North Carolina

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stickershocked
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North Carolina

Postby stickershocked » Sun Feb 15, 2015 2:17 pm

Interested in what the North Carolina market is like for T-14 students. From research on chambers partners, it looks like the top corp firms are pretty much saturated with UNC, Duke and Wake Forest kids. Are ties especially important in this market? What constitutes ties (would spouse in area count?)

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monsterman
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Re: North Carolina

Postby monsterman » Sun Feb 15, 2015 2:22 pm

also interested in this

BlackAndOrange84
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Re: North Carolina

Postby BlackAndOrange84 » Sun Feb 15, 2015 3:42 pm

My impression is that absent ties, firms are going to be pretty skeptical of random T-14 students trying to break into the market, particularly the old school NC firms like Smith Anderson, Brooks Pierce, Robinson Bradshaw, and Moore & Van Allen. That isn't to say those firms don't hire T-14 students, they do, but I get the feeling they're usually T-14 students with ties. Also, ties seem to matter more in Raleigh and Greensboro than in Charlotte.

You may have more luck with the Charlotte branch offices of biglaw or regional (southeastern) firms. Being a bigger city where there's some fairly serious transactional work to be done probably makes it an easier sell in terms of explaining why you'd like to be there. But I'm also of the impression that there's more hiring going on in and around Raleigh than in Charlotte.

What counts as ties? I think having your spouse living and working in or originally being from NC would be sufficient for many but maybe not all firms. Some of them really do seem to care about old and deep ties. But having a spouse in NC should at least make you a plausible fit. You'd also need to do some research and be able to articulate why you'd prefer Charlotte/Raleigh to more traditional destinations for T14 grads. Cost of living as compared to salary, a growing state, being close to the outdoors, and being able to buy a house are just a few of the things you could talk about.

Personally, I grew up in a neighboring state but bounced around a lot between college and law school—that didn't seem to cut it for most of the NC firms, though I will say that Robinson Bradshaw seemed to care the least of the old-line NC firms. I had better luck with regional and biglaw firms in Charlotte than anywhere else in the state, though I was gunning for lit rather than transactional work.

If you're a 1L looking for your first summer job, a judicial internship or some sort of PI/gov't work in either Charlotte or Raleigh could be a good way to make yourself more credible going into 2L OCI.

Anonymous User
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Re: North Carolina

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 15, 2015 5:01 pm

BlackAndOrange84 wrote:My impression is that absent ties, firms are going to be pretty skeptical of random T-14 students trying to break into the market, particularly the old school NC firms like Smith Anderson, Brooks Pierce, Robinson Bradshaw, and Moore & Van Allen. That isn't to say those firms don't hire T-14 students, they do, but I get the feeling they're usually T-14 students with ties. Also, ties seem to matter more in Raleigh and Greensboro than in Charlotte.

You may have more luck with the Charlotte branch offices of biglaw or regional (southeastern) firms. Being a bigger city where there's some fairly serious transactional work to be done probably makes it an easier sell in terms of explaining why you'd like to be there. But I'm also of the impression that there's more hiring going on in and around Raleigh than in Charlotte.

What counts as ties? I think having your spouse living and working in or originally being from NC would be sufficient for many but maybe not all firms. Some of them really do seem to care about old and deep ties. But having a spouse in NC should at least make you a plausible fit. You'd also need to do some research and be able to articulate why you'd prefer Charlotte/Raleigh to more traditional destinations for T14 grads. Cost of living as compared to salary, a growing state, being close to the outdoors, and being able to buy a house are just a few of the things you could talk about.

Personally, I grew up in a neighboring state but bounced around a lot between college and law school—that didn't seem to cut it for most of the NC firms, though I will say that Robinson Bradshaw seemed to care the least of the old-line NC firms. I had better luck with regional and biglaw firms in Charlotte than anywhere else in the state, though I was gunning for lit rather than transactional work.

If you're a 1L looking for your first summer job, a judicial internship or some sort of PI/gov't work in either Charlotte or Raleigh could be a good way to make yourself more credible going into 2L OCI.



I am a top-5 school guy going to Charlotte to work at a 160k-paying firm. I largely agree with the above - ties are definitely important, in terms of simply establishing a narrative for why you want to be in Charlotte as opposed to NY or SF or something, but are not the only key factor. In my experience, I started with a huge leg up versus Duke, UVA, Vandy, UNC kids just by nature of coming from a HYSCCN school where they didn't get many applications from. Having good grades and relevant experience are still the most important factors, along with fit, just like any other large or medium sized markets.

As far as the above about Raleigh v. Charlotte hiring, that is incorrect - Charlotte classes are much larger, by a factor of about 2, and pay more, even among the same firms. E.g. MVA will pay 145k starting in Charlotte and 140 or 135 in Raleigh. Raleigh also does not have the firms paying 160k that are in Charlotte, e.g. CAdwalader, Dechert, Mayer Brown, and Winston Strawn, adn the work will be more focussed on tech, IP, and mid-market PE than on Corporate, Finance and Banking, and Real Estate that you get in Charlotte, along with Litigation in both places.

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Re: North Carolina

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 15, 2015 5:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
BlackAndOrange84 wrote:My impression is that absent ties, firms are going to be pretty skeptical of random T-14 students trying to break into the market, particularly the old school NC firms like Smith Anderson, Brooks Pierce, Robinson Bradshaw, and Moore & Van Allen. That isn't to say those firms don't hire T-14 students, they do, but I get the feeling they're usually T-14 students with ties. Also, ties seem to matter more in Raleigh and Greensboro than in Charlotte.

You may have more luck with the Charlotte branch offices of biglaw or regional (southeastern) firms. Being a bigger city where there's some fairly serious transactional work to be done probably makes it an easier sell in terms of explaining why you'd like to be there. But I'm also of the impression that there's more hiring going on in and around Raleigh than in Charlotte.

What counts as ties? I think having your spouse living and working in or originally being from NC would be sufficient for many but maybe not all firms. Some of them really do seem to care about old and deep ties. But having a spouse in NC should at least make you a plausible fit. You'd also need to do some research and be able to articulate why you'd prefer Charlotte/Raleigh to more traditional destinations for T14 grads. Cost of living as compared to salary, a growing state, being close to the outdoors, and being able to buy a house are just a few of the things you could talk about.

Personally, I grew up in a neighboring state but bounced around a lot between college and law school—that didn't seem to cut it for most of the NC firms, though I will say that Robinson Bradshaw seemed to care the least of the old-line NC firms. I had better luck with regional and biglaw firms in Charlotte than anywhere else in the state, though I was gunning for lit rather than transactional work.

If you're a 1L looking for your first summer job, a judicial internship or some sort of PI/gov't work in either Charlotte or Raleigh could be a good way to make yourself more credible going into 2L OCI.



I am a top-5 school guy going to Charlotte to work at a 160k-paying firm. I largely agree with the above - ties are definitely important, in terms of simply establishing a narrative for why you want to be in Charlotte as opposed to NY or SF or something, but are not the only key factor. In my experience, I started with a huge leg up versus Duke, UVA, Vandy, UNC kids just by nature of coming from a HYSCCN school where they didn't get many applications from. Having good grades and relevant experience are still the most important factors, along with fit, just like any other large or medium sized markets.

As far as the above about Raleigh v. Charlotte hiring, that is incorrect - Charlotte classes are much larger, by a factor of about 2, and pay more, even among the same firms. E.g. MVA will pay 145k starting in Charlotte and 140 or 135 in Raleigh. Raleigh also does not have the firms paying 160k that are in Charlotte, e.g. CAdwalader, Dechert, Mayer Brown, and Winston Strawn, adn the work will be more focussed on tech, IP, and mid-market PE than on Corporate, Finance and Banking, and Real Estate that you get in Charlotte, along with Litigation in both places.


Why are you under the impression that Columbia or NYU gave you a huge leg up over duke and UVA students? This is contrary to my experience in the region. Charlotte and Raleigh firms take a ton of those guys each year, even at median.

That said, i do believe that HYS students have an advantage

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Re: North Carolina

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 16, 2015 2:05 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
BlackAndOrange84 wrote:My impression is that absent ties, firms are going to be pretty skeptical of random T-14 students trying to break into the market, particularly the old school NC firms like Smith Anderson, Brooks Pierce, Robinson Bradshaw, and Moore & Van Allen. That isn't to say those firms don't hire T-14 students, they do, but I get the feeling they're usually T-14 students with ties. Also, ties seem to matter more in Raleigh and Greensboro than in Charlotte.

You may have more luck with the Charlotte branch offices of biglaw or regional (southeastern) firms. Being a bigger city where there's some fairly serious transactional work to be done probably makes it an easier sell in terms of explaining why you'd like to be there. But I'm also of the impression that there's more hiring going on in and around Raleigh than in Charlotte.

What counts as ties? I think having your spouse living and working in or originally being from NC would be sufficient for many but maybe not all firms. Some of them really do seem to care about old and deep ties. But having a spouse in NC should at least make you a plausible fit. You'd also need to do some research and be able to articulate why you'd prefer Charlotte/Raleigh to more traditional destinations for T14 grads. Cost of living as compared to salary, a growing state, being close to the outdoors, and being able to buy a house are just a few of the things you could talk about.

Personally, I grew up in a neighboring state but bounced around a lot between college and law school—that didn't seem to cut it for most of the NC firms, though I will say that Robinson Bradshaw seemed to care the least of the old-line NC firms. I had better luck with regional and biglaw firms in Charlotte than anywhere else in the state, though I was gunning for lit rather than transactional work.

If you're a 1L looking for your first summer job, a judicial internship or some sort of PI/gov't work in either Charlotte or Raleigh could be a good way to make yourself more credible going into 2L OCI.



I am a top-5 school guy going to Charlotte to work at a 160k-paying firm. I largely agree with the above - ties are definitely important, in terms of simply establishing a narrative for why you want to be in Charlotte as opposed to NY or SF or something, but are not the only key factor. In my experience, I started with a huge leg up versus Duke, UVA, Vandy, UNC kids just by nature of coming from a HYSCCN school where they didn't get many applications from. Having good grades and relevant experience are still the most important factors, along with fit, just like any other large or medium sized markets.

As far as the above about Raleigh v. Charlotte hiring, that is incorrect - Charlotte classes are much larger, by a factor of about 2, and pay more, even among the same firms. E.g. MVA will pay 145k starting in Charlotte and 140 or 135 in Raleigh. Raleigh also does not have the firms paying 160k that are in Charlotte, e.g. CAdwalader, Dechert, Mayer Brown, and Winston Strawn, adn the work will be more focussed on tech, IP, and mid-market PE than on Corporate, Finance and Banking, and Real Estate that you get in Charlotte, along with Litigation in both places.


Why are you under the impression that Columbia or NYU gave you a huge leg up over duke and UVA students? This is contrary to my experience in the region. Charlotte and Raleigh firms take a ton of those guys each year, even at median.

That said, i do believe that HYS students have an advantage


Re-read your post because it makes no sense, so I can't even respond intelligently. Who do they take a ton of at median, Columbia and NYU (I go to neither btw)? Because if that's what you are saying, you are incorrect, factually. Look at the rosters of these firms in Charlotte you claim to know about. I bet their respective classes each year average lower than one half of a Columbia or NYU student, combined.

Are you claiming, more likely, they take a ton of UNC and Wake students at medium? Also false, from 100 personal stories I've heard while working with them. To get a decent shot at biglaw in NC from these schools you need to do very well in your class grades wise, which is reflected in the data on LST which is available for both.

I based my claims on my personal experience interviewing compared to that of buddies I have at other schools. And no Stanford is not in this group with HY CCN, b/c there are very very few Stanford alums at these firms while there are a number from most of the other schools (if not Yale, its reputation and east coast location make up for it easily).

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Re: North Carolina

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 16, 2015 10:14 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
BlackAndOrange84 wrote:My impression is that absent ties, firms are going to be pretty skeptical of random T-14 students trying to break into the market, particularly the old school NC firms like Smith Anderson, Brooks Pierce, Robinson Bradshaw, and Moore & Van Allen. That isn't to say those firms don't hire T-14 students, they do, but I get the feeling they're usually T-14 students with ties. Also, ties seem to matter more in Raleigh and Greensboro than in Charlotte.

You may have more luck with the Charlotte branch offices of biglaw or regional (southeastern) firms. Being a bigger city where there's some fairly serious transactional work to be done probably makes it an easier sell in terms of explaining why you'd like to be there. But I'm also of the impression that there's more hiring going on in and around Raleigh than in Charlotte.

What counts as ties? I think having your spouse living and working in or originally being from NC would be sufficient for many but maybe not all firms. Some of them really do seem to care about old and deep ties. But having a spouse in NC should at least make you a plausible fit. You'd also need to do some research and be able to articulate why you'd prefer Charlotte/Raleigh to more traditional destinations for T14 grads. Cost of living as compared to salary, a growing state, being close to the outdoors, and being able to buy a house are just a few of the things you could talk about.

Personally, I grew up in a neighboring state but bounced around a lot between college and law school—that didn't seem to cut it for most of the NC firms, though I will say that Robinson Bradshaw seemed to care the least of the old-line NC firms. I had better luck with regional and biglaw firms in Charlotte than anywhere else in the state, though I was gunning for lit rather than transactional work.

If you're a 1L looking for your first summer job, a judicial internship or some sort of PI/gov't work in either Charlotte or Raleigh could be a good way to make yourself more credible going into 2L OCI.



I am a top-5 school guy going to Charlotte to work at a 160k-paying firm. I largely agree with the above - ties are definitely important, in terms of simply establishing a narrative for why you want to be in Charlotte as opposed to NY or SF or something, but are not the only key factor. In my experience, I started with a huge leg up versus Duke, UVA, Vandy, UNC kids just by nature of coming from a HYSCCN school where they didn't get many applications from. Having good grades and relevant experience are still the most important factors, along with fit, just like any other large or medium sized markets.

As far as the above about Raleigh v. Charlotte hiring, that is incorrect - Charlotte classes are much larger, by a factor of about 2, and pay more, even among the same firms. E.g. MVA will pay 145k starting in Charlotte and 140 or 135 in Raleigh. Raleigh also does not have the firms paying 160k that are in Charlotte, e.g. CAdwalader, Dechert, Mayer Brown, and Winston Strawn, adn the work will be more focussed on tech, IP, and mid-market PE than on Corporate, Finance and Banking, and Real Estate that you get in Charlotte, along with Litigation in both places.


Why are you under the impression that Columbia or NYU gave you a huge leg up over duke and UVA students? This is contrary to my experience in the region. Charlotte and Raleigh firms take a ton of those guys each year, even at median.

That said, i do believe that HYS students have an advantage


Re-read your post because it makes no sense, so I can't even respond intelligently. Who do they take a ton of at median, Columbia and NYU (I go to neither btw)? Because if that's what you are saying, you are incorrect, factually. Look at the rosters of these firms in Charlotte you claim to know about. I bet their respective classes each year average lower than one half of a Columbia or NYU student, combined.

Are you claiming, more likely, they take a ton of UNC and Wake students at medium? Also false, from 100 personal stories I've heard while working with them. To get a decent shot at biglaw in NC from these schools you need to do very well in your class grades wise, which is reflected in the data on LST which is available for both.

I based my claims on my personal experience interviewing compared to that of buddies I have at other schools. And no Stanford is not in this group with HY CCN, b/c there are very very few Stanford alums at these firms while there are a number from most of the other schools (if not Yale, its reputation and east coast location make up for it easily).


I believe she/he is saying that NC firms take a lot of people from median at UVA and Duke. I go to one of those with very strong ties and top-1/3 grades and I personally found NC firms to be really competitive. The class sizes are very small and there are plenty of qualified people at my Duke/UVA with solid NC ties.

On T-6 vs. UVA/Duke: I think there would be an advantage to being one of the few people who applied to an NC firm out of a T-6 school if you otherwise had really solid ties (from NC, NC undergrad, etc.). There would probably be a greater advantage at the satellite firms like Cadwalader, Winston, and Dechert, which in my experience seemed to be full of New Yorkers who might give more shits about the higher rank of your school.

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Re: North Carolina

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 16, 2015 11:47 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Re-read your post because it makes no sense, so I can't even respond intelligently. Who do they take a ton of at median, Columbia and NYU (I go to neither btw)? Because if that's what you are saying, you are incorrect, factually. Look at the rosters of these firms in Charlotte you claim to know about. I bet their respective classes each year average lower than one half of a Columbia or NYU student, combined.

Are you claiming, more likely, they take a ton of UNC and Wake students at medium? Also false, from 100 personal stories I've heard while working with them. To get a decent shot at biglaw in NC from these schools you need to do very well in your class grades wise, which is reflected in the data on LST which is available for both.

I based my claims on my personal experience interviewing compared to that of buddies I have at other schools. And no Stanford is not in this group with HY CCN, b/c there are very very few Stanford alums at these firms while there are a number from most of the other schools (if not Yale, its reputation and east coast location make up for it easily).


Lol sensitive much?

"Those guys" was referring to Duke and UVA students. NC firms take a lot of T14 (particularly Duke) students who don't go to NYC/DC. That's not to say that it's easy. It isn't. I completely agree with you that grades and ties are the most important factors. Your contention that going to a "top 5 school" (read: CCN) gives you a "huge leg up" over Duke and UVA students is absurd, though.

You're obviously a law student (likely a CCN transfer given how sensitive you seem to be) because you place a huge emphasis on US News rankings. No employer is looking to see whether Chicago moved up to 4, whether UVA is at 7 now or 8, or whether Duke has gone from 11th to 10th. No one cares.

Big firms in Charlotte and Raleigh look for competitive students from top schools with ties to NC or the region (or top of their class, law review students at Wake/UNC). No one cares about this "top 5" ranking you're talking about.

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Re: North Carolina

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 16, 2015 3:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Re-read your post because it makes no sense, so I can't even respond intelligently. Who do they take a ton of at median, Columbia and NYU (I go to neither btw)? Because if that's what you are saying, you are incorrect, factually. Look at the rosters of these firms in Charlotte you claim to know about. I bet their respective classes each year average lower than one half of a Columbia or NYU student, combined.

Are you claiming, more likely, they take a ton of UNC and Wake students at medium? Also false, from 100 personal stories I've heard while working with them. To get a decent shot at biglaw in NC from these schools you need to do very well in your class grades wise, which is reflected in the data on LST which is available for both.

I based my claims on my personal experience interviewing compared to that of buddies I have at other schools. And no Stanford is not in this group with HY CCN, b/c there are very very few Stanford alums at these firms while there are a number from most of the other schools (if not Yale, its reputation and east coast location make up for it easily).



Lol sensitive much?

"Those guys" was referring to Duke and UVA students. NC firms take a lot of T14 (particularly Duke) students who don't go to NYC/DC. That's not to say that it's easy. It isn't. I completely agree with you that grades and ties are the most important factors. Your contention that going to a "top 5 school" (read: CCN) gives you a "huge leg up" over Duke and UVA students is absurd, though.

You're obviously a law student (likely a CCN transfer given how sensitive you seem to be) because you place a huge emphasis on US News rankings. No employer is looking to see whether Chicago moved up to 4, whether UVA is at 7 now or 8, or whether Duke has gone from 11th to 10th. No one cares.

Big firms in Charlotte and Raleigh look for competitive students from top schools with ties to NC or the region (or top of their class, law review students at Wake/UNC). No one cares about this "top 5" ranking you're talking about.



That's fine for you to think what you want, but it is contrary to my experience and many experiences of those I've spoken with. And no, I go to HYS, not CCN, and am not a transfer.

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Re: North Carolina

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 17, 2015 4:12 am

Well, to give my experience, I had grades around median at HYS and struck out completely in NC. I thought my ties were impeccable, too. Although neither my significant other nor I grew up in NC (or anywhere in the south), we had lived in the state for ~10 years, owned a home, and had long-term jobs in the state. I mass mailed every firm on NALP on the state and got two screeners and 0 callbacks. And they grilled me nonstop about ties during my screeners. I got the impression that they really prefer people who were born and raised in the state and/or have family in the state. So don't assume that attending a higher-ranked school will help you unless you have very strong ties.

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Re: North Carolina

Postby BlackAndOrange84 » Tue Feb 17, 2015 7:55 am

Anonymous User wrote:Well, to give my experience, I had grades around median at HYS and struck out completely in NC. I thought my ties were impeccable, too. Although neither my significant other nor I grew up in NC (or anywhere in the south), we had lived in the state for ~10 years, owned a home, and had long-term jobs in the state. I mass mailed every firm on NALP on the state and got two screeners and 0 callbacks. And they grilled me nonstop about ties during my screeners. I got the impression that they really prefer people who were born and raised in the state and/or have family in the state. So don't assume that attending a higher-ranked school will help you unless you have very strong ties.


Wow. With some of the firms this doesn't particularly surprise, but that you only got two screeners does surprise me.

Out of curiosity, did you clearly indicate your ties in your cover letter? Also, regarding the two screeners you got, how would you characterize the firms? I'm not asking for names, just regional or national biglaw or old-line NC firm, and which city? I ask b/c while I wouldn't be surprised if an old-line firm in Raleigh grilled you on ties even though you lived here, owned a home etc., I'd be very surprised if you had that experience with a regional or national biglaw firm.

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Re: North Carolina

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 17, 2015 2:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Well, to give my experience, I had grades around median at HYS and struck out completely in NC. I thought my ties were impeccable, too. Although neither my significant other nor I grew up in NC (or anywhere in the south), we had lived in the state for ~10 years, owned a home, and had long-term jobs in the state. I mass mailed every firm on NALP on the state and got two screeners and 0 callbacks. And they grilled me nonstop about ties during my screeners. I got the impression that they really prefer people who were born and raised in the state and/or have family in the state. So don't assume that attending a higher-ranked school will help you unless you have very strong ties.


That's interesting (I'm the guy arguing with you from above :) ); my experience was entirely different. I wonder if the timing was relevant, e.g. you interviewed shortly after or during the financial crisis? Charlotte and Raleigh firms were very conservative in hiring during that period.

I admittedly DID grow up in NC, although not in a large market, so that may have helped me out a fair amount, and was well above median, which probably helped further. Even though you seem like a very strong applicant in context, recruiters with little experience hiring from HYSCCN may have preferred a top 10% UNC or Wake student over a 50% student from Harvard, even though the latter is probably a much stronger candidate nationally and likely a better future performer (although who knows).

Point of the above is I certainly agree that growing up in or very close to the State is a big boost, but I still think having some compelling narrative for being in the city + good school + good grades is more than enough.

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Re: North Carolina

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 17, 2015 3:16 pm

NC is a difficult market (look at placement for UNC and Wake--a lot of the big law jobs top students there get are out of state) for a lot of reasons. The economy is not that strong, although it is recovering along with the rest of the nation. The banking crisis in 2008 hit Charlotte very hard. Firms in NC are looking for ties to make sure that you will stay, but also because it will make it easier for them to build business. Someone who is top 10-20% at a local school in NC and who is from a connected family will get the job over a HYS median person all day long. A lot of NYC firms are concerned with how there associates will look in terms of credentials on the website, and they will love HYS kids all day. A lot of NC firms want associates who can attend local events (churches, non-profits, sporting events, etc.) and bring in business for the firm, or at the very least help solidify the strong brand of the firm.

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Re: North Carolina

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 17, 2015 4:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:NC is a difficult market (look at placement for UNC and Wake--a lot of the big law jobs top students there get are out of state) for a lot of reasons. The economy is not that strong, although it is recovering along with the rest of the nation. The banking crisis in 2008 hit Charlotte very hard. Firms in NC are looking for ties to make sure that you will stay, but also because it will make it easier for them to build business. Someone who is top 10-20% at a local school in NC and who is from a connected family will get the job over a HYS median person all day long. A lot of NYC firms are concerned with how there associates will look in terms of credentials on the website, and they will love HYS kids all day. A lot of NC firms want associates who can attend local events (churches, non-profits, sporting events, etc.) and bring in business for the firm, or at the very least help solidify the strong brand of the firm.


This is probably true for the middle-market, regionally based NC and Southeastern firms, but not true for the national players in Charlotte, and to a lesser extent, Raleigh, who have all of the same clients and concerns as other large-market national firms. KL Gates, Dechert, Cadwalader, Mayer Brown, etc. do not give to sh&ts about some small business church client a middling student from Wake brings in - they care about the top of market institutional clients. That said, your Womble Carlyle's and Parker Poes and Hunton and Williams may be a different story, so students should distinguish whether they want traditional, national biglaw with traditional national biglaw clients at an office that happens to be in Charlotte (with obvious regional-importance to the client type) vs. a more traditional regional / NC firm with much more local and small / mid-market clients and concentration.

The first type, firms with over 500 lawyers (or over 1000) are much more likely to care about T14 or top 5 school status and similar credentials, like undergraduate institution strength, where as the latter care less and look more for the stuff you mention.

Re: the economy, definitely true about hte 2008 crisis, but I think that was true everywhere. The banking industry in Charlotte has rebounded to near or beyond pre-crisis levels, depending on the market, with some other markets still below but getting healthier again. This is manifest from the massive lateral surge happening in the area, with 2L summer hiring slowly following suit, although more conservatively still.

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Re: North Carolina

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 17, 2015 7:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:NC is a difficult market (look at placement for UNC and Wake--a lot of the big law jobs top students there get are out of state) for a lot of reasons. The economy is not that strong, although it is recovering along with the rest of the nation. The banking crisis in 2008 hit Charlotte very hard. Firms in NC are looking for ties to make sure that you will stay, but also because it will make it easier for them to build business. Someone who is top 10-20% at a local school in NC and who is from a connected family will get the job over a HYS median person all day long. A lot of NYC firms are concerned with how there associates will look in terms of credentials on the website, and they will love HYS kids all day. A lot of NC firms want associates who can attend local events (churches, non-profits, sporting events, etc.) and bring in business for the firm, or at the very least help solidify the strong brand of the firm.


This is probably true for the middle-market, regionally based NC and Southeastern firms, but not true for the national players in Charlotte, and to a lesser extent, Raleigh, who have all of the same clients and concerns as other large-market national firms. KL Gates, Dechert, Cadwalader, Mayer Brown, etc. do not give to sh&ts about some small business church client a middling student from Wake brings in - they care about the top of market institutional clients. That said, your Womble Carlyle's and Parker Poes and Hunton and Williams may be a different story, so students should distinguish whether they want traditional, national biglaw with traditional national biglaw clients at an office that happens to be in Charlotte (with obvious regional-importance to the client type) vs. a more traditional regional / NC firm with much more local and small / mid-market clients and concentration.

The first type, firms with over 500 lawyers (or over 1000) are much more likely to care about T14 or top 5 school status and similar credentials, like undergraduate institution strength, where as the latter care less and look more for the stuff you mention.

Re: the economy, definitely true about hte 2008 crisis, but I think that was true everywhere. The banking industry in Charlotte has rebounded to near or beyond pre-crisis levels, depending on the market, with some other markets still below but getting healthier again. This is manifest from the massive lateral surge happening in the area, with 2L summer hiring slowly following suit, although more conservatively still.


I disagree. I think you are dramatically overestimating the type of work that national firms get in Charlotte and underestimating the type of work and caliber of attorneys at smaller firms. People in smaller firms don't just do work for church clients. That's actually kind of insulting. Smaller, elite NC firms pull in some of the best work in the region and have a lot of Ivy league law school grads. (e.g. Robinson Bradshaw). This is coming from someone working with a biglaw firm

You also seem to be drawing a lot of arbitrary lines in terms of how you're evaluating these firms ("1000+" is a bizarre).

On TLS and generally, there seems to be a prevailing thought that everyone wants to go to NYC (or other large markets) and ultimately go elsewhere when it doesn't work out...

(Just as a disclaimer, I don't really have a dog in the fight here. I'm not working for any of these firms.)

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los blancos
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Re: North Carolina

Postby los blancos » Tue Feb 17, 2015 10:04 pm

I think you're both sorta right? FWIW, I'm not sure I'd use RBH or even Womble as an example - those two are top dogs and maybe sort of blend biglaw biglaw with the midlaw/regional biglaw nature of some of their competitors. And I mean, sure, the PPA&Bs/Brook Pierces/Smith Moores of the world have Fortune 50 clients, but it's also true that they're likely to also have a lot of small business clients and will generally expect some movement toward business development from their associates pretty early on. These are places where it's entirely possible that you'll do doc review on a $100 million case and then take a depo in a $30k insurance defense matter the next day.

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Re: North Carolina

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 17, 2015 10:06 pm

There seem to be a lot of people knowledgeable about the NC market here so I hope some of you won't mind giving advice to a 1L at one of UNC/Wake.

I am not from NC and don't have pre-existing ties, though I have strong ties to the "South" generally. I wanted to go to one of the good southeastern regional schools and then work in that state/immediate region, and I got the best offer and set of circumstances at this school. That still is my intention, and so far my (honest) pitch to employers is that my SO (working here since school started) and I moved here because we liked it here, want to be here long-term, and that I wouldn't have come to this school had I not wanted to work in NC. I would ideally like to work in Charlotte, the Triangle, or the Triad - don't really care if it's for a national biglaw office or for a smaller, local firm. Luckily, I finished first semester in the top 5% and I have a large scholarship.

TL;DR/my main questions: what chance does a top 5/10% student at Wake/UNC have in the state with no previous ties? Does attendance at the school + good grades do anything to overcome the thought that I'm a flight risk?

My concern is that if I strike out with local firms/organizations in NC, I'll be dead in the water; so, I'm wondering if I should jump ship and try to transfer to a T5 school or something to expand my options even if that means losing the chance to practice here (employment anywhere is better than no employment here).

BlackAndOrange84
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Re: North Carolina

Postby BlackAndOrange84 » Tue Feb 17, 2015 10:40 pm

Anonymous User wrote:There seem to be a lot of people knowledgeable about the NC market here so I hope some of you won't mind giving advice to a 1L at one of UNC/Wake.

I am not from NC and don't have pre-existing ties, though I have strong ties to the "South" generally. I wanted to go to one of the good southeastern regional schools and then work in that state/immediate region, and I got the best offer and set of circumstances at this school. That still is my intention, and so far my (honest) pitch to employers is that my SO (working here since school started) and I moved here because we liked it here, want to be here long-term, and that I wouldn't have come to this school had I not wanted to work in NC. I would ideally like to work in Charlotte, the Triangle, or the Triad - don't really care if it's for a national biglaw office or for a smaller, local firm. Luckily, I finished first semester in the top 5% and I have a large scholarship.

TL;DR/my main questions: what chance does a top 5/10% student at Wake/UNC have in the state with no previous ties? Does attendance at the school + good grades do anything to overcome the thought that I'm a flight risk?

My concern is that if I strike out with local firms/organizations in NC, I'll be dead in the water; so, I'm wondering if I should jump ship and try to transfer to a T5 school or something to expand my options even if that means losing the chance to practice here (employment anywhere is better than no employment here).


My situation was similar to yours. I'm now a 2L at one of those two NC schools and am from a neighboring state. You shouldn't be dead in the water if you want to stay in NC, particularly if you aim for regional/national law firms with offices in Charlotte/Raleigh. That isn't to say don't apply to at all to the old-line NC firms. Personally, at 2L OCI I didn't gun hard for NC firms, but the couple that I did apply to I received CB and offers from. At 1L OCI I completely struck out with the old-line NC firms, but I did fine with regional/national firms in Charlotte. Another thing to keep in mind is that there are some pretty strong boutiques in the state—Ellis & Winters comes to mind for litigation.

At the same time, I wouldn't put all your eggs in one basket. If you're top 5–10% at Wake or UNC you'll have opportunities to go to NYC, DC, Boston, Atlanta, or Birmingham, and perhaps some other decent locations like Wilmington, DE, Greenville or Charleston, SC or Nashville, TN. Figure out where students with your profile have been successful and gun for those jobs too. It's a numbers game, so don't get left out in the cold.

Feel free to PM me if you'd like.

BlackAndOrange84
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Re: North Carolina

Postby BlackAndOrange84 » Tue Feb 17, 2015 10:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:My concern is that if I strike out with local firms/organizations in NC, I'll be dead in the water; so, I'm wondering if I should jump ship and try to transfer to a T5 school or something to expand my options even if that means losing the chance to practice here (employment anywhere is better than no employment here).


I forgot to address this. I faced a similar choice last year. I don't regret having stayed at all. I'm headed to a V20 firm and will leave school with little debt. I'd think long and hard about taking on 2 years of sticker + COL in exchange for more/better job opportunities in markets that I'm not particularly keen on anyway—particularly if you'd only go to a larger market in hopes of lateraling back to NC at some point down the road.

I can only speak to one of the two schools you mentioned, but as I said in my previous post, there's plenty of opportunity for a southerner with your numbers at an NC school, whether that's in NC, the Southeast, or a major market like NYC, DC, or ATL (speaking of which, don't forget about Texas).

Whatever you decide to do, don't slack off, and make LR.

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los blancos
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Re: North Carolina

Postby los blancos » Wed Feb 18, 2015 12:34 pm

Yeah I wouldn't put all of your eggs in one basket but I would think you'd have a shot.

I will say this - I think the whole "ties" thing is sort of a craps shoot. Like it's important here no doubt, but how important it is and how solid those ties need to be is probably going to depend from firm to firm in a way that can't really be predicted or quantified.

irish921
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Re: North Carolina

Postby irish921 » Wed Feb 18, 2015 2:49 pm

Even with substantive, irrefutable ties, it can still be a crapshoot. You can always find natives who left for T6 and returned seemingly with no problem. But for each of them, there are many natives with the same credentials that were locked out. It's incredibly hard to quantify in any meaningful way, especially with firms like Womble.

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Re: North Carolina

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 18, 2015 2:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:NC is a difficult market (look at placement for UNC and Wake--a lot of the big law jobs top students there get are out of state) for a lot of reasons. The economy is not that strong, although it is recovering along with the rest of the nation. The banking crisis in 2008 hit Charlotte very hard. Firms in NC are looking for ties to make sure that you will stay, but also because it will make it easier for them to build business. Someone who is top 10-20% at a local school in NC and who is from a connected family will get the job over a HYS median person all day long. A lot of NYC firms are concerned with how there associates will look in terms of credentials on the website, and they will love HYS kids all day. A lot of NC firms want associates who can attend local events (churches, non-profits, sporting events, etc.) and bring in business for the firm, or at the very least help solidify the strong brand of the firm.


This is probably true for the middle-market, regionally based NC and Southeastern firms, but not true for the national players in Charlotte, and to a lesser extent, Raleigh, who have all of the same clients and concerns as other large-market national firms. KL Gates, Dechert, Cadwalader, Mayer Brown, etc. do not give to sh&ts about some small business church client a middling student from Wake brings in - they care about the top of market institutional clients. That said, your Womble Carlyle's and Parker Poes and Hunton and Williams may be a different story, so students should distinguish whether they want traditional, national biglaw with traditional national biglaw clients at an office that happens to be in Charlotte (with obvious regional-importance to the client type) vs. a more traditional regional / NC firm with much more local and small / mid-market clients and concentration.

The first type, firms with over 500 lawyers (or over 1000) are much more likely to care about T14 or top 5 school status and similar credentials, like undergraduate institution strength, where as the latter care less and look more for the stuff you mention.

Re: the economy, definitely true about hte 2008 crisis, but I think that was true everywhere. The banking industry in Charlotte has rebounded to near or beyond pre-crisis levels, depending on the market, with some other markets still below but getting healthier again. This is manifest from the massive lateral surge happening in the area, with 2L summer hiring slowly following suit, although more conservatively still.


I disagree. I think you are dramatically overestimating the type of work that national firms get in Charlotte and underestimating the type of work and caliber of attorneys at smaller firms. People in smaller firms don't just do work for church clients. That's actually kind of insulting. Smaller, elite NC firms pull in some of the best work in the region and have a lot of Ivy league law school grads. (e.g. Robinson Bradshaw). This is coming from someone working with a biglaw firm

You also seem to be drawing a lot of arbitrary lines in terms of how you're evaluating these firms ("1000+" is a bizarre).

On TLS and generally, there seems to be a prevailing thought that everyone wants to go to NYC (or other large markets) and ultimately go elsewhere when it doesn't work out...

(Just as a disclaimer, I don't really have a dog in the fight here. I'm not working for any of these firms.)


Bro, the Church client thing was brought up by someone else, not me, I was just using it as a metaphor, I know those guys, especially MVA and McGuire Woods, have lots of big-name regional clients and do great work; I don't mean to disparage them at all.

But the difference in compelxity of work IS large - the firms themselves tell you this when you interview there! The national firms do the most complex and highest billing capital markets and banking and finance work and the regionals do more mid-market, support work there, but also do all of the most important regional litigation, so it's a mix.

From my experience with both though, even the big commercial lit cases, the regional players like MVA or Womble are usually local counsel to a bigger player like Skadden, Latham, Paul Weis, Sydley, Dehert, Mayer Brown, etc. who represent the national client and come in to run the case.

Perhaps the most indicative thing though is pay - the very top regional firm pay is 145k, with small, 5k raises, and the supposedly elite Womble pays 130-135. The national guys, on the other hand, pay 160k + 15k bonus (at a few) and give raises on a NY scale. This reflects their much higher billing rates and national infrastructure that they can support this. It's not to say that there is an inherent quality of practice difference or anything, just to say the type of work in the market is different, and may be better or worse depending on what you are looking for. Obviously, if you want to do litigation in Raleigh or Charlotte, you don't go to Cadwalader, you go to McGuire or Parker Poe or something.

Also, to clarify, not all the "national" firms pay 160k; I think KL Gates also pays 145 and McGuire woods, a mid-sized national (large in Charlotte though), pays around the same.




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