Law School Discussion

Law Students => Job Search => Topic started by: cmedici on November 01, 2006, 08:01:49 PM

Title: How important is the name really?
Post by: cmedici on November 01, 2006, 08:01:49 PM
You know, I have heard too much for too long how important the name of the law school is on your diploma.  I have heard that the name can sometimes be more important than the ranking within your class.  But why?  I know some people say that it's because behind the name and the reputation comes excellent education, and even if it doesn't things are how they are and it's not I who will change it.  But I wonder if firms will really turn me down because I didn't go to a top 50 school.  I got a 169 on my LSAT, I had a 3.5 cum. GPA in my undergraduate school, I got in all but one out of 10 schools I applied to, 3 of them in the top 50 and one in the top 5...yeah...but I chose a school ranked 87 by the infamous US News and World Report for the full ride.  I thought it was an honor that a school bet so highly in my success that they said I don't have to pay to go there, that it is my name that may help build theirs up and not the other way around.  You know, I think that there is a lot more going for lawyers than a fancy law school.  I think that if you have additional, relevant attributes you are much better off than the stereotype anti-social Ivy-Leaguer.  I speak five languages, hold dual citizenship and American Residency, have traveled the world, volunteered abroad, worked at the Maryland General Assembly, was a crucial help on the passage of a really important child-welfare bill, I am outgoing, smart, persevering, persuasive, diligent, and yet somehow I hear that because I chose to go to Hofstra, and emphasis on the word "chose", I am doomed as far as jobs.  So my question to you, who have the experience required to answer my question, is whether it is really true that going to Hofstra Law is going to affect my job choices negatively.  I am not sure whether it is relevant, but my field of choice so far is M&A and other types of business law.  Thanks in advance for the replies. 
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: tenth8sphere on November 01, 2006, 09:21:23 PM
I'm not an expert by any means, but I know that many job opportunities will only look at candidates from schools in a certain range - these generally being the bigger firms. I don't think going to #87 could possibly be 'dooming', but it may make many types of jobs more difficult to obtain.
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: jacy85 on November 02, 2006, 04:13:14 AM
Ditto.  A few firms might be closed out to you (the ultra prestigious, highly ranked Vault firms), and unless you're within a certain percentage of your class (top 5 or 10%), Biglaw firms and OCI in general may not produce results.  But your school will place well locally, I would guess, with other non-Biglaw employers (smaller firms, public interest, etc.)

And look at the bright side; if you can keep your scholarship, you'll have more freedom to choose what you want to do since you'll have little to know debt.
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: RenaldoBalkman on November 02, 2006, 05:39:31 AM
Of course going to Hofstra will hurt your chances getting biglaw, not so much with other employers.  What is your class rank?  Unless you are top 10% I highly doubt any biglaw firm will seriously consider you.
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: LegalLatin78 on November 02, 2006, 11:49:49 AM
You forgot to mention how humble and modest you are  ::)

I am sure there will be opportunities.  But if you were smart enough to get a full ride, do you really need to ask this? 
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: Budlaw on November 02, 2006, 02:28:11 PM
I just can't believe Hofstra is number 87. I thought they were third tier.

Oh well. Learn something new every day.
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: RenaldoBalkman on November 02, 2006, 03:18:53 PM
I just can't believe Hofstra is number 87. I thought they were third tier.

Oh well. Learn something new every day.

Nope...Hofstra is still chilling in the unranked 3rd tier.

http://www.usnews.com/usnews/edu/grad/directory/dir-law/brief/glanc_03108_brief.php
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: LegalLatin78 on November 02, 2006, 03:40:26 PM
A list of schools ranked 87th by U.S. News:

 87. Louisiana State University–Baton Rouge 
 87. Mercer University (GA)
 87. Northeastern University (MA)
 87. Pennsylvania State University (Dickinson)           
 87. Pepperdine University (McConnell) (CA)

Even though Hofstra is in the 3rd tier, it is a solid school. 
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: johns259 on November 02, 2006, 03:59:37 PM
The name is VERY important. Hofstra is a decent school, don't get me wrong, but go with the highest ranked school you get into. Play it safe now, you can't predict where you're going to place in your law school class.
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: RenaldoBalkman on November 02, 2006, 04:08:23 PM
The name is VERY important. Hofstra is a decent school, don't get me wrong, but go with the highest ranked school you get into. Play it safe now, you can't predict where you're going to place in your law school class.

I think its too late for the OP.  She already chose Hofstra over a top 5 school according to her post.
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: tenth8sphere on November 02, 2006, 04:11:40 PM
I can see the choice of a tier 2. Not necessarily the pick I would have made, but a full ride tier 2 is a nice option, even against some tier 1's.

But if Hofstra is a tier 3 then I'm at a loss as to why the OP would choose it, even at a full ride. With her stats she had to have gotten at least decent scholarships at some of those tier 1's. I had a tier 3 full ride option as well, but went with a 2/3 scholarship at a tier 1 instead. I've been very happy with my choice, especially given the unpredictable nature of class ranking.

Taking a tier 3 will almost certainly affect job choices more adversely than taking a tier 2 or a tier 1.
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: johns259 on November 02, 2006, 07:24:45 PM
The name is VERY important. Hofstra is a decent school, don't get me wrong, but go with the highest ranked school you get into. Play it safe now, you can't predict where you're going to place in your law school class.

The name is VERY important. Hofstra is a decent school, don't get me wrong, but go with the highest ranked school you get into. Play it safe now, you can't predict where you're going to place in your law school class.

I think its too late for the OP.  She already chose Hofstra over a top 5 school according to her post.

Oh yeah, I was in class at the time and OP's post is pretty long.

In that case, ouch, I hate to say you made a mistake, but . . . well, unless you do very very well, you probably did.

Good luck.
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: dsnutter on November 02, 2006, 10:16:53 PM
You know, I have heard too much for too long how important the name of the law school is on your diploma.  I have heard that the name can sometimes be more important than the ranking within your class.  But why?  I know some people say that it's because behind the name and the reputation comes excellent education, and even if it doesn't things are how they are and it's not I who will change it.  But I wonder if firms will really turn me down because I didn't go to a top 50 school.  I got a 169 on my LSAT, I had a 3.5 cum. GPA in my undergraduate school, I got in all but one out of 10 schools I applied to, 3 of them in the top 50 and one in the top 5...yeah...but I chose a school ranked 87 by the infamous US News and World Report for the full ride.  I thought it was an honor that a school bet so highly in my success that they said I don't have to pay to go there, that it is my name that may help build theirs up and not the other way around.  You know, I think that there is a lot more going for lawyers than a fancy law school.  I think that if you have additional, relevant attributes you are much better off than the stereotype anti-social Ivy-Leaguer.  I speak five languages, hold dual citizenship and American Residency, have traveled the world, volunteered abroad, worked at the Maryland General Assembly, was a crucial help on the passage of a really important child-welfare bill, I am outgoing, smart, persevering, persuasive, diligent, and yet somehow I hear that because I chose to go to Hofstra, and emphasis on the word "chose", I am doomed as far as jobs.  So my question to you, who have the experience required to answer my question, is whether it is really true that going to Hofstra Law is going to affect my job choices negatively.  I am not sure whether it is relevant, but my field of choice so far is M&A and other types of business law.  Thanks in advance for the replies. 

You forgot to mention how cute you are  ;)  that has to count towards something?!
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: cmedici on November 03, 2006, 06:57:39 AM
Look, first of all, when I was looking at Hofstra for the first time it was ranked #87, and I am sure it will go up far above that in the next few years because it is their objective and they are working hard towards achieving their goal. 

I can't predict how well I will do, but I have gotten A's on my memos, on my midterm for civ pro, I am the SBA 1L rep for my section, I am in the Deans Academic Advisory Committee and I feel like I have settled well within the school so far. 

My point with my post is not to be modest or a show off, it is to state the facts so I can get an objective analytical opinion.  I guess if some of you are lawyers already that point should not have been so hard to grasp. 

It is not the first time I made a choice that is questioned and frowned upon by others.  I went to the University of Maryland over two Ivy League schools in undergrad because I wanted to be close to home.  Still I again got into highly ranked schools when I applied to Law School.  I just think big law firms know better than to shun people from a chance only because of where they went to school without taking into account their class ranking and without an interview. 

So to make my question narrower, let's assume I graduate in the top 3% of my class.  What would my chances be then?
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: tenth8sphere on November 03, 2006, 08:40:38 AM
Look, first of all, when I was looking at Hofstra for the first time it was ranked #87, and I am sure it will go up far above that in the next few years because it is their objective and they are working hard towards achieving their goal. 

I can't predict how well I will do, but I have gotten A's on my memos, on my midterm for civ pro, I am the SBA 1L rep for my section, I am in the Deans Academic Advisory Committee and I feel like I have settled well within the school so far. 

My point with my post is not to be modest or a show off, it is to state the facts so I can get an objective analytical opinion.  I guess if some of you are lawyers already that point should not have been so hard to grasp. 

It is not the first time I made a choice that is questioned and frowned upon by others.  I went to the University of Maryland over two Ivy League schools in undergrad because I wanted to be close to home.  Still I again got into highly ranked schools when I applied to Law School.  I just think big law firms know better than to shun people from a chance only because of where they went to school without taking into account their class ranking and without an interview. 

So to make my question narrower, let's assume I graduate in the top 3% of my class.  What would my chances be then?

Everyone makes choices for different reasons. I don't think anyone is intending to say you made the 'wrong' choice - just that you may not have made the best choice from a utilitarian aspect of the benefits and costs.

As for Hofstra rising, it's certainly possible. But keep in mind that 'rising in the ranks' is pretty much the goal of every school, and Hofstra is not unique in making it their goal or by investing resources to that end.

In regard to your undergrad decision, you're right, it didn't hurt you - but only because of what you wanted to do, which was go to law school. There are many limited graduate positions and appointments in which your choice would have limited you. It's sort of the exact same thing with your law school choice. Whether it limits you depends a lot on what you want to do.

The bottom line is, many positions (especially big firms) just will NOT hire outside a certain range. For some it's the top 10 schools, for some top 30, some tier 1, etc. Whether you are last in your class or first will probably not make a difference to those type of positions. The candidate pool is competitive enough that they can take the top 1/3 of classes from only the tier 1 schools and have more than enough options without ever looking at lower ranked schools. The system probably isn't fair, but that's how it's structured.

On the other end of the coin though - you are not going to have any (or much) debt when you graduate, which means you're going to have options many people who 'borrow' their way through a tier 1 won't have. You can choose to take a lower paying job with better experience. Or one with less hours for less pay, etc. Not to mention, outside the top positions in law, your ranking will help you a great deal.

So you made a decision which is only good or bad based on your goals. But I think you're being disingenous with yourself if you pretend you can still snag a top 50 firm or supreme court clerkship. There are enough excellent candidates at tier 1 (or even top 10) schools that those type of jobs simply don't NEED to look at anything outside a set range.

I hope that helps.
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: cmedici on November 03, 2006, 09:00:53 AM
It does help, but of course my goal is not to take a low paying job...at all.  In fact, I want to go into M&A Law, Securities, basically business law in general.  I also wouldn't mind being part of a corporation that is just starting and growing with them.  But it is not at all my goal to work for the government, and getting a clerkship hasn't yet crossed my mind.  I won't have any debt when I leave, but I am not going to take any job that pays less than 75K just because I am debt free.  The only reason I ask is that I have a great possibility of transfering, but I want to make sure that would be a good choice.  I only got a good scholarship to Brooklyn Law (besides Hofstra of course), and the best schools I got into simply did not offer any money at all.  I just am not sure that the reason why I would be turned down is where I went to school.  And in terms of every school wanting to improve their rankings, of course that it true.  BUT Hofstra has a brand new Dean (who is in fact my Torts prof) and he has already started the improvement process.  I actually am a part of it, because I among many of my classmates, are the recruits he wanted to get so much.  My class is filled with Ivy Leaguers and people who scored within the 160's range.  They are there for the scholarships.  Hofstra had been a top 100 school for a long time until last year's report, which was heavily criticized by the ABA by the way. 

Thanks for your replies.  I really appreciate it.
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: LegalLatin78 on November 03, 2006, 09:21:35 AM
I currently work @ Jones Day, which is the definition of big corporate law.  We handle M & A, Toxic Tort, Securities, you name it.  The firm is very big, and we hire tons of attorneys each year.  This year, all of our associates were hired from; Georgetown, UCLA, USC, NYU, Chicago.  Get the picture? 
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: TDJD84 on November 03, 2006, 09:24:37 AM
Push comes to shove, the OP can just try and transfer to a top school next semester.
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: tenth8sphere on November 03, 2006, 11:13:50 AM
The only unfortunate part is that (to my knowledge) schools don't offer scholarships for transfers - so this may end up costing her more in the long run, depending on the money being originally offered to her.

Also, transferring to a top five is going to be nearly impossible, considering all the top students at tier 1's will already be fighting tooth and nail for them.

If she placed in the top of her class though, she could probably easily move into a top 20.
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: J. Walter Weatherman on November 06, 2006, 01:20:29 AM
i'm soooo sick of this elitism bull.  i'm so tired of hearing such inside the box thinking.  to the OP: don't let these guys get you down! everyone has their reasons why they  chose a lower ranked school over t20.  a full ride is great, and maybe its close to home.  whatever the reasons, you felt you made the right choice.  if you feel that the right choice for you now is to transfer up, then great...do it.  by graduating from a t3/4 you might not get a strong offer your first year, but that in no way means you won't be successful in the future.  my advice - work as hard as you can and learn as much as you can now.  just because these people go to better schools, does not mean they're smarter than you...believe me.  and plus, it sounds as if you enjoy going to your school.

my brother graduated berkeley law 6 years ago, and now he's not even in the field! (he's in investment banking earning a shitload of money) he told me that a name doesn't matter, it helps but it can only take you so far.  he's met many people from prestigious schools that couldn't cut it in the work force because they don't have what it takes.  if you're clueless then there's always a glass ceiling.  if you're driven, then no matter where you go you'll succeed. 

i apologize for going off but i'm just sick of hearing people say that a NAME will make or break you.   
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: johns259 on November 06, 2006, 09:47:16 AM
i'm soooo sick of this elitism bull.  i'm so tired of hearing such inside the box thinking.  to the OP: don't let these guys get you down! everyone has their reasons why they  chose a lower ranked school over t20.  a full ride is great, and maybe its close to home.  whatever the reasons, you felt you made the right choice.  if you feel that the right choice for you now is to transfer up, then great...do it.  by graduating from a t3/4 you might not get a strong offer your first year, but that in no way means you won't be successful in the future.  my advice - work as hard as you can and learn as much as you can now.  just because these people go to better schools, does not mean they're smarter than you...believe me.  and plus, it sounds as if you enjoy going to your school.

my brother graduated berkeley law 6 years ago, and now he's not even in the field! (he's in investment banking earning a shitload of money) he told me that a name doesn't matter, it helps but it can only take you so far.  he's met many people from prestigious schools that couldn't cut it in the work force because they don't have what it takes.  if you're clueless then there's always a glass ceiling.  if you're driven, then no matter where you go you'll succeed. 

i apologize for going off but i'm just sick of hearing people say that a NAME will make or break you.   

No, the name won't always make or break you if you have the drive (unless you think you're going to end up at Cravath or Skadden), BUT chances are that out of a t3/4 (assuming you're not at the top of the class) you'll end up spending five or more years in the workforce to get where you would have been in a couple years coming out of a T14. The name isn't necessarily everything, but it means A LOT. In my opinion, the speculated lifetime earnings coming out of a T14 more than makes up for any full scholarship that a T3/4 could ever offer me. Of course, none of this matters if you don't want to work in a big/mid-sized firm, but it sounds like the OP does.
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: RenaldoBalkman on November 06, 2006, 09:06:05 PM
Longstory short...

Because the OP went to a tier 3, unless she does exceptionally well (at least top 10%) then her biglaw dreams will remain just that.  It likely won't matter what other crap she her on her resume or how charming she is.
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: WhiteyEMSR on November 07, 2006, 04:40:40 PM
Have you looked to see what firms interview at Hofstra, and more importantly what firms hire largely out of Hofstra? Nalpdirectory.com would be a resource, probably secondary though to your CSO. I imagine that many of the top firms do interview at Hofstra, but you must be much higher in you class to get a postion. My situation is a bit different as I transferred from a 4th tier to a tier 1. But I was told by the firms I interviewed with that the school one goes to is of utmost importance. Consequently, very few people at the 4th tier I transferred from have secured summer jobs, not even the top students, law reviewers, moot courters, etc. It sucks, but that's the nature of the game.

LegalLatin, what Jones Day office are you at? I just accepted an offer for a summer postition from their Chicago office. Any insight?
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: dorsia on November 07, 2006, 05:48:28 PM
If you finish high in your class, you should be able to secure a summer associate position in a large law firm.  I am a 2L at a large, urban school ranked in the mid-60s.  I finished within the top seven percent of my class and made law review.  Most of the other members of law review were able to secure summer associate positions in large firms; many here, some in their home cities.  OCI was a very competitive process, however.  Those who were not in the top seven percent of the class, with maybe the exception of five or so students, did not gain summer associate positions in large law firms.  Some on law review failed to do so as well. 

The difference between top schools and the rest is this: at HYS and at a handful of other schools, you can finish anywhere in your class and attain a summer associate position at a large law firm.  To attain a similar position at my school and others similarly ranked, the process is very competitive.  At schools lower ranked than mine, maybe only five or ten students from the entire class will get something similar.  Obviously, there are certain jobs -- Supreme Court and circuit court clerkships; jobs at certain elite large law firms in NY and LA -- that exist only for a handful of students at a handful of the top schools. 

You can get a position at a large law firm; anyone on here who states otherwise is wrong.  Don't take my word for it.  Look at websites of large law firms and browse the bios of the associates.  But, it is competitive.  You have to finish near the top of your class. 
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: Krisace on November 12, 2006, 07:08:02 PM
Here's my take.  I think that you should transfer up at the end of your 1L year.  You will have had a good experience at Hofstra and not paid a dime and that is awesome.  However, if you want to do M&A and securities work you need to get into BigLaw. To do that you would be doing yourself a major disservice in being at Hofstra. 

Also, be aware that there are a handful of people who scored around 170 at my mid-T1 lawschool.  I know for sure that some of them are near the 50% percentile in their class.  So work real hard this year and make the transfer happen...don't slack.

Transfer to any T-14 and you'll be guaranteed a job, with the work you want, paying you a first-year total package between 170-190K. The first year at the firm will make up the difference in tuition you'll be facing by transferring. But again, realize that if you want to transfer out of Hofstra to a T-14 you'll need to be at least in the top 10% and there's people with LSAT scores and undergrad GPA's much lower than your that are just now finally getting their academics in gear.
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: RenaldoBalkman on November 12, 2006, 10:32:30 PM
I think this post is some lame attempt at validation by the OP. 

If she's telling the truth about getting into a top 5 law school and wants biglaw, it's completley ridiculous that she chose Hofstra.  I could understand taking a full ride at Hofstra over a lower or mid tier 1 school, but picking some TTT over Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Columbia, NYU?  Gimme a freaking break.

This girl is one of those spoiled lil law school chicks who drives a Mercedes Benz (bought by Daddy) and all of a sudden she's concerned with saving money?  BS.. 

Bottom line, there's no need for threads like these when the obvious response is that of course name matters unless she does exceptionally well at her 3rd tier "choice."
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: WhiteyEMSR on November 13, 2006, 09:49:52 AM
Here's my take.  I think that you should transfer up at the end of your 1L year.  You will have had a good experience at Hofstra and not paid a dime and that is awesome.  However, if you want to do M&A and securities work you need to get into BigLaw. To do that you would be doing yourself a major disservice in being at Hofstra. 

Also, be aware that there are a handful of people who scored around 170 at my mid-T1 lawschool.  I know for sure that some of them are near the 50% percentile in their class.  So work real hard this year and make the transfer happen...don't slack.

Transfer to any T-14 and you'll be guaranteed a job, with the work you want, paying you a first-year total package between 170-190K. The first year at the firm will make up the difference in tuition you'll be facing by transferring. But again, realize that if you want to transfer out of Hofstra to a T-14 you'll need to be at least in the top 10% and there's people with LSAT scores and undergrad GPA's much lower than your that are just now finally getting their academics in gear.


I disagree with a couple of things in this post. First, even people at T-14 jobs are not guaranteed a BigLaw job paying "first year total packages btwn 170-190." I know people at Georgetown and Michigan who were at the middle of their classes, went through OCI and did not land jobs. Even at top schools, competition for BigLaw jobs exists. As you probably know, big law firms hire almost exclusively from OCI, so if you don't get a job thorugh this process, you're out of luck, at least for the big firms. 

Second, the most any BigLaw firm starts their associates out at is 145,000 and even these are scarce outside of NY. I found one firm in Chicago that pays 145 starting. There are quite a few that start at 135. Even with bonuses, there are very few firms that would give a first year associate a total package of 190,000 and if this firm did exist, you would probably be billing 3,000 hours + a year.
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: johns259 on November 13, 2006, 10:16:48 AM
Here's my take.  I think that you should transfer up at the end of your 1L year.  You will have had a good experience at Hofstra and not paid a dime and that is awesome.  However, if you want to do M&A and securities work you need to get into BigLaw. To do that you would be doing yourself a major disservice in being at Hofstra. 

Also, be aware that there are a handful of people who scored around 170 at my mid-T1 lawschool.  I know for sure that some of them are near the 50% percentile in their class.  So work real hard this year and make the transfer happen...don't slack.

Transfer to any T-14 and you'll be guaranteed a job, with the work you want, paying you a first-year total package between 170-190K. The first year at the firm will make up the difference in tuition you'll be facing by transferring. But again, realize that if you want to transfer out of Hofstra to a T-14 you'll need to be at least in the top 10% and there's people with LSAT scores and undergrad GPA's much lower than your that are just now finally getting their academics in gear.


I disagree with a couple of things in this post. First, even people at T-14 jobs are not guaranteed a BigLaw job paying "first year total packages btwn 170-190." I know people at Georgetown and Michigan who were at the middle of their classes, went through OCI and did not land jobs. Even at top schools, competition for BigLaw jobs exists. As you probably know, big law firms hire almost exclusively from OCI, so if you don't get a job thorugh this process, you're out of luck, at least for the big firms. 

Second, the most any BigLaw firm starts their associates out at is 145,000 and even these are scarce outside of NY. I found one firm in Chicago that pays 145 starting. There are quite a few that start at 135. Even with bonuses, there are very few firms that would give a first year associate a total package of 190,000 and if this firm did exist, you would probably be billing 3,000 hours + a year.

A number of DC firms are starting at $145k now, before any bonuses. There are several more at $138k. I can't recall what the avg. billable hrs. are though.
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: LegalLatin78 on November 13, 2006, 01:57:54 PM
Here's my take.  I think that you should transfer up at the end of your 1L year.  You will have had a good experience at Hofstra and not paid a dime and that is awesome.  However, if you want to do M&A and securities work you need to get into BigLaw. To do that you would be doing yourself a major disservice in being at Hofstra. 

Also, be aware that there are a handful of people who scored around 170 at my mid-T1 lawschool.  I know for sure that some of them are near the 50% percentile in their class.  So work real hard this year and make the transfer happen...don't slack.

Transfer to any T-14 and you'll be guaranteed a job, with the work you want, paying you a first-year total package between 170-190K. The first year at the firm will make up the difference in tuition you'll be facing by transferring. But again, realize that if you want to transfer out of Hofstra to a T-14 you'll need to be at least in the top 10% and there's people with LSAT scores and undergrad GPA's much lower than your that are just now finally getting their academics in gear.


I disagree with a couple of things in this post. First, even people at T-14 jobs are not guaranteed a BigLaw job paying "first year total packages btwn 170-190." I know people at Georgetown and Michigan who were at the middle of their classes, went through OCI and did not land jobs. Even at top schools, competition for BigLaw jobs exists. As you probably know, big law firms hire almost exclusively from OCI, so if you don't get a job thorugh this process, you're out of luck, at least for the big firms. 

Second, the most any BigLaw firm starts their associates out at is 145,000 and even these are scarce outside of NY. I found one firm in Chicago that pays 145 starting. There are quite a few that start at 135. Even with bonuses, there are very few firms that would give a first year associate a total package of 190,000 and if this firm did exist, you would probably be billing 3,000 hours + a year.

At Jones Day you start somewhere in the 155k range (before bonuses) and you bill around 2100 hours a year.
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: WhiteyEMSR on November 13, 2006, 02:50:10 PM
LegalLatin, have starting salaries at JD changed? According to their website, the most they pay (before bonuses) is 145,000 and that is in NY. Chicago (where I will be) and San Francisco (where I think you said you are) are said to start out at 135,000. For my summer, I know I get the equivalent to an associate's salary; last year they said this was 135000, but they have not yet told us what the summer associates this summer will be paid. If things have changed, then yipeee!

Also, I've heard mixed things about the bonus structure at Jones Day. Is it true that bonuses are rare and inconsistent? I know they like to keep compensation type issues hush hush, but what's the deal? What are the annual salary increases like? Do they make up for the lack of bonuses?

Thanks
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: WhiteyEMSR on November 13, 2006, 02:56:07 PM
LegalLatin, what year/where are you in law school? Did you get your Jones Day job through OCI? Were you paid as a summer associate? I ask because a buddy of mine (just accepted a JD offer after her summer) says that no JD office starts at 155,000 before bonuses. For that matter, I interviewed with a lot of big firms (2nd in my class interviewing at Notre Dame), and none of them paid more than 145000 before bonuses. Also, 138,000? What firm starts at 138,000? Are you sure you're getting accurate information?

Were you hired in as a lateral after working for a while or something? Are you an associate? Anything you could tell me about the firm would be of great help (not sure how much things vary from office to office).
Starting salary info on Jones Day:
http://www.nalpdirectory.com/dledir_search_advanced.asp
http://www.jonesday.com/careers/usa/students/summer/compensation/


Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: Budlaw on November 13, 2006, 04:10:13 PM
I currently work @ Jones Day, which is the definition of big corporate law.  We handle M & A, Toxic Tort, Securities, you name it.  The firm is very big, and we hire tons of attorneys each year.  This year, all of our associates were hired from; Georgetown, UCLA, USC, NYU, Chicago.  Get the picture? 

I go to school with a guy who got a summer associateship for next summer at Jones Day and I go to FSU. It's possible. You just won't be working at Jones Day in New York out of school. You do well in your class and you can get a great job. It's just easier to get a great job out of a great law school. You don't have to hustle as much. 
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: WhiteyEMSR on November 13, 2006, 04:23:30 PM
Wow, I'm really obsessed with this topic. Anyway, I didn't realize that nalp let's you search by salary. http://www.nalpdirectory.com/dledir_search_advanced.asp

To clarify so that nobody is getting inaccurate information, according to nalp, an organization that all BigLaw firms subscribe to, there are 5 firms that pay over 145,000 starting out before bonuses. These firms all pay 150,000 and one pays 155 (but it's a firm based out of London, Herbert Smith) so I'm not counting that.

So, my point is this, responding to the poster that says a top 14 school guarantees a job paying 170-190, all I can say is "nope," at least not without some extravagant bonus plan that I have not been made privy to.
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: sehrwunderbar on November 13, 2006, 05:06:08 PM
Don't worry, work hard and get good grades and make sure that you get good summer experience. That's all that matters really. And remember, after you're out for a couple years than nobody cares anymore, just like undergrad. you'll have proved yourself and that is what people will go off of in offering you jobs.
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: amityjo on November 13, 2006, 07:26:11 PM
FWIW -

Hofstra 2L here, not top 10%, but on LR. I managed to secure a BigLaw summer associate position for 2007 in NYC (4 offers, actually). Didn't have to pull any strings to get it either. I am sure it's because I interview well, and I have a magnificent resume. I suppose the 10 years of work experience didn't hurt.

Kick butt with your grades, make your resume interesting and powerful, get on Law Review, and above all, be more than some legal drone (i.e. have a personality - people hire people they like.) It's doable, but if you can't be top 10%, you have to differentiate yourself another way.
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: RenaldoBalkman on November 13, 2006, 08:13:18 PM
FWIW -

Hofstra 2L here, not top 10%, but on LR. I managed to secure a BigLaw summer associate position for 2007 in NYC (4 offers, actually). Didn't have to pull any strings to get it either. I am sure it's because I interview well, and I have a magnificent resume. I suppose the 10 years of work experience didn't hurt.

Kick butt with your grades, make your resume interesting and powerful, get on Law Review, and above all, be more than some legal drone (i.e. have a personality - people hire people they like.) It's doable, but if you can't be top 10%, you have to differentiate yourself another way.


What was your class rank?  How many of your classmates are going to biglaw and what was their class rank? 

Since you were on law review I'd assume that your experience is atypical compared to the typical Hofstra student.
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: Krisace on November 13, 2006, 10:18:28 PM
Here's how the numbers break down:

West Coast = $135K salary + 10K bar stipend + roughly 5K bar expenses, then, assuming you're billing 2100 hours as is typical for many large firms and almost a given if doing corporate work,then  you're looking at 20K in bonuses = $170K. 

If your at a New York firm on the west coast or at a BigLaw job in NY or DC you're looking at $145K salary + 5K bar fees + 20-40K in bonuses (definitely not a stretch on this one at all...you're just billing an extra few hundred hours per year). 

Run these numbers by anyone whose been through the process and they'll tell you.  Second year assocate salaries are roughly equal to first year total package compensation as you obviously don't get the 15K in stipend and/or bar fees but you do get a 10K raise.

As for Jones Day, I highly doubt they start people at $155K.  But it is possible because they do not generally give bonuses. However, they did give a nominal one last year for the first time in recent memory.
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: Krisace on November 14, 2006, 07:03:10 AM
Unfortunately I don't know much about the Chicago market except for which firms are the most sought after there.  I'm a 3L and narrowed my search last year and this year (as I went looking for a better situation than the firm I was at last summer) to the West Coast. 

Are there any firms that your curious about specifically?  Also, you probably know of these sites, but if not, then try checking out www.nalpdirectory.com or the greedy associates link at www.infirmation.com (middle left side of the page for the link).

Jones Day, at the very least, is probably one of the most distinctive firms to work for.  It seems to be run a lot like a corporation basically with all decisison made at the top, good salary but minimal if any bonuses and a prohibition on anyone speaking about what they make to each other.  I have heaard that it's not a bad place to work though...
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: TDJD84 on November 14, 2006, 07:28:38 AM
The Chicago market starts off at $135K salary + 10K bar stipend + another 5K for bar expenses.  Add another $10-25k in bonuses depending on how many billable hours over the required you go over.  The average minimum billable hour requirement at most firms in this city is 2000
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: rutherford on November 14, 2006, 07:59:37 AM
I decided to transfer after my first year at a Tier 4 where I was in the top 5%. I had an option to transfer to a rather regional Tier 2 w/ $$$; or, to go to a top 20 school where I would incur some serious debt. FYI. Starting salary out of the Tier 2 was $70K and the Tier 1 was $125K.

I opted for the Tier 1. I was a little bit apprehensive at first, but every lawyer I talked to told me that the name alone would be worth it. I'm not here entirely for the name, but lawschool unlike other type of graduate education, is very ranking focused. So I decided if I'm going into this field, I'll have to play the game. Of course I'm getting a great education, but I'm also hoping that the connections I develope while at this rather "national" school will help me land a good job no matter what my class standing.

As for the OP. It all depends what you want. Of course you'll likely find a good job if you're in the top of your class, plus you will have minimal debt. It might just work for you, but me personally, I would have taken the rank and debt, lived frugal for the first 3 years out of school and paid off my loans
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: amityjo on November 14, 2006, 11:44:44 AM
FWIW -

Hofstra 2L here, not top 10%, but on LR. I managed to secure a BigLaw summer associate position for 2007 in NYC (4 offers, actually). Didn't have to pull any strings to get it either. I am sure it's because I interview well, and I have a magnificent resume. I suppose the 10 years of work experience didn't hurt.

Kick butt with your grades, make your resume interesting and powerful, get on Law Review, and above all, be more than some legal drone (i.e. have a personality - people hire people they like.) It's doable, but if you can't be top 10%, you have to differentiate yourself another way.


What was your class rank?  How many of your classmates are going to biglaw and what was their class rank? 

Since you were on law review I'd assume that your experience is atypical compared to the typical Hofstra student.

No, I'm sure my experience is different from most Hofstra students, not just because I'm on LR, but because I'm a non-traditional student, which has its advantages. But it is not completely out of the realm of possibility to get a BigLaw job, either. Pretty much everyone on LR has a BigLaw job who wanted one. As for other students, I can't really say, since I don't pay that much attention to anyone else. I can assure you I didn't get my job because of my grades. It's because I can write extremely well and because I have something to offer from my past work experience.

I can honestly say that I'm really happy with my education at Hofstra, and while it may not be for everyone, I've gotten exactly what I needed out of my time here and only will owe $30k total after graduation. Being more than a decade older than most of my classmates had a huge impact on my decision to forego other very highly ranked schools. I have less time to pay off a huge debt, so Hofstra's generous scholarship was good for me. I can't say I would have made the same decision had I gone to law school at the age of 22.
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: grotius on November 16, 2006, 04:26:16 AM
For what it's worth, the law school name is meaning less and less. I'm a 2L not at a T14 law school (but top tier) and I have 8 outstanding offers in BigLaw firms in NYC and DC. I'm probably in the top 30% of my class (we don't rank), but not in the top 3% and I'm not on law review. However, I did go to a top Ivy League undergrad and have quite a bit of "interesting" work experience. The hiring partner at one of the firms I interviewed told me that 5-10 years ago he would only hire from Harvard, Stanford, Columbia Law, etc. That's because the firms client's wanted to know that their lawyers that they pay a lot of money for went to the top schools. This is changing for a lot of BigLaw firms and they are seeking to diversify their summer associate classes. The partner I spoke with prided himself on the fact that last year of the firm's 50 offers, they were from 35 different law schools. What seems to be most important in landing the BigLaw offer is not so much where you went to law school, but work experience. All of my classmates who don't have offers at this point went straight through from undergrad to law school and are quite young.
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: rutherford on November 16, 2006, 05:24:20 AM
What seems to be most important in landing the BigLaw offer is not so much where you went to law school, but work experience. All of my classmates who don't have offers at this point went straight through from undergrad to law school and are quite young.


As a 30 year old 2L in the evening program, I'm hoping that the 6 years I spent working before I decided to enter law school will hopefully benefit me during the interview process. So if big firms are willing to consider my work experience too, that's great.
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: Krisace on November 16, 2006, 07:37:20 AM
I'm not so sure...I've read the last couple of posts and firms are still pretty school snobby no matter how much they have "changed."  There very well may be more exceptions than there were in the past (and based on personla experience I can agree with this) but the amount which a school name comes into play is still huge. 

I wonder if maybe morre firms are diversifying because they are just getting larger.  Since a firm now takes 50 summers at a certain office rather than the 25 they took ten years ago, they likely are much more willing and able to go get a top student from a mid T-1 school.
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: RenaldoBalkman on November 16, 2006, 07:38:45 AM
For what it's worth, the law school name is meaning less and less. I'm a 2L not at a T14 law school (but top tier) and I have 8 outstanding offers in BigLaw firms in NYC and DC. I'm probably in the top 30% of my class (we don't rank), but not in the top 3% and I'm not on law review. However, I did go to a top Ivy League undergrad and have quite a bit of "interesting" work experience. The hiring partner at one of the firms I interviewed told me that 5-10 years ago he would only hire from Harvard, Stanford, Columbia Law, etc. That's because the firms client's wanted to know that their lawyers that they pay a lot of money for went to the top schools. This is changing for a lot of BigLaw firms and they are seeking to diversify their summer associate classes. The partner I spoke with prided himself on the fact that last year of the firm's 50 offers, they were from 35 different law schools. What seems to be most important in landing the BigLaw offer is not so much where you went to law school, but work experience. All of my classmates who don't have offers at this point went straight through from undergrad to law school and are quite young.

Well its different going to a T1 regional school and going to a 3rd tier school like Hofstra. 

Obviously a top tier regional school like Fordham can place grads in biglaw who come from the top 1/3. 

At Hofstra and other 3rd tiers you have to be in the top 10% or higher.
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: Budlaw on November 16, 2006, 02:58:23 PM
For what it's worth, the law school name is meaning less and less. I'm a 2L not at a T14 law school (but top tier) and I have 8 outstanding offers in BigLaw firms in NYC and DC. I'm probably in the top 30% of my class (we don't rank), but not in the top 3% and I'm not on law review. However, I did go to a top Ivy League undergrad and have quite a bit of "interesting" work experience. The hiring partner at one of the firms I interviewed told me that 5-10 years ago he would only hire from Harvard, Stanford, Columbia Law, etc. That's because the firms client's wanted to know that their lawyers that they pay a lot of money for went to the top schools. This is changing for a lot of BigLaw firms and they are seeking to diversify their summer associate classes. The partner I spoke with prided himself on the fact that last year of the firm's 50 offers, they were from 35 different law schools. What seems to be most important in landing the BigLaw offer is not so much where you went to law school, but work experience. All of my classmates who don't have offers at this point went straight through from undergrad to law school and are quite young.

You're only supposed to keep 5 offers open past November 1st according to NALP guidelines. You need to drop a few.
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: ruskiegirl on November 16, 2006, 03:26:53 PM
You know, I have heard too much for too long how important the name of the law school is on your diploma.  I have heard that the name can sometimes be more important than the ranking within your class.  But why?  I know some people say that it's because behind the name and the reputation comes excellent education, and even if it doesn't things are how they are and it's not I who will change it.  But I wonder if firms will really turn me down because I didn't go to a top 50 school.  I got a 169 on my LSAT, I had a 3.5 cum. GPA in my undergraduate school, I got in all but one out of 10 schools I applied to, 3 of them in the top 50 and one in the top 5...yeah...but I chose a school ranked 87 by the infamous US News and World Report for the full ride.  I thought it was an honor that a school bet so highly in my success that they said I don't have to pay to go there, that it is my name that may help build theirs up and not the other way around.  You know, I think that there is a lot more going for lawyers than a fancy law school.  I think that if you have additional, relevant attributes you are much better off than the stereotype anti-social Ivy-Leaguer.  I speak five languages, hold dual citizenship and American Residency, have traveled the world, volunteered abroad, worked at the Maryland General Assembly, was a crucial help on the passage of a really important child-welfare bill, I am outgoing, smart, persevering, persuasive, diligent, and yet somehow I hear that because I chose to go to Hofstra, and emphasis on the word "chose", I am doomed as far as jobs.  So my question to you, who have the experience required to answer my question, is whether it is really true that going to Hofstra Law is going to affect my job choices negatively.  I am not sure whether it is relevant, but my field of choice so far is M&A and other types of business law.  Thanks in advance for the replies. 

It's neither fair nor particularly right, but the pedigree of your school does affect your job opportunities. I have friends who go to the school across the Bay (Hastings) and they have two work twice as hard to get the same bite at the apple as my fellow Boalties. I would go so far as to say, even, that Hastings lawyers are, as a result of the competition, better trained than are Boalt lawyers. But, at the end of the day, most any law firm in the country would rather have an associate bio that boasts Boalt or Stanford rather than Hastings or USF.

I was actually in a similar position to the OP when I applied. I had a full ride to Stetson University and an acceptance to Boalt. At that time, I assumed I would want to return to Florida to practice. I spoke to dozens of practitioners in the Tampa area who all told me to go to Boalt and not think twice. I went with it. My job search was certainly affected by the fact that I went to Boalt. While I had no trouble securing interviews, callbacks and offers from prestigious firms in major markets, I found that Florida firms were more intersted in regional ties and they questioned by decision to attend Boalt rather than a Florida school. I am headed to London next year, to do high-level corporate work for a very prestigious firm. There's no doubt in my mind that I would have never had this opportunity had I gone to Stetson, but...I AM missing out on the sun and sand for a few more years... ;)
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: ruskiegirl on November 16, 2006, 03:45:49 PM
Here's my take.  I think that you should transfer up at the end of your 1L year.  You will have had a good experience at Hofstra and not paid a dime and that is awesome.  However, if you want to do M&A and securities work you need to get into BigLaw. To do that you would be doing yourself a major disservice in being at Hofstra. 

Also, be aware that there are a handful of people who scored around 170 at my mid-T1 lawschool.  I know for sure that some of them are near the 50% percentile in their class.  So work real hard this year and make the transfer happen...don't slack.

Transfer to any T-14 and you'll be guaranteed a job, with the work you want, paying you a first-year total package between 170-190K. The first year at the firm will make up the difference in tuition you'll be facing by transferring. But again, realize that if you want to transfer out of Hofstra to a T-14 you'll need to be at least in the top 10% and there's people with LSAT scores and undergrad GPA's much lower than your that are just now finally getting their academics in gear.


I disagree with a couple of things in this post. First, even people at T-14 jobs are not guaranteed a BigLaw job paying "first year total packages btwn 170-190." I know people at Georgetown and Michigan who were at the middle of their classes, went through OCI and did not land jobs. Even at top schools, competition for BigLaw jobs exists. As you probably know, big law firms hire almost exclusively from OCI, so if you don't get a job thorugh this process, you're out of luck, at least for the big firms. 

Second, the most any BigLaw firm starts their associates out at is 145,000 and even these are scarce outside of NY. I found one firm in Chicago that pays 145 starting. There are quite a few that start at 135. Even with bonuses, there are very few firms that would give a first year associate a total package of 190,000 and if this firm did exist, you would probably be billing 3,000 hours + a year.

this is a very misleading post.

1) biglaw does most, but NOT ALL of its hiring through oci. write-ins, minority job fairs, etc. are all effective ways of getting a biglaw job.

2) no one, i repeat, NO ONE bills 3,000+ hrs a year. not even in nyc.

3) yes, it happens that people at top schools don't land jobs through oci. that happens exceptionally infrequently and they are usually able to secure well-paying positions later in the year.

4) market salaries are well over $100k in just about any major market. top 10 law students, unless they are socially retarded, usually have no trouble getting these jobs, regardless of class rank. many of my friends who made all "Passes" in their first year are now at top 20 firms in SF, NYC, DC, and LA.
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: WhiteyEMSR on November 16, 2006, 05:07:53 PM
Here's my take.  I think that you should transfer up at the end of your 1L year.  You will have had a good experience at Hofstra and not paid a dime and that is awesome.  However, if you want to do M&A and securities work you need to get into BigLaw. To do that you would be doing yourself a major disservice in being at Hofstra. 

Also, be aware that there are a handful of people who scored around 170 at my mid-T1 lawschool.  I know for sure that some of them are near the 50% percentile in their class.  So work real hard this year and make the transfer happen...don't slack.

Transfer to any T-14 and you'll be guaranteed a job, with the work you want, paying you a first-year total package between 170-190K. The first year at the firm will make up the difference in tuition you'll be facing by transferring. But again, realize that if you want to transfer out of Hofstra to a T-14 you'll need to be at least in the top 10% and there's people with LSAT scores and undergrad GPA's much lower than your that are just now finally getting their academics in gear.


I disagree with a couple of things in this post. First, even people at T-14 jobs are not guaranteed a BigLaw job paying "first year total packages btwn 170-190." I know people at Georgetown and Michigan who were at the middle of their classes, went through OCI and did not land jobs. Even at top schools, competition for BigLaw jobs exists. As you probably know, big law firms hire almost exclusively from OCI, so if you don't get a job thorugh this process, you're out of luck, at least for the big firms. 

Second, the most any BigLaw firm starts their associates out at is 145,000 and even these are scarce outside of NY. I found one firm in Chicago that pays 145 starting. There are quite a few that start at 135. Even with bonuses, there are very few firms that would give a first year associate a total package of 190,000 and if this firm did exist, you would probably be billing 3,000 hours + a year.

this is a very misleading post.

1) biglaw does most, but NOT ALL of its hiring through oci. write-ins, minority job fairs, etc. are all effective ways of getting a biglaw job.

2) no one, i repeat, NO ONE bills 3,000+ hrs a year. not even in nyc.

3) yes, it happens that people at top schools don't land jobs through oci. that happens exceptionally infrequently and they are usually able to secure well-paying positions later in the year.

4) market salaries are well over $100k in just about any major market. top 10 law students, unless they are socially retarded, usually have no trouble getting these jobs, regardless of class rank. many of my friends who made all "Passes" in their first year are now at top 20 firms in SF, NYC, DC, and LA.


1. Like I said, big firms hire almost exclusively through OCI. Through my experience (somewhat limited, I suppose) it is very unlikely for someone to get a well paying (and by well paying I mean 100,000+) job not through OCI.

2. You say "nobody bills 3,000 hours a year." Are you kidding me? This is billing less than 60 hours a week. Billing 60 hours a week is billing approx 8.5 hours a day (assuming you work weekends). This is very possible. Some lawyers out in 12 hours a day. With 12 hour work days you can surely bill 8.5 hours a day. Of course this means no life, almost whatsoever, but it also means mucho dinero. To say nobody bills 3,000 a year is a ridiculous over-generalization. Ask any associate at any big firm. I know people who have billed this many hours. They are not happy people. I even know of small firms where associates bill over 3000 hours (Baker Daniels in Indy, for example). Some firms have huge incentive programs for billing this many hours. Bonus packages for billing 2500 hours are VERY common. What makes you think 500 hours more (approx 9.5 billable more a week) is out of the question.

3. I was speaking more to BigLaw. It is likely that you will get something through OCI, but I was refuting the statement that "T14 people are guaranteed BigLaw jobs paying 170-190." This is not true. This is not true because base salaries don't start out this high. Check Nalp. Seach by salary. There is one firm listed that pays 155,000, a handful that pay 150,000.

4. Again, I'm not talking about "top ten law students." Of course the top ten law students can get BigLaw jobs. Again, I was responding to the guy who said a T14 is guaranteed a BigLaw job regardless of class rank. There are quite a few students, including myself, that secured jobs at Vault top 20 firms. We were all top of our class. All of us. The BigLaw firms (Sidley Austin, Kirkland & Ellis, Sheaman & Sterling, Jones Day, Jenner Block, etc, etc,) only took the top students. These firms would never take students from the bottom of the class. Check out these firms' websites. Even the associates from HYS, etc have honors, journal experience, etc.

BTW, good luck in England. I have a lot of family there; I envy you. Bring your wellies and your brolly though;)
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: Krisace on November 16, 2006, 07:03:18 PM
Personally, I have to agree with Ruskie and say that I've never heard of anyone billing 3,000 hours.  Even at a Shearman etc. bonuses cap out at 2,500 hours I think (around $45K) so there's no reason to work much more than that. 

Also, just to reiterate about salary the 170-190K is the 135-145K base plus 15K in bar stipend and bar fees + 20-40K in bonuses.

Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: josejanseco on November 16, 2006, 07:29:04 PM
At one of my offer dinners I sat next to an lawyer from a NY Vault 10 firm who said she billed slightly over 3000 hours for two years in a row.
She might have been lying, but I can't imagine why she would do that at an event designed to make me accept the firm's offer.

 
Personally, I have to agree with Ruskie and say that I've never heard of anyone billing 3,000 hours.  Even at a Shearman etc. bonuses cap out at 2,500 hours I think (around $45K) so there's no reason to work much more than that. 

Also, just to reiterate about salary the 170-190K is the 135-145K base plus 15K in bar stipend and bar fees + 20-40K in bonuses.


Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: WhiteyEMSR on November 16, 2006, 07:44:41 PM
Doesn't matter that you've never heard of anyone billing 3,000 hours. It happens. Google "Wachtell" and "3000 hours." You'll get lots of hits. Many reputable articles.
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: ruskiegirl on November 16, 2006, 09:45:09 PM
Here's my take.  I think that you should transfer up at the end of your 1L year.  You will have had a good experience at Hofstra and not paid a dime and that is awesome.  However, if you want to do M&A and securities work you need to get into BigLaw. To do that you would be doing yourself a major disservice in being at Hofstra. 

Also, be aware that there are a handful of people who scored around 170 at my mid-T1 lawschool.  I know for sure that some of them are near the 50% percentile in their class.  So work real hard this year and make the transfer happen...don't slack.

Transfer to any T-14 and you'll be guaranteed a job, with the work you want, paying you a first-year total package between 170-190K. The first year at the firm will make up the difference in tuition you'll be facing by transferring. But again, realize that if you want to transfer out of Hofstra to a T-14 you'll need to be at least in the top 10% and there's people with LSAT scores and undergrad GPA's much lower than your that are just now finally getting their academics in gear.


I disagree with a couple of things in this post. First, even people at T-14 jobs are not guaranteed a BigLaw job paying "first year total packages btwn 170-190." I know people at Georgetown and Michigan who were at the middle of their classes, went through OCI and did not land jobs. Even at top schools, competition for BigLaw jobs exists. As you probably know, big law firms hire almost exclusively from OCI, so if you don't get a job thorugh this process, you're out of luck, at least for the big firms. 

Second, the most any BigLaw firm starts their associates out at is 145,000 and even these are scarce outside of NY. I found one firm in Chicago that pays 145 starting. There are quite a few that start at 135. Even with bonuses, there are very few firms that would give a first year associate a total package of 190,000 and if this firm did exist, you would probably be billing 3,000 hours + a year.

this is a very misleading post.

1) biglaw does most, but NOT ALL of its hiring through oci. write-ins, minority job fairs, etc. are all effective ways of getting a biglaw job.

2) no one, i repeat, NO ONE bills 3,000+ hrs a year. not even in nyc.

3) yes, it happens that people at top schools don't land jobs through oci. that happens exceptionally infrequently and they are usually able to secure well-paying positions later in the year.

4) market salaries are well over $100k in just about any major market. top 10 law students, unless they are socially retarded, usually have no trouble getting these jobs, regardless of class rank. many of my friends who made all "Passes" in their first year are now at top 20 firms in SF, NYC, DC, and LA.


1. Like I said, big firms hire almost exclusively through OCI. Through my experience (somewhat limited, I suppose) it is very unlikely for someone to get a well paying (and by well paying I mean 100,000+) job not through OCI.

2. You say "nobody bills 3,000 hours a year." Are you kidding me? This is billing less than 60 hours a week. Billing 60 hours a week is billing approx 8.5 hours a day (assuming you work weekends). This is very possible. Some lawyers out in 12 hours a day. With 12 hour work days you can surely bill 8.5 hours a day. Of course this means no life, almost whatsoever, but it also means mucho dinero. To say nobody bills 3,000 a year is a ridiculous over-generalization. Ask any associate at any big firm. I know people who have billed this many hours. They are not happy people. I even know of small firms where associates bill over 3000 hours (Baker Daniels in Indy, for example). Some firms have huge incentive programs for billing this many hours. Bonus packages for billing 2500 hours are VERY common. What makes you think 500 hours more (approx 9.5 billable more a week) is out of the question.

3. I was speaking more to BigLaw. It is likely that you will get something through OCI, but I was refuting the statement that "T14 people are guaranteed BigLaw jobs paying 170-190." This is not true. This is not true because base salaries don't start out this high. Check Nalp. Seach by salary. There is one firm listed that pays 155,000, a handful that pay 150,000.

4. Again, I'm not talking about "top ten law students." Of course the top ten law students can get BigLaw jobs. Again, I was responding to the guy who said a T14 is guaranteed a BigLaw job regardless of class rank. There are quite a few students, including myself, that secured jobs at Vault top 20 firms. We were all top of our class. All of us. The BigLaw firms (Sidley Austin, Kirkland & Ellis, Sheaman & Sterling, Jones Day, Jenner Block, etc, etc,) only took the top students. These firms would never take students from the bottom of the class. Check out these firms' websites. Even the associates from HYS, etc have honors, journal experience, etc.

BTW, good luck in England. I have a lot of family there; I envy you. Bring your wellies and your brolly though;)

you DO realize that 3000 billables/365 year = ~8.2, right?

that means you have to BILL, not WORK, but BILL 8.2 every single day of the year. no vacation, no weekends, nothing. assuming you take a 1 hr lunch break and 30 minutes worth of piss & coffee breaks, while staying efficient every single second of the rest of your work day, that means you are working ten hour days evey damned day of the year. do you honestly believe anyone does that? well, i suppose you could find one or two people, but this if FAR from the norm at ANY law firm. associates in major markets typically bill ~2400-2600 hrs, with bonuses starting as low as 1900 at some major market firms.
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: josejanseco on November 16, 2006, 11:54:02 PM
The The American Lawyer's 2005 Midlevel Associates Survey has Cravath at an average of 60.6 hours BILLED per week, and Wachtel at 62.5 average hours BILLED per week.  lets assume 2 weeks vacation - not even used in calculating the average, and you still get 50x60.6 = 3,030 which is > 3,000.  That's all the math I can handle for now. 

So as hard as that is for you to imagine, and no matter how many irrelevant anecdotal stories you want to bring up ("my grandpa's old war buddy used to have a houseboy who had a side job cleaning the offices of Jones Day's San Diego office, and he said they usually only worked 2,245 hours a year", etc.), there are SOME ATTORNEYS WHO BILL OVER 3,000 hours a year. Admittedly, these are 3nd-5th year, but I have a hard time imagining that all the 1st and 2nd years aren't up there next to them.  You can claim its all padding or whatever else helps you sleep at night.

http://www.averyindex.com/shortest_hour_law_firms5.php

Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: dirtyheel on November 17, 2006, 03:39:07 AM
Your posts are awfully combative at the top, but I'll attempt to answer your question in the most honest and direct manner possible.  I'm a mid-level at a non-NYC other major east coast market firm who sits on the hiring committee, who also happens to be suffering a bout of insomnia, otherwise I rarely visit here and even rarer do I post.  I hope you feel that qualifies me to speak to your question.
First, in my opinion you absolutely made a mistake taking a Tier 4 full ride over an HYSCCN admission if your intention is to break into high-end corporate/transactional work.  Big firms are becoming less snobbish as another poster noted, and the supply of top school students just doesnt meet the ravenous demand for attorneys at that level anymore.  However, no one has pointed out so far that all so called "Big Law" firms are not created equal.  I don't have too many doubts your ability to graduate and find a market paying job somewhere, you seem smart and determined.  But Kaye Scholer, Stroock, Kronish, Cadwallader, etc are not going to provide the same quality of  deals or the same opportunities for professional advancement as other better regarded firms. Unfortunately, those firms are almost entirely closed off to you coming from Hofstra (and while I recognize people will offer colloquial exceptions, I'm speaking broadly). If you think the snobbery ends once you graduate and hit the working world, you've got another thing coming.  Lawyers in big firms are easily as catty about their reputations relative to peers as law students are. 

Big firms are risk adverse.  They have good experience with people from certain schools, hiring partners and their peers went to a certain few schools, and they're comfortable with that.  Hiring from a low ranked school, even at the top of the clss, is risky to them.  You are a big investment and if it doesn't pan out, they're in hot water with firm management.  Because of this name will always be important.  Also, there is, on average, a big difference between students at your school versus a top-whatever number suits you.  A middle of the class student from a Tier 3/4 just isn't going to be up to tackling the same rigorous material a median student from a top school can handle.  It's probably more accurate to say a top student at a Tier 3/4 would be competitive with a median student at a top school.  I say that with regard to competence in practice, because law school exams tend to test a very narrow skill set. Law students are risk averse too.  They know you can't predict you'll make top 10# at the low school with a scholarship v. median at a top school, and they know the risk that entails.  So try to keep things in perspective and not get a chip on your shoulder about things.

My advice would be to make the best grades possible and transfer up to the best school possible (or top in your chosen market).  You really want to gain access to the best legal work as early as possible in your career, and you're going to find that trading up is almost always possible (as others' stories point out) but that it requires a whole lot more work and a healthy dose of luck beyond what would be required if you start out there from day one.  Thats true for law school transfers, firm laterals or in-house moves.  Don't get discouraged and don't get angry.  The process is what it is, and it is that way for reasons that make (some, if only some) sense, and it is unlikely to change anytime soon.  The job market is good right now, and will likely be better when you're interviewing next summer.  If you break top 10$ at Hofstra, make LR, have a standout resume and non-repugnant personality you'll land a market paying gig.  If you do those things + transfer to a top school with its better OCI and opportunities, you'll find something better still, and I promise you the debt will pay for itself many times over down the line.  Besides, you really don't want to end up at Jones Days Nights and Weekends do you?  (sorry to the other guy for the cheap shot, all in good fun)
Best of luck and study hard. I hope this is helpful and coherent, but I have my doubts, it was late, now it's early, and I'm going to nap before I trudge in to the office.
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: dirtyheel on November 17, 2006, 03:51:20 AM
And dear lord.  To settle the 2,X00 v. 3,000 hour debate above.  I have friends at a couple of firms who do bill 3,000 a year, mostly at those firms pointed to.  That said, this class of people is way under 5% of what you'd call big law attorneys, and  there is absolutely padding that goes on in those figures, so I don't feel the other posters are incorrect to say that "nobody bills 3K hours" because virtually no one does.  Those who do are also clocking in a large number of hours on doc review work in lit or proofing/editing boiler plate and waiting on the printers in corp.  Nodding off and drooling during conference calls is also a specialty of theirs. No one bills 3K hours of mentally intensive work, that would quite likely be impossible.  Associates also don't last very long at those rates, as evidenced by those firms high turnover.  However they do get to work on some exceedingly cool matters.
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: johns259 on November 17, 2006, 12:59:27 PM
Switch to decaf.
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: UChi2L on November 26, 2006, 09:46:17 AM
Very strange to read this thread all morning then turn on We and see OP on "Unwrapping Macy's" registering for her wedding.

As for my $.02, you're going to have to pray that LSAT and undergrad GPA are accurate predictors of your success in law school (they're not all that accurate, but you could be lucky).  I transferred from a low T2 (with nearly the exact same reputation as Hofstra, in fact, I almost went there) to a top 10 law school and the difference in job opportunities was shocking. When you have 800 law firms rather than 20, how could it not be?  Kids at the bottom of the class at my new school are being aggressively recruited for incredible biglaw jobs all over the country and the world(where they do, in fact, often bill more than 3000 hours.  I know partners at the firm I summered at who break 3000 consistently, and I've met associates who have had 400-hour months).  Good clerkships are utterly impossible to get out of a low T2 or T3, no matter how stellar your grades are, who you know, or how many languages you speak.  Also, don't forget that while someone coming out of a lower-ranked school with lots of "other skills" does look better in interviews than a top-10 law student with zero personality, nobody can compete with a student with depth and character who graduates from a great school.  Your life will also be much easier not having to worry about being on every committee, journal, and moot court team.  And trust me, you won't.

You're not shut out of a possible career in biglaw, I have a close personal friend who graduated from Hofstra and got permanent full-time offers at Sullivan & Cromwell and Shearman, but he had a 4.0 cumulative GPA and was EIC of the Law Review.  I'm sure it happens -- it happened at my old school -- but you have a much better chance of landing a good job out of a good school than a T3, and (as you'll learn as you progress through law school) it's all about increasing your chance do to what you want to do, because nothing is guaranteed.

My advice: you MUST transfer after your first year unless you want to do government work or work at a "lifestyle" firm.  Don't even think twice about it.  The debt means very little coming out of a great law school with an ability to earn nearly $200K (all in).  Then again, based on your previous choices, it seems like you might want to reconsider biglaw.  If you want to be happy and if "soft factors" (read: anything other than money and prestige) mean anything to you, I wouldn't recommend biglaw.  It can be soul crushing.

Good luck with school (and your wedding)
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: T. Durden on November 26, 2006, 08:27:20 PM
the irony of all of this of couse is that within 8 years of having started at biglaw less than 1% of us will still actually be there....
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: Budlaw on November 27, 2006, 03:41:38 PM
the irony of all of this of couse is that within 8 years of having started at biglaw less than 1% of us will still actually be there....

Shhh!!!!! You need to keep that to yourself lest everyone over on the pre-law board should find out! Biglaw's the only way to go or stay according to them and half of everyone else on this board.
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: T. Durden on November 27, 2006, 07:00:48 PM
well i guess then i'd be remiss by "spilling" that biglaw attorneys maintain higher divorce rates than our U.S. Navy Seals.

oops!

damn i'm just ruining it for everyone aren't i
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: RenaldoBalkman on November 27, 2006, 07:33:05 PM
People always like to diss biglaw.  Too bad the criticism usually comes from those who have no biglaw work experience or are upset about getting dinged from screeners and callbacks.
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: Budlaw on November 27, 2006, 07:40:28 PM
People always like to diss biglaw.  Too bad the criticism usually comes from those who have no biglaw work experience or are upset about getting dinged from screeners and callbacks.

Guess I'll have to let you know how it is after next summer.  ;)
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: RenaldoBalkman on November 27, 2006, 07:45:48 PM
People always like to diss biglaw.  Too bad the criticism usually comes from those who have no biglaw work experience or are upset about getting dinged from screeners and callbacks.

Guess I'll have to let you know how it is after next summer.  ;)

Cool we can compare notes. 

There are a number of things about biglaw that aren't enviable.  But I hate it when I hear people who couldn't get a job talk about how they "didn't want to work biglaw anyway."
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: T. Durden on November 27, 2006, 07:47:10 PM
if by "dissing" you mean sharing some facts and statistics about the profession, then yes, i am dissing big law

but alas, like most who can, i will be there this summer and probably for a couple of years after graudation

i like to tell myself that i am victim of circumstance
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: RenaldoBalkman on November 27, 2006, 08:17:14 PM
if by "dissing" you mean sharing some facts and statistics about the profession, then yes, i am dissing big law

but alas, like most who can, i will be there this summer and probably for a couple of years after graudation

i like to tell myself that i am victim of circumstance

Cool congrats.  From some of your posts, I was under the impression that you didn't get a biglaw summer offer.

Getting a biglaw firm to practically pay for your 3rd year isn't too bad  ;)
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: Budlaw on November 27, 2006, 08:31:35 PM
People always like to diss biglaw.  Too bad the criticism usually comes from those who have no biglaw work experience or are upset about getting dinged from screeners and callbacks.

Guess I'll have to let you know how it is after next summer.  ;)

Cool we can compare notes. 

There are a number of things about biglaw that aren't enviable.  But I hate it when I hear people who couldn't get a job talk about how they "didn't want to work biglaw anyway."

I understand what you're saying. However, I personally hate to hear from so many people that Biglaw is the end all be all of the legal market. Most of us won't even start at biglaw or if we do, we'll be out of there within a few years. Don't get me wrong, biglaw is a great way to get your 3rd year of lawschool financed and also a way to pay off student loans. However, after those loans are gone, a lot of peoples priorities change.

Oh well....back to not studying.
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: UChi2L on November 28, 2006, 04:34:05 AM
People always like to diss biglaw.  Too bad the criticism usually comes from those who have no biglaw work experience or are upset about getting dinged from screeners and callbacks.

Guess I'll have to let you know how it is after next summer.  ;)

You're not going to know anything about Biglaw after a summer associateship ... You are, however, going to know what it feels like to have physical pain in your liver from drinking too much free expensive champagne, pain in your stomach from eating so much gourmet food from the fanciest restaurants in the city, and aggressive mental fatigue from choosing between events late in the summer when you have four a week and you can't physically make it to all of them.

Oh yeah, there's also the "pain" of trying to button up your old pants that you swear were a little roomy in April.

People diss biglaw for three reasons: (1) they're jealous; (2) it's really not for them, in which case they should keep their opinions to themselves (telling people not to go to biglaw just because you want to work at a boutique firm or in the government and go home at 3:30 on Fridays is like an aggressive vegetarian trying to convince everyone at a BBQ to eat a grilled mushroom -- keep your opinions to yourself) (2) they're proving that they have some kind of knowledge that relates to what you do.  It's exactly the same as when you first made your decision to go to law school and people were like 'oh wow ... good luck with that.'  You're alive (maybe not happy, but at least alive) aren't you?

I get this crap from people at my old law school, from my obnoxious cousins at Thanksgiving dinner, and from family friends who are lawyers.  The next person who calls the firm I'm working at a "sweatshop" or a "graveyard" is going to hear about it.  As long as you are proactive during the summer, seeking out first- and second-year associates (firms don't always give summers "access" to these young associates, that's a warning sign, too) and finding out how happy or miserable they really are, you'll never know.  There is some variation among the big firms, and although it's not like you really have a choice if you hate the firm you summer at after your second year, at least if you find out it's really terrible you'll be prepared enough to look for a good psychiatrist and get some Xanax before you even walk in the door for your first day.
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: Krisace on November 28, 2006, 11:37:15 PM
Well said...although I gotta say, once you get a second summer Biglaw position, you can leverage it pretty easily into a better position if you weren't completely happy with the firm you were at (as long as you got an offer).
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: DOCLAW on November 29, 2006, 01:13:13 PM
This thread is funny.  Some of the posters give the impression that you MUST go to a T1 to have a real chance in BIGLAW.
I go to a T4 and got 5 call backs and 4 offers.  I even worked at a BIG LAW firm my first summer (who asked me to come back).  Many of my classmates also had multiple offers.

Sooooo, don't be discouraged by the few on this thread who try to paint a grim picture about job perspectives at schools outside of the elite 20.  If you like your school don't transfer.

And by the way,  I was not in the top 10 of my class but I am on law review.

Good luck.
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: rutherford on November 29, 2006, 02:25:34 PM
 Of course you dont HAVE to go to a T1 to get into Biglaw, and of course some NFL players walk on and make the team, and of course some 5'5' atheletes can make it in the NBA. The point people are trying to make is that your chances are greater for making it into BigLaw if you are at a T1. That simply cannot be denied.

I was actually at a T4, finished top 5%, and decided to transfer to a T1 because the odds are simply better for me to get a better job. I think less than 20 schools were at OCI at my old school while my new T1 school has close to 600. The odds simply cannot be denied.

But alas, all of this is based what generally will occur and of course people at T4s will be able to crack into BigLaw. Its just that not as many will make it as those at T1s.

Good luck on exams!
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: TDJD84 on November 29, 2006, 02:26:08 PM
DOCLAW, what city do you go to school in? And how did you manage to get a job?  ANy advice?  Does anyone know if it is possible to get a federal clerkship coming from a t2, do most federal judges (like some firms) simply only take canidates from certain schools?
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: UChi2L on November 29, 2006, 02:29:52 PM
This thread is funny.  Some of the posters give the impression that you MUST go to a T1 to have a real chance in BIGLAW.

It is absolutely not the end of the "biglaw world" to go to a low-ranked school.  In fact, I started at a third tier school, got a great biglaw job, and had a great first summer associateship.  I transferred up and I see how easy things are for these kids, all the way through their careers.  Don't forget that things don't magically equalize after you get the offer.  Some firms (and it's hard to identify them ex ante) are highly snotty about pedigree.

Like I said, law school is all about placing yourself in a position to be able to do the things you want.  OP seemed (if I remember correctly) really interested in biglaw.  She also has no grades yet (except for legal writing), and it's hard to know how one will fare after finals.  If you do well at a sub-t50 school, you can get into biglaw.  If you don't, good luck.  This year, nobody in the class beneath me at my old school got a job through OCI, and very few of my 3L friends (set to graduate) have jobs at all.  The average sub-t50 student has not-so-great biglaw prospects.

Again, biglaw is not the be-all, end-all.  Not even close.  But if it's what you want, or what you think you want (which is the point of this whole thread) there are things you can do to make it more likely.
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: Budlaw on November 29, 2006, 05:01:53 PM
This thread is funny.  Some of the posters give the impression that you MUST go to a T1 to have a real chance in BIGLAW.

It is absolutely not the end of the "biglaw world" to go to a low-ranked school.  In fact, I started at a third tier school, got a great biglaw job, and had a great first summer associateship.  I transferred up and I see how easy things are for these kids, all the way through their careers.  Don't forget that things don't magically equalize after you get the offer.  Some firms (and it's hard to identify them ex ante) are highly snotty about pedigree.

Like I said, law school is all about placing yourself in a position to be able to do the things you want.  OP seemed (if I remember correctly) really interested in biglaw.  She also has no grades yet (except for legal writing), and it's hard to know how one will fare after finals.  If you do well at a sub-t50 school, you can get into biglaw.  If you don't, good luck.  This year, nobody in the class beneath me at my old school got a job through OCI, and very few of my 3L friends (set to graduate) have jobs at all.  The average sub-t50 student has not-so-great biglaw prospects.

Again, biglaw is not the be-all, end-all.  Not even close.  But if it's what you want, or what you think you want (which is the point of this whole thread) there are things you can do to make it more likely.

I've just one issue to take with your otherwise good post. Setting the bar at T50 is way too arbitrary a number. There are plenty of schools within the 50 to 100 range that also give you excellent opportunities to place at biglaw. For example:

Temple, Case, Miami, Villanova, Cincinnati,Cardozo, Brooklyn, DePaul, St. Johns, Houston, Seton Hall, etc...

Also to name a notorious T3: New York Law School.

However, if you notice, all of these schools are in Major Legal Markets. That's the big difference. If you're in a T2 at an out-of the way place, that's when you'll run into trouble finding a Biglaw job, and you'll have to hustle a little more if you don't do very well in law school.

So really, it's not that you must go to a T1 to get a Biglaw job, it's that if you don't go to a T1, then you need to go to a T2 in a major market or do well at an out of the way school to get a job at Biglaw.

That being noted, I'd venture to say that if you don't do well at some of the out of the way schools in the lower end of T1, like UGA, Alabama, Florida, Colorodo, etc., you're not going to get a Biglaw job either.
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: RedNBlack on November 29, 2006, 06:40:57 PM
Sorry, I just have to respond to your comment noting that UGA is "out of the way." UGA places the most law students in biglaw in Atlanta than any other law school, and I don't think its close. Nearly every one of my friends in the top 1/3 had a good shot at big law and either got an offer, or at least had multiple shots at it. If you aren't in the top 1/3 - 1/2 at any schools outside of the top 15, you likely aren't going biglaw. So the point: UGA is a bad example of a school that doesn't place well in biglaw, and while it is an hour from ATL, it certainly isn't "out of the way" in terms of getting a job.
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: UChi2L on November 29, 2006, 06:45:25 PM
Top 10, 14, 15, 50 is arbitrary, Top 100 is arbitrary, third tier, fourth tier ... it's all arbitrary because US News rankings are full of garbage and give too much weight to unimportant factors (e.g. Kent moved up 40 spots in the rankings after it moved to a new building when it made no changes in its faculty, their publication rates, graduation rates, incoming student stats, etc.  This is proof not that Kent is "not as good as its ranking" but that there are a number of great schools languishing in the unranked third- and fourth tiers because of stupid factors that are totally insignificant to the quality of their grads.

There are great schools in the lower tiers and there are great lawyers from every school (there are also a lot of terrible lawyers who graduate from great schools).  Re: Cardozo, DePaul, 'Nova, and Brooklyn (the only schools on your list that I really know anything about), you have to be -- like I mentioned in a previous post -- at the very top of your class to get a screening interview.  Kids from those schools absolutely get biglaw jobs, but (again) the opportunities are less plentiful.  The general rule as to the quality of students when you move up from the third and fourth tiers to the top 100 (which I've heard from a number of biglaw partners throughout the interviewing process) is that you (generally) lop off the bottom third of the student body, and things are equivalent as you move up.  Kids in the top of the class at any fourth tier school could hang at any top 10 law school, no doubt, and everyone (law students, partners, associates, etc.) knows that.  That's part of the reason why law school students are snotty to transfers: they pose a major threat to other students' grades regardless of where they started out.  There are kids I go to school with would sink like stones at fourth tier schools, so some of it depends on how you learn and what kind of focus you can handle (theoretical vs practical).

As for whether the firm is confident enough in its lawyers and its reputation to take students from lower-ranked schools, that's something you have to find out on an individualized basis.  I was lucky enough find a firm that hired me out of my old school, but the difference in how they treat me post-transfer is really sad ... so it's hard for me to believe that the hiring process really is the end of the story.  It sucks, it's a miserable system, but it is how things work at some biglaw firms.
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: UChi2L on November 29, 2006, 06:47:03 PM
If you aren't in the top 1/3 - 1/2 at any schools outside of the top 15, you likely aren't going biglaw.

Simply not true.
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: RedNBlack on November 29, 2006, 06:56:32 PM
First of all, I said "likely", and that is true. Second of all, how about you back that statement up with some numbers? I still stand by the statement that people outside of the top 50% at non-top 15 schools "likely" aren't going big law. Bottom line.
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: T. Durden on November 29, 2006, 06:58:27 PM
First of all, I said "likely", and that is true. Second of all, how about you back that statement up with some numbers? I still stand by the statement that people outside of the top 50% at non-top 15 schools "likely" aren't going big law. Bottom line.

the man speaks the truth
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: Budlaw on November 29, 2006, 07:13:50 PM
Sorry, I just have to respond to your comment noting that UGA is "out of the way." UGA places the most law students in biglaw in Atlanta than any other law school, and I don't think its close. Nearly every one of my friends in the top 1/3 had a good shot at big law and either got an offer, or at least had multiple shots at it. If you aren't in the top 1/3 - 1/2 at any schools outside of the top 15, you likely aren't going biglaw. So the point: UGA is a bad example of a school that doesn't place well in biglaw, and while it is an hour from ATL, it certainly isn't "out of the way" in terms of getting a job.

Maybe I should have said that it doesn't place well in Biglaw unless you're in the top 1/3rd?

Happy now?

If you notice I did say "if you don't do well" - that would imply being outside of the top 1/3rd of your class.

And to clarify my "out of the way" - I was talking about a T1 school not located inside a major legal market. I love Athens to death (went to undergrad there), but it's not a major legal market. It's a little over an hour away from one (Atlanta) - but it's not located in one.

Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: RedNBlack on November 29, 2006, 07:16:05 PM
I see what you're saying, I just don't think UGA is as good an example as Colorado or Alabama b/c it basically functions as though it is in Atlanta in terms of employment. And of course you have the advantage of not paying $10 a beer, but you already know that well if you went to undergrad here.
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: Budlaw on November 29, 2006, 07:17:51 PM
I see what you're saying, I just don't think UGA is as good an example as Colorado or Alabama b/c it basically functions as though it is in Atlanta in terms of employment. And of course you have the advantage of not paying $10 a beer, but you already know that well if you went to undergrad here.

$1 dollar schlitz

$1.50 PBR - gotta love it.
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: UChi2L on November 29, 2006, 08:13:49 PM
First of all, I said "likely", and that is true. Second of all, how about you back that statement up with some numbers? I still stand by the statement that people outside of the top 50% at non-top 15 schools "likely" aren't going big law. Bottom line.

I suppose that depends on what you mean by "likely" ... would that be a preponderance of the evidence standard?
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: RedNBlack on November 29, 2006, 09:34:44 PM
No, reasonable person....
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: DOCLAW on November 30, 2006, 05:59:06 AM
DOCLAW, what city do you go to school in? And how did you manage to get a job?  ANy advice?  Does anyone know if it is possible to get a federal clerkship coming from a t2, do most federal judges (like some firms) simply only take canidates from certain schools?

I am in Maryland.  Most alumni from my school practice at Baltimore & DC firms.   How did I get a job? Like everybody else.  1L: Starting in December, I sent out resumes with writing samples to 20-30 large firms (150+).  Received 5 interviews.  Accepted a well paid summer associate position. Also received a few random offers to apply to firms.  Additionally, if you are unable to find employment on your own for 1L summer, my school has gaureenteed placement (clerkship, or firm) for all 1L students.

2L: Did OCI. 

So, the point is that no generalized statement can be made that applies across the board.  Like another poster said, it depends on location, reputation of the school within the community, interviewing and social skills.  If you have absolutely no interviewing or social skills and normally would not be able to find a job, then yeah I would agree that you need to transfer to the highest ranked school you can possibly find in order to compensate.

Good luck on finals!!
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: Krisace on November 30, 2006, 06:37:40 PM
I keep reading these posts and people seem to be speaking accross each other.  Yes, it is possible to get a Biglaw job out of a T-2 or maybe even a T-3 that is in a big metropolitan area. The point that peopple are trying to make, and that those who do well as a 1L should note, is that the BigLaw jobs out of a T-2 or T-3 are few and afr between.  Sure you can be one of the 5 people at U. San Francisco to get one in your class of 300 or so.  You might be one of the 2 at McGeorge that get one iun your class of 350.

But the safe bet,and the wiser choice, is to transfer to a T-1, perhaps even a top-14 school.  T-1's are likely placing 25% of their studnetbody into BigLaw.  Top-14 schools are placing 50% or so (virtually everyone, with rare exception of course, of those who wants such a job). 

Staying at a lower-ranked school is a smart decision only if you can see that those with your precise rank got a BigLaw job the year before. Or, of course, it makes sense if you simply don't care to work for a national or global firm.
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: ksully on December 15, 2006, 01:21:31 PM
BUT Hofstra has a brand new Dean (who is in fact my Torts prof) and he has already started the improvement process.  I actually am a part of it, because I among many of my classmates, are the recruits he wanted to get so much. 

Hofstra had the lowest bar passage rate of all NYC schools, 6 points below the state average, for the last bar exam. So much for improvements.


http://www.nylawyer.com/adgifs/decisions/121506examchart.pdf
Title: Re: How important is the name really?
Post by: RenaldoBalkman on December 17, 2006, 12:12:10 AM
BUT Hofstra has a brand new Dean (who is in fact my Torts prof) and he has already started the improvement process.  I actually am a part of it, because I among many of my classmates, are the recruits he wanted to get so much. 

Hofstra had the lowest bar passage rate of all NYC schools, 6 points below the state average, for the last bar exam. So much for improvements.


http://www.nylawyer.com/adgifs/decisions/121506examchart.pdf

Ouch...OP must be studying hard for finals now so she can achieve her biglaw dream.