Geographically Trapped?

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Anonymous User
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Geographically Trapped?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 13, 2011 2:46 pm

This is kind of an employment/law school transfer question, but I needed the anonymity.

So say you're at a lower T1, in the 40's. You're around top 5-6%, and have a good shot at biglaw in the larger market your school serves. Assuming you do get a biglaw job, are you stuck at that particular office/region? Are office-transfers common at all? If you get the urge to move to NYC after some time working there, can you request to be transferred to that office? Or are you kind of just stuck in that region for the better of your youth/career?

Assuming all transfer apps into the t-14 were rejected, would it still be wise to transfer into a school like Vandy to get more geographic flexibility? Or would it be stupid to throw away biglaw prospects for a risky hail mary at transfer-status-OCI at a school like this?

I just really dislike the idea of being tied down to one region for literally the rest of my career at such a young age. Is transferring essential to avoid this problem or does biglaw provide more flexibility after a few years of working there? (this is assuming a successful OCI process at my current school, of course)

Also, assuming you aren't Biglaw-or-bust, does transferring into non-t14 schools for flexibility's sake make any sense?

Any advice? I browsed/searched some forums but didn't really see anything on point. I'm cringing as I post this, hoping I don't get ripped apart too much.

Anonymous User
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Re: Geographically Trapped?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 13, 2011 3:51 pm

well this has been helpful so far.

bump

Renzo
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Re: Geographically Trapped?

Postby Renzo » Fri May 13, 2011 7:04 pm

Wherever you start your career, you'll be geographically trapped there to a large extent. Moving means sitting for a new bar, leaving behind your client base and professional network, and essentially starting over. Unless you are enough of an expert in a field that your work will travel with you, leaving the area where you have a reputation, a skill set, and contacts isn't easy.

Total Litigator
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Re: Geographically Trapped?

Postby Total Litigator » Fri May 13, 2011 7:14 pm

Renzo wrote:Wherever you start your career, you'll be geographically trapped there to a large extent. Moving means sitting for a new bar, leaving behind your client base and professional network, and essentially starting over. Unless you are enough of an expert in a field that your work will travel with you, leaving the area where you have a reputation, a skill set, and contacts isn't easy.


This definitely sounds like the right answer. One of the few exceptions is if you manage to get BIG LAW in your local location (like a V30 perhaps, and of course this relies on the assumption that your local market is big enough to sport some V30's). Smaller more regional large firms (read NJL 100 to 250) like to take laterals from the BIG firms, because they brag about it to the local legal community. However, smaller big law to smaller big law would be a lot more difficult, and you'd probably have to rely on either your rainmaker credentials and/or your compelling reasons to transfer locations.

olderlawyer
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Re: Geographically Trapped?

Postby olderlawyer » Sat May 14, 2011 11:34 am

You need to start out in NYC or try to get there within your first year if NYC is at all a goal. Almost impossible to move from anywhere else to NYC, so it has to be done early as if somehow your first stop was just a blip, almost a mistake. FROM NYC to another market is different and much easier. So if you have an offer somewhere else and the firm has a NYC office, although it really won't be easy/usual, start the process (and take the NY bar) IMMEDIATELY. Lateral geographic moves elsewhere in the country are a little easier, especially when you're talking about moving from larger city to smaller one and can justify it because of a life decision (family, connections, etc.) Many firms which have several offices are just amalgamations of several local firms which have joined together under one name, and therefore what one office of a firm may like/want has nothing to do with another office in another city--so look broadly at other firms in the target city and don't imagine that you can just apply for some sort of interoffice transfer; this isn't like a corporate structure in which employees (associates) with the same job title are essentially fungible assets.

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Cupidity
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Re: Geographically Trapped?

Postby Cupidity » Sat May 14, 2011 11:35 am

Anecdotally I have heard it isn't too difficult to transfer between branches at multi-office firms after you've put in 3-4 years. Partners can lateral pretty liberally if their practice area is at both offices.

Anonymous User
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Re: Geographically Trapped?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat May 14, 2011 2:11 pm

Does Vandy still place in New York at all? If so, is it only the tippy top of the class/ would a transfer student even have a shot?

Thanks for all of the advice, btw!

stylishlaw
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Re: Geographically Trapped?

Postby stylishlaw » Sat May 14, 2011 2:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Does Vandy still place in New York at all? If so, is it only the tippy top of the class/ would a transfer student even have a shot?

Thanks for all of the advice, btw!


Current students have informed me that the OCI cutoff at Vandy for NYC is around median. Vandy places well in NYC as it is their second largest market. In addition, a lot of students have no interest in NYC so it seems that if you want NYC you can get it. However, I can't speculate as to how well transfer students do at OCI.




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