Question for those of you in big law

My daughter just finished her first year at U of Florida Law School. She ended up with a 3.87 GPA which was good enough for a class rank of 4 out of 240. Additionally she had the best grade in her section for Contracts, Torts, Con Law and legal writing. She is currently doing an internship with a USDC judge. She was asked to be a TA for legal writing next year.

UF has a “grade on” acceptance to law review if you are in the top 5 GPA of your section (which obviously she was based on being 4th overall) so long as you complete a blue book exam and essay with a “good faith effort”. Somehow she not offered law review and instead offered a secondary journal. They will not release any information about the scoring and how she did not make a “good faith effort”. I am a lawyer and I have read the essay and it was good. Certainly showed someone who spent the time to write a thoughtful essay. She is obviously devastated as she worked so hard to get the GPA she did and not get law review. But that said there is nothing that can be about that.

My question is how will the lack of law review impact her ability to get a big law summer job in light of her other academic accomplishments in her first year. Any insight greatly appreciated

Checking Law School Transparency, and you’ll see the top quartile has an average salary of $81k, which means most of the top quartile go into small law, i.e., UF doesn’t place well into Big Law in general. (And part of that may be geographical preference – Florida grads don’t want to leave?)

if she really wants BL, target NYC, the “easiest” place in which to make the big bucks. Of course, she’d have to make a strong case as to why a Floridian would want to move to NY.

I don’t think being in “the” law review will matter for corporate/transactional BigLaw teams based in Florida, who know the quality and rigor of UF, especially if he has other “special” skills such as a foreign language or an undergrad science background and in view of her GPA and rank. Feel free to DM me if you want to discuss further.

She is actually from Pittsburgh. She went to University of Florida for the full ride and living expense stipend. I told her that 2 of the largest 15 law firms (Reed Smith and K&L Gates) are Pittsburgh based and she is going to apply to both of them. I just wondered how those types of firms would look at the top GPA and class rank but no Law Review

Her GPA and rank are strong enough to overcome not being on law review. Being on any journal will look good. She should get some interviews from FL offices of big law firms headquartered elsewhere and will have to show a connection to offices in other states to get interviews outside of FL. Most of the UF hires my firms have made are for Florida offices. There is no salary differential, however. They earn the same lockstep salary as those in NYC.

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Thank you for your insight.

Well I guess you all were right. Daughter has received 2 offers from big law firms for 2L job. One from a firm with a relatively new office in Miami and one from a firm in Pittsburgh where we live. I am hoping she picks the one here in Pittsburgh but I am keeping my mouth closed. Oh unless somewhat jokingly saying she can take over the family Steeler season tickets if she comes back to Pittsburgh is putting pressure on her……The money being offered to first year associates is astounding.

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