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Author Topic: Where is my best shot for a BigLaw job?  (Read 1598 times)

salve5

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Where is my best shot for a BigLaw job?
« on: January 21, 2011, 04:12:07 PM »
So I have a 163 LSAT and a 3.53 GPA from a business school in the Boston area.  I love to work and would love a shot at BigLaw.  These are the schools I have to choose from.  I'd like to know where my best shot at BigLaw is, and if you'd like any advice on where you would choose to go is appreciated.

- Washington & Lee
- Pepperdine
- Colorado
- Cincinnati
- Ohio State

Thanks!

Einstein

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Re: Where is my best shot for a BigLaw job?
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2011, 03:56:19 AM »
well, there are other considerations that you should have other than making it into big law.  At these schools you would have to be in the top 10% to make it into a biglaw position.  With that said I know a Washington and Lee graduate who was editor of a journal and top 10% without an offer from a big law firm.  So, I would suggest that you pick the school in the city in which you want to practice.  It will be really hard to graduate and then move back to the state you want to practice and then take their bar exam.  Also, 10% is not good odds.  Would you enter into a wager where you had a 10% chance of winning?  Chances are you will not be in the top 10%, trust me.  I am a 3L and it is really really hard to do.  Everyone else wants it and there are people that spend all day in the library AND are really smart.  I ended up going to a good school in the city where I grew up and got a job working for a small firm.  I actually think at this point that I would be unhappy working for a big firm.  Small firms can make a good amount of money.  For instance, the lawyer I work for settled a case last year for over $800K in fees.  This is on top of all of his other cases.  He started his own law firm right after he graduated and within 3 years he had a 1 million dollar settlement in a case.  So trust me, go to the school where you want to practice, which for most people is where they grew up.  Then try and decide if biglaw if for you.  In biglaw you will be pressured into working long hours doing memos on minor issues for a case.  You will be looking through documents etc. After about 5 years then you might be able to do a motion or take a little more responsibility for a case.  And these days making partner is less than guaranteed.  On the other hand, finding a good small firm, where the lawyer is willing to take you on as an apprentice while you are in school, then you will learn a TON about trying cases and law practice.  I understand why people want big law though.  Its guaranteed big money right out of the gate.  But that doesnt make happiness.  There are many people that go biglaw and end up leaving after a few years, and dont know how to try cases or practice law. 

Just a little about the schools
Pepperdine is in a community that is really expensive to live in and in a state that has a TON of law schools.  It is close to LA and LA has a TON of law schools.
Colorado is in a smaller town north of denver, you will have problems networking with lawyers for biglaw or any other law for that matter unless you are willing to make the drive to denver frequently.
Cincinnati and Ohio State, not real sure about these schools. 

Practice LSAT: 147(d), 150, 151,143,152, 156,161,163,161,160,157,163,158,162

University of San Diego School of Law!

Framboise

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Re: Where is my best shot for a BigLaw job?
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2011, 08:30:26 PM »
Your chances at BigLaw will be very slim at any of those places.  Washington & Lee probably gives you the best shot, but that is a strange list of schools, because they're all over the place.  I mean Pepperdine is an unusual school.  Don't go there unless you know what you're getting yourself into.  Why did you choose those schools otherwise and where do you wanna work?  Pick based on where you want to work and don't count on getting BigLaw (but by all means kick butt in school and shoot for it).

john4040

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Re: Where is my best shot for a BigLaw job?
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2011, 04:18:20 PM »
I already answered this question in another thread, but to sum it up....

Ohio and Colorado will give you a realistic (albeit, narrow) shot at "regional" biglaw.  None of the others are good choices for either regional or "true" (V100) biglaw.


So I have a 163 LSAT and a 3.53 GPA from a business school in the Boston area.  I love to work and would love a shot at BigLaw.  These are the schools I have to choose from.  I'd like to know where my best shot at BigLaw is, and if you'd like any advice on where you would choose to go is appreciated.

- Washington & Lee
- Pepperdine
- Colorado
- Cincinnati
- Ohio State

Thanks!

You'll need to get top 5% from those schools (AS A BASELINE) for true biglaw (V100) in a primary market (NY, DC, SF).  Top 15% will probably get "regional" biglaw (top firms in their home market).

Washington & Lee - No for biglaw.  It's too far back in the rankings and it is the 3rd ranked school in its home market.
Pepperdine - No for biglaw.  It's too far back in the rankings and it is the 7th ranked school in its home market.
Colorado - You've got a decent shot at landing regional biglaw.  Highest ranked in its market.
Cincinnati - 3rd in its market.   No go.
Ohio - 1st in its market.  This is probably your best bet.  NALP DLE shows 50 "regional" biglaw firm offices in the market, whereas, Colorado only has 34.

BikePilot

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Re: Where is my best shot for a BigLaw job?
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2011, 07:22:02 PM »
Really depends on where you want to work.  UC Boulder places pretty well in the Denver area (I worked in Denver for a summer so have a little exposure to that market) and I don't think being located in Boulder vs Denver is a big deal.  Its a 45 minute drive and you'll probably live/work/intern in Denver in the summers and study in Boulder during the school year.  Unless you plan to work during school, I don't see the location being an issue.  Boulder is an awesome location for fun outdoor activities.

W&L is also a good school and has been known to place in biglaw in DC.  Far from guaranteed, but if you manage to get on law review, graduate near the top of the class and don't make a fool of yourself in the interview process, you'd have a chance at biglaw.

I don't know anything about the others, though Pepperdine is doing fairly well in terms of legal academia.

Your chances at biglaw from any of these are probably <10% at any of these though, so best be realistic going in.  About the only way to essentially guarantee a biglaw offer is to graduate at the top of a T14 or graduate (anywhere in the class) from HYS.

You should also consider UT and GW - both place better in biglaw than their USNWR ranking might make some think. 
 
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