Law school class rank from MVPB for academia

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Law school class rank from MVPB for academia

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 06, 2010 11:55 am

Does anyone know about how good your law school class rank needs to be to crack into academia (not talking about a position at a top school, just a position generally) from MVPB? I just got my final GPA, and I think I'll be within the top 5%, though it's possible I'll be just outside it... right around that mark probably. I know there are a lot of other factors... published works, clerkships, other advanced degrees, experience... but do you think top 5% gives me a shot at breaking into academia?

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vamedic03
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Re: Law school class rank from MVPB for academia

Postby vamedic03 » Sun Jun 06, 2010 12:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Does anyone know about how good your law school class rank needs to be to crack into academia (not talking about a position at a top school, just a position generally) from MVPB? I just got my final GPA, and I think I'll be within the top 5%, though it's possible I'll be just outside it... right around that mark probably. I know there are a lot of other factors... published works, clerkships, other advanced degrees, experience... but do you think top 5% gives me a shot at breaking into academia?


Yes, but you have to maintain it for the next two years.

cubswin
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Re: Law school class rank from MVPB for academia

Postby cubswin » Sun Jun 06, 2010 12:58 pm

vamedic03 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Does anyone know about how good your law school class rank needs to be to crack into academia (not talking about a position at a top school, just a position generally) from MVPB? I just got my final GPA, and I think I'll be within the top 5%, though it's possible I'll be just outside it... right around that mark probably. I know there are a lot of other factors... published works, clerkships, other advanced degrees, experience... but do you think top 5% gives me a shot at breaking into academia?


Yes, but you have to maintain it for the next two years.


Doesn't final imply that OP is finished with law school?

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Re: Law school class rank from MVPB for academia

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 06, 2010 12:59 pm

cubswin wrote:
vamedic03 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Does anyone know about how good your law school class rank needs to be to crack into academia (not talking about a position at a top school, just a position generally) from MVPB? I just got my final GPA, and I think I'll be within the top 5%, though it's possible I'll be just outside it... right around that mark probably. I know there are a lot of other factors... published works, clerkships, other advanced degrees, experience... but do you think top 5% gives me a shot at breaking into academia?


Yes, but you have to maintain it for the next two years.


Doesn't final imply that OP is finished with law school?


Yeah, I just graduated.

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Re: Law school class rank from MVPB for academia

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 06, 2010 2:25 pm

I'm pretty familiar with academic hiring in social sciences (which is related but of course different) and I've talked about legal academia with law professors at Berkeley and at another law school. A top 5% GPA is certainly good enough to become a law professor from MVPB. It's not even close to the most important factor, though.

To get an academic job these days, the main things you need are a publication record and good letters of recommendation from faculty. Those will get you an on-campus interview. You need one strong publication that is the basis for a job talk and one more publication to show you're not a one-hit wonder.

When you go to the interview, you need to ace the job talk. GPA is kind of a secondary or tertiary screening factor if you're a borderline case.

EDIT: Academia is possible even with a median GPA from a T14, provided the publications, LORs, and other factors are excellent.

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Re: Law school class rank from MVPB for academia

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 06, 2010 2:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:EDIT: Academia is possible even with a median GPA from a T14, provided the publications, LORs, and other factors are excellent.


I agree with everything else you wrote, but based on my conversations/research I think that's a little disingenuous. Having a Federal CoA clerkship is also basically necessary to become a law professor, and I'd venture to say it's literally impossible to get one with a median GPA. I don't think there's a grade cutoff because it isn't, as you mentioned, very important to the actual academic hiring decision - but I think it's all but necessary to be a standout law student at or near the top of your class from MVPB. Grades are what makes other things (like profs taking you seriously for research projects/letters/contacts) get put in motion.

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vamedic03
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Re: Law school class rank from MVPB for academia

Postby vamedic03 » Sun Jun 06, 2010 2:49 pm

Two most important things right now are a COA clerkship and publishing . . .

OP did you publish a note?

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Re: Law school class rank from MVPB for academia

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 06, 2010 3:16 pm

vamedic03 wrote:Two most important things right now are a COA clerkship and publishing . . .

OP did you publish a note?


Not yet, but I have one submitted. I'm not sure if it will be accepted bc it's sort of a borderline fit for the topic of my secondary journal. But, having already had it reviewed by a couple faculty members, I do think it's of or close to publishable quality (I'm thinking about making one significant organizational change suggested by a prof... I think it will probably improve it a lot, but I'm not exactly sure how to go about it yet), so I will submit it somewhere else as an article if I need to.

I also didn't apply for clerkships this past cycle, but I know I need to do that before pursuing academia. I'm going to a V10 firm that is a very good launching pad for clerkships/academia/government, so combined with my law school record and some very good relationships with faculty, I think I would stand a good chance of getting a CoA clerkship somewhere.

PS-- Thanks for your input everyone; much appreciated.

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Re: Law school class rank from MVPB for academia

Postby TTT-LS » Sun Jun 06, 2010 3:23 pm

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Last edited by TTT-LS on Tue Jul 13, 2010 10:49 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Law school class rank from MVPB for academia

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 06, 2010 5:18 pm

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Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon Jun 07, 2010 9:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Law school class rank from MVPB for academia

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:16 pm

Are Debevoise/Davis Polk really any better than WLRK/Cravath/S&C for academia/government?

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Re: Law school class rank from MVPB for academia

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 07, 2010 12:39 am

Anonymous User wrote:Are Debevoise/Davis Polk really any better than WLRK/Cravath/S&C for academia/government?


Neither will matter at all for academia, I've gotten pretty straight answers that any incidental firm work you do while writing / clerking / prepping for the academy won't be an influence on hiring. As for exit options, I think a lot is going to depend on the practice area you are in at the firm - but every firm you listed is the upper end of upper crust, and I can't imagine the exit options differ dramatically across similar practice areas.

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Re: Law school class rank from MVPB for academia

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 10, 2010 3:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Neither will matter at all for academia, I've gotten pretty straight answers that any incidental firm work you do while writing / clerking / prepping for the academy won't be an influence on hiring.


That's probably true when it comes to the actual work, but at the same time . . . I'm posting anonymously because I was at one of these firms last summer. Several people mentioned that there is an advantage in working for the kind of firm that has a lot of alumni in academia/government/business/... (whatever it is you want to do). Even if the work itself is not relevant and may not help you, the fact that you can talk to someone who can put you in touch with a judge/law-school dean/govt. office/... gives you a leg up.

That being said, I have no idea whether there is really any difference between Debevoise/Davis Polk/WLRK/Cravath/S&C for these purposes.




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