How to be an SA in Boston but work after 3L in CA?

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Sav
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How to be an SA in Boston but work after 3L in CA?

Postby Sav » Sun Jun 02, 2013 2:34 pm

?
Last edited by Sav on Sat Jun 15, 2013 2:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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pinkcamellia
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Re: How to be an SA in Boston but work after 3L in CA?

Postby pinkcamellia » Sun Jun 02, 2013 2:41 pm

I find it a little odd that you're a rising 2L at Boalt and you don't know how the bar exam works. If you get a job in SF like you want, you will need to take the California bar.

I don't think a transfer to HLS is worth it here if you have good grades at Boalt and are EE interested in patent. You're already in your market. A clerkship would be nice I guess, but that will most likely involve moving your family again. Moving 3 times in 3 years (from Boalt to Boston, then Boston to Clerkship, then Clerkship to SF) is probably not what's best for your family, especially if you have young kids or are thinking of expanding your family soon.

As far as 2L, having to stay in Boston will limit your choices quite a bit. And most Boston firms will expect you to stay and work at that firm if they extend an offer to you after 2L summer. And firms at EIP will be asking you why you came from your target market to H. H costs a lot of money and is just not worth it in this situation.

TL;DR Stay at Boalt, especially if you have $$$.

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bk1
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Re: How to be an SA in Boston but work after 3L in CA?

Postby bk1 » Sun Jun 02, 2013 2:47 pm

Is this serious?

NYstate
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Re: How to be an SA in Boston but work after 3L in CA?

Postby NYstate » Sun Jun 02, 2013 2:50 pm

Also, do you want to clerk or do you want a biglaw job after graduating? Can you afford to clerk with a family?

I don't see why you would have to do your SA in Boston. You will make enough to bring your family with you. Why couldn't you go back to San Francisco if that is where you intend to stay.

To answer your question: the 3L hiring market is tiny. You might gave better odds as you will presumably have contacts and experience in biglaw in your market. But almost all firms hire from their SA class.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: How to be an SA in Boston but work after 3L in CA?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Jun 02, 2013 2:53 pm

Keep in mind that last year (or was it 2011?), something like ~82 hires were made out of the 3L class. Nationally. 3L hiring is pretty tough. So if your plan to go from Boston (2L) to SF (after graduation) involves working at a different firm after graduation from where you work 2L, that's an uphill climb. If you're thinking about working at the same firm after graduation but transferring to their SF office, well, not all firms will go for that, either. So it does seem like a transfer would make your life more complicated.

And pink is right, that clerking will most likely entail another move for you/your family - you can't guarantee a clerkship in either Boston or SF. If you're not willing to work elsewhere during your 2L summer, I'm not sure how clerking fits into your plans.

The deadline to apply for the bar exam is usually around April/May before the July when you take the exam. So you would need to know by that point where you would be practicing.

Sav
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Re: How to be an SA in Boston but work after 3L in CA?

Postby Sav » Sun Jun 02, 2013 2:55 pm

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dixiecupdrinking
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Re: How to be an SA in Boston but work after 3L in CA?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Sun Jun 02, 2013 2:57 pm

Well, you have a few options. None of them are great.

You could take a SA in the Boston office of a firm that also has a SF office and hope they will be happy to give you an offer to go work in SF after your SA. This is going to be difficult and risky because there aren't that many firms with sizable offices in both Boston and SF, and to the extent they exist, each office is likely filling its own hiring needs. Plus the Boston market is generally pretty sensitive to flight risks, and firms there are less likely to be okay with this kind of thing than NYC firms. [Edit: Just did some digging out of curiosity. WilmerHale has ~65 people in Palo Alto; Ropes has ~75 between SF and SV; Goodwin has somewhere south of 150 divided between SF and SV. These are the big three Boston offices, and their Bay Area presences are not very big.]

You could reinterview with SF firms in the fall of your 3L year. This is going to be difficult and risky because there are usually very few job openings for 3Ls. And SF is not a big market to begin with.

You could clerk and then apply to work in SF afterward. This might be your best bet, but clerkships are hardly guaranteed even for Harvard grads, and there's a good chance you will have to move your family again for your clerkship year. You could limit yourself only to clerkships in Boston or California but that will make a competitive process even less of a sure thing.

Overall you should almost certainly stay at Boalt or transfer to Stanford if you can.
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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: How to be an SA in Boston but work after 3L in CA?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Jun 02, 2013 2:59 pm

You don't have to be in California to study for the California bar exam; you could stay in Boston until the bar exam by taking the bar prep course online, and then move directly to the nicer apartment in SF. Also, if you accept an offer for after graduation from your 2L firm, they will usually either give you a stipend or advance on your salary to study for the bar. (Or, of course, you could do what the rest of us do, which is take out bar loans.)

I'm just not sure you can guarantee getting a 2L job at a firm that a) has offices in both Boston and SF and 2) is willing to let you transfer after graduation. You may well be able to, I don't know, but it's not guaranteed.

And again, maybe you would be very competitive in 3L hiring (although I'm not sure Harvard is going to confer THAT much added selling power over Boalt, in northern California, especially if you have good enough grades at Boalt to consider transferring to Harvard) but it's a very very very small market. 2L is much safer.

Sav
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Re: How to be an SA in Boston but work after 3L in CA?

Postby Sav » Sun Jun 02, 2013 3:02 pm

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pinkcamellia
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Re: How to be an SA in Boston but work after 3L in CA?

Postby pinkcamellia » Sun Jun 02, 2013 3:05 pm

Sav wrote:
pinkcamellia wrote:I find it a little odd that you're a rising 2L at Boalt and you don't know how the bar exam works.
Thanks! This is very helpful. About the bar, I am worried about graduating from HLS, travelling back to CA, finding somewhere temporary to live on no income, to study for the CA bar for 3 mos, then moving again into a nicer apartment near SF to work. I do have young kids and this will all be tough managing our stuff, furniture, daycare for the 3 mos.

I am in my target market and moderately happy at Boalt. My only ties to CA are my 9 months at Boalt to far. My only ties to HLS are the 2 years I spent getting an MS at BU. If the Boston firm that I work for during my 2L summer will not want me to go back to their SF office to work permanently after 3L, then that is a big reason why I will not transfer to HLS. We can only do this move twice: Boalt to HLS now and HLS to SF after 3L. I cannot interview again after 3L for another job in SF.

I just thought the HLS brand and EE-patent background will make SF firms jump at me at 3L graduation (without my working for them during my 2L summer) so the move back to CA will be easy. HLS partners are overrepresented at my summer biglaw firm in SF.

I have no money from Boalt and costs in Berkeley are like Cambridge.


First, I'm sorry you don't have any $$$ at Boalt. I'm not sure how they are with negotiating $$$ but some other posters here might be able to help you with that. Good that you have no real debt though - this is an excellent reason to stay.

Second, with this new information, I am absolutely convinced you should stay. Cultivating your CA ties is important. Also, finding a firm that has your specific practice area with offices in SF and Boston AND will let you transfer to their SF firm will be next to impossible. A brief search on NALP confirms this. Also, I think you would be moving a lot more than you would like, especially if a clerkship were to come through for you. HLS transfers have been successful with obtaining clerkships, yes, but it doesn't sound like you are overly invested in the idea. Clerkships in either Boston or SF ONLY will be hard to come by. You'd have to be willing to cast your net a bit wider.

I understand that in many cases, TLS wisdom would pick YHS over anything else, but for the sake of your family and the fact that you are in a good spot at your school in your target market with no real debt, you should absolutely stay. The HLS brand is not worth it. Side note: The partners at your 1L firm who are HLS grads - they graduated from HLS awhile ago when the market was different.

Sav
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Re: How to be an SA in Boston but work after 3L in CA?

Postby Sav » Sun Jun 02, 2013 3:08 pm

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Jsa725
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Re: How to be an SA in Boston but work after 3L in CA?

Postby Jsa725 » Sun Jun 02, 2013 3:09 pm

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NYstate
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Re: How to be an SA in Boston but work after 3L in CA?

Postby NYstate » Sun Jun 02, 2013 3:18 pm

Jsa725 wrote:Why can't you do your 2L SA in SF? If you are going to inconvenience your family for the prefstige of HLS, then you should just own it and spend a summer away from them... Otherwise stay put at Boalt.

TBH, the plan seems pretty selfish (unless you have already spoke w/ family and they endorse this plan of yours)... You can get a great BigLaw job from Boalt and I also think that top of your class at Boalt will still make you competitive for clerkships in CA

I could be wrong but you risk putting you and your family in a worse position by transferring.


An SA job isn't even that long. Your family should be able to manage. Or, you could rent a furnished place? Why is this so hard?

I think you are maybe overemphasizing the edge Harvard might give you. Do you feel that you might strike out at OCI? Is that your real concern?

Anyway, as I said, firms hire from their summer associates. The reason they prefer this is because they have a summer of work and social interaction with you. That work and social interaction is much more valuable than an unknown who has Harvard on their resume but has never worked for them.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: How to be an SA in Boston but work after 3L in CA?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Jun 02, 2013 3:21 pm

Sav wrote:Thanks, your comments about the bar exam scheduling make it clear to me that a transfer to HLS to come back to SF is not a good move.
Though I think that ~82 would not matter for an EE from HLS, right? I don't know.
Yes, my move from 2L to SF would likely be different firms becuase I think only Ropes and Gray has offices in Boston and SV. If you say that even the same firm will not like me transfering offices, then that is another reason I should not do this. However, wouldn't the firms be OK if I have HLS on my resume? Over 50% of the firms partners I am at are HLS.

Well, the ~82 probably still matters because it doesn't matter what degree you have from where if no one in that field is hiring. And my impression is that SF is not that big a market, numbers-wise. So yes, if a SF firm wants an EE person that fall, you'd probably be competitive. Can you guarantee that opening will exist and that there won't be any candidates who are 1) more qualified than you and/or 2) have connections to the firms they can take advantage of and/or 3) have stronger ties to CA than you do, though?

And yes, HLS is a great brand. It opens doors. In this case, though, I highly doubt it opens so many more doors than excellent grades at Boalt to make the transfer worth it. It's nice that there are so many HLS people at your firm. How big is your firm? How many people is that? What about the other firms in SF - where did their partners go to school?

Really, in this economy, the legal profession is no grad's oyster, even coming out of HLS with EE (it would be one thing if you wanted a job anywhere - but you want a specific kind of job somewhere very specific). Everything may work out exactly as you want it to, but you can't assume anything.

Sav
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Re: How to be an SA in Boston but work after 3L in CA?

Postby Sav » Sun Jun 02, 2013 3:23 pm

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Re: How to be an SA in Boston but work after 3L in CA?

Postby 09042014 » Sun Jun 02, 2013 3:27 pm

1)11% of Boalt students get clerkships, but if you have the grades for HLS, you'll be in that 11%. You probably gave a good chance at the Federal Circuit as it is. And you'll be throwing away potential recommenders by transferring.

2) As far as patent lit is concerned Boalt with good grades is just about as good as you'll get. You won't get any real benefit transferring to Harvard. You are already competitive virtually everywhere. And if you are looking to be in SF, this is even more true.

3) If you leave the bay area to go to school at Harvard, you will have a much tougher time getting a job in SF. If you do an SA in Boston, it'll be even harder. By transferring you are basically spitting on Boalt--your only SF tie.

4) If you can only move twice, why are you even looking at clerkships and transferring? That is three moves. You are better off staying in the bay area, leaving to clerk and coming back.

5) You can probably trade firms during 3L OCI, but it's risky. Much fewer firms are recruiting so you might have to take a huge step down in quality of firm. Combined with 3) you this could be a very risky proposition.

6) There is no prestige in transferring. It's a mark of TTTness.

Sav
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Re: How to be an SA in Boston but work after 3L in CA?

Postby Sav » Sun Jun 02, 2013 3:28 pm

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: How to be an SA in Boston but work after 3L in CA?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Jun 02, 2013 3:29 pm

That's casting a very narrow net for clerking, as both Boston and Bay Area are extremely competitive areas for clerkships. A lot of it would depend, too, on your grades at Harvard; a top student at Boalt is arguably a more competitive candidate than a median student at HLS (not saying your grades would necessarily drop that much, but you never know).

And although it is very difficult to get a 1L SA, I don't think you can say that because you easily got a 1L SA, the same thing will happen in 3L. They're different things.

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Re: How to be an SA in Boston but work after 3L in CA?

Postby Sav » Sun Jun 02, 2013 3:30 pm

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bk1
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Re: How to be an SA in Boston but work after 3L in CA?

Postby bk1 » Sun Jun 02, 2013 3:31 pm

Transferring is a terrible idea for you.

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Re: How to be an SA in Boston but work after 3L in CA?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Sun Jun 02, 2013 3:36 pm

Sav wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:You could take a SA in the Boston office of a firm that also has a SF office and hope they will be happy to give you an offer to go work in SF after your SA. This is going to be difficult and risky because there aren't that many firms with sizable offices in both Boston and SF, and to the extent they exist, each office is likely filling its own hiring needs. Plus the Boston market is generally pretty sensitive to flight risks, and firms there are less likely to be okay with this kind of thing than NYC firms. [Edit: Just did some digging out of curiosity. WilmerHale has ~65 people in Palo Alto; Ropes has ~75 between SF and SV; Goodwin has somewhere south of 150 divided between SF and SV. These are the big three Boston offices, and their Bay Area presences are not very big.]

You could reinterview with SF firms in the fall of your 3L year. This is going to be difficult and risky because there are usually very few job openings for 3Ls. And SF is not a big market to begin with.

You could clerk and then apply to work in SF afterward. This might be your best bet, but clerkships are hardly guaranteed even for Harvard grads, and there's a good chance you will have to move your family again for your clerkship year. You could limit yourself only to clerkships in Boston or California but that will make a competitive process even less of a sure thing.

Overall you should almost certainly stay at Boalt or transfer to Stanford if you can.
Thanks, this is all really helpful. Your comments about the sensitive to flight risks is meaningful. I had forgotten about Wilmer and Goodwin. So that makes only 3 firms? small number, but maybe with HLS, it'll be OK. again, maybe not, judging from the contrary comments from above posters. I got in to 1L SAs at all firms I applied to in SF, so I was thinking they'll jump at me again at 3L from HLS. But maybe not.

If I clerk, I will not move from my school's city. That will be too many moves. So HLS means clerking only in Boston or Boalt means Bay Area. If that is casting my net too narrow even at HLS, then again it is a reason not to move from Boalt. Clerking is important to me with the condition that it has to be in the same city or not at all. (I mean I'll apply only to judges in the same city).

I was thinking of SLS but their transfer class is 12 compared to 50 at HLS :(

Yeah, I think you are vastly overestimating the advantage that HLS will give you at every step here. It's obviously an excellent school and a step up from Berkeley, but it's not really going to open whole new doors for you, especially if you're doing well enough at UCB to transfer to HLS in the first place. And Harvard just isn't going to be impressive enough to ensure you'll be able to do the very specific things you're trying for here. Sounds like it's only worth transferring if you can get 1) an SA in Boston next year, and then 2) a clerkship in Boston after graduating, and/or 3) a permanent job in SF. And each of those steps means you need to get one of, at most, a few dozen available jobs. You will just need way too much luck for all that to line up the way you want, HLS or no.

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Re: How to be an SA in Boston but work after 3L in CA?

Postby Sav » Sun Jun 02, 2013 3:36 pm

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NYstate
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Re: How to be an SA in Boston but work after 3L in CA?

Postby NYstate » Sun Jun 02, 2013 3:41 pm

Yes people on TLS promote HYS but a large part of that is because 0Ls have no idea what their grades will be ( and also because those schools can help you get into types of work like academia that you are not interested in pursuing.). You already know your grades and are in an excellent position in the place you want to live. You are doing really well to be in that position now. I doubt many 1Ls are in comparable situations.

I think you have a better chance at getting into Stanford now, even with their tiny class, than you do in coming back and getting a job as a 3L from Boston.
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Sav
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Re: How to be an SA in Boston but work after 3L in CA?

Postby Sav » Sun Jun 02, 2013 3:41 pm

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Re: How to be an SA in Boston but work after 3L in CA?

Postby Jsa725 » Sun Jun 02, 2013 3:44 pm

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