Law School Discussion

Deciding Where to Go => Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses => Topic started by: JCB1864 on January 28, 2011, 06:01:09 PM

Title: Wayne State: Worth it?
Post by: JCB1864 on January 28, 2011, 06:01:09 PM
What do people who go there think of it? Pros? Cons? Does everyone commute or do people live there?
Title: Re: Wayne State: Worth it?
Post by: politicolaw on January 29, 2011, 06:58:38 PM
Tuition and cost of living are definitely pros, but detroit for most people would be a con. Would be better for discussion if we knew what you are comparing it to.
Title: Re: Wayne State: Worth it?
Post by: JCB1864 on January 31, 2011, 10:51:14 AM
My other main school is the University of Toledo. I get in-state tuition at both schools so cost is not a issue. What do people think of how Wayne and Toledo compare to one another? Would it be harder to get a good internships/associateship/job going to one school versus the other?
Title: Re: Wayne State: Worth it?
Post by: Hamilton on January 31, 2011, 11:02:37 AM
Doing well at WSU will give you a decent shot at just about any MI law firm.
Title: Re: Wayne State: Worth it?
Post by: galwaylyman on February 18, 2011, 10:18:50 AM
I had a colleague with these two options. She had scholarship money at UToledo but didn't at Wayne State. She ended up choosing Wayne State because of the city. She doesn't live in Detroit (she lives in Royal Oak) which is 20min outside of the city. It is a really yuppie town, with a main strip of bars. I know a bunch of people who live in Royal Oak and I am not a big fan. It seems to rotate around rich housewives and guys who like to get really really dressed up to go out in a bar that smells pretty bad (that is just my experience though). Anyway, back off my tangent. She went to Wayne State and is happy. She said the big difference is job internships and jobs after. Wayne students are mostly likely to get jobs around detroit. UT students are most likely to get ones in Toledo. But that is merely a trend. If you work your ass off, you will have the options you want. Wayne state is ranked higher, but she said the education is basically the same. Hope that helps you!
Title: Re: Wayne State: Worth it?
Post by: nealric on February 18, 2011, 04:28:24 PM
Quote
Doing well at WSU will give you a decent shot at just about any MI law firm.
 

With a few noteworthy exceptions, doing well enough at any school will give you a decent shot at just about any firm anywhere.
Title: Re: Wayne State: Worth it?
Post by: vocaloid on March 04, 2011, 04:35:07 AM
Tuition and cost of living are definitely pros, but detroit for most people would be a con. Would be better for discussion if we knew what you are comparing it to.



This post has been extremely insightful and useful to increase my knowledge in the field of knowledge and its many facets.

otaku (http://sgcafe.com)
vocaloid (http://vocaloid555.wordpress.com)
Title: Re: Wayne State: Worth it?
Post by: WSUAlum1 on March 06, 2011, 09:24:58 AM
Don't go to Wayne.  Ten years ago it was a borderline T2 school, but it isn't close anymore.  In 2008, US News mistakenly released numerical rankings for the T3.  Toledo and Michigan State were at the top of T3 (tied at 108, in a year when T2 extended down to 104 b/c of ties).  Wayne was deep in T3 at 125.  If US News starts ranking T3s every year (as it is planning to do: http://www.nationaljurist.com/content/breaking-news/us-news-world-report-may-expand-law-school-rankings), then Wayne's inferiority to Toledo will become common knowledge.

The years since 2008 have not been kind.  In one year, from '09 to '10, Wayne's applications fell 11%.  In-state rival MSU's apps increased 27% in the same year.  http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20100825/C03/308259994#

I might add that Toledo is a much more 'student friendly' school.  The focus there is on preparing students to practice law when they graduate, and law firms have noticed the difference.  Anecdote: U of D Law school puts ads in the Wayne State student newspaper (the 'South End') taunting that U of D students "graduate practice ready."  Wayne can't respond to those ads, b/c practical skills are not a priority there.   Want to take clinical classes?  Wayne has 2 clinical profs, and one teaches a half load b/c he's the director and has to supervise the other one.  Wayne is now regarded as behind MSU and behind Toledo among Detroit's hiring partners.  If the $ is about the same, go to Toledo.
Title: Re: Wayne State: Worth it?
Post by: paydayloans on March 11, 2011, 03:12:11 AM
Tuition and cost of living are definitely pros, but detroit for most people would be a con. Would be better for discussion if we knew what you are comparing it to.



Iím glad that you shared this helpful info with us.
Title: Re: Wayne State: Worth it?
Post by: WSUAlum1 on March 13, 2011, 12:02:00 PM
I should have added to my reply above: if you are looking at the SE Michigan/NW Ohio market, you really should apply to Michigan State.  It is a strong up-and-coming school, w a nice facility on a fun campus w/ a serious commitment to student success.

Here is the MSU web page from its Career Services Office, showing how its graduates 'placed' last year:

http://www.law.msu.edu/career/placement-rates.html.

The % w/ jobs 9 mos after graduation was very impressive in this economy--over 98%. But even more impressive was the number who are getting jobs out of state--almost half the class, over 29 states, as you can see from the link above.

After MI, the 2d favorite state for MSU grads is Illinois. Thirty-one MSU grads took the Illinois bar. Passage rate: 100%. http://www.top-law-schools.com/michigan-state-college-of-law.html. That's even better than MSU's state-topping 94% for the Michigan bar.

Some students are scared away from MSU b/c the 'sticker price' looks a little high at $34K.  But:

"Over 50% of the 2009 class received scholarship assistance with the average award totaling $22,009." [Note: the program is even larger since 2010, so these numbers will be even more favorable for you]

If your credentials are good, apply.

Title: Re: Wayne State: Worth it?
Post by: Hamilton on March 13, 2011, 02:22:24 PM
ALL law schools lie about these numbers.  They are pure BS and cannot be trusted.

The % w/ jobs 9 mos after graduation was very impressive in this economy--over 98%. But even more impressive was the number who are getting jobs out of state--almost half the class, over 29 states, as you can see from the link above.
Title: Re: Wayne State: Worth it?
Post by: WSUAlum1 on March 13, 2011, 04:34:44 PM
Thanks for your helpful comment.  I'm not sure which "numbers . . . are pure BS and cannot be trusted."

The US News ranking numbers? http://prawfsblawg.blogs.com/prawfsblawg/2008/03/us-news-hacked.html
The application numbers? (citation in my 1st post above)
The number of clinical profs at Wayne State? http://law.wayne.edu/faculty/full-time.php
The bar passage numbers? See my 1st post
The number of scholarships, and the dollar amounts? See http://www.top-law-schools.com/michigan-state-college-of-law.html, under "Financial Aid"

I assume you mean the employment numbers.  Yes, they've been pretty sketchy over the years.  That's why Vanderbilt started the Law School Transparency project to improve the quality of reporting with respect to employment numbers: http://www.lawschooltransparency.com/  Here's MSU (http://www.law.msu.edu/career/placement-rates.html) and Wayne's (http://www.law.wayne.edu/career-services/2010stats.php) transparency numbers.  Toledo's Career Services website is here: http://law.utoledo.edu/students/career/index.htm.

But you apparently have reason to believe that these numbers are untrustworthy.  Please let us know which numbers you don't believe, and the evidence you have for your skepticism.

Title: Re: Wayne State: Worth it?
Post by: Hamilton on March 13, 2011, 08:18:11 PM
employment numbers
Title: Re: Wayne State: Worth it?
Post by: WSUAlum1 on March 13, 2011, 10:28:24 PM
OK.  Thanks.  So here are the employment #s for MSU:  http://www.law.msu.edu/career/placement-rates.html.  And here are the #s for WSU:  http://www.law.wayne.edu/career-services/2010stats.php.  They purport to list graduates employed by type of employer, size of employer, etc.

Which of these numbers are lies/pure BS/cannot be trusted?  And what information do you have to support your claim?
Title: Re: Wayne State: Worth it?
Post by: WSUAlum1 on March 15, 2011, 05:17:53 AM
More info for the OP:

US News rankings are out, and US News is ranking the 3d tier:  http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/law-rankings/page+8

Michigan State: 95
Wayne:  121

Toledo fell into T4.  (I'll be curious about that story--big fall in 3 years)

Go to Michigan State, for all the reasons above.
Title: Re: Wayne State: Worth it?
Post by: Hamilton on March 15, 2011, 07:03:28 AM
I'm not going to rehash the whole subject of law school transparency and reliability of employment stats - it's been doe a thousand times; however, it is common knowledge (even with the ABA) that there are problems with employment numbers reported by law schools.  They cannot be taken at face value.

OK.  Thanks.  So here are the employment #s for MSU:  http://www.law.msu.edu/career/placement-rates.html.  And here are the #s for WSU:  http://www.law.wayne.edu/career-services/2010stats.php.  They purport to list graduates employed by type of employer, size of employer, etc.

Which of these numbers are lies/pure BS/cannot be trusted?  And what information do you have to support your claim?
Title: Re: Wayne State: Worth it?
Post by: FalconJimmy on March 18, 2011, 06:50:32 AM
Toledo fell into T4.  (I'll be curious about that story--big fall in 3 years)

It's a pretty straightforward story.

Toledo was gaming the system with the US News numbers.  Basically, if you had poor GPA and LSAT, they put you in the transitional program, or only admitted you to the part-time section.

Now, US News includes part-timers in their ranking data.  So, Toledo lost an advantage there.

Also, these things snowball.  To a degree, the US News rankings become a self-fullfilling prophecy.  If your school makes it to, say, #23, students who weren't interested when it was #49 are now taking a look.  When Toledo was 2T, some folks who would not have otherwise considered it started thinking about it.  When they slid to 3T, fewer people considered it.  Dropping into 4T is really bad. 

The rankings are imperfect, but any time you fall into a group that includes all the very worst law schools in the country, that's going to look bad. 

A 2nd tier school usually draws folks from all over the country.  The 4th tier schools are going to basically be commuter schools.  Figure OSU and Cinci are better and are also state schools.  CWRU is better, and only 2 hours away.  Almost nobody is going to leave, say, the Cleveland metro area to go to Toledo since they can go to CWRU, and if they can't get in there, they can just go to CSU. 

Even Akron is ranked higher than Toledo, now.  This is bad and the Law School really needs to get a hotshot dean to pull them out of this death spiral.
Title: Re: Wayne State: Worth it?
Post by: WSUAlum1 on March 21, 2011, 11:53:08 AM
Hi FJ:

Thanks for the scoop.  I was surprised at Toledo's fall b/c the school was starting to make inroads in the Detroit area.  In the last year or so I've heard from three partners at mid-sized Detroit firms that they had hired Toledo clerks for the summer and were impressed w/ their work.   I suppose Toledo's drop is good for law grads in the Detroit area, since the market here is already bad.
Title: Re: Wayne State: Worth it?
Post by: FalconJimmy on March 21, 2011, 12:27:38 PM
Hi FJ:

Thanks for the scoop.  I was surprised at Toledo's fall b/c the school was starting to make inroads in the Detroit area.  In the last year or so I've heard from three partners at mid-sized Detroit firms that they had hired Toledo clerks for the summer and were impressed w/ their work.   I suppose Toledo's drop is good for law grads in the Detroit area, since the market here is already bad.

Maybe.  I think things just sorta suck everywhere.  The Detroit job market has a lot more problems than people coming up from Toledo to take their jobs.  It's just bleak all over.
Title: Re: Wayne State: Worth it?
Post by: WSUAlum1 on March 26, 2011, 10:19:11 AM
FJ:

You are right about the Detroit job market: it's brutal, for non-lawyers and lawyers alike.  The sad thing is that a lot of people here need legal help, but just cannot afford it.  A bad economy produces bankruptcies, child support adjustments, divorces, DUIs, foreclosures, and plenty more besides.  In better times, people would stay and fight.  Now, they just pack up and leave.  Anyone in Michigan who wants to go to law school should think very hard about how well a degree will 'travel' before they commit to going $75-100K in debt.

"Wayne State: Worth it?"  Probably not.
Title: Re: Wayne State: Worth it?
Post by: FalconJimmy on March 26, 2011, 10:23:35 AM
"Wayne State: Worth it?"  Probably not.

Wow, no matter how many law grads I see saying things like this, it always sorta strikes me as one of those, "oh wow!" moments. 

Thanks for your candor.  I hope at least that you've been able to do okay.
Title: Re: Wayne State: Worth it?
Post by: WSUAlum1 on March 26, 2011, 10:49:28 AM
Thanks for asking! 

I'm doing OK, thankfully, but there's a big difference between weathering an economic storm with a client base and a reputation, and stepping into the same economic storm w/ a fresh degree and no experience.  Right now, there's a two year backlog of people who graduated and could not find jobs.  Some have taken appointment work, or gone into document review, or taken bar and restaurant jobs. A few are tearing up the local comedy club circuit, either in standup or improv.  (And from what I can tell, the comics are learning skills that will probably come in very handy if things ever turn around).  But people thinking about going to law school today should understand that when they get out, they'll be standing in line behind the ones who have graduated before them.  I would be reluctant to spend $75-100K to go to a law school like Wayne that has a pretty good reputation in only one city--a city that has lost 25% of its population in the last decade, and may be the 'anchor' of one of the most economically depressed regions in the country.  I'm not a Detroit hater--there are lots of interesting opportunities in this region, and I'm here to stay.  But freshly-minted lawyers have a very hard way to go here.  My advice, FWIW: either get a degree that will travel, or do something else.
Title: Re: Wayne State: Worth it?
Post by: FalconJimmy on March 29, 2011, 06:25:10 AM
I think everything you say makes sense, but there's one distinction I think needs to be made.

The guys who graduate when the job market picks up aren't going to be behind the backog of other years' grads.  I've seen this play out time and time again.  I'm older.  So, I've seen a few booms and busts. 

What happens is that people who graduate during a bust cycle almost always have their career ****ed for good.  They never, never make up the ground that they lost.  I've seen numerous articles and studies on this, but the basic gist is this:

Some guy graduates during a bust.  He's #15 out of a class of 100.  Can't find a job.  Ends up working odd jobs, eventually gets some job at a title company.  His career is pretty much forever defined by this starting point.

The guy who graduates during a boom?  He's #15 out of a class of 100, gets a job offer of $65,000 at some midsize firm.  His career continues on a trajectory from there.

This is just one of the first that turned up on a google search, but the effects of graduating in a downturn are long-lasting.

http://www.doublex.com/blog/xxfactor/recession-has-really-screwed-recent-college-grads

The effects of graduating in a boom?  It would seem only fair that the new guys should have to wait after all the old guys, but that just isn't the case.  Training pipelines that want recent grads want exactly that:  recent grads. 

I graduated high school during a recession.  Went in the military.  Got out, went to college.  Right when I needed a job, another recession.  In '93, I was able to find a good job that lasted a while.  Completed a graduate degree.  Finished it just before... yep... another recession.  Was sorta stuck, instead of being able to use my degree to vault to the next level. 

In the mean time, timing is everything.  People who graduated just 2 or 3 years before or after had multiple job offers, higher salaries, etc. 

I remember when I got my first management job, I needed to hire a LAN administrator.  The market was so hot, I ended up hiring a kid who had completed only a year or so at a community college.  I paid him over $40,000 to start.  Just 7 years earlier, I'd taken my first job at 27K and didn't mkae that kind of money until 3 promotions and a relocation later.

I do agree with what you have to say about the economy.  I live in SE Michigan / NW Ohio and this place is just depressing.  It's hard to stay encouraged around here. 

Did you know many/any people who transferred out of Wayne?  Was anybody able to get to U Mich,  Notre Dame, Case or Ohio State? 
Title: Re: Wayne State: Worth it?
Post by: Hamilton on March 29, 2011, 01:06:45 PM
pretty big assumption that there is a "boom" coming anytime soon...
Title: Re: Wayne State: Worth it?
Post by: FalconJimmy on March 29, 2011, 01:12:29 PM
pretty big assumption that there is a "boom" coming anytime soon...

Yep.  I wonder if anybody made that assumption.  Pretty clear I didn't.  There will be one someday, but not in the foreseeable future.
Title: Re: Wayne State: Worth it?
Post by: WSUAlum1 on March 30, 2011, 11:26:10 AM
Hi FJ:

Interesting point about graduates in a bust who get 'skipped over' when things improve.  I think there is something to that.  But I also suspect that lawyers are unlike your typical undergrad (and UGs are the focus of the study you cite, and most others I've seen).  Lawyers hang around the periphery of the profession, getting some work, making contacts, sharing space, getting a few appointments and (esp!!) learning motion practice.  The skills and connections they pick up on the periphery distinguish them in important ways from the newbies, who are clueless re all of the above.

I agree that when Dykema decides to hire again, it'll skip the '09 and '10 unemployeds and grab this year's articles' editor.  But big firms employ a tiny percentage of Wayne's class.  Most of Wayne's students will go to firms of 3-15, or government jobs, or in-house at small companies.  In those settings, the ability to practice from day one--to file pleadings and motions, take deps, etc--will count for a hell of a lot.  Wayne does not teach those skills, and has no interest in doing so.  When the market picks up, lawyers who know these things will have the edge in the types of jobs that Wayne students (and other T3-T4s) typically get. 

You may be right, and it may be that folks entering law school now will skip over the ones who graduated earlier and will have career paths that will justify their large debt loads.  But it's not a gamble I'd want to take.

To answer the question at the end of your post, almost all Wayne students are Michigan residents, so their transfer destination of choice is UM.  In a typical year, after the 1L grades come out, about 3-5 will transfer.  You need about a 3.7 to be confident of a transfer (that's top 5% or so) but  I've heard of kids with a 3.5 getting in (and that's more like top 10%).   People don't typically look at Ohio State or Notre Dame.
Title: Re: Wayne State: Worth it?
Post by: FalconJimmy on March 30, 2011, 12:49:01 PM
You may be right, and it may be that folks entering law school now will skip over the ones who graduated earlier and will have career paths that will justify their large debt loads.  But it's not a gamble I'd want to take.

Ah, yes, I agree.  I wasn't stating that point so much to say that future grads will have it good.  I was saying it more to imply that current grads may not necessarily be in front of more recent grads when things open up in the future.  Your point about experience in the law is a good one.  I agree that if an employer can chose between an experienced applicant and a new applicant for the same money, the experienced applicant is probably at an advantage.

I think a lot of this, though, is self-imposed.  By that, I mean, if you graduate during a hard time, and you have a devil of a time finding a job, then eventually, you do contracts for a title company for $50,000 a year, it's entirely possible that after a few years, you're making, say, $60,000.  The new grads who come out could come out into an environment where the midsized firms are starting people at $65,000.  It's not that the experienced person doesn't want that job.  It's that they may not be looking at all.

Or maybe they're making $62,000 at the title company, and the midsized firms are starting folks at $58,000.  However, the associates at the midsize firms have a lot more salary upside potential down the road.

There are lots of ways that this can play out where a person's starting salary has some stickiness to it and it impacts their future earnings.  However, for the sake of current grads in the soft market, I hope you're right.



To answer the question at the end of your post, almost all Wayne students are Michigan residents, so their transfer destination of choice is UM.  In a typical year, after the 1L grades come out, about 3-5 will transfer.  You need about a 3.7 to be confident of a transfer (that's top 5% or so) but  I've heard of kids with a 3.5 getting in (and that's more like top 10%).   People don't typically look at Ohio State or Notre Dame.

Wow, you think that maybe as many as 3-5 1Ls are able to transfer to Michigan?  That's amazing.  Pretty encouraging, really.  Granted, you have to be darned good, but it's a nice second-chance for folks who might have attended Wayne State because they couldn't get into Michigan to begin with.
Title: Re: Wayne State: Worth it?
Post by: WSUAlum1 on March 30, 2011, 09:43:44 PM
Hi FJ:

That 3 to 5 number is pretty solid.  It's worth noting that Wayne's typical entering class is now around 200 students (down from 230-240, b/c the faculty wants to squeeze the class to raise GPA/LSATs for US News purposes), so 3-5 is only around 2%.  It's also worth noting that the top of Wayne's (and now MSUs) entering class was a UM undergrad w/ a 3.5 UGPA and a 165 LSAT and a good personal story who was wait-listed at UM, so those folks are largely indistinguishable from the last folks who made the cut at UM.  By and large, they are going to Wayne for free.  They have to give up a dead certain law review gig and lots of professorial attention (research assistant, glowing letter of rec from a locally well regarded prof) at Wayne in exchange for the privilege of paying $40,000 a year and being a second class citizen at UM.  But almost every Wayne student who gets the nod from UM will jump at the chance.



Title: Re: Wayne State: Worth it?
Post by: FalconJimmy on March 31, 2011, 05:56:29 AM
Good call.  I forgot that Wayne's classes are so large.  So, yeah, 3-5 applicants sounds good, but that's going to end up being the top 1.5% - 2%.  I see what you mean:  the folks likely to do that well probably didn't appear out of thin air and probably had a great academic background, anyway.  So, U of M doesn't gamble much by admitting them.

The implications are pretty profound, though.  Not only do they get one more U of M grad, who is likely to be very successful, AND who pays sticker price for two years, but they deprive other schools of their top grads.  So, that guy who would have had a really good law career as a Wayne State grad will now go on to have a really good law career as a U of M grad.  This makes U of M's alumni network stronger and Wayne State's alumni network weaker.

Really, the name of the game is that U of M wants graduates who inspire people to think of "top law school".  It makes it all the harder for Wayne State to get people to think "top law school" if so many of the people who would have made the best alums end up going to a different school.
Title: Re: Wayne State: Worth it?
Post by: WSUAlum1 on April 04, 2011, 05:38:40 PM
BTW--Hereís a comparison between Wayne and MSU re: your Career Services options.
Here are the firms who will come to campus looking to interview.  The #s below are from
http://lawschoolnumbers.com/

MSU:
53 firms
12 from NY, DC and CA

Wayne:
39 firms
4 from NY, DC and CA
Title: Re: Wayne State: Worth it?
Post by: FalconJimmy on April 04, 2011, 09:03:13 PM
That's pretty stark.  From what I gather, UT's numbers look worse than either of those.
Title: Re: Wayne State: Worth it?
Post by: WSUAlum1 on April 06, 2011, 09:51:43 PM
Hi FJ:

You're right.  The most recent U Toledo #s are

16 employers at OCI

and only 1 from NY/DC/CA

(see lawschoolnumbers.com)

Ouch!  Very low numbers for a school that was flirting with T2 just a couple of years ago.

I still stand by what I said upthread--Detroit employers are impressed w/ the top of the UT class.  But the school as a whole has fallen fast.

Title: Re: Wayne State: Worth it?
Post by: FalconJimmy on April 07, 2011, 08:49:20 AM
Hi FJ:

You're right.  The most recent U Toledo #s are

16 employers at OCI

and only 1 from NY/DC/CA

(see lawschoolnumbers.com)

Ouch!  Very low numbers for a school that was flirting with T2 just a couple of years ago.

I still stand by what I said upthread--Detroit employers are impressed w/ the top of the UT class.  But the school as a whole has fallen fast.

I guess the only other thing I wondeer is, is it unheard to land a good job without OCI? 

My background is just in general business and the campus placement office really never got anybody a job.  I honestly never met a person who got a job due to any help from the school.  You sort of got out there and hustled it on your own.

With firms that hire associates, is it just totally unheard of to contact them and say, "I'm in the top X% at xyz school, with a Y GPA?"

Or, if they aren't doing OCI on your campus is it just assumed that they aren't interested in hiring from that school?
Title: Re: Wayne State: Worth it?
Post by: WSUAlum1 on April 07, 2011, 01:07:55 PM
Interesting question, and a good answer will take a little parsing.

Let's think about the kinds of jobs that many/most students at a T3/T4 imagine (or hope) they'll get when they go to law school.  Jobs in a law firm, located in a downtown area, w/ their own office, sharing a secretary, making $100K or more.  Firms that offer jobs like that use the OCIs at law schools that interest them, they schedule interview days where they send a partner and associate from their hiring committee, they interview the folks they like after looking at transcripts/writing samples, and they hire the most promising 2Ls for a summer, and then make job offers to the ones who suit them.  Maybe they go thru the same process for 3Ls to fill out their new hire classes.  It is pretty unusual for a law student to send a resume to Dykema or Miller Canfield or Honigman and get a job w/o going through that process.  (Laterals are different)

But--at a school like Wayne, no more that 10% or so of the class will get jobs that way (and that's when I was there, before the economy crashed--probably fewer now).  Most students will get jobs by clerking at small law firms (1-10 lawyers), or government agencies (prosecutors offices, eg).  These opportunities often come through Career Services, but not the formal OCI process where students dress up for in-house interviews.  Career Services offices typically have a wall (and a page of their websites) of "help wanted" ads for small firms looking for clerks.  Students not in the top 10% or so do a resume drop on those firms and agencies and get clerking jobs as 2 and 3Ls.  Students will work 15-20 hours a week during the school year, and more in the summer.  If you do well, you may get hired full time when you graduate, or at least you'll have a real lawyer who will hand out your resumes and recommend you to his/her colleagues.  So--a fair number of students get jobs 'through' career services, if you include the want ads, or word of mouth referrals from people who used the want ads.  But very few get jobs through the formal OCI process, at least at T3s and T4s.

Another common way to get jobs is through your friends/classmates, who are working someplace and are told that the lawyer/firm needs help.  Your friends might set you up before a firm even places an ad.

But at T3s and T4s, many students end up doing what they never would have imagined--after a long failure to get a law firm job, they hang up a shingle and go to work.  The unfortunate thing is that most T3 and 4 schools will never acknowledge that lots of students take this tack, b/c they don't want to admit that many students will pay $80-100K in tuition and not 'live the dream.'  So--schools don't prepare students for the possibility.  Students are not practice ready, they aren't  told which classes to take to start on their own, they haven't been given information that would help them set up a firm.  They don't know about 'space sharing' arrangements or how to negotiate them or what to look for.  Most Career Services offices give very little help to this (growing) chunk of students.

Does this answer your question??

Title: Re: Wayne State: Worth it?
Post by: FalconJimmy on April 07, 2011, 02:39:26 PM
yep, that pretty much answers it.

Personally, hanging out a shingle was my "A plan".  However, I also want to leave open the possibility of looking for a job if the economy / my business / the hiring environment / my opinion of things change during the next 3 years.  Frankly, I'm trying to leave a lot of options open because I bet I learn more about the practice of law in my first semester of 1L than what I think I know based on my entire life so far.

So, it sounds like if you want a job from somebody else, you need to get it by doing great in class rank and talking to the folks who come through OCI. 

Okay, two more questions since you've not only been helpful, but you seem to know what you're talking about and you've been down this road a bit.

1.  Jobs in the federal (or state?) government?  Do they come for OCI, or is there another process, there?  I do see a lot of attorney positions on usajobs.gov.  Seems like a lot of the high-profile government jobs tend to come from prestigious (east coast) schools, but just like there's room for a few people from lower ranked schools in biglaw (you just might have to be #1 in your class), it seems to me that the fed would want to take a look at people with high class rank.  Same for the state (though I can't imagine states are hiring anybody these days due to the current funding problems)

2.  My understanding (clearly based on limited knowledge) is that biglaw firms are pretty small in number, and tend to be in biglaw cities (NY, Boston, DC.)  Do firms like Dykema go through a similar recruiting process?  Is dykema considered biglaw?  Are somewhat lesser cities (like detroit, cleveland, etc.) that still hire a lot of law grads paying the same as the biglaw city biglaw jobs?  Or is that generally a second tier of pay structure?  I did know a couple of women who worked at Jones Day in Cleveland, but both of them were far too professional to discuss their compensation.  (It was probably a condition of their employment, anyway.)  All I know is that they did very well but would they have done better in DC or Boston?

3.  Did you know anybody from Wayne who got biglaw summer associate positions in NYC or the like?  Of for the most part, were they recruiting for their offices in the midwest?

As always, thanks so much for taking the time to answer my ignorant questions.  Are you still in the Detroit area?  I'm up around monroe a lot.
Title: Re: Wayne State: Worth it?
Post by: WSUAlum1 on April 07, 2011, 07:59:31 PM
Hi FJ:

1. Federal and state employers generally did not do on-campus interviews at Wayne when I was there.  Notable exceptions were the MI Court of Appeals, and Wayne Oakland and Macomb Co prosecutors.  People who got jobs at state and federal agencies typically did so by applying on-line, or taking internships that the agencies advertised thru want ads.  Plum jobs (like US Attorney positions) generally go to graduates of name brand law schools, but there are lots of jobs still available to T3 and T4 grads who can demonstrate good skills, including people with good but not great grades with good recommendations.  I know a number of people who have gotten administrative law jobs in various agencies (writing draft opinions for ALJs, say).  The money isn't eye-popping, but the hours and benefits are good.

2.  People mean different things by "biglaw."  Some use the term pretty narrowly (the Vault 100, say).  I'm using the term pretty loosely to include firms of 100ish or more lawyers in big cities, even outside of NY/LA/Chi/DC.  To my way of thinking as someone from a T3/T4, those are big firms--the biggest that students from a school like mine have any hope of getting into.  Firms like Dykema, Miller Canfield, Honigman, Clark Hill, etc will send people to do on-campus interviews at good regional schools (WSU and MSU, eg.)  These firms pay well--starting salary is $110-$120K, but they don't pay like Wall Street or DC firms, where starting salaries were $160K+ a few years ago.  Your friends at Jones Day would have done better at Cravath.

3.  Wayne students are not in the hunt for jobs at the major NY firms, and I think that is largely true of any T3 and T4.  University of Detroit, a T4, had a very innovative program started by a Dean who was a Harvard Law grad.  He divided the 3d year class into law firms, persuaded partners at very prestigious  NY law firms to come to the school as 'senior partners,' and had the students handle mock cases from beginning to end like real lawyers.  You can read about it here:  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB117988156447211549-search.html.  As a result, he was able to place some students from his T4 school at top-of-the-line firms in NYC.  This program is really the old 'exception that proves the rule.'  Other than this program, even the best students from T3s and T4s can forget about prime Wall Street jobs.

Glad to hear that you want to start your own firm.  I recommend that you begin talking to other solos as early as you can--before or during your first year even.  Find out what courses you should be taking, and what skills you have to acquire.  Most young solos do not know enough about motion practice, (too many Civ Pro courses are taught out of the Federal rules, but few young solos will practice in Fed court), don't know how to secure appointed work (criminal, family law or probate), how much money they need to start a practice, what technology they need, what kind of library/on-line research materials they will need, and what courses they should take to prepare them for the kinds of cases that solos typically get.  They don't appreciate the importance of good retainer agreements (or where to get one), what software they'll need to keep track of their expenses--the list goes on and on.  Also--most solos start in 'space-sharing' arrangements, but few young lawyers know about these arrangements, how to secure them, of what terms to expect/demand. 

The best advice I could give you is to find some solo attorneys and ask for as much advice as they will give you.  Most will give you plenty.  If you don't know who to contact, call the state bar.  There will be a special section of the bar dedicated to solos/small practices.  That section of the bar will have a chair, vice chair and other officers who are prominent and successful.  Call one who lives near you.  Tell him/her: "I'm a dumb law student who has always dreamed of having my own practice.  Please let me buy you lunch someplace cheap, and let me ask all of my dumb questions, and please tell me all the things you wish someone had told you when you were at this stage."  Lawyers are busy, so you may endure a few cancellations, but a lot of lawyers will be willing to help you.  But don't wait til second semester 3d year.  DO it now, while you can still put the advice to good use.

Good luck!!
Title: Re: Wayne State: Worth it?
Post by: Detroitynglawyer on April 27, 2011, 02:09:21 PM
I graduate from WSU in 2 weeks.  Dont go here. 

In fact, dont go to law school at all.  There are too many lawyers and cooley is putting out more by the boatload. 

I'd say 20% of my class has jobs lined up. 
Title: Re: Wayne State: Worth it?
Post by: Detroitynglawyer on April 27, 2011, 02:21:28 PM
I agree with WSUalum1.   

Biglaw is a term that fake stuff like this board uses.  I have never heard anyone at WSU use it. - Ever. 

There are plenty of unpaid internships available for small firms and the government (like the local prosecutor's offices). 

No-one should think they are a shoe-in to be top of their class before they even start law school.  Yes, there are jobs like fed cts and things that go to the top of the class.  In my class there  are a couple people going to the big name firms in this area.   They have too much class to be very vocal about it, however, because ANY job offer is prestigious in the 2011 Wanye Law class.   

Most of us, however, will be lucky to make 40k next year at small firms in the metro detroit region.