Going out west

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ironbmike
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Going out west

Postby ironbmike » Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:11 pm

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Last edited by ironbmike on Mon Mar 25, 2013 2:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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nickb285
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Re: Going out west

Postby nickb285 » Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:23 pm

Rule of thumb is that outside of the T14, go to school in the state where you want to practice, or to a powerhouse of that region. In addition to Idaho and Wyoming, you should look into schools like Colorado, Utah, and ASU--the larger schools in the Mountain West/Southwest. You should also look into Montana, another cheap state school--Missoula is a really neat little town, and the school is the best place for practicing in Montana if you like it up there. Like Wyoming, it's a TTT, but the ranking is almost irrelevant since it's the only law school in the state.

As for job numbers, if you haven't already, check LST: http://www.lstscorereports.com/?r=schools. Some of these schools are better than others in employment terms (I'd take Montana or Wyoming over Idaho on employment, for instance). None of them will get you T14 job prospects, but the other side of the equation is that none of them will cost you anywhere near what a T14 is going to either in terms of tuition or cost of living, especially if you get a scholarship of some kind.

Finally, since location is important to you, be sure to visit each of the schools you're accepted to. Phoenix is going to have a very different feel from Missoula, which will have a very different feel from Salt Lake, which will be very different from Boulder or Laramie.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Going out west

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:26 pm

Great post nickb. Visit. Check out residency requirements as it might be worthwhile to live & work in your target state for a year before attending law school if you can get in-state rates.

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nickb285
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Re: Going out west

Postby nickb285 » Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:34 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Great post nickb. Visit. Check out residency requirements as it might be worthwhile to live & work in your target state for a year before attending law school if you can get in-state rates.


+1. In-state tuition at Wyoming is $13,428/year at sticker. Utah is $22,410. Montana is $11,103(!). Apply that discount over three years and it's more than worth a year's salary, even if you're working some crap job.

ironbmike
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Re: Going out west

Postby ironbmike » Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:34 pm

nickb285 wrote:Rule of thumb is that outside of the T14, go to school in the state where you want to practice, or to a powerhouse of that region. In addition to Idaho and Wyoming, you should look into schools like Colorado, Utah, and ASU--the larger schools in the Mountain West/Southwest. You should also look into Montana, another cheap state school--Missoula is a really neat little town, and the school is the best place for practicing in Montana if you like it up there. Like Wyoming, it's a TTT, but the ranking is almost irrelevant since it's the only law school in the state.

As for job numbers, if you haven't already, check LST: http://www.lstscorereports.com/?r=schools. Some of these schools are better than others in employment terms (I'd take Montana or Wyoming over Idaho on employment, for instance). None of them will get you T14 job prospects, but the other side of the equation is that none of them will cost you anywhere near what a T14 is going to either in terms of tuition or cost of living, especially if you get a scholarship of some kind.

Finally, since location is important to you, be sure to visit each of the schools you're accepted to. Phoenix is going to have a very different feel from Missoula, which will have a very different feel from Salt Lake, which will be very different from Boulder or Laramie.


Thanks, great post. Exactly what I was looking for. Based on employment numbers Idaho is definitely a last choice. I'll check out the bigger Colorado schools too.

rad lulz
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Re: Going out west

Postby rad lulz » Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:38 pm

I wouldn't go to school in a small, parochial state you're not from unless you spend a couple years there first.

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nickb285
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Re: Going out west

Postby nickb285 » Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:57 pm

rad lulz wrote:I wouldn't go to school in a small, parochial state you're not from unless you spend a couple years there first.


0L, so obviously I'm not familiar with respective legal markets, but I would think that would vary by size of town. If you go to the University of Utah, I would think you'd be okay for Salt Lake, but going to the University of Montana won't get you a job in Fort Benton if you're from further away than Chester.

Could be wrong, but living in SLC and seeing job markets as a whole compared between Salt Lake and, say, Price, that seems like it would be the case.

andythefir
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Re: Going out west

Postby andythefir » Thu Dec 13, 2012 1:03 pm

I haven't personally tried it, but I can almost guarantee this would not work in New Mexico (where I'm from). The smaller and more parochial a place is the more insular and nepotistic it is. Every single interview I did in New Mexico asked me where I went to high school, what my parents did for a living (a violation of the rules, I know), and lots of other not-so-subtle keep-out-outsiders questions.
Betting your career on the state will certainly be worth something, but think about it from their point of view: grades being the same would they rather have someone who came out there because they love it so much or someone from there who went to their high school/undergrad, knows the community/culture and therefore can not only bring in clients (uncles, aunts, high school friends who need legal help) but can jive with the clients the firm already has.

rad lulz
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Re: Going out west

Postby rad lulz » Thu Dec 13, 2012 1:07 pm

andythefir wrote:I haven't personally tried it, but I can almost guarantee this would not work in New Mexico (where I'm from). The smaller and more parochial a place is the more insular and nepotistic it is. Every single interview I did in New Mexico asked me where I went to high school, what my parents did for a living (a violation of the rules, I know), and lots of other not-so-subtle keep-out-outsiders questions.
Betting your career on the state will certainly be worth something, but think about it from their point of view: grades being the same would they rather have someone who came out there because they love it so much or someone from there who went to their high school/undergrad, knows the community/culture and therefore can not only bring in clients (uncles, aunts, high school friends who need legal help) but can jive with the clients the firm already has.

Credited.

I've interviewed in several secondary markets, and it's this, always this.

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nickb285
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Re: Going out west

Postby nickb285 » Thu Dec 13, 2012 1:27 pm

Fair enough, I'll defer to those with experience in the job hunt. In that case OP, you may want to live there long enough to establish residency and show a genuine fondness for the state. Plus it'll lower tuition while you're at it. Or you could marry someone from where you want to work, that might help.

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bandenjamin
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Re: Going out west

Postby bandenjamin » Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:05 pm

If you're interested in the west coast/nw area you might look in to University of Washington. It's easily the best placement and feeds in to both Portland and Seattle. University of Oregon actually has a decent reputation, despite it's pretty low ranking, and has a strong alumni base in the Oregon market. Obviously none of these are great nationally, but you probably can take a degree from UW and be competitive in Cheyene or Boise, but you're not going to take a degree from Wymoing or University of Idaho and be competitive, well anywhere. The NW (Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming) don't have a very high demand for law jobs.

I'd also second moving to the area for a year first. If you choose Oregon or Washington to live in you'll automatically gain residency for both for the purposes of State schools.

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MCFC
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Re: Going out west

Postby MCFC » Fri Dec 14, 2012 5:24 pm

The West has always seemed really attractive to me as well. I have literally no ties out there though and don't think it's a risk I'd be willing to take.

Lord Randolph McDuff
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Re: Going out west

Postby Lord Randolph McDuff » Sat Dec 15, 2012 12:26 am

bandenjamin wrote:but you probably can take a degree from UW and be competitive in Cheyene or Boise, but you're not going to take a degree from Wymoing or University of Idaho and be competitive, well anywhere. The NW (Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming) don't have a very high demand for law jobs.


Sorry, I'm not upset with you, but this stuff kills me. This idea is all based on some perceived notion that some schools have "prestige" that will be appreciated in every corner of the country. 1. UW doesn't have prestige. 2. Even a graduate from a school like Harvard, with actual prestige, would still have a very difficult time getting a job in Cheyenne. Even if said H grad could get along with all the locals and talk the talk, he/she would be overqualified and all the tiny firms would assume they were bat-shit crazy, or at the very least a flight risk.

If you want Cheyenne, go to Wyoming Law, or magically be from Wyoming and then go to an out of state school with a plausible reason why.


bandenjamin wrote:I'd also second moving to the area for a year first. If you choose Oregon or Washington to live in you'll automatically gain residency for both for the purposes of State schools.


Definitely move out there first. This will make everything a thousand times better-- your notions of "the west," your story about why "western place," and your tuition.

Also, no need to check out the Colorado schools unless you want Colorado. Way more expensive and not as good as the local schools for the surrounding states.

BearsGrl
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Re: Going out west

Postby BearsGrl » Sat Dec 15, 2012 12:53 am

Lord Randolph McDuff wrote:
bandenjamin wrote:but you probably can take a degree from UW and be competitive in Cheyene or Boise, but you're not going to take a degree from Wymoing or University of Idaho and be competitive, well anywhere. The NW (Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming) don't have a very high demand for law jobs.


Sorry, I'm not upset with you, but this stuff kills me. This idea is all based on some perceived notion that some schools have "prestige" that will be appreciated in every corner of the country. 1. UW doesn't have prestige. 2. Even a graduate from a school like Harvard, with actual prestige, would still have a very difficult time getting a job in Cheyenne. Even if said H grad could get along with all the locals and talk the talk, he/she would be overqualified and all the tiny firms would assume they were bat-shit crazy, or at the very least a flight risk.

If you want Cheyenne, go to Wyoming Law, or magically be from Wyoming and then go to an out of state school with a plausible reason why.


bandenjamin wrote:I'd also second moving to the area for a year first. If you choose Oregon or Washington to live in you'll automatically gain residency for both for the purposes of State schools.


Definitely move out there first. This will make everything a thousand times better-- your notions of "the west," your story about why "western place," and your tuition.

Also, no need to check out the Colorado schools unless you want Colorado. Way more expensive and not as good as the local schools for the surrounding states.


I'm not from the West, but I totally agree with your analysis as that's generally how it works in the Midwest too. If you go to a solid school on a coast, people go "ooooh" but if you go to a solid school in the neighboring area and have ties, there's no major difference.

I lived, studied and worked in the LA area but CA is not WY and so on. And Wyoming has solid graduates from it.

Lord Randolph McDuff
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Re: Going out west

Postby Lord Randolph McDuff » Sat Dec 15, 2012 12:35 pm

BearsGrl wrote:
Lord Randolph McDuff wrote:
bandenjamin wrote:but you probably can take a degree from UW and be competitive in Cheyene or Boise, but you're not going to take a degree from Wymoing or University of Idaho and be competitive, well anywhere. The NW (Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming) don't have a very high demand for law jobs.


Sorry, I'm not upset with you, but this stuff kills me. This idea is all based on some perceived notion that some schools have "prestige" that will be appreciated in every corner of the country. 1. UW doesn't have prestige. 2. Even a graduate from a school like Harvard, with actual prestige, would still have a very difficult time getting a job in Cheyenne. Even if said H grad could get along with all the locals and talk the talk, he/she would be overqualified and all the tiny firms would assume they were bat-shit crazy, or at the very least a flight risk.

If you want Cheyenne, go to Wyoming Law, or magically be from Wyoming and then go to an out of state school with a plausible reason why.


bandenjamin wrote:I'd also second moving to the area for a year first. If you choose Oregon or Washington to live in you'll automatically gain residency for both for the purposes of State schools.


Definitely move out there first. This will make everything a thousand times better-- your notions of "the west," your story about why "western place," and your tuition.

Also, no need to check out the Colorado schools unless you want Colorado. Way more expensive and not as good as the local schools for the surrounding states.


I'm not from the West, but I totally agree with your analysis as that's generally how it works in the Midwest too. If you go to a solid school on a coast, people go "ooooh" but if you go to a solid school in the neighboring area and have ties, there's no major difference.

I lived, studied and worked in the LA area but CA is not WY and so on. And Wyoming has solid graduates from it.


You know, I'm not entirely sure we are saying the same thing, but it's nice to hear from you.

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bdeebs
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Re: Going out west

Postby bdeebs » Sat Dec 15, 2012 12:50 pm

Lord Randolph McDuff wrote:
bandenjamin wrote:but you probably can take a degree from UW and be competitive in Cheyene or Boise, but you're not going to take a degree from Wymoing or University of Idaho and be competitive, well anywhere. The NW (Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming) don't have a very high demand for law jobs.


Sorry, I'm not upset with you, but this stuff kills me. This idea is all based on some perceived notion that some schools have "prestige" that will be appreciated in every corner of the country. 1. UW doesn't have prestige. 2. Even a graduate from a school like Harvard, with actual prestige, would still have a very difficult time getting a job in Cheyenne. Even if said H grad could get along with all the locals and talk the talk, he/she would be overqualified and all the tiny firms would assume they were bat-shit crazy, or at the very least a flight risk.

If you want Cheyenne, go to Wyoming Law, or magically be from Wyoming and then go to an out of state school with a plausible reason why.


bandenjamin wrote:I'd also second moving to the area for a year first. If you choose Oregon or Washington to live in you'll automatically gain residency for both for the purposes of State schools.


Definitely move out there first. This will make everything a thousand times better-- your notions of "the west," your story about why "western place," and your tuition.

Also, no need to check out the Colorado schools unless you want Colorado. Way more expensive and not as good as the local schools for the surrounding states.


I have talked to several lawyers in Idaho who have told me if I'm accepted to U of I and Stanford, but I want to practice in Idaho, going to Stanford would be the stupidest thing they've ever heard of. Aside from the debt, the ties to U of I in Boise are very strong, and if an applicant is capable of being accepted to Stanford, they will likely be in the top 5% (that's generous) at U of I. If you want me to talk to some current students about their job hunt, let me know.

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cinephile
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Re: Going out west

Postby cinephile » Sat Dec 15, 2012 2:16 pm

bdeebs wrote:
I have talked to several lawyers in Idaho who have told me if I'm accepted to U of I and Stanford, but I want to practice in Idaho, going to Stanford would be the stupidest thing they've ever heard of. Aside from the debt, the ties to U of I in Boise are very strong, and if an applicant is capable of being accepted to Stanford, they will likely be in the top 5% (that's generous) at U of I. If you want me to talk to some current students about their job hunt, let me know.


But if you went to U of Idaho, you'd be putting all your eggs in one basket. That doesn't sound wise at all. It'd be much better to go to Stanford and get locked out of your dream job in Boise than to go to U of I and not get a job at all.

And you absolutely cannot guarantee that you'd be in the top 5% anywhere. A couple years ago there was this thread about a young woman who aced the LSAT, but went to local T2 instead because she was anti-elitist (and she thought she'd place higher in her class). It turns out she was below median at her T2 and deeply regretted her decision. So nothing is ever guaranteed.

Lord Randolph McDuff
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Re: Going out west

Postby Lord Randolph McDuff » Sat Dec 15, 2012 2:17 pm

bdeebs wrote:
Lord Randolph McDuff wrote:
bandenjamin wrote:but you probably can take a degree from UW and be competitive in Cheyene or Boise, but you're not going to take a degree from Wymoing or University of Idaho and be competitive, well anywhere. The NW (Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming) don't have a very high demand for law jobs.


Sorry, I'm not upset with you, but this stuff kills me. This idea is all based on some perceived notion that some schools have "prestige" that will be appreciated in every corner of the country. 1. UW doesn't have prestige. 2. Even a graduate from a school like Harvard, with actual prestige, would still have a very difficult time getting a job in Cheyenne. Even if said H grad could get along with all the locals and talk the talk, he/she would be overqualified and all the tiny firms would assume they were bat-shit crazy, or at the very least a flight risk.

If you want Cheyenne, go to Wyoming Law, or magically be from Wyoming and then go to an out of state school with a plausible reason why.


bandenjamin wrote:I'd also second moving to the area for a year first. If you choose Oregon or Washington to live in you'll automatically gain residency for both for the purposes of State schools.


Definitely move out there first. This will make everything a thousand times better-- your notions of "the west," your story about why "western place," and your tuition.

Also, no need to check out the Colorado schools unless you want Colorado. Way more expensive and not as good as the local schools for the surrounding states.


I have talked to several lawyers in Idaho who have told me if I'm accepted to U of I and Stanford, but I want to practice in Idaho, going to Stanford would be the stupidest thing they've ever heard of. Aside from the debt, the ties to U of I in Boise are very strong, and if an applicant is capable of being accepted to Stanford, they will likely be in the top 5% (that's generous) at U of I. If you want me to talk to some current students about their job hunt, let me know.


The ties between the local school and the local town are always really strong. I mean, the only way I can see Stanford or Harvard working in X small town is if the student managed to swing a 1L internship, then a 2L internship there. However, how the hell would they do that without being from the area? Random ass Harvard resume comes into DA office in western Oklahoma.. I bet they would shit on it.

Lord Randolph McDuff
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Re: Going out west

Postby Lord Randolph McDuff » Sat Dec 15, 2012 2:28 pm

cinephile wrote:But if you went to U of Idaho, you'd be putting all your eggs in one basket. That doesn't sound wise at all. It'd be much better to go to Stanford and get locked out of your dream job in Boise than to go to U of I and not get a job at all.


If you could have gone to Stanford and you go to the local school, you can get a job in the area. I don't think TLS-T14ers understand the culture at the bottom half of schools like Wyoming. 1/10 at a minimum will decide law is not for them, and others won't impress. Usually not because they are dumb, but apathetic, unmotivated, only interested in "being a student" for a little longer. Also Biglaw and Fed Clerk hiring is correlative with USNEWS rankings, but most hiring is not. Hiring is local, and if there is a strong local economy (and Wyoming is doing very well right now), then there will be more jobs than you'd think.

cinephile wrote:And you absolutely cannot guarantee that you'd be in the top 5% anywhere. A couple years ago there was this thread about a young woman who aced the LSAT, but went to local T2 instead because she was anti-elitist (and she thought she'd place higher in her class). It turns out she was below median at her T2 and deeply regretted her decision. So nothing is ever guaranteed.


I agree you can't guarantee anything, but there is data on the correlation between the LSAT and 1L grades. Not surprising because they both involve time-pressured examinations.

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dingbat
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Re: Going out west

Postby dingbat » Sat Dec 15, 2012 2:31 pm

Lord Randolph McDuff wrote:
bandenjamin wrote:I'd also second moving to the area for a year first.


Definitely move out there first. This will make everything a thousand times better-- your notions of "the west," your story about why "western place," and your tuition.

Keep in mind that moving to a new part of the world where you don't know anyone (or just a handful of people) is really tough. Moving out first means you can move back if you don't like it without any real issue; once you've got loans and have (or are working toward) a degree that only really counts in that one part of the country, it's too late to change your mind

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typ3
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Re: Going out west

Postby typ3 » Sat Dec 15, 2012 6:52 pm

ironbmike wrote:I am from the Northern VA area and of course everything here revolves around Washington, DC and the government. Government contracts, etc. Very high cost of living here. Nearly my whole life has been spent here and all the law firms I've worked/interned for have been in this area. I want to move out west, preferably to Idaho or Wyoming. I like the smaller towns there, the lifestyle, the weather, etc. Everything is more appealing than the East Coast.

My question is, if I go to school at University of Idaho or University of Wyoming (with some scholarship money), will I be able to find a job out there? Obviously these schools don't have great rankings, but if I start a career locally will it really matter? Does anyone know anything about the law market in those areas? I'm not looking to get into Big Law. I prefer small firms and a more relaxed atmosphere.


IMHO the best law firm in the entire U.S. is in Wyoming. I'm a little biased since I've spent the last few weeks with them in court during the weekdays (on the weekends they fly back to Jackson in their jet). It is possible to get a job in Wyoming from the local school, but the market is rough right now at all law schools. If you don't mind hopping the border the other direction, there are a few firms in Rapid City that hire. The same can be said for ND.

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iMisto
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Re: Going out west

Postby iMisto » Sat Dec 15, 2012 7:59 pm

I'm from Phoenix (now on the E.Coast), and unlike most of the places listed above, it's a large city. Most people who live there were not from AZ originally. So, you wouldn't have to worry about ties nearly as much. ASU is fairly inexpensive, given your score, and has a great reputation throughout AZ.

Just to throw that out there.

Lord Randolph McDuff
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Re: Going out west

Postby Lord Randolph McDuff » Sat Dec 15, 2012 8:16 pm

Arizona is the SW, not the west. Maybe he/she meant to include SW. I thought he/she said Idaho and Wyoming though. That's the west. Mts. No people. Fucking bears.

Some townies goat got eaten by a bear two weeks ago in Boulder. Front page. Townies were all like " we were watching in horror from our bathroom window as the bear climbed our back fence, chased down our beloved Charlie, and ate him."

The best.

izha
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Re: Going out west

Postby izha » Sun Dec 16, 2012 2:58 am

Lord Randolph McDuff wrote:Arizona is the SW, not the west. Maybe he/she meant to include SW. I thought he/she said Idaho and Wyoming though. That's the west. Mts. No people. Fucking bears.

Some townies goat got eaten by a bear two weeks ago in Boulder. Front page. Townies were all like " we were watching in horror from our bathroom window as the bear climbed our back fence, chased down our beloved Charlie, and ate him."

The best.

Fucking bears is a thrilling experience.

Lord Randolph McDuff
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Re: Going out west

Postby Lord Randolph McDuff » Sun Dec 16, 2012 3:25 pm

izha wrote:
Lord Randolph McDuff wrote:Arizona is the SW, not the west. Maybe he/she meant to include SW. I thought he/she said Idaho and Wyoming though. That's the west. Mts. No people. Fucking bears.

Some townies goat got eaten by a bear two weeks ago in Boulder. Front page. Townies were all like " we were watching in horror from our bathroom window as the bear climbed our back fence, chased down our beloved Charlie, and ate him."

The best.

Fucking bears is a thrilling experience.


If you know what they like, it's not even dangerous.




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