Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: Wayne State: Worth it?  (Read 6491 times)

FalconJimmy

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 684
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Wayne State: Worth it?
« Reply #30 on: April 05, 2011, 12:03:13 AM »
That's pretty stark.  From what I gather, UT's numbers look worse than either of those.

WSUAlum1

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 51
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Wayne State: Worth it?
« Reply #31 on: April 07, 2011, 12:51:43 AM »
Hi FJ:

You're right.  The most recent U Toledo #s are

16 employers at OCI

and only 1 from NY/DC/CA

(see lawschoolnumbers.com)

Ouch!  Very low numbers for a school that was flirting with T2 just a couple of years ago.

I still stand by what I said upthread--Detroit employers are impressed w/ the top of the UT class.  But the school as a whole has fallen fast.


FalconJimmy

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 684
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Wayne State: Worth it?
« Reply #32 on: April 07, 2011, 11:49:20 AM »
Hi FJ:

You're right.  The most recent U Toledo #s are

16 employers at OCI

and only 1 from NY/DC/CA

(see lawschoolnumbers.com)

Ouch!  Very low numbers for a school that was flirting with T2 just a couple of years ago.

I still stand by what I said upthread--Detroit employers are impressed w/ the top of the UT class.  But the school as a whole has fallen fast.

I guess the only other thing I wondeer is, is it unheard to land a good job without OCI? 

My background is just in general business and the campus placement office really never got anybody a job.  I honestly never met a person who got a job due to any help from the school.  You sort of got out there and hustled it on your own.

With firms that hire associates, is it just totally unheard of to contact them and say, "I'm in the top X% at xyz school, with a Y GPA?"

Or, if they aren't doing OCI on your campus is it just assumed that they aren't interested in hiring from that school?

WSUAlum1

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 51
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Wayne State: Worth it?
« Reply #33 on: April 07, 2011, 04:07:55 PM »
Interesting question, and a good answer will take a little parsing.

Let's think about the kinds of jobs that many/most students at a T3/T4 imagine (or hope) they'll get when they go to law school.  Jobs in a law firm, located in a downtown area, w/ their own office, sharing a secretary, making $100K or more.  Firms that offer jobs like that use the OCIs at law schools that interest them, they schedule interview days where they send a partner and associate from their hiring committee, they interview the folks they like after looking at transcripts/writing samples, and they hire the most promising 2Ls for a summer, and then make job offers to the ones who suit them.  Maybe they go thru the same process for 3Ls to fill out their new hire classes.  It is pretty unusual for a law student to send a resume to Dykema or Miller Canfield or Honigman and get a job w/o going through that process.  (Laterals are different)

But--at a school like Wayne, no more that 10% or so of the class will get jobs that way (and that's when I was there, before the economy crashed--probably fewer now).  Most students will get jobs by clerking at small law firms (1-10 lawyers), or government agencies (prosecutors offices, eg).  These opportunities often come through Career Services, but not the formal OCI process where students dress up for in-house interviews.  Career Services offices typically have a wall (and a page of their websites) of "help wanted" ads for small firms looking for clerks.  Students not in the top 10% or so do a resume drop on those firms and agencies and get clerking jobs as 2 and 3Ls.  Students will work 15-20 hours a week during the school year, and more in the summer.  If you do well, you may get hired full time when you graduate, or at least you'll have a real lawyer who will hand out your resumes and recommend you to his/her colleagues.  So--a fair number of students get jobs 'through' career services, if you include the want ads, or word of mouth referrals from people who used the want ads.  But very few get jobs through the formal OCI process, at least at T3s and T4s.

Another common way to get jobs is through your friends/classmates, who are working someplace and are told that the lawyer/firm needs help.  Your friends might set you up before a firm even places an ad.

But at T3s and T4s, many students end up doing what they never would have imagined--after a long failure to get a law firm job, they hang up a shingle and go to work.  The unfortunate thing is that most T3 and 4 schools will never acknowledge that lots of students take this tack, b/c they don't want to admit that many students will pay $80-100K in tuition and not 'live the dream.'  So--schools don't prepare students for the possibility.  Students are not practice ready, they aren't  told which classes to take to start on their own, they haven't been given information that would help them set up a firm.  They don't know about 'space sharing' arrangements or how to negotiate them or what to look for.  Most Career Services offices give very little help to this (growing) chunk of students.

Does this answer your question??


FalconJimmy

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 684
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Wayne State: Worth it?
« Reply #34 on: April 07, 2011, 05:39:26 PM »
yep, that pretty much answers it.

Personally, hanging out a shingle was my "A plan".  However, I also want to leave open the possibility of looking for a job if the economy / my business / the hiring environment / my opinion of things change during the next 3 years.  Frankly, I'm trying to leave a lot of options open because I bet I learn more about the practice of law in my first semester of 1L than what I think I know based on my entire life so far.

So, it sounds like if you want a job from somebody else, you need to get it by doing great in class rank and talking to the folks who come through OCI. 

Okay, two more questions since you've not only been helpful, but you seem to know what you're talking about and you've been down this road a bit.

1.  Jobs in the federal (or state?) government?  Do they come for OCI, or is there another process, there?  I do see a lot of attorney positions on usajobs.gov.  Seems like a lot of the high-profile government jobs tend to come from prestigious (east coast) schools, but just like there's room for a few people from lower ranked schools in biglaw (you just might have to be #1 in your class), it seems to me that the fed would want to take a look at people with high class rank.  Same for the state (though I can't imagine states are hiring anybody these days due to the current funding problems)

2.  My understanding (clearly based on limited knowledge) is that biglaw firms are pretty small in number, and tend to be in biglaw cities (NY, Boston, DC.)  Do firms like Dykema go through a similar recruiting process?  Is dykema considered biglaw?  Are somewhat lesser cities (like detroit, cleveland, etc.) that still hire a lot of law grads paying the same as the biglaw city biglaw jobs?  Or is that generally a second tier of pay structure?  I did know a couple of women who worked at Jones Day in Cleveland, but both of them were far too professional to discuss their compensation.  (It was probably a condition of their employment, anyway.)  All I know is that they did very well but would they have done better in DC or Boston?

3.  Did you know anybody from Wayne who got biglaw summer associate positions in NYC or the like?  Of for the most part, were they recruiting for their offices in the midwest?

As always, thanks so much for taking the time to answer my ignorant questions.  Are you still in the Detroit area?  I'm up around monroe a lot.

WSUAlum1

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 51
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Wayne State: Worth it?
« Reply #35 on: April 07, 2011, 10:59:31 PM »
Hi FJ:

1. Federal and state employers generally did not do on-campus interviews at Wayne when I was there.  Notable exceptions were the MI Court of Appeals, and Wayne Oakland and Macomb Co prosecutors.  People who got jobs at state and federal agencies typically did so by applying on-line, or taking internships that the agencies advertised thru want ads.  Plum jobs (like US Attorney positions) generally go to graduates of name brand law schools, but there are lots of jobs still available to T3 and T4 grads who can demonstrate good skills, including people with good but not great grades with good recommendations.  I know a number of people who have gotten administrative law jobs in various agencies (writing draft opinions for ALJs, say).  The money isn't eye-popping, but the hours and benefits are good.

2.  People mean different things by "biglaw."  Some use the term pretty narrowly (the Vault 100, say).  I'm using the term pretty loosely to include firms of 100ish or more lawyers in big cities, even outside of NY/LA/Chi/DC.  To my way of thinking as someone from a T3/T4, those are big firms--the biggest that students from a school like mine have any hope of getting into.  Firms like Dykema, Miller Canfield, Honigman, Clark Hill, etc will send people to do on-campus interviews at good regional schools (WSU and MSU, eg.)  These firms pay well--starting salary is $110-$120K, but they don't pay like Wall Street or DC firms, where starting salaries were $160K+ a few years ago.  Your friends at Jones Day would have done better at Cravath.

3.  Wayne students are not in the hunt for jobs at the major NY firms, and I think that is largely true of any T3 and T4.  University of Detroit, a T4, had a very innovative program started by a Dean who was a Harvard Law grad.  He divided the 3d year class into law firms, persuaded partners at very prestigious  NY law firms to come to the school as 'senior partners,' and had the students handle mock cases from beginning to end like real lawyers.  You can read about it here:  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB117988156447211549-search.html.  As a result, he was able to place some students from his T4 school at top-of-the-line firms in NYC.  This program is really the old 'exception that proves the rule.'  Other than this program, even the best students from T3s and T4s can forget about prime Wall Street jobs.

Glad to hear that you want to start your own firm.  I recommend that you begin talking to other solos as early as you can--before or during your first year even.  Find out what courses you should be taking, and what skills you have to acquire.  Most young solos do not know enough about motion practice, (too many Civ Pro courses are taught out of the Federal rules, but few young solos will practice in Fed court), don't know how to secure appointed work (criminal, family law or probate), how much money they need to start a practice, what technology they need, what kind of library/on-line research materials they will need, and what courses they should take to prepare them for the kinds of cases that solos typically get.  They don't appreciate the importance of good retainer agreements (or where to get one), what software they'll need to keep track of their expenses--the list goes on and on.  Also--most solos start in 'space-sharing' arrangements, but few young lawyers know about these arrangements, how to secure them, of what terms to expect/demand. 

The best advice I could give you is to find some solo attorneys and ask for as much advice as they will give you.  Most will give you plenty.  If you don't know who to contact, call the state bar.  There will be a special section of the bar dedicated to solos/small practices.  That section of the bar will have a chair, vice chair and other officers who are prominent and successful.  Call one who lives near you.  Tell him/her: "I'm a dumb law student who has always dreamed of having my own practice.  Please let me buy you lunch someplace cheap, and let me ask all of my dumb questions, and please tell me all the things you wish someone had told you when you were at this stage."  Lawyers are busy, so you may endure a few cancellations, but a lot of lawyers will be willing to help you.  But don't wait til second semester 3d year.  DO it now, while you can still put the advice to good use.

Good luck!!

Detroitynglawyer

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Wayne State: Worth it?
« Reply #36 on: April 27, 2011, 05:09:21 PM »
I graduate from WSU in 2 weeks.  Dont go here. 

In fact, dont go to law school at all.  There are too many lawyers and cooley is putting out more by the boatload. 

I'd say 20% of my class has jobs lined up. 

Detroitynglawyer

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Wayne State: Worth it?
« Reply #37 on: April 27, 2011, 05:21:28 PM »
I agree with WSUalum1.   

Biglaw is a term that fake stuff like this board uses.  I have never heard anyone at WSU use it. - Ever. 

There are plenty of unpaid internships available for small firms and the government (like the local prosecutor's offices). 

No-one should think they are a shoe-in to be top of their class before they even start law school.  Yes, there are jobs like fed cts and things that go to the top of the class.  In my class there  are a couple people going to the big name firms in this area.   They have too much class to be very vocal about it, however, because ANY job offer is prestigious in the 2011 Wanye Law class.   

Most of us, however, will be lucky to make 40k next year at small firms in the metro detroit region.