Ties to the region?

(Please Ask Questions and Answer Questions)
User avatar
TLS_noobie
Posts: 205
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2012 6:17 pm

Ties to the region?

Postby TLS_noobie » Sat Feb 04, 2012 11:21 pm

My wife and I are a young couple looking to start our life together somewhere other than where we are now. I am headed to law school next fall and she will be working full time. I keep reading about ties and how it is important to have ties to the region where you are trying to gain employment. I also keep reading about how, ITE, unless you are going to YHS (or perhaps some of the other higher ranked T10s) a person should really go to school where they want to work (or at least in the general region). My wife and I want to be in a major city with an active financial industry (mostly for her work, but for mine upon graduation hopefully as well). As of right now my wife is working out of country and it is really my job to start the process of planting our roots some place. Once I do this, she will then know where she can transfer. My goal is BigLaw, but as this is such a tough economy for everything I really would just like a job pertinent to my studies upon graduating (obviously). My cycle is not complete yet but it looks like my range of schools, ranking-wise, will be somewhere around 18-23. These schools will likely be regional. The problem is that I am not sure I will have any legitimate ties to any one region since the only family I have is in a place not conducive for my wife's or my career goals. What does it mean to have ties? What are the reasons for having ties (for when employers ask "why X city?" so they can see some sort of commitment/loyalty)? I feel like this is a common position for any young couple and wanting to set roots into a particular region should be good reason enough (obviously for the reason that my wife can work in that location as well, which is the most likely reason for my decision of where to go) to seek employment there. If ties are not necessarily family, then what else can they be (networking with people employed in that region? friends? etc.)?

Thanks a lot TLS, your words of wisdom are very much appreciated!
TLS_noobie

User avatar
cinephile
Posts: 3469
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2010 3:50 pm

Re: Ties to the region?

Postby cinephile » Sun Feb 05, 2012 12:06 am

Ties can be family, or they can be anything else to show that you've spent a substantial amount of time in this region and are willing to stay for the long-haul. Like where you went to college, somewhere you've worked for awhile, maybe the area where you're going to law school. As far as regional schools go, some regions are less sensitive to requiring ties than others.

But Just saying you want to settle down and start a family in that city won't necessarily persuade them. Firms invest a lot in their junior associates to train them and are afraid you'll run off and leave them. Having something to keep you there would assuage that fear. Like, if your wife had already started working in that region and had a job there, that could work.

You said you're looking at the 18-22 range of schools, if so just go for the bigger cities like LA/Boston/DC and then ties won't be an issue.

User avatar
TLS_noobie
Posts: 205
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2012 6:17 pm

Re: Ties to the region?

Postby TLS_noobie » Sun Feb 05, 2012 12:38 am

cinephile wrote:Ties can be family, or they can be anything else to show that you've spent a substantial amount of time in this region and are willing to stay for the long-haul. Like where you went to college, somewhere you've worked for awhile, maybe the area where you're going to law school. As far as regional schools go, some regions are less sensitive to requiring ties than others.

But Just saying you want to settle down and start a family in that city won't necessarily persuade them. Firms invest a lot in their junior associates to train them and are afraid you'll run off and leave them. Having something to keep you there would assuage that fear. Like, if your wife had already started working in that region and had a job there, that could work.

You said you're looking at the 18-22 range of schools, if so just go for the bigger cities like LA/Boston/DC and then ties won't be an issue.


Thanks for the insight! :) Like I stated before, my wife will only be able to get work in a place with an active financial industry (NYC, Chicago, Boston, Bay Area, etc.) and so big cities are my best option. The goal is for her to be able to get work wherever I am before I graduate from law school, so I suppose that would be my tie to the region.

nouseforaname123
Posts: 336
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:32 pm

Re: Ties to the region?

Postby nouseforaname123 » Sun Feb 05, 2012 12:54 pm

I posted the following in another thread, but it applies to you as well (search function is your friend).

The problem for you is that your "ties" to a particular market are not evaluated in a vacuum. Firms will ask you why you are interviewing in a particular city. You are expected to articulate a sincere, genuine reason for wanting to be in that city.

Imagine firm XYZ is interviewing two candidates at Wake Forest Law for the firm's Charlotte, N.C. office.

Both candidates are in the Top 10% of their class and on Law Review:

Candidate A grew up in San Diego, graduated from UCLA, went to WF because it had the best employment prospects of any school he was admitted to. Candidate A claims he is not geographically tied to any area as he's been happy living all over the country. He has no family in the area and cannot articulate a meaningful reason for wanting to be there beyond "going where the work is."

Candidate B grew up in Greensboro, N.C., has family spread out all over the state, her SO is a banker in Charlotte, she went to N.C. State for undergrad and is a season ticket holder for N.C. State football.

The two candidates are indistinguishable academically. Who is the safer bet for the firm to hire for Charlotte, N.C. office?

*************************

Your wife's job will help you establish ties to a particular region, but you'll still be at a disadvantage compared to an applicant with deeper ties to the community.

User avatar
TLS_noobie
Posts: 205
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2012 6:17 pm

Re: Ties to the region?

Postby TLS_noobie » Sun Feb 05, 2012 1:10 pm

nouseforaname123 wrote:I posted the following in another thread, but it applies to you as well (search function is your friend).

The problem for you is that your "ties" to a particular market are not evaluated in a vacuum. Firms will ask you why you are interviewing in a particular city. You are expected to articulate a sincere, genuine reason for wanting to be in that city.

Imagine firm XYZ is interviewing two candidates at Wake Forest Law for the firm's Charlotte, N.C. office.

Both candidates are in the Top 10% of their class and on Law Review:

Candidate A grew up in San Diego, graduated from UCLA, went to WF because it had the best employment prospects of any school he was admitted to. Candidate A claims he is not geographically tied to any area as he's been happy living all over the country. He has no family in the area and cannot articulate a meaningful reason for wanting to be there beyond "going where the work is."

Candidate B grew up in Greensboro, N.C., has family spread out all over the state, her SO is a banker in Charlotte, she went to N.C. State for undergrad and is a season ticket holder for N.C. State football.

The two candidates are indistinguishable academically. Who is the safer bet for the firm to hire for Charlotte, N.C. office?

*************************

Your wife's job will help you establish ties to a particular region, but you'll still be at a disadvantage compared to an applicant with deeper ties to the community.


I see, well, this makes sense in any field (not just law), I suppose (especially ITE). I guess that is something that anyone that is moving out of their home region needs to battle. My home area is a desolate wasteland, especially for anyone who wants a job in finance/law (or I guess a job in anything), and so it makes sense for my wife and I to move to a big city. I guess, the question I would have is: with that being said, would my ties to this "wasteland" still be considered ties if I go to the nearest financial hub (about 5 hours away)? Would ties be "region-based" or "state-based"? How far away can ties be before they are not ties anymore?

(ugh, I use the word "ties" a lot in this post...haha)

[EDIT] I found some answers to my questions by searching. But, just for the record, the search function is definitely not my friend...lol

User avatar
mrtoren
Posts: 733
Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2010 9:43 pm

Re: Ties to the region?

Postby mrtoren » Sun Feb 05, 2012 2:04 pm

Honestly, the example used above is blatantly extreme. I know it was constructed that way to prove a point, but its influencing the OP beyond its original intention. What you should take away from this is that you must prepare a response before you go into the interview. Like any other question, if it catches you off guard and you can't answer it, it will reflect poorly on you. Compile a list of reasons for wanting to move to the desired location over any other location. Describe why you would have no reason to leave.

When you walk in there, you need to show them that there is conviction behind your answer.

nouseforaname123
Posts: 336
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:32 pm

Re: Ties to the region?

Postby nouseforaname123 » Sun Feb 05, 2012 2:51 pm

TLS_noobie wrote:I see, well, this makes sense in any field (not just law), I suppose (especially ITE).


IMHO, the need for local ties is extreme in the legal profession. I have 10+ years of work experience for a F100 company (including hiring and firing decisions). IMHO, the need for ties seems to be extreme in the legal profession.

I guess, the question I would have is: with that being said, would my ties to this "wasteland" still be considered ties if I go to the nearest financial hub (about 5 hours away)? Would ties be "region-based" or "state-based"? How far away can ties be before they are not ties anymore?


Probably. I had lived in my target market for seven years by the time I went through OCI. I also spun the fact that the market was four hours away from my wife's hometown which is perfect in that it is close enough to family that we can see them whenever we want to, but far enough away that we also maintain some space.

mrtoren wrote:Honestly, the example used above is blatantly extreme. I know it was constructed that way to prove a point, but its influencing the OP beyond its original intention. What you should take away from this is that you must prepare a response before you go into the interview. Like any other question, if it catches you off guard and you can't answer it, it will reflect poorly on you. Compile a list of reasons for wanting to move to the desired location over any other location. Describe why you would have no reason to leave.

When you walk in there, you need to show them that there is conviction behind your answer.


The example, while extreme, is probably not as extreme as you think it is.

There are many academically successful students from top law schools who wish it was as simple as "showing conviction" in an interview answer. Why do you think so many law students on TLS emphasize choosing a law school, especially outside of the t-14, on the basis of ties to the region?




Return to “Law School FAQ”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests