Law School Discussion

Deciding Where to Go => Choosing the Right Law School => Topic started by: Peanut_Butter_Jelly_Time on November 15, 2007, 09:01:47 PM

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Post by: Peanut_Butter_Jelly_Time on November 15, 2007, 09:01:47 PM
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Title: Re: What's the Difference Between T10 Schools?
Post by: clairel on November 15, 2007, 09:15:04 PM
generally the t10 are broken into three groups...harvard/yale/stanford are equal, columbia/nyu/chicago are equal, virginia/penn/michigan/other random t14ers are equal: in terms of big law, pretty much everyone at H/Y/S will get it if they want, most people at columbia/chicago/nyu will get it (i don't know anyone at chicago, even in the bottom of the class, who didn't get any biglaw offers for next summer), and maybe top 50%-75% at virginia/michigan/where ever else get it. i made up that last figure but if you troll law message boards, you'll hear of people in the bottom 25% at the latter schools who didn't get a job.

that being said, i think any t10 school will give you a shot at a biglaw job if you're realistic about your chances. if you're in the bottom 10% at anything other than H/Y/S, you can probably still get biglaw but you might have to go to a lower ranked vault NYC firm.

all of this, i think generally holds true for clerks as well although that's even more competitive. to clerk, you're going to have to be even higher in your class no matter which school....and i think the clerking rates are yale/stanford/chicago proportionately?

anyway, any t14 will give you good employment prospects.
Title: Re: What's the Difference Between T10 Schools?
Post by: hmmmz on November 15, 2007, 09:56:12 PM
what about mobility? except the top 5, I still don't see how a degree from Berkley, Cornell, Northwestern or Michigan would be more mobile than say Notre Dame.
Title: Re: What's the Difference Between T10 Schools?
Post by: Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration on November 15, 2007, 10:13:33 PM
what about mobility? except the top 5, I still don't see how a degree from Berkley, Cornell, Northwestern or Michigan would be more mobile than say Notre Dame.

haha, oh yeah?
Title: Re: What's the Difference Between T10 Schools?
Post by: clairel on November 16, 2007, 12:56:13 AM
what about mobility? except the top 5, I still don't see how a degree from Berkley, Cornell, Northwestern or Michigan would be more mobile than say Notre Dame.

t14 degrees are more mobile simply because of reputation concerns in the u.s. news rankings (and in basically all other rankings systems; law school confidential has a good cumulative rankings system that groups the schools pretty much as i have in my first post). if you went to a t14 school, you could probably get a biglaw job from top 50% for sure and maybe top 60-70%. if you went to, say, notre dame, you would probably have to be in the top 20-30% to have that degree mobility. the problem is that people  tend to assume they will be i the top of the class (i know i did) and they won't be. so, in general, it's easier to go to a school that will provide you biglaw jobs regardless of your class rank becuase it's extremely difficult to estimate your future class percentile.

so in sum, it's riskier to go to a lower ranked school if you have the choise of a significantly higher ranked school (we're talking notre dame vs. columbia/chicago/nyu; if i got a full-ride to notre dame vs. full-tuition at virginia/michigan/penn it woulkd be a tougher choice). i actually applied and got into notre dame but i ended up at pretty much the best school i got into regardless of debt just because the career prospects were much stronger.
Title: Re: What's the Difference Between T10 Schools?
Post by: hmmmz on November 16, 2007, 01:15:06 AM
so where exactly are you getting these percent indicators from?
Title: Re: What's the Difference Between T10 Schools?
Post by: dashrashi on November 16, 2007, 08:11:00 AM
Answer: BigLaw/clerking and overall portability. Divisions are supposed to be HYS / CCN / MVBP (/ DGCN).

That said, I realized three weeks ago that I hate people who want to clerk and do biglaw. Really. Loathe. Almost as much as I loathe the people who "want to go into policy."
Title: Re: What's the Difference Between T10 Schools?
Post by: dashrashi on November 16, 2007, 08:48:16 AM
That said, I realized three weeks ago that I hate people who want to clerk and do biglaw. Really. Loathe. Almost as much as I loathe the people who "want to go into policy."

You're whittling away the options...

What do YOU want to do?   :)

Fight power, yo. Also have a good time and watch as much reality television as I can. Pay back my loans, probably.

And I don't have as much of a problem with people who want to clerk, or with people who want to do biglaw. It's the combo that makes me irritated, because they really don't have anything to do with each other, except for money. Which, like, gross. Have something bigger in mind, man. Anything.
Title: Re: What's the Difference Between T10 Schools?
Post by: dashrashi on November 16, 2007, 08:58:12 AM
It just seems like such blatant resume building, with no higher purpose. Jesus, it's a third of your life. Find something related to something you actually care about. If you really want to be a prof, was biglaw necessary?
Title: Re: What's the Difference Between T10 Schools?
Post by: asiangirl on November 16, 2007, 09:01:14 AM
I know quite a bunch of people who did biglaw (or worked at law firm) before taking up teaching. seems like a little difficult for them to go into teaching immediately, no?
Title: Re: What's the Difference Between T10 Schools?
Post by: techpers0n on November 16, 2007, 10:21:57 AM
It just seems like such blatant resume building, with no higher purpose. Jesus, it's a third of your life. Find something related to something you actually care about. If you really want to be a prof, was biglaw necessary?

I guess I can see why you would feel that way. But I don't think it always has to be true. Even if clerking had no effect on ones resume whatsoever, and even if it paid nothing at all, I would want to do it.

The idea of being so close to some of the significant legal issues of our time, and seeing the inner workings of the highest courts in the country, just sends a shiver down my spine. I bet the experience would be unforgettable. But eventually, the clerkship would end, and I would want to find a job that would allow me to pay the bills and the loans. But if I could clerk for say five years instead of one or two, I would do that too.

 
Title: Re: What's the Difference Between T10 Schools?
Post by: Dizzle on November 16, 2007, 10:26:44 AM
I just want to be happy...
Title: Re: What's the Difference Between T10 Schools?
Post by: hmmmz on November 16, 2007, 10:56:57 AM
I just want to be happy...


me too. lets get married?
Title: Re: What's the Difference Between T10 Schools?
Post by: clairel on November 16, 2007, 11:49:00 AM
so where exactly are you getting these percent indicators from?


Thin air ;D

i completely made them up after tequila shots and beer last night...but i think they're probably close to accurate? if we could track down a virginia/michigan 2L they could probably correct them. it's true that you need to be higher in your class the lower ranked your school is, but i admitted i'm just making up rough percentages for the sake of the argument. 
Title: Re: What's the Difference Between T10 Schools?
Post by: hmmmz on November 16, 2007, 12:02:58 PM
Georgetown has 800+ OCI???? :o :o :o
Title: Re: What's the Difference Between T10 Schools?
Post by: clairel on November 16, 2007, 12:06:23 PM
I'm looking at a list of where Michigan 2L's worked last summer.  Dozens of prestigious firms all over the country.  Doesn't tell me how many went where, unfortunately.   :-\

also that wouldn't tell you if they got jobs through on-campus interviewing or had to paper out 100s of resumes everywhere. i know virginia lets employers prescreen during on-campus interviews which usually isn't great for students. but i think both michigan and virginia grads probably wouldn't have a problem until mayyyyybe bottom 25% (it could be higher or lower, but i know maybe two virginia people who ended up without jobs for next summer who were bottom 25%). and even then, you could probably still get a job, it just might not be in your preferred geographical area or for a vault firm.
Title: Re: What's the Difference Between T10 Schools?
Post by: Dizzle on November 16, 2007, 12:21:07 PM
I just want to be happy...


me too. lets get married?

Dizzle can only marry a woman. Hmmmz is probabley a man. If the above information is correct, what must be true?

(C) Dizzle can't marry Hmmmz. (CR)

Title: Re: What's the Difference Between T10 Schools?
Post by: StudentUVA on November 16, 2007, 01:50:18 PM
I think that other than HYS, which are pretty much in their own league, the difference between all the other schools is not that strong. Sure, the general concesus amongst posters is that T6 schools are more prestigious, but I don't know how to quantify that prestige bump. Personally, I think it's a smart idea to go to a lower T14 school with a big scholarship rather than a slightly higher one with no money (unless you're talking about HYS).
Title: Re: What's the Difference Between T10 Schools?
Post by: hmmmz on November 16, 2007, 02:12:18 PM
Take my grandmother. The only law schools that she even remotely recognizes are Harvard and Stanford. That says ALOT, I think.
Title: Re: What's the Difference Between T10 Schools?
Post by: Dizzle on November 16, 2007, 02:31:02 PM

Dizzle can only marry a woman. Hmmmz is probabley a man. If the above information is correct, what must be true?

(C) Dizzle can't probably can't marry Hmmmz. (CR)



fixt.

Touche.

 ;)
Title: Re: What's the Difference Between T10 Schools?
Post by: Uptown *2*L on November 19, 2007, 10:39:58 PM
i want to work a fair amount of hours each week, go out at least one night every week, and just keep things as real as possible while earning over 150k.

Hmm. I'd like a billion dollars, but it's unlikely to happen.

If that's really what you want, law school is not a good way of getting it. You'd be better off working in management consulting and then switching to PE after two years at McK, Bain, or BCG.

Some of the lower V50 "lifestyle" firms have what you describe. If you don't want to work for a V10, and don't care about your practice group, you should go to the T14 school that offers you the most money.
Title: Re: What's the Difference Between T10 Schools?
Post by: K? on November 21, 2007, 08:09:14 AM
what about mobility? except the top 5, I still don't see how a degree from Berkley, Cornell, Northwestern or Michigan would be more mobile around South Bend, Indiana than say Notre Dame.

fixed.  8)

Not really.  Notre Dame is arguably the most mobile degree outside the t14, if you find the alumni network.
Title: Re: What's the Difference Between T10 Schools?
Post by: Uptown *2*L on November 30, 2007, 07:57:28 PM
bump for a fascinating post.  What's a practice group?

I spent a while thinking about it, but I'm going to take this as an honest question instead of a snark.

Most big law firms are organized into divisions / departments (corporate, litigation, trusts and estates, etc.) and then within each division further organized into practice groups -- tax (which at some firms is its own division), real estate, commercial litigation, M&A, private equity, environmental (also a division at some firms) etc. At some firms the lines are more blurred than others; some firms do away with the divisions / departments and simply have overlapping practice groups, some of which are larger than others (i.e., both a corporate and an M&A group, but everybody in M&A is in corporate). The potential Venn Diagrams are endless.

Skadden is one of the more amorphous / overlapping examples: http://www.skadden.com/index.cfm?contentID=4

Latham is a little more straightforward:
http://www.lw.com/Practices.aspx (note that Latham is organized into departments first, and then practice groups; click a department at the top to see the practice groups under it).

HTH.
Title: Re: What's the Difference Between T10 Schools?
Post by: Private David Lewis on December 01, 2007, 12:09:54 AM
That said, I realized three weeks ago that I hate people who want to clerk and do biglaw. Really. Loathe. Almost as much as I loathe the people who "want to go into policy."

You're whittling away the options...

What do YOU want to do?   :)

Fight power, yo. Also have a good time and watch as much reality television as I can. Pay back my loans, probably.

And I don't have as much of a problem with people who want to clerk, or with people who want to do biglaw. It's the combo that makes me irritated, because they really don't have anything to do with each other, except for money. Which, like, gross. Have something bigger in mind, man. Anything.

Why would clerking and biglaw give you more money than simply biglaw?
Title: Re: What's the Difference Between T10 Schools?
Post by: EatYourVeggies on December 01, 2007, 10:03:51 AM
You get a hiring bonus at most firms for clerkships.  Check NALP Directory. There's usually a section with answers to questions like this:
Judicial Clerkship Bonus:     
Compensation/progression credit for judicial clerkship?    
Compensation/progression credit for other advanced degrees?    
Title: Re: What's the Difference Between T10 Schools?
Post by: number34 on December 01, 2007, 10:13:41 AM
The big firms in So Cal (so I'm assuming in all major markets) just jumped up their clerkship bonus from $15,000 to $50,000 (yes, that number is right). But that's not to say you make MORE money clerking.  While you're clerking you're like a G8/9 on the GS making about 60 instead of 160 at a firm.  But when you do start at your firm, you start at the 2nd year salary.

But there's nothing wrong w/ clerking before BigLaw, especially if you don't want career BigLaw.  I want to clerk--> BigLaw 3-5 -->USAO (hopefully), for which clerking is a BIG help especially if you come from BigLaw where it takes a while to see the inside of courtroom, and when you do you're holding the briefcase as the 2nd chair (tho billing over 400/hour to do it). 
Title: Re: What's the Difference Between T10 Schools?
Post by: Kirk Lazarus on December 01, 2007, 10:55:58 AM
I think the benefits of clerking are negligible for people who are going into a corporate practice. The benefits of clerking are a bit more tangible if you're doing litigation. First, clerking allows you to develop your critical reading and writing skills in a way that being in law school doesn't. The benefit is that at a firm, your analysis will probably be of higher quality than the average junior associate. Second, you augment your research skills which allows you to become more efficient. Third, you can (but not always) develop a close relationship with a pretty influential member of the judiciary and develop relationship with other clerks (presumably high caliber new lawyers). These relationships may pay dividends throughout the course of your career.

Firms will pay you a clerkship bonus of 50k. Many people are getting paid higher than GS-7/8 these days for clerkships because they go to a firm for one year. Their second year they clerk. They return to biglaw their third year, collect their bonus and return at 3rd year seniority. While your peers who didn't clerk begin to get burned out by their 3rd year, you've had a break in between your 1st and third years to recuperate. Just from a relative energy standpoint, you have a competitive advantage.

Clerking also signals to partners that you're serious about the law and you are serious about your work. In a firm where partners give work, associates who clerk are going to have an advantage in getting the high profile work, access to client contacts, ect that allows you to progress in the firm.


This is not to say that clerking is the best option for your career always. Cravath basically told me that I shouldn't clerk and that they don't see the benefit of it. They rather their associates come straight in after law school. Cravath wants to train you in the cravath way - and they don't want any pesky member of the judiciary giving you bad habits.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

With respect to the schools rankings, I simply think Yale provides the most benefits to its students. The average Yalie is better off than anybody except ~ the top 10% of HLS. Every single YLS student can get a job in a vault 5 firm. Many decide to go to less ranked firms or do other things, but every single YLS student can get a job at a vault 5 if he/she wants it. The top of YLS has the best access to jobs in academia or chances to be SCOTUS clerks. So strictly in terms of what the name of your school says, I think YLS is objectively above any other school in terms of giving every single student excellent career opportunities- generally the opportunities that they want, not the opportunities that they are forced into accepting.

Harvard and Columbia are significantly above the other t14 schools, in my estimate, for job opportunities. No school places better in biglaw than Columbia and HLS is not far behind. These two schools have some of the best networks in the legal profession. Doors open because you went to Columbia or HLS. And another benefit is that you are presumed to be brilliant if you attend HLS or CLS.

Stanford is only slightly below HLS/CLS simply because there is a strong east coast biased in the legal profession. Stanford is tops on the West Coast and I doubt any Stanford student would have trouble getting a job on the east coast, but the school name doesn't carry quite as much weight in DC, NYC, Chicago, Boston - the important legal markets in the U.S. (LA is important too, but I'm moving in generalizations). And because its graduates tend to stay on the west coast, the opportunities for doors opening because of the stanford name are much more limited. I would rate NYU and University of Chicago here with Stanford (although, I'd got to Stanford over the other two in a heart beat).

Then you have what I call the reputation schools. These are the schools that have sort of a historic reputation because they have many powerful alumni and they aren't the tops for immediate exit opportunities, but they are fantastic choices if you want to have certain jobs down the line. I'd put UVA and Michigan here. If you want to go into politics, get a government job, have access to federal judges that have a preference against the ivies and for your school, then these are the schools to go to. UVA and Michigan alumni look out for their own first and foremost, and so there is a nice flow of jobs that are only going to be available to you guys because of your pedigree.

Then after that, you have the other t14s which are all fantastic schools, but the competitions is a little stiffer or the networks aren't as strong or whatever it may be. Georgetown, for example, is a factory of lawyers (great alumni network, mediocre job prospects if you graduate in the bottom 50%). How often have you met a Northwestern Law grad outside of Chicago? Never.  Again, these are elite schools, but I personally don't think they are on the same level as the others with respect to job opportunities and long term benefits for their students.
Title: Re: What's the Difference Between T10 Schools?
Post by: "Legapp" Stands for "Legal Application" on December 01, 2007, 10:57:17 AM
Well I'm clerking (hopefully) and working in Biglaw, and I see nothing inconsistent about doing both.  I worked for a federal dist ct judge last summer, and it was amazing--you'll wait years to see so much of the litigation process at a law firm.  Plus, most of the judges I've met love being mentors to upcoming lawyers.  My legal writing improved a LOT just during the few months I was there.

That said, I'm also excited about my two firms this summer.  I was shooting to work in a very narrow practice group, and I consider myself very fortunate to be working at two places that are leaders in the field.  The first is a large firm; the second, a small specialized boutique that doesn't hire right out of school.  I hope to get my foot in the door there this summer, but starting there as a young associate is not an option.  Thus, I'll likely begin my career clerking, then go to Biglaw, then eventually move over to this boutique, which pays less but has MUCH more reasonable hours.

The people that annoy me are the ones who chose their law firms based entirely on its Vault rank.  I keep hearing people saying *&^% like, "Well I really liked [x firm], but once I got [V5 firm], of course I HAD to take it."  No, you don't.  They pay the same--if you liked the first firm better, even if it's V50 or whatever, why the hell wouldn't you take it?!
Title: Re: What's the Difference Between T10 Schools?
Post by: Kirk Lazarus on December 01, 2007, 11:05:33 AM
Well I'm clerking (hopefully) and working in Biglaw, and I see nothing inconsistent about doing both.  I worked for a federal dist ct judge last summer, and it was amazing--you'll wait years to see so much of the litigation process at a law firm.  Plus, most of the judges I've met love being mentors to upcoming lawyers.  My legal writing improved a LOT just during the few months I was there.

That said, I'm also excited about my two firms this summer.  I was shooting to work in a very narrow practice group, and I consider myself very fortunate to be working at two places that are leaders in the field.  The first is a large firm; the second, a small specialized boutique that doesn't hire right out of school.  I hope to get my foot in the door there this summer, but starting there as a young associate is not an option.  Thus, I'll likely begin my career clerking, then go to Biglaw, then eventually move over to this boutique, which pays less but has MUCH more reasonable hours.

The people that annoy me are the ones who chose their law firms based entirely on its Vault rank.  I keep hearing people saying sh*t like, "Well I really liked [x firm], but once I got [V5 firm], of course I HAD to take it."  No, you don't.  They pay the same--if you liked the first firm better, even if it's V50 or whatever, why the hell wouldn't you take it?!

Most law students don't know what's going on. They look at the vault guide and see it as a substitution for US News. It isn't. The difference between Skadden and Arnold and Porter is negligible in prestige. Associates prefer Wachtell, but in the profession, partners consider Cravath better. W&C in DC is probably better for litigation than any of the vault 5. Vault is done almost exclusively on associate surveys and they come up with a rough metric of how prestigious a firm is. The reality is that if you're in the vault 20, you're at one of the very best firms in the country. I don't look at a Cravath or a Skadden attorney any differently than I see any other attorney at another large law firm. You're all smart, you're all making the same money, none of you are going to make partner...
Title: Re: What's the Difference Between T10 Schools?
Post by: ININ on December 01, 2007, 11:19:33 AM
Just wanted to say that Galt's perspective on the schools is pretty valid, at least in my opinion.  

One caveat though is something I see here at UVA, though I make no claim that it is exclusive to UVA.  Based on a relatively short supply of students wanting to go to into certain markets, it can be easier to get top jobs in certain markets.

For instance, we average 22 interviews per person and have more partners nationally than any school except Harvard.  UVA grads are very spread out around the country.  Consequently, last year was the first year we had a majority of students taking the bar in NYC.  There has been a shortage of UVA grads in NYC, and thus it is known as a market where kids can work at top firms that weren't in the top of the class.

Obviously this can change how the top firms recruit
Title: Re: What's the Difference Between T10 Schools?
Post by: "Legapp" Stands for "Legal Application" on December 01, 2007, 11:22:50 AM
This is not to say that clerking is the best option for your career always. Cravath basically told me that I shouldn't clerk and that they don't see the benefit of it. They rather their associates come straight in after law school. Cravath wants to train you in the cravath way - and they don't want any pesky member of the judiciary giving you bad habits.

...

Then you have what I call the reputation schools. These are the schools that have sort of a historic reputation because they have many powerful alumni and they aren't the tops for immediate exit opportunities, but they are fantastic choices if you want to have certain jobs down the line. I'd put UVA and Michigan here. If you want to go into politics, get a government job, have access to federal judges that have a preference against the ivies and for your school, then these are the schools to go to. UVA and Michigan alumni look out for their own first and foremost, and so there is a nice flow of jobs that are only going to be available to you guys because of your pedigree.

Then after that, you have the other t14s which are all fantastic schools, but the competitions is a little stiffer or the networks aren't as strong or whatever it may be. Georgetown, for example, is a factory of lawyers (great alumni network, mediocre job prospects if you graduate in the bottom 50%). How often have you met a Northwestern Law grad outside of Chicago? Never.  Again, these are elite schools, but I personally don't think they are on the same level as the others with respect to job opportunities and long term benefits for their students.

God, Cravath would say that.  I got an offer there, but turned them down for a V30 because I couldn't deal with the paternalistic attitude.

I disagree with your last two paragraphs inasmuch as they relate to practicing Biglaw.  I can't speak for other schools, but at Penn, everyone had solid Biglaw offers... S&C seemed like they were handing out offers like candy (I know several mediocre students with offers).  I'm guessing this is similar at the rest of the T14--when you go to the firms' offer events, most of the T14 is represented.  The fact is, there are plenty of Biglaw jobs to go around, and firms like to have T14ers on their site.

Clerking and academia are totally different, because the job surplus just isn't there.  If you want to be a law prof and you didn't go to HYS, you will be facing an uphill battle.   You'd need to start publishing while in school.   

Clerking is extremely hierarchal, and certainly on the east coat H/Y is an enormous advantage for circuit and desirable disct ct clerkships.  The other problem for students is that more judges are giving preference to people who worked at a firm for a year or two, further narrowing down the pool of available jobs.  I know several people at Penn with amazing circuit clerkships; all are on Law Review. 
Title: Re: What's the Difference Between T10 Schools?
Post by: Kirk Lazarus on December 01, 2007, 11:59:47 AM
This is not to say that clerking is the best option for your career always. Cravath basically told me that I shouldn't clerk and that they don't see the benefit of it. They rather their associates come straight in after law school. Cravath wants to train you in the cravath way - and they don't want any pesky member of the judiciary giving you bad habits.

...

Then you have what I call the reputation schools. These are the schools that have sort of a historic reputation because they have many powerful alumni and they aren't the tops for immediate exit opportunities, but they are fantastic choices if you want to have certain jobs down the line. I'd put UVA and Michigan here. If you want to go into politics, get a government job, have access to federal judges that have a preference against the ivies and for your school, then these are the schools to go to. UVA and Michigan alumni look out for their own first and foremost, and so there is a nice flow of jobs that are only going to be available to you guys because of your pedigree.

Then after that, you have the other t14s which are all fantastic schools, but the competitions is a little stiffer or the networks aren't as strong or whatever it may be. Georgetown, for example, is a factory of lawyers (great alumni network, mediocre job prospects if you graduate in the bottom 50%). How often have you met a Northwestern Law grad outside of Chicago? Never.  Again, these are elite schools, but I personally don't think they are on the same level as the others with respect to job opportunities and long term benefits for their students.

God, Cravath would say that.  I got an offer there, but turned them down for a V30 because I couldn't deal with the paternalistic attitude.

I disagree with your last two paragraphs inasmuch as they relate to practicing Biglaw.  I can't speak for other schools, but at Penn, everyone had solid Biglaw offers... S&C seemed like they were handing out offers like candy (I know several mediocre students with offers).  I'm guessing this is similar at the rest of the T14--when you go to the firms' offer events, most of the T14 is represented.  The fact is, there are plenty of Biglaw jobs to go around, and firms like to have T14ers on their site.

Clerking and academia are totally different, because the job surplus just isn't there.  If you want to be a law prof and you didn't go to HYS, you will be facing an uphill battle.   You'd need to start publishing while in school.   

Clerking is extremely hierarchal, and certainly on the east coat H/Y is an enormous advantage for circuit and desirable disct ct clerkships.  The other problem for students is that more judges are giving preference to people who worked at a firm for a year or two, further narrowing down the pool of available jobs.  I know several people at Penn with amazing circuit clerkships; all are on Law Review. 

I disagree. First of all, the surplus of big law jobs is market dependent. The class of 2011 has a real issue because the availability of 1st year associate positions is going to shrink in the next couple of years. This year, however, firms are hiring at an all time pace. Sullivan and Cravath, for example, are going to have their largest SA classes ever. This year is a particularly good year to be a 2L. I don't think that this year or the last is predictive nor is it accurate historically, however. Second, I think it is well known that even in the area of big law jobs, some students are shut out because of their educational pedigree even in the t14 if their class rank isn't high enough. The kid at the bottom 50% of NYU is in way better shape than the same student at the bottom 50% at GULC.

All biglaw firms are not the same. While I find the distinction over the relative prestige of firms to be a bit taxing and silly, there are some significant differences. The pay is significantly different. Kids at the top of their classes and kids at the best schools are all going to be making 160k coming out. Other kids are going to have to settle for 145k, 135k and/or smaller markets. While they might enjoy a cost of living boost initially, their exit options after biglaw are significantly worse. Your pedigree partially determines what practice group you can get into, how much client contact you may receive, the type of assignments you get, etc.

Of course, if you prove you can do the work better than anyone, you're golden. If you're last at GULC and you're simply better at your work than #1 at HLS, then you'll be treated as such. At least initially, however, there are certain presumptions that one has to rebut first regarding their competencies relative to their peers.

Wallace makes the point that I think you're making. Namely, that if you're at a t14, you're golden. No one is going to refute that point. You'll probably get a good job. Still, there are only a limited number of jobs paying 160 in the most attractive markets. Not all members of the t14 who want one of those jobs is going to get one. Not even close. I think that is the point I'm trying to make.



Title: Re: What's the Difference Between T10 Schools?
Post by: Kirk Lazarus on December 01, 2007, 12:28:15 PM
Galt, why do you think that the market for associates will shrink?  I don't need any additional stress.

The simplest explanation is that when the economy is good, law firms expand hiring to meet the demands of their clients. When the economy turns down, instead of laying off already well-trained current associates, they freeze or restrict hiring to get to the optimal level.
Title: Re: What's the Difference Between T10 Schools?
Post by: EatYourVeggies on December 01, 2007, 04:08:59 PM
Go into bankruptcy law and corporate restructuring then. :)
Title: Re: What's the Difference Between T10 Schools?
Post by: Kirk Lazarus on December 01, 2007, 08:46:38 PM
Most law students don't know what's going on. They look at the vault guide and see it as a substitution for US News. It isn't. The difference between Skadden and Arnold and Porter is negligible in prestige. Associates prefer Wachtell, but in the profession, partners consider Cravath better. W&C in DC is probably better for litigation than any of the vault 5. Vault is done almost exclusively on associate surveys and they come up with a rough metric of how prestigious a firm is. The reality is that if you're in the vault 20, you're at one of the very best firms in the country. I don't look at a Cravath or a Skadden attorney any differently than I see any other attorney at another large law firm. You're all smart, you're all making the same money, none of you are going to make partner...

you think that exit options at the V20 are largely the same?  i mean, if you wanted to move to a different firm or a GC position or a government position, it wouldn't make some difference that you were working at cravath or wachtell rather than OMM or A&P?*

*not to be read as me disagreeing with you.

Before I answer the question, I think Wachtell is a different beast entirely. You're making 100k+ more each year than your colleagues at other law firms (in boom periods and significantly more than your peers in non-boom years).

The exit opportunities are a good thing to think about when deciding on a firm, but the exit opportunities aren't connected to the Vault rankings. Like if you look at US News, you know that if you go to HYSCCN...you're good. And you'd be crazy to go to UCLA, Emory or what have you over those schools if initial job opportunities were the most important factor for you. In no way, shape or form does a school ranked 20th have better job opportunities than a school ranked 5.  If you want to be an AUSA or something, you'd probably be better going to Williams in DC over Cravath. If you want to work at Justice in certain positions, A&P will open more doors because of their familiarity with anti-trust issues. Wachtell if you want to lateral into an investment bank. Cravath has a lot of high level corporate clients, so of course their familiarity with the firm translates into good opps for in house for associates. The key is just because you go to a higher ranked firm, it doesn't mean you'll have exit opportunities better than everyone at a lower ranked firm across the board. It all depends.

xoxohth.com is actually a great resource to ask these sorts of questions. They actually have a number of regular posters from top firms and they are generally very helpful.



Title: Re: What's the Difference Between T10 Schools?
Post by: You've Got Mail on December 01, 2007, 08:49:26 PM
Most law students don't know what's going on. They look at the vault guide and see it as a substitution for US News. It isn't. The difference between Skadden and Arnold and Porter is negligible in prestige. Associates prefer Wachtell, but in the profession, partners consider Cravath better. W&C in DC is probably better for litigation than any of the vault 5. Vault is done almost exclusively on associate surveys and they come up with a rough metric of how prestigious a firm is. The reality is that if you're in the vault 20, you're at one of the very best firms in the country. I don't look at a Cravath or a Skadden attorney any differently than I see any other attorney at another large law firm. You're all smart, you're all making the same money, none of you are going to make partner...

you think that exit options at the V20 are largely the same?  i mean, if you wanted to move to a different firm or a GC position or a government position, it wouldn't make some difference that you were working at cravath or wachtell rather than OMM or A&P?*

*not to be read as me disagreeing with you.

Before I answer the question, I think Wachtell is a different beast entirely. You're making 100k+ more each year than your colleagues at other law firms (in boom periods and significantly more than your peers in non-boom years).

The exit opportunities are a good thing to think about when deciding on a firm, but the exit opportunities aren't connected to the Vault rankings. Like if you look at US News, you know that if you go to HYSCCN...you're good. And you'd be crazy to go to UCLA, Emory or what have you over those schools if initial job opportunities were the most important factor for you. In no way, shape or form does a school ranked 20th have better job opportunities than a school ranked 5.  If you want to be an AUSA or something, you'd probably be better going to Williams in DC over Cravath. If you want to work at Justice in certain positions, A&P will open more doors because of their familiarity with anti-trust issues. Wachtell if you want to lateral into an investment bank. Cravath has a lot of high level corporate clients, so of course their familiarity with the firm translates into good opps for in house for associates. The key is just because you go to a higher ranked firm, it doesn't mean you'll have exit opportunities better than everyone at a lower ranked firm across the board. It all depends.

xoxohth.com is actually a great resource to ask these sorts of questions. They actually have a number of regular posters from top firms and they are generally very helpful.





xoxo made fun of me
Title: Re: What's the Difference Between T10 Schools?
Post by: Kirk Lazarus on December 01, 2007, 08:53:16 PM
cool.  also, i apologize if i was being excessively nosy when i asked where you were looking.  hopefully it's water under the bridge.

?

When did you ask that? Either way, it isn't a problem. We're cool. :)
Title: Re: What's the Difference Between T10 Schools?
Post by: Mickey Ward on December 02, 2007, 02:47:07 PM
Clobber.