bahama wrote:Here is the thing with your chances at a firm post JAG: You are not going to get in some place that you couldn't have gotten straight from law school, and likely will have a harder time than someone with equal school and grades who was interviewng through OCI.
- You are not going to be able to come in as a 4th year lateral or whatever most of your law school peers are because your experience isn't relevant enough to warrant the extra pay and seniority.
- You may be able to get in as a "new" associate but you probably have the odds as a 3L or a recent grad from your school. Although you have the advantage of some experience, you don't have the OCI "machine" working for you nor do you have a career svcs office that has connections at the firms and that the firms need to keep somewhat happy. And in some cases your experience may work against you if the firm thinks it will have to retrain you.
Obviously coming from a school like HYS or being able to show you graduated at the top of your class from another feeder school is going to help your chances of getting an interview post JAG. There is at least one post-JAG that I know of at an elite DC litigation firm.
I'd say your odds as getting into biglaw as a "new" associate are shittier then a 3L or recent grad from your school after 3-4 years of JAG. The HYS nametag is a good one for biglaw, but not so much after spending years in JAG. I know with biglaw prestige is a lot bigger factor then in other places but for the most part what a top school degree gets you is that foot into that first job (this is really true with pretty much any degree). It's going to be a lot more about what you did 4 years out then about where you went to school. By working at JAG you didn't work at a large law firm, didn't do what a typical associate does (whether it be complex transactions or complex civil litigation), didn't develop the relationships with clients that a typical 4th or 5th year associate should have, etc, etc. I think you would need some serious countervailing factors weighing in your favor to go into biglaw after JAG (such as you're good friends with numerous partners at the firm you want to go to). So in other words, it possible to go from JAG --> biglaw, but pretty unlikely. An additional consideration is why the hell would you even want to work in biglaw after spending 4 years in JAG? The typical law school grad that goes into biglaw does it right after graduation, spends a few years there, hates life but manages for a few year while paying down student loans and getting a headstart financially, and then get's the fuck out (or is forced out) and makes use of the numerous exit options that are available as a former biglaw associate.