Law Firm Hiring--Something to Ponder

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HLS2000
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Law Firm Hiring--Something to Ponder

Postby HLS2000 » Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:22 pm

I have seen last year's EIP numbers from Columbia and also some Harvard OCI numbers. I have talked to a bunch of partners at major firms. They predict EIP/OCI (pick your name) will be about the same this year as last year. I see everyone get excited on these boards about law school admissions. I hope people understand what they are getting themselves into right now. I have in the past been pro law school overall (with certain caveats), but for the next few years, I suggest people have very clear expectations about what they will be facing in terms of job prospects. Three years ago 95 percent (maybe even 99 percent) of people coming out of the T-14 could get a job at big firm in New York paying the market rate. So going to law school was a no brainer, at least financially.

Now the odds of getting a high paying job in New York are something like this:

Y---80-90 percent
H--around 70 percent
Columbia/NYU/Chicago---slightly less--60-70 percent
The rest of the T-10--probably 50 percent
I am leaving out Stanford because the numbers are so small in NYC.

These are okay odds. But still, at a place like Harvard or Columbia 120-150 people may be shut out of the job market for the next few years. None of those people are very happy and that certainly isn't want someone thinks of when they dream of Harvard or Columbia Law School. These people will be facing hard choices baout how to pay off debt over the next decade.

Cravath cut its summer program by almost 90 percent this summer. It is taking 20+ versus 120 people. You may never think you have a shot at Cravath anyhow, but there is a trickle down effect.

If you are counting on a big law firm in NYC, carefully consider whether law school makes sense for you. I am not joking in saying that Yale may be the only truly safe bet in this economy (and that is coming from an HLS guy).

Law school still makes sense for some people and I do think things will get better over the next few years. But even for the Class of 2013, I suggest people be very careful and understand that unless they can get in a T-10 and can finish 1L year at least in the top forty percent of that T-10, life may be very difficult and stressful for a while.

Tautology
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Re: Law Firm Hiring--Something to Ponder

Postby Tautology » Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:26 pm

This is new and interesting and your numbers are well sourced.

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Rock Chalk
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Re: Law Firm Hiring--Something to Ponder

Postby Rock Chalk » Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:28 pm

.
Last edited by Rock Chalk on Wed May 16, 2012 3:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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merichard87
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Re: Law Firm Hiring--Something to Ponder

Postby merichard87 » Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:29 pm

Tautology wrote:This is new and interesting and your numbers are well sourced.


Please be sarcasm.

And OP: Duh!

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haole_20
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Re: Law Firm Hiring--Something to Ponder

Postby haole_20 » Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:30 pm

Well i'm convinced. I just wish i could get that seat deposit back.

slider
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Re: Law Firm Hiring--Something to Ponder

Postby slider » Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:31 pm

This is helpful. Thanks for sharing.

HLS2000
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Re: Law Firm Hiring--Something to Ponder

Postby HLS2000 » Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:33 pm

I hope this is "duh" for most people now. But do most people here really know this? People here seem to still be applying to law schools in droves. What is their plan to pay back loans? When I was in school, 150 people graduating from HLS without a high paying job would have been shocking.

Tautology
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Re: Law Firm Hiring--Something to Ponder

Postby Tautology » Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:34 pm

merichard87 wrote:
Tautology wrote:This is new and interesting and your numbers are well sourced.


Please be sarcasm.


No need to worry :)

miamiman
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Re: Law Firm Hiring--Something to Ponder

Postby miamiman » Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:37 pm

OP, your intentions are good. And the fact that you dutifully support your statements with #s distinguishes you from other posters (TTTGrad, Locked and Lawded, etc.)

I think the general presumption among Class of 2013ers, and I suppose members of the Class of 2012 as well, is that 2011 will prove to be at least somewhat anomalous because of the deferrals experienced by 2009 and 2010, the timing/economic climate during which the OCI took place, and the fact that the day-to-day fundamentals at most biglaw shops have improved -- albeit only slightly and, presumably, unevenly. The whispers around the internet, here and on xoxo, suggest productivity/work is up and, so too, should the demand for junior associates.

All of this could be false hope. As I've posted before, all bets are off if we double-dip which the economy very well could. I think, though, we are taking it as an article of faith that things can't be as bad as they were last year moving forward and I'm suspect that's a fair assumption. I'm crossing my fingers.

HLS2000
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Re: Law Firm Hiring--Something to Ponder

Postby HLS2000 » Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:39 pm

My numbers are sourced from official data from Columbia and Harvard. Admittedly this data is for the percentage of people who got offers to be summer associates for the summer of 2010. Hiring could pick up or people could find jobs between now and graduation. But I wouldn't count on it. I think firms are busier this year, but many of them have a huge backlog of deferred associates and associates who were previously underutilized.

I spoke to partners at Cleary, Skadden, Proskauer, Davis Polk, Simpson, Shearman, and Linklaters.

You can believe me or not. But the data actually is very well sourced.

xyzzzzzzzz
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Re: Law Firm Hiring--Something to Ponder

Postby xyzzzzzzzz » Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:41 pm

.
Last edited by xyzzzzzzzz on Thu Jul 08, 2010 11:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Moxie
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Re: Law Firm Hiring--Something to Ponder

Postby Moxie » Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:43 pm

HLS2000 wrote:I have seen last year's EIP numbers from Columbia and also some Harvard OCI numbers. I have talked to a bunch of partners at major firms. They predict EIP/OCI (pick your name) will be about the same this year as last year. I see everyone get excited on these boards about law school admissions. I hope people understand what they are getting themselves into right now. I have in the past been pro law school overall (with certain caveats), but for the next few years, I suggest people have very clear expectations about what they will be facing in terms of job prospects. Three years ago 95 percent (maybe even 99 percent) of people coming out of the T-14 could get a job at big firm in New York paying the market rate. So going to law school was a no brainer, at least financially.

Now the odds of getting a high paying job in New York are something like this:

Y---80-90 percent
H--around 70 percent
Columbia/NYU/Chicago---slightly less--60-70 percent
The rest of the T-10--probably 50 percent
I am leaving out Stanford because the numbers are so small in NYC.

These are okay odds. But still, at a place like Harvard or Columbia 120-150 people may be shut out of the job market for the next few years. None of those people are very happy and that certainly isn't want someone thinks of when they dream of Harvard or Columbia Law School. These people will be facing hard choices baout how to pay off debt over the next decade.

Cravath cut its summer program by almost 90 percent this summer. It is taking 20+ versus 120 people. You may never think you have a shot at Cravath anyhow, but there is a trickle down effect.

If you are counting on a big law firm in NYC, carefully consider whether law school makes sense for you. I am not joking in saying that Yale may be the only truly safe bet in this economy (and that is coming from an HLS guy).

Law school still makes sense for some people and I do think things will get better over the next few years. But even for the Class of 2013, I suggest people be very careful and understand that unless they can get in a T-10 and can finish 1L year at least in the top forty percent of that T-10, life may be very difficult and stressful for a while.


150. Your sentiment is nice (trying to inform people about the legal market's current state of despair), but I didn't learn anything that isn't already plastered all over the forum.

HLS2000
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Re: Law Firm Hiring--Something to Ponder

Postby HLS2000 » Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:44 pm

Just so you know, I have looked into this so thoroughly not out of mere academic interest. My gf is going into interviews this fall and I have been trying to get the lay of the land to figure out how she should place bids.

I just wanted to share because I see so many stressed rising 2Ls right now.

I don't think things will be markedly better for the Class of 2013. I think things could turn around for the Class of 2014 if teh economy gets better. It is very hard to see that far into the future.

Tautology
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Re: Law Firm Hiring--Something to Ponder

Postby Tautology » Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:44 pm

HLS2000 wrote:My numbers are sourced from official data from Columbia and Harvard. Admittedly this data is for the percentage of people who got offers to be summer associates for the summer of 2010. Hiring could pick up or people could find jobs between now and graduation. But I wouldn't count on it. I think firms are busier this year, but many of them have a huge backlog of deferred associates and associates who were previously underutilized.

I spoke to partners at Cleary, Skadden, Proskauer, Davis Polk, Simpson, Shearman, and Linklaters.

You can believe me or not. But the data actually is very well sourced.


Oh, I wasn't aware that Columbia and Harvard had official data for Yale, Chicago, NYU, and the rest of the T10. I don't even find your guesses that implausible, I just don't consider them well sourced with the possible exception of Harvard and Columbia (If sources that I can't look at count as good sources when I don't know you; I'll give you the benefit of the doubt though).

HLS2000
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Re: Law Firm Hiring--Something to Ponder

Postby HLS2000 » Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:46 pm

Okay, well good luck to everyone. If you know all of the above already, proceed in the manner you think best. If not, hoep I gave you something to consider.

Yes, I am guessing for all schools other than Harvard and Columbia based on what I know about informal cut-offs at a number of big firms for other schools. So my other percentages are educated guesses. I admit that.

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romothesavior
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Re: Law Firm Hiring--Something to Ponder

Postby romothesavior » Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:52 pm

HLS2000 wrote:Okay, well good luck to everyone. If you know all of the above already, proceed in the manner you think best. If not, hoep I gave you something to consider.

Yes, I am guessing for all schools other than Harvard and Columbia based on what I know about informal cut-offs at a number of big firms for other schools. So my other percentages are educated guesses. I admit that.


I appreciate the sentiment, and I certainly think you are right for bringing up this point. Most of the people who have responded to you are veteran TLS posters who already know this, but it is good for those who are 1) new to admissions or 2) making a horrible decision and need to hear it again.

For people like me, however, the numbers aren't that helpful. I'm going to a non-T10 on a scholarship in a secondary market I really want to practice in. Yes, I know there is a trickle down effect and things are bad everywhere, but I don't really care what is happening in NYC.

My desire to practice in STL + big scholarship + connection to the Midwest + networking plan = I'm going to WUSTL. Nothing is going to change that at this point, especially #s re: NYC.

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Scallywaggums
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Re: Law Firm Hiring--Something to Ponder

Postby Scallywaggums » Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:34 pm

I'm in a similar boat as romo in that T10 is prolly out and I'm down with secondary markets, except I'm relatively new to admissions.

I wish we had a better grasp of the trickle down effect into secondary markets. It sounds like there are a lot of Columbia grads sitting on their wealthy parents' couch in Manhattan, sending resume's to big firms for the second time, scanning job offerings and surfing reddit, while kids with no choice are willing to take anything they can get, anywhere. Otherwise how would T20-40 grads at median be getting halfway decent jobs... ... ::bites lip:: ... are T20-40 grads at median finding decent law jobs???

Minnesota3L
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Re: Law Firm Hiring--Something to Ponder

Postby Minnesota3L » Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:20 pm

Here's a handy chart from NALP that I also found interesting.
Image
Last edited by Minnesota3L on Tue Sep 21, 2010 2:11 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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mallard
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Re: Law Firm Hiring--Something to Ponder

Postby mallard » Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:22 pm

Note that the troubling conversations the OP had included conversations with partners from the three most successful (percentage-wise) firms on that list (Simpson, Cleary, and Davis Polk).

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Scallywaggums
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Re: Law Firm Hiring--Something to Ponder

Postby Scallywaggums » Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:37 pm

Minnesota3L wrote:
Here's a handy chart from NALP that I also found interesting.


Are these all in primary markets? I'm assuming yes.

The thing I'm trying to wrap my head around is how far and to what degree the trickle-down has permeated:

The financial crisis was huge, 40% of the world's wealth evaporated http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/fina ... ealth.html

But this 'wealth' was obviously not 'dollars', but rather theoretical money in various stages of investment. So, naturally, the wealthiest entities lost the most money. Naturally BigLaw hiring will plummet, as they're charging huuundreds per hour.

Obviously this trickles down, as was made painfully clear by the job market etc. But I highly doubt the trickle down is 100%. Corporations may have their liquid assets cranked down, but middle/upper class folks who lost a lot, but for whom the majority of their wealth was in tangible assets, are still probably turning to lawyers. Likely cutting down, but unlikely in the same percentages as corporations.

So, does anyone have any input on all the smaller firms and cracking into the solo market? I'm assuming they're worse off after the meltdown, but prolly less so than BigLaw.

Minnesota3L
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Re: Law Firm Hiring--Something to Ponder

Postby Minnesota3L » Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:40 pm

Scallywaggums wrote:I'm in a similar boat as romo in that T10 is prolly out and I'm down with secondary markets, except I'm relatively new to admissions.

I wish we had a better grasp of the trickle down effect into secondary markets. It sounds like there are a lot of Columbia grads sitting on their wealthy parents' couch in Manhattan, sending resume's to big firms for the second time, scanning job offerings and surfing reddit, while kids with no choice are willing to take anything they can get, anywhere. Otherwise how would T20-40 grads at median be getting halfway decent jobs... ... ::bites lip:: ... are T20-40 grads at median finding decent law jobs???


Short answer, no.
Last edited by Minnesota3L on Tue Sep 21, 2010 2:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Scallywaggums
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Re: Law Firm Hiring--Something to Ponder

Postby Scallywaggums » Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:19 am

Minnesota3L wrote:Short answer, no.


Oh. My. God. Thank you.

That was a brutally helpful post. W...T...F... This is surreal. I'm set on law school, but this is depressing. 2/3rds unemployed??? Any other T20-40 3Ls? Please add your .02

Anonymous User
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Re: Law Firm Hiring--Something to Ponder

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:26 am

I appreciate the info; it's not news to me, though. I've come to terms with the fact that, worst case scenario, I may be graduating with about $50k in debt (got a partial scholarship) and no job or a low-paying job.

I come from a really poor background, so the idea of even making $35k a year to do something I've always dreamed of doing really does not sound bad...I grew up watching my parents slave through manual labor just to put food on the table, so I have a very different idea of what constitutes material success. Before I knew anything about how much firms actually pay/legal salaries, starting around $30-35k is what I was expecting, truth be told. I knew lawyers made "good money", but I never even imagined starting fresh out of school at six figures. I thought it took at least ten years to start making that much. Also, when you grow up dirt poor, debt for school is an idea you get used to early on...you gun for merit scholarships or grants, but you know people don't always get them. I lucked out and got a lot of good grants for my UG education.

To be fair, my current situation is much less stressful in terms of financial future than a lot of other people in the Class of 2013. I'm married and my spouse already has a job; not to mention, going back to school to become an engineer and will graduate around the same time as me. The industry he works in right now is not suffering, so even if he can't get an engineering job he'll have connections to make decent money some how. So if I don't make much money (or even NO money) after school we'll still be perfectly OK financially speaking since neither of us will have too much debt... we won't be paying ANY rent or utilities in LS thanks to living with relatives.

My worst case scenario three years from now is being more than 9 months out without any job and having $400 a month or so in student loans to start paying...realistically speaking, this means we may have to put off buying a house for a few years, but I would much rather have a shot at my dream job; so I'm not at all freaked out about the state of the market. Even without a job in three years, those loan payments would be totally manageable for us. Disappointed that I have to graduate in such a shitty economy? Absolutely. Going in knowing that I need to work as hard as I can to be in the top of the class be a competitive applicant? Of course. But a life-long career dream can (and should) be based on the career itself, not money. Besides, even if it takes twenty years for my LS decision to pay off financially, I'll still be more happy with my life and myself than if I decided to give up my dream because it MIGHT not work out or get better.

I wholeheartedly agree that people paying sticker should really have some kind of financial back-up plan if they feel the way I do and want law despite what a paycheck says; again, thanks for the numbers and perspective, OP. I just wanted to give what may be a unique perspective on this as well.

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Re: Law Firm Hiring--Something to Ponder

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 09, 2010 5:00 am

Unsurprising numbers even about the top schools. Why would a law firm hire an HLS student in the bottom 25% of their class? Or a kid that is socially awkward and can't interview well (I'm sure a decent portion of the class)?

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prezidentv8
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Re: Law Firm Hiring--Something to Ponder

Postby prezidentv8 » Wed Jun 09, 2010 5:20 am

Image




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