Top half at T30 = still effed?

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yikeslawschool
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Top half at T30 = still effed?

Postby yikeslawschool » Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:36 am

So I just finished 1L year and I'm in the top half at a T30 that's in a pretty saturated market and I'm paying full tuition.

Too early to know how OCI will go, but I just looked at employment stats and finally realized how terrible the market is--it just sunk in.

I'm not seriously considering dropping out since I'm a third of the way through; I'm just at the point where I realized law school may have been the biggest mistake I ever made and I should have just gone out and gotten a regular job after college.

I know there are a lot of people worse off (worse schools, worse ranking, etc.), but I'm just curious what others' thoughts are.

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kalvano
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Re: Top half at T30 = still effed?

Postby kalvano » Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:43 am

I was top half at a top 50 (lol) and found a summer job at a midsize firm. Really liked it a lot. As much as I hate the word, hustle. I sent out a ton of mass mails, which is how I got my job.

ze2151
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Re: Top half at T30 = still effed?

Postby ze2151 » Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:48 am

i think the major factor is going to be whether you get a gig that pays after 2L. if you do, stick it out. if you don't, i'd really consider alternatives.

and bear in mind that all the hustle in the world sometimes doesn't turn up a job; but no hustle definitely won't.

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jrthor10
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Re: Top half at T30 = still effed?

Postby jrthor10 » Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:09 am

Just curious -- you didn't look at job stats before any of the following:

1. You applied
2. You were accepted
3. You decided to matriculate
4. You showed up on the first day of classes
5. After the first semester
?

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Perseus_I
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Re: Top half at T30 = still effed?

Postby Perseus_I » Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:15 am

kalvano wrote:I was top half at a top 50 (lol) and found a summer job at a midsize firm. Really liked it a lot. As much as I hate the word, hustle. I sent out a ton of mass mails, which is how I got my job.


Schools in the same ranking range are NOT all created equal. Outside the T14, location matters more than ranking. Given the auspicious state of the Houston market, if I were at SMU or UH above median, I would probably stick it out.

If I were somewhere like Hastings, UIUC, or BC and not in the top 20% at least, I would definitely drop out.

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kalvano
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Re: Top half at T30 = still effed?

Postby kalvano » Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:17 am

Perseus_I wrote:
kalvano wrote:I was top half at a top 50 (lol) and found a summer job at a midsize firm. Really liked it a lot. As much as I hate the word, hustle. I sent out a ton of mass mails, which is how I got my job.


Schools in the same ranking range are NOT all created equal. Outside the T14, location matters more than ranking. Given the auspicious state of the Houston market, if I were at SMU or UH above median, I would probably stick it out.

If I were somewhere like Hastings, UIUC, or BC and not in the top 20% at least, I would definitely drop out.


That's very true. I should have mentioned my location (Dallas).

HeavenWood
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Re: Top half at T30 = still effed?

Postby HeavenWood » Wed Jul 25, 2012 3:29 pm

Perseus_I wrote:
kalvano wrote:I was top half at a top 50 (lol) and found a summer job at a midsize firm. Really liked it a lot. As much as I hate the word, hustle. I sent out a ton of mass mails, which is how I got my job.


Schools in the same ranking range are NOT all created equal. Outside the T14, location matters more than ranking. Given the auspicious state of the Houston market, if I were at SMU or UH above median, I would probably stick it out.

If I were somewhere like Hastings, UIUC, or BC and not in the top 20% at least, I would definitely drop out.

lol BU/BC definitely place in biglawl outside the top 20%.

Headybrah
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Re: Top half at T30 = still effed?

Postby Headybrah » Wed Jul 25, 2012 7:57 pm

kalvano wrote:lol BU/BC definitely place in biglawl outside the top 20%.


BU only had 51% employed.
--LinkRemoved--

HeavenWood
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Re: Top half at T30 = still effed?

Postby HeavenWood » Wed Jul 25, 2012 9:57 pm

Headybrah wrote:
kalvano wrote:lol BU/BC definitely place in biglawl outside the top 20%.


BU only had 51% employed.
--LinkRemoved--

Right, but definitely over 20% big law/Article III clerkship/preftigiouf PI placement. "Outside the top 20%" covers a lot of ground. If you're top 1/3, or even median, sticking around isn't necessarily a bad idea. Bottom quarter is another story entirely.

shock259
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Re: Top half at T30 = still effed?

Postby shock259 » Wed Jul 25, 2012 9:59 pm

Nah, you'll probably find a non-shitlaw job. Won't be biglaw, but enough to live on. How much debt are you going to have total?

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Perseus_I
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Re: Top half at T30 = still effed?

Postby Perseus_I » Fri Jul 27, 2012 3:52 am

HeavenWood wrote:
Perseus_I wrote:
kalvano wrote:I was top half at a top 50 (lol) and found a summer job at a midsize firm. Really liked it a lot. As much as I hate the word, hustle. I sent out a ton of mass mails, which is how I got my job.


Schools in the same ranking range are NOT all created equal. Outside the T14, location matters more than ranking. Given the auspicious state of the Houston market, if I were at SMU or UH above median, I would probably stick it out.

If I were somewhere like Hastings, UIUC, or BC and not in the top 20% at least, I would definitely drop out.

lol BU/BC definitely place in biglawl outside the top 20%.


When did I say that nobody outside the top 20% at BC gets Big Law?

Lawschooltransparency wrote:

Large firm score: 19.8%

"Federal clerkships": 1.8% (if this includes bankruptcy clerkships, I am not impressed)

PI: 3.7%


I'm sure some of the 19.8% who got big lawl were not in the "top 20%" at Boston College. Furthermore, I am sure there were also diversity hires, IP, and WASP kids whose private equity daddies had money and could call in favors (see my avatar). There were also probably a few amazing interviewers who could talk their way into anything.

Since the majority of law students are none of these things, staying in school in BC is not a smart idea unless you are at least in the top 20%. That is what my original post said, and I stand by that statement. If you are at all socially awkward (a substantial minority of students at most law schools fit into this category), you cannot afford to be lower than the top 10% + LR at most T1 schools.

OP, I really hope you are in a state like North Carolina or Florida with a strong state school (and were born and bred there) and not somewhere like California or the Mid Atlantic or someone who traveled half-way across the nation to chase "rank" at some random T30. If you are in the former category, I'd say you are probably ok - even without OCI success. My observation working in a Deep South market is that students who attend their state school regularly get jobs through networking from all levels of the class while out-of-state students are typically screwed unless they attend a T14. If you are on one of the coasts or had to leave your state to attend your T30, I'd say whether you stay or not should depend on your level of debt and whether you really want to be a lawyer; you're in a very difficult position.

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: Top half at T30 = still effed?

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Fri Jul 27, 2012 4:29 am

What school?

Also, most prestigious forms of legal employment are out. You may get midlaw, but you most likely will be looking at firms of 2-10 attorneys doing personal injury or criminal defense if you are looking at the private sector.

HeavenWood
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Re: Top half at T30 = still effed?

Postby HeavenWood » Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:41 am

Perseus_I wrote:
HeavenWood wrote:
Perseus_I wrote:
kalvano wrote:I was top half at a top 50 (lol) and found a summer job at a midsize firm. Really liked it a lot. As much as I hate the word, hustle. I sent out a ton of mass mails, which is how I got my job.


Schools in the same ranking range are NOT all created equal. Outside the T14, location matters more than ranking. Given the auspicious state of the Houston market, if I were at SMU or UH above median, I would probably stick it out.

If I were somewhere like Hastings, UIUC, or BC and not in the top 20% at least, I would definitely drop out.

lol BU/BC definitely place in biglawl outside the top 20%.


When did I say that nobody outside the top 20% at BC gets Big Law?

Lawschooltransparency wrote:

Large firm score: 19.8%

"Federal clerkships": 1.8% (if this includes bankruptcy clerkships, I am not impressed)

PI: 3.7%


I'm sure some of the 19.8% who got big lawl were not in the "top 20%" at Boston College. Furthermore, I am sure there were also diversity hires, IP, and WASP kids whose private equity daddies had money and could call in favors (see my avatar). There were also probably a few amazing interviewers who could talk their way into anything.

Since the majority of law students are none of these things, staying in school in BC is not a smart idea unless you are at least in the top 20%. That is what my original post said, and I stand by that statement. If you are at all socially awkward (a substantial minority of students at most law schools fit into this category), you cannot afford to be lower than the top 10% + LR at most T1 schools.

OP, I really hope you are in a state like North Carolina or Florida with a strong state school (and were born and bred there) and not somewhere like California or the Mid Atlantic or someone who traveled half-way across the nation to chase "rank" at some random T30. If you are in the former category, I'd say you are probably ok - even without OCI success. My observation working in a Deep South market is that students who attend their state school regularly get jobs through networking from all levels of the class while out-of-state students are typically screwed unless they attend a T14. If you are on one of the coasts or had to leave your state to attend your T30, I'd say whether you stay or not should depend on your level of debt and whether you really want to be a lawyer; you're in a very difficult position.

I find your analysis hysterical, and I bet it makes you feel better about yourself.

TLSwag
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Re: Top half at T30 = still effed?

Postby TLSwag » Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:49 am

Headybrah wrote:
kalvano wrote:lol BU/BC definitely place in biglawl outside the top 20%.


BU only had 51% employed.
--LinkRemoved--


nobody talked about BU... RC fail

HeavenWood
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Re: Top half at T30 = still effed?

Postby HeavenWood » Fri Jul 27, 2012 11:53 am

TLSwag wrote:
Headybrah wrote:
kalvano wrote:lol BU/BC definitely place in biglawl outside the top 20%.


BU only had 51% employed.
--LinkRemoved--


nobody talked about BU... RC fail

I mentioned BU along with BC because they're peers. But telling someone they should just up and drop out if they're below the top 20% at either of those schools is really doing others a disservice. Midlaw does exist, especially in a larger secondary market like Boston. Median + sticker is something else though.

TLSwag
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Re: Top half at T30 = still effed?

Postby TLSwag » Fri Jul 27, 2012 2:44 pm

HeavenWood wrote:
TLSwag wrote:
Headybrah wrote:
kalvano wrote:lol BU/BC definitely place in biglawl outside the top 20%.


BU only had 51% employed.
--LinkRemoved--


nobody talked about BU... RC fail

I mentioned BU along with BC because they're peers. But telling someone they should just up and drop out if they're below the top 20% at either of those schools is really doing others a disservice. Midlaw does exist, especially in a larger secondary market like Boston. Median + sticker is something else though.


dont get me wrong, I couldn't agree more. dropping out at even top 1/3 at BU/BC is about the dumbest advice I've heard in a while, if interested in being a lawyer. I guess another argument could be made for median (which is indeed the topic of this thread), but still I'm with you. that being said, it woulda been better to stick to BC for purposes of making these points, as BC>BU in recent big law placement

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Perseus_I
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Re: Top half at T30 = still effed?

Postby Perseus_I » Fri Jul 27, 2012 4:20 pm

The statistics I quoted state that only 25% of the class gets some kind of prestigious employment, and those numbers appear to include Article I clerkships, which do not always lead to a paying legal job. I think the numbers fully back up my statement that, if you do not have something unusual going for you (PI, superior interviewing skills, diversity, IP), then you are in a tough spot outside the top 20%. The data does not lie. If you are paying sticker, you should drop out. If you are not paying sticker, it depends. Less than 20% will ever work in big law, and mid law is not something you can count on.

OP:

Step 1: Is your T30 the flagship law school in your native state, or does it have some other strong connection to your native state? If yes, it's probably worth it to stay if you're willing to take a low-paying job and rely on IBR. Big law or mid law are even slim possibilities, depending on your networking skills and your ability to raise your GPA. If no:

Step 2: Is your debt level such that you could at least manage it (keep it from growing into a mega tax bomb) with a small law job of about $30,000-$50,000/year (best case scenario) or document review (more likely)? If yes, stay. If no:

Step 3: OP, do you have something unusual going for you like well-connected parents, IP, diversity, or amazing verbal persuasive skills on the level of Jeff Winger in Community? If yes, consider staying. If no:

Step 4: Do you have a marketable degree such that you could get a job if you dropped out? If yes, drop out. If no, you might want to take a risk and stay. This is a tough call.

Common sense, people.

JetsFan1990
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Re: Top half at T30 = still effed?

Postby JetsFan1990 » Fri Jul 27, 2012 4:35 pm

Perseus, you amuse me. Just curious, what would you say to someone who is median at BC ( with a 20k scholly, for instance)? This isn't my situation, by the way. I haven't even started school yet.

TLSwag
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Re: Top half at T30 = still effed?

Postby TLSwag » Fri Jul 27, 2012 4:39 pm

Perseus_I wrote:The statistics I quoted state that only 25% of the class gets some kind of prestigious employment, and those numbers appear to include Article I clerkships, which do not always lead to a paying legal job. I think the numbers fully back up my statement that, if you do not have something unusual going for you (PI, superior interviewing skills, diversity, IP), then you are in a tough spot outside the top 20%. The data does not lie. If you are paying sticker, you should drop out. If you are not paying sticker, it depends. Less than 20% will ever work in big law, and mid law is not something you can count on.

OP:

Step 1: Is your T30 the flagship law school in your native state, or does it have some other strong connection to your native state? If yes, it's probably worth it to stay if you're willing to take a low-paying job and rely on IBR. Big law or mid law are even slim possibilities, depending on your networking skills and your ability to raise your GPA. If no:

Step 2: Is your debt level such that you could at least manage it (keep it from growing into a mega tax bomb) with a small law job of about $30,000-$50,000/year (best case scenario) or document review (more likely)? If yes, stay. If no:

Step 3: OP, do you have something unusual going for you like well-connected parents, IP, diversity, or amazing verbal persuasive skills on the level of Jeff Winger in Community? If yes, consider staying. If no, the rational thing to do is to drop out.

Common sense, people.


right but you were assuming the bold before... and you said should drop out not "in a tough spot" - two very diff things. can not make a claim about someone dropping out w/o knowing debt financing situation.

also you have a false concept of reality if you think there aren't at least SOME jobs that pay dec - above dec that aren't big law/fed clerkships. i mean i get the point here it may not be a huge portion but there are some and again, you don't know people's debt financing situations to be making outrageous claims like that. some people will graduate debt-free or close to it and can afford to take lower paying jobs.

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Perseus_I
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Re: Top half at T30 = still effed?

Postby Perseus_I » Fri Jul 27, 2012 4:41 pm

JetsFan1990 wrote:Perseus, you amuse me. Just curious, what would you say to someone who is median at BC ( with a 20k scholly, for instance)? This isn't my situation, by the way. I haven't even started school yet.


If you are paying sticker, you should drop out. If you are not paying sticker, it depends. Less than 20% will ever work in big law, and mid law is not something you can count on.


The most I can say is that you are in a very tough spot. You may never pay off your debt (likely), but you might get a paying legal job that will allow you to live a semi-normal life while you plan for the IBR tax bomb, especially if you have strong ties to Boston.

TLSwag
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Re: Top half at T30 = still effed?

Postby TLSwag » Fri Jul 27, 2012 4:46 pm

Perseus_I wrote:
JetsFan1990 wrote:Perseus, you amuse me. Just curious, what would you say to someone who is median at BC ( with a 20k scholly, for instance)? This isn't my situation, by the way. I haven't even started school yet.


If you are paying sticker, you should drop out. If you are not paying sticker, it depends. Less than 20% will ever work in big law, and mid law is not something you can count on.


The most I can say is that you are in a very tough spot. You may never pay off your debt (likely), but you might get a paying legal job that will allow you to live a semi-normal life while you plan for the IBR tax bomb, especially if you have strong ties to Boston.


this sounds fun let me try. what about sticker in state tuition median at lets say UT?

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Perseus_I
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Re: Top half at T30 = still effed?

Postby Perseus_I » Fri Jul 27, 2012 4:55 pm

TLSwag wrote:
Perseus_I wrote:The statistics I quoted state that only 25% of the class gets some kind of prestigious employment, and those numbers appear to include Article I clerkships, which do not always lead to a paying legal job. I think the numbers fully back up my statement that, if you do not have something unusual going for you (PI, superior interviewing skills, diversity, IP), then you are in a tough spot outside the top 20%. The data does not lie. If you are paying sticker, you should drop out. If you are not paying sticker, it depends. Less than 20% will ever work in big law, and mid law is not something you can count on.

OP:

Step 1: Is your T30 the flagship law school in your native state, or does it have some other strong connection to your native state? If yes, it's probably worth it to stay if you're willing to take a low-paying job and rely on IBR. Big law or mid law are even slim possibilities, depending on your networking skills and your ability to raise your GPA. If no:

Step 2: Is your debt level such that you could at least manage it (keep it from growing into a mega tax bomb) with a small law job of about $30,000-$50,000/year (best case scenario) or document review (more likely)? If yes, stay. If no:

Step 3: OP, do you have something unusual going for you like well-connected parents, IP, diversity, or amazing verbal persuasive skills on the level of Jeff Winger in Community? If yes, consider staying. If no, the rational thing to do is to drop out.

Common sense, people.


right but you were assuming the bold before... and you said should drop out not "in a tough spot" - two very diff things. can not make a claim about someone dropping out w/o knowing debt financing situation.

also you have a false concept of reality if you think there aren't at least SOME jobs that pay dec - above dec that aren't big law/fed clerkships. i mean i get the point here it may not be a huge portion but there are some and again, you don't know people's debt financing situations to be making outrageous claims like that. some people will graduate debt-free or close to it and can afford to take lower paying jobs.


Yeah, I was (incorrectly) assuming a large amount of debt. Most law students do have a lot of debt, especially median students. So I clarified to account for debt. I make my decisions based on the law of averages, not based upon hope, which is why I attended a T1 without debt rather than a superior non-HYS school I could have attended at sticker. Part of the reason is I am shy and not confident in my ability to hustle for a job outside OCI vs. other much more extroverted students. But I realize that others may operate differently, and broad statements are likely to have multiple exceptions.

I think my steps 1-step 4 are solid as advice because they allow for these exceptions.

TLSwag
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Re: Top half at T30 = still effed?

Postby TLSwag » Fri Jul 27, 2012 4:57 pm

Perseus_I wrote:
TLSwag wrote:
Perseus_I wrote:The statistics I quoted state that only 25% of the class gets some kind of prestigious employment, and those numbers appear to include Article I clerkships, which do not always lead to a paying legal job. I think the numbers fully back up my statement that, if you do not have something unusual going for you (PI, superior interviewing skills, diversity, IP), then you are in a tough spot outside the top 20%. The data does not lie. If you are paying sticker, you should drop out. If you are not paying sticker, it depends. Less than 20% will ever work in big law, and mid law is not something you can count on.

OP:

Step 1: Is your T30 the flagship law school in your native state, or does it have some other strong connection to your native state? If yes, it's probably worth it to stay if you're willing to take a low-paying job and rely on IBR. Big law or mid law are even slim possibilities, depending on your networking skills and your ability to raise your GPA. If no:

Step 2: Is your debt level such that you could at least manage it (keep it from growing into a mega tax bomb) with a small law job of about $30,000-$50,000/year (best case scenario) or document review (more likely)? If yes, stay. If no:

Step 3: OP, do you have something unusual going for you like well-connected parents, IP, diversity, or amazing verbal persuasive skills on the level of Jeff Winger in Community? If yes, consider staying. If no, the rational thing to do is to drop out.

Common sense, people.


right but you were assuming the bold before... and you said should drop out not "in a tough spot" - two very diff things. can not make a claim about someone dropping out w/o knowing debt financing situation.

also you have a false concept of reality if you think there aren't at least SOME jobs that pay dec - above dec that aren't big law/fed clerkships. i mean i get the point here it may not be a huge portion but there are some and again, you don't know people's debt financing situations to be making outrageous claims like that. some people will graduate debt-free or close to it and can afford to take lower paying jobs.


Yeah, I was (incorrectly) assuming a large amount of debt. Most law students do have a lot of debt, especially median students. So I clarified to account for debt. I make my decisions based on the law of averages, not based upon hope, which is why I attended a T1 without debt rather than a superior non-HYS school I could have attended at sticker. Part of the reason is I am shy and not confident in my ability to hustle for a job outside OCI vs. other much more extroverted students. But I realize that others may operate differently, and broad statements are likely to have multiple exceptions.

I think my steps 1-step 4 are solid as advice because they allow for these exceptions.


i agree that those sound pretty legit given likely outcomes but everyone has diff debt levels. some people have savings, people helpin em out, scholarships, need-based aid... changes the equation

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Perseus_I
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Re: Top half at T30 = still effed?

Postby Perseus_I » Fri Jul 27, 2012 5:00 pm

TLSwag wrote:
Perseus_I wrote:
JetsFan1990 wrote:Perseus, you amuse me. Just curious, what would you say to someone who is median at BC ( with a 20k scholly, for instance)? This isn't my situation, by the way. I haven't even started school yet.


If you are paying sticker, you should drop out. If you are not paying sticker, it depends. Less than 20% will ever work in big law, and mid law is not something you can count on.


The most I can say is that you are in a very tough spot. You may never pay off your debt (likely), but you might get a paying legal job that will allow you to live a semi-normal life while you plan for the IBR tax bomb, especially if you have strong ties to Boston.


this sounds fun let me try. what about sticker in state tuition median at lets say UT?


You are in a much better spot than the BC student, particularly if you have ties to Texas (you likely would if you're paying IST), and particularly if you have ties to Houston. Students at median do land big law and mid law at UT. Is this the exception? Yes. But it's also a lot easier to manage $120,000 in debt in a low-cost state than it is to manage $220,000 $200,000 in debt in a place like Boston.

JetsFan1990
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Re: Top half at T30 = still effed?

Postby JetsFan1990 » Fri Jul 27, 2012 5:18 pm

Perseus_I wrote:
TLSwag wrote:
Perseus_I wrote:
JetsFan1990 wrote:Perseus, you amuse me. Just curious, what would you say to someone who is median at BC ( with a 20k scholly, for instance)? This isn't my situation, by the way. I haven't even started school yet.


If you are paying sticker, you should drop out. If you are not paying sticker, it depends. Less than 20% will ever work in big law, and mid law is not something you can count on.


The most I can say is that you are in a very tough spot. You may never pay off your debt (likely), but you might get a paying legal job that will allow you to live a semi-normal life while you plan for the IBR tax bomb, especially if you have strong ties to Boston.


this sounds fun let me try. what about sticker in state tuition median at lets say UT?


You are in a much better spot than the BC student, particularly if you have ties to Texas (you likely would if you're paying IST), and particularly if you have ties to Houston. Students at median do land big law and mid law at UT. Is this the exception? Yes. But it's also a lot easier to manage $120,000 in debt in a low-cost state than it is to manage $220,000 $200,000 in debt in a place like Boston.


Oops, should have clarified. When I said 20k scholarship, I meant 20k per year. My mistake.

Either way, I'm unsure that even 60k would redeem the median BC student. I would argue that 75-85k is the minimum justifiable scholarship to stay at BC if median (bringing the total COA to around 100k). Would you agree?




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