"Where you got your degree doesn't matter after 1st job..."

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A'nold
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"Where you got your degree doesn't matter after 1st job..."

Postby A'nold » Sun Apr 18, 2010 1:17 pm

Yeah, I've been posting on here for a long time and this may sound like a newbie thread topic, but I really need to know your guys' thoughts on this. There seems to be this conventional wisdom floating around law school message boards (and I've seen it for like 4 years) that the school on your resume doesn't matter after you gain WE. Posters then say that is why they want to go or are going to a t14, so they have a better than 50% shot of getting a great first job to propel their career forward. I've heard some posters say that they would go to a lesser ranked school on a full-ride if they knew they were guaranteed to be one of the lucky few who finish at the top of the class and land a biglaw job or federal clerkship.

This has really bothered me lately b/c I might actually have a better chance of landing a biglaw job (in a secondary market) or a federal or state supreme court clerkship from my current t3 than if I transfered to a t17 and with A LOT lower debt, like 80-100k less debt. My desire to transfer into an elite school was never really about job placement and a lot more about personal achievement and a feeling of accomplishment. However, I have a family to think about and don't want my own ambition to affect our future in a negative way. I also don't want to regret my decision to transfer or not to transfer.

So, I guess my question is, is it really true that your degree does not matter down the road if you land a sweet gig straight out of law school? For example, say I get a 2L summer gig with Holland & Hart and I clerk for a federal district court judge out of school. Say I'm also on LR and can graduate summa from my t3. Then, say I can finish in the top 1/3 at a t17 school w/out LR. What do you think sets me up for a better career? Let's say that I would like to work as corporate in-house counsel one day at like Microsoft. I know they hire UW law grads w/ experience but would they refuse to take on a t3 grad with all of the cool creds I listed above compared to a top 1/3 t17 grad with no LR and no federal clerkship? I don't want to be the one non t14 grad in a room full of high flying grads and feel like I'm somehow beneath them b/c of the school I went to.

I find myself in a very weird situation and I very much appreciate your responses. Thanks!

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Re: "Where you got your degree doesn't matter after 1st job..."

Postby Danneskjöld » Sun Apr 18, 2010 1:27 pm

What possible insight could TLSers offer on this question? The advice and information regarding getting a job at OCI is tenuous at best and based purely on anecdotal information. You now want law students and 0Ls to opine on the value of degree prestige projected out years after graduation? I know from my time is LS and starting work that even as a 1L and 2L summer associate you can't possibly opine intelligently on what work post-graduation is like, or on a job search post-graduation. Most here probably couldn't even tell you the first thing about the mechanics of a lateral move.

That said: it matters. It always matters. Clients (which in reality are in-house counsel who also likely have prestigious degrees) care because they are as prestige obsessed as the people who decide which summers to hire. These days most deal or litigation teams are approved down to the last lawyer by in-house counsel. People in charge of lateral hiring know this. WE doesn't matter. The reality is most law school graduates never find a first paying legal job and end up leaving the law. If you don't have the credential to find a first job, you'll never find a second. And, what gets you that first job? Top grades or top LS.. that's it.

/Thread

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A'nold
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Re: "Where you got your degree doesn't matter after 1st job..."

Postby A'nold » Sun Apr 18, 2010 1:32 pm

Danneskjöld wrote:What possible insight could TLSers offer on this question? The advice and information regarding getting a job at OCI is tenuous at best and based purely on anecdotal information. You now want law students and 0Ls to opine on the value of degree prestige projected out years after graduation? I know from my time is LS and starting work that even as a 1L and 2L summer associate you can't possibly opine intelligently on what work post-graduation is like, or on a job search post-graduation. Most here probably couldn't even tell you the first thing about the mechanics of a lateral move.

That said: it matters. It always matters. Clients (which in reality are in-house counsel who also likely have prestigious degrees) care because they are as prestige obsessed as the people who decide which summers to hire. These days most deal or litigation teams are approved down to the last lawyer by in-house counsel. People in charge of lateral hiring know this. WE doesn't matter. The reality is most law school graduates never find a first paying legal job and end up leaving the law. If you don't have the credential to find a first job, you'll never find a second. And, what gets you that first job? Top grades or top LS.. that's it.

/Thread


While there were some decent points in your post, it hardly qualifies as an /thread revelation. There are actually quite a few posters on here that are knowledgeable about work related topics such as nealric, TTT-LS, Rayiner, reasonable_man, etc. Also, your post didn't really answer the question posed. So how about no to the end thread suggestion?

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Re: "Where you got your degree doesn't matter after 1st job..."

Postby Oblomov » Sun Apr 18, 2010 1:45 pm

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Last edited by Oblomov on Thu Apr 22, 2010 8:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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OperaSoprano
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Re: "Where you got your degree doesn't matter after 1st job..."

Postby OperaSoprano » Sun Apr 18, 2010 1:56 pm

A'nold wrote:
Danneskjöld wrote:What possible insight could TLSers offer on this question? The advice and information regarding getting a job at OCI is tenuous at best and based purely on anecdotal information. You now want law students and 0Ls to opine on the value of degree prestige projected out years after graduation? I know from my time is LS and starting work that even as a 1L and 2L summer associate you can't possibly opine intelligently on what work post-graduation is like, or on a job search post-graduation. Most here probably couldn't even tell you the first thing about the mechanics of a lateral move.

That said: it matters. It always matters. Clients (which in reality are in-house counsel who also likely have prestigious degrees) care because they are as prestige obsessed as the people who decide which summers to hire. These days most deal or litigation teams are approved down to the last lawyer by in-house counsel. People in charge of lateral hiring know this. WE doesn't matter. The reality is most law school graduates never find a first paying legal job and end up leaving the law. If you don't have the credential to find a first job, you'll never find a second. And, what gets you that first job? Top grades or top LS.. that's it.

/Thread


While there were some decent points in your post, it hardly qualifies as an /thread revelation. There are actually quite a few posters on here that are knowledgeable about work related topics such as nealric, TTT-LS, Rayiner, reasonable_man, etc. Also, your post didn't really answer the question posed. So how about no to the end thread suggestion?


The first response basically restated your dilemma of top grades or top LS. Incidentally, the "most law school graduates don't find a first paying legal job" comment is hyperbole. Many do not, especially at lower ranked schools, but extant statistics do not back up a claim for "most." (If temporary positions are not included, it might be closer.)

I do think it's likely that school prestige will always be a factor, however it is a factor that can be mitigated by achievement, as 2L hiring has shown. It's a trade-off for certain, and I understand your desire for personal accomplishment. I have those feelings too, sometimes, and I suspect that everyone does. If you feel you will be set for biglaw at your school, however, and it really is that cheap, it might make sense to stay, but you are the only one who can determine how you will feel about giving up on a dream. Personal happiness matters a lot to me, but you also have to consider your family's happiness, and their wellbeing. This is a tough dilemma, honestly, and I wish I could give you a better answer. I hope the others can.

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Re: "Where you got your degree doesn't matter after 1st job..."

Postby NYVA311 » Sun Apr 18, 2010 2:00 pm

From all the practicing attorneys I know, I've heard that it matters for your first job, and diminishes significantly in importance from there on out. They say performance on the job/building relationships, etc. are what matter once you enter the work world. Someone could always argue that the name of your school will constantly come up and give you a leg up, but from what I've been told it doesn't really make or break you after your first job.

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A'nold
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Re: "Where you got your degree doesn't matter after 1st job..."

Postby A'nold » Sun Apr 18, 2010 2:03 pm

OperaSoprano wrote:
A'nold wrote:
Danneskjöld wrote:What possible insight could TLSers offer on this question? The advice and information regarding getting a job at OCI is tenuous at best and based purely on anecdotal information. You now want law students and 0Ls to opine on the value of degree prestige projected out years after graduation? I know from my time is LS and starting work that even as a 1L and 2L summer associate you can't possibly opine intelligently on what work post-graduation is like, or on a job search post-graduation. Most here probably couldn't even tell you the first thing about the mechanics of a lateral move.

That said: it matters. It always matters. Clients (which in reality are in-house counsel who also likely have prestigious degrees) care because they are as prestige obsessed as the people who decide which summers to hire. These days most deal or litigation teams are approved down to the last lawyer by in-house counsel. People in charge of lateral hiring know this. WE doesn't matter. The reality is most law school graduates never find a first paying legal job and end up leaving the law. If you don't have the credential to find a first job, you'll never find a second. And, what gets you that first job? Top grades or top LS.. that's it.

/Thread


While there were some decent points in your post, it hardly qualifies as an /thread revelation. There are actually quite a few posters on here that are knowledgeable about work related topics such as nealric, TTT-LS, Rayiner, reasonable_man, etc. Also, your post didn't really answer the question posed. So how about no to the end thread suggestion?


The first response basically restated your dilemma of top grades or top LS. Incidentally, the "most law school graduates don't find a first paying legal job" comment is hyperbole. Many do not, especially at lower ranked schools, but extant statistics do not back up a claim for "most." (If temporary positions are not included, it might be closer.)

I do think it's likely that school prestige will always be a factor, however it is a factor that can be mitigated by achievement, as 2L hiring has shown. It's a trade-off for certain, and I understand your desire for personal accomplishment. I have those feelings too, sometimes, and I suspect that everyone does. If you feel you will be set for biglaw at your school, however, and it really is that cheap, it might make sense to stay, but you are the only one who can determine how you will feel about giving up on a dream. Personal happiness matters a lot to me, but you also have to consider your family's happiness, and their wellbeing. This is a tough dilemma, honestly, and I wish I could give you a better answer. I hope the others can.


Thanks Opera. Yeah, I'd give myself a 50/50 shot here of landing a "biglaw" 2L SA. It seems like the top 5% have a good shot with random top 10% getting something here and there. I would guess I would have a 50/50 shot as a transfer of getting something good too. I don't really think biglaw is for me and will likely be using the federal IBR anyway, but I am seriously at a loss right now as to what to do. Right now my thought is t17 is a go, but other than that stay if my grades remain the same or higher.

I just really wonder if the question posed in the OP holds true or is just a myth that makes lower ranked graduates feel better.......

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ggocat
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Re: "Where you got your degree doesn't matter after 1st job..."

Postby ggocat » Sun Apr 18, 2010 2:11 pm

A'nold wrote:For example, say I get a 2L summer gig with Holland & Hart and I clerk for a federal district court judge out of school. Say I'm also on LR and can graduate summa from my t3. Then, say I can finish in the top 1/3 at a t17 school w/out LR. What do you think sets me up for a better career?

I'm a 3L (for another week), so take my thoughts with a grain of salt.

All things being equal, I think having a more prestigious degree likely helps down the road. So I think the statement (your thread title) is incorrect.

But you're not comparing two things that are equal. What you've asked us to compare is "tier 3, law review, good summer gig, and clerk for federal judge" against "T17, top 1/3 grades, no LR." I think that to make the evaluation "equal," you must either project (guess) your job from the T17 or remove the job from your tier 3 scenario.

To be honest, a federal district court clerkship is not guaranteed from a tier 3, even if you are #1 in the class. But it's also not guaranteed from T17 top 1/3 no law review. I think you have a better shot at a clerkship with tier 3, top grades, law review (plus ed board hopefully).

And I'm making such a big deal about a clerkship because I think that would be what really sets you apart. I think tier 3 with clerkship is better than T17 without clerkship. But if you end up tier 3 without clerkship, then you're probably looking at similar biglaw jobs as T17 without clerkship, right? So in that situation, everything is equal except the name on your degree, and so the T17 grad would generally have the advantage in the future. The key question, though, is "how much of an advantage?" Is this intangible advantage worth $80k-$100k in debt (plus interest)? IMO, probably not.

So, the way I see it is this...
Option 1 (tier 3 top grades, etc.): better chance at clerkship, similar chance at biglaw, saving $80k-$100k.
Option 2 (T17, top 1/3 grades, etc.): long-term intangible advantage.

The benefits in option 1 are known (sort of) while the benefits in option 2 are unknown. IMO, option 1 is the better choice assuming top 1/3 grades. (But you can't really assume those grades; you may do better or worse).
Last edited by ggocat on Sun Apr 18, 2010 2:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: "Where you got your degree doesn't matter after 1st job..."

Postby ggocat » Sun Apr 18, 2010 2:14 pm

Ah, but you are in the top 1-5% of your class, right?

So tier 3 vs. T17 is probably not going to be your ultimate choice. You will likely get into T14, maybe T10. GULC, Berkeley, and NU will probably accept you if all your other ducks are in a row.

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Re: "Where you got your degree doesn't matter after 1st job..."

Postby Mr. Pablo » Sun Apr 18, 2010 2:31 pm

All I have is an anecdote, and it doesn't '/thread', but here it is:
I went to a BLS (I know, I know, lets not get on that) thing at Skadden, and one of the hiring partners wandered in. I didn't know who she was and struck up a conversation, but she identified herself from the outset (she also didn't have any connection to BLS). We talked for a bit, but the relevant part is that she seemed to indicate that your grades/rank will matter the most for your first job (she said school still matters, i.e. they, Skadden, take more kids from NYU and CLS than from Fordham, Cardozo, and BLS- as a note she did clump those three together), and that your school will matter more for subsequent jobs. All in all, she thought that if you can transfer to schools like NYU and CLS, you should.
I know its not specific to your situation, but I thought it was a good bit of something 'from the horse's mouth' as it were.

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Re: "Where you got your degree doesn't matter after 1st job..."

Postby hithere » Sun Apr 18, 2010 2:43 pm

Don't kid yourself-it matters. How many SCOTUS judges went to Cooley? Hell, for that matter how many SCOTUS judges went to a school outside of a T1? The fact is, people are still going to see what school you went to no matter how far into your career you are and this will be a factor either directly or indirectly as to what job you are able to get.

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Re: "Where you got your degree doesn't matter after 1st job..."

Postby Na_Swatch » Sun Apr 18, 2010 2:46 pm

ggocat wrote:Ah, but you are in the top 1-5% of your class, right?

So tier 3 vs. T17 is probably not going to be your ultimate choice. You will likely get into T14, maybe T10. GULC, Berkeley, and NU will probably accept you if all your other ducks are in a row.


I think this sounds about right, if you can get T14 or maybe T12, then a transfer would be worth it just for the options it grants you in case you don't get a 2L SA thru OCI...

However, if its a lower ranked school than that, your options are probably better (especially debt wise) if you stay at your T3.

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Re: "Where you got your degree doesn't matter after 1st job..."

Postby bwv812 » Sun Apr 18, 2010 2:55 pm

.
Last edited by bwv812 on Mon Nov 22, 2010 5:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: "Where you got your degree doesn't matter after 1st job..."

Postby RVP11 » Sun Apr 18, 2010 2:58 pm

hithere wrote:Don't kid yourself-it matters. How many SCOTUS judges went to Cooley? Hell, for that matter how many SCOTUS judges went to a school outside of a T1? The fact is, people are still going to see what school you went to no matter how far into your career you are and this will be a factor either directly or indirectly as to what job you are able to get.


Chances of becoming a SCOTUS justice is irrelevant for 99.99% of people. There are T14s that have never had anyone (or only 1 person) on the Court.

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A'nold
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Re: "Where you got your degree doesn't matter after 1st job..."

Postby A'nold » Sun Apr 18, 2010 3:01 pm

ggocat wrote:
A'nold wrote:For example, say I get a 2L summer gig with Holland & Hart and I clerk for a federal district court judge out of school. Say I'm also on LR and can graduate summa from my t3. Then, say I can finish in the top 1/3 at a t17 school w/out LR. What do you think sets me up for a better career?

I'm a 3L (for another week), so take my thoughts with a grain of salt.

All things being equal, I think having a more prestigious degree likely helps down the road. So I think the statement (your thread title) is incorrect.

But you're not comparing two things that are equal. What you've asked us to compare is "tier 3, law review, good summer gig, and clerk for federal judge" against "T17, top 1/3 grades, no LR." I think that to make the evaluation "equal," you must either project (guess) your job from the T17 or remove the job from your tier 3 scenario.

To be honest, a federal district court clerkship is not guaranteed from a tier 3, even if you are #1 in the class. But it's also not guaranteed from T17 top 1/3 no law review. I think you have a better shot at a clerkship with tier 3, top grades, law review (plus ed board hopefully).

And I'm making such a big deal about a clerkship because I think that would be what really sets you apart. I think tier 3 with clerkship is better than T17 without clerkship. But if you end up tier 3 without clerkship, then you're probably looking at similar biglaw jobs as T17 without clerkship, right? So in that situation, everything is equal except the name on your degree, and so the T17 grad would generally have the advantage in the future. The key question, though, is "how much of an advantage?" Is this intangible advantage worth $80k-$100k in debt (plus interest)? IMO, probably not.

So, the way I see it is this...
Option 1 (tier 3 top grades, etc.): better chance at clerkship, similar chance at biglaw, saving $80k-$100k.
Option 2 (T17, top 1/3 grades, etc.): long-term intangible advantage.

The benefits in option 1 are known (sort of) while the benefits in option 2 are unknown. IMO, option 1 is the better choice assuming top 1/3 grades. (But you can't really assume those grades; you may do better or worse).



This post (and the later ones) are all great and exactly what I was looking for. Thanks guys.

Yeah, I have no freakin' idea where I will land at a higher ranked school. Top 1/3 is just a random guess based on what I've gathered from talking to former transfers as a kind of floor but for all I know I could be bottom 1/4. You are right to say that it is a big unknown and I appreciate all our your guys' advice and opinions. Keep 'em coming. :)

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Re: "Where you got your degree doesn't matter after 1st job..."

Postby PDaddy » Sun Apr 18, 2010 3:05 pm

A'nold wrote:Yeah, I've been posting on here for a long time and this may sound like a newbie thread topic, but I really need to know your guys' thoughts on this. There seems to be this conventional wisdom floating around law school message boards (and I've seen it for like 4 years) that the school on your resume doesn't matter after you gain WE. Posters then say that is why they want to go or are going to a t14, so they have a better than 50% shot of getting a great first job to propel their career forward. I've heard some posters say that they would go to a lesser ranked school on a full-ride if they knew they were guaranteed to be one of the lucky few who finish at the top of the class and land a biglaw job or federal clerkship.

This has really bothered me lately b/c I might actually have a better chance of landing a biglaw job (in a secondary market) or a federal or state supreme court clerkship from my current t3 than if I transfered to a t17, and with A LOT lower debt...like 80-100k less debt. My desire to transfer into an elite school was never really about job placement and a lot more about personal achievement and a feeling of accomplishment.


The bolded statement is very unclear as is written. Which school would result in the lower debt for you, the TTT or the "T17"? The lack of a comma before the word "and", and/or the misplaced "with A LOT lower debt", makes it unclear.

If you mean that attending the TTT would result in lower debt, you should have written "my current t3 (at which I would incur less debt)" or something akin to that. The second option would have been to put the comma in before the word "and". The three dots (called an ellipsis, i.e. "...") before "like" signal that other words could have been written in between "debt" and "like", which would be true in this case. I just felt like editing...
Last edited by PDaddy on Sun Apr 18, 2010 3:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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A'nold
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Re: "Where you got your degree doesn't matter after 1st job..."

Postby A'nold » Sun Apr 18, 2010 3:09 pm

PDaddy wrote:
A'nold wrote:Yeah, I've been posting on here for a long time and this may sound like a newbie thread topic, but I really need to know your guys' thoughts on this. There seems to be this conventional wisdom floating around law school message boards (and I've seen it for like 4 years) that the school on your resume doesn't matter after you gain WE. Posters then say that is why they want to go or are going to a t14, so they have a better than 50% shot of getting a great first job to propel their career forward. I've heard some posters say that they would go to a lesser ranked school on a full-ride if they knew they were guaranteed to be one of the lucky few who finish at the top of the class and land a biglaw job or federal clerkship.

This has really bothered me lately b/c I might actually have a better chance of landing a biglaw job (in a secondary market) or a federal or state supreme court clerkship from my current t3 than if I transfered to a t17, and with A LOT lower debt, like 80-100k less debt. My desire to transfer into an elite school was never really about job placement and a lot more about personal achievement and a feeling of accomplishment.


The bolded statement is very unclear as is written. Which school would result in the lower debt for you, the TTT or the "T17"? The lack of a comma before the word "and", as well as the misplaced "with A LOT lower debt" makes it unclear.

If you mean that attending the TTT would result in lower debt, you should have written "my current t3 (at which I would incur less debt)" or something akin to that. The second option would have been to put the comma in before the word "and". I just felt like editing...


Edit: not worth it.

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Re: "Where you got your degree doesn't matter after 1st job..."

Postby Na_Swatch » Sun Apr 18, 2010 3:12 pm

PDaddy wrote:
A'nold wrote:Yeah, I've been posting on here for a long time and this may sound like a newbie thread topic, but I really need to know your guys' thoughts on this. There seems to be this conventional wisdom floating around law school message boards (and I've seen it for like 4 years) that the school on your resume doesn't matter after you gain WE. Posters then say that is why they want to go or are going to a t14, so they have a better than 50% shot of getting a great first job to propel their career forward. I've heard some posters say that they would go to a lesser ranked school on a full-ride if they knew they were guaranteed to be one of the lucky few who finish at the top of the class and land a biglaw job or federal clerkship.

This has really bothered me lately b/c I might actually have a better chance of landing a biglaw job (in a secondary market) or a federal or state supreme court clerkship from my current t3 than if I transfered to a t17, and with A LOT lower debt...like 80-100k less debt. My desire to transfer into an elite school was never really about job placement and a lot more about personal achievement and a feeling of accomplishment.




The bolded statement is very unclear as is written. Which school would result in the lower debt for you, the TTT or the "T17"? The lack of a comma before the word "and", and/or the misplaced "with A LOT lower debt", makes it unclear.

If you mean that attending the TTT would result in lower debt, you should have written "my current t3 (at which I would incur less debt)" or something akin to that. The second option would have been to put the comma in before the word "and". The three dots (called an ellipsis, i.e. "...") before "like" signal that other words could have been written in between "debt" and "like", which would be true in this case. I just felt like editing...


lolwut, anybody with any common sense at all would know what he was saying. completely pointless post

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ggocat
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Re: "Where you got your degree doesn't matter after 1st job..."

Postby ggocat » Sun Apr 18, 2010 3:14 pm

A'nold wrote:for all I know I could be bottom 1/4.

Of course, you could end up top 10% at the new school. :? And top 10% at T17 (maybe with secondary journal) probably guarantees that you will get plenty of federal clerkship interviews.

A'nold wrote:You are right to say that it is a big unknown

This is the reason I chose a tier 3 with scholarship (automatic renewal) over a top25 and tier 1 options. It's the same reason I decided not to try and transfer after grading-on to law review. I did not want the risk of the unknown. But just like the initial decision of tier 3 with scholarship vs. tier 1, the transfer option offers the possibility of better initial opportunities. If you attend/transfer to the higher ranked school and do very well academically your second year (and join a secondary journal maybe), you may have better options for your first job.

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A'nold
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Re: "Where you got your degree doesn't matter after 1st job..."

Postby A'nold » Sun Apr 18, 2010 3:16 pm

ggocat wrote:
A'nold wrote:for all I know I could be bottom 1/4.

Of course, you could end up top 10% at the new school. :? And top 10% at T17 probably guarantees that you will get plenty of federal clerkship interviews.

A'nold wrote:You are right to say that it is a big unknown

This is the reason I chose a tier 3 with scholarship (automatic renewal) over a top25 and tier 1 options. It's the same reason I decided not to try and transfer after grading-on to law review. I did not want the risk of the unknown. But just like the initial decision of tier 3 with scholarship vs. tier 1, the transfer option offers the possibility of better initial opportunities. If you attend/transfer to the higher ranked school and do very well academically your second year (and join a secondary journal maybe), you may have better options for your first job.


Haha, at least this thread is making me feel better about how undecided we are as to what to do! Are you happy w/ your decision to stay? I just want to let you know that I REALLY appreciate you taking the time to add to this thread.

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PDaddy
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Re: "Where you got your degree doesn't matter after 1st job..."

Postby PDaddy » Sun Apr 18, 2010 3:17 pm

Oh, don't be salty. I'm just bored. Here's my answer (which you might not care to read now):

You should go to school where you are happy. :wink: Prestige is important when coming out of law school, and that can set the stage for the rest of your career. Each of us has a TTT school we would like to attend, but shun because of outside pressures and influence. There's a "balancing act" we all face.

Conventional wisdom tells us to go to the highest ranked school we can get into, but the highest ranked school isn't even necessarily better than schools ranked below it, let alone the best school for us in terms of "fit". That said, the higher ranked school should still win out, especially when juxtaposing a TTT to one of the top ranked schools in the country. The point is, ultimately, to set yourself up for success: a good education, high earning potential, and long-term geographic and professional flexibility.
Last edited by PDaddy on Mon Apr 19, 2010 1:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

AtticusFinch
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Re: "Where you got your degree doesn't matter after 1st job..."

Postby AtticusFinch » Sun Apr 18, 2010 3:19 pm

PDaddy wrote:
A'nold wrote:Yeah, I've been posting on here for a long time and this may sound like a newbie thread topic, but I really need to know your guys' thoughts on this. There seems to be this conventional wisdom floating around law school message boards (and I've seen it for like 4 years) that the school on your resume doesn't matter after you gain WE. Posters then say that is why they want to go or are going to a t14, so they have a better than 50% shot of getting a great first job to propel their career forward. I've heard some posters say that they would go to a lesser ranked school on a full-ride if they knew they were guaranteed to be one of the lucky few who finish at the top of the class and land a biglaw job or federal clerkship.

This has really bothered me lately b/c I might actually have a better chance of landing a biglaw job (in a secondary market) or a federal or state supreme court clerkship from my current t3 than if I transfered to a t17, and with A LOT lower debt...like 80-100k less debt. My desire to transfer into an elite school was never really about job placement and a lot more about personal achievement and a feeling of accomplishment.


The bolded statement is very unclear as is written. Which school would result in the lower debt for you, the TTT or the "T17"? The lack of a comma before the word "and", and/or the misplaced "with A LOT lower debt", makes it unclear.

If you mean that attending the TTT would result in lower debt, you should have written "my current t3 (at which I would incur less debt)" or something akin to that. The second option would have been to put the comma in before the word "and". The three dots (called an ellipsis, i.e. "...") before "like" signal that other words could have been written in between "debt" and "like", which would be true in this case. I just felt like being an anal retentive fucktard...

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vanwinkle
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Re: "Where you got your degree doesn't matter after 1st job..."

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Apr 18, 2010 3:26 pm

Attending a T14, I get the impression that after your first job, the benefits of where you got your degree can be more intangible and harder to measure. For example, imagine two people who've been working for a law firm for a few years and are now trying to get into the DOJ:

1) The T14 grad and the T2 grad both have 3-4 years of experience at law firms. However, the person at the T14 gets into a very prestigious law firm and the T2 goes to a firm that pays market but isn't as well-regarded. The experience at the more prestigious firm is going to look better, and going to the T14 made the prestigious firm accessible to the T14 grad.

2) Both people want to work for a specific division of the DOJ, for example, Civil Division, Office of Consumer Litigation. The T14 has likely placed more people into the DOJ than most T2s, and it's going to be more likely the T14 grad can find someone who works in that office (or at least that division) who's from their school and is in a position to give them a good reference or direct them to the right person to talk to.

Things like this are honestly small by themselves, but putting them together with the T14 degree itself, they can become pretty powerful. This assumes, of course, that these things hold true with transfers; I've heard stories of #1 being negated by transfers not being treated so well at their T14 OCI. Given that, transferring may honestly not help you out at all in that regard, so take that with a huge grain of salt.

But to tie this back to your own example: You mention UW grads get hired by Microsoft fairly regularly, and if that's true, it's probably in part because there are already UW grads there who'll help get UW grads in the door. How many grads from your current school are currently employed by Microsoft that you could use to network your way in there?

scionb4
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Re: "Where you got your degree doesn't matter after 1st job..."

Postby scionb4 » Sun Apr 18, 2010 3:44 pm

This is a grey area - yes, the importance of it diminishes, but the law school you graduate from will be on your resume forever. You can't anticipate whether or not an interviewer will have a negative reaction to a lower ranked law school being where you graduated from, regardless of how well you've done. You don't want a teir 4 law school holding you back decades from now.

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ggocat
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Re: "Where you got your degree doesn't matter after 1st job..."

Postby ggocat » Sun Apr 18, 2010 3:44 pm

A'nold wrote:Haha, at least this thread is making me feel better about how undecided we are as to what to do! Are you happy w/ your decision to stay? I just want to let you know that I REALLY appreciate you taking the time to add to this thread.

I am happy with my decision to stay. I wanted to clerk since before going to school, and that's what I'll be doing later this year. It's with a state appellate judge, and when I interviewed, her clerk at the time had gone to a T17. That probably doesn't mean anything, but I have this thought in the back of my head that says I probably got the same job I could have gotten if I had transferred to a T17. Plus, I am happy to not have the extra debt.




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