hardest market to land a legal job?

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underachiever
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Re: hardest market to land a legal job?

Postby underachiever » Fri Oct 22, 2010 11:11 am

Largest Hard Market: DC
then any secondary market where you dont have connections
....like jeez I think San Diego is nice, but darn no law firms there will hire me b/c I have spent my life on the east coast

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jaudette
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Re: hardest market to land a legal job?

Postby jaudette » Fri Oct 22, 2010 11:11 am

eandy wrote:Somewhat off-topic/stupid, but I've been thinking about this lately:
People reference "ties" all the time, but specifically what does that mean? For example, I am from SC and attending law school in Georgia. Are those two things considered to be enough of a tie to Atlanta?


No matter where you want to go, you must have some reason you want to go there besides the job itself, even the big markets. Screening and callback interviewers will ask for good reasons, and IMO no credentials make up for it if you can't effectively convince them you want to be there. This is especially true in secondary markets and regional firms. Generally, the good reasons are you have lived there previously, you have family there, or you have gone to school there.

As for your situation, I think you will be OK as long as you convince them that you won't boalt back to SC when the opportunity arises.

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Blindmelon
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Re: hardest market to land a legal job?

Postby Blindmelon » Fri Oct 22, 2010 11:12 am

Anonymous User wrote:
pasteurizedmilk wrote:Depends on your particular circumstance. If you're trying to break into a smaller market w/o substantial ties, it's going to be a lot harder than NY (and probably harder even if you do have strong ties).

In the aggregate though, I'd say DC. A TON of people want to work there and there really aren't that many positions. I know people w/ V20 offers in NY who struck out entirely in DC......it's not uncommon at all, TBH.[/quote]


Building off that, I know people with DC jobs who struck out in Chicago.


And I know someone from BU who got DC and struck out in Boston. Its all relative. DC theres at least a lot of SA positions - but the market is really coveted. I tend to think Chicago is worse than DC, but then again, I go to BU and we're not exactly great with the midwest.

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RVP11
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Re: hardest market to land a legal job?

Postby RVP11 » Fri Oct 22, 2010 11:13 am

jaudette wrote:No matter where you want to go, you must have some reason you want to go there besides the job itself


Not true for NY/DC.

pasteurizedmilk
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Re: hardest market to land a legal job?

Postby pasteurizedmilk » Fri Oct 22, 2010 11:15 am

Anonymous User wrote:
pasteurizedmilk wrote:Depends on your particular circumstance. If you're trying to break into a smaller market w/o substantial ties, it's going to be a lot harder than NY (and probably harder even if you do have strong ties).

In the aggregate though, I'd say DC. A TON of people want to work there and there really aren't that many positions. I know people w/ V20 offers in NY who struck out entirely in DC......it's not uncommon at all, TBH.[



Building off that, I know people with DC jobs who struck out in Chicago.

I can see how Chicago would be a tough nut to crack as well. A HUGE city with a relatively small legal market is a horrible combination for hopeful SAs. Plus there's two local T14s and a few other good local schools.

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Re: hardest market to land a legal job?

Postby pasteurizedmilk » Fri Oct 22, 2010 11:17 am

RVP11 wrote:
jaudette wrote:No matter where you want to go, you must have some reason you want to go there besides the job itself


Not true for NY/DC.

I was actually grilled on why I wanted to be in DC at all my callbacks there. Definitely less "why DC" focus than secondary market interviews though.

But yeah, for NY if it came up (only did for about half the callbacks) I just said "who wouldn't want to live in NYC?" New Yorkers seem largely convinced NYC is the best place in the world, so they ate that up. :P (and, TBF, I did mean it. NYC seems like a great place to live).
Last edited by pasteurizedmilk on Fri Oct 22, 2010 11:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Dr. Van Nostrand
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Re: hardest market to land a legal job?

Postby Dr. Van Nostrand » Fri Oct 22, 2010 11:21 am

On the note of secondary markets, I think ties become even more critical when you go to a T14. I honestly feel it hurts you to go to that high of a school because they are increasingly skeptical as to why you are choosing their secondary market as opposed to one of the feeder national markets. Kind of a strange irony, but I think it can work against you to some degree ... or at least cause you to have to do a heck of a lot more convincing selling.

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beachbum
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Re: hardest market to land a legal job?

Postby beachbum » Fri Oct 22, 2010 12:00 pm

Just how skeptical are regional firms of T14 grads? Specifically, I've lived in St. Louis my entire life and currently attend undergrad here. However, I'm shooting for T14+Vandy. Would it be worth my time (assuming I end up at one of these schools) to use St. Louis as a safety net if the major markets fall through? I imagine lots of "Why not WUSTL?"-type questions.

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Re: hardest market to land a legal job?

Postby pasteurizedmilk » Fri Oct 22, 2010 12:08 pm

beachbum wrote:Just how skeptical are regional firms of T14 grads? Specifically, I've lived in St. Louis my entire life and currently attend undergrad here. However, I'm shooting for T14+Vandy. Would it be worth my time (assuming I end up at one of these schools) to use St. Louis as a safety net if the major markets fall through? I imagine lots of "Why not WUSTL?"-type questions.


Specifically, I've lived in St. Louis my entire life and currently attend undergrad here.


"I always loved living in St. Louis, but I thought it would be a good experience to try a new city out. I've really enjoyed my time in (city) and it's been a great experience (always be positive in interviews) but I'm ready to come back home and start my career in St. Louis." If you have good social skills and know how to deliver in interviews, this should shore up any questions about commitment to St. Louis. Keeping up w/ local news and talking about something that is city-specific is good too.

The harder sell is if you did undergrad AND law school somewhere else. I've talked to a few people who had a tough time selling commitment when they've spent 7 years away.

Bumi
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Re: hardest market to land a legal job?

Postby Bumi » Fri Oct 22, 2010 12:22 pm

jaudette wrote:No matter where you want to go, you must have some reason you want to go there besides the job itself, even the big markets. Screening and callback interviewers will ask for good reasons, and IMO no credentials make up for it if you can't effectively convince them you want to be there. This is especially true in secondary markets and regional firms. Generally, the good reasons are you have lived there previously, you have family there, or you have gone to school there.

As for your situation, I think you will be OK as long as you convince them that you won't boalt back to SC when the opportunity arises.

Is there any other industry that is this paranoid? My non-law company hires from all over, and you don't have to swear an oath of fealty to the mayor to get a job. It's assumed that if you're hired, you want to be there because you're hired.

JOThompson
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Re: hardest market to land a legal job?

Postby JOThompson » Fri Oct 22, 2010 12:29 pm

I lived in Oregon for the majority of my life and also attended undergrad there. Are my ties strong enough to find work in the Portland market in three years? How beneficial would it be to do my summer work there?

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IAFG
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Re: hardest market to land a legal job?

Postby IAFG » Fri Oct 22, 2010 12:35 pm

The harder sell is if you did undergrad AND law school somewhere else. I've talked to a few people who had a tough time selling commitment when they've spent 7 years away.

Hmm really? I am surprised they would care, people go away for school all the time.

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DCDuck
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Re: hardest market to land a legal job?

Postby DCDuck » Fri Oct 22, 2010 12:35 pm

Your ties to Portland are about as good as they come, as long as you can come up with some tangible reasons about why you want to come back to Oregon. Ties, however, are not enough, at least not this year. It is a very tough legal market. It is pretty small and there is essentially a hiring freeze. Big firms are hiring 1 SA, some aren't hiring any this year. People at the top of their class with ties are striking out in Portland.

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JazzOne
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Re: hardest market to land a legal job?

Postby JazzOne » Fri Oct 22, 2010 12:35 pm

Dr. Van Nostrand wrote:On the note of secondary markets, I think ties become even more critical when you go to a T14. I honestly feel it hurts you to go to that high of a school because they are increasingly skeptical as to why you are choosing their secondary market as opposed to one of the feeder national markets. Kind of a strange irony, but I think it can work against you to some degree ... or at least cause you to have to do a heck of a lot more convincing selling.

Unfortunately, I have to agree with this. I went to the top law school in my state, but I am from one of the smaller markets. I interviewed with all the big firms, and I finally received an offer in one of the state's primary markets. But I also interviewed with a mid-size firm in my home market. At the call-back interview, I met the other candidates, and I definitely had the best academic credentials, but the firm rejected me. I was pretty shocked. I have ties to a judge in the area through an internship, and I lived in that market for over 20 years. I was genuinely excited to be home, and I would have given the firm serious consideration even though it pays far less than market.

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sundance95
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Re: hardest market to land a legal job?

Postby sundance95 » Fri Oct 22, 2010 12:50 pm

How does SF stack up, assuming Bay Area/NorCal ties? Anyone know how many SA positions are in the Bay Area?

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Re: hardest market to land a legal job?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 22, 2010 12:53 pm

The Portland market is very tough, even for those who have ties.

I know someone who had top 25% at a T10, was born/raised in Portland, went to Oregon for UG, and yet didn't get anything in Portland BigLaw. Same guy had several V50 offers in SF/Bay Area.

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Re: hardest market to land a legal job?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 22, 2010 12:54 pm

conn09 wrote:
It's barely bigger than Tampa's and Tampa's summer classes are next to non existent. of the 13 NALP firms in Tampa all but 3 are only taking 1 person. Then, most of the Tampa firms have offices in Miami, which prevents double dipping.


The fact that T14ers with median grades and ties aren't having problems in Miami still blows a hole in your "Florida = toughest legal market" argument.

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Re: hardest market to land a legal job?

Postby JOThompson » Fri Oct 22, 2010 1:01 pm

DCDuck wrote:Your ties to Portland are about as good as they come, as long as you can come up with some tangible reasons about why you want to come back to Oregon. Ties, however, are not enough, at least not this year. It is a very tough legal market. It is pretty small and there is essentially a hiring freeze. Big firms are hiring 1 SA, some aren't hiring any this year. People at the top of their class with ties are striking out in Portland.

I'm a bit worried. I chose to attend to a T30 halfway across the country, but since Portland is my target market, I feel like I should've opted for Lewis and Clark or Oregon.

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Re: hardest market to land a legal job?

Postby General Tso » Fri Oct 22, 2010 1:16 pm

JOThompson wrote:
DCDuck wrote:Your ties to Portland are about as good as they come, as long as you can come up with some tangible reasons about why you want to come back to Oregon. Ties, however, are not enough, at least not this year. It is a very tough legal market. It is pretty small and there is essentially a hiring freeze. Big firms are hiring 1 SA, some aren't hiring any this year. People at the top of their class with ties are striking out in Portland.

I'm a bit worried. I chose to attend to a T30 halfway across the country, but since Portland is my target market, I feel like I should've opted for Lewis and Clark or Oregon.


If you went to L&C though it would be like a 50/50 shot of a 50k job vs. nothing. You probably should have gone somewhere out of state that at least has a decent amount of alumni in Portland.

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Re: hardest market to land a legal job?

Postby DCDuck » Fri Oct 22, 2010 1:22 pm

I was referring to the experiences of people at the UO. If you went to L&C, UO, UW, UVA, or anywhere really, it doesn't matter, PDX was still incredibly hard to get, even with ties and great grades. Don't regret going to a good school out of state. Either way, PDX will be tough.

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sundance95
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Re: hardest market to land a legal job?

Postby sundance95 » Fri Oct 22, 2010 1:26 pm

DCDuck wrote:I was referring to the experiences of people at the UO. If you went to L&C, UO, UW, UVA, or anywhere really, it doesn't matter, PDX was still incredibly hard to get, even with ties and great grades. Don't regret going to a good school out of state. Either way, PDX will be tough.


PDX? Is that Portland's airport code? Didn't know that was a local slang.

Anyone out there with data on SF, or know where to find it? Search be down...

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JazzOne
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Re: hardest market to land a legal job?

Postby JazzOne » Fri Oct 22, 2010 1:49 pm

sundance95 wrote:
DCDuck wrote:I was referring to the experiences of people at the UO. If you went to L&C, UO, UW, UVA, or anywhere really, it doesn't matter, PDX was still incredibly hard to get, even with ties and great grades. Don't regret going to a good school out of state. Either way, PDX will be tough.


PDX? Is that Portland's airport code? Didn't know that was a local slang.

Anyone out there with data on SF, or know where to find it? Search be down...

I have no data, just an anecdote. A friend of mine at UT pulled an SA job at a V20 in the Bay Area with no ties to the area. He's not on LR either. The importance of interviewing skills is entirely underrated IMO.

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Dr. Van Nostrand
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Re: hardest market to land a legal job?

Postby Dr. Van Nostrand » Fri Oct 22, 2010 1:52 pm

beachbum wrote:Just how skeptical are regional firms of T14 grads? Specifically, I've lived in St. Louis my entire life and currently attend undergrad here. However, I'm shooting for T14+Vandy. Would it be worth my time (assuming I end up at one of these schools) to use St. Louis as a safety net if the major markets fall through? I imagine lots of "Why not WUSTL?"-type questions.


Ok, I should have made a better statement. If you get into a T14 GO, that really really helps in this market. Growing up in an area is great ties (this goes for the Portland poster too). If you have good academic credentials, growing up in a market is perfect (especially from a T14). What I have found through CBs and OCI is larger regional firms LOVE top law school candidates that can really demonstrate connection to the area. However equally as poignant, if you are a top law school grad with good credentials with no - to very weak ties, they are really skeptical they are more than a backup on your list. I targeted secondary markets to stay near home and had a lot of success in the ones where I had decent ties ... the ones with less ties though I got nothing. I even had one secondary where I had probably the best ties and stayed on the wait list forever waiting for an offer before I withdrew for another firm. That all said, going to a T14 and being from the market is not enough ITE. You still need to demonstrate good academic credentials or you will strike out everywhere, it is just much too competitive to be trying for a job (even in secondary markets) with poor grades. IM me for more details if you want.

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Re: hardest market to land a legal job?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 22, 2010 2:04 pm

beachbum wrote:Just how skeptical are regional firms of T14 grads? Specifically, I've lived in St. Louis my entire life and currently attend undergrad here. However, I'm shooting for T14+Vandy. Would it be worth my time (assuming I end up at one of these schools) to use St. Louis as a safety net if the major markets fall through? I imagine lots of "Why not WUSTL?"-type questions.



I remember hearing somewhere that WUSTL isn't very strong in St. Louis for the precise reason that its graduates aren't seen as having the ties...

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Re: hardest market to land a legal job?

Postby Zar » Fri Oct 22, 2010 2:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
beachbum wrote:Just how skeptical are regional firms of T14 grads? Specifically, I've lived in St. Louis my entire life and currently attend undergrad here. However, I'm shooting for T14+Vandy. Would it be worth my time (assuming I end up at one of these schools) to use St. Louis as a safety net if the major markets fall through? I imagine lots of "Why not WUSTL?"-type questions.



I remember hearing somewhere that WUSTL isn't very strong in St. Louis for the precise reason that its graduates aren't seen as having the ties...


If you're from St. Louis, or otherwise have extremely strong ties to the city, St. Louis firms love WUSTL grads. However, St. Louis firms are extremely skeptical of WUSTL grads without ties to the area pre-law school. There are many, many WUSTL students out there who actually came to really enjoy St. Louis during their time in school, but ended up striking out in the city due to this skepticism on the part of St. Louis firms.




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