Another Take on Flyback Week

November 9, 2007

L.A., 2L

After reading this blog, you probably know all the reasons why YLS is such a great place to be. It’s small, full of really sharp people and truly brilliant professors, not competitive, has a strong public interest focus, no grades, yada, yada. At this point in the admissions process, I think I had the brochure memorized. What I didn’t know, but did suspect, is how far the Yale name can carry you when it comes time to find a job.

Last week was the annual Flyback Week, a week of break during which 2Ls, and some 3Ls, have the chance to fly all over the country for a second round of interviews with employers, while 1Ls sit around staring at their belly buttons. (I think they’re supposed to be studying. God knows I didn’t.) Flyback Week is the final step in the job search process for those hoping to work in the private sector for the summer, and it is one of the main reasons why I think coming to YLS is a very smart investment.

During my job search this year, I initially interviewed with about 13 law firms on campus. Ten of them invited me to visit their offices for a second round of interviews. Out of those ten, I chose to go visit seven, and out of those, so far six have offered me summer positions. Trust me when I say I’m not the most brilliant legal mind you’ll ever meet. For better or worse, I’ve had a successful job search in large part thanks to the Yale name. Law firms bend over backwards to recruit students at YLS, and firms want at least a few Yale students in their summer classes. This combined with our small class size makes it incredibly easy for anyone that wants a firm job to eventually get one.

Now, I’m not saying this is fair, or even good. I know that my being here and not elsewhere is due in large part to luck, and that there were probably a hundred applicants who were just as, if not more, deserving of this spot. But the truth is that carrying this school’s name with you does make you far more desirable, and as a result, far more employable, than you might otherwise be. And that’s something to keep in mind if you, like me, are thinking about all the economic implications of giving up three years of your life and taking on six figures of debt.