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Author Topic: Advice for 0Ls  (Read 1093 times)

gobigredgo

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Advice for 0Ls
« on: March 03, 2008, 01:10:52 AM »
Just found this site and would like to offer you 0Ls some advice. As a T14 ivy league grad, I wanted to remind you guys not to overlook scholarships at strong regional schools. I turned down several non-ivy T14s and scholarships at T25 to Tier 1 schools. To make a long story short, I graduated a little bit below median and was unable to secure a job at any firm paying over 70k. I was pissed off at first because I had friends at much lower ranked schools making market (UC Davis, Tulane, Fordham, Cardozo, Loyola, etc). The good news is that I eventually got a market rate job after working a government gig for a few years. The bad news is that I still have a lot of debt.
If I could make the choice again, I would have jumped on the schools that offered me scholarships.

I hope this advice was helpful and I'd be happy to answer questions.

...and do not ask specific questions about me because I will not give away my identity.

und3r3stimat3d

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Re: Advice for 0Ls
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2008, 01:13:34 AM »
Just found this site and would like to offer you 0Ls some advice. As a T14 ivy league grad, I wanted to remind you guys not to overlook scholarships at strong regional schools. I turned down several non-ivy T14s and scholarships at T25 to Tier 1 schools. To make a long story short, I graduated a little bit below median and was unable to secure a job at any firm paying over 70k. I was pissed off at first because I had friends at much lower ranked schools making market (UC Davis, Tulane, Fordham, Cardozo, Loyola, etc). The good news is that I eventually got a market rate job after working a government gig for a few years. The bad news is that I still have a lot of debt.
If I could make the choice again, I would have jumped on the schools that offered me scholarships.

I hope this advice was helpful and I'd be happy to answer questions.

...and do not ask specific questions about me because I will not give away my identity.

By your moniker (and the fact that you say you were at T14 ivy grad), it appears you went to Cornell. I'm interested in Cornell, but am concerned that the work load is ridiculous and that I'd end up below median and with no great job. How common was your experience?

gobigredgo

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Re: Advice for 0Ls
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2008, 01:41:48 AM »
I chose Cornell for the wrong reasons (because it was an ivy league law school). From talking to my peers in other law schools (T14s, T1s, and T2s), I would say Cornell's workload was pretty intense. Since there is not much to do around Ithaca, students spend a majority of their time studying and that really affects the competition. Another problem is that the Cornell name, despite what posters on these message boards say, does not do very well in the west coast. So if you are hoping to land a 85k+ job in the west, I would suggest making sure you are around the top 1/3 to have a good shot. I found this really annoying because my peers at regional schools in the top 1/3 got market jobs and I went to a T14 and was left to dry.

Within the T14, I would say we are near the bottom in placement but without a doubt above G-town. I know several G-town grads below 1/3 that were in the same position as me.

If your interest is biglaw and you got into a T25 with a scholarship, I'd advise you to think hard before you dive into Cornell with no scholarship.

gobigredgo

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Re: Advice for 0Ls
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2008, 01:47:05 AM »
Just found this site and would like to offer you 0Ls some advice. As a T14 ivy league grad, I wanted to remind you guys not to overlook scholarships at strong regional schools. I turned down several non-ivy T14s and scholarships at T25 to Tier 1 schools. To make a long story short, I graduated a little bit below median and was unable to secure a job at any firm paying over 70k. I was pissed off at first because I had friends at much lower ranked schools making market (UC Davis, Tulane, Fordham, Cardozo, Loyola, etc). The good news is that I eventually got a market rate job after working a government gig for a few years. The bad news is that I still have a lot of debt.
If I could make the choice again, I would have jumped on the schools that offered me scholarships.

I hope this advice was helpful and I'd be happy to answer questions.

...and do not ask specific questions about me because I will not give away my identity.

Perhaps the most controversial topic to 0L's... do you think prepping before law school is a good idea? Do you think it could help?

I know plenty of people who went into law school with no prepping and graduated in the top. I personally do not think prepping does any good. By the time it matters, everybody is already up to speed and you just blew $1000+ dollars for a prep course for nothing.

Okay I'll admit it...I took a prep class before law school and I ended up placing below the median. I wish I could have my $1000 dollars back. It was useless...really.

Cabra

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Re: Advice for 0Ls
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2008, 01:48:48 AM »
So do you think that part of the problem is that a Cornell JD isn't as portable as they said it was?

You mention looking for work on the west coast--did you try the east coast too? If so, what were your options there?
CLS 2011

upgrade

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Re: Advice for 0Ls
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2008, 01:53:25 AM »
I graduated a little bit below median and was unable to secure a job at any firm paying over 70k. I was pissed off at first because I had friends at much lower ranked schools making market (UC Davis, Tulane, Fordham, Cardozo, Loyola, etc). The good news is that I eventually got a market rate job after working a government gig for a few years.

I know you do not want to give away personally identifying information, but I am curious what kind of government job you took and its influence on your finding a market paying job.  The whole "what comes after graduation if I am not at the top of the class" thing seems to be the least discussed scenario, but is going to be the reality for most people.  I am just curious what the process was like for you, what kind of work you were doing, and how it helped you obtain the job you sought.

gobigredgo

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Re: Advice for 0Ls
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2008, 01:56:18 AM »
So do you think that part of the problem is that a Cornell JD isn't as portable as they said it was?

You mention looking for work on the west coast--did you try the east coast too? If so, what were your options there?

Yes, I tried the east coast, west coast, midwest, and sadly...the south (obviously no luck there). When you are below median, you basically have to line up  behind the top 1/3 at regional law schools. That was NOT a good experience for me, especially since I was an IVY LEAGUE law grad. It was rather embarrassing. I have no doubt in my mind that my non-T14 peers secretly laughed behind my back.

Part of it was that the Cornell JD was not as portable as I thought, but I think most of it was because I was below median. I even resume bombed a lot of firms with no luck.

gobigredgo

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Re: Advice for 0Ls
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2008, 02:02:12 AM »
I graduated a little bit below median and was unable to secure a job at any firm paying over 70k. I was pissed off at first because I had friends at much lower ranked schools making market (UC Davis, Tulane, Fordham, Cardozo, Loyola, etc). The good news is that I eventually got a market rate job after working a government gig for a few years.

I know you do not want to give away personally identifying information, but I am curious what kind of government job you took and its influence on your finding a market paying job.  The whole "what comes after graduation if I am not at the top of the class" thing seems to be the least discussed scenario, but is going to be the reality for most people.  I am just curious what the process was like for you, what kind of work you were doing, and how it helped you obtain the job you sought.

I can't give away too much information since there aren't many Cornell law grads out there. I will say that it had nothing to do with criminal prosecuting or the public defender's office. I had to work really really hard at my gov job before market rate firms gave me a look (two to three years of hard work to be exact). A T25 grad was in the same boat (same gov job and similar situation) and we both ended up landing market rate jobs. Ironically, he got his market rate job about 6 months before I did, but he was also at the gov agency for about 6 months longer.

Additional info: The T25 grad and I were arguably the top 5 of the new lawyers at the agency, so those in the know knew or heard about us.

gobigredgo

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Re: Advice for 0Ls
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2008, 02:13:32 AM »
Just found this site and would like to offer you 0Ls some advice. As a T14 ivy league grad, I wanted to remind you guys not to overlook scholarships at strong regional schools. I turned down several non-ivy T14s and scholarships at T25 to Tier 1 schools. To make a long story short, I graduated a little bit below median and was unable to secure a job at any firm paying over 70k. I was pissed off at first because I had friends at much lower ranked schools making market (UC Davis, Tulane, Fordham, Cardozo, Loyola, etc). The good news is that I eventually got a market rate job after working a government gig for a few years. The bad news is that I still have a lot of debt.
If I could make the choice again, I would have jumped on the schools that offered me scholarships.

I hope this advice was helpful and I'd be happy to answer questions.

...and do not ask specific questions about me because I will not give away my identity.

Perhaps the most controversial topic to 0L's... do you think prepping before law school is a good idea? Do you think it could help?

I know plenty of people who went into law school with no prepping and graduated in the top. I personally do not think prepping does any good. By the time it matters, everybody is already up to speed and you just blew $1000+ dollars for a prep course for nothing.

Okay I'll admit it...I took a prep class before law school and I ended up placing below the median. I wish I could have my $1000 dollars back. It was useless...really.

Wow. Did you take Law Preview or the Bar/Bri one? Fwiw, the Bar/Bri one is no longer operating anymore. Do you know anything about the Planet Law School method? (reading E&Es and taking LEEWS before school starts).

I've heard about LEEWs, etc. but I really don't think it will do most people much good. After a few weeks, law school is all fair game and everybody is practically on the same level. I'd suggest using that money on a vacation or trip before you dive into 1L hell.

gobigredgo

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Re: Advice for 0Ls
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2008, 02:16:09 AM »
cool, thanks man I appreciate the replies.

No problem. Anything I can do to help. I wish I had this advice before I enrolled.