« on: January 18, 2008, 03:04:03 AM »
as with anything else in life, you'll get out what you put in. Once you approach your third year you begin to see that a lot of what people say here about tiers has a very brightline application. There are places that will look at your resume if you come from a T1-T2 (biglaw) and there are places that will give weight to those Tiers (mid size) but still look at T3's and T4's. A lot of mid size firms hire middle rank students from T3's and T4's. It's about attitude, interviewing well, and knowing the niche market that you are going into.
Will a mid size firm specializing in IP in PA take a 50% student from American who has no practical life experience over a 50% student from Widener who has a science background and is rearing and ready to take the IP bar? Chances are they'll go with the guy from the T4 in that situation.
This situation is even more complicated in a small firm environment where the idea is to keep costs down. Many firms want the best young attorney they can get for as little money as they can pay them. Most T4 students are willing to take a lower income because their education has less intrinsic marketability. Thus it is more likely that a T4 or T3 student will get a job at a small firm. (which, in my opinion, has a much better quality of life than mid size and large firms (50 hour weeks on average as compared to 60-70))
Remember Grades only matter for your first job. If you go to findlaw or some other recruiting resource, you can see plenty of jobs available for those with those magical 2-3 years of experience. If you can't go mid size now, you can always go later!