Law Schools - Where and Why?

Discussion in 'Business, Careers & Education' started by El Argentino, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. sns23

    sns23 Senior member

    Messages:
    460
    Likes Received:
    15
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    

    Thats why i got a full ride and finished in the top 2%. I don't think a guy at Harvard would snarl at a 110k/year job. (when adjusted for cost of living it equates to the same if not more than making 160k at biglaw in NY). Also, others who were not even in the top 10% were getting 100k. Your claims are exaggerated.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2012
  2. Kid Nickels

    Kid Nickels Senior member

    Messages:
    8,659
    Likes Received:
    1,954
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    Location:
    Zulu minus 7
    

    at what school if you don't mind my asking?
     
  3. tactical1

    tactical1 Senior member

    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    25
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2011
    Location:
    A red state in the south.
    I recommend that you try to decide in advance where you want to land and what you want to be when you are done. Then, pick the school that you can go to to land there doing that without incurring paralyzing debt. When I was contemplating law schools, I had my choice of many fine schools. I had ideas I might go into environmental law in Denver or transactional law in San Francisco or international law in Miami or some number of other "romantic" notions of who I could be when I grew up. I didn't contemplate the debt, I just saw myself in a big office in a cool place calling big shots. I went to a top law school and did well. I got a great job out of school and I've been on my own for over ten years. I decided against the big city/bright lights. I live in a great place with my parents and sister nearby, and I like it here. I paid for that expensive law school degree for fifteen years. My debt load was a fraction of what many of my classmates took on to get the degree. I had a number of classmates who took jobs they detested merely because it was a financial necessity to service their debt. They actually could not take the job they wanted and had been offered. They were a slave to student loans, moving to cities they didn't want to live in, doing jobs at law firms they hated. Beware the law firms with on-site showers. You, rookie, are expected to use them. I have no regrets about any decision I made except creating expensive opportunities that I just didn't really want or need. Sure, clients come in and the paper from my fancy pants law school looks great hanging up there, but they aren't hiring me because I went to that school, they are hiring me because I'm good at what I do as demonstrated over the last twenty years. Long and short of it, I could have gone to a state school and followed the same career path without the debt.
     
  4. randomkoreandude

    randomkoreandude Senior member

    Messages:
    8,106
    Likes Received:
    535
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Location:
    DC
  5. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    20,797
    Likes Received:
    2,029
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    

    I think you're wrong. The vast majority of Harvard's class that wants to work in BigLaw will get a BigLaw job by graduation--those jobs pay 160k regardless of the city. In that context, 110k is low. More importantly, the law firm that pays 110k to first year associates is probably not nearly as prestigious as those that do.
     
  6. sns23

    sns23 Senior member

    Messages:
    460
    Likes Received:
    15
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    

    Sounds like you are too concerned with what others think of you. Im fine with making 110 to start and 200 by age 30 (especially when rent is not 4k per month like NY)
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
  7. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    20,797
    Likes Received:
    2,029
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    

    I couldn't care less about law firm prestige. But if I were a lawyer, it would make sense for me to. The prestige and reputation of your firm correlate strongly with the quality of the cases or deals you'll be working on and the opportunities that will be available to you later. It is much easier to get a corporate counsel gig or federal government position coming from a marquee-name BigLaw firm.

    Also, you missed the other point: a first year associate will make 160k at a BigLaw firm regardless of the city he's based in. You don't need to be in New York.

    It's great that you're satisfied with your career choices, but what you are saying is misleading and inaccurate.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
  8. sns23

    sns23 Senior member

    Messages:
    460
    Likes Received:
    15
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    

    No. Some of the largest firms in relatively large cities top out at around 100-115. It is even easier to get federal government work if you clerked for a district and circuit judge ;)
     
  9. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    20,797
    Likes Received:
    2,029
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    

    What? This sounds like total nonsense, assuming you mean "Wall Street investment banker" when you say "banker," not "bank teller at my local Citibank."


    Getting a top clerkship is also easier out of a top law school. The statistics on that are clear.

    Show me a Vault 50 firm that pays 100-115k to full-time first year associates in any office.
     
  10. sns23

    sns23 Senior member

    Messages:
    460
    Likes Received:
    15
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    

    Notice that those 50 firms are located in only a handful of cities? There are more than six or eight cities in the country that have metropolitan areas of several million residents.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
  11. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    20,797
    Likes Received:
    2,029
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    

    No, they are not "located in only a handful of cities." The vast majority of Vault 50 firms may be based in New York City, Washington DC, Chicago and Los Angeles, but they each have offices all over the country, as well as around the world. Also, you could probably extend the scenario to the Vault 100 with the same results.
     
  12. sns23

    sns23 Senior member

    Messages:
    460
    Likes Received:
    15
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    

    And where does the NY based firm have its offices? The handful of other cities like Chicago, LA, DC, San Fran, Boston, London, etc.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
  13. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    20,797
    Likes Received:
    2,029
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    

    Also, cities like Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Seattle, etc.

    The point is that you can easily avoid paying for NYC cost-of-living and work in BigLaw. Only DC and San Francisco approach NYC in expense. Places like Boston and Chicago are leagues cheaper.
     
  14. randomkoreandude

    randomkoreandude Senior member

    Messages:
    8,106
    Likes Received:
    535
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Location:
    DC
    ill be at a vault top 75 and start at 145 for DC office
     
  15. marg

    marg Senior member

    Messages:
    417
    Likes Received:
    8
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2011
    FYI, there are still biglaw jobs and solid regional jobs being had by t3 and t4 in non NYC markets. This elitist bullshit is nonsense. It may be harder to get a job in a lower school, especially for socially awkward people, but it's not the death nail. Also, just like in finance, there are plenty of top-school trained people that are completely worthless outside the classroom (these are probably your profs).

    The main benefit to a higher-ranked school is that people won't initially question your ability, but I would put my ability up against any other law students. Get on law review, keep your grades up, and network with everyone you can. Finding a job will be on the candidate instead of career services.
     

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by