Median @ Michigan + Chances at BigLaw

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Median @ Michigan + Chances at BigLaw

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:08 am

I definitely think I can bring it to slightly above median (3.3 at the lowest, and 3.35 best case scenario barring some miracle), by the time OCI rolls around.

I'm just terrified that if I do end up at median I will be screwed.

I am going to try to write on for LR, I'm doing a moot court competition, and I'm the co-chair of an org. Very involved on campus. I'm not horribly awkward or anything.

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BruceWayne
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Re: Median @ Michigan + Chances at BigLaw

Postby BruceWayne » Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:13 am

Ask someone from your school for firm hiring charts--I know that Michigan has some pretty detailed ones.

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Re: Median @ Michigan + Chances at BigLaw

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:17 am

BruceWayne wrote:Ask someone from your school for firm hiring charts--I know that Michigan has some pretty detailed ones.


I have seen them but now I am freaking out. A decent number of firms will dip to even below median but I don't know why they did in those particular instances or how many times they went that low. A lot of firms have averages that are around median or more frequently, slightly above median (3.3-3.4). I guess I'm just wondering if I should be worried.

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Re: Median @ Michigan + Chances at BigLaw

Postby Pokemon » Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:27 am

Definitely drop out... no!
Being median means that your SA search will depend on: 1) interviewing skills, 2) luck, 3)massmailing. It neither excludes nor includes you from the top firms. You have all summer to panic about OCI, now is time to work on those long readings that your professor assigned you.

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Re: Median @ Michigan + Chances at BigLaw

Postby BeenDidThat » Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:09 am

You're definitely in the running, even if you're right at the median. Calm down. If your CSO does mock interviews, do em. Also think hard about the kind of work you want to do. A good portion of your interviews will focus on your career interests, and employers like seeing that you've at least thought about it and ruled out some possibilities. It demonstrates real interest in the practice of law and makes you a safer investment for the firm.

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Re: Median @ Michigan + Chances at BigLaw

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:23 pm

Not sure of your background, and I suspect you probably don't want to stay in Michigan, but if you did large Detroit firms would probably be interested in hiring you. $100k+ and cost of living is very low - I work in a Detroit firm like that and love my work and lifestyle. It's no NYC biglaw, but from everything I hear, biglaw crushes souls. Just saying, laws also exist outside of NYC.

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Re: Median @ Michigan + Chances at BigLaw

Postby utlaw2007 » Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:25 pm

NotMyRealName09 wrote:Not sure of your background, and I suspect you probably don't want to stay in Michigan, but if you did large Detroit firms would probably be interested in hiring you. $100k+ and cost of living is very low - I work in a Detroit firm like that and love my work and lifestyle. It's no NYC biglaw, but from everything I hear, biglaw crushes souls. Just saying, laws also exist outside of NYC.


Yep.

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Re: Median @ Michigan + Chances at BigLaw

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:57 pm

NotMyRealName09 wrote:Not sure of your background, and I suspect you probably don't want to stay in Michigan, but if you did large Detroit firms would probably be interested in hiring you. $100k+ and cost of living is very low - I work in a Detroit firm like that and love my work and lifestyle. It's no NYC biglaw, but from everything I hear, biglaw crushes souls. Just saying, laws also exist outside of NYC.


Well, I do have ties to NY. No real connections to attorneys or anything, but I grew up 15 minutes outside of NYC (NJ) and my fam is all still there. I also worked in NY at a gov. agency for a while. Would it be okay to just put down a few MI firms as back-ups? I don't really know how OCI works at all. I'm even open to going to Cali as I'm tired of the cold weather and always have had a desire to live there. Absolutely no ties to CA though.

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Re: Median @ Michigan + Chances at BigLaw

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:35 pm

3L here. I think most people in my class around the median mark got a job. But there were also a not insignificant number of those in that range that ended up with nothing, even after targeting NYC. So your chances are more likely than not, but certainly nothing is a given. (Then again, I'm not sure how much the legal market has changed in terms of hiring from my year to yours, so this advice could be a bit off.)

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Re: Median @ Michigan + Chances at BigLaw

Postby keg411 » Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:39 am

Anonymous User wrote:Well, I do have ties to NY. No real connections to attorneys or anything, but I grew up 15 minutes outside of NYC (NJ) and my fam is all still there. I also worked in NY at a gov. agency for a while. Would it be okay to just put down a few MI firms as back-ups? I don't really know how OCI works at all. I'm even open to going to Cali as I'm tired of the cold weather and always have had a desire to live there. Absolutely no ties to CA though.


Mass mail NJ firms in mid-July. I'd be willing to bet you'll get interviews with the "big names" even at median. Jersey firms seem to love people from top schools with NJ ties. Also, feel free to PM me if you want more info on NJ firms (I'm not working at one, but I interviewed at a ton back during the 2L process).

However, don't just apply to MI firms as a back-up unless you can give them a concrete reason why you want to work in MI. Pretty much everyone I know going to a MI firm is from MI.

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Re: Median @ Michigan + Chances at BigLaw

Postby somewhatwayward » Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:58 am

Are you the person with the 2.7 who is hoping for a 3.7 next semester to get to median? If so, I don't know if many TLSers can help you much because my intuition would be that you would be different from the typical median student....whether better or worse, I don't know. This is a situation in which career services might be useful in that you could ask them how people win similar situations have fared. They might actually have known a couple students with those type of grades. In general, though, it is pretty unusual to have that drastic a jump, so it is hard to now how firms will react.

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Re: Median @ Michigan + Chances at BigLaw

Postby Lasers » Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:26 am

for median students at top 10 schools, much like top 20% students at t50 schools, it will be all about interviewing.

you will have a shot, not a great shot, but a real shot with some firms. how you interview will likely decide if you get an offer or not.

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Re: Median @ Michigan + Chances at BigLaw

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 05, 2013 5:37 pm

somewhatwayward wrote:Are you the person with the 2.7 who is hoping for a 3.7 next semester to get to median? If so, I don't know if many TLSers can help you much because my intuition would be that you would be different from the typical median student....whether better or worse, I don't know. This is a situation in which career services might be useful in that you could ask them how people win similar situations have fared. They might actually have known a couple students with those type of grades. In general, though, it is pretty unusual to have that drastic a jump, so it is hard to now how firms will react.


I'm at median already. I received above average marks and two below-average ones (not C-range), placing me at median. I think there is a strong possibility that I will be at least slightly above median by OCI since I chose two seminars and I know exactly why I received the two below-average marks. I only need to get a B+ in both of my doctrinals to get above median by OCI. I just am talking about being at median in case somehow something crappy happens.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Tue Feb 05, 2013 5:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Median @ Michigan + Chances at BigLaw

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 05, 2013 5:38 pm

keg411 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Well, I do have ties to NY. No real connections to attorneys or anything, but I grew up 15 minutes outside of NYC (NJ) and my fam is all still there. I also worked in NY at a gov. agency for a while. Would it be okay to just put down a few MI firms as back-ups? I don't really know how OCI works at all. I'm even open to going to Cali as I'm tired of the cold weather and always have had a desire to live there. Absolutely no ties to CA though.


Mass mail NJ firms in mid-July. I'd be willing to bet you'll get interviews with the "big names" even at median. Jersey firms seem to love people from top schools with NJ ties. Also, feel free to PM me if you want more info on NJ firms (I'm not working at one, but I interviewed at a ton back during the 2L process).

However, don't just apply to MI firms as a back-up unless you can give them a concrete reason why you want to work in MI. Pretty much everyone I know going to a MI firm is from MI.


I don't want to go to NJ.

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Re: Median @ Michigan + Chances at BigLaw

Postby keg411 » Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
keg411 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Well, I do have ties to NY. No real connections to attorneys or anything, but I grew up 15 minutes outside of NYC (NJ) and my fam is all still there. I also worked in NY at a gov. agency for a while. Would it be okay to just put down a few MI firms as back-ups? I don't really know how OCI works at all. I'm even open to going to Cali as I'm tired of the cold weather and always have had a desire to live there. Absolutely no ties to CA though.


Mass mail NJ firms in mid-July. I'd be willing to bet you'll get interviews with the "big names" even at median. Jersey firms seem to love people from top schools with NJ ties. Also, feel free to PM me if you want more info on NJ firms (I'm not working at one, but I interviewed at a ton back during the 2L process).

However, don't just apply to MI firms as a back-up unless you can give them a concrete reason why you want to work in MI. Pretty much everyone I know going to a MI firm is from MI.


I don't want to go to NJ.


Would you rather have a NJ firm job or no firm job?

(Honestly, it sounds like you'll be okay for NYC, but having a back-up as your home market is really credited)

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Re: Median @ Michigan + Chances at BigLaw

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:55 pm

New Jersey>no firm job.

I'll go for that as a backup. Good advice, guys. Thanks.

I'm assuming I'll have to mass mail to NJ firms too, since I don't see any NJ representation at Michigan's OCI.

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Re: Median @ Michigan + Chances at BigLaw

Postby SportsFan » Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:57 pm

Off topic, but I wanted to thank this thread for scaring me into starting my outlines (I finished barely above median at Penn after last semester). I've been lazy this semester, and I needed to be reminded of the harsh reality of legal employment right now.

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Re: Median @ Michigan + Chances at BigLaw

Postby Gunnar Stahl » Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:02 am

NotMyRealName09 wrote:Not sure of your background, and I suspect you probably don't want to stay in Michigan, but if you did large Detroit firms would probably be interested in hiring you. $100k+ and cost of living is very low - I work in a Detroit firm like that and love my work and lifestyle. It's no NYC biglaw, but from everything I hear, biglaw crushes souls. Just saying, laws also exist outside of NYC.


I was under the impression that Detroit is highly insular; if you're not from the area, firms will be afraid of you jumping ship.

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=163682

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Re: Median @ Michigan + Chances at BigLaw

Postby keg411 » Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:05 am

Anonymous User wrote:New Jersey>no firm job.

I'll go for that as a backup. Good advice, guys. Thanks.

I'm assuming I'll have to mass mail to NJ firms too, since I don't see any NJ representation at Michigan's OCI.


Yeah, they don't come here. Mass mail the last week in July.

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Re: Median @ Michigan + Chances at BigLaw

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:26 am

SportsFan wrote:Off topic, but I wanted to thank this thread for scaring me into starting my outlines (I finished barely above median at Penn after last semester). I've been lazy this semester, and I needed to be reminded of the harsh reality of legal employment right now.


Any time. I love scaring the bejeesus out of people with my neurotic ways. I do it to my friends here all of the time. It's definitely a motivating force.

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Re: Median @ Michigan + Chances at BigLaw

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:34 am

Ghost93 wrote:
NotMyRealName09 wrote:Not sure of your background, and I suspect you probably don't want to stay in Michigan, but if you did large Detroit firms would probably be interested in hiring you. $100k+ and cost of living is very low - I work in a Detroit firm like that and love my work and lifestyle. It's no NYC biglaw, but from everything I hear, biglaw crushes souls. Just saying, laws also exist outside of NYC.


I was under the impression that Detroit is highly insular; if you're not from the area, firms will be afraid of you jumping ship.

http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/v ... 3&t=163682


Yeah, they are, so you'd have to have a good story as to why you want to spend the rest of your life in southeast Michigan - "I want a job" may not be good enough in itself.

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Re: Median @ Michigan + Chances at BigLaw

Postby gnuwheels » Fri May 31, 2013 9:59 am

Pokemon wrote:It neither excludes nor includes you from the top firms.


This is false. Median most certainly excludes you from the most of the V10 and any other very selective firms.

Advice on TLS is so all over the place. In another thread people are saying at median you should be thinking about dropping out while here people are saying you're in the running for the likes of Cravath. Can we get a happy medium please?

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Re: Median @ Michigan + Chances at BigLaw

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 31, 2013 6:49 pm

Graduated 3L here. OP, I am not sure you are still looking for any specific advice, but if you are, feel free to ask.

If you are at median or slightly above median from Michigan, you are still eligible for most big firms that come to OCI. There are obviously some firms that your grades will hold you back from. But you are still eligible for most firms that recruit at Michigan.

The problem is separating yourself from everyone else who is at median. How you perform at OCI will depend on how well you interview, your work experience, whether you are on law review, and to a much lesser degree your undergraduate degree, any other relevant journals or extra curricular, market you are interviewing, ties, etc.

It is always hard to tell how people's performances align with their grades, since you don't know people's grades. But I do know more than a few people with below median grades that landed biglaw. I also know several people at or above median that struck out. I also know several people across the grade range who did not partake in OCI. I hear 2014 had similar if not better results.

Here is my advice on what you should do between now and OCI:

(1) Polish your resume and cover-letter. Have Career Services look at it. Have upper-classmates look at it. Show it to alumni at firms. Develop a few generic template cover letters. I think these should at least demonstrate ties. You can have template ones for market and type of firm (say New York, litigation), that can be modified later on.

(2) Research relevant markets. If you are interested in 2-3 broad areas (antitrust, general commercial litigation, and white collar, for example) and 2-3 markets, New York and New Jersey, research the firms and the market(s). You do not have to have 2-3 general practice areas that you are interested in, but I think it is helpful if you do know. At median you cannot be too particular or choose niche areas. You should still, however, have a sense of what you are interested in and firms' strengths. Make sure you include all the firms in a market that are hiring that you would work at: biglaw, midlaw, smaller firms, boutiques, etc. I would construct a list in Excel where you can keep notes on the various firms. Include at a minimum size, market, and any Michigan GPA information.

(3) Spend time developing a bid list. There is a lot of information here and you can ask for more as the time gets near about what a smart bid list looks like for someone in your position. Keep in mind that people flock to the low GPA firms, so if you only bid low GPA firms, you will get less interviews. You need to balance the bigger firms (with big SA classes, this is where your research comes in), that may have a slightly higher average GPA, but are more GPA flexible (that is have GPA floors that you clear), with the lower GPA average firms.

(4) Mass-mail early and often. Mass-mail firms you know are not coming to OCI (usually a firm's website or NALP) in late July - early August (pre-OCI). Do this before OCI, not at the end of August, if you strike out, because then is almost too late). Your mass mail should be done electronically. Paper is more expensive for you and harder for the firms, since they will need to make multiple copies or scan your application so all the relevant parties can have access to it. The body of your email should be a short blurb, a mini cover letter thing explaining who you are and what you are applying for. You should attach a cover letter, resume, and transcript. You should also let firms know if you plan to physically be in a market for some range of time (since it will make it cheaper for them to interview you).

(5) Try to develop a good writing sample from your summer job. Some firms may ask for a writing sample. If you have a good writing sample, you can generally include this in your mass-mail and bring it with you during OCI. Make sure you get permission to use the writing sample before leaving your 1L summer job and to remove any confidential information about the client.

(6) Practice interviewing! I cannot stress this enough. Do as many practice interviews, with alumni, with career services, fellow classmates, etc., as it takes.

NotMyRealName09 wrote:This is false. Median most certainly excludes you from the most of the V10 and any other very selective firms.

NotMyRealName are you a rising 2L? Because this statement reeks of 1L. First, median at Michigan (or other t10) may be foreclosed from working at Wachtell (Wachtell does not even recruit at Michigan), Cravath, Sullivan and Cromwell, and Kirkland (although Kirkland digs fairly deep into Michigan's class, I doubt they would go to median). Although it would be harder than a top student, a median Michigan student could very well land any of the other v10 depending on the right work experience and interview ability. Second, what reeks the most of 1L is the conflation of the most selective firms with the v10. There are several v100 firms (or not vault ranked firms) that are much more selective than the v10 and some v10 are not very selective (Weil, for example).

Hope that helps. Ask if you more specific questions or need further advice.

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Re: Median @ Michigan + Chances at BigLaw

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 31, 2013 8:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
NotMyRealName09 wrote:This is false. Median most certainly excludes you from the most of the V10 and any other very selective firms.

NotMyRealName are you a rising 2L? Because this statement reeks of 1L. First, median at Michigan (or other t10) may be foreclosed from working at Wachtell (Wachtell does not even recruit at Michigan), Cravath, Sullivan and Cromwell, and Kirkland (although Kirkland digs fairly deep into Michigan's class, I doubt they would go to median). Although it would be harder than a top student, a median Michigan student could very well land any of the other v10 depending on the right work experience and interview ability. Second, what reeks the most of 1L is the conflation of the most selective firms with the v10. There are several v100 firms (or not vault ranked firms) that are much more selective than the v10 and some v10 are not very selective (Weil, for example).

Hope that helps. Ask if you more specific questions or need further advice.


Also a graduated 3L from Michigan. There are also lots of v100 firms with firm floors. My firm won't touch below a 3.5 even though it isn't a "top" firm and isn't known as being particularly selective and more about fit. When the economy went down and they began hiring less, they started getting pickier. And when you're looking at the OCI chart, URMs/IP skew those lower numbers. (For example, my firm is indicated as going down to ~3.2 but the hiring partner for Michigan explicitly told me that was an anomaly and they have a hard floor.)

There is still definitely a shot for BigLaw at median, but it's not quite as rosy as you're making it out to be. The top firms you can get at median aren't great places to work that's why they have to dip lower (both lower yield and higher attrition). Some firms in the v100 may be wiling but the sheer number bidding those firms hurts you. You'll likely get only a few interviews with them despite a large number of bids. So while the total # of students hired at median may be decent, your overall odds are much lower.

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Re: Median @ Michigan + Chances at BigLaw

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 31, 2013 9:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote: There is still definitely a shot for BigLaw at median, but it's not quite as rosy as you're making it out to be. The top firms you can get at median aren't great places to work that's why they have to dip lower (both lower yield and higher attrition). Some firms in the v100 may be wiling but the sheer number bidding those firms hurts you. You'll likely get only a few interviews with them despite a large number of bids. So while the total # of students hired at median may be decent, your overall odds are much lower.


I am not trying to paint a rosy picture. It's shitty out there; I am fairly sure OP knows this. I know many people who struck out at median, probably more than the number I know who got offers. I am not saying they would have gotten v10s. This is all consistent with what I said above.

What I am saying is that, while your firm may have a hard floor at 3.5, many v100s do not and some v10s do not either. Of course that does not mean the OP should bid on the v10 or will get the v10, unless he has very specific experience and a really good interviewer, etc. The person needs to do research for which firms do and which don't and keep in mind SA classes. And mass mail like crazy.




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