Why are ties to the area necesssary?

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Why are ties to the area necesssary?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 26, 2016 10:56 pm

I am a student from a T2 who transferred into the T-14. Of my 10 screeners for OCI only 1 is in my previous area, and the rest are from the following markets: NY, DC, Boston, and CA. I don't have any ties to any of these areas other than my girlfriend lives in Boston, and I have always wanted to work in the other cities. Can someone explain to me why having ties to an area is necessary at all? Isn't it enough to just explain in the interview that I permanently left my hometown state in order to have better career opportunities, and now I am simply looking for jobs in the areas that I would like to live? If this is not sufficient (and I would love an explanation as to why) then should I just lie?

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Re: Why are ties to the area necesssary?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 26, 2016 11:14 pm

Generally, ties to NYC and DC are not necessary. The firms have good reason to think you want to go there because they offer such unique legal opportunities. At least in my experience, other markets look for ties, because if you are just looking for career advancement, you are likely more interested in NYC or DC, and seriously considering you would be a waste of time. This seems to make intuitive sense - why would someone from the eastern part of the country, for example, choose to go to California to live the rest of their life, if they don't seem to have a good grasp on what the area is about? There are reasons, but most of the time it's just people looking for more options.

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Re: Why are ties to the area necesssary?

Postby favabeansoup » Tue Jul 26, 2016 11:29 pm

Firms are less willing to hire associates, especially summer associates and first years, who don't even know if they will like the city they get the job in. Firms take a big loss on summers, and still write off a lot of time on first year associates. They need a few years to recoup their investment, so they want real assurances you will stay. It is a very real possibility that if you start working in a city you've never spent significant time in, you can end up really really disliking the city. Associates who hate their environment aren't likely to stay and aren't motivated to advance. Hence why ties can be important.

Some people just are proud of their cities and won't hire people who could care less about where they work.

Some firms, not all, like it because it might lead to easier client development down the road through family and friend connections.

Places like NYC and DC, Chicago LA and SF to lease extents, really do not care because the markets are just big. Places like TX and smaller markets do care (mildly to significantly).

Edit: ties aren't necessary. I didn't have ties to my market besides law school ( in state but not in same city). They can certainly help though. As long as you have solid reasons about why you want to live in X over living in Y other city/cities, you'll be fine.
Last edited by favabeansoup on Tue Jul 26, 2016 11:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

throwaway1222

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Re: Why are ties to the area necesssary?

Postby throwaway1222 » Tue Jul 26, 2016 11:31 pm

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Last edited by throwaway1222 on Sun Jul 31, 2016 10:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Avian

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Re: Why are ties to the area necesssary?

Postby Avian » Tue Jul 26, 2016 11:59 pm

throwaway1222 wrote:I appreciate your response, and understand your point, but this still seems like a silly way of looking at it (not attacking you, just this widely accepted reasoning). Isn't everyone just looking for more options? Also, I fail to see how this fear of just me trying to open up my options while secretly preferring NY or DC isnt quelled by explaining that my entire reason for leaving my home state and moving to a place I had never been to was to open up my opportunities to apply for jobs that excited me, not to specific areas that excited me. I haven't been working my tail off for the last 5 years in order to live in STATE X; I have been working my butt off to get JOB Y, whichever state that is. And by showing my willingness to pack everything up and move to a place I have never been, and commit for two years, that shows connections/familiarity to me is not important. How does that answer not solve the problem?

It's based on the reasonable assumption that people would prefer to live in a city they like/ have ties to, all else being equal. The firm isn't worried that you'll ditch a good job just to move to a city you prefer, they're worried you'll get a comparable or better job in a city you like more and jump ship after a year or two. The fact that you have put effort into finding a job and would be willing to move somewhere for work doesn't mean you wouldn't just as quickly move to a place you have more ties if you got a job there.

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Re: Why are ties to the area necesssary?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 27, 2016 12:05 am

Avian wrote:
throwaway1222 wrote:I appreciate your response, and understand your point, but this still seems like a silly way of looking at it (not attacking you, just this widely accepted reasoning). Isn't everyone just looking for more options? Also, I fail to see how this fear of just me trying to open up my options while secretly preferring NY or DC isnt quelled by explaining that my entire reason for leaving my home state and moving to a place I had never been to was to open up my opportunities to apply for jobs that excited me, not to specific areas that excited me. I haven't been working my tail off for the last 5 years in order to live in STATE X; I have been working my butt off to get JOB Y, whichever state that is. And by showing my willingness to pack everything up and move to a place I have never been, and commit for two years, that shows connections/familiarity to me is not important. How does that answer not solve the problem?

It's based on the reasonable assumption that people would prefer to live in a city they like/ have ties to, all else being equal. The firm isn't worried that you'll ditch a good job just to move to a city you prefer, they're worried you'll get a comparable or better job in a city you like more and jump ship after a year or two. The fact that you have put effort into finding a job and would be willing to move somewhere for work doesn't mean you wouldn't just as quickly move to a place you have more ties if you got a job there.


But with this logic, the firm should have nothing to worry about when I say "I left the only place I have ties to because I did not want to live or practice there any longer. Which is why I bid everywhere but that state," but something tells me this wouldn't solve the problem for them.

Overall, yes, the assumption is reasonable. What's not reasonable is for me to have to figure out whether I should just flat out lie or drop a certain interview because I am constantly being told that the truth isn't believable for the employer, and they won't hire me as a result. That is unreasonable.

I have multiple interviews for OCI, in 4 different cities, none of which I have ties to, and 2 of which are secondary markets. I genuinely want to work and live in all 4 markets, because I know what is attractive to me in a city, and all the cities possess these qualities. But this is not good because its not what the robots want to reasonably assume, and requires that they view me as a human with different desires and goals as the majority. What should I do? Lie and say my uncle and aunt live there and I have visited a number of times?? That is a serious question BTW.

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Re: Why are ties to the area necesssary?

Postby ballouttacontrol » Wed Jul 27, 2016 12:13 am

For literally no fucking good reason whatsoever



YEA I'm gonna leave my awesome job in awful san diego because I don't have ties, to go back to my couple of remaining ties from high school in fucking suburban Indianapolis after I spend 1 summer with the firm

Yea OOOOOKAYYYY. More like after 5 years to go to a firm where you can actually make partner, once the san diego firm has told you you're about to be fired

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Re: Why are ties to the area necesssary?

Postby elendinel » Wed Jul 27, 2016 2:18 am

It's two things, I think:

1) They want to make sure you won't get homesick/culture shock/etc. and leave in 1-2 years. If you have family in Charlotte, NC, then a firm in Charlotte has more reason to think that you're interested in staying there long-term, that you know what you're getting into by moving there, and that you have a support system in place to keep you there. If all your family is in Cali and you have literally nothing tying you to the state but this job, there's a risk that if things get stressful for you/if you don't make friends fast enough/etc., that you'll bail to a firm in Cali to be closer to a support system. This can also be why not everyone likes when people say "My GF will be there"; because they worry that if you two break up, there's a risk you'll flee the state, essentially, to start fresh/to return to your other support system. Surely none of that is applicable to all applicants, but it happens, so it's something some firms worry about.

2) As others noted, they want to make sure that the market is one that you actually like and want to stay in long-term. I.e., that you're not just choosing the Charlotte firm as a safety until you can get yourself into Cali within the next year or so. If you've voluntarily lived in Charlotte for ten years, it looks more like you enjoy Charlotte and that you're in no rush to go anywhere else/Charlotte isn't necessarily just a backup locale for you, than it would look if you lived in Cali for five years and then applied in Charlotte. Again, this isn't necessarily true of all applicants, but it tends to be reliable more times than it's not.

You have to remember that for every one person like you who genuinely likes an area and wants to make things work there, there are at least ten others applying to the same firm who are only applying there because they have no other options/just want to get something and will worry about fit later. Having a reason other than "Because Charlotte is great!" makes you stand out from these people and shows that you've given living there some thought. It's not very different from being expected to have specific reasons as to why you want to join a particular firm.

dixiecupdrinking

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Re: Why are ties to the area necesssary?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Wed Jul 27, 2016 5:30 am

"Ties" really just means "good reasons for wanting to be in the area." It doesn't have to be because you grew up down the street. "I just want a job" is an ok reason but other people will have better ones, so it doesn't move the needle. That said, no, don't drop your interviews, just focus on what you can do to sell your interest -- specific, concrete reasons you like these cities.

More generally, you're at very real danger of striking out if you are a transfer with only 10 screeners and they're spread among five cities. I'd encourage you to spend less time criticizing the things that firms are looking for and focus on maximizing your own chances. Frankly, you're not in a good position to rock the boat here and your attitude about the process seems a little off.

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Re: Why are ties to the area necesssary?

Postby BigZuck » Wed Jul 27, 2016 8:02 am

When you move to Boston, break up with your GF 9 months in, and decide you would rather be any place but there, you'll understand why

And maybe that won't be you, but it doesn't mean they haven't seen it time and time again

Also it can be kind of hard to believe that 25 year olds know what they want from life. Again, these people who are making hiring decisions have been around the block.

It's cool that you know what kind of job you want, don't care where it is, and aren't a flight risk. Now go prove it in interviews rather than argue about it with TLS.

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Re: Why are ties to the area necesssary?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 27, 2016 10:56 am

Yeah, honestly, I've interviewed at a few big firms in secondary markets like DE, OH, Conn, in the past (when I was in law school), with every intention to just secure a (any) big law job and lateral back home ASAP.

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2014

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Re: Why are ties to the area necesssary?

Postby 2014 » Wed Jul 27, 2016 11:37 am

It's just a proxy for likelihood to stick around long enough to justify hiring you. You've pointed out some great reasons why it's imperfect - but when you only have someone's resume and a couple of 20 minute conversations to go on do you have a better proxy to get at the same concept?

I think there's a fair argument to be made that it should matter less - namely it's hard to get hired as a 3L and/or to lateral as a first or second year, so unless you are concerned about the callback expenses then getting someone to say "Yes" is a pretty big mutual commitment.



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