How to break into WLRK?

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Re: How to break into WLRK?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 18, 2011 1:25 pm

At least at S, you don't have to be in the top 10% to get SA at WLRK. Sure, straight Ps won't cut it, but a healthy mix of Hs and Ps plus the right personality and background will get you a spot. My sense at S is that WLRK is not the most desired firm for S kids.

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Re: How to break into WLRK?

Postby bdubs » Wed May 18, 2011 1:28 pm

quakeroats wrote:They recruit 90% of their associates from 8 schools:

Harvard: 26
Columbia: 18
NYU: 16
Yale: 12
Stanford: 12
Penn: 11
Chicago: 9
Duke: 6


How did Duke manage to place 6 people without WLRK coming to their OCI? Is NALP wrong about the schools that they recruit from?

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Re: How to break into WLRK?

Postby Veyron » Wed May 18, 2011 2:03 pm

Oh don't get me wrong - this is litigation, too. Wachtell structures their takeover defense so that it's defensible in court, but it also represents them in court to argue these defenses. M&A takeover defenses are transactionally implemented, but they're driven by and in response to the underlying Delaware (i.e., corporate) case law that continues to develop. For an example of some of the issues/considerations in these cases, http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2011/02/16/ ... pill-case/ might be an interesting read. In any event, glad to hear you're staying open to it.


Actually, that does sound interesting. Though Wachtell isn't exactly known for its litigation chops, didn't they get their asses handed to them by Joe Jamail's two lawyer office? I think Carl Icahn did a comedy routine about it.

bdubs wrote:
quakeroats wrote:They recruit 90% of their associates from 8 schools:

Harvard: 26
Columbia: 18
NYU: 16
Yale: 12
Stanford: 12
Penn: 11
Chicago: 9
Duke: 6


How did Duke manage to place 6 people without WLRK coming to their OCI? Is NALP wrong about the schools that they recruit from?


You can still send your resume to firms that don't come to OCI man.

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Re: How to break into WLRK?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 18, 2011 2:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:At least at S, you don't have to be in the top 10% to get SA at WLRK. Sure, straight Ps won't cut it, but a healthy mix of Hs and Ps plus the right personality and background will get you a spot. My sense at S is that WLRK is not the most desired firm for S kids.


How do you know this? Sounds like S trolling.

And honestly, BigLaw sucks in general. Most will leave their firms and do something else after a couple years -- that's where the big name of WLRK comes in to play. From those I've spoken to who are in finance and other industries, the WLRK name on the resume carries significantly more weight than any other corporate law firm when trying to lateral into those industries.

So, yes, the hours are brutal -- but how much worse are they than other firms? I recall seeing a survey showing that WLRK associates worked 3100 hours or so in total compared to 2300-2700 for other top V10 firms. While they do earn more money -- perhaps a 100k advantage -- that would be taxed at 40% down to 60k so you're working 400-800 more hours for 60k per year. Considering the additional loss of already scarce leisure time, it's true that the trade-off is very difficult to make. But the exit options, immediate substantive responsibility and better prospects of making partner (a faustian bargain, to be sure) make it worth it for those who are fine with working a bit harder in their earlier years for (perhaps far) better prospects down the road.

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Re: How to break into WLRK?

Postby RevolverX » Wed May 18, 2011 2:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:At least at S, you don't have to be in the top 10% to get SA at WLRK. Sure, straight Ps won't cut it, but a healthy mix of Hs and Ps plus the right personality and background will get you a spot. My sense at S is that WLRK is not the most desired firm for S kids.


How do you know this? Sounds like S trolling.

And honestly, BigLaw sucks in general. Most will leave their firms and do something else after a couple years -- that's where the big name of WLRK comes in to play. From those I've spoken to who are in finance and other industries, the WLRK name on the resume carries significantly more weight than any other corporate law firm when trying to lateral into those industries.

So, yes, the hours are brutal -- but how much worse are they than other firms? I recall seeing a survey showing that WLRK associates worked 3100 hours or so in total compared to 2300-2700 for other top V10 firms. While they do earn more money -- perhaps a 100k advantage -- that would be taxed at 40% down to 60k so you're working 400-800 more hours for 60k per year. Considering the additional loss of already scarce leisure time, it's true that the trade-off is very difficult to make. But the exit options, immediate substantive responsibility and better prospects of making partner (a faustian bargain, to be sure) make it worth it for those who are fine with working a bit harder in their earlier years for (perhaps far) better prospects down the road.


This is what I don't understand. If biglaw sucks, and majority of folks leave after a couple years, is it only used to pay back student loans? Why don't they want to stay in it in the long-term? Well I guess it's soul-drenching after all.

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Re: How to break into WLRK?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 18, 2011 2:32 pm

RevolverX wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:At least at S, you don't have to be in the top 10% to get SA at WLRK. Sure, straight Ps won't cut it, but a healthy mix of Hs and Ps plus the right personality and background will get you a spot. My sense at S is that WLRK is not the most desired firm for S kids.


How do you know this? Sounds like S trolling.

And honestly, BigLaw sucks in general. Most will leave their firms and do something else after a couple years -- that's where the big name of WLRK comes in to play. From those I've spoken to who are in finance and other industries, the WLRK name on the resume carries significantly more weight than any other corporate law firm when trying to lateral into those industries.

So, yes, the hours are brutal -- but how much worse are they than other firms? I recall seeing a survey showing that WLRK associates worked 3100 hours or so in total compared to 2300-2700 for other top V10 firms. While they do earn more money -- perhaps a 100k advantage -- that would be taxed at 40% down to 60k so you're working 400-800 more hours for 60k per year. Considering the additional loss of already scarce leisure time, it's true that the trade-off is very difficult to make. But the exit options, immediate substantive responsibility and better prospects of making partner (a faustian bargain, to be sure) make it worth it for those who are fine with working a bit harder in their earlier years for (perhaps far) better prospects down the road.


This is what I don't understand. If biglaw sucks, and majority of folks leave after a couple years, is it only used to pay back student loans? Why don't they want to stay in it in the long-term? Well I guess it's soul-drenching after all.


Because top corporate law firms are highly leveraged with associate to partner ratios at around 5:1 at some firms. Existing partners surely don't want to dilute their profits among more partners and it's difficult for associates to find new business when existing partners monopolize most of it. So most associates are forced to leave the firm -- the vast majority -- at around the 6th or 7th year. Many leave earlier because the trade-off in personal time is too great and they find the future prospects of their BigLaw career to be bleak for the reasons outlined above.

Those who leave are usually going in-house, but to get those positions (many of which are quite cozy and pay relatively well) you first need BigLaw experience. If you go into PI or whatever else, it's very difficult to get an in-house position down the road, while it's a lot easier to go from BigLaw to PI. Thus, going into BigLaw presents some better exit options in general than the PI route since you have more flexibility. I think working at WLRK could be another step up in terms of exit options thus making the trade-off worth it, at least for me. But all I have is anecdotal evidence and intuition backing up my conclusion.

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Re: How to break into WLRK?

Postby bdubs » Wed May 18, 2011 3:12 pm

Veyron wrote:You can still send your resume to firms that don't come to OCI man.


I assumed top candidates from a number of schools were sending their resumes, it seemed strange that Duke was much better represented than other schools (like Cornell, which I would have expected to have more than 1 associate)

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Re: How to break into WLRK?

Postby quakeroats » Wed May 18, 2011 3:28 pm

bdubs wrote:
quakeroats wrote:They recruit 90% of their associates from 8 schools:

Harvard: 26
Columbia: 18
NYU: 16
Yale: 12
Stanford: 12
Penn: 11
Chicago: 9
Duke: 6


How did Duke manage to place 6 people without WLRK coming to their OCI? Is NALP wrong about the schools that they recruit from?


I seem to remember them being here in the past but I haven't seen the list for the fall.

Keep in mind that those numbers aren't adjusted for class size, number of students sent to particular regions, etc. For example, Duke sends about 20-23% of its class to New York and has a general class size of around 205-215 whereas Penn sends around 60% of its class to New York (actually somewhat less because Penn's career office tries to hide those that remain in PA in their New York number by only reporting "Middle Atlantic" placement) and has a class size around 250.

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Re: How to break into WLRK?

Postby quakeroats » Wed May 18, 2011 3:33 pm

RevolverX wrote:Well I guess it's soul-drenching after all.


Draining. Destroying. Drenching?

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Re: How to break into WLRK?

Postby fatduck » Wed May 18, 2011 3:41 pm

quakeroats wrote:
RevolverX wrote:Well I guess it's soul-drenching after all.


Draining. Destroying. Drenching?

you got it wrong. it makes him wet.

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Re: How to break into WLRK?

Postby quakeroats » Wed May 18, 2011 3:43 pm

fatduck wrote:
quakeroats wrote:
RevolverX wrote:Well I guess it's soul-drenching after all.


Draining. Destroying. Drenching?

you got it wrong. it makes him wet.


Btw, what are your thoughts on snail porridge?

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Re: How to break into WLRK?

Postby Veyron » Wed May 18, 2011 4:06 pm

bdubs wrote:
Veyron wrote:You can still send your resume to firms that don't come to OCI man.


I assumed top candidates from a number of schools were sending their resumes, it seemed strange that Duke was much better represented than other schools (like Cornell, which I would have expected to have more than 1 associate)


These numbers aren't statistically significant broham.

Keep in mind that those numbers aren't adjusted for class size, number of students sent to particular regions, etc. For example, Duke sends about 20-23% of its class to New York and has a general class size of around 205-215 whereas Penn sends around 60% of its class to New York (actually somewhat less because Penn's career office tries to hide those that remain in PA in their New York number by only reporting "Middle Atlantic" placement) and has a class size around 250.


Considering how many people apply to Penn who want to work in PA, it would make no sense to "hide" that number.

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Re: How to break into WLRK?

Postby quakeroats » Wed May 18, 2011 4:37 pm

Veyron wrote:
These numbers aren't statistically significant broham.


I don't think you know what that means.

Considering how many people apply to Penn who want to work in PA, it would make no sense to "hide" that number.


I doubt they're even a plurality. They haven't updated the numbers online since 2008 either, so I suspect something's up.

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Re: How to break into WLRK?

Postby bdubs » Wed May 18, 2011 4:48 pm

Veyron wrote:
bdubs wrote:
Veyron wrote:You can still send your resume to firms that don't come to OCI man.


I assumed top candidates from a number of schools were sending their resumes, it seemed strange that Duke was much better represented than other schools (like Cornell, which I would have expected to have more than 1 associate)


These numbers aren't statistically significant broham.


I would venture to guess that the number of resumes/applications that WLRK receives could make those outcomes statistically significant. I would also venture to guess that the yield on offers from WLRK is very high because of its name recognition and pay, so turning down offers may not be a huge issue. Hence these outcomes may very well be statistically valid, although it is very hard to show that with the information available.
Last edited by bdubs on Wed May 18, 2011 4:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How to break into WLRK?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 18, 2011 4:55 pm

How do you know this? Sounds like S trolling.


I'm at Stanford and know a number of the students who received SA offers from WLRK. I'm not trying to troll--I imagine (and the numbers posted below indicate) that WLRK dips similarly far into the Stanford and Yale classes (and potentially Harvard as well). Anything that I say about grades at Stanford certainly applies at Yale, and probably Harvard, as well.

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Re: How to break into WLRK?

Postby Veyron » Wed May 18, 2011 6:00 pm

quakeroats wrote:
Veyron wrote:
These numbers aren't statistically significant broham.


I don't think you know what that means.

Considering how many people apply to Penn who want to work in PA, it would make no sense to "hide" that number.


I doubt they're even a plurality. They haven't updated the numbers online since 2008 either, so I suspect something's up.


Ummmm, I have the updated numbers, nothing up besides the obvious great recession drop-off.

As far as the PA market, it may not be a plurality but it wouldn't surprise me if it was high on the list. Also, PA has a reputation for being a more competitive market than NYC (although I don't know if this is true), so again, why hide it?

I would venture to guess that the number of resumes/applications that WLRK receives could make those outcomes statistically significant. I would also venture to guess that the yield on offers from WLRK is very high because of its name recognition and pay, so turning down offers may not be a huge issue. Hence these outcomes may very well be statistically valid, although it is very hard to show that with the information available.


Possible I guess.

Again, I think far fewer people bother than you think. You pretty much wouldn't waste the time unless you (a) have great grades (b) go to a great school (c) want to do M&A. I too used to think that WLRK was some holy grail but the fact of the matter is, like most law firms, its the right fit for some people and not for others. Firms, especially "smaller" biglaw firms, really are more different than TLS gives them credit for being.

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Re: How to break into WLRK?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 18, 2011 10:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
How do you know this? Sounds like S trolling.


I'm at Stanford and know a number of the students who received SA offers from WLRK. I'm not trying to troll--I imagine (and the numbers posted below indicate) that WLRK dips similarly far into the Stanford and Yale classes (and potentially Harvard as well). Anything that I say about grades at Stanford certainly applies at Yale, and probably Harvard, as well.


This is true. The 2010 summer class had zero SLS people, despite multiple offers to students. The top 20% or so of SLS people (if they're going to a firm at all) are going to the top DC and California firms--not New York. It makes sense that if WLRK wants any SLS students, they dig deeper into the class.

Also, to answer the question about the Duke associates: most (all?) of them either came from a clerkship, not OCI + summer associate, are JD/MBAs, or are senior associates from back when WLRK did Duke OCI.

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Re: How to break into WLRK?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 18, 2011 10:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
How do you know this? Sounds like S trolling.


I'm at Stanford and know a number of the students who received SA offers from WLRK. I'm not trying to troll--I imagine (and the numbers posted below indicate) that WLRK dips similarly far into the Stanford and Yale classes (and potentially Harvard as well). Anything that I say about grades at Stanford certainly applies at Yale, and probably Harvard, as well.


This is true. The 2010 summer class had zero SLS people, despite multiple offers to students. The top 20% or so of SLS people (if they're going to a firm at all) are going to the top DC and California firms--not New York. It makes sense that if WLRK wants any SLS students, they dig deeper into the class.

Also, to answer the question about the Duke associates: most (all?) of them either came from a clerkship, not OCI + summer associate, are JD/MBAs, or are senior associates from back when WLRK did Duke OCI.


I'm the person above, and just to clarify--I'm not saying the people going to WLRK from SLS don't have really good grades; I really have no idea. It's just the demand for WLRK is not huge--most people want DC/California, so they're willing to turn down WLRK for say, Williams & Connolly or MTO.

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Re: How to break into WLRK?

Postby APimpNamedSlickback » Wed May 18, 2011 10:39 pm

according to some hls data ive got here for a given eip, wlrk interviewed 94 candidates and ultimately made 4 offers. all 4 accepted.
every kid i know heading there this summer had a serious shot at the sears prize.

wachtell is essentially where brilliant law students go as an alternative to chasing down a supreme court clerkship. this thread may as well be debating the merits of entering the nba draft or something. so few have a shot that it ends up being a colossal waste of time.

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Re: How to break into WLRK?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 18, 2011 10:51 pm

APimpNamedSlickback wrote:according to some hls data ive got here for a given eip, wlrk interviewed 94 candidates and ultimately made 4 offers. all 4 accepted.
every kid i know heading there this summer had a serious shot at the sears prize.

wachtell is essentially where brilliant law students go as an alternative to chasing a supreme court clerkship. this thread may as well be debating the merits of entering the nba draft or something. so few have a shot that it ends up being a colossal waste of time.


LOL, this is where things get out of control. It's just a firm. I know people going there this summer/have been there previous summers who aren't even on law review, let alone in the running for SC clerkships. And people who want SC clerkships generally do litigation, not corporate, which is really what attracts candidates to WLRK, so the overlap isn't THAT significant. Potential SC clerks go to or are already at lit boutiques, not WLRK (with exceptions of course, there are definitely ex-clerks there, but there are ex-clerks at lots of firms--it's not like WLRK is overflowing with them). Maybe so few at HLS have a shot, but at YS it's not totally crazy with a healthy dose of Hs/a genuine interest in what they do (the interviewers pride themselves on being able to see through who just wants to be there for the name, not the work).

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Re: How to break into WLRK?

Postby APimpNamedSlickback » Wed May 18, 2011 10:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
APimpNamedSlickback wrote:according to some hls data ive got here for a given eip, wlrk interviewed 94 candidates and ultimately made 4 offers. all 4 accepted.
every kid i know heading there this summer had a serious shot at the sears prize.

wachtell is essentially where brilliant law students go as an alternative to chasing a supreme court clerkship. this thread may as well be debating the merits of entering the nba draft or something. so few have a shot that it ends up being a colossal waste of time.


LOL, this is where things get out of control. It's just a firm. I know people going there this summer/have been there previous summers who aren't even on law review, let alone in the running for SC clerkships. And people who want SC clerkships generally do litigation, not corporate, which is really what attracts candidates to WLRK, so the overlap isn't THAT significant. Potential SC clerks go to or are already at lit boutiques, not WLRK (with exceptions of course, there are definitely ex-clerks there, but there are ex-clerks at lots of firms--it's not like WLRK is overflowing with them). Maybe so few at HLS have a shot, but at YS it's not totally crazy with a healthy dose of Hs/a genuine interest in what they do (the interviewers pride themselves on being able to see through who just wants to be there for the name, not the work).


i meant "people smart enough to potentially be in contention for such a clerkship had they decided to pursue one." your screed about boutiques suggests that you think i meant "people that have every credential required for scotus, but nevertheless select wlkr."

my only point is that the grade bar is outrageously high, even at harvard. and the next easiest place to get a gig at wachtell isn't stanford, but rather columbia.

jesus i really should be subciting right now. i really hope you dont respond with something stupid, because then i'll feel even worse about having taken the time to argue with you.
Last edited by APimpNamedSlickback on Wed May 18, 2011 10:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How to break into WLRK?

Postby Nom Sawyer » Wed May 18, 2011 10:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
APimpNamedSlickback wrote:according to some hls data ive got here for a given eip, wlrk interviewed 94 candidates and ultimately made 4 offers. all 4 accepted.
every kid i know heading there this summer had a serious shot at the sears prize.

wachtell is essentially where brilliant law students go as an alternative to chasing a supreme court clerkship. this thread may as well be debating the merits of entering the nba draft or something. so few have a shot that it ends up being a colossal waste of time.


LOL, this is where things get out of control. It's just a firm. I know people going there this summer/have been there previous summers who aren't even on law review, let alone in the running for SC clerkships. And people who want SC clerkships generally do litigation, not corporate, which is really what attracts candidates to WLRK, so the overlap isn't THAT significant. Potential SC clerks go to or are already at lit boutiques, not WLRK (with exceptions of course, there are definitely ex-clerks there, but there are ex-clerks at lots of firms--it's not like WLRK is overflowing with them). Maybe so few at HLS have a shot, but at YS it's not totally crazy with a healthy dose of Hs/a genuine interest in what they do (the interviewers pride themselves on being able to see through who just wants to be there for the name, not the work).


Actually yeah I think APNS' anecdote might be atypical. Somebody asked this basic question to a WLRK partner at a HLS event this year, and he said generally there is a rough cutoff (20%? maybe) but its not a bright line rule. In fact there was a SA from H a couple years ago who was medianish.

(Although of course, extremely high grades is probably closer to the rule than the exception)

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Re: How to break into WLRK?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 18, 2011 11:01 pm

APimpNamedSlickback wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
APimpNamedSlickback wrote:according to some hls data ive got here for a given eip, wlrk interviewed 94 candidates and ultimately made 4 offers. all 4 accepted.
every kid i know heading there this summer had a serious shot at the sears prize.

wachtell is essentially where brilliant law students go as an alternative to chasing a supreme court clerkship. this thread may as well be debating the merits of entering the nba draft or something. so few have a shot that it ends up being a colossal waste of time.


LOL, this is where things get out of control. It's just a firm. I know people going there this summer/have been there previous summers who aren't even on law review, let alone in the running for SC clerkships. And people who want SC clerkships generally do litigation, not corporate, which is really what attracts candidates to WLRK, so the overlap isn't THAT significant. Potential SC clerks go to or are already at lit boutiques, not WLRK (with exceptions of course, there are definitely ex-clerks there, but there are ex-clerks at lots of firms--it's not like WLRK is overflowing with them). Maybe so few at HLS have a shot, but at YS it's not totally crazy with a healthy dose of Hs/a genuine interest in what they do (the interviewers pride themselves on being able to see through who just wants to be there for the name, not the work).


i meant "people smart enough to potentially be in contention for such a clerkship had they decided to pursue one." your screed about boutiques suggests that you think i meant "people that have every credential required for scotus, but nevertheless select wlkr."

my only point is that the grade bar is outrageously high, even at harvard. and the next easiest place to get a gig at wachtell isn't stanford, but rather columbia.

jesus i really should be subciting right now. i really hope you dont respond with something stupid, because then i'll feel even worse about taking the time out to argue with you.


I'm not arguing! Obviously it's incredibly selective. I'm just trying to give a perspective from a student at a school that doesn't have 4/4 WLRK offer/acceptance ratio, as well as someone who has talked with their recruiters/hiring committee (which you may have too!)

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Re: How to break into WLRK?

Postby imchuckbass58 » Wed May 18, 2011 11:50 pm

APimpNamedSlickback wrote:my only point is that the grade bar is outrageously high, even at harvard. and the next easiest place to get a gig at wachtell isn't stanford, but rather columbia.


This is not exactly true. Yes, Wachtell is very selective. But it's not solely on grades. There are several other firms which seem to be more grades-focused than watchtell.

The majority of the people who get WLRK at CLS are not on law review, and are not Kent (top 3-5%). Two people I know who worked there did not have top 10% grades by their own admission. Sure, you need good grades, but I'd many DC firms and places like Irell are more grade-selective.

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Re: How to break into WLRK?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 18, 2011 11:58 pm

imchuckbass58 wrote:
APimpNamedSlickback wrote:my only point is that the grade bar is outrageously high, even at harvard. and the next easiest place to get a gig at wachtell isn't stanford, but rather columbia.


This is not exactly true. Yes, Wachtell is very selective. But it's not solely on grades. There are several other firms which seem to be more grades-focused than watchtell.

The majority of the people who get WLRK at CLS are not on law review, and are not Kent (top 3-5%). Two people I know who worked there did not have top 10% grades by their own admission. Sure, you need good grades, but I'd many DC firms and places like Irell are more grade-selective.


I only know 3 people at HLS who have been WLRK SAs, but none have HLR.




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