Can someone explain the concept of "ties"?

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TheSpanishMain
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Can someone explain the concept of "ties"?

Postby TheSpanishMain » Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:54 am

I understand the basic idea that if you live and work in an area, you're making professional contacts with people who are keyed into the local scene. You become an individual that people know (and hopefully like) versus just another faceless resume in a pile.

What I don't get is the concept of needing "ties" to a region that predate law school. Advice surrounding a lot of schools seems to involve "This is only a good idea if you have ties to this region" or something along those lines. Is it really important to have grown up in an area and gone to UG there? Maybe it's because I've been moving all over the country for work in the seven years since finishing UG, but I can't imagine how I would leverage my UG "ties" to break into the local market. I don't even remember the names of any of my UG professors, and I'm certain they wouldn't remember me at this point. Similiarly, most of my college friends have gone to the four winds for work or grad school. I guess I can see the whole alumni network angle if you went to a small college where everyone knows each other, but if you went to a large public university, does it even matter? I can't even imagine trying to work this in to an interview.

"Hey, so, before we finish, I'd just like to mention...I went to high school like an hour from here."
"Um...awesome."

All that aside, isn't the three years of law school when you'd be making ties to the local area anyway? Presumably, you're interning, getting mentored, becoming friends with other law students, etc. There's no reason you'd be some faceless nonentity if you've been living there for three years.

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Sheffield
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Re: Can someone explain the concept of "ties"?

Postby Sheffield » Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:26 am

Ties are helpful but overrated compared to school and grades. Not a bad idea to have a prepared answer to why you want to work in dipsy-dumpster Arkansas.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Can someone explain the concept of "ties"?

Postby rinkrat19 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:33 am

It's a holdover from the pre-crash economy, when firms in every market except NY would assume you were going to bolt for NY at the first opportunity if you didn't have "ties" to the market. (Like no one would ever want to work in San Francisco/Seattle/Miami/wherever if they could get a job in NYC, which is obviously objectively retarded.) So firms didn't want to invest in paying you for those first couple of years, when you're basically useless and you're getting paid six figures to be trained and do less work than a paralegal, unless they were sure you weren't going to leave. Growing up there/having family/having a significant other with a job or family there/etc. served as evidence that you weren't going to flee.

It's dumb. And there's a lot of debate on how intact the trend still is, and what you need to do to convince someone you really want to be in a city.

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TheSpanishMain
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Re: Can someone explain the concept of "ties"?

Postby TheSpanishMain » Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:44 pm

Sounds like a painfully dumb theory. I can think of a few places where being "in" with the established network can be a huge help. For instance, to get anywhere in Charleston, SC you really need to be a Citadel graduate. In general though, sounds like dildoes.

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cinephile
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Re: Can someone explain the concept of "ties"?

Postby cinephile » Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:50 pm

Why do people reach out to alumni? It's the same thing. Because people who feel that they share something in common with you are more predisposed to like you compared to another candidate who has all the same credentials, but didn't grow up here.

Also, people who're willing to move from place to place for a job may not stay here forever, they might be the type to move along quickly as soon as something better comes along and the firm doesn't get to recoup its investment in you.

Also, if you're not from an area and didn't go there for law school or undergrad, how do you know you won't hate the environment and be ready to leave tomorrow?

Or like, imagine you have kids and you suddenly realize you wish you lived in your hometown so mom and dad could babysit for free. You might be willing to pick up and leave this job because having a support system is more important than any particular firm, since they're all more or less the same.

There's a million reasons why ties are important. These are just a couple.

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TheSpanishMain
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Re: Can someone explain the concept of "ties"?

Postby TheSpanishMain » Thu Apr 25, 2013 1:04 pm

I'm not talking about "I'm from PA, went to college and law school there, and I want to get a job in Arizona." Yeah, then you might hate Arizona, and employers would probably be suspicious that you would run back to PA at the first opportunity. Not to mention you likely wouldn't know anyone down there who could vouch for you.

I'm talking more about when people advise things like "Don't go to UNC for law school unless you have ties to North Carolina." Isn't living there for three years and making connections going to reassure potential NC employers that you likely don't hate it there and aren't planning to flee at the first opportunity?

de5igual
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Re: Can someone explain the concept of "ties"?

Postby de5igual » Thu Apr 25, 2013 1:10 pm

TheSpanishMain wrote:I'm not talking about "I'm from PA, went to college and law school there, and I want to get a job in Arizona." Yeah, then you might hate Arizona, and employers would probably be suspicious that you would run back to PA at the first opportunity. Not to mention you likely wouldn't know anyone down there who could vouch for you.

I'm talking more about when people advise things like "Don't go to UNC for law school unless you have ties to North Carolina." Isn't living there for three years and making connections going to reassure potential NC employers that you likely don't hate it there and aren't planning to flee at the first opportunity?


possibly, but employers probably won't see it that way—especially when they have more than enough people who went to high school with their son/daughter with equal/better credentials.

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TheSpanishMain
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Re: Can someone explain the concept of "ties"?

Postby TheSpanishMain » Thu Apr 25, 2013 1:32 pm

I could see getting the leg up if you're in a very small, parochial area, but just seems crazy to me if we're talking about a major metropolitan area. Anyway, what's the general advice for someone without any significant ties? I'm originally from the Midwest and went to college there, but I've been in the military/government service for six years and have lived in Virginia/DC, Hawaii, Arizona, and South Carolina, not to mention overseas time. I probably have the most time/professional connections in Virginia, but I'm still not plugged in with any of the alumni networks or anything.

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Tekrul
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Re: Can someone explain the concept of "ties"?

Postby Tekrul » Thu Apr 25, 2013 2:14 pm

professional ties are one thing and I don't think they can be discredited so easily. my buddy at a regional school in NYC had strong professional ties and it landed him an interview which turned into a 1L SA.

but I believe when people talk about ties they also talk about personal ties. where one's family lives, SO in the area, friends, participation in organizations/community in the area, etc.

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JamesDean1955
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Re: Can someone explain the concept of "ties"?

Postby JamesDean1955 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 5:58 pm

Sheffield wrote:Ties are helpful but overrated compared to school and grades. Not a bad idea to have a prepared answer to why you want to work in dipsy-dumpster Arkansas.


This.

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JamesDean1955
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Re: Can someone explain the concept of "ties"?

Postby JamesDean1955 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 5:59 pm

rinkrat19 wrote:It's a holdover from the pre-crash economy, when firms in every market except NY would assume you were going to bolt for NY at the first opportunity if you didn't have "ties" to the market. (Like no one would ever want to work in San Francisco/Seattle/Miami/wherever if they could get a job in NYC, which is obviously objectively retarded.) So firms didn't want to invest in paying you for those first couple of years, when you're basically useless and you're getting paid six figures to be trained and do less work than a paralegal, unless they were sure you weren't going to leave. Growing up there/having family/having a significant other with a job or family there/etc. served as evidence that you weren't going to flee.

It's dumb. And there's a lot of debate on how intact the trend still is, and what you need to do to convince someone you really want to be in a city.


And this.

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JaviSTB
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Re: Can someone explain the concept of "ties"?

Postby JaviSTB » Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:03 pm

Also, you might want to search TLS for ties threads. There are some great ones already made discussing this to death.

PMan99
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Re: Can someone explain the concept of "ties"?

Postby PMan99 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:09 pm

Sheffield wrote:Ties are helpful but overrated compared to school and grades. Not a bad idea to have a prepared answer to why you want to work in dipsy-dumpster Arkansas.


Depends.

Even people with good grades from HYS struggle with tie-required markets. Not everyone, but you hear about tieless people striking out in places like TX, CA, and CHI - to say nothing of even more exclusive markets like those throughout most of the South. They're not impossible to break into by any means but ties are incredibly important.

I think ties are generally overrated by firms and that the reasons posited by cinephile aren't really that important - most people are going to be out of Biglaw in a couple of years regardless of whether they have ties or not. It doesn't matter if someone's planning on fleeing to NY in 3 ears if you're juts going to up-and-out them in two anyway. Moreover a lot of other high pressure industries (finance, medicine) don't have nearly, or any, of the reliance on ties that law does.

The bigger issue is that there are simply so many law grads, even from T14s, applying to all of the markets, and so few spots, that people are indistinguishable. You can only cull the stacks of resumes by grades so much. Ties are a seemingly dumb way but it's one way to make the pile of resumes go from 200 to 50.

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JamesDean1955
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Re: Can someone explain the concept of "ties"?

Postby JamesDean1955 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:14 pm

Keep in mind most people on TLS will exaggerate and overrate the importance of ties. Going to a law school in the region and networking in said region or going to a T14 and networking in that region will suffice for ties. Your grandparents and cousins and siblings don't need to live there and you don't need to have grown up there and spent every waking moment of your pre-LS life there.

In this economy, legal hiring is different and anybody who gets a decent job isn't usually perceived a flight risk (unless you were the top 10% of your class at a highly ranked school halfway across the country) because, well, they're lucky to get that damn job in the first place.

Also, ties aren't going to be as big of a distinguishing feature of an applicant in the hiring process as people on here purport. At least in firm hiring (I know nothing about how judge's hire for instance). Hiring rarely needs to get that picky.

Unless we are talking about Bumblefuckmiddleofnowhere, Arkansas. But no one wants to work in Bumblefuckmiddleofnowhere.

Lord Randolph McDuff
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Re: Can someone explain the concept of "ties"?

Postby Lord Randolph McDuff » Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:15 pm

A shift in the hive....

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Ruxin1
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Re: Can someone explain the concept of "ties"?

Postby Ruxin1 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:16 pm

JamesDean1955 wrote:Keep in mind most people on TLS will exaggerate and overrate the importance of ties. Going to a law school in the region and networking in said region or going to a T14 and networking in that region will suffice for ties. Your grandparents and cousins and siblings don't need to live there and you don't need to have grown up there and spent every waking moment of your pre-LS life there.

In this economy, legal hiring is different and anybody who gets a decent job isn't usually perceived a flight risk (unless you were the top 10% of your class at a highly ranked school halfway across the country) because, well, they're lucky to get that damn job in the first place.

Also, ties aren't going to be as big of a distinguishing feature of an applicant in the hiring process as people on here purport. At least in firm hiring (I know nothing about how judge's hire for instance). Hiring rarely needs to get that picky.

Unless we are talking about Bumblefuckmiddleofnowhere, Arkansas. But no one wants to work in Bumblefuckmiddleofnowhere.


(Is a 0L)

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bk1
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Re: Can someone explain the concept of "ties"?

Postby bk1 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:20 pm

TheSpanishMain wrote:I'm talking more about when people advise things like "Don't go to UNC for law school unless you have ties to North Carolina." Isn't living there for three years and making connections going to reassure potential NC employers that you likely don't hate it there and aren't planning to flee at the first opportunity?

Sometimes it can be, but many times it isn't. Say someone's pre-law school portion of their resume screams LA, they go to Chicago for law school, but they spend their 1L summer in LA. Even with the Chicago area tie, Chicago firms are going to be skeptical of that person. Can it be overcome? Of course, but you are definitely at a disadvantage. Spending 1L summer where the school is can reinforce the tie you gain from the school, but you are still in a weak position compared to the many of your classmates that have much stronger ties than you do on top of going to the local school.

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Nelson
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Re: Can someone explain the concept of "ties"?

Postby Nelson » Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:22 pm

Ties are necessary for most secondary markets with chips on their shoulders.

Second edit:
TheSpanishMain wrote:I can't even imagine trying to work this in to an interview.

"Hey, so, before we finish, I'd just like to mention...I went to high school like an hour from here."
"Um...awesome."

If you can't figure out a graceful way to work this into a job interview, then you're going to have bigger problems during recruiting than ties.
Last edited by Nelson on Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.

09042014
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Re: Can someone explain the concept of "ties"?

Postby 09042014 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:22 pm

After working for two years, you are no longer "lucky" to have a job and fairly easily leave.

And a lot of tie cutting happens at the initiail interview. Where the firm doesn't wanna blow a thousand bucks flying my ass to California for the first time in my life because I'll probably take the offer at Bears and Brats, LLP in Chicago anyway.

rad lulz
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Re: Can someone explain the concept of "ties"?

Postby rad lulz » Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:26 pm

Ruxin1 wrote:
JamesDean1955 wrote:Keep in mind most people on TLS will exaggerate and overrate the importance of ties. Going to a law school in the region and networking in said region or going to a T14 and networking in that region will suffice for ties. Your grandparents and cousins and siblings don't need to live there and you don't need to have grown up there and spent every waking moment of your pre-LS life there.

In this economy, legal hiring is different and anybody who gets a decent job isn't usually perceived a flight risk (unless you were the top 10% of your class at a highly ranked school halfway across the country) because, well, they're lucky to get that damn job in the first place.

Also, ties aren't going to be as big of a distinguishing feature of an applicant in the hiring process as people on here purport. At least in firm hiring (I know nothing about how judge's hire for instance). Hiring rarely needs to get that picky.

Unless we are talking about Bumblefuckmiddleofnowhere, Arkansas. But no one wants to work in Bumblefuckmiddleofnowhere.


(Is a 0L)


Also OP use search Jesus

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Can someone explain the concept of "ties"?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:30 pm

TheSpanishMain wrote:I'm not talking about "I'm from PA, went to college and law school there, and I want to get a job in Arizona." Yeah, then you might hate Arizona, and employers would probably be suspicious that you would run back to PA at the first opportunity. Not to mention you likely wouldn't know anyone down there who could vouch for you.

I'm talking more about when people advise things like "Don't go to UNC for law school unless you have ties to North Carolina." Isn't living there for three years and making connections going to reassure potential NC employers that you likely don't hate it there and aren't planning to flee at the first opportunity?

I think part of the reason this comes up the way it does is that you do sometimes get people here who, say, have lived their whole life in Ohio, and who propose to go to UNC, but want to get a job in California. Also, ironically, I think you might have to work a little harder to convince employers you want to stay in a region where you've never lived before if you're at a "national" type school. After all, there are lots and lots of reasons to go to Harvard that have nothing to do with working in Boston/Massachusetts. But there aren't that many reasons to go to the U of North Dakota unless you want to work in North Dakota (or that region generally).

Personally, I think that going to law school in a region can be a perfectly good way to create sufficient ties to that region. You have to actually do stuff to create those ties, but if you're willing to do so, you'll be fine. It might make a difference, though, that I'm a non-trad who's lived in a bunch of different places (so this might be different if you went K-college in the same place and propose to move across the country for law school right after undergrad). And I haven't gone through a lot of firm hiring and have ended up doing government stuff, so the hiring is a little different.

Lord Randolph McDuff
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Re: Can someone explain the concept of "ties"?

Postby Lord Randolph McDuff » Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:38 pm

Local school is a tie, unless that local school is Yale. Whole point is convincing employers you are starting your career there, just focus on that.

Also I never understood why people always blast posters who don't "use the search function?" Like everything that could possibly be said about the topic has already been said? Or perhaps OP wants input from new posters, who logged on this Thursday but not the first Monday of September?? Or, gasp, maybe people are actually capable of changing their minds?

Pretty arrogant hive-mind elitism, if you ask me.

rad lulz
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Re: Can someone explain the concept of "ties"?

Postby rad lulz » Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:41 pm

Lord Randolph McDuff wrote:Pretty arrogant hive-mind elitism, if you ask me.

lol you're a retard

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JaviSTB
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Re: Can someone explain the concept of "ties"?

Postby JaviSTB » Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:50 pm

Lord Randolph McDuff wrote:Local school is a tie, unless that local school is Yale. Whole point is convincing employers you are starting your career there, just focus on that.

Also I never understood why people always blast posters who don't "use the search function?" Like everything that could possibly be said about the topic has already been said? Or perhaps OP wants input from new posters, who logged on this Thursday but not the first Monday of September?? Or, gasp, maybe people are actually capable of changing their minds?

Pretty arrogant hive-mind elitism, if you ask me.


Well it would be easier to help new posters if they had done some basic research and narrowed their question. Like hey I saw what ties meant, but are they important in this specific market or maybe this school will help me overcome that. These general questions are asked all the time and little changes.

ETA: A quick search shows that the most recent thread on ties was made in November, you really think much has changed on the topic of ties?

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romothesavior
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Re: Can someone explain the concept of "ties"?

Postby romothesavior » Thu Apr 25, 2013 7:01 pm

Since there's already a volume of material on this subject, including multiple threads with this exact question, and because this topic typically spirals into a shitshow, and indeed has already spiraled into a shitshow within about ten posts, I'm locking. Use the search forum. If you don't find the answer, try again. If you still can't find it, then you can start a new thread.




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