Going to law school in the Midwest with no ties

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Moneytrees
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Going to law school in the Midwest with no ties

Postby Moneytrees » Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:30 pm

Hello all,

Essentially, I have two questions:

1) If I do well at a T1 school in the Midwest (say, top 1/3), would Biglaw firms in the Midwest shy away from making an offer to somebody with no ties?
2) Since I've been living in NYC, would it be better to go to a school such as BU/BC (at a higher cost) just to be able to claim that I have ties to the Northeast during OCI? I didn't even apply to Fordham given the insane cost of attending.

Thanks in advance for the replies.
Last edited by Moneytrees on Wed Feb 04, 2015 11:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

BigZuck
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Re: Going to law school in the Midwest with no ties

Postby BigZuck » Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:34 pm

None of the schools you mentioned make sense with a goal of big law. Top 1/3 would probably be on the outside looking in at a school like Fordham and dead in the water at a Midwestern T1.

If you want big law, go to a T14

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hoos89
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Re: Going to law school in the Midwest with no ties

Postby hoos89 » Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:38 pm

Top 1/3 might be okay for local big/mid law at a Midwestern T1 for a native. You would probably be dead in the water without ties, though. Unless you're IP or something. Also, if you're just here on a student visa or something, getting a job will be even more difficult for you.

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Ron Don Volante
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Re: Going to law school in the Midwest with no ties

Postby Ron Don Volante » Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:44 pm

What Midwestern schools? If we're not talking about UC/NU/Mich, which I assume is the case, then this is probably not a good idea. The places that are really desirable to live in have very saturated legal markets and are generally insular. Not horribly insular insofar as they care about where a person grew up, but definitely about where the person went to law school. You better want to work, for an extended period of time, in the immediate area of the school you go to.

Big firm work is not going to be realistic if you're not top 10% at the schools not mentioned above, and your degree is going to essentially be valueless if you ever want to go back to the coasts. This route will not provide you the flexibility or the work you seem to want; probably going to have to retake, change your goals, or find another profession.

Nomo
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Re: Going to law school in the Midwest with no ties

Postby Nomo » Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:49 pm

There aren't anywhere close to enough spots in local biglaw/midlaw for all the top 1/3 students at the types of schools you're talking about (Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, etc.) Without ties I don't think you'd have a chance. But BU/BC aren't good for your goals either. If you wouldn't be happy going solo after law school, or making 40-60k in a very small law firm, then your only choice is to go to a top school (and frankly that's a very possible outcome at some of the T-14's)

Moneytrees
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Re: Going to law school in the Midwest with no ties

Postby Moneytrees » Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:50 pm

.
Last edited by Moneytrees on Wed Feb 04, 2015 11:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Ron Don Volante
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Re: Going to law school in the Midwest with no ties

Postby Ron Don Volante » Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:53 pm

Moneytrees wrote:Just to provide more information, I'm a U.S. citizen. Also, I've retaken already.

The schools I'm considering in the Midwest are not T14 schools, but have a Biglaw+Clerk rate in the 35% range. I know that's not great, but I thought I would have a solid shot, even without ties, if I finished in the top third.

Is that naive? Do you basically have to be in the top 5% to land one of those jobs if you have no ties to the Midwest?

So you mean the one school you're considering is UIUC?

Moneytrees
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Re: Going to law school in the Midwest with no ties

Postby Moneytrees » Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:56 pm

No, actually. WashU is one of them.

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JohannDeMann
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Re: Going to law school in the Midwest with no ties

Postby JohannDeMann » Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:01 pm

It's tough to say on how someone without ties will do because it really comes down to how good the individual can sell their desire to stay in the area, at least in the midwest. People in Chicago really don't care where you grew up or went to high school/college/law school. It's a simple test - do I think this person will stay here for the next 5-10 years? I had 0 midwest ties, but I let everyone know that there was no other option, and they bought it.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Going to law school in the Midwest with no ties

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:02 pm

I think ties depend a little on the person. First, yes, the markets in question are insular and prefer people who have ties from before LS. However, I think it's possible to create ties over the course of LS, if you can network aggressively and create some kind of narrative about why you want to be there. If you're a K-JD who's lived all their life in one region and then goes somewhere else entirely for law school, you're going to look like a flight risk/like you don't know what you want to do. I think, though, that if you're older and have moved around a bit, and can make a compelling case that you really know you want to be in that region, you can mitigate the "no ties" thing.

Caveat: it will still be harder than going somewhere where you have ties and you may lose out to people who've been there for generations. And some markets will be harder than others.

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BankruptMe
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Re: Going to law school in the Midwest with no ties

Postby BankruptMe » Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:05 pm

If you have absolutely no ties, I would not recommend it.

I lived here (midwestern state) a year before attending and my ties are weak at best. Everyone...except for 1 student is from 1 of 3 of the neighboring states. Everybody has connections to the legal markets of the area. Top grades would lose out to a native (or 5+ year resident).

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hoos89
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Re: Going to law school in the Midwest with no ties

Postby hoos89 » Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:06 pm

Moneytrees wrote:No, actually. WashU is one of them.


St. Louis is pretty insular. As are pretty much all non-Chicago markets in the Midwest. I wouldn't go to WUSTL expecting to cop St. Louis big law without any preexisting ties.

Moneytrees
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Re: Going to law school in the Midwest with no ties

Postby Moneytrees » Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:11 pm

BankruptMe wrote:If you have absolutely no ties, I would not recommend it.

I lived here a year before attending and my ties are weak at best. Everyone...except for 1 student is from 1 of 3 of the neighboring states. Everybody has connections to the legal markets of the area. Top grades would lose out to a native (or 5+ year resident).


This is what I'm concerned of. I do think I can make a compelling case for why I want to establish myself in the Midwest since I have no strong ties anywhere in the United States. But I'm definitely mindful that some (if not most) firms simply wouldn't care, or would assume that I'm lying.

I am aware that Biglaw outside of the T14 is a tough catch, but I want to at least give myself a shot. If I'm dead on arrival, I might have to consider lower scholarship offers from BU/BC.

Moneytrees
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Re: Going to law school in the Midwest with no ties

Postby Moneytrees » Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:23 pm

Is Chicago a decent market? Does WashU place relatively well there?

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MarkfromWI
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Re: Going to law school in the Midwest with no ties

Postby MarkfromWI » Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:30 pm

There really aren't that many cities in the midwest that have biglaw to begin with, and as the above posters have said they are all heavily skewed toward the "insular" side of the spectrum. I grew up (2nd grade through the end of high school) an hour and a half from Milwaukee and my parents still live there. During my call-back at one of the firms in MKE I was asked repeatedly about how many times I'd been to MKE and what my favorite places/things to do in the city were. When I responded that I really only came down for Summerfest (an annual concert festival) a few times over the years, they seemed a bit put off.

I know the above is completely anecdotal and may be limited to that particular partner at that particular firm, it's still worth noting I think. For the places/partners that are concerned about ties, you're going to have a very uphill battle and going there for LS probably won't cut it.

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hoos89
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Re: Going to law school in the Midwest with no ties

Postby hoos89 » Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:34 pm

Moneytrees wrote:Is Chicago a decent market? Does WashU place relatively well there?


Relative to what? Chicago isn't as insular as St. Louis, but it's still a tough market simply because there just aren't that many SA spots and U Chicago and Northwestern grads take a substantial chunk of those positions. Getting Chicago big law from WUSTL is tough.

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BaberhamLincoln
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Re: Going to law school in the Midwest with no ties

Postby BaberhamLincoln » Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:36 pm

Do you want to go back to NYC?

I think if you're going to school in the Midwest at a regional school, that kinda is your tie. If you want to stay, that's even better. But I agree with the general consensus that if you go to a regional school (most schools outside the T14) then you should want to stay in that location.

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hoos89
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Re: Going to law school in the Midwest with no ties

Postby hoos89 » Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:46 pm

leigh912198972 wrote:Do you want to go back to NYC?

I think if you're going to school in the Midwest at a regional school, that kinda is your tie. If you want to stay, that's even better. But I agree with the general consensus that if you go to a regional school (most schools outside the T14) then you should want to stay in that location.


You'd be surprised.

Moneytrees
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Re: Going to law school in the Midwest with no ties

Postby Moneytrees » Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:48 pm

leigh912198972 wrote:Do you want to go back to NYC?

I think if you're going to school in the Midwest at a regional school, that kinda is your tie. If you want to stay, that's even better. But I agree with the general consensus that if you go to a regional school (most schools outside the T14) then you should want to stay in that location.


I would be happy to stay in the Midwest, and would hope that law firms would consider my desire to stay+ 3 years of school to be sufficient to have established legitimate ties. But the issue that a lot of people have raised is that a lack of ties can put law firms off, which could be the death knell for somebody like me.

Moneytrees
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Re: Going to law school in the Midwest with no ties

Postby Moneytrees » Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:49 pm

Thanks for all the advice so far. WashU is a very generous school and is attractive to me, but I definitely understand the view that somebody from the Northeast might not do so well at OCI.

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BaberhamLincoln
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Re: Going to law school in the Midwest with no ties

Postby BaberhamLincoln » Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:51 pm

Moneytrees wrote:
leigh912198972 wrote:Do you want to go back to NYC?

I think if you're going to school in the Midwest at a regional school, that kinda is your tie. If you want to stay, that's even better. But I agree with the general consensus that if you go to a regional school (most schools outside the T14) then you should want to stay in that location.


I would be happy to stay in the Midwest, and would hope that law firms would consider my desire to stay+ 3 years of school to be sufficient to have established legitimate ties. But the issue that a lot of people have raised is that a lack of ties can put law firms off, which could be the death knell for somebody like me.


I'm a 1L so what do I know...but I can speak to my experience.

Moved to Chi 1.5 years before law school to be with my sister (that's my "tie") and am at LUC which is considered a regional school. I've had callbacks and been doing well in interviews. People don't question too much if I want to stay but I explain that my sister is here, I bought a condo, I love this city, and yes I want to be here 5-10 years.

I think you have to make it clear in an interview that you aren't going anywhere. Last thing a firm wants is someone who will stay a year and then bolt.

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Ron Don Volante
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Re: Going to law school in the Midwest with no ties

Postby Ron Don Volante » Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:52 pm

If you're looking at big money at WUSTL, you're one or two points on the LSAT away from Cornell. That would seem to be a much better fit for your goals.

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hoos89
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Re: Going to law school in the Midwest with no ties

Postby hoos89 » Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:56 pm

Moneytrees wrote:
leigh912198972 wrote:Do you want to go back to NYC?

I think if you're going to school in the Midwest at a regional school, that kinda is your tie. If you want to stay, that's even better. But I agree with the general consensus that if you go to a regional school (most schools outside the T14) then you should want to stay in that location.


I would be happy to stay in the Midwest, and would hope that law firms would consider my desire to stay+ 3 years of school to be sufficient to have established legitimate ties.But the issue that a lot of people have raised is that a lack of ties can put law firms off, which could be the death knell for somebody like me.


Nope. You'll have a better shot than someone with no ties who DIDN'T go to school there, but at least in St. Louis firms are quite wary of WUSTL students who only came here for law school.

mvp99
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Re: Going to law school in the Midwest with no ties

Postby mvp99 » Tue Feb 03, 2015 3:04 pm

hoos89 wrote:Top 1/3 might be okay for local big/mid law at a Midwestern T1 for a native.


might - less than 5% if I had to guess.. it's extremely hard to get this type of job coming out of the t1 in the midwest

Moneytrees
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Re: Going to law school in the Midwest with no ties

Postby Moneytrees » Tue Feb 03, 2015 3:09 pm

Ron Don Volante wrote:If you're looking at big money at WUSTL, you're one or two points on the LSAT away from Cornell. That would seem to be a much better fit for your goals.


True, but I'm out of retakes and unfortunately I'm pretty sure I will get dinged from Cornell. Thank you all for the advice. I'm guessing the same is true for Minnesota and ND?




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