Class rank on firm bio

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Class rank on firm bio

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 25, 2017 3:52 pm

So i'm supposed to draft a paragraph for my firm bio, and I have a question: is there a consensus on when to include class rank? i.e., "Jane Doe graduated Xth in her class from XYZ Law School" (assuming you go to a school that officially ranks its top X students, but that there is no named award associated with your specific class rank)

From google searches (searching for "in his class" or "in her class" within specific law firm websites), I have seen a ton of notations on firm bios for graduating first, second, or third in one's class. Is this the unofficial cut-off? (Or is this rather a reflection of the fact that most good schools only numerically rank their top three graduates?) What if one graduated fourth in her class? Would it matter how highly ranked the law school is? (I can imagine "graduated fourth in her class from TTT" wouldn't be all that impressive, at least on a biglaw firm bio)

I will probably ask my firm for guidance, but I figured I would also see what TLS had to say.

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tfer2222

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Re: Class rank on firm bio

Postby tfer2222 » Thu May 25, 2017 3:56 pm

I've never seen anyone do that unless they graduated first. Either way it seems kinda douchey to me.

runinthefront

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Re: Class rank on firm bio

Postby runinthefront » Thu May 25, 2017 3:58 pm

I would probably place whether I graduated in the top five of my class on the firm bio, but that is because my school only ranks (officially) the top five students. I don't think it looks douchey. That being said, I've only ever seen bios listing whether someone graduated #1-3.
Last edited by runinthefront on Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:02 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Jchance

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Re: Class rank on firm bio

Postby Jchance » Thu May 25, 2017 3:58 pm

I've seen first or second in class listed on firm bios. Outside of that, I don't recommend.

lolwat

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Re: Class rank on firm bio

Postby lolwat » Thu May 25, 2017 4:00 pm

I would probably only do it if graduated first... maybe second or third or something at top schools. But further down in the ranks just seems too much like reaching. Fourth in class from TTT would just look dumb -- unless you're at a local firm in a local market where the TTT is actually seen as a good school (remember, purpose is to impress clients). Otherwise I'd just put top 1% or something (if true).

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rpupkin

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Re: Class rank on firm bio

Postby rpupkin » Thu May 25, 2017 4:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:So i'm supposed to draft a paragraph for my firm bio, and I have a question: is there a consensus on when to include class rank? i.e., "Jane Doe graduated Xth in her class from XYZ Law School" (assuming you go to a school that officially ranks its top X students, but that there is no named award associated with your specific class rank)

From google searches (searching for "in his class" or "in her class" within specific law firm websites), I have seen a ton of notations on firm bios for graduating first, second, or third in one's class. Is this the unofficial cut-off?

Yes. And even then it's questionable.

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Re: Class rank on firm bio

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 25, 2017 4:02 pm

tfer2222 wrote:Either way it seems kinda douchey to me.

Agreed, but to be fair, almost everything about firm bios is rather "douchey". Nonetheless, clients apparently are more likely to pay an associate's rates when they see her bragging about herself next to a professional head shot.

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rpupkin

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Re: Class rank on firm bio

Postby rpupkin » Thu May 25, 2017 4:02 pm

lolwat wrote:I would probably only do it if graduated first... maybe second or third or something at top schools. But further down in the ranks just seems too much like reaching. Fourth in class from TTT would just look dumb -- unless you're at a local firm in a local market where the TTT is actually seen as a good school (remember, purpose is to impress clients). Otherwise I'd just put top 1% or something (if true).

Don't put "top %" on a firm bio. Resume, sure. But not on the bio, unless your firm insists that you do it for some reason.

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PeanutsNJam

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Re: Class rank on firm bio

Postby PeanutsNJam » Thu May 25, 2017 4:04 pm

Seems conventional to put rank indicators that don't involve numbers. i.e. "Valedictorian," "summa cum laude," etc. Don't see a reason to put I WAS 4TH when you can just throw the summa/coif on there.

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Re: Class rank on firm bio

Postby rpupkin » Thu May 25, 2017 4:06 pm

PeanutsNJam wrote:Seems conventional to put rank indicators that don't involve numbers. i.e. "Valedictorian," "summa cum laude," etc.

Agree that it's fine/normal to list Latin honors.

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Re: Class rank on firm bio

Postby trebekismyhero » Thu May 25, 2017 4:06 pm

PeanutsNJam wrote:Seems conventional to put rank indicators that don't involve numbers. i.e. "Valedictorian," "summa cum laude," etc. Don't see a reason to put I WAS 4TH when you can just throw the summa/coif on there.


Yes, unless you are first or second in your class just stick with whatever honors you received.

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rpupkin

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Re: Class rank on firm bio

Postby rpupkin » Thu May 25, 2017 4:08 pm

PeanutsNJam wrote:Seems conventional to put rank indicators that don't involve numbers. i.e. "Valedictorian," "summa cum laude," etc. Don't see a reason to put I WAS 4TH when you can just throw the summa/coif on there.

OP mentioned that his/her law school doesn't do latin honors. I know it seems silly, but you shouldn't put "top 10%" on your bio even though it's fine to put "Order of the Coif" on your bio.

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Re: Class rank on firm bio

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 25, 2017 4:19 pm

rpupkin wrote:OP mentioned that his/her law school doesn't do latin honors. I know it seems silly, but you shouldn't put "top 10%" on your bio even though it's fine to put "Order of the Coif" on your bio.

So your position is that one should forego indicating that she graduated in the top 1-2% of the class (either by referencing percentages or numerical rank) because there isn't a way to do so using latin for a particular school? (not being sarcastic, just trying to clarify). Only putting Coif seems to clearly understate my academic performance, which is what the firm told me I should highlight in my bio.

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Re: Class rank on firm bio

Postby trebekismyhero » Thu May 25, 2017 4:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
rpupkin wrote:OP mentioned that his/her law school doesn't do latin honors. I know it seems silly, but you shouldn't put "top 10%" on your bio even though it's fine to put "Order of the Coif" on your bio.

So your position is that one should forego indicating that she graduated in the top 1-2% of the class (either by referencing percentages or numerical rank) because there isn't a way to do so using latin for a particular school? (not being sarcastic, just trying to clarify). Only putting Coif seems to clearly understate my academic performance, which is what the firm told me I should highlight in my bio.


Did you get order of the coif? If so, put that down. Putting class percentages on a website looks weird. That is left for your resume.

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Re: Class rank on firm bio

Postby bruinfan10 » Thu May 25, 2017 4:36 pm

if you want something more than your latin honors or order of the coif, your clerkship should telegraph your class placement to some extent. it'd be weird of you to write out "graduated x of y" in your firm profile.

p.s. if you're still talking about your class rank in terms of %s, your rank probably wasn't high enough to worry about "understating it," to the extent that's a possibility. this is like trying to say there's a T10, rather than just a T14.
Last edited by bruinfan10 on Thu May 25, 2017 4:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Class rank on firm bio

Postby rpupkin » Thu May 25, 2017 4:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
rpupkin wrote:OP mentioned that his/her law school doesn't do latin honors. I know it seems silly, but you shouldn't put "top 10%" on your bio even though it's fine to put "Order of the Coif" on your bio.

So your position is that one should forego indicating that she graduated in the top 1-2% of the class (either by referencing percentages or numerical rank) because there isn't a way to do so using latin for a particular school? (not being sarcastic, just trying to clarify). Only putting Coif seems to clearly understate my academic performance, which is what the firm told me I should highlight in my bio.

Dude, the fact that you're even considering putting "top 1-2%" on your bio after getting explicit instructions to the contrary from your firm is a bad sign.

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PeanutsNJam

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Re: Class rank on firm bio

Postby PeanutsNJam » Thu May 25, 2017 4:40 pm

There's a reason it goes Gold->Silver->Bronze->No Medal, OP :-/

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Re: Class rank on firm bio

Postby FSK » Thu May 25, 2017 4:43 pm

How do you have such high grades and asking such stupid questions
Last edited by FSK on Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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njdevils2626

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Re: Class rank on firm bio

Postby njdevils2626 » Thu May 25, 2017 4:44 pm

rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
rpupkin wrote:OP mentioned that his/her law school doesn't do latin honors. I know it seems silly, but you shouldn't put "top 10%" on your bio even though it's fine to put "Order of the Coif" on your bio.

So your position is that one should forego indicating that she graduated in the top 1-2% of the class (either by referencing percentages or numerical rank) because there isn't a way to do so using latin for a particular school? (not being sarcastic, just trying to clarify). Only putting Coif seems to clearly understate my academic performance, which is what the firm told me I should highlight in my bio.

Dude, the fact that you're even considering putting "top 1-2%" on your bio after getting explicit instructions to the contrary from your firm is a bad sign.


I side with you that OP should probably stick with putting Coif and leave it at that, but I think bolded was meant to be read as "firm told me to highlight my academic performance" and not as "firm asked me to highlight Coif"

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Re: Class rank on firm bio

Postby rpupkin » Thu May 25, 2017 4:47 pm

njdevils2626 wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
rpupkin wrote:OP mentioned that his/her law school doesn't do latin honors. I know it seems silly, but you shouldn't put "top 10%" on your bio even though it's fine to put "Order of the Coif" on your bio.

So your position is that one should forego indicating that she graduated in the top 1-2% of the class (either by referencing percentages or numerical rank) because there isn't a way to do so using latin for a particular school? (not being sarcastic, just trying to clarify). Only putting Coif seems to clearly understate my academic performance, which is what the firm told me I should highlight in my bio.

Dude, the fact that you're even considering putting "top 1-2%" on your bio after getting explicit instructions to the contrary from your firm is a bad sign.


I side with you that OP should probably stick with putting Coif and leave it at that, but I think bolded was meant to be read as "firm told me to highlight my academic performance" and not as "firm asked me to highlight Coif"

After rereading OP's post, I agree that you have the better interpretation.

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Re: Class rank on firm bio

Postby sparty99 » Thu May 25, 2017 4:51 pm

Anonymous User wrote:So i'm supposed to draft a paragraph for my firm bio, and I have a question: is there a consensus on when to include class rank? i.e., "Jane Doe graduated Xth in her class from XYZ Law School" (assuming you go to a school that officially ranks its top X students, but that there is no named award associated with your specific class rank)

From google searches (searching for "in his class" or "in her class" within specific law firm websites), I have seen a ton of notations on firm bios for graduating first, second, or third in one's class. Is this the unofficial cut-off? (Or is this rather a reflection of the fact that most good schools only numerically rank their top three graduates?) What if one graduated fourth in her class? Would it matter how highly ranked the law school is? (I can imagine "graduated fourth in her class from TTT" wouldn't be all that impressive, at least on a biglaw firm bio)

I will probably ask my firm for guidance, but I figured I would also see what TLS had to say.


This is one of the dumbest posts on this site. Why don't you simply focus on doing good legal work, not whether your firm bio says, "order of the coif" or "top 10%," two things that your client won't care about.

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Re: Class rank on firm bio

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 25, 2017 5:07 pm

There are several bio highlights you could note; awards, fellowships, honors, coif, publications, exceptional pro-bono, etc. Under education, I have seen first in class.

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Re: Class rank on firm bio

Postby lolwat » Thu May 25, 2017 5:19 pm

rpupkin wrote:
PeanutsNJam wrote:Seems conventional to put rank indicators that don't involve numbers. i.e. "Valedictorian," "summa cum laude," etc. Don't see a reason to put I WAS 4TH when you can just throw the summa/coif on there.

OP mentioned that his/her law school doesn't do latin honors. I know it seems silly, but you shouldn't put "top 10%" on your bio even though it's fine to put "Order of the Coif" on your bio.


This is all reasonable enough. I do think top 1% is fine, but that's just me. I definitely agree it's far better to just state any awards/honors received if the school has them.

This is one of the dumbest posts on this site. Why don't you simply focus on doing good legal work, not whether your firm bio says, "order of the coif" or "top 10%," two things that your client won't care about.


Aren't you the same guy that said to focus on "winning" in resumes? Clients generally care about the quality of the attorneys at a law firm because they're smart enough to know that the senior partner they're talking to isn't the one on Westlaw all day researching and analyzing legal issues and isn't the one doing discovery etc. Associates often need to look impressive in the first instance to be given a shot to be impressive.

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Re: Class rank on firm bio

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 25, 2017 5:22 pm

rpupkin wrote:Dude, the fact that you're even considering putting "top 1-2%" on your bio after getting explicit instructions to the contrary from your firm is a bad sign.


OP here. No I wasn't considering that (though I was considering including my numerical rank, as stated in my first post), and I think you misread my post. My firm instructed me to highlight my academic performance, not to only include Coif on the firm bio.

sparty99 wrote:This is one of the dumbest posts on this site. Why don't you simply focus on doing good legal work, not whether your firm bio says, "order of the coif" or "top 10%," two things that your client won't care about.


This seems to be a common criticism on TLS ("why are you worrying/asking about XXX, when you should be focusing on [law school]/[being a lawyer]."), which I think is very lazy and counterproductive. (A) it seems to me that this forum was created as a place to ask "stupid" questions and get honest answers, (B) this criticism assumes that being a good lawyer and asking about trivial/stupid things are mutually exclusive, and (C) it assumes that the OP spent an inordinate amount of time/effort agonizing over the question to the detriment of their job/schooling.

I was explicitly told by my firm to draft a firm bio that highlighted my academic performance, I had a question about whether I should include my class rank in the bio, so I decided to ask a forum full of people who have written firm bios before. This seems like an entirely reasonable post to me, and at no point did I indicate that I was ever agonizing over this question to the detriment of my legal work, or that I even had a strong position on the issue.

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Re: Class rank on firm bio

Postby PeanutsNJam » Thu May 25, 2017 5:26 pm

OP you put Rambo to shame



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