"I really should have taken that Ruby over HYS sticker"

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BruceWayne
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Re: "I really should have taken that Ruby over HYS sticker"

Postby BruceWayne » Wed Feb 11, 2015 3:40 pm

I never said that it's worth sticker to attend HYS over the rest of the top 14. That's a horrible strawman that Utraphor has been arguing against for a few pages because he frankly, doesn't know what he's talking about and it's really the only credible argument he has. Even his characteristic of a lottery system is misinformed. Firms see your grades before offering you a job EVEN with a lottery system.

Another thing that he just doesn't get, which leads me to think that he's either still in school or just has very little experience with legal hiring, is that most students with bad grades get rejected on that alone LONG before "something else" can even come into play. What he doesn't understand is that hiring essentially goes something like this. 1) Your GPA is checked to see if it does not fall below the firm's floor as an initial weeding out process. If it does you DO NOT PROCEED ANY FURTHER 2) If it DOES meet their threshold at THIS POINT other factors can be enough to lose you the job. This is where people with honors but no job lose out on opportunities. What Utaphor doesn't understand, because of his lack of experience, is that YOU DON'T EVEN REACH this point without having the necessary grades.
One thing I had an interviewer at a big firm tell me privately was that his firm had a structure where associates would come in to do OCI interviews and would be allowed to score applicants off of the things that Utaphor seems to think are the most important factor in hiring (i.e. personal skills, professionalism, courtesy etc.) and that they were in fact allowed to base their decisions off of this. In fact I got this interview through the lottery system and I know many people who landed lottery interviews with firms. But the problem came when it was time to do callbacks and receive offers. The interviewer personally asked me what my GPA was and he said that the interview obviously went great and he would recommend me but that his firm would essentially toss aside any recommendation to hire someone below their GPA floor. The firms checked transcripts before making either callbacks or offers (varies firm to firm). Lottery isn't some magic system where the schools have now put firms in a situation where they are forced to hire people regardless of GPA. That's 0L fantasy land thinking. I know of countless people that this has happened to at various schools across the top 14 excluding HYS. And again Above the Law had a story about an associate OCI interviewer mistakenly leaving his firms GPA hiring guidelines in a classroom.

There are threads throughout the legal employment forum where people land this sort of GPA and just don't get firm jobs. In fact what's so sad is that you have a lot of ignorant inexperienced posters like Utahraptor who try to brush these people under the rug. He's not alone in that sadly. I remember a thread from a girl from Duke with a sub 3.0 who was shut out of firm jobs and apparently had a really difficult time psychologically because she couldn't get a job due to her grades. When she tried to explain just how bad the situation was posters came in and laughed her out of her own thread because "no one gets those type of grades" and she was "a flame".

There are numerous GPA charts from various schools that show the various GPA ranges that firms hire from. This information is kept tightly guarded by the schools but from time to time posters on here will share them and I've personally seen them. Utaphor's "feelings' may be interesting dinner table conversation for some. But it's not helpful information for 0Ls trying to understand what the hiring process is like. They need to see the actual relevant data that he's ignoring due to ignorance like: 1) Schools' GPA charts for various firms 2) The firms' hiring guidelines

Utaphor also has a very poor understanding of how a law school grading curve works. Which is also why I assumed he was an 0L at first as most law students/grads understand that there is really no difference between the likelihood of ending up top 20 percent vs. bottom 20 percent. But in his mind "only a few" land in the latter group while the former is much more likely. The most important thing to worry about when picking a law school is what will happen to you if you land at the bottom of the class because that's the scenario where you are most likely to end up struggling to get a job. Only looking at what happened to those who achieve grades as good or better than half of the class is an 0L mindset but it's understandable because they have never been in a law school environment.
But ITE I honestly thought people with the Utaphor approach had died out. I haven't heard anyone speak like him in years. Whenever I hear from law grads/students experienced with hiring they all warn about what happens if you don't land in the top half of the class. Honestly it's kind of odd to even hear someone talking like him anymore. What if I graduate at the bottom of the class insurance is THE MOST IMPRORTANT THING TO BUY when considering paying for a higher priced law school. Honestly I think his comment on that regard is literally the stupidest thing I've ever read on this site--and that's saying a lot. You don't go to a higher ranked more expensive school for almost ANY other reason than anti unemployment insurance. Professors, class size, students, none of the other factors comes close to the importance of buying yourself insurance that if you land in the bottom half of your class you will still be able to get a job--period.
Last edited by BruceWayne on Wed Feb 11, 2015 3:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Mack.Hambleton
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Re: "I really should have taken that Ruby over HYS sticker"

Postby Mack.Hambleton » Wed Feb 11, 2015 3:46 pm

That post was longer than my PS

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BruceWayne
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Re: "I really should have taken that Ruby over HYS sticker"

Postby BruceWayne » Wed Feb 11, 2015 3:47 pm

And yet I still wasn't able to address everything wrong with Utahraptor's uninformed comments. It's unreal.

Also the most recent nlj numbers sure as hell don't depict a return of the boom days like a few in this thread have been intimating...I was expecting to see 70% stats like back in the old days. Yeah not so much.

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UnicornHunter
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Re: "I really should have taken that Ruby over HYS sticker"

Postby UnicornHunter » Wed Feb 11, 2015 3:55 pm

BW: you're still not getting smaug's point: the curves at CLS and Chicago are deliberately obscured. There is no "bottom 20% of the class" because the system is set up to hide that. Yes, there may be a few people who get multiple discretionary low grades, but it's equally possible to get multiple LPs from HYS. The VAST majority of people at at CC will go int OCI functionally at median.

And smaug's comparing HYS at sticker to CCN on a full ride wasn't attacking a strawman, because it's literally the point of this thread. Nobody is arguing that CCN>HYS.

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Re: "I really should have taken that Ruby over HYS sticker"

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Feb 11, 2015 4:42 pm

Again, I get your overall point, but this isn't a "T14 generally" thread. This is a "HYS at sticker v. CCN full ride" thread. It's a narrow and probably stupid thread, granted, but talking about someone coming out of Duke isn't really pertinent. And I think you actually said that the difference wasn't worth $200k. That's really all this thread has been discussing, so your arguments seem a little overblown for the the context. I don't think anyone here is contesting that grade cutoffs exist and that people can get screwed by them, or arguing that the past boom times are back.

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utahraptor
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Re: "I really should have taken that Ruby over HYS sticker"

Postby utahraptor » Wed Feb 11, 2015 5:12 pm

Bruce, I think we know why you struck out now.

Anyway, cogently:

(1) Look at the thread title. Look at it. Reflect on your sins.

(2) What's your experience with legal hiring? I thought you were a vale-r. No?

(3) I agree that GPA floors exist at many firms. They don't seem to exist at other firms, at least for CCN students. This isn't controversial.

(4) Very very few students have grades so low that they are barred across the board. In order to be that far removed from the curve, you would need to be in the bottom 1% of the class. Frankly, I'm not troubled that the bottom 1% has a hard time finding a job. From a pre-law-school perspective, it's silly to fixate on something so improbable.

(5) I understand that students are as likely to be in the top 20% as the bottom 20%, but do you understand the way that grade distributions work at CLS and NYU? We're talking about six grades with limited options among them—there aren't fine differences making a clean curve. It's chunky. In fact, the curve is so chunky that you have a hard time differentiating between someone in the bottom of the class and the middle of the class. That's the way the curve was designed. Your range at the low end is something like a 3.0 to a 3.3. Yes, a sub 3.0 student will stand out. But, there are so few B-s given that you're talking about, again, the bottom 1%. Not the bottom 20%, or the bottom half, the bottom 1%.

(6) My approach is don't pay too much money worrying about potential downside when it ruins your upside. This is why I find your posts baffling. I'm not telling people to not go to a T14. I'm not telling people to take CLS over Harvard at equal cost. I'm saying hey, you should really consider what six figure debt means, and what kind of insurance you're buying with that debt.

That's what this is—OCI strike-out insurance. I wouldn't buy that for 100k+. Apparently you would, otherwise I don't know why you're arguing with me. Again, my contention is that I'd rather strike out at OCI with a Ruby/Hamilton/Dillard than get a job with HLS sticker debt. I stand by that. This is different than quibbling about the employment percentages—I'm saying that even if your asinine posts about hiring and grades made sense (which the numbers indicate they absolutely do not) you still lose.

Is that clear? Do you disagree? I'd rather drop out after 1L, or rethink my strategy or something else with no debt than be strapped to a sticker price tag just for the amazing opportunity to be a big lawyer.

This is why I question your credentials, Bruce. It seems like you're glorifying the upside of not-striking out.

I'm saying you should always take the amazing scholarship—I don't care if it's the Ruby, if it's a Dillard, if it's NU ED. I'm not saying go to Fordham for free (though I understand why others would advocate that). I'm saying that under no circumstance does sticker level debt make sense.

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utahraptor
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Re: "I really should have taken that Ruby over HYS sticker"

Postby utahraptor » Wed Feb 11, 2015 5:27 pm

All offense intended:

How stupid do you have to be to pay $100,000+ for a couple of percentage points difference in hiring? You're not actually shrinking your downside much, because you can still strike out. I'm not the one painting a rosy picture of legal hiring here—I'm saying, "Hey, you, person with the Dillard thinking about paying loads for a Columbia degree—don't! You can fail there too!"

Let's quantify this, BW, so we can avoid talking past one another—

How many people, based on current hiring numbers, are safe at Harvard but unsafe at CCN?

How many people, based on current hiring numbers, are safe at CCN, but unsafe at a T14?

This isn't about balancing the marginal 30k difference for someone who is already facing loads of debt—this is about asking if you have one of those options for free or for COL, where would it make sense to start paying significant sums of money.

I totally wish I had done the NU ED (doubt I would have gotten it, but still), and, more importantly, I'm sure if you asked someone who struck out at CLS, they'd tell you the same thing.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: "I really should have taken that Ruby over HYS sticker"

Postby Tiago Splitter » Wed Feb 11, 2015 5:30 pm

BruceWayne wrote:And yet I still wasn't able to address everything wrong with Utahraptor's uninformed comments. It's unreal.

Also the most recent nlj numbers sure as hell don't depict a return of the boom days like a few in this thread have been intimating...I was expecting to see 70% stats like back in the old days. Yeah not so much.


Tiago Splitter wrote:Biglaw (101+ attorneys) plus FedClerk hiring numbers for class of 2013:

Columbia: 73.2 + 4.8 = 78%
Stanford: 48.5 + 29.4 = 77.8%
Chicago: 62.3 + 10.2 = 72.6%
Harvard: 54.5 + 17.0 = 71.5%
Penn: 59.8 + 9.3 = 69.1%
Cornell: 57.5 + 10.9 = 68.4%
NYU: 58.3 + 8.8 = 67.0%
Yale: 30.5 + 35 = 65.5%
Northwestern: 55.6 + 7.7 = 63.4%
UVA: 50 + 12.9 = 62.9%
Duke: 51.4 + 8.7 = 60.2%
Michigan: 49.4 + 7.8 = 57.1%
Berkeley: 47.8 + 8.0 = 55.8%
GULC: 41.4 + 5.1 = 46.5%
Vanderbilt: 35.9 + 9.2 = 45.1%
Texas: 33.3 + 9.0 = 42.3%
UCLA: 32.5 + 6.9 = 39.5%
Fordham: 34.1 + 2.5 = 36.6%
Boston College: 29.6 + 4.3 = 34%
Notre Dame: 28.3 + 5.4 = 33.7%
USC (LinkRemoved): 29.8 + 3.8 = 33.6%
WUSTL: 29 + 3.3 = 32.3%
Illinois: 24.7 + 3.4 = 28.1%
BU: 24.1 +2.5 = 26.6%
William and Mary: 21.7 + 3.7 = 25.3%
Alabama: 12.0 + 10.2 = 22.3%
Ohio State: 16.9 + 4.4 = 21.3%
Washington and Lee: 16.1 + 3.5 = 19.6%
Minnesota: 13.5 + 3.6 = 17.1%
Wake Forest: 13.2 + 3.1 = 16.3%
Hastings: 13.4 + 1.6 = 15%

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DCfilterDC
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Re: "I really should have taken that Ruby over HYS sticker"

Postby DCfilterDC » Wed Feb 11, 2015 5:36 pm

Smaug,

Your posts are super helpful, and quite balanced on the issue. Thank you, sincerely, for taking the time to write it all out. As a 0L I do really appreciate it.

According to NYU's 509, 64% of students are paying sticker. Are all 64% of these people nuts?

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Re: "I really should have taken that Ruby over HYS sticker"

Postby Mack.Hambleton » Wed Feb 11, 2015 5:42 pm

DCfilterDC wrote:Smaug,

Your posts are super helpful, and quite balanced on the issue. Thank you, sincerely, for taking the time to write it all out. As a 0L I do really appreciate it.

According to NYU's 509, 64% of students are paying sticker. Are all 64% of these people nuts?


its NYU theyre rich

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UnicornHunter
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Re: "I really should have taken that Ruby over HYS sticker"

Postby UnicornHunter » Wed Feb 11, 2015 5:42 pm

DCfilterDC wrote:Smaug,

Your posts are super helpful, and quite balanced on the issue. Thank you, sincerely, for taking the time to write it all out. As a 0L I do really appreciate it.

According to NYU's 509, 64% of students are paying sticker. Are all 64% of these people nuts?


I won't answer for Smaug, but I'll cut in.

They're not nuts. But a good chunk of them probably didn't know what they were getting in to. Another significant chunk are probably attending on their parent's dime and don't care. And a small % probably made a decision that the risk (of striking out, of being stuck in a profession they hate, of not being able to pursue a dream job because of debt) was worth it.

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DCfilterDC
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Re: "I really should have taken that Ruby over HYS sticker"

Postby DCfilterDC » Wed Feb 11, 2015 5:46 pm

TheUnicornHunter wrote:
DCfilterDC wrote:Smaug,

Your posts are super helpful, and quite balanced on the issue. Thank you, sincerely, for taking the time to write it all out. As a 0L I do really appreciate it.

According to NYU's 509, 64% of students are paying sticker. Are all 64% of these people nuts?


I won't answer for Smaug, but I'll cut in.

They're not nuts. But a good chunk of them probably didn't know what they were getting in to. Another significant chunk are probably attending on their parent's dime and don't care. And a small % probably made a decision that the risk (of striking out, of being stuck in a profession they hate, of not being able to pursue a dream job because of debt) was worth it.


Whoops that question wasn't geared towards Smaug, just the first part was. Wanted to see people's thoughts on the 64% number.

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Re: "I really should have taken that Ruby over HYS sticker"

Postby utahraptor » Wed Feb 11, 2015 5:48 pm

DCfilterDC wrote:Smaug,

Your posts are super helpful, and quite balanced on the issue. Thank you, sincerely, for taking the time to write it all out. As a 0L I do really appreciate it.

According to NYU's 509, 64% of students are paying sticker. Are all 64% of these people nuts?

I don't know. BW is right that I'm not an attorney. I'm a 3L. I have many friends who have graduated at this point, and you can read the posts by current practitioners.

I'd say the CW is that it's kinda nuts. I also don't really believe that all 64% are paying sticker—some certainly are, but parents and grandparents are probably helping out a significant chunk of that number.

Knowing what I know now, I wouldn't go for sticker and would try to dissuade people I know form going at sticker. I just don't think the upside (working Biglaw) is worth the money.

If you were absolutely certain you were going into PI work, it might make more sense, but my impression is that PI work is competitive, difficult to attain, and that the job hunt causes stress for everyone. I don't know what happens when you have massive debt and can't get the PI job you wanted.

Like I said, if the choice were between NU ED and NYU at sticker, I'd take that every time. I don't know what to tell people who don't have a T14 option at a lower cost, and, if you asked around, I'm sure you'd get different responses to what level of debt "makes sense" for people.

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Re: "I really should have taken that Ruby over HYS sticker"

Postby abl » Wed Feb 11, 2015 5:54 pm

I took the prestige, have had to pay back debt for more than a year now, and don't regret it. I also didn't have the Ruby exactly, and got some HYS aid, so I'm not a perfect comparison.

My thoughts, briefly, are that I put a very high value on quality of life, and have been terrified since I was very young of not finding a job that was enjoyable--because most (or at least very very many) of the hours of your life are spent at your job. I was able to get a unicorn-ish job that I generally love because in part of my degree, and that's easily worth more than a couple hundred thousand dollars to me. So it's entirely hypothetical (because my actual COA difference was smaller), but I would have gladly paid $250,000 or more to go HYS over CCN.

Is my job only filled by HYS folks? Absolutely not. But it's one of those situations (as I suspect are common among unicorn jobs) where most people in my office got the job because some combination of their timing, personality, and connections were perfect (and usually they performed incredibly well at some other very good school). Without saying much more, I, on the other hand, got my job despite my timing, despite my connections, and despite several personal factors that I think would have otherwise disqualified me -- and given how my hiring happened, I think my HYS degree played a very large role in things (as did some of my other credentials that I likely would not have gotten without my HYS degree -- things like clerkships).

I've seen this happen with a number of my HYS friends and it's led me to believe that it's not totally random or coincidental (my CCN friends on the other hand are basically all in biglaw). I think people at HYS are better educated about the rare amazing law job, much more likely to actually look and apply for these jobs, and then better able to actually land one -- than even the great folks at CCN.

This is not to say that HYS is always worth hundreds of thousands of dollars more than CCN, or even that it usually is. If you want to toil away at biglaw getting filthy rich (and an amazing number of people do), the HYS "bump" is probably not worth it. But for me, and I suspect for many others who share my values, I think the difference between the schools absolutely justifies large COA differences. When I think about my lifetime earning potential and the amount of value I personally put on each marginal dollar of earned income vs the quality of my time spent earning that income (and how much of my time I have leftover afterwards), $250,000 of additional income actually ends up being a relatively minor deal.

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Re: "I really should have taken that Ruby over HYS sticker"

Postby Emma. » Wed Feb 11, 2015 7:32 pm

abl wrote:I took the prestige, have had to pay back debt for more than a year now, and don't regret it. I also didn't have the Ruby exactly, and got some HYS aid, so I'm not a perfect comparison.

My thoughts, briefly, are that I put a very high value on quality of life, and have been terrified since I was very young of not finding a job that was enjoyable--because most (or at least very very many) of the hours of your life are spent at your job. I was able to get a unicorn-ish job that I generally love because in part of my degree, and that's easily worth more than a couple hundred thousand dollars to me. So it's entirely hypothetical (because my actual COA difference was smaller), but I would have gladly paid $250,000 or more to go HYS over CCN.

Is my job only filled by HYS folks? Absolutely not. But it's one of those situations (as I suspect are common among unicorn jobs) where most people in my office got the job because some combination of their timing, personality, and connections were perfect (and usually they performed incredibly well at some other very good school). Without saying much more, I, on the other hand, got my job despite my timing, despite my connections, and despite several personal factors that I think would have otherwise disqualified me -- and given how my hiring happened, I think my HYS degree played a very large role in things (as did some of my other credentials that I likely would not have gotten without my HYS degree -- things like clerkships).

I've seen this happen with a number of my HYS friends and it's led me to believe that it's not totally random or coincidental (my CCN friends on the other hand are basically all in biglaw). I think people at HYS are better educated about the rare amazing law job, much more likely to actually look and apply for these jobs, and then better able to actually land one -- than even the great folks at CCN.

This is not to say that HYS is always worth hundreds of thousands of dollars more than CCN, or even that it usually is. If you want to toil away at biglaw getting filthy rich (and an amazing number of people do), the HYS "bump" is probably not worth it. But for me, and I suspect for many others who share my values, I think the difference between the schools absolutely justifies large COA differences. When I think about my lifetime earning potential and the amount of value I personally put on each marginal dollar of earned income vs the quality of my time spent earning that income (and how much of my time I have leftover afterwards), $250,000 of additional income actually ends up being a relatively minor deal.


The tough thing is that it's impossible for you to know whether you'd have landed the same position out of CCN. And to the extent that HYS people do have more chance landing the unicorn jobs, it is really tough to quantify how much better that chance is. It's pretty clear that Y gives you a somewhat better shot at some jobs, but I can't say how much better. It's less clear that H and S give you a significant boost over CCN.

Since we don't have good info on this, it makes it really hard to price. I suspect people also hear something like "you'll have a 3x greater chance of landing a SCOTUS clerkship out of Yale than out of Chicago," and decide it's worth $200K to them to have that better chance. But they probably aren't considering that that 3x better chance (I basically made up this number, BTW) is still a super small chance. Like you might have a 2% chance of landing SCOTUS from Chicago and a 6% chance from Yale. It seems to me much harder to justify paying $200K to increase your chances by 4%. And while I pulled these numbers out of my ass, they are probably about right as far as percentages of a given class winding up at SCOTUS. Above the Law shows 6 Yale kids and 2 Chicago kids have been hired so far for OT 2015. Interestingly, it also shows 7 H kids, meaning that when you account for class size it could be that H doesn't give you that big a boost over Chicago (H is basically 3 times the size of Y and UChi).

As those numbers would suggest, I think Y does give you a better shot at the unicornish jobs. But to me it seems crazy for most people to give up a Rubenstein and pay sticker for some unquantifiable improvement at what is probably a small chance to begin with. And that's ignoring the fact that the Rubenstein folks have institutional support (as well as economic freedom) that'll likely give them a greater chance than the average UChi kid of landing the unicornish gigs. What seems ever crazier to me is that folks consider giving up the money to pay sticker at Harvard or Stanford, whose edge in the really elite/special jobs is even less clear.

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Re: "I really should have taken that Ruby over HYS sticker"

Postby UnicornHunter » Wed Feb 11, 2015 8:10 pm

Emma. wrote:
abl wrote:I took the prestige, have had to pay back debt for more than a year now, and don't regret it. I also didn't have the Ruby exactly, and got some HYS aid, so I'm not a perfect comparison.

My thoughts, briefly, are that I put a very high value on quality of life, and have been terrified since I was very young of not finding a job that was enjoyable--because most (or at least very very many) of the hours of your life are spent at your job. I was able to get a unicorn-ish job that I generally love because in part of my degree, and that's easily worth more than a couple hundred thousand dollars to me. So it's entirely hypothetical (because my actual COA difference was smaller), but I would have gladly paid $250,000 or more to go HYS over CCN.

Is my job only filled by HYS folks? Absolutely not. But it's one of those situations (as I suspect are common among unicorn jobs) where most people in my office got the job because some combination of their timing, personality, and connections were perfect (and usually they performed incredibly well at some other very good school). Without saying much more, I, on the other hand, got my job despite my timing, despite my connections, and despite several personal factors that I think would have otherwise disqualified me -- and given how my hiring happened, I think my HYS degree played a very large role in things (as did some of my other credentials that I likely would not have gotten without my HYS degree -- things like clerkships).

I've seen this happen with a number of my HYS friends and it's led me to believe that it's not totally random or coincidental (my CCN friends on the other hand are basically all in biglaw). I think people at HYS are better educated about the rare amazing law job, much more likely to actually look and apply for these jobs, and then better able to actually land one -- than even the great folks at CCN.

This is not to say that HYS is always worth hundreds of thousands of dollars more than CCN, or even that it usually is. If you want to toil away at biglaw getting filthy rich (and an amazing number of people do), the HYS "bump" is probably not worth it. But for me, and I suspect for many others who share my values, I think the difference between the schools absolutely justifies large COA differences. When I think about my lifetime earning potential and the amount of value I personally put on each marginal dollar of earned income vs the quality of my time spent earning that income (and how much of my time I have leftover afterwards), $250,000 of additional income actually ends up being a relatively minor deal.


The tough thing is that it's impossible for you to know whether you'd have landed the same position out of CCN. And to the extent that HYS people do have more chance landing the unicorn jobs, it is really tough to quantify how much better that chance is. It's pretty clear that Y gives you a somewhat better shot at some jobs, but I can't say how much better. It's less clear that H and S give you a significant boost over CCN.

Since we don't have good info on this, it makes it really hard to price. I suspect people also hear something like "you'll have a 3x greater chance of landing a SCOTUS clerkship out of Yale than out of Chicago," and decide it's worth $200K to them to have that better chance. But they probably aren't considering that that 3x better chance (I basically made up this number, BTW) is still a super small chance. Like you might have a 2% chance of landing SCOTUS from Chicago and a 6% chance from Yale. It seems to me much harder to justify paying $200K to increase your chances by 4%. And while I pulled these numbers out of my ass, they are probably about right as far as percentages of a given class winding up at SCOTUS. Above the Law shows 6 Yale kids and 2 Chicago kids have been hired so far for OT 2015. Interestingly, it also shows 7 H kids, meaning that when you account for class size it could be that H doesn't give you that big a boost over Chicago (H is basically 3 times the size of Y and UChi).

As those numbers would suggest, I think Y does give you a better shot at the unicornish jobs. But to me it seems crazy for most people to give up a Rubenstein and pay sticker for some unquantifiable improvement at what is probably a small chance to begin with. And that's ignoring the fact that the Rubenstein folks have institutional support (as well as economic freedom) that'll likely give them a greater chance than the average UChi kid of landing the unicornish gigs. What seems ever crazier to me is that folks consider giving up the money to pay sticker at Harvard or Stanford, whose edge in the really elite/special jobs is even less clear.


The economic freedom thing is what really stands out to me. Gives people an opportunity to take risks/do great things that they otherwise couldn't do.

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Re: "I really should have taken that Ruby over HYS sticker"

Postby Julius » Wed Feb 11, 2015 8:37 pm

Emma. wrote:
abl wrote:I took the prestige, have had to pay back debt for more than a year now, and don't regret it. I also didn't have the Ruby exactly, and got some HYS aid, so I'm not a perfect comparison.

My thoughts, briefly, are that I put a very high value on quality of life, and have been terrified since I was very young of not finding a job that was enjoyable--because most (or at least very very many) of the hours of your life are spent at your job. I was able to get a unicorn-ish job that I generally love because in part of my degree, and that's easily worth more than a couple hundred thousand dollars to me. So it's entirely hypothetical (because my actual COA difference was smaller), but I would have gladly paid $250,000 or more to go HYS over CCN.

Is my job only filled by HYS folks? Absolutely not. But it's one of those situations (as I suspect are common among unicorn jobs) where most people in my office got the job because some combination of their timing, personality, and connections were perfect (and usually they performed incredibly well at some other very good school). Without saying much more, I, on the other hand, got my job despite my timing, despite my connections, and despite several personal factors that I think would have otherwise disqualified me -- and given how my hiring happened, I think my HYS degree played a very large role in things (as did some of my other credentials that I likely would not have gotten without my HYS degree -- things like clerkships).

I've seen this happen with a number of my HYS friends and it's led me to believe that it's not totally random or coincidental (my CCN friends on the other hand are basically all in biglaw). I think people at HYS are better educated about the rare amazing law job, much more likely to actually look and apply for these jobs, and then better able to actually land one -- than even the great folks at CCN.

This is not to say that HYS is always worth hundreds of thousands of dollars more than CCN, or even that it usually is. If you want to toil away at biglaw getting filthy rich (and an amazing number of people do), the HYS "bump" is probably not worth it. But for me, and I suspect for many others who share my values, I think the difference between the schools absolutely justifies large COA differences. When I think about my lifetime earning potential and the amount of value I personally put on each marginal dollar of earned income vs the quality of my time spent earning that income (and how much of my time I have leftover afterwards), $250,000 of additional income actually ends up being a relatively minor deal.


The tough thing is that it's impossible for you to know whether you'd have landed the same position out of CCN. And to the extent that HYS people do have more chance landing the unicorn jobs, it is really tough to quantify how much better that chance is. It's pretty clear that Y gives you a somewhat better shot at some jobs, but I can't say how much better. It's less clear that H and S give you a significant boost over CCN.

Since we don't have good info on this, it makes it really hard to price. I suspect people also hear something like "you'll have a 3x greater chance of landing a SCOTUS clerkship out of Yale than out of Chicago," and decide it's worth $200K to them to have that better chance. But they probably aren't considering that that 3x better chance (I basically made up this number, BTW) is still a super small chance. Like you might have a 2% chance of landing SCOTUS from Chicago and a 6% chance from Yale. It seems to me much harder to justify paying $200K to increase your chances by 4%. And while I pulled these numbers out of my ass, they are probably about right as far as percentages of a given class winding up at SCOTUS. Above the Law shows 6 Yale kids and 2 Chicago kids have been hired so far for OT 2015. Interestingly, it also shows 7 H kids, meaning that when you account for class size it could be that H doesn't give you that big a boost over Chicago (H is basically 3 times the size of Y and UChi).

As those numbers would suggest, I think Y does give you a better shot at the unicornish jobs. But to me it seems crazy for most people to give up a Rubenstein and pay sticker for some unquantifiable improvement at what is probably a small chance to begin with. And that's ignoring the fact that the Rubenstein folks have institutional support (as well as economic freedom) that'll likely give them a greater chance than the average UChi kid of landing the unicornish gigs. What seems ever crazier to me is that folks consider giving up the money to pay sticker at Harvard or Stanford, whose edge in the really elite/special jobs is even less clear.


Class of 2013:
29.4% of SLS students got federal clerkships.
17% of HLS students got federal clerkships.
10.2% of Chicago students got federal clerkships.

That's a pretty good proxy for unicornish jobs and a pretty real difference between the schools. Talking about SCOTUS obscures the gap.

I'll buy the "Columbia isn't a place where students strive for clerkships to the same degree as other top schools," but Chicago?

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Elston Gunn
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Re: "I really should have taken that Ruby over HYS sticker"

Postby Elston Gunn » Wed Feb 11, 2015 8:47 pm

Julius wrote:
Class of 2013:
29.4% of SLS students got federal clerkships.
17% of HLS students got federal clerkships.
10.2% of Chicago students got federal clerkships.

That's a pretty good proxy for unicornish jobs and a pretty real difference between the schools. Talking about SCOTUS obscures the gap.

I'll buy the "Columbia isn't a place where students strive for clerkships to the same degree as other top schools," but Chicago?

You've got to be clear about what you want from your unicorn job though. Lit boutiques and fancy (non-SCOTUS) clerkships really aren't going to make your life that much better long term in all likelihood. Maybe a fellowship that turns into a full time job in the White House Counsel's office or ACLU or whatever else you dream of would, but it's not at all clear that clerkship placement is that good a proxy for such jobs.

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Re: "I really should have taken that Ruby over HYS sticker"

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Feb 11, 2015 8:54 pm

That's one year of clerkship hiring. What are the numbers like over time? The numbers are small enough that just a few more/fewer people taking clerkships in a given year can lead to what look like large percentage swings.

And to echo Elston a little, I'm not sure that clerkships are a great proxy for truly unicorn jobs. Placement generally, sure. But you don't remotely have to have unicorn skills/qualifications to get a clerkship.

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Re: "I really should have taken that Ruby over HYS sticker"

Postby Emma. » Wed Feb 11, 2015 9:00 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:That's one year of clerkship hiring. What are the numbers like over time? The numbers are small enough that just a few more/fewer people taking clerkships in a given year can lead to what look like large percentage swings.

And to echo Elston a little, I'm not sure that clerkships are a great proxy for truly unicorn jobs. Placement generally, sure. But you don't remotely have to have unicorn skills/qualifications to get a clerkship.


This.

I'd also love to see the breakdown of clerkship hiring between D.Ct and CoA. I have the impression that UChicago's clerkship program really focuses on CoA clerkships to the detriment of its overall A3 placement. I may be wrong, but that was certainly the impression I got when I was there. There didn't seem to be a of institutional encouragement for the folks that weren't really competitive for CoA to apply for clerkships, despite the fact that the top 10% at UChicago would be pretty darn competitive for many D.Ct jobs, including districts like NDCal.

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Re: "I really should have taken that Ruby over HYS sticker"

Postby Julius » Wed Feb 11, 2015 9:02 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:That's one year of clerkship hiring. What are the numbers like over time? The numbers are small enough that just a few more/fewer people taking clerkships in a given year can lead to what look like large percentage swings.

And to echo Elston a little, I'm not sure that clerkships are a great proxy for truly unicorn jobs. Placement generally, sure. But you don't remotely have to have unicorn skills/qualifications to get a clerkship.


http://excessofdemocracy.com/blog/2014/ ... -2011-2013

It's a pretty stable statistic. The federal judiciary selects from Y>S>H>C. Add in the fourth year above if you want an extra year. And if you look at the data the ranking holds for the unicornish federal clerkships.

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Emma.
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Re: "I really should have taken that Ruby over HYS sticker"

Postby Emma. » Wed Feb 11, 2015 9:12 pm

Julius wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:That's one year of clerkship hiring. What are the numbers like over time? The numbers are small enough that just a few more/fewer people taking clerkships in a given year can lead to what look like large percentage swings.

And to echo Elston a little, I'm not sure that clerkships are a great proxy for truly unicorn jobs. Placement generally, sure. But you don't remotely have to have unicorn skills/qualifications to get a clerkship.


http://excessofdemocracy.com/blog/2014/ ... -2011-2013

It's a pretty stable statistic. The federal judiciary selects from Y>S>H>C. Add in the fourth year above if you want an extra year. And if you look at the data the ranking holds for the unicornish federal clerkships.


These stats show the problem with equating federal clerkships with unicorn jobs. Does anyone thing UCI has a solid edge of Harvard in placing its students into unicorn gigs? I guess it would be helpful to know what "unicorn" jobs really mean. What are the jobs that it is much easier to land from Stanford or Harvard?

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Re: "I really should have taken that Ruby over HYS sticker"

Postby Julius » Wed Feb 11, 2015 9:22 pm

Emma. wrote:
Julius wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:That's one year of clerkship hiring. What are the numbers like over time? The numbers are small enough that just a few more/fewer people taking clerkships in a given year can lead to what look like large percentage swings.

And to echo Elston a little, I'm not sure that clerkships are a great proxy for truly unicorn jobs. Placement generally, sure. But you don't remotely have to have unicorn skills/qualifications to get a clerkship.


http://excessofdemocracy.com/blog/2014/ ... -2011-2013

It's a pretty stable statistic. The federal judiciary selects from Y>S>H>C. Add in the fourth year above if you want an extra year. And if you look at the data the ranking holds for the unicornish federal clerkships.


These stats show the problem with equating federal clerkships with unicorn jobs. Does anyone thing UCI has a solid edge of Harvard in placing its students into unicorn gigs? I guess it would be helpful to know what "unicorn" jobs really mean. What are the jobs that it is much easier to land from Stanford or Harvard?


UCI: 16 placements for a single, very small class. Hence the *

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Re: "I really should have taken that Ruby over HYS sticker"

Postby abl » Wed Feb 11, 2015 9:27 pm

Emma. wrote:
abl wrote:I took the prestige, have had to pay back debt for more than a year now, and don't regret it. I also didn't have the Ruby exactly, and got some HYS aid, so I'm not a perfect comparison.

My thoughts, briefly, are that I put a very high value on quality of life, and have been terrified since I was very young of not finding a job that was enjoyable--because most (or at least very very many) of the hours of your life are spent at your job. I was able to get a unicorn-ish job that I generally love because in part of my degree, and that's easily worth more than a couple hundred thousand dollars to me. So it's entirely hypothetical (because my actual COA difference was smaller), but I would have gladly paid $250,000 or more to go HYS over CCN.

Is my job only filled by HYS folks? Absolutely not. But it's one of those situations (as I suspect are common among unicorn jobs) where most people in my office got the job because some combination of their timing, personality, and connections were perfect (and usually they performed incredibly well at some other very good school). Without saying much more, I, on the other hand, got my job despite my timing, despite my connections, and despite several personal factors that I think would have otherwise disqualified me -- and given how my hiring happened, I think my HYS degree played a very large role in things (as did some of my other credentials that I likely would not have gotten without my HYS degree -- things like clerkships).

I've seen this happen with a number of my HYS friends and it's led me to believe that it's not totally random or coincidental (my CCN friends on the other hand are basically all in biglaw). I think people at HYS are better educated about the rare amazing law job, much more likely to actually look and apply for these jobs, and then better able to actually land one -- than even the great folks at CCN.

This is not to say that HYS is always worth hundreds of thousands of dollars more than CCN, or even that it usually is. If you want to toil away at biglaw getting filthy rich (and an amazing number of people do), the HYS "bump" is probably not worth it. But for me, and I suspect for many others who share my values, I think the difference between the schools absolutely justifies large COA differences. When I think about my lifetime earning potential and the amount of value I personally put on each marginal dollar of earned income vs the quality of my time spent earning that income (and how much of my time I have leftover afterwards), $250,000 of additional income actually ends up being a relatively minor deal.


The tough thing is that it's impossible for you to know whether you'd have landed the same position out of CCN. And to the extent that HYS people do have more chance landing the unicorn jobs, it is really tough to quantify how much better that chance is. It's pretty clear that Y gives you a somewhat better shot at some jobs, but I can't say how much better. It's less clear that H and S give you a significant boost over CCN.

Since we don't have good info on this, it makes it really hard to price. I suspect people also hear something like "you'll have a 3x greater chance of landing a SCOTUS clerkship out of Yale than out of Chicago," and decide it's worth $200K to them to have that better chance. But they probably aren't considering that that 3x better chance (I basically made up this number, BTW) is still a super small chance. Like you might have a 2% chance of landing SCOTUS from Chicago and a 6% chance from Yale. It seems to me much harder to justify paying $200K to increase your chances by 4%. And while I pulled these numbers out of my ass, they are probably about right as far as percentages of a given class winding up at SCOTUS. Above the Law shows 6 Yale kids and 2 Chicago kids have been hired so far for OT 2015. Interestingly, it also shows 7 H kids, meaning that when you account for class size it could be that H doesn't give you that big a boost over Chicago (H is basically 3 times the size of Y and UChi).

As those numbers would suggest, I think Y does give you a better shot at the unicornish jobs. But to me it seems crazy for most people to give up a Rubenstein and pay sticker for some unquantifiable improvement at what is probably a small chance to begin with. And that's ignoring the fact that the Rubenstein folks have institutional support (as well as economic freedom) that'll likely give them a greater chance than the average UChi kid of landing the unicornish gigs. What seems ever crazier to me is that folks consider giving up the money to pay sticker at Harvard or Stanford, whose edge in the really elite/special jobs is even less clear.


Sure -- but part of my point (actually MOST of my point) was that it's not all about the quantifiable numerical increase in chances.* A lot of the difference comes from the sort of information that's disseminated at these schools and the culture at these schools. YS at least have far, far more alums doing non-biglaw, and that sort of institutional knowledge and culture makes a big impact. If you are 100% sure that you want to do [x] job from the moment you start law school, the difference between you going to HYS and CCN is going to be much smaller -- assuming you stay committed to [x] job throughout. If, on the other hand, you suspect that you are interested in a certain category of job but are not sure, or simply care the most about doing something interesting and rewarding with your degree -- then, I think HYS vs CCN makes a very substantial difference. And the fact of the matter is that most top law students don't enter law school wanting to do biglaw. So many incoming students have other (generally much sexier) aspirations, if only vague aspirations. Far more of those students will see those aspirations fulfilled at HYS than at CCN. And if you're someone who places value on fulfilling whatever those aspirations are, that difference may be worth a ton. It is that marginal student who my post is directed to -- the ~25-50% of the class at HYS who are doing something pretty different from the biglaw-midlaw or biglaw-in house track within a couple of years of graduation.

Personally, I am fairly confident that I would not be in my current (amazing) job if I had attended CCN -- but not because I don't think I would have gotten an interview or wouldn't have been hired had I applied. I don't actually think I would have applied at all. I was very, very close to accepting a position in biglaw and was only dissuaded because there was just barely a critical mass of people in my very broad circle who were doing or thinking about doing some similar less traditional thing. Take even one of them away and I'm not sure I'm here. My sense from talking to these folks is that many of their decisions were similarly influenced and similarly close to never being made.

*I also think you've understated the amount of impact that HYS have on hiring as compared with CCN. After several years of post-law school experience in several high-profile jobs (many of which included some involvement in hiring), I've been continually struck by how often the legal community doesn't draw fine distinctions between the top law schools -- with the exception of HYS. My experience has been that a Michigan candidate in the top 10% will be treated virtually indistinguishably from a Columbia or Northwestern candidate in the top 10%. However, I've never been in an environment in which HYS didn't get some sort of special consideration--whether that meant being put on the top of the pile, looking at references for candidates that would otherwise have been prescreened, etc. HYS (especially YS in my experience) got a relatively very serious look usually regardless of anything else. I agree that the increases in chances out of HYS for unicorn jobs is very hard to quantify, and only likely impacts several students on the margins each year -- but I don't think that it makes the difference insubstantial or not worth paying any money for. When you are one of seven people from your school interested in some category of amazing job in a year, it makes a heck of a difference if five out of seven of these folks will get hired as opposed to three. Of course, this is all anecdotal and speculative.

What is not anecdotal that you've also overlooked is the impact that clerkships have on these sorts of chances. There are whole categories of "unicorn" job for which a clerkship is basically a requirement -- and since there are very substantial differences in clerkship %, at least between YS and the rest, that results in pretty substantial difference in chances. And given that not everyone at these schools wants to clerk, the difference between a 30% Article III clerkship rate and a 10% Article III clerkship rate is very likely the difference between a 50% clerk placement rate and a 20% rate.

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Re: "I really should have taken that Ruby over HYS sticker"

Postby jbagelboy » Wed Feb 11, 2015 10:51 pm

abl wrote:*I also think you've understated the amount of impact that HYS have on hiring as compared with CCN. After several years of post-law school experience in several high-profile jobs (many of which included some involvement in hiring), I've been continually struck by how often the legal community doesn't draw fine distinctions between the top law schools -- with the exception of HYS. My experience has been that a Michigan candidate in the top 10% will be treated virtually indistinguishably from a Columbia or Northwestern candidate in the top 10%. However, I've never been in an environment in which HYS didn't get some sort of special consideration--whether that meant being put on the top of the pile, looking at references for candidates that would otherwise have been prescreened, etc. HYS (especially YS in my experience) got a relatively very serious look usually regardless of anything else. I agree that the increases in chances out of HYS for unicorn jobs is very hard to quantify, and only likely impacts several students on the margins each year -- but I don't think that it makes the difference insubstantial or not worth paying any money for. When you are one of seven people from your school interested in some category of amazing job in a year, it makes a heck of a difference if five out of seven of these folks will get hired as opposed to three. Of course, this is all anecdotal and speculative.


you've made these kinds of statements on here before. I think you are taking the rather interesting opinions of your particular judge or government office and making a gross generalization about their applicability. those aberrant opinions have reaffirmed the position you took when you chose schools in a tough market. my judge treats harvard and columbia grades with a far more negligible distinction than columbia and UVA, for example. I'm sure this varies market to market and on the east coast, harvard and to an even greater degree yale generally receive stronger consideration, but as always you vastly exaggerate the difference between the set of top schools (including "HYS") and how people (outside of maybe legal academia) perceive them and their graduates.




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