Are Prospects Really That Bad in T10? Please Cut Me Down.

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Are Prospects Really That Bad in T10? Please Cut Me Down.

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:11 am

Hey so I wanted to figure out is how many law students have the opportunity to make BigLaw out of Michigan (where I started law school in September). I looked at NLJ 250 placement data for 2009 and those who got Federal Clerkships in 2009. I also assumed that someone who got a Federal Clerkship also could have gotten Big Law. So...

NLJ 250: 51% (See http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNL ... 2443758843)
Federal Clerkship: 14% (See viewtopic.php?f=1&t=75513)
Total Percentage: 65%

So, if you take that 65%, and you assume that the placement is not exactly the top 65%, so add in some leeway for those who don't want to do Big Law or clerkships, for example those who have good enough grades but do public interest, small firm, etc., and it seems to me like you could easily make the case, based on this data, that those in the top 70-75% of the class have a legitimate shot at Big Law. Which isn't exactly a horrible scenario.

My question is, what am I missing?

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thecilent
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Re: Are Prospects Really That Bad in T10? Please Cut Me Down.

Postby thecilent » Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:16 am

Also you can't just add clerkship + biglaw. Those who take clerkship are opening up spots for people for biglaw. Do you know what I mean..

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Re: Are Prospects Really That Bad in T10? Please Cut Me Down.

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:21 am

Take a look at the thread on what people wish they would have known. If you internalize that information, and talk with current 2Ls and 3Ls so you play your cards right, you have a very good chance at BigLaw. However, I would like to emphasize one point brought up in the aforementioned thread: "40% get BigLaw" does not mean "top 40% get BigLaw". That's not a trivial distinction; I think it might be more like "half of the top 80% get BigLaw". Firm hiring is actually not that grade-determined (not for many firms). I remember hearing this as a 1L and thinking it was placating nonsense: "don't despair if your grades suck! There are exceptions to the dominating rule!". It is actually very true, and it cuts both ways. On the one hand, this means nobody at Michigan should be sobbing over sub-median grades. On the other, it means that being toward the higher end of the class (like me...not just barely above median, either) is no guarantee of any kind of employment. There is like a 30-60 day period where employment is realistic. Then the gates come crashing down. You need to be smart about mailing, bidding, and market selection. Even then, it's not about grades at most firms.

Spread the word, young Wolverine: career services is useless, and you need to do your homework to turn your shiny degree and transcript into a good job. The fact that you're on here is a positive sign.

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Re: Are Prospects Really That Bad in T10? Please Cut Me Down.

Postby pasteurizedmilk » Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:34 am

Grades are still incredibly important though......let's not get carried away with the recent "grades aren't determinative" statements.

You still need to work as hard as you can and try to get the best grades possible. Sub-median grades might not prohibit you from finding a job, but good grade definitely help you find one.

And, to be realistic, poor grads make it very very hard to get into a certain tier of firms.

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Re: Are Prospects Really That Bad in T10? Please Cut Me Down.

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:45 am

pasteurizedmilk wrote:Grades are still incredibly important though......let's not get carried away with the recent "grades aren't determinative" statements.

You still need to work as hard as you can and try to get the best grades possible. Sub-median grades might not prohibit you from finding a job, but good grade definitely help you find one.

And, to be realistic, poor grads make it very very hard to get into a certain tier of firms.


Yep, you have to put in the work somewhere. You might as well work hard, get good grades, and waltz to a 160K job (barring MAJOR social skills fail that would have kept you out pre-ITE) then be in a situation where one seemingly minor procedural mistake, such as bidding on the wrong market or the wrong firms in that market, means you are shut out.

As someone with mediocre grades and no offer, even if I had made the right bidding and mailing decisions, there is still a very good chance I would be in the same position. A top 20% GPA OTOH is pretty much a guarantee unless you bid exclusively DC or CA.

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Re: Are Prospects Really That Bad in T10? Please Cut Me Down.

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:57 am

pasteurizedmilk wrote:And, to be realistic, poor grads make it very very hard to get into a certain tier of firms.


In turn, not getting a good job makes poor grads.


Couldn't resist.

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Re: Are Prospects Really That Bad in T10? Please Cut Me Down.

Postby pasteurizedmilk » Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
pasteurizedmilk wrote:And, to be realistic, poor grads make it very very hard to get into a certain tier of firms.


In turn, not getting a good job makes poor grads.


Couldn't resist.

Why so anonymous? At least typo-burn me like a wo/man. :)

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Re: Are Prospects Really That Bad in T10? Please Cut Me Down.

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 04, 2010 3:15 pm

So then what are these other factors employers look at? I'm straight out of undergrad, no work experience. I would consider myself a very good interviewer and I have ties to the market, but that market is Chicago. So how important is stuff like this, and other stuff?

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Re: Are Prospects Really That Bad in T10? Please Cut Me Down.

Postby Kohinoor » Thu Nov 04, 2010 3:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:So then what are these other factors employers look at? I'm straight out of undergrad, no work experience. I would consider myself a very good interviewer and I have ties to the market, but that market is Chicago. So how important is stuff like this, and other stuff?

Work experience is becoming more important as a culling tool as firms are able to become more and more selective. Chicago has the reputation of a slaughterhouse with 2 T14s and an 80% reduction in SA spots. Everyone considers themselves a very good interviewer.

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Re: Are Prospects Really That Bad in T10? Please Cut Me Down.

Postby Dr. Van Nostrand » Thu Nov 04, 2010 3:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:So then what are these other factors employers look at? I'm straight out of undergrad, no work experience. I would consider myself a very good interviewer and I have ties to the market, but that market is Chicago. So how important is stuff like this, and other stuff?


Ties are helpful, but by no means dispositive in a large market like Chicago. Grades trump everything, they are by far the most important. Most call-backs are made solely on grades, and ITE, work experience is definitely a big boost to show you are less risky of a candidate.

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Re: Are Prospects Really That Bad in T10? Please Cut Me Down.

Postby Kohinoor » Thu Nov 04, 2010 3:30 pm

Dr. Van Nostrand wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:So then what are these other factors employers look at? I'm straight out of undergrad, no work experience. I would consider myself a very good interviewer and I have ties to the market, but that market is Chicago. So how important is stuff like this, and other stuff?


Ties are helpful, but by no means dispositive in a large market like Chicago. Grades trump everything, they are by far the most important. Most call-backs are made solely on grades, and ITE, work experience is definitely a big boost to show you are less risky of a candidate.

Baseless speculation.

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Re: Are Prospects Really That Bad in T10? Please Cut Me Down.

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 04, 2010 3:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:So then what are these other factors employers look at? I'm straight out of undergrad, no work experience. I would consider myself a very good interviewer and I have ties to the market, but that market is Chicago. So how important is stuff like this, and other stuff?


Speaking from personal experience, you are at-risk. You have no WE to distinguish you from the other 25 or so candidates, and you have ties to a market with an oversupply of law students and few jobs. Very good interviewing skills might not really be very good (like you said, you have no WE so you don't know how you would do in professional job interviews) but hopefully are good enough to get through the interviews without making a huge faux-pas.

You can try to take on pro bono or part time work or a 15 hr a week internship. That plus your summer job should fill out the resume enough to not be embarrassing. Try getting part-time work for the summer too as well as your full-time job.

Use winter break to practice mass mailing and designing mail merges.

Get really good grades.

If you don't get really good grades, mail firms in your law school's home market and Chicago. Don't waste bids on Chicago.

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Re: Are Prospects Really That Bad in T10? Please Cut Me Down.

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 04, 2010 4:41 pm

Kohinoor wrote:
Dr. Van Nostrand wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:So then what are these other factors employers look at? I'm straight out of undergrad, no work experience. I would consider myself a very good interviewer and I have ties to the market, but that market is Chicago. So how important is stuff like this, and other stuff?


Ties are helpful, but by no means dispositive in a large market like Chicago. Grades trump everything, they are by far the most important. Most call-backs are made solely on grades, and ITE, work experience is definitely a big boost to show you are less risky of a candidate.

Baseless speculation.


It is not baseless speculation. I have personally spoken to a longtime biglaw partner who did recruiting for years at his/her firm. This person told me that students like to think "good personal skills" can swing interviews, but the sad fact of life is 15-18 out of 20 screening interviews the firm knows pre-interview whether the person is getting a callback, and it is mostly based on grades. He/She said in his entire career he/she has only been swayed maybe 5 times out of hundreds of screeners.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu Nov 04, 2010 4:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Are Prospects Really That Bad in T10? Please Cut Me Down.

Postby Lawl Shcool » Thu Nov 04, 2010 4:46 pm

I agree with the above re: OCI being mostly based on grades. From what I could tell OCI was just an elaborate resume drop with a 20 minute interview to confirm you weren't a serial killer or for the off chance someone could come in and wow them. I would guess wowing happened at less than 5% of interviews.

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Re: Are Prospects Really That Bad in T10? Please Cut Me Down.

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 04, 2010 4:57 pm

JPU wrote:I agree with the above re: OCI being mostly based on grades. From what I could tell OCI was just an elaborate resume drop with a 20 minute interview to confirm you weren't a serial killer or for the off chance someone could come in and wow them. I would guess wowing happened at less than 5% of interviews.


It would depend on the school and the firm. Some firms may be calling back a certain number of people with certain grades and everything else is "discretionary" for the interviewer to use on people she likes. Others may never call back people below a certain GPA.

I'd say that 5% of people in law school have the personality to consistently wow interviewers, and 5% have toxic personalities that would not pass the "serial killer" test. Everyone else will click with some people, and turn off others.

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Re: Are Prospects Really That Bad in T10? Please Cut Me Down.

Postby RVP11 » Thu Nov 04, 2010 7:17 pm

thecilent wrote:Also you can't just add clerkship + biglaw. Those who take clerkship are opening up spots for people for biglaw. Do you know what I mean..


Not really.

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Re: Are Prospects Really That Bad in T10? Please Cut Me Down.

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 04, 2010 7:20 pm

JPU wrote:I agree with the above re: OCI being mostly based on grades. From what I could tell OCI was just an elaborate resume drop with a 20 minute interview to confirm you weren't a serial killer or for the off chance someone could come in and wow them. I would guess wowing happened at less than 5% of interviews.


Maybe it's different because I'm at UVA (I love you, prescreening), but OGI was definitely much more than just a resume drop. At least 60% of a firm's interviewees were people they liked on paper, but you can be damn sure they weren't calling back more than 25% of interviewees at the very most.

I also got 3x as many callbacks as a friend who had a GPA .1 above mine - we were interviewing at mostly the same firms.

09042014
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Re: Are Prospects Really That Bad in T10? Please Cut Me Down.

Postby 09042014 » Thu Nov 04, 2010 7:21 pm

Go ask your career advisor how many people got big law this summer. She'll know more than us.

60% of NU class of 2011 who attended OCI got something at OCI-2009. A few more will probably snag something after.

I'm sure Michigan is pretty close to that.

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Re: Are Prospects Really That Bad in T10? Please Cut Me Down.

Postby pasteurizedmilk » Thu Nov 04, 2010 7:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Kohinoor wrote:
Dr. Van Nostrand wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:So then what are these other factors employers look at? I'm straight out of undergrad, no work experience. I would consider myself a very good interviewer and I have ties to the market, but that market is Chicago. So how important is stuff like this, and other stuff?


Ties are helpful, but by no means dispositive in a large market like Chicago. Grades trump everything, they are by far the most important. Most call-backs are made solely on grades, and ITE, work experience is definitely a big boost to show you are less risky of a candidate.

Baseless speculation.


It is not baseless speculation. I have personally spoken to a longtime biglaw partner who did recruiting for years at his/her firm. This person told me that students like to think "good personal skills" can swing interviews, but the sad fact of life is 15-18 out of 20 screening interviews the firm knows pre-interview whether the person is getting a callback, and it is mostly based on grades. He/She said in his entire career he/she has only been swayed maybe 5 times out of hundreds of screeners.
I had a hiring partner at a V5 tell me the exact same thing. Only he left no room for exceptions.

Once you have the bare minimum GPA for that firm, the other stuff starts to matter. IME, barring extraordinary connections, diversity, or WE, firms won't stray below a certain GPA cutoff.

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Re: Are Prospects Really That Bad in T10? Please Cut Me Down.

Postby Kohinoor » Thu Nov 04, 2010 8:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
JPU wrote:I agree with the above re: OCI being mostly based on grades. From what I could tell OCI was just an elaborate resume drop with a 20 minute interview to confirm you weren't a serial killer or for the off chance someone could come in and wow them. I would guess wowing happened at less than 5% of interviews.


Maybe it's different because I'm at UVA (I love you, prescreening), but OGI was definitely much more than just a resume drop. At least 60% of a firm's interviewees were people they liked on paper, but you can be damn sure they weren't calling back more than 25% of interviewees at the very most.

I also got 3x as many callbacks as a friend who had a GPA .1 above mine - we were interviewing at mostly the same firms.

This might be why I'm biased here as well. UVA prescreening means that they had the opportunity to grade screen at the prescreen level. As a result, I don't think our OGI callbacks are based solely on grades (except for your lottery interviews).

pasteurizedmilk
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Re: Are Prospects Really That Bad in T10? Please Cut Me Down.

Postby pasteurizedmilk » Thu Nov 04, 2010 9:31 pm

Yeah prescreening obviously changes the calculus.

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Re: Are Prospects Really That Bad in T10? Please Cut Me Down.

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 04, 2010 9:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
JPU wrote:I agree with the above re: OCI being mostly based on grades. From what I could tell OCI was just an elaborate resume drop with a 20 minute interview to confirm you weren't a serial killer or for the off chance someone could come in and wow them. I would guess wowing happened at less than 5% of interviews.


It would depend on the school and the firm. Some firms may be calling back a certain number of people with certain grades and everything else is "discretionary" for the interviewer to use on people she likes. Others may never call back people below a certain GPA.

I'd say that 5% of people in law school have the personality to consistently wow interviewers, and 5% have toxic personalities that would not pass the "serial killer" test. Everyone else will click with some people, and turn off others.


Yes.

For maybe the top 20%, grades alone seem to have made you invincible. For everyone else, grades help, but you can still strike out. If you bid on NYC, I imagine it's more forgiving. Possibly LA as well?

I think it's kind of funny how people say, "NYC is easy if you're T14 with good grades. You might have trouble in tough markets like Chicago, DC, or California, though." It's like ... wait, what's left for "major markets"?

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Re: Are Prospects Really That Bad in T10? Please Cut Me Down.

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
JPU wrote:I agree with the above re: OCI being mostly based on grades. From what I could tell OCI was just an elaborate resume drop with a 20 minute interview to confirm you weren't a serial killer or for the off chance someone could come in and wow them. I would guess wowing happened at less than 5% of interviews.


It would depend on the school and the firm. Some firms may be calling back a certain number of people with certain grades and everything else is "discretionary" for the interviewer to use on people she likes. Others may never call back people below a certain GPA.

I'd say that 5% of people in law school have the personality to consistently wow interviewers, and 5% have toxic personalities that would not pass the "serial killer" test. Everyone else will click with some people, and turn off others.


Yes.

For maybe the top 20%, grades alone seem to have made you invincible. For everyone else, grades help, but you can still strike out. If you bid on NYC, I imagine it's more forgiving. Possibly LA as well?

I think it's kind of funny how people say, "NYC is easy if you're T14 with good grades. You might have trouble in tough markets like Chicago, DC, or California, though." It's like ... wait, what's left for "major markets"?


Yes, top 20% interviews can go 1) questions about resume, 2) questions about firm, 3) small talk about sports and still usually result in a callback. For some candidates the callbacks are like this too. Everyone else, just be yourself. You'll click with some and not with other. But if you apply to a ton of firms where it doesn't matter whether you have a good interview because you are barred by crap grades- those are wasted bids.

LA was a bloodbath. I heard TX was fairly good, that's about it.

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Re: Are Prospects Really That Bad in T10? Please Cut Me Down.

Postby BruceWayne » Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:48 pm

In the last few months I've seen a mass number of TLS posters say 100 different things about this topic, many of which are contradictory. Some of these posters have responded in this thread. I've heard everything from "Only HYS are safe" to "the only place with firm jobs is NYC" to " top 6 are safe" to only top 1/3 at MVP are getting firms jobs" to "Everyone without WE is out of luck". The truth is that you need to ask career services and use a bit of common sense. The reality is that no on on here definitively knows the answer to this and a lot of it is just baseless speculation.

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Re: Are Prospects Really That Bad in T10? Please Cut Me Down.

Postby D-ROCCA » Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:52 pm

wise words from the dark knight...




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