UChicago --> Philly?

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redbullvodka
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UChicago --> Philly?

Postby redbullvodka » Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:09 pm

Hey all,

Will be attending UChi in the fall, and plan to gun for NYC/Chicago firm jobs. However, I have pretty strong ties to Philly (grew up about 30 minutes outside of the city, lots of family/friends). Wondering if anybody knows what kind of grades I'd need to get back there, using ITE for worst-case scenarios. I don't want to think of Philly as a "backup", but I feel like there would be a dearth of UChi grads applying to these firms, so I'd imagine the grade requirements should be a bit lower. Thoughts?

Thanks!

srfngdd6
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Re: UChicago --> Philly?

Postby srfngdd6 » Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:17 pm

alot of philly firms wont recruit at chicago but i dont think that matters as long as you dell relatively well and are willing to do soem legwork

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Justathought
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Re: UChicago --> Philly?

Postby Justathought » Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:20 pm

redbullvodka wrote:Hey all,

Will be attending UChi in the fall, and plan to gun for NYC/Chicago firm jobs. However, I have pretty strong ties to Philly (grew up about 30 minutes outside of the city, lots of family/friends). Wondering if anybody knows what kind of grades I'd need to get back there, using ITE for worst-case scenarios. I don't want to think of Philly as a "backup", but I feel like there would be a dearth of UChi grads applying to these firms, so I'd imagine the grade requirements should be a bit lower. Thoughts?

Thanks!


I'm sure you could get back there with pretty mediocre grades, but if Philly is your top choice, be sure to participate in the Philadelphia Diversity Law Group (Google PDLG) as a 1L. All the big firms in town commit to hiring at least one 1L from the local schools or any 1L, nationally, with ties to the region. This year there are people from schools all over the country taking part, and it is a great way to get a 1L paying gig that can, and often does, lead to a 2L position and a career after graduation. I'm a Temple student participating, and it has been fantastic so far. I Highly recommend applying if you have any diversity or instances where you've overcome significant adversity.

jerzgrl630
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Re: UChicago --> Philly?

Postby jerzgrl630 » Wed Mar 14, 2012 8:40 pm

I agree with the above user's recommendation about PDLG. It's an amazing program and a great way to get work in Philadelphia. I just want to caution that while you SHOULD be able to get back to Philly with such strong ties, the legal community is a little insular and (I think) occasionally insecure. It is not always easy to convince employers you want to be in the Philadelphia market. My observation has also been that Philly firms do not hire large SA classes, so the positions remain highly competitive. I have stories but prefer not to share them publicly. You can feel free to PM if you want more information about these thoughts.

r6_philly
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Re: UChicago --> Philly?

Postby r6_philly » Wed Mar 14, 2012 8:59 pm

I also recommend PDLG, it's top notch in every way. But you do have to overcome a couple of things: 1. why didn't you just go to Penn. 2. if your grades are good, they may think you will go elsewhere, because at Chicago you would have all the options. Having ties to Philly is a plus, but then having ties elsewhere is a minus, and having reach (Chicago + grades) is another minus. They want to retain talent in the market, so you have to convince them that you will stay in the market - which may be difficult giving your other options. It is already very hard for Penn students to get offers from Philly firms at 2L. They get lots of callbacks, but very few offers, mostly due to the inability to convince the firms that they would choose Philly over other markets. Less ranked schools may have less of an issue amazingly because they will not have the options you will have.

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yngblkgifted
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Re: UChicago --> Philly?

Postby yngblkgifted » Wed Mar 14, 2012 9:04 pm

You should be fine coming from UChi and with ties to the area. By "legwork" all that is required is that you send your job application stuff in early to all big law firms in Philly. The PDLG thing should help as well. You're bound to get something from doing those things. I'll be working in Philly this summer and my ties are arguably weaker than yours. Feel free to PM me for more info.

jerzgrl630
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Re: UChicago --> Philly?

Postby jerzgrl630 » Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:02 pm

yngblkgifted wrote:You should be fine coming from UChi and with ties to the area. By "legwork" all that is required is that you send your job application stuff in early to all big law firms in Philly. The PDLG thing should help as well. You're bound to get something from doing those things. I'll be working in Philly this summer and my ties are arguably weaker than yours. Feel free to PM me for more info.


Congratulations to you if this is all you had to do, but you are over-simplifying things. I really think the OP will be fine, but to act like the "legwork" is simple is just wrong. It sometimes requires more work.

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yngblkgifted
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Re: UChicago --> Philly?

Postby yngblkgifted » Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:17 pm

jerzgrl630 wrote:
yngblkgifted wrote:You should be fine coming from UChi and with ties to the area. By "legwork" all that is required is that you send your job application stuff in early to all big law firms in Philly. The PDLG thing should help as well. You're bound to get something from doing those things. I'll be working in Philly this summer and my ties are arguably weaker than yours. Feel free to PM me for more info.


Congratulations to you if this is all you had to do, but you are over-simplifying things. I really think the OP will be fine, but to act like the "legwork" is simple is just wrong. It sometimes requires more work.


Such as? Go to receptions, network when plausible, do the best you can grade-wise (OP knew this), and send out apps early. Am I missing something? What is all the extra "leg work"? OP is coming from UCHI, and therefore can get big law with even mediocre grades so long as OP has ties to the region. People like to exaggerate the difficulties of certain tasks they may have accomplished/are pursuing to make themselves feel better about themselves. OP, just use common sense and don't stress, you'll be fine.

jerzgrl630
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Re: UChicago --> Philly?

Postby jerzgrl630 » Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:34 pm

yngblkgifted wrote:
jerzgrl630 wrote:
yngblkgifted wrote:You should be fine coming from UChi and with ties to the area. By "legwork" all that is required is that you send your job application stuff in early to all big law firms in Philly. The PDLG thing should help as well. You're bound to get something from doing those things. I'll be working in Philly this summer and my ties are arguably weaker than yours. Feel free to PM me for more info.


Congratulations to you if this is all you had to do, but you are over-simplifying things. I really think the OP will be fine, but to act like the "legwork" is simple is just wrong. It sometimes requires more work.


Such as? Go to receptions, network when plausible, do the best you can grade-wise (OP knew this), and send out apps early. Am I missing something? What is all the extra "leg work"? OP is coming from UCHI, and therefore can get big law with even mediocre grades so long as OP has ties to the region. People like to exaggerate the difficulties of certain tasks they may have accomplished/are pursuing to make themselves feel better about themselves. OP, just use common sense and don't stress, you'll be fine.


Look, I don't know you or your background, and I completely appreciate that. I also never said anyone needs extra leg work, I just think the market is a tougher than people think. Philly is an insulated community. I have been on many interviews where I was grilled REPEATEDLY about wanting to stay in Philly post-graduation. In fact, my job offer came after I sent a cover letter that essentially professed my love for Philly. Many others have had similar experiences. In addition, people with Philly ties who transferred to better schools outside of the area were flat out rejected from every firm in the area. Law firms in the area are afraid that people consider Philly a "safety" and do not want people to come and practice there, only to leave for NY, DC, or Chicago a few years later. The fact that the OP is attending a fantastic law school in another major city that will give him excellent national reach may not work in his favor. Interviewers may even wonder "why not Penn?"

This is not designed to stress anyone out, I just wanted to point out the reality of the situation because I wish someone had done the same for me. I'm sure the OP will be fine, but getting a job in Philly may not be the walk in the park that he imagined. That's all I'm trying to point out.

r6_philly
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Re: UChicago --> Philly?

Postby r6_philly » Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:38 pm

^ I second jerzgrl, read my first reply.

redbullvodka
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Re: UChicago --> Philly?

Postby redbullvodka » Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:36 pm

Thanks so much for all of your replies!

1) I took Chicago largely for the small class size and law/econ characteristics that pervades everything they teach there...I think I can reasonably convey this in an interview situation, particularly if my 0L goal of practicing antitrust law remains prominent.

2) Unfortunately a super white male, no true diversity...but I think I'll be able to network effectively given that these firms are just down the turnpike from my house. I'd like to spend 1L summer in philly, but I also have to convince Chicago firms that I'd like to stay there, and 1L summer will be a major plus in that conversation. The importance of legwork/mass mailing has been discussed ad nauseum on this site, so I certainly can appreciate how on the ball I'll have to be during the months leading up to 2L OCI.

If anybody else has any fresh perspective, please share. I sincerely thank the posters who have thrown their hats in so far.

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Flash
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Re: UChicago --> Philly?

Postby Flash » Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:55 pm

You'll likely be fine for NYC or Chicago but have likely blown your shot at Philly. Turning down Penn for Chicago, besides being a stupid decision, makes it look like you really want to get away from Philly.

r6_philly
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Re: UChicago --> Philly?

Postby r6_philly » Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:39 pm

If OCI doesn't work out, you can always try to clerk here and make some connections post-grad.

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JollyGreenGiant
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Re: UChicago --> Philly?

Postby JollyGreenGiant » Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:40 pm

Flash wrote:You'll likely be fine for NYC or Chicago but have likely blown your shot at Philly. Turning down Penn for Chicago, besides being a stupid decision, makes it look like you really want to get away from Philly.

My friend is the only person I know who wanted to go back to Philly through OCI, and he got a few offers from Philly firms despite being at UChicago. I don't think that bridge is burnt. I bet the Philly firms appreciate the school diversity.

r6_philly
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Re: UChicago --> Philly?

Postby r6_philly » Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:41 pm

JollyGreenGiant wrote:
Flash wrote:You'll likely be fine for NYC or Chicago but have likely blown your shot at Philly. Turning down Penn for Chicago, besides being a stupid decision, makes it look like you really want to get away from Philly.

My friend is the only person I know who wanted to go back to Philly through OCI, and he got a few offers from Philly firms despite being at UChicago. I don't think that bridge is burnt. I bet the Philly firms appreciate the school diversity.


It really depends on personal situation. No a single person questioned my connection to Philly during 1L interviews. But everyone else from Penn got grilled about it.

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IAFG
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Re: UChicago --> Philly?

Postby IAFG » Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:54 pm

Flash wrote:You'll likely be fine for NYC or Chicago but have likely blown your shot at Philly. Turning down Penn for Chicago, besides being a stupid decision, makes it look like you really want to get away from Philly.

This is really, really inaccurate. You can get back to Philly from T14 as long as you have ties.

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arism87
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Re: UChicago --> Philly?

Postby arism87 » Thu Mar 15, 2012 3:18 pm

I'm an NYU student in a similar situation (wanting to go to Philly, except I don't have strong ties). I'm also concerned about it. I just wanted to add that I've had the opportunity to speak with a few hiring partners at major Philly firms who seemed to feel like it was way less of an issue than this thread might lead you to believe. They seemed not to think it would problematic. FWIW.

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IAFG
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Re: UChicago --> Philly?

Postby IAFG » Thu Mar 15, 2012 3:30 pm

arism87 wrote:I'm an NYU student in a similar situation (wanting to go to Philly, except I don't have strong ties). I'm also concerned about it. I just wanted to add that I've had the opportunity to speak with a few hiring partners at major Philly firms who seemed to feel like it was way less of an issue than this thread might lead you to believe. They seemed not to think it would problematic. FWIW.

The Northwestern students I know who wanted to go back to Philly (or else struck out of other markets and used Philly as a backup) had no issues.

PMan99
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Re: UChicago --> Philly?

Postby PMan99 » Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:12 pm

r6_philly wrote:
JollyGreenGiant wrote:
Flash wrote:You'll likely be fine for NYC or Chicago but have likely blown your shot at Philly. Turning down Penn for Chicago, besides being a stupid decision, makes it look like you really want to get away from Philly.

My friend is the only person I know who wanted to go back to Philly through OCI, and he got a few offers from Philly firms despite being at UChicago. I don't think that bridge is burnt. I bet the Philly firms appreciate the school diversity.


It really depends on personal situation. No a single person questioned my connection to Philly during 1L interviews. But everyone else from Penn got grilled about it.


I was in a similar situation as your friends. I actually got grilled less on places that I had weak-to-no connections to than I did at Philly despite the fact that I grew up there. General idea I got was that Philly more than most cities gets burned on the reg by people (particularly young ones) who end up bailing for NYC or DC after spending a summer in Philadelphia.

jerzgrl630
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Re: UChicago --> Philly?

Postby jerzgrl630 » Thu Mar 15, 2012 6:59 pm

Yeah, I was only offering my personal experiences, but I'm glad the issues may not be as bad as I've experienced. I hope the OP gets placement in Philly if that's what he/she wants. I also do not go to a T14, which maybe was part of the issue. However, I chose my school because of its regional placement, so you would think that would work in my favor.

Anyway, I'd like to offer some more constructive thoughts for the OP. These may seem obvious but here goes:

1. Try working in Philly for your first summer. It will reaffirm your interest in the area, and you'll meet local attorneys, so it's a win-win.
2. Make your local ties clear in your cover letter. Explain that you grew up in the area and want to move back. You may even want to put your parents' home address on your resume.
3. Consider adding something Philly-related to your resume. I know some people who have things like "Philadelphia sports" or "Philadelphia food scene" on there resume. It gives talking points for interviews, and it further demonstrates your interest/commitment to the area.

I'm sorry if those were overly-obvious points but I hope they are helpful.

arism87 wrote:I'm an NYU student in a similar situation (wanting to go to Philly, except I don't have strong ties). I'm also concerned about it. I just wanted to add that I've had the opportunity to speak with a few hiring partners at major Philly firms who seemed to feel like it was way less of an issue than this thread might lead you to believe. They seemed not to think it would problematic. FWIW.


In all honesty, they might have massaged the truth. Not that I would completely disregard this advice, which is very useful, but the experiences peers and myself have had, plus things OCP said to me tend to contradict that statement. Again, no one has ever been "have ties here or die." It's just been more difficult. Having said that, if you're talking to hiring partners at major Philly firms, you are doing more than local ties could ever do :)

PMan99 wrote:I was in a similar situation as your friends. I actually got grilled less on places that I had weak-to-no connections to than I did at Philly despite the fact that I grew up there. General idea I got was that Philly more than most cities gets burned on the reg by people (particularly young ones) who end up bailing for NYC or DC after spending a summer in Philadelphia.


THIS. My OCP essentially confirmed that this was a fear in many local firms. Honestly, I think it's foolish on their part. If they think Philadelphia is so great, then why are they so surprised when people express interest in staying here, even without local ties?

Seriously though, I wish you all the best of luck. I absolutely love the City of Philadelphia, and it has a lot to offer. I also think it's a great place to practice. The city obviously has a rich legal history, the legal community is tight-knit (in what I think is a good way), and there are a variety of practice areas. I occasionally feel like I made poor decisions along the way, but coming to Philadelphia is definitely not one of them!




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