Be honest: Graduate Salary Discussion

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Excel
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Be honest: Graduate Salary Discussion

Postby Excel » Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:51 pm

Perhaps wrong forum (?).

Skimming the TLS rankings, and it seems that pretty much every top 25 schools claims to send 70%+ of its graduates to private Law Firm jobs. The median salary of those jobs apparently ranges from 145 to 160 thousand. I somehow find this hard to believe. So, whats the deal? Are those enormous salaries legit?

dakatz
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Re: Be honest: Graduate Salary Discussion

Postby dakatz » Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:52 pm

No

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Knock
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Re: Be honest: Graduate Salary Discussion

Postby Knock » Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:52 pm

Excel wrote:Perhaps wrong forum (?).

Skimming the TLS rankings, and it seems that pretty much every top 25 schools claims to send 70%+ of its graduates to private Law Firm jobs. The median salary of those jobs apparently ranges from 145 to 160 thousand. I somehow find this hard to believe. So, whats the deal? Are those enormous salaries legit?


Read around TLS man, this is a pretty commonly discussed topic. Short version: no, it's not a representative number. Law salaries are much more bimodal, you're either making $160k or $40-60k, there's not really much in-between, if you can even get a job (which is extremely difficult ITE). Numbers are also inflated because there is a lot of self-selection bias in the surveys.
Last edited by Knock on Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

dissonance1848
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Re: Be honest: Graduate Salary Discussion

Postby dissonance1848 » Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:53 pm

Not legit. Check out NJL 250 rankings for 2009 class. Those firms pay about market.

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romothesavior
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Re: Be honest: Graduate Salary Discussion

Postby romothesavior » Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:58 pm

I don't think any school outside of the T14 is looking at even 6 figure median salaries. Might even be as low as T6.

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retake
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Re: Be honest: Graduate Salary Discussion

Postby retake » Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:02 am

You're practically guaranteed a 160k out of almost any T25 school. Don't worry, law schools wouldn't lie to you.

Excel
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Re: Be honest: Graduate Salary Discussion

Postby Excel » Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:03 am

It goes without saying its all dependent on the type of law, the school, and the individual.

I guess this could go here too, given you just mentioned the economy. A friend of the family, who is a former attorney turned vp banker for GS, says finding jobs as a graduate in this economy is all personality. In other words (and I dont meant to offend anyone), interviews can tell within what, 20 seconds, whether or not theyre going to hire someone. The folks who can communicate ideas the most clearly, even if their ideas are dumber then their fellow job seekers, are the ones getting hired. He noted he has nothing to do with the hiring process, but claims that is essentially what separates the employed from the unemployed. Theyll take the frat boys with some brains than the nerds with huge ones.

What do you guys make of this?

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Knock
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Re: Be honest: Graduate Salary Discussion

Postby Knock » Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:05 am

Excel wrote:It goes without saying its all dependent on the type of law, the school, and the individual.

I guess this could go here too, given you just mentioned the economy. A friend of the family, who is a former attorney turned vp banker for GS, says finding jobs as a graduate in this economy is all personality. In other words (and I dont meant to offend anyone), interviews can tell within what, 20 seconds, whether or not theyre going to hire someone. The folks who can communicate ideas the most clearly, even if their ideas are dumber then their fellow job seekers, are the ones getting hired. He noted he has nothing to do with the hiring process, but claims that is essentially what separates the employed from the unemployed. Theyll take the frat boys with some brains than the nerds with huge ones.

What do you guys make of this?


:|.

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retake
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Re: Be honest: Graduate Salary Discussion

Postby retake » Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:05 am

Excel wrote:It goes without saying its all dependent on the type of law, the school, and the individual.

I guess this could go here too, given you just mentioned the economy. A friend of the family, who is a former attorney turned vp banker for GS, says finding jobs as a graduate in this economy is all personality. In other words (and I dont meant to offend anyone), interviews can tell within what, 20 seconds, whether or not theyre going to hire someone. The folks who can communicate ideas the most clearly, even if their ideas are dumber then their fellow job seekers, are the ones getting hired. He noted he has nothing to do with the hiring process, but claims that is essentially what separates the employed from the unemployed. Theyll take the frat boys with some brains than the nerds with huge ones.

What do you guys make of this?


No.

ran12
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Re: Be honest: Graduate Salary Discussion

Postby ran12 » Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:06 am

Excel wrote:It goes without saying its all dependent on the type of law, the school, and the individual.

I guess this could go here too, given you just mentioned the economy. A friend of the family, who is a former attorney turned vp banker for GS, says finding jobs as a graduate in this economy is all personality. In other words (and I dont meant to offend anyone), interviews can tell within what, 20 seconds, whether or not theyre going to hire someone. The folks who can communicate ideas the most clearly, even if their ideas are dumber then their fellow job seekers, are the ones getting hired. He noted he has nothing to do with the hiring process, but claims that is essentially what separates the employed from the unemployed. Theyll take the frat boys with some brains than the nerds with huge ones.

What do you guys make of this?


It'll def get you past the first round to have a good personality. No question a personable type A is gonna get hired over a nerdy kid since firms and companies are essentially an extension of the frat life in ways.

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retake
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Re: Be honest: Graduate Salary Discussion

Postby retake » Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:07 am

And LOL at you knowing a VP at Goldman-Sachs.

Image

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romothesavior
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Re: Be honest: Graduate Salary Discussion

Postby romothesavior » Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:08 am

First of all, you asked about data, right? Now you're diving into generalizations and anecdotal discussion. Do you want our input, or do you just want to lecture us on how legal hiring works?

Second of all, you're asking about high paying jobs, right? Those are not about personality. Those are, more than anything, about grades. Once you get the grades, personality plays a big factor, but you are not getting big law absent great grades (usually from a high ranked school) or stellar connections (and even that doesn't usually do it).

Excel wrote:In other words (and I dont meant to offend anyone), interviews can tell within what, 20 seconds, whether or not theyre going to hire someone. T

Third, this is just not true. Maybe for a small firm or a judge they will make a decision like this, but not at a mid-large firm or in the government sector. These places have dedicated and will dedicate thousands of dollars to recruiting you, and they're not going to make the decision on 20 seconds of interviewing. Large firms (the ones paying 140-160) also have hiring committees with multiple layers of input from partners (and even associates), and the person interviewing you will not even have the final say in many cases.

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Stanford4Me
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Re: Be honest: Graduate Salary Discussion

Postby Stanford4Me » Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:10 am

I don't know, when I received my offer for summer employment they told me they knew within the first 2 minutes that they wanted me working for them. Granted, there are a number of other factors that positively contributed to my offer. Also, I'm not saying this happens in every hiring decision, but I definitely think it helps.
Last edited by Stanford4Me on Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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retake
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Re: Be honest: Graduate Salary Discussion

Postby retake » Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:11 am

Personality matters when you're on the margins of biglaw, basically. It will not make up for pedigree.

Excel
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Re: Be honest: Graduate Salary Discussion

Postby Excel » Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:14 am

retake wrote:And LOL at you knowing a VP at Goldman-Sachs.

Image

:lol:

Aqualibrium
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Re: Be honest: Graduate Salary Discussion

Postby Aqualibrium » Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:16 am

romothesavior wrote:
Excel wrote:In other words (and I dont meant to offend anyone), interviews can tell within what, 20 seconds, whether or not theyre going to hire someone. T

Third, this is just not true. Maybe for a small firm or a judge they will make a decision like this, but not at a mid-large firm or in the government sector. These places have dedicated and will dedicate thousands of dollars to recruiting you, and they're not going to make the decision on 20 seconds of interviewing. Large firms (the ones paying 140-160) also have hiring committees with multiple layers of input from partners (and even associates), and the person interviewing you will not even have the final say in many cases.


I'll second Stanford4me. Twice I've had a partner say he knew within the first minute or so that he'd be extending me an offer. As one described it "I've been recruiting for 17 years now, I know almost instantly when someone is going to be a good fit for our firm."

Rare but it happens.
Last edited by Aqualibrium on Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

flcath
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Re: Be honest: Graduate Salary Discussion

Postby flcath » Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:18 am

The figures are inflated, but probably not to the extent that TLS sometimes makes out. All the actual information we have so far (up to c/o 2009) indicates that those schools will ultimately put around a third (for T25s, more for the T17 and more still for the T13) of their grads in high-paying jobs. This assumes that fed clerks, who aren't included in the link, will go on to land these jobs as well.

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romothesavior
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Re: Be honest: Graduate Salary Discussion

Postby romothesavior » Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:26 am

flcath wrote:The figures are inflated, but probably not to the extent that TLS sometimes makes out. All the actual information we have so far (up to c/o 2009) indicates that those schools will ultimately put around a third (for T25s, more for the T17 and more still for the T13) of their grads in high-paying jobs. This assumes that fed clerks, who aren't included in the link, will go on to land these jobs as well.

Think about it dude. The most recent NLJ numbers for T20ish schools say that 1/4-1/3 of the class will get biglaw. ITE, those numbers are probably around 20% (roughly). Of those 20% of people getting biglaw, many of them won't be seeing anywhere near 140-160. Some NLJ 250 firms pay in the lower 100,000k range or less than 100k. So we're talking maybe 10% of the class getting paid in the 140-160k range?

Even accounting for clerkships, that would make claims of $120,000 or $140,000 as median for the class (or even median for private practice) grossly, grossly exaggerated.

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mpj_3050
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Re: Be honest: Graduate Salary Discussion

Postby mpj_3050 » Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:38 am

I have a million dollar smile and eyes that make you wish you were in the Irish countryside; will that get me hired, or do I have to know a Goldman executive?

flcath
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Re: Be honest: Graduate Salary Discussion

Postby flcath » Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:39 am

romothesavior wrote:
flcath wrote:The figures are inflated, but probably not to the extent that TLS sometimes makes out. All the actual information we have so far (up to c/o 2009) indicates that those schools will ultimately put around a third (for T25s, more for the T17 and more still for the T13) of their grads in high-paying jobs. This assumes that fed clerks, who aren't included in the link, will go on to land these jobs as well.

Think about it dude. The most recent NLJ numbers for T20ish schools say that 1/4-1/3 of the class will get biglaw. ITE, those numbers are probably around 20% (roughly). Of those 20% of people getting biglaw, many of them won't be seeing anywhere near 140-160. Some NLJ 250 firms pay in the lower 100,000k range or less than 100k. So we're talking maybe 10% of the class getting paid in the 140-160k range?

Even accounting for clerkships, that would make claims of $120,000 or $140,000 as median for the class (or even median for private practice) grossly, grossly exaggerated.

Well you're obviously right about the median (I conceded that), but the "maybe 10%" line that get parroted around here isn't supported by evidence. As you go down the second half of the NLJ 250, the salaries get smaller but so do the firms, which means that if you see a statistic stating that 50 kids went to the NLJ 250, 40 of them (off-hand estimate) probably went to the top 100 firms. That principle still applies (albeit less so) when taking into account the fact that schools sending fewer kids into the NLJ 250 are also likely to be sending them lower. More to the point, almost every single firm in the NLJ 250 pays a 6-figure salary to its first year associates.

Also, the economy will resemble at least 2009 (these numbers aren't from the salad days; yes the kids summered before the recession, but all those no-offers are reflected in that data) by the time 0Ls go through OCI. I'm even becoming fairly optimistic about 2011 OCIs.

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romothesavior
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Re: Be honest: Graduate Salary Discussion

Postby romothesavior » Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:48 am

Of course its not concrete evidence, but I (nor anyone else) can give you concrete data because it just doesn't exist. I'm just giving my best rough approximation.

No way are more than 20% of any T20-30 grads starting at 140-160k ITE, even with clerks taken into account. And I don't see any reason to be all that optimistic about 2011 OCI.

r6_philly
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Re: Be honest: Graduate Salary Discussion

Postby r6_philly » Mon Jan 24, 2011 1:00 am

Is the median we talking about here the "median of all graduates that reports salary data who are employed in private firms"?

They could just encourage low salaried firm employees to not submit their salary data, one way or another, right?

They could have 96% of the class returning the survey, but only 20% of those reporting salary data, technically, right?




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