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.
Anecdotally, what I've heard from career services and a couple of associates I know at NY firms is that a great undergrad (HYP, maybe Stanford and MIT and a few others too) can give you a small bump at a select few firms that care about such things. It's not strictly correlated with prestige - I've hear MTO, WLRK, Cravath and S&C mentioned as firms that care more about undergrad (MTO explicitly says this in their materials), but I've heard Weil, Skadden and Cleary could care less.
That said, I think it's more of a thing where a good undergrad will help you, but a so-so undergrad will not disqualify you. Similarly, I think it's a very secondary consideration to grades and interviewing skills. If you went to Harvard UG but have median grades, you're not going to beat the kid from generic state U in the top 25%, all other things equal. Think of it as analogous to a strong soft in LS admissions, except that unlike law school admissions, some firms actually care more about softs.
Anyways - this is what I've heard. Maybe some people have different experiences.