Anonymous User wrote:I actually agree with you on almost everything you said. Which is my point. My point is that work experience before law school and your interviewing skills (which probably aren't going to be stellar if you come to law school straight from undergrad, have no work experience, have no good reasons for wanting to be a lawyer, etc.) is more important in your OCI interviews than your class rank or the rank of your school. The kids that lack work experience and interview skills yet are in the top 25% are STILL going to have problems getting a job. The kids that are ranked lower but have work experience and great interviewing skills, and who aren't 23 and who know better than to show up to OCI in a pinstripe suit with a vest, etc., will have an easier time getting a job, regardless of their class rank. Hence, my ultimate point, which is class rank doesn't guarantee you a good job, and a lower class rank doesn't shut you out of getting a good job.
If anything, the stress the posters on this thread put on the importance of class rank is what ENCOURAGES naive students to go to law school. Because you're leading them to believe that if they get fabulous grades (and of COURSE everyone thinks they are going to get fabulous grades...), they have it made. And if they don't, blame the economy. Or blame the school's ranking. Because it can't be YOU! YOU got in the top 10%! You should be handed a job. Saying that class rank guarantees you a job is what encourages kids to go to law school when they shouldn't.
What school you go to, and what class rank you get after your first year aren't the most important factors. Thats what I keep trying to say. Clearly, I need to implement better use of CRAC in writing my posts, because it seems like you're interpreting my posts to say "Go to law school and get lucky!" No. I'm saying "Your class rank isn't the magic formula to getting a job!" Thus, if you're highly ranked and can't get a job; or if you're ranked lower (like me) and can get a job, this shouldn't surprise anyone.
Great post. And thanks for the tip re. interview wardrobe.
This summarizes what I've directly heard from students and the career office at Hastings. After going to a bunch of campus meetings where students interested in a particular practice area hear from current 2&3Ls who've found a job in that field, I've met and talked to a number of students who've had essentially the same experience. They made it clear that these days, students who don't come out of law school with more than just their class rank will have a tougher time landing a job. The average attorney's work is fairly routine so employers realize that for doing such jobs most law students ranked even within tens of percentile of each other in class rank at a school like Hastings aren't substantially different. It's just that they often don't have anything else to base their selection on. They actually want to find something more, hence the importance of networking, chance face to face meeting, special technical background, UG & Grad alumni network, family connections, etc...anything that'll make the applicant more than a number.
All this should seem obvious to anyone with significant WE, but I understand it's tough for fresh undergrads to swallow. Even Cal's job prospects are hurting according to TLS and the problem's obviously the economy, not the school. There aren't too many schools better for CA (only three comes to mind). Unless you can get into Y/H/S, which unfortunately benefit from the prestige-whore nature of the legal profession and make things easier by not using grades, you should expect to rely on more than only your class rank to find an acceptable position upon graduating (at least here in CA). Yet still as best I can tell and with few exceptions top 10-15% at Hastings will do fine regardless. I find this impressive because there aren't too many professions out there now where one can walk out of school, with little direct skills, and make a six figure salary right off the bat simply based on exam grades.