BruceWayne wrote:Trying to work in a market outside of the region where your school is located, without high grades, is a headache period. Firms are just very accustomed to hiring from a set group of schools (usually in their region) and they don't like going outside of that unless the candidate has stellar credentials. Quite frankly this is true even for people FROM the area where the firm is. I'm not saying that you won't or can't get hired from a firm located out of your school's market. But in this economy it's not a good idea to go into law school planning on that. Firms are just in a mindset right now where they are only trying to hire people who fit the exact mold they are looking for, and who they don't have to go through any extra hurdles/work to hire.
As far as the Penn thing goes, based off of the GPA hiring data flightoftheearls and some other poster were discussing/describing a while back--Penn isn't any different from UVA, Michigan, Duke etc. The firms are hiring from the same general class rank at all of those schools. Which means that Penn probably places more people in biglaw because of market choice/location. I.e. the NYC firms are used to hiring from there, more people from there aim for NYC jobs at Penn, there are more NYC jobs available in general, and even though they aren't gong any deeper into Penn's class they are hiring more from the given GPA cutoff range from Penn than they do at schools outside of where they focus on hiring. The problem with expecting Penn to provide you with this big boost over its peers for going there, is if you end up in that grade range where the firms won't hire you regardless. But if you are willing to do NYC Penn is probably the better bet all things equal.
As a side note I would tell most people to pick Penn over UVA and Michigan because of UVA's stupid way of obtaining a 3.3 mean ( professors can give out literally ANY grade to a student as long as the class mean is 3.3.--meaning there is a lot of variance. You have people getting C's and B-s like mad--although it's balanced by a lot of A range grades.) and Michigan's strangely low curve (which regardless of class rank being the true factor, does turn off some employers when they compare it to schools like NU). Penn and many of the other top 14 have enough sense to not only mandate a 3.3 or whatever specific median/mean but to also designate the exact distribution (which includes NOT allowing grades below a B- and even very few of those).
Okay, this model makes sense. So would you say that, due to its location and historical placement patterns, an NYU student who makes the GPA cutoff for NYC firms is better positioned to secure a market-paying gig in NYC than a Chicago student who also makes the cutoff? Or would its small class size skew the result in Chicago's favor? Is below median equally screwed at both schools?
(thanks in advance...I'm jotting down some questions to ask at my chicago interview this coming week...)