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Messages - mtfbwy

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Transferring / Re: From Tier 4 to Tier 3
« on: April 02, 2008, 01:36:48 PM »
Assuming your grades hold up this semester, I don't see why either of those schools wouldn't glady take you.  For that matter, as long as you don't drop below the top 15% after this semester, you should apply to the best schools in CA, excluding Standford and Berkeley.  I realize that means more money for apps and you want to live in SF, but there's a lot at stake and it's only for two years. 

(Note: I was top 12% or so at a T4 and transferred to a top 30 school.) 

Good luck.

I'd say there's little difference between your type of hiring situation and that faced by interviewees at a top big firm, at least insofar as how you handle yourself.  Small, medium or big, firms look to your grades and resume (this firm liked yours) to determine whether to give you a screening interview, then they determine at the screening interview whether you seem personable and as bright as your grades/resume indicate (the person(s) who initially interviewed liked you), then they have you in for a callback to allow more people at the firm (most importantly, partners) to determine whether you are bright, motivated and friendly.  If this is for a summer position, the summer then serves as an extended callback of sorts, allowing an even greater range of people to check you out and for the firm to confirm its feelings about you (and it's also a chance for you to check out the firm, insofar seeing an accurate picture of a firm is possible as a summer).  If it's for an associate position, everything is on the line.

Plenty of firms give screening interviews (on campus) just to get/keep their name out there, i.e., with no intention of even extending callbacks to most of those interviewed (at least at non-elite schools).  Big firms try to be conservative about who gets a callback, given the expenses and time, especially this past and this coming fall.  Small to midsize firms are no different. 

One difference in your case, however, is that you had your screening at its office, which I would argue tends to show that the firm was already sincerely interested in you.  That it's going to take up the time of the rest of the partners to meet with you is further indication of its interest. 

If you're sure that they know about your other offer, I'm not sure whether (or even how) you should raise it.  If they ask, of course, by all means tell them.  If you're really itching to share it with them in the hopes of leveraging it, you might want to use it as an opportunity to show why you prefer the interviewing firm over any other (e.g., "well, I have an offer from firm X, which I feel is an excellent firm, but given my interest in blah, blah, blah practice areas, and your firm's reputation in those areas, I feel that your firm would be the superior setting for me to develop a practice and thrive as a lawyer," or some such), or perhaps in response to their inevitable question "why our firm?" 

Lastly, given the firm size, it's important that you exhibit - by your compusure, statements and the questions you ask - a potential for client development, i.e., that you will be able to make rain in a few years.  At a large firm, for the most part, it's all about meeting the needs of and not disappointing big, institutional clients, which were clients of the firm long before an associate starts and will likely remain clients long after that associate is gone.  The small percentage of associates who become partners at a big firm have tuffed it out at 2,000+ a year for anywhere between 6-9 years, and in the year in which they are "up for partner," the question is basically "do the in-house lawyers or other execs at corporations X, Y, and Z feel comfortable dealing directly with this senior associate, with no partner involvement, on an ongoing basis?"  At a smaller firm, the partners will expect you - based on the reputation you develop, client/lawyer referrals, networking, etc. - to bring new clients to the firm.  Mid-size insurance defense sweatshops are an exception to this, but in light of your strong desire to work at that firm, it doesn't sound like it's a dead-end sweatshop.

Remember, your callback is simply a meeting for the partners to confirm for themselves that you are bright, motivated, friendly, and interested (at least one of whom already said as much). Confidence enhances all four of those attributes - so be confident (but not cocky). 

Good luck.

Online Law Schools / Re: NOVUS LAW SCHOOL?
« on: March 23, 2008, 05:40:36 AM »
Why not just register for BarBri (the course recent law school grads take in preparation for the bar)?  The outlines the course provides give you the black letter law that you need to know, and each day a professor (likely on video) walks you through the material for a few hours.  It costs about $2,500. 

What does Novus cost?  How would it differ from BarBri? 

Current Law Students / Re: GSU v. Emory
« on: March 18, 2008, 04:35:02 PM »
Other posters have rightly noted that (barring some other source of income, e.g., parents, spouse, savings, or in-school employment) you will likely not graduate from GSU with "$0 debt."  (Though I must question the quality of life and lifestyle priorities of one of the commenters.  $300+ per month on a car, but $7 dinners?  I suppose one can drive an 04' Audi to Wendy's, or drive an 02' a civilized place to have a nice meal and drinks.  To each his or her own!)

Regardless, you've specified that you want to work in biglaw.  The choice is clear. Emory will open many more biglaw doors, and will better serve your lateral goals (to another firm, in-house, or prestigious government post).  Plus, in the event you ever leave Atlanta, Emory will travel much better. 

Question: Why no UGA?  Were it between Emory and UGA...then you might have a decision to make..

GSU with $0 debt or Emory w/ $120k debt?

Interested in BigLaw in Atlanta.

Current Law Students / Re: Courses to take in preparation of bar exam
« on: March 16, 2008, 12:14:39 PM »
They're not "in school," but I can think of two classes that are a must: BarBri and PMBR (the 3-day). 

I'll be taking the bar in February.  Does anyone have any suggestions of what classes in school are a must to take for the bar exam?

Current Law Students / Re: Starting Over After 1L? At Worthless T3
« on: March 15, 2008, 05:51:39 AM »
Are you serious?  I'll assume you are, and offer the following:

1) As thorc954 noted, it seems like your job seeking efforts were too limited.  And given your rank, I'm surprised you can't find anything unpaid - anywhere in the world - or at least a gig with a professor.  It's getting a bit late, but I'm sure that someone in the top 10% at a T3 - assuming he or she sends about 100 letters/resumes ON MONDAY - can land a job doing something law related for the summer.

2) Relax.  You're a 1L, and it's your 1L summer.  A legal job would be great, but it's not the end of the world if you strike out this summer (next summer is another story).  Don't lose sight of your quickly approaching exams.  If you maintain your top 10% status...

3) Transfer, transfer, transfer.  What's with the "assuming I can't transfer" nonsense?  I'm hoping that wasn't just flame bait, intended to spark a debate (which ensued) as to retaking the LSAT (!) and starting over (!).  I think I was about top 12% at my T4, and transferred to a top 30 school (and I only applied to transfer to one school).  I doubt the "transfer market" is much tighter than it was two years ago.  The job market..well...just worry about your transfer apps right now.

4) Forget you ever even heard of the "LSAT" or "LSAC."  You should be concerned with the "C & F," "MPRE" and "MBE." 

Good luck.

Hey guys,

This may be motivated by a small bit of angst/hopelessness, but here it goes: top 10% of my T3 with no job offer (dozens of personalized applications sent), and as things are winding down it is becomign more and more likely that I will spend the first-year summer unemployed.  [I'm referring to both paid and unpaid 'employment.']

Looking at this, people graduating from my school and larger economic indicators, it's not clear to me if this third-tier law degree is even worth the time.  I went to a reasonably 'top' (but not Ivy) undergrad and it is incredible to see the difference in interest expressed, offers extended and deference given.  I had an interview earlier this week where the lady just clearly brought me in to spend an hour doing something at the office, not at all interested in me or taking my candidacy seriously.

Assuming I can't transfer, has anyone taken some time off, retaken the LSAT and started over with a better score at a better school?


PS - Bring the T3 flames on.  I didn't know any lawyers prior to this, am from a working-class family and didn't do enough research beforehand.

Current Law Students / Re: MPRE EXAM THIS SATURDAY!
« on: March 08, 2008, 03:25:55 PM » did everyone do?

Current Law Students / Re: MPRE EXAM THIS SATURDAY!
« on: March 07, 2008, 01:12:32 PM »
Thanks for the info/link.  Helps to calm my nerves (a bit).  Good luck.

Current Law Students / Re: Chicago v. New York
« on: March 03, 2008, 10:40:01 AM »
I've lived and worked in both NYC and Chicago.  Both are great cities, but very different.  Living in NYC, for at least a year, is an experience I would highly recommend to anyone. Whether to put down perm or semi-perm roots in NYC is another story (it's a great choice for many, but it's certainly not for everbody).  My thoughts:

1) DePaul alumni are associates and partners at every major firm and practically every midsize firm in Chicago, plus countless small firms throughout the area.  The mayor went to DePaul.  How many DePaul alumni do you think practice in NYC?  NYC has its own DePaul, plus a few better, and a few worse.  You haven't (yet) managed to land a job in Chicago.  Why, especially given the economy and legal job market, would you discard whatever advantages (alumni/friends) you have in Chicago?

2) Are you actually willing to pay for, prepare for and take the NY bar, rather than IL or Mich? 

3) Whatever you're paying for housing in Chicago, you can basically double that for NY.  A $1k/mo apartment in Chi would be $2k in NYC (absent some rent-stabilized find - good luck!); a nice 2bed/2bath condo in a great area of Chi runs around $400k; similar place in NYC would be $800k). 

4) Chicago is closer to your family (with whom you seem close, based on your blog). 

Accordingly, your options would seem to be:

1) Don't take any bar.  Move to NYC, do magic, push your book, whatever.  Millions of smart, creative people flock to NYC to be special.  For some, it works out and they "make it."  Others, not so much. After a while, if you find that NYC is the only place in the world to live (as many people decide for themselves), you can take the bar there.  If not, you can return to the midwest and do so, be it in Chi or Mich.

2) Take the bar in Chi (or Mich).  Begin practicing law.  You can always take plenty of trips to NYC if you desire, in which case you'll be there as a tourist, i.e., you can actually enjoy the city, which, were you to actually live there, would be limited to half days on Saturdays and Sundays. 

My numbers weren't as good as yours.  I was top 25% after the first semester, then about top 12% cumulative after the second semester (I was about top 5% for the spring semester). 


May I ask what your numbers were at the T4? (gpa/rank)

Based on my experience (T4 to top 30 to V30), my two cents:

Assuming you transfer, your resume (for this fall's OCI) will feature two law schools, one of which (your former school) will indicate "Graded on to X Law Review" and your GPA/class rank at that school (which firms will use, based on their cut-offs for that particular school, to determine whether you get a screening interview at OCI). There will be nothing listed under your new school (i.e., you won't have a GPA, rank or any accomplishments).  After this fall, you will no longer list your former school (and you'll begin listing your GPA/rank, if favorable, from your new school, plus any good things that happen at the new school).

Your new school will likely offer the incoming transfers a chance to write-on to its journals (lots of luck with that!). Just be hopeful that you land a spot on a secondary journal, because the odds of the "native" students on the school's actual law review welcoming a lowly transfer are slim to none.  If you land a secondary, great; if not, don't sweat it.  Take comfort in the fact that your graduating GPA/rank at your new school will be based on 2-3L (which is, rightly or wrongly, part of what fuels the mostly unspoken anti-transfer sentiment at many schools). 

As already noted, your T4 is quite aware that several people who accept law review invites will transfer out after this semester.  Those spots will be filled (either by runner-ups or write-ons).

Good luck.

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