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ITT you discuss biglaw cutoffs at some mid-T1 schools

Alamo

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Re: ITT you discuss biglaw cutoffs at some mid-T1 schools
« Reply #40 on: December 30, 2007, 09:46:14 AM »
I am more confident in mine than yours.

W&L and Emory: Neither place as well as their ranking suggests.  Getting BIGLAW at the median of either school is a rarity.

UNC and OSU: Some of the students in the 25-33% bracket may get BIGLAW, but the numbers suggest about 1 in 2.5 of these students get it.

I'm really sick of hearing this, and having people confuse self-selection with placement.  W&L is in a small town, and gives out generous scholarships.  It attracts many, many students from small towns or who want to live in small towns.  It also attracts many students who want to minimize debt (generous scholarships + low COL = low debt).

Getting biglaw in Charlotte from W&L is not particularly difficult, nor is it much trouble in NYC, though a very small percentage of W&L students want to go there.  Getting biglaw in DC is not so easy, but getting in it northern Virginia or Richmond is pretty common.  Getting it anywhere else usually requires a historical tie to the city or a very good reason to live there, and depending on the market, may require good grades.  I managed to get a great firm in Boston through a job fair with no historical connection to the city, although I did pretty well grade-wise. 

These assertions are based on my perceptions and anecdotes from classmates.  Of course, an individual's job search depends heavily on 1) connections and 2) interviewing ability.  The numbers you produce don't consider these two factors, two of the biggest in getting a job. 

I've seen people waste a lot of time on LSD, and done a lot of time-wasting myself, but I'm not sure if I've ever seen a more useless exercise than this one.  I'm not sure how you can even call this data.  The truth--THERE IS NO DATA!  This is a highly individualized process (much moreso than law school admissions, which don't usually involve an interview and are more heavily numbers-driven) about which only general perceptions are possible; firm-specific data (e.g., firm X has a Y% grade cutoff for School Z students) is really all that's meaningfully quantifiable.

I don't fault you for wanting to know the answers.  But this sort of boiling-down one's chance to raw numbers simply does not work here.  Let it go.  Embrace the mystery.

Alamo

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Re: ITT you discuss biglaw cutoffs at some mid-T1 schools
« Reply #41 on: December 30, 2007, 04:03:29 PM »
Nice Sydney Lewis avatar, dude.


edit; also, you're right about W&L self-selecting non-biglaw types.   and I would bet good money you're right that poor interviewing skills can nullify the importance of a "biglaw cutoff," just the same as having connections at firms can more than make up for being outside of such-and-such percentile.

Thanks for the 'tar props--I'll troll Dubyanell love till the day I die.




Re: ITT you discuss biglaw cutoffs at some mid-T1 schools
« Reply #42 on: December 30, 2007, 05:43:20 PM »
As the starter of this thread, I have to say I'm surprised to see someone has tried to find exact numbers for each school.  Getting a decent job has so many variables, and CDO numbers are notoriously dishonest depending on the school, so I don't know how useful that is.

Nevertheless, I thought the list of numbers is interesting and at least makes sense for some of the schools.  I believe law students are mostly rational actors, that is, they will almost always take a higher-paying job over a lower one.  Many people claim to not be "biglaw types" but I think people overestimate the number of people who would turn biglaw down given the opportunity.

Also, there are a significant number of people in any law school who have IP credentials or who have personal ties to firms.  This means that the estimated "cutoff point" for any school listed here is likely too generous.  Absent these factors, if you subtract about 5-10% from each school listed maybe you have a better idea whether a law firm will take you seriously based on your class percentile.

I'm interested in a lot of schools listed and I have some questions about them.

As for W&L, I'm applying there and I think I would love Lexington, and I think Southern firms will take a good look at people in the top 25% provided they're going back to their hometowns or are at least Southern.  I am from the upper Midwest and have never lived south of Wisconsin.  Does this mean I could really be screwed if I'm below the top 10% probably needed for NYC/DC?

As for Iowa, I'm applying there too and I really doubt that 27% of the class has access to biglaw.  That said, I have ties to Minneapolis and I think Minneapolis firms will go similarly deep at Iowa vs. Minnesota if the candidate has local ties.  But really, where do these Iowa people who supposedly get biglaw work?  There is no 100k market in Iowa.  Minneapolis, KC, Omaha are all small, outsider-phobic markets, and Iowa SAs are scarce at the top Chicago firms.

And for that matter, where do these biglaw people from Minnesota work?  The Minneapolis market just isn't that big and Minnesota's LS is relatively large.  And Minnesota is not known for sending people to NYC.  I mean, I can probably count the number of 110k+ non-IP Minneapolis firms on one hand.  And everyone at the school wants to work for these same firms.

Re: ITT you discuss biglaw cutoffs at some mid-T1 schools
« Reply #43 on: December 30, 2007, 06:35:39 PM »
A few top students at both Iowa and Minn will go to Chicago. A few will probably go to Michigan, Ohio, and maybe Milwaukee. But yeah, neither one of those schools are biglaw powerhouses despite their rankings in U.S. News and don't have a whole lot of portability outside of their respective regions.

And yeah, after first year students who claimed to "not want biglaw" or "want to do public interest" will set their sights on large law firms for their 2L summer. If they have the grades, that is. This happens at virtually every school.

Alamo

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Re: ITT you discuss biglaw cutoffs at some mid-T1 schools
« Reply #44 on: December 31, 2007, 05:09:25 AM »
As the starter of this thread, I have to say I'm surprised to see someone has tried to find exact numbers for each school.  Getting a decent job has so many variables, and CDO numbers are notoriously dishonest depending on the school, so I don't know how useful that is.

Nevertheless, I thought the list of numbers is interesting and at least makes sense for some of the schools.  I believe law students are mostly rational actors, that is, they will almost always take a higher-paying job over a lower one.  Many people claim to not be "biglaw types" but I think people overestimate the number of people who would turn biglaw down given the opportunity.

Also, there are a significant number of people in any law school who have IP credentials or who have personal ties to firms.  This means that the estimated "cutoff point" for any school listed here is likely too generous.  Absent these factors, if you subtract about 5-10% from each school listed maybe you have a better idea whether a law firm will take you seriously based on your class percentile.

I'm interested in a lot of schools listed and I have some questions about them.

As for W&L, I'm applying there and I think I would love Lexington, and I think Southern firms will take a good look at people in the top 25% provided they're going back to their hometowns or are at least Southern.  I am from the upper Midwest and have never lived south of Wisconsin.  Does this mean I could really be screwed if I'm below the top 10% probably needed for NYC/DC?

As for Iowa, I'm applying there too and I really doubt that 27% of the class has access to biglaw.  That said, I have ties to Minneapolis and I think Minneapolis firms will go similarly deep at Iowa vs. Minnesota if the candidate has local ties.  But really, where do these Iowa people who supposedly get biglaw work?  There is no 100k market in Iowa.  Minneapolis, KC, Omaha are all small, outsider-phobic markets, and Iowa SAs are scarce at the top Chicago firms.

And for that matter, where do these biglaw people from Minnesota work?  The Minneapolis market just isn't that big and Minnesota's LS is relatively large.  And Minnesota is not known for sending people to NYC.  I mean, I can probably count the number of 110k+ non-IP Minneapolis firms on one hand.  And everyone at the school wants to work for these same firms.

I'm glad you started the thread, even though I place zero stock in any set of data that sweeps so broadly and cannot meaningfully incorporate the many intangibles.

One more thing mentioned earlier in the thread that numbers can't capture--student effort.  At a certain grade cutoff from many of these schools (I'd say 10% at W&L), you will be virtually handed a job: you'll have little problem making law review, you'll get every OCI interview you sign up for (getting dinged only by less reputable firms that simply don't believe you'd work for them), and if you have a pulse, can make it through the interview process with at least one offer.  As you extend the grade cutoff to 20-25%, extra effort is required to stand out from the crowd--e.g., researching individual firms, extra-curricular activities, etc.  As the cutoff drops further, the student's effort must increase commensurately.  As an aside, I've heard several median-level students recommend the Guerrilla Guide to Finding the Legal Job of Your Dreams (or something like that) as great for getting the kind of job you want.  BUT once you drop below 10% or so, nobody will hand you a job.  I've heard many students female dog about how career services sucked when they've made no effort other than to drop a few OCI resumes.  If you're a median student or below, you need to be busting your ass if you want to land a competitive job (which, of course, many people aren't particularly interested in anyway).

Another thing--previous work experience, if meaningful, also helps make up for poor grades.

As far as rational actor theory, I can't critique it other than to make the old and obvious observation that it uses money as a proxy for happiness.  It's closer than anything else you can quantify, but far from perfect.  At some point, people sacrifice money for happiness.  For example, I didn't even apply in NYC, even though it is widely known to have the best bonuses in the country, and is where I would be able to make the most money.  I turned down two firms in Chicago, where the COL is lower than Boston and where my money would've gone farther.  Many people make far less economically motivated decisions than that.  For example, the past three law review EICs at W&L have gone (I believe) to Charlotte, Richmond and Roanoke.  Why?  Certainly not the money or lack of options.  Particularly given big-city biglaw's reputation for sucking your life dry, it is not a difficult decision to rationalize.

My main point--don't put too much stock in grades.  If you get good grades, you still haven't achieved a damn thing for a single employer.  If you don't get the grades you want, you still have ways of proving yourself.  My secondary point--don't underestimate self-selection just because you may happen to be an economically "rational" actor.  A look at your own life decisions will probably reveal that economics has less sway over you than you give it credit for.

botbot

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Re: ITT you discuss biglaw cutoffs at some mid-T1 schools
« Reply #45 on: December 31, 2007, 11:13:48 AM »
To the W&L guy:

I do not doubt the existence of substantial small law self-selection at your school, but at this does not negate the data/anecdotal evidence that suggests W&L's poor BIGLAW placement.  Some students at W&L want BIGLAW (and some 0Ls considering W&L also want BIGLAW) - it is important that they are aware of the W&L placement "issues".

botbot

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Re: ITT you discuss biglaw cutoffs at some mid-T1 schools
« Reply #46 on: January 12, 2008, 11:20:45 AM »
Where do the graduates of lower T14s who fall below the cutoffs end up?

If they stay in law - Gov, PI, and small law.

Re: ITT you discuss biglaw cutoffs at some mid-T1 schools
« Reply #47 on: January 13, 2008, 08:03:55 PM »
Anyone know what Big Law $ is for Tampa area?

Re: ITT you discuss biglaw cutoffs at some mid-T1 schools
« Reply #48 on: January 13, 2008, 08:13:25 PM »
Botbot,
I'm really getting tired of this. On every post that has to deal with W&L (even the damn open house forums) you have something critical to say about the school. Criticisms are allowed on this blog(of course), but misleading prospective law students on LSD is pretty lame. If you don't like the location, the town, or the school, move your comments to the "Drinking the Haterade" Group Thread.

Re: ITT you discuss biglaw cutoffs at some mid-T1 schools
« Reply #49 on: January 13, 2008, 08:27:40 PM »
Botbot,
I'm really getting tired of this. On every post that has to deal with W&L (even the damn open house forums) you have something critical to say about the school. Criticisms are allowed on this blog(of course), but misleading prospective law students on LSD is pretty lame. If you don't like the location, the town, or the school, move your comments to the "Drinking the Haterade" Group Thread.


When you spam the discussion board with plugs for your law school, you must be willing to tolerate legitimate criticism. Being defensive only makes his criticism appear to have more merit.