Pittsburgh Area Legal Market

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budafied
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Re: Pittsburgh Area Legal Market

Postby budafied » Wed Jun 09, 2010 10:41 am

As the OP, I'd like to thank you all for the great responses.

When I first thought of doing law, I was set on T14 or bust. But I realized after a couple years that I loved living in Pittsburgh and would be perfectly happy hitting 6 figures relatively early in my career and living in Pittsburgh all my life. I mean, the Penguins will have Crosby for the next 10-15 years, so why not live there? lol

So, I guess I'm really looking at Pitt as a viable option right now. I'm not dead set on Pittsburgh though, and would be open to moving around the Northeast, and even further. Are there any T40ish schools which place well in Pittsburgh that have good placement in DC/NY as well? I guess I'm just wondering if there is a great school that has a lot of flexibility with a strong rep in Pittsburgh. This way, I can make a list of schools to apply to.

**EDIT: I guess I'm wondering if I go to a T20, will I automatically be rated higher by those hiring than a Pitt (ranked 70ish) grad? It seems, from the responses, that would not be the case at all. It seems Pittsburgh is a relatively closed market. Is this true?

Also, I believe Pitt Law grants a $10k/yr scholly to any applicant admitted with a 3.5+ (which I have) and a 161+ (which I think I got in June). So, that always helps.

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joeshmo39
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Re: Pittsburgh Area Legal Market

Postby joeshmo39 » Wed Jun 09, 2010 10:48 am

In lay terms people around here (PGH native here) definitely speak highly of Duquesne, though I don't know what the legal community says. The campus is pretty nice and isolated for being so close to the city. It's right across the river from the South Side which is pretty much the night spot in PGH. I can't really speak to the undergrad experience but I do know that Pitt is A) more competitive by the numbers out of high school and B) cheaper.

I'm also banking on the using a high-ranked school (UVA) to come back to Pittsburgh and hopefully have some leg up. I went UG at Pitt, grew up in the area, and my family will be here too. I think these are pretty solid ties so hopefully no one will doubt my sincerity. I will say I think a lot of people in general think Pittsburgh is still covered in smog and backwards. I think this is an advantage for us even slightly in the know because a lot of people stay away from what they believe is 1870s Manchester when in reality that is not the case.

P.S. I think ND has a good bit of respect around here. I think a name like Vanderbilt may too, but, once again, I dont know anyone in the legal community and I probably ought to by now.

This post probably should have been anon but eh.

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Re: Pittsburgh Area Legal Market

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 09, 2010 10:58 am

We actually have a bunch of professors at Pitt who went to Vandy, for whatever reason. Our Dean of Students is a Vanderbilt Law alum.

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pjo
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Re: Pittsburgh Area Legal Market

Postby pjo » Wed Jun 09, 2010 11:04 am

budafied wrote:
Are there any T40ish schools which place well in Pittsburgh that have good placement in DC/NY as well?

Also, I believe Pitt Law grants a $10k/yr scholly to any applicant admitted with a 3.5+ (which I have) and a 161+ (which I think I got in June). So, that always helps.


No. Sorry, there are no schools in the 40's that meet those two qualifications bc schools in the 40's are still regional schools. The only schools that meet those qualifcations are in the 20's and lower and still, not all.

And with that guaranteed scholarship. When I was last at Pitt I was talking with Allie Linseymear (spelled that wrong) and she handles parts of admissions. She said that Pitt is strongly considering doing away witht he guaranteed clause of that scholarship. Regardless, I'm sure you'd still get that if you have those numbers.

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balzern
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Re: Pittsburgh Area Legal Market

Postby balzern » Wed Jun 09, 2010 11:09 am

pjo wrote:
budafied wrote:
Are there any T40ish schools which place well in Pittsburgh that have good placement in DC/NY as well?

Also, I believe Pitt Law grants a $10k/yr scholly to any applicant admitted with a 3.5+ (which I have) and a 161+ (which I think I got in June). So, that always helps.


No. Sorry, there are no schools in the 40's that meet those two qualifications bc schools in the 40's are still regional schools. The only schools that meet those qualifcations are in the 20's and lower and still, not all.

And with that guaranteed scholarship. When I was last at Pitt I was talking with Allie Linseymear (spelled that wrong) and she handles parts of admissions. She said that Pitt is strongly considering doing away witht he guaranteed clause of that scholarship. Regardless, I'm sure you'd still get that if you have those numbers.



Yeah when she visited my school she said that also...Although she said if you had those numbers you would get SOME money....

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balzern
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Re: Pittsburgh Area Legal Market

Postby balzern » Wed Jun 09, 2010 11:11 am

budafied wrote:As the OP, I'd like to thank you all for the great responses.

When I first thought of doing law, I was set on T14 or bust. But I realized after a couple years that I loved living in Pittsburgh and would be perfectly happy hitting 6 figures relatively early in my career and living in Pittsburgh all my life. I mean, the Penguins will have Crosby for the next 10-15 years, so why not live there? lol

So, I guess I'm really looking at Pitt as a viable option right now. I'm not dead set on Pittsburgh though, and would be open to moving around the Northeast, and even further. Are there any T40ish schools which place well in Pittsburgh that have good placement in DC/NY as well? I guess I'm just wondering if there is a great school that has a lot of flexibility with a strong rep in Pittsburgh. This way, I can make a list of schools to apply to.

**EDIT: I guess I'm wondering if I go to a T20, will I automatically be rated higher by those hiring than a Pitt (ranked 70ish) grad? It seems, from the responses, that would not be the case at all. It seems Pittsburgh is a relatively closed market. Is this true?

Also, I believe Pitt Law grants a $10k/yr scholly to any applicant admitted with a 3.5+ (which I have) and a 161+ (which I think I got in June). So, that always helps.



Just wanted to say this was a large reason why I decided to stay in the Burgh.

budafied
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Re: Pittsburgh Area Legal Market

Postby budafied » Wed Jun 09, 2010 11:12 am

pjo wrote:
budafied wrote:
Are there any T40ish schools which place well in Pittsburgh that have good placement in DC/NY as well?

Also, I believe Pitt Law grants a $10k/yr scholly to any applicant admitted with a 3.5+ (which I have) and a 161+ (which I think I got in June). So, that always helps.


No. Sorry, there are no schools in the 40's that meet those two qualifications bc schools in the 40's are still regional schools. The only schools that meet those qualifcations are in the 20's and lower and still, not all.

And with that guaranteed scholarship. When I was last at Pitt I was talking with Allie Linseymear (spelled that wrong) and she handles parts of admissions. She said that Pitt is strongly considering doing away witht he guaranteed clause of that scholarship. Regardless, I'm sure you'd still get that if you have those numbers.


Well, I sure hope they don't do away with it :)

So, what about T20? Would any top 20 school fare better than Pitt when trying to get into the legal market in Pitt? What about median @ UIUC vs 20% @ Pitt? That's what I'm trying to determine.

budafied
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Re: Pittsburgh Area Legal Market

Postby budafied » Wed Jun 09, 2010 11:15 am

balzern wrote:
budafied wrote: the Penguins will have Crosby for the next 10-15 years



Just wanted to say this was a large reason why I decided to stay in the Burgh.


Exactly. I've always been a huge Steeler fan and now that the Pens are good again, I jumped on the bandwagon (which, btw, is great because hockey is amazing and I never knew it). I mean, Pittsburgh was recently named "Most Livable City in America."

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balzern
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Re: Pittsburgh Area Legal Market

Postby balzern » Wed Jun 09, 2010 11:24 am

Again, even if I end up going to Duq. I feel like it is still a good decision with all of Pittsburgh's postives...

Sports
Livable
South Side
Close to family

budafied
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Re: Pittsburgh Area Legal Market

Postby budafied » Wed Jun 09, 2010 11:28 am

balzern wrote:Again, even if I end up going to Duq. I feel like it is still a good decision with all of Pittsburgh's postives...

Sports
Livable
South Side
Close to family


Yea. Most of my close college friends are still in Pittsburgh as well as family. I went to a lib arts near Pittsburgh for UG. With the way I've been testing, I'm confident I can get into Pitt, and hopefully with a decent scholly. But I won't really know my score for a few weeks.

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pjo
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Re: Pittsburgh Area Legal Market

Postby pjo » Wed Jun 09, 2010 11:37 am

budafied wrote:
pjo wrote:
budafied wrote:
Are there any T40ish schools which place well in Pittsburgh that have good placement in DC/NY as well?

Also, I believe Pitt Law grants a $10k/yr scholly to any applicant admitted with a 3.5+ (which I have) and a 161+ (which I think I got in June). So, that always helps.


No. Sorry, there are no schools in the 40's that meet those two qualifications bc schools in the 40's are still regional schools. The only schools that meet those qualifcations are in the 20's and lower and still, not all.

And with that guaranteed scholarship. When I was last at Pitt I was talking with Allie Linseymear (spelled that wrong) and she handles parts of admissions. She said that Pitt is strongly considering doing away witht he guaranteed clause of that scholarship. Regardless, I'm sure you'd still get that if you have those numbers.


Well, I sure hope they don't do away with it :)

So, what about T20? Would any top 20 school fare better than Pitt when trying to get into the legal market in Pitt? What about median @ UIUC vs 20% @ Pitt? That's what I'm trying to determine.


absolutely not. You would be better off with ND median for pittsburgh than UIUC median (ND and GW are prob the highest regarded 20's schools in Pittsburgh FWIW). seriously I can't think of a single school in the 20's that would be better at median than a top 15% at Pitt for pittsburgh. This only becomes true with Vanderbilt and down IMO. The dude going to Vanderbilt with $$ make a great decision by the way in my opinion.

sdv
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Re: Pittsburgh Area Legal Market

Postby sdv » Wed Jun 09, 2010 11:53 am

pjo wrote:
budafied wrote:
pjo wrote:
budafied wrote:
Are there any T40ish schools which place well in Pittsburgh that have good placement in DC/NY as well?

Also, I believe Pitt Law grants a $10k/yr scholly to any applicant admitted with a 3.5+ (which I have) and a 161+ (which I think I got in June). So, that always helps.


No. Sorry, there are no schools in the 40's that meet those two qualifications bc schools in the 40's are still regional schools. The only schools that meet those qualifcations are in the 20's and lower and still, not all.

And with that guaranteed scholarship. When I was last at Pitt I was talking with Allie Linseymear (spelled that wrong) and she handles parts of admissions. She said that Pitt is strongly considering doing away witht he guaranteed clause of that scholarship. Regardless, I'm sure you'd still get that if you have those numbers.


Well, I sure hope they don't do away with it :)

So, what about T20? Would any top 20 school fare better than Pitt when trying to get into the legal market in Pitt? What about median @ UIUC vs 20% @ Pitt? That's what I'm trying to determine.


absolutely not. You would be better off with ND median for pittsburgh than UIUC median (ND and GW are prob the highest regarded 20's schools in Pittsburgh FWIW). seriously I can't think of a single school in the 20's that would be better at median than a top 15% at Pitt for pittsburgh. This only becomes true with Vanderbilt and down IMO. The dude going to Vanderbilt with $$ make a great decision by the way in my opinion.


as that dude, I appreciate the vote of confidence. And I'd definitely echo this response. Pitt is the best regional school for Pittsburgh, and no other ones are close. The only schools that would give you a "better" chance are Vanderbilt and up, and even a couple of those don't exactly have proven in roads to the 'burgh (Texas and UCLA come to mind). ND is a possibility (again, because of the Catholic thing), but I definitely wouldn't consider going to one of those "top regional schools" like UIUC or Minnesota over Pitt. Listen to this man.

budafied
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Re: Pittsburgh Area Legal Market

Postby budafied » Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:03 pm

pjo wrote:
budafied wrote:So, what about T20? Would any top 20 school fare better than Pitt when trying to get into the legal market in Pitt? What about median @ UIUC vs 20% @ Pitt? That's what I'm trying to determine.


absolutely not. You would be better off with ND median for pittsburgh than UIUC median (ND and GW are prob the highest regarded 20's schools in Pittsburgh FWIW). seriously I can't think of a single school in the 20's that would be better at median than a top 15% at Pitt for pittsburgh. This only becomes true with Vanderbilt and down IMO. The dude going to Vanderbilt with $$ make a great decision by the way in my opinion.


Ok. Interesting. So if I want to work in Pittsburgh, either go to Pitt and work my ass off and try for top 15% or so, or else go to Vandy/ND/GW and try to get above median or so. With living in Pittsburgh though, I will have better networking during my years in law school, so that would be a factor. Also, ND/GW/Vandy would have more mobility generally throughout the country, or at least the east.

I can't express enough gratitude pjo, you've been incredibly helpful. Thanks to sdv for backing up pjo's numbers. Any other opinions?

EDIT: Also, I don't think I mentioned this yet, but I'm currently in a graduate program (Master's) in Catholic Theology. That (I'm speculating) will probably help a bit in ND admissions.

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Re: Pittsburgh Area Legal Market

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:10 pm

budafied wrote:
pjo wrote:
budafied wrote:So, what about T20? Would any top 20 school fare better than Pitt when trying to get into the legal market in Pitt? What about median @ UIUC vs 20% @ Pitt? That's what I'm trying to determine.


absolutely not. You would be better off with ND median for pittsburgh than UIUC median (ND and GW are prob the highest regarded 20's schools in Pittsburgh FWIW). seriously I can't think of a single school in the 20's that would be better at median than a top 15% at Pitt for pittsburgh. This only becomes true with Vanderbilt and down IMO. The dude going to Vanderbilt with $$ make a great decision by the way in my opinion.


Ok. Interesting. So if I want to work in Pittsburgh, either go to Pitt and work my ass off and try for top 15% or so, or else go to Vandy/ND/GW and try to get above median or so. With living in Pittsburgh though, I will have better networking during my years in law school, so that would be a factor. Also, ND/GW/Vandy would have more mobility generally throughout the country, or at least the east.

I can't express enough gratitude pjo, you've been incredibly helpful. Thanks to sdv for backing up pjo's numbers. Any other opinions?


I'm from the burgh (also, i've posted earlier in this thread). vandy (same with texas and ucla) doesn't get a lot of love in PGH. the burgh is biased against the south (though i don't know if hiring partners are biased too). the burgh definitely has an affinity for the ND (it's a catholic thing). but, of course, the layperson's opinion is not all that important, right?

reverendt
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Re: Pittsburgh Area Legal Market

Postby reverendt » Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:11 pm

I'm a Pitt 2L and I'll share what I've observed.

1) Unless you're going to a T14, if you KNOW you wanna work in Pittsburgh, go to school here.
2) Biglaw picked up about the top 6-8% (I'd estimate) of my class for 2L SA positions. Probably about 20 people out of 250.
3) When the economy was better Biglaw picked up about twice that amount from what I understand.
4) Pretty much everybody who was in the top half of the class AND "on the ball" when it came to looking for jobs is getting SOME sort of paying job this summer. Small firms, PI with a stipend, etc.
5) I don't think I'm going too far out on a limb in assuming that this summer will be a decent predictor for what we will face after graduation. 5-10% in biglaw, everybody else who's above median finding some kind of (hopefully halfway decent) job. Under median will be tough for some.
6) If you want to make 6 figures straight out of school you'll probably have to be in the top 10-20% no matter where you go (outside of t14 at least). And there's an 80-90% chance that you won't be in that group.
7) In Pittsburgh, 60K-70K is like 6 figures in NYC, Chicago, etc.

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Re: Pittsburgh Area Legal Market

Postby sdv » Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
I'm from the burgh (also, i've posted earlier in this thread). vandy (same with texas and ucla) doesn't get a lot of love in PGH. the burgh is biased against the south (though i don't know if hiring partners are biased too). the burgh definitely has an affinity for the ND (it's a catholic thing). but, of course, the layperson's opinion is not all that important, right?


I don't know what part of Pittsburgh you're from but no educated Pittsburgh lawyer is going to be biased against a nationally prestigious university. My experience has also been that the general populous in Pittsburgh loves Nashville, as it's basically a cleaner version of the South Side. There are 150+ Vandy law grads practicing in Pittsburgh the last I checked (I'm not sure if there are more but that's what I could find, and some of those are the law profs at Pitt), which isn't a ton, but more than enough contacts to make a dent. I don't know the numbers for ND or GW, although I do have a friend at GW law from Pittsburgh who didn't seem concerned, and the Republican nominee running for Congress in the Pittsburgh area is an ND law grad (again, a Catholic thing - he goes to my church*)

I'd caution, though, that to get to Pittsburgh from any of these schools requires a significant amount of legwork, much more than would be required at Pitt. I'd also point out that neither ND nor GW are necessarily considered "national" schools (although I imagine ND does have a great alumni network), so I don't know whether they would get the same name recognition that T14/Vandy does.

budafied
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Re: Pittsburgh Area Legal Market

Postby budafied » Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:29 pm

reverendt wrote:I'm a Pitt 2L and I'll share what I've observed.

1) Unless you're going to a T14, if you KNOW you wanna work in Pittsburgh, go to school here.
2) Biglaw picked up about the top 6-8% (I'd estimate) of my class for 2L SA positions. Probably about 20 people out of 250.
3) When the economy was better Biglaw picked up about twice that amount from what I understand.
4) Pretty much everybody who was in the top half of the class AND "on the ball" when it came to looking for jobs is getting SOME sort of paying job this summer. Small firms, PI with a stipend, etc.
5) I don't think I'm going too far out on a limb in assuming that this summer will be a decent predictor for what we will face after graduation. 5-10% in biglaw, everybody else who's above median finding some kind of (hopefully halfway decent) job. Under median will be tough for some.
6) If you want to make 6 figures straight out of school you'll probably have to be in the top 10-20% no matter where you go (outside of t14 at least). And there's an 80-90% chance that you won't be in that group.
7) In Pittsburgh, 60K-70K is like 6 figures in NYC, Chicago, etc.


Thanks for the input!

I think the biggest thing I have to remember is numbers 6 and 7. To get paid well ITE, I'll have to be top 20%, which I know I'm capable of, but it's always a gamble. Also, I'd be pretty well off if I'm single making $60k in Pittsburgh.

I'd be perfectly content with a mid-law $60-70k job out of law school working in Pittsburgh.

Sot Pitt may be my best bet after all. I'm very debt averse, as I already have a bit of loans from undergrad (though grad school is free for me). Now I just gotta get my LSAT score back and hope for some good scholly money.

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Re: Pittsburgh Area Legal Market

Postby pjo » Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:32 pm

reverendt wrote:I'm a Pitt 2L and I'll share what I've observed.

7) In Pittsburgh, 60K-70K is like 6 figures in NYC, Chicago, etc.



OP I hope you seriously take note of this bc it is 100% true. Offhand I can only think of 3 firms in Pittsburgh that have starting salaries above 100K. let’s say that each of these firms hires 3 new associates a year in the Pittsburgh office. So for the most part there are a total of about 9 entry level law positions starting at above 100K in the ENTIRE city (there are prob more but I don’t know of them). Most of the mid law firms are between 70 and 90k. Please don’t bank on starting at 6 figures in Pittsburgh because that really just doesn’t happen much. The thing that I would be most fearful though is taking out in excess of 100k to go to law school at GW or ND or what have you at sticker for the prospect of getting a job that will at best probably start you around 70-90k. There’s something not right there, and I hope you take notice of this.

EDIT: I see you already have taken note of this and beat me to it. lol

budafied
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Re: Pittsburgh Area Legal Market

Postby budafied » Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:51 pm

pjo wrote:
reverendt wrote:I'm a Pitt 2L and I'll share what I've observed.

7) In Pittsburgh, 60K-70K is like 6 figures in NYC, Chicago, etc.



OP I hope you seriously take note of this bc it is 100% true. Offhand I can only think of 3 firms in Pittsburgh that have starting salaries above 100K. let’s say that each of these firms hires 3 new associates a year in the Pittsburgh office. So for the most part there are a total of about 9 entry level law positions starting at above 100K in the ENTIRE city (there are prob more but I don’t know of them). Most of the mid law firms are between 70 and 90k. Please don’t bank on starting at 6 figures in Pittsburgh because that really just doesn’t happen much. The thing that I would be most fearful though is taking out in excess of 100k to go to law school at GW or ND or what have you at sticker for the prospect of getting a job that will at best probably start you around 70-90k. There’s something not right there, and I hope you take notice of this.

EDIT: I see you already have taken note of this and beat me to it. lol


Thanks anyway pjo, lol. Pitt seems like my best option if I want to work in the Burgh, unless I can manage a great scholly at ND or Vandy. Looks like I'm compiling a good strong list of schools to apply to then...

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OGR3
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Re: Pittsburgh Area Legal Market

Postby OGR3 » Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:56 pm

budafied wrote:
pjo wrote:
reverendt wrote:I'm a Pitt 2L and I'll share what I've observed.

7) In Pittsburgh, 60K-70K is like 6 figures in NYC, Chicago, etc.



OP I hope you seriously take note of this bc it is 100% true. Offhand I can only think of 3 firms in Pittsburgh that have starting salaries above 100K. let’s say that each of these firms hires 3 new associates a year in the Pittsburgh office. So for the most part there are a total of about 9 entry level law positions starting at above 100K in the ENTIRE city (there are prob more but I don’t know of them). Most of the mid law firms are between 70 and 90k. Please don’t bank on starting at 6 figures in Pittsburgh because that really just doesn’t happen much. The thing that I would be most fearful though is taking out in excess of 100k to go to law school at GW or ND or what have you at sticker for the prospect of getting a job that will at best probably start you around 70-90k. There’s something not right there, and I hope you take notice of this.

EDIT: I see you already have taken note of this and beat me to it. lol


Thanks anyway pjo, lol. Pitt seems like my best option if I want to work in the Burgh, unless I can manage a great scholly at ND or Vandy. Looks like I'm compiling a good strong list of schools to apply to then...


Remember, if you can manage a great scholly at ND or Vandy, you'll most likely have a full scholly at Pitt.

budafied
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Re: Pittsburgh Area Legal Market

Postby budafied » Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:01 pm

OGR3 wrote:
budafied wrote:Thanks anyway pjo, lol. Pitt seems like my best option if I want to work in the Burgh, unless I can manage a great scholly at ND or Vandy. Looks like I'm compiling a good strong list of schools to apply to then...


Remember, if you can manage a great scholly at ND or Vandy, you'll most likely have a full scholly at Pitt.


Indeed. I just gotta get that damn score back before I can start speculating with any accuracy.

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balzern
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Re: Pittsburgh Area Legal Market

Postby balzern » Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:32 pm

budafied wrote:
OGR3 wrote:
budafied wrote:Thanks anyway pjo, lol. Pitt seems like my best option if I want to work in the Burgh, unless I can manage a great scholly at ND or Vandy. Looks like I'm compiling a good strong list of schools to apply to then...


Remember, if you can manage a great scholly at ND or Vandy, you'll most likely have a full scholly at Pitt.


Indeed. I just gotta get that damn score back before I can start speculating with any accuracy.



+100000000000000000

I hate this waiting game.

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balzern
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Re: Pittsburgh Area Legal Market

Postby balzern » Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:39 pm

Let's Go Bucs! hahaha jk

sdv
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Re: Pittsburgh Area Legal Market

Postby sdv » Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:42 pm

it's also worth noting that Reed Smith hired more associates from Pitt (5) last year than from any other firm. In fact Pitt was the only non T-14 school on the list of schools that individual NLJ 250 firms hired most from that was published earlier this year. Seriously, if you're set on Pittsburgh and single I'd apply elsewhere but with an ultimate goal of getting the most money possible from Pitt. Don't use me as an example - I'm at Vandy because my future wife is in med school in the South and I need to have the national portability to go wherever she gets her residency. Otherwise, there's no good reason to go elsewhere.

budafied
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Re: Pittsburgh Area Legal Market

Postby budafied » Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:07 pm

sdv wrote:it's also worth noting that Reed Smith hired more associates from Pitt (5) last year than from any other firm. In fact Pitt was the only non T-14 school on the list of schools that individual NLJ 250 firms hired most from that was published earlier this year. Seriously, if you're set on Pittsburgh and single I'd apply elsewhere but with an ultimate goal of getting the most money possible from Pitt. Don't use me as an example - I'm at Vandy because my future wife is in med school in the South and I need to have the national portability to go wherever she gets her residency. Otherwise, there's no good reason to go elsewhere.


Good to know sdv. Thanks for providing context to your choice of law school. I would kill for a ~full scholly at Pitt. If I get that, my mind is pretty much made up.




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