Best Biglaw chances Forum

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BasedCii

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Best Biglaw chances

Post by BasedCii » Tue Jan 11, 2022 2:09 am

I am looking for someone to stress-test my law school strategy. Background: I am a senior in college with a 170 LSAT & 3.8 GPA. I studied finance and want to work in Rx/debt/distressed M&A (maybe on the litigation side). I applied to all top 25 schools but am not certain I will land a T13 offer. I am from the midwest and intend to start my career in Chicago.

According to LSdata, I am expecting a $150k scholarship from NDLS. My parents are paying my COL regardless of location which, assuming the scholarship, would bring my total COA to roughly $40k. NDLS places 45% of students in FC or 501+ BL. What do you think of these outcomes given the fact that the financial risks are somewhat mitigated?

Also, will a 1L SA at a mid 200 person firm give me a notable boost in 2L OCI?

Any thoughts or tips are appreciated.

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nealric

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Re: Best Biglaw chances

Post by nealric » Tue Jan 11, 2022 10:24 am

BasedCii wrote:
Tue Jan 11, 2022 2:09 am
I am looking for someone to stress-test my law school strategy. Background: I am a senior in college with a 170 LSAT & 3.8 GPA. I studied finance and want to work in Rx/debt/distressed M&A (maybe on the litigation side). I applied to all top 25 schools but am not certain I will land a T13 offer. I am from the midwest and intend to start my career in Chicago.

According to LSdata, I am expecting a $150k scholarship from NDLS. My parents are paying my COL regardless of location which, assuming the scholarship, would bring my total COA to roughly $40k. NDLS places 45% of students in FC or 501+ BL. What do you think of these outcomes given the fact that the financial risks are somewhat mitigated?

Also, will a 1L SA at a mid 200 person firm give me a notable boost in 2L OCI?

Any thoughts or tips are appreciated.
Keep in mind that biglaw hiring numbers are inflated right now due to a very strong hiring market. There tends to be a flight to the top schools when the market gets tight. For example, during the 2009 2L hiring season (the worst in probably the last 20 years), HYSCCN still did ok (although many took offers at "lesser" firms than they might otherwise have), schools even just outside the T14 got absolutely destroyed (placing more like second tier schools in better times). A school that might have previously sent 40% to biglaw might have placed 10% during the great recession. Schools that placed 80% only dropped to 65%. Nobody can accurately predict what the biglaw hiring market is going to be like in 2024.

So the bottom line is that the lower you go down in the ranking ladder, the greater the chances that you will miss the biglaw boat. So thing thing to ask yourself is how badly you specifically want biglaw? Will you be tremendously disappointed if you end up at a small firm or local prosecutor's office? Sounds like you will avoid debt, so there'd be no immediate financial calamity were that to happen, but that's irrelevant if you will be bitter and unsatisfied. It's possible to work your way into biglaw after missing out early on, but I wouldn't count on it.

As for doing a 1L clerkship, just about anybody capable of getting a 1L gig at a large law firm is a shoe-in for one at 2L. While they used to be a bit more common, very few do 1L summer associateships. Those that do mostly target underrepresented minorities at elite schools for such positions. Other than those gigs (which typically guarantee a return offer as a 2L), it doesn't really matter what you do as a 1L summer.

Bottom line: no harm in applying to ND along with most of the rest of the T14. Wait and see what the actual offers are on the table. If you aren't comfortable with any, there's no harm in retaking the LSAT and waiting another year. Even a couple more points on the LSAT (perhaps just a couple of questions) can make an enormous difference.

BasedCii

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Re: Best Biglaw chances

Post by BasedCii » Tue Jan 11, 2022 12:00 pm

nealric wrote:
Tue Jan 11, 2022 10:24 am
BasedCii wrote:
Tue Jan 11, 2022 2:09 am
I am looking for someone to stress-test my law school strategy. Background: I am a senior in college with a 170 LSAT & 3.8 GPA. I studied finance and want to work in Rx/debt/distressed M&A (maybe on the litigation side). I applied to all top 25 schools but am not certain I will land a T13 offer. I am from the midwest and intend to start my career in Chicago.

According to LSdata, I am expecting a $150k scholarship from NDLS. My parents are paying my COL regardless of location which, assuming the scholarship, would bring my total COA to roughly $40k. NDLS places 45% of students in FC or 501+ BL. What do you think of these outcomes given the fact that the financial risks are somewhat mitigated?

Also, will a 1L SA at a mid 200 person firm give me a notable boost in 2L OCI?

Any thoughts or tips are appreciated.
Keep in mind that biglaw hiring numbers are inflated right now due to a very strong hiring market. There tends to be a flight to the top schools when the market gets tight. For example, during the 2009 2L hiring season (the worst in probably the last 20 years), HYSCCN still did ok (although many took offers at "lesser" firms than they might otherwise have), schools even just outside the T14 got absolutely destroyed (placing more like second tier schools in better times). A school that might have previously sent 40% to biglaw might have placed 10% during the great recession. Schools that placed 80% only dropped to 65%. Nobody can accurately predict what the biglaw hiring market is going to be like in 2024.

So the bottom line is that the lower you go down in the ranking ladder, the greater the chances that you will miss the biglaw boat. So thing thing to ask yourself is how badly you specifically want biglaw? Will you be tremendously disappointed if you end up at a small firm or local prosecutor's office? Sounds like you will avoid debt, so there'd be no immediate financial calamity were that to happen, but that's irrelevant if you will be bitter and unsatisfied. It's possible to work your way into biglaw after missing out early on, but I wouldn't count on it.

As for doing a 1L clerkship, just about anybody capable of getting a 1L gig at a large law firm is a shoe-in for one at 2L. While they used to be a bit more common, very few do 1L summer associateships. Those that do mostly target underrepresented minorities at elite schools for such positions. Other than those gigs (which typically guarantee a return offer as a 2L), it doesn't really matter what you do as a 1L summer.

Bottom line: no harm in applying to ND along with most of the rest of the T14. Wait and see what the actual offers are on the table. If you aren't comfortable with any, there's no harm in retaking the LSAT and waiting another year. Even a couple more points on the LSAT (perhaps just a couple of questions) can make an enormous difference.
Thanks for the response, I appreciate the honesty. I would not hate my life if I ended up at a middle-sized non-BL firm but I don't think I would be ok at a local prosecutor's office.

UT Austin places about 54% of students in FC/501+ BL. Do you know how feasible it is to start a career in texas BL and lateral into a midwest market like Chicago after a few years?

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nealric

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Re: Best Biglaw chances

Post by nealric » Tue Jan 11, 2022 12:30 pm

BasedCii wrote:
Tue Jan 11, 2022 12:00 pm
nealric wrote:
Tue Jan 11, 2022 10:24 am
BasedCii wrote:
Tue Jan 11, 2022 2:09 am
I am looking for someone to stress-test my law school strategy. Background: I am a senior in college with a 170 LSAT & 3.8 GPA. I studied finance and want to work in Rx/debt/distressed M&A (maybe on the litigation side). I applied to all top 25 schools but am not certain I will land a T13 offer. I am from the midwest and intend to start my career in Chicago.

According to LSdata, I am expecting a $150k scholarship from NDLS. My parents are paying my COL regardless of location which, assuming the scholarship, would bring my total COA to roughly $40k. NDLS places 45% of students in FC or 501+ BL. What do you think of these outcomes given the fact that the financial risks are somewhat mitigated?

Also, will a 1L SA at a mid 200 person firm give me a notable boost in 2L OCI?

Any thoughts or tips are appreciated.
Keep in mind that biglaw hiring numbers are inflated right now due to a very strong hiring market. There tends to be a flight to the top schools when the market gets tight. For example, during the 2009 2L hiring season (the worst in probably the last 20 years), HYSCCN still did ok (although many took offers at "lesser" firms than they might otherwise have), schools even just outside the T14 got absolutely destroyed (placing more like second tier schools in better times). A school that might have previously sent 40% to biglaw might have placed 10% during the great recession. Schools that placed 80% only dropped to 65%. Nobody can accurately predict what the biglaw hiring market is going to be like in 2024.

So the bottom line is that the lower you go down in the ranking ladder, the greater the chances that you will miss the biglaw boat. So thing thing to ask yourself is how badly you specifically want biglaw? Will you be tremendously disappointed if you end up at a small firm or local prosecutor's office? Sounds like you will avoid debt, so there'd be no immediate financial calamity were that to happen, but that's irrelevant if you will be bitter and unsatisfied. It's possible to work your way into biglaw after missing out early on, but I wouldn't count on it.

As for doing a 1L clerkship, just about anybody capable of getting a 1L gig at a large law firm is a shoe-in for one at 2L. While they used to be a bit more common, very few do 1L summer associateships. Those that do mostly target underrepresented minorities at elite schools for such positions. Other than those gigs (which typically guarantee a return offer as a 2L), it doesn't really matter what you do as a 1L summer.

Bottom line: no harm in applying to ND along with most of the rest of the T14. Wait and see what the actual offers are on the table. If you aren't comfortable with any, there's no harm in retaking the LSAT and waiting another year. Even a couple more points on the LSAT (perhaps just a couple of questions) can make an enormous difference.
Thanks for the response, I appreciate the honesty. I would not hate my life if I ended up at a middle-sized non-BL firm but I don't think I would be ok at a local prosecutor's office.

UT Austin places about 54% of students in FC/501+ BL. Do you know how feasible it is to start a career in texas BL and lateral into a midwest market like Chicago after a few years?
Mid-size firms that take fresh graduates are pretty rare. They exist, but it's a numerically small number of fresh graduate jobs. This is why new graduate salaries are bi-modal between the $205k biglaw jobs and the $50k public prosecutor/small law type jobs.

Your UT Austin admissions chances probably aren't drastically different from Northwestern (or Cornell or Georgetown for that matter). Lateralling from the Texas market is certainly possible, but I wouldn't go to Texas unless you wouldn't mind being in Texas for a long time. Texas is similar to other T20 type schools in that it suffers the same elasticity of biglaw hiring. It may place 54% right now, but has dropped to 30% during recessions. Doesn't hurt to throw in an application. I could see taking a substantial scholarship at UT over sticker at Northwestern under some circumstances.

nixy

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Re: Best Biglaw chances

Post by nixy » Tue Jan 11, 2022 12:39 pm

If your choice is between ND and UT and you want to be in Chicago, I don’t think I’d take UT just because their employment rates are a little higher. They’re both good schools but will both place best in their home regions. ND feeds way more directly to Chicago than UT does. (Not saying that UT to Chicago is impossible, but you’re going to have to work a lot harder to make it happen and won’t get as much benefit from things like alumni networks.)

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Dcc617

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Re: Best Biglaw chances

Post by Dcc617 » Wed Jan 12, 2022 8:49 am

If you’re biglaw or bust then you should probably stick to T14. There is such a big difference in biglaw odds when you compare a school like Cornell to a school like ND. 1L grades are pretty hard to predict ahead of time, and there is so much randomness, that it’s pretty risky to go to non-T14 if your only goal is biglaw.

That being said, why do you want biglaw? It’s an infamously shitty job that the majority of people try to leave as soon as they’re financially and professionally able to.

BasedCii

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Re: Best Biglaw chances

Post by BasedCii » Wed Jan 12, 2022 1:47 pm

Dcc617 wrote:
Wed Jan 12, 2022 8:49 am
If you’re biglaw or bust then you should probably stick to T14. There is such a big difference in biglaw odds when you compare a school like Cornell to a school like ND. 1L grades are pretty hard to predict ahead of time, and there is so much randomness, that it’s pretty risky to go to non-T14 if your only goal is biglaw.

That being said, why do you want biglaw? It’s an infamously shitty job that the majority of people try to leave as soon as they’re financially and professionally able to.
I applied to nearly all t14 and am waiting. Early cycle data indicates I will be shut out of t14 though. A 170/3.8 doesn't get you anything in t14 and t20 isn't guaranteed nowadays. It feels like ND or UT/Vandy are the second best options but idk.

I would talk about my path to biglaw but I don't think I can delete anything on TLS and don't want this post living forever lol.

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nealric

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Re: Best Biglaw chances

Post by nealric » Thu Jan 13, 2022 12:40 pm

BasedCii wrote:
Wed Jan 12, 2022 1:47 pm
Dcc617 wrote:
Wed Jan 12, 2022 8:49 am
If you’re biglaw or bust then you should probably stick to T14. There is such a big difference in biglaw odds when you compare a school like Cornell to a school like ND. 1L grades are pretty hard to predict ahead of time, and there is so much randomness, that it’s pretty risky to go to non-T14 if your only goal is biglaw.

That being said, why do you want biglaw? It’s an infamously shitty job that the majority of people try to leave as soon as they’re financially and professionally able to.
I applied to nearly all t14 and am waiting. Early cycle data indicates I will be shut out of t14 though. A 170/3.8 doesn't get you anything in t14 and t20 isn't guaranteed nowadays. It feels like ND or UT/Vandy are the second best options but idk.

I would talk about my path to biglaw but I don't think I can delete anything on TLS and don't want this post living forever lol.
It may be worth sitting out a year. Just a year or two ago a 170/3.8 was nearly guaranteed at least one T14. Another 2-3 points on the LSAT would go a long way. Law school isn't going anywhere.

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