No ties, no idea - How screwed am I?

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No ties, no idea - How screwed am I?

Postby VandelayIndustriesTM » Wed Jun 07, 2017 2:05 pm

long time lurker but first time poster, I need some advice from you guys

SO basically I graduated from UC Irvine in 2016 with a degree GPA of 3.81 and the LSAC just informed me I have an actual GPA of 3.50 because I failed some classes at junior college years ago before I thought of going to university. Bummer but nothing can be done.

I have no ties anywhere, I've grown up all around the USA and therefore according to your general consensus, cannot get a decent scholarship or job in a smaller marker. I am looking to practice in Denver, CO (notoriously hostile to outsiders) or Seattle, WA (maybe not as bad as Denver). Again, I have no ties to these places or ANYWHERE else for that matter.

So going along my ideal future is to attend a t14, go into biglaw in one of those regions, work myself to death then transition to an in-house counsel type role. How feasible is this for someone with no ties to either area? I'm adamantly against working in New York, California (outside of the SF bay), or NC (where I live right now).

My practice tests have ranged from 160-167. I know that means squat without actually sitting in but I think a realistic score would be honestly a 165 best case scenario. I already sat out last cycle so I could get more of a feel for where I would like to live and what kind of legal work I'd like to participate it. I interned for the DA in my county and while that was interesting, PI doesn't excite me the way it excites most people. Same goes for small/private practice. I worked as a legal aid for a guy who is a pretty successful civil litigator, and I'm just not that extroverted of a person to really make it "on my own" I've come to realize. Maybe this will change later, as we all grow a lot but for the time being I'm best put to use locked in an office for ungodly hours working on the bigger picture.

I used to be a total prestige whore and was hellbent on getting into ANY t14 so long as it has enough reach to land me wherever the most money is had. However, since visiting NYC, DC, and others, I realize that's not what I'd want at all.

Long story short, will getting into a t14 (even at sticker) give me what I'd like in both those markets? Or would going to the state schools (Boulder, UW) be the better option even without ties?
Basically, how screwed am I?

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Re: No ties, no idea - How screwed am I?

Postby twiix » Wed Jun 07, 2017 3:56 pm

If you want to work in, and stay in Denver, go to Boulder. It'll be cheaper than a sticker T13 for damn sure. Same applies to Seattle although they will have a tougher BL market to crack into.

T13 would arguably have pull in either of the aforementioned cities though.. so I'd recommend making the best financial decision.

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Re: No ties, no idea - How screwed am I?

Postby Gitaroo_Dude » Wed Jun 07, 2017 5:48 pm

Hello fellow Anteater.

Your lack of ties won't really matter for admissions. As long as you have the right numbers and a decent app, schools will accept you.

Regarding the job hunt, take the following with a grain of salt because I'm a 0L. But, if you want Seattle, attending UDub would be better than attending any non-HYS school. It's one of the most insular markets, highly desirable, and small to boot. You need to create ties from Day 1, and UDub is really the only school that lets you do that. The only caveat I'd offer is that they're stingy as hell with merit aid for out-of-staters. I think you'd really have to display significant interest for them to throw just $45k your way.

If you want Denver, you can target CU-Boulder. Luckily they're better with merit aid than UDub. Same thing as before, just begin hustling from Day 1 to create ties within the area and that should put you on solid-enough footing for the job hunt.

TLDR: You can break into Seattle or Denver by attending each region's flagship law school. Those flagships will be better for your geographic goals than a generic T13 school, unless you can somehow get into HYS.

One thing to keep in mind: both Seattle and Colorado generally do not have tons of biglaw jobs. It's going to be tough to land those gigs, so make your peace with working in regional law firms with entry level salaries of $40k-$60k if you attend those flagships.

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