Breaking in to a New Legal Market

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thejaquio

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Breaking in to a New Legal Market

Postby thejaquio » Mon Jan 02, 2017 1:42 am

How hard is it to break into a new legal market in a random state? I am essentially in a random state where I have no family connections(think: not CA, NY, MA, TX, or anything large and sophisticated), and am looking for a job. I went back to grad school, you see. The state accepts UBE results, and I've passed the UBE, but have not applied to be BARed yet. Screwed?

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BaiAilian2013

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Re: Breaking in to a New Legal Market

Postby BaiAilian2013 » Mon Jan 02, 2017 11:28 am

If you don't have ties, you need to create your own ties. I broke into an insular market as an outsider by (i) having a narrative about why I wanted to be in the market (SO's job, reminds me of where I grew up, school's market is not for me, etc.), (ii) spending 1L summer in said market, and (iii) being in contract on a home in said market during OCI. A lot of candidates from my school use (i) alone when applying to my firm, but in the words of the partner who does the recruiting at my school (and interviewed me), "they're all lying!" I don't know if they are or not (I wasn't), but that's the attitude. You could get lucky with just a great narrative, but I think in a lot of cases it's not enough.

BigLaw Associate

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Re: Breaking in to a New Legal Market

Postby BigLaw Associate » Mon Jan 02, 2017 1:05 pm

Am I understanding correctly that you

currently live in X state and are looking for a job there,
went to grad school in X state, and
went to law school in a different state?

If you already live in the area, I'm not sure why you'd need to show even more ties. But let me know if I'm missing something.

If you are already local, are there any alums from your grad school who practice law in your state? Any alums from your law school who practice in your state? Or what about if your grad school has an associated law school?

Those would be the people I'd start cold emailing and explaining how you live in the area, are exploring the legal market, and would be interested in hearing their thoughts about the local market. If they respond and offer to talk to you over the phone or in person, take them up on their offer, and take it from there.

I'd also look into getting barred in your state as that'd likely make you very attractive to firms. From the firm's perspective, if you're already barred, they could start billing you as an attorney immediately after you're hired (which means more money for them).

thejaquio

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Re: Breaking in to a New Legal Market

Postby thejaquio » Mon Jan 02, 2017 2:19 pm

I am actually across country from the strongly regional school that I attended. Think East Coast from West Coast or vice versa. There is literally not one person with my school in their bio, from reading hundreds of attorney bios on midlaw websites, in this area. My grad school, alas, does not have an associated law school.

Why do people even care about regional ties? If I'm looking for a job, obviously I'm not planning on leaving anytime soon.

BigLaw Associate

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Re: Breaking in to a New Legal Market

Postby BigLaw Associate » Mon Jan 02, 2017 5:13 pm

Thanks for clarifying, OP. What about your undergrad -- any alums who practice in your city? If not, I'd start with any attorneys you already know in the city. If those contacts are slim, could you network with attorneys at your previous job to see if they know folks in your current city? From your past posts, it looks like you worked a few months in the DA's office. Would those contacts be able to help?

I realize your frustration. I went through something similar recently (trying to land a job in a city where I hadn't lived before and barely knew anyone), so I get what you're going through. What helped me connect was trying to find people in my new city who were willing to talk to me about the job market. I found those folks through LinkedIn and Google searches.

Feel free to PM me if you want to chat further.

lavarman84

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Re: Breaking in to a New Legal Market

Postby lavarman84 » Tue Jan 03, 2017 10:31 pm

thejaquio wrote:I am actually across country from the strongly regional school that I attended. Think East Coast from West Coast or vice versa. There is literally not one person with my school in their bio, from reading hundreds of attorney bios on midlaw websites, in this area. My grad school, alas, does not have an associated law school.

Why do people even care about regional ties? If I'm looking for a job, obviously I'm not planning on leaving anytime soon.


Because that's not how everybody is. Which is why some firms worry about training an associate only for him to jump ship when he gets a better offer.

Plus, people tend to favor their own.

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jchiles

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Re: Breaking in to a New Legal Market

Postby jchiles » Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:45 pm

Also being from the area makes a huge difference for business development especially at small or medium sized firms where your rates are low enough to be competitive for smaller businesses or individuals.

thejaquio

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Re: Breaking in to a New Legal Market

Postby thejaquio » Wed Jan 04, 2017 2:22 pm

So this seems pretty impossible. Am I just screwed? I really didn't think that it'd be this hard to break back into law. I suppose my resume looks a little cooky/undisciplined now. But that really is owing to things that were largely out of my control.

Any tips for impressing firms? I'm ready to try anything at this point just to get a decent legal job. For the record, I have a pretty decent personality and am somewhat sociable and charismatic. Not trying to sound like a d-bag, just if some hiring partner met me, he'd probably end up liking me if I put my best foot forward and all. The problem is (I've been cold calling all the firms listed in USNWR for best in my area) that I always end up talking to a secretary and not a hiring partner.

lavarman84

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Re: Breaking in to a New Legal Market

Postby lavarman84 » Thu Jan 05, 2017 1:48 am

thejaquio wrote:So this seems pretty impossible. Am I just screwed? I really didn't think that it'd be this hard to break back into law. I suppose my resume looks a little cooky/undisciplined now. But that really is owing to things that were largely out of my control.

Any tips for impressing firms? I'm ready to try anything at this point just to get a decent legal job. For the record, I have a pretty decent personality and am somewhat sociable and charismatic. Not trying to sound like a d-bag, just if some hiring partner met me, he'd probably end up liking me if I put my best foot forward and all. The problem is (I've been cold calling all the firms listed in USNWR for best in my area) that I always end up talking to a secretary and not a hiring partner.


Keep applying, send in applications, try to get informational interviews with lawyers around town, don't ignore government as an option, and I think you'll find something. It can be a painful and difficult process (just read the Vale of Tears thread at the top of this forum). But you should be able to get through it.



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