The future of below median students at T-14s

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LogicalBaozi
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The future of below median students at T-14s

Postby LogicalBaozi » Sat Mar 17, 2012 10:05 pm

Given that TLS tends to be biased towards relatively interested/motivated students, I was curious what happens to our slacker-friends.

BigLaw supposedly draws from the top half and YHS, with a fair number self-selecting into clerkships/academia.

At CCN, Top 1/3rd, and on down until only the top 10-25% is considered at lower T-14s.

Employment stats, as released by most major parties, are more in line with Rayiner's data: http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=180503

Not counting the miscellaneous jobs, that still puts an astonishing number of people from lower T-14s into BigLaw. Cornell being 76%, if we knock off half of that as being fudged, would still be well over 1/3rd of the class going into BigLaw, from a school consistently at the bottom of the T-14. Assuming some of the top students went for clerkships, that's still reaching pretty deep into the class.

So, where exactly are the below-median students going, especially at non-YHS schools? Given the horror stories about striking out at OCI and being no-offered, I doubt they are all going into BigLaw, and am disinclined to believe the statistics put forth by the schools themselves. What does the collective wisdom of TLS say (besides unemployment)?

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JoeMo
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Re: The future of below median students at T-14s

Postby JoeMo » Sat Mar 17, 2012 10:08 pm

The only lesson learned here is that TLS needs to stop pulling numbers out of its ass.

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fatduck
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Re: The future of below median students at T-14s

Postby fatduck » Sat Mar 17, 2012 10:15 pm

accepting OP's factual allegations as true, it appears that 75% of Cornell students finished in the top 25% of the class. TLS was right all along.

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AntipodeanPhil
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Re: The future of below median students at T-14s

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Sat Mar 17, 2012 11:04 pm

LogicalBaozi wrote:BigLaw supposedly draws from the top half and YHS, with a fair number self-selecting into clerkships/academia.

Yeah, if you're below median at Yale you may as well drop out.

Assuming the OP is not a troll: just look at the employment statistics published by the t14 on their websites. The Campos/Columbia/NYU dispute has helped to reveal that those numbers are probably the most reliable. Keep in mind that big law is not all about grades - interviewing skills, work experience, professional appearance, and some other factors also matter. So if 50% at X school get big law + clerkships, for example, that means big law is dipping below median for the right people.

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dingbat
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Re: The future of below median students at T-14s

Postby dingbat » Sat Mar 17, 2012 11:07 pm

Its easier to repeat the mantra and toe the line than it is to do some real research.
The verifiable data contradicts the conventional wisdom of TLS (concerning his doom and gloom the legal profession is)

TLS is a creat case study in comformist behavior - after a short time most every 0L and 1L repeats the same (incorrect) facts about job prospects and T14/non-T14 job prospects (I'm gonna leave out tier 3&4 schools - where doom and gloom is generally correct, although there are plenty of exceptions)

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sunynp
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Re: The future of below median students at T-14s

Postby sunynp » Sat Mar 17, 2012 11:33 pm

dingbat wrote:Its easier to repeat the mantra and toe the line than it is to do some real research.
The verifiable data contradicts the conventional wisdom of TLS (concerning his doom and gloom the legal profession is)

TLS is a creat case study in comformist behavior - after a short time most every 0L and 1L repeats the same (incorrect) facts about job prospects and T14/non-T14 job prospects (I'm gonna leave out tier 3&4 schools - where doom and gloom is generally correct, although there are plenty of exceptions)


I would love to see some honest to God verifiable or (even better) verified data. I haven't been able to find any.

What is the conventional wisdom of TLS? I think people here are pretty optimistic.

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dingbat
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Re: The future of below median students at T-14s

Postby dingbat » Sat Mar 17, 2012 11:41 pm

sunynp wrote:
dingbat wrote:Its easier to repeat the mantra and toe the line than it is to do some real research.
The verifiable data contradicts the conventional wisdom of TLS (concerning his doom and gloom the legal profession is)

TLS is a creat case study in comformist behavior - after a short time most every 0L and 1L repeats the same (incorrect) facts about job prospects and T14/non-T14 job prospects (I'm gonna leave out tier 3&4 schools - where doom and gloom is generally correct, although there are plenty of exceptions)
s

I would love to see some honest to God verifiable or (even better) verified data. I haven't been able to find any.

Fair enough comment.
In my opinion, if over 90% of grads respond and the school's self-reported statistics are detailed and correspond to NLJ250 data, that it can be relied upon (comparing to additional data, such as law firm provided data) may bolster the reliability of the data.

If a firm hasn't provided 2010 data, or 2011 OCI info, % of respondents is low or the numbers don't make sense, then i wouldn't rely in the data at all.

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Re: The future of below median students at T-14s

Postby abl » Sat Mar 17, 2012 11:45 pm

Biglaw's definitely available to +90% of YS, at the very least (I suspect 100%, although am not as confident about that).

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dailygrind
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Re: The future of below median students at T-14s

Postby dailygrind » Sat Mar 17, 2012 11:47 pm

AntipodeanPhil wrote:
LogicalBaozi wrote:BigLaw supposedly draws from the top half and YHS, with a fair number self-selecting into clerkships/academia.

Yeah, if you're below median at Yale you may as well drop out.

Assuming the OP is not a troll: just look at the employment statistics published by the t14 on their websites. The Campos/Columbia/NYU dispute has helped to reveal that those numbers are probably the most reliable. Keep in mind that big law is not all about grades - interviewing skills, work experience, professional appearance, and some other factors also matter. So if 50% at X school get big law + clerkships, for example, that means big law is dipping below median for the right people.


+1 to the bolded. At UVA you can be well above median and strike out if the rest of your application package isn't solid. You can be below median and still hit big law if you are an otherwise good applicant. IMO grades + school are probably the most important factors, but they are far from the lock that LSAT + GPA were for law schools.

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AntipodeanPhil
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Re: The future of below median students at T-14s

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Sat Mar 17, 2012 11:59 pm

abl wrote:Biglaw's definitely available to +90% of YS, at the very least (I suspect 100%, although am not as confident about that).

According to Yale's data, 4 members of the class of 2010 (~2%) were still seeking employment 9 months after graduation. I'm guessing those people are either incapable of social interaction, extremely picky, or seriously screwed up their job searches somehow, but still.

http://www.law.yale.edu/studentlife/cdo ... tstats.htm

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Gail
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Re: The future of below median students at T-14s

Postby Gail » Sun Mar 18, 2012 12:56 am

dailygrind wrote:
AntipodeanPhil wrote:
LogicalBaozi wrote:BigLaw supposedly draws from the top half and YHS, with a fair number self-selecting into clerkships/academia.

Yeah, if you're below median at Yale you may as well drop out.

Assuming the OP is not a troll: just look at the employment statistics published by the t14 on their websites. The Campos/Columbia/NYU dispute has helped to reveal that those numbers are probably the most reliable. Keep in mind that big law is not all about grades - interviewing skills, work experience, professional appearance, and some other factors also matter. So if 50% at X school get big law + clerkships, for example, that means big law is dipping below median for the right people.


+1 to the bolded. At UVA you can be well above median and strike out if the rest of your application package isn't solid. You can be below median and still hit big law if you are an otherwise good applicant. IMO grades + school are probably the most important factors, but they are far from the lock that LSAT + GPA were for law schools.


god damnit.

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Re: The future of below median students at T-14s

Postby abl » Sun Mar 18, 2012 5:50 pm

AntipodeanPhil wrote:
abl wrote:Biglaw's definitely available to +90% of YS, at the very least (I suspect 100%, although am not as confident about that).

According to Yale's data, 4 members of the class of 2010 (~2%) were still seeking employment 9 months after graduation. I'm guessing those people are either incapable of social interaction, extremely picky, or seriously screwed up their job searches somehow, but still.

http://www.law.yale.edu/studentlife/cdo ... tstats.htm



Yea--exactly. Biglaw's definitely available to +90% of YS, and potentially 100%.

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LogicalBaozi
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Re: The future of below median students at T-14s

Postby LogicalBaozi » Sun Mar 18, 2012 7:37 pm

AntipodeanPhil wrote:
LogicalBaozi wrote:BigLaw supposedly draws from the top half and YHS, with a fair number self-selecting into clerkships/academia.

Yeah, if you're below median at Yale you may as well drop out.

Assuming the OP is not a troll: just look at the employment statistics published by the t14 on their websites. The Campos/Columbia/NYU dispute has helped to reveal that those numbers are probably the most reliable. Keep in mind that big law is not all about grades - interviewing skills, work experience, professional appearance, and some other factors also matter. So if 50% at X school get big law + clerkships, for example, that means big law is dipping below median for the right people.


Apologies if it came off as trollish.

Since many of the numbers provided by both law schools and the NLJ250 are potentially problematic in one way or another, I was hoping to briefly survey how below-medians did at lower T-14s. YSH could definitely send way more than 50% of their class to highly dought-after positions. It is the numbers at schools like Cornell, GULC, and even NYU that are more intriguing. Since the TLS consensus (ha ha) seemed to be "if you are below median at anything BUT HYS, thou shalt wither under the crushing burden of thy debt."
Yet the disparity between doom-and-gloom and the numbers is striking. I was hoping 2Ls and 3Ls who post here yet still actually know those rarefied creatures who are below median could help address that gap.

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Chucky21
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Re: The future of below median students at T-14s

Postby Chucky21 » Sun Mar 18, 2012 8:31 pm

LogicalBaozi wrote:
AntipodeanPhil wrote:
LogicalBaozi wrote:BigLaw supposedly draws from the top half and YHS, with a fair number self-selecting into clerkships/academia.

Yeah, if you're below median at Yale you may as well drop out.

Assuming the OP is not a troll: just look at the employment statistics published by the t14 on their websites. The Campos/Columbia/NYU dispute has helped to reveal that those numbers are probably the most reliable. Keep in mind that big law is not all about grades - interviewing skills, work experience, professional appearance, and some other factors also matter. So if 50% at X school get big law + clerkships, for example, that means big law is dipping below median for the right people.


Apologies if it came off as trollish.

Since many of the numbers provided by both law schools and the NLJ250 are potentially problematic in one way or another, I was hoping to briefly survey how below-medians did at lower T-14s. YSH could definitely send way more than 50% of their class to highly dought-after positions. It is the numbers at schools like Cornell, GULC, and even NYU that are more intriguing. Since the TLS consensus (ha ha) seemed to be "if you are below median at anything BUT HYS, thou shalt wither under the crushing burden of thy debt."
Yet the disparity between doom-and-gloom and the numbers is striking. I was hoping 2Ls and 3Ls who post here yet still actually know those rarefied creatures who are below median could help address that gap.


Well part of the problem is that firms don't strictly go by the T-14. Cornell is now ranked 14 but ranked 8th by law firms because this school has consistently placed students into biglaw and firms are generally happy with these recruits. Sure there is an heirarchy within the T-14 but there is only so much we can definitively state about job prospects.

The T-14 is the T-14 for a reason, and placement into biglaw from any of these schools is pretty good, and these schools are the least likely to fudge their numbers because of their high profile. These schools are also not getting sued by their grads which is another positive indicator.

Of course at any of these schools, as mentioned previously, there will be people that strike out because of poor social skills, weirdness or really bad grades etc. However, at all of these T 14 schools working hard, bidding for the right firms(this is where most mistakes prob happen), and being a decent interviewer will get you a market-paying biglaw job in NYC(which is where everyone wants to be).

The fact that people below median at T-14 schools get hired is because those that matriculate at T-14 schools are the top of law school applicants. They don't let anyone in. Thus, even people below median are smart and firms realize this. Surely it is not a numbers game anymore as it was to get into college and law school, now firms want to see if you're a hard worker, good to work with etc., because you have already proven your intellectual ability time and time again and is evidenced by you attending a T-14 school.

That is all.

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Veyron
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Re: The future of below median students at T-14s

Postby Veyron » Sun Mar 18, 2012 8:38 pm

Biglaw, government, midlaw, smallaw.

It is pretty rare to graduate funemployed.

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FlanAl
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Re: The future of below median students at T-14s

Postby FlanAl » Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:43 am

I'd be very interested to hear from more class of 2012ers about this. It seems like most of the anecdotes come from people from 2010 and 2011 which were like the hardest hit classes in history. I have a really hard time believing that t-14 grads end up completely unemployed if they actually try to get work.

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rayiner
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Re: The future of below median students at T-14s

Postby rayiner » Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:12 pm

I don't think the employment data reported by the T14 schools is fudged. Normally, I'm very skeptical of self-reported data, but the top schools are a slightly different situation. First, we can cross-reference their data against the NLJ250, which is based on an independent source. Second, the consequences for fudging this data would be enormous for a T14. Witness what happened to Illinois recently. Third, schools have totally revamped the way they present the data in the last year. NU's employment page, for example, gives a detailed breakdown of salaries based on 88% of people reporting:

Less than $40,000 21 8%
$40,000 - $59,999 18 7%
$60,000 - $79,999 27 10%
$80,000 - $99,999 4 1%
$100,000 - $119,999 10 4%
$120,000 - $139,999 10 4%
$140,000 - $159,999 10 4%
$160,000+ 133 50%
Employed and Not Reporting 35 13%


I think your estimate of how big law (broadly-defined) hires from the T14 is dramatically pessimistic. I think firms consider people in the top 80% of even the lower T14, though as you go up in class rank the probability of getting a job goes up. Moreover, you need to remember that 10-15% of the class doesn't even want big law. The folks going into public interest work are spread throughout the class in terms of grades. So X% getting big law does not mean that they were in the top X% of the class.

In my experience for C/O 2012, I'd say 3:4 people who wanted big law got it, maybe 4:5 if you're talking about C/O 2013. Does that mean below-median folks get big firm jobs? Absolutely, I know several. You have to remember that at most schools, 60% of the class is within the GPA range that forms the median target (e.g. at NU the median floats between 3.2 and 3.4). So "below median" isn't so easy to discern.

That does leave 20-25% of the class who wanted a big firm job but did not get one. Some of those folks found PI work, but most target smaller firms paying a lot less money. A decent chunk (less than 10%) graduates unemployed.

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Re: The future of below median students at T-14s

Postby Julio_El_Chavo » Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:18 pm

FlanAl wrote:I'd be very interested to hear from more class of 2012ers about this. It seems like most of the anecdotes come from people from 2010 and 2011 which were like the hardest hit classes in history. I have a really hard time believing that t-14 grads end up completely unemployed if they actually try to get work.


There are 3Ls at UVA who still don't know where they'll be going after graduation. Unemployed 3Ls comprise a very small minority of the student body, but it's definitely possible to graduate unemployed at a T14. And yes, the people I know in this position are actually trying to find jobs.

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rayiner
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Re: The future of below median students at T-14s

Postby rayiner » Thu Mar 22, 2012 4:52 pm

Julio_El_Chavo wrote:
FlanAl wrote:I'd be very interested to hear from more class of 2012ers about this. It seems like most of the anecdotes come from people from 2010 and 2011 which were like the hardest hit classes in history. I have a really hard time believing that t-14 grads end up completely unemployed if they actually try to get work.


There are 3Ls at UVA who still don't know where they'll be going after graduation. Unemployed 3Ls comprise a very small minority of the student body, but it's definitely possible to graduate unemployed at a T14. And yes, the people I know in this position are actually trying to find jobs.


I'd add to that these people don't necessarily have bad grades. PI/Gov folks, who couldve gotten big law, got fucked by the hiring freezes in the public sector. Though I'd also add a non-trivial number of the people who still don't have jobs aren't trying as hard as they should be. I know too many 3L's focusing on school, journal, etc, instead of spending all day trying to get a job.

I think the big takeaway to OP should be that below median doesn't mean as much as you might think. You can still get a good job from below median as long as you treat getting a job like a full time job. I know people who got big law from substantially below median because they had survival instinct. One got no-offered and pulled out a second big firm offer. If you just let 3L just happen to you you will not be one of those success stories.

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rayiner
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Re: The future of below median students at T-14s

Postby rayiner » Thu Mar 29, 2012 2:45 am

NU has published some extremely detailed employment information for C/O 2011, so I thought I'd parse through it and try to give a quantitative answer to what happens to below-median students at a T14. The data is here: http://www.law.northwestern.edu/career/statistics/

Note there were 287 graduates in the class.

The most useful chart here is the salary distribution, which gives salaries in increments of $20k.

Known Salaries of Employed
Less than $40,000 17
$40,000 - $59,999 9
$60,000 - $79,999 29
$80,000 - $99,999 5
$100,000 - $119,999 13
$120,000 - $139,999 13
$140,000 - $159,999 19
$160,000+ 126

171 of 287 graduates are known to be working some six-figure job. We can make the assumption that these are either law firm or business/industry jobs (JD-MBA's). Now, not everyone working in those areas reported their salary, some out of laziness and some because it is low. 4 people are working full-time, permanent positions at firms > 100 attorneys but did not report their salary.[1] It is safe to add these to the six-figure tally, for a total of 175 out of 287.

There are also 23 federal clerks in the class.

12 people are working full-time government and public interest jobs. I'll count these as desirable outcomes, because they are quite competitive in this economy and eligible for LRAP.

That leaves about 77 people in potentially undesirable outcomes.
16 are straight-up unemployed or have an unknown status.
5 are pursuing a graduate degree, in lieu of unemployment, probably.
38 are non full-time or non long-term employment.
17 are working at firms of less than 50 attorneys.
1 is working in a long-term full-time non-professional job.
3 are in "academia"
3 are in state court clerkships

Note that this adds up to 83 people. The discrepancy can easily be explained by the fact that there are boutique firms here in Chicago with < 50 attorneys that pay six figures, and that at least one or two of the "academia" placements are legit because of the JD-PhD program.

To summarize, out of the class of 287:
61% ended up in a six-figure private practice or corporate job.
8% ended up in a federal clerkship.
4% end up in an LRAP-eligible public service position.
6% are permanently employed, but probably not in the job they wanted.
13% are not permanently employed.
7% are straight up unemployed or getting another degree to postpone unemployment.

[1] This statistic lends some empirical weight to the common refrain that reported salaries skew high. The salary reporting rate for firms > 100 attorneys is about 98% compared to the overall 87% salary reporting rate.

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Re: The future of below median students at T-14s

Postby legends159 » Thu Mar 29, 2012 3:44 am

abl wrote:
AntipodeanPhil wrote:
abl wrote:Biglaw's definitely available to +90% of YS, at the very least (I suspect 100%, although am not as confident about that).

According to Yale's data, 4 members of the class of 2010 (~2%) were still seeking employment 9 months after graduation. I'm guessing those people are either incapable of social interaction, extremely picky, or seriously screwed up their job searches somehow, but still.

http://www.law.yale.edu/studentlife/cdo ... tstats.htm



Yea--exactly. Biglaw's definitely available to +90% of YS, and potentially 100%.


Those 4 members might of gotten no-offered. I think YS can get close to 90% biglaw if they want it through OCI, but nothing is guaranteed after OCI and 3L OCI is not great anywhere.




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