How do you get into elite law firms??

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
User avatar
JordynAsh
Posts: 370
Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 3:20 pm

Re: HOW DO YOU GET INTO ELITE LAW FIRMS?

Postby JordynAsh » Wed Mar 10, 2010 9:46 pm

rad law wrote:Giving them your resume in all caps normally does the trick.


Dammit you beat me to it!

BetterCallSaul
Posts: 75
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 6:16 pm

Re: HOW DO YOU GET INTO ELITE LAW FIRMS?

Postby BetterCallSaul » Wed Mar 10, 2010 9:54 pm

XxSpyKEx wrote:
BetterCallSaul wrote:
SOCRATiC wrote:
+1 I'm happy to hear:D And when it comes to summer programs, yes; international students have an option called the Optional Practical Training, which permits a total of one year's worth of full-time employment.

The biggest concern, though, is this: H1B visas are issues (based on a lottery of 65,000 allowances, 15,000 of which are reserved strictly for graduate students). If I don't make it in the lottery system, then I'm legally obligated to leave the country for about a year to try to apply again the next year. This is if my work permit isn't released after my fiance and I get married (there's a pretty good chance, actually). In this dire situation, would firms be reluctant to hold onto their associates on a year-long leave of absence because of these visa issues? I'm worried that they'll just ding me, and I'm stuck in my home country with a worthless JD.


Let's think this through. You are a 0L with a fiancee. Hopefully you will marry the girl within the next 3 years, which means you'll still have 1 year of OPT to use up while you wait for work auth to come through. You'll be fine. :)

Also, I hope you won't limit yourself to thinking of a future with Wachtell only--there are great big firms with international branches who might feel more secure taking a "risk" on someone whose work authorization is finite.


Saul Goodman? Is that you?

Image

Image

lol


:shock:

I'm outed.

User avatar
SOCRATiC
Posts: 114
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 4:22 am

Re: HOW DO YOU GET INTO ELITE LAW FIRMS?

Postby SOCRATiC » Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:18 pm

Thanks for the awesome feedback guys:D

User avatar
underdawg
Posts: 1131
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 1:15 am

Re: How do you get into elite law firms??

Postby underdawg » Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:17 am

SOCRATiC wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:They recruit at Michigan. I don't know what the grade cutoff is. Law Review isn't essential, but most of the people I've known at those firms were Law Review-ers.


Are moot courts just moot in terms of biglaw employment (especially the elite ones)?

And the million-dollar-question for me:

How do international students fare for elite law firms?

one firm straight up told me that moot court would probably build litigation skills better (it was a lit-heavy firm) but that they still value law review a lot more

Anonymous User
Posts: 273431
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: HOW DO YOU GET INTO ELITE LAW FIRMS?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:24 am

SOCRATiC wrote:
BetterCallSaul wrote:
SOCRATiC wrote:
BetterCallSaul wrote:international students--if you mean LLMs, they are having a terrible time getting jobs at US firms right now. The timing is bad for them. If you're talking about international JD students, it all depends on the grades.


I'm going for a JD. When you say it depends on grades, does it mean that they won't be all hesitant about my work authorization problems? (I'm hoping that they have a separate human resource department that can handle this). I'm a little paranoid about this, because I've been dinged so many times after I answer "No" to the question "Are you legally authorized to work in the United States?" Even from large companies such as GM, PwC, etc.

I'm thinking though, since my fiance (A permanent residency card holder) and I will be getting married soon, would it be wise to tell law firms about an impending work permit even if they don't ask about it?


At big law firms work authorization is definitely not a problem. The hiring happens with plenty of time to work out any paperwork and I'm fairly sure that student visas allow for summer work anyway.


+1 I'm happy to hear:D And when it comes to summer programs, yes; international students have an option called the Optional Practical Training, which permits a total of one year's worth of full-time employment.

The biggest concern, though, is this: H1B visas are issues (based on a lottery of 65,000 allowances, 15,000 of which are reserved strictly for graduate students). If I don't make it in the lottery system, then I'm legally obligated to leave the country for about a year to try to apply again the next year. This is if my work permit isn't released after my fiance and I get married (there's a pretty good chance, actually). In this dire situation, would firms be reluctant to hold onto their associates on a year-long leave of absence because of these visa issues? I'm worried that they'll just ding me, and I'm stuck in my home country with a worthless JD.


Also an international student JD, except without a fiance....I'd say apply to firms that have offices in your home country(or if you're european, any big euro presence)...that way if you don't get a visa in the lottery you may be able to go to the office in your home country and wait out the year. I have friends in banking that this happened to and they ended up back in the US eventually, just spent a year or two in the offices of where they were from originally.

User avatar
SOCRATiC
Posts: 114
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 4:22 am

Re: HOW DO YOU GET INTO ELITE LAW FIRMS?

Postby SOCRATiC » Thu Mar 11, 2010 1:21 am

This is an awesome suggestion; hopefully my grades will provide enough flexibility to a point where I'd be able to bid for a handsome combination of elite law firms, international law firms, and safeties.

I happen to be Korean... and we're nothing compared to the more prominent East Asian countries (i.e. China and Japan). A little worried that there aren't as many firms that have South Korean offices... Argh; it's always been hard for us non-U.S. citizens, and I hope that this all comes to an end once I get my green card.

Oban
Posts: 717
Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2009 12:09 pm

Re: How do you get into elite law firms??

Postby Oban » Thu Mar 11, 2010 1:32 am

They also recruit at Howard

/end howard trolling.

User avatar
rayiner
Posts: 6184
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:43 am

Re: HOW DO YOU GET INTO ELITE LAW FIRMS?

Postby rayiner » Thu Mar 11, 2010 1:43 am

SOCRATiC wrote:Sounds pretty realistic:D I'm sure getting into these law firms might be hard, but aren't the attrition rates at these law firms pretty bad too? Or are they pretty similar to the rest of the NLJ 250?

Anonymous User wrote:2. At a T6 top third is pretty much the floor--law review might earn a person a bit more grade flexibility.


Is there really a discernible difference between CCN and MVP for these law firms? I know this question might be a little to specific, but;; would the top third cut-off also apply to MVP and NU+Duke?


See: http://www.leiterrankings.com/jobs/2008job_biglaw.shtml, especially the breakdown by firm.

The big general trend is that CCN seems to do better all-around (by a good margin), but the rest is a bit of a grab-bag.

User avatar
rayiner
Posts: 6184
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:43 am

Re: HOW DO YOU GET INTO ELITE LAW FIRMS?

Postby rayiner » Thu Mar 11, 2010 1:46 am

JSUVA2012 wrote:
SOCRATiC wrote:Is there really a discernible difference between CCN and MVP for these law firms? I know this question might be a little to specific, but;; would the top third cut-off also apply to MVP and NU+Duke?


IDK about CCN, but no way is top third at MVPBDCN cutting it for Skadden, much less the Cravaths, Wachtells, and S&Cs of the world.

If I were right at the top third mark after 1L, I certainly wouldn't be wasting any bids on V20 firms.


http://lawfirmaddict.blogspot.com/2006/ ... ement.html

Man what a difference a couple of years makes...

7 Penn 39.1%
12 Northwestern 35.8%
13 Cornell 34.2%
11 Duke 33.7%
8 Michigan 24.0%
14 Georgetown 22.8%
8 Virginia 20.9%

Top 1/3 seemed very reasonable for V25 from MVPDNC a couple of years ago.

User avatar
nealric
Posts: 2395
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:53 am

Re: How do you get into elite law firms??

Postby nealric » Thu Mar 11, 2010 1:38 pm

Usually you just check in with security and go the reception desk floor.

User avatar
XxSpyKEx
Posts: 1741
Joined: Wed Dec 27, 2006 5:48 am

Re: HOW DO YOU GET INTO ELITE LAW FIRMS?

Postby XxSpyKEx » Thu Mar 11, 2010 9:22 pm

rayiner wrote:
JSUVA2012 wrote:
SOCRATiC wrote:Is there really a discernible difference between CCN and MVP for these law firms? I know this question might be a little to specific, but;; would the top third cut-off also apply to MVP and NU+Duke?


IDK about CCN, but no way is top third at MVPBDCN cutting it for Skadden, much less the Cravaths, Wachtells, and S&Cs of the world.

If I were right at the top third mark after 1L, I certainly wouldn't be wasting any bids on V20 firms.


http://lawfirmaddict.blogspot.com/2006/ ... ement.html

Man what a difference a couple of years makes...

7 Penn 39.1%
12 Northwestern 35.8%
13 Cornell 34.2%
11 Duke 33.7%
8 Michigan 24.0%
14 Georgetown 22.8%
8 Virginia 20.9%

Top 1/3 seemed very reasonable for V25 from MVPDNC a couple of years ago.


:shock: :shock: You could probably even assume top 1/2 would be reasonable for v25 at PNCD if you assume that there wasn't a perfect correlation between class rank and v25 placements in 06.

User avatar
RVP11
Posts: 2774
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2007 6:32 pm

Re: How do you get into elite law firms??

Postby RVP11 » Fri Mar 12, 2010 1:36 am

Median at UVA wasn't good enough for most V25s even a few years ago. From what I've seen, firms like Skadden, Arnold & Porter, WilmerHale, Ropes, Hogan & Hartson, White & Case, Shearman, etc. were all hiring around the 3.4 (roughly top third) or 3.5 (roughly top quarter) marks. Getting a 3.6+ meant you got to enjoy the luxuries of the V10 or W&C.

270910
Posts: 2437
Joined: Thu May 21, 2009 9:51 pm

Re: How do you get into elite law firms??

Postby 270910 » Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:09 am

Keep in mind that self selection is a huge factor that people often discount. Kids who go to Columbia, by and large, are gunning for PRESTIGIOUS NYC BIGLAW from day one. The vault rankings are born and bread for prestigious NYC biglaw. Saying 'V10' firm is pretty close to saying 'big NYC firm'.

I'm not doubting that there will be GPA ranges, likely around median, where somebody from MVP etc. couldn't get a 'V10' job even though a CCN student could, but there are also a lot of people at the MVP etc. schools who aren't /trying/ to get a V10 job at all. Big NYC firm placement exaggerates the actual difference between CCN and the rest of the top 14.

User avatar
Kiersten1985
Posts: 784
Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2009 3:36 pm

Re: How do you get into elite law firms??

Postby Kiersten1985 » Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:42 am

Can only speak for one of them, but we have a decent number of attorneys who are NOT T-14'ers. They usually have had a clerkship and were at or near the top of their classes. I guess my point would be that grades matter somewhat more than school. One of our partners when to Catholic U. Law (not a dig at Catholic, just a non-T14 example).

You can PM me if you want more specifics...I'll try to help as much as I can without completely giving myself away haha.

User avatar
Rand M.
Posts: 1033
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 8:24 am

Re: How do you get into elite law firms??

Postby Rand M. » Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:51 am

Kiersten1985 wrote:Can only speak for one of them, but we have a decent number of attorneys who are NOT T-14'ers. They usually have had a clerkship and were at or near the top of their classes. I guess my point would be that grades matter somewhat more than school. One of our partners when to Catholic U. Law (not a dig at Catholic, just a non-T14 example).

You can PM me if you want more specifics...I'll try to help as much as I can without completely giving myself away haha.


Don't partners generally tend to display a greater vareity in school representation because standards were different in the days they joined the firm?

ughOSU
Posts: 444
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2009 9:42 pm

Re: HOW DO YOU GET INTO ELITE LAW FIRMS?

Postby ughOSU » Fri Mar 12, 2010 11:08 am

SOCRATiC wrote:The biggest concern, though, is this: H1B visas are issues (based on a lottery of 65,000 allowances, 15,000 of which are reserved strictly for graduate students). If I don't make it in the lottery system, then I'm legally obligated to leave the country for about a year to try to apply again the next year. This is if my work permit isn't released after my fiance and I get married (there's a pretty good chance, actually). In this dire situation, would firms be reluctant to hold onto their associates on a year-long leave of absence because of these visa issues? I'm worried that they'll just ding me, and I'm stuck in my home country with a worthless JD.

With a graduate degree or higher, you'll have about a 90% chance of winning the H-1B lottery (historically) because a JD is a graduate degree. You'll have about a 50% chance of getting a biglaw job (assuming T10), and probably about a 5% chance of getting in at an elite firm. How is the H-1B lottery your biggest concern?

User avatar
irie
Posts: 325
Joined: Sun May 31, 2009 9:50 pm

Re: How do you get into elite law firms??

Postby irie » Fri Mar 12, 2010 11:13 am

Rand M. wrote:
Kiersten1985 wrote:Can only speak for one of them, but we have a decent number of attorneys who are NOT T-14'ers. They usually have had a clerkship and were at or near the top of their classes. I guess my point would be that grades matter somewhat more than school. One of our partners when to Catholic U. Law (not a dig at Catholic, just a non-T14 example).

You can PM me if you want more specifics...I'll try to help as much as I can without completely giving myself away haha.


Don't partners generally tend to display a greater vareity in school representation because standards were different in the days they joined the firm?


spot on, also many partners are lateral hires that have proven themselves for many years at a less prestigious firm, a government position, or a large corporation before being invited to join their current firm.

User avatar
tome
Posts: 275
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 6:17 pm

Re: How do you get into elite law firms??

Postby tome » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:03 pm

A career adviser a my school said that it is easier for someone from a TTT school to land a job at a top firm now that it was 40 years ago. Her point essentially was that top firms will take the top couple of students at these schools today, but never would have back then.

She mentioned a V25 firm as an example (the place she worked), and I doubt this would extend to the very top few firms. But the again I doubt that the very top firms ever took much interest in TTT schools.

Not saying I have any insight into whether she is right, just throwing it out there.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273431
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How do you get into elite law firms??

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:32 pm

I think the V5-10 firms primarily recruit at the T10 schools, and anyplace but HYS you will probably have to be right near the top of the class. Anecdotal, however, at the T30 I am headed to on the other side of the country, which is known to have most of its top graduates stay local rather than take more prestigious jobs in other regions, there are a few C/O 09 grads who are at V5 firms in New York. So apparently it is possible to get these jobs if you are at the top of your class at a number of tier 1 schools.

The more important question is why would you want to work at one of those firms? They are notorious for requiring ridicules hours and a relatively slim chance of making partner. Check this out: http://www.averyindex.com/longest_hours.php Sure the bonuses are sometimes bigger, especially at Watchell, and the PPP is higher, but you can make plenty of money at any Vault firm while working much more reasonable hours, and lets be honest, what are the chances you are actually going to make partner? So PPP should not be a significant factor in choosing a law firm, that is kind of like choosing a law school based on the assumption that you will finish in the top 10%.

Renzo
Posts: 4265
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 3:23 am

Re: How do you get into elite law firms??

Postby Renzo » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:

The more important question is why would you want to work at one of those firms? They are notorious for requiring ridicules hours and a relatively slim chance of making partner. Check this out: http://www.averyindex.com/longest_hours.php Sure the bonuses are sometimes bigger, especially at Watchell, and the PPP is higher, but you can make plenty of money at any Vault firm while working much more reasonable hours, and lets be honest, what are the chances you are actually going to make partner? So PPP should not be a significant factor in choosing a law firm, that is kind of like choosing a law school based on the assumption that you will finish in the top 10%.

The Vault guide, which is the best approximation of "prestige" among firms doesn't count PPP or total profits/revenues. Most people who go to the "prestigious" firms know they won't make partner at that firm. It's a quid pro quo-- the firm uses and abuses you for 3-5 years until you leave, and in return you get a resume line that impresses people, and thus opens doors at other firms and in-house jobs.

I also think the bolded is false. Some firms have the reputation for long hours, some for more reasonable hours, but these don't correlate at all the the Vault rankings, meaning you can't expect to work less at a less "prestigious" firm.


User avatar
underdawg
Posts: 1131
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 1:15 am

Re: How do you get into elite law firms??

Postby underdawg » Fri Mar 12, 2010 3:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I think the V5-10 firms primarily recruit at the T10 schools, and anyplace but HYS you will probably have to be right near the top of the class. Anecdotal, however, at the T30 I am headed to on the other side of the country, which is known to have most of its top graduates stay local rather than take more prestigious jobs in other regions, there are a few C/O 09 grads who are at V5 firms in New York. So apparently it is possible to get these jobs if you are at the top of your class at a number of tier 1 schools.

The more important question is why would you want to work at one of those firms? They are notorious for requiring ridicules hours and a relatively slim chance of making partner. Check this out: http://www.averyindex.com/longest_hours.php Sure the bonuses are sometimes bigger, especially at Watchell, and the PPP is higher, but you can make plenty of money at any Vault firm while working much more reasonable hours, and lets be honest, what are the chances you are actually going to make partner? So PPP should not be a significant factor in choosing a law firm, that is kind of like choosing a law school based on the assumption that you will finish in the top 10%.

i don't think anyone really trusts the avery index, what with its 30-40% response rate

User avatar
TTT-LS
Posts: 764
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 5:36 pm

Re: How do you get into elite law firms??

Postby TTT-LS » Sat Mar 13, 2010 7:18 am

.
Last edited by TTT-LS on Tue Jul 06, 2010 9:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

SweetnessUVA
Posts: 84
Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2009 1:08 pm

Re: How do you get into elite law firms??

Postby SweetnessUVA » Sat Mar 13, 2010 2:24 pm

This thread is pretty much an endorsement of trying to transfer to a HYS/CCN school, since ITE, it seems like those are the only places where you are finding V10 jobs.

User avatar
Kiersten1985
Posts: 784
Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2009 3:36 pm

Re: How do you get into elite law firms??

Postby Kiersten1985 » Sat Mar 13, 2010 2:28 pm

Rand M. wrote:
Kiersten1985 wrote:Can only speak for one of them, but we have a decent number of attorneys who are NOT T-14'ers. They usually have had a clerkship and were at or near the top of their classes. I guess my point would be that grades matter somewhat more than school. One of our partners when to Catholic U. Law (not a dig at Catholic, just a non-T14 example).

You can PM me if you want more specifics...I'll try to help as much as I can without completely giving myself away haha.


Don't partners generally tend to display a greater vareity in school representation because standards were different in the days they joined the firm?


That's possible but most that I know were not lateral highers (as mentioned below). There are a good handfull of first years that are not T14'ers, as well, though. GRADES, GRADES, GRADES.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.