Ties to Region

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Gleason
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Ties to Region

Postby Gleason » Tue Jul 27, 2010 12:48 pm

So this is kind of a continuation from another thread. I'd like to hear people's impressions on having ties to your desired region.

So let's say you want to work in a particular place but you don't want to, or can't for whatever reason go to school there. Let's also say you have no real ties to the place going into law school.
I'm guessing this is most likely to happen for the NW (because there isn't a top school there and is an attractive place to live), Cali (for low GPA splitters) and maybe Florida (for the same reasons as the NW).

So you find a T-14 school with decent placement in the area, but there's still the issue of having ties (esp. in cali, it seems). What can you do?

Intern in the region after 1L?
If possible, use a friend's local address on your resume?
Contact firms and offices prior to starting law school so they know your serious?
Go to a lower ranked school in the region?

In other words, is there any way around not having ties and improve your chances?

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: Ties to Region

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Tue Jul 27, 2010 1:01 pm

Unless the law school you are looking at is a major feeder for the market you want (like 40%+ of the law school class goes to that market year over year), not having ties will hurt.

However, you can mitigate this.

1. Spend 1L summer in that market. This is a lot easier said than done because while a lot of people say they will do this, after 1L, they cannot justify working for free somewhere where they would have to pay rent (on top of their rent for law school). If this is your plan, I beg you to seriously consider this because most people don't. If you are one of those 100% loan people, you probably will not be able to afford this.

2. Think about your cover letters. How will your market yourself to the employers there? Why do you want to be there? How should they consider you? Why should they hire you over a comparable person with ties to their market?

3. Be careful about choosing schools. Attending a T14 and then targeting secondary markets that you have no connections to could end with bad results. I'm pretty sure that there are at least a few people from every state in the T14 (i.e. the markets you have no connections to and are targeting). If you decide T14, it would be best to go to the T14 closest to the market you want (except for HY[S]). If not T14, go to the highest ranked school that is in the region (generally; there are a few of exceptions to this).

4. Primary markets. Most primary markets don't need huge connections. However, someone with connections will have a leg up on you (everything else being equal). Also be aware that some employers prefer some schools over others (regardless of what US News rankings saw).

Contacting firms beforehand is a waste of time.
Don't use someone elses' address.

Gleason
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Re: Ties to Region

Postby Gleason » Tue Jul 27, 2010 1:23 pm

Aberzombie1892 wrote:Unless the law school you are looking at is a major feeder for the market you want (like 40%+ of the law school class goes to that market year over year), not having ties will hurt.

However, you can mitigate this.

1. Spend 1L summer in that market. This is a lot easier said than done because while a lot of people say they will do this, after 1L, they cannot justify working for free somewhere where they would have to pay rent (on top of their rent for law school). If this is your plan, I beg you to seriously consider this because most people don't. If you are one of those 100% loan people, you probably will not be able to afford this.

2. Think about your cover letters. How will your market yourself to the employers there? Why do you want to be there? How should they consider you? Why should they hire you over a comparable person with ties to their market?

3. Be careful about choosing schools. Attending a T14 and then targeting secondary markets that you have no connections to could end with bad results. I'm pretty sure that there are at least a few people from every state in the T14 (i.e. the markets you have no connections to and are targeting). If you decide T14, it would be best to go to the T14 closest to the market you want (except for HY[S]). If not T14, go to the highest ranked school that is in the region (generally; there are a few of exceptions to this).

4. Primary markets. Most primary markets don't need huge connections. However, someone with connections will have a leg up on you (everything else being equal). Also be aware that some employers prefer some schools over others (regardless of what US News rankings saw).

Contacting firms beforehand is a waste of time.
Don't use someone elses' address.


Yeah, (1) is a really good point. I think I should be able to manage that. My SO will be living and working where I'm at law school, so she would take over rent there in the summer while I'm gone. I'd also have friends I could stay with depending on where I'm interning. Still, not exactly as easy as going to school in the region, but doable.
Can I assume that it's not too hard to get internship positions outside of the region?

Yeah, T-14 or regional is def. the way to go. The problem is when T-14 with the desired primary market is not an option and you want to opportunities given to top law school students.


Why would contacting firms beforehand be a waste of time? Let's say you were to have a pretty clear idea of the places you wanted to work (you're really wanting to work in 1 of 5 offices). I would think, but could be very wrong, that if you went to meet with them, talked about your decision to attend a better school out of the region but plan on living in the region, you might be able to have them remember you a couple years later or note it down. Then they wouldn't think youre applying out of some fleeting desire to be in the area.
I also dont know what the deal is with ties. I'm assuming it's just a matter of flight risk.

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20160810
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Re: Ties to Region

Postby 20160810 » Tue Jul 27, 2010 4:42 pm

Since I've started looking at jobs this summer, I've come to realize that people on TLS GREATLY underestimate the importance of ties to a region. I am applying for SF-area firms, as well as firms in two other secondary markets in which I have ties. Every single one of the secondary market firms explicitly asks applicants to spell out why they want to live and work in City X in their cover letters. They don't want to spend their time and money training you to be a lawyer at their firm if you're just going to jump ship for SF/LA/NY/DC the second you get a chance.

In the biggest, high-profile cities (SF/LA/NY/DC again come to mind), ties to the region probably aren't going to be important. Firms are inundated with T14 applicants, and tons of people want to work and live there, so they won't really bother asking why. However in places like Seattle, Portland, San Diego, etc. -- nice cities with relatively substantial legal markets but which are a bit off the beaten path -- ties are crucial.

Gleason
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Re: Ties to Region

Postby Gleason » Tue Jul 27, 2010 7:09 pm

SoftBoiledLife wrote:Since I've started looking at jobs this summer, I've come to realize that people on TLS GREATLY underestimate the importance of ties to a region. I am applying for SF-area firms, as well as firms in two other secondary markets in which I have ties. Every single one of the secondary market firms explicitly asks applicants to spell out why they want to live and work in City X in their cover letters. They don't want to spend their time and money training you to be a lawyer at their firm if you're just going to jump ship for SF/LA/NY/DC the second you get a chance.

In the biggest, high-profile cities (SF/LA/NY/DC again come to mind), ties to the region probably aren't going to be important. Firms are inundated with T14 applicants, and tons of people want to work and live there, so they won't really bother asking why. However in places like Seattle, Portland, San Diego, etc. -- nice cities with relatively substantial legal markets but which are a bit off the beaten path -- ties are crucial.


Yeah, that makes sense. What would you suggest I do if I have no interest in a high-profile city and have no ties to places I really want to live? Forego T14 for a more local school or try to get 1L internship in the area from a T14?

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20160810
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Re: Ties to Region

Postby 20160810 » Tue Jul 27, 2010 7:16 pm

Gleason wrote:
SoftBoiledLife wrote:Since I've started looking at jobs this summer, I've come to realize that people on TLS GREATLY underestimate the importance of ties to a region. I am applying for SF-area firms, as well as firms in two other secondary markets in which I have ties. Every single one of the secondary market firms explicitly asks applicants to spell out why they want to live and work in City X in their cover letters. They don't want to spend their time and money training you to be a lawyer at their firm if you're just going to jump ship for SF/LA/NY/DC the second you get a chance.

In the biggest, high-profile cities (SF/LA/NY/DC again come to mind), ties to the region probably aren't going to be important. Firms are inundated with T14 applicants, and tons of people want to work and live there, so they won't really bother asking why. However in places like Seattle, Portland, San Diego, etc. -- nice cities with relatively substantial legal markets but which are a bit off the beaten path -- ties are crucial.


Yeah, that makes sense. What would you suggest I do if I have no interest in a high-profile city and have no ties to places I really want to live? Forego T14 for a more local school or try to get 1L internship in the area from a T14?

My advice is that if you have ties to a secondary market, just go to the highest-ranked school you get into (I didn't do this, but probably should have). If you don't have ties, you need to go to law school in that area unless you're picking a low-ranked school over something like a T14. In the end, it's a judgment call all the time, but the math gets easier depending on the choice. For instance, Yale is a better choice than UMN, even if you want to work in St. Paul. However, UCLA probably isn't. Similarly, Cornell is better than Gonzaga, no matter where you want to work.

If you end up going with a highly-ranked school outside of a region to which you have no ties, you'll want to work really hard to find summer work there after 1L. If you end up attending a lower-ranked school outside of the region to which you have no ties, you're probably boned.

Gleason
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Re: Ties to Region

Postby Gleason » Tue Jul 27, 2010 7:30 pm

SoftBoiledLife wrote:
Gleason wrote:
SoftBoiledLife wrote:Since I've started looking at jobs this summer, I've come to realize that people on TLS GREATLY underestimate the importance of ties to a region. I am applying for SF-area firms, as well as firms in two other secondary markets in which I have ties. Every single one of the secondary market firms explicitly asks applicants to spell out why they want to live and work in City X in their cover letters. They don't want to spend their time and money training you to be a lawyer at their firm if you're just going to jump ship for SF/LA/NY/DC the second you get a chance.

In the biggest, high-profile cities (SF/LA/NY/DC again come to mind), ties to the region probably aren't going to be important. Firms are inundated with T14 applicants, and tons of people want to work and live there, so they won't really bother asking why. However in places like Seattle, Portland, San Diego, etc. -- nice cities with relatively substantial legal markets but which are a bit off the beaten path -- ties are crucial.


Yeah, that makes sense. What would you suggest I do if I have no interest in a high-profile city and have no ties to places I really want to live? Forego T14 for a more local school or try to get 1L internship in the area from a T14?

My advice is that if you have ties to a secondary market, just go to the highest-ranked school you get into (I didn't do this, but probably should have). If you don't have ties, you need to go to law school in that area unless you're picking a low-ranked school over something like a T14. In the end, it's a judgment call all the time, but the math gets easier depending on the choice. For instance, Yale is a better choice than UMN, even if you want to work in St. Paul. However, UCLA probably isn't. Similarly, Cornell is better than Gonzaga, no matter where you want to work.

If you end up going with a highly-ranked school outside of a region to which you have no ties, you'll want to work really hard to find summer work there after 1L. If you end up attending a lower-ranked school outside of the region to which you have no ties, you're probably boned.


Yeah, thanks for the advice. Can I assume that that a school's region is not necessarily the city itself. For instance, SD would be in UCLA's "region", even UC Davis. In other words, it wouldn't be USD v. T14, right?

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20160810
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Re: Ties to Region

Postby 20160810 » Tue Jul 27, 2010 7:53 pm

If you want SD, your best bet is probably S > HY > better T14 schools > lower T14/UCLA/USC > UCD/H/maybe I > USD

However, if you had ties to the region already, then going to a highly ranked school outside of the region (let's say UT, Vandy, BU, etc.) would be a better idea than USD. Absent ties, you'd want to stay within that chain of CA schools.




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