Insular Markets, Connections, Ties, etc. Questions

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bdm261
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Insular Markets, Connections, Ties, etc. Questions

Postby bdm261 » Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:00 pm

Sorry if this has been covered to death but I read all the time on here about how "X is an insular market" or "Y firm wants to see solid ties."

Basically this kills my dreams of attending a regional school in an area I'd like to live in and getting employed there.

What does this mean? That firms discriminate based on your geography?

Why does a firm in Milwaukee (example I don't know how "insular" WI is) for instance, only want to hire people who spent their whole lives in Wisconsin? And why are employers suspicious of outsiders? I don't understand this.

I'm a 0L so I don't know crap but if I were a legal employer I'd value diverse perspectives rather than insisting that every employee come from a certain geographic location and had spent X years there.

What's the reasoning behind requiring "ties?"

And lastly, how do you get around ties? Say I decide I absolutely want to work in North Dakota or something, or is that just reserved for North Dakotans?

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nickb285
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Re: Insular Markets, Connections, Ties, etc. Questions

Postby nickb285 » Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:09 pm

Also a 0L but I believe the reasoning is to ensure employee retention and morale. Take Salt Lake City, for instance--this is purely as an example as I haven't dealt with hiring yet, but it's a small market, well away from any of the big ones. So if you're running a firm in SLC, you want someone who a) isn't hoping that your firm is a stepping stone to NY or LA, b) has a reason to stick around in the face of a potential future offer from a big market firm, and c) understands how to deal with the LDS church, liquor laws, winter weather, and other cultural and geographic factors. Not to mention that people not from SLC are unlikely to have any professional or personal connections here.

It doesn't necessarily mean that someone in the top of their class who edited the law review, but who has never been to Utah, won't be hired over a bottom 25% Utah grad with no networking skills. But it does mean that if you have two similarly qualified applicants, one from Salt Lake and one from Brooklyn, the Utah native will probably get hired.


rad lulz
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Re: Insular Markets, Connections, Ties, etc. Questions

Postby rad lulz » Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:34 pm

Image

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2014
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Re: Insular Markets, Connections, Ties, etc. Questions

Postby 2014 » Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:34 pm

It costs firms a lot to fund call backs (including lost billing) a ton to take on SAs and they barely if even break even for your first couple of years there. So it is bad for them if they shell out 500 bucks in travel expenses and 2 grand in lost billing to fly you up to them only to have you say no. It is worse for them to drop 25 grand on a summer salary plus events and lost billing only to have you turn down a full time offer. And it is probably worst for them to train you for 2 years only to have you lateral back to your home market forcing them to do the process all over again.

The easiest way for them to mitigate that is to give preference to people with ties, they represent more certain retention.

If you really want to work somewhere with no ties at all and haven't started law school your best bet is probably to move there for a year and work. It will show a commitment to the area and will give you an idea if you can stand to live there.

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typ3
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Re: Insular Markets, Connections, Ties, etc. Questions

Postby typ3 » Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:00 pm

bdm261 wrote:Sorry if this has been covered to death but I read all the time on here about how "X is an insular market" or "Y firm wants to see solid ties."

Basically this kills my dreams of attending a regional school in an area I'd like to live in and getting employed there.

What does this mean? That firms discriminate based on your geography?

Why does a firm in Milwaukee (example I don't know how "insular" WI is) for instance, only want to hire people who spent their whole lives in Wisconsin? And why are employers suspicious of outsiders? I don't understand this.

I'm a 0L so I don't know crap but if I were a legal employer I'd value diverse perspectives rather than insisting that every employee come from a certain geographic location and had spent X years there.

What's the reasoning behind requiring "ties?"

And lastly, how do you get around ties? Say I decide I absolutely want to work in North Dakota or something, or is that just reserved for North Dakotans?



I'll answer this as a soon to be 4th generation Lawyer and a state neighboring North Dakota.. The practice of law in a lot of areas is a closed door community. They don't really want you in it unless you come from a law/legal background. People are willing to take you in and show you the ropes but they want to make sure you can produce and bring in legal work. They don't want you sucking on their teet when as an associate attorney you are basically a glorified legal assistant / paralegal until you produce. Having ties / connections mean you know people and therefore aren't networking / marketing from scratch to start bringing in work.

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hume85
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Re: Insular Markets, Connections, Ties, etc. Questions

Postby hume85 » Sat Nov 24, 2012 12:28 pm

rad lulz wrote:Image


Best TLS poast of the month

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stillwater
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Re: Insular Markets, Connections, Ties, etc. Questions

Postby stillwater » Sat Nov 24, 2012 6:42 pm

hume85 wrote:
rad lulz wrote:Image


Best TLS poast of the month


Recycled classics.

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dextermorgan
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Re: Insular Markets, Connections, Ties, etc. Questions

Postby dextermorgan » Sat Nov 24, 2012 7:52 pm

2014 wrote:If you really want to work somewhere with no ties at all and haven't started law school your best bet is probably to move there for a year and work. It will show a commitment to the area and will give you an idea if you can stand to live there.

Absolutely this. I am attending a school in an area that I want to live in, and I really wish that I had worked here for a few years to better show that I intend to stay.

Almost all non-major markets are incredibly insular. It was explained to me this way: many of the lawyers in the community know each other because their great-grandfathers practiced law together. Lawyers beget lawyers, and when they don't recognize your name right away you are already fighting an uphill battle.

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Scotusnerd
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Re: Insular Markets, Connections, Ties, etc. Questions

Postby Scotusnerd » Sat Nov 24, 2012 8:11 pm

1L in an insular market here. The lack of ties problem can be circumvented through luck and charisma. You have to find the key people that your law school hopefully has, if they're worth a damn. Career services or pro bono are good places to start.

My name isn't worth jack shit out here, and there has never been a lawyer in my family. Nevertheless, I am doing well, and am working steadily towards getting job offers. I don't want to be too specific, but knowing the right people is completely possible to do during law school, even the first semester.

When people say an 'insular market', there's a whole range of them. South Carolina, for example, has large areas of intense insulation and pockets of openness where new blood can poke in. Don't just assume that all attorneys are xenophobic closeminded people, just because they live in a certain place. Give them a bit of credit, put yourself out there, and work your ass off.

It works.

Sea Urchin Ceviche
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Re: Insular Markets, Connections, Ties, etc. Questions

Postby Sea Urchin Ceviche » Sun Nov 25, 2012 8:35 pm

IMHO, the more far-flung you are on paper, the greater the gamble. I am a 2L who moved from one coast to another to attend my regional school. I spent my childhood in a neighboring state and have lots of family in the area. Unfortunately, those things don't show up on a resume. (Yes, that information can be woven into cover letters and outreach emails. But remember: The resume will generally be king at the gateways because it is more easily scanned.) I was able to scrape up a respectable number of CBs but, without fail, one of the first few questions from the interviewer was inevitably: "Why the hell are you here? We all dream of moving to the state you came from."

Students who had UG/WE within a 300 mile radius of our school did not seem to have this issue at all. Other students who moved cross-country are seriously struggling. I struck out at OCI despite being Top 20%/LR/Moot Court/Big-kid WE/Related UG major.

And yes, I hustled my ass off to forge local ties, network, etc. Please do not fall victim to the quixotic belief that those efforts "can be circumvented through luck and charisma." Be aware that you may be taking a huge risk by attending a regional school. If that school is inexpensive and/or you aren't gunning for big- or mid-law, it may still be worth it to you.

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Br3v
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Re: Insular Markets, Connections, Ties, etc. Questions

Postby Br3v » Sun Nov 25, 2012 9:22 pm

rad lulz wrote:[img]D&C[/img]


Fitting avatar.


And OP smaller markets tend to like ties because they are afraid you will just leave for a larger market or go back to where you are from if you don't have significant ties in their market.

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Scotusnerd
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Re: Insular Markets, Connections, Ties, etc. Questions

Postby Scotusnerd » Sun Nov 25, 2012 10:36 pm

Sea Urchin Ceviche wrote:IMHO, the more far-flung you are on paper, the greater the gamble. I am a 2L who moved from one coast to another to attend my regional school. I spent my childhood in a neighboring state and have lots of family in the area. Unfortunately, those things don't show up on a resume. (Yes, that information can be woven into cover letters and outreach emails. But remember: The resume will generally be king at the gateways because it is more easily scanned.) I was able to scrape up a respectable number of CBs but, without fail, one of the first few questions from the interviewer was inevitably: "Why the hell are you here? We all dream of moving to the state you came from."

Students who had UG/WE within a 300 mile radius of our school did not seem to have this issue at all. Other students who moved cross-country are seriously struggling. I struck out at OCI despite being Top 20%/LR/Moot Court/Big-kid WE/Related UG major.

And yes, I hustled my ass off to forge local ties, network, etc. Please do not fall victim to the quixotic belief that those efforts "can be circumvented through luck and charisma." Be aware that you may be taking a huge risk by attending a regional school. If that school is inexpensive and/or you aren't gunning for big- or mid-law, it may still be worth it to you.


I absolutely agree that it's a huge risk, and that it's one you should inspect very carefully. Watch people's attitudes towards you when you tell them where you're from. It's very informative. I'm not saying that insular areas aren't insular, but not every area is insular in a xenophobic sense. I strongly suspect that my experience is going to be different than yours. I have NOT had the same experience here at all.

Also, if an area is insular check for ties between your university and a local military base. That seems to open up some of the insular nature of the area.

Sea Urchin Ceviche
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Re: Insular Markets, Connections, Ties, etc. Questions

Postby Sea Urchin Ceviche » Sun Nov 25, 2012 11:40 pm

Scotusnerd wrote:...not every area is insular in a xenophobic sense.


OP: I can't speak to Wisconsin or North Dakota, but the Northeast is generally insular to the point of being "xenophobic." Also remember that it's a buyers' market for new lawyers, so saying "I absolutely want to work in X market" may not not be enough at the margins. Even with a credible storyline, firms can just negate any ostensible flight risk by picking someone similarly qualified who does have the local ties.

The fair point is to do your homework. Get specific. Do not trust what the admissions or career services offices say. Try to speak with people from your target school who migrated from a similar region as your own.

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cinephile
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Re: Insular Markets, Connections, Ties, etc. Questions

Postby cinephile » Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:07 am

Scotusnerd wrote:
Sea Urchin Ceviche wrote:IMHO, the more far-flung you are on paper, the greater the gamble. I am a 2L who moved from one coast to another to attend my regional school. I spent my childhood in a neighboring state and have lots of family in the area. Unfortunately, those things don't show up on a resume. (Yes, that information can be woven into cover letters and outreach emails. But remember: The resume will generally be king at the gateways because it is more easily scanned.) I was able to scrape up a respectable number of CBs but, without fail, one of the first few questions from the interviewer was inevitably: "Why the hell are you here? We all dream of moving to the state you came from."

Students who had UG/WE within a 300 mile radius of our school did not seem to have this issue at all. Other students who moved cross-country are seriously struggling. I struck out at OCI despite being Top 20%/LR/Moot Court/Big-kid WE/Related UG major.

And yes, I hustled my ass off to forge local ties, network, etc. Please do not fall victim to the quixotic belief that those efforts "can be circumvented through luck and charisma." Be aware that you may be taking a huge risk by attending a regional school. If that school is inexpensive and/or you aren't gunning for big- or mid-law, it may still be worth it to you.


I absolutely agree that it's a huge risk, and that it's one you should inspect very carefully. Watch people's attitudes towards you when you tell them where you're from. It's very informative. I'm not saying that insular areas aren't insular, but not every area is insular in a xenophobic sense. I strongly suspect that my experience is going to be different than yours. I have NOT had the same experience here at all.

Also, if an area is insular check for ties between your university and a local military base. That seems to open up some of the insular nature of the area.


Wow. You haven't gone through OCI yet and you're giving advice and contradicting the experience of someone who has? Wait and see how it works out for you, then come back to report.

Anyway, I can say that in my experience some markets are VERY insular. I'm from a midsized midwestern city and I applied to a number of firms in cities 1 - 1.5 hours away from where I grew up. These cities were in the same region I had grown up in and I went there all the time for shopping and going out as I only lived an hour away, many of my friends lived in those cities, it was near my college town, etc. But every time I interviewed they asked what my ties were. Saying I grew up an hour away was not enough for them. They actually told me that, their response was yes, but what's your connection to OUR city. Might have been easier on me if I was from a small town and didn't have a "home market."

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Scotusnerd
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Re: Insular Markets, Connections, Ties, etc. Questions

Postby Scotusnerd » Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:39 am

I am giving advice because I pretty much already have a job. I don't need OCI. Believe me, I wouldn't be sitting here and telling you about it if I hadn't done a shitton of legwork already.

Once again, let me repeat: NOT ALL MARKETS ARE THE SAME LEVEL OF INSULAR. RESEARCH THE AREA YOURSELF BEFORE MOVING.

I am not discounting that some markets are incredibly insular. I am merely saying that some are less so than others. If you don't want my advice, feel free to ignore it. No skin off my ass.

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Tom Joad
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Re: Insular Markets, Connections, Ties, etc. Questions

Postby Tom Joad » Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:43 am

I think you are a nut if you are a 1L without grades and you think you have a long term job lined up. Presuming it isn't family, but then it wouldn't really be relevant in a discussion about ties.

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Scotusnerd
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Re: Insular Markets, Connections, Ties, etc. Questions

Postby Scotusnerd » Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:48 am

No, I don't have a long-term job. I'm talking about (paid) summer employment. I'll have to come back to you in a few years.

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Tom Joad
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Re: Insular Markets, Connections, Ties, etc. Questions

Postby Tom Joad » Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:50 am

Scotusnerd wrote:No, I don't have a long-term job. I'm talking about (paid) summer employment. I'll have to come back to you in a few years.

Ok, that makes sense. And congrats. But I think everybody else here is talking about long term jobs, and hopefully your 1L summer will help you get a long term job.

Sea Urchin Ceviche
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Re: Insular Markets, Connections, Ties, etc. Questions

Postby Sea Urchin Ceviche » Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:24 pm

Scotusnerd wrote:No, I don't have a long-term job. I'm talking about (paid) summer employment. I'll have to come back to you in a few years.


Oh honey...

Even in highly insular markets, the non-local students don't face significant barriers to entry for 1L summer employment or internships/externships. (I certainly didn't, other transplants didn't.) Permanent employment is a very different animal.

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Scotusnerd
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Re: Insular Markets, Connections, Ties, etc. Questions

Postby Scotusnerd » Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:25 pm

We'll have to see. You may prove me entirely wrong, but I don't think so. It's the feeling I get from the people. But, as I said, we'll see. I'll let you know.




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