Number one in my class at T3, what to do?

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jc7
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Number one in my class at T3, what to do?

Postby jc7 » Tue Jan 31, 2012 6:14 am

Hey, so I need some advice from some top-law-schoolers that have thought through their future. I think I undershot a little bit when applying, ended up going to a T3 for cheap. (It's edging its way up though, almost T2.) I'm not really sure where I'd fall at a T14 school. I maxed out my absences last semester in every class, and read maybe half the cases, and ended up number one.

My dilemma: paid 1L summer at top firm VS unpaid at my dad's small town solo. My worry is that I'd be shooting myself in the foot to go hang out with my dad this summer. I don't intend to "take over the family business" when I graduate, though the idea of going solo is very appealing. I just want to be somewhere a little bigger. The firm I'd be turning down is easily the most prestigious in my state...

My questions:

1. Would I be closing the door forever on a lush private firm career if I say no? Can I still do a 2L summer and be all set?
2. Would it be silly to go solo (with father as mentor) right out of law school, considering my pretty good prospects? (financially + quality of life type considerations)
3. Just how significant is being number one at a T3 school?

I really haven't thought about all of this until now, as I had always intended to do solo/small firm stuff, maybe gov't. Now that the doors are all open, I'm nervous I might close them on accident.

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traehekat
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Re: Number one in my class at T3, what to do?

Postby traehekat » Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:25 am

1. No
1a. But you would probably be closing the door to working at that particular firm in the future. Since it is "easily the most prestigious in your state" you might want to think a little harder about turning them down, especially if you want to work in your state. Also remember that with TTTs, they tend to carry the most - if not all - of their weight in the state they reside. You could be shutting the door to the best opportunity you will likely receive as a law student.
2. Yes
2a. It's silly because you have other great opportunities and you don't even want to take over that practice. Going solo right out of law school is a horrible idea to begin with.
3. Significant, congrats!

Edit: In case the early morning rambling above didn't get the point across, TAKE THE FIRM JOB.

WSJ_Law
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Re: Number one in my class at T3, what to do?

Postby WSJ_Law » Tue Jan 31, 2012 5:09 pm

Ask firm to split summer

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traehekat
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Re: Number one in my class at T3, what to do?

Postby traehekat » Tue Jan 31, 2012 6:02 pm

WSJ_Law wrote:Ask firm to split summer


this was an obvious answer i overlooked haha. yeah OP, try this.

truevines
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Re: Number one in my class at T3, what to do?

Postby truevines » Tue Jan 31, 2012 7:03 pm

jc7 wrote:
My dilemma: paid 1L summer at top firm VS unpaid at my dad's small town solo.


Since that's your dad's firm, could you work for him in the first few weeks before the paid SA starts and the weeks after the SA ends but before school starts?

I mean, usually, the SA starts in the last week of May and ends in the last week of July or the first week of August. You can work for your dad before and after the SA.

mrloblaw
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Re: Number one in my class at T3, what to do?

Postby mrloblaw » Tue Jan 31, 2012 7:17 pm

jc7 wrote:Hey, so I need some advice from some top-law-schoolers that have thought through their future. I think I undershot a little bit when applying, ended up going to a T3 for cheap. (It's edging its way up though, almost T2.) I'm not really sure where I'd fall at a T14 school. I maxed out my absences last semester in every class, and read maybe half the cases, and ended up number one.

My dilemma: paid 1L summer at top firm VS unpaid at my dad's small town solo. My worry is that I'd be shooting myself in the foot to go hang out with my dad this summer. I don't intend to "take over the family business" when I graduate, though the idea of going solo is very appealing. I just want to be somewhere a little bigger. The firm I'd be turning down is easily the most prestigious in my state...

My questions:

1. Would I be closing the door forever on a lush private firm career if I say no? Can I still do a 2L summer and be all set?
2. Would it be silly to go solo (with father as mentor) right out of law school, considering my pretty good prospects? (financially + quality of life type considerations)
3. Just how significant is being number one at a T3 school?

I really haven't thought about all of this until now, as I had always intended to do solo/small firm stuff, maybe gov't. Now that the doors are all open, I'm nervous I might close them on accident.


Go to the firm. (1) it pays, (2) it provides better future options, and (3) I'd expect your father to be more understanding of that sort of thing than a random law firm.

If you must work for your father, split, as already suggested.

And congrats on making #1.

phonepro
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Re: Number one in my class at T3, what to do?

Postby phonepro » Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:12 pm

how ridiculous is this? if taking over your dads practice is what you end up wanting to do.. then you can do that whether or not you work for him this summer... you go to a T3 and you have the oppty to do a 1L biglaw job, and you are debating turning it down? just seems ridiculous.

Even if you 100% knew you wanted to go to your dads firm, you still take the job. make 3K a week (or whatever your market is) and save it or go wild and spend it. you could have worked for your dad if you were last in your class.. dont miss out on this oppty. what is even the logic / reason of you considering taking your dads gig?

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Lil Kev
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Re: Number one in my class at T3, what to do?

Postby Lil Kev » Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:38 pm

3000 can buy a lot of fun.

jc7
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Re: Number one in my class at T3, what to do?

Postby jc7 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:26 pm

Thanks for the input everyone, lots of good points. Also, thanks for the congrats! I was shocked and very pleased when I found out.

Could someone say more about split summers?

Also, in answer to this:

phonepro wrote:
Even if you 100% knew you wanted to go to your dads firm, you still take the job. make 3K a week (or whatever your market is) and save it or go wild and spend it. you could have worked for your dad if you were last in your class.. dont miss out on this oppty. what is even the logic / reason of you considering taking your dads gig?


I don't want to take over his practice because I don't want to live in such a small town.

The logic for considering my dad's gig for the summer is that it will be very easy and relaxed. He has interesting, real-world clients. I'd be doing more direct work (writing trusts for example). Also, he serves as a part-time judge (so he can still practice law), so I would get exposure to that. His jurisdiction is limited to smaller stuff, though.

In contrast, the firm job would eat my summer. I think they give Sundays off. They do a lot of corporate stuff, which is not in line with my interests. I must admit, I only have a vague idea of what I'd be doing there. The money is much less than $3000/wk. I'm in an area that's the polar opposite of NY, Chicago, Cali, etc. as far as BigLaw goes.

When I decided to go to a T3, I obviously was not thinking of a biglaw job. I'm still not sure I am. I'd prefer a boutique that favors alternative billing. Cost of living is low here, and I'll graduate with very little debt, so I don't need a $100,000+ job immediately upon graduation. I'd prefer to start my own practice, but of course the problem there is getting clients.

Overall, I guess I'm lazy, and that's my motivation for considering my dad's gig.

LawIdiot86
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Re: Number one in my class at T3, what to do?

Postby LawIdiot86 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:33 pm

jc7 wrote:Thanks for the input everyone, lots of good points. Also, thanks for the congrats! I was shocked and very pleased when I found out.

Could someone say more about split summers?

Also, in answer to this:

phonepro wrote:
Even if you 100% knew you wanted to go to your dads firm, you still take the job. make 3K a week (or whatever your market is) and save it or go wild and spend it. you could have worked for your dad if you were last in your class.. dont miss out on this oppty. what is even the logic / reason of you considering taking your dads gig?


I don't want to take over his practice because I don't want to live in such a small town.

The logic for considering my dad's gig for the summer is that it will be very easy and relaxed. He has interesting, real-world clients. I'd be doing more direct work (writing trusts for example). Also, he serves as a part-time judge (so he can still practice law), so I would get exposure to that. His jurisdiction is limited to smaller stuff, though.

In contrast, the firm job would eat my summer. I think they give Sundays off. They do a lot of corporate stuff, which is not in line with my interests. I must admit, I only have a vague idea of what I'd be doing there. The money is much less than $3000/wk. I'm in an area that's the polar opposite of NY, Chicago, Cali, etc. as far as BigLaw goes.

When I decided to go to a T3, I obviously was not thinking of a biglaw job. I'm still not sure I am. I'd prefer a boutique that favors alternative billing. Cost of living is low here, and I'll graduate with very little debt, so I don't need a $100,000+ job immediately upon graduation. I'd prefer to start my own practice, but of course the problem there is getting clients.

Overall, I guess I'm lazy, and that's my motivation for considering my dad's gig.


As it's not been said yet, you should also apply as a transfer at the T6/T10. Even if you have a full-ride at your TTT, you won't regret later in life going to Harvard.

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ndirish2010
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Re: Number one in my class at T3, what to do?

Postby ndirish2010 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:02 pm

Chicago EA in case you are not #1 after this semester...

Riles246
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Re: Number one in my class at T3, what to do?

Postby Riles246 » Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:36 am

Yeah I vote transfer + take the paying gig (not at your father's firm). If you can get into a T30 you at least buy yourself a little breathing room in case you have a bad grade or two over the next 2 years, plus you get to tell people you went to X law school without them saying "where's that?".

I took this route, went from #80ish law school to #30ish and it opened so many doors ultimately leading to biglaw. I'm not sure I would have gotten biglaw at the #80 school even if I was in the top few students.

Anonymous User
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Re: Number one in my class at T3, what to do?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:39 pm

EA at Chicago might be the right move in this case. I might even consider Georgetown EA too.
I have a very good friend who went to law school with me that killed it 1st semester with almost a 4.0 and was ranked in the top 3%. Somehow his grades dropped to between top 15%-20% after second semester. He is really regretted not doing the ED to Georgetown or Chicago after his first semester grades.

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Kikero
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Re: Number one in my class at T3, what to do?

Postby Kikero » Thu Feb 02, 2012 1:10 pm

Definitely thought this was a joke from somebody claiming to be #1 at HYS when I read the title.

jc7
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Re: Number one in my class at T3, what to do?

Postby jc7 » Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:07 pm

LawIdiot86 wrote:As it's not been said yet, you should also apply as a transfer at the T6/T10. Even if you have a full-ride at your TTT, you won't regret later in life going to Harvard.

Do you really think I have a shot at Harvard? I figure there are about 100 people that were number one at a higher ranked law school than mine. Surely many are gunning for a seat.

Riles246 wrote:I took this route, went from #80ish law school to #30ish and it opened so many doors ultimately leading to biglaw. I'm not sure I would have gotten biglaw at the #80 school even if I was in the top few students.

Congrats! However, does this advice hold true if I'm steering clear of biglaw?

ndirish2010 wrote:Chicago EA in case you are not #1 after this semester...

Chicago EA is binding, no? Is Georgetown's?

Kikero wrote:Definitely thought this was a joke from somebody claiming to be #1 at HYS when I read the title.

Haha... probably should have said "TTT"

LawIdiot86
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Re: Number one in my class at T3, what to do?

Postby LawIdiot86 » Thu Feb 02, 2012 3:32 pm

jc7 wrote:
LawIdiot86 wrote:As it's not been said yet, you should also apply as a transfer at the T6/T10. Even if you have a full-ride at your TTT, you won't regret later in life going to Harvard.

Do you really think I have a shot at Harvard? I figure there are about 100 people that were number one at a higher ranked law school than mine. Surely many are gunning for a seat.

Riles246 wrote:I took this route, went from #80ish law school to #30ish and it opened so many doors ultimately leading to biglaw. I'm not sure I would have gotten biglaw at the #80 school even if I was in the top few students.

Congrats! However, does this advice hold true if I'm steering clear of biglaw?



You have an outside shot. I know nothing about you. Maybe you have an interesting WE story, an odd major, went to the right undergrad, are from the right town. You'll never know unless you try and being #1, even at a TTT makes it worth it.

Going to a T14 won't close any doors that are currently open to you. Unless you're certain you want to do a super-low paying job that is easily obtainable from a TTT, a T14 will add a little debt and open many more doors. These will be doors in addition to having a shot at biglaw.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Number one in my class at T3, what to do?

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Feb 02, 2012 3:49 pm

Consider Chicago ED. Otherwise much depends upon your second semester performance. If you remain in the top (1%) one percent of your class, then Harvard is a reasonable possibility. If you fall a bit, but stay in the top 5%, then apply to Columbia, NYU, Penn, Duke & Northwestern. If you fall outside of the top 10%, then transferring to a T-14 is unlikely, in my opinion.




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