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Author Topic: Why seeking top tier?  (Read 2437 times)

JDGuy86

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Why seeking top tier?
« on: November 20, 2010, 12:49:45 PM »

"Thirteen attorney litigation firm seeks full-time associate with 2-4 years litigation experience, top tier undergraduate and law school education, as well as journal or clerkship experience. Familiarity with Connecticut state court legal practice is preferred but not required."


I was reading the www.abovethelaw.com above the law.com blog, when on the side of the article a job advertisement was listed (exact text above).

This brought me to question a point in the ad about the firm seeking a top tier law school graduate (and undergrad as well). From what I have heard through academic, blogs, media, personal knowledge, etc is that a great deal of "top tier" law schools produce large numbers of non-practicing attorneys. Sometimes these schools are referred to as elite institutions for producing so many graduates that do not actually practice law but instead pursue academic/business/other opportunities.

So, the question is why would a firm that practices law on a regular basis seek a lawyer from a category of law schools that is known for greatly producing lawyers that do not practice law?

bigs5068

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Re: Why seeking top tier?
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2010, 04:35:37 PM »
They might not take only top tier grads. It makes you sound better if you say we only accept top tier and what does top tier even mean? Any ABA school, Harvard, what exactly is a top undergrad or law school? It is just a way to make the firm sound like they are only taking the best. In reality they will take whoever they like or just any competent applicants. I imagine a lot of people from Top Tier UnderGrads and Top Tier law schools are not scouring Craigslist for jobs.



nealric

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Re: Why seeking top tier?
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2010, 06:00:30 PM »
Quote
So, the question is why would a firm that practices law on a regular basis seek a lawyer from a category of law schools that is known for greatly producing lawyers that do not practice law?


I think you mischaracterize "top tier" grads. Most top tier grads practice law to the same extent as grads from lower-tier schools. All schools produce graduates that end up not practicing law eventually.
Georgetown Law Graduate

Chief justice Earl Warren wasn't a stripper!
Now who's being naive?

JDGuy86

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Re: Why seeking top tier?
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2010, 07:19:29 PM »
* not a craigslist ad, see clearly posted reference

bigs5068

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Re: Why seeking top tier?
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2010, 07:38:21 PM »
That firm actually did have a lot of attorneys that went to Yale, Michigan, and UVA. However, they hired 4 of their 13 lawyers from low ranked schools.  Generally a firm that says we are only hiring top grads has a bunch of people from Western State, but this firm did a decent job of backing it up. Still 30% of their lawyers did not ATTEND top schools.  As far as I know Pace, Loyola New Orleans, and UConn are not TOP schools. That just shows you do not need to attend a top law school even if people say we are only taking top students.

Bottom line is it is just an advertising tactic.  I am sure if a Cooley grad could help them out they would get hired. This type of add scares insecure students from lower ranked schools.  I am sure a firm does not want to waste their time dealing with someone with limited raw intelligence compared to their peers and does not have enough confidence in themselves to succeed. So they put Top Tier only in their add and that way they get top tier grads to apply and people from lower ranked schools who at least have some confidence in themselves. Below is a list of attorneys  that work at this firm who are not top undergrad & top law school grads.


Ernest F. Teitell
Education
    * Loyola University New Orleans School of Law, New Orleans, Louisiana, Juris Doctor
    * Bethany College, Bachelor of Arts

Marilyn Ramos
Education
    * Pace University School of Law, White Plains, New York, 1989, Juris Doctor,
    * University of Connecticut, Master of Arts, Spanish Literature

Angelo Ziotas
Education
    * University of Connecticut School of Law, Hartford, Connecticut, Juris Doctor, Cum Laude
    * Connecticut College, New London, Major in Biology, Minor in Biochemistry

Kathleen L. Brandt
Education
    * Pace University School of Law, White Plains, New York, 1996, Juris Doctor, Magna Cum Laude
    * Western Connecticut State University, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Magna Cum Laude




JDGuy86

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Re: Why seeking top tier?
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2010, 12:29:08 AM »
Great points Bigs.

My only suggestion would be to ask for a top 10% of law school class ranking rather than saying top tier. Top tier is a rather fluid term. But for sure it is an advertising tactic by all means.

john4040

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Re: Why seeking top tier?
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2010, 12:53:55 PM »
That firm actually did have a lot of attorneys that went to Yale, Michigan, and UVA. However, they hired 4 of their 13 lawyers from low ranked schools.  Generally a firm that says we are only hiring top grads has a bunch of people from Western State, but this firm did a decent job of backing it up. Still 30% of their lawyers did not ATTEND top schools.  As far as I know Pace, Loyola New Orleans, and UConn are not TOP schools. That just shows you do not need to attend a top law school even if people say we are only taking top students.

Bottom line is it is just an advertising tactic.  I am sure if a Cooley grad could help them out they would get hired. This type of add scares insecure students from lower ranked schools.  I am sure a firm does not want to waste their time dealing with someone with limited raw intelligence compared to their peers and does not have enough confidence in themselves to succeed. So they put Top Tier only in their add and that way they get top tier grads to apply and people from lower ranked schools who at least have some confidence in themselves. Below is a list of attorneys  that work at this firm who are not top undergrad & top law school grads.


Ernest F. Teitell
Education
    * Loyola University New Orleans School of Law, New Orleans, Louisiana, Juris Doctor
    * Bethany College, Bachelor of Arts

Marilyn Ramos
Education
    * Pace University School of Law, White Plains, New York, 1989, Juris Doctor,
    * University of Connecticut, Master of Arts, Spanish Literature

Angelo Ziotas
Education
    * University of Connecticut School of Law, Hartford, Connecticut, Juris Doctor, Cum Laude
    * Connecticut College, New London, Major in Biology, Minor in Biochemistry

Kathleen L. Brandt
Education
    * Pace University School of Law, White Plains, New York, 1996, Juris Doctor, Magna Cum Laude
    * Western Connecticut State University, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Magna Cum Laude


"I am sure if a Cooley grad could help them out they would get hired."  - No....

 You'll notice that all of these people that Bigs pointed out are PARTNERS, not associates (you'll also see the same phenomenon at larger firms).  This isn't just an "advertising tactic" - all of the associates have attended T14 schools.  Firms look for grads from "top tier schools" because they're more likely to find intelligent folks.  Partners generally have more leeway on the school because (1) there was no ranking system back then, (2) some have developed substantial books of business, and (3) some have proved that they are great attorneys that are worth partnering with.

To answer your question Re: "Why would a firm that practices law on a regular basis seek a lawyer from a category of law schools that is known for greatly producing lawyers that do not practice law?"  Tons of students from Yale, Harvard, Stanford, etc. do practice law.  Although there might not be as many of them that actually go on to "practice", there are lots of them that do.  Just look at firms like Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz - all of the top firms pull lawyers from Harvard, Yale, Stanford, etc.

I'll even put my money where my mouth is.  If you're willing, Bigs - and I'm being serious here - I'll bet you $100 that the person they hire from that ad will have gone to a T1 law school.

bigs5068

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Re: Why seeking top tier?
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2010, 03:00:44 PM »
I would definitely not bet against you and if I did I would probably lose a $100. A top tier grad is more than likely going to get hired for the position.  I never once said anywhere that a Cooley or GGU grad has better odds than a Harvard grad for anything. If someone from GGU, Cooley, Stetson whatever school it may be applies, gets chosen for an interview, and does well in the interview there is a good chance they will get hired.  That is the way the world works.

Now in regards to hiring a Cooley Grad it is possible they might. They  are a wrongful death firm and if a Cooley Grad with a medical degree comes in who specializes in automobile accidents etc, they will hire him over a recently minted Harvard Grad with no work experience at all. The Cooley Grads medical background would be very beneficial in this type of practice and this could help the firm make money. Law firms and business are out to make money and if someone from Timbucktu state can help them make a buck they will get hired.  A guy with a Medical Degree (from an accredited school) and Law Degree (from an accredited school) would probably be a lot more valuable to a firm that appears to specialize in personal injury & wrongful death than an inexperienced Harvard Grad.

Now you said the 4 lawyers I cited are partners, but I think only one was. It does really matter because  they are employed as lawyers alongside people from Yale, Michigan, UVA. If they are all partners it only strengthens my point that someone from Pace can be a partner over someone from Yale. It is all about merit at the end of the day. I am sure it was very difficult for the tier 4 grads on the list to get where they got, but these people are just another example of tier 4 grads succeeding.

john4040

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Re: Why seeking top tier?
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2010, 07:30:32 PM »
Now you said the 4 lawyers I cited are partners, but I think only one was. It does really matter because  they are employed as lawyers alongside people from Yale, Michigan, UVA. If they are all partners it only strengthens my point that someone from Pace can be a partner over someone from Yale. It is all about merit at the end of the day. I am sure it was very difficult for the tier 4 grads on the list to get where they got, but these people are just another example of tier 4 grads succeeding.

No one contested your point that TTTs could make partner at good firms or that they could make partner over a Yale grad - however, that's usually the exception rather than the rule.

Ernest F. Teitell - Obviously a name partner

Marilyn Ramos - Marilyn Ramos joined Silver Golub & Teitell in 1992 and became a partner of the firm in 2002.

Angelo Ziotas - Angelo Ziotas, a partner in the firm

Kathleen L. Brandt - Since joining Silver Golub & Teitell in 1998... she's probably a partner.  Yep, found it - http://canada.lawyers.com/Connecticut/Stamford/Silver-Golub-and-Teitell-LLP-335848-f.html

bigs5068

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Re: Why seeking top tier?
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2010, 07:45:07 PM »
It sounds like a couple of them were hired as associates from Pace (tier 4) and they worked their way up to partner. They were new associates hired from tier 4 schools. They did a good job and became partner. I am sure Marilyn Ramos probably had to work pretty hard to find a job coming from Pace, but she did. That is all I ever try to say about tier 2,3,4 schools people CAN and DO make it and become successful lawyers. It happens all the time, but it is a hard road. Generally if you are getting into Pace Law School odds are you did not get into a top undergrad either. No matter what you are doing most people are of average intelligence including myself. If your of average intelligence you are going to have to bust your ass to succeed and that is what going to a tier 2,3,4 school requires. Or you can become a manager at a Hardware store or something like that. I would rather try to avoid that at all costs and fail miserably in the legal profession than not have tried.

Nobody is going to be impressed by the 98th, 112th, 162nd best law school. You are going to have to work hard to succeed and that is exactly what these people did and they are now in charge of people who are smarter than them and went to Yale. Just like Karl Malone or Charles Barkley were not very talented basketball players, but they worked their asses of and are in the Hall of Fame. There were a million more talented players than them just like there are a million people in law school smarter than me. Still I find jobs and do well on exams etc, because I know that I am not smart enough to be lazy or have anything handed to me.  I will have to work for anything & everything I get in the legal profession or anything in life really. I am fairly average in every way like the majority of the people in this world. Still I have succeeded in a lot of things, because I can control the quality of my work ethic. It is the one thing you no matter how smart, dumb, or average you are you have complete control over it. Generally working hard is the best way to succeed.

"The harder I work the luckier I get" Thomas Jefferson. Very true.