Big Law in Texas

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Thrive
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Big Law in Texas

Postby Thrive » Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:18 am

Hello TLS. I have been doing an ungodly amount of research on the law school I need to go to for what I want and I am currently at a standstill. My cycle is not completed yet but I am seeking for some level of clarity. So here is my situation:

1) I am a AA URM from the Northeast. I have been admitted to Michigan, UT, Vandy, and Wustl.

2) I received a $90,000 scholarship from WUSTL. I heard back from Michigan who informed me that I didn't qualify for their merit scholarships but will be willing to reconsider if I get offers from their peer schools. I have yet to hear back from Vandy and UT. If it helps, LSN predicts that I have a shot at an average of about $70000 from both schools.

3) My goal, as of now, is big law in Texas. My wife's family is from there and I like the COL there. However, I would like to eat so I don't want to just shit away options of having biglaw in other places around the country. I am scared of UT though because I would have to be top 28% to be biglaw safe. At Michigan, it looks more like top 40%. However, I do know that the Texas market is allegedly insular.

4) My wife is a Nurse and would be supporting us while I am in school.

What gives me the best/cost effective chance at Texas Big Law?

Any suggestions or more needed information?

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bound
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Re: Big Law in Texas

Postby bound » Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:39 am

Thrive wrote:Hello TLS. I have been doing an ungodly amount of research on the law school I need to go to for what I want and I am currently at a standstill. My cycle is not completed yet but I am seeking for some level of clarity. So here is my situation:

1) I am a AA URM from the Northeast. I have been admitted to Michigan, UT, Vandy, and Wustl.

2) I received a $90,000 scholarship from WUSTL. I heard back from Michigan who informed me that I didn't qualify for their merit scholarships but will be willing to reconsider if I get offers from their peer schools. I have yet to hear back from Vandy and UT. If it helps, LSN predicts that I have a shot at an average of about $70000 from both schools.

3) My goal, as of now, is big law in Texas. My wife's family is from there and I like the COL there. However, I would like to eat so I don't want to just shit away options of having biglaw in other places around the country. I am scared of UT though because I would have to be top 28% to be biglaw safe. At Michigan, it looks more like top 40%. However, I do know that the Texas market is allegedly insular.

4) My wife is a Nurse and would be supporting us while I am in school.

What gives me the best/cost effective chance at Texas Big Law?

Any suggestions or more needed information?



As someone who would also like to do big law in Texas (other's who are actually in this process please chime in), the advice I have received is UT on scholarship, UVA, or Duke. UVA and Duke have a fair amount of grads placed in Texas, ALTHOUGH those students could very well have ties to Texas. I created a thread a while back about UT or Vandy for Texas, and was basically told forget about Vandy (unless full ride) and focus on UT because it really will give you the best shot. Texas firms and attorneys like their Texas grads. It's that little thing called Texas pride

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philosoraptor
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Re: Big Law in Texas

Postby philosoraptor » Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:56 am

Thrive wrote:My goal, as of now, is big law in Texas. My wife's family is from there and I like the COL there. However, I would like to eat so I don't want to just shit away options of having biglaw in other places around the country. I am scared of UT though because I would have to be top 28% to be biglaw safe.
Knowing that you have good ties, I say TCR is UT with scholarship. Don't think about it as "top 28% to be biglaw safe." Don't assume you're not going to be biglaw safe anywhere, at any rank. I will tell you based on personal experience and secondhand knowledge, however, that above median at UT has a good chance at biglaw in general, better if you're legit IP or URM or both. Ties are critical. I had multiple out-of-state biglaw offers at somewhere between top half and top third (only places where I had ties), but none in Texas because I didn't have good ties.

Nothing is guaranteed, but with UT + ties + URM/AA + median or above, I wouldn't bet against you. Scholarship + in-state tuition + working spouse makes it an even safer bet. If you go to Michigan or WUSTL, it will be more of an uphill climb to convince potential employers that you truly want to be in Texas.

Thrive
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Re: Big Law in Texas

Postby Thrive » Thu Jan 23, 2014 12:40 pm

Thanks for the input guys.

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kalvano
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Re: Big Law in Texas

Postby kalvano » Thu Jan 23, 2014 1:27 pm

You're going to need better connections than wife's family and cheap living. Going to UT would help demonstrate a desire to live in Texas.

Thrive
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Re: Big Law in Texas

Postby Thrive » Mon Feb 17, 2014 11:35 am

So I got into UVA. Best move is to go to UVA at this point, IMO. From what I can see, I should have a legit shot at Texas Big Law if I do well enough right?

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BruceWayne
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Re: Big Law in Texas

Postby BruceWayne » Mon Feb 17, 2014 11:58 am

Thrive wrote:So I got into UVA. Best move is to go to UVA at this point, IMO. From what I can see, I should have a legit shot at Texas Big Law if I do well enough right?


The only people who get Texas biglaw from UVA are people from Texas or people who absolutely kill it grades wise and decide that they want to work there. And when I say kill it I'm talking top 10 percent type grades kill it. So technically yes you would have a "legit shot" at Texas biglaw if you do well enough...but that's a horrible gamble. That said as a URM if you pulled off top 20 percent grades you could probably go to a Texas big law firm--but that's a downright lol worthy expectation to have going into law school.

Don't go to UVA with anything less than a 150K scholarship.

FYI I am a UVA URM grad.

Thrive
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Re: Big Law in Texas

Postby Thrive » Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:09 pm

BruceWayne wrote:
Thrive wrote:So I got into UVA. Best move is to go to UVA at this point, IMO. From what I can see, I should have a legit shot at Texas Big Law if I do well enough right?


The only people who get Texas biglaw from UVA are people from Texas or people who absolutely kill it grades wise and decide that they want to work there. And when I say kill it I'm talking top 10 percent type grades kill it. So technically yes you would have a "legit shot" at Texas biglaw if you do well enough...but that's a horrible gamble. That said as a URM if you pulled off top 20 percent grades you could probably go to a Texas big law firm--but that's a downright lol worthy expectation to have going into law school.

Don't go to UVA with anything less than a 150K scholarship.

FYI I am a UVA URM grad.


Don't go to UVA without a full ride? Why

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kalvano
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Re: Big Law in Texas

Postby kalvano » Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:34 pm

UVA and SMU have the same cutoff for Biglaw? That seems unlikely to me.

Thrive
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Re: Big Law in Texas

Postby Thrive » Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:54 pm

kalvano wrote:UVA and SMU have the same cutoff for Biglaw? That seems unlikely to me.


Perhaps he means relative to firms in Texas. And yes, that is still hard to believe. I mean, it's not like large firms in Texas even employ a staggering amount of UT grads in the first place.

And I will be honest guys, I really REALLY want to go to a top ranked school.

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wolf
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Re: Big Law in Texas

Postby wolf » Mon Feb 17, 2014 1:08 pm

I am a native Texan who has a Texas Biglaw SA upcoming this summer. Texas is insular and I think you really need UT to solidify your ties to the state. However, the T14 is definitely the credited choice for native Texans. I am at GULC and did not have any difficulty landing a SA. UVA and Duke are great schools to attend with the appropriate ties to Texas. HYS would be a no brainer for anyone. If you are willing to do Biglaw anywhere then go to UVA. Just be prepared to not get Texas. I do think you would have a decent chance though.

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BruceWayne
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Re: Big Law in Texas

Postby BruceWayne » Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:48 pm

kalvano wrote:UVA and SMU have the same cutoff for Biglaw? That seems unlikely to me.


The UVA biglaw cutoff for most Texas firms is around the top 10 percent. Not for every last firm but for the firms that you guys are probably envisioning that's about what they expect. You're going to at least need top 1/4 for it to be a plausible goal. There are lesser known firms that will go deeper but probably not that deep and definitely not for someone without ties.

BigZuck
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Re: Big Law in Texas

Postby BigZuck » Thu Feb 20, 2014 12:00 am

BruceWayne wrote:
kalvano wrote:UVA and SMU have the same cutoff for Biglaw? That seems unlikely to me.


The UVA biglaw cutoff for most Texas firms is around the top 10 percent. Not for every last firm but for the firms that you guys are probably envisioning that's about what they expect. You're going to at least need top 1/4 for it to be a plausible goal. There are lesser known firms that will go deeper but probably not that deep and definitely not for someone without ties.


There's just no way

Why the hell would a firm like Baker Botts prefer SMU or UT grads to UVA grads? And UVA is only worth it on a full ride?

I'm really, really tired of Brucewaynecougar randomly popping into threads and spreading this kind of stuff. It's not helpful.

As for the OP- this is a tough one duder. Is your wife from one of the big cities in TX that actually has big law jobs? That might help a bit. I'm typically pro-T14 if TX big law is the be all, end all but I'm kind of with Phil on this one. UT might be your best option, especially if its significantly cheaper.

Thrive
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Re: Big Law in Texas

Postby Thrive » Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:11 am

BigZuck wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:
kalvano wrote:UVA and SMU have the same cutoff for Biglaw? That seems unlikely to me.


The UVA biglaw cutoff for most Texas firms is around the top 10 percent. Not for every last firm but for the firms that you guys are probably envisioning that's about what they expect. You're going to at least need top 1/4 for it to be a plausible goal. There are lesser known firms that will go deeper but probably not that deep and definitely not for someone without ties.


There's just no way

Why the hell would a firm like Baker Botts prefer SMU or UT grads to UVA grads? And UVA is only worth it on a full ride?

I'm really, really tired of Brucewaynecougar randomly popping into threads and spreading this kind of stuff. It's not helpful.

As for the OP- this is a tough one duder. Is your wife from one of the big cities in TX that actually has big law jobs? That might help a bit. I'm typically pro-T14 if TX big law is the be all, end all but I'm kind of with Phil on this one. UT might be your best option, especially if its significantly cheaper.


UT right now is cheaper. But that's partly because I haven't heard back from UVA regarding scholarships. My wife and her family are from Houston. And with the opportunity of UVA, big law in Texas is still the preferred choice but I can't say it's the end all be all anymore.

My wife is also coming to terms with that reality. It's still very tough but I think it's got to be UVA. I'm deathly afraid of taking a risk with going to UT where only about 98 people from last years class even had a chance at big law anywhere.

BigZuck
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Re: Big Law in Texas

Postby BigZuck » Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:07 am

Wife from Houston? I think going to a T14 would be fine in this case.

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BruceWayne
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Re: Big Law in Texas

Postby BruceWayne » Thu Feb 20, 2014 1:59 pm

BigZuck wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:
kalvano wrote:UVA and SMU have the same cutoff for Biglaw? That seems unlikely to me.


The UVA biglaw cutoff for most Texas firms is around the top 10 percent. Not for every last firm but for the firms that you guys are probably envisioning that's about what they expect. You're going to at least need top 1/4 for it to be a plausible goal. There are lesser known firms that will go deeper but probably not that deep and definitely not for someone without ties.


There's just no way

Why the hell would a firm like Baker Botts prefer SMU or UT grads to UVA grads? And UVA is only worth it on a full ride?

I'm really, really tired of Brucewaynecougar randomly popping into threads and spreading this kind of stuff. It's not helpful.

As for the OP- this is a tough one duder. Is your wife from one of the big cities in TX that actually has big law jobs? That might help a bit. I'm typically pro-T14 if TX big law is the be all, end all but I'm kind of with Phil on this one. UT might be your best option, especially if its significantly cheaper.



That's because you don't know what the hell you're talking about and you're trying to think your way through understanding legal hiring. Unfortunately for you it appears that thinking is not your strong suit.

What you fail to realize is that you're basing your response to this on guesses and internet forum logic. I'm basing this info on GPA hiring charts/data. In other words you're pulling info out of your ass and I'm using FACTS. Texas firms (especially the Dallas one's) are very selective.

I hate to break it to you but a lot of TLS forum logic does not coincide with reality. The other reason why this is blowing your mind is because you have no idea how non NYC biglaw hiring works. Many of the big firms in secondary markets really don't care all that much about non HYS top 14 schools. They care more about getting people at the very top of the class at schools that feed regularly into the market in which the firm resides. Truth be told this probably goes doubly for Texas; as they really like hiring from their local schools. Even more so than other secondary markets. UT, SMU, and Houston are all go to schools in Texas for big firm hiring.

I'm not saying someone with ties to Texas from a top 10 can't go back. But simply showing up with a top 10 degree, lackluster ties, and median grades isn't going to have Baker Botts or Vinson and Elkins swooning like you seem to think. You really have no idea how desirable these jobs are or how high the competition is to get them.

BigZuck
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Re: Big Law in Texas

Postby BigZuck » Thu Feb 20, 2014 2:51 pm

BruceWayne wrote:
BigZuck wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:
kalvano wrote:UVA and SMU have the same cutoff for Biglaw? That seems unlikely to me.


The UVA biglaw cutoff for most Texas firms is around the top 10 percent. Not for every last firm but for the firms that you guys are probably envisioning that's about what they expect. You're going to at least need top 1/4 for it to be a plausible goal. There are lesser known firms that will go deeper but probably not that deep and definitely not for someone without ties.


There's just no way

Why the hell would a firm like Baker Botts prefer SMU or UT grads to UVA grads? And UVA is only worth it on a full ride?

I'm really, really tired of Brucewaynecougar randomly popping into threads and spreading this kind of stuff. It's not helpful.

As for the OP- this is a tough one duder. Is your wife from one of the big cities in TX that actually has big law jobs? That might help a bit. I'm typically pro-T14 if TX big law is the be all, end all but I'm kind of with Phil on this one. UT might be your best option, especially if its significantly cheaper.



That's because you don't know what the hell you're talking about and you're trying to think your way through understanding legal hiring. Unfortunately for you it appears that thinking is not your strong suit.

What you fail to realize is that you're basing your response to this on guesses and internet forum logic. I'm basing this info on GPA hiring charts/data. In other words you're pulling info out of your ass and I'm using FACTS. Texas firms (especially the Dallas one's) are very selective.

I hate to break it to you but a lot of TLS forum logic does not coincide with reality. The other reason why this is blowing your mind is because you have no idea how non NYC biglaw hiring works. Many of the big firms in secondary markets really don't care all that much about non HYS top 14 schools. They care more about getting people at the very top of the class at schools that feed regularly into the market in which the firm resides. Truth be told this probably goes doubly for Texas; as they really like hiring from their local schools. Even more so than other secondary markets. UT, SMU, and Houston are all go to schools in Texas for big firm hiring.

I'm not saying someone with ties to Texas from a top 10 can't go back. But simply showing up with a top 10 degree, lackluster ties, and median grades isn't going to have Baker Botts or Vinson and Elkins swooning like you seem to think. You really have no idea how desirable these jobs are or how high the competition is to get them.


I do have a sense of what the cutoffs are at UT. And there's no way that they are way lower than they are at UVA. UVA and UofH don't have the same cutoffs. That's just not true.

Come on bro. I get that it's your schtick and all but stop lying.

BigZuck
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Re: Big Law in Texas

Postby BigZuck » Thu Feb 20, 2014 3:04 pm

Another thing Brucewaynecougar- since the OP is now leaning UVA, would you mind explaining to him why the school is only worth it on a 50K a year scholarship (which basically amounts to a full ride)?

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Lacepiece23
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Re: Big Law in Texas

Postby Lacepiece23 » Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:22 am


I do have a sense of what the cutoffs are at UT. And there's no way that they are way lower than they are at UVA. UVA and UofH don't have the same cutoffs. That's just not true.

Come on bro. I get that it's your schtick and all but stop lying.


He's not saying UVA and U of H have the same cutoffs. U of H probably takes like top 5%. Someone with ties to Texas like they only left to go to law school at UVA could probably get Texas median and above. Someone who is just moving there to be with there wife is a different story. I'd guess top 20% sounds about right for someone whose only tie is their wife. There is two different cutoffs.

timmyd
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Re: Big Law in Texas

Postby timmyd » Tue Feb 25, 2014 12:14 pm

I would pick Virginia in your situation. You have to play the odds on this. Going to UT would help demonstrate ties but you have alot less leeway when it comes to grades. I mean this in the least offensive way possible, but AA's statistically underperform in law school on average. What this means to me is that you should go to the school where you can do the worst and still achieve your goals (thats true for anybody really).
On the other hand, your ties may be lacking if you are 100% set on Texas big law. I think either UT on scholly or UVA would be defensible in your situation, but you don't want to go UT deadset on biglaw and then strike out. I would go to UVA and be comfortable with the better biglaw prospects in generally, although not necessarily in Texas. This is admittedly a tough call.

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Lacepiece23
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Re: Big Law in Texas

Postby Lacepiece23 » Tue Feb 25, 2014 3:09 pm

timmyd wrote:AA's statistically underperform in law school on average.


Where did you find this statistical analysis?

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downinDtown
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Re: Big Law in Texas

Postby downinDtown » Tue Feb 25, 2014 3:56 pm

Lacepiece23 wrote:

I do have a sense of what the cutoffs are at UT. And there's no way that they are way lower than they are at UVA. UVA and UofH don't have the same cutoffs. That's just not true.

Come on bro. I get that it's your schtick and all but stop lying.


He's not saying UVA and U of H have the same cutoffs. U of H probably takes like top 5%. Someone with ties to Texas like they only left to go to law school at UVA could probably get Texas median and above. Someone who is just moving there to be with there wife is a different story. I'd guess top 20% sounds about right for someone whose only tie is their wife. There is two different cutoffs.

Here's a topic that show's what % of each school's class gets BigLaw (if NLJ250 = BigLaw): viewtopic.php?f=1&t=225116

OP (if you are feeling too lazy to look at the chart), here are the most recent BigLaw numbers for schools you are considering and other schools in TX:
UVA: 44.23%
Michigan: 41.25%
UT: 31.75%
Vandy: 31.55%
WUTSL: 18.33%
SMU: 17.58%
UH: 15.41%

I'll ignore WUSTL and Vandy b/c WUSTL has similar numbers to SMU/UH which place almost entirely in TX, and Vandy is the same as UT but a much lower % of Vandy gets placed in TX. So basically you double your chances at BigLaw (in TX) going from SMU/UofH to UT, and improve your overall BigLaw chances by ~40-50% by going to UM or UVA over UT, but it may make access to TX BigLaw more difficult because of the distance/lack of hiring history from that school (but see below). Also, you'd be have increased COL and COA by going to those 2 schools over UT.

I think having your wife's family in TX is enough of a compelling reason to pitch to TX firms, but if you go to a non-TX school, make sure you actively connect with TX firms and alumni from the school to demonstrate your interest. I'd go through the attorney profiles to see which firms have hired from UVA or UM in the past.

Also, one thing you may want to consider. In my view, there are 3 classes of BigLaw firms in TX: (1) The "Good-Ol" Boys (V&E, Baker Botts, Andrews Kurth, Fulbright, Bracewell & Giuliani, Jackson Walker, Locke Lord, Winstead, Gardere, Strasburger, Haynes and Boone); (2) the long-tenured national firms with strong TX presence (Akin Gump--which could be in Category #1 too b/c it was HQ'ed in Dallas for a while, Weil, GDC, Baker McKenzie, Jones Day, Greenberg Traurig, Hunton & Williams, et al); and (3) the "New Kids on the Block" (mostly in Houston due to the growing energy market) (Skadden, Latham, STB, et al).

The longer the firm has been in TX, the more important TX ties are, but for these national firms with TX outposts, they appear to be more open to qualified candidates from schools that they hire from for their other offices.

If UT gives you good $$$, I'd do that, unless you're willing to go UVA and bid on NE firms (in addition to TX firms) to hedge your bets. TX has a strong midlaw market with a good number of firms that pay between 85-145K and with low COA from UT that can be a good consolation prize if BigLaw doesn't pan out.

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ChuggaChuggaChooChoo
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Re: Big Law in Texas

Postby ChuggaChuggaChooChoo » Tue Feb 25, 2014 4:49 pm

Lacepiece23 wrote:
timmyd wrote:AA's statistically underperform in law school on average.


Where did you find this statistical analysis?

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hookem7
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Re: Big Law in Texas

Postby hookem7 » Tue Feb 25, 2014 5:16 pm

I think in this situation you need to decide which is more important, working in TX or working big law wherever.

If TX in general, then UT. Solidifies ties for firms, especially with smaller offices that will care more about your commitment to TX. Getting $$ at UT can mitigate some anxiety over needing big law to pay off your debt, especially if your goals change to something more PI oriented or you go with a smaller firm. But, this will decrease your overall big law chances.

If big law generally speaking, then UVA is better at that as the stats are quite clear. However, this option obviously comes at a higher price tag.

I agree that this is a difficult decision and wish you the best of luck deciding what is right for you.

timmyd
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Re: Big Law in Texas

Postby timmyd » Tue Feb 25, 2014 6:59 pm





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