Strenght of Undergrad in OCI

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Strenght of Undergrad in OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 04, 2010 6:28 pm

I attend a Top 20 law school but I graduated from a tier 4 undergrad (only person from my undergrad attending). I noticed when looking at many firm bios that it seems that top law schools and top undergrad schools go hand in hand.

I am in the top 25% of my class, on a secondary journal, working for fed court in NYC. Will I be totally shut out of big law?

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MrKappus
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Re: Strenght of Undergrad in OCI

Postby MrKappus » Sun Jul 04, 2010 6:32 pm

Be careful about mistaking correlation with causation. Many biglaw attorneys went to top UG's because people who went to top UG's are more likely to do well in law school, and therefore more likely to get biglaw offers. In other words, top UG's are correlated with biglaw offers, but not the cause of them, IMO.

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Re: Strenght of Undergrad in OCI

Postby dakatz » Sun Jul 04, 2010 6:44 pm

MrKappus wrote:Be careful about mistaking correlation with causation. Many biglaw attorneys went to top UG's because people who went to top UG's are more likely to do well in law school, and therefore more likely to get biglaw offers. In other words, top UG's are correlated with biglaw offers, but not the cause of them, IMO.


I was going to say pretty much the exact same thing. No, OP, I don't think it would hinder you. Your undergrad may end up a talking point if you went to Harvard or something, but it will most likely not even be a factor. You did well in law school and that will be pretty much all that matters.

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Re: Strenght of Undergrad in OCI

Postby rando » Sun Jul 04, 2010 7:01 pm

dakatz wrote:
MrKappus wrote:Be careful about mistaking correlation with causation. Many biglaw attorneys went to top UG's because people who went to top UG's are more likely to do well in law school, and therefore more likely to get biglaw offers. In other words, top UG's are correlated with biglaw offers, but not the cause of them, IMO.


I was going to say pretty much the exact same thing. No, OP, I don't think it would hinder you. Your undergrad may end up a talking point if you went to Harvard or something, but it will most likely not even be a factor. You did well in law school and that will be pretty much all that matters.


Agreed.

/thread

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Re: Strenght of Undergrad in OCI

Postby OperaSoprano » Sun Jul 04, 2010 7:12 pm

rando wrote:
dakatz wrote:
MrKappus wrote:Be careful about mistaking correlation with causation. Many biglaw attorneys went to top UG's because people who went to top UG's are more likely to do well in law school, and therefore more likely to get biglaw offers. In other words, top UG's are correlated with biglaw offers, but not the cause of them, IMO.


I was going to say pretty much the exact same thing. No, OP, I don't think it would hinder you. Your undergrad may end up a talking point if you went to Harvard or something, but it will most likely not even be a factor. You did well in law school and that will be pretty much all that matters.


Agreed.

/thread


Is there general consensus about this? I ask because, well, you know why I ask. If someone meets an employer's criteria for a screening interview based upon law school performance, is undergrad never a factor at all? Given the prestige-mad nature of the profession, I can't imagine that it couldn't at least be a tie breaker between candidates at the same school with similar academic records during 1L year. I could be wrong, but I would like someone to play the devil's advocate here. Thank you.

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Re: Strenght of Undergrad in OCI

Postby MrKappus » Sun Jul 04, 2010 7:22 pm

OperaSoprano wrote:Is there general consensus about this? I ask because, well, you know why I ask. If someone meets an employer's criteria for a screening interview based upon law school performance, is undergrad never a factor at all? Given the prestige-mad nature of the profession, I can't imagine that it couldn't at least be a tie breaker between candidates at the same school with similar academic records during 1L year. I could be wrong, but I would like someone to play the devil's advocate here. Thank you.


It comes up in interviews (at least it did in mine), but I don't think it's anything more than a tiebreaker for all but the most selective (i.e., V5) firms.

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Re: Strenght of Undergrad in OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 04, 2010 7:25 pm

It may matter for people interested in IP. For IP positions, they often ask for your undergraduate transcript because they want to see (1) what classes (particularly engineering & science for IP) you took as an undergraduate and (2) how well you did in those classes. If you went to MIT, they're going to look at you differently than if you went to an unknown engineering school. So, in that sense, I think it matters.

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Re: Strenght of Undergrad in OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 04, 2010 8:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:It may matter for people interested in IP. For IP positions, they often ask for your undergraduate transcript because they want to see (1) what classes (particularly engineering & science for IP) you took as an undergraduate and (2) how well you did in those classes. If you went to MIT, they're going to look at you differently than if you went to an unknown engineering school. So, in that sense, I think it matters.


I have wondering about this too. I went to a crappy UG in science, but to a very well respected school for a doctorate in life sci. I would hope the latter is more important than the former.

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Re: Strenght of Undergrad in OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 04, 2010 9:03 pm

Definitely not a problem. I went to a mediocre (non-flagship) state school and graduated without honors of any kind. I know interviewers took note of this--at a mock interview, an associate mentioned that it was too bad that I didn't have more in the UG section of my resume, and at a callback interview at a different firm, one of the partners who was familiar with the school noted that it was "not the greatest." I think this cost me one or two callback interviews, but LS grades ended up being far more important. In fact, I ended up with an offer from the "not the greatest" firm.

So yes, your UG may adversely affect you if you're interviewing at WLRK. But for 99% of firms, it won't matter.

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Re: Strenght of Undergrad in OCI

Postby northwood » Sun Jul 04, 2010 9:21 pm

Where you went for undergrad shouldnt be an issue in OCI. Most firms and people understand that students go to schools close to home, or in the same state right out of high school. FOr the ones that don t, then there is nothing you can do about that.( You can even flip the script and use it as a selling point for you- how you went from commuinity college, or off name brand ug school to wherever school you are at, and use it as evidence of your drive, ethic, determination, etc) Where you finished school is looked at more closely than where you started school. YOur grades, work ethic, and summer internships, and references from these places are looked at by firms Good luck

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Re: Strenght of Undergrad in OCI

Postby NYAssociate » Sun Jul 04, 2010 11:02 pm

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Re: Strenght of Undergrad in OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 04, 2010 11:07 pm

would gtown be considered a top undergrad school? That's where I went... Or is it only those Yale/Harvard/Princeton/IVY type schools?

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Re: Strenght of Undergrad in OCI

Postby NYAssociate » Sun Jul 04, 2010 11:15 pm

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Re: Strenght of Undergrad in OCI

Postby robin600 » Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:50 am

I have a feeling that if your school has a big alumni base, or you're interviewing in the region where your UG was at, you may have a slight advantage. I haven't been through any legal hiring yet, but for internships and other professional jobs I had this was def. the case.

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Re: Strenght of Undergrad in OCI

Postby RVP11 » Mon Jul 05, 2010 2:04 am

MrKappus wrote:because people who went to top UG's are more likely to do well in law school


Would love to see something to back this up, as it doesn't jive at all with what I've witnessed personally.

Just as a warning to anyone else who went to a "not the greatest" UG: Davis Polk, in particular, seems to have very, very few people who did not go to an Ivy or top LAC. For that reason they're certainly not getting a bid from me.

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Re: Strenght of Undergrad in OCI

Postby MrKappus » Mon Jul 05, 2010 2:19 am

RVP11 wrote:Would love to see something to back this up, as it doesn't jive at all with what I've witnessed personally.

Just as a warning to anyone else who went to a "not the greatest" UG: Davis Polk, in particular, seems to have very, very few people who did not go to an Ivy or top LAC. For that reason they're certainly not getting a bid from me.


Hmm....I don't really think I was going out on a limb here. On average, people at top UG's are more likely to be higher performers, which means they're likely to be (again, on average) high performers in law school, which means they're more likely to get biglaw. I didn't say something controversial or speak in absolutes. I said "more likely."

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Re: Strenght of Undergrad in OCI

Postby RVP11 » Mon Jul 05, 2010 2:23 am

MrKappus wrote:
RVP11 wrote:Would love to see something to back this up, as it doesn't jive at all with what I've witnessed personally.

Just as a warning to anyone else who went to a "not the greatest" UG: Davis Polk, in particular, seems to have very, very few people who did not go to an Ivy or top LAC. For that reason they're certainly not getting a bid from me.


Hmm....I don't really think I was going out on a limb here. On average, people at top UG's are more likely to be higher performers, which means they're likely to be (again, on average) high performers in law school, which means they're more likely to get biglaw. I didn't say something controversial or speak in absolutes. I said "more likely."


But there's nothing, to my knowledge, supporting the idea that people who went to better UGs do better than other at the same law school. Suggesting such is actually a lot more controversial than suggesting that law firms care about the prestige of your undergrad, which is at least supported by a crapton of anecdotal evidence of people who've been through OCI.

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Re: Strenght of Undergrad in OCI

Postby MrKappus » Mon Jul 05, 2010 2:27 am

RVP11 wrote:But there's nothing, to my knowledge, supporting the idea that people who went to better UGs do better than other at the same law school. Suggesting such is actually a lot more controversial than suggesting that law firms care about the prestige of your undergrad, which is at least supported by a crapton of anecdotal evidence of people who've been through OCI.


Since data's unavailable, my argument was syllogistic (not empirical). I understand your skepticism, in light of the lack of data, but I still think my syllogism's solid.

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Re: Strenght of Undergrad in OCI

Postby RVP11 » Mon Jul 05, 2010 2:29 am

MrKappus wrote:
RVP11 wrote:But there's nothing, to my knowledge, supporting the idea that people who went to better UGs do better than other at the same law school. Suggesting such is actually a lot more controversial than suggesting that law firms care about the prestige of your undergrad, which is at least supported by a crapton of anecdotal evidence of people who've been through OCI.


Since data's unavailable, my argument was syllogistic (not empirical). I understand your skepticism, in light of the lack of data, but I still think my syllogism's solid.


If you assume that adcomms actually factor in the strength of UG to their admissions decisions, then the logic is far from airtight. I know - it's a big assumption.

From what I've witnessed, at least, the people who went to worse (see: non-prestigious public) UGs often have bigger chips on their shoulders, and fewer rich friends/relatives to fall back on, so that might compensate for whatever minute difference there is in past educational quality.

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Re: Strenght of Undergrad in OCI

Postby MrKappus » Mon Jul 05, 2010 2:36 am

RVP11 wrote:If you assume that adcomms actually factor in the strength of UG to their admissions decisions, then the logic is far from airtight. I know - it's a big assumption.

From what I've witnessed, at least, the people who went to worse (see: non-prestigious public) UGs often have bigger chips on their shoulders, and fewer rich friends/relatives to fall back on, so that might compensate for whatever minute difference there is in past educational quality.


No worries. You could be right. Which part of my logic isn't airtight though?
(1) Top UG grads are more likely, on avg, to be high academic performers
(2) Ppl who've performed at high levels in the past are more likely, on avg, to perform well in LS
(3) Law firms are more likely to hire ppl who did well during 1L
(Ergo) Grads of top UG's are more likely to end up in biglaw.

Haha I'm only asking b/c you're not addressing my argument! You're just kind of saying "well that hasn't been my experience so it's probably wrong."

*Edited for unintentional douchiness. I'm really interested in this causation/correlation issue.

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Re: Strenght of Undergrad in OCI

Postby RVP11 » Mon Jul 05, 2010 2:41 am

If adcomms are using UG as a factor in admissions decisions then your logic isn't airtight because any difference has already been accounted for and the people from worse UGs have higher entering credentials (LSAT/GPA).

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Re: Strenght of Undergrad in OCI

Postby MrKappus » Mon Jul 05, 2010 2:44 am

RVP11 wrote:If adcomms are using UG as a factor in admissions decisions then your logic isn't airtight because any difference has already been accounted for and the people from worse UGs have higher entering credentials (LSAT/GPA).


Ohhhhh....I see now. So if they let in a 3.0 just b/c it was from an Ivy, that applicant's history is equal to (or worse) than a TTT UG grad's 3.8. That does make sense. Although it flies in the face of the conventional TLS wisdom that non-HYP UG's don't factor into admissions. Still a good point though. Thx for humoring me.

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Re: Strenght of Undergrad in OCI

Postby rando » Mon Jul 05, 2010 2:48 am

MrKappus wrote:
RVP11 wrote:Would love to see something to back this up, as it doesn't jive at all with what I've witnessed personally.

Just as a warning to anyone else who went to a "not the greatest" UG: Davis Polk, in particular, seems to have very, very few people who did not go to an Ivy or top LAC. For that reason they're certainly not getting a bid from me.


Hmm....I don't really think I was going out on a limb here. On average, people at top UG's are more likely to be higher performers, which means they're likely to be (again, on average) high performers in law school, which means they're more likely to get biglaw. I didn't say something controversial or speak in absolutes. I said "more likely."


This has been my experience.

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Re: Strenght of Undergrad in OCI

Postby NYAssociate » Mon Jul 05, 2010 6:14 am

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Re: Strenght of Undergrad in OCI

Postby NYAssociate » Mon Jul 05, 2010 7:46 am

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