I have no clue where I want to work or live. Help!

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Andrew the Wolverine
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I have no clue where I want to work or live. Help!

Postby Andrew the Wolverine » Sun Jan 17, 2010 12:03 am

What is the general consensus advice about what to do if you're someone who isn't terribly picky about where they want to live or work? I honestly don't know where I want to spend the next few years and the years after law school. Should I just pick the best school I can get into and go from there?

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bumblebeetoona
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Re: I have no clue where I want to work or live. Help!

Postby bumblebeetoona » Sun Jan 17, 2010 12:05 am

I think you should figure it out before you drop 150k+ on law school tuition.

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NosferatuDracon
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Re: I have no clue where I want to work or live. Help!

Postby NosferatuDracon » Sun Jan 17, 2010 12:07 am

Look at your numbers, look at the schools you'd be competitive at, unless you're looking at a top 14 school than go to best regional school you can with the biggest scholarship you can get. Possibly check NALP to get an idea of what salaries in the market are like and compare that to your COL to be there

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englawyer
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Re: I have no clue where I want to work or live. Help!

Postby englawyer » Sun Jan 17, 2010 12:09 am

flexibility is a good advantage. go to the best school you can and then aim for the most likely market from that school

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iShotFirst
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Re: I have no clue where I want to work or live. Help!

Postby iShotFirst » Sun Jan 17, 2010 12:22 am

I'm kinda in the same situation, and I figured there are two options: first, go to a national school and you can delay your choice for 1 or 2 years. Second, and the one that I've picked, find some strong regional schools in areas you wouldnt mind living, apply, see if there are any good scholarship potentials, and go from there. If you have no opinion where to live, one place may be as good as the next, and so you shouldnt pay a crazy amount of money just to have a national reach that you wont use anyways.

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Lomax
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Re: I have no clue where I want to work or live. Help!

Postby Lomax » Sun Jan 17, 2010 1:07 pm

tjeffery wrote:If you have no opinion where to live, one place may be as good as the next, and so you shouldnt pay a crazy amount of money just to have a national reach that you wont use anyways.


I disagree entirely. I think that this is the one situation in which going for a school with national reach (top-14) should be a no-brainer. By doing that, not only do you give yourself time to possibly travel around and figure out which places you like better than others, but also you allow yourself to go for the job you want, wherever it may be available, without being hemmed in by regional boundaries.

Another thing that Andrew the Wolverine might consider, other than money, is choosing a school based on curriculum and/or clinical programs.

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Doritos
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Re: I have no clue where I want to work or live. Help!

Postby Doritos » Sun Jan 17, 2010 1:42 pm

1.) go to the best school you can get into
2.) work hard, get law review graduate top 5% (not really that difficult)
3.) clerk for SCOTUS
4.) work biglaw
5.) make partner and bring in a million per year
6.) die knowing you were important

Thats my rough plan for you. Now go out there and be somebody.

heyguys
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Re: I have no clue where I want to work or live. Help!

Postby heyguys » Sun Jan 17, 2010 1:45 pm

If you're not at HYSCCN, just go wherever is cheapest. Personally, I recommend somewhere in the South or West, as I would definitely rather live there than the northeast :D

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: I have no clue where I want to work or live. Help!

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Sun Jan 17, 2010 1:46 pm

Andrew the Wolverine wrote:What is the general consensus advice about what to do if you're someone who isn't terribly picky about where they want to live or work? I honestly don't know where I want to spend the next few years and the years after law school. Should I just pick the best school I can get into and go from there?


You really need to sit down and compare the different markets.

This can basically be done by selecting the major markets and then unwinding into secondary markets.

For example:

Primary Market:
Chicago, IL
Secondary Market states:
Wisconsin
Minnesota
Ohio
Indiana
Iowa
Missouri

If you do this for all of the major markets, eventually you will find a primary market/secondary market states that you will prefer over others.

Then you would would start looking at schools that place well in that region.

In my opinion the other primary markets are: Los Angeles, CA; Dallas/Houston, TX; Atlanta, GA; New York, NY; Washington, DC; etc.

While it may feel like you do not have a preference, once you start really looking at regions you will prefer one over the others.

Also you need to compare how the schools in each region compare with each other - and understand that the rankings are a guide but they aren't exact (i.e. Case Western, at the height of "Big Law," was probably in the top 6 for the midwest region for Big Law placement).

On a side note, there are two prevailing schools of thought on which schools to pick - both are rational - but they have different perceptions.

1. Pick the best school you can get into (T14) and pay sticker
1a. These students argue that because Big Law is down so much, they would rather pay full price for the ~35% chance of receiving Big Law (estimation across the T14 - I honestly have no clue and neither does anyone else).
1b. They would argue that they would be content if they ended up at the median (but they are all likely hedging their bets on being top 1/3)
1c. They would argue that going to a T14 provides them more opportunities even if they fall outside of the Big Law range (they would argue that people at medians at lower schools would be unemployed - this is extraordinary unlikely).

2. Pick the best school that gives you the most money
2a. These students argue that the odds of anyone receiving Big Law are so slim that it is unreasonable to go into such a large amount of debt knowing that you probably will not get a Big Law job to begin with.
2b. They would argue that after you get your first semester grades and you are at median (any given person will likely be at median), you will be unhappy but content with it (they would argue that people who hedge their bets on Big Law at a T14 would want to drop out if they ended up at the median - I have seen some posters freaking out because their grades were "average").
2c. They would argue that it does not make sense to go into a lot of debt to go to a T14 and then count on getting a good job just so they can pay back that debt (especially with the less than 50% chance of getting that job)

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Aeon
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Re: I have no clue where I want to work or live. Help!

Postby Aeon » Sun Jan 17, 2010 5:24 pm

Michigan Law doesn't have a single, large regional market where it sends most of its graduates, so it has great placement nationally, with NYC, California, Chicago, and DC being top destinations. A large alumni base doesn't hurt, either.

That's my Michigan trolling for the day. :wink:

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superflush
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Re: I have no clue where I want to work or live. Help!

Postby superflush » Tue Jan 19, 2010 5:05 am

Andrew the Wolverine wrote:What is the general consensus advice about what to do if you're someone who isn't terribly picky about where they want to live or work? I honestly don't know where I want to spend the next few years and the years after law school. Should I just pick the best school I can get into and go from there?


Possibly.

But just get in your car and drive across the country. You should be able to figure some things out.

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vanwinkle
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Re: I have no clue where I want to work or live. Help!

Postby vanwinkle » Tue Jan 19, 2010 5:06 am

bumblebeetoona wrote:I think you should figure it out before you drop 150k+ on law school tuition.

+1

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mhd08
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Re: I have no clue where I want to work or live. Help!

Postby mhd08 » Tue Jan 19, 2010 5:18 am

OP, I am in a very similar boat. I'm from NJ but I am extremely open to relocating. I took as many fee waivers as possible and applied to 30 schools. I know that sounds like a ton, but if I wanted to stay in NJ/NYC my list obviously would've been much shorter. I basically targeted regions where I could actually see myself living for 10+ years (pacific NW, CA, VA, DC, a few mid-west schools, and the rest were in the tri-state area, CT, and one in MA). I'd I'm prefer not to be in the mid-west but I have some family there and I have a small chance at getting into one or two T30s, so I figured why not? From there, I picked a safety/target and reach in each area. Once I get my decisions I'll look at the best schools I get into, see who gives me $, and who has the best programs for my interest (IP). After I finish weeding out the schools I am seriously considering I'll go visit and make a decision from there. I don't know if this is helpful at all, but that's my plan and I'm sticking to it.

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General Tso
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Re: I have no clue where I want to work or live. Help!

Postby General Tso » Tue Jan 19, 2010 5:27 am

Seattle
Portland
SF Bay Area
San Diego
NYC

everywhere else is flyover country

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mhd08
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Re: I have no clue where I want to work or live. Help!

Postby mhd08 » Tue Jan 19, 2010 5:32 am

swheat wrote:Seattle
Portland
SF Bay Area
San Diego
NYC

everywhere else is flyover country



+1 Hence my apprehension to apply to schools in the mid-west (only applied to two). I completely agree with that list, but would maybe add DC and Boston.

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superflush
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Re: I have no clue where I want to work or live. Help!

Postby superflush » Tue Jan 19, 2010 5:32 am

If we are going to rank cities.

1. New York
1. San Francisco
3. Chicago
4. San Diego
4. Seattle

6. Boston

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ec2xs
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Re: I have no clue where I want to work or live. Help!

Postby ec2xs » Tue Jan 19, 2010 5:38 am

The lack of Austin on your lists is astounding.

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superflush
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Re: I have no clue where I want to work or live. Help!

Postby superflush » Tue Jan 19, 2010 5:39 am

ec2xs wrote:The lack of Austin on your lists is astounding.


Sorry, never been there.

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General Tso
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Re: I have no clue where I want to work or live. Help!

Postby General Tso » Tue Jan 19, 2010 5:40 am

ec2xs wrote:The lack of Austin on your lists is astounding.


Bad climate. Still Texas.

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General Tso
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Re: I have no clue where I want to work or live. Help!

Postby General Tso » Tue Jan 19, 2010 5:41 am

predetermined wrote:
ec2xs wrote:The lack of Austin on your lists is astounding.

Austin has potential.

Hell, I might as well list Hawaii. They have lawyers there, right?


Not really

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mhd08
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Re: I have no clue where I want to work or live. Help!

Postby mhd08 » Tue Jan 19, 2010 6:03 am

OP, let me know how it goes. If you do what I did and go crazy with apps it gets a little pricey and you might be a little overwhelmed, but I think it'll be worth it to have options. My parents were kind enough to pick up my tab for apps. They figured it was the least they could to do since I'm footing the bill for tuition, COL, books, etc.

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Grizz
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Re: I have no clue where I want to work or live. Help!

Postby Grizz » Tue Jan 19, 2010 6:10 am

bumblebeetoona wrote:I think you should figure it out before you drop 150k+ on law school tuition.


TITCR

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General Tso
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Re: I have no clue where I want to work or live. Help!

Postby General Tso » Wed Jan 20, 2010 4:40 pm

leckj wrote:
swheat wrote:Seattle
Portland
SF Bay Area
San Diego
NYC

everywhere else is flyover country

Terrible answer. You put in PORTLAND but leave out DC, Atlanta, Chicago, Austin, Boston, etc etc etc?


DC might make my list...barely.

Chicago, Austin, Boston, Atlanta are all most decidedly off my list. I take it you've never visited Portland?

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Lomax
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Re: I have no clue where I want to work or live. Help!

Postby Lomax » Wed Jan 20, 2010 9:54 pm

My List (incomplete, roughly in order, for quality of life, for me, metro areas only)

- Miami
- Orlando
- Tampa
- San Francisco
- San Diego
- Austin
- Portland
- Seattle
- Washington D.C.
- New York
- San Antonio
- Kansas City

leckj wrote:Terrible answer. You put in PORTLAND but leave out DC, Atlanta, Chicago, Austin, Boston, etc etc etc?


Who are you to decide that Portland is inferior to other cities in terms of how others might enjoy living in it?

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superflush
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Re: I have no clue where I want to work or live. Help!

Postby superflush » Thu Jan 21, 2010 2:15 am

Lomax wrote:My List


It appears that you like Florida




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