How do you figure out where you want to practice?

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vissidarte27
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How do you figure out where you want to practice?

Postby vissidarte27 » Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:46 pm

Does anybody else not have a freaking clue?

I know more about where I don't want to live (cold places, big cities) than where I do and I feel like I have to figure it out immediately because I know that law schools are regional and that I'll likely end up having to practice in the general area of where I go to school. And I just don't know.

Anybody else in the same boat?

I feel like choosing a law school is like jumping into a long-term commitment without even letting somebody buy you dinner first. How am I supposed to know if I'll like living somewhere until I actually live there? And by the time I live there, it'll be too late, you know?

This post brought to you by a crappy 165 on the June LSAT which eliminates any school with national reach from my application list.

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robotclubmember
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Re: How do you figure out where you want to practice?

Postby robotclubmember » Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:59 pm

vissidarte27 wrote:Does anybody else not have a freaking clue?

I know more about where I don't want to live (cold places, big cities) than where I do and I feel like I have to figure it out immediately because I know that law schools are regional and that I'll likely end up having to practice in the general area of where I go to school. And I just don't know.

Anybody else in the same boat?

I feel like choosing a law school is like jumping into a long-term commitment without even letting somebody buy you dinner first. How am I supposed to know if I'll like living somewhere until I actually live there? And by the time I live there, it'll be too late, you know?

This post brought to you by a crappy 165 on the June LSAT which eliminates any school with national reach from my application list.


apply, see where you get accepted, then visit during ASW and tour the area while you're there. read about the area online, and do queries like legal market + [insert city here]. when you're there, get hammered, go to a bar and ask a random person what they like and don't like about the area. idk lol w/e m8.

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Shammis
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Re: How do you figure out where you want to practice?

Postby Shammis » Mon Jun 27, 2011 9:10 pm

Do you not care about being close to family/friends/undergrad? Hometown area not feasible? At the end of the day youll be able to have some flexibility for where you end up, so if you dont like where your school is is located, it's only three years. My father grew up in DC, went to school in Missouri, and ended up in Los Angeles Biglaw. Mobility happens. Relax. My decision was based on wanting to practice in LA in Business/Entertainment law (kinda LA/NY centric) and within a reasonable distance to my family and my fiancees family. And, at the end of the day, sometimes you have to suck it up for 3 years in a less than desirable place to end up where you want to be in the future. Dont base your whole decision on the immediate 3 years, but rather base it on where your schools will place you.

PLUS...dont have an idealistic view...you will be inside studying the majority of the next 3 years, becoming a pale hermit so you can compete in a terrible job market. My 2 cents, but look at the long term. hth

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vissidarte27
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Re: How do you figure out where you want to practice?

Postby vissidarte27 » Mon Jun 27, 2011 9:56 pm

jstubbs wrote: Dont base your whole decision on the immediate 3 years, but rather base it on where your schools will place you.



This is what I mean. I don't know where I want my schools to place me. It's not the immediate stuff that I'm worried about -- it's the long-term. What if I go to school in DC, hate it, but am limited to that area because I went to a regional school (like American or George Mason or something)? Then I'm stuck there because I wasn't smart enough to pull a 170 on my LSAT and get into a school where I'd be able to work in an area different from that of the school.

My concern is not at all (or not primarily) for the immediate.

As for family and friends -- my family is in Chicago, I did my undergrad there, and I really hate the city and don't want to spend my life slugging through Chicago winters. My friends are scattered. My girlfriend was a Japanese language major in college and is looking for translation work, but a lot of that is freelancing, so a large part of where we end up is determined by me and law school.

I feel like I haven't got a clue and like I have to make a decision about the rest of my life RIGHT NOW. Cue stress.

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bceagles182
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Re: How do you figure out where you want to practice?

Postby bceagles182 » Mon Jun 27, 2011 9:59 pm

vissidarte27 wrote:
jstubbs wrote: Dont base your whole decision on the immediate 3 years, but rather base it on where your schools will place you.


Cue stress.


You know nothing of stress.

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vissidarte27
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Re: How do you figure out where you want to practice?

Postby vissidarte27 » Mon Jun 27, 2011 10:05 pm

bceagles182 wrote:
vissidarte27 wrote:
jstubbs wrote: Dont base your whole decision on the immediate 3 years, but rather base it on where your schools will place you.


Cue stress.


You know nothing of stress.


Thank you. That was very helpful. I feel oh so much better now and I know exactly what I'm going to do with my life.

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bk1
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Re: How do you figure out where you want to practice?

Postby bk1 » Mon Jun 27, 2011 10:09 pm

How have you lived for over two decades, gone to college, and still not have any idea the kinds of places you would prefer to live?

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bceagles182
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Re: How do you figure out where you want to practice?

Postby bceagles182 » Mon Jun 27, 2011 10:15 pm

vissidarte27 wrote:
bceagles182 wrote:
vissidarte27 wrote:
jstubbs wrote: Dont base your whole decision on the immediate 3 years, but rather base it on where your schools will place you.


Cue stress.


You know nothing of stress.


Thank you. That was very helpful. I feel oh so much better now and I know exactly what I'm going to do with my life.


I'm just saying you'd better get used to it. You're going to law school. And from the sounds of it, you're going to law school at a T2, which means you will be unemployed with tons of debt unless you do well. Your stress level is about to go through the roof, so it's time to start embracing it.

You're in a unique situation because most people either (a) have an idea about where they would prefer to practice before they go to school, or (b) they don't care and would simply live in any metropolis. My advice to you would be to retake the LSAT until you (1) figure out where you want to be or (2) get good enough a score that you can get into a t14 so that you can practice elsewhere after law school.

I'm at a T2 in a market where I have decided that I do not want to practice. Luckily, I'm fortunate enough to have done well last year so I should be able to transfer to a t14 this summer, but I would certainly not count on that. Law school is hard. I've been looking through the OCI at my current school and literally all of the firms are in this market so I am pretty much screwed if I don't transfer.

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vissidarte27
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Re: How do you figure out where you want to practice?

Postby vissidarte27 » Mon Jun 27, 2011 10:20 pm

I lived in the Chicago area for most of my life. I spent a year (off and on) in Austin, Texas, six months traveling around Europe for work, and I currently live in Charlottesville, Virginia (which I love).

I know that I want to live somewhere pretty. Somewhere that isn't flat and boring. Somewhere with mild-ish winters. Not a lot of big-city craziness, but with some kind of arts/cultural scene. LGBT friendly. Somewhere I could find work as an ADA or some kind of public interest LGBT lawyer person.

I have ideas, but I don't know how to make that translate to specific places without visiting the whole damn country and I don't have the money to do that.

I know some of the things that I like, but I don't know if it's a "I could be happy spending the rest of my life here" kind of thing.

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vissidarte27
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Re: How do you figure out where you want to practice?

Postby vissidarte27 » Mon Jun 27, 2011 10:28 pm

bceagles182 wrote:I'm just saying you'd better get used to it. You're going to law school. And from the sounds of it, you're going to law school at a T2, which means you will be unemployed with tons of debt unless you do well. Your stress level is about to go through the roof, so it's time to start embracing it.

You're in a unique situation because most people either (a) have an idea about where they would prefer to practice before they go to school, or (b) they don't care and would simply live in any metropolis. My advice to you would be to retake the LSAT until you (1) figure out where you want to be or (2) get good enough a score that you can get into a t14 so that you can practice elsewhere after law school.

I'm at a T2 in a market where I have decided that I do not want to practice. Luckily, I'm fortunate enough to have done well last year so I should be able to transfer to a t14 this summer, but I would certainly not count on that. Law school is hard. I've been looking through the OCI at my current school and literally all of the firms are in this market so I am pretty much screwed if I don't transfer.


Retake the LSAT is the current plan.

I'll have T1 options with my 165, just not T14. I'm trying to figure out a backup plan if I bomb October as well and so much of it centers around location and huge, long-term commitments.

Stress is fine. I'm just trying to avoid making the wrong decision and ending up in backwater Mississippi wallowing in misery because I chose the wrong law school.




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