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Messages - recentgrad10

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I know it seems far away, but you really need to think about where you want to live after law school.

HYS (Harvard, Yale, Stanford) are a given and assuming you have a decent LSAT score (in the high 160's), with your prefect GPA you should have a shot (though it's by no means a guarantee, as extracurricular activities, where you went to undergrad, your major, and any work experience also play important roles - not to mention personal statements and references). These three schools give you the best job opportunities on a national level. The real question is where else to apply?

After the top 3, it starts getting slightly more regional. Not that going to NYU or Chicago will not allow you to get a job in CA, but you will have fewer chances (fewer firms travel that far for OCI), especially if you are not at the top of your class (which I know is probably hard to imagine for a 4.0 student, but law school is not undergrad!). Also worth adding is that Northwestern is notorious for not accepting students right out of college, so if you haven't had some work in between it's probably one worth skipping, and Chicago placed an emphasis on academia/theory and therefore appeals to those who want to teach (or possibly clerk), so you have to think about whether that is the right environment for you.

Just really think about where you want to live when you graduate, and pick the best school in that area. Generally stick to the T14 (if your LSAT scores allow this), but it's okay to stray a little farther down the rankings. For example, UT and UCLA/USC are outside the T14, but if you want to live in Texas or LA, they are a better bet than anywhere except maybe the top 6 and Berkeley (if you want to be in CA).

I was in your shoes a few years ago. I applied to around 10 schools (accepted into 5), and ended up at UCLA even though I got in to 2 T14 schools because they were not in the top few and were across the country (I wanted to stay in CA). Definitely the right decision for me.

Good luck!

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It's hard to turn down a free legal education these days (assuming you would otherwise be taking out loans). However, I recently graduated from UCLA, and while many people who wanted to stay in LA did very well in their hunt for big law jobs (assuming that's the goal), ones who went north or east did not fair as well. For better national opportunities, I would stick to one of the other 4 - however, it is becoming more and more common for firms to primarily hire from schools in the area to cut back on recruiting costs, so if you really have your heart set on being in one city (even though you say you don't), you should go to the closest school to that city (as for Columbia/NYU, I think it's a matter of preference - you can't go wrong with either).

Chicago is really known for their academia and apparently their curriculum even caters to that a bit, so if you don't want to live in Chicago I would knock that off since you aren't looking to teach. All of the schools will give you great clerking opportunities, though less so at UCLA than the others (unless you are at or near the top of your class).

As for the Westwood dig, please. Brentwood and Santa Monica are fabulous places to live, and you'll be laughing your ass off at everyone else when you're studying at the beach on a 70 degree day in January.

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Job Search / getting into biglaw a year after graduating???
« on: April 30, 2011, 12:20:52 AM »
I'm a 2010 grad (UCLA, 3.5 GPA, passed CA bar on 1st try, want to practice in the Bay Area) who chose not to do biglaw to follow a passion for sports law (an opportunity came up that I didn't know if I would ever get again). I'm enjoying what I do but regretting missing the big law experience - both for the money (i have loans to pay off) and for the opportunities it will present even in my specific field - for example, most professional organizations want their GCs and assistant GCs to have biglaw experience.

My question is, how do I get into biglaw without going the traditional OCI route (obviously not an option for me) when I have no experience in any relevant practice areas? Some of my general skills are obviously transferrable but to do, for example, corporate transactional work I would have to be trained like I am a new grad. It seems strange to enter as a first year associate when I have been out of law school for a year but I'm not sure what other route to take to get into biglaw.

And assuming the answer is "just apply", do I just start sending out to firms in the area? It's not like they are posting openings for 1st year associates. Even if they did, I would be coming in likely after the 2010 grads and before the 2011 grads, which seems odd.

Hoping my year of fun doesn't forever preclude me from trying out a large firm! Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated.

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I'm a 2010 grad (UCLA, 3.5 GPA, passed CA bar on 1st try, want to practice in the Bay Area) who chose not to do biglaw to follow a passion for sports law. I'm enjoying what I do but a regretting missing the big law experience - both for the money and for the opportunities it will present even in my specific field - for example, most professional organizations want their GCs and assistant GCs to have biglaw experience.

My question is, how do I get into biglaw without going the traditional OCI route when I have no experience in any relevant practice areas? Some of my skills are obviously transferrable but to do, for example, corporate transactional work I would have to be trained like I am a new grad. It seems strange to enter as a first year associate when I have been out of law school for a year but I'm not sure what other route to take to get into biglaw.

And assuming the answer is "just apply", do I just start sending out to firms in the area? It's not like they are posting openings for 1st year associates.


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