Aqualibrium wrote:IMO ties are what you make of them. People on TLS try to make some hard and fast list of "what counts" as ties. I don't think there is such a thing. It's certainly true that certain factors may weigh more heavily than others, but the fact of the matter is, once you get into the room, you control employers perception of you.
This is true, but there are some per se rules. If you were born and raised somewhere, it's unlikely anyone will question your commitment. If you've never been somewhere or only visited for vacation, it's unlikely anyone will take your desire to be in that city seriously.
I would generally have agreed pre-interview/oci season, but my experience really changed my thoughts on this. I had interviews with a couple of the best firms in my home state. Every single one came out and asked why they should believe I wanted to come back home. One outright told me that they liked me a lot, but that I would have many more opportunities elsewhere, and they just didn't think I would choose home over those options.
I also got callbacks/offers in places I had never been before in my life, or had only been to a couple of times (at one firm that I got an offer at, the only time I ever set foot in the city was for my callback).
I really believe that with good research, solid communication skills, and a little "creativity," you can easily
sidestep any concerns about your willingness to settle in an area. I think the biggest thing is to not just research the city, but to research the firm. For most law students, it's really difficult to tell firms apart from one another. What I did was try to find the things each firm felt differentiated them from their competitors, and used them "against" the firm. Just like girls, firms like to hear you tell them about the things that make them more special than any other firm/girl. That+some well placed mentions of things to do in a city = win in almost any market imo.