Getting Into Portland Legal Market

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Lieut Kaffee
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Getting Into Portland Legal Market

Postby Lieut Kaffee » Mon Jul 23, 2012 12:57 am

I just stumbled into a conversation where I ended up advising someone on the pros and cons of pursuing law school. For the purposes of this post, the core question is this: If someone has a 3.45 ugpa and is only able to get to, say, mid 160s on the LSAT, can they go to Lewis & Clark expecting to land gainful employment in Portland (he's from there)? Or is "T14 or bust" TCR?

skaterboyroland
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Re: Getting Into Portland Legal Market

Postby skaterboyroland » Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:03 am

I found this website to be useful in my decision on which school I should go to. I have lived in the Portland/Vancouver area since I was 10, so I also wanted to choose the route which would lead to a job in ptown.

http://034aac7.netsolhost.com/WordPress/law-students/

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Lieut Kaffee
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Re: Getting Into Portland Legal Market

Postby Lieut Kaffee » Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:07 am

Thanks, that is indeed somewhat helpful. Obviously hard to draw any firm conclusions, however, aside from the obvious that the legal market is relatively small. Looks like you would have to do pretty well at L&C to feel comfortable. Might not be worth the gamble.

Anonymous User
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Re: Getting Into Portland Legal Market

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:16 am

I am personally looking to break into the Portland market.... I'd like to hear some stories of people successfully breaking into the Portland market and how they did it...

rad lulz
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Re: Getting Into Portland Legal Market

Postby rad lulz » Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:17 am

Anonymous User wrote:I am personally looking to break into the Portland market.... I'd like to hear some stories of people successfully breaking into the Portland market and how they did it...

Are you from Portland?

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Lieut Kaffee
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Re: Getting Into Portland Legal Market

Postby Lieut Kaffee » Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:19 am

rad lulz wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I am personally looking to break into the Portland market.... I'd like to hear some stories of people successfully breaking into the Portland market and how they did it...

Are you from Portland?

If you have advice contingent on the answer to that question, the OP is about someone who was born and raised and never left.

rad lulz
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Re: Getting Into Portland Legal Market

Postby rad lulz » Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:22 am

Lieut Kaffee wrote:
rad lulz wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I am personally looking to break into the Portland market.... I'd like to hear some stories of people successfully breaking into the Portland market and how they did it...

Are you from Portland?

If you have advice contingent on the answer to that question, the OP is about someone who was born and raised and never left.

I mean someone else can correct me, but I've talked to a couple people about it, and in reference to the above anon, Portland isn't a place you "break into." Being from there is almost a prerequisite.

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Lieut Kaffee
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Re: Getting Into Portland Legal Market

Postby Lieut Kaffee » Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:25 am

rad lulz wrote:
Lieut Kaffee wrote:
rad lulz wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I am personally looking to break into the Portland market.... I'd like to hear some stories of people successfully breaking into the Portland market and how they did it...

Are you from Portland?

If you have advice contingent on the answer to that question, the OP is about someone who was born and raised and never left.

I mean someone else can correct me, but I've talked to a couple people about it, and in reference to the above anon, Portland isn't a place you "break into." Being from there is almost a prerequisite.


Ah, gotcha.

Anonymous User
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Re: Getting Into Portland Legal Market

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:42 am

Anon because i'm outed on here and what I'm about to say is privileged. I can split up the Portland summer associates into a couple of categories. These categories are apparently a constant and you should fall into one of them if you want a firm job in Portland. [1] gets anywhere from 5-10 SA (discounting Schwabe for reasons below). [2]-[4] get 3-6 each i'd say. [5] gets one, maybe two at the most.

Categories:

1. Be top 10% (probably 5%) of your class at U of O, Lewis and Clark, Willamette, and a little less high from UW.

2. Be awesome at t-6 w/ pacific northwest ties (washington, oregon, idaho, etc.)

3. Be good to awesome at t-10 w/ portland ties (e.g. raised here, spent childhood here)

4. Be okay to awesome at t-14 (with some wiggle room, e.g. UW+diverse+ties=offer, probably) and diverse w/ some connection to portland (note: ties not 100% necessary, just because there are so few diverse candidates with ties that apply in the first place.)

5. Have necessary skill set and get partners go to bat for you because the recruiters would otherwise trash your application.

A note for prospective Portland applicants: Schwabe is not honest about its recruiting stats. Only one or two of their summers get offers each year (out of seven or eight summers), and there is some debate as to whether those are cold offers (meant to be marketed, but comes with the understanding that the summer associate is not actually welcome back for permanent employment after law school).

Thoughts: Portland is a difficult market to breach, it's currently over-saturated, and they're still behind the curve on market recovery. For sure, Portland weathered the storm fairly well, but the slow movement is combined with some other difficulties: Schwabe is a financial mess (and they are not well-respected/trusted amongst members of the Portland bar); Tonkon is having trouble but no one knows why, possibly reputation issues; word on the street is that Stoel is decentralizing its practice from Portland (meaning: less Portland emphasis, less Portland hiring); Miller Nash is... actually, they're pretty good from what I hear despite being stuck in big pink; DWT, Perkins, Gates, etc., are sufficiently national to march on without too much worry about their satellite Portland experiment.

Conclusion: I love Portland and the firm culture here: just one person's opinion on the current state of the legal market in the neighborhood. Know what you're getting yourself into and be adaptable to change.

It's a good life if you can make it. Remember the categories above and try your best to get into one of them. Remember: If you're at an Oregon school, get the grades. If you're at a t-14 or similar, then at least be mediocre and make it 100% clear that Portland is where you want to live, die, and be buried. Good luck.




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