So, I know the TLS conventional wisdom is "T14 or top regional in the state you want to work." There's also a lot of emphasis on the importance of "ties." But I've never seen much discussion on whether ties compensate for an out-of-state, non-T14.
Here's my situation: I currently live, and want to work in, Salt Lake City; I don't want biglaw so with my grades T14 isn't really an investment I want to make. Initially my plan was to just go to the University of Utah, but I've gotten scholarships to out-of-state schools, and while the U has offered me a comparable scholarship, it's got non-negotiable 3.35 GPA (top 40%ish) stips, and they're trying to force me into making a binding decision by April 5, despite the fact that I still haven't heard back from one school, and I'm waiting on scholarship offers/negotiation results from others, and I haven't visited all of the schools I'm looking at. Talked to the dean of admissions twice and got nowhere. Their attempt to force my hand in such an incredibly important decision, particularly given that their offer is no better than others I've received that don't have stips, is pissing me off a bit, and while I realize that spite is not a good reason to make a decision on a law school I am starting to look more seriously out of state.
However, I don't want to be locked into whatever market I go to school in. I'm looking at ASU, Colorado, U of Arizona, and possibly Georgia if I can get in a visit. I'm willing to hustle, I can send resumes and letters to firms and judges and PI organizations and what have you in Salt Lake, I can fly back and forth for interviews, I can spend my summers in Utah--no issues there. But will a resume from someone going to school out of state, or out of the region, and not at a T14, just be tossed in the trash by firms in a market like SLC? I've lived in Salt Lake since I was a kid, so I clearly have ties to the state and reasons to return, not like I'm just randomly messaging my resume to every firm in the country. I know that going out of state will make getting a job in SLC more difficult, but how much more difficult?
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nickb285 wrote: I know that going out of state will make getting a job in SLC more difficult, but how much more difficult?
No idea, but it's TLS so I'll give it a whirl. You are obviously making it harder on yourself by not attending U of Utah. However, going to the U isn't some magic bean for employment in Utah, it just makes it easier because instead of spending 3 summers in Utah you can spend three full years. You have exponentially more chances to create legal connections.
That said, Arizona, ASU, and CU all have good reputations in Utah, and all three have alums who are willing to help you. Several of us here (CU) have noticed that alums in our home state always return our emails. I think it is because, for example, there are only four CU alums on Martindale from my home state, so they feel both excited to talk to someone about the ol days and a sense of obligation to help out. Not the best case scenario, but not impossible. I actually just got a post-grad employment employment/clerkship/sortof offer from another state with the assistance of a CU alum.
Anyway. I have no idea what I'm talking about. I think the problem with your question is that no one has a ton of personal experience with getting out-of-state jobs from non-T14s, and even if they did they wouldn't be able to intelligently provide pros and cons regarding what their situation would have been had they gone to the local school. I would just go to Utah. If not maybe pay your deposit at more than one school and keep waiting for a better deal, and/or decide you might like working in Arizona/Colorado as a fall back plan.
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True, it's not like there are DROVES going from ASU to SLC all the time. I just want to make sure I'm not totally locked into one place. I wouldn't mind Arizona or Colorado, but I'd like the ability to move around the West as needed without having to worry about employment being impossible outside of the one large market where I went to school. Thanks.