Undergrad prestige impact

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MoonDreamer
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Undergrad prestige impact

Postby MoonDreamer » Thu Aug 01, 2013 9:50 am

What is the impact of the undergrad degree prestige on gaining employment in the legal field? Going from Harvard College to a TTT law school is obv not great but it does happen. Thoughts on how this is looked at by firms? Pedigree assessment?

Anonymous User
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Re: Undergrad prestige impact

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 01, 2013 9:55 am

If you are Harvard undergrad and TTT top 1%, everything is consistent. Firm would assume you went to TTT to save some money, and that fact alone won't raise any red flags. You might be able to make some personal connections if the interviewer is an HLS grad. Also, firm would think that you were really smart in high school and obviously are still really smart.

Harvard undergrad and TTT top 30% will not land you big law jobs simply because of your Harvard pedigree. Firm would assume you were smart in high school, but f-ed up in college, f-ed up in law school (relatively - if you wanted big law), and are not cut out for their big law work.

In sum: Undergrad prestige will only help you if your TTT grade are consistent with the pedigree.

anonymous2012
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Re: Undergrad prestige impact

Postby anonymous2012 » Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:15 am

Harvard is great. Anecdotally, I think it's even better if you went to a top 5 liberal arts college and want to work in the NE, given that you did we'll in UG.

Anonymous User
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Re: Undergrad prestige impact

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:19 am

In my experience, the impact in minimal. At my T-20, I have friends who went to HYP and friends who went to state schools. Holding grades/LR consistent, they ended up at equal firms.

MoonDreamer
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Re: Undergrad prestige impact

Postby MoonDreamer » Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:22 am

Well, Harvard was just an example. But a bit of a bizarre phenomenon where they don't really care about your UG.

Anonymous User
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Re: Undergrad prestige impact

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:29 am

MoonDreamer wrote:Well, Harvard was just an example. But a bit of a bizarre phenomenon where they don't really care about your UG.


I don't think it's necessarily bizzare. The more I spend time in the real world and in law school (I have few years WE), you begin to realize who was just a smart cookie in high school and got lucky getting into a prestigious undergrad by owning the SATs (or due to legacy). It really says nothing about your potential in law school or as a lawyer, or as a real person. I went to a top 15 undergrad and there are classmates there I would not trust doing my secretarial duties, let alone with my legal or health problems.

MoonDreamer
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Re: Undergrad prestige impact

Postby MoonDreamer » Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:49 am

Anonymous User wrote:
MoonDreamer wrote:Well, Harvard was just an example. But a bit of a bizarre phenomenon where they don't really care about your UG.


I don't think it's necessarily bizzare. The more I spend time in the real world and in law school (I have few years WE), you begin to realize who was just a smart cookie in high school and got lucky getting into a prestigious undergrad by owning the SATs (or due to legacy). It really says nothing about your potential in law school or as a lawyer, or as a real person. I went to a top 15 undergrad and there are classmates there I would not trust doing my secretarial duties, let alone with my legal or health problems.


I feel the same way about law school graduates.

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OneMoreLawHopeful
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Re: Undergrad prestige impact

Postby OneMoreLawHopeful » Thu Aug 01, 2013 11:13 am

MoonDreamer wrote:Well, Harvard was just an example. But a bit of a bizarre phenomenon where they don't really care about your UG.


What's bizarre about it? Why would a law firm ever think "Sure he learned all the material you need to pass the bar at Cooley, but we care more about the Art History classes he took at Harvard!"?

kyle010723
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Re: Undergrad prestige impact

Postby kyle010723 » Thu Aug 01, 2013 11:30 am

UG plays a bigger role if you want to do IP. As far as non-IP, not sure if it has any impact beyond alumni connection.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Undergrad prestige impact

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Aug 01, 2013 11:33 am

This is just my impression, but I think undergrad is almost more valuable for connections than for prestige per se (though I also think the more prestigious the school, the more its alumni care about other alumni, for a variety of reasons). So if you find a firm where the person doing the hiring went to your undergrad, or there are a lot of alums from your undergrad at that firm, it can help you, more than that the firm will say, "This person went to HYSP undergrad, we MUST hire them for that prestige regardless of where they go to law school/how they've performed there!"

As for whether it's bizarre if they care about your undergrad - I think the people who care most about UG prestige are people who went to prestigious UGs. If you didn't, and you succeeded, I doubt you give a crap about HYSP or the like as opposed to what a person actually achieves. (I talked with someone working for DOJ once about their hiring practices, and he said he, personally, didn't care about pedigree because he'd gone to Big State School X for UG, which no one cared about, and then he went to a T6 LS, and suddenly everyone was like, "Oh! You must be smart!" And he'd think, Well, actually, I'm just as smart as I was when I went to Big State School...)

I mean, I don't think going to HYSP or the like ever really hurts you, but it's probably not as big a factor in hiring as many other things.

wolverine10
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Re: Undergrad prestige impact

Postby wolverine10 » Thu Aug 01, 2013 11:54 am

I agree with A. nony mouse. Even though I don't go to Michigan law I have never once had an interview where someone didn't ask about how was Michigan football games or going to school there. It's a talking point and its advice and help
from alumni more than prestige.




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