What counts as "connections?"

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )
SaintFond
Posts: 120
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2012 6:19 pm

What counts as "connections?"

Postby SaintFond » Thu May 17, 2012 3:32 pm

Not sure if this the right subforum to ask this, but this is something that's been on my mind for a while.

People talk a lot about the importance of ties or connections when trying to work in a given region, especially when you didn't attend a school in that region. However, aside from, say, alumni networks or perhaps former employers, what does this really even mean? Are recruiters really going to care that much that, say, you lived/worked/studied in state X instead of state Y?

This isn't just your run-of-the-mill irrational human preference for things and people from one's own region, is it?

Basically I ask this because I will be attending a school on the East Coast, yet I have lived/worked/studied in CA my whole life. People have told me that I might still be able to get back out to CA based upon my "ties" or "connections," yet it's hard for me to understand why recruiters would genuinely care that much either way. For the record, I will be attending a lower T14 (Cornell).

User avatar
Richie Tenenbaum
Posts: 2162
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 6:17 am

Re: What counts as "connections?"

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Thu May 17, 2012 3:48 pm

Many markets, especially secondary markets, don't want associates bailing after 2-3 years to go work in a different location (even if it's with the same firm, but different office). (For some markets, this matters less b/c either 1) they assume you want to stay there long-term and/or 2) they have a high attrition rate regardless so they don't really care. See, e.g., NYC.)

Thus, many firms want to see or hear at least a semi-compelling story for why you want to work long-term in that area. Previously living in that area for an extended period of time is usually sufficient to show this. There are many other ways to show this as well.

User avatar
IAFG
Posts: 6665
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:26 pm

Re: What counts as "connections?"

Postby IAFG » Thu May 17, 2012 3:50 pm

SaintFond wrote:Not sure if this the right subforum to ask this, but this is something that's been on my mind for a while.

People talk a lot about the importance of ties or connections when trying to work in a given region, especially when you didn't attend a school in that region. However, aside from, say, alumni networks or perhaps former employers, what does this really even mean? Are recruiters really going to care that much that, say, you lived/worked/studied in state X instead of state Y?


They're going to care a lot more about where your going than where you stopped over for 3 years for a JD. The onus to prove to them where you plan to end up is on you, and your ability to pitch yourself will matter tremendously.

This isn't just your run-of-the-mill irrational human preference for things and people from one's own region, is it?


No. It's about not making a huge investment in a person that is going to bail after their summer or after 2 years of practice.

Basically I ask this because I will be attending a school on the East Coast, yet I have lived/worked/studied in CA my whole life. People have told me that I might still be able to get back out to CA based upon my "ties" or "connections," yet it's hard for me to understand why recruiters would genuinely care that much either way. For the record, I will be attending a lower T14 (Cornell).

Your weak grasp on how recruiters think something you'll need to work on, if you can't understand why they care about ties. Aside from that, your ties to CA are fine.

User avatar
Ludo!
Posts: 4764
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 1:22 pm

Re: What counts as "connections?"

Postby Ludo! » Thu May 17, 2012 3:56 pm

Yes a lot of employers really care about what connection you have to their location because they want to make sure you are there for the long term. The importance of ties varies depending on employer, market, grades, school etc. If you are applying for jobs in NY you probably don't have to worry much because that market isn't very insular. If you want to go back to CA, some employers might wonder why you went to school in NY but the fact that you lived your whole life in CA is probably going to be enough to convince them that that's the market you want to be in.

But if you are trying to go to a different market you might have more trouble. Just as an example (not implying my anecdotal evidence is conclusive of anything) I'm also from CA but go to school in Illinois and did tons of interviews in Chicago. Every single firm I interviewed at grilled me about why I wanted to be in Chicago. My lack of ties didn't keep me out of the market but it was important that I came up with a good explanation of why I wanted to be there. If I had tried to target Indianapolis or St Louis or some other random city it's entirely possible that my lack of ties or any plausible explanation of why I would want to be there would have been a deal breaker.

rad lulz
Posts: 9844
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:53 pm

Re: What counts as "connections?"

Postby rad lulz » Thu May 17, 2012 4:02 pm

Ties are basically whatever you can use to show a commitment to a market, for the reasons mentioned above. They range from weak (I visit friends here a lot), to strong (I grew up in the area).

SaintFond
Posts: 120
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2012 6:19 pm

Re: What counts as "connections?"

Postby SaintFond » Thu May 17, 2012 4:14 pm

From what a few of you have said, it sounds like NY firms generally don't care all that much. Given that I have quite literally ZERO ties to New York, will going to Cornell (and placing decently well) be sufficient, then?

I sort of bring this up because the other school I am considering is Berkeley, but they aren't giving me any money, whereas Cornell is. I am willing to give up on returning to CA, but I don't want to screw myself over by going to Cornell if it means that neither market will think I am committed. However, it sounds like I could make a pretty convincing case for returning to CA, so maybe that will work provided I place well at Cornell.

User avatar
Richie Tenenbaum
Posts: 2162
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 6:17 am

Re: What counts as "connections?"

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Thu May 17, 2012 4:24 pm

SaintFond wrote:From what a few of you have said, it sounds like NY firms generally don't care all that much. Given that I have quite literally ZERO ties to New York, will going to Cornell (and placing decently well) be sufficient, then?

I sort of bring this up because the other school I am considering is Berkeley, but they aren't giving me any money, whereas Cornell is. I am willing to give up on returning to CA, but I don't want to screw myself over by going to Cornell if it means that neither market will think I am committed. However, it sounds like I could make a pretty convincing case for returning to CA, so maybe that will work provided I place well at Cornell.


Pretty sure the consensus has been that NYC is one of the few places where 0 ties is usually fine. Someone correct this if this is wrong though.

I think it's pretty doubtful that firms would judge you for choosing Cornell. You already have plenty of strong support for why you want to end up in California.

rad lulz
Posts: 9844
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:53 pm

Re: What counts as "connections?"

Postby rad lulz » Thu May 17, 2012 5:12 pm

Richie Tenenbaum wrote:Pretty sure the consensus has been that NYC is one of the few places where 0 ties is usually fine. Someone correct this if this is wrong though.

If you're not from NY and didn't go to a NY centric school, you may run into some problems. Not from Cornell though.

riverofbbq
Posts: 263
Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 11:55 pm

Re: What counts as "connections?"

Postby riverofbbq » Mon May 21, 2012 9:45 pm

-
Last edited by riverofbbq on Thu Dec 06, 2012 5:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bigballin
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon May 21, 2012 10:36 pm

Re: What counts as "connections?"

Postby bigballin » Mon May 21, 2012 10:55 pm

As a practicing CA attorney I have to say it is completely about knowing people out here and it is even more so city specific. I am very lucky to be <5 years out working <40 hours a week and on track to make over 500K next year, all from people I know and nothing else. The school I went to meant nothing in the end I am on track to make millions in the next few years as cases pay out. This is all from people I met in LA and the various connections and referrals I got when I lived there while going to law school. CA is a very different market where the big money is not centered around these big firms like NY or the east coast. The big financial successes are mostly independent lawyers and small partnerships focusing on traumatic injuries, elder abuse, products liability, and other plaintiff's end litigation. If you leave CA just make sure you keep friends with some people that are in law school in the city in wish you want to go practice.

One thing you must factor in your legal career is an hourly rate in the long run means shit. You can potentially one day bill $1100 an hour, but that's only 2M a year if you worked all year 40 hours a week and took two weeks off. Sounds big now but once you see the numbers in your hands in the future, you will 5 years down the line wish you didn't grind away at that big firm to maybe make 200K to build a business that's not yours and can be taken from you at any moment.

User avatar
Ruxin1
Posts: 1284
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 3:12 pm

Re: What counts as "connections?"

Postby Ruxin1 » Mon May 21, 2012 10:58 pm

bigballin wrote:As a practicing CA attorney I have to say it is completely about knowing people out here and it is even more so city specific. I am very lucky to be <5 years out working <40 hours a week and on track to make over 500K next year, all from people I know and nothing else. The school I went to meant nothing in the end I am on track to make millions in the next few years as cases pay out. This is all from people I met in LA and the various connections and referrals I got when I lived there while going to law school. CA is a very different market where the big money is not centered around these big firms like NY or the east coast. The big financial successes are mostly independent lawyers and small partnerships focusing on traumatic injuries, elder abuse, products liability, and other plaintiff's end litigation. If you leave CA just make sure you keep friends with some people that are in law school in the city in wish you want to go practice.

One thing you must factor in your legal career is an hourly rate in the long run means shit. You can potentially one day bill $1100 an hour, but that's only 2M a year if you worked all year 40 hours a week and took two weeks off. Sounds big now but once you see the numbers in your hands in the future, you will 5 years down the line wish you didn't grind away at that big firm to maybe make 200K to build a business that's not yours and can be taken from you at any moment.


^ ? Image

User avatar
blurbz
Posts: 1229
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 10:43 pm

Re: What counts as "connections?"

Postby blurbz » Mon May 21, 2012 11:34 pm

I broke into my target market because my fiancee lived/worked/grew up there. I had very, very few connections of my own, but I had to work REALLY hard to convince them I wanted to be there.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: What counts as "connections?"

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue May 22, 2012 8:42 am

OP: Have you asked Berkeley to match your Cornell scholarship ?

User avatar
togepi
Posts: 533
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 10:13 am

Re: What counts as "connections?"

Postby togepi » Tue May 22, 2012 8:48 am

How do I play the army brat thing with ties?

I've lived in Germany, Washington State, California, Texas, Missouri, and Alabama. Each of those places were for about 3-4 years excluding Alabama where I stayed for almost ten years (high school, undergrad). Alabama is where I would get in state, but could I make an alright argument for either of the other states?

I especially want to end up in Texas or California.

User avatar
flem
Posts: 12949
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:44 pm

Re: What counts as "connections?"

Postby flem » Tue May 22, 2012 8:49 am

bigballin wrote:As a practicing CA attorney I have to say it is completely about knowing people out here and it is even more so city specific. I am very lucky to be <5 years out working <40 hours a week and on track to make over 500K next year, all from people I know and nothing else. The school I went to meant nothing in the end I am on track to make millions in the next few years as cases pay out. This is all from people I met in LA and the various connections and referrals I got when I lived there while going to law school. CA is a very different market where the big money is not centered around these big firms like NY or the east coast. The big financial successes are mostly independent lawyers and small partnerships focusing on traumatic injuries, elder abuse, products liability, and other plaintiff's end litigation. If you leave CA just make sure you keep friends with some people that are in law school in the city in wish you want to go practice.

One thing you must factor in your legal career is an hourly rate in the long run means shit. You can potentially one day bill $1100 an hour, but that's only 2M a year if you worked all year 40 hours a week and took two weeks off. Sounds big now but once you see the numbers in your hands in the future, you will 5 years down the line wish you didn't grind away at that big firm to maybe make 200K to build a business that's not yours and can be taken from you at any moment.


wat

SaintFond
Posts: 120
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2012 6:19 pm

Re: What counts as "connections?"

Postby SaintFond » Tue May 22, 2012 11:23 am

CanadianWolf wrote:OP: Have you asked Berkeley to match your Cornell scholarship ?


Yeah, I got rejecttted, as did others with even better numbers than mine.

I was pretty set on Cornell, but I got a phone call from someone who recently got hired at my firm telling me I would be an idiot to go to Cornell instead of Berkeley, and suddenly I find myself reconsidering. I have until June 1 to make a decision.

de5igual
Posts: 1463
Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:52 pm

Re: What counts as "connections?"

Postby de5igual » Tue May 22, 2012 11:49 am

SaintFond wrote:
CanadianWolf wrote:OP: Have you asked Berkeley to match your Cornell scholarship ?


Yeah, I got rejecttted, as did others with even better numbers than mine.

I was pretty set on Cornell, but I got a phone call from someone who recently got hired at my firm telling me I would be an idiot to go to Cornell instead of Berkeley, and suddenly I find myself reconsidering. I have until June 1 to make a decision.


If your goal is CA or bust (or heavily leaning California/West Coast), then it might make sense to pay extra for Berkeley. Cornell's strength is in NYC, and if you're OK with being in NYC, there's no reason to pay more for Berkeley esp when Cornell will likely outplace it there.




Return to “Choosing a Law School”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 1 guest