Why are Connections Important?

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singapore_sling
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Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2008 7:51 pm

Why are Connections Important?

Postby singapore_sling » Fri Jul 30, 2010 4:03 pm

I hear lots of talk about connections being really important for employment, but I'm having a tough time understanding why. Furthermore what is the definition of a connection? It seems like you could claim all kinds of things as a connection.

If I have one family member in a state is that a "connection"?

If I went to summer camp in another state is that a "connection"?

If I spent my early childhood in a state is that a connection?


Mainly I just want to see what people think of as adequate connection and how it relates to law employment.

270910
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Re: Why are Connections Important?

Postby 270910 » Fri Jul 30, 2010 4:04 pm

Two things.

1) Employers screen way more candidates than they can hire. Articulable ties to a region make you more attractive. You look less transient, less desperate, will likely get along better with the culture, etc.

2) Connections to the actual people in law firms (hopefully important partners) are extremely important because they can pull strings and get you jobs. Employers love to hire known quantities.

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Ty Webb
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Re: Why are Connections Important?

Postby Ty Webb » Fri Jul 30, 2010 4:11 pm

disco_barred wrote:
2) Connections to the actual people in law firms (hopefully important partners) are extremely important because they can pull strings and get you jobs. Employers love to hire known quantities.


I tend to think this is what most people are referring to when they say they have "connections".

OP seems to be confusing "ties to the area" and "connections".

singapore_sling
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Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2008 7:51 pm

Re: Why are Connections Important?

Postby singapore_sling » Fri Jul 30, 2010 4:21 pm

Yeah that's what I'm partly wondering to. For example is growing up and going to UG in the state you intend to practice in counted as "having connections"? I just always thought people were more so talking about family and prior living experiences in an area when they said "connections". Maybe it's just because I come from a fairly big upper middle class family that just doesn't have any lawyers in it. I'd hope having connections doesn't just mean having family connections to lawyers in the area.

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Ty Webb
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Re: Why are Connections Important?

Postby Ty Webb » Fri Jul 30, 2010 4:27 pm

singapore_sling wrote:Yeah that's what I'm partly wondering to. For example is growing up and going to UG in the state you intend to practice in counted as "having connections"? I just always thought people were more so talking about family and prior living experiences in an area when they said "connections". Maybe it's just because I come from a fairly big upper middle class family that just doesn't have any lawyers in it. I'd hope having connections doesn't just mean having family connections to lawyers in the area.


You don't have connections.

Using a connection would be me emailing my friend's dad who is the hiring partner at a NY firm.

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RVP11
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Re: Why are Connections Important?

Postby RVP11 » Fri Jul 30, 2010 4:29 pm

In most secondary markets, you are not profitable for the firm until your second or even your third year. If you only stay for 2-3 years the firm probably lost money on you.

Associates in major markets (NY/DC) are profitable much, much earlier thanks to higher billing rates and less scrutiny by clients, so attrition is built into the business model and ties are not as important.

singapore_sling
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Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2008 7:51 pm

Re: Why are Connections Important?

Postby singapore_sling » Fri Jul 30, 2010 7:34 pm

Ok obviously i was confusing the semantics. When I said connections i meant ties to the area. So how important are ties to an area then? Also, whoever was talking about secodary markets, my question relates moreso to TX biglaw. I've heard that Texas is a market where ties are significantly more important than other places.

Lucidity
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Re: Why are Connections Important?

Postby Lucidity » Mon Aug 02, 2010 12:49 pm

All those things you mentioned in your original post can be considered ties of varying magnitudes. It would really depend on how well you spin it. The reason "ties" are important to Texas is because admittedly we are rather proud of our home state. Thats why more than most other states, the conventional wisdom is that if you want to work in Texas, stay in Texas for law school. Not having ties in Texas would not necessarily hurt you, but it would put you at a disadvantage in comparison to candidates that do.

Basically employers are looking for assurances that you will fit in and not jump ship a year after being hired. If your spouse lives in Texas, or you grew up in Texas, or you have blood relatives in the state, you should have an edge over similarly qualified candidates that can not claim the same.

drew
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Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2008 7:17 pm

Re: Why are Connections Important?

Postby drew » Mon Aug 02, 2010 4:00 pm

Ty Webb wrote:
singapore_sling wrote:Yeah that's what I'm partly wondering to. For example is growing up and going to UG in the state you intend to practice in counted as "having connections"? I just always thought people were more so talking about family and prior living experiences in an area when they said "connections". Maybe it's just because I come from a fairly big upper middle class family that just doesn't have any lawyers in it. I'd hope having connections doesn't just mean having family connections to lawyers in the area.


You don't have connections.

Using a connection would be me emailing my friend's dad who is the hiring partner at a NY firm.

Neither do you. A connection would mean you didn't have to write the email.




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