April 26, 2004
Law School In The News!
by Jeremy Blachman
April 26, 2004 11:48 AM
The New York Times had an short article yesterday entitled "If You Went Here, You'd Be Sitting Pretty Now," about how top law firms concentrate their hiring among graduates of top law school. The article, which won't provide anything new to any law students but I suppose it's interesting for people unfamiliar with this stuff, credits Prof. Brian Leiter of the University of Texas with "develop[ing] a formula to determine which law schools placed the largest percentage of graduates at top national firms." I thought it kind of funny that it then credits him with "[finding] 110 Harvard law graduates, 88 Columbia graduates, 59 N.Y.U. graduates and no other school with more than 30 lawyers at [Sullivan & Cromwell]" as if it took more to "find" that than to go their website and count, but whatever, I'm nitpicking. The moral of the article is don't go to law school unless you want to be a lawyer, and don't go to a crappy law school if you want to work for a non-crappy firm, although they say it nicer. "Michael Young, dean of George Washington University's law school, puts it more bluntly: 'Law is possibly a route into politics, business, etc., but it's not a sure route by any stretch. The vast majority of people who start in the law die in the law.'"
That is the thought you leave me with before I go into a final?
Damn you, man!
Actually, those numbers (110, 88 & 59) do not describe Sullivan & Cromwell--they're actually for Cravath, Swaine & Moore.
Actually, I'd dispute part of your comment. How about "if you go to a crappy school, you're going to go to a crappy firm unless you work your butt off."
Unless, that is, you're prepared to define "crappy firm" as anything that's not Cravath or S&C, heh.
That's assuming that there is a non-crappy law firm in existence. I have yet to find one.
With all the unhappy people is non-crappy law firms, perhaps a crappy law firm ain't that crappy.
I just wrote a post on my blog about the virtues of going to a swell law school, if what you really want is to be a good trial lawyer.
My conclusion: go to biglaw, suck at lawyering; avoid biglaw, become a great lawyer.
Hey guys, take the Palladin view:
"Have briefcase, will travel".
You can be a really good lawyer without getting into a large law firm. And you can have a life, even a personality.
screw the big law schools, screw the big firms, I'm in law school in far from the most prestigious institution, but i would not regret one second going to law school regardless of whether i become a lawyer. As someone already posted what is or isnt a crappy law firm is truly a measure of one's own values. Somehow i guess you associate a crappy law firm with one that doesnt bill +200 million a year or whose name isnt regularly in legal press. Perhaps i'm mistaken, but good law is practiced at many good levels, whether small time criminal law defending DUI's and petty theft etc or whether its exercised in teh supreme court. As always in todays increasingly practical trend in everything, the love of things in and of themselves is replaced for the love of the image they produce. I study and hope to practice law because I like law of itself, perhaps i'll change my mind when i start to practice and dont get the 'non-crappy' alternatives, but i'd like to think my mind is still open on the topic.
I know this lawyer--She is FILTHY RICH..and yet went to a crappy law school. So fuck off! One can make dough dough dough no matter one goes.