T14 Employment Doom and Gloom

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wackjickham
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T14 Employment Doom and Gloom

Postby wackjickham » Tue Apr 20, 2010 11:50 am

Just curious as to how the doom and gloom surrounding legal employment is affecting the T14. The general sentiment on this board is that sometimes as many as 1/3 of the classes from 7-14 are having trouble "finding jobs". This seems suspicious to me. Can anyone provide any insight into this? Intuitively, it would seem that if these people couldn't find jobs they could dip down and take a job away from someone from a 40-50 ranked school. Obviously this is a disappointment, but isn't it still a job?

Just curious, as I would think that T14 grads would be able to get jobs no matter what, albeit with lowered expectations. How much of the doom and gloom ITE is due to disappointment with job propects and how much of it is due to actual unemployment? Am I naiive to think that someone at a top school who worked their hardest, networked, and didn't mess around too much would be pretty safe in getting a decent legal job SOMEWHERE doing SOMETHING even if its not NYC Biglaw?

270910
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Re: T14 Employment Doom and Gloom

Postby 270910 » Tue Apr 20, 2010 11:57 am

Couple things:

1) Biglaw - NYC or elsewhere - stands alone in terms of exit options and salary. 'decent legal employment' isn't this magical back up after big law, there's a huge cavernous drop into legal jobs that often require just as much work for a fraction of the pay. It's not the end of the world, many people do it and are happy - but there are serious debt servicing, quality of life, and career trajectory concerns.

2) Yes, the bottom 1/3 are in some cases struggling to find any job. Many firms look for at least decent law school performance, and once you fall out of the middle third of the class that can stake a claim to being at/just below/just above median you're going to have issues whoever you are.

3) Another big problem is that biglaw is centralized recruiting for handfuls or dozens of attorneys, while smaller firms may only take one or two people every now and then. It's a much more labor intensive process to find a gig at a small firm, local government agency, etc. and so even those who will become successful are finding that it isn't a quick or simple process.

4) As a 1L at a top law school with friends struggling to find employment, I can unequivocally verify that people - from top 10% down to bottom 10% - are seeing substantially reduced options ITE. It doesn't take much to 'fall through the cracks'. If you survey the middle third of my class, you'll see an awful lot of people who got a single big law offer - and the difference between 1 and 0 is HUGE. It's a mistake to assume only the bottom of the class is struggling, because all number of things can go wrong. 95% of the top 10% are probably fine, but once you're outside of the pipeline you really have to hustle and network - jobs aren't just being handed out.

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Kohinoor
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Re: T14 Employment Doom and Gloom

Postby Kohinoor » Tue Apr 20, 2010 12:02 pm

disco_barred wrote:people - from top 10% down to bottom 10% - are seeing substantially reduced options ITE... It's a mistake to assume only the bottom of the class is struggling, because all number of things can go wrong. 95% of the top 10% are probably fine, but once you're outside of the pipeline you really have to hustle and network - jobs aren't just being handed out.

Renzo
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Re: T14 Employment Doom and Gloom

Postby Renzo » Tue Apr 20, 2010 12:15 pm

Disco hit another home run here.

I would add that the correlation between job search trouble and grades is not as strong as the correlation between job search effort and success. It's my suspicion/experience that people who are having the most trouble took the least ownership over their job search, relying too much on OCI to 'get them a job,' didn't have realistic job search criteria, and didn't really work on establishing/pursuing a backup plan.

swester
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Re: T14 Employment Doom and Gloom

Postby swester » Tue Apr 20, 2010 12:16 pm

Intuitively, it would seem that if these people couldn't find jobs they could dip down and take a job away from someone from a 40-50 ranked school


What makes you think there are jobs being given to people from 40-50 ranked schools that can be "taken away"? Unless you're referring to plain 'ol doc review, the jobs you are referring to don't exist. I know plenty of 3Ls and recent grads from T-14 that have been without offers for a year and counting. Can't even imagine the shit-show that goes on at lower-ranked schools (outside of say, top 5% of the class).

Fark-o-vision
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Re: T14 Employment Doom and Gloom

Postby Fark-o-vision » Tue Apr 20, 2010 12:38 pm

0l, so my experience is pretty limited, but I do want to call shenanigans on a couple of things. First, all of the actual stories of t14 grads who couldn't find *any* work I've heard have been transfer students. It seems like with employers reigning back on hiring, they are especially worried about transfers. As for not getting biglaw, I'll defer to my betters, who have the experience.

Harvard grads can't come in and take jobs that went to tier 2 students years ago before because alumni matter. Going t14 doesn't mean that everyone, in every sector, is going to be awed by your law degree. In fact, the few attorney's that I know have advised me to aim as high as I can, but to not expect it will make a "quality" difference in my legal education. Going to t14 opens you to the most powerful, influential, and rich alumni networks in the nation and will inevitably open the best jobs up to you. But that doesn't mean that it opens ALL jobs to you. The UCLA guy is still going to give his job (probably) to a UCLA guy. This seems to be the big misunderstanding in how the industry works.

It seems that the myth of the economy choking out smaller schools is nothing more than a story. It's choking everyone and it seems to be creating even more of a wealthy or bust situation among the national law schools.

270910
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Re: T14 Employment Doom and Gloom

Postby 270910 » Tue Apr 20, 2010 12:43 pm

Fark-o-vision wrote:It's choking everyone and it seems to be creating even more of a wealthy or bust situation among the national law schools.


Credited.

Anonymous User
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Re: T14 Employment Doom and Gloom

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 20, 2010 12:48 pm

Fark-o-vision wrote:It seems that the myth of the economy choking out smaller schools is nothing more than a story. It's choking everyone and it seems to be creating even more of a wealthy or bust situation among the national law schools.

Anecdote only, but this is exactly what seems to have happened at the firm I'll be at this summer. SA's last year were split evenly between local schools and T14, with the T14 students being 1L's. This year almost the whole SA class is T14 and includes T14 2L's.

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cutiewiddlebebe
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Re: T14 Employment Doom and Gloom

Postby cutiewiddlebebe » Tue Apr 20, 2010 3:08 pm

Everything is going to be fine.

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Kohinoor
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Re: T14 Employment Doom and Gloom

Postby Kohinoor » Tue Apr 20, 2010 3:22 pm

I'm actually not sure of the true extent of the doom and gloom. I see a constant stream of jobs paying a minimum of 50k on our Symplicity site.

swester
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Re: T14 Employment Doom and Gloom

Postby swester » Tue Apr 20, 2010 3:28 pm

Kohinoor wrote:I'm actually not sure of the true extent of the doom and gloom. I see a constant stream of jobs paying a minimum of 50k on our Symplicity site.


Priceless comment. And I see a steady stream of jobs on Craigslist, too.

You're probably right; all of the unemployed J.D.'s lamenting the doom and gloom must have just been too lazy to check Symplicity.

lakerfanimal
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Re: T14 Employment Doom and Gloom

Postby lakerfanimal » Tue Apr 20, 2010 3:28 pm

Just one tid bit I know, I heard a little less than 50% of an MVPB school got big law jobs. I honestly was surprised it was even this high..

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clintonius
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Re: T14 Employment Doom and Gloom

Postby clintonius » Tue Apr 20, 2010 3:29 pm

Another three years at my current job instead of going to law school and I could be making $50k. The problem is that that kind of salary is very low for people who are looking at six-digit loans.

270910
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Re: T14 Employment Doom and Gloom

Postby 270910 » Tue Apr 20, 2010 3:34 pm

lakerfanimal wrote:Just one tid bit I know, I heard a little less than 50% of an MVPB school got big law jobs.


Back in boom times, 70-80% plus could have as 2Ls. The employment stats are deflated by people taking clerkships, government jobs, etc. The 2L SA is The Thing To Do even if you don't want to work at a firm - great money, exposure to make sure you hate it / make sure you can tolerate it, great money, they treat you well as a summer, great money, etc.

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Kohinoor
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Re: T14 Employment Doom and Gloom

Postby Kohinoor » Tue Apr 20, 2010 3:38 pm

Is this entire discussion framed in the context of anything below six figures being underemployment?

swester
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Re: T14 Employment Doom and Gloom

Postby swester » Tue Apr 20, 2010 3:54 pm

Kohinoor wrote:Is this entire discussion framed in the context of anything below six figures being underemployment?


Actually, we're talking unemployment. Underemployment is more like anything below $45k, which is more common than you'd like to think. Remember, law school brochure figures are grossly distorted to make the brochures that much prettier.

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Kohinoor
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Re: T14 Employment Doom and Gloom

Postby Kohinoor » Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:07 pm

swester wrote:
Kohinoor wrote:Is this entire discussion framed in the context of anything below six figures being underemployment?


Actually, we're talking unemployment. Underemployment is more like anything below $45k, which is more common than you'd like to think. Remember, law school brochure figures are grossly distorted to make the brochures that much prettier.
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democrattotheend
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Re: T14 Employment Doom and Gloom

Postby democrattotheend » Wed Apr 21, 2010 8:13 am

disco_barred wrote:
lakerfanimal wrote:Just one tid bit I know, I heard a little less than 50% of an MVPB school got big law jobs.


Back in boom times, 70-80% plus could have as 2Ls. The employment stats are deflated by people taking clerkships, government jobs, etc. The 2L SA is The Thing To Do even if you don't want to work at a firm - great money, exposure to make sure you hate it / make sure you can tolerate it, great money, they treat you well as a summer, great money, etc.


Do you think it makes sense to do the 2L summer associate thing even if you want to do public interest? Won't that hurt your chances of finding a PI job after graduation?

Renzo
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Re: T14 Employment Doom and Gloom

Postby Renzo » Wed Apr 21, 2010 11:08 am

democrattotheend wrote:
disco_barred wrote:
lakerfanimal wrote:Just one tid bit I know, I heard a little less than 50% of an MVPB school got big law jobs.


Back in boom times, 70-80% plus could have as 2Ls. The employment stats are deflated by people taking clerkships, government jobs, etc. The 2L SA is The Thing To Do even if you don't want to work at a firm - great money, exposure to make sure you hate it / make sure you can tolerate it, great money, they treat you well as a summer, great money, etc.


Do you think it makes sense to do the 2L summer associate thing even if you want to do public interest? Won't that hurt your chances of finding a PI job after graduation?
Not all, but a lot of the PI-interested students at NYU take firm 2L jobs. Even if you have no intention of going back, you can pay most of the tuition for your 3rd year by working as a2L SA.

Z3RO
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Re: T14 Employment Doom and Gloom

Postby Z3RO » Wed Apr 21, 2010 11:37 am

Renzo wrote:
democrattotheend wrote:
disco_barred wrote:
lakerfanimal wrote:Just one tid bit I know, I heard a little less than 50% of an MVPB school got big law jobs.


Back in boom times, 70-80% plus could have as 2Ls. The employment stats are deflated by people taking clerkships, government jobs, etc. The 2L SA is The Thing To Do even if you don't want to work at a firm - great money, exposure to make sure you hate it / make sure you can tolerate it, great money, they treat you well as a summer, great money, etc.


Do you think it makes sense to do the 2L summer associate thing even if you want to do public interest? Won't that hurt your chances of finding a PI job after graduation?
Not all, but a lot of the PI-interested students at NYU take firm 2L jobs. Even if you have no intention of going back, you can pay most of the tuition for your 3rd year by working as a2L SA.

Whoa, is this credited or unholy troll?

Renzo
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Re: T14 Employment Doom and Gloom

Postby Renzo » Wed Apr 21, 2010 12:23 pm

Z3RO wrote:Whoa, is this credited or unholy troll?

Biglaw SA's make about $30k for the summer.




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