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Messages - ChiSox07

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Two questions:

1. Why does everyone think that you have to be in top 1/3 of your class to get BigLaw? That's very much a myth, at least if you go to the T14. What do you think -- the bottom 70% of GULC grads (or even Texas or USC or UCLA grads) all work at midlaw or public interest? I know people who graduated in the 30-20 percentiles at these schools and got multiple V100 firm job offers. Maybe not Wachtell Lipton, but good firms.

2. When people female dog about BigLaw, what are they comparing it to? Banking (90-100 hr weeks, little job security)? Medicine (4 years of hell followed by 4 more years of grueling residency working 80 hr weeks minimum for crappy pay, then get sued for malpractice)? Consulting (work your butt off for the luxury of maybe parachuting into some deadend corporate mgmt job)? People say these jobs suck at least as much! Perhaps private equity is better, but so is being an astronaut or a movie star -- only 3-5% of the very top bschools go into PE or VC.

At least biglaw gives you a very good salary w/ job security and reasonable, somewhat predictable hours (~60 hrs/week). I guess the grass is always greener, especially to 25 yo's who never had an alternative point of reference.

Exactly.  Any high end job will require many hours of work.  My buddy is an analyst for citi in NY and works 8am-midnight regularly.  He says getting home by 9 is a light day.  Also, in the end, as a lawyer you're selling a service: legal expertise.  This is no different than any other business.  Lawyers are in high demand because of the complex nature of the US legal system.  I work as a paralegal in a midlaw firm that works biglaw cases.  The lawyers there bill about 2100 a year, have great salaries and bonuses, and do a lot of pro bono work that would be tough to find outside the firm.  People need to get beyond the Hollywood/popular conception of lawyers and law firms.  A lot of the attorneys at my firm really enjoy the work they're doing.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Fordham or bust?
« on: April 02, 2007, 08:46:23 PM »
If youíre not in the top 30% of your class it does not mean you canít find a job. It just means that the school wonít find one for you. Get there, do your best, and network like a mad man. 70% of law students donít graduate in the top 30% of their class. Grades are not everything. If you have two resumes from two people you donít know, from the same school, one top 1/3 the other top 2/3 then the job will probably go to the person with the best grades.

But the point is if your not in the top 1/3 of the class you would be stupid to put yourself in that kind of resume comparison position. Get to know people, law is just like any other field, people like to hire known entities, if they know you and like you, then they will hire you over somebody they have no knowledge of, regardless of your class rank. 

I actually had someone tell me once their biggest fear when hiring a new associate is not if they can do the work, but that they will piss of the rest of the staff if they turn out to be an a-hole. New associates are a dime a dozen, good paralegals and legal sectaries are like gold, if you got a good one you want to keep them, and not hiring snot nosed new associates is a good way to do that. You canít tell someoneís a-hole potential by their resume.

Here is what I would recommend, go and do your best. After first semester you should have an idea where you will end up grade wise. If that is not top 1/3 then put your energies into making contacts. Lots of contacts and mediocre grades beats no contacts and great grades. The more contacts you have the more options you have. Know your strengths, if its not top grades, then make it knowing the right people.

Good luck.

PS. I have lunch with a Fordham grad every week, she is a damn good attorney, extremely successful and a very smart person. I donít know where she landed exactly, but I know it was not in the top 50%.

This post nails it.  I was at BC's ASD last week.  During the panel session, alums were asked how crucial it was to be in the top third.  A few members of the panel were right around 50% and got great job.  They said that associates doing the interviewing were looking for personalities that meshed well more than stats.  Since Fordham is a top 30 school, I feel that with good networking and interview skills, you can overcome any grade disadvantage.  I've worked at a boutique complex litigation firm for the past two years as a paralegal.  I can tell you that the best fits among new associates I've seen weren't the top 10%ers.  Working cases demands good personal skills and an ability to work well with others.  This is valued as much or more so than your GPA.

Choosing the Right Law School / BC Portability in Chicago
« on: April 02, 2007, 03:35:21 PM »
While this isn't a BC v. BU post, I figure since BC students have been kind enough to post that I'd post this here.

I went to the ASD on Friday and was very impressed.  I am leaning BC right now as things stand.  However, one thing I am concerned with is portability.  I grew up in Chicago, live here now, and want to practice here after law school.  How common is it for students to summer/get jobs at Chicago biglaw firms?  Would coming from BC help or hinder opportunities in Chicago?  I imagine it could go both ways.  While the alumni network would be much smaller than the Chicago/Illinois schools, firms could see coming from BC as a plus for diversity purposes.

Student opinions?

As of now, I'm not planning on it, but there are some huge variables on the horizon.  First, I have my app pending at Northwestern with no idea when I will get a decision.  I'm not optimistic on an acceptance, but if get one after April 20, I'll have to throw down another deposit. Then there's the ND provisional list and UIUC's deferral to factor in.  As you can imagine, this has the potential to get very hectic.

Still haven't heard from Northwestern, Georgetown, GW, BU or Wisconsin

I turned in my apps late in the cycle though, so this isn't a huge surprise.

This should be common sense.  I work as a legal assistant at a mid-sized complex litigation firm in Chicago.  We have attorneys from Tier 1 (but outside T14) from UNC and Tulane, among others that wouldn't lend themselves to placement in Chicago.

Personally, I'd go BU with the cash.  They're similarly ranked schools, and BU has a better reputation nationally.  I'm still waiting on BU, but I doubt any $$$ will be coming my way.

Damn, I was hoping Loyola would jump Kent this year, or at least make top 60.  Looks like my choice to withdraw from DePaul was the right one, it just keeps on slipping.

With the recent flurry of X v. Y threads, I decided to create a one-stop shop of sorts. Here's what I need from you.

First, list the schools you're considering attending, then answer the following questions subjectively (or objectively [ties are acceptable, but please list all schools]):

1. The school with the best location (factor in local activities, proximity to SO's, etc.)
2. The school that will overall cost you the least (cost of living included)
3. The highest ranked school (according to whichever source matters to you; personal rankings count)
4. The school that you think will give you the best job prospects (go with overall flexibility as opposed to what you think you might want to do, since that could easily change; factor in location as well)
5. The school that best seems to fit your personality

Next, rank each of the 5 criteria it terms of how important they are to you on a scale of 1-5, 1 being least important and 5 being most important. For example, if you don't care about cost, rank it 1. No ties.

Finally, write down (or type, I guess) the first school from your list that comes to mind.

I'll start as an example:

1. NYU - 2
2. UVA - 3
3. NYU - 1
4. NYU/UVA - 4
5. UVA - 5

How things stand right now (an acceptance on one of my pendings would change these)

1. Loyola Chicago - 1
2. Loyola Chicago - 2
3. BC/Illinois - 3
4. BC/Illinois - 5
5. BC - 4

I've seen them referenced in several posts, but cannot find them in any thread.  Thanks...

These ratings on the link above are ridiculous, pay them no mind.  Chicago-Kent (and 35 other schools) above University of Chicago?  They can't be serious.

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