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Messages - nealric

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Incoming 1Ls / Re: Why the job market is changing
« on: October 28, 2010, 09:45:38 AM »
It seems that if you have respectable grades and an IP background from even a CBA school you would have a better shot at an IP job than someone with solid grades from Hastings or another tier 1/2 school and with a Political Science Degree. It certainly helps to have a specialized knowledge when going into the job market. A J.D. and grades are not always enough to set you apart. There are plenty of people with a J.D. and good grades, but not that many with those qualities and a computer science degree.

IP is a bit of a special case. The Hastings grad with a Polisci degree wouldn't be allowed to sit for the patent bar- they wouldn't even have the basic qualifications for a patent prosecution job.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Where should I go?
« on: October 27, 2010, 11:35:55 AM »
Thank you for the response, but I should have better clarified my question.  I'm curious which law schools are best suited to my interests.  I intend to use my JD to inform a career in public service, specifically in the realm of financial regulation and the enforcement thereof.  Big Law is out of the question.  I'd like a school that affords me the opportunity to study graduate-level economics courses while I pursue my JD.  Columbia and GLUC are at the top of my list, but I'm curious to know if these or other law schools in either DC or New York have reputable programs that fit my goals.

Georgetown and NYU are phenomenal schools without question, but if you are not at all interested in Big Law then it might be better to get out with as little debt as possible. You can do this by getting scholarship money at good D.C. schools like George Washington, Catholic, and American. In New York Fordham, Brooklyn, and Cardozo are also very solid schools that would offer you a lot of money. You can go to and see how much scholarship money students were offered in the past with your numbers and it is a pretty helpful tool. You can also e-mail the individual students who post and get first-hand feedback from students about their experience.

None of those schools, besides perhaps GW, are going to give the OP a credible shot at working in the practice areas indicated (public interest or not). GW early decision (with full ride) might be worth it. LRAP at the top schools will help take care of the cost.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Where should I go?
« on: October 27, 2010, 07:35:05 AM »
If you have to do DC or NY, you really only have 3 schools to apply to with your numbers: Georgetown, NYU, Columbia

Incoming 1Ls / Re: Why the job market is changing
« on: October 27, 2010, 07:09:39 AM »
Here are three relevant observations:

1. The traditional law firm hiring model (pedigree and grades) doesn’t do a very good job of selecting candidates who are likely to succeed as large firm litigators or corporate lawyers.

2 The traditional credential-based model is gradually being dismantled because clients are no longer willing to absorb the cost of bad hiring decisions.

3. The skills and behaviors you need to set yourself apart are not taught in law school—indeed, your typical law professor is completely unqualified to serve as your jungle guide.

If anything, large firms have become even MORE prestige obsessed and MORE grade conscious in the downturn. The traditional credential-based model isn't being dismantled at all- firms are just hiring fewer people. Perhaps the current method isn't a good method of selecting candidates, but I've yet to hear of a large firm complaining that they aren't getting quality candidates. The issue is getting enough clients to pay for the training of those quality candidates- which they will have to do regardless of their screening criteria.

Small firms seem to be doing the same thing they've always done. They go to the local schools.

Accuracy and truthful reporting would be extremely difficult to verify, and at least when it comes from the schools there's an aspect of accountability in how they report.  We also think schools would find it hypocritical if an organization that aims for honest reporting is willing to accept information from unverified sources.  It also duplicates the work schools already do in the way of data collection; of the nine components in the LST standard, career services offices already collect 7 of them for each graduate in answering the NALP/USNews surveys.   

I would think of self reporting as a bit of a "stick". You can tell the schools: either you release your data (accurate data), or we are going to present the survey data (which I suspect may be even worse than average due to the JD underground effect).

Incoming 1Ls / Re: law school grades
« on: October 09, 2010, 08:31:14 AM »
can you honestly tell me that someone in the firm, maybe a paralegal or staff member, is not instructed to toss all applicants who are not from a certain school or from a certain group of schools unless from applicants in the top 5% of their class? No, because that is probably how it's done

That's exactly how it's done. If it were done otherwise, the hiring partners would have to spend 5 hours a day sifting through resumes. Keep in mind that most big firms really don't do much entry-level hiring outside of OCI- someone cold-mailing is already suspect. It makes sense to cut out anybody who is not an academic superstar and go from there.

Thanks for posting the article.  I haven't been on here for awhile (is the search feature still busted?) but I saw this on the front page and wanted to recommend people check out the known salary charts we put up on the website last month (here )

If you look at a few schools you'll see that there is enormous variety in the number of graduates that are represented in a school's published salary information.  Look at a few of the charts and then check out the websites of the same schools to see how they portray the same information.  Many schools fail to report enough salaries to even permit an educated guess as to what the median salaries might be for a class, and yet the medians and the percent employed in the private sector are typically the only statistics advertised by admissions officers.  We think the charts highlight some of the major problems with the current reporting standards.

One big problem they don't address is what type of jobs people are obtaining.  Within the private sector, no distinction is made between associates, contract attorneys, paralegals, or secretaries.  I think very few law school applicants realize that a school's private sector percentage might actually include non-attorneys, even the people who have done their homework.  Even when you factor in optimism bias, the reporting rates are extremely low for a lot of schools.  One thing we hope the ABA 509 subcommittee will consider is setting forth some minimum reporting requirement before a school can advertise a median salary.  If a school is only collecting salary information on 16% of the class, it seems odd that they can hide that fact while still advertising a median salary of six figures.

We'll be providing some updates soon with our next steps, but anyways I'm glad someone found that article.  An interesting op-ed that followed the original article in the Star-Ledger (, written by the Dean of Rutgers-Newark, sheds some light on the hurdles we have ahead of us: .  If you look at our Data Clearinghouse, you'll notice that Rutgers-Newark collects starting salaries for fewer than half the graduating class.

Looking forward to seeing some more discussion on this. -obs

Suggestion: What about doing LSN type reporting where alums can report their salaries and employment types to YOU? I don't think you are ever going to get thorough data from the schools themselves. You might get some BS from self reporting, but I can't imagine the data would be worse that what prospective students have now.

Incoming 1Ls / Re: For Current Law Students
« on: October 07, 2010, 10:30:59 AM »
I also think schools should offer a couple bar prep classes during the third year that you can take.   Save everyone money on bar-bri.

A few schools do this. I talked to someone at the NY bar exam who got a full year MBE course at her law school. I also know that Cal-Western LS includes Barbri in tuition.

Incoming 1Ls / Re: law school grades
« on: October 07, 2010, 07:41:13 AM »
  Fennemore Craig over Harvard and Standford applicants. H

Almost everyone would agree that going to Harvard won't give you much of a leg-up in regional midlaw. I'm sure it's a great place, but that type of firm isn't even on the radar for most Stanford applicants. A lot of those firms don't really consider the Stanford/Harvard types to be serious applicants.

Incoming 1Ls / Re: law school grades
« on: October 05, 2010, 11:37:28 AM »
I don't think it's fair to say Harvard is "better" than another law school. Yes, Harvard has better placement,

From a prospective student's perspective, placement is the only thing that really matters.

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