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Can you trust the "employment data" from schools?

Posted: Thu May 31, 2018 1:56 pm
by LegalBiology
The dogma seems to be that you must go to a top 14 if you want any good shot at making a high salary right out of law school.

But how is it that at some of these other top 20/30 schools a significant number of people are averaging 160K+ out of law school? (BC, BU, USC, UCLA, Vandy, GW etc.). Is it that they are staying in a particular area? I know that USC/UCLA give you a decent chance at LA biglaw, but would George Washington really give you a good chance at D.C. biglaw considering the competition? If you look at their data, the vast majority of students practice in either D.C. or New York, presumably the toughest markets in the country, and they have many students starting at "biglaw" salaries like 160

Re: Can you trust the "employment data" from schools?

Posted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 11:17 am
by LegalBiology
I'm going to bump this..

Re: Can you trust the "employment data" from schools?

Posted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 5:56 pm
by RareExports
If you're asking whether the data is correct, the answer is yes. If you're asking how to interpret the data, that yields a more complicated answer.

Re: Can you trust the "employment data" from schools?

Posted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:27 pm
by lawposeidon
Just about an old school scamblogger "Loyola 2L" who think the data is good now. https://twitter.com/AmericanLawyer/stat ... 4306262018

Re: Can you trust the "employment data" from schools?

Posted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:46 pm
by LegalBiology
RareExports wrote:If you're asking whether the data is correct, the answer is yes. If you're asking how to interpret the data, that yields a more complicated answer.



...ok, haha do you have any advice on interpreting it?

Re: Can you trust the "employment data" from schools?

Posted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 11:53 pm
by nixy
Biglaw pays the same to all associates, and doesn't vary by school. So someone from Fordham and someone from Columbia who start at the same firm at the same time at the same level will get paid the same ($180k in NYC/major markets). But that doesn't mean that students at Fordham have the same chance of getting the $180k job as students at Columbia. Certainly all the T20-ish schools send some number of grads to $180k biglaw firms, it's just a question of how many and are you willing to bet on being in that group. So it depends on how you define "good shot" at getting these jobs. While every year a chunk of T20 students get $180k jobs, the numbers of T14 grads are still quite a bit higher than the other T20 schools.

Re: the schools/cities you mention - NYC is actually the easiest market to get a biglaw job in, for a variety of reasons, and takes students from around the country. DC is tough, but GW is local so alumni connections will be helpful. I also think that GW has a high proportion of STEM major grads who go into IP law - it's easier to break into that field because fewer people have the scientific qualifications. IIRC GW's success in DC is inflated somewhat by having those STEM students - if you don't have that scientific background you're not going to do as well. As for a lot of the schools you name, they're going to do best in their local region (like Boston for BU).

Re: Can you trust the "employment data" from schools?

Posted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 11:13 am
by Npret
LegalBiology wrote:The dogma seems to be that you must go to a top 14 if you want any good shot at making a high salary right out of law school.

But how is it that at some of these other top 20/30 schools a significant number of people are averaging 160K+ out of law school? (BC, BU, USC, UCLA, Vandy, GW etc.). Is it that they are staying in a particular area? I know that USC/UCLA give you a decent chance at LA biglaw, but would George Washington really give you a good chance at D.C. biglaw considering the competition? If you look at their data, the vast majority of students practice in either D.C. or New York, presumably the toughest markets in the country, and they have many students starting at "biglaw" salaries like 160

You need to check the data carefully and also use law school transparency.
But you should also read the threads here about hiring. For example, George Washington has an evening part time school that people with careers use to become lawyers, that impacts the data. (Edit to add, I see I’m confirming the advice about GW written above in more detail.)
But more than that, people are correct that firms will take people with lower grades from top schools than they will even interview from other schools. As it’s impossible to predict your grades, though everyone assumes they will be top of their class, you need to assume your grades will be at best median. Median from Columbia will get you further in the biglaw search than median at any T20. I’m not sure what jobs median at T20 get, but they aren’t waltzing into biglaw.

Re: Can you trust the "employment data" from schools?

Posted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 2:11 pm
by lawposeidon
Npret wrote:You need to check the data carefully and also use law school transparency.
But you should also read the threads here about hiring. For example, George Washington has an evening part time school that people with careers use to become lawyers, that impacts the data. (Edit to add, I see I’m confirming the advice about GW written above in more detail.)
But more than that, people are correct that firms will take people with lower grades from top schools than they will even interview from other schools. As it’s impossible to predict your grades, though everyone assumes they will be top of their class, you need to assume your grades will be at best median. Median from Columbia will get you further in the biglaw search than median at any T20. I’m not sure what jobs median at T20 get, but they aren’t waltzing into biglaw.


Are law school transparency's numbers audited in any way? I noticed Seton Hall has a very good job placement. Suspicious.

Re: Can you trust the "employment data" from schools?

Posted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 2:15 pm
by nixy
They use numbers that the ABA requires schools to provide to maintain their accreditation. I don’t think most people here would call Seton Hall’s stats “very good.” The big thing about Seton Hall is they have kind of a lock on NJ state clerkships, so that looks like very good job placement because a lot of people end up employed after graduation. Out of those clerkships though people end up in small to mid-law much more than big law. That’s a perfectly good outcome for lots of people, so yeah, Seton Hall can be decent, depending on your goals.

There’s no reason to think those numbers are wrong on LST, though.

Re: Can you trust the "employment data" from schools?

Posted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 2:28 pm
by lawposeidon
nixy wrote:They use numbers that the ABA requires schools to provide to maintain their accreditation. I don’t think most people here would call Seton Hall’s stats “very good.” The big thing about Seton Hall is they have kind of a lock on NJ state clerkships, so that looks like very good job placement because a lot of people end up employed after graduation. Out of those clerkships though people end up in small to mid-law much more than big law. That’s a perfectly good outcome for lots of people, so yeah, Seton Hall can be decent, depending on your goals.

There’s no reason to think those numbers are wrong on LST, though.


Yeah I meant for their rank. They're not Columbia.

Re: Can you trust the "employment data" from schools?

Posted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 4:04 pm
by Npret
lawposeidon wrote:
Npret wrote:You need to check the data carefully and also use law school transparency.
But you should also read the threads here about hiring. For example, George Washington has an evening part time school that people with careers use to become lawyers, that impacts the data. (Edit to add, I see I’m confirming the advice about GW written above in more detail.)
But more than that, people are correct that firms will take people with lower grades from top schools than they will even interview from other schools. As it’s impossible to predict your grades, though everyone assumes they will be top of their class, you need to assume your grades will be at best median. Median from Columbia will get you further in the biglaw search than median at any T20. I’m not sure what jobs median at T20 get, but they aren’t waltzing into biglaw.


Are law school transparency's numbers audited in any way? I noticed Seton Hall has a very good job placement. Suspicious.

Audited by who? They take required data and analyze it and present it in readable formats.

Re: Can you trust the "employment data" from schools?

Posted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 4:23 pm
by lawposeidon
Npret wrote:Audited by who? They take required data and analyze it and present it in readable formats.


Oh nothing no reason to doubt them.

Re: Can you trust the "employment data" from schools?

Posted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 4:49 pm
by albanach
Bear in mind that the numbers require self-reporting. Someone in big-law might be more likely to accurately report salary than the person from a T-3 who hung their own shingle after striking out in the job search.