Borg wrote:This is hyperbole.
(1) I know for a fact that a lot of these firms have people from Fordham, NYLS, Cardozo etc. Not gunning for it because someone might say no is a mistake that thin skinned little pedigree obsessed wusses in law school constantly make, and it's why so many people wind up unhappy. Everyone's afraid to take control or have someone say no to them. Yes, it is going to take more digging and legwork than getting a biglaw job, but that doesn't mean it's necessarily going to be harder to score it once OP has made contact. Hit up a lot of firms and be a little bit less geographically restrictive and someone will bite.
(2) Biglaw isn't necessarily a detriment, particularly if it was only for a summer. The people I know at Cohen Milstein were biglaw associates at Vault firms before moving there. I'd venture to say that the best thing to show an antitrust firm is a solid understanding of economics along with the right attitude about PI, not just some blind commitment to government work.
(3) You can't wear shorts at a lot of these places, and it's by no means easier to make partner. Dress code is probably office dependent. The whole idea that you can waltz in and become a partner without being an absolutely stellar lawyer is absurd, no matter which firm you're talking about.
Actually, your characterization of what I said is hyperbole. You can't wear shorts at Cohen Milstein, but you can at quite a few plaintiff firms. Cohen Milstein is in the top 1% of plaintiff firms (along with Altshuler Berzon, Motley Rice, Lieff Cabraser, Lewis Feinberg, Outten & Golden, Robbins Geller, etc.) so these are the exception rather than the rule. I wasn't talking about these firms when I said you could wear shorts.
And trust me, Biglaw is a detriment. It's not a bar, but it's a detriment. You are better off having worked in a PI job than done a biglaw summer. And it is easier to make partner. Just take a look at any of their websites. These firms are leveraged at 1:1 partners per associate. The numbers are simply more in your favor, especially with some Biglaw offices leveraged close to 10:1.
Cohen Milstien does hire from outside the T14, but if you look at those people, they're usually magna cum laude
with a federal clerkship on their resume, or they have like 10 years of awesome experience before joining. Other than that, it's a lot of HYS with a bunch of lower T14 mixed in. Altshuler Berzon has one single attorney outside the T5, and he was a Supreme Court clerk that went to Georgetown.