TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron
Pepperdine University School of Law

Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Best (Columbia, NYU) And Worst (Pace, Seton Hall, Hofstra) New York Law Schools For BigLaw Jobs

Above the Law, The Best (And Worst) New York Law Schools For Biglaw Jobs:

[O]ne tipster has gone through and actually broken down how many students from each New York area school are landing at specific Biglaw firms. Here’s the methodology:

I scoured the websites of Cravath, S&C, DPW, Skadden, STB, Cleary, PW, Debevoise, Latham, and K&E (Weil’s website made it impractical to include them), and saw how many associates they each currently employ from Brooklyn, Columbia, Cardozo, Fordham, Hofstra, NYLS, NYU, Pace, Rutgers, Seton Hall, St. Johns. Since I was mainly interested in recent placement, I kept the list to associates only (no partners, counsel, etc). My goal was to see how successful each school has been at placing students at these top firms, and if you’re really that much better off paying more to go to a better school (spoiler alert: you are). ...

ATL

Use this information wisely. It’s not as though someone has to land at these sample firms to have a sterling legal career. But if you’re mulling over that law school decision and want to work in the elite tier of the legal industry, this should help guide you.

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2016/09/the-best-columbia-nyu-and-worst-pace-seton-hall-hofstra-new-york-law-schools-for-biglaw-jobs.html

Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Comments

There's a pretty big difference in size of graduating class of these institutions over the last few years, which will affect the number of students going into big law (i.e., more students = more graduates in any field).

Posted by: size? | Sep 29, 2016 4:38:50 AM

Indeed, need to pro-rate these by the size of the graduating class.

Also, what about LLMs -- did you count those or not?

Posted by: Andy Patterson | Sep 29, 2016 6:14:48 AM

@Size,

If your supposition held water, than Boston Biglaw would have more Suffolk grads than BU or BC grads. I can assure you this is not the case. Despite the protestations of law profs at middle to middling law schools, pedigree matters in hiring. A lot. Really, how this is even news in 2016...

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Sep 29, 2016 7:26:46 AM

Sizing parity: Columbia has ~400 grads per year, per LST. Seton Hall has ~200. Ergo, Seton Hall still underperforms atrociously in comparison.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Sep 29, 2016 9:23:33 AM

@ Unemployed Northeastern,

I think you missed a subtly. If I am correct, the real complaint regards the comparison amongst the non T30 schools, i.e. the infinitesimally small number of Seton Hall grads working in big law is actually greater than the infinitesimally small number of NYLS grads working in big law when you calculate it as a percentage of graduates.

In this way, size? is reaffirming the truism that pedigree matters.

Posted by: JM | Sep 29, 2016 9:55:35 AM

It's not a very scientific study, but interesting anyway.
Factoring in size of law school does not change the rank order of the schools very much according to some back-of-the-envelope calculations I set out below.
For each school I used Fall 2015 matriculations (from ABA site) for school size and compared that figure to ATL's aggregate number of Associates, resulting in a percentage ranging from 181% for Columbia and 2% for Pace. Then I divided that percentage by 9 (years in partnership track) to get a per-year figure. The resulting order is:

1Ls .... Assoc. .... % ..... /9 ...... School

388 ..... 705 ..... 181 ..... 20 ... Columbia
426 ..... 553 ..... 130 ..... 14 ... NYU
373 ..... 152 ....... 41 ....... 5 ... Fordham
288 ....... 70 ....... 24 ....... 3 ... Cardozo
224 ....... 45 ....... 20 ....... 2 ... St. John
394 ....... 72 ....... 18 ....... 2 ... Brooklyn
305 ....... 38 ....... 12 ....... 1 ... NYLS
151 ....... 13 ......... 9 ....... 1 ... Seton Hall
355 ....... 19 ......... 5 ....... 1 ... Rutgers
251 ....... 13 ......... 5 ....... 1 ... Hofstra
198 ......... 4 ......... 2 ....... 0 ... Pace
Columbia and NYU still dominate, even considering their large classes.
These figures don't take into account Associate attrition.
Splits by graduating class would show trends, i.e., if these firms stopped hiring a particular school's students. Trends might be more useful to a prospective law student than aggregate data.

Posted by: Old Ruster from JDJunkyard | Sep 29, 2016 4:18:15 PM