Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
arez
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby arez » Fri May 24, 2013 4:19 pm

DoubleChecks wrote:
iThwl wrote:Could anyone compare Robert Clark & Guhan Subramanian for corporations? which one do you recommend?


DEFINITELY Subramanian. I have heard great things about him. Lots of friends took his classes and liked them. Clark is aight for corps; I had him. He was kind of boring (but I mean, it is corps), is slightly entertaining when he sings his songs, but deep down is probably a bit racist/sexist/etc. Maybe not even that deep down. It becomes apparent when certain comments slip out of his mouth, and when I heard he was the HLS dean during the whole Frug and gender inequality scandal in the 90s, my reaction was, "Hm, not surprised." Sounds harsh, but he's not a bad guy -- more like one of those old privileged ones who don't realize calling someone an 'Oriental' is now deemed inappropriate. I personally found it more entertaining than offensive, and again, it isn't particularly apparent or anything. Certainly not Mnookin-level inappropriate haha.


Expand on the Frug and gender inequality scandal? I like old HLS dirt.

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby DoubleChecks » Fri May 24, 2013 4:38 pm

arez wrote:
DoubleChecks wrote:
iThwl wrote:Could anyone compare Robert Clark & Guhan Subramanian for corporations? which one do you recommend?


DEFINITELY Subramanian. I have heard great things about him. Lots of friends took his classes and liked them. Clark is aight for corps; I had him. He was kind of boring (but I mean, it is corps), is slightly entertaining when he sings his songs, but deep down is probably a bit racist/sexist/etc. Maybe not even that deep down. It becomes apparent when certain comments slip out of his mouth, and when I heard he was the HLS dean during the whole Frug and gender inequality scandal in the 90s, my reaction was, "Hm, not surprised." Sounds harsh, but he's not a bad guy -- more like one of those old privileged ones who don't realize calling someone an 'Oriental' is now deemed inappropriate. I personally found it more entertaining than offensive, and again, it isn't particularly apparent or anything. Certainly not Mnookin-level inappropriate haha.


Expand on the Frug and gender inequality scandal? I like old HLS dirt.


I don't remember all the details, but it was about the wife of HLS Professor Frug who was murdered in the 90s I believe. They didn't catch the killer, and a yr later, on the anniversary of her death, the Harvard Law Review had published this parody that it did every yr. It was distributed at this HLS faculty dinner that, mercifully, Frug may not have attended. But anyways, in this parody, there was one that made fun of Frug's deceased wife, who may have been a vocal feminist. The HLR parody had her dead self or something having discussions with various people and whatnot, but sprinkled throughout the whole thing were sexist footnotes and just pretty insulting things. Well, needless to say, that caught wildfire and was used as an example of how male-centric and sexist the Harvard Law Review had become at the time. Most members of HLS were (and still are) men, but this incident was used to show a general acceptance by the group of thinking stuff like this was okay. Lots of plausible deniability went on, even though multiple editors had to have seen it before it was published, etc.

The whole thing grew even bigger into a school-wide discussion about gender equality, with people like Nesson saying how HLS did not hire enough female faculty/professors, and with some on the other side saying, at the time, that there weren't enough female faculty because there just weren't enough qualified ones. Back and forth, and Clark was the dean of the school at the time who was sort of like, "Aw crap, I don't want to deal with this. I don't think this is a big issue (even though it is imo), but I can't simply say that!" <-- not an actual quote by him, I am now just speaking for him in a biased way haha. Changes were made, some female professors were hired, but the problem is far from "solved"...sort of like racial inequality :P

What is scary is that this all happened in the 1990s. Whaaa...heck, I think Harvard ugrad gave out differently titled degrees to female graduates well into the 90s as well. Harvard, as an institution, tends to move slowly imo, even though it is in the liberal NE. But Minnow (and probably Kagan) seems to be willing to change some things, if only aesthetics. A lot of my minor complaints during 1L yr have been fixed, almost as if by magic!

Horrible Harvard IT that is slow and makes us all wait in queues...next yr, new IT system! Ugly architecture and ugly law school buildings...next yr? New WCC law school building that is badass! Harvard EIP is too late compared to other schools, becoming a disadvantage...next yr? EIP moved up! Dorms are really ugly...now I hear they are getting renovated too lol. You get the drift. Before I came in, the current grading policy and exams BEFORE instead of AFTER winter break were instituted as well.

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wert3813
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby wert3813 » Fri May 24, 2013 4:52 pm

DoubleChecks wrote:
wert3813 wrote:So basically the only "easy" market is NY?


Okay, well I always have to plug this though so...you're missing one major market that is pretty easy and imo the best (but arguable with NYC and maybe LA, depending on preferences): TX.

For 1L SA, usually needs ties, and probably need more ties to get 2L SA in Dallas compared to Houston, and DEFINITELY need ties to get into small, competitive Austin...but Houston 2L SAs are given out like candy to HLS students. I mean, show genuine interest in the market, but you don't really need ties. Just interest. They know if you take the 2L SA to TX, very little chance you're going to be going elsewhere from 3L OCI anyways haha.

The TX legal market is also one of the most robust. NYC and TX probably the most robust two. Too much work if anything. TONS of NYC firms have recently tried to break into the Houston market (most of my TX comments really only talk about Houston as I have limited experience with Dallas/San Antonio/Austin markets) because of oil & gas/energy. So if you still want a NYC-based firm, there are some good ones that just opened up and are doing well. Latham comes to mind first -- cutting edge transactional work (no lit really), VERY successful in VERY little time...Sidley is another out-of-state firm that just opened up and is attracting great partners/business. Regardless, in answering your question, the TX legal market is relatively easy to break into for 2L yr, esp. Houston, and is certainly one of the most successful ones in the country at the moment.

COL is like a third of NYC's...real estate is DIRT cheap...no state income tax. Starting biglaw scale is also $160k, though the lockstep doesn't grow as quickly as NYC's, and the bonuses are smaller. That being said, after taxes are factored in (NYC has a city tax too), they become much more similar...and once housing and COL is factored in, not even close. Probably can repay loans considerably faster in TX biglaw. We also work fewer hours and have nicer people. Still work biglaw (biglaw is biglaw is biglaw), but not NYC crazy. I have tons of friends who are working in NYC and summered there -- the stories of the personalities and work hours are foreign to me. We still have our days and a few outlier people, but generally, I have never been stressed due to the PEOPLE at my firms (I SA'd at multiple firms). We're less "brutally efficient" down here in TX :P

Okay okay, done plugging.


Feel free to PM if we are two far down the rabbit hole here but what would you say average junior associates bill in Houston? 1900? 2100?

GertrudePerkins
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby GertrudePerkins » Fri May 24, 2013 5:06 pm

arez wrote:
DoubleChecks wrote:
iThwl wrote:Could anyone compare Robert Clark & Guhan Subramanian for corporations? which one do you recommend?


DEFINITELY Subramanian. I have heard great things about him. Lots of friends took his classes and liked them. Clark is aight for corps; I had him. He was kind of boring (but I mean, it is corps), is slightly entertaining when he sings his songs, but deep down is probably a bit racist/sexist/etc. Maybe not even that deep down. It becomes apparent when certain comments slip out of his mouth, and when I heard he was the HLS dean during the whole Frug and gender inequality scandal in the 90s, my reaction was, "Hm, not surprised." Sounds harsh, but he's not a bad guy -- more like one of those old privileged ones who don't realize calling someone an 'Oriental' is now deemed inappropriate. I personally found it more entertaining than offensive, and again, it isn't particularly apparent or anything. Certainly not Mnookin-level inappropriate haha.


Expand on the Frug and gender inequality scandal? I like old HLS dirt.
Here and here are two NY Times articles that give some flavor of what a very different -- and, seems to me, far less pleasant -- place HLS was back in the early 1990s.

MAHamlin
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby MAHamlin » Fri May 24, 2013 5:56 pm

yarsten wrote:
gertie wrote:Does anyone know of any Harvard students who were on Medicaid while in Law School instead of Harvard's health plan or a private insurance plan? I know that MA is expaning Medicaid come January '14 so I thought I'd look into this


I asked a similar question above. I know of a couple of people on MassHealth (MA medicaid) that said that for them the application process wasn't very difficult.

As to my original question, for those interested, if you are receiving aid from Harvard and you use MassHealth your aid will be deducted by the amount you save. This also goes for all government assistance programs, as discussed previously. This applies for students with families who have a dependent care allowance(s) in their budget. I'm not sure about single students, because that would mean they would be reducing your already minimal student budget and I thought they didn't do that, but I don't know.


Can anyone explain to me how the DCA is calculated? I spent some time looking at the financial aid website, but didn't see this explained. One example notes that there is a DCA of ~$13k for one child. How did they arrive at this number? I am married and have two children. I've run the numbers with her income against applicable allowances and it doesn't look like my contribution will change based off her income. This calculation doesn't take into account the DCA, though, and it seems like this may have the potential to change the amount of aid available to me. Can anyone with experience comment about this?

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PinkCow
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby PinkCow » Fri May 24, 2013 6:51 pm

I didn't find much googling, but does anyone have any idea (substantiated or not) about what the approximate cutoff for cum laude is?

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wert3813
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby wert3813 » Fri May 24, 2013 6:52 pm

PinkCow wrote:I didn't find much googling, but does anyone have any idea (substantiated or not) about what the approximate cutoff for cum laude is?

Buddy who just graduated said 40%

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PinkCow
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby PinkCow » Fri May 24, 2013 7:05 pm

wert3813 wrote:
PinkCow wrote:I didn't find much googling, but does anyone have any idea (substantiated or not) about what the approximate cutoff for cum laude is?

Buddy who just graduated said 40%




40% Hs? Sorry I probably wasn't being clear. I mean like the ratio of Hs to Ps or something equivalent

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wert3813
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby wert3813 » Fri May 24, 2013 7:16 pm

PinkCow wrote:
wert3813 wrote:
PinkCow wrote:I didn't find much googling, but does anyone have any idea (substantiated or not) about what the approximate cutoff for cum laude is?

Buddy who just graduated said 40%




40% Hs? Sorry I probably wasn't being clear. I mean like the ratio of Hs to Ps or something equivalent


I meant top 40%. Oh.

hlsperson1111
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby hlsperson1111 » Fri May 24, 2013 7:50 pm

The cutoff is anecdotally somewhere around a 3.6 average (there was a post from a guy last year who claimed he missed with a 3.56). Magna is anecdotally in the low-mid 3.9 range. At the risk of over-sharing, I ended up with a 3.88 and got cum laude.

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wert3813
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby wert3813 » Fri May 24, 2013 7:54 pm

hlsperson1111 wrote:The cutoff is anecdotally somewhere around a 3.6 average (there was a post from a guy last year who claimed he missed with a 3.56). Magna is anecdotally in the low-mid 3.9 range. At the risk of over-sharing, I ended up with a 3.88 and got cum laude.


H=4
P=3
DS=5?

hlsperson1111
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby hlsperson1111 » Fri May 24, 2013 7:55 pm

Yes. LP=2. Also, it's averaged for each year and then the 3 years are averaged (which means each class matters more 2L and 3L year).

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Fri May 24, 2013 7:59 pm

GertrudePerkins wrote:Here and here are two NY Times articles that give some flavor of what a very different -- and, seems to me, far less pleasant -- place HLS was back in the early 1990s.

A JD/MPP from the 1980s basically said that the reason he did the MPP in addition to the JD was that HLS was such a bitter and divided place at the time (among the faculty) that he fled to HKS to get a breath of fresh air away from the fighting. I think that this didn't really get right again until shortly before the Kagan era.

Also, there's a book in Langdell — I think called The People v. Harvard Law — about a racial controversy as recently as 2002.

I may have said this on TLS before, but people talk about the Kagan reforms as if they were de-Stalinization. My experience at HLS has been nothing but pleasant — I've really enjoyed my 2 years so far at HLS/HKS — but I hear these terrible stories from not all that long ago. I think that's still affecting our reputation.

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PinkCow
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby PinkCow » Fri May 24, 2013 8:01 pm

Cool thanks for the response

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Fri May 24, 2013 8:06 pm

wert3813 wrote:
So basically the only "easy" market is NY?


I can't speak for Texas like DoubleChecks can, but otherwise, yes, I would agree with that statement. It's because it's a very large market with a wide range of prestige, and so HLS doesn't tend to bear very much of the burden when individual firms have their cyclical problems or shrink. Mind you, HLS definitely felt it when the recession hits, I'm just talking about year to year swings since then. In general, when firms shrink their summer class sizes, the proportion of slots that go to students from top schools rises. So when NYC contracts, the burden falls mostly on lower-ranked schools. Some HLS students may have to go to "less prestigious" firms, but it's less likely to result in no SA at all. But if a major firm in Boston or Chicago shrinks its summer class size, the number of summer associate slots in the market was so small to begin with, that yes, HLS will feel it too.

hlsperson1111
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby hlsperson1111 » Fri May 24, 2013 8:19 pm

I will say two things:

(1) NYC is by far the safest market to bid on, just because of the number of jobs and firms.
(2) In spite of that, I would not feel compelled to bid on NYC unless you are very risk averse or have solidly below median grades (IE 2 H's or less after 1L). Boston, Chicago, Houston, and LA firms still dip pretty deep into the class and give you enough firms with which to fill a balanced bid list. SF and DC are riskier but still hire tons of HLS grads and go deep into the class. Talk to OCS, look at old EIP spreadsheets, and then make the decision you think is right for you.

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bosmer88
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby bosmer88 » Fri May 24, 2013 8:42 pm

Just wanted to know if anyone answering questions lives/has lived in Terry Terrace? I need to ask a question through pm.

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wert3813
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby wert3813 » Fri May 24, 2013 8:47 pm

hlsperson1111 wrote:I will say two things:

(1) NYC is by far the safest market to bid on, just because of the number of jobs and firms.
(2) In spite of that, I would not feel compelled to bid on NYC unless you are very risk averse or have solidly below median grades (IE 2 H's or less after 1L). Boston, Chicago, Houston, and LA firms still dip pretty deep into the class and give you enough firms with which to fill a balanced bid list. SF and DC are riskier but still hire tons of HLS grads and go deep into the class. Talk to OCS, look at old EIP spreadsheets, and then make the decision you think is right for you.

Ok. I just don't want NY. LA (where I have ties), CO (ties), South (ties), Boston (only ties is H), DC, Houston (no ties), or SF (no ties) are all fine. Do I need to worry about 3 H's or less?

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby hlsperson1111 » Fri May 24, 2013 9:04 pm

3 and no LPs you should be fine in most of those markets (I wouldn't bid SF or DC but I know people with 3 or fewer H's who got jobs there). 2 or fewer you should talk to OCS and probably bid NYC. You're very unlikely to strike out but you need to start playing it very safe with your bid list around that point.

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby pupshaw » Fri May 24, 2013 10:35 pm

hlsperson1111 wrote:3 and no LPs you should be fine in most of those markets (I wouldn't bid SF or DC but I know people with 3 or fewer H's who got jobs there). 2 or fewer you should talk to OCS and probably bid NYC. You're very unlikely to strike out but you need to start playing it very safe with your bid list around that point.


Do you count LRW H's the same as H's in substantive classes for these purposes?

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englawyer
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby englawyer » Sat May 25, 2013 10:24 am

cerealdan wrote:
hlsperson1111 wrote:3 and no LPs you should be fine in most of those markets (I wouldn't bid SF or DC but I know people with 3 or fewer H's who got jobs there). 2 or fewer you should talk to OCS and probably bid NYC. You're very unlikely to strike out but you need to start playing it very safe with your bid list around that point.


Do you count LRW H's the same as H's in substantive classes for these purposes?


i would. i imagine employers look at transcripts and have one of three reactions. (1) these grades are kinda bad, i'll only call this person back if they are stunningly good (2) these grades are awesome! probably getting a callback unless he/she is an asshat. (3) meh middle of the pack. let's see if i like this person and they would be a good fit.

(1) probably requires straight P's , some LP's, or maybe 1-2 H. (2) probably requires 8+ H's. (3) is the remainder. I don't think many firms/interviewers parse out distinctions between say 3H and 5H, although I remember hearing something about S+C having a "hard cutoff" at 5H or above.

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby DoubleChecks » Sat May 25, 2013 12:35 pm

englawyer wrote:
cerealdan wrote:
hlsperson1111 wrote:3 and no LPs you should be fine in most of those markets (I wouldn't bid SF or DC but I know people with 3 or fewer H's who got jobs there). 2 or fewer you should talk to OCS and probably bid NYC. You're very unlikely to strike out but you need to start playing it very safe with your bid list around that point.


Do you count LRW H's the same as H's in substantive classes for these purposes?


i would. i imagine employers look at transcripts and have one of three reactions. (1) these grades are kinda bad, i'll only call this person back if they are stunningly good (2) these grades are awesome! probably getting a callback unless he/she is an asshat. (3) meh middle of the pack. let's see if i like this person and they would be a good fit.

(1) probably requires straight P's , some LP's, or maybe 1-2 H. (2) probably requires 8+ H's. (3) is the remainder. I don't think many firms/interviewers parse out distinctions between say 3H and 5H, although I remember hearing something about S+C having a "hard cutoff" at 5H or above.


This was my impression as well. As has been stated by many, grades don't matter too much outside of the most prestigious of firms or the most selective of markets. TONS of my friends who were below median, at median and above median had similar/same results...below median can get you up to V3 relatively easily. Hinges so much more on your interviewing prowess and probably resume, though I personally think the former is more important than the latter. I was K-JD and while I only targeted the TX market, my median grades were more than enough to snag plenty of CBs. In fact, most I interviewed with seemed to ask for grades at the end of the interview almost as if it were an after-thought (btw, psych tells us that first impressions are formed in the first minute or two, so by then, meh haha). Of course, this is the TX market, though I imagine the NYC market is probably about equally as selective (ish).

Unless they have hard grade cutoffs, which only a handful of really selective firms do (think Wachtell and W&C types), I really would not freak out over the difference between 2 Hs and 5 Hs. Interview better and it won't be a problem. Having some (1-2) LPs or all Ps seems to give off a negative impression, but you'll still be employable. Might take more hustle, and you might not get the firm you want, but you can still get biglaw (if the people I know are any indication).

My favorite story is about a friend of mine who is very professional; not too social but not reticent either...just that right balance. I can imagine her being a strong interviewer. Well, apparently she is because her median (slightly below median?) grades snagged her like 29 CBs out of 30 screeners. 'nuff said, amirite? :P

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby DoubleChecks » Sat May 25, 2013 12:37 pm

wert3813 wrote:
hlsperson1111 wrote:I will say two things:

(1) NYC is by far the safest market to bid on, just because of the number of jobs and firms.
(2) In spite of that, I would not feel compelled to bid on NYC unless you are very risk averse or have solidly below median grades (IE 2 H's or less after 1L). Boston, Chicago, Houston, and LA firms still dip pretty deep into the class and give you enough firms with which to fill a balanced bid list. SF and DC are riskier but still hire tons of HLS grads and go deep into the class. Talk to OCS, look at old EIP spreadsheets, and then make the decision you think is right for you.

Ok. I just don't want NY. LA (where I have ties), CO (ties), South (ties), Boston (only ties is H), DC, Houston (no ties), or SF (no ties) are all fine. Do I need to worry about 3 H's or less?


Random comment. If you have strong ties to the south (like spent some time there), that is essentially treated as a tie to the Houston market for 2L SAs. Maybe not 1L SAs though. I know of a lot of 2Ls who got offers to Houston biglaw who have no family in TX, but were originally from Louisiana or Georgia, etc.

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby wert3813 » Sat May 25, 2013 12:45 pm

DoubleChecks wrote:
wert3813 wrote:
hlsperson1111 wrote:I will say two things:

(1) NYC is by far the safest market to bid on, just because of the number of jobs and firms.
(2) In spite of that, I would not feel compelled to bid on NYC unless you are very risk averse or have solidly below median grades (IE 2 H's or less after 1L). Boston, Chicago, Houston, and LA firms still dip pretty deep into the class and give you enough firms with which to fill a balanced bid list. SF and DC are riskier but still hire tons of HLS grads and go deep into the class. Talk to OCS, look at old EIP spreadsheets, and then make the decision you think is right for you.

Ok. I just don't want NY. LA (where I have ties), CO (ties), South (ties), Boston (only ties is H), DC, Houston (no ties), or SF (no ties) are all fine. Do I need to worry about 3 H's or less?


Random comment. If you have strong ties to the south (like spent some time there), that is essentially treated as a tie to the Houston market for 2L SAs. Maybe not 1L SAs though. I know of a lot of 2Ls who got offers to Houston biglaw who have no family in TX, but were originally from Louisiana or Georgia, etc.

16 years plus UG in the state between LA and GA will get it done right?

Also did you see my other question for you?

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby DoubleChecks » Sat May 25, 2013 12:46 pm

wert3813 wrote:Feel free to PM if we are two far down the rabbit hole here but what would you say average junior associates bill in Houston? 1900? 2100?


It varies by firm and more importantly, practice group. I think that is something a lot of summer associates/law students overlook when interning or interviewing with firms. The culture and fit of a firm (with you) is important, but I would care a LOT more about how you mesh with the practice group you plan to work in. That will determine your work schedule a lot more; those will be the people you see/get assignments from/etc. 90% of the time, unless your firm does a ton of cross-practice group team comps. And of course, if first yr associates rotate through the groups, this is harder to pin down.

I would really see how you fit and like the work schedule of those in the practice group you think you will be joining. Hours from one biglaw firm to the next, and esp. practice group to practice group do not differ TOO much, but there is a HUGE difference between working 60 hrs a week where you put in 12 hrs M-F and working 60 hrs a week where you put in 8 hrs on 3 days and 18 hrs on 2 days lol.

Average billables for junior associates in Houston? My guess is 2000-2100? It won't be drastically lower than a NY firm, but from all the young associates I have spoken to in NYC biglaw, and the ones I have spoken to in Houston biglaw (and summer associates at both), it does sound like the experience is a bit more 'pleasant' in Houston and overall less extreme. Also fewer hours. But I generally assume that is true for almost any major market not named NYC, to varying degrees.

Litigation hours also tend to be way more stable than corp/transactional, due to the nature of the work. You can schedule and plan out lit things months in advance, and things don't come out of the blue as often as it does in corp, where on Friday afternoon at 4:30 pm, a client calls and says he wants to get a deal done 2 weeks sooner than it should take (or that he actually needs it) and he'd like you to look over the details before Monday. :S




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