How insular is denver?

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Anonymous User
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How insular is denver?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:47 pm

I want to summer in Denver. I visit CO at least once a year for skiing and love the area, could talk about it for hours, know it very well. Does this count as having ties of some sort? I'm top 10% @ Fordham (2L evening, grades have been kept up), BSEE w good UG GPA from decent school, 4 years relevant WE, patent bar, planning on trying to get in via the patent fair in Loyola.

Is there hope or should I save my bids for NYC? Please share your experiences trying to break into this market. Thanks in advance-

rad lulz
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Re: How insular is denver?

Postby rad lulz » Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:53 pm

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Last edited by rad lulz on Sun Apr 21, 2013 11:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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quakeroats
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Re: How insular is denver?

Postby quakeroats » Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I want to summer in Denver. I visit CO at least once a year for skiing and love the area, could talk about it for hours, know it very well. Does this count as having ties of some sort? I'm top 10% @ Fordham (2L evening, grades have been kept up), BSEE w good UG GPA from decent school, 4 years relevant WE, patent bar, planning on trying to get in via the patent fair in Loyola.

Is there hope or should I save my bids for NYC? Please share your experiences trying to break into this market. Thanks in advance-


Don't mention skiing by name as a reason to want Denver. If anything, couch it in "lifestyle" or something similar. If you're talking about your hobbies feel free to mention it.

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kalvano
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Re: How insular is denver?

Postby kalvano » Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:57 pm

I spoke with a couple of Denver attorneys, and they said 2 things:

1) Firms in Denver have been burned a ton by people outside the area. They come in, enjoy a Colorado summer, and then go work somewhere else, leaving the firm in the loop. Hence, firms are very, very suspicious of people not in the area.

2) The Denver legal market is tiny, and was hit pretty hard. They still had people last year whose start date was deferred after the economy tanked just getting started. So firms aren't exactly desperate for people.

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Re: How insular is denver?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:58 pm

rad lulz wrote:Reasons like this are the whole reason people are sensitive about ties.


Could you clarify what you mean? I understand the tie is loose, but your implication here is that it's actually a negative. To expand a little, I spend 7-30 days a year there, and have rented property for up to 5 weeks at a time in the high rockies. I've visited several times during the summer for other outdoor activities too, and would try to paint a picture that the whole outdoors thing really suits me when asked "Why CO?".

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Re: How insular is denver?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:59 pm

kalvano wrote:I spoke with a couple of Denver attorneys, and they said 2 things:

1) Firms in Denver have been burned a ton by people outside the area. They come in, enjoy a Colorado summer, and then go work somewhere else, leaving the firm in the loop. Hence, firms are very, very suspicious of people not in the area.

2) The Denver legal market is tiny, and was hit pretty hard. They still had people last year whose start date was deferred after the economy tanked just getting started. So firms aren't exactly desperate for people.


Thanks, that makes a lot of sense. I understand Denver is a tech hub so I was hoping there was more patent work than work in other areas, but this hope may be misguided.

rad lulz
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Re: How insular is denver?

Postby rad lulz » Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:04 pm

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Last edited by rad lulz on Sun Apr 21, 2013 11:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: How insular is denver?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:13 pm

rad lulz wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
rad lulz wrote:Reasons like this are the whole reason people are sensitive about ties.


Could you clarify what you mean? I understand the tie is loose, but your implication here is that it's actually a negative. To expand a little, I spend 7-30 days a year there, and have rented property for up to 5 weeks at a time in the high rockies. I've visited several times during the summer for other outdoor activities too, and would try to paint a picture that the whole outdoors thing really suits me when asked "Why CO?".

I'm a Floridian, and the same things comes up here. Everyone says they like the weather, beach, etc., and it's like "no fucking duh, you and everyone else." When you say that, you come off like a tourist, and people don't like tourists.


Understood, thanks for your input - if I interview with Denver firms I'll be careful about this.

09042014
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Re: How insular is denver?

Postby 09042014 » Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:27 pm

Only try this if you have extra bids at loyola.

LawIdiot86
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Re: How insular is denver?

Postby LawIdiot86 » Thu Feb 23, 2012 7:20 pm

Also the class sizes there are so tiny and your school name, while good, carries little weight, so stick to NYC for your limited bids.

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Re: How insular is denver?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:39 pm

Stay away from Denver. The firms lowball associates, cost of living isn't that low, and (by far the most important) the work is pretty awful, especially if you aren't at a national branch office (essentially impossible to get without T6 plus several years at a V20 firm or a COA clerkship) or maybe H&H, DGS or HRO. And even the last three underpay with mediocre work.

I'm serious. I was forced to move here for spousal career reasons. After nine months of pulling my hair out doing $100k cases at a "high end" boutique I ran screaming to the goverrnment in search of work that was remotely interesting. Which it actually is -- though the pay is so crappy that even on two incomes, we're burning through the biglaw savings pretty rapidly. So we're moving back to the big city with our tails between our legs and a newfound appreciation of jobs with decent pay and fun cases.

traydeuce
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Re: How insular is denver?

Postby traydeuce » Fri Feb 24, 2012 12:04 am

so insular that I've heard out-of-town 10th cir. clerks (10th cir sits in denver) can't get jobs there.

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sunynp
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Re: How insular is denver?

Postby sunynp » Fri Feb 24, 2012 12:16 am

Yes. Do not go to Colorado telling them how much you live the outdoors. You are going on a job interview- you want to seem like you want to work hard- not how great the weather is. People applying to new York firms talk about the work- not how they come to town a couple times a year to shop, go to broadway or the latest museum show.

I think you are mistaken to expect to spend a summer in denver. Even if you so, how much time will you have for play time.

You need to research firms and come up with a plausible interest in the work they do- like mining, water or oil and gas.

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Re: How insular is denver?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 24, 2012 12:25 am

As someone who got a multiple offers in a secondary market with pathetic ties, I think the best thing to do is 1) acknowledge your attraction to the area but then 2) focus on the work. Say you think Denver has a great future in tech, or whatever else along those lines. If you focus on how much you like to vacation there, you're fucked, because they're not going to think about you as an employee but as a vacationer.

You have to convey to them that you know what the work is, and are sincerely interested in it. The best way to test this is by contacting an associate (preferably an alum) in the city and "reality testing" your spiel on them.

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Re: How insular is denver?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 24, 2012 7:45 am

Insular, but possible.

During an interview at a national firm's local office, the associates I went to lunch with told me that if you want to work in Denver for a large firm, go work in NY for a few years then lateral in. That's how all of them ended up there.

Just as a single example (so take it fwiw), I'm from Colorado but went to a lower-T14. I'm clerking now for federal district court in market I had few ties. During clerkship season got interviews at federal district courts / state supremes in areas I had no contacts to. I applied across the board in Colorado and couldn't even get an interview at state appellate court. Most of those types of jobs seem to go to CU or DU grads.

On the other hand, I know some people with no ties who found jobs at smaller firms in Denver that pay less than market ~70-80k. If you have no loans you can live pretty decently in Denver for that much. Though as someone above noted, while cheaper than NY or CA, Denver isn't cheap.

Kretzy
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Re: How insular is denver?

Postby Kretzy » Fri Feb 24, 2012 12:28 pm

Denver SA (and CO native) here. I agree with some but not all of the above.

I think Denver is similar to Portland and Seattle in insularity; it's a desirable market where a few firms dominate, and there is a lot of skepticism toward people who aren't from here that they are willing to stay.

First, if you are at all diverse (read: if not a straight, white male), do the Rocky Mountain Diversity Fair, and try and sell yourself hard on being in Colorado. Learn about Colorado's politics, the major issues that people living there talk about (water, land use, etc.). Don't talk about skiing. Seriously. I don't care how much you think it shows your ties to the state; what it really shows is that you like the mountains.

Second, see if there are any Fordham grads at the Denver firms (not just the major ones like GDC, A&P, HH, Bryan Cave (formerly HRO), DGS, etc., but anywhere) and reach out to them. See if they have advice for breaking into the market.

Denver has maybe 70 SA spots; e-board of CU Law Review isn't getting people jobs in Denver right now, so don't throw your eggs in it. I got lucky with a combination of great school and local ties; I still only got offers from 2 firms in Denver. It's worth it to try, though, if you have extra bids: Denver's a terrific city.

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Re: How insular is denver?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 24, 2012 2:09 pm

OP here-

Thanks guys, this has been extremely informative. I'll do some reaching out to alums in CO, get my research done on firms I would want to work at in NYC that have offices in CO, and then throw a very limited number of Hail Mary's out to CO firms if I have the extra bids.

It seems that since I am applying to patent firms, the work would be the same in Denver as it is in NYC and SF, so the major talking point is the booming tech industry in Denver - I'll make sure I am fully researched on that topic, as well as local issues and happenings. Fingers crossed.




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