As for shining stars, I like to consider myself in that category.
I think your chances at mid-firms are much better.
Your right. It's pretty funny how the whole profession works. There was an interesting article posted recently discussing how some firms are rethinking how they recruit strictly based on Grades/Rank. I belive it was because their retention rate was horrible.You take someone ranked in the Top 10% that never has worked a day in their life and after a couple of years billing 2000 hours they head for ze hills.
Anybody have an idea of the liklihood of a midsized firm paying close to market? Or, is that just not possible?