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AreJay711
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Re: Importance of Ties by Market

Postby AreJay711 » Sun Apr 26, 2015 3:13 pm

starry eyed wrote:how much is it acceptable to exaggerate ties? do firms inquire into your personal life?

and why do biglaw firms care about ties when they know you won't be around after 3 -5 yrs

edit: found answer to second line


You don't really need to exaggerate ties for any of the major markets. The term "ties" is a little misleading. The important thing is that you know what the city is like and you are able to articulate why you want to be there. They don't care that you have family in Houston, for example, they care that you've visited enough to understand its vibe and explain why you like it. Living in any of the major legal markets (DC, Chicago, LA, Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, Boston, San Francisco, Philly*) your 1L summer is enough.

* I assume. The only people I know who went to Philly grew up nearby (MD/NJ).

BigZuck
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Re: Importance of Ties by Market

Postby BigZuck » Sun Apr 26, 2015 4:29 pm

AreJay711 wrote:
starry eyed wrote:how much is it acceptable to exaggerate ties? do firms inquire into your personal life?

and why do biglaw firms care about ties when they know you won't be around after 3 -5 yrs

edit: found answer to second line


You don't really need to exaggerate ties for any of the major markets. The term "ties" is a little misleading. The important thing is that you know what the city is like and you are able to articulate why you want to be there. They don't care that you have family in Houston, for example, they care that you've visited enough to understand its vibe and explain why you like it. Living in any of the major legal markets (DC, Chicago, LA, Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, Boston, San Francisco, Philly*) your 1L summer is enough.

* I assume. The only people I know who went to Philly grew up nearby (MD/NJ).

TX firms I interviewed with very deeply much cared about family I had in those cities. They wanted to know about family members' experiences in high school in those cities. They also wanted to know about my experiences living in those cities. I would be asked about ties upfront, and then they would circle back around and ask me the same questions toward the end, almost as if they were trying to catch me in a lie (this last thing was only two firms that I can remember, but it was crazy)

We might have just interviewed at different places or different people but my experience interviewing with TX firms was waaaaaaayyyy different than this

You're were also probably a more persuasive dude and better candidate than me though.

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Hikikomorist
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Re: Importance of Ties by Market

Postby Hikikomorist » Sun Apr 26, 2015 4:34 pm

BigZuck wrote:
AreJay711 wrote:
starry eyed wrote:how much is it acceptable to exaggerate ties? do firms inquire into your personal life?

and why do biglaw firms care about ties when they know you won't be around after 3 -5 yrs

edit: found answer to second line


You don't really need to exaggerate ties for any of the major markets. The term "ties" is a little misleading. The important thing is that you know what the city is like and you are able to articulate why you want to be there. They don't care that you have family in Houston, for example, they care that you've visited enough to understand its vibe and explain why you like it. Living in any of the major legal markets (DC, Chicago, LA, Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, Boston, San Francisco, Philly*) your 1L summer is enough.

* I assume. The only people I know who went to Philly grew up nearby (MD/NJ).

TX firms I interviewed with very deeply much cared about family I had in those cities. They wanted to know about family members' experiences in high school in those cities. They also wanted to know about my experiences living in those cities. I would be asked about ties upfront, and then they would circle back around and ask me the same questions toward the end, almost as if they were trying to catch me in a lie (this last thing was only two firms that I can remember, but it was crazy)

We might have just interviewed at different places or different people but my experience interviewing with TX firms was waaaaaaayyyy different than this

You're were also probably a more persuasive dude and better candidate than me though.


So they simply won't believe someone who wants to live there for the low CoL and lack of a state income tax? I don't get why that wouldn't seem credible, unless they've actually had a bunch of people jump to NYC (why?!?) after saying the same thing.

BigZuck
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Re: Importance of Ties by Market

Postby BigZuck » Sun Apr 26, 2015 4:45 pm

I don't think it's always a concern about people jumping to NYC specifically, I think the concern is more people jumping to any other place that is not that firm. Could be NYC, could be SF, could be Houston, could be wherever that candidate calls "home."

I think walking into a Houston firm screener and saying "COL and family values, bro" is a recipe for a ding but some will likely disagree. I would have been totally screwed if that was my tactic I think.

There's so much more that goes into why you would want to live in a place besides money. Are you cool with living in a swamp? No? Well then maybe you wouldn't like living in Houston. It's probably easier for them to hire the guy next to you who is actually from there. At least he's used to dealing with swamp ass for 9 months out of the year. Your ability to cope with swamp ass is an unknown commodity compared to his. And in every other way, you guys are fungible candidates.

Eta: not trying to dump on Houston here, I think this stuff can apply to a lot of other secondary markets

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AreJay711
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Re: Importance of Ties by Market

Postby AreJay711 » Sun Apr 26, 2015 5:09 pm

BigZuck wrote:
AreJay711 wrote:
You don't really need to exaggerate ties for any of the major markets. The term "ties" is a little misleading. The important thing is that you know what the city is like and you are able to articulate why you want to be there. They don't care that you have family in Houston, for example, they care that you've visited enough to understand its vibe and explain why you like it. Living in any of the major legal markets (DC, Chicago, LA, Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, Boston, San Francisco, Philly*) your 1L summer is enough.

* I assume. The only people I know who went to Philly grew up nearby (MD/NJ).

TX firms I interviewed with very deeply much cared about family I had in those cities. They wanted to know about family members' experiences in high school in those cities. They also wanted to know about my experiences living in those cities. I would be asked about ties upfront, and then they would circle back around and ask me the same questions toward the end, almost as if they were trying to catch me in a lie (this last thing was only two firms that I can remember, but it was crazy)

We might have just interviewed at different places or different people but my experience interviewing with TX firms was waaaaaaayyyy different than this

You're were also probably a more persuasive dude and better candidate than me though.


I think that's because you had what people normally consider ties that mattered and brought them up. Usually they'd ask me "Why Houston?" pretty early and I'd go into my spiel. I was asked about ties once and I said something along the lines of "I don't have any. I want to practice there because [reasons]. I worked in Houston last summer and liked the city, but more important to me is being somewhere that's right for my career."

BigZuck wrote:I think walking into a Houston firm screener and saying "COL and family values, bro" is a recipe for a ding but some will likely disagree. I would have been totally screwed if that was my tactic I think.

There's so much more that goes into why you would want to live in a place besides money. Are you cool with living in a swamp? No? Well then maybe you wouldn't like living in Houston. It's probably easier for them to hire the guy next to you who is actually from there. At least he's used to dealing with swamp ass for 9 months out of the year. Your ability to cope with swamp ass is an unknown commodity compared to his. And in every other way, you guys are fungible candidates.


Living there 1L summer pretty much much handles this, especially in regards to Houston where (apparently) the rest of the year is just soooooo great. I think answering, "I want to be involved with major transactions, but still be able to have a yard for my [future] kids" wouldn't be so bad.

Hikkomorist wrote:
So they simply won't believe someone who wants to live there for the low CoL and lack of a state income tax? I don't get why that wouldn't seem credible, unless they've actually had a bunch of people jump to NYC (why?!?) after saying the same thing.


They'll believe it, but why Houston over Dallas or Austin? I had some interviewers comment at the end of my answer to say "plus you can actually afford shit with your salary in Houston".

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: Importance of Ties by Market

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Sun Apr 26, 2015 5:37 pm

Hikkomorist wrote:
Other25BeforeYou wrote:
Br3v wrote:
hearsay77 wrote:This is probably a stupid question but can anyone explain to me why exactly ties are so important to firms? Like why are they concerned if you want to move across the country to a new place or not? Is it because you're more of a flight risk without any ties to the area?

Yes.

And you might be a net loss for the firm your first year, so they don't really want to subsidize you trying out a new city only to leave.

And you are almost definitely a net loss when you're a summer associate. While firms care about flight risks generally, they really don't want someone to try out a city for a summer, get an offer and then turn around and accept a job in a market they like more. That puts the firm in the position of (a) being out the summer associate salary, (b) looking less than great since a summer who spent three months there doesn't want to return, and (c) potentially having to find a 3L to replace that person who the firm will offer a real job to despite not having gotten to kick the tires during the summer.

Another big concern is that they will offer you the 2L summer job over someone else, you will keep the offer in your back pocket for a week or two while trying to find a job in your first choice market, and in the meantime their backup choices will be accepting jobs at other firms. If you have ties you're more likely to accept the job offer (and accept it quickly) because it's more likely you're actually targeting that market.

I was targeting a ties-sensitive market at OCI, and despite having strong ties, the firms weren't entirely sold on my dedication to the area (and therefore on giving me an offer) until I explained that I wasn't interviewing with a single NYC firm.


They're really that concerned about NYC? That fucking sucks. I keep reading about people who took NYC as a last resort and can't wait to leave, so it's a little weird to me that they're convinced everyone without ties is going to leave for being poor in the Big Apple. At the same time, it seems incredibly risky not to bid any NYC firms.


That was, and is, me. I guess it must've been the case that back in the day people were desperate for the Big Apple and everyone in Secondary Market X just couldn't wait to leave for bigger and better things, so in order to protect their investment they needed people who would pass up the better opportunity because they were emotionally connected to somewhere.

Now that's no longer true, and the opportunities are better in TX, or Denver or Tampa or Pittsburgh or wherever. But the model is still predicated on assumptions that are no longer true, so when you tell them you really are interested in Secondary Market X they just assume you're lying because you didn't get an NYC offer (which is, in reality, much easier). The end result is that even if I have the same credentials and the same interest in an area, I'm at a disadvantage simply on the basis of where I was born. That's not fair, and in the end it's not productive.

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Hikikomorist
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Re: Importance of Ties by Market

Postby Hikikomorist » Sun Apr 26, 2015 5:44 pm

AreJay711 wrote:
BigZuck wrote:
AreJay711 wrote:
You don't really need to exaggerate ties for any of the major markets. The term "ties" is a little misleading. The important thing is that you know what the city is like and you are able to articulate why you want to be there. They don't care that you have family in Houston, for example, they care that you've visited enough to understand its vibe and explain why you like it. Living in any of the major legal markets (DC, Chicago, LA, Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, Boston, San Francisco, Philly*) your 1L summer is enough.

* I assume. The only people I know who went to Philly grew up nearby (MD/NJ).

TX firms I interviewed with very deeply much cared about family I had in those cities. They wanted to know about family members' experiences in high school in those cities. They also wanted to know about my experiences living in those cities. I would be asked about ties upfront, and then they would circle back around and ask me the same questions toward the end, almost as if they were trying to catch me in a lie (this last thing was only two firms that I can remember, but it was crazy)

We might have just interviewed at different places or different people but my experience interviewing with TX firms was waaaaaaayyyy different than this

You're were also probably a more persuasive dude and better candidate than me though.


I think that's because you had what people normally consider ties that mattered and brought them up. Usually they'd ask me "Why Houston?" pretty early and I'd go into my spiel. I was asked about ties once and I said something along the lines of "I don't have any. I want to practice there because [reasons]. I worked in Houston last summer and liked the city, but more important to me is being somewhere that's right for my career."

BigZuck wrote:I think walking into a Houston firm screener and saying "COL and family values, bro" is a recipe for a ding but some will likely disagree. I would have been totally screwed if that was my tactic I think.

There's so much more that goes into why you would want to live in a place besides money. Are you cool with living in a swamp? No? Well then maybe you wouldn't like living in Houston. It's probably easier for them to hire the guy next to you who is actually from there. At least he's used to dealing with swamp ass for 9 months out of the year. Your ability to cope with swamp ass is an unknown commodity compared to his. And in every other way, you guys are fungible candidates.


Living there 1L summer pretty much much handles this, especially in regards to Houston where (apparently) the rest of the year is just soooooo great. I think answering, "I want to be involved with major transactions, but still be able to have a yard for my [future] kids" wouldn't be so bad.

Hikkomorist wrote:
So they simply won't believe someone who wants to live there for the low CoL and lack of a state income tax? I don't get why that wouldn't seem credible, unless they've actually had a bunch of people jump to NYC (why?!?) after saying the same thing.


They'll believe it, but why Houston over Dallas or Austin? I had some interviewers comment at the end of my answer to say "plus you can actually afford shit with your salary in Houston".


Honestly, one is as good as the other to me at the moment, though Austin doesn't seem like it presents many opportunities for the sort of work I vaguely think I might like to do. I don't care about where I live, except for what it costs me - oh, and I can't do snow/ice. But I hate the idea of moving, so I'm planning to stay in one place.

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AreJay711
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Re: Importance of Ties by Market

Postby AreJay711 » Sun Apr 26, 2015 5:56 pm

Hikkomorist wrote:Honestly, one is as good as the other to me at the moment, though Austin doesn't seem like it presents many opportunities for the sort of work I vaguely think I might like to do. I don't care about where I live, except for what it costs me - oh, and I can't do snow/ice. But I hate the idea of moving, so I'm planning to stay in one place.


That's a question you'll have to answer to Texas employers beyond the low COL / taxes.

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rion91
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Re: Importance of Ties by Market

Postby rion91 » Mon Apr 27, 2015 2:37 pm

We don't really wear ties in Texas. We do occasionally wear cowboy boots, though.

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starry eyed
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Re: Importance of Ties by Market

Postby starry eyed » Mon Apr 27, 2015 4:11 pm

Wouldn't it be easy to make up a fiancé or something? (That you met while in law school)

Add that to the low COL and backyard.

BigZuck
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Re: Importance of Ties by Market

Postby BigZuck » Mon Apr 27, 2015 4:28 pm

starry eyed wrote:Wouldn't it be easy to make up a fiancé or something? (That you met while in law school)

Add that to the low COL and backyard.

I don't know if there are repercussions with the bar if the employer finds out you lied but some people don't like lying because either 1. They might get caught and that's NAGL or 2. They think lying is inherently wrong.

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Re: Importance of Ties by Market

Postby sprezz » Mon Apr 27, 2015 4:34 pm

starry eyed wrote:Wouldn't it be easy to make up a fiancé or something? (That you met while in law school)


do not do this, it is a terrible idea with enormous downside if it materializes and only marginal upside if the downside doesn't

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AreJay711
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Re: Importance of Ties by Market

Postby AreJay711 » Mon Apr 27, 2015 4:43 pm

A fiance just isn't that great of a tie to a city. You have a fiance. So what? Is he or she so inflexible that the only way it's going to work is if you move there? They won't ask you that, but they'll assume the answer is no. So you'll need to demonstrate that you independently like the city and actually want to be there. The thing is you do have reasons for wanting a particular market and can absolutely test those reasons your 1L summer.

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starry eyed
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Re: Importance of Ties by Market

Postby starry eyed » Mon Apr 27, 2015 5:53 pm

AreJay711 wrote:A fiance just isn't that great of a tie to a city. You have a fiance. So what? Is he or she so inflexible that the only way it's going to work is if you move there? They won't ask you that, but they'll assume the answer is no. So you'll need to demonstrate that you independently like the city and actually want to be there. The thing is you do have reasons for wanting a particular market and can absolutely test those reasons your 1L summer.


do you think it helps that i'm from a pretty non desirable city in MS, as opposed to someone moving from NY or CA? Also have lousiana ties.

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Auxilio
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Re: Importance of Ties by Market

Postby Auxilio » Mon Apr 27, 2015 7:25 pm

Thoughts on how strong family/undergrad/growing up in Victoria is to applying for Seattle firms?

Just for reference Victoria is about as close as you can get to Seattle if you ignore the international border thing... But its not like I can come back up to Canada right after getting US JD anyways.
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AreJay711
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Re: Importance of Ties by Market

Postby AreJay711 » Mon Apr 27, 2015 8:07 pm

starry eyed wrote:
AreJay711 wrote:A fiance just isn't that great of a tie to a city. You have a fiance. So what? Is he or she so inflexible that the only way it's going to work is if you move there? They won't ask you that, but they'll assume the answer is no. So you'll need to demonstrate that you independently like the city and actually want to be there. The thing is you do have reasons for wanting a particular market and can absolutely test those reasons your 1L summer.


do you think it helps that i'm from a pretty non desirable city in MS, as opposed to someone moving from NY or CA? Also have lousiana ties.


Yeah all that helps, actually. Not only because you don't have a reason to go back home, but bc Houston is marginally a gulf coast city.

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lionelmessi
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Re: Importance of Ties by Market

Postby lionelmessi » Mon Apr 27, 2015 8:16 pm

Ties are what you make them. You have to have some sort of legitimate response to the question, and every office of every firm will ask at some point (in my experience, even New York corporate). I was able to get offers for Seattle, LA, Dallas, Houston, NYC, and London from Duke's OCI with solid but not outrageous grades. I didn't grow up in any of those places, but had come up with some sort of narrative for each place. For example, my brother lives in Seattle. I lived in LA. I lived in England. My sister lives in Texas. And then I built off of those facts to tell a story about why that firm and why that place. A story that makes some sense is the key.




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