Does firm rank matter?

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Does firm rank matter?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:26 am

Non URM 1L - with multiple SA offers in NYC & LA. Really surprised but fortunate. Most of my interviews were about my start up and IB background. Around median grades at a T10 which make me nervous since I am told I’m below these firms grades cutoff.

I was wondering how much does firm rank matter? Looking to work in BigLaw for the long run, and I understand that 1L SAs don’t necessarily lead to 2L SA. Just looking for any advice on what should matter and what is noise in picking a firm for the summer? I do want to practice in NYC, but it would be cheaper for me to choose LA since i can move back home for the summer.

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UVA2B

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Re: Does firm rank matter?

Postby UVA2B » Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:50 am

If all are Biglaw and pay the same, then they should really be controlled within bands in each market. If you want NYC corporate, V10 will all be generically the same in terms of professional experience and prestige. If you want lit or another more niche practice, Vault becomes pretty much useless and you should use Chambers for initial decisions in terms of practice group strength. Once you're within the same bands, you can pick based on personal fit.

If you want NYC long-term, go to NYC though because you can keep a holding offer open for 2L summer when you do this all over again. Leaving yourself options always provides some nice flexibility.

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Re: Does firm rank matter?

Postby thesealocust » Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:09 am

UVA2B wrote:If all are Biglaw and pay the same, then they should really be controlled within bands in each market. If you want NYC corporate, V10 will all be generically the same in terms of professional experience and prestige. If you want lit or another more niche practice, Vault becomes pretty much useless and you should use Chambers for initial decisions in terms of practice group strength. Once you're within the same bands, you can pick based on personal fit.

If you want NYC long-term, go to NYC though because you can keep a holding offer open for 2L summer when you do this all over again. Leaving yourself options always provides some nice flexibility.


This is great advice.

Firm rankings are really only things law students pay attention to. In the rest of the industry, firm reputation matters and people have a general sense of who the players are in various markets, but nobody cares about the rankings.

To the extent there's a correlation between ranking and reputation, that can be helpful, but don't read too much into it. The factors that influence the rankings (profitability, financial stability, clients, major cases/deals, etc.) matter a lot more for your career than the actual rank number, and other intangibles (culture, work hours, etc.) might matter the most all else being equal.

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Re: Does firm rank matter?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:49 pm

UVA2B wrote:If all are Biglaw and pay the same, then they should really be controlled within bands in each market. If you want NYC corporate, V10 will all be generically the same in terms of professional experience and prestige. If you want lit or another more niche practice, Vault becomes pretty much useless and you should use Chambers for initial decisions in terms of practice group strength. Once you're within the same bands, you can pick based on personal fit.

If you want NYC long-term, go to NYC though because you can keep a holding offer open for 2L summer when you do this all over again. Leaving yourself options always provides some nice flexibility.


My concern is that if my grades remain at median in the spring (hopefully they get better and don’t go down) and i accept a V10 SA, would this ever be a reason preventing me from receiving a 2L SA from the same firm?

I am transaction oriented, btw.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Does firm rank matter?

Postby UVA2B » Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
UVA2B wrote:If all are Biglaw and pay the same, then they should really be controlled within bands in each market. If you want NYC corporate, V10 will all be generically the same in terms of professional experience and prestige. If you want lit or another more niche practice, Vault becomes pretty much useless and you should use Chambers for initial decisions in terms of practice group strength. Once you're within the same bands, you can pick based on personal fit.

If you want NYC long-term, go to NYC though because you can keep a holding offer open for 2L summer when you do this all over again. Leaving yourself options always provides some nice flexibility.


My concern is that if my grades remain at median in the spring (hopefully they get better and don’t go down) and i accept a V10 SA, would this ever be a reason preventing me from receiving a 2L SA from the same firm?

I am transacational oriented, btw.


Umm...what? Why would median grades and accepting a V10 SA for a corporate practice prevent you from getting a 2L SA at the same firm? Once you get to the SA, be a normal person, try hard when you get an assignment, and don't do anything to embarrass yourself, and median grades will be more than enough to get a holding offer at the firm for a 2L SA.

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Re: Does firm rank matter?

Postby Yugihoe » Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
UVA2B wrote:If all are Biglaw and pay the same, then they should really be controlled within bands in each market. If you want NYC corporate, V10 will all be generically the same in terms of professional experience and prestige. If you want lit or another more niche practice, Vault becomes pretty much useless and you should use Chambers for initial decisions in terms of practice group strength. Once you're within the same bands, you can pick based on personal fit.

If you want NYC long-term, go to NYC though because you can keep a holding offer open for 2L summer when you do this all over again. Leaving yourself options always provides some nice flexibility.


My concern is that if my grades remain at median in the spring (hopefully they get better and don’t go down) and i accept a V10 SA, would this ever be a reason preventing me from receiving a 2L SA from the same firm?

I am transacational oriented, btw.


For most places, my understanding is that when you're in, you've already got a foot in the door for 2L SA and full time employment. Only a select few firms don't give their 1Ls a return touch-back offer (I.e. Wachtell)

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Re: Does firm rank matter?

Postby 2014 » Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:42 pm

I don't know where your info comes from but median at a T10 is not below any V10's (Wachtell excepted) cutoff and certainly not once you are already in the door. They will all dip even below median (generally within a standard deviationish) for the right candidate. Right candidate does not necessarily just mean URM either, at least at my firm (which may or may not be either a V10 or a proxy for V10s generally) the partners love relevant work experience as it's a proxy for someone who won't immediately burn out.

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Re: Does firm rank matter?

Postby Mullens » Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:00 pm

I don’t think you need to worry about your grades. Just keep them at least around median.

I’ve heard the scenario you’re worried about playing out, but in that case it was a diversity hire made pre-grades, the person was far far below median (like bottom 5%) and there were work product issues over the summer.

In your scenario, I think you’re golden with your background as long as your grades don’t dive off a cliff and there aren’t any obvious work product issues over the summer. But that’s true at any biglaw firm and firm ranking won’t impact the decision.

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Re: Does firm rank matter?

Postby poptart123 » Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:00 pm

Accepted a 1L SA pre-grades and was nervous about the same thing.

FWIW: Some upperclassmen told me that 1L grades + resume are the best indicators of your potential at OCI. However, if your foot is in the door then grades matter less because the firm can see your actual work product whereas they are making a guess about your work product at OCI. You could have the best grades and crappy work product or crappy grades and great work product. If you're already in the door, the second is more likely to get you the job.

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Re: Does firm rank matter?

Postby Br3v » Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:15 pm

You're smart to think about this and ask the question, but no, once you're "in" then it's more about fit than grades. Absent some extreme situation (dropping from top quarter to bottom quarter,etc) but even then if you're a good fit they will likely turn the other cheek.

Median at t14 is like what 75% of biglaw associates are. Certainly not below any cutoffs.

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Re: Does firm rank matter?

Postby RaceJudicata » Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:58 pm

Bigly.

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Re: Does firm rank matter?

Postby barkschool » Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:56 pm

RaceJudicata wrote:Bigly.

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Re: Does firm rank matter?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:01 pm

2014 wrote:I don't know where your info comes from but median at a T10 is not below any V10's (Wachtell excepted) cutoff and certainly not once you are already in the door. They will all dip even below median (generally within a standard deviationish) for the right candidate. Right candidate does not necessarily just mean URM either, at least at my firm (which may or may not be either a V10 or a proxy for V10s generally) the partners love relevant work experience as it's a proxy for someone who won't immediately burn out.


What are you talking about? V10 and the equivalent in Lit want top 3rd from the lower half the the T10. at least according to my schools stats.

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Re: Does firm rank matter?

Postby runinthefront » Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
2014 wrote:I don't know where your info comes from but median at a T10 is not below any V10's (Wachtell excepted) cutoff and certainly not once you are already in the door. They will all dip even below median (generally within a standard deviationish) for the right candidate. Right candidate does not necessarily just mean URM either, at least at my firm (which may or may not be either a V10 or a proxy for V10s generally) the partners love relevant work experience as it's a proxy for someone who won't immediately burn out.


What are you talking about? V10 and the equivalent in Lit want top 3rd from the lower half the the T10. at least according to my schools stats.


I attended Cornell, and regardless of URM status, 1/3 was definitely not required to land a V10 ("or equivalent") job.
Last edited by runinthefront on Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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2014

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Re: Does firm rank matter?

Postby 2014 » Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
2014 wrote:I don't know where your info comes from but median at a T10 is not below any V10's (Wachtell excepted) cutoff and certainly not once you are already in the door. They will all dip even below median (generally within a standard deviationish) for the right candidate. Right candidate does not necessarily just mean URM either, at least at my firm (which may or may not be either a V10 or a proxy for V10s generally) the partners love relevant work experience as it's a proxy for someone who won't immediately burn out.


What are you talking about? V10 and the equivalent in Lit want top 3rd from the lower half the the T10. at least according to my schools stats.

Their desire and their cut off are very different. The exceptions prove the rule and i very strongly suspect in any given year many people around (including slightly below) median get those jobs because something else about them shines. That could be work experience, charisma in an interview, quality of your undergrad, other degrees, publication(s), coincidental shared interests with your interviewer or whatever. Doesn't mean there's not an advantage to good grades at some firms and there are certainly different advisable bidding/interview strategies if you are sitting on good grades. Not trying to be argumentative i just think it's damaging for people to rule themselves out of jobs based on a firm's stated desires (or even 25/50/75 %ile statistics from years past) because you will inevitably find out a classmate with worse grades than you interviewed anyway and got the gig.

Really the most important point for OP is that if you do a 1L SA at any (non-WLRK) V10, it's going to take worse than medianish to get yourself grade dinged for the return offer. Biggest mountain to climb is always the first one.
Last edited by 2014 on Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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