Ann Ivey - To Take her Advice or Not

(Where, When and What Did You Think)
Voyager
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Postby Voyager » Mon Dec 03, 2007 11:10 pm

as long as you do well...not really. not at all, actually.


K. Quick overview:

1. Private sector: go look at how deep into the class Fordham is recruited vs, say, CLS at firms paying market. You'll find it is something like top 30% vs. 75% of the class. That is a big difference. And the assumption that anyone can make the top of their class through "hard work" is ridiculous. The curve is rough and assuming you can beat it is foolish.

2. Clerkships are much easier to attain coming out of a T5.

3. So are academic postings.

Look, none of this is debatable. I can see reasons for going to a T2 or something. But to suggest that the school rank makes no difference is simply ignoring reality.
please give me some of whatever it is you're smoking.

EDIT: Read on, young one.


Read in the context of your posts, I find that hilarious.

EDIT: also, are you going out of your way to misread my posts? Where the F do I suggest that only top 5 schools get you big law jobs? My point is those jobs are harder to come by as you move down the rankings. Even a cursory review of the hiring classes among the V100 will starkly demonstrate that fact

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itdontmattertoJesus
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Postby itdontmattertoJesus » Mon Dec 03, 2007 11:17 pm

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Last edited by itdontmattertoJesus on Fri Mar 07, 2008 1:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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underdawg
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Postby underdawg » Tue Dec 04, 2007 5:30 am

Yeah this is the impression that I get:

1) Go to T-14 obvi if your finances allow you too. (No one really talks about going to a lower T14 w/ $$$ v. HYS or CCN though...I'd like to know people's thoughts on that.)

2) You can do well in the lower ranked schools in a certain market. For example, I don't think you can ever go wrong by going to the #1 state school in each state. And not just UVa or Mich. Alabama grads are going to have tons of opportunties in Alabama, Penn State grads will fare well in PA, etc.

This is pretty common knowledge. But Ivey seems to be saying...

3) But once you get to the 3rd or 4th or 5th best school in a region, it might not be worth it, especially when you consider these schools often aren't cheaper. I guess in NYC, it's Columbia, NYU, Fordham, then NYLS, Cardozo, Brooklyn (???) in some order. SO many people want to live in NYC, and how many high paying jobs are left after the Columbia, NYU, and Fordham people have had their fill. Futhermore, if you're not at the top of your class at a Cardozo, you might not even get a job.

Also, the competition at these schools are going to be fierce because maybe only the top 50% of grads get jobs right away, only 10% get the higher paying ones, I dunno. Anyway, EVERYONE at NYLS is aiming to be in the top 25% or whatever.

Lastly, schools just need to distribute employment stats that aren't misleading. People complain about NYU's employment techniques that might inflate their US News ranking. But the fact is anyone can get a good job if they have a NYU JD and he or she isn't an idiot. It's the lower school that have grossly misleading employment stats.

How do they get away with this???

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underdawg
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Postby underdawg » Tue Dec 04, 2007 10:44 am

Yeah this is the impression that I get:

1) Go to T-14 obvi if your finances allow you too. (No one really talks about going to a lower T14 w/ $$$ v. HYS or CCN though...I'd like to know people's thoughts on that.)

2) You can do well in the lower ranked schools in a certain market. For example, I don't think you can ever go wrong by going to the #1 state school in each state. And not just UVa or Mich. Alabama grads are going to have tons of opportunties in Alabama, Penn State grads will fare well in PA, etc.

This is pretty common knowledge. But Ivey seems to be saying...

3) But once you get to the 3rd or 4th or 5th best school in a region, it might not be worth it, especially when you consider these schools often aren't cheaper. I guess in NYC, it's Columbia, NYU, Fordham, then NYLS, Cardozo, Brooklyn (???) in some order. SO many people want to live in NYC, and how many high paying jobs are left after the Columbia, NYU, and Fordham people have had their fill. Futhermore, if you're not at the top of your class at a Cardozo, you might not even get a job.

Also, the competition at these schools are going to be fierce because maybe only the top 50% of grads get jobs right away, only 10% get the higher paying ones, I dunno. Anyway, EVERYONE at NYLS is aiming to be in the top 25% or whatever.

Lastly, schools just need to distribute employment stats that aren't misleading. People complain about NYU's employment techniques that might inflate their US News ranking. But the fact is anyone can get a good job if they have a NYU JD and he or she isn't an idiot. It's the lower school that have grossly misleading employment stats.

How do they get away with this???

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playhero
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Postby playhero » Tue Dec 04, 2007 11:40 am

Since this entire thread is about an article that talked about opportunities at biglaw firms that allow law students to pay down their loans, you clearly implied it with your quote above.


Actually its not about just that. Since a good part of what ann ivey is talking about is not graduating with a lot of debt. If you don't go to a t14 and join a top t100 firm you could also go to a lower rank school on a full or near full ride.

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M20009
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Postby M20009 » Tue Dec 04, 2007 11:44 am

Since a good part of what ann ivey is talking about is not graduating with a lot of debt.


Why would she talk about people who don't graduate and have a lot of debt?

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playhero
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Postby playhero » Tue Dec 04, 2007 11:53 am

Why would she talk about people who don't graduate and have a lot of debt?

Shes not shes talking about people who don't graduate with a lot of debit.

There is a difference between 'people who don't graduate with a lot of debit' and 'people who don't graduate and have a lot of debt'?

The first is someone who does graduate but dose not have a lot of debit.

The second is someone who does not graduate but dose have a lot of debit.

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Postby invertshadow » Fri Dec 07, 2007 11:15 am

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Last edited by invertshadow on Fri Apr 04, 2008 9:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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normalien
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Postby normalien » Mon Dec 10, 2007 10:31 pm

when i tried to read this article the first time, i couldn't access it. in case anybody else is having that problem, here's the article


Feast or Famine for Law School Grads
Readers of the Ivey Files and also my book (The Ivey Guide to Law School
Admissions) know that I've been discouraging people from attending all but
the top law schools in the country, mainly because of simple math. As I
wrote in The Ivey Guide:

You need to think of your legal education as an investment, and you should
calculate your expected return on that investment. That's why it's so
important to think about your career options coming out of various schools.
If you have to pay $1,000 a month in after-tax dollars to cover your student
loans, you'd better be sure you will be able to find work at a well-paying
law firm after you graduate. If you graduate $100,000 in the hole, don't
assume for as second you can run off and work for a public-interest legal
clinic. And until you've paid off your debt, or unless you attend a law
school with a generous loan-forgiveness program..., you won't have the
freedom to go sit on a beach and stare at your belly button while you
contemplate what you really want to do with your life. Think of it this way:
Lots of people rush off to law school on the assumption that a law degree
gives them freedom, but you don't really have freedom when you've mortgaged
the next ten -- or thirty -- years of your life. (Law school graduates who
join big firms don't have much trouble repaying their loans on the ten-year
payment plan, but most law school graduates don't end up joining big firms,
and many end up extending their loan-repayment schedules to thirty years.)

...

The top fifteen [law schools] also offer a level of job security that other
law schools can't. People at the top schools who find themselves in the
middle of the pack or even below still do just fine on the job market, even
at the highest levels of the job market. The further down the food chain you
go, though, the less of a safety net you have. Once you get to the second
tier and below, you need to be at or near the top of your class to end up at
a top firm in your region or with a top judge in your region (the national
market is a much more difficult proposition), and people in the bottom half
of the class often face grim hiring prospects.

Law school applicants fight me on this all the time, but I stick to my guns.
Most ABA-approved law schools are not worth the investment. It's painful for
people to hear, and most insist on learning this truth the hard way.

Now comes an article in today's Wall Street Journal, front page and
above-the-fold no less, making the same argument:

A law degree isn't necessarily a license to print money these days. For
graduates of elite law schools, prospects have never been better. Big law
firms this year boosted their starting salaries to as high as $160,000. But
the majority of law-school graduates are suffering from a supply-and-demand
imbalance that's suppressing pay and job growth. The result: Graduates who
don't score at the top of their class are struggling to find well-paying
jobs to make payments on law-school debts that can exceed $100,000. Some are
taking temporary contract work, reviewing documents for as little as $20 an
hour, without benefits. And many are blaming their law schools for failing
to warn them about the dark side of the job market.

The article gives some harrowing examples (all bullets in this posting are
verbatim):

The law degree that Scott Bullock gained in 2005 from Seton Hall University
-- where he says he ranked in the top third of his class -- is a "waste," he
says. Some former high-school friends are earning considerably more as
plumbers and electricians than the $50,000-a-year Mr. Bullock is making as a
personal-injury attorney in Manhattan. To boot, he is paying off $118,000 in
law-school debt.
A 2005 graduate of Brooklyn Law School, [Israel Meth] earns about $30 an
hour as a contract attorney reviewing legal documents for big firms. He says
he uses 60% of his paycheck to pay off student loans -- $100,000 for law
school on top of $100,000 for the bachelor's degree he received from
Columbia University.
Sue Clark... this year received her degree from second-tier Chicago-Kent
College of Law, one of six law schools in the Chicago area. Despite
graduating near the top half of her class, she has been unable to find a job
and is doing temp work "essentially as a paralegal," she says. "A lot of
people, including myself, feel frustrated about the lack of jobs," she says.

Mike Altmann, 29, a graduate of New York University who went to Brooklyn Law
School, says he accumulated $130,000 in student-loan debt and graduated in
2002 with no meaningful employment opportunities -- one offer was a $33,000
job with no benefits. So Mr. Altmann became a contract attorney, reviewing
electronic documents for big firms for around $20 to $30 an hour, and hasn't
been able to find higher-paying work since.
Matthew Fox Curl graduated in 2004 from second-tier University of Houston in
the bottom quarter of his class. After months of job hunting, he took his
first job working for a sole practitioner focused on personal injury in the
Houston area and made $32,000 in his first year. He quickly found that
tort-reform legislation has been "brutal" to Texas plaintiffs' lawyers and
last year left the firm to open up his own criminal-defense private
practice. He's making less money than at his last job and has thought about
moving back to his parents' house. "I didn't think three years out I'd be
uninsured, thinking it's a great day when a crackhead brings me $500.
Are there some law schools that are honest about their graduates' job
prospects? Refreshingly, yes:

Many students "simply cannot earn enough income after graduation to support
the debt they incur," wrote Richard Matasar, dean of New York Law School, in
2005, concluding that, "We may be reaching the end of a golden era for law
schools."
The University of Richmond School of Law in the last couple of years started
to be more open about its employment statistics; it now breaks out how many
of its grads work as contract attorneys. Of 57 2006 graduates working in
private practice, for example, seven were contract employees nine months
after graduation. Schools "should be sharing more information than they are
now," says Joshua Burstein, associate dean for career services who put the
changes in place. "Most people graduating from law school," he says, "are
not going to be earning big salaries."
More typical are the dodgy (and some would argue fraudulent) recruiting
practices of many law schools. As the article points out, "students entering
law school have little way of knowing how tight a job market they might
face. The only employment data that many prospective students see comes from
school-promoted surveys that provide a far-from-complete portrait of
graduate experiences." Examples:

Tulane University... reports to U.S. News & World Report magazine, which
publishes widely watched annual law-school rankings, that its law-school
graduates entering the job market in 2005 had a median salary of $135,000.
But that is based on a survey that only 24% of that year's graduates
completed, and those who did so likely represent the cream of the class, a
Tulane official concedes. On its Web site, the school currently reports an
average starting salary of $96,356 for graduates in private practice but
doesn't include what percentage of graduates reported salaries for the
survey.
A glossy admissions brochure for Brooklyn Law School, considered
second-tier, reports a median salary for recent graduates at law firms of
well above $100,000. But that figure doesn't reflect all incomes of
graduates at firms; fewer than half of graduates at firms responded to the
survey, the school reported to U.S. News. On its Web site, the school
reports that 41% of last year's graduates work for firms of more than 100
lawyers, but it fails to mention that that percentage includes temporary
attorneys, often working for hourly wages without benefits, Joan King,
director of the school's career center, concedes. Ms. King says she believes
the figures for her school accurately represent the broader graduating
class. She says the number of contract attorneys is "minimal" but declined
to give a number.
Declined to give a number? When annual tuition for full-time students at
Brooklyn hovers around $40,000 before expenses (which tack on another
$20,000)? That says it all. If these were for-profit companies trying to
raise funds from clueless investors and publishing questionable data in
their prospectuses, the SEC would be all over them. Universities get away
with a lot, so buyer beware.

And note that the US News rankings do not provide information you can
necessarily rely on. Their data is self-reported by the schools, and schools
have huge incentives to fudge the numbers.

Finally, note that tuition and expenses are about the same to attend
Brooklyn Law School as to attend Columbia Law School, even though graduates
face wildly different job and income prospects during law school and
afterwards. It is simply not rational to pay Columbia-level tuition to
attend Brooklyn Law School. That's just one example, but you get my point."


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valrp
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Postby valrp » Tue Dec 11, 2007 1:18 pm

I'm still wondering why I put this thread in this forum. I think I meant to put it in "Choosing a Law School." Woops.

I hope I get in to a T50 school. :oops:

prettypithy
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Postby prettypithy » Tue Dec 11, 2007 1:30 pm

Have you heard from American yet, Valrp?

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valrp
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Postby valrp » Tue Dec 11, 2007 9:08 pm

That's a negative.

Actually, I am thinking they may reject me because I am in california. I did a search on LSN, and they rejected people with my numbers in California, and accepted people with my numbers in other states (but mainly the east coast). Although my numbers could also get me rejected (3.5/161).

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Katkins
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Postby Katkins » Tue Dec 11, 2007 9:31 pm

If you already have a good job and are comfortable, then you probably don't need a law degree as much as someone with a liberal arts B.A. that is essentially worthless from an economic standpoint.

...also on a somewhat related note, in case anyone wasn't aware, the economy sucks right now whether you're a lawyer or not.


Absolutely TCR. Going to law school was the only way my 3.9 in lib arts from a state toilet would ever mean anything. Ain't the system great?

---why---
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Re:

Postby ---why--- » Sun Aug 16, 2009 8:05 pm

philo-sophia wrote:maybe i'm just comforting myself, but i think that view is way more applicable to T2 and below, but not so much to schools in the top 30, or even the top 50. T14 is pretty important to get the jobs at T10 firms in NYC where you bring home 160K/yr, but if $125K/yr is enough to keep you satisfied, I'd say most T1 schools should do the trick. I live outside of philly and know of a TON of lawyers who do very well coming from Villanova (ranked in the 60's). They're at big firms like Morgan Lewis and Dechert alongside Harvard grads. My guess, though, is that coming from a school like Brooklyn might make life tougher. One nuance i'd note is that it seems like once you're outside the T20 or so law schools, things get tougher if you want to work outside of the law school's region. I doubt for instance that Villanova grads would do very well searching in LA, and conversely, Loyola grads would probably find it tough to land a job at Dechert in philly.


I worked in the recruiting department at one of those firms in Philly - and you damn well better be top 5-10 people in your class to have a shot

keg411
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Re: Re:

Postby keg411 » Thu Sep 03, 2009 4:35 pm

---why--- wrote:
philo-sophia wrote:maybe i'm just comforting myself, but i think that view is way more applicable to T2 and below, but not so much to schools in the top 30, or even the top 50. T14 is pretty important to get the jobs at T10 firms in NYC where you bring home 160K/yr, but if $125K/yr is enough to keep you satisfied, I'd say most T1 schools should do the trick. I live outside of philly and know of a TON of lawyers who do very well coming from Villanova (ranked in the 60's). They're at big firms like Morgan Lewis and Dechert alongside Harvard grads. My guess, though, is that coming from a school like Brooklyn might make life tougher. One nuance i'd note is that it seems like once you're outside the T20 or so law schools, things get tougher if you want to work outside of the law school's region. I doubt for instance that Villanova grads would do very well searching in LA, and conversely, Loyola grads would probably find it tough to land a job at Dechert in philly.


I worked in the recruiting department at one of those firms in Philly - and you damn well better be top 5-10 people in your class to have a shot


Watch the date -- that post was pre-bad-economy.

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dresden doll
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Re: Ann Ivey - To Take her Advice or Not

Postby dresden doll » Thu Sep 03, 2009 4:49 pm

Some of the hopeful sentiments expressed in this thread make me sad. I do hope these people didn't wind up slaughtered at their T1/solid regional T2 OCIs.

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Son of Cicero
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Re: Ann Ivey - To Take her Advice or Not

Postby Son of Cicero » Thu Sep 03, 2009 8:26 pm

I totally forgot that I had strong reservations about spending so much on law school even before the legal market collapsed. Goddamn sockpuppet and his assurances that T14 = unlimited riches.

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elliefont
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Re: Ann Ivey - To Take her Advice or Not

Postby elliefont » Thu Sep 03, 2009 9:07 pm

dresden doll wrote:Some of the hopeful sentiments expressed in this thread make me sad. I do hope these people didn't wind up slaughtered at their T1/solid regional T2 OCIs.


seriously, this is the class of 2011 talking, the "lost year" of OCI. It's kind of spooky.

the lantern
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Re: Ann Ivey - To Take her Advice or Not

Postby the lantern » Mon Sep 14, 2009 7:22 pm

I think it is certainly something to consider, especially if you are going to one of the big markets. NYC, Chicago, SF, LA, are all going to be hit hard by recessions and they all have far too many lawyers graduating each year. This isn't to say things are great everywhere else, but it is certainly worse in the mega cities. Personally, I will not be attending a T14. I am going to do everything I can to keep my debt load low, and I am perfectly happy making $30,000-$40,000 a year if that is how things end up. This has been said a lot, but I really think that a lot of people go to law school for the wrong reasons (money, prestige, etc.). I want to be an attorney. I will make it work no matter what happens. I've had my share of obstacles in my life and I'll make it work just like I've made it work so far. I'm not in this for the riches or the prestige (though both would certainly be nice, although probably unlikely).

With all that being said, I'm hoping that the loan repayment program will not be cancelled anytime soon. For those of us with public interest/government aspirations, the limits and forgiveness will really help us manage our debt.

mz253
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Re: Ann Ivey - To Take her Advice or Not

Postby mz253 » Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:40 am

i have been reading her articles along with Ann Levine's. I found her much more elite and more condesending. Probably because she went to U Chicago and was the admissions dean for U Chicago, while Levine just went to U Miama (by Ivey's standard, a bad investment) and was the dean for Loyola.

I guess T-14 or T-30 definitely will give you a better edge for employment. I want to go to law school and do not have stellar LSAT/GPA, I am still applying. I'm just thinking that if I don't do well in L1 and realize that lawyer is not what I want to be, I can always drop out. At least I won't have any regrets.

Just my two cents.

JOThompson
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Re: Ann Ivey - To Take her Advice or Not

Postby JOThompson » Tue Oct 19, 2010 9:08 am

If you want to be a lawyer, and aren't mainly motivated by a large salary, then go to law school. You just need to be prepared to accept perhaps a less than ideal job after months of searching. That's the fate I've resigned myself to anyways.

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let/them/eat/cake
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Re:

Postby let/them/eat/cake » Tue Oct 19, 2010 9:36 am

philo-sophia wrote:maybe i'm just comforting myself, but i think that view is way more applicable to T2 and below, but not so much to schools in the top 30, or even the top 50. T14 is pretty important to get the jobs at T10 firms in NYC where you bring home 160K/yr, but if $125K/yr is enough to keep you satisfied, I'd say most T1 schools should do the trick. I live outside of philly and know of a TON of lawyers who do very well coming from Villanova (ranked in the 60's). They're at big firms like Morgan Lewis and Dechert alongside Harvard grads. My guess, though, is that coming from a school like Brooklyn might make life tougher. One nuance i'd note is that it seems like once you're outside the T20 or so law schools, things get tougher if you want to work outside of the law school's region. I doubt for instance that Villanova grads would do very well searching in LA, and conversely, Loyola grads would probably find it tough to land a job at Dechert in philly.


haven't read through the rest of the posts after this yet, but the bolded line is pretty lulzy. Dechert is taking a class of 15 kids next summer and frankly I'll be surprised if any of them are from Villanova. The economy has shrunk summer class sizes (which, outside the huge elite firms, I don't think have rebounded from the cataclysmic c/o 2011 hiring numbers) and shrunk the universe of schools at which these firms recruit. I don't even know what you are getting at with the "if 125k a year is enough to keep you satisfied...." line, but it's delusional either way you slice it.

JOThompson
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Re: Re:

Postby JOThompson » Tue Oct 19, 2010 9:41 am

let/them/eat/cake wrote:
philo-sophia wrote:maybe i'm just comforting myself, but i think that view is way more applicable to T2 and below, but not so much to schools in the top 30, or even the top 50. T14 is pretty important to get the jobs at T10 firms in NYC where you bring home 160K/yr, but if $125K/yr is enough to keep you satisfied, I'd say most T1 schools should do the trick. I live outside of philly and know of a TON of lawyers who do very well coming from Villanova (ranked in the 60's). They're at big firms like Morgan Lewis and Dechert alongside Harvard grads. My guess, though, is that coming from a school like Brooklyn might make life tougher. One nuance i'd note is that it seems like once you're outside the T20 or so law schools, things get tougher if you want to work outside of the law school's region. I doubt for instance that Villanova grads would do very well searching in LA, and conversely, Loyola grads would probably find it tough to land a job at Dechert in philly.


haven't read through the rest of the posts after this yet, but the bolded line is pretty lulzy. Dechert is taking a class of 15 kids next summer and frankly I'll be surprised if any of them are from Villanova. The economy has shrunk summer class sizes (which, outside the huge elite firms, I don't think have rebounded from the cataclysmic c/o 2011 hiring numbers) and shrunk the universe of schools at which these firms recruit. I don't even know what you are getting at with the "if 125k a year is enough to keep you satisfied...." line, but it's delusional either way you slice it.

Yeah. If the majority of T1 grads were competitive for 125K jobs, TLS would be a much happier site. ITE, I'd be satisfied with a job that pays in the $60-70k range.




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