Rural small/mid law?

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MrLions
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Rural small/mid law?

Postby MrLions » Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:49 pm

Hey guys,

Been reading TLS on a daily basis for over a year now, and I'm planning on applying this coming cycle. My plan for the last few months is similar to many of yours: choose the school with best debt/employment prospects ratio, gun for fed clerk + Biglaw, then transition (long term) into a smaller firm where I can fewer hours and have a family.

But part of me also wants to say "screw it" to the idea of working away miserably in Biglaw and skip right to my end goal of living in a smaller community centered around outdoor recreation. I'm thinking places like Whitefish and Missoula, MT; the Upper Valley Region of NH/VT; etc.

The path for plan 1 is pretty straightforward. Any ideas for the path for plan 2? 3.67/168 FWIW.

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MarkinKansasCity
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Re: Rural small/mid law?

Postby MarkinKansasCity » Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:54 pm

MrLions wrote:Hey guys,

Been reading TLS on a daily basis for over a year now, and I'm planning on applying this coming cycle. My plan for the last few months is similar to many of yours: choose the school with best debt/employment prospects ratio, gun for fed clerk + Biglaw, then transition (long term) into a smaller firm where I can fewer hours and have a family.

But part of me also wants to say "screw it" to the idea of working away miserably in Biglaw and skip right to my end goal of living in a smaller community centered around outdoor recreation. I'm thinking places like Whitefish and Missoula, MT; the Upper Valley Region of NH/VT; etc.

The path for plan 1 is pretty straightforward. Any ideas for the path for plan 2? 3.67/168 FWIW.


Path 2 can be the same as path 1, although you could probably get away with University of Montana School of Law, or whatever is local. It's probably a crapshoot and market dependent. Your problem is probably going to be ties if you're looking to move to anything resembling a city. Whitefish probably doesn't care, but Missoula might.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Rural small/mid law?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Aug 01, 2017 7:45 pm

The biggest problem is that those markets are really REALLY small. Everyone who practices there knows each other, so if you're the kind of person who's never met a stranger and loves making new friends and so on, it will help. But the tough thing is that if you don't already have ties you will need at the very least to go to law school in the area. It's also not really clear what you'd actually do. I don't know Whitefish/Missoula very well, but what kind of work do you envision in the Upper Valley? That you could make a living off of? I mean I don't know for certain that those areas are oversaturated with lawyers, but there are just not a lot of people, which means less need for lawyers.

So frankly I think you'd need to pick an area and talk to every lawyer there you can find who's willing to find out how to break into the area and what the demand is like, and then tailor your law school plans to that.

(Also frankly although the above isn't the easiest path, I suspect that would work better than going fed clerk --> biglaw --> trying to get to Whitefish or Norwich. There sure isn't a lot of biglaw in those regions.)

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Nebby
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Re: Rural small/mid law?

Postby Nebby » Tue Aug 01, 2017 7:59 pm

You're not going to be able to do path 2.

cavalier1138
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Re: Rural small/mid law?

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Aug 01, 2017 8:05 pm

Nebby wrote:You're not going to be able to do path 2.


I don't think path 1 is all that viable either (without ties). It's not like a small firm in Montana will want a lawyer with years of experience in complex federal litigation to handle the kind of civil actions that come up in rural areas.

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xRON MEXiCOx
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Re: Rural small/mid law?

Postby xRON MEXiCOx » Tue Aug 01, 2017 8:06 pm

Phil Jackson lives in the Flathead. Just become his homie and you'll be running the valley.

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rowdy
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Re: Rural small/mid law?

Postby rowdy » Tue Aug 01, 2017 8:19 pm

I live in a Missoula-sized market and know a ton of folks in the local bar. You could do it if you went to the local school and hustled. It depends on how well you network, but small bars can be pretty friendly to folks who make an effort. There's a solid chance you'll end up in solo practice doing wills and DUIs though.

andythefir
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Re: Rural small/mid law?

Postby andythefir » Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:00 pm

I have extensive experience with the legal market itty bitty towns in the mountain west, specifically, New Mexico. Deming, Roswell, Hobbs, Farmington-all no problem cracking at all. Get a law license, wait for an opening, and you're in. When I worked in those towns my coworkers were from Iowa, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, California, New York, Maine, Chile-you name it. They went to for profit schools and random state schools, usually graduated without honors, usually had no applicable experience before beginning work there. A minority had ever been to the state before interviewing.

On the other hand, Taos, Santa Fe-brutal. Need to know people and have solid stats and have applicable experience. What's the difference? Hobbs and Farmington are holes, while Taos and Santa Fe have world class skiing 20 minutes away.

elevenfortysix
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Re: Rural small/mid law?

Postby elevenfortysix » Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:39 am

andythefir wrote:I have extensive experience with the legal market itty bitty towns in the mountain west, specifically, New Mexico. Deming, Roswell, Hobbs, Farmington-all no problem cracking at all. Get a law license, wait for an opening, and you're in. When I worked in those towns my coworkers were from Iowa, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, California, New York, Maine, Chile-you name it. They went to for profit schools and random state schools, usually graduated without honors, usually had no applicable experience before beginning work there. A minority had ever been to the state before interviewing.

On the other hand, Taos, Santa Fe-brutal. Need to know people and have solid stats and have applicable experience. What's the difference? Hobbs and Farmington are holes, while Taos and Santa Fe have world class skiing 20 minutes away.


Do you know how often an opening arises and where they would usually be advertised? Also, is there any point in applying while waiting for bar results? Thanks.

andythefir
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Re: Rural small/mid law?

Postby andythefir » Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:50 pm

elevenfortysix wrote:
Do you know how often an opening arises and where they would usually be advertised? Also, is there any point in applying while waiting for bar results? Thanks.


Check the NM bar bulletin (http://www.nmbar.org/barbulletin), there's almost always an office hiring. I would honestly apply to all 13 DAs offices, student, pending bar, bar results in hand, whatever. Your resume will go in a file, and you'll either get an interview right away or when an opening comes up they'll dust it off and call you.

countryfried
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Re: Rural small/mid law?

Postby countryfried » Sat Aug 19, 2017 2:44 pm

andythefir wrote:
elevenfortysix wrote:
Do you know how often an opening arises and where they would usually be advertised? Also, is there any point in applying while waiting for bar results? Thanks.


Check the NM bar bulletin (http://www.nmbar.org/barbulletin), there's almost always an office hiring. I would honestly apply to all 13 DAs offices, student, pending bar, bar results in hand, whatever. Your resume will go in a file, and you'll either get an interview right away or when an opening comes up they'll dust it off and call you.


I did exactly this, based on andythefir's advice. Applied to all the DA districts, plus the public defender which is statewide. Got a couple interviews with a couple DA offices, ended up getting a job with the public defender. I'm in the Fifth district now, and both the DA and PD are fully staffed now, but 2-3 months ago you couldve walked into a job at either place.

andythefir
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Re: Rural small/mid law?

Postby andythefir » Sun Aug 20, 2017 2:25 am

countryfried wrote:
andythefir wrote:
elevenfortysix wrote:
Do you know how often an opening arises and where they would usually be advertised? Also, is there any point in applying while waiting for bar results? Thanks.


Check the NM bar bulletin (http://www.nmbar.org/barbulletin), there's almost always an office hiring. I would honestly apply to all 13 DAs offices, student, pending bar, bar results in hand, whatever. Your resume will go in a file, and you'll either get an interview right away or when an opening comes up they'll dust it off and call you.


I did exactly this, based on andythefir's advice. Applied to all the DA districts, plus the public defender which is statewide. Got a couple interviews with a couple DA offices, ended up getting a job with the public defender. I'm in the Fifth district now, and both the DA and PD are fully staffed now, but 2-3 months ago you couldve walked into a job at either place.


Average stay out there is shockingly short. There will be more openings imminently.




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