Choosing the Best Legal Markets

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SciLaw
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Choosing the Best Legal Markets

Postby SciLaw » Thu Jan 07, 2010 11:22 am

So I'm beginning to at least attempt to narrow down my list of law schools. In so doing, I am trying to decide where I would like to end up practicing. At times I like the idea of practicing in one of the behemoth markets like NYC, Boston, or DC, but I still like the idea of practicing out Seattle, Phoenix, Charlotte, Philadelphia, San Diego, Denver, or maybe Salt Lake.

Does anybody know anything about these smaller markets? Or better yet, does anybody know if there is any literature on the subject?

SciLaw
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Re: Choosing the Best Legal Markets

Postby SciLaw » Thu Jan 07, 2010 11:52 am

Bump?

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General Tso
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Re: Choosing the Best Legal Markets

Postby General Tso » Thu Jan 07, 2010 12:20 pm

I know a little about Seattle and Denver markets. Seattle is a small market that is oversaturated with legal talent to the point that 30% or so of each UW class has to find work in other states. Compare that to a comparable school in CA like Davis or Hastings where 90%+ stay in state to work.

Denver is kind of the same...it's small and insular. Both Seattle and Denver are dominated by UW and CU respectively + a smattering of T14 transplants. I have read that the collapse of biglaw in major markets like NYC has pushed many T14 grads into smaller regions like the ones you have listed.

So the advice is - go T14 and if not that, make sure you are at a top regional with good grades for any of these small markets.

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General Tso
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Re: Choosing the Best Legal Markets

Postby General Tso » Thu Jan 07, 2010 12:24 pm

One thing that I didn't mention about these smaller markets is that the reason they are 'small' is because there is little biglaw presence there. Which means unless you are an outstanding applicant you are looking at a small or mid-sized practice. In Seattle for instance, I believe I read somewhere that there are something like 200 biglaw associate openings per year, and something like 800 UW+ Seattle U grads per year. And keep in mind that a large chunk of those biglaw openings are going to T14 students.

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jcl2
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Re: Choosing the Best Legal Markets

Postby jcl2 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:32 pm

swheat wrote:One thing that I didn't mention about these smaller markets is that the reason they are 'small' is because there is little biglaw presence there. Which means unless you are an outstanding applicant you are looking at a small or mid-sized practice. In Seattle for instance, I believe I read somewhere that there are something like 200 biglaw associate openings per year, and something like 800 UW+ Seattle U grads per year. And keep in mind that a large chunk of those biglaw openings are going to T14 students.


Does Seattle U really have over 600 students in a class? I think it is more like 300 at most and UW has about 180. Still way to many students at SU, UW is probably about right though. If you really have 200 biglaw positions opening in Seattle that does not look to bad for UW grads, even if 3/4 are taken by T14 students that still leaves a lot for UW grads. ITE there are probably not 200 biglaw positions available for new grads in Seattle though.

If you don't have a big law or bust attitude, even ITE prospects shouldn't be bad at all coming from top regional schools in "smaller" markets like UW. SU might be another story though.

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General Tso
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Re: Choosing the Best Legal Markets

Postby General Tso » Thu Jan 07, 2010 7:04 pm

jcl2 wrote:
swheat wrote:One thing that I didn't mention about these smaller markets is that the reason they are 'small' is because there is little biglaw presence there. Which means unless you are an outstanding applicant you are looking at a small or mid-sized practice. In Seattle for instance, I believe I read somewhere that there are something like 200 biglaw associate openings per year, and something like 800 UW+ Seattle U grads per year. And keep in mind that a large chunk of those biglaw openings are going to T14 students.


Does Seattle U really have over 600 students in a class? I think it is more like 300 at most and UW has about 180. Still way to many students at SU, UW is probably about right though. If you really have 200 biglaw positions opening in Seattle that does not look to bad for UW grads, even if 3/4 are taken by T14 students that still leaves a lot for UW grads. ITE there are probably not 200 biglaw positions available for new grads in Seattle though.

If you don't have a big law or bust attitude, even ITE prospects shouldn't be bad at all coming from top regional schools in "smaller" markets like UW. SU might be another story though.


Oh UW is a great school...wasn't trying to knock them at all. I was just pointing out if you want to work in a small market like San Diego, Denver, or Seattle you need to attend T14 - or - the top school in that region --> UCLA/USC, CU, UW.

I need to find that quote again for the exact numbers...I forget. Seattle biglaw is a long shot right now, that is for sure.

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D. H2Oman
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Re: Choosing the Best Legal Markets

Postby D. H2Oman » Thu Jan 07, 2010 7:11 pm

swheat wrote:I know a little about Seattle and Denver markets. Seattle is a small market that is oversaturated with legal talent to the point that 30% or so of each UW class has to find work in other states. Compare that to a comparable school in CA like Davis or Hastings where 90%+ stay in state to work.



No.

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RVP11
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Re: Choosing the Best Legal Markets

Postby RVP11 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 8:57 pm

ITE, I think trying to crack into a secondary market in which you have no meaningful connection is going to be MUCH more difficult. Big firms in smaller markets have no reason to reach out to anyone who's not either originally from the area (and went to a top school) or is a graduate from a local school.

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jcl2
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Re: Choosing the Best Legal Markets

Postby jcl2 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 9:35 pm

swheat wrote:
jcl2 wrote:
swheat wrote:One thing that I didn't mention about these smaller markets is that the reason they are 'small' is because there is little biglaw presence there. Which means unless you are an outstanding applicant you are looking at a small or mid-sized practice. In Seattle for instance, I believe I read somewhere that there are something like 200 biglaw associate openings per year, and something like 800 UW+ Seattle U grads per year. And keep in mind that a large chunk of those biglaw openings are going to T14 students.


Does Seattle U really have over 600 students in a class? I think it is more like 300 at most and UW has about 180. Still way to many students at SU, UW is probably about right though. If you really have 200 biglaw positions opening in Seattle that does not look to bad for UW grads, even if 3/4 are taken by T14 students that still leaves a lot for UW grads. ITE there are probably not 200 biglaw positions available for new grads in Seattle though.

If you don't have a big law or bust attitude, even ITE prospects shouldn't be bad at all coming from top regional schools in "smaller" markets like UW. SU might be another story though.


Oh UW is a great school...wasn't trying to knock them at all. I was just pointing out if you want to work in a small market like San Diego, Denver, or Seattle you need to attend T14 - or - the top school in that region --> UCLA/USC, CU, UW.

I need to find that quote again for the exact numbers...I forget. Seattle biglaw is a long shot right now, that is for sure.


I know you weren't trying to knock UW, I was just adding my 2 cents and correcting your numbers with regard to the graduating classes of UW and SU. I hope I am not turning into too much of a UW troll on here :)

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: Choosing the Best Legal Markets

Postby XxSpyKEx » Fri Jan 08, 2010 6:34 am

Even if you attend a regional school in the state you want to practice, be sure to have some kind of tie to that state prior to beginning law school (just something -- e.g. you lived there when you were a kid, your family lives there, etc.) because employers will ask you "why you want to work in that market." The "substantial ties" to the market you are interviewing with seems to be a newer thing (in the past I heard employers would try to sell you on working in their city) and it really narrows you options even at a "national" t14 to places where you either live/lived or have family in that you spend a considerable amount of time staying (e.g. if you are from NYC and have some friends in LA, which you visited a few times since they moved to LA, and have a true desire to work in LA it really won't matter because firms aren't willing to take the risk that you might jump ship the next year (after doing the summer associateship) if things get better and try to find work where you are originally from).




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