Proof Your School And Grades Matter

<p>I knew two guys at Harvard Law School who graduated from Bob Jones University. There were, and are, plenty of people from non-top-tier undergraduates. Of course, there were more from more selective schools.</p>

<p>Generally speaking, one would review the law school transcript, but just note the undergrad from the resume. Maybe look for things like honors mentioned on the resume, but we generally don't review undergrad transcripts when hiring. I've never actually seen it done in 25 years.</p>

<p>I suspect a top tier school and strong undergrad record could help. But just to be clear, nobody actually believes one advertisement is "proof" of anything, do they? I mean, other than that is what they want for this position.</p>

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It is not uncommon for students from non-top tier undergraduate schools to attend top tier law schools.

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<p>I know 4 science PhDs from state flagship schools who entered top tier law schools when they didn't receive tenure or decided they didn't want to spend their lives grant writing in academia. All graduated in the middle of their law school classes and were hired into the firms where they interned.</p>

<p>I have a family friend who is studying to be a patent attorney at Villanova. Her Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering is from MIT. Her M.Eng is from Penn. Will getting her J.D. from Villanova hurt?</p>

<p>Would have made it easier if it had been from Harvard, LOL. It is not impossible to get law jobs having graduated from a non-top tier school. But you'll want to be in the top 10% of the class. And this is one instance where her undergrad degree and work experience will help.</p>

<p>Let's also acknowledge these are "desirements". I'm sure if Forever58's friend from MIT/Penn/Nova had the experience and applied that person would be competitive.</p>

<p>We were watching a PBS TV news-program segment last night about several 2nd (3rd?) tier law school grads suing their law schools (IIT/Kent, John Marshall, DePaul) for fraud, noting that schools published graduate placement rates that were very inflated, and that failed to note that many grads don't obtain an attorney position after graduation. I recall a statistic that 3 times as many law-school grads pass bar exam in Illinois then are attorney positions to be filled, an employment market problem that exists since 2002-ish. Given the glut of applicants, law firms certainly can be mighty fussy about their prerequisites for consideration.</p>

<p>I went to a Big Ten undergrad and a top 3 (at the time) law school. My class had mainly students from top undergrad schools, but there WAS a mix. </p>

<p>Back in the day I thought the Illinois bar exam was easy. I attributed this to the local presence of BARBRI which was the test prep company. I felt we were spoon fed the exam. (not complaining) My Texas bar exam was more difficult and, thank God, after that I had reciprocity for my next move.</p>

<p>As to patent law, this is a relatively small "bar" usually comprised of engineers (but not exclusively). In terms of what types of educational backgrounds are available for 5 year plus experienced patent lawyers, I could not say. These credentials are not the same as for a job at, for example, a top NYC law firm.</p>

<p>I think today, due to oversupply of lawyers, the law firms have their pick of who they want to hire for most positions other than those requiring specialized scientific training such as patent law. Back in the dinosaur ages, I knew people who went to tippy top law schools who graduated from a (gasp) college ranked above 100. They had excellent grades and test scores. They got great jobs too. </p>

<p>A lot of people in my law school (good, but not tippy top, and certainly regional at the time), came from some top colleges, and quite a few from other colleges. From what I could tell all the GPAs and LSAT scores were within a certain range. I think that is still fairly standard today at most law schools.</p>

<p>Back in the day, I went laterally to a large NYC corporate law firm, and they wanted not only my law school transcript, but my undergraduate transcript too (that I think was just to back up that I went there - it was a more venerated school than the law school). They had at that time never hired anyone from my law school, although now they recruit there. In fact, after I was there a few years, they sent ME to recruit there. I don't think that I would have gotten the job if I had not been on law review or top percentiles of the class. Those who worked there from Harvard and Yale and NYU, which at the time in NYC was very prestigious, did not need to have been on law review, generally, but of course some were. I still think to get that job now, from a law school outside the top few, you would still need those really good law school credentials.</p>

<p>The most successful lawyer I know (successful being determined by finances) is a partner at a major Chicago law firm, went to Notre Dame law school (not a top 14) and Tulane undergrad, and clears a good $2 million a year. Extremely driven and aggressive.</p>

<p>Not to deny the force of Pizzagirl's example, but doing well at a top regional law school is as good as going to a top 14 law school if you stay in the region, and Notre Dame is clearly a top regional law school for Chicago. Here in Philadelphia, there are lots of extremely successful lawyers who went to Villanova or Temple, but hardly any from Notre Dame. (At least I can't think of any. I had a partner, once, at a large firm who had gone to Notre Dame. He had followed his then-wife to Philadelphia from Chicago, where he had been a partner at an even larger firm, but he was never what you would call "extremely successful".)</p>

<p>As with any other field, someone with blazing talent is likely to succeed one way or another, no matter where he or she went to law school. And once your career is established one place, you can often move elsewhere to a place where you would have had trouble getting hired right out of law school, especially if your clients will continue to use you.</p>

<p>That's an excellent point, JHS. This gets back to parent1986's example of "your school matters." It may indeed matter - but which school that is may matter differently in different regions.</p>

<p>^^Skill and/or affinity for the job (which may lead to increased acumen) is not always proportional to academic ability. I don't think O.J.'s "dream team" of lawyers went to great law schools.</p>

<p>One of the advantages of a prestigious school is that it is easier to essentially switch careers. For instance, if you find you don't like the law but have a degree from Harvard Law, you may be able to get a job with the government or in consulting.</p>

<p>Oh hey, know where else it matters? When you're an academic looking for a professorship...it's all about where you did your PhD (in terms of going to best schools in your field). </p>

<p>But I thought this was obvious. </p>

<p>And of course, it says nothing about the importance of the name of your undergrad, which no one cares about (provided you get an opp to do research, get great LORs, and you get a great education enabling you to ace the GRE).</p>

<p>I have a couple of acquaintances that are engineers + lawyers. One did the patent law rah-rah but once he found out the stunning money he could make doing divorces (ah, flyover country, people get married and divorced faster than the Kardashians :0)) he joined his dad in a divorce practice and he floats in money.</p>

<p>Guy #2 is a patent attorney for a local company, decent money, long hours, but nowhere near the previous guy... </p>

<p>The divorce guy went to a top engineering school and a most definitely NOT T-14 law school; the patent guy went to top engineering and T-14 and a lot of good that did him...</p>

<p>Anecdotal evidence, of course, but having dealt with patent lawyers a few too many times at work, I'd rather do divorces...</p>

<p>Thanks for all the info. My friend's daughter wantst to be a lawyer but they only have x amount of dollars. They decided as a family to spend it on law school and go for undergrad where she has a full scholarship. I am glad to hear that this plan won't get in her way if she rises to the top. Her dream has always been Ivy but they only have the money to pay for it once through.</p>

<p>Not just law jobs....Ibanking and Hedge Funds, too. Applied for a secretarial job at a hedge fund. They wanted top school and had to enter my GPA! Even for someone out of school 30+ years (didn't get the job!!!)</p>

<p>Have noticed other positions looking for "top school" graduates. Not the majority of job postings, but they exist: </p>

<p>Corporate learning coordinator in Stamford Ct. Pays $40 - $60K "Bachelor's degree from top school, high GPA, required, no exceptions"</p>

<p>Project Manager at "Elite Hedge Fund", NYC: "Strong academic record from a top school", "Please include your GPA and standardized test scores on your resume"</p>

<p>Yes, the fact that i-banking and hedge funds care about school pedigree extremely much is hardly a new topic here on CC! One would think those two constituted the full set of "the world of good jobs."</p>

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Applied for a **secretarial job **at a hedge fund. They wanted top school and had to enter my GPA! Even for someone out of school 30+ years (didn't get the job!!!)

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<p>Ha ha what?</p>

<p>I guess you have to be smart enough to know which documents to shred without being told...</p>