Why Do Ties Matter in Biglaw?

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big_willy_style_333
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Why Do Ties Matter in Biglaw?

Postby big_willy_style_333 » Fri Mar 10, 2017 12:42 pm

I'm a little bit confused about why ties matter when applying to big firms in secondary markets. Are they concerned about associates leaving because they aren't tied to the city? Most firms seem to understand and accept that the vast majority of associates will leave the firm after a few years anyway, so I don't understand why they really care if you're only planning on staying in the area for a few years (or assume that this is even the case b/c I doubt you would mention this in interviews). Do they refrain from interviewing you because they think you won't take the job and the interview process would be a waste of time/money? This cost seems so low relative to the benefit of getting a better associate. What am I missing?

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deuceindc
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Re: Why Do Ties Matter in Biglaw?

Postby deuceindc » Fri Mar 10, 2017 1:02 pm

big_willy_style_333 wrote:Do they refrain from interviewing you because they think you won't take the job and the interview process would be a waste of time/money? This cost seems so low relative to the benefit of getting a better associate.


It might be a small cost to decline to interview one applicant, but it would quickly become an expensive policy to not screen for ties. Firms have far more applicants than openings. They're looking for quick, cheap ways to screen people out of the pool. Ties tell you, at least superficially, who's more likely to accept if offered.

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Future Ex-Engineer
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Re: Why Do Ties Matter in Biglaw?

Postby Future Ex-Engineer » Fri Mar 10, 2017 1:06 pm

I came here expecting a thread about neck ties. I am disappointed.

But yes, interested in the answer to this as well

cavalier1138
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Re: Why Do Ties Matter in Biglaw?

Postby cavalier1138 » Fri Mar 10, 2017 1:16 pm

mrgstephe wrote:I came here expecting a thread about neck ties. I am disappointed.


This.

OP: Ties matter to firms (outside of NYC), because they want to know that you're considering a career with them, not using them as a stepping stone to something else.

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big_willy_style_333
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Re: Why Do Ties Matter in Biglaw?

Postby big_willy_style_333 » Fri Mar 10, 2017 1:21 pm

deuceindc wrote:
big_willy_style_333 wrote:Do they refrain from interviewing you because they think you won't take the job and the interview process would be a waste of time/money? This cost seems so low relative to the benefit of getting a better associate.


It might be a small cost to decline to interview one applicant, but it would quickly become an expensive policy to not screen for ties. Firms have far more applicants than openings. They're looking for quick, cheap ways to screen people out of the pool. Ties tell you, at least superficially, who's more likely to accept if offered.

Okay, but I'm not sure the logic of this strategy really works out. If someone is going to take the time to apply to and interview for a position in a secondary market and has qualifications that would earn him/her an interview if ties were ignored, I don't see why firms would decline to interview this applicant, especially just a first round phone screener. If they are qualified enough outside of their lack of ties, they probably aren't in a situation where they need to be mass-mailing markets in which they have no interest, which would mean that their application to the firm/location is an indicator of some genuine interest. Basically, if an applicant is qualified other than ties and he/she is applying to a firm in a smaller market, I would think that would be enough of a signal of interest to at least give them an interview.

Also, this explanation of ties doesn't involve anything specific to law, but the importance of ties does seem to be specific to law (or at least exaggerated in law), which leads me to believe it is not the true or at least not the primary explanation.

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jkpolk
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Re: Why Do Ties Matter in Biglaw?

Postby jkpolk » Fri Mar 10, 2017 1:25 pm

Ties used to be used to keep your fancy shirt from coming undone but then became fashionable and are now sort of an artifact but still have that formal connotation.

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big_willy_style_333
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Re: Why Do Ties Matter in Biglaw?

Postby big_willy_style_333 » Fri Mar 10, 2017 1:30 pm

haha I am learning the same lesson as this OP: https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comm ... _tips_for/

maybe TLS should have a serious tag...

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Clemenceau
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Re: Why Do Ties Matter in Biglaw?

Postby Clemenceau » Fri Mar 10, 2017 1:52 pm

In Philly, even the vault ranked firms only have around 5-10 SA spots, on average. Taking hundreds, if not thousands, of applications for 5-10 positions is not easy, and yield is very important. These firms aren't willing to just accidentally get double the number of SAs than they expected. Using geographic ties is a way to thin the pack and get candidates who are more likely to accept an offer in that market.

Also, more generally, some of it is just homer-ism.

Edit: a few more points. These firms aren't really filling out their classes from mass mailing. They do OCI at a few schools, and can easily fill their class with qualified candidates from those schools. Keep in mind these firms have relationships with the local schools too, and don't want to totally stiff them. The very marginally more qualified mass mail resume is going to lose to the person they interviewed on campus almost every time.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Why Do Ties Matter in Biglaw?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Mar 10, 2017 2:24 pm

The other thing is that people apply so broadly that no, being qualified and applying to a secondary market doesn't necessarily signal that you really want to be there. There's also the possibility that you think you want to be somewhere but get there and hate it and leave.

Npret
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Re: Why Do Ties Matter in Biglaw?

Postby Npret » Fri Mar 10, 2017 2:29 pm

big_willy_style_333 wrote:
deuceindc wrote:
big_willy_style_333 wrote:Do they refrain from interviewing you because they think you won't take the job and the interview process would be a waste of time/money? This cost seems so low relative to the benefit of getting a better associate.


It might be a small cost to decline to interview one applicant, but it would quickly become an expensive policy to not screen for ties. Firms have far more applicants than openings. They're looking for quick, cheap ways to screen people out of the pool. Ties tell you, at least superficially, who's more likely to accept if offered.

Okay, but I'm not sure the logic of this strategy really works out. If someone is going to take the time to apply to and interview for a position in a secondary market and has qualifications that would earn him/her an interview if ties were ignored, I don't see why firms would decline to interview this applicant, especially just a first round phone screener. If they are qualified enough outside of their lack of ties, they probably aren't in a situation where they need to be mass-mailing markets in which they have no interest, which would mean that their application to the firm/location is an indicator of some genuine interest. Basically, if an applicant is qualified other than ties and he/she is applying to a firm in a smaller market, I would think that would be enough of a signal of interest to at least give them an interview.

Also, this explanation of ties doesn't involve anything specific to law, but the importance of ties does seem to be specific to law (or at least exaggerated in law), which leads me to believe it is not the true or at least not the primary explanation.


There are more significantly more qualified applicants than jobs.

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Easterbork
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Re: Why Do Ties Matter in Biglaw?

Postby Easterbork » Fri Mar 10, 2017 2:32 pm

Firms in secondary markets have experience with "foreign" candidates not accepting cbs or offers. Lots of kids just want to get a job and apply as broadly as possible (see mass mail thread). Those people will happily do CBs wherever until something they really want somewhere they want comes along, leading to wasted time. That same person would absolutely take the secondary market job if nothing pans out, but if you're getting offers there is a good chance you have multiple and the firm in the place you've never been is often the first to get cut.

BernieTrump
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Re: Why Do Ties Matter in Biglaw?

Postby BernieTrump » Sat Mar 11, 2017 1:24 pm

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Last edited by BernieTrump on Thu May 11, 2017 11:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PrezRand
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Re: Why Do Ties Matter in Biglaw?

Postby PrezRand » Sat Mar 11, 2017 7:48 pm

Because they want slaveworkers who will be there long-term. You can't have lived in Cali for 20 years, went K-JD there or even worked and then got your degree and seriously expect a big law firm from Idaho (do they even have firms?) to wonder

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mjb447
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Re: Why Do Ties Matter in Biglaw?

Postby mjb447 » Sat Mar 11, 2017 7:57 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:The other thing is that people apply so broadly that no, being qualified and applying to a secondary market doesn't necessarily signal that you really want to be there. There's also the possibility that you think you want to be somewhere but get there and hate it and leave.

+1. I remember checking a box or something during OCI to apply to Jones Day's office in Cleveland, and to this day I can't remember why.

Also, re: sartorial issues in biglaw:
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