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Author Topic: Job Prospects for Tier 2 Schools  (Read 8351 times)

wonderwall

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Job Prospects for Tier 2 Schools
« on: August 28, 2008, 07:08:56 PM »
I was wondering... I am applying to law schools, and planning to stay in the Chicago area. If so, the schools would be UChicago, Northwestern, Kent, DePaul and Loyola (I'm not considering John Marshall). I was wondering, obviously it would great to go to Uchicago or NU, but say I don't get into those schools, but went to Kent or Depaul/Loyola (all Tier 2, but did really well in my class) - would my prospects be alright for Chicago area law firm jobs? Would I have a much harder time getting a BigLaw job at these tier 2 schools?

Secondly, once I get my foot in the door, and say I get a job at a great firm, how much would my school matter after that? I hear people say that your LSAT gets you into school, but doesn't matter after that and your school gets you your first job but doesn't matter after that? Is this true? I would think your school might stay with you longer...

Or what about your overall impression of prospects T14 compared to Tier 1 compared to Tier 2? And how would your class rank affect these comparisons? Say, top 5% at Tier 2 compared to middle of your class at T14/Tier 1?

nealric

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Re: Job Prospects for Tier 2 Schools
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2008, 05:01:12 PM »
School will matter for laterals, and can be a boost for alumni network reasons I would think.


How sold are you on biglaw? If it's that or bust, the T2 track is a gamble at best. That's just the numbers. Obviously there are rockstars at any school that will do fine regardless.
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OldCraig

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Re: Job Prospects for Tier 2 Schools
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2008, 11:36:21 AM »
Just a caveat that I feel that I'm qualified to add here:

If you're at a Tier 2 school, just GETTING biglaw interviews can be a huge challenge because no one comes to the On Campus Interviews to recruit. Top 10% is not preferred, it's necessary, and even then, you'll have to satisfy partners and associates who graduated from T14's that you'll make the same caliber attorney as a kid from T14. Going to a Tier 2, or god forbid, Tier 3, will do 2 main things to you: 1) turn you into a fierce competitor & 2) Make you hate yourself when you don't get callbacks because some kid at my school with a mediocre GPA got your offer.

I think people on this board continue to say this, and people continue to ask it.

huhwhat

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Re: Job Prospects for Tier 2 Schools
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2008, 02:20:02 PM »
It isn't impossible to get interviews and callbacks from BigLaw coming from a T2.  I have had plenty of V10-V20 interviews and have a lot of callbacks scheduled.  However, logistics can be a problem.  V10 firms tend not to visit non-T1 schools, meaning that I have had to travel to firms just for screening interviews.  That can be tiring and means missing more school than you would at higher ranked schools.  If BigLaw is all you want, T2 can be a gamble- everyone I know who has gotten those interviews at my school is ranked in the top 3%-5%.  It isn't easy to have that class rank at any school.  If you go to T2, you are going to have to work harder than you would at a T14 just to ensure that you get the interviews you want.

JbooklynD

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Re: Job Prospects for Tier 2 Schools
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2008, 04:29:22 PM »
Almost all of the V100 firms visit my T2, and a majority of the the V10.  Just about everyone in the top 20% will get at least some interviews at the top biglaw shops.  It really depends on your schools repuation and market.  Being in the biggest legal market, my t2 is well connected and places about the top 1/4 of our class into biglaw (market salaries).

OldCraig

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Re: Job Prospects for Tier 2 Schools
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2008, 06:36:00 PM »
I doubt it.  ;)

kipford

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Re: Job Prospects for Tier 2 Schools
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2008, 09:56:36 AM »
Almost all of the V100 firms visit my T2, and a majority of the the V10.  Just about everyone in the top 20% will get at least some interviews at the top biglaw shops.  It really depends on your schools repuation and market.  Being in the biggest legal market, my t2 is well connected and places about the top 1/4 of our class into biglaw (market salaries).

My T2 school is in a secondary market and we have a fair number of Biglaw firms come in for OCI (not like what you get in NYC or anything, but still...).  We have three V100 firms based here and they all interviewed, plus other fairly large firms (there were 12 that pay 6 figure salaries that were part of our early interview week).

However, I've found that it is pretty tough.  I had all 12 bids accepted, but of the 9 firms that I know have done callbacks I've only gotten four of them.  These have not really corresponded to prestige/salary.  I got a callback at at least one of the V100 firms and got a rejection from a firm that paid the lowest salary of the ones I bid on (not that salary exactly equals prestige, but it's probably a reasonable proxy).  Some people at my school did VERY well on these (callbacks at most or all) and others have done worse than me.  These are all highly ranked students/law review members.

I think there are a number of factors that go into it beyond grades/ranking (I'm ranked high enough that if it was just ranking I should have received callbacks at every firm since I'm pretty sure they each are doing more callbacks than there are people ranked higher than me).  Probably some of it is "clicking" with the interviewer-but one of my interviews that I felt was the strongest ended up sending me a rejection letter the very next day!  Some of it could be trying to create a demographic balance in the firm (I'm an overrepresented majority!).  Some of it could be that I'm older, had a previous career, and they may be wary that I won't be willing to run through walls for them (the reality is that I'm perfectly willing to do just that if I get one of these jobs).  Some of it could be that I maybe didn't come across well in the interview (although I think I'm reasonably personable...).

So, from my perspective, I've had second thoughts about things like not transferring and/or not applying to other cities, but I've got family ties and the like where I am, so that was not much of an option.  If looked at from my perspective (very high ranking, less than stellar callback record) it makes a T2 look tough.  However, like I said, I know of people who have done incredibily well (both in our home market and at great firms in NYC) from the same school.

nealric

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Re: Job Prospects for Tier 2 Schools
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2008, 10:55:55 AM »
Quote
Being in the biggest legal market, my t2 is well connected and places about the top 1/4 of our class into biglaw (market salaries).

Not sayin this to be a hater, but do you have anything to back that up?

According to the NLJ, Brooklyn only places 10% of its grads into the NLJ 250 (let alone the V100)

http://www.law.com/pdf/nlj/20080414employment_trends.pdf
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Budlaw

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Re: Job Prospects for Tier 2 Schools
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2008, 12:41:54 PM »
Quote
Being in the biggest legal market, my t2 is well connected and places about the top 1/4 of our class into biglaw (market salaries).

Not sayin this to be a hater, but do you have anything to back that up?

According to the NLJ, Brooklyn only places 10% of its grads into the NLJ 250 (let alone the V100)

http://www.law.com/pdf/nlj/20080414employment_trends.pdf

He said "market" so that would probably include firms that pay at or near market rate but aren't in the NLJ 250.

On a personal note, that list is a little misleading because it is heavily north-east biased as far as school placement goes. For example, UC-Hastings, UC-Davis and Tulane do very well at placement, but they don't do well at all according to that list. 

JbooklynD

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Re: Job Prospects for Tier 2 Schools
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2008, 01:18:55 PM »
No, I don't have an outdated survey from 2005 to back it up.  But, from personal experience, I know many people in the top 1/4 (and some top 1/3) of the class that had biglaw jobs making 160k.  That's not to say that everyone in the top 1/4 HAS one of those jobs, but that it is AVAILABLE to them if they want it.

But, sure, if you want to say that outside top 1/4 at BLS it's extremely difficult to get biglaw, that's fine.  I wouldn't refute that statement at all. 

Quote
Being in the biggest legal market, my t2 is well connected and places about the top 1/4 of our class into biglaw (market salaries).

Not sayin this to be a hater, but do you have anything to back that up?

According to the NLJ, Brooklyn only places 10% of its grads into the NLJ 250 (let alone the V100)

http://www.law.com/pdf/nlj/20080414employment_trends.pdf