PDX with no ties

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PDX with no ties

Postby grtbooks91 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:24 am

My cycle is not over, but I have a question that I'm wondering if people can help me with.

So far (with a 3.8/167) I've been accepted to Wisconsin, UWashington, William and Mary (36k) and Lewis and Clark (90k), and been rejected at Chicago.

I'm still waiting to hear back from Berkeley, Mich, ND, WashU, Vandy, BC, UMN, Emory, and Penn.

I go to school in Chicago, grew up in Detroit, but I would like to practice in Oregon, preferably Portland. My long-term girlfriend's family is from Eugene, and she plans on moving back soon, which I think counts as a tie, but I'm not sure if that's really much.

I didn't intend on considering Lewis and Clark, but the scholarship money is a big pull (graduating with very little debt even if I couldn't score a biglaw job I want) and it would obviously provide me with opportunities to network in the Portland area that I wouldn't otherwise have. Does this idea have any merit?

I know many will say that PDX isn't possible without ties, but which of these schools/options would give me the best bet? Is it better to retake and shoot for T14/T6 and then try to do things then? I can't see how this would help with ties.

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Re: PDX with no ties

Postby patrickd139 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:31 am

I don't know much about the PNW, but I can give you stock advice that's pretty uniformly true: Unless you're planning on attending a truly national law school (i.e. top 10-15 or so school in the country), pick the region where you want to practice, and then go to the best law school in that region (where "best" is defined as the right intersection of job prospects, debt, rankings, etc).

I've also heard, anecdotally, that Portland is one of the tougher legal markets to break into in the country without ties.

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Re: PDX with no ties

Postby BeautifulSW » Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:07 am

Oregon has three law schools busily pumping out new J.D.s every year into a market that doesn't need them. Patrickd has it right but I think it's even worse than he suggests. Unless you go to a truly national school, either don't move to Portland or don't become a lawyer.

If you suffer from an incurable case of 0L blindness, do L&C.

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Re: PDX with no ties

Postby funkyturds » Mon Jan 09, 2012 12:13 pm

Because of how small the SA market is in Portland (see --LinkRemoved--), no one should put too reliance on breaking in, even with ties + coming from a top national school. I would suggest going to the school that will give you the best options overall and then doing your best to bid on the Portland firms next year. IMO, whatever advantage there might be from attending a local school like L&C with regards to getting a Portland SA position will be outweighed by some of the other opportunities and options you'll be giving up (of course the scholarship money complicates this a bit).

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Re: PDX with no ties

Postby bobbypin » Fri Jan 13, 2012 4:46 am

I am in Portland currently working on my undergrad. I have two bar admitted attorneys in my classes because tuition is less than the payment on their student loans. The job market here is brutal. They have been looking for firm work for 2 years unsuccessfully.

The scholarship money is very attractive but COL is strangely high here. Portland is a small city in the grand scheme of things thus only a small legal market.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

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