If You Want to be an Corporate Attorney in BigLaw...

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )

Should You Go To Law School for Corp Law if its not YHS?

Yes, but only if its YHS
8
4%
Yes, but only if its CCN or above
14
6%
Yes, but only if its a T14
81
38%
Yes, even if its outside the T14
113
52%
 
Total votes: 216

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Kohinoor
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Re: If You Want to be an Corporate Attorney in BigLaw...

Postby Kohinoor » Sun Mar 14, 2010 9:31 pm

Just to throw this in there, St. John's was my top choice when I was studying for the LSAT because at my firm the partner was from there and hired all his associates from there.

icydash
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Re: If You Want to be an Corporate Attorney in BigLaw...

Postby icydash » Sun Mar 14, 2010 9:57 pm

Na_Swatch wrote:
icydash wrote:
Na_Swatch wrote:
icydash wrote:My brother, coming out of Albany law school, got a job in a medium NYC corporate law/litigation firm-- starting salary ABOVE big law.

These kinds of jobs exist all over -- most of you guys just don't know it because you're 0Ls speculating. I know it because my father, who is a senior partner at a firm for over 30 years in NYC (also from Albany Law School), my uncle whose now a judge (St. Johns Law School), and many other partners in my dads firm (Hofstra grads, Brooklyn Law School grads, Loyola grads, etc) have all done it -- and they where by no means "special," in the top 10% of their class, etc.

Contrary to popular belief, once you get into a firm, the law school you went to means little to nothing. What makes or breaks your chance at partnership is your ability to bring in clients and the quality of your work. In reality, law school only *helps* you get that first job, and there are many small/medium sized firms with partnership tracks and great salaries out there. I guarantee you law firms would take an Albany Law School grad with a book of work he can bring in and not look twice at the school on his resume.


What is the flaw in this reasoning?

Ans: Atypical or unreliable data from a small sample size. The job your saying your brother has seems much more related to the fact that your father is a senior partner than in the fact that he graduated from Albany.

The partners your talking about (from Hofstra, Brooklyn, etc..) graduated decades ago and thus is completely unreliable compared to graduates today. Its a totally diff system now.


What is the flaw in this reasoning?

Ans: Bad assumption making.

The firm my brother works for is not the same firm that my father is a senior partner in. My dad was able to help him initially through a connection with an Albany grad he know from when he was a student, but my brother worked summer internships for four years (beginning before law school started) to get his position in the firm.


This is the definition of connections. Thanks for making my case even more solid.


This is not the definition of connections. The definition of connections would be me getting out of law school, my dad calling someone at a prestigious firm and saying "give him a job", and me getting hired. Or me going straight to my dad's firm and getting a job there.

My aforementioned example is the definition of hard work. The partner of the firm at which my brother now works, and my father, hadn't spoken in 25 years. It's not like they where friends/spoke regularly, and my dad called him up/they had lunch, and then it was BAM job. Basically my dad did what anyone coming out of law school now could do -- he called a partner, said "hey we have this law school/class connection yadda yadda", shot the shit for an hour/reminisced about professors on the phone, and basically said "my son needs a job can he move around your boxes." My brother did the rest, worked hard, and four years later he got a job he earned.

Also, my father and everyone I know his generation did it completely without any connections, coming from a variety of schools. While you're correct there is a difference as to how it works now VS how it worked back then, there are still plenty of small/mid-sized firms (my dads being one of them) that hire T2/T3 grads to do corporate work, pay pretty well and also have partnership tracks.
Last edited by icydash on Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Doritos
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Re: If You Want to be an Corporate Attorney in BigLaw...

Postby Doritos » Sun Mar 14, 2010 10:40 pm

icydash, I have a serious question...

Do you see any significance in which ABA accredited law school one attends? Like would you totally lol at me for going to a T14 instead of taking a full ride at a school like Tulsa (T4)? Do you see any benefit in attending say, Michigan at full price over a full ride at a T4?

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DoubleChecks
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Re: If You Want to be an Corporate Attorney in BigLaw...

Postby DoubleChecks » Sun Mar 14, 2010 10:46 pm

icydash wrote:This is not the definition of connections. The definition of connections would be me getting out of law school, my dad calling someone at a prestigious firm and saying "give him a job", and me getting hired. Or me going straight to my dad's firm and getting a job there.

My aforementioned example is the definition of hard work. The partner of the firm at which my brother now works, and my father, hadn't spoken in 25 years. It's not like they where friends/spoke regularly, and my dad called him up/they had lunch, and then it was BAM job. Basically my dad did what anyone coming out of law school now could do -- he called a partner, said "hey we have this law school/class connection yadda yadda", shot the shit for an hour/reminisced about professors on the phone, and basically said "my son needs a job can he move around your boxes." My brother did the rest, worked hard, and four years later he got a job he earned.

Also, my father and everyone I know his generation did it completely without any connections, coming from a variety of schools. While you're correct there is a difference as to how it works now VS how it worked back then, there are still plenty of small/mid-sized firms (my dads being one of them) that hire T2/T3 grads to do corporate work, pay pretty well and also have partnership tracks.


wow okay you should reread your post here. how is that not connections? if i graduated from x law school, randomly called a partner up, i would not be shooting the shit w/ him reminiscing about crap and then getting 'in' to the firm. no one here is disputing that your brother did the hard work and because of that got the job yada yada. the point was getting IN. your brother GOT a shot and made it count. most others in his position without the connections wouldnt even get a shot. lol seriously, it is the definition of a connection. iunno if growing up white and privileged makes you think this is "normal" for everyone, but i doubt this is so.

and just because you can come up w/ a more extreme example of connections doesnt make yours any less of the standard. watch, i can do it too: what you said is not the definition of hard work. hard work is where an immigrant works 12 hrs every day at a local restaurant to help support his family while attending school for pretty much every other waking hour (so that there'd be a future) in order to meet his goal of becoming the top of the class. between juggling the few hrs of family time and work/school, he barely gets any rest for yrs until he finally gets a crappy office job w/ the BA he just earned. in his cubicle he works harder than anyone else; shows up first, leaves last, and does more than he is asked just so after 2-3 yrs he gets a promotion to finally even hit middle class. all the while his children have been growing up in daycare as their mother had to work at a restaurant to help ends meet as well. now that is hard work.

the part about your father and his generation, well, you said it yourself. different time, different world. hell, just a few yrs ago it was a different (legal/economic) beast than what we have ITE.
Last edited by DoubleChecks on Sun Mar 14, 2010 10:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

starsong
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Re: If You Want to be an Corporate Attorney in BigLaw...

Postby starsong » Sun Mar 14, 2010 10:47 pm

icydash wrote:My aforementioned example is the definition of hard work. The partner of the firm at which my brother now works, and my father, hadn't spoken in 25 years. It's not like they where friends/spoke regularly, and my dad called him up/they had lunch, and then it was BAM job. Basically my dad did what anyone coming out of law school now could do -- he called a partner, said "hey we have this law school/class connection yadda yadda", shot the shit for an hour/reminisced about professors on the phone, and basically said "my son needs a job can he move around your boxes." My brother did the rest, worked hard, and four years later he got a job he earned.


The problem is that most of us do not have a father who can do even that. And if we did, we're uncomfortable with the idea of our professional destiny hanging on one phone call. What if the partner had no budget for another person? What would your brother have done if your father had exhausted all his contacts?

The whole point of the rankings/OCI system is to increase certainty while reducing risk. We're making a huge investment, and the system (largely) ensures that x GPA from x ranked school has a great shot at getting a job at x ranked firm. That's what we're looking for, not a hope that someone knows someone who might have a job to offer.

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AngryAvocado
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Re: If You Want to be an Corporate Attorney in BigLaw...

Postby AngryAvocado » Sun Mar 14, 2010 11:31 pm

icydash wrote:I know, it's shocking, but the truth--get used to it. In reality, it'll be great that you went to Harvard; you might get looked at initially by more firms--but once you're in a firm competing with another associate for that partnership position, all that matters is the quality of your work and the clients you bring in. If you're up against an associate from Cardozo with a book of work, sorry, but Harvard means jack shit.


I keep seeing this, and yet I feel the need to address it since I've overwhelmingly heard otherwise from the in-house lawyers at my old corporation (most of whom came from biglaw or close to it) and from a couple current biglaw partners I've spoken with. Does the quality of your work matter more than the school you went to? Yes, of course. Does that mean the school you went to is thus irrelevant? No, it doesn't. Most of them agreed that your school would be, at the very least, considered whenever (for example) :

1) firms decide who to put on high-profile cases (clients like to hear that the associates billing them 300/hour went to top schools and not some random TTT school)
2) firms decide who is going to stick around (and, likewise, who will eventually make partner)
3) a potential employer looks at your resume (shocking, I know)

Again, the quality and quantity of your work is undoubtedly the most important thing, but let's stop pretending like the school you graduated from magically ceases to matter once you get your first gig. This is, after all, still the prestige-obsessed field of law we're talking about here.

Edit: Apparently, I can't count to 3.
Last edited by AngryAvocado on Mon Mar 15, 2010 12:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

icydash
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Re: If You Want to be an Corporate Attorney in BigLaw...

Postby icydash » Sun Mar 14, 2010 11:55 pm

Doritos wrote:icydash, I have a serious question...

Do you see any significance in which ABA accredited law school one attends? Like would you totally lol at me for going to a T14 instead of taking a full ride at a school like Tulsa (T4)? Do you see any benefit in attending say, Michigan at full price over a full ride at a T4?


Absolutely the law school you go to makes a difference. The point of my previous posts was to give the OP the true reality, though, that it's not like he can never practice corporate law because he didn't go to a T14. I'm just sick of the T14 or die mentality. It helps, absolutely. But to change career paths because he's not going to get into a t14 school is just ridiculous. That's all I meant to get across in my previous posts.

DoubleChecks wrote:
wow okay you should reread your post here. how is that not connections? if i graduated from x law school, randomly called a partner up, i would not be shooting the shit w/ him reminiscing about crap and then getting 'in' to the firm. no one here is disputing that your brother did the hard work and because of that got the job yada yada. the point was getting IN. your brother GOT a shot and made it count. most others in his position without the connections wouldnt even get a shot. lol seriously, it is the definition of a connection. iunno if growing up white and privileged makes you think this is "normal" for everyone, but i doubt this is so.


You need to reread my post too. I said pretty much that the only connection my father had to the guy still (30 years later) was that they went to the same law school and graduated in the same year. That's basically a conversation starter for most people on these forums, since everyone went to school somewhere and can probably find a partner at a target firm who went to the same school, too. If you have the ambition to pick up the phone, call a partner who graduated from your school and talk to him, then you've got the same "in" my brother had through my father.

starsong wrote:
The problem is that most of us do not have a father who can do even that. And if we did, we're uncomfortable with the idea of our professional destiny hanging on one phone call. What if the partner had no budget for another person? What would your brother have done if your father had exhausted all his contacts?

The whole point of the rankings/OCI system is to increase certainty while reducing risk. We're making a huge investment, and the system (largely) ensures that x GPA from x ranked school has a great shot at getting a job at x ranked firm. That's what we're looking for, not a hope that someone knows someone who might have a job to offer.

I agree with this. As I said before, the school you go to definitely matters. The point of my previous posts is to show the OP that there are many paths to the same biglaw/corporate law kinds of jobs. It isn't T14 or change career paths.

That being said, however, everyone knows someone. I find it pretty much impossible to believe that everyone on this forum doesn't personally know at least one past classmate, friend, past coworker, friend of a friend/family member, etc, that went to law school or has now a law job. Don't be afraid to pick up the phone and call. It's obviously not guaranteed, but I refuse to believe people are as helpless/school dependant as they make it seem.

AngryAvocado wrote:
I keep seeing this, and yet I feel the need to address it since I've overwhelmingly heard otherwise from the in-house lawyers at my old corporation (most of whom came from biglaw or close to it) and from a couple current biglaw partners I've spoken with. Does the quality of your work matter more than the school you went to? Yes, of course. Does that mean the school you went to is thus irrelevant? No, it doesn't. Most of them agreed that your school would be, at the very least, considered whenever (for example) :

1) firms decide who to put on high-profile cases (clients like to hear that the associates billing them 300/hour went to top schools and not some random TTT school)
2) firms decide who is going to stick around (and, likewise, who will eventually make partner)
4) a potential employer looks at your resume (shocking, I know)

Again, the quality and quantity of your work is undoubtedly the most important thing, but let's stop pretending like the school you graduated from magically ceases to matter once you get your first gig. This is, after all, still the prestige-obsessed field of law we're talking about here.

1) Firms put on high-profile cases the people they think will do the best job/bring in the most money, not the people with the most prestigious JD school (though a lot of times there is a correlation here).
2) They decide who will stick around and make partner overwhelmingly based on who bills the most hours, brings in the most clients/money to the firm, and does the best work. School doesn't matter here.
3) This is really the only instance when school will matter...but pretty much just for your first job. After that, it's all previous jobs and references.

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AngryAvocado
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Re: If You Want to be an Corporate Attorney in BigLaw...

Postby AngryAvocado » Mon Mar 15, 2010 12:22 am

icydash wrote:
AngryAvocado wrote:
I keep seeing this, and yet I feel the need to address it since I've overwhelmingly heard otherwise from the in-house lawyers at my old corporation (most of whom came from biglaw or close to it) and from a couple current biglaw partners I've spoken with. Does the quality of your work matter more than the school you went to? Yes, of course. Does that mean the school you went to is thus irrelevant? No, it doesn't. Most of them agreed that your school would be, at the very least, considered whenever (for example) :

1) firms decide who to put on high-profile cases (clients like to hear that the associates billing them 300/hour went to top schools and not some random TTT school)
2) firms decide who is going to stick around (and, likewise, who will eventually make partner)
4) a potential employer looks at your resume (shocking, I know)

Again, the quality and quantity of your work is undoubtedly the most important thing, but let's stop pretending like the school you graduated from magically ceases to matter once you get your first gig. This is, after all, still the prestige-obsessed field of law we're talking about here.

1) Firms put on high-profile cases the people they think will do the best job/bring in the most money, not the people with the most prestigious JD school (though a lot of times there is a correlation here).
2) They decide who will stick around and make partner overwhelmingly based on who bills the most hours, brings in the most clients/money to the firm, and does the best work. School doesn't matter here.
3) This is really the only instance when school will matter...but pretty much just for your first job. After that, it's all previous jobs and references.


I used to think this was exactly how it worked, but talking to those guys made me think twice about going to a local T1 state school for cheap. There's a reason why firms dig much deeper into top schools instead of taking people at the top of their class at significantly lower ranked schools--the name matters. You may be able to succeed despite attending a lower ranked school (and many do), but let's not extrapolate from that sample that somehow school no longer matters. It does. Does it matter more than the work you've done? Absolutely not. Is it irrelevant? Not even close.

Hell, if you don't believe me, go check out some of the stories from the thread about people from prestigious UNDERGRADS doing better at OCI than their class rank would suggest. Why does your UG matter in law school? It doesn't, really...except for the fact that prestige matters in this business. Simple as that.

starsong
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Re: If You Want to be an Corporate Attorney in BigLaw...

Postby starsong » Mon Mar 15, 2010 12:29 am

AngryAvocado wrote:I used to think this was exactly how it worked, but talking to those guys made me think twice about going to a local T1 state school for cheap. There's a reason why firms dig much deeper into top schools instead of taking people at the top of their class at significantly lower ranked schools--the name matters. You may be able to succeed despite attending a lower ranked school (and many do), but let's not extrapolate from that sample that somehow school no longer matters. It does. Does it matter more than the work you've done? Absolutely not. Is it irrelevant? Not even close.

Hell, if you don't believe me, go check out some of the stories from the thread about people from prestigious UNDERGRADS doing better at OCI than their class rank would suggest. Why does your UG matter in law school? It doesn't, really...except for the fact that prestige matters in this business. Simple as that.


+1. Let's remember that we are always evaluated by other human beings. People are not machines. "Prestige" is just a reliable--albeit not perfect--predictor of future success. While sometimes wrong, it's often right, so it's not going anywhere.

icydash
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Re: If You Want to be an Corporate Attorney in BigLaw...

Postby icydash » Mon Mar 15, 2010 12:48 am

starsong wrote:
AngryAvocado wrote:I used to think this was exactly how it worked, but talking to those guys made me think twice about going to a local T1 state school for cheap. There's a reason why firms dig much deeper into top schools instead of taking people at the top of their class at significantly lower ranked schools--the name matters. You may be able to succeed despite attending a lower ranked school (and many do), but let's not extrapolate from that sample that somehow school no longer matters. It does. Does it matter more than the work you've done? Absolutely not. Is it irrelevant? Not even close.

Hell, if you don't believe me, go check out some of the stories from the thread about people from prestigious UNDERGRADS doing better at OCI than their class rank would suggest. Why does your UG matter in law school? It doesn't, really...except for the fact that prestige matters in this business. Simple as that.


+1. Let's remember that we are always evaluated by other human beings. People are not machines. "Prestige" is just a reliable--albeit not perfect--predictor of future success. While sometimes wrong, it's often right, so it's not going anywhere.

As previously stated, if I gave the impression that I thought school counted 0 I apologize. School/prestige do matter and help. All I meant to get across is, like in law school applications, it's more of a "soft" than anything, and typically won't make or break you getting the job/making partner. You have to meet the real important criteria like work quality/clientele base/personality/past job experiences/references, etc before the school you went to will even be remotely considered.

... and what matters more than prestige in business is money. If you went to a shitty law school but can bring in more money, then you get the job. period.

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Grond
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Re: If You Want to be an Corporate Attorney in BigLaw...

Postby Grond » Mon Mar 15, 2010 12:53 am

.
Last edited by Grond on Mon Mar 15, 2010 1:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.

starsong
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Re: If You Want to be an Corporate Attorney in BigLaw...

Postby starsong » Mon Mar 15, 2010 12:58 am

icydash wrote:As previously stated, if I gave the impression that I thought school counted 0 I apologize. School/prestige do matter and help. All I meant to get across is, like in law school applications, it's more of a "soft" than anything, and typically won't make or break you getting the job/making partner. You have to meet the real important criteria like work quality/clientele base/personality/past job experiences/references, etc before the school you went to will even be remotely considered.

... and what matters more than prestige in business is money. If you went to a shitty law school but can bring in more money, then you get the job. period.


I think we all agree. Prestige is just a way to measure an individual whose money-producing potential is largely unknown. The longer the history of bringing in money, the less prestige counts. But law students typically have nothing, so prestige is all we have. Later on, prestige has a marginal benefit, like you said.

blsingindisguise
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Re: If You Want to be an Corporate Attorney in BigLaw...

Postby blsingindisguise » Mon Mar 15, 2010 12:58 am

Yes, you can make BigLaw from a 2nd tier school. You can also become a Supreme Court justice coming from the slums of the Bronx - is that a convincing argument for raising your kids in the slums?

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DoubleChecks
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Re: If You Want to be an Corporate Attorney in BigLaw...

Postby DoubleChecks » Mon Mar 15, 2010 1:24 am

icydash wrote:
starsong wrote:
AngryAvocado wrote:I used to think this was exactly how it worked, but talking to those guys made me think twice about going to a local T1 state school for cheap. There's a reason why firms dig much deeper into top schools instead of taking people at the top of their class at significantly lower ranked schools--the name matters. You may be able to succeed despite attending a lower ranked school (and many do), but let's not extrapolate from that sample that somehow school no longer matters. It does. Does it matter more than the work you've done? Absolutely not. Is it irrelevant? Not even close.

Hell, if you don't believe me, go check out some of the stories from the thread about people from prestigious UNDERGRADS doing better at OCI than their class rank would suggest. Why does your UG matter in law school? It doesn't, really...except for the fact that prestige matters in this business. Simple as that.


+1. Let's remember that we are always evaluated by other human beings. People are not machines. "Prestige" is just a reliable--albeit not perfect--predictor of future success. While sometimes wrong, it's often right, so it's not going anywhere.

As previously stated, if I gave the impression that I thought school counted 0 I apologize. School/prestige do matter and help. All I meant to get across is, like in law school applications, it's more of a "soft" than anything, and typically won't make or break you getting the job/making partner. You have to meet the real important criteria like work quality/clientele base/personality/past job experiences/references, etc before the school you went to will even be remotely considered.

... and what matters more than prestige in business is money. If you went to a shitty law school but can bring in more money, then you get the job. period.


if this is what you were actually trying to say (not from your earlier posts), then id agree. it was more the, go to a non-T14 school, there are plenty of alternatives like a small/midlaw that pays over 160k that you could get into, for example my brother and father...etc. <-- that i do not consider sound advice because:

blsingindisguise wrote:Yes, you can make BigLaw from a 2nd tier school. You can also become a Supreme Court justice coming from the slums of the Bronx - is that a convincing argument for raising your kids in the slums?


+1

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Re: If You Want to be an Corporate Attorney in BigLaw...

Postby DoubleChecks » Mon Mar 15, 2010 1:28 am

icydash wrote:
DoubleChecks wrote:
wow okay you should reread your post here. how is that not connections? if i graduated from x law school, randomly called a partner up, i would not be shooting the shit w/ him reminiscing about crap and then getting 'in' to the firm. no one here is disputing that your brother did the hard work and because of that got the job yada yada. the point was getting IN. your brother GOT a shot and made it count. most others in his position without the connections wouldnt even get a shot. lol seriously, it is the definition of a connection. iunno if growing up white and privileged makes you think this is "normal" for everyone, but i doubt this is so.


You need to reread my post too. I said pretty much that the only connection my father had to the guy still (30 years later) was that they went to the same law school and graduated in the same year. That's basically a conversation starter for most people on these forums, since everyone went to school somewhere and can probably find a partner at a target firm who went to the same school, too. If you have the ambition to pick up the phone, call a partner who graduated from your school and talk to him, then you've got the same "in" my brother had through my father.



Yeah here's the part where you start assuming these things. Sorry, I do not have the above connections at all, but then again I'm from an immigrant family, so not exactly the norm.

But I can still imagine a lot of other families not remembering or knowing said person after 30 yrs. Clearly this guy didnt just fall off the radar for your dad. Maybe, your dad being a lawyer, still heard so and so was practicing law. Well, I don't think some other family may have known that, or even know WHO to call (even if their graduating high school or undergrad class had a lawyer).

Most people's parents dont go to law school...and end up knowing the names of lawyers to call or find the numbers of. That is a big part of going to law school, the networking and the whole getting to know future lawyers bit. It leads to...wait for it...connections.

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Unemployed
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Re: If You Want to be an Corporate Attorney in BigLaw...

Postby Unemployed » Mon Mar 15, 2010 1:55 am

icydash wrote:The majority of people on these forums often giving their opinion are in fact 0Ls / 1Ls.


And your opinion is more valid because you are a 0L with an incredibly lucky and persistent older brother? :lol:

Seriously, I've heard some really unfounded things on this forum but...

icydash wrote:My brother, coming out of Albany law school, got a job in a medium NYC/Dallas corporate law/litigation firm-- starting salary: 175k. That's ABOVE big law.

These kinds of jobs exist all over -- most of you guys just don't know it because you're 0Ls speculating. I know it because my father, who is a senior partner at a firm for over 30 years in NYC (also from Albany Law School), my uncle whose now a judge (St. Johns Law School), and many other partners in my dads firm (Hofstra grads, Brooklyn Law School grads, Loyola grads, etc) have all done it -- and they where by no means "special," in the top 10% of their class, etc.


Really? I mean I am sure they are out there, but "all over?" Do you really think it's a good idea for someone with no connections to take out $200k for a mediocre school because he can count on these super boutique jobs (seeing as how they "exist all over")? And yes, they are called boutiques, not midlaw or small-law.

I don't understand how your judge uncle, partner father, and his colleagues figure into this discussion. Have you considered the possibility that the legal market and the hiring practices within changed significantly since they were looking for their first jobs 30+ years ago?

Look, there is merit to what you are saying. Even today, at least some people from mediocre law schools grade, network, claw, stab, and (sometimes) cheat their way to success. That doesn't make attending such schools is a good idea.

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Re: If You Want to be an Corporate Attorney in BigLaw...

Postby blsingindisguise » Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:39 am

The idea that 175k starting lawyer jobs exist "all over" is one of the most laughable things I have ever heard even from a clueless 0L.

Let's think about this. CRAVATH pays 160, WLRK pays 160, SULL CROM pays 160. Basically all the top firms in the top markets start at 160, yet somehow there are jobs "all over" that start more at mid-sized firms. Because top firms are glad to lose talent to mid-sized firms.

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Re: If You Want to be an Corporate Attorney in BigLaw...

Postby icydash » Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:11 am

Unemployed wrote:
icydash wrote:The majority of people on these forums often giving their opinion are in fact 0Ls / 1Ls.


And your opinion is more valid because you are a 0L with an incredibly lucky and persistent older brother? :lol:

Seriously, I've heard some really unfounded things on this forum but...

icydash wrote:My brother, coming out of Albany law school, got a job in a medium NYC/Dallas corporate law/litigation firm-- starting salary: 175k. That's ABOVE big law.

These kinds of jobs exist all over -- most of you guys just don't know it because you're 0Ls speculating. I know it because my father, who is a senior partner at a firm for over 30 years in NYC (also from Albany Law School), my uncle whose now a judge (St. Johns Law School), and many other partners in my dads firm (Hofstra grads, Brooklyn Law School grads, Loyola grads, etc) have all done it -- and they where by no means "special," in the top 10% of their class, etc.


Really? I mean I am sure they are out there, but "all over?" Do you really think it's a good idea for someone with no connections to take out $200k for a mediocre school because he can count on these super boutique jobs (seeing as how they "exist all over")? And yes, they are called boutiques, not midlaw or small-law.

I don't understand how your judge uncle, partner father, and his colleagues figure into this discussion. Have you considered the possibility that the legal market and the hiring practices within changed significantly since they were looking for their first jobs 30+ years ago?

Look, there is merit to what you are saying. Even today, at least some people from mediocre law schools grade, network, claw, stab, and (sometimes) cheat their way to success. That doesn't make attending such schools is a good idea.


People are reading way too literally into what I'm saying. When I said "jobs like these exist all over" what I meant was small/medium/boutique/whatever you want to call it sized firms where one can practice corporate law, make a good salary and get on a partnership track. You also don't have to go to a T14 to get these kinds of jobs.

blsingindisguise wrote:The idea that 175k starting lawyer jobs exist "all over" is one of the most laughable things I have ever heard even from a clueless 0L.

Let's think about this. CRAVATH pays 160, WLRK pays 160, SULL CROM pays 160. Basically all the top firms in the top markets start at 160, yet somehow there are jobs "all over" that start more at mid-sized firms. Because top firms are glad to lose talent to mid-sized firms.

I didn't literally mean 175k exactly or more jobs are everywhere. I meant well paying jobs where our OP can practice corporate law not coming out of a T14 school. See above.

blsingindisguise wrote:Yes, you can make BigLaw from a 2nd tier school. You can also become a Supreme Court justice coming from the slums of the Bronx - is that a convincing argument for raising your kids in the slums?

Again, the point wasn't that it doesn't matter what school you go to. The point was that the OP can in fact practice corporate law coming out of a non-T14 school.

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Re: If You Want to be an Corporate Attorney in BigLaw...

Postby blsingindisguise » Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:17 am

Look man, the fact that jobs like that "exist" has little bearing on the reality for most non T14 law grads. Those jobs are NOT all over and they are NOT easy to get. Many of those firms don't run summer programs and/or don't hire out of school - it's not cost-effective for many smaller firms to train a bunch of dumb, green associates who don't actually know how to DO anything no matter how smart and eager to bring in money they are. And any six-figure out-of-school job that exists these days is going to demand top grades from non-T14 schools, meaning the minority even have a shot at them.

You haven't spent a day of your life actually out there looking for jobs in the legal market, you just have a couple relatives who did well a couple decades ago. I know you mean well and your motivational speech is nice, but you really don't have much idea what you're talking about.

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Re: If You Want to be an Corporate Attorney in BigLaw...

Postby blsingindisguise » Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:19 am

And on that last point, you're still not quite catching my drift. You can make the NBA if you're 5'6". You can be Helen Keller if you're blind deaf and mute. The odds are just massively against these things. Going to a T14 gives you a far far better shot at practicing the kind of law you're talking about. It's not impossible coming from other schools, but it's much much easier from the T14.

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Re: If You Want to be an Corporate Attorney in BigLaw...

Postby icydash » Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:24 am

blsingindisguise wrote:Look man, the fact that jobs like that "exist" has little bearing on the reality for most non T14 law grads. Those jobs are NOT all over and they are NOT easy to get. Many of those firms don't run summer programs and/or don't hire out of school - it's not cost-effective for many smaller firms to train a bunch of dumb, green associates who don't actually know how to DO anything no matter how smart and eager to bring in money they are. And any six-figure out-of-school job that exists these days is going to demand top grades from non-T14 schools, meaning the minority even have a shot at them.

You haven't spent a day of your life actually out there looking for jobs in the legal market, you just have a couple relatives who did well a couple decades ago. I know you mean well and your motivational speech is nice, but you really don't have much idea what you're talking about.


And apparently you're still not catching my drift along with the rest of the posters who have voted in the poll. No one is saying it's not better to go to a top school. I'm just saying you still have a good shot if you happen to fall outside of the T14. It's not ideal, but life throws you curve balls and you deal with it.

The numbers the rest of TLS has thus far provided us just backs up what I'm saying. 52% of people who have voted on this poll have told the OP to continue down his corporate law career path even if he goes to an outside of T14 school.

You may not like what I'm saying, but it's the truth, and the majority of people who have voted agree with me that it's not T14 or death.

blsingindisguise wrote:"it's not cost-effective for many smaller firms to train a bunch of dumb, green associates who don't actually know how to DO anything no matter how smart and eager to bring in money they are"

...Why do you assume that coming out of a non-T14 school the grads won't know how to do anything? I know kids coming out of tier-2 schools that know how to do more and are better prepared for real-world law than some of the upper tier schools. Law school is what you make of it.
Last edited by icydash on Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: If You Want to be an Corporate Attorney in BigLaw...

Postby blsingindisguise » Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:27 am

Right, but you keep saying "it doesn't matter where you go to law school" - that is a flat out falsehood.

The only people from my class who got this kind of job out of OCI last year were in the top 5% of the class. That's pretty bad odds. That doesn't mean someone who really wants it bad should give up and not hustle. But just on a risk-benefit kind of analysis it's not the smartest way to go. Retaking LSAT and reapplying is probably better.

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Re: If You Want to be an Corporate Attorney in BigLaw...

Postby blsingindisguise » Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:29 am

Oh and you're misunderstanding me - NO one coming out of ANY law school knows how to do anything.

The big firms are so big and profitable that they can afford to sink some money and time into training these people in order to grab talent. Smaller firms can't always do that.

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Re: If You Want to be an Corporate Attorney in BigLaw...

Postby icydash » Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:30 am

blsingindisguise wrote:Right, but you keep saying "it doesn't matter where you go to law school" - that is a flat out falsehood.

Not only have I not said this a single time, but I've been saying just the opposite for the last 10 posts.... ???

blsingindisguise wrote:But just on a risk-benefit kind of analysis it's not the smartest way to go. Retaking LSAT and reapplying is probably better.
This is true.
Last edited by icydash on Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: If You Want to be an Corporate Attorney in BigLaw...

Postby blsingindisguise » Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:31 am

icydash wrote:
blsingindisguise wrote:Right, but you keep saying "it doesn't matter where you go to law school" - that is a flat out falsehood.

Not only have I not said this a single time, but I've been saying just the opposite for the last 10 posts.... ???


That's true - misread your last post.




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