Best Schools for Jobs in the Northwest

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ugbadger
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Best Schools for Jobs in the Northwest

Postby ugbadger » Tue Oct 05, 2010 3:03 pm

I would really like to end up working in the Northwest (Northern Cal, Portland, Seattle), and I am trying to decide at which law schools to apply. The biggest concern for me is that I'm from the Midwest and have no real ties to that region.

I have a 3.8 GPA and 171 LSAT. I am definitely going to apply to Berkley, but I would really like some other options in that region especially for financial reasons. I hear that UW really doesn't give out merit based scholarships, otherwise that would be high on my list. I also am worried that going to top 14 schools outside of the Northwest, especially Michigan and UChicago, would make it extremely difficult for me to end up there without connections.

I would really appreciate any advice from people with more knowledge of the schools/job markets in those areas.

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bk1
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Re: Best Schools for Jobs in the Northwest

Postby bk1 » Tue Oct 05, 2010 3:07 pm

Are you from any of those places? Also, while similar those places are distinctly different, do you really not prefer one of them?

ugbadger
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Re: Best Schools for Jobs in the Northwest

Postby ugbadger » Tue Oct 05, 2010 3:14 pm

bk1 wrote:Are you from any of those places? Also, while similar those places are distinctly different, do you really not prefer one of them?


I am not from any of those places, but have been to them all multiple times. Seattle is my top choice to work, but I also am also really fond of Portland and Northern California is appealing because I have an interest in intellectual property law.

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bk1
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Re: Best Schools for Jobs in the Northwest

Postby bk1 » Tue Oct 05, 2010 4:05 pm

I'm going to speculate based on what I've read on these boards:

All of these markets are going to be tough to break into without any ties, SF/SV maybe less so than Seattle/Portland but still significantly so. Boalt is your best shot CA and I would suspect UDub to be strongest for Seattle and Portland. Going to Boalt I think would make it hard to find a job in Seattle/Portland without ties but going to UDub would probably eliminate CA. If I were you I would take Boalt based on job prospects even though it cuts your chances of going to the PNW. If you don't get Boalt you could be faced with a decision like UMich vs UCLA vs UDub and that is a tough call. I don't think that UMich is going to be that great a choice of WA/OR/CA without ties at all. The kicker could be that IP may change this.

Hopefully someone with more knowledge than I can shed light on the situation, whether it be correcting me or adding more info.

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patrickd139
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Re: Best Schools for Jobs in the Northwest

Postby patrickd139 » Tue Oct 05, 2010 4:10 pm

bk1 wrote:I'm going to speculate based on what I've read on these boards:

All of these markets are going to be tough to break into without any ties, SF/SV maybe less so than Seattle/Portland but still significantly so. Boalt is your best shot CA and I would suspect UDub to be strongest for Seattle and Portland. Going to Boalt I think would make it hard to find a job in Seattle/Portland without ties but going to UDub would probably eliminate CA. If I were you I would take Boalt based on job prospects even though it cuts your chances of going to the PNW. If you don't get Boalt you could be faced with a decision like UMich vs UCLA vs UDub and that is a tough call. I don't think that UMich is going to be that great a choice of WA/OR/CA without ties at all. The kicker could be that IP may change this.

Hopefully someone with more knowledge than I can shed light on the situation, whether it be correcting me or adding more info.

This is absolutely credited; especially the underlying premise that personal ties to the area are paramount.

Bumi
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Re: Best Schools for Jobs in the Northwest

Postby Bumi » Tue Oct 05, 2010 4:56 pm

Can someone explain what ties means? And why does this matter to employers? I haven't seen "ties" to matter much in my years in the workforce, but then again, I work in business where things make sense.

Which of the following count as ties, and which are stronger than others?

- Grew up in the northwest.
- Went to undergrad in the northwest.
- Have close friends in the northwest.
- Worked in the northwest prior to law school.
- Networked like a mofo during law school in the northwest.

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im_blue
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Re: Best Schools for Jobs in the Northwest

Postby im_blue » Tue Oct 05, 2010 5:00 pm

Bumi wrote:Can someone explain what ties means? And why does this matter to employers? I haven't seen "ties" to matter much in my years in the workforce, but then again, I work in business where things make sense.

Which of the following count as ties, and which are stronger than others?


Counts:
1) Grew up in the northwest.
2) Went to undergrad in the northwest.
3) Worked in the northwest prior to law school.

Doesn't count:
- Have close friends in the northwest.
- Networked like a mofo during law school in the northwest.

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Lawl Shcool
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Re: Best Schools for Jobs in the Northwest

Postby Lawl Shcool » Tue Oct 05, 2010 5:03 pm

One thing about ties that OCI taught me is that if you REALLY want to live in an area not the same as the law school you are attending you NEED something like the 3 things listed above. OP it would be worth it to take 1 year to work even a menial job in the PNW so you could talk about it in interviews more than just "its really cool"

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bk1
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Re: Best Schools for Jobs in the Northwest

Postby bk1 » Tue Oct 05, 2010 5:31 pm

I would think ties also include "significant other has a job in the northwest."

dihydrogenmonoxide
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Re: Best Schools for Jobs in the Northwest

Postby dihydrogenmonoxide » Tue Oct 05, 2010 10:52 pm

I'm similar to the OP except I *do* have ties to the NW (grew up + went to undergrad there).

For someone in my position, how would you guys compare UW versus T14 (not incl. HYS or Berkeley)? I'm thinking choices like UW versus Michigan, UW versus UVA, UW versus Cornell, etc.. What about UW versus strong schools outside T14 (Texas, Emory, WUSTL, etc.)?

eml256
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Re: Best Schools for Jobs in the Northwest

Postby eml256 » Tue Oct 05, 2010 11:13 pm

bk1 wrote:I would think ties also include "significant other has a job in the northwest."


I've wondered about this. I'm considering a secondary market that I don't have ties to, but my significant other and his family are from there. Is "my fiance is from here" a strong enough tie?

Aqualibrium
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Re: Best Schools for Jobs in the Northwest

Postby Aqualibrium » Tue Oct 05, 2010 11:27 pm

im_blue wrote:Doesn't count:
- Have close friends in the northwest.
- Networked like a mofo during law school in the northwest.




I've actually been able to get offers at firms in other markets with nothing more than those two. It's generally difficult without the three things you listed under the "counts" heading, but it can be done.

It's really not about having the ties, so much as actually being able to convince someone that you'd be willing to settle in the area.

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tea_drinker
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Re: Best Schools for Jobs in the Northwest

Postby tea_drinker » Wed Oct 06, 2010 12:59 am

dihydrogenmonoxide wrote:I'm similar to the OP except I *do* have ties to the NW (grew up + went to undergrad there).

For someone in my position, how would you guys compare UW versus T14 (not incl. HYS or Berkeley)? I'm thinking choices like UW versus Michigan, UW versus UVA, UW versus Cornell, etc.. What about UW versus strong schools outside T14 (Texas, Emory, WUSTL, etc.)?


I think UMich, Northwestern, WUSTL are good options outside of HYS and Berkeley. Although, somehow I believe that other PAC-10 schools may do the trick.

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IAFG
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Re: Best Schools for Jobs in the Northwest

Postby IAFG » Wed Oct 06, 2010 1:01 am

I am from the PNW but the primary problem is, there are so few jobs it's just not something to bet on if you can help it.

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2014
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Re: Best Schools for Jobs in the Northwest

Postby 2014 » Wed Oct 06, 2010 10:34 am

I think Boalt is your best option and I think you will get in. Your LSAT is well over median, and while I can't be bothered to look it up right now, I'm assuming a 3.8 is at or just above GPA median.

Wherever you end up, I would definitely network hard and try and get 1L summer employment in the PNW, even if it means working for free (Which it probably will). I'm sure there are firms, judges, boutiques or w/e that would happily take a Boalt student working for free, and at the very least that would give you one tie to talk about at OCI.

BeautifulSW
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Re: Best Schools for Jobs in the Northwest

Postby BeautifulSW » Wed Oct 06, 2010 12:03 pm

Go Huskies, I'm afraid. UDub is the only T1 school in the PNW. My personal second choice would be Stanford. Yeah, I know, but Stanford is soooooo expensive.

I admit that I've never considered NoCal to be part of the Pacific Northwest. There isn't much between the Bay Area/Sacramento line and Portland and that's a long, long ways.

Informative
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Re: Best Schools for Jobs in the Northwest

Postby Informative » Wed Oct 06, 2010 4:09 pm

You should be fine for Berkeley. Apply to the 5-14 ranged schools. Any will have decent placement in the northwest if you have connections.

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bk1
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Re: Best Schools for Jobs in the Northwest

Postby bk1 » Wed Oct 06, 2010 4:12 pm

Informative wrote:You should be fine for Berkeley. Apply to the 5-14 ranged schools. Any will have decent placement in the northwest if you have connections.


But OP doesn't have connections.

BeautifulSW wrote:Go Huskies, I'm afraid. UDub is the only T1 school in the PNW. My personal second choice would be Stanford. Yeah, I know, but Stanford is soooooo expensive.

I admit that I've never considered NoCal to be part of the Pacific Northwest. There isn't much between the Bay Area/Sacramento line and Portland and that's a long, long ways.


More like Stanford is sooooo hard to get into. And yes, Norcal really isn't part of the PNW.

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Adjudicator
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Re: Best Schools for Jobs in the Northwest

Postby Adjudicator » Wed Oct 06, 2010 4:17 pm

I want to work in Seattle too; regarding ties, I did not grow up in Washington, but I do have tons of family there, including an uncle who is an attorney with over 30 years experience, and a cousin who graduated from UW Law and works in a firm in Seattle. Am I okay on "ties to the area?"

aheisman
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Re: Best Schools for Jobs in the Northwest

Postby aheisman » Sun Oct 10, 2010 10:07 pm

I go to a t-14 and just went through OCI. I interviewed in NYC and a large secondary market (much bigger than Seattle/Portland/SF). The secondary market GRILLED me on having connections. I think half of the callback pertained to interviewers asking me questions on why I want to be in the city. If you want to work in Seattle/Portland going to Boalt won't help you make connections to the area, although for SF it's probably okay, and I think your connections need to be stronger than "my extended family lives here." However, I don't know if I would go to a non-t-14 just to have "connections" to Seattle/Portland.

Also, the Seattle market and SF market are extremely competitive because there are so few positions available. I wouldn't choose a school based on the opportunities in a market you probably won't even be able to land a job in without top 20% grades from a t-14 and connections. (I mean this for SF as well. Offices in SF have very few summers, and most of the work in SF pertains solely to litigation. I don't know if you are interested in transactional work, but if you are undecided in what kind of practice area you are interested in, you may want to look in another market.) Basically, I think you should keep an open mind about where you want to work. I would not restrict myself to the NW when there are so few jobs available. When you are a 2L going through OCI, I think you'll understand what I mean more, but a job in your second/x- choice market >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> no job at all.

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20160810
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Re: Best Schools for Jobs in the Northwest

Postby 20160810 » Sun Oct 10, 2010 10:53 pm

I go to law school in, grew up in, and will be working in a firm in NorCal, and I can tell you that NorCal and the PNW are two VERY different markets. Both are hard to break into, but the PNW (Portland/Seattle) is virtually impossible to break into without real ties (think "I grew up in Seattle and went to UW," not "This girl I met on eHarmony lives in Spokane.")

If you want to work in NorCal, and you get into Berkeley, then you're pretty much all set. Failing that, another T14 would still probably be your best bet, followed by Davis or Hastings. For the PNW, I'd say that unless you have REAL pre-existing ties to the area, if you're 100% sure you want to work there, your best bet is to go to Berkeley or UW. This is pretty anecdotal, so do your research before detrimentally relying on my advice to take UW over another lower T14 since you foreclose a LOT of options by doing so, but the Seattle market has been brutal for even T14 people I know to try and break into.

Also, UW does give a few awesome merit scholarships, but you need outrageous numbers to get them (I know someone who won a full ride to UW, but he was also admitted to HYS, if this puts it in perspective).

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20160810
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Re: Best Schools for Jobs in the Northwest

Postby 20160810 » Sun Oct 10, 2010 10:54 pm

Adjudicator wrote:I want to work in Seattle too; regarding ties, I did not grow up in Washington, but I do have tons of family there, including an uncle who is an attorney with over 30 years experience, and a cousin who graduated from UW Law and works in a firm in Seattle. Am I okay on "ties to the area?"

Not unless you go to UW, you aren't. Apply anyway, but this is the classic definition of "weak ties." Might fly in a bigger market like Chicago, LA or SF, but not the PNW.

shadeswrinkle
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Re: Best Schools for Jobs in the Northwest

Postby shadeswrinkle » Mon Oct 11, 2010 12:44 am

Check out the website for a few of the bigger firms in the regions you are considering. I work in insurance in Portland, and I have looked into the breakdown of schools for Smith, Freed (100+ firm with offices in Portland and Seattle), and while the majority have gone to L & C or U. of Oregon, I have seen people from as obscure a school as John Marshall in Chicago (and I know this attorney personally, and he is from Iowa, so no family or friends connecting him to the region). Therefore, to answer your question, it is possible to get in at larger firms in this region at least with degrees from just about anywhere.

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Adjudicator
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Re: Best Schools for Jobs in the Northwest

Postby Adjudicator » Mon Oct 11, 2010 12:48 am

SBL wrote:
Adjudicator wrote:I want to work in Seattle too; regarding ties, I did not grow up in Washington, but I do have tons of family there, including an uncle who is an attorney with over 30 years experience, and a cousin who graduated from UW Law and works in a firm in Seattle. Am I okay on "ties to the area?"

Not unless you go to UW, you aren't. Apply anyway, but this is the classic definition of "weak ties." Might fly in a bigger market like Chicago, LA or SF, but not the PNW.


Well, I should have mentioned, I'm hoping to go to UW.

If I do, then will I be all right, you think?

Bumi
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Re: Best Schools for Jobs in the Northwest

Postby Bumi » Mon Oct 11, 2010 8:03 am

If I get a tattoo of washington state on my face, does that count as ties?




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