Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: T4, law journal, accepted at T2 (Camden)  (Read 2112 times)

makaf2000

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 12
    • View Profile
T4, law journal, accepted at T2 (Camden)
« on: July 14, 2010, 02:11:14 PM »
T4, law journal, accepted at T2

Hi, looking for educated opinions. I am at T4 school in a small town.
Decent grades but I am not in the top of my class. Got onto law journal right after I was accepted as transfer student at Camden (I have good work experience).
Pros: So, I am not in the top of the class but got on the Law Journal, have good relationship with professors, it is inexpensive to live in the area,
tuition costs are 30%-40% less than Camden.
Generally, current T4 school has nice environment, plenty of recreational opportunities in the area, etc.
Cons: T4, not near any major legal market where I want to practice, in fact, not near any major legal market at all, not really known school,
few to none opportunities for p/t paying jobs during school and definitely very little opportunities here after graduation.

I have an option to compete for Camden law journals in the fall.

My goals: practice in major city, probably with a firm or a government in DC, Phily or such, because I have foreign language skills and work experience.
Chicago or SF were other options but I have not heard from those similar ranking schools there (USF, DePaul)

Any ideas or related comments about Camden besides the fact that it is a commuter school?

john4040

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 471
    • View Profile
Re: T4, law journal, accepted at T2 (Camden)
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2010, 10:08:08 PM »
You have clearly defined your goal: to practice in a major market.  With that being said, firms in major markets tend to hire based largely upon pedigree.  You know that it will be extremely hard to break into a major market (assuming that your T4 isn't in one of your desired markets) from a T4.  If you had no qualms about practicing in the state where your T4 is located, I would tell you to stay at your T4 and save your money.   If you truly wish to practice in a major market, going to Rutgers will only slightly increase your chances of breaking into a large market.  IMO, you will still have to place within the top 10-15% at Rutgers to practice in the markets you specified.  The question then becomes:  "How likely is it that I will place within the top 10-15% of Rutgers?"


Here are some statistics for you to consider:
There were 18 summer associates from Rutgers this past year in Philadelphia Big/Midlaw.   (see http://philadelphia.bizjournals.com/philadelphia/stories/2009/06/01/story6.html)
Starting salary for these associates would probably be around ~$110K.
# of Rutgers Graduates = ~220 grads (assuming about 15% of each class transfer / drop / defer / etc.)
60% of the summer associates get offers.   (Via NALP:  Ballard Spahr offered 14/18, Blank Rome offered 7/14, Cozen offered 14/18, Dechert offered 14/22, Drinker Biddle offered 13/19, Duane Morris offered 8/15, Morgan Lewis offered 8/23,  Pepper Hamilton offered 7/14, Reed Smith offered 3/5, Saul Ewing offered 3/9)  =   91/157  =  ~58% offer rate

So, 10.8 (18*.60) students from Rutgers get Biglaw jobs in Philadelphia.  That means you'll have a 10.8 / 220 (4.9 %) chance at landing Philadelphia Biglaw from Rutgers.  Let's now assume that Rutgers feeds the same number of summer associates to two more major markets.  This means you'll have about a 14.7% chance at landing Biglaw in a major market from Rutgers.  Are those chances worth it?  Can you place within the top 15% at Rutgers?

bigs5068

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1474
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: T4, law journal, accepted at T2 (Camden)
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2010, 01:59:59 AM »
Nice to see objective facts used. I really think one guy gave a perfect analogy of big law saying it is like trying to get drafted into the NBA it can happen, but the odds are pretty miniscule.  I am sure even Harvard Grads have a hard time getting into it. So you might as well stay at a tier 4 and get scholarship money so you can have as little debt as possible that is my opinion at least.


the white rabbit

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 362
    • View Profile
Re: T4, law journal, accepted at T2 (Camden)
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2010, 08:23:48 AM »
Nice to see objective facts used. I really think one guy gave a perfect analogy of big law saying it is like trying to get drafted into the NBA it can happen, but the odds are pretty miniscule.  I am sure even Harvard Grads have a hard time getting into it. So you might as well stay at a tier 4 and get scholarship money so you can have as little debt as possible that is my opinion at least.

Actually, big law is pretty easy to get for most students from top five schools.  Not that that's relevant here, but I thought I should point it out.
Mood: Tired but cheerful.  :)

makaf2000

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 12
    • View Profile
Re: T4, law journal, accepted at T2 (Camden)
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2010, 02:06:31 PM »
Why Big Law? I can settle for a decent mid-size firm or a boutique.  I would have 170-175K debt if I graduate from Camden, and 140-145K debt if I graduate from my current school (I have loans from my previous education).  After Camden, my payments will be close to 1000$, after my current school, about 750$. With extended payment plan, I would need to make min of 70K after Camden or min of 60K after my current school. I am not sure if there is such a huge difference in terms of costs at this point. If I get an interesting position in the government, which is a possibility due to my background, I can choose to deffer my payments or get my debt eliminated after 10 years of service. Any thoughts?

john4040

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 471
    • View Profile
Re: T4, law journal, accepted at T2 (Camden)
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2010, 03:42:59 PM »
I focused on Biglaw because smaller and mid-sized firms primarily draw from local talent.  If you don't make Biglaw in a major market from Rutgers, your grades were probably not spectacular.  If that is the case, I believe it is a fair assumption that the small / mid-sized firms would hire from the top of the class at a local school rather than someone at the middle of the class at Rutgers. 

Also, Fed. Gov. is wildly competitive.  (1)They don't hire many entry-level attorneys; (2) The ones that they do hire are usually hired through an honors program or by word of mouth; and (3) Due to the economy, there is much more competition for the few spots that do exist  You can go state government, but good luck starting at anything above $50K.

the white rabbit

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 362
    • View Profile
Re: T4, law journal, accepted at T2 (Camden)
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2010, 07:39:47 PM »
Why Big Law? I can settle for a decent mid-size firm or a boutique.  I would have 170-175K debt if I graduate from Camden, and 140-145K debt if I graduate from my current school (I have loans from my previous education).  After Camden, my payments will be close to 1000$, after my current school, about 750$. With extended payment plan, I would need to make min of 70K after Camden or min of 60K after my current school. I am not sure if there is such a huge difference in terms of costs at this point. If I get an interesting position in the government, which is a possibility due to my background, I can choose to deffer my payments or get my debt eliminated after 10 years of service. Any thoughts?

It troubles me that you think that you would be "settling" for a decent mid-sized firm or a boutique.

Also, $140k is already a large amount of debt.
Mood: Tired but cheerful.  :)

makaf2000

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 12
    • View Profile
Re: T4, law journal, accepted at T2 (Camden)
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2010, 02:33:57 PM »
Thank you for all the answers. Big Law is not for everyone. I already used to work in law firms before and there are pros and cons to every type of firm. 140K by itself sounds pretty bad. However, 140K debt after not well known T4, or 170-175K ater decent T2 in one of major legal markets, that is the issue. About government - I have credentials to get hired. I could even get hired for certain jobs in gov that pay 60-80K to start because of that. However, those are not necessarily attorney positions and I have 2 more years to think about it. I agree that gov job is not about money - it is about contacts, experience and benefits. Big Law will make you do research for 2-3 years before you talk to client. Government attorneys do more staff way sooner.  It is never easy to get a decent job, that's why I posted a question about opinioins on:  What would you do in my situation? By the way, this board is generally more pessimistic than another board, where I posted similar question. Just an observation.

john4040

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 471
    • View Profile
Re: T4, law journal, accepted at T2 (Camden)
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2010, 04:05:25 PM »
Thank you for all the answers. Big Law is not for everyone. I already used to work in law firms before and there are pros and cons to every type of firm. 140K by itself sounds pretty bad. However, 140K debt after not well known T4, or 170-175K ater decent T2 in one of major legal markets, that is the issue. About government - I have credentials to get hired. I could even get hired for certain jobs in gov that pay 60-80K to start because of that. However, those are not necessarily attorney positions and I have 2 more years to think about it. I agree that gov job is not about money - it is about contacts, experience and benefits. Big Law will make you do research for 2-3 years before you talk to client. Government attorneys do more staff way sooner.  It is never easy to get a decent job, that's why I posted a question about opinioins on:  What would you do in my situation? By the way, this board is generally more pessimistic than another board, where I posted similar question. Just an observation.

You say "About government - I have credentials to get hired. I could even get hired for certain jobs in gov that pay 60-80K to start because of that. However, those are not necessarily attorney positions.."  You then compare Government attorney work to Biglaw work.  I'm not exactly sure I'm making the connection.  Do you want to be an attorney or not?

My prior post wasn't speaking to non-attorney positions in the federal government.  However, if your thoughts are that you have the credentials to get hired as an attorney in fed. gov., you might want to conduct more research on the competitiveness of attorney honors programs and entry-level attorney hiring in the federal government.  Many fed. clerks and top students are turned away from these positions every year.

Your comment on the pessimism of this board is not well taken.  How can you claim that we're pessimistic when we laid the irrefutable information before your eyes and let you interpret it for yourself?  If you meant that this board is generally more realistic than other boards in terms of your job prospects, you are probably correct.  Just in case you missed it, I will once again post the information and my conclusions so that you can make your own, informed decision:

IMO, you will still have to place within the top 10-15% at Rutgers to practice in the markets you specified.  The question then becomes:  "How likely is it that I will place within the top 10-15% of Rutgers?"


Here are some statistics for you to consider:
There were 18 summer associates from Rutgers this past year in Philadelphia Big/Midlaw.   (see http://philadelphia.bizjournals.com/philadelphia/stories/2009/06/01/story6.html)
Starting salary for these associates would probably be around ~$110K.
# of Rutgers Graduates = ~220 grads (assuming about 15% of each class transfer / drop / defer / etc.)
60% of the summer associates get offers.   (Via NALP:  Ballard Spahr offered 14/18, Blank Rome offered 7/14, Cozen offered 14/18, Dechert offered 14/22, Drinker Biddle offered 13/19, Duane Morris offered 8/15, Morgan Lewis offered 8/23,  Pepper Hamilton offered 7/14, Reed Smith offered 3/5, Saul Ewing offered 3/9)  =   91/157  =  ~58% offer rate

So, 10.8 (18*.60) students from Rutgers get Biglaw jobs in Philadelphia.  That means you'll have a 10.8 / 220 (4.9 %) chance at landing Philadelphia Biglaw from Rutgers.  Let's now assume that Rutgers feeds the same number of summer associates to two more major markets.  This means you'll have about a 14.7% chance at landing Biglaw in a major market from Rutgers.  Are those chances worth it?  Can you place within the top 15% at Rutgers?

Once again, with respect to smaller and mid-sized non-local firms, I don't believe that it's unfair to assume that they would hire from the top of the class at a local school rather than someone at the middle of the class at Rutgers.  These firms don't have the large recruiting departments that larger firms have.  They don't know what a "Rutgers" is.  I'll be willing to bet you that they do know the name of every single law school within their state, though.

I honestly don't understand it.  You guys show up for help, someone who has graduated law school and experienced the market firsthand gives you advice and backs it up with objective facts, and you somehow conclude that we're blowing smoke up your a$$.  Why did you come here for help if you're just going to summarily dismiss everything we say as sheer pessimism? 

Please, just tell me what you would like me to say regarding your job prospects.  I'll post it if it makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

the white rabbit

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 362
    • View Profile
Re: T4, law journal, accepted at T2 (Camden)
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2010, 07:03:12 PM »
I think you're being a little harsh.  She didn't say we were being pessimistic in general, just that we are more pessimistic than another board, which I'm guessing is TLS.  My general sense is that TLS is full of cheerleaders, so that's probably an accurate statement.
Mood: Tired but cheerful.  :)