ATL hires hopeless unemployed 2012 law graduate as blogger

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IAFG
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Re: ATL hires hopeless unemployed 2012 law graduate as blogger

Postby IAFG » Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:24 pm

Can someone explain to me where these DROVES of lateral hires are going to come from? If firms could get midlevels out of thin air, I am sure they'd all quit hiring juniors forever. And a few boutiques manage to parasite off midlevels exactly this way and don't have to hire juniors. But that just very obviously isn't going to work on a larger scale.

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Re: ATL hires hopeless unemployed 2012 law graduate as blogger

Postby vanwinkle » Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:36 pm

IAFG wrote:Can someone explain to me where these DROVES of lateral hires are going to come from? If firms could get midlevels out of thin air, I am sure they'd all quit hiring juniors forever. And a few boutiques manage to parasite off midlevels exactly this way and don't have to hire juniors. But that just very obviously isn't going to work on a larger scale.

I was just wondering this too. Maybe midlevels will just keep lateraling and staying as midlevels forever. Every couple years the deck will reshuffle and they'll all just keep doing what they were doing but at a new firm.

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Re: ATL hires hopeless unemployed 2012 law graduate as blogger

Postby Tiago Splitter » Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:38 pm

Desert Fox wrote:Where are you getting this 50% number.


http://www.nalp.org/uploads/1229_natlsu ... evised.pdf

http://www.nalp.org/uploads/NatlSummCha ... of2011.pdf

Hiring by firms with more than 100 attorneys went from 8,248 in 2007 to 4,757 in 2011. So not quite 50%, but close enough.

Of course, 2003 falls right in between those two numbers. 2007 is a fun point to pick if you want to demonstrate how bad the crash is, because it was the absolute peak.

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Re: ATL hires hopeless unemployed 2012 law graduate as blogger

Postby IAFG » Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:41 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:Where are you getting this 50% number.


http://www.nalp.org/uploads/1229_natlsu ... evised.pdf

http://www.nalp.org/uploads/NatlSummCha ... of2011.pdf

Hiring by firms with more than 100 attorneys went from 8,248 in 2007 to 4,757 in 2011. So not quite 50%, but close enough.

Of course, 2003 falls right in between those two numbers. 2007 is a fun point to pick if you want to demonstrate how bad the crash is, because it was the absolute peak.

Or, you can use it to show how absurd the bubble was.

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Re: ATL hires hopeless unemployed 2012 law graduate as blogger

Postby Tiago Splitter » Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:47 pm

IAFG wrote:Or, you can use it to show how absurd the bubble was.

Absurd? C'mon. 300 SAs is totally reasonable at Skadden. The fact that they're cutting back to just a scant 150 indicates a structural change of epic proportions!!!!11!

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Re: ATL hires hopeless unemployed 2012 law graduate as blogger

Postby JCougar » Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:49 pm

Desert Fox wrote:Where are you getting this 50% number.


http://insidethelawschoolscam.blogspot. ... -sort.html

Bill Henderson notes on the Legal Whiteboard that NALP listed 2,856 class of 2011 grads getting jobs with firms of more than 500 lawyers, which is a 40% drop since 2007, when 4,745 grads got such jobs. (h/t Taxprof). Expanding on this a bit:

(1) The real drop is actually larger, since Columbia law grads weren't part of the 2007 numbers, which would add a couple of hundred grads to those years figures. In addition some of the 2011 jobs (but probably almost none of the 2007 positions) include back office staff attorney jobs as opposed to partner-track associate positions.

(2) If we expand the analysis to graduates who got jobs with firms of more than 100 lawyers, the percentage decline is even bigger. 8248 grads, or 19.8% of grads whose employment status was reported to NALP, got such jobs in 2007. The figure for 2011 is 4757, or 11.1% of the class.


That's a 43% drop in hiring for firms with 100+ attorneys. And that doesn't factor in that some of these "NLJ 250" firms are now hiring non-partner track attorneys in their new off-site document review mills in the boonies of West Virginia, etc. Which means that their 2011 numbers are likely to be inflated. The real drop is probably closer to 50%.

For example, Orrick recently decided to expand it's document review attorney operation in Wheeling, WV to over 100 attorneys. So a good chunk of those NLJ 250 jobs from 2011, possibly 30-40 of them, went to Orrick's non-partnership track positions in Wheeling. They get reported as NLJ 250 hires, but that's hardly a student's expectation of "Biglaw," nor does it pay nearly enough.

http://www.theintelligencer.net/page/co ... ml?nav=515

Wheeling is now Orrick's fastest-growing location, Schare continued, noting the city "is now known in the legal departments and executive suites of some of the most influential companies of the world."

. . .

Schare said there are 65 employees who perform document review for Orrick, and this number could increase to as many as 100 following the expansion.


Other firms have gone this route lately, too. It's impossible to tell how many of those 4757 Biglaw jobs the c/o 2011 got that were actually doc review attorneys hired into Biglaw's new offsite doc review mills, but it's probably safe to conclude that its at least in the hundreds.

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Re: ATL hires hopeless unemployed 2012 law graduate as blogger

Postby IAFG » Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:53 pm

So the doc review mills moved from the basement of large law firms (you can read all about that experience in the scamblog archives, circa 2005-2006) to West Virginia. Good for them. At least in West Virginia you can afford your rent on a doc reviewer salary.

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Re: ATL hires hopeless unemployed 2012 law graduate as blogger

Postby 09042014 » Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:57 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:Where are you getting this 50% number.


http://www.nalp.org/uploads/1229_natlsu ... evised.pdf

http://www.nalp.org/uploads/NatlSummCha ... of2011.pdf

Hiring by firms with more than 100 attorneys went from 8,248 in 2007 to 4,757 in 2011. So not quite 50%, but close enough.

Of course, 2003 falls right in between those two numbers. 2007 is a fun point to pick if you want to demonstrate how bad the crash is, because it was the absolute peak.


And 2011 was the worst year for legal hiring because c/o 2010 got differed almost entirely into their year. 2007 was peak of the peak and 2011 was bottom of the bottom. I'd imagine we are somewhere near the middle of the two.

OCI for 2012 was clearly better than 2011. And 2013 was better than 2012. Reports are 2014 are maybe a little worse than 2013.

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Re: ATL hires hopeless unemployed 2012 law graduate as blogger

Postby JCougar » Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:00 pm

IAFG wrote:So the doc review mills moved from the basement of large law firms (you can read all about that experience in the scamblog archives, circa 2005-2006) to West Virginia. Good for them. At least in West Virginia you can afford your rent on a doc reviewer salary.


The difference between the doc review stories on the scamblogs is that those are mostly third party contractors employing the doc reviewers.

Orrick's operations in Wheeling are actually Orrick employees. They found out that there's more profit if they cut out the middle-man. Thus, these employees are reported as working for "firms of 500+ attorneys" whereas the scamblog doc review stories are reported as non-full-time work.

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Re: ATL hires hopeless unemployed 2012 law graduate as blogger

Postby JCougar » Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:05 pm

Desert Fox wrote:And 2011 was the worst year for legal hiring because c/o 2010 got differed almost entirely into their year. 2007 was peak of the peak and 2011 was bottom of the bottom. I'd imagine we are somewhere near the middle of the two.

OCI for 2012 was clearly better than 2011. And 2013 was better than 2012. Reports are 2014 are maybe a little worse than 2013.


There's also been a series of no-offers, etc. since we have had the summer job reports. I do not believe we have seen much of a real bounce-back. We'll have to wait for the 2012 numbers, but I seriously doubt we see a lot of real movement from 2011.

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Re: ATL hires hopeless unemployed 2012 law graduate as blogger

Postby JCougar » Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:08 pm

IAFG wrote:Or, you can use it to show how absurd the bubble was.


But why was the bubble absurd? Was it just a bubble? Or was it abuse of the billable hour system and leverage ratios that clients no longer favor paying for?

I'm not saying anything controversial here. It's been widely reported that clients have been bitching about being billed for first year associate work.

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Re: ATL hires hopeless unemployed 2012 law graduate as blogger

Postby Sheffield » Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:09 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
IAFG wrote:Can someone explain to me where these DROVES of lateral hires are going to come from? If firms could get midlevels out of thin air, I am sure they'd all quit hiring juniors forever. And a few boutiques manage to parasite off midlevels exactly this way and don't have to hire juniors. But that just very obviously isn't going to work on a larger scale.

I was just wondering this too. Maybe midlevels will just keep lateraling and staying as midlevels forever. Every couple years the deck will reshuffle and they'll all just keep doing what they were doing but at a new firm.

I see this term a lot on Top Law School ‒ Mid Level. Is mid-level 40-50 attorneys, is it $120K, or something else? I asked about this on another thread and was advised that a firm like Boies or Knobbe (a boutique) was bigger than big law (average attorney made $1.25M and partners +2M), so basically terms are nebulous. Nevertheless, in TLS speak, when mid-level is tossed around, what is generally meant in terms of $ or size.
Last edited by Sheffield on Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: ATL hires hopeless unemployed 2012 law graduate as blogger

Postby IAFG » Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:13 pm

Sheffield wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:
IAFG wrote:Can someone explain to me where these DROVES of lateral hires are going to come from? If firms could get midlevels out of thin air, I am sure they'd all quit hiring juniors forever. And a few boutiques manage to parasite off midlevels exactly this way and don't have to hire juniors. But that just very obviously isn't going to work on a larger scale.

I was just wondering this too. Maybe midlevels will just keep lateraling and staying as midlevels forever. Every couple years the deck will reshuffle and they'll all just keep doing what they were doing but at a new firm.

I see this term a lot on Top Law School ‒ Mid Level. Is mid-level 40-50 attorneys, is it $120K, or something else? I asked about this on another thread and was advised that a firm like Boies or Knobbe (a boutique) was bigger than big law (average attorney made $1.25M and partners +2M), so basically terms are nebulous. Nevertheless, in TLS speak, when mid-level is tossed around, what is generally meant in terms of $ or size.


You're conflating midlaw/midsize firm with midlevel associate (as opposed to junior associate or senior associate).

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Re: ATL hires hopeless unemployed 2012 law graduate as blogger

Postby vanwinkle » Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:17 pm

JCougar wrote:But why was the bubble absurd? Was it just a bubble? Or was it abuse of the billable hour system and leverage ratios that clients no longer favor paying for?

It was a finance industry bubble. Finance bubble = lots of finance work = lots of work for top law firms. Bubble burst = far less finance work = far less work for top law firms.

JCougar wrote:I'm not saying anything controversial here. It's been widely reported that clients have been bitching about being billed for first year associate work.

They've bitched about it for decades. There have been a couple of downturns in the past which were supposed to lead to reform and "the end of the billable hour", but they obviously didn't.

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Re: ATL hires hopeless unemployed 2012 law graduate as blogger

Postby JCougar » Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:36 pm

vanwinkle wrote:They've bitched about it for decades. There have been a couple of downturns in the past which were supposed to lead to reform and "the end of the billable hour", but they obviously didn't.


Yet none of those downturns have been this bad. There's a significant number of firms that ARE changing.

Furthermore:

http://abovethelaw.com/2012/09/who-repr ... companies/

But this time around, the list looks a little different. Due to the state of the economy, general counsel are now looking for more ways to reduce costs, and are constantly seeking out alternative fee structures. The firms on this year’s list may have been the ones that were most amenable to such changes.

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Re: ATL hires hopeless unemployed 2012 law graduate as blogger

Postby IAFG » Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:55 pm

JCougar wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:They've bitched about it for decades. There have been a couple of downturns in the past which were supposed to lead to reform and "the end of the billable hour", but they obviously didn't.


Yet none of those downturns have been this bad. There's a significant number of firms that ARE changing.

Furthermore:

http://abovethelaw.com/2012/09/who-repr ... companies/

But this time around, the list looks a little different. Due to the state of the economy, general counsel are now looking for more ways to reduce costs, and are constantly seeking out alternative fee structures. The firms on this year’s list may have been the ones that were most amenable to such changes.

Well yes. Clients would like to not pay tons of money for legal services. In a buyer's market, they can bully their way into better deals. When the economy is better, they have less leverage.

A bunch of firms that did change sprang back to the "old way" as soon as they could manage, e.g. MWE returning to market salaries, firms that cancelled summer classes reinstating them, etc.

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Re: ATL hires hopeless unemployed 2012 law graduate as blogger

Postby JCougar » Tue Oct 16, 2012 12:44 am

Campos posts an adjusted list of schools' placement rates into full-time lawyer jobs. This list subtracts all the school-funded "jobs" that some schools are using to game the statistics. George Washington was the worst offender, placing 15% of their graduating class into school-funded "jobs" that paid a median $27K/year.

http://insidethelawschoolscam.blogspot. ... nd-me.html

Some notes:

Harvard funded 33 full-time, "long-term" (at least one year) jobs for its 2011 graduates--that's 5.7% of its graduating class. This is a new program: the positions did not exist for 2009 and 2010 graduates.


Penn tracks salaries more closely than many schools, which allows us to see how those numbers are falling. According to Penn's website, its 25th percentile starting salary was $142,500 in 2008, with 95% of the graduating class reporting salaries. In 2009, the 25th percentile salary fell to $125,000; in 2010, it was $73,408; and in 2011, just $62,688. That's a drop of more than 60% in three years. The percentage of graduates reporting salaries also fell, so the decline probably is even worse than these numbers suggest.


On average, after eliminating school-funded jobs, only 59% of students at these thirty-five [non T14 Tier 1] schools obtained full-time, long-term jobs that required bar admission. Entering students: Look two seats to your left and two to your right. Among the five of you, only three will manage to find a semi-permanent, full-time job practicing law within nine months of graduation.


These are at the best schools in the nation. If it's this bad at T1 schools, of course, it is monumentally worse at T2 on down. Nothing is a safe bet anymore at these prices.

Also of note, American placed just 35% of graduates into real, actual lawyer jobs. Given the COL in Washington, DC and American's stinginess with scholarships, they're pumping out a ton of young scholars crippled with $200K+ of debt that have no hope of paying that back.

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Re: ATL hires hopeless unemployed 2012 law graduate as blogger

Postby Tiago Splitter » Tue Oct 16, 2012 12:23 pm

Paul Campos wrote:
Penn tracks salaries more closely than many schools, which allows us to see how those numbers are falling. According to Penn's website, its 25th percentile starting salary was $142,500 in 2008, with 95% of the graduating class reporting salaries. In 2009, the 25th percentile salary fell to $125,000; in 2010, it was $73,408; and in 2011, just $62,688. That's a drop of more than 60% in three years. The percentage of graduates reporting salaries also fell, so the decline probably is even worse than these numbers suggest.


Jesus Christ Campos. It's as if he wants to pretend the bi-modal salary curve doesn't exist and that salaries across the board may be dropping by 60%. Shit like this makes his arguments so much weaker and it's sad because he has a great message to get out.

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Re: ATL hires hopeless unemployed 2012 law graduate as blogger

Postby Paul Campos » Tue Oct 16, 2012 1:26 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
Paul Campos wrote:
Penn tracks salaries more closely than many schools, which allows us to see how those numbers are falling. According to Penn's website, its 25th percentile starting salary was $142,500 in 2008, with 95% of the graduating class reporting salaries. In 2009, the 25th percentile salary fell to $125,000; in 2010, it was $73,408; and in 2011, just $62,688. That's a drop of more than 60% in three years. The percentage of graduates reporting salaries also fell, so the decline probably is even worse than these numbers suggest.


Jesus Christ Campos. It's as if he wants to pretend the bi-modal salary curve doesn't exist and that salaries across the board may be dropping by 60%. Shit like this makes his arguments so much weaker and it's sad because he has a great message to get out.


(1) This isn't my post

(2) DJM's point is that four years ago almost everybody at Penn who wanted one was getting a market-paying job. Now a big proportion of the class isn't. That's not a terribly complicated proposition.

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Re: ATL hires hopeless unemployed 2012 law graduate as blogger

Postby Tiago Splitter » Tue Oct 16, 2012 1:47 pm

Paul Campos wrote:(2) DJM's point is that four years ago almost everybody at Penn who wanted one was getting a market-paying job. Now a big proportion of the class isn't. That's not a terribly complicated proposition.


What she is doing is selectively using data to make things seem worse than they are. Sounds like law schools in reverse!

You and I both know that the people who miss BigLaw see a pronounced drop in first year salaries compared to their BigLaw counterparts. This has been the case for as long as NALP has been keeping track of this stuff, and has become even more pronounced with the rise of BigLaw salaries over the last decade. It's entirely possible that a few years ago, the Penn student in the 25th percentile of the distribution was making the $142,500, but the guy in the 20th percentile was only at 60K. Given the fact that around 10% of Penn grads take clerkships this is entirely reasonable. These days, it's entirely possible that while the 25th percentile student is making 60K but the 30th percentile student is still making as much as the median student (145K). We don't know where the dropoff occurs.

What DJM does with her post is attempt to fool the uninformed masses that the dropoff at the 25th percentile is consistent across the class. Conveniently, there is no mention of the still very high median salary of Penn grads. You guys are better than this.

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Re: ATL hires hopeless unemployed 2012 law graduate as blogger

Postby JCougar » Tue Oct 16, 2012 2:16 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:Jesus Christ Campos. It's as if he wants to pretend the bi-modal salary curve doesn't exist and that salaries across the board may be dropping by 60%. Shit like this makes his arguments so much weaker and it's sad because he has a great message to get out.


Not really. In that quote, it is clearly identified that the poster is talking about the 25th percentile.

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Re: ATL hires hopeless unemployed 2012 law graduate as blogger

Postby JCougar » Tue Oct 16, 2012 2:20 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:You and I both know that the people who miss BigLaw see a pronounced drop in first year salaries compared to their BigLaw counterparts.


I don't think that this is the case at all for a lot of prospective law students. I think there is the idea that if they miss out on Biglaw at a place like Penn, that they will live comfortably in midlaw or a high-paying smaller firm. The data indicates that this is not the case, at least not initially. Now, maybe only a third of the class at Penn might miss out on Biglaw if they really want it, but what this data does show is that the jobs these people are getting don't pay substantially more than those you could get from a TTT.

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Re: ATL hires hopeless unemployed 2012 law graduate as blogger

Postby Tiago Splitter » Tue Oct 16, 2012 2:29 pm

JCougar wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:You and I both know that the people who miss BigLaw see a pronounced drop in first year salaries compared to their BigLaw counterparts.


I don't think that this is the case at all for a lot of prospective law students. I think there is the idea that if they miss out on Biglaw at a place like Penn, that they will live comfortably in midlaw or a high-paying smaller firm. The data indicates that this is not the case, at least not initially. Now, maybe only a third of the class at Penn might miss out on Biglaw if they really want it, but what this data does show is that the jobs these people are getting don't pay substantially more than those you could get from a TTT.


That's exactly my point! Thank you for making it so well.

The number one reason I decided to retake the LSAT is because of the bimodal nature of legal salaries. DJM's blog post is written in such a way as to make the reader assume that salaries are evenly distributed across the range of possible outcomes. TLS veterans know this isn't the case. I'd like to think that Campos and DJM want uninformed 0L's to learn this too, but this post of hers does the exact opposite.

Unfortunately schools only list 25th/50th/75th numbers so we don't get a whole lot of granularity. But she could have noted the very high median salary, one which isn't far off of the 2008 median, to show just how rapidly salaries drop off if you miss BigLaw. Instead, she makes no mention whatsoever of the median in her attempt to imply that salaries have dropped off 60% across the board.

Now I really doubt anyone familiar with basic statistics and the bimodal nature of salaries in law will be fooled. And anyone who does get fooled probably shouldn't be going to law school anyway. But why be so misleading? There is an almost infinite amount of low hanging fruit for those guys to pick (see the newest post on Barry's increased enrollment) that I don't see any need to stretch the truth to make the point that law school is a scam.

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Re: ATL hires hopeless unemployed 2012 law graduate as blogger

Postby JCougar » Tue Oct 16, 2012 2:57 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:Now I really doubt anyone familiar with basic statistics and the bimodal nature of salaries in law will be fooled. And anyone who does get fooled probably shouldn't be going to law school anyway. But why be so misleading? There is an almost infinite amount of low hanging fruit for those guys to pick (see the newest post on Barry's increased enrollment) that I don't see any need to stretch the truth to make the point that law school is a scam.


I don't think it was deceptive at all, but I of course take for granted the fact that any prospective law student worth their salt will understand the difference between 25th percentile and median. Median salaries are widely, widely reported. What is lesser known is what happens to those who don't make Biglaw.

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Re: ATL hires hopeless unemployed 2012 law graduate as blogger

Postby Tiago Splitter » Tue Oct 16, 2012 4:30 pm

JCougar wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:Now I really doubt anyone familiar with basic statistics and the bimodal nature of salaries in law will be fooled. And anyone who does get fooled probably shouldn't be going to law school anyway. But why be so misleading? There is an almost infinite amount of low hanging fruit for those guys to pick (see the newest post on Barry's increased enrollment) that I don't see any need to stretch the truth to make the point that law school is a scam.


I don't think it was deceptive at all, but I of course take for granted the fact that any prospective law student worth their salt will understand the difference between 25th percentile and median. Median salaries are widely, widely reported. What is lesser known is what happens to those who don't make Biglaw.


Median salaries are often widely reported but with a far more limited number of responses, which is why they tend to be so misleading.

Median salary in private practice of $125,000
25% of grads to into private practice, 22% of salaries are reported

Regarding the Penn numbers, the bimodal nature of legal salaries makes this a non-story. DJM has no way of proving that things have really changed, again because salaries always fall off a cliff for entry-level grads who miss BigLaw. In Penn's case literally one more person missing BigLaw could lead to the drastic reduction we've seen in their 25th percentile placement. If in 2008 student 50 of 200 was making $142,500 and student 49 was making $60,000 but in 2012 only student 51 was making $142,500 and student 50 was making $60,000 she could have made the exact same claim--that the 25th percentile had dropped by a whole 60 percent!!!! It doesn't really tell us anything, and it only has any value if you don't know about or just want to ignore the bimodal distribution.




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