How tough is it to break into the CO/CA/VA law markets?

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PrezRand

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How tough is it to break into the CO/CA/VA law markets?

Postby PrezRand » Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:01 pm

I am a TX native and prefer to practice in TX, but I am also interested in these law markets. How difficult would it be to break into them? I am also interested in Florida and Washington. I have no ties to any of these areas. Outside of TX, I only have ties to Oklahoma since my dad lived there for quite some time, and the Northeast because my mom's side of the family lives there and my mom recently moved back there.

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Re: How tough is it to break into the CO/CA/VA law markets?

Postby jbagelboy » Sat Jul 09, 2016 5:50 pm

these markets are pretty different. you'll need to narrow down your targets. Colorado is very insular and small with only a few large firms in Denver that hire small summer classes and a set of niche midlaw firms that recruit almost exclusively from the regional schools. You'll need strong ties. California is a massive market that needs to be subdivided between LA/OC and SF/SV, with San Diego and Sacramento as secondaries. LA/OC are generally less ties-sensitive than the bay area but each has specific qualities that are difficult to unpack in detail here, and for smaller firms it really help to go to school in state. For VA, do you mean outskirts of DC, or the actual commonwealth (Richmond, Virginia Beach, Norfolk?). I don't know anything about the latter but you will be more limited in the types of law you could seek to practice there.

It would seem impracticable to me to target all three in addition to Texas (not to mention Florida and Washington).

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Re: How tough is it to break into the CO/CA/VA law markets?

Postby PrezRand » Sun Jul 10, 2016 12:04 pm

jbagelboy wrote:these markets are pretty different. you'll need to narrow down your targets. Colorado is very insular and small with only a few large firms in Denver that hire small summer classes and a set of niche midlaw firms that recruit almost exclusively from the regional schools. You'll need strong ties. California is a massive market that needs to be subdivided between LA/OC and SF/SV, with San Diego and Sacramento as secondaries. LA/OC are generally less ties-sensitive than the bay area but each has specific qualities that are difficult to unpack in detail here, and for smaller firms it really help to go to school in state. For VA, do you mean outskirts of DC, or the actual commonwealth (Richmond, Virginia Beach, Norfolk?). I don't know anything about the latter but you will be more limited in the types of law you could seek to practice there.

It would seem impracticable to me to target all three in addition to Texas (not to mention Florida and Washington).

I did not know it mattered whether the law markets were similar. As for California, would it still be practical to consider LA/OC even if I did not have any ties to the state?

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Re: How tough is it to break into the CO/CA/VA law markets?

Postby BigLawer » Sun Jul 10, 2016 1:32 pm

I don't understand how someone would be "interested" in all of these markets. Why go to a market where you have no ties/family/friends, etc? Seems like you are from TX which is one of the better markets (full NY salary, no state income tax, relatively cheap COL, etc.). If you place a huge value on great weather and beaches. then maybe LA/OC - but why the rest? Yes, for OC you are going to need some ties, or have a family, because they seem to understand why people would want to raise a family there. Not so sure about LA.

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Re: How tough is it to break into the CO/CA/VA law markets?

Postby SFSpartan » Sun Jul 10, 2016 1:48 pm

PrezRand wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:these markets are pretty different. you'll need to narrow down your targets. Colorado is very insular and small with only a few large firms in Denver that hire small summer classes and a set of niche midlaw firms that recruit almost exclusively from the regional schools. You'll need strong ties. California is a massive market that needs to be subdivided between LA/OC and SF/SV, with San Diego and Sacramento as secondaries. LA/OC are generally less ties-sensitive than the bay area but each has specific qualities that are difficult to unpack in detail here, and for smaller firms it really help to go to school in state. For VA, do you mean outskirts of DC, or the actual commonwealth (Richmond, Virginia Beach, Norfolk?). I don't know anything about the latter but you will be more limited in the types of law you could seek to practice there.

It would seem impracticable to me to target all three in addition to Texas (not to mention Florida and Washington).

I did not know it mattered whether the law markets were similar. As for California, would it still be practical to consider LA/OC even if I did not have any ties to the state?


It doesn't necessarily matter that the markets are not similar. However, I think the larger point here is that the substantive differences between these markets makes it look like you thought "it would be nice to live here, here, and here," and decided you would target those markets without thinking about why. It also takes a lot of time to research firms within a given market, so it really isn't feasible to target all of these markets. If you must target outside TX, pick one of these, and have a really good answer for why you want to be there (or put off LS and actually move to one of these places).

It would be helpful to know what you actually want to do, as that can help us give you better advice.

LA (and CA markets in general) want to see that you have some ties. Firms want to see ties because the CA weather makes a lot of people want to live here. However, it's tough to know if you'll enjoy things like LA's traffic/general vapidness, or SF's cloudy summers and techbro mentality.

Honestly, your best bet is probably sticking with TX. Dallas and Houston both have large markets, and you will, presumably, be able to articulate plausible reasons why you want to be there and/or convey ties.

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Re: How tough is it to break into the CO/CA/VA law markets?

Postby PrezRand » Sun Jul 10, 2016 1:58 pm

SFSpartan wrote:
PrezRand wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:these markets are pretty different. you'll need to narrow down your targets. Colorado is very insular and small with only a few large firms in Denver that hire small summer classes and a set of niche midlaw firms that recruit almost exclusively from the regional schools. You'll need strong ties. California is a massive market that needs to be subdivided between LA/OC and SF/SV, with San Diego and Sacramento as secondaries. LA/OC are generally less ties-sensitive than the bay area but each has specific qualities that are difficult to unpack in detail here, and for smaller firms it really help to go to school in state. For VA, do you mean outskirts of DC, or the actual commonwealth (Richmond, Virginia Beach, Norfolk?). I don't know anything about the latter but you will be more limited in the types of law you could seek to practice there.

It would seem impracticable to me to target all three in addition to Texas (not to mention Florida and Washington).

I did not know it mattered whether the law markets were similar. As for California, would it still be practical to consider LA/OC even if I did not have any ties to the state?


It doesn't necessarily matter that the markets are not similar. However, I think the larger point here is that the substantive differences between these markets makes it look like you thought "it would be nice to live here, here, and here," and decided you would target those markets without thinking about why. It also takes a lot of time to research firms within a given market, so it really isn't feasible to target all of these markets. If you must target outside TX, pick one of these, and have a really good answer for why you want to be there (or put off LS and actually move to one of these places).

It would be helpful to know what you actually want to do, as that can help us give you better advice.

LA (and CA markets in general) want to see that you have some ties. Firms want to see ties because the CA weather makes a lot of people want to live here. However, it's tough to know if you'll enjoy things like LA's traffic/general vapidness, or SF's cloudy summers and techbro mentality.

Honestly, your best bet is probably sticking with TX. Dallas and Houston both have large markets, and you will, presumably, be able to articulate plausible reasons why you want to be there and/or convey ties.

What if I did in fact have reasonable reasons for considering these markets other than "They have better weather than Texas"? I probably should have made it more clear that I am not intending on targeting 4 markets. I just listed other markets I have considered.

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Re: How tough is it to break into the CO/CA/VA law markets?

Postby SFSpartan » Sun Jul 10, 2016 2:04 pm

PrezRand wrote:
SFSpartan wrote:
PrezRand wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:these markets are pretty different. you'll need to narrow down your targets. Colorado is very insular and small with only a few large firms in Denver that hire small summer classes and a set of niche midlaw firms that recruit almost exclusively from the regional schools. You'll need strong ties. California is a massive market that needs to be subdivided between LA/OC and SF/SV, with San Diego and Sacramento as secondaries. LA/OC are generally less ties-sensitive than the bay area but each has specific qualities that are difficult to unpack in detail here, and for smaller firms it really help to go to school in state. For VA, do you mean outskirts of DC, or the actual commonwealth (Richmond, Virginia Beach, Norfolk?). I don't know anything about the latter but you will be more limited in the types of law you could seek to practice there.

It would seem impracticable to me to target all three in addition to Texas (not to mention Florida and Washington).

I did not know it mattered whether the law markets were similar. As for California, would it still be practical to consider LA/OC even if I did not have any ties to the state?


It doesn't necessarily matter that the markets are not similar. However, I think the larger point here is that the substantive differences between these markets makes it look like you thought "it would be nice to live here, here, and here," and decided you would target those markets without thinking about why. It also takes a lot of time to research firms within a given market, so it really isn't feasible to target all of these markets. If you must target outside TX, pick one of these, and have a really good answer for why you want to be there (or put off LS and actually move to one of these places).

It would be helpful to know what you actually want to do, as that can help us give you better advice.

LA (and CA markets in general) want to see that you have some ties. Firms want to see ties because the CA weather makes a lot of people want to live here. However, it's tough to know if you'll enjoy things like LA's traffic/general vapidness, or SF's cloudy summers and techbro mentality.

Honestly, your best bet is probably sticking with TX. Dallas and Houston both have large markets, and you will, presumably, be able to articulate plausible reasons why you want to be there and/or convey ties.

What if I did in fact have reasonable reasons for considering these markets other than "They have better weather than Texas"? I probably should have made it more clear that I am not intending on targeting 4 markets. I just listed other markets I have considered.


I think it's doable in LA, though you'll have to overcome some initial skepticism about why you actually want to be there. SF is tougher because the legal market is smaller and the Bay Area is super ties-conscious (I had a tough time finding a job initially - although I grew up in SF, firms were skeptical of my desire to be here because I went to college in the Midwest). Of course, you can always alleviate that by going to UCLA/USC or S/B (assuming you end up targeting one of LA/SF), and using LS to establish ties to a market you'd like to be in.

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PrezRand

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Re: How tough is it to break into the CO/CA/VA law markets?

Postby PrezRand » Sun Jul 10, 2016 2:20 pm

SFSpartan wrote:
PrezRand wrote:
SFSpartan wrote:
PrezRand wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:these markets are pretty different. you'll need to narrow down your targets. Colorado is very insular and small with only a few large firms in Denver that hire small summer classes and a set of niche midlaw firms that recruit almost exclusively from the regional schools. You'll need strong ties. California is a massive market that needs to be subdivided between LA/OC and SF/SV, with San Diego and Sacramento as secondaries. LA/OC are generally less ties-sensitive than the bay area but each has specific qualities that are difficult to unpack in detail here, and for smaller firms it really help to go to school in state. For VA, do you mean outskirts of DC, or the actual commonwealth (Richmond, Virginia Beach, Norfolk?). I don't know anything about the latter but you will be more limited in the types of law you could seek to practice there.

It would seem impracticable to me to target all three in addition to Texas (not to mention Florida and Washington).

I did not know it mattered whether the law markets were similar. As for California, would it still be practical to consider LA/OC even if I did not have any ties to the state?


It doesn't necessarily matter that the markets are not similar. However, I think the larger point here is that the substantive differences between these markets makes it look like you thought "it would be nice to live here, here, and here," and decided you would target those markets without thinking about why. It also takes a lot of time to research firms within a given market, so it really isn't feasible to target all of these markets. If you must target outside TX, pick one of these, and have a really good answer for why you want to be there (or put off LS and actually move to one of these places).

It would be helpful to know what you actually want to do, as that can help us give you better advice.

LA (and CA markets in general) want to see that you have some ties. Firms want to see ties because the CA weather makes a lot of people want to live here. However, it's tough to know if you'll enjoy things like LA's traffic/general vapidness, or SF's cloudy summers and techbro mentality.

Honestly, your best bet is probably sticking with TX. Dallas and Houston both have large markets, and you will, presumably, be able to articulate plausible reasons why you want to be there and/or convey ties.

What if I did in fact have reasonable reasons for considering these markets other than "They have better weather than Texas"? I probably should have made it more clear that I am not intending on targeting 4 markets. I just listed other markets I have considered.


I think it's doable in LA, though you'll have to overcome some initial skepticism about why you actually want to be there. SF is tougher because the legal market is smaller and the Bay Area is super ties-conscious (I had a tough time finding a job initially - although I grew up in SF, firms were skeptical of my desire to be here because I went to college in the Midwest). Of course, you can always alleviate that by going to UCLA/USC or S/B (assuming you end up targeting one of LA/SF), and using LS to establish ties to a market you'd like to be in.

Ahh, that makes sense. Your last statement is news to me. Thanks!



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