Law School Discussion

-

Re: What's the Difference Between T10 Schools?
« Reply #30 on: December 01, 2007, 11:22:50 AM »
This is not to say that clerking is the best option for your career always. Cravath basically told me that I shouldn't clerk and that they don't see the benefit of it. They rather their associates come straight in after law school. Cravath wants to train you in the cravath way - and they don't want any pesky member of the judiciary giving you bad habits.

...

Then you have what I call the reputation schools. These are the schools that have sort of a historic reputation because they have many powerful alumni and they aren't the tops for immediate exit opportunities, but they are fantastic choices if you want to have certain jobs down the line. I'd put UVA and Michigan here. If you want to go into politics, get a government job, have access to federal judges that have a preference against the ivies and for your school, then these are the schools to go to. UVA and Michigan alumni look out for their own first and foremost, and so there is a nice flow of jobs that are only going to be available to you guys because of your pedigree.

Then after that, you have the other t14s which are all fantastic schools, but the competitions is a little stiffer or the networks aren't as strong or whatever it may be. Georgetown, for example, is a factory of lawyers (great alumni network, mediocre job prospects if you graduate in the bottom 50%). How often have you met a Northwestern Law grad outside of Chicago? Never.  Again, these are elite schools, but I personally don't think they are on the same level as the others with respect to job opportunities and long term benefits for their students.

God, Cravath would say that.  I got an offer there, but turned them down for a V30 because I couldn't deal with the paternalistic attitude.

I disagree with your last two paragraphs inasmuch as they relate to practicing Biglaw.  I can't speak for other schools, but at Penn, everyone had solid Biglaw offers... S&C seemed like they were handing out offers like candy (I know several mediocre students with offers).  I'm guessing this is similar at the rest of the T14--when you go to the firms' offer events, most of the T14 is represented.  The fact is, there are plenty of Biglaw jobs to go around, and firms like to have T14ers on their site.

Clerking and academia are totally different, because the job surplus just isn't there.  If you want to be a law prof and you didn't go to HYS, you will be facing an uphill battle.   You'd need to start publishing while in school.   

Clerking is extremely hierarchal, and certainly on the east coat H/Y is an enormous advantage for circuit and desirable disct ct clerkships.  The other problem for students is that more judges are giving preference to people who worked at a firm for a year or two, further narrowing down the pool of available jobs.  I know several people at Penn with amazing circuit clerkships; all are on Law Review. 

Kirk Lazarus

  • ****
  • 1967
  • I'm a lead farmer, mofo
    • View Profile
Re: What's the Difference Between T10 Schools?
« Reply #31 on: December 01, 2007, 11:59:47 AM »
This is not to say that clerking is the best option for your career always. Cravath basically told me that I shouldn't clerk and that they don't see the benefit of it. They rather their associates come straight in after law school. Cravath wants to train you in the cravath way - and they don't want any pesky member of the judiciary giving you bad habits.

...

Then you have what I call the reputation schools. These are the schools that have sort of a historic reputation because they have many powerful alumni and they aren't the tops for immediate exit opportunities, but they are fantastic choices if you want to have certain jobs down the line. I'd put UVA and Michigan here. If you want to go into politics, get a government job, have access to federal judges that have a preference against the ivies and for your school, then these are the schools to go to. UVA and Michigan alumni look out for their own first and foremost, and so there is a nice flow of jobs that are only going to be available to you guys because of your pedigree.

Then after that, you have the other t14s which are all fantastic schools, but the competitions is a little stiffer or the networks aren't as strong or whatever it may be. Georgetown, for example, is a factory of lawyers (great alumni network, mediocre job prospects if you graduate in the bottom 50%). How often have you met a Northwestern Law grad outside of Chicago? Never.  Again, these are elite schools, but I personally don't think they are on the same level as the others with respect to job opportunities and long term benefits for their students.

God, Cravath would say that.  I got an offer there, but turned them down for a V30 because I couldn't deal with the paternalistic attitude.

I disagree with your last two paragraphs inasmuch as they relate to practicing Biglaw.  I can't speak for other schools, but at Penn, everyone had solid Biglaw offers... S&C seemed like they were handing out offers like candy (I know several mediocre students with offers).  I'm guessing this is similar at the rest of the T14--when you go to the firms' offer events, most of the T14 is represented.  The fact is, there are plenty of Biglaw jobs to go around, and firms like to have T14ers on their site.

Clerking and academia are totally different, because the job surplus just isn't there.  If you want to be a law prof and you didn't go to HYS, you will be facing an uphill battle.   You'd need to start publishing while in school.   

Clerking is extremely hierarchal, and certainly on the east coat H/Y is an enormous advantage for circuit and desirable disct ct clerkships.  The other problem for students is that more judges are giving preference to people who worked at a firm for a year or two, further narrowing down the pool of available jobs.  I know several people at Penn with amazing circuit clerkships; all are on Law Review. 

I disagree. First of all, the surplus of big law jobs is market dependent. The class of 2011 has a real issue because the availability of 1st year associate positions is going to shrink in the next couple of years. This year, however, firms are hiring at an all time pace. Sullivan and Cravath, for example, are going to have their largest SA classes ever. This year is a particularly good year to be a 2L. I don't think that this year or the last is predictive nor is it accurate historically, however. Second, I think it is well known that even in the area of big law jobs, some students are shut out because of their educational pedigree even in the t14 if their class rank isn't high enough. The kid at the bottom 50% of NYU is in way better shape than the same student at the bottom 50% at GULC.

All biglaw firms are not the same. While I find the distinction over the relative prestige of firms to be a bit taxing and silly, there are some significant differences. The pay is significantly different. Kids at the top of their classes and kids at the best schools are all going to be making 160k coming out. Other kids are going to have to settle for 145k, 135k and/or smaller markets. While they might enjoy a cost of living boost initially, their exit options after biglaw are significantly worse. Your pedigree partially determines what practice group you can get into, how much client contact you may receive, the type of assignments you get, etc.

Of course, if you prove you can do the work better than anyone, you're golden. If you're last at GULC and you're simply better at your work than #1 at HLS, then you'll be treated as such. At least initially, however, there are certain presumptions that one has to rebut first regarding their competencies relative to their peers.

Wallace makes the point that I think you're making. Namely, that if you're at a t14, you're golden. No one is going to refute that point. You'll probably get a good job. Still, there are only a limited number of jobs paying 160 in the most attractive markets. Not all members of the t14 who want one of those jobs is going to get one. Not even close. I think that is the point I'm trying to make.




Kirk Lazarus

  • ****
  • 1967
  • I'm a lead farmer, mofo
    • View Profile
Re: What's the Difference Between T10 Schools?
« Reply #32 on: December 01, 2007, 12:28:15 PM »
Galt, why do you think that the market for associates will shrink?  I don't need any additional stress.

The simplest explanation is that when the economy is good, law firms expand hiring to meet the demands of their clients. When the economy turns down, instead of laying off already well-trained current associates, they freeze or restrict hiring to get to the optimal level.

Re: What's the Difference Between T10 Schools?
« Reply #33 on: December 01, 2007, 04:08:59 PM »
Go into bankruptcy law and corporate restructuring then. :)

Kirk Lazarus

  • ****
  • 1967
  • I'm a lead farmer, mofo
    • View Profile
Re: What's the Difference Between T10 Schools?
« Reply #34 on: December 01, 2007, 08:46:38 PM »
Most law students don't know what's going on. They look at the vault guide and see it as a substitution for US News. It isn't. The difference between Skadden and Arnold and Porter is negligible in prestige. Associates prefer Wachtell, but in the profession, partners consider Cravath better. W&C in DC is probably better for litigation than any of the vault 5. Vault is done almost exclusively on associate surveys and they come up with a rough metric of how prestigious a firm is. The reality is that if you're in the vault 20, you're at one of the very best firms in the country. I don't look at a Cravath or a Skadden attorney any differently than I see any other attorney at another large law firm. You're all smart, you're all making the same money, none of you are going to make partner...

you think that exit options at the V20 are largely the same?  i mean, if you wanted to move to a different firm or a GC position or a government position, it wouldn't make some difference that you were working at cravath or wachtell rather than OMM or A&P?*

*not to be read as me disagreeing with you.

Before I answer the question, I think Wachtell is a different beast entirely. You're making 100k+ more each year than your colleagues at other law firms (in boom periods and significantly more than your peers in non-boom years).

The exit opportunities are a good thing to think about when deciding on a firm, but the exit opportunities aren't connected to the Vault rankings. Like if you look at US News, you know that if you go to HYSCCN...you're good. And you'd be crazy to go to UCLA, Emory or what have you over those schools if initial job opportunities were the most important factor for you. In no way, shape or form does a school ranked 20th have better job opportunities than a school ranked 5.  If you want to be an AUSA or something, you'd probably be better going to Williams in DC over Cravath. If you want to work at Justice in certain positions, A&P will open more doors because of their familiarity with anti-trust issues. Wachtell if you want to lateral into an investment bank. Cravath has a lot of high level corporate clients, so of course their familiarity with the firm translates into good opps for in house for associates. The key is just because you go to a higher ranked firm, it doesn't mean you'll have exit opportunities better than everyone at a lower ranked firm across the board. It all depends.

xoxohth.com is actually a great resource to ask these sorts of questions. They actually have a number of regular posters from top firms and they are generally very helpful.




Re: What's the Difference Between T10 Schools?
« Reply #35 on: December 01, 2007, 08:49:26 PM »
Most law students don't know what's going on. They look at the vault guide and see it as a substitution for US News. It isn't. The difference between Skadden and Arnold and Porter is negligible in prestige. Associates prefer Wachtell, but in the profession, partners consider Cravath better. W&C in DC is probably better for litigation than any of the vault 5. Vault is done almost exclusively on associate surveys and they come up with a rough metric of how prestigious a firm is. The reality is that if you're in the vault 20, you're at one of the very best firms in the country. I don't look at a Cravath or a Skadden attorney any differently than I see any other attorney at another large law firm. You're all smart, you're all making the same money, none of you are going to make partner...

you think that exit options at the V20 are largely the same?  i mean, if you wanted to move to a different firm or a GC position or a government position, it wouldn't make some difference that you were working at cravath or wachtell rather than OMM or A&P?*

*not to be read as me disagreeing with you.

Before I answer the question, I think Wachtell is a different beast entirely. You're making 100k+ more each year than your colleagues at other law firms (in boom periods and significantly more than your peers in non-boom years).

The exit opportunities are a good thing to think about when deciding on a firm, but the exit opportunities aren't connected to the Vault rankings. Like if you look at US News, you know that if you go to HYSCCN...you're good. And you'd be crazy to go to UCLA, Emory or what have you over those schools if initial job opportunities were the most important factor for you. In no way, shape or form does a school ranked 20th have better job opportunities than a school ranked 5.  If you want to be an AUSA or something, you'd probably be better going to Williams in DC over Cravath. If you want to work at Justice in certain positions, A&P will open more doors because of their familiarity with anti-trust issues. Wachtell if you want to lateral into an investment bank. Cravath has a lot of high level corporate clients, so of course their familiarity with the firm translates into good opps for in house for associates. The key is just because you go to a higher ranked firm, it doesn't mean you'll have exit opportunities better than everyone at a lower ranked firm across the board. It all depends.

xoxohth.com is actually a great resource to ask these sorts of questions. They actually have a number of regular posters from top firms and they are generally very helpful.





xoxo made fun of me

Kirk Lazarus

  • ****
  • 1967
  • I'm a lead farmer, mofo
    • View Profile
Re: What's the Difference Between T10 Schools?
« Reply #36 on: December 01, 2007, 08:53:16 PM »
cool.  also, i apologize if i was being excessively nosy when i asked where you were looking.  hopefully it's water under the bridge.

?

When did you ask that? Either way, it isn't a problem. We're cool. :)

Mickey Ward

  • ****
  • 485
  • A kid from Lowell rises to the bell...
    • View Profile
Re: What's the Difference Between T10 Schools?
« Reply #37 on: December 02, 2007, 02:47:07 PM »
Clobber.