Northwestern to California

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 273386
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Northwestern to California

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:08 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Original OP:

My list was only for preference--thinking LA is by far my best chance and where I'll put in the most work--though I'll try with all my might at the off-campus OCI in both SanFran and LA--cant hurt much if they don't cost any bid spots....

3.5 at NU I believe i about top 1/3....median about a 3.2

Does IL summer employment really matter if in CA or IL? Don't firms realize we can't pay for 2 rents as IL and relocate at a cost of 10k plus for the summer just to say we went to ideal state for 10 weeks to make no money in PI---Im sure it helps but how much really?

Fiance also has lots of opportunities in LA....maybe that could help


1L anon from earlier in the thread.

DF was right in assuming that my resume is a bit different than most - in fact both grades and diversity are present, although I didn't get anything through "diversity" fellowships and the like, just mass mail.

That being said I tried to incorporate the advice and experiences I'd heard from more traditional 2Ls and 3Ls. One of the most common was that SF/SV was a slaughter unless you were an exceptional candidate or had a tech background (especially CS/EE). Almost all of them told me that, if I wanted Cali, LA was by far the most likely option. LA tends to have a worse reputation for QOL than the Bay Area and San Diego, but honestly, if you're making 160k + bonus you have enough money to stay in the nicer areas and avoid the bad parts.

I did a quick scan of some firms in Cali, although it wasn't anywhere close to a representative sample of firms. But Northwestern grads seem to be particularly rare compared to some other schools. At the very least it might be worthwhile to give some of the Northwestern alums in the area an email to try and establish some personal connections; doubly so if you actually are going to bite the bullet and live in the area for the summer. Doing better in the second semester sounds like a tall order considering you did pretty well the first time around, but getting into the top 1/4 or higher would also help.

One tip I'd suggest remembering for OCI and mass mailing is to know the differences between CC and Downtown LA like the back of your hand. When you get asked "Why LA," which you will, you can give a brief general answer before going into the specific benefits of the given firm's location. Most people without ties don't understand that the way LA is laid out is far different than most cities - it's already bigger in area than NYC and Chicago and that's without even taking into consideration places like Santa Monica and Beverly Hills, which are surrounded by LA on all sides. Being able to demonstrate that you know the nuances of the city is one way of signalling interest and commitment without actually having a concrete tie. My interviewers were pretty impressed that someone from the EC with next to no ties from Cali could correctly and articulately tell them why X was a better location in the same city than Y despite being under 10 miles apart.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273386
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Northwestern to California

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
One tip I'd suggest remembering for OCI and mass mailing is to know the differences between CC and Downtown LA like the back of your hand. When you get asked "Why LA," which you will, you can give a brief general answer before going into the specific benefits of the given firm's location. Most people without ties don't understand that the way LA is laid out is far different than most cities - it's already bigger in area than NYC and Chicago and that's without even taking into consideration places like Santa Monica and Beverly Hills, which are surrounded by LA on all sides. Being able to demonstrate that you know the nuances of the city is one way of signalling interest and commitment without actually having a concrete tie. My interviewers were pretty impressed that someone from the EC with next to no ties from Cali could correctly and articulately tell them why X was a better location in the same city than Y despite being under 10 miles apart.


TSRH, haha... I ended up getting an offer from one of my top firms but in Newport rather than Century City; I didn't know the difference til I talked to my friends in LA, who let on that Newport is full of rich, old people wheras CC is significantly closer to the people I'd want to hang out with.

User avatar
Geetar Man
Posts: 585
Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 4:13 am

Re: Northwestern to California

Postby Geetar Man » Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:42 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
One tip I'd suggest remembering for OCI and mass mailing is to know the differences between CC and Downtown LA like the back of your hand. When you get asked "Why LA," which you will, you can give a brief general answer before going into the specific benefits of the given firm's location. Most people without ties don't understand that the way LA is laid out is far different than most cities - it's already bigger in area than NYC and Chicago and that's without even taking into consideration places like Santa Monica and Beverly Hills, which are surrounded by LA on all sides. Being able to demonstrate that you know the nuances of the city is one way of signalling interest and commitment without actually having a concrete tie. My interviewers were pretty impressed that someone from the EC with next to no ties from Cali could correctly and articulately tell them why X was a better location in the same city than Y despite being under 10 miles apart.


TSRH, haha... I ended up getting an offer from one of my top firms but in Newport rather than Century City; I didn't know the difference til I talked to my friends in LA, who let on that Newport is full of rich, old people wheras CC is significantly closer to the people I'd want to hang out with.



Yup. Newport is cool if you're rich. Century City is basically LA though. Newport is more on the beach, whereas CC is not nearly as close.

User avatar
fatduck
Posts: 4186
Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 10:16 pm

Re: Northwestern to California

Postby fatduck » Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:56 pm

Desert Fox wrote:I picked up two interviews with firms in CA at OCI. They grilled me about ties.

patent firms?

09042014
Posts: 18282
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:47 pm

Re: Northwestern to California

Postby 09042014 » Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:06 am

fatduck wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:I picked up two interviews with firms in CA at OCI. They grilled me about ties.

patent firms?


Not boutiques, but they both do a fair amount of patent.

c3pO4
Posts: 835
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2011 1:34 pm

Re: Northwestern to California

Postby c3pO4 » Thu Feb 16, 2012 1:54 pm

Snape wrote:
With such amazing reasoning skills and an ability to come up with a definitive answer without very much information, experience, or logic Im sure you are doing VERY well in law school!


If it's not obvious to you, then you are a moron.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273386
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Northwestern to California

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:04 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Current Northwestern 1L--first semester GPA of 3.5...

No ties to California whatsoever beyond trips and vacations. 5 years of Public Service Work experience on the East Coast. (nothing IP or technical)

I want big law in California. Of course San Diego as impossible first choice...otherwise Palo Alto, SanFran, down to LA...

Im wondering if anyone has past experience making such a move? I know NU has the law consortium where one can fly to SanFran and LA to interview with firms at a hotel during 2L OCI....any ideas how many interviews someone with my GPA would get and what are chances of securing Big Law in California in my circumstances?

Thanks!


I'm speaking as a 1L who is in a similar situation, albeit from a higher (East Coast) T14. I landed multiple CA interviews and an offer (dropped the rest) with no ties at all. Because I knew this was what I wanted to do I talked to a bunch of 2Ls and 3Ls who similarly wanted to go to CA, most with little or no ties.

Granted my sample size is small but at least it shows some people can pull it off. Mixing my experience with the words of others: You have your order backwards. LA in general seems to be much more receptive to transplants, especially those without a tech background. SD is incredibly tiny, and non-patent SF/SV work is going to be dominated by Stanford and Berkeley grads. A top 5% Berk degree might be worth as much or more than a top 5% Harvard or Columbia degree in the Bay area simply due to the concentration of B grads and the home field advantage. That's not to say that it's impossible to get into the Bay area from outside of it, but that the competition is much harder.

On the other hand LA has a number of advantages for people trying to break in. It doesn't have a home T14. S and B grads might be more prevalent but they don't dominate the area like they do up north. LA/OC is bigger than the Bay area and is less tech-oriented. Also disavow New York in your interviews. Whenever someone asks "why do you want to work in X," they really mean "why don't you want to work in New York." I don't know how good a 3.5 is at Northwestern but I imagine it's pretty significantly above median. If you can get your grades into the MTO/Irell/etc. levels as opposed to the DLA Piper levels then you'll also see the doors start opening up.


As a San Diego native who spent 1L and 2L summers there but who goes to a non-B/S Bay Area school, I don't know where you're getting this from. No ties to SD is completely irrelevant because everyone who lives there knows anyone who moves there will be happy, especially from places with shitty weather, i.e., everywhere else in the country. At the firm I worked at before school, all the lawyers were either from USD or an assortment of better schools.

As for the Bay, it is not dominated by B/S grads. Both schools are small compared to the (relatively large, though shrinking) job market here. Everyone who lives in SF thinks it's the greatest place in the world and there is a very high likelihood anyone you interview with isn't from SF, so they can probably relate to you.

I can't really speak for LA, but it's a gigantic city of transplants, so I can't imagine a lack of ties would matter. But do yourself a favor and visit it before considering moving there. It is terrible in every way.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273386
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Northwestern to California

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Quinn Emanuel did not seem to care about ties, but it could have been because they were recruiting a relatively large class. If you are California dreaming it would probably be worth it to put a few firms that are known to be less ties-selective but do not put all your eggs in the California basket.


I don't think this is true about QE generally. They cared about my ties during my interview and definitely wanted to know where I was interviewing.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.