Boston biglaw without ties?

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Boston biglaw without ties?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 29, 2012 2:25 am

Is it possible to get Boston biglaw without ties? I have visited many times, love the area, and would like to live there long term. However, I have no other connections. Any advice on how I might be able to achieve this? S/Y, good grades, current 1L. Thanks!

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Re: Boston biglaw without ties?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 29, 2012 3:06 am

Work there 1L summer, if at all possible. You should be fine coming with good grades from Y/S. The only potential concern is ties. Working in Boston 1L summer would seal the deal.

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Re: Boston biglaw without ties?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 29, 2012 3:34 am

Unfortunately, due to deadline requirements I already accepted an offer from a firm in another market. Any chance without working there this summer? Does anyone have any experience with this?

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Re: Boston biglaw without ties?

Postby concurrent fork » Wed Feb 29, 2012 12:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Unfortunately, due to deadline requirements I already accepted an offer from a firm in another market. Any chance without working there this summer? Does anyone have any experience with this?

It depends. You have a better chance if you are at Y and your 1L job is in NYC. There are enough attorneys in Boston that are from/used to practice in NYC that you might find a sympathetic ear, and Y is a much stronger name in New England than S.

If you're at S and are working somewhere in CA, the transition is going to be much more difficult. Maybe marry someone from Boston?

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Re: Boston biglaw without ties?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 29, 2012 1:55 pm

concurrent fork wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Unfortunately, due to deadline requirements I already accepted an offer from a firm in another market. Any chance without working there this summer? Does anyone have any experience with this?

It depends. You have a better chance if you are at Y and your 1L job is in NYC. There are enough attorneys in Boston that are from/used to practice in NYC that you might find a sympathetic ear, and Y is a much stronger name in New England than S.

If you're at S and are working somewhere in CA, the transition is going to be much more difficult. Maybe marry someone from Boston?


I think you're being too pessimistic. Someone with good grades from S will have a decent shot at Boston, even without ties. This isn't Charleston or Jacksonville. If OP can come up with a credible "Why Boston," which isn't impossible even without ties, then he should be good. I wouldn't necessarily waste bids beyond the big firms, because smaller firms are probably more parochial, but look at the big firms websites (Ropes, GP, etc) for Stanford alumni and maybe email one of them to talk about your situation and see what they have to say and any advice they'd give for going coast to coast. All that being said if your answer to why you want to work in Boston is weak you won't get much past the screener round.

If you grew up in SF, went to school at Berk, and then law school at S, you might be more screwed through. Two things to remember for the interview: You would've gone to H if you got in there and you have no interest in NYC.

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Re: Boston biglaw without ties?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 29, 2012 5:57 pm

I focused on Boston Biglaw this past OCI without a lot of ties, and did very well in that market. You should have few issues coming from Y or S, as long as you smoothly mention the common/plausible reasons for wanting to be in Boston when they ask. I agree that Y is slightly better for Boston than S, but both are great as long as you come up with a cohesive story with 2-3 solid reasons.

- Do you have family anywhere from Connecticut on up? If so, play up being from and wanting to stay in New England. I know lots of people from CT/Maine/RI etc. who have no ties to Boston, but played the New England angle successfully. Say you like the East Coast (seasons, red sox, mentality), and prefer the more laid-back, historic vibe in Boston. ("NYC is fun for a few years, but Boston is a better place to build a life" is a pretty common sentiment among Boston lawyers, especially those who started off in NYC).

- To further differentiate between NYC and Boston: say you prefer the mix of practice areas in Boston (more healthcare, academic clients, lots of biotech, technology, IP, start-ups, private equity, not so purely financial-services/capital markets focused). To differentiate between SF/SV and Boston: say you want to have a silicon valley - style practice on the East Coast. This was true for me during OCI and my interviewers thought it was reasonable and convincing in combination with a SO-related reason.

- Last resort: make up a significant other in Boston, or say something about how your significant other is headed for Boston the near future (plenty of grad schools / med residencies/ finance in Boston, so this is quite plausible).

Even if your resume shows lots of CA ties, I don't think it's too much of an issue. My resume was fairly CA / international focused. To firms with strong Boston and CA offices, I even mentioned that I was considering moving back to CA at some point (several years down the line) as a reason why I preferred them over other Boston competitors. I think firms appreciated this honesty. It turned out just fine, and now I have options to switch back to the west coast down the line.

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Re: Boston biglaw without ties?

Postby LawIdiot86 » Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
- Last resort: make up a significant other in Boston, or say something about how your significant other is headed for Boston the near future (plenty of grad schools / med residencies/ finance in Boston, so this is quite plausible).


I don't think the importance of a SO in/from the area can be overstressed enough. I had a random screener with a top boutique in a field I had no experience in and had never taken a class in. But when I mentioned my SO was from the area, his eyes lit up, he said it was important, and jotted it down. He then continued asking how I could be interested in this practice because of my total lack of interest in it. Week later, I got the callback.

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Re: Boston biglaw without ties?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:08 pm

It can be done. I'm not top 10%, not law review. Still going to the best in Boston.

If I can do it from a much lower-ranked school than yours, you can get it from Y/S.

(I interviewed well. But you may not even have to be a kick-ass interviewer, since they'll be sweating your Y/S balls anyway)

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Re: Boston biglaw without ties?

Postby concurrent fork » Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I think you're being too pessimistic. Someone with good grades from S will have a decent shot at Boston, even without ties.

I guess that depends on what you consider a decent chance. The west-coasters I know that landed Boston Biglaw gigs either (1) went to law school or undergrad in the area; (2) have family/SO in the area; or (3) at least spent 1L summer in the area. OP has none of these, and IMO it could really hurt him/her at the screener stage.

Anonymous User wrote: I know lots of people from CT/Maine/RI etc. who have no ties to Boston, but played the New England angle successfully.

Being from New England is a "tie." You do not need to have grown up in the Boston metro area. I assume that OP is in a different situation.

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Re: Boston biglaw without ties?

Postby stillwater » Wed Feb 29, 2012 7:00 pm

We should probably consult the legendary oracle Informative/Small Law/Slevin Kelevra

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Re: Boston biglaw without ties?

Postby moonman157 » Wed Feb 29, 2012 7:10 pm

Not to divert attention away from the OP's specific question, but I certainly don't have a shot at Y/S, but I'm interested in BU/BC because I'm interested in Boston Biglaw, but I don't have any ties/connections to Boston or New England. How difficult would it be coming from one of those schools to break into the Boston biglaw market?

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Re: Boston biglaw without ties?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 29, 2012 8:14 pm

moonman157 wrote:Not to divert attention away from the OP's specific question, but I certainly don't have a shot at Y/S, but I'm interested in BU/BC because I'm interested in Boston Biglaw, but I don't have any ties/connections to Boston or New England. How difficult would it be coming from one of those schools to break into the Boston biglaw market?


The big firms are crawling with BC/BU grads. They recruit pretty heavily on campus (not just during OCI but by sponsoring social events and the like). Most midsize and small firms have a good BC/BU presence as well. I think that if you went to either school, summered in Boston, and maybe did a couple of other things to boost your Boston ties (like volunteer work so you can talk about how you wanted to be involved in the community) you should be fine.

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Re: Boston biglaw without ties?

Postby LawIdiot86 » Wed Feb 29, 2012 8:28 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
moonman157 wrote:Not to divert attention away from the OP's specific question, but I certainly don't have a shot at Y/S, but I'm interested in BU/BC because I'm interested in Boston Biglaw, but I don't have any ties/connections to Boston or New England. How difficult would it be coming from one of those schools to break into the Boston biglaw market?


The big firms are crawling with BC/BU grads. They recruit pretty heavily on campus (not just during OCI but by sponsoring social events and the like). Most midsize and small firms have a good BC/BU presence as well. I think that if you went to either school, summered in Boston, and maybe did a couple of other things to boost your Boston ties (like volunteer work so you can talk about how you wanted to be involved in the community) you should be fine.


Crawling is an overstatement in the current economy, (22% and 18% respectively per http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNLJ.jsp?interactive=true&id=1202543436520&slreturn=1), so while you probably have a better shot at Boston going to those schools, it is still worse then a coin flip.

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Re: Boston biglaw without ties?

Postby moonman157 » Wed Feb 29, 2012 8:34 pm

LawIdiot86 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
moonman157 wrote:Not to divert attention away from the OP's specific question, but I certainly don't have a shot at Y/S, but I'm interested in BU/BC because I'm interested in Boston Biglaw, but I don't have any ties/connections to Boston or New England. How difficult would it be coming from one of those schools to break into the Boston biglaw market?


The big firms are crawling with BC/BU grads. They recruit pretty heavily on campus (not just during OCI but by sponsoring social events and the like). Most midsize and small firms have a good BC/BU presence as well. I think that if you went to either school, summered in Boston, and maybe did a couple of other things to boost your Boston ties (like volunteer work so you can talk about how you wanted to be involved in the community) you should be fine.


Crawling is an overstatement in the current economy, (22% and 18% respectively per http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNLJ.jsp?interactive=true&id=1202543436520&slreturn=1), so while you probably have a better shot at Boston going to those schools, it is still worse then a coin flip.


Thanks for the help. I understand that certain markets are particularly difficult to break without more specific ties, but it seems like Boston's legal market may be a bit too big for that. Much appreciated!

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Re: Boston biglaw without ties?

Postby LawIdiot86 » Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:17 pm

moonman157 wrote:
LawIdiot86 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
moonman157 wrote:Not to divert attention away from the OP's specific question, but I certainly don't have a shot at Y/S, but I'm interested in BU/BC because I'm interested in Boston Biglaw, but I don't have any ties/connections to Boston or New England. How difficult would it be coming from one of those schools to break into the Boston biglaw market?


The big firms are crawling with BC/BU grads. They recruit pretty heavily on campus (not just during OCI but by sponsoring social events and the like). Most midsize and small firms have a good BC/BU presence as well. I think that if you went to either school, summered in Boston, and maybe did a couple of other things to boost your Boston ties (like volunteer work so you can talk about how you wanted to be involved in the community) you should be fine.


Crawling is an overstatement in the current economy, (22% and 18% respectively per http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNLJ.jsp?interactive=true&id=1202543436520&slreturn=1), so while you probably have a better shot at Boston going to those schools, it is still worse then a coin flip.


Thanks for the help. I understand that certain markets are particularly difficult to break without more specific ties, but it seems like Boston's legal market may be a bit too big for that. Much appreciated!


Um, no, Boston's legal market isn't "big." See http://www.nalp.org/law_firm_jobs_in_2010

SA/likely entry level positions
Boston: 208
Texas: 245
LA: 288
Chicago: 330
DC: 606
NYC: 1,749

The only remotely comparable cities that were smaller were Philly: 88 and Atlanta: 98 and they don't have three T30 law schools shoving grads into the local markets.

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Re: Boston biglaw without ties?

Postby moonman157 » Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:31 pm

The big firms are crawling with BC/BU grads. They recruit pretty heavily on campus (not just during OCI but by sponsoring social events and the like). Most midsize and small firms have a good BC/BU presence as well. I think that if you went to either school, summered in Boston, and maybe did a couple of other things to boost your Boston ties (like volunteer work so you can talk about how you wanted to be involved in the community) you should be fine.[/quote]

Crawling is an overstatement in the current economy, (22% and 18% respectively per http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNLJ.jsp?interactive=true&id=1202543436520&slreturn=1), so while you probably have a better shot at Boston going to those schools, it is still worse then a coin flip.[/quote]

Thanks for the help. I understand that certain markets are particularly difficult to break without more specific ties, but it seems like Boston's legal market may be a bit too big for that. Much appreciated![/quote]

Um, no, Boston's legal market isn't "big." See http://www.nalp.org/law_firm_jobs_in_2010

SA/likely entry level positions
Boston: 208
Texas: 245
LA: 288
Chicago: 330
DC: 606
NYC: 1,749

The only remotely comparable cities that were smaller were Philly: 88 and Atlanta: 98 and they don't have three T30 law schools shoving grads into the local markets.[/quote]

Well I was specifically referring to much smaller markets that appear to need much closer ties to crack, though I'm well aware that Boston is nowhere near the size of NYC, DC, or Chicago law. Though Boston is closer to LA than it is to Atlanta or Philly. And does Harvard shove their grads into the Boston market?

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Re: Boston biglaw without ties?

Postby JR1988 » Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:35 pm

It's probably not a good idea; you'll have to purchase a couple. Most biglaw firms require a suit and tie everyday. Ties are pretty cheap, though, so don't worry.

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Re: Boston biglaw without ties?

Postby kaiser » Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:41 pm

JR1988 wrote:It's probably not a good idea; you'll have to purchase a couple. Most biglaw firms require a suit and tie everyday. Ties are pretty cheap, though, so don't worry.


The vast majority of biglaw firms do NOT require suit and tie everyday. In NY, only a select few are still business formal. I'd imagine Boston is no different.

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Re: Boston biglaw without ties?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:46 pm

moonman157 wrote:SA/likely entry level positions
Boston: 208


What's funny about this stat is that 1/4 of that is one firm alone, and within that 80% are from Harvard.

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Re: Boston biglaw without ties?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
moonman157 wrote:SA/likely entry level positions
Boston: 208


What's funny about this stat is that 1/4 of that is one firm alone, and within that 80% are from Harvard.


Ropes & Gray or Wilmerhale?

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Re: Boston biglaw without ties?

Postby LawIdiot86 » Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
moonman157 wrote:SA/likely entry level positions
Boston: 208


What's funny about this stat is that 1/4 of that is one firm alone, and within that 80% are from Harvard.


Ropes & Gray or Wilmerhale?


Ropes

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Re: Boston biglaw without ties?

Postby JusticeHarlan » Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:57 pm

LawIdiot86 wrote:Um, no, Boston's legal market isn't "big." See http://www.nalp.org/law_firm_jobs_in_2010

SA/likely entry level positions
Boston: 208
Texas: 245
LA: 288
Chicago: 330
DC: 606
NYC: 1,749

The only remotely comparable cities that were smaller were Philly: 88 and Atlanta: 98 and they don't have three T30 law schools shoving grads into the local markets.

This is stupid for two reasons.

First, you're only looking at 251+ lawyer firms. This ignores a number of very good Boston firms, including Foley Hoag, Choate, Goulston, Nutter, S&W, Brown Rudnick, etc. The real number of quality Boston firm jobs that year was between 208 (251+ firms) and 386 (250 or less), but it'll be more than what you quote.

Second, I have no idea why Philly and Atlanta are the "comparable" markets. Boston isn't NYC, DC, Chicago or LA. But it's right after those cities, and more than Dallas or San Fransisco, each of which is closer in size (per that chart) to Boston than Philly and Atlanta. The point of the thread is to ask about ties. Boston isn't a small southern market where you're either from here or you aren't. Boston is a fairly major market that is somewhat insular, but a lot less than other places.

Breaking into biglaw anywhere is tough these days, and even if there were 400 desirable firm jobs in Boston, there would be plenty more applicants than spots. But OP is at S or Y. He'll have a shot, even without ties, if he plays his cards right.

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Re: Boston biglaw without ties?

Postby moonman157 » Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:06 am

kaiser wrote:
JR1988 wrote:It's probably not a good idea; you'll have to purchase a couple. Most biglaw firms require a suit and tie everyday. Ties are pretty cheap, though, so don't worry.


The vast majority of biglaw firms do NOT require suit and tie everyday. In NY, only a select few are still business formal. I'd imagine Boston is no different.


Phew. What a relief.

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Re: Boston biglaw without ties?

Postby london24 » Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:46 pm

BU/BC 2L-top 15% and LR. No ties to Boston beyond law school and stupidly worked in my home market (NY) 1L summer to save money on rent. Not one callback in Boston. 9 NY CBs but firms seemed to think I was more interested in Boston since I opted for school there and BC/BU doesn't carry as much weight with NY firms. As a result, I'm still unemployed for the summer. I don't blame geography entirely but I think it played a substantial role. Boston is hard without ties although Y/S is obviously really attractive. For anyone considering BC/BU who wants Boston biglaw without undergrad/family ties, I would STRONGLY recommend staying in Boston for 1L summer and trying to build further ties during 1L spring.

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Re: Boston biglaw without ties?

Postby LawIdiot86 » Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:49 pm

JusticeHarlan wrote:
LawIdiot86 wrote:Um, no, Boston's legal market isn't "big." See http://www.nalp.org/law_firm_jobs_in_2010

SA/likely entry level positions
Boston: 208
Texas: 245
LA: 288
Chicago: 330
DC: 606
NYC: 1,749

The only remotely comparable cities that were smaller were Philly: 88 and Atlanta: 98 and they don't have three T30 law schools shoving grads into the local markets.

This is stupid for two reasons.

First, you're only looking at 251+ lawyer firms. This ignores a number of very good Boston firms, including Foley Hoag, Choate, Goulston, Nutter, S&W, Brown Rudnick, etc. The real number of quality Boston firm jobs that year was between 208 (251+ firms) and 386 (250 or less), but it'll be more than what you quote.

Second, I have no idea why Philly and Atlanta are the "comparable" markets. Boston isn't NYC, DC, Chicago or LA. But it's right after those cities, and more than Dallas or San Fransisco, each of which is closer in size (per that chart) to Boston than Philly and Atlanta. The point of the thread is to ask about ties. Boston isn't a small southern market where you're either from here or you aren't. Boston is a fairly major market that is somewhat insular, but a lot less than other places.

Breaking into biglaw anywhere is tough these days, and even if there were 400 desirable firm jobs in Boston, there would be plenty more applicants than spots. But OP is at S or Y. He'll have a shot, even without ties, if he plays his cards right.


OP is fine with Y/S, but second OP who is BU/BC 0L with no ties to NE, so he's already starting at 1/5 odds BEFORE we ding him on commitment to the market.




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