Question: Making ties obvious?

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frank617
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Question: Making ties obvious?

Postby frank617 » Thu Feb 12, 2015 12:41 pm

Hey everyone,

I have a question about ties/secondary markets. I am a 1L in Boston, and I am from the Boston area. However, I went to undergrad down South, and everything substantial on my resume is from that city in the South (to the point where I've had an interviewer ask me if I am from that area).

I have a pretty solid SA offer at a mid-size firm in that same Southern city that I really want to take. I do not, however, want to be there next summer; I have every intention of working in Boston (I really just want to take the SA for some good experience and the chance to hang out with my college friends, who are still down there, for one last summer before I have to settle down in Boston). My concern is that if I take this 1L SA down there, it may paint such a Southern picture on my resume that it will screw up OCI in Boston for lack of ties (even though I am from Boston, and go to school up here).

Is this a legitimate concern? Is there any way to establish my hometown on my resume even though I have no substantial work experience up here?

(if it matters, I finished first semester top ~5-10%; obviously there is a good chance I'll drop some after this semester, but since this is an OCI-type question I figured it may be relevant).

Thanks a lot

thebobs1987
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Re: Question: Making ties obvious?

Postby thebobs1987 » Thu Feb 12, 2015 1:11 pm

frank617 wrote:Hey everyone,

I have a question about ties/secondary markets. I am a 1L in Boston, and I am from the Boston area. However, I went to undergrad down South, and everything substantial on my resume is from that city in the South (to the point where I've had an interviewer ask me if I am from that area).

I have a pretty solid SA offer at a mid-size firm in that same Southern city that I really want to take. I do not, however, want to be there next summer; I have every intention of working in Boston (I really just want to take the SA for some good experience and the chance to hang out with my college friends, who are still down there, for one last summer before I have to settle down in Boston). My concern is that if I take this 1L SA down there, it may paint such a Southern picture on my resume that it will screw up OCI in Boston for lack of ties (even though I am from Boston, and go to school up here).

Is this a legitimate concern? Is there any way to establish my hometown on my resume even though I have no substantial work experience up here?

(if it matters, I finished first semester top ~5-10%; obviously there is a good chance I'll drop some after this semester, but since this is an OCI-type question I figured it may be relevant).

Thanks a lot


I am from Chicago and now go to school in Illinois, but before that I went to undergrad in a different state and all my relevant work experience was on the East Coast. I got an offer for a paid gig in NYC my 1L summer, but to make sure firms in Chicago knew that I wanted to be there I took an unpaid externship in Chicago. If you really want to be in Boston it might be safer to stay there. I am not super familiar with the Boston legal market, but if it is the only paid offer you have you can probably explain that pretty easily. Also, if firms ask during OCI, just let them know that you're only bidding Boston, that seemed to put most firms at OCI at ease when they asked if I wanted to go back East.

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JohannDeMann
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Re: Question: Making ties obvious?

Postby JohannDeMann » Thu Feb 12, 2015 3:07 pm

you should be fine. you can have ties to more than 1 city. you just have to say in your cover letter/interview - im from boston, my family is here, and this is where ive always planned on settling down. i went down south to see/experience something new.

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frank617
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Re: Question: Making ties obvious?

Postby frank617 » Thu Feb 12, 2015 4:03 pm

Thanks for the responses guys; I really appreciate it.

Do firms require/actually look at cover letters during OCI? I always thought you just have your resume available, and then firms you bid for decide to interview you or not based on that.

thebobs1987
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Re: Question: Making ties obvious?

Postby thebobs1987 » Thu Feb 12, 2015 4:42 pm

frank617 wrote:Thanks for the responses guys; I really appreciate it.

Do firms require/actually look at cover letters during OCI? I always thought you just have your resume available, and then firms you bid for decide to interview you or not based on that.


Yeah, I would say at my OCI less than half the firms requested or required cover letters.

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shifty_eyed
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Re: Question: Making ties obvious?

Postby shifty_eyed » Thu Feb 12, 2015 5:01 pm

Having a local phone number was brought up or circled/highlighted on my resume in a number of 2L screeners, even though all my work experience was also local. I think a lot of times, the phone number/address is an easy/quick way for them to tell if you are actually from the area without actually having to read your resume beyond your GPA.

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FlightoftheEarls
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Re: Question: Making ties obvious?

Postby FlightoftheEarls » Thu Feb 12, 2015 5:29 pm

shifty_eyed wrote:Having a local phone number was brought up or circled/highlighted on my resume in a number of 2L screeners, even though all my work experience was also local. I think a lot of times, the phone number/address is an easy/quick way for them to tell if you are actually from the area without actually having to read your resume beyond your GPA.

Was just typing this same thing. This is a fairly common approach.

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frank617
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Re: Question: Making ties obvious?

Postby frank617 » Thu Feb 12, 2015 5:47 pm

FlightoftheEarls wrote:
shifty_eyed wrote:Having a local phone number was brought up or circled/highlighted on my resume in a number of 2L screeners, even though all my work experience was also local. I think a lot of times, the phone number/address is an easy/quick way for them to tell if you are actually from the area without actually having to read your resume beyond your GPA.

Was just typing this same thing. This is a fairly common approach.


I thought about this too as an easy solution, but wasn't sure if firms actually gave those any consideration. I figured everyone has a new address near the school that could be on the resume, and (less likely) that people would pick up new cell phone plans in the process of picking up and moving somewhere else.


So, you think I should be ok taking this job? I won't be shooting myself in the foot for Boston (considering my pretty solid grades/actual ties despite the impression of no ties)?

Thanks again, really appreciate the help here

thebobs1987
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Re: Question: Making ties obvious?

Postby thebobs1987 » Thu Feb 12, 2015 6:25 pm

frank617 wrote:
FlightoftheEarls wrote:
shifty_eyed wrote:Having a local phone number was brought up or circled/highlighted on my resume in a number of 2L screeners, even though all my work experience was also local. I think a lot of times, the phone number/address is an easy/quick way for them to tell if you are actually from the area without actually having to read your resume beyond your GPA.

Was just typing this same thing. This is a fairly common approach.


I thought about this too as an easy solution, but wasn't sure if firms actually gave those any consideration. I figured everyone has a new address near the school that could be on the resume, and (less likely) that people would pick up new cell phone plans in the process of picking up and moving somewhere else.


So, you think I should be ok taking this job? I won't be shooting myself in the foot for Boston (considering my pretty solid grades/actual ties despite the impression of no ties)?

Thanks again, really appreciate the help here


Reach out to some alumni at firms that you are interested in and get their opinion. Might also help for OCI

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Ron Don Volante
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Re: Question: Making ties obvious?

Postby Ron Don Volante » Thu Feb 12, 2015 6:35 pm

Regarding phone numbers: with google voice you get a free additional number for your current phone in any area code you want and you can (quite cheaply) pay for additional numbers.

BigZuck
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Re: Question: Making ties obvious?

Postby BigZuck » Thu Feb 12, 2015 6:56 pm

I totally get taking anything that is paid and I would probably lean toward just doing that.

But:

My resume screamed the state I was born and raised. I moved to another state for a few years, went to law school there. During OCI/mass mailing I targeted both states (with an honest preference for the state my law school is in).

I think it really confused firms at OCI. For firms in the state my law school is located, it looked like I had weak ties to the area and would obviously bolt back home. For my home state, the question was "Why the hell did you ever leave in the first place? And you're going to law school there???" I think it was a hinderance during my job search, despite the fact that in my mind I could tell a coherent narrative for both places.

TLS tends to say "Just make up a girlfriend bro. BOOM, TIES. EZ game." I don't think its that easy. It's possible (probable?) that I just sucked at the OCI game but I think if you really have a strong preference for one area you should do everything you can to make that narrative as compelling as possible. Right now your narrative might look like you went to college out of state, fell in love with the area, worked their 1L summer, and really want to go back and are therefore bidding your home market strictly as a backup.

I totally get taking the paying job and that's probably the right move but make sure you sell the crap out of your narrative(s) when OCI rolls around. "I'm from here, parents live here, I love it, it's great. Next question!" might not be good enough.

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ymmv
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Re: Question: Making ties obvious?

Postby ymmv » Thu Feb 12, 2015 6:57 pm

Why wouldn't you have two separate resumes and cover letters for firms in each state, respectively? If your school uses Symplicity for OCI this is fairly trivial.

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frank617
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Re: Question: Making ties obvious?

Postby frank617 » Fri Feb 13, 2015 8:21 am

BigZuck wrote:I totally get taking anything that is paid and I would probably lean toward just doing that.

But:

My resume screamed the state I was born and raised. I moved to another state for a few years, went to law school there. During OCI/mass mailing I targeted both states (with an honest preference for the state my law school is in).

I think it really confused firms at OCI. For firms in the state my law school is located, it looked like I had weak ties to the area and would obviously bolt back home. For my home state, the question was "Why the hell did you ever leave in the first place? And you're going to law school there???" I think it was a hinderance during my job search, despite the fact that in my mind I could tell a coherent narrative for both places.

TLS tends to say "Just make up a girlfriend bro. BOOM, TIES. EZ game." I don't think its that easy. It's possible (probable?) that I just sucked at the OCI game but I think if you really have a strong preference for one area you should do everything you can to make that narrative as compelling as possible. Right now your narrative might look like you went to college out of state, fell in love with the area, worked their 1L summer, and really want to go back and are therefore bidding your home market strictly as a backup.

I totally get taking the paying job and that's probably the right move but make sure you sell the crap out of your narrative(s) when OCI rolls around. "I'm from here, parents live here, I love it, it's great. Next question!" might not be good enough.


Awesome, thanks a lot, this is good to know.

Thanks everyone else, too; really appreciate it

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frank617
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Re: Question: Making ties obvious?

Postby frank617 » Fri Feb 13, 2015 8:27 am

ymmv wrote:Why wouldn't you have two separate resumes and cover letters for firms in each state, respectively? If your school uses Symplicity for OCI this is fairly trivial.


The point is that my substantial work experience and college are in this second city; I grew up in Boston and my family/friends are all here, but since I went straight through, I only have the last 4 years of relevant experience, and that all happened in the city I went to college. A Boston-specific resume wouldn't have much on it.

Regarding cover letters, the point is also that, in reality, firms know that applicants will say anything to establish ties in a CL, so I'm trying to gauge how much disparity you can have between a resume and a CL before the firm calls bullshit on the CL




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