Graduating Top of the Class

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ZSR10
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Graduating Top of the Class

Postby ZSR10 » Mon Mar 07, 2011 6:57 pm

Ok so this is probably an extremely vague question but oh well. For schools around the #65 ranking, how much more would someone who graduates top 5 people make annually versus the median student. In other words, how much more could one expect than the median salaries listed on the TLS rankings and desriptions if one were to graduate at the very top of the class?

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MrPapagiorgio
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Re: Graduating Top of the Class

Postby MrPapagiorgio » Mon Mar 07, 2011 7:02 pm

It's networking, stupid. If a student at the median networks well (i.e. is charismatic, charming, likable) he can steal one of those high paying jobs from a bookworm who doesn't know how to schmooze and talk to people.
GRADES HELP, BUT BEING A LAWYER IS NOT ONLY ABOUT BEING A GOOD STUDENT.

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Lokomani
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Re: Graduating Top of the Class

Postby Lokomani » Mon Mar 07, 2011 7:15 pm

You are dumb. You have no reason to believe salary could have any direct correlation to one's rank in school. The GPA req's for law firm interviews are primarily in place to weed out candidates because there are far too many, and GPA is a comparative figure for a given class of students. Thus GPA rank only matters in school, not in the interview. And certainly not after your first job in the legal field, which will give you far more competence than any class you've taken.

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Alex-Trof
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Re: Graduating Top of the Class

Postby Alex-Trof » Mon Mar 07, 2011 8:03 pm

I am not sure about schools in that range, but I would expect the difference to be dramatic. Reading through blogs for T14 schools I can tell graduating with top grades almost guarantees Big Law while students at the median scramble and often end up settling down for smaller firms. I can't picture a scenario in a T2 school, where kids at the very top have same opportunities as kids in the middle. This, however, is my impression without any personal experience.

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arhmcpo
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Re: Graduating Top of the Class

Postby arhmcpo » Mon Mar 07, 2011 8:20 pm

MrPapagiorgio wrote:It's networking, stupid. If a student at the median networks well (i.e. is charismatic, charming, likable) he can steal one of those high paying jobs from a bookworm who doesn't know how to schmooze and talk to people.
GRADES HELP, BUT BEING A LAWYER IS NOT ONLY ABOUT BEING A GOOD STUDENT.

Lokomani wrote:You are dumb. You have no reason to believe salary could have any direct correlation to one's rank in school. The GPA req's for law firm interviews are primarily in place to weed out candidates because there are far too many, and GPA is a comparative figure for a given class of students. Thus GPA rank only matters in school, not in the interview. And certainly not after your first job in the legal field, which will give you far more competence than any class you've taken.


You are both "dumb" because neither of you are responsive to OP. He's asking if the job prospects of a top5% T2 student are significantly better than his classmates at median. The answer is YES there is a huge difference. Top 5% tend to have a very good shot at biglaw from most T2's while students at median will be unemployed absent some lucky networking ITE. However even working hard, your odds at Top 5% are a huge long shot - no one can assume or reasonably predict they will be top 5% so don't go to a school based on this thought. Keep in mind that the salary data of schools is faked and manipulated - when it says a median student makes $100k or more that is a downright lie. Salary distributions in the legal field are bimodial, with a small percentage making a ton and most others making well under $100k intially - the result is misleading median and mean salaries which very few people are actually paid. Just guessing you could say Biglaw gets $140-160 starting while mid-sized/small firm/gov gets more like $45-65

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kalvano
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Re: Graduating Top of the Class

Postby kalvano » Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:28 pm

arhmcpo wrote:He's asking if the job prospects of a top5% T2 student are significantly better than his classmates at median.



If I shoot myself in the foot, will it hurt?

Or, if I go to Civ Pro tomorrow, will it be a giant waste of time?

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Wholigan
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Re: Graduating Top of the Class

Postby Wholigan » Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:28 pm

ZSR10 wrote:how much more could one expect than the median salaries listed on the TLS rankings and desriptions if one were to graduate at the very top of the class?


I don't think anyone answered this legitimate question yet. OP: If one were to graduate top 5% at a #65 or so ranked school, one would likely have opportunities to interview for biglaw jobs in the region the school is in, if you wanted to maximize earning potential. Those jobs would pay market for the city the firm is in. For example, $160k for Chicago, DC and NYC, $130k for Pittsburgh, $140k in Atlanta, etc. Whatever that number is for your city is probably the most you will be able to make as a starting salary out of law school. There are a few boutiques that pay above market but they usually only hire out of elite schools.

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nealric
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Re: Graduating Top of the Class

Postby nealric » Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:28 am

how much more could one expect than the median salaries listed on the TLS rankings and desriptions if one were to graduate at the very top of the class?


This post seems to indicate a belief that a median student will make the posted median salary. This is in fact rarely the case. Most T2 schools have such low reporting, and the accounting standards are so bad, that the "median" salary tends to a salary that few graduates will actually get.

The top 5% has a shot at biglaw. If they get a biglaw offer they will either make the 160k national market salary, or the local market salary. A handful that miss out on biglaw will find midlaw or in-house work that starts in the low six figures. Many top 5% types will make no more than their median counterparts. The exact percentage will depend on the specific schools. Some T2 schools place a decent percentage of their graduates into local biglaw, others have a very hard time placing graduates.




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