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many good points; a word about high profile firms
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Posted by WASSAAB (more from WASSAAB) on Sat, 8 May 2004 07:07:52 Share Post by Email
In Reply to: There are many factors here, Nathaniel, Fri, 7 May 2004 22:21:07
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I used to work for a high profile firm before I entered law school this past fall. I enrolled in a mid-40s but top tier law school (University of Maryland School of Law). UMD is a fantastic school, and it is quickly rising in the ranks (another factor to consider... compare the last few years of the rankings to see in what direction the school's are headed).

In any case, my old firm is as obvious as they come about only hiring from the top of the top tier. They are a mega-firm, with over 1000 lawyers (probably 1500 by now) but they will not, as a general practice, hire from outside of even the top 30 schools. Most firms participate in OCI: On Campus Interviewing. High profile firms generally do not come to lower ranked schools. Some might, but it's not something they do on a regular occassion. You can still seek out jobs with them, but you will be at a disadvantage to other students whom they have already met in person.

Financial considerations are nothing to sneeze at. I will have a nice big load of debt after school, so a full-ride definitely would have tempted me to go to a lower ranked school. I agree, check out the bar passage rates; that can be deceptive though, as if you go to some smaller schools, those people are taking only the local bar, whereas at larger schools, people typically leave the area and take either a multi-state bar or simply the bar in another state.

NOTE: For jobs while in school, UMD, for example, provides a wonderful career services office. They have outstanding community contacts and had a lot of jobs available for students to pursue. Whatever practical skills you can develop while in school can make a huge difference in terms of what happens after law school. Check to see what kinds of "extras" these schools offer. The best decision is an informed one.

Good luck,
Mike
88 SPG
95 Aero
00 Aero

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