What results can top graduates at average schools expect?

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southernnewbie

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What results can top graduates at average schools expect?

Postby southernnewbie » Fri Mar 16, 2018 4:01 pm

This is a very broad question, but I'm curious about what kind of outcomes the top graduates (say top 10% of the class) at very average law schools (say ranked 40-70 or so) can generally expect. Is it reasonably common for them to get prestigious jobs like federal clerkships or big law, or would it be more likely for them to end up at more run-of-the-mill jobs at mid-size firms or government agencies in their region? I assume the top students could at least expect to be employed as lawyers even if their school's overall employment rate is only at 50% or so. Examples of the kind of schools I'm thinking of could be Temple, Richmond, Tulane, Pepperdine, U Miami, Villanova, etc. There are probably at least a few students at these schools who could've gotten into T14 schools but chose their school due to scholarships or some personal reason. Would they be significantly held back by their choice of school, even if they stand out within their class?

sparkytrainer

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Re: What results can top graduates at average schools expect?

Postby sparkytrainer » Fri Mar 16, 2018 4:15 pm

The short answer is yes, they will be held back. Law is a prestige-based career, and it matters a lot where you went to school. You will be held back by attending these schools over a t13. There might be reasons to attend these schools, but it doesn't fix the fact that by attending any of these schools you are permanently foreclosing a bunch of opportunities even if you do get top 5%.

Squirrel20

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Re: What results can top graduates at average schools expect?

Postby Squirrel20 » Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:02 pm

I've been wondering this too. I know this forum is called TOP law schools but does anyone have experience as a top 10% student at an average school? Or know someone who was? How did your job/clerkship hunt go?

OkCool

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Re: What results can top graduates at average schools expect?

Postby OkCool » Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:19 pm

My [educated] guess is that those graduates have a good chance at big law in the region of their school if their school has on campus interviewing. I go to a T1 in the range you listed, and many people in the top 20% or so of my class have SA positions at big firms for the summer, but the numbers vary year to year.

As for clerkships, it is probably more difficult than big law positions, generally. I do have a federal circuit clerkship for after graduation, but I am near the top of my class, and at schools like mine, each incremental percentage point can make a difference. Those in the top 5% have a realistic chance at circuit clerkships if they hustle/have professors making calls. Top 10% have somewhat of a chance but a decent chance for federal district or state supreme court clerkships. Top 20% would probably be the cut off for federal clerkships. The issue is that many people go to "average schools" expecting to be at the top and then are disappointed by their grades, so beware of that. But it's undeniably easier to be at the top of one's class at an "average school" than at a T14.

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Toni V

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Re: What results can top graduates at average schools expect?

Postby Toni V » Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:20 pm

I work at a V30. The majority of associates are Ivy, T 13/14 and/or tier 1.

We also have a fair number of associates who are grads from tier 2 schools (a couple from tier 3)…. I should note that the majority of these associates graduated with high honors....and they all start at $180k (or whatever market is).

hlsperson1111

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Re: What results can top graduates at average schools expect?

Postby hlsperson1111 » Sat Mar 17, 2018 2:57 pm

It really depends on the school, but generic biglaw (in NYC or the school's region) is a fairly realistic outcome for folks in the top 10% of these schools.

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TheTaylor

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Re: What results can top graduates at average schools expect?

Postby TheTaylor » Mon Mar 19, 2018 10:04 am

I go to one of the schools you mentioned, and every single student in the top 10% that applied for a big law SA position got one. Many of these students are with firms not in the region. Though I do think we would be limited compared to other schools, if you are at the top, you'll have plenty of opportunities. We also have several students who clerk at the circuit level each year.

Bubbles1012

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Re: What results can top graduates at average schools expect?

Postby Bubbles1012 » Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:29 pm

I go to one of the schools you mentioned. Most students in the top quarter who wanted big law (both regional and NYC got it), and we have students going to Shaffer, Proskauer, Winston, Cahill, Cleary, Arnold & Porter, Akon Gump, Kirkland etc. Not all of these students were in the top ten percent, but all were likely in the top quarter. We also have some students doing federal Clerkships. My school used to be ranked much higher, has a fancy undergrad reputation (prestige name brand factor), and seems to have good relationships with many large firms so we may have better outcomes than other schools in our range.

Bubbles1012

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Re: What results can top graduates at average schools expect?

Postby Bubbles1012 » Mon Mar 19, 2018 4:34 pm

*meant to say Skadden not Shaffer



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