No as I am trying to decide where to go, but if you don't mind me asking, what market do you work in?
I work for a V50 firm in a major secondary market where market rate is 130-145K at biglaw firms, so a cut under Chicago, NY, DC and LA but more than Denver, St Louis, etc
trollhunter2 wrote:What is shocking from our exchange yesterday is the severe ambiguity which exists in the ABA data. I wasn't trying to posit that all those jobs within each category are awesome either, but you have to admit we are left speculating and making informed assumptions at best, and considering uninformed assumptions at worst. What I would like to know is if there a statistic which you do value more? For example, perhaps when looking at the breakdowns within each category, you do so with the percentage of graduates where a JD is required in front of you. To me, a more accurate quality indicator would be an employment statistic in which short-term/part -time work, and non-JD required work is also excluded.
I view all of it with extreme suspect. The most important stat is "JD/Bar passage required", while keeping in mind the response rate. Then, when looking at salary data, keep in mind how many people report that. It's safe to say people not responding to the employment/salary surveys aren't too busy counting their millions - they're not making much and embarrassed to say so.
trollhunter2 wrote:So for instance, how would you interpret the following?
That totally depends on which school it's from. I'm going to assume it's a school in the Chicago-Kent territory since that was the example from yesterday.
trollhunter2 wrote:LAW FIRMS 51 31.3% - Not good to begin with
SOLO 1 2.0% - Unequivocally fucked, as you have no skills, client base, or resources to go solo out of school
2-10 17 33.3% - This could be anything from a quality small firm with real opportunity for advancement, a slip and fall plaintiff firm that pays no benefits, or a group of bros that decided to pool resources and start a firm, in which case refer to the above
11-25 7 13.7% - Once again, could be a small quality firm, could be an insurance defense or plaintiff mill
26-50 9 17.6% - Probably quality small firm work at this point, but this represents such a small fraction of the class
51-100 3 5.9% - Likely quality midlaw, 3 people got it
101-250 3 5.9% - Biglaw
251-500 5 9.8% - Biglaw
501+ 6 11.8% - Biglaw
UNKNOWN SIZE 0 0%
BUSINESS & INDUSTRY 26 16.0% - This could be anything from folding pants at the gap to consulting at McKinsey. If you're not coming out of a school with a top business school, it's likely not JD required employment and you're definitely not landing consulting or Ibanking gigs. Overly vague category. This DOES include document review gigs
GOVERNMENT 38 23.3% - You could be working at the DMV for all we know. Overly vague category again.
PUBLIC INTEREST 8 4.9% - 8 people can safely rely on the LRAP program
JUDICIAL CLERKSHIPS 33 20.2% - What kind of clerkship? For some reason, this year they no longer have to report that. There is a big difference between being an Article III clerk or clerking in traffic court. This is a high clerkship number, and unless it's from a top school they the overwhelming majority are not in Article III clerkships.
FEDERAL 15 45.5% - I'm not sure what this category means - if it's a subset of the government category or not.
STATE & LOCAL 18 54.5% - See above, but I'm assuming this might include public defense or distract attorney work?
OTHER 0 0%
ACADEMIA 7 4.3% - Law professors that do well come from schools like Harvard, Yale and Stanford. These people are likely high school teachers, CC professors, or law librarians.
EMPLOYER TYPE UNKNOWN 0 0%
TOTAL EMPLOYED 163 100%
2011 J.D. Employment Proile
The first thing that jumps out at is the last line - total employed at 100%. How big was the class? How many people didn't respond? If their employment status is unknown it's safe to assume that they are in trouble.
It is speculative, but you can only say, with confidence, that 31 people landed quality firm work out of a class of 163 people that reported. 4 landed PI. Those are the only people that you are SURE did OK. The other 130ish people, you really have no idea. It's tough out there right now. You want to be in the best position possible to succeed - let alone just grabbing a gig as a full time lawyer.
All employment data should be severely scrutinized as it generally is a very small sample size.