Jeremy's Weblog

I recently graduated from Harvard Law School. This is my weblog. It tries to be funny. E-mail me if you like it. For an index of what's lurking in the archives, sorted by category, click here.

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

A post on Waddling Thunder about law firm prestige inspires me to add my thoughts.

[big blank space]

Those are my thoughts. Seriously, I have nothing of any value to say about law firm prestige. A spam e-mail from Vault told me they'd released new law firm rankings, and some time spent with the free Vault access that Harvard's career services office has* didn't really help much. I have no doubt that Vault is ranking >something< and that it probably works like the college rankings -- it's not really clear >why< some places are ranked higher than others, but it all feeds into selectivity, and to some degree I suppose it feeds into what kinds of jobs people get after they leave their first firm, if they leave their first firm.

But unlike college (or law school), not everyone leaves their first firm to get another job, especially not one in another law firm or legal-related endeavor, so I think the rankings probably must have less of an impact on what people should do when choosing, just because it really may not matter, and lifestyle/location/area of practice/all sorts of other factors are important, and can surely matter more than a firm's rank. Like I promised, I've just said nothing of any real value.

From reading the Vault stuff, I've figured out that there a number of dimensions on which law firms seem to differ, and a number of dimensions on which they seem not to.

Dimensions on which they seem not to differ much:
>Dress code Monday through Thursday
>Lavish summer programs
>Health insurance

Dimensions on which they seem to differ a bit:
>Dress code on Friday
>Dental and vision insurance
>The existence of a subsidized cafeteria
>Practice groups
>"Face time" -- the mysterious concept that keeps you from leaving the office early if you have nothing to do; but I wonder if the existence of "face time" at some firms is exaggerated, and the lack of it at other firms is exaggerated as well. I just don't know.
>Internal staircase :)

This is not that helpful for making any sort of decisions. Clearly. And so the investigation continues.

* = I didn't realize I got free Vault access until three hours after I ordered the book online. They wouldn't let me cancel my order. I paid $35 plus $6 tax, shipping, and handing. So if anyone wants the brand new, 744-page Vault top 100 law firm rankings book, in untouched condition, I'll sell it to you for $30 and save you a few bucks, and I won't charge you any shipping (or handling!), because I'm more comfortable eating $11 than eating $41, and figure someone out there *must* want the book. So e-mail me if you want the book. First one who e-mails me gets it, and I'll delete this little paragraph after I have a taker.