Biglaw lawyer taking questions

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El Orance
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby El Orance » Sun Aug 16, 2009 11:10 am

Hi,
Thanks for posting.

You've mentioned that a) your firm has an unofficial gpa cutoff and b) students at the median at top schools will have a much harder time in this economy. I was wondering:

1) Are firms like yours raising their gpa cutoffs in light of the economy, such that students at the median at top schools will now be automatically shut out of firms where, in prior years, they would have had a decent shot? Or, will students at the median still make these cutoffs, but face higher competition for fewer spots available?

2) If your firm does have a gpa cutoff that's the same regardless of school, how does that work? Is it very low (say, median)? Or do you really shut out anyone below say 15% at CLS, Fordham and Cardozo?

Thanks again!

3rdYrLitigator
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Sun Aug 16, 2009 11:32 am

El Orance wrote:Hi,
Thanks for posting.

You've mentioned that a) your firm has an unofficial gpa cutoff and b) students at the median at top schools will have a much harder time in this economy. I was wondering:

1) Are firms like yours raising their gpa cutoffs in light of the economy, such that students at the median at top schools will now be automatically shut out of firms where, in prior years, they would have had a decent shot? Or, will students at the median still make these cutoffs, but face higher competition for fewer spots available?

2) If your firm does have a gpa cutoff that's the same regardless of school, how does that work? Is it very low (say, median)? Or do you really shut out anyone below say 15% at CLS, Fordham and Cardozo?

Thanks again!


1) I don't think the cutoffs will rise, but I think average gpas will go up just because we'll be taking students with higher gpas anyway (I think the firm's cutoffs are already pretty high so I can't imagine them getting higher). I imagine some firms will shut out median students at top schools, where they used to take median students before, but I think more likely they'll have a shot but face higher competition.

2) There's schools specific that we shoot for, and there's a base level one that we just don't go under regardless of school. So for a top school, we'll take people all the way down to the unofficial cutoff, but for lower ranked schools the gpas/class ranks required will go up.

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pleasetryagain
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby pleasetryagain » Sun Aug 16, 2009 1:04 pm

are you working today?

3rdYrLitigator
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Sun Aug 16, 2009 2:27 pm

DCD wrote:are you working today?


Yeah

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El Orance
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby El Orance » Sun Aug 16, 2009 3:12 pm

Hey, not to beat a dead horse but...

3)
3rdYrLitigator wrote:I think the firm's cutoffs are already pretty high so I can't imagine them getting higher


... how high are we talking about (ballpark)?

4) Any suggestions for interviewees who know they are below the gpa range a given firm would jump at? Better to just treat it like any other interview or to address the question head-on / use some other tactic?

thanks

3rdYrLitigator
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Sun Aug 16, 2009 3:24 pm

El Orance wrote:Hey, not to beat a dead horse but...

3)
3rdYrLitigator wrote:I think the firm's cutoffs are already pretty high so I can't imagine them getting higher


... how high are we talking about (ballpark)?

4) Any suggestions for interviewees who know they are below the gpa range a given firm would jump at? Better to just treat it like any other interview or to address the question head-on / use some other tactic?

thanks


3) I'd rather not say.

4) Depends on your interviewer. Personally, I'd just treat it like any other interview. If it's too low, it's too low, and there's really no explanation that will make it better. At least, I can't think of an explanation that would make much of a difference.

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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 16, 2009 3:35 pm

I am a rising 3L and will be headed into biglaw after graduation. Right now I am leaning towards litigation, but I'm curious as to what the exit options are. I know there is government work but is it possible to go inhouse after several years of lit experience at a top firm? I get the impression that it's easy for corp attorneys and not so much for litigators.

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acharyainc
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby acharyainc » Sun Aug 16, 2009 3:57 pm

What do you think about the JD/MBA in general and pertaining to a career in BigLaw. Some people say its a neg when it comes time to seeking partnership status.

What is the usual workweek for a partner in comparison to an associate?

Thanks!

premadance
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby premadance » Sun Aug 16, 2009 4:23 pm

OP....thanks for your time in taking questions. Joining Yale, Harvard Law recently moved away from traditional grading and class rankings. Can you speculate how your firm and other "big law" firms will approach candidates from these schools?

3rdYrLitigator
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Sun Aug 16, 2009 6:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I am a rising 3L and will be headed into biglaw after graduation. Right now I am leaning towards litigation, but I'm curious as to what the exit options are. I know there is government work but is it possible to go inhouse after several years of lit experience at a top firm? I get the impression that it's easy for corp attorneys and not so much for litigators.


It's probably easier for corp. associates to go in-house but firms do need lawyers with experience litigating.

What do you think about the JD/MBA in general and pertaining to a career in BigLaw. Some people say its a neg when it comes time to seeking partnership status.

What is the usual workweek for a partner in comparison to an associate?

Thanks!


I don't really think it would be a negative, it might be harder to get an associate job in the beginning (some people might not know if you're committed to practicing the law), but I don't think it's a big deal either way.

The partners I work for work as long, if not longer hours as I do.

OP....thanks for your time in taking questions. Joining Yale, Harvard Law recently moved away from traditional grading and class rankings. Can you speculate how your firm and other "big law" firms will approach candidates from these schools?


No idea, with Yale it's easier because it's a small school so you're not dealing with a ton of people who have weird grades. Harvard is huge, so I think it will take a bit to figure out, I'm not on the recruiting committee but I'm sure they've talked about it.

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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 16, 2009 7:51 pm

thanks for taking questions!

you mentioned that urms may receive a "boost" in getting hired. Do Asians receive any type of a boost, and how are they viewed in the hiring process? I know Asians are over-represented in law schools, but after looking at some firms stats, I wasnt sure if this was the case in law firms as well.

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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 16, 2009 8:06 pm

Is it hard to meet your billable hours requirement? How long do most attorneys last at the firm (is it longer or shorter than your typical NFL career)?

gettinin10
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby gettinin10 » Sun Aug 16, 2009 8:39 pm

Building on a previous question, I am a sikh and wear a turban....would that always affect me, or if I came out of a top 10 law school merit alone would see me through biglaw? And if I get hired at first, is making partner out of the question or very difficult?

3rdYrLitigator
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Sun Aug 16, 2009 10:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:thanks for taking questions!

you mentioned that urms may receive a "boost" in getting hired. Do Asians receive any type of a boost, and how are they viewed in the hiring process? I know Asians are over-represented in law schools, but after looking at some firms stats, I wasnt sure if this was the case in law firms as well.


I don't think there's a boost.

Is it hard to meet your billable hours requirement? How long do most attorneys last at the firm (is it longer or shorter than your typical NFL career)?


For some, yes, for me, not yet. I'd say most are gone by year 4-5.

Building on a previous question, I am a sikh and wear a turban....would that always affect me, or if I came out of a top 10 law school merit alone would see me through biglaw? And if I get hired at first, is making partner out of the question or very difficult?


I really don't know. I could see it being an issue in OCI hiring, but I really have no idea, I've never seen an attorney wearing a turban. If you do get hired, I don't think it would affect your partnership chances. Of course, at that point it's all about how much money you can bring in (at least at the equity level). You can wear whatever you want if you can make it rain.

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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 17, 2009 1:08 am

How does your firm view transfer kids? Does a top 5% from a school like GW/Fordham/BC who transfers into the T14/T6 face a stiff penalty or is it just a slight drop compared to the other T14 candidates? Do you think one would be better off staying put in such a situation?

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philip.platt
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby philip.platt » Mon Aug 17, 2009 1:16 am

natalie123 wrote:tag... i'm just listening in. thanks for being here. :D


+1

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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 17, 2009 6:32 pm

Do the lawyers at biglaw firms with prestigious (t-14) degrees look down on other lawyers with less prestigious degrees? Would a lawyer coming out of Yeshiva U. or Brooklyn have any chance at making partner (or is that reserved for prestigious law school grads)?

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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 17, 2009 7:05 pm

How difficult was getting through the Character and Fitness process when you applied for bar admissions? What all did they look at and what types of things might be red flags? Are you aware of anyone who was denied admission and for what reason?

Thanks for your all of your insight. Very helpful!

3rdYrLitigator
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Mon Aug 17, 2009 9:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:How does your firm view transfer kids? Does a top 5% from a school like GW/Fordham/BC who transfers into the T14/T6 face a stiff penalty or is it just a slight drop compared to the other T14 candidates? Do you think one would be better off staying put in such a situation?


I don't think there's a penalty but they'll mostly be evaluated as the top 5% at GW/Fordham/BC, I don't think there's bonus or a penalty. If you're transferring from a school where you wouldn't get a chance at firms through OCI, then transferring makes sense.

Do the lawyers at biglaw firms with prestigious (t-14) degrees look down on other lawyers with less prestigious degrees? Would a lawyer coming out of Yeshiva U. or Brooklyn have any chance at making partner (or is that reserved for prestigious law school grads)?


I'm sure some do, but I'd figure most people don't. I trust the recruiting department and if you make it into the firm, you deserve to be there. As for making partner, as far as I can tell (I'm certainly not privy to the firm's partnership decisions) there are many many more important factors to making partner than what school you come from.

How difficult was getting through the Character and Fitness process when you applied for bar admissions? What all did they look at and what types of things might be red flags? Are you aware of anyone who was denied admission and for what reason?

Thanks for your all of your insight. Very helpful!


It's a pain, but just tedious. Any kind of criminal record is a big flag. I don't know of anyone denied admission. Sorry.

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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 18, 2009 1:37 pm

I hear that African American males are highly valued and sought after in law school. How about at OCI and in law firms? Do African American males have a slightly easier chance of being hired then their white counterparts? Btw I'm talking as a T14 student.

3rdYrLitigator
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Tue Aug 18, 2009 10:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I hear that African American males are highly valued and sought after in law school. How about at OCI and in law firms? Do African American males have a slightly easier chance of being hired then their white counterparts? Btw I'm talking as a T14 student.


I'm not on the hiring committee, so I'm not sure but I tend to think so. I really don't think you should be going into OCI thinking that either a) you'll have an easier time because of your race or b) someone else will have an easier time because of their race, it's not really productive in my opinion.

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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 19, 2009 12:51 am

Ok. I just wanted to hear what you thought on this matter.

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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 19, 2009 2:47 pm

Hey thanks for coming on the boards and sharing your knowledge. I know you don't have a crystal ball or anything but I'll be graduating college in 2011 and I'll be a law graduate in 2014. By the time my OCI rolls around what do you think the market will look like by then? Do you think the salaries will have gone waaay down and overall be a blood bath for people like me? Is it worth even going to law school at this point. I would love to here your thoughts.

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D. H2Oman
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby D. H2Oman » Wed Aug 19, 2009 2:51 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Hey thanks for coming on the boards and sharing your knowledge. I know you don't have a crystal ball or anything but I'll be graduating college in 2011 and I'll be a law graduate in 2014. By the time my OCI rolls around what do you think the market will look like by then? Do you think the salaries will have gone waaay down and overall be a blood bath for people like me? Is it worth even going to law school at this point. I would love to here your thoughts.


Also, if you give any insight on the 2016 presidential election that would be great.

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4stroke
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 4stroke » Wed Aug 19, 2009 3:14 pm

1. Is there any chance for a mid-40s second career law school graduate to enter BigLaw?

2. Does a part-time law school study (with a full time job and therefore no summer law internship possibility) preclude a BigLaw career?

Thank you!




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