AT9 wrote:badaboom61 wrote:Unfortunately, this basically means that you have "ties" to nowhere. Places are absurdly and unnecessarily parochial about hiring, especially summer associate hiring. You could still work your way into a few markets by going to law school near there. Your best bets are Bama --> Birmingham, FL/FSU --> Jax/Orlando/Tampa, Vandy --> Atlanta, maybe Birmingham, or T14 --> NYC/DC. I would avoid even UGA/Emory, and don't even bother thinking about SMU or W&M.
Southern markets are in the gutter in terms of hiring right now, possibly with the exception of Birmingham. Your best bet, if you can swing it, would be to (possibly retake and) get into a T14 school, go to a major market for a bit, then lateral back south if you don't like it. Hiring is just so low, and without any real ties to anywhere your best shot at gainful employment is a big firm in a big market, and the best way to get there is a top school.
Tell me about it. But why avoid UGA/Emory? I don't see why Bama-->Birmingham is a better bet than Emory/UGA-->Atlanta if price is similar. Seems like Alabama would be more insular than metro ATL. Also, why not SMU or W&M if I'm ok working in those markets? From what I hear from SMU people, ties are helpful but not critical in the major TX markets (where I have loose ties). Remember I do have a fall-back plan here, and I work closely with several firms in various parts throughout the country that could also be helpful with networking, so it's not the end of the world if I can't find a land something in the immediate region of the school. The only reason I'm not aiming to work with my current firm is that I don't think I want to do their type of work: product liability.
Pensacola, being "lower Alabama" and whatnot, will carry better to Birmingham than Atlanta, and Birmingham is a healthier market relative to its size. Not that Atlanta couldn't work, Birmingham is probably a safer bet, though.
Also, I would be very hesitant to try to break into Texas by going to SMU. Texas is probably more open than some places, but that's not necessarily saying much. Consider UT if you get in, but I wouldn't wager on a lesser school.