Law School Discussion

Law Students => Job Search => Topic started by: wonderwall on August 28, 2008, 04:08:56 PM

Title: Job Prospects for Tier 2 Schools
Post by: wonderwall on August 28, 2008, 04:08:56 PM
I was wondering... I am applying to law schools, and planning to stay in the Chicago area. If so, the schools would be UChicago, Northwestern, Kent, DePaul and Loyola (I'm not considering John Marshall). I was wondering, obviously it would great to go to Uchicago or NU, but say I don't get into those schools, but went to Kent or Depaul/Loyola (all Tier 2, but did really well in my class) - would my prospects be alright for Chicago area law firm jobs? Would I have a much harder time getting a BigLaw job at these tier 2 schools?

Secondly, once I get my foot in the door, and say I get a job at a great firm, how much would my school matter after that? I hear people say that your LSAT gets you into school, but doesn't matter after that and your school gets you your first job but doesn't matter after that? Is this true? I would think your school might stay with you longer...

Or what about your overall impression of prospects T14 compared to Tier 1 compared to Tier 2? And how would your class rank affect these comparisons? Say, top 5% at Tier 2 compared to middle of your class at T14/Tier 1?
Title: Re: Job Prospects for Tier 2 Schools
Post by: nealric on August 29, 2008, 02:01:12 PM
School will matter for laterals, and can be a boost for alumni network reasons I would think.


How sold are you on biglaw? If it's that or bust, the T2 track is a gamble at best. That's just the numbers. Obviously there are rockstars at any school that will do fine regardless.
Title: Re: Job Prospects for Tier 2 Schools
Post by: OldCraig on August 30, 2008, 08:36:21 AM
Just a caveat that I feel that I'm qualified to add here:

If you're at a Tier 2 school, just GETTING biglaw interviews can be a huge challenge because no one comes to the On Campus Interviews to recruit. Top 10% is not preferred, it's necessary, and even then, you'll have to satisfy partners and associates who graduated from T14's that you'll make the same caliber attorney as a kid from T14. Going to a Tier 2, or god forbid, Tier 3, will do 2 main things to you: 1) turn you into a fierce competitor & 2) Make you hate yourself when you don't get callbacks because some kid at my school with a mediocre GPA got your offer.

I think people on this board continue to say this, and people continue to ask it.
Title: Re: Job Prospects for Tier 2 Schools
Post by: huhwhat on August 30, 2008, 11:20:02 AM
It isn't impossible to get interviews and callbacks from BigLaw coming from a T2.  I have had plenty of V10-V20 interviews and have a lot of callbacks scheduled.  However, logistics can be a problem.  V10 firms tend not to visit non-T1 schools, meaning that I have had to travel to firms just for screening interviews.  That can be tiring and means missing more school than you would at higher ranked schools.  If BigLaw is all you want, T2 can be a gamble- everyone I know who has gotten those interviews at my school is ranked in the top 3%-5%.  It isn't easy to have that class rank at any school.  If you go to T2, you are going to have to work harder than you would at a T14 just to ensure that you get the interviews you want.
Title: Re: Job Prospects for Tier 2 Schools
Post by: JbooklynD on August 30, 2008, 01:29:22 PM
Almost all of the V100 firms visit my T2, and a majority of the the V10.  Just about everyone in the top 20% will get at least some interviews at the top biglaw shops.  It really depends on your schools repuation and market.  Being in the biggest legal market, my t2 is well connected and places about the top 1/4 of our class into biglaw (market salaries).
Title: Re: Job Prospects for Tier 2 Schools
Post by: OldCraig on August 30, 2008, 03:36:00 PM
I doubt it.  ;)
Title: Re: Job Prospects for Tier 2 Schools
Post by: kipford on August 31, 2008, 06:56:36 AM
Almost all of the V100 firms visit my T2, and a majority of the the V10.  Just about everyone in the top 20% will get at least some interviews at the top biglaw shops.  It really depends on your schools repuation and market.  Being in the biggest legal market, my t2 is well connected and places about the top 1/4 of our class into biglaw (market salaries).

My T2 school is in a secondary market and we have a fair number of Biglaw firms come in for OCI (not like what you get in NYC or anything, but still...).  We have three V100 firms based here and they all interviewed, plus other fairly large firms (there were 12 that pay 6 figure salaries that were part of our early interview week).

However, I've found that it is pretty tough.  I had all 12 bids accepted, but of the 9 firms that I know have done callbacks I've only gotten four of them.  These have not really corresponded to prestige/salary.  I got a callback at at least one of the V100 firms and got a rejection from a firm that paid the lowest salary of the ones I bid on (not that salary exactly equals prestige, but it's probably a reasonable proxy).  Some people at my school did VERY well on these (callbacks at most or all) and others have done worse than me.  These are all highly ranked students/law review members.

I think there are a number of factors that go into it beyond grades/ranking (I'm ranked high enough that if it was just ranking I should have received callbacks at every firm since I'm pretty sure they each are doing more callbacks than there are people ranked higher than me).  Probably some of it is "clicking" with the interviewer-but one of my interviews that I felt was the strongest ended up sending me a rejection letter the very next day!  Some of it could be trying to create a demographic balance in the firm (I'm an overrepresented majority!).  Some of it could be that I'm older, had a previous career, and they may be wary that I won't be willing to run through walls for them (the reality is that I'm perfectly willing to do just that if I get one of these jobs).  Some of it could be that I maybe didn't come across well in the interview (although I think I'm reasonably personable...).

So, from my perspective, I've had second thoughts about things like not transferring and/or not applying to other cities, but I've got family ties and the like where I am, so that was not much of an option.  If looked at from my perspective (very high ranking, less than stellar callback record) it makes a T2 look tough.  However, like I said, I know of people who have done incredibily well (both in our home market and at great firms in NYC) from the same school.
Title: Re: Job Prospects for Tier 2 Schools
Post by: nealric on August 31, 2008, 07:55:55 AM
Quote
Being in the biggest legal market, my t2 is well connected and places about the top 1/4 of our class into biglaw (market salaries).

Not sayin this to be a hater, but do you have anything to back that up?

According to the NLJ, Brooklyn only places 10% of its grads into the NLJ 250 (let alone the V100)

http://www.law.com/pdf/nlj/20080414employment_trends.pdf
Title: Re: Job Prospects for Tier 2 Schools
Post by: Budlaw on August 31, 2008, 09:41:54 AM
Quote
Being in the biggest legal market, my t2 is well connected and places about the top 1/4 of our class into biglaw (market salaries).

Not sayin this to be a hater, but do you have anything to back that up?

According to the NLJ, Brooklyn only places 10% of its grads into the NLJ 250 (let alone the V100)

http://www.law.com/pdf/nlj/20080414employment_trends.pdf

He said "market" so that would probably include firms that pay at or near market rate but aren't in the NLJ 250.

On a personal note, that list is a little misleading because it is heavily north-east biased as far as school placement goes. For example, UC-Hastings, UC-Davis and Tulane do very well at placement, but they don't do well at all according to that list. 
Title: Re: Job Prospects for Tier 2 Schools
Post by: JbooklynD on August 31, 2008, 10:18:55 AM
No, I don't have an outdated survey from 2005 to back it up.  But, from personal experience, I know many people in the top 1/4 (and some top 1/3) of the class that had biglaw jobs making 160k.  That's not to say that everyone in the top 1/4 HAS one of those jobs, but that it is AVAILABLE to them if they want it.

But, sure, if you want to say that outside top 1/4 at BLS it's extremely difficult to get biglaw, that's fine.  I wouldn't refute that statement at all. 

Quote
Being in the biggest legal market, my t2 is well connected and places about the top 1/4 of our class into biglaw (market salaries).

Not sayin this to be a hater, but do you have anything to back that up?

According to the NLJ, Brooklyn only places 10% of its grads into the NLJ 250 (let alone the V100)

http://www.law.com/pdf/nlj/20080414employment_trends.pdf
Title: Re: Job Prospects for Tier 2 Schools
Post by: OldCraig on August 31, 2008, 09:00:00 PM
No. :)
Title: Re: Job Prospects for Tier 2 Schools
Post by: rocky7 on September 01, 2008, 09:37:42 AM
I'm top 10% at a T2 and I got 20 interviews and 10 callbacks all from the vault 100.  But the thing is, even being top 10, I still didn't get interviews from any firms in the vault 20.  So as for the extremely prestigious, its difficult coming from a T2 even if you are top 10%.  But as far as big law, you have plenty of opportunities.

Title: Re: Job Prospects for Tier 2 Schools
Post by: TPS Report on September 01, 2008, 12:57:44 PM
http://www.law.com/pdf/nlj/regional_IL.pdf
Title: Re: Job Prospects for Tier 2 Schools
Post by: OldCraig on September 01, 2008, 06:46:10 PM
I 2nd what Yellow said -

Here's a screening interview at a T14 -

Interviewer - "Did you see Cosby last night?"
Interviewee - "Nah, I was at a callback."
Interviewer - "Want to come meet our team?"
Interviewee - "Ah... what the hell."
Interviewer - "Sweet, here's a free ipod shuffle"

Here's a screening interview at a tier 2 -

Interviewer - * eating a cheeseburger * "So what do you think you could bring to the firm?"
Interviewee - "Well... I'm a hard worker and I..."
Interviewer - "It takes more than work ethic to cut it in big law son... what was your LSAT?"
Interviewee - "Well... umm... NALP guidlines don't allow me to disclose that..."
Interviewer - "I don't blame them... that's some potentially career wrecking stuff. You can go now, unless you've got like, questions..."
Interviewee - "Actually, I do, how much collaboration..."
Interviewer - "Times up"
Title: Re: Job Prospects for Tier 2 Schools
Post by: T. Durden on September 01, 2008, 07:21:36 PM
I was talking to my 2L "friend" (well the term friend is being used loosely here as he is an appointed mentor and I am his mentee and this is obviously something that will be put on his resume to bolster it further, which, I suppose in the law school context, doesn't automatically disqualify him from friend status - it's more a probationary measure than anything else) about my post-1L biglaw job anxieties and he informed that if I fail to finish in the top 95% of my class Cravath might not be an option. This was not good news and it took me at least 2 minutes and 34 seconds (I count the seconds off in my head as I'm waiting for my heart rate to drop sub 185 beats per min) to regain the powers of speech. He looked as if the thought of calling for an ambulance crossed his mind. Apparently he is a stranger to full blown panic attacks .. rookie. Needless to say he told me about what to do and what not to do during a job interview. I asked if he had any "nightmare" interviews. He related this story:

"Well there was one firm that I wasn't really all that interested in; only a V20, you know?"

I nod emphatically, knowing exactly what he was talking about

"So I'm sitting there as you'd expect; I don't really mind answering all of their little questions - it's a part of the process, but then the interviewer had the audacity to say:

'Do you have any questions that you would like to ask me?'

Me: 'Are you serious? We have 35 minutes left...'

Interviewer: 'Of course I'm being serious - did I give the impression that I was not?'

Me: 'Well no.. it's just that, well.. 35 minutes for me to ask you questions? Come on, doesn't that strike you in the least bit as maybe being just slightly ridiculous? You and I both know why I am here, and it isn't because I enjoy the industrial chic decor of the lobby - what is this place, by the way, a Chipotle? I know your average first year billables, I know your practice areas, I know your first year salaries, and I know the average bonus per first year - what exactly is there left for us to talk about? Sure, I could waste our mutual time and ask you questions about your practice and you could filibuster about some case that you tried 23 years ago and I could zone out and dream about what it would be like to @#!* your undoubtedly disproportionately hot wife on your desk and I could sit there and nod in feigned interest and then I'd ask you about lifestyle and community and you'd talk about pro bono and I'd smile an impressed smile and raise my eyebrows to show approval and then you'd conclude that really what keeps you going is the caliber of the people that you work with ... except neither of us would believe a single word of it though your delivery would be so slick that maybe, for just a brief minute or two, you'd even have yourself convinced that the poo you're shoveling was grade-A authentic and then you'd give an obvious look at my resume to remind yourself of my name and you'd stand and then I'd stand and we'd shake hands and if you introduced yourself as Pat I'll say 'Good bye Patrick' and you'll say 'best of luck to you Steve' even though the name Sam was lingering on the tip of your tongue...

... and I'll leave your office and there in the hallway, while rejoicing in paroxysm of relief that stems from completing such an extreme exercise in banality, I will meet your secretary who will then guide me to the next office to repeat this horrible crime-of-a-process all over again. So, maybe you were serious, maybe you weren't - either way, it doesn't really matter at this point. I'm qualified and I'll work hard. Why don't we just cut the crap and make a decision now?'

I was escorted out of the building by security."

And now I am afraid to ask the next question as it might prove to myself that despite my (and his) spectacular resume, a V20 might actually turn me (and him) down should the interview be.. well... less than pristine.

"Did you, ummm, well ......... get an offer?"

And as soon as I ask I realize that I have committed a major faux pas, for now I have forced him into either admitting that he was turned by a V20 (God forbid that the word get out about this, his local rep would be ruined!) or lying about his rejection.

His shoulders shrink, and his eyes flash in disappointment - maybe in me asking the question, maybe in himself for not getting the offer .. the eyes move too quickly to get a solid read.

"Hmph, no .. no, no offer."

Awkward silence ensues.
Title: Re: Job Prospects for Tier 2 Schools
Post by: OldCraig on September 02, 2008, 02:39:19 PM
Detective Kimble:
Quote
What did you know about Paul Allen?
Pat Bateman:
Quote
I'm at a loss... He was a part of that whole "Yale" thing
Detective Kimble:
Quote
Yale thing? What is that?
Pat Bateman:
Quote
Well for one thing he was probably a closet homosexual who did alot of cocaine... THAT Yale thing.

 :)
Title: Re: Job Prospects for Tier 2 Schools
Post by: T. Durden on September 03, 2008, 11:51:31 AM
Do you like Phil Collins?
Title: Re: Job Prospects for Tier 2 Schools
Post by: Harsh Reality on September 21, 2008, 12:13:43 AM
Being at a T2 school in this economic downturn is almost a recipe for disaster.  In a good market, they're looking for Top 10%, in a bad market, they're looking for Top 5% because they're aren't many spots left after the T14 kids have gabbled them up.  They interview T14 schools before they interview T2 schools so by the time they get to the T2, there's like 3 spots left.
Title: Re: Job Prospects for Tier 2 Schools
Post by: OldCraig on September 22, 2008, 06:43:04 PM
Actually, there is room left... so long as you're like, a gay puerto rican. HUGE DIVERSITY POINTS.
Title: Re: Job Prospects for Tier 2 Schools
Post by: Huso on September 22, 2008, 06:58:22 PM
I can attest to what the poster two above me said.  I'm in the top 10% but not top 5% and it's been hell trying to get an offer from anywhere.
Title: Re: Job Prospects for Tier 2 Schools
Post by: antsor5 on September 22, 2008, 07:23:12 PM
T2 ~60. top 5%. ip. no real ip we tho
multiple big law/vault 100 offers
ip background/being a patent agent helped a ton i think..
Title: Re: Job Prospects for Tier 2 Schools
Post by: bigjoefatz on September 23, 2008, 04:59:57 PM
I am at a T2, top 6%, Journal, and summered at the SEC. I had 36 OCI's, 12 Callbacks, 5 offers so far (2 more possible, including from a V5) and 3 withdrawn.

Point is its possible. Granted I am in NYC, but still, its possible. But in my view, it is necessary to finish in the top 20%.
Title: Re: Job Prospects for Tier 2 Schools
Post by: OldCraig on September 24, 2008, 06:31:23 AM
Yea, where you went to law school has alot to do with it. You can't go to law school in, like, Arkansas, and expect to get offers from New York firms. For one thing, the old north, and the old south HATE each other still.  Especially during times when jobs are more scarce. So, like, consider where your marketable at a T2. I'm not saying DONT try to interview at NY firms. I'm just saying give yourself ALOT of backups.