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Messages - Bored 3L

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For the record, I wasn't trying to debunk the "myth" that only people from T14 schools work for biglaw.  If anything, what I have seen so far overwhelmingly confirms that myth. 

I agree.  I thought the response was almost funny. 


Read this article:  One quote supporting my earlier posts: "But the eye-popping salaries are the reality for a small fraction of law school graduates, and all those stories of big money may be creating unrealistic hopes for the vast majority of law school students. Contributing to the situation is the effort by law schools to portray their employment numbers as robustly as possible to boost their ranking scores."

The bottom of the class at NYU or Columbia (and even at a couple of lower ranked schools) will still get 160k NYC if they want it. Cravath isn't a lock but once you hit T14 and, especially, T10, 160k in NYC is all but assured.

no one is arguing this, but making a statement about all big law firms based off of the one you happen to work at is what's not realistic. of course firms go deeper into classes of top 5-14 schools. but if you got to martindalehubbel or NALP you will be quite surprised at the myriad of schools representing at the big law firms, there are more than 5 by the way. if you're in a top 14 school great congratulations. but quit yanking your own you know what by implying that those who are not should "realistically" lower their expectations.

I can't tell if your use of the word realistic (or its derivations) twice in this post is supposed to indicate that you disagree with my assessment that, outside of the T14, it's unrealistic to expect to work in biglaw.  If so, perhaps I can refine that a little.  I'd agree that many schools just outside the T14 also place well in big law, for example, GW, UCLA, etc.  And there are also other schools that place well in their home market, for example, Fordham.  But at many, many law schools, and certainly virtually all schools in the third and fourth tier of US News, you have to be at the very top of the class to even be considered in biglaw.  Statistically, it's going to be a small group of people at these schools.  Perhaps we can agree that at many schools it's unlikely you will work in biglaw, rather than calling it unrealistic?

For what it's worth, I didn't go to a T14.  I went to a lower ranked school and excelled, so I've seen some of this first hand. 

I wouldn't call it a pervasive myth -- it's largely true.  I don't think anyone on this board has ever said you must go to a T14 to have *any* chance of working in biglaw; rather, people have just said if you want to have a realistic chance of working in biglaw, you need to go to a T14.

i think you should read this board more thoroughly especially the prelaw side. i don't agree with realistic either...if you got to a T14 your chances are optimal yes, but to say that you can only or "realistically" get there from a T14 is not simply not true.

Do you think it's realistic for someone to assume they will be in the top 5-10% of their class, and be on the law review?  B/c that's what it will take from most schools outside the T14.   



the guy is just trying to debunk the pervasive myth on this board that if you don't get into T14 you have no chance at big law and shouldn't even bother going to law school for that matter...whether you would want a big law job is another matter...give him a break.

I wouldn't call it a pervasive myth -- it's largely true.  I don't think anyone on this board has ever said you must go to a T14 to have *any* chance of working in biglaw; rather, people have just said if you want to have a realistic chance of working in biglaw, you need to go to a T14.

I can tell you based on my experience in OCI and now what I see as an associate in biglaw, my firm will basically only hire two kinds of people (1) people from the T14 w/decent credentials; and (2) people from solid regional schools with excellent credentials, i.e. top 5-10%, law review, etc.  And "solid regional schools" consists mostly of schools ranked roughly 30 to 100 in USNews, but there are certainly a few exceptions here and there.  And even among these regional schools, I think there's a sliding scale -- you'll have to be even more impressive coming from a school ranked 75 than a school in the mid-30s.  (Btw, I'm not suggesting anyone at my firm consults USNews and works this out, just using it as a rough proxy for quality.)

Note that this is reflected in the OP's example: the guy was from a school ranked in the 30s in USNews, graduated summa, was EIC of the law review, etc.  So, sure, you can get biglaw from a variety of schools -- just make sure you finish your first year in the top 5-10% of the class and join the law review.   

Couldn't agree more.

When you go out into practice, there are 2 questions that you will get asked everywhere you go:

1. where did you go to law school?
2. did you make law review?

Irrespective of the field of law you plan to go into, these two things will follow you around and, as many people have noted here, will open doors for you that are not open to others.  It is definitely worth the 1 or 2 weeks of aggravation that you will have to put up with right now when you consider the benefits you will receive for years to come once you start practicing.

Totally disagree.  You will get asked those questions during an interview but, as a practicing attorney, I can tell you I rarely get asked where I went to school and I NEVER get asked whether or not I was on law review.  Both are largely irrelevant when you're "in the trenches."  It's all about your lawyering skills, your work product, and your performance in the courtroom.  Believe me, you tear it up in court and no one gives a crap where you went to school..... 

I completely agree with this statement, once you are practicing.  In practice, it is all about results.  After your first job, no one will give a *&^% where you went and what you did.  If you kick ass in court, or are a great transactional attorney, no one cares about law review.  But there is no way you can deny that for your first job before any type of work, it can help.

Utlimately your skills will be what matters in practice, but your academic credentials -- i.e. your school, grades, law review, etc. -- will matter for several years after you graduate.  This is because most people simply won't be able to develop a lot of truly impressive experience in the first few years of practice.  This talk of kicking ass in the courtroom is at odds with the responsibilities given most young lawyers -- how many first and second year associates at even medium and small firms are handling trials by themselves?  It takes time to be even given the opportunity  to "kick ass in court," and until then, employers are going to look fairly closely at your academic record. 

So, to the OP: do the write on. 

Current Law Students / Re: How Time Consuming????
« on: March 25, 2007, 08:45:56 AM »
It's really up to you.  Depends on how efficient you are, how well you take to the material, and how much you care about grades.  Generally, though, as has been posted above, you will still have a fair amount of free time.  Plus, you'll get more efficient as you go along and learn how much effort you need to put in to get the resuls you want/are satisified with. 

Current Law Students / Re: How much debt does everyone have?
« on: March 24, 2007, 11:30:08 AM »
just because you don't see students complaining for it doesn't mean there are no strings. Just think about when your parents pay for the wedding and tell you they want a string orchestra when you want a DJ. Who do you think wins? Now what kind of law do you the kids whose parents pay for school end up doing? I guarantee you their parents will have an opinion on the subject.

You've got to be kidding.  Why would a law student's parents care what area of law their kid goes into?

Current Law Students / Re: Am I Making the Right Decision?
« on: March 18, 2007, 02:50:44 PM »
2L here, my girlfriend is a teacher. I have to say I think being a teacher is more stressful than being a law student. When we talk in the evenings, I am usually doing pretty well and she is exhausted. Law has long hours, but lets face it: you don't have to be "on" for all of them. If you lose focus in a class for ten minutes, no big deal. Teachers have to be focused 100% of the time.

I couild see this -- but I think the relevant comparison has to be teacher v. lawyer, not teacher v. law student.

Current Law Students / Re: Am I Making the Right Decision?
« on: March 18, 2007, 09:30:48 AM »
I would try to make a real effort to determine if you would like practicing law before you drop out.  Maybe that means finishing this semester and completing your first summer internship, if you have one lined up.

Many people dislike law school but like practicing law (and in some cases vice versa).  You may find that you actually enjoy the practice of law, and spending two more years in law school might be worth it.  Especially because you may be able to relax more in school if you know you'll be happy when you're done. 

At the same time I would try to get a sense if you would really enjoy teaching.  Maybe sit in on a few classes at a local school, substitute teach a class or two, talk to teachers, etc.  Ultimately, though, if you decide you really don't want to be  a lawyer -- and you're really confident in this --  I would drop out, even if you don't like teaching.  Contrary to popular belief here, just having a JD with no other experience does not open many doors outside of law.

Current Law Students / Re: Law firm salary increase already?
« on: January 29, 2007, 05:44:33 PM »
try working at one of those firms and in a year you will wish you were dead. What do they average? 80 hours a week of mind numbingly boring work?

No, I doubt they average anywhere near 80 hours a week.  Do the math: assuming you bill 80% of the time you're in the office, and work 48 hours a year, billing 80 hours a  week would amount to 3,072 hours billed a year.  Ask around, it's extremely rare to bill this much.  Also, in a recent mid-level survey, I think only Wachtell associates reported working 70 or more hours per week on average.  (And no arguments from me that working at Wachtell is awful, though I certainly never had the chance to try it.)

I work at a biglaw firm, not in NY, and average b/w 50 and 55 hours a week (worked, not billed).  The idea that biglaw is some kind of living hell is generally not true IMO.  Granted, it's not a walk in the park either, and like most associates I doubt I'll stay more than a few years, but it's really not as bad as it's made out to be on these message boards.   

What's the salary offered at your firm for first year associates?


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