How many Hs for median at Boalt?

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Hiram Walker
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How many Hs for median at Boalt?

Postby Hiram Walker » Tue Jun 12, 2012 5:28 pm

Our grading system makes it very hard to figure out where I'm at.

I've got all Ps first semester, 2 Hs and 1 HH second semester.

Is that medianish?

Non-URM + work experience, no CLR.

Bidding LA.

I know I'm out for the Gibson Dunn, Irell, and Munger types.

Are Latham and O'Melveny too selective to be worth a bid? What about Paul Hastings, Akin Gump, Sidley Austin, Jones Day, MoFo? (LA offices)

What about the Sheppard Mullin, Bingham, Mannatt type firms?

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Re: How many Hs for median at Boalt?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 12, 2012 5:44 pm

Hiram Walker wrote:Our grading system makes it very hard to figure out where I'm at.

I've got all Ps first semester, 2 Hs and 1 HH second semester.

Is that medianish?

Non-URM + work experience, no CLR.

Bidding LA.

I know I'm out for the Gibson Dunn, Irell, and Munger types.

Are Latham and O'Melveny too selective to be worth a bid? What about Paul Hastings, Akin Gump, Sidley Austin, Jones Day, MoFo? (LA offices)

What about the Sheppard Mullin, Bingham, Mannatt type firms?

Based on Boalt's grading system, here's how a probable distribution breaks down:

At graduation, if your GPA on a 5.0 scale is 3.7-3.8, you're top 10%, 3.25-3.4 is top 25%, 3.0 is top 40%, and 2.7-2.8 or thereabouts is median.

After 1L year, curve is harder so lower all those thresholds by 0.1, 3.6-3.7 is top 10%, 3.15-3.3 is top 25%, 2.9 is top 40%, and 2.5-2.6 is median.

Irell/Gibson will require at least top 25% from Boalt, maybe even top 10-15%. Munger will require top 10-15% for sure (i.e. 3 HHs at least).

SM, Bingham etc. probably will dip to above-median.

For class of 2010, 2011, median at Boalt was not good enough. Now (2012, 2013), things are different and probably 50-55% of the class of 2013 is going to get big law, i.e. median or above. Obviously, a good percent of Boalties do PI (~10-15%), so maybe the 50-55% is in the top 60% overall (because a lot of those PI people are smart as phuck).
Last edited by Anonymous User on Tue Jun 12, 2012 6:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: How many Hs for median at Boalt?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 12, 2012 5:58 pm

Hiram Walker wrote:Our grading system makes it very hard to figure out where I'm at.

I've got all Ps first semester, 2 Hs and 1 HH second semester.

Is that medianish?

Non-URM + work experience, no CLR.

Bidding LA.

I know I'm out for the Gibson Dunn, Irell, and Munger types.

Are Latham and O'Melveny too selective to be worth a bid? What about Paul Hastings, Akin Gump, Sidley Austin, Jones Day, MoFo? (LA offices)

What about the Sheppard Mullin, Bingham, Mannatt type firms?

You have a 2.8 on the 5.0 scale, which I think is slightly above median, but very very slightly. Maybe like 55th percentile.

You are correct. Irell/Gibson won't touch you. Munger is super-out unless you're Charlie Munger's daughter or son. OMM and MoFo are very selective. Latham aggressively recruited out of Boalt, but you'll have a ton of competition at just above median.

Sheppard Mullin will take someone slightly above median at Boalt.

Hiram Walker
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Re: How many Hs for median at Boalt?

Postby Hiram Walker » Tue Jun 12, 2012 6:23 pm

Thanks.

Will the upward grade trend help at all?

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Re: How many Hs for median at Boalt?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 12, 2012 6:42 pm

Hiram Walker wrote:Thanks.

Will the upward grade trend help at all?

Maybe. It certainly merits an explanation, i.e., I didn't understand law school exams my very first semester. Now I do. Here are the results.

I wouldn't mention it on my end though, if I were a candidate, i.e., I wouldn't say anything about the trend. Drawing attention to a trend will just highlight that you screwed up your first semester. But I think you will get different opinions on this.

From my experience, employers at Boalt just count the Hs and HHs and go by that. The selective firms want at least 2-3 HHs, the good firms want at least 1-2 HHs and 1-2 Hs, and the average firms want to see a handful of Hs. Be glad you don't have all Ps. I would have no reason to hire someone with all Ps unless they had terrific prior experience and were a splendid interviewer. Even a profile like 5 Ps and 1H I think is dead in the water. The bare minimum, I think, to start thinking big law is 2-3 Hs, which takes you out of the bottom third. You do not want to chill in the bottom third at Boalt, or for that matter any non-HYS

Hell even if you have a EE degree, I don't think (6 Ps) or (5Ps and 1 H) would get you a big law job. Unless of course you want to draft patents for a living, in which case matriculating at Boalt is probably plenty to ensure not only a job but eventual partnership at a midsize prosecution boutique.

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Re: How many Hs for median at Boalt?

Postby Hiram Walker » Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:08 pm

Yeah still trying to figure out how to talk about the upward grade trend.

Anecdotally, the word from the classes ahead of us is that our grading system's lack of precision makes grades a little less predictive of outcomes. Yes all HHs is going to get you a ton of offers and yes all Ps is a longshot for big law. But I personally know someone with a V10 SA with 1 H, no CLR, no IP etc. I've also heard of people walking around with stellar transcripts and no offers. Those are probably rare outcomes but it seems like nearly everyone should try.

I am just happy to be in the running - I'll bid conservatively and pray for the best.

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Re: How many Hs for median at Boalt?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:18 pm

Hiram Walker wrote:Yeah still trying to figure out how to talk about the upward grade trend.

Anecdotally, the word from the classes ahead of us is that our grading system's lack of precision makes grades a little less predictive of outcomes. Yes all HHs is going to get you a ton of offers and yes all Ps is a longshot for big law. But I personally know someone with a V10 SA with 1 H, no CLR, no IP etc. I've also heard of people walking around with stellar transcripts and no offers. Those are probably rare outcomes but it seems like nearly everyone should try.

I am just happy to be in the running - I'll bid conservatively and pray for the best.

Yeah 1H and no CLR -> V10 is not a reliable datapoint. That's like the kid who pays sticker at some TTT and winds up with a big law offer. No one in their right mind is using that person as a reference point for enrolling at a TTT with no scholly.

I think there's a solid chance you will get big law with 1 HH, 2 Hs, rest Ps. Your grade profile (top 45%) is basically in the "I'm OK" zone. You're out of the running for selective firms (Irell, Gibson, Munger, etc.), and you're a reach for other firms like OMM, MoFo etc., but Sheppard, DLA Piper, etc. are looking OK. You should expand your geographic preferences to break out some more options for yourself. This conversation goes to show that if you're all-P'ing at Boalt, and no tech bg, you should drop out if you flame out at OCIP. That school is not worth $75K a year including COL.

Now, if you didn't have that HH and instead had a P, i.e. if you had 2 Hs and 4 Ps, you'd have reason to be like "Shit, now my GPA is like 2.33, which is like the cusp of the bottom third." Then you're looking at brushing your teeth with some whiteners, practicing your handshake grip, maybe your handjob grip, etc. - coz you're looking real real dicey for big law at that point. I would be very shocked if in the next 5 years, Boalt churns out a 70% or thereabouts big law number. I think they're going to stay in the 45-55% big law range for the next decade. They are totally wedded to the California legal industry. Most Boalties stay in California.

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Re: How many Hs for median at Boalt?

Postby Hiram Walker » Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Hiram Walker wrote:Yeah still trying to figure out how to talk about the upward grade trend.

Anecdotally, the word from the classes ahead of us is that our grading system's lack of precision makes grades a little less predictive of outcomes. Yes all HHs is going to get you a ton of offers and yes all Ps is a longshot for big law. But I personally know someone with a V10 SA with 1 H, no CLR, no IP etc. I've also heard of people walking around with stellar transcripts and no offers. Those are probably rare outcomes but it seems like nearly everyone should try.

I am just happy to be in the running - I'll bid conservatively and pray for the best.

Yeah 1H and no CLR -> V10 is not a reliable datapoint. That's like the kid who pays sticker at some TTT and winds up with a big law offer. No one in their right mind is using that person as a reference point for enrolling at a TTT with no scholly.

I think there's a solid chance you will get big law with 1 HH, 2 Hs, rest Ps. Your grade profile (top 45%) is basically in the "I'm OK" zone. You're out of the running for selective firms (Irell, Gibson, Munger, etc.), and you're a reach for other firms like OMM, MoFo etc., but Sheppard, DLA Piper, etc. are looking OK. You should expand your geographic preferences to break out some more options for yourself. This conversation goes to show that if you're all-P'ing at Boalt, and no tech bg, you should drop out if you flame out at OCIP. That school is not worth $75K a year including COL.

Now, if you didn't have that HH and instead had a P, i.e. if you had 2 Hs and 4 Ps, you'd have reason to be like "Shit, now my GPA is like 2.33, which is like the cusp of the bottom third." Then you're looking at brushing your teeth with some whiteners, practicing your handshake grip, maybe your handjob grip, etc. - coz you're looking real real dicey for big law at that point. I would be very shocked if in the next 5 years, Boalt churns out a 70% or thereabouts big law number. I think they're going to stay in the 45-55% big law range for the next decade. They are totally wedded to the California legal industry. Most Boalties stay in California.


Agreed that person was unusual. And I'd say, unless you are committed to public interest, once you've found out your not getting a job through OCI no school except maybe HYS is worth paying anywhere near sticker especially if you have other decent options.

Anyway, was definitely thinking of bidding in other markets to be safe. I'd be interested in NY and DC as well. I have DC ties but I've heard its a very tough market. Not much interest in staying in the Bay Area which is good I think because it feels like everyone wants to be in SF or Silicon Valley.

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Re: How many Hs for median at Boalt?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:38 pm

Hiram Walker wrote:Anyway, was definitely thinking of bidding in other markets to be safe. I'd be interested in NY and DC as well. I have DC ties but I've heard its a very tough market. Not much interest in staying in the Bay Area which is good I think because it feels like everyone wants to be in SF or Silicon Valley.


SF is a brutal market. What kinda work do you wanna do? lit/corp?

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Re: How many Hs for median at Boalt?

Postby Hiram Walker » Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Hiram Walker wrote:Anyway, was definitely thinking of bidding in other markets to be safe. I'd be interested in NY and DC as well. I have DC ties but I've heard its a very tough market. Not much interest in staying in the Bay Area which is good I think because it feels like everyone wants to be in SF or Silicon Valley.


SF is a brutal market. What kinda work do you wanna do? lit/corp?


Yeah, I'm enjoying living in the Bay Area but I'm over competing with 80% of my classmates who want to stay (+Stanford, other T14s etc.) for a job in a small specialized market (seems pretty IP heavy).

I think probably want to do litigation but 1L doesn't really expose you to transactional work. Ideally I'd like to get a chance to experience multiple areas during my 2L summer and then decide but I don't know how many firms let you do that.

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Re: How many Hs for median at Boalt?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 12, 2012 11:22 pm

How many people manage to earn straight HHs as 1Ls?

Hiram Walker
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Re: How many Hs for median at Boalt?

Postby Hiram Walker » Tue Jun 12, 2012 11:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:How many people manage to earn straight HHs as 1Ls?


I know people who have mostly HHs and I've heard rumors of one or two people with straight HHs (but its all rumors). An HH is top 10% in each class - all HHs is the equivalent of a 4.0 (or higher when you include A+s) at our peer schools that have conventional grading systems. I can't imagine thats too common a feat, unlikely more then 3 or 4 people in the whole class and possibly no more then 1 or 2, but it probably happens.

I have nothing to back this up but I have heard the distribution is weighted towards the extremes. Most people who have HHs have more then 1 and lots of Hs and the number of people with straight Ps or only 1 or 2 Hs is pretty high.

But Boalt seems to do everything it can to keep the true distribution a mystery.

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Re: How many Hs for median at Boalt?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 13, 2012 2:00 am

Anonymous User wrote:How many people manage to earn straight HHs as 1Ls?

10% of the Boalt student body is 30+ people.
So you have 30+ people walking around with over a 3.6/5.0 GPA, which is AT MINIMUM 2HHs.
Out of those 30, I guess 6-7 might have straight HHs. Some years only 2-3 might have that. It's a very random distribution.

Of course, none of this guessing is really relevant because the people evaluating you are fairly clueless. They just want to see a couple HHs and Hs and they're happy. The more the better.

Just try to not get 4+ Ps and you'll be OK.

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Re: How many Hs for median at Boalt?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 13, 2012 1:02 pm

6 HHs, 1 H...so close, yet so far.

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Re: How many Hs for median at Boalt?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 13, 2012 5:07 pm

What would you suggest for someone who straight P'd their first semester, and now has 2 HHs for their second semester and moot court? Targeting Palo Alto and LA mainly.

I am URM if that helps at all.

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Re: How many Hs for median at Boalt?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 13, 2012 5:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:6 HHs, 1 H...so close, yet so far.

That's insane. Ever leave the library? haha. Congrats though.

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Re: How many Hs for median at Boalt?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 13, 2012 5:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:How many people manage to earn straight HHs as 1Ls?

10% of the Boalt student body is 30+ people.
So you have 30+ people walking around with over a 3.6/5.0 GPA, which is AT MINIMUM 2HHs.
Out of those 30, I guess 6-7 might have straight HHs. Some years only 2-3 might have that. It's a very random distribution.

Of course, none of this guessing is really relevant because the people evaluating you are fairly clueless. They just want to see a couple HHs and Hs and they're happy. The more the better.

Just try to not get 4+ Ps and you'll be OK.

10% is not over 30 people.

I'm also curious as to where you got 3.6+ for top 10%? I don't see how one could develop a distribution based on Boalt's grading system.

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Re: How many Hs for median at Boalt?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:6 HHs, 1 H...so close, yet so far.

That's insane. Ever leave the library? haha. Congrats though.


Haha, yes! I know many people who worked harder than I did. Obviously I did what I needed to do, but the typing contest/massive issue spotter law school exam style plays to my strengths.

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Re: How many Hs for median at Boalt?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:19 pm

Lets compare Boalt's curve to a slightly lower ranked law school: Michigan ( :lol: jk jk peer school)

Michigan's Curve:

Grade Target % Minimum and Maximum %
A+ and A 10 % (0 to 3 % for A+; 7 to 11 % for A)
A- 15 % (13 to 17 %)
B+ 30 % (26 to 34 %)
B 25 % (21 to 29 %)
B- 10% (8 to 12 %)
C+ 7 % (5 to 9 %)
C and below 3 % (0 to 5 % for C)
C-, D+, D, E (0 to 4 % for C-, D+, D, E)
Mean 3.19 (3.13 to 3.25)

GPA values:
A+ 4.3, A 4.0, A- 3.7, B+ 3.3, B 3.0, B- 2.7,
C+ 2.3, C 2.0, C- 1.7, D+ 1.3, D 1.0, E 0.0

--LinkRemoved--

And Boalt's first year curve:

HH - 10%
H - 30%
P - 60%

http://www.law.berkeley.edu/1050.htm

So a student with the mean GPA (3.19) at Michigan's transcript probably often looks like one of two things:

1. A combination of B+s (given to the top 26-55 percent in any given class and scored as 3.3) and Bs (56th-80th percent and 3.0) to yield around the mean of 3.19. To be precise probably 4 B+s and 3 Bs is very close to mean.

2. An A- (3.7 - top 11th to 25th percent) or two, balanced out by a B- or two (2.7 and top 80th to 90th percent) percent to again yield the mean of 3.19ish.

Now looks at what each student's scores would yield on Boalt's curve.

Student #1: On Boalt's curve some of student #1's B+s (which anywhere from top 26th to 55th percent in a class) would be in the top 40% and yield an H. But a B+ is far from an HH which is represents only the top 10% (As and A+s on Michigan's curve). Some of Student #1s B+s would just be a P. All of Student #1s Bs would be a P.

So if student #1 has 3 Bs they have 3 Ps. If they have 4 B+s we can be generous and say they had enough luck to be in the top 40% 3 out of 4 of those times. So the same performance on Boalt's curve would yield 3 Hs and 4 Ps.

Student #2: probably has fairly similiar grades. Their B- is a clear P and their A- is a clear H but neither are good enough for HHs. If the rest of their transcript is dotted with B+s and Bs some of the B+s are Hs and some are Ps and all the Bs are Ps. Once again yielding probably 2-4 Hs and no HHs.

Lets look at one more average student and how they fare. If a student is literally on the 50th percent line in every single class at Michigan those are all B+s which yields a 3.3 (above median) but at Boalt those are straight Ps.

In fact that person is undistinguishable (the subpass exists at Boalt but is rarely given) from those who received a raw score in every class that at Michigan would have been the equivalent of C or even a C-. Yikes. Straight Ps sting because no one can say whether you were last in the class or very close the median (Boalt's grading explanation page on their website admits as much).

However, it is my feeling that the disparity in how hard people work in different semesters and in different classes, how flat the curve is (in terms of raw score), and how Professors grade is divergent enough that if you were the exact average student at Boalt you'd be at the 50% line sometimes, below other times, and creep above 40% and get an H sometimes. You'd likely end up with at least a couple of Hs.

All of this to me says that probably the median is 2-4 Hs and 3-5 Ps.

Do average students at Michigan have even one A or an A+ at Michigan after first year? I doubt it because to hit the mean GPA they'd have to also get basically straight Bs or a B- or two. I would guess that fewer then half (and maybe much fewer) have even 1 HH but its impossible to say becuase we don't know the shape of the distribution.

I've heard Boalt's CDO says to feel "confident" about your chances to get a firm offer and probably to have "choices" (multiple offers) at OCI you need as many Hs as Ps (and HHs count as two Hs). Given that there are 7 first year classes that says: 4 Hs and 3 Ps is comfortable; or 2 HHs, 1 H, and 4 Ps; or 1 HH, 2 Hs and 4 Ps.

But because the distribution is purposely obscure and the grading system dosen't make fine distinctions I'd guess most firms (the most elite probably want mostly HH and H) just look for a fairly even mix of Hs and Ps and then fit. Anything better is great and anything lower is challenging.

Diversity and IP hiring probably have an effect too (and Boalt probably has more of both then the average T10) and some firms probably do care about Law Review and Boalt has pure write-on so that shakes things up a bit. Probably more Boalties then an average T10 school also choose not participate in OCI (including some with excellent grades). Also probably more Boalties come off as a poor fit for biglaw then other schools (I mean its a seriously weird place :lol:).

But all those factors aside 45% of Boalt's class of 2011 got an NLJ 250 job last year (http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNL ... 2543436520) which I believe they must have interviewed for the summer of 2009 (which was ITE) correct me if I'm wrong.

So I'd guess you probably want to be in the top 40% (which is what I'd guess equal Hs and Ps are) to have some confidence and top 60% (which I'd guess is 2Hs) to have a decent shot (though I'm sure some people get biglaw with straight Ps or 1 H).

Long rambling post aside - all this says to me that something I'd bet 3 Hs and 4 Ps is median but that because of the strangeness of the curve there is a little more risk above that and a little more opportunity below that then at peer schools and intangibles count a little more.

I'm sure there are many faulty assumptions in my stastical analysis but thats why I went into law 8) not math - so if you see them I'd be happy for you to point them.

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Re: How many Hs for median at Boalt?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:41 pm

3L here. I can say for sure that very, very few people get straight HH's their 1L year. Far less than the 6-7 estimated above. In my class, I know it was 2, max.

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Re: How many Hs for median at Boalt?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 14, 2012 3:20 pm

So I have 3 Hs and 4 Ps, and was shooting for California firms. From what I've heard, it's unwise to bid more than two markets, so I was thinking Bay Area and LA -- I have ties to both markets.

Given the discussion, should I just focus on LA? Or do NY + LA instead (bigger summer classes).

So stressed ...

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Re: How many Hs for median at Boalt?

Postby Tangerine Gleam » Thu Jun 14, 2012 6:53 pm

To the poster above: do you have work experience? Or an advanced degree? I would guess that your grades put you at about median, which could be an outside shot for SF biglaw. LA, as I assume the CDO has told everyone, seems to be a slightly easier bet.

Hopefully others can weigh in with better info. NY+LA would probably be the safest bet, as you know. Try not to be too stressed!

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Re: How many Hs for median at Boalt?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 14, 2012 7:46 pm

Thought I'd step in with information about my OCI to help other current Boalties, these are all anecdotes directly from friends.

First of all, if you have any advanced degree w/r/t ip GTFO, even if you have all Ps you still will have plenty of offers. You are OCI secure.

Those without, I had an HH H H P P P as grades, so 2.7 or so, and I struck out. Why? I ONLY BID CALI. I knew people with terrible grades who just blanketed the NYC firms and almost all were successful. I had 4 callbacks and came back zilch, and spent the next year or so of my life with an incredible amount of stress worrying about finding a job (I was successful, but still it was incredible uphill battle you will certainly want to avoid).

The problem with bidding Cali is these firms all have barely any SA slots, and HYSCCN all have plenty of californians looking to come back who also hotly bid California. Sorry, but if it's you versus an HLS student, best of luck. An NYC firm on the other hand has 40 People in their SA class and its awesome for them to have a Boaltie for an academically diverse class. Let me give you some specifics to illustrate what I'm saying.

Callback one: CB'ed 20 people for 2 spots, 2: Cb'ed 30 people for 3 spots, Three: around 40 for 4 spots, Four: around 20 for one spot.

I know of a firm that called back 30 people for one spot, and another 80 people for just 2 spots. These firms for the most part have very few SAs, and the ones who have more tend to be incredibly grade selective. I really regret not just bidding NYC, it was a huge mistake. Yes, Cali is awesome, but thats why the supply of jobs outweighs the demand. Striking out at OCI was a horrid experience, do not risk the same by only bidding Cali unless you have really really good grades.

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Re: How many Hs for median at Boalt?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:09 pm

Hi Tangerine, thanks for stopping by! I'm the anon above your post.

I worked at a couple of law firms in LA before law school. I've also been doing IP-based extracurriculars at Boalt (research assistant, BTLJ) and will have IP classes listed on my transcript for the upcoming semester. So that's my IP push -- no tech degree, so no patent prosecution.

Have family in Bay Area and LA. I'm open to going to New York, but would rather stay in CA. Is bidding one market (LA) a good idea if you're sure about where you want to end up? Thanks so muchhhh.

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Re: How many Hs for median at Boalt?

Postby Hiram Walker » Fri Jun 15, 2012 5:47 am

OP here I'm going to bid on NY and LA and try not to waste any bids on firms that are major reaches. Any suggestions on what a very conservative ny/la bid list would look like? So many of the ny firms that are coming and who have big classes and hire multiple Boalties seem to be very selective (v10s and 25s). Also not sure what mix of NY and LA is safest.




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