Getting to Denver?

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cslouisck
Posts: 134
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2012 11:59 am

Getting to Denver?

Postby cslouisck » Fri Oct 25, 2013 2:35 pm

Only a couple threads on here about cracking the Denver market, but none of them start with what do during 1L, so I figured I'd ask.

The relevant stuff:
Grew up in the Midwest
Non-legal employment in Denver last three years
In-laws still live in Denver
At Michigan now
Don't own a Subaru or a husky

I'm interested in firm work (though less sure about practice area), but nine weeks in, I've also realized I'm partial to legal employment of any kind in CO over anything in NYC/DC.

Thoughts on how to approach the 1L summer job search and beyond to maximize my chances of getting back?

Edit: missing words.
Last edited by cslouisck on Sat Oct 26, 2013 1:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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mr. wednesday
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Re: Getting to Denver?

Postby mr. wednesday » Fri Oct 25, 2013 3:28 pm

Denver always seems to surprise people with how difficult it is to get. Apparently a lot of people want to move there, so competition is stiff. But ties are less important than some of the super insular markets--tons of people are not locals, and that includes people involved in hiring.

Best bet for a firm in Denver is good grades and spending your 1L summer there, which is similar to almost everywhere else. Try city government, the state AG, and prosecutors offices in Denver, Golden, etc. If you can do something involving environmental law (not necessarily saving the environment, but regulating) or natural resources, that's probably a Denver plus.

Also you are going to need to buy a Subaru or a Jeep. sorry.

BeautifulSW
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Re: Getting to Denver?

Postby BeautifulSW » Fri Oct 25, 2013 3:33 pm

Would it help to transfer to Colorado Law? Lower ranked school, for sure, but the view from New Mexico is that Colorado grads have a significant advantage as they are seen as "locals". Hearsay only, though...I have no personal experience of the Denver market since a desultory sort-of maybe job search some years ago and a Denver-native friend from Georgetown who ended up here because Denver was closed up tight.

cslouisck
Posts: 134
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2012 11:59 am

Re: Getting to Denver?

Postby cslouisck » Fri Oct 25, 2013 3:48 pm

mr. wednesday wrote:Denver always seems to surprise people with how difficult it is to get. Apparently a lot of people want to move there, so competition is stiff. But ties are less important than some of the super insular markets--tons of people are not locals, and that includes people involved in hiring.

Best bet for a firm in Denver is good grades and spending your 1L summer there, which is similar to almost everywhere else. Try city government, the state AG, and prosecutors offices in Denver, Golden, etc. If you can do something involving environmental law (not necessarily saving the environment, but regulating) or natural resources, that's probably a Denver plus.

Also you are going to need to buy a Subaru or a Jeep. sorry.


Nice. Good to know. Thanks.

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mr. wednesday
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Re: Getting to Denver?

Postby mr. wednesday » Fri Oct 25, 2013 3:57 pm

BeautifulSW wrote:Would it help to transfer to Colorado Law? Lower ranked school, for sure, but the view from New Mexico is that Colorado grads have a significant advantage as they are seen as "locals". Hearsay only, though...I have no personal experience of the Denver market since a desultory sort-of maybe job search some years ago and a Denver-native friend from Georgetown who ended up here because Denver was closed up tight.

Depends on where you are transferring from. I might if it's a peer school, but don't leave a T14. It's insular but not that insular, and there are plenty unemployed Colorado grads. I'm sure you'd rather not be in your ideal market than be unemployed in Denver. Look at local firm bios; in the past 5 years or so, you'll see people from U of Denver and U Colorado who graduated summa or magna, you'll see people from great national schools, and you'll see random unexplained outliers. Plus people who clerk locally seem to stay local post-clerkship.

I think the above could be said of almost any city of that size, but Denver is probably a bit more grade conscious.

BeautifulSW
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Re: Getting to Denver?

Postby BeautifulSW » Fri Oct 25, 2013 3:59 pm

Now this I DO know about...no, you DON'T have to have a Jeep or Subaru to drive around Denver or the rest of the Front Range. Any 4WD will do. :wink:

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mr. wednesday
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Re: Getting to Denver?

Postby mr. wednesday » Fri Oct 25, 2013 4:02 pm

BeautifulSW wrote:Now this I DO know about...no, you DON'T have to have a Jeep or Subaru to drive around Denver or the rest of the Front Range. Any 4WD will do. :wink:

You only physically need a 2WD as long as it's not rear wheel drive. The Jeep/Subaru requirement is to prevent being shunned.

BeautifulSW
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Re: Getting to Denver?

Postby BeautifulSW » Fri Oct 25, 2013 4:29 pm

I-25 through Monument Hill and Castle Rock south of Denver in winter is 4WD country, friend. But I like the comment about being shunned...usually I drive a Toyota Corolla (in warmer months) and that's apparently acceptable (perhaps because of the bike rack?)

cslouisck
Posts: 134
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2012 11:59 am

Re: Getting to Denver?

Postby cslouisck » Fri Oct 25, 2013 5:08 pm

BeautifulSW wrote:I-25 through Monument Hill and Castle Rock south of Denver in winter is 4WD country, friend. But I like the comment about being shunned...usually I drive a Toyota Corolla (in warmer months) and that's apparently acceptable (perhaps because of the bike rack?)


My progression of cars living in Colorado:
Arrive: FWD old Volvo wagon with bald tires
First winter: Bought snow tires after my roommate did a 360 on (thankfully) deserted road
Got adult job: replaced old Volvo wagon with slightly less old all-wheel-drive Volvo wagon
Got married: put roof rack on registry at REI

Anonymous User
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Re: Getting to Denver?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 25, 2013 9:27 pm

Current V20 associate here.

Not sure if much has changed, but during height of recession the Denver firms had tiny class sizes and usually spots would be filled by top of CU/DU students. It was pretty difficult to get any traction at all.

The only tip that I can offer is the best bet may be to go to NYC then try and go from there when you are a mid level. I had lunch with an alum during my 2L summer and their advice then was put in your time in NYC then lateral. The alum and the other people who came to lunch had all gone that route. I can also say as a junior associate I have already gotten calls about lateraling there from recruiters.

Finally, I have a friend who goes to CU law and judging from his experiences there is no upside in transferring. It seems like they are having a tough time of it.

Anonymous User
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Re: Getting to Denver?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 25, 2013 9:51 pm

Denver attorney here. I work at the local office of a national firm. I'm not going to get into my particulars because it's a small market, but let's just say that my resume hits most of the high points in terms of school, clerkship, experience, etc.

There are basically three routes into Denver. The first is the standard summer associate route. Coming from Michigan, for that you'll either need stellar grades (law review caliber or better) or good grades and significant ties (you sound like you're right on the fence on that one).

The second route is to clerk in the region. There are a ton of people who clerked in the Tenth Circuit or D. Colo., DNM, D. Wyo., D Utah, etc. who moved straight to a Denver firm.

The third route is to put your time in at a big NY/DC/Chicago/SF/LA firm, develop a skill set, and then lateral. This is much easier on the corporate side, where there's more demand.

cslouisck
Posts: 134
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2012 11:59 am

Re: Getting to Denver?

Postby cslouisck » Sat Oct 26, 2013 12:53 am

Thanks for the insight. Much appreciated. Anon 2, if you'll be around during the holidays, I'd love to swing by for 20 minutes and chat with you about how you ended up in Denver/what you're doing/your thoughts on the process. No worries if that's not going to work but figured that if Denver's my goal, then it'd make sense to start talking to people who made it happen for themselves. PM me if you're interested.

Thanks again.

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

Re: Getting to Denver?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 26, 2013 10:40 pm

Thought I would share some anecdotal evidence based on personal experience. My attempts to secure a Denver SA position were a complete and utter failure. Mass mailed every firm in town, with a total of zero responses. Stats = Top 10%/LR at T40. Can't imagine "ties" were the issue as I was born and raised in Denver and was in state as UG. Reached out to a few alums of my law school who all said that SA classes were just ridiculously small and it was either HYS, top of class @ CU/DU, or bust. Managed to get an SA in NYC so I'm hopeful that I'll be able to lateral after a few years or maybe I'll luck out and score a D. Colo clerkship. I'd also be curious to know if anyone from out of state has had success clerking Colorado SSC or COA and moving to Denver biglaw from there.

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

Re: Getting to Denver?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 26, 2013 10:52 pm

I know out of staters who clerked SSC or COA and got firm jobs, yes (a couple got legit biglaw, others are in Denver-based litigation boutiques doing complex civil lit making $100K+) - usually people who were from Colorado but went elsewhere for law school, but also a few non-natives. It's definitely possible.

(Different anon from those above - but I agree with everything they've said about the Denver market.)




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