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Messages - WhiteyEMSR

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Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Notre Dame 2L Taking Questions
« on: February 23, 2007, 09:25:41 PM »
"With regard to job prospects: how national do you consider ND in comparison to lower T14 schools like Duke, Cornell, or Georgetown?"

It's really hard to say. The most obvious situation, if you're talking about D.C., then Georgetown will probably beat out ND. If you're talking about the Midwest, I think ND wins the battle. If you're talking about a more objective location, then I'm not sure. You'd have to consider the firm, where the firm likes to hire, where the firm interviews, where the lawyers in the firm went to school, etc. etc. The best way to get this information would probably be to go to the firms' websites and do an attorney search by school. See where the most recent attorneys are coming from. I don't think there are general answers like people on these forums like to give. People are ALWAYS going to talk up the school that they have decided on.

I'd say that on a general firm-wide basis, not considering individual offices, the higher ranked the school, the more attorneys hired out of that school.

"Also, do you know if class rank is a major factor in OCI success?"

I think class rank will be important wherever you go. I know that at ND firms go pretty deep into the class, but the top firms are always going to be competing for the top students. I mean, of course Skadden wants someone on law review over someone not on law review, it's just common sense. I don't think Skadden caters to the bottom of the class at most t-14 schools. Again, if you check out new associates' profiles on firms' sites, you'll see many have Greek recognition after their names, moot court, journal experience, etc. I didn't have moot court or journal on my resume, but I was ranked very high out of the school from which I transferred. ND doesn't even rank its students, by the way, for whatever this is worth. Of course, GPA is a factor considering the curve.

Again, probably the higher ranked the school, the deeper into the classes firms will go, but I really don't think by all that much. 

"I would be very interested in any knowledge you can offer about the clinics: how competitive it is to participate in one, how worthwhile they are, etc."

Sorry, don't know much about them. I'd check the website.

"I'm also very interested in trial advocacy and know that ND is especially highly regarded in this area of law.  Do you or your friends have any experience with or opinions about the trial advocacy specialty at ND or the moot court team?"

Trial Ad is big at ND and very well respected. Anyone can take one semester of moot court (requires an appellate brief), but it's also a competition for who stays on for the following semester and following year. I know there are a few different moot court teams, maybe four? It is competitive. Out of a class of probably 40+ students, I think 10 were selected based on their briefs and oral argument.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Notre Dame 2L Taking Questions
« on: February 23, 2007, 05:06:46 PM »
"Is your name Jon Schoenwetter?"


"Will Brady Quinn fall to the Dolphins at #9?"


"Will Brady Quinn be another Rick Mirer in the NFL?"


"How has the quality of the professors/classes been so far compared to where you spent your 1L?"

My 1L professors were very good as are ND's, but ND's professors seem to have a lot more prestige under their belts (fancier firms, top govt. jobs, more publishings, etc.)

"How helpful did you find OCI?  And where are you looking to practice?"

Not sure what you mean by helpful, but OCI presents are far greater chance of getting a firm job than sending resumes out on your own. To give some comparison to you, I'll compare the 1st law school I attended to ND. At the first school, to get an interview with a reasonably good-sized firm, students probably had to have law review or moot court and be in the top 10-20% of students, depending on the firm. At ND, you are pretty much guaranteed initial interviews at most of the firms you apply to (it is based on a lottery, so if a lot of students are bidding on the same firms, you have less of a chance), and the firms interview a great many more students. Jones Day ran interviews all day in a few different rooms, for example. Also, all the big firms come to ND: Skadden, Kirkland, Sidley, Shearman, White, and on and on, and they do take ND students. I think I did somewhere around 20 interviews and received around 8 call-backs. I interviewed primarily in the Midwest and took an offer in Chicago.

OCI is helpful in other ways too. Sometimes you can know instantly that a firm is not right for you. For example, when I asked a partner what kind of assignments they usually give summer associates, he responded, "Well, there's not really much you can do. One of the more interesting assignments I had an associate do was get a secretary out of a traffic ticket. The assignment involved a good amount of research, and the secretary got the fine reduced." Other firms definitely have strong preferences for law review or moot court, and as I was not on either (seeing as I was a transfer student), this put me at somewhat of a disadvantage, but hey, I got my first pick so I'm happy. Not everyone gets jobs exactly where they want, but I can't think of any student that didn't get an offer. Keep in mind I am not too sociable and I didn't know many students (outside of the transfers) during OCI, but I heard a lot of people talking about their options. The worst I have heard is from a student who had trouble getting call-backs and ended up landing a job in Indy for $900 a week. Not great, but not Wal-Mart either.

"And are the rumors of ND's overrated alumni network true?"

I've only heard the rumors about how great the network is, but this is mostly from other students at ND and faculty at ND, so maybe the info I'm getting is biased. I guess I don't have any proof or any way of getting proof. However, most of the interviewers that come from the big firms are ND grads, and they are definitely loyal to the school and pushing for more ND lawyers. While ND may only be ranked in the 20s, it seems highly competitive in the big firm market. For example, and I hate to keep giving you JD facts, but the other summer associates I will be working with are from much higher ranked schools (Harvard, Columbia, Northwestern, Virginia, etc) and there are two ND students. I know this is similar at some of the other top firms, but whether this is relative to the school's overall prestige or its presence in the Midwest, I'm not sure. I am sure that I had many options and would have been happy with a number of them.

Oh yeah, I know of some students who are going to D.C. as well, along with Texas. These two seem like pretty hot spots around here.

Anyway, sorry I can't be more specific. It's hard to answer things about reputation and national reputation as far as firms are concerned, because nobody can really know unless you get hiring lists from all the big firms year after year. I have learned that lots of people on these boards throw out inaccurate information, things they couldn't possibly know. There really is more to law school than ranking, although it is a huge factor, too huge in my opinion.

One more thing. Check out It shows a lot, but not all, of the firms that interview at law schools, and it also shows where the firms interview, how many students they take, pay, etc. This will mostly be helpful to you your 2L year in the fall.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Notre Dame 2L Taking Questions
« on: February 23, 2007, 01:24:57 PM »
"Religious affiliation? (yours)"

I'm not religious, not really anyway. Many students are. (This past Wednesday was the first time I've see people smear ashes on their heads). I get along just fine. Students don't seem judgmental, and if they are, I don't notice, or care. The only way I know that some professors are Catholic is actually because of the "ash on the forehead" thing. Some profs do prayer before class, but that's about it. Tradition obviously is largely Catholic, but that's alright for me as long as nobody pushes it on me, and nobody does.

" i've heard that nd is primarily white/conservative... will a jaded liberal/minority feel out of place?"

White? Well, primarily students are white, but I suspect not any less typical than most other schools. I have a black professor, if that helps. Nobody throws things at him. Not really sure about the conservative aspect. I don't really ask people their social or political leanings, but I suspect more are conservative than not? I would say that there is definitely a good mixture though. I don't think a liberal would be out of place (I am probably one if you force me to choose), and I know a minority would be just fine.

"Construction on campus next year?"

There are plans for an addition to the law building. I'm not sure when it will start, but I think pretty soon. I can't imagine the school would allow it to be disruptive to the students, though, if that's your concern. Any, it's going to be awesome. I've seen the plans, and I think it will be worth a little noise.


Choosing the Right Law School / Notre Dame 2L Taking Questions
« on: February 23, 2007, 01:05:14 PM »
Hey guys, I'm a Notre Dame 2L. I did my first year at another school, but I did go through OCI (on-campus interviews) at ND. I have had a couple of 1L professors. Fire away.

I'll post a "Notre Dame 2l Posting Questions" thread.

I'm a Notre Dame student. Students get jobs everywhere. I'm a transfer student, so I really only know the transfer students, but I think we all have jobs, many BigLaw. The firms (off the top of my head) where transfers are going are Jones Day, Sidley Austin (Chi), Ice Miller (Indy), Dickinson Wright (MI), 2 at NY firms (don't remember the firm names), 1 other Indy firm, a couple more Chicago (huge placement).

Firms come from all over the place. I only interviewed in the midwest and got a lot of callback offers. I know people routinely go to the major Californian cities, New York, Chicago, and Indy. In the midwest, you definitely can't go wrong.

South Bend? Yeah...nobody stays in South Bend.

Law School Admissions / Re: MSU vs Wayne vs UofD
« on: February 21, 2007, 08:59:33 PM »
No, you're wrong. Did you read his letter? It has nothing to do with the move, there was another reason that he took a position elsewhere, he wanted more diversity.

Why do you think you can read any random stuff from some blog that hates the school to begin with and spread things that aren't always true?

Dude, are you kidding me? He outright condemns the move to Florida. Read the article!!! Also, the Board of Directors unanimously opposes this move as the Board believes it is NOT in the best interests of the law school. Tom has already opened and closed a number of schools. His reputation is beyond repair. Check this out.

I remember you from a prior post when I tried to warn you against the school because of the move and you said the move wasn't going to happen. We'll see what happens, but I recommend you do well this year and get the heck out. A couple of my buddies transferred this fall and the are SOOO glad they did!

Law School Admissions / Re: MSU vs Wayne vs UofD
« on: February 21, 2007, 12:01:17 PM »
I want to add one more thing with regard to scholarships. I would say that scholarships, while important, should not be considered a deciding factor if you are choosing between schools that have disparate reputations. I think disparity between schools within the same tier can even be enough to turn down a full-ride over a no-ride. This is especially true if you want to work at a law firm. Three years of paying full tuition is not that bad if you have a good chance of getting a good firm job upon completion of law school. On the other hand, having no job sucks regardless of debt.

Look at which firms interview at what schools, and look at their cut-offs for interviewing. Most firms coming to schools with "poor" reputations have strict standards for getting an initial interview. These standards are somewhat relaxed the more you move up the tier system (generally speaking). Also, try to find out the whos, whats, wheres regarding where students are working and more importantly, where those students are ranked in their class. When I went to UDM's various introductory events, they harped on success stories of students who worked at Shearman & Sterling and at Dykema type firms, but these students were all law review grade ons. Only ten people grade onto law review, at least at UDM. The career services offices are valuable sources of information. Make them tell you where students are working. Get these students' names (if you can) and talk to them. Talk to students in general and see what they have set up for their 2nd summers (this is the crucial summer in most cases). You will find that many current 2ls at UDM are doing study abroad programs because they didn't get summer associate offers.

My main point---Look ahead, beyond scholarships.

As for positives on UDM (there are many I have ignored), the clinics are great, professors are excellent and public interest jobs are definitely available. 

Law School Admissions / Re: MSU vs Wayne vs UofD
« on: February 21, 2007, 11:27:25 AM »
Hey, former UDM student here. I transferred after my first year. If you want to work in a law firm and you choices are between the MI schools (leaving out UM) go to Wayne! The firm opps are still going to be reserved for the top students and law review members, but chances are higher at Wayne as the firms interview more students and more firms show up. Many of my friends from UDM can't find jobs outside of public interest, and the ones that have found jobs are all top students or on law review. Having both is probably a must at UDM although I do have one friend that wrote onto law review with a 3.1 gpa and got an offer at a small firm, but this is rare.

Ave Maria just announced yesterday that they are moving to Florida. This is no longer up in the air. It is a sure thing. I have a couple friends who transferred from Ave, and they are very glad they left. No alumni base, no reputation (yet), Dean is hated and profs are resigning after the Florida announcement.

As to State, people will always tell you that it will jump in the rankings in the next couple of years, but these predictions are made on these boards year after year and the jump never happens. In fact State did make it to tier 3 either last year or the year before and it is now back to 4. I have been watching these rankings and hearing the same speculation for years. I imagine, though, that job prospects are better out of State than out of UDM.

How does the fact that so few AM grads took the bar show that the school is national? Ave Maria is NOT a national law school by any stretch of the imagination. They have been accredited for what, two years? Go and ask 2ls at AM where they are working this summer. You will find that most of them aren't. Like I said before, I live with a guy who was top of his class at Ave. Before he decided to transfer, he sent out like 100 resumes to law firms (seeing as Butzel Long is the only firm that interviews on campus...hmmm, could this be because of Tom's connections with the firm?), and he got no initial interviews from this process. Not one.

My point is this. Anytime a school is considering a move across the country, be skeptical. Anytime faculty votes to kick out a dean, ask questions. Anytime a firm brings one firm to campus, reflect on how "national" this school can be. When a school is first accredited by the ABA, don't believe that the school is going to jump to a tier 2 in 3 years. Do you honestly believe that with all of the problems the school is having?

As to the bar rates, I have no idea why the scores are so high. It's crazy and will probably result in much harder exams in the future. Cooley at 80%? For @#!*'s sake, get out of Michigan!

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