I think everyone agrees that most law schools are strongest in placing grads in nearby regions.
But what about the handful of so-called national schools? One thing I can never figure out on TLS is how to weigh two conflicting lines of reasoning: (1) Go to a national school like UVA or NYU if you know you want to work in DC or NYC, respectively, because they will have an advantage in their home markets, vs. (2) Don't go to a school that sends a majority of its grads to one market, because you'll face greater competition and your degree will be less of a commodity.
Can anyone explain how to reconcile these ideas?
About the only explanation I can think of is that the home-field advantage only helps you to the extent that it allows you easier access to nearby internships/clinics during the school year, as well as a greater selection of firms from that region at OCI. Meanwhile, although exposure to the opportunities is easier to come upon, the competition is simply much greater. But then which factor is more important?
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Depends entirely on a) the school, b) the market, and c) your reasons for wanting to be in that market.