Moving Past the Rankings

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seaguy2010
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Moving Past the Rankings

Postby seaguy2010 » Fri Mar 18, 2011 7:05 pm

It seems like so many people are concerned about whether a school is a particular ranking, but I'd like to get some insight into some of the other aspects not really discussed: what makes someone a great attorney or simply ridiculously successful after getting their JD.

Looking at the list of the highest paid attorneys, it appears that many of them didn't graduate from T14 schools. So what attributes and skills can be cultivated that will allow someone to climb up the ranks as a VERY successful professional in this field (I don't mean working in "BigLaw" for a 160K paycheck, either). For me, I'm going in with the full intention of eventually growing my own firm. I understand that it can be crucial to work under someone else prior to going out on my own, but my ultimate goal is to move beyond this..in essence, to use it as an apprenticeship.

ran12
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Re: Moving Past the Rankings

Postby ran12 » Fri Mar 18, 2011 7:15 pm

seaguy2010 wrote:It seems like so many people are concerned about whether a school is a particular ranking, but I'd like to get some insight into some of the other aspects not really discussed: what makes someone a great attorney or simply ridiculously successful after getting their JD.

Looking at the list of the highest paid attorneys, it appears that many of them didn't graduate from T14 schools. So what attributes and skills can be cultivated that will allow someone to climb up the ranks as a VERY successful professional in this field (I don't mean working in "BigLaw" for a 160K paycheck, either). For me, I'm going in with the full intention of eventually growing my own firm. I understand that it can be crucial to work under someone else prior to going out on my own, but my ultimate goal is to move beyond this..in essence, to use it as an apprenticeship.


An undying thirst to succeed, a big inferiority complex, real networking skills, connections, getting down on your knees. It all really depends on the type of person you are. If you want it bad enough, you'll find a way. There's no cookie cutter way to getting to the top.

Tsispilos
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Re: Moving Past the Rankings

Postby Tsispilos » Fri Mar 18, 2011 7:45 pm

ran12 wrote:a big inferiority complex


this is titcr from what i've seen. Most ultra-driven people seem to have something they need to prove--this makes them have really awesome first impressions and makes them work really hard. Once you get to know them, they start to get tiring.

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alexonfyre
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Re: Moving Past the Rankings

Postby alexonfyre » Fri Mar 18, 2011 8:08 pm

seaguy2010 wrote:It seems like so many people are concerned about whether a school is a particular ranking, but I'd like to get some insight into some of the other aspects not really discussed: what makes someone a great attorney or simply ridiculously successful after getting their JD.

Looking at the list of the highest paid attorneys, it appears that many of them didn't graduate from T14 schools. So what attributes and skills can be cultivated that will allow someone to climb up the ranks as a VERY successful professional in this field (I don't mean working in "BigLaw" for a 160K paycheck, either). For me, I'm going in with the full intention of eventually growing my own firm. I understand that it can be crucial to work under someone else prior to going out on my own, but my ultimate goal is to move beyond this..in essence, to use it as an apprenticeship.


Drive to be the absolute best according to everyone else.

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zonto
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Re: Moving Past the Rankings

Postby zonto » Fri Mar 18, 2011 8:23 pm

Tsispilos wrote:
ran12 wrote:a big inferiority complex


this is titcr from what i've seen. Most ultra-driven people seem to have something they need to prove--this makes them have really awesome first impressions and makes them work really hard. Once you get to know them, they start to get tiring.


I'd suggest that the starting to get tired begins shortly after meeting them and once you get to know them you're already burned out...

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Veyron
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Re: Moving Past the Rankings

Postby Veyron » Fri Mar 18, 2011 8:24 pm

Being born 40+ years ago. Today, you should go T-14 or go home. HTH.

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alexonfyre
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Re: Moving Past the Rankings

Postby alexonfyre » Fri Mar 18, 2011 8:30 pm

Veyron wrote:Being born 40+ years ago. Today, you should go T-14 or go home. HTH.


Seriously, I know some older Louisiana attorneys and they said that basically, "If you were a local, and had a notebook and some pencils, they [LSU] would give you a seat and whether or not you made it was up to you." and "LSU used to be full of retards. Now it doesn't seem to be so full of retards. I graduated and joined a firm of 450 attorneys, largest in the state. That firm now has over 1500, and almost none of those kids will ever work there."

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Alex-Trof
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Re: Moving Past the Rankings

Postby Alex-Trof » Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:34 pm

Veyron wrote:Being born 40+ years ago. Today, you should go T-14 or go home. HTH.

Credited.

100 years ago you could have been a rich person with just basic degree from any college. 50 years ago professional degree from any school would place you among those elite few makign a killing. Right now, the access to professional education is open to almost everyone. Thus, the growth in supply has surpassed the growth in demand, making relative salary/prestige of being an average JD much lower. What was true about any law degree before now can only be attributed to select top few (high law school rank, high law school GPA).

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TheTopBloke
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Re: Moving Past the Rankings

Postby TheTopBloke » Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:58 pm

Alex-Trof wrote:
Veyron wrote:Being born 40+ years ago. Today, you should go T-14 or go home. HTH.

Credited.

100 years ago you could have been a rich person with just basic degree from any college. 50 years ago professional degree from any school would place you among those elite few makign a killing. Right now, the access to professional education is open to almost everyone. Thus, the growth in supply has surpassed the growth in demand, making relative salary/prestige of being an average JD much lower. What was true about any law degree before now can only be attributed to select top few (high law school rank, high law school GPA).


And today the best way to make money is to have no degree at all.

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fatduck
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Re: Moving Past the Rankings

Postby fatduck » Fri Mar 18, 2011 10:00 pm

TheTopBloke wrote:
Alex-Trof wrote:
Veyron wrote:Being born 40+ years ago. Today, you should go T-14 or go home. HTH.

Credited.

100 years ago you could have been a rich person with just basic degree from any college. 50 years ago professional degree from any school would place you among those elite few makign a killing. Right now, the access to professional education is open to almost everyone. Thus, the growth in supply has surpassed the growth in demand, making relative salary/prestige of being an average JD much lower. What was true about any law degree before now can only be attributed to select top few (high law school rank, high law school GPA).


And today the best way to make money is to have no degree at all steal it.

whymeohgodno
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Re: Moving Past the Rankings

Postby whymeohgodno » Sat Mar 19, 2011 10:19 am

Veyron wrote:Being born 40+ years ago. Today, you should go T-14T-13 or go home. HTH.


+1.

69Coronet
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Re: Moving Past the Rankings

Postby 69Coronet » Sun Mar 20, 2011 4:29 pm

Veyron wrote:Being born 40+ years ago. Today, you should go T-14 or go home. HTH.


Complete and utter crap.
Life is not all about being T-14.

OP, just as others said, everything is about your drive to succeed. I work for a prosecutor who has worked for 26 years in the same job, didn't go to a T-14 law school, and is one of the best lawyers in the District Attorney's Office in which he works. He is incredibly successful, well liked amongst coworkers, court personnel and defense attorneys alike, and has had numerous offers at private defense firms, often for more money than he has ever dreamed of making. He likes being a prosecutor, so he hasn't taken them up on the offer, though he is in the initial stages of exploring starting his own defense firm. Theres a 20-something year old guy who went to NYU in one of the local law firms and he is the laughingstock of the courthouse because he has lost so many cases. Just a case in point.

Everything, particularly success as an entrepreneur, is about how hard you are willing to work and what you are willing to do to meet your goals. Often that means being willing to kiss more ass, work more hours, and live for your job more than others around you.
Getting into a T-14 law school doesn't guarantee any of those things.

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Veyron
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Re: Moving Past the Rankings

Postby Veyron » Sun Mar 20, 2011 4:52 pm

^ Uh oh, someone doesn't have their sufficient and necessary conditions straight.

P.S. If a guy has been working as an attorney for over 20 years, chances are he is over 40. HTH.

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Alex-Trof
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Re: Moving Past the Rankings

Postby Alex-Trof » Sun Mar 20, 2011 8:02 pm

69Coronet wrote:
Veyron wrote:Being born 40+ years ago. Today, you should go T-14 or go home. HTH.


Complete and utter crap.
Life is not all about being T-14.

OP, just as others said, everything is about your drive to succeed. I work for a prosecutor who has worked for 26 years in the same job, didn't go to a T-14 law school, and is one of the best lawyers in the District Attorney's Office in which he works. He is incredibly successful, well liked amongst coworkers, court personnel and defense attorneys alike, and has had numerous offers at private defense firms, often for more money than he has ever dreamed of making. He likes being a prosecutor, so he hasn't taken them up on the offer, though he is in the initial stages of exploring starting his own defense firm. Theres a 20-something year old guy who went to NYU in one of the local law firms and he is the laughingstock of the courthouse because he has lost so many cases. Just a case in point.

Everything, particularly success as an entrepreneur, is about how hard you are willing to work and what you are willing to do to meet your goals. Often that means being willing to kiss more ass, work more hours, and live for your job more than others around you.
Getting into a T-14 law school doesn't guarantee any of those things.


Sounds like somebody has been reading "The Secret". I suggest reading "Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America."

The story about an older guy actually supports Veyron's point, while a story about a young guy does not equal a rule.

69Coronet
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Re: Moving Past the Rankings

Postby 69Coronet » Mon Mar 21, 2011 1:33 am

Never heard of either of them, actually.

All I'm saying is that the rankings aren't everything, especially since the guy wants to start his own firm, and starting a business doesn't depend entirely on your ability to place into a T-14 school.

Take that for whatever you will.

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gothamm
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Re: Moving Past the Rankings

Postby gothamm » Mon Mar 21, 2011 7:39 am

@Veyron

I read your posts from time to time. You are a very negative dude. There is a difference between being realistic and being negative. Maybe what you are saying is true...I am a 0L. Honestly, I hope what you are saying is from the heart, and not just to satisfy an inferiority complex because your posts influence people like myself.

69Coronet
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Re: Moving Past the Rankings

Postby 69Coronet » Mon Mar 21, 2011 1:21 pm

@gothamm,

I know there are some really respected people on these forums, and some truly great advice here for the taking, but you always have to remain open minded about the responses of people on this forum to questions regarding anything less than allegiance to the rankings. People like Veyron are a case in point, but he/she is certainly not the only one.

Negativity is rampant here (and on the internet in general), you just have to make sure you don't get caught up in it so much that you end up like one of these other bitter people, or else good luck in the professional legal world. Reality and negativity don't go hand-in-hand. (Just the same as reality and positivity don't go hand-in-hand.)

drummerboy
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Re: Moving Past the Rankings

Postby drummerboy » Mon Mar 21, 2011 1:45 pm

well said

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Veyron
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Re: Moving Past the Rankings

Postby Veyron » Mon Mar 21, 2011 6:24 pm

gothamm wrote:@Veyron

I read your posts from time to time. You are a very negative dude. There is a difference between being realistic and being negative. Maybe what you are saying is true...I am a 0L. Honestly, I hope what you are saying is from the heart, and not just to satisfy an inferiority complex because your posts influence people like myself.


From the heart? I don't know. I call it as I see it and I'm obsessive about collecting data.

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Stringer Bell
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Re: Moving Past the Rankings

Postby Stringer Bell » Mon Mar 21, 2011 6:30 pm

Veyron wrote:Being born 40+ years ago. Today, you should go T-14 or go home. HTH.


Any examples?

EDIT: Maybe I misunderstood your statement. Are you saying that no one under 40 will ever make a ton of money in law, or that only folks under 40 at the t14 will make a ton of money in law?

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Patriot1208
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Re: Moving Past the Rankings

Postby Patriot1208 » Mon Mar 21, 2011 6:44 pm

Stringer Bell wrote:
Veyron wrote:Being born 40+ years ago. Today, you should go T-14 or go home. HTH.


Any examples?

EDIT: Maybe I misunderstood your statement. Are you saying that no one under 40 will ever make a ton of money in law, or that only folks under 40 at the t14 will make a ton of money in law?

I think his point was that back in the day, you could go to suffolk and make bank because lawyers were in such high demand, which is true. Today, it's very hard to come anywhere near that level of income unless you go to a top school.

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Stringer Bell
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Re: Moving Past the Rankings

Postby Stringer Bell » Mon Mar 21, 2011 6:53 pm

Patriot1208 wrote:I think his point was that back in the day, you could go to suffolk and make bank because lawyers were in such high demand, which is true. Today, it's very hard to come anywhere near that level of income unless you go to a top school.


But OP was talking about outlier type of attorney's who make truly obscene money as opposed to attorneys that make good incomes. I think that outliers will still come from TTT's. I know of some attorney's in their early 40's making obscene money doing niche litigation who went to TTT's or schools outside the t14. That fails one of Veyron's criteria, but I'm curious as to how many examples of attorney's under 40 from the t14 who are makin tens of millions annually that he knows of off hand.

toochthemooch
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Re: Moving Past the Rankings

Postby toochthemooch » Mon Mar 21, 2011 7:05 pm

Stringer Bell wrote:
Patriot1208 wrote:I think his point was that back in the day, you could go to suffolk and make bank because lawyers were in such high demand, which is true. Today, it's very hard to come anywhere near that level of income unless you go to a top school.


But OP was talking about outlier type of attorney's who make truly obscene money as opposed to attorneys that make good incomes. I think that outliers will still come from TTT's. I know of some attorney's in their early 40's making obscene money doing niche litigation who went to TTT's or schools outside the t14. That fails one of Veyron's criteria, but I'm curious as to how many examples of attorney's under 40 from the t14 who are makin tens of millions annually that he knows of off hand.


That is not Veyron's argument. He is simply saying that if you went to a TTT a long time ago, you had a chance of being an outlier. Now, the only chance of making this obscene amount of money is through going T-14. The attorneys you know in their early 40's had the opportunity. Those same attorneys coming out of the same schools now would not have the chance. The only opportunities for this are going to T-14.

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Alex-Trof
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Re: Moving Past the Rankings

Postby Alex-Trof » Mon Mar 21, 2011 7:20 pm

Stringer Bell wrote:
Patriot1208 wrote:I think his point was that back in the day, you could go to suffolk and make bank because lawyers were in such high demand, which is true. Today, it's very hard to come anywhere near that level of income unless you go to a top school.


But OP was talking about outlier type of attorney's who make truly obscene money as opposed to attorneys that make good incomes. I think that outliers will still come from TTT's. I know of some attorney's in their early 40's making obscene money doing niche litigation who went to TTT's or schools outside the t14. That fails one of Veyron's criteria, but I'm curious as to how many examples of attorney's under 40 from the t14 who are makin tens of millions annually that he knows of off hand.


I see what you're saying. I do think it is possible to go to TTT and still become extremely successful millionaire lawyer. But, I do think the likelihood of that happening is about as high as likelihood of some average dude from Jamesfuck, Idaho moving to LA and becoming the next Jack Nicholson. To bank on it or assume that there are certain things you can do that will dramatically increase your chances is unreasonable.

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Patriot1208
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Re: Moving Past the Rankings

Postby Patriot1208 » Mon Mar 21, 2011 7:28 pm

The point is that generally, to make tons of money in the legal profession, you need to start out in a biglaw firm or something of equal prestige that will open up doors for you. And, generally, the people getting these prestigious positions went to top schools.




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