We want to be the best, so we don't hire Ivy League law grads, says small-firm chief
Adam Leitman Bailey wants his 15-lawyer real estate boutique to be one of the best in New York.
So he doesn’t hire—or even interview—recent graduates of Ivy League and other top-tier law schools, he tells the Wall Street Journal Law Blog: ““Even if they were top of the class, I would never hire an Ivy League grad.”
That’s because his firm is looking for lawyers with the grit to compete and win, he explains in a Huffington Post article. Those who attend big-name schools lack the inner fire to do so, he says, because they are more or less guaranteed a place at the legal profession’s table once they are admitted. Many such schools don’t even rank their students, he notes.
“We want lawyers who have competed for three years for the top grades and at the same time who have learned topics relevant to our real estate practice,” Bailey writes. Once hired for internships at his firm, they compete for partner-track jobs there.
It’s also about the money, Bailey says. “We also attract the top students from the other schools because of our individualized revenue-sharing system. All attorneys, no matter how many years out of law school, receive revenue based on a third of the hours they have billed and collected,” he told Law Blog. “This model attracts most motivated law students but especially the lower- to middle-class student who is not going to let anything stand in the way of becoming financially successful.”
Queried by a Law Blog reporter, he admitted that a few lawyers at the firm have Ivy League pedigrees (he himself is a Syracuse University law graduate).
However, these lawyers proved themselves in the courtroom before coming to the firm, Bailey said.