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Chicago Biglaw Chances

Posted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:04 am
by Anonymous User
Top 20% at Illinois. From Chicago, and want to go back to Chicago. What are my chances and how should I bid? Thanks!

Re: Chicago Biglaw Chances

Posted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:30 am
by Anonymous User
Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

Re: Chicago Biglaw Chances

Posted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 9:44 am
by crazyeddie
..

Re: Chicago Biglaw Chances

Posted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:41 am
by ndirish2010
I don't think they're as bad as the previous poster said, but you're right on the borderline of having a fighting chance at OCI. I can't really give you any great bidding advice, I'm looking for that myself.

Re: Chicago Biglaw Chances

Posted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 11:30 am
by Helmholtz
Yeah, not good at all, but you still have a chance. Didn't UIUC have something like 15% NLJ250 placement in the latest data? There are plenty of people at UChicago, Northwestern, and Michigan who are finding it difficult to get Chicago biglaw.

Re: Chicago Biglaw Chances

Posted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 12:34 pm
by crazyeddie
I'm sorry OP, i misread your post. Top 20% from Illinois you are definitely still in the game. Especially for Chicago. If you interview well you should do fine.

Helmholtz, I think Illinois was like 18%+, and historically they have been closer to 25%. So we'll see how hiring goes this cycle. Also, those numbers are only BigLaw right after graduation (i.e they don't include the top 5% + of the class that takes clerkships after graduation.)

Top 20% from Illinois = still in the game for sure.

Re: Chicago Biglaw Chances

Posted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 12:41 pm
by bjsesq
It might be difficult to get decent advice here. Chicago hasn't experienced close to the rebound NYC has. There are some indications the Chicago market might be experiencing an uptick in hiring this year as compared to last, but it doesn't seem to be that big of one. Larger firms like Kirkland and Sidley are rumored to have larger classes being hired again, but I honestly believe that mid size firms are a better indicator of where things are at. McDermott is rumored to be increasing it's class size, but who knows about others.

My thoughts: OP has a shot. I'm not sure how good it is, but find a firm you believe yourself to be a good fit for, and learn their practice as best you can. Also, make sure you mass mail those firms not attending OCI, and don't form letter it. Good luck.

Re: Chicago Biglaw Chances

Posted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 12:57 pm
by blurbz
As an Illinois student myself, I'm interested in this, too. I have two family friends who are partners at large firms in Chicago and they've said that the legal market in the city is still pretty depressed. Still, they said that people in the top 20% or so will make GPA cutoffs at OCI for almost every firm in the city. We're helped, too, by the alumni base because the presence of so many Illinois grads on the hiring committees establishes unofficial U of I quotas.

Both of them also said that, at least at their firms, Illinois grads fill a niche of talented/hard working/more practical grads than they get from UChi/NW/Mich. That's not to say that those schools don't still outplace us in the city (though technically we place better than Michigan, but that's more due to self-selection of Mich students to the east coast) but just that Illinois students are a recognized commodity in the city.

What do you think your chances are of writing on to LR?

My advice: Target lower ranked Chicago firms. Since we don't really use a ranking system (it just looks that way: we're 90% preselect and the firms don't know where we ranked them, only that they're on our list somewhere) the order of your ranks doesn't much matter. Just find firms that specialize in a subject you're experienced in; have slightly lower gpa cutoffs so you'll be one of the better candidates; or, if you're really interested in moving back to Chicago, there are a number of firms that pay below market (145k instead of 160k for example) that interview at Illinois. Check NALP and maybe cluster a few bids on those firms in the hopes that you'll be one of the more attractive candidates they see.

Re: Chicago Biglaw Chances

Posted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:00 pm
by bjsesq
blurbz wrote:My advice: Target lower ranked Chicago firms. Since we don't really use a ranking system (it just looks that way: we're 90% preselect and the firms don't know where we ranked them, only that they're on our list somewhere) the order of your ranks doesn't much matter. Just find firms that specialize in a subject you're experienced in; have slightly lower gpa cutoffs so you'll be one of the better candidates; or, if you're really interested in moving back to Chicago, there are a number of firms that pay below market (145k instead of 160k for example) that interview at Illinois. Check NALP and maybe cluster a few bids on those firms in the hopes that you'll be one of the more attractive candidates they see.


I'm going to add a caveat to this: simply looking at lower ranked firms can be dangerous, especially when those firms have smaller class sizes. You walk a fine line here. You must balance class size along with lower demand. Simply bidding on lower ranked firms because they are lower can bite you in the ass.

Re: Chicago Biglaw Chances

Posted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:08 pm
by blurbz
bjsesq wrote:
blurbz wrote:My advice: Target lower ranked Chicago firms. Since we don't really use a ranking system (it just looks that way: we're 90% preselect and the firms don't know where we ranked them, only that they're on our list somewhere) the order of your ranks doesn't much matter. Just find firms that specialize in a subject you're experienced in; have slightly lower gpa cutoffs so you'll be one of the better candidates; or, if you're really interested in moving back to Chicago, there are a number of firms that pay below market (145k instead of 160k for example) that interview at Illinois. Check NALP and maybe cluster a few bids on those firms in the hopes that you'll be one of the more attractive candidates they see.


I'm going to add a caveat to this: simply looking at lower ranked firms can be dangerous, especially when those firms have smaller class sizes. You walk a fine line here. You must balance class size along with lower demand. Simply bidding on lower ranked firms because they are lower can bite you in the ass.


Very, very good point. Look at class sizes and also look at their offer percentage: You don't want to go somewhere that historically no-offers 50% of their already small class!

Re: Chicago Biglaw Chances

Posted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:13 pm
by Helmholtz
crazyeddie wrote:Helmholtz, I think Illinois was like 18%+, and historically they have been closer to 25%.


Was just south of 18%, so yeah, I undershot it. According to USNWR, they placed about 4% in Article III clerkships; so roughly 22% is the number that get some kind of biglaw or a clerkship, at least for the years for which that data comes from.

(1) This doesn't mean that top 22% = insta-big-law/clerkship
(2) NLJ250 covers a lot of markets, some of which can't really compare to Chicago biglaw

All in all, I would guess the OP is on the edge — not a comfortable place to be, but certainly better than the wide majority of your classmates. I can see it going either way. I would also agree with bjsesq. A lot of people got burned by bidding heavy on traditionally low-GPA firms when everybody else did the exact same thing.

Re: Chicago Biglaw Chances

Posted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:42 pm
by 09042014
Helmholtz wrote:
crazyeddie wrote:Helmholtz, I think Illinois was like 18%+, and historically they have been closer to 25%.


Was just south of 18%, so yeah, I undershot it. According to USNWR, they placed about 4% in Article III clerkships; so roughly 22% is the number that get some kind of biglaw or a clerkship, at least for the years for which that data comes from.

(1) This doesn't mean that top 22% = insta-big-law/clerkship
(2) NLJ250 covers a lot of markets, some of which can't really compare to Chicago biglaw

All in all, I would guess the OP is on the edge — not a comfortable place to be, but certainly better than the wide majority of your classmates. I can see it going either way. I would also agree with bjsesq. A lot of people got burned by bidding heavy on traditionally low-GPA firms when everybody else did the exact same thing.


Also the last year NLJ data was available for was for the class that did OCI before the economy crashed. That 25->18% drop was people getting no offered.

Chicago firms really fucked schools like UIUC in a bad was in this economy. Firms cut back on Uchi, Mich, and NW grads, but pretty much stopped hiring people below that. In fact for OCI 2009, may chicago firms didn't even go to UIUC OCI.

I think this year will be better for Chicago, but BJS was right. The top firms are recovering faster than the lower firms. I don't know specifics for UIUC, and the OP should really be getting data from his career services. Expecting TLS to know about hiring trends in a regional school is asking too much.

But if I had to guess the OP probably has a shot at everything below Kirkland and Sidley. And if it is preselect like someone else said, then he should probably try for kirkland if he has an open spot.

But really OP needs to find data from his school. Some of these firms might have stricter cut offs for UIUC than they do for NU and Mich. (I don't mean higher, because obviously they do, but I mean more rigid.)

Re: Chicago Biglaw Chances

Posted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:48 pm
by ndirish2010
It's real tough to find that data from Career Services...I tried recently for ours and I got a response that barely answered my question.

Re: Chicago Biglaw Chances

Posted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:49 pm
by Kilpatrick
I don't think Illinois career services is much better. They hired a bunch of new people last year but apparently none that can answer emails or update a website

Re: Chicago Biglaw Chances

Posted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:51 pm
by bjsesq
Kilpatrick wrote:I don't think Illinois career services is much better. They hired a bunch of new people last year but apparently none that can answer emails


I would raise a stink about that. Their job is to serve you. Period. If they don't have the common courtesy to respond your questions, they aren't doing their jobs. That is horseshit. IMO, of course.

Re: Chicago Biglaw Chances

Posted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:57 pm
by 09042014
ndirish2010 wrote:It's real tough to find that data from Career Services...I tried recently for ours and I got a response that barely answered my question.


I guess with preselect it's less important. But still, 19 bids won't cover Chicago properly if you have no clue.

A lot of the problem is that most SA slots exist at the top firms, which you probably have only a small shot at.

Re: Chicago Biglaw Chances

Posted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:59 pm
by ndirish2010
Desert Fox wrote:
ndirish2010 wrote:It's real tough to find that data from Career Services...I tried recently for ours and I got a response that barely answered my question.


I guess with preselect it's less important. But still, 19 bids won't cover Chicago properly if you have no clue.

A lot of the problem is that most SA slots exist at the top firms, which you probably have only a small shot at.


We don't have preselect so our rankings of the firms matter. We can bid on everyone, and then career services slots the interviews based on our ranking of the firms. I'm not a huge fan of the system, there should be at least some preselecting.

Re: Chicago Biglaw Chances

Posted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 2:03 pm
by Helmholtz
ndirish2010 wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
ndirish2010 wrote:It's real tough to find that data from Career Services...I tried recently for ours and I got a response that barely answered my question.


I guess with preselect it's less important. But still, 19 bids won't cover Chicago properly if you have no clue.

A lot of the problem is that most SA slots exist at the top firms, which you probably have only a small shot at.


We don't have preselect so our rankings of the firms matter. We can bid on everyone, and then career services slots the interviews based on our ranking of the firms. I'm not a huge fan of the system, there should be at least some preselecting.


The whole system sounds like a clusterfuck. Is ND intentionally trying to screw over their students with no pre-select + no GPA data for firms?

Re: Chicago Biglaw Chances

Posted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 2:06 pm
by ndirish2010
Helmholtz wrote:
ndirish2010 wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
ndirish2010 wrote:It's real tough to find that data from Career Services...I tried recently for ours and I got a response that barely answered my question.


I guess with preselect it's less important. But still, 19 bids won't cover Chicago properly if you have no clue.

A lot of the problem is that most SA slots exist at the top firms, which you probably have only a small shot at.


We don't have preselect so our rankings of the firms matter. We can bid on everyone, and then career services slots the interviews based on our ranking of the firms. I'm not a huge fan of the system, there should be at least some preselecting.


The whole system sounds like a clusterfuck. Is ND intentionally trying to screw over their students with no pre-select + no GPA data for firms?


It may seem that way but I think they're at least trying to do the right thing haha. That combined with the fact that we don't rank (they don't even give us percentages, the only things we have to go on are Dean's List/Law Review/Median) makes this whole thing a huge guessing game as far as bidding goes. Needless to say, I'm a bit nervous.

Re: Chicago Biglaw Chances

Posted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 2:06 pm
by 09042014
ndirish2010 wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
ndirish2010 wrote:It's real tough to find that data from Career Services...I tried recently for ours and I got a response that barely answered my question.


I guess with preselect it's less important. But still, 19 bids won't cover Chicago properly if you have no clue.

A lot of the problem is that most SA slots exist at the top firms, which you probably have only a small shot at.


We don't have preselect so our rankings of the firms matter. We can bid on everyone, and then career services slots the interviews based on our ranking of the firms. I'm not a huge fan of the system, there should be at least some preselecting.


Then how the fuck do you create a bid list without any data? Seems like they are asking to get their employment numbers fucked.

I actually like lottery better than preselect, but only if there is available data to make the bids informed. Preselect tends to lead to firms selecting only a narrow range of grades, and gives interviews to people who probably don't want that firm particularly bad.

Though I think the further down the rankings the more you need preselect.

Re: Chicago Biglaw Chances

Posted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 2:09 pm
by bjsesq
Desert Fox wrote:I actually like lottery better than preselect, but only if there is available data to make the bids informed. Preselect tends to lead to firms selecting only a narrow range of grades, and gives interviews to people who probably don't want that firm particularly bad.


Agreed. I think the lottery encourages research about firms and will likely lead to more individuals understanding what it is they are getting into when they go to a particular firm. Like learning about how bad DLA Piper truly sucks.

Re: Chicago Biglaw Chances

Posted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 2:13 pm
by Helmholtz
Desert Fox wrote:I actually like lottery better than preselect, but only if there is available data to make the bids informed.


+1

Re: Chicago Biglaw Chances

Posted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 3:13 pm
by Anonymous User
blurbz wrote:What do you think your chances are of writing on to LR?


Not sure, just submitted. Felt good about it, but it is hard to tell.

blurbz wrote: or, if you're really interested in moving back to Chicago, there are a number of firms that pay below market (145k instead of 160k for example) that interview at Illinois. Check NALP and maybe cluster a few bids on those firms in the hopes that you'll be one of the more attractive candidates they see.


Do you not consider the $145k firms to be "BigLaw"? Because I was including anything in the NLJ 250. Infact, I may be more interested in some of the smaller BigLaw firms in the city. I've heard that some (but certainly not all) have a slightly better work/life balance. May also be a little bit easier to make partner at those firms.

Re: Chicago Biglaw Chances

Posted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 3:31 pm
by Helmholtz
Anonymous User wrote:Do you not consider the $145k firms to be "BigLaw"? Because I was including anything in the NLJ 250. Infact, I may be more interested in some of the smaller BigLaw firms in the city. I've heard that some (but certainly not all) have a slightly better work/life balance. May also be a little bit easier to make partner at those firms.


Smaller biglaw-ish firms that pay at least close to market, have a better work/life balance, and provide more opportunities to make partner? From what I've seen, these firms are more difficult to get than a lot of the larger biglaw firms. See e.g. Barack Ferrazzano.

Re: Chicago Biglaw Chances

Posted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 4:02 pm
by Anonymous User
Helmholtz wrote:Smaller biglaw-ish firms that pay at least close to market, have a better work/life balance, and provide more opportunities to make partner? From what I've seen, these firms are more difficult to get than a lot of the larger biglaw firms. See e.g. Barack Ferrazzano.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Barack Ferranzzano kind of an exception? It seems like there are the smaller boutique firms that are still very prestige conscious (e.g. Barack Ferrazzano), and then there are smaller firms that are less prestige conscious (e.g. Chapman & Cutler, McGuire Woods)

I'm not entirely sure though. Appreciate the feedback.