1L SA Skype Screener on Monday... no geographical ties

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1L SA Skype Screener on Monday... no geographical ties

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 22, 2017 6:01 pm

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Last edited by Anonymous User on Tue Jan 24, 2017 11:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1L SA Skype Screener on Monday... no geographical ties

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 22, 2017 6:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Swimming in a sea of major/home market dings, a Minneapolis firm called to schedule a Skype interview for next week.

I have a hunch they'll ask me "why Minneapolis," but I have no ties to Minnesota and I've never even been in the state. Any advice on how to express interest in the area without coming off as disingenuous (or at least not too much)?


It'll partially depend on the size of the firm, but inasmuch as MPLS is an insular market, they will want to see your dedication to going there and practicing there longterm. To do this, show them you've done research into how your interests will be fulfilled in the MPLS market personally. Then focus heavily on their particular practice you're interested in. If you can point to the work and clients they work for and why that practice really interests you, you might be able to sell them you truly want to practice there.

That all being said, you can't fake interest in a place like MPLS easily, because most people from there can tell BS when they hear it. So just be honest that although you've never had the pleasure of living there/visiting, you love the idea of X and experiencing A, B, and C activities that MPLS is known for. It'll be on you to do the extra research to show a demonstrated interest in being there, and that the interest is genuine.

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Re: 1L SA Skype Screener on Monday... no geographical ties

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 22, 2017 7:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Swimming in a sea of major/home market dings, a Minneapolis firm called to schedule a Skype interview for next week.

I have a hunch they'll ask me "why Minneapolis," but I have no ties to Minnesota and I've never even been in the state. Any advice on how to express interest in the area without coming off as disingenuous (or at least not too much)?


It'll partially depend on the size of the firm, but inasmuch as MPLS is an insular market, they will want to see your dedication to going there and practicing there longterm. To do this, show them you've done research into how your interests will be fulfilled in the MPLS market personally. Then focus heavily on their particular practice you're interested in. If you can point to the work and clients they work for and why that practice really interests you, you might be able to sell them you truly want to practice there.

That all being said, you can't fake interest in a place like MPLS easily, because most people from there can tell BS when they hear it. So just be honest that although you've never had the pleasure of living there/visiting, you love the idea of X and experiencing A, B, and C activities that MPLS is known for. It'll be on you to do the extra research to show a demonstrated interest in being there, and that the interest is genuine.

Not OP, but I'm curious why firms in secondary markets that are insular and care so much about ties even bother to interview candidates who obviously have no ties to the market. I'm asking because I'm in a similar position with a top firm in Atlanta, and I have 0 connections whatsoever to the area.

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Re: 1L SA Skype Screener on Monday... no geographical ties

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 22, 2017 8:08 pm

I think the TLS consensus of the importance of ties to a secondary market is the closest approximation and concrete way to answer the underlying question "if we hire you, are you going to bolt at first opportunity?" I don't want to undersell the power of ties, because some places will care exclusively about ties to the region in hiring because of some ethereal connection with the people from that city/state/etc., but for big firms operating in smaller markets/cities, especially ones that don't pay national market like MPLS, they want to see some level of commitment to remaining in the firm that is going to invest in your training and development as an associate.

Plus ties are an easy way to show that you have a good chance of fitting into the culture of that firm when the firm reflects the culture of the market.

A lot goes into why ties to a secondary market are important, but a simple "this is my hometown" or "my spouse's entire family lives here" does not completely explain why someone would/would not be a good candidate for a position. Hiring is more complex than that.

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Re: 1L SA Skype Screener on Monday... no geographical ties

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 22, 2017 9:08 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I think the TLS consensus of the importance of ties to a secondary market is the closest approximation and concrete way to answer the underlying question "if we hire you, are you going to bolt at first opportunity?" I don't want to undersell the power of ties, because some places will care exclusively about ties to the region in hiring because of some ethereal connection with the people from that city/state/etc., but for big firms operating in smaller markets/cities, especially ones that don't pay national market like MPLS, they want to see some level of commitment to remaining in the firm that is going to invest in your training and development as an associate.

Plus ties are an easy way to show that you have a good chance of fitting into the culture of that firm when the firm reflects the culture of the market.

A lot goes into why ties to a secondary market are important, but a simple "this is my hometown" or "my spouse's entire family lives here" does not completely explain why someone would/would not be a good candidate for a position. Hiring is more complex than that.

Given that I am only in it for the temporary 1L SA pay, should I even bother interviewing (and spending an hour or two prepping) with firms in insular secondary markets that I have no ties to?

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Re: 1L SA Skype Screener on Monday... no geographical ties

Postby LaLiLuLeLo » Sun Jan 22, 2017 9:16 pm

You miss 100% of the shots you take.

-Michael Scott

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Re: 1L SA Skype Screener on Monday... no geographical ties

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 22, 2017 9:30 pm

LaLiLuLeLo wrote:You miss 100% of the shots you take.

-Michael Scott


That doesn't sound quite right.

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Re: 1L SA Skype Screener on Monday... no geographical ties

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 22, 2017 9:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I think the TLS consensus of the importance of ties to a secondary market is the closest approximation and concrete way to answer the underlying question "if we hire you, are you going to bolt at first opportunity?" I don't want to undersell the power of ties, because some places will care exclusively about ties to the region in hiring because of some ethereal connection with the people from that city/state/etc., but for big firms operating in smaller markets/cities, especially ones that don't pay national market like MPLS, they want to see some level of commitment to remaining in the firm that is going to invest in your training and development as an associate.

Plus ties are an easy way to show that you have a good chance of fitting into the culture of that firm when the firm reflects the culture of the market.

A lot goes into why ties to a secondary market are important, but a simple "this is my hometown" or "my spouse's entire family lives here" does not completely explain why someone would/would not be a good candidate for a position. Hiring is more complex than that.

Given that I am only in it for the temporary 1L SA pay, should I even bother interviewing (and spending an hour or two prepping) with firms in insular secondary markets that I have no ties to?


Quoted OP. Absolutely you should. We're talking about getting really good experience at a firm that you can talk about at OCI. They might see through you, but c'est la vie. Give it your best shot and hope it works out well. If you're looking for firm work for 2L SA, the best thing you can bring to the table is substantive work experience at a big law firm. Take advantage if you can.

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Re: 1L SA Skype Screener on Monday... no geographical ties

Postby elendinel » Mon Jan 23, 2017 1:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Not OP, but I'm curious why firms in secondary markets that are insular and care so much about ties even bother to interview candidates who obviously have no ties to the market. I'm asking because I'm in a similar position with a top firm in Atlanta, and I have 0 connections whatsoever to the area.


Well I'd argue it is not "obvious" to them whether or not a particular applicant they've never interviewed before has ties to the market. Your resume may show that you went to UPenn for undergrad, but won't show that you lived in Atlanta your whole life beforehand. Your resume may show that you've lived in and worked in CA all your life, but isn't going to show that you have a spouse or fiance(e) looking to move back to his/her hometown in Michigan. The fact that you've been doing NYC SAs doesn't mean you hated it and wouldn't jump at the chance for a similar job in a smaller market. None of your app materials are going to show whether or not you have family in a given area you're looking to reconnect with. Etc. So they give some people an interview to gauge what their "invisible" ties may be.

I think they also recognize that cover letters are often extremely generalized, and that maybe there could be more interest in the area than is being expressed in your letter. And finally, because they aren't going to get the same number of apps as firms in NYC/CA/etc., so they by default have to be willing to give more people a chance, if they want to find applicants who may fit what they're looking for.



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