10 Factors That Matter to Big Law Firms More Than Your Law School | BCGSearch.com

10 Factors That Matter to Big Law Firms More Than Your Law School

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These 10 Factors Matter More Than Where You Went to Law School

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Harrison Barnes' Legal Career Advice Podcast - Episode 23

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Listen to How Much Does the Law School You Went to Matter? Podcast

These 10 Factors Matter More Than Where You Went to Law School


  1. Your Previous (On the Job) Training
  2. How You Did in Law School
  3. Your Practice Area
  4. How Long You Stay in Your Legal Jobs and Stability
  5. The Amount of Business You Have
  6. Your Reputation
  7. Your Interest in Your Practice Area and Involvement in the Community
  8. Your Looks, Dress and Personality
  9. Your Racial and Social Background
  10. Your Commitment to Working in a Law Firm

Summary: There are far more important factors law firms look at if you want to practice law for a long period of time with a good firm than the law school you went to.

Think it matters which law school you go to? Think again

 

In this article, you will learn that although where you went to law school might open a few doors right after you graduate, far more important things will determine the course of your career. They include your work ethic, your practice area specialty, your personality, and the reputation you build for yourself.

 

 

The law school you went to matters surprisingly little the longer you are out of law school. In fact, better law schools are often a detriment to attorneys practicing law for an extended length of time. Many attorneys who went to great law schools think that they will get special treatment due to having attended one of them. They are quickly disabused of this notion after the cold, hard facts of practicing in the real world wear off. This is a competitive game and there are far more important things than top law school credentials at stake. In fact, if you think your law school matters and act like it around people higher up who went to lesser law schools, they will quickly crush you with poor reviews, no assignments, and so forth. Your law school will quickly become something that leads to your demise and not something that helps you.
 
A. Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes

Do not get me wrong, the law school you went to matters, but it does not matter forever. The law school is simply a way to distinguish you from the tens of thousands of people graduating from law school each year. After that, no one cares for the most part.

There are far more important factors law firms look at if you want to practice law for a long period of time with a good firm (actually, any firm!) than the law school you went to. I cannot tell you how little law school matters in the real world. There are numerous things that matter far more.

The point of this article is to give you some hard-hitting advice so that you can stay employed for an extended period of time in the largest and most prestigious law firm possible and get a job with the best law firms even if you did not go to a top law school.

Law schools are important when you are in law school applying for jobs because this is really the only basis the hiring law firms have for comparison. The idea they have is that someone from Harvard is better than someone from a lower-ranked school such as the University of Kentucky. There is no other basis for comparison this early on in someone's legal career. As time passes, factors other than the law school you went to become far more important.

 

 

 

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Harrison Barnes does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for attorneys and law students each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can attend anonymously and ask questions about your career, this article, or any other legal career-related topics. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom

Harrison also does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for law firms, companies, and others who hire attorneys each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom

You can browse a list of past webinars here: Webinar Replays

You can also listen to Harrison Barnes Podcasts here: Attorney Career Advice Podcasts

You can also read Harrison Barnes' articles and books here: Harrison's Perspectives


Harrison Barnes is the legal profession's mentor and may be the only person in your legal career who will tell you why you are not reaching your full potential and what you really need to do to grow as an attorney--regardless of how much it hurts. If you prefer truth to stagnation, growth to comfort, and actionable ideas instead of fluffy concepts, you and Harrison will get along just fine. If, however, you want to stay where you are, talk about your past successes, and feel comfortable, Harrison is not for you.

Truly great mentors are like parents, doctors, therapists, spiritual figures, and others because in order to help you they need to expose you to pain and expose your weaknesses. But suppose you act on the advice and pain created by a mentor. In that case, you will become better: a better attorney, better employees, a better boss, know where you are going, and appreciate where you have been--you will hopefully also become a happier and better person. As you learn from Harrison, he hopes he will become your mentor.

To read more career and life advice articles visit Harrison's personal blog.

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