South East Market & Firms

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South East Market & Firms

Postby waffle_house_lawyer » Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:26 am

Hi, current 1L at a south eastern law school (Vandy/Emory/ UGA/ UA) interested in either Nashville or Birmingham. Can someone tell me about those legal markets, and anything I ned to know (I have connections to both through either school or family). I'd like to know a bit about personal experience with specific firms like Bradley / Bass Berry Sims / and any others that people think i should think about.

my thinking is that top 20-25% at any of the schools listed should make me a competitive candidate for a SA?


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Re: South East Market & Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:40 am

The cut offs are going to depend on where you are (Vandy vs. UGA--these are vastly different).

It's really competitive, particularly in Nashville because it's a "cool" city and everyone wants to move here right now. The firms tend to be very strict with grade cut offs, but also ties (particularly Baker and Bradley). You should attend the firms' 1L holiday parties (attys. are asked to give their thoughts, both good and bad, on people they met at these events, so it's absolutely worthwhile). It's also competitive because people split summers, sometimes with three firms (this happens as a 2L), so you will see the same handful of people doing the Bradley/Baker/Bass/Waller split.

I would use whatever ties and connections you have (whether it's a friend who was a former SA or a family member). It's definitely a tie-sensitive market/area and the emails/connections are always noted in the recruiting files.

Bass is a lot like biglaw and the focus is less on making partner and a lot more on making $$$ and getting a great in-house gig. Bradley is like Bass workwise/salary wise, but the focus is long term and people stick around for a while. Baker really depends on the practice group and what it looks like in that particular office, but it's a bit slower paced than Bass and Bradley. Waller is trying to revamp its 1L program, but not sure if they take non-diverse students or only do LCLD 1L Scholars program.

There are a few threads on these (and other Nashville firms like Butler Snow, Burr Foreman, Stites, etc.) that you can search. Also, personality and fit play a huge part (at some firms more than others), but just because you have top grades or are within the cut-off doesn't mean the firm will like you/hire you. They have a surprisingly large pool of people applying, so it's best to maximize all the ties you have, connections, and also be a nice likable person--these firms get applications from Yale on down, so it's definitely less about school/pedigree/fancy things (though you do need to meet the grade cut offs) and a whole lot more about fit and whether people liked you.

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