Job prospects out of Tennessee?

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drylo
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Re: Job prospects out of Tennessee?

Postby drylo » Wed Jan 19, 2011 2:29 am

jms1987 wrote:What do Knoxville or Chattanooga have as far as law firm presence? I honestly would really like to end up working in Knoxville, but what I've read in here scares me a bit.


I really can't help you much with the Knoxville market (or Chattanooga, for that matter)... hopefully there is somebody from UT on here who has a better idea...

FWIW, I have heard of people at Vandy getting jobs in Knoxville and Chattanooga, although it's really only one or two people... but, to be fair, most Vandy students aren't trying to get jobs in East Tennessee. The majority (2/3) will leave Tennessee altogether, and I think that of those who stay in Tennessee, a large majority will practice in Nashville.

ATR
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Re: Job prospects out of Tennessee?

Postby ATR » Wed Jan 19, 2011 2:33 am

drylo wrote:
jms1987 wrote:What do Knoxville or Chattanooga have as far as law firm presence? I honestly would really like to end up working in Knoxville, but what I've read in here scares me a bit.


I really can't help you much with the Knoxville market (or Chattanooga, for that matter)... hopefully there is somebody from UT on here who has a better idea...

FWIW, I have heard of people at Vandy getting jobs in Knoxville and Chattanooga, although it's really only one or two people... but, to be fair, most Vandy students aren't trying to get jobs in East Tennessee. The majority (2/3) will leave Tennessee altogether, and I think that of those who stay in Tennessee, a large majority will practice in Nashville.

This seems accurate. Most Vandy students are out-of-state, plus East TN is not somewhere most sane people would choose to live long-term.

jms1987
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Re: Job prospects out of Tennessee?

Postby jms1987 » Wed Jan 19, 2011 7:55 pm

Hey now, I'm perfectly sane and love the Knoxville area! One thing I did find interesting when looking through the NALP directory was the amount of employers at Alabama vs Tennessee, with a good deal more coming 'Bama vs Tennessee.

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jenesaislaw
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Re: Job prospects out of Tennessee?

Postby jenesaislaw » Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:45 pm

jms1987 wrote:Hey now, I'm perfectly sane and love the Knoxville area! One thing I did find interesting when looking through the NALP directory was the amount of employers at Alabama vs Tennessee, with a good deal more coming 'Bama vs Tennessee.


Keep in mind that there are a ton of employers that are not in the NALP directory. Those in it tend only to be the largest firms in a city. This applies to both states, of course. If you're only interested in these firms, it is a decent way to look at things.

So when you say:

jms1987 wrote:What do Knoxville or Chattanooga have as far as law firm presence? I honestly would really like to end up working in Knoxville, but what I've read in here scares me a bit.


It's important to think carefully about what you mean by "law firm presence." A lot of what you read may scare you because people on this site tend to be biglaw or bust. If you're looking for a job in a 10 person firm in Knoxville, UT would probably be the best choice for that objective.

ATR
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Re: Job prospects out of Tennessee?

Postby ATR » Thu Jan 20, 2011 12:31 am

jms1987 wrote:Hey now, I'm perfectly sane and love the Knoxville area!

To each his own.
Last edited by ATR on Wed Jan 26, 2011 1:14 am, edited 2 times in total.

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jeeptiger09
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Re: Job prospects out of Tennessee?

Postby jeeptiger09 » Mon Jan 24, 2011 10:50 pm

I'm a current 1L at UTK, so I can probably provide a little perspective on this...

We'll start with OOS. First of all, I would not recommend coming here if you're planning on trying to go anywhere in the Northeast after graduation, with the small caveat that UT does have some decent connections to DC, but then again the DC market is ridiculously saturated in its own and getting a high-paying job there is even difficult for GW/Mason/American grads. If you're thinking of going back to NY after graduation, UT might not be the best option for you (unless of course, the debt load is reduced).

As far as other regional places in the South, from what I have come to understand, is that most places in markets hire pretty much from their own state schools. For example, most firms in Birmingham are going to be heavy with Alabama grads; Louisville is mostly UK/U of L; New Orleans is LSU/Tulane, etc. Tennessee is no exception--major law firms in Nashville are going to be mostly UT and some Vandy, Memphis firms are Memphis then UT, Knoxville firms are all UT, Chattanooga is a mix of UT/Bama/UGA/Vandy. The only exception to this is a few students that go to school out of state then return home to work (for instance someone from Mississippi that goes to Bama and returns to Jackson to work).

Nashville--the legal market is pretty saturated in Nashville right now, so much to the extent that most major Nash firms aren't hiring 1Ls. Waller is reformatting their program, Bass Berry isn't taking 1Ls, neither are Baker Donelson, and many others. What I do know about Nashville is that UT, while it doesn't dominate per se, it does very well. No disrespect to the Vandy guy on here, but from what I have heard, UT does just as well as Vandy in Nash. Here's the simple fact: a ton of kids come to UT (both law and undergrad) from the Nashville metro area and there is just a huge UT presence in the Nashville community. In respect to the legal market, many Vandy kids come from the Northeast (or other states) and come to Vandy to use that National reputation to go back home. Nashville firms prefer to hire UT grads (even though they might put higher restrictions grade-wise) because they know UT grads won't work for two to three years and lateral out (used to be a major problem for Nashville firms).

UT--dominates Knoxville (obviously). Anything in Knox, from District Attorney to clerkships with TN Supreme Court here to US Attorney for Eastern District of Tennessee to the USDOE out in Oak Ridge, it's all UT. Surprisingly, the Knoxville firms are doing a pretty good job hiring 1Ls this year (especially compared to the Nashville firms)--I have heard of probably 5-10 that are OCI this year (most screen out at top 1/3 FYI). Definitely keep in mind that "biglaw" in the northeast is completely different from "biglaw" in the south and the difference in major firms in Nash and Knox is even quite noticeable.

Chattanooga isn't as strong as a pipeline for UT, but we still do well in that market. Many of the major firms in the state (Baker Donelson, Bass Berry Sims, Lewis King, Miller Martin) have offices in Nash and either Knox, Chatt, Tri Cities or all of them, which means there is a UT presence in all of them.

Hope that helps.

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drylo
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Re: Job prospects out of Tennessee?

Postby drylo » Tue Jan 25, 2011 4:25 pm

jeeptiger09 wrote:. . . major law firms in Nashville are going to be mostly UT and some Vandy . . .

***

Nashville--the legal market is pretty saturated in Nashville right now, so much to the extent that most major Nash firms aren't hiring 1Ls. Waller is reformatting their program, Bass Berry isn't taking 1Ls, neither are Baker Donelson, and many others. What I do know about Nashville is that UT, while it doesn't dominate per se, it does very well. No disrespect to the Vandy guy on here, but from what I have heard, UT does just as well as Vandy in Nash. Here's the simple fact: a ton of kids come to UT (both law and undergrad) from the Nashville metro area and there is just a huge UT presence in the Nashville community. In respect to the legal market, many Vandy kids come from the Northeast (or other states) and come to Vandy to use that National reputation to go back home. Nashville firms prefer to hire UT grads (even though they might put higher restrictions grade-wise) because they know UT grads won't work for two to three years and lateral out (used to be a major problem for Nashville firms).


I don't really disagree with the second quoted paragraph for the most part--I think if you look back at my first two posts in this thread, you will see that I gave UT a lot of credit in the Nashville market. I said UT was easily the second-best school for placing in Tennessee (Nashville), and possibly better described as co-#1 with Vandy.

I do think that you are overstating UT's presence in Nashville to say that "major law firms in Nashville are going to be mostly UT and some Vandy" and that "Nashville firms prefer to hire UT grads," though--even with the caveat for wanting higher grades at UT than Vandy. Until you count up all the lawyers at Nashville firms that OCI at Vandy (i.e., the top-tier firms in Nashville) and prove to me that they are "mostly" UT grads, I will remain convinced that it is pretty close to evenly split. You even made a point of talking about how UT is so strong in Nashville because of all the UT students that are from Nashville. Your logical fallacy is that you jumped from that statement (which is probably true) to the conclusion that Nashville firms prefer UT students over Vandy students. A more accurate statement would be that Nashville firms prefer Nashville natives, and partly because more UT students (than Vandy students) are from Nashville, UT is able to place very competitively in Nashville. I think the primary thing is that Nashville firms prefer local natives (especially Nashville natives)... and I think that we could all agree that, all else equal (e.g., both Nashville natives with 3.7 GPAs, good personalities, similar WE, etc.), Nashville firms would not "prefer to hire" the UT grad just because he/she went to UT.

The bottom line is that UT places well in Tennessee (especially in East TN), but the Nashville market especially is pretty tough these days. So if you want to practice in Nashville, and aren't from around here, it will be very tough (although not necessarily impossible). If you want to practice in Knoxville, I am sure you have a pretty good shot at doing that. If you want to go out-of-state, you are going to be relying on your previous contacts with that market (this is true from any school really--the exception being that to the extent that some schools send large numbers to NYC/DC/etc. biglaw, it doesn't matter as much).




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