sanzgo wrote:bro...you need to set your priorities straight.
forget hours, qol, col, political climate, "NFL football team," "solid live music scene"...
NONE of that is gonna matter one iota if you don't have a job. come 3L and you don't have a job lined up, you'll be begging on your knees for just about any biglaw job.
it's fine to have standards but only if you have the credentials to back them up. sure you're at CCN but you'll be judged off your 1L grades/school and even top students at T-14 have a not-so-easy time getting offers in smaller markets to which they have no ties. you're also an international. regional markets are already insular against American citizens with no ties. what makes you think they're gonna be willing to open up to someone with no ties who's not even an American citizen, esp given the hefty sponsorship fees.
assuming you're lucky to find a firm that sponsors you, you might not even make the lottery. sure, since trump got elected, h1b applications have gone down but still your chances are around 50-50. it ain't good. in that case, your only silver lining will be your firm willing to transfer you overseas (i.e. hong kong) for a year and letting you get another shot at the lottery the following year. guess which firms will be more willing to do so? the huge biglaw firms with many overseas offices, many of whom are in NY. and btw, this is totally at the firm's discretion. it's easily possible (and i've seen this firsthand) that the firm just cuts you loose after your h1b app gets denied. you can't really blame the firm either.
idk about your loan situation but if you have loans, then your situation becomes even more precarious. approach OCI like your life depends on it cuz i'm scared you might actually strike out.
1) I feel you re: political climate, NFL team. But what is important to me is not getting worked to death. I think it is an asset to know what one's limitations are, and a firm that consistently expects 70+ hour weeks will not be one where I can stay long because I will burn out and ultimately get canned. For this reason, I'll also mass mail litigation boutiques and in-house positions.
2) Re: NY. If NY is my only option, can I do SA in NY and then apply to change offices to a secondary market for full time? Or, alternatively, would having a NY SA experience under my belt give me decent odds at landing somewhere in a secondary market full time during 3L recruiting season? I'll seriously consider doing an LLM or going home before accepting full time in NY. Maybe my perception of it will change once I actually live there (I'll be at Columbia).