youngbuck wrote:Here's what I would like to know. Let's say that I get a biglaw job in MN. Then after 2, 3, or 4 years I want to move (to the west coast, east coast, DC, whatever). Does it matter what school I went to, or only how I did as an associate at the law firm. If the law school I went to matters, then it seems to me that there is a tremendous difference between a school like UMN and St Thomas when leaving the midwest.
My limited experience suggests that experience trumps law school (although firms will likely pay attention to both). Lateral hiring is COMPLETELY different than entry level hiring in so far as their is a much greater emphasis on your skills/abilities than on your pedigree. You're pedigree will only get you a foot in the door (and likely, if you're coming from a biglaw shop that will also be sufficient to get you in the door - although moving up the prestige food chain would likely be much more difficult unless you have great pedigree and/or stellar grades). Landing a lateral job will require that you have the right skill set for the firm and you actually know what you are doing. Although, having MN vs. St. Thomas on your resume would be a big benefit as well. But, after 2, 3, or 4 years out, if you aren't in biglaw in MN, then it will be extremely difficult to land biglaw in another market (or ever for that matter).
I would imagine that moving from a secondary market (i.e., the Minneapolis market) to a major east/west coast market is going to be very difficult. You're going to have to convince them why you decided you want to move there. It is much easier moving to a smaller market because typically you get great experience working biglaw in major markets. That and you can sell it as you want to move back home or settle down for good, want a better work/life balance, etc.
You're right that if you WANT to move away from the midwest, then MN is a much better choice. It is far more national than St. Thomas (a local school producing graduates for the local market). I would still argue that MN is regional, but you're going to have a MUCH easier time moving to the coasts with a MN degree vs. a St. Thomas degree.