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Why Big Law Firms Consider Your Alma Mater

In a recent interview with Ilana Kowarski of U.S. News & World Report, Attorney Thomas Simeone weighed in on the big question so many law school grads are asking: “Why do big law firms care so much about my academic pedigree?”

Attorney Simeone has spent much of his legal career working with big law firms and has the inside scoop. He says that larger firms prefer to bring in graduates of elite, top-15 law schools, such as Stanford, Harvard, and Yale and that graduates from highly ranked J.D. programs have a better shot of securing the coveted six-figure salaries such firms offer to new associates. Simeone explained the rationale behind this pervasive trend, saying, “While top students may go to other schools – and therefore be missed by large firms who focus primarily on graduates from top-tier schools – generally speaking, graduates from top-tier schools have a lot of indicators of success at a large firm.”

Attorney Simeone Speaks to Whether Graduates of Lower-Ranked Law Schools Have a Chance at Landing Jobs at Bigger Firms

Simeone, who himself graduated from Columbia Law School, which is currently ranked 5th in the nation and annually ranks among the top 10 law schools in the country, said that students who go to other law schools may still have a shot at working for big firms if they play their cards well.

However, he explains big firms’ bias toward graduates of exceptionally high-ranking law schools, stating, “They obviously did well enough as an undergrad to be accepted into a highly competitive school. They also must have done well on the LSAT, which indicates not just intelligence, but a willingness to prepare and to perform under pressure. Finally, the experience of going to a top law school shows that they were exposed to highly rated professors and competed and associated with other highly accomplished students.”

Despite this bias toward applicants with top-15 law schools on their resumes, law school graduates may still be able to catch the eye of bigger firms by honing their trial skills, earning the highest marks possible during law school, and participating in distinguishing extra-curricular activities, such the school’s law journal.

Thomas Simeone Is a Columbia-Educated Lawyer and a Strong Advocate for the Injured in Washington, D.C.

At Simeone & Miller, LLP, we take great pride in using our education, experience, and talent on behalf of those who have been hurt through no fault of their own. We have successfully secured a number of multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients, which is a testament to our tenacity and skill in the court room. No matter what sort of injury or illness you have experienced, our team is prepared to serve you and help you gain access to the compensation you deserve.

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