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U. San Diego Dean responds to rankings drop

AZWildcat

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Re: U. San Diego Dean responds to rankings drop
« Reply #100 on: April 27, 2007, 12:08:33 PM »
I've been asked to chime in on this discussion, so I am offering my experience and opinions...

I am a 3L at Boalt, who has interviewed both in primary and secondary markets, both in Southern California and elsewhere. I will be very honest and say that I've never interviewed for a job in San Diego, but after having done OCI as a 2L and 3L I feel like I have some experience that warrants sharing my opinion on the debate at hand.

That everything outside Harvard and Yale is regional is a completely ludicrous claim. Not that I find the USNWR rankings the most credible system, but it's worth noting that Stanford has been ranked above Harvard for a number of years now, and I am not certain how one might even dare to claim that the #2 law school in the country is largely regional.

The missing piece of the puzzle here may be that when applicants have been admitted to a number of top schools, all of which are roughly equal in pedigree, they might choose one in the area where they think they might like to practice after graduation. It's not an unreasonable decision, but I don't think it's one motivated by a fear that if you go to Stanford instead of Columbia, you'll lose a NYC position to a Fordham grad. Prestige, whether we like it or not, whether it's justified or not, is still the name of the game in legal hiring.

My own experience with secondary markets was marked by mixed results. My first OCI I desperately wanted a job in Florida. I did not get one there, but instead ended up splitting my summer between a Texas firm and an Atlanta firm. I can tell you very confidently that I was doggedly pursued, wined and dined and enjoyed special treatment by these secondary market firms. In both the interviews and the subsequent summer clerkship, I was singled out and treated differently (better) than the clerks from the local regional schools. At each of my firms there was at least one other person from a top school, who also enjoyed this special treatment. It was apparent to me that the recruitment efforts were stepped up for us.

You're probably thinking, "Well, you didn't get a job in Florida." You're right, I didn't. But the Florida market is very unique and notoriously difficult to penetrate, even if you're a top 5% grad of UF, FSU, or Miami. The deal with Florida is that it's a state that has a dozen or so law schools -- a high number for any state and comparable to the number in NY, CA, and DC. What sets FL apart from the aforementioned markets is that it has, comparatively speaking, few large firms and the summer classes there are small, usually under 10 people, even in the largest offices. So the problem there is an oversupply of candidates and lack of demand in the market. Based on my interview, I am fairly convinced that the firms I had callbacks with in FL just didn't buy that I would actually return there, given the other options they assumed I had as a Boalt grad. This much was actually communicated to me in an interview dinner at my top choice Fl firm. Basically, I am not convinced that I didn't get that job because they preferred a UF grad...

Like I said, I can't say I have personal experience with the SD market, but there are plenty of Boalties who are from the area, none of whom had trouble getting summer positions (even as 1L's) at top SD firms. I am not particularly concerned about the 4 SD firms that don't show up to Boalt OCI. There is a whole variety of reasons why that may be and among them are that there was no demonstrated interest in those firms by Boalt students, that the limited space at Bancroft hotel (the interview site) caused our CDO to prioritize NYC or SF firms, that they were asked not to return, that they were not invited in the first place. I am not suggesting that any of these are the real reason, but as a law student, you are trained to be cautious about claiming causation (as in 4 SD firms don't come to Boalt because they prefer USD students) when there are plenty of other viable explanations (not limited to the ones offered above).

Are there more USD grads than Boalt grads at USD firms? Very likely. However, that is probably because USD grads have limited degree mobility, whereas Boalt students have a number of other very realistic options besides SD. SD is a smaller secondary market and salaries lag behind those of SF, DC, NYC and the like. Boalt students are generally interested in at least starting out at the best firms, paying the best salaries, so SD is not high on most Boalties' list of possible job venues.

I'm not saying that USD is a bad school; it's clearly not. I'd even be willing to go so far as to say that they probably know more law by the time they graduate than we do. But you cannot in good conscience claim that, all other things being equal, a middle of the class grad from USD is preferred to a similar grad from Boalt -- in ANY market. That's a dishonest and misleading claim.

It's sad that someone at such a nice school could misinterpret statements so badly.

I have to get the Law Review write-on packet done, so I don't have 30 minutes to explain my point, but let me illustrate it.  You try to get a job in Boston, and we'll have a Harvard grad go for a job in Berkeley.  Maybe then you'll understand what I mean.   All schools outside of Yale and Harvard have a regional bias. 

AZWildcat

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Re: U. San Diego Dean responds to rankings drop
« Reply #101 on: April 27, 2007, 12:12:38 PM »
Of course, I'm a misinformed 0L, so I could very well be wrong.  And I don't say this mockingly.  However, if so, I've been led astray by many.

I would say that you understand it better than just about any 0L, and better than 50% of 3Ls. 

AZWildcat

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Re: U. San Diego Dean responds to rankings drop
« Reply #102 on: April 27, 2007, 12:19:37 PM »
And I'm relaying an anecdotal story from a Cal grad telling about SD job hunting experience. 

If you want to get butt-hurt about it, don't take it out on me; make your anger useful and yell at the Cal athletic director for your god awful sports program. :)

LittleRussianPrincess, Esq.

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Re: U. San Diego Dean responds to rankings drop
« Reply #103 on: April 27, 2007, 12:21:15 PM »
A few points in response to yours:

1) I also considered Miami, as I had a substantial scholarship offer there. I decided not to go when every single Florida-based attorney I spoke with told me I'd be better off going to Boalt, even if I wanted to come back to practice in the Sunshine state.

2) Read, read, read. I did not say nor imply that opportunities were equal for each T14 grad. Obviously NYU >>>> GULC. That said, even if Boalt ranked, I doubt my future would have turned out very differently. Employers can guess where you might rank in the class based on how many H's and P's you have. Additionally, most T14's don't allow employers to pre-screen at OCI, so yeah, in that sense, opportunities are pretty equal.

3) People need not be recruiters to have a stake in motivating you to go to USD. They might just be someone at a similarly ranked school and saying those thigs to you implicitly validates their position. Hell, I have a stake in defending T14's because I go to one. It validates the allged pedigree of my school in the same way as a T2 grad validates his own school by telling someone that in spite of its T2 ranking his school places many students in top NYC firms...or something similar.


LittleRussianPrincess, Esq.

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Re: U. San Diego Dean responds to rankings drop
« Reply #104 on: April 27, 2007, 12:23:03 PM »
I've been asked to chime in on this discussion, so I am offering my experience and opinions...

I am a 3L at Boalt, who has interviewed both in primary and secondary markets, both in Southern California and elsewhere. I will be very honest and say that I've never interviewed for a job in San Diego, but after having done OCI as a 2L and 3L I feel like I have some experience that warrants sharing my opinion on the debate at hand.

That everything outside Harvard and Yale is regional is a completely ludicrous claim. Not that I find the USNWR rankings the most credible system, but it's worth noting that Stanford has been ranked above Harvard for a number of years now, and I am not certain how one might even dare to claim that the #2 law school in the country is largely regional.

The missing piece of the puzzle here may be that when applicants have been admitted to a number of top schools, all of which are roughly equal in pedigree, they might choose one in the area where they think they might like to practice after graduation. It's not an unreasonable decision, but I don't think it's one motivated by a fear that if you go to Stanford instead of Columbia, you'll lose a NYC position to a Fordham grad. Prestige, whether we like it or not, whether it's justified or not, is still the name of the game in legal hiring.

My own experience with secondary markets was marked by mixed results. My first OCI I desperately wanted a job in Florida. I did not get one there, but instead ended up splitting my summer between a Texas firm and an Atlanta firm. I can tell you very confidently that I was doggedly pursued, wined and dined and enjoyed special treatment by these secondary market firms. In both the interviews and the subsequent summer clerkship, I was singled out and treated differently (better) than the clerks from the local regional schools. At each of my firms there was at least one other person from a top school, who also enjoyed this special treatment. It was apparent to me that the recruitment efforts were stepped up for us.

You're probably thinking, "Well, you didn't get a job in Florida." You're right, I didn't. But the Florida market is very unique and notoriously difficult to penetrate, even if you're a top 5% grad of UF, FSU, or Miami. The deal with Florida is that it's a state that has a dozen or so law schools -- a high number for any state and comparable to the number in NY, CA, and DC. What sets FL apart from the aforementioned markets is that it has, comparatively speaking, few large firms and the summer classes there are small, usually under 10 people, even in the largest offices. So the problem there is an oversupply of candidates and lack of demand in the market. Based on my interview, I am fairly convinced that the firms I had callbacks with in FL just didn't buy that I would actually return there, given the other options they assumed I had as a Boalt grad. This much was actually communicated to me in an interview dinner at my top choice Fl firm. Basically, I am not convinced that I didn't get that job because they preferred a UF grad...

Like I said, I can't say I have personal experience with the SD market, but there are plenty of Boalties who are from the area, none of whom had trouble getting summer positions (even as 1L's) at top SD firms. I am not particularly concerned about the 4 SD firms that don't show up to Boalt OCI. There is a whole variety of reasons why that may be and among them are that there was no demonstrated interest in those firms by Boalt students, that the limited space at Bancroft hotel (the interview site) caused our CDO to prioritize NYC or SF firms, that they were asked not to return, that they were not invited in the first place. I am not suggesting that any of these are the real reason, but as a law student, you are trained to be cautious about claiming causation (as in 4 SD firms don't come to Boalt because they prefer USD students) when there are plenty of other viable explanations (not limited to the ones offered above).

Are there more USD grads than Boalt grads at USD firms? Very likely. However, that is probably because USD grads have limited degree mobility, whereas Boalt students have a number of other very realistic options besides SD. SD is a smaller secondary market and salaries lag behind those of SF, DC, NYC and the like. Boalt students are generally interested in at least starting out at the best firms, paying the best salaries, so SD is not high on most Boalties' list of possible job venues.

I'm not saying that USD is a bad school; it's clearly not. I'd even be willing to go so far as to say that they probably know more law by the time they graduate than we do. But you cannot in good conscience claim that, all other things being equal, a middle of the class grad from USD is preferred to a similar grad from Boalt -- in ANY market. That's a dishonest and misleading claim.

It's sad that someone at such a nice school could misinterpret statements so badly.

I have to get the Law Review write-on packet done, so I don't have 30 minutes to explain my point, but let me illustrate it.  You try to get a job in Boston, and we'll have a Harvard grad go for a job in Berkeley.  Maybe then you'll understand what I mean.   All schools outside of Yale and Harvard have a regional bias. 

You're catastrophically misinformed. That's all I'm going to say.

AZWildcat

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Re: U. San Diego Dean responds to rankings drop
« Reply #105 on: April 27, 2007, 12:33:24 PM »
You're catastrophically misinformed. That's all I'm going to say.

And there's zero question that I make a lot more money than you, so I'll enjoy my state of confusion.

See, we can both play games looking down our nose at each other.  Isn't it fun?

LittleRussianPrincess, Esq.

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Re: U. San Diego Dean responds to rankings drop
« Reply #106 on: April 27, 2007, 12:36:43 PM »
You're catastrophically misinformed. That's all I'm going to say.

And there's zero question that I make a lot more money than you, so I'll enjoy my state of confusion.

See, we can both play games looking down our nose at each other.  Isn't it fun?

If your only income is from law firm employment, I sincerely doubt that.

Re: U. San Diego Dean responds to rankings drop
« Reply #107 on: April 27, 2007, 12:38:24 PM »
A few points in response to yours:

1) I also considered Miami, as I had a substantial scholarship offer there. I decided not to go when every single Florida-based attorney I spoke with told me I'd be better off going to Boalt, even if I wanted to come back to practice in the Sunshine state.

In all fairness, I would never go to Miami over Boalt myself.  However, if someone knew they 100% wished to practice in Miami and was not concerned with BigLaw, I'm not convinced it'd suit them to go to Boalt full price over Miami for free.  

2) Read, read, read. I did not say nor imply that opportunities were equal for each T14 grad. Obviously NYU >>>> GULC. That said, even if Boalt ranked, I doubt my future would have turned out very differently. Employers can guess where you might rank in the class based on how many H's and P's you have. Additionally, most T14's don't allow employers to pre-screen at OCI, so yeah, in that sense, opportunities are pretty equal.

You certainly did imply it.  You said even if they did rank, it wouldn't impact your job prospects.  That implies rank at a T14 doesn't matter.

3) People need not be recruiters to have a stake in motivating you to go to USD. They might just be someone at a similarly ranked school and saying those thigs to you implicitly validates their position. Hell, I have a stake in defending T14's because I go to one. It validates the allged pedigree of my school in the same way as a T2 grad validates his own school by telling someone that in spite of its T2 ranking his school places many students in top NYC firms...or something similar.

I suppose you can use self validation as a reason to mislead people.  However, at the same time, T14 students can do the same to boost their egos and not let people think someone from a Tier 2 might have a somewhat equal opportunity, no matter the circumstances.


Look, you could ask 100 current law students their thoughts on this and get 100 different responses.  There are just too many factors that can influence one's opinions on the subject.  I appreciate the discussion as it is informative, but I don't think there is really a definitive answer since everyone is different, has different goals and different experiences.

AZWildcat

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Re: U. San Diego Dean responds to rankings drop
« Reply #108 on: April 27, 2007, 01:07:18 PM »
You're catastrophically misinformed. That's all I'm going to say.

And there's zero question that I make a lot more money than you, so I'll enjoy my state of confusion.

See, we can both play games looking down our nose at each other.  Isn't it fun?

If your only income is from law firm employment, I sincerely doubt that.

I make 2x more this year, as a law student, than you'd make in year three at Jones Day.  I always find these allowance-earning law sissies pathetic.  "Gee, how much will Latham puke into my mouth this year?  Maybe I can make 10k more per year if I tune all of the partner's skin flutes."  Congrats.

Now run along to another thread where you can look down your nose in ego-stroking bliss; I won't let you do it here.

LittleRussianPrincess, Esq.

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Re: U. San Diego Dean responds to rankings drop
« Reply #109 on: April 27, 2007, 01:16:10 PM »
You're catastrophically misinformed. That's all I'm going to say.

And there's zero question that I make a lot more money than you, so I'll enjoy my state of confusion.

See, we can both play games looking down our nose at each other.  Isn't it fun?

If your only income is from law firm employment, I sincerely doubt that.

I make 2x more this year, as a law student, than you'd make in year three at Jones Day.  I always find these allowance-earning law sissies pathetic.  "Gee, how much will Latham puke into my mouth this year?  Maybe I can make 10k more per year if I tune all of the partner's skin flutes."  Congrats.

Now run along to another thread where you can look down your nose in ego-stroking bliss; I won't let you do it here.

Once again, if you are comparing law salaries, your claim is patently false. Otherwise, the comparison is unjustified. I went to a school that demanded 100% of my attention to be devoted to academics, so I had no time for business ventures on the side. And since I am now done with school and taking the Bar this summer, I certainly don't have time for that mess. I assure you that the quarter mil I'll be pocketing next year (not from Jones Day, FWIW) is more than enough to keep me, a young single woman quite happy.