Question about portability 5-10 years out of school

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Chicklets
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Question about portability 5-10 years out of school

Postby Chicklets » Sun Jan 31, 2010 12:43 pm

So, I'm applying to law schools, hubby is applying to medical schools. Being in the same city is our priority.

Since he will potentially need to move again for residency and subspecialty training, and we eventually want to come back to the Pacific NW, portability is important for me.

I get the relationship between law school, class rank, etc for your first job....

What is the relative importance of those factors compared to job performance/reputation/alumni network/connections after 5-10 years of working? (Assuming the law school in question isn't going to be T6 anyway, more like T10-T20).

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scribelaw
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Re: Question about portability 5-10 years out of school

Postby scribelaw » Sun Jan 31, 2010 12:58 pm

Looks like you might have a good chance in the Michigan/Northwestern/Duke/Cornell/Georgetown range -- all of those degrees have portability. If you go on their Web sites, you can look around and find graphs about where their graduates end up. All of those schools have primary markets (Chicago, DC, NYC) but place graduates all over the country.

If you get down into the T20 range, those are more regional, obviously. If portability is important to you, I'd pay extra for the T-14.

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nealric
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Re: Question about portability 5-10 years out of school

Postby nealric » Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:51 pm

In general, you are much more portable 5-10 years out than you are 2-3 years out of school. Your portability can depend quite a bit on your specialty- certain specialties are really only viable in certain locations. For example, someone who practices tax certiori (contesting property taxes) in NYC could not reasonably move to Portland and expect to find a job. By contrast, someone who practices general commercial litigation is fairly portable. Also, if you are a solo, moving can obliterate your client base- forcing you to start from scratch.

Frankly, one unfortunate aspect of the legal profession is that it can be very tough to move once you are established. A national school is very important to mobility fresh out of law school, but how you are established (practice area, type of practice (large firm, in-house) etc.) in 10 years is much more important.

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Chicklets
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Re: Question about portability 5-10 years out of school

Postby Chicklets » Sun Jan 31, 2010 3:00 pm

Thanks, I was hoping that specific school becomes somewhat less critical after being out a few years. Happy to have you confirm that Nealric.

Any thoughts specifically on Public Interest? If I succeed in getting a summer job back in the Pacific NW after L2 to make some connections, maybe they'd remember me fondly 5 years later. :) Or if I end up in BigLaw initially, trying to get with a firm with a branch in Portland or Seattle... is that a workable strategy?

lawschooliseasy
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Re: Question about portability 5-10 years out of school

Postby lawschooliseasy » Sun Jan 31, 2010 3:08 pm

I ate dinner with an attorney friend (that went to a T30) the other day and asked him the same question. He said, "On a professional level nobody gives a shit. Its just bragging rights, that's all."




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