Paul L. Caron
Dean




Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Why Do Plaintiff's Trial Lawyers Go to Non-Elite Law Schools, While Corporate Lawyers Go to Top 25 Schools?

Bill Henderson (Indiana) compares where "high-end" plaintiff's trial lawyers (from the Inner Circle 100) and big-firm corporate lawyers (from the Am Law 200) went to law school:

  • Plaintiff's Trial Lawyers:  32% from top 25 law schools; 68% from non-elite law schools
  • Big-Firm Corporate Lawyers:  64% from top 25 law schools; 36% from non-elite law schools

Bill notes:  "[S]ome (or possibly all) of this differential can be explained by the more stable earnings trajectory of corporate lawyers. But I also wonder whether successful trial practice may entail attributes that are not strongly correlated with law school entering credentials (e.g., LSAT and UGPA). For example, effective trial lawyers may have better affect recognition, and thus have a superior ability to size up their adversaries and communicate with a jury."

Is anyone aware of similar data concerning tax lawyers?

https://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2006/12/why_do_plaintif.html

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Comments

Some guys are straight As and go on to do great things. Some are straight Cs and go on to do great things. Some are straight F's or no degrees and become great figures. Lawyers are no different from others. If you have a goal and you are willing to kill (figuratively speaking) for it, you will probably succeed and you are just as good as any other successful person.

Posted by: Dale Campbell | Jan 28, 2007 4:49:29 PM

It is not surprising, for students from elite schools after having roughed it out for 3 years at law school and one year prior to the admission, relax under the security of job and law firm protection. Plaintiff lawyers were not good students to start with at least in an undergraduate level (reason why they could not get into top schools), they do not rough it for 3 years but rough it out every day of their life after having graduted from law school. The elite jobs are not there for them. They sweat it out and thus enhance their capacities, sharpening their skills everyday, they become better thinker, better lawyers and least of all better communicator with rest of the society.

Posted by: karam | Dec 6, 2006 10:48:05 AM