BU Portability

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BU Portability

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Aug 03, 2020 11:37 pm

Hi everyone! I’m a 0L going to BU and I was wondering about the prospective portability of a BU law degree. Surveying TLS, I’ve seen several different estimations of BU’s regional portability--from nationwide (which seems optimistic), to only the East Coast, to only the Northeast, to only New England, to only Boston (the latter I think seems a little overly pessimistic--but what do I know?).

I would like to work as a government lawyer, either in prosecution or admin law, and I am aiming for DAs Offices, AGs Offices, DOS, DOJ, DHS, legislative roles, or judicial clerkships (state and federal alike).

To be clear, I am extremely enthusiastic about BU and would be 100% happy working in Boston or anywhere in the Greater Boston Metro (e.g. Providence, Nashua/Manchester, Portland, Lynn, New Bedford, Plymouth, Salem, the Cape, etc.) for the rest of my life. I also have significant ties to Texas and know BU sends a good # of kids to NYC, so I figure those markets are pretty fair game. I’m just curious as to whether or not it would be a waste of time to widen my scope of application mass-mailing to markets where I have more tenuous ties like New Jersey, Chicago, Upstate NY, Ohio, and DC. Or the possibility of, upon qualifying for bar reciprocity after five years of practice, trying to move to the Pennsylvania legal market (I’ve found myself really fetishizing Philly lately--probably cuz I’m watching too much of "It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia").

I appreciate any insight--no matter how pessimistic!

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Re: BU Portability

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Aug 04, 2020 8:43 am

One of my best friends went to BU Law and didn’t have a problem finding a job in CA after graduation. But my friend also graduated with honors and during OCI was probably near the top of the class. He didn’t have any ties and the firms out there didn’t seem to care.

I think the portability of the degree is “nationwide” if you have the grades. That can’t be said about all schools, obviously. The farther you’re trying to go, the better your grades need to be. If you have mediocre grades, I think you’re limited to MA/NY or your home state. You may be able to get to Philly if you get lucky.

Also, I think a BU grad with no other ties has a better shot in Chicago than Manchester, NH.

I think BC/BU have off-campus interviews for Philly and CA. They have the NY OCI as well.

Outside of the T-14 and ND, I think it is one of the more portable degrees (along with Vandy/WashU/USC, etc.).

Hope this helps.


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Re: BU Portability

Post by decimalsanddollars » Tue Aug 04, 2020 3:22 pm

BU definitely places outside of just Boston, and the above anon is right that it's reasonably portable, and it leaves NYC open if you have grades for biglaw generally. Insular markets beyond the northeast will be tough without ties, but good grades at BU open a lot of doors. I think the caveat would be that median or lower grades at BU won't help you place nationally, just like other schools in that range.

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Re: BU Portability

Post by nealric » Tue Aug 04, 2020 3:39 pm

I wouldn't go to BU without at least a reasonably strong interest in practicing in the New England area, but any law degree can be portable under the right circumstances. The key difference is that non- NE biglaw firms are less likely to target the school. You probably won't see many Texas or California firms specifically targeting BU for recruiting (compared to HLS, for example). A non-local firm might consider you, but there may be a higher bar grade-wise than a similarly ranked local school.

That said, even the most elite schools are still somewhat regional. Stanford is more likely to place on the West Coast than Yale, for example. Which is not to say a Stanford grad couldn't head East if they wanted to, but that it would be a less well trodden path with a less well developed alumni network.

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Re: BU Portability

Post by RedGiant » Mon Aug 17, 2020 3:25 am

2016 BU grad here. You can get stats from BU, but most of my class stayed in the greater Boston area. There were about a dozen who went to CA. I started in Boston and came back out to California. It was near impossible my year to get hired directly to a CA office of a biglaw firm, mostly because they reserve "slots" for CA law schools. (Not impossible if you are IP, or "diverse", but still hard.) A sprinkling of grads went to NH or Maine or the like, but most were Boston, NY, DC, and a handful to Philly/Chicago/Pittsburgh or DA/PD offices/clerking across the country. There are very few people from my class in Texas.

My degree has been well-respected everywhere I've tried to go...I took both NY and MA bars at graduation and am in-house at a late-stage startup now. I had a lot of prelaw work experience (went to law school late) and went in house earlier than most, but I could, because I had the skills already to do so. Fun fact--I actually work for the same GC for whom I did my 1L summer--in California (then at a different tech company). She moved to a new company, and when I was recently looking for a job, we reconnected. I'm corporate, FWIW.

If you have more questions, PM me and we can chat on the phone.

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