Do Law Schools Attended Predict Partnership?

A recent article would have us believe that your law school alma mater highly influences, if not dictates, your chances of making partner in a large law firm today.  Although the article includes some interesting data, on the main theme it misses the boat.  The performance boat, that is.

Where is the performance element in this article?  The author, who apparently is a Harvard Law grad, perpetuates the perception that graduates of the top law schools are “entitled” because of their elite credentials. That, in itself, is regrettable.  Entitlement, as we know from our experiences as struggling women attorneys, does not get much attention today.  The emphasis today is on what is valued by employers.

In reality, it is my experience that law firms care less about credentials like law school attended than they do about performance, as in client development and books of business.  This is especially true in the current economic environment, which has moved us from concentration on the hallowed halls of academia to the competitive business environment of the real world and a changing law profession.

Let’s get real.  Articles like this are not only discouraging to readers who do not have the elite law school backgrounds but they also are irrelevant to the realities of career success.  If our respected law blogs continue with articles like this, we can expect to hear next that LSAT scores are used as an evaluating factor for partnership, which any experienced law practitioner knows is absurd.

At least the word “competence” is used in the article — at the very end when most readers have abandoned interest.  Surely, we can do better than this.


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