing in a market that's unfamiliar with graduates from your school, it probably helps - maybe a lot, maybe only a little - to be at a place that inflates grades a fair bit, because you're perceived as having done better than you actually did.
Last edited by columbo on Tue Nov 17, 2009 2:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: UT vs UCLA

Postby kittenmittons » Tue Nov 17, 2009 1:38 pm

rondemarino wrote:
columbo wrote:Another thing to consider is that by going to UT, you add all of the huge Texas legal markets as places you can land a job. You'll have demonstrated ties to the region to talk up during interviews with Texas firms: I decided to go to UT because I want to start a family in Houston/Dallas/Austin/San Antonio, because (a), (b), (c) [fill in different reasons for different cities]. You don't really need ties to move to LA or SF, so attending UCLA may not help you in your job search in this way. And if you already have ties to LA and SF and they are helpful in getting a job, no point in strengthening them further when you can add another market by going to Texas. In fact, I think this is a reason to consider going to Texas over Georgetown; the market Georgetown serves is another one that you can easily argue you're interested in even if you've never been there and went to school elsewhere. Going to school at Texas might even be a good thing for certain DC jobs.


This is horrible advice.


+1

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rondemarino
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Re: UT vs UCLA

Postby rondemarino » Tue Nov 17, 2009 2:02 pm

columbo wrote:You ignored the following sentence and wasted a lot of space by quoting my entire post. You also provided no reasoning for your statement. Very useful contribution to the discussion, thanks!


Pot and kettle situation, no? Surely you noticed that the reasoning you applied for needing to establish Texas ties also applies to California.

As to why I called your advice crappy,

(1) I've been a patent agent at two California IP firms and have a good feel for our hiring practices. No one wants to waste time training someone who is a flight risk, or has no idea whether they are cut out to live CA (living here isn't for everyone).

(2) I looked at Cali-centric firms in my preferred area - Fenwick & West and Gunderson Dettmer. Neither recruits at UT. As someone who wants to give himself a fighting chance ITE, I'd like to not have these doors (smaller firms) closed to me.

OP: Random idiots on a message board (myself included) aren't the people to ask whether you need local ties to make it to CA with a UT degree. Might be worth the effort to work your network (or UGs alumni network) to talk to people who practice in CA. If this isn't possible, browse Chamber USA (link) to locate some Cali-centric firms (Big firms interview everywhere) in your preferred practice area and look at their OCI schedules.

My sample is obviously limited by my experience, but do your own research. I love TLS, but this isn't the greatest place to get employment advice, especially on a UT for CA question.




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