Breaking into Charleston market

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Joined: Mon Feb 03, 2020 9:13 am

Breaking into Charleston market

Post by retriever22 » Fri Jul 24, 2020 3:00 pm

My question is, what is the best approach to get into the Charleston legal market? I am fortunate and got into GULC as a transfer this year from a T3 school in the Midwest. My goals for next summer and my career are to be in Charleston, SC. My ties to Charleston are slim, but I do know a few attorneys in town that went to my high school. I have reached out to most firms in Charleston inquiring about next summer but haven’t had much luck with responses.


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Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2020 9:22 am

Re: Breaking into Charleston market

Post by istan » Sun Aug 02, 2020 6:01 pm

I think Charleston is one of those old Southern cities (similar to New Orleans, Savannah, etc) where the best law firms are run by locals who come from old money and expect to see local connections when hiring. These firms are tight-knit places that like to hire people who will be there a long time. So it's hard to break into that market, but not impossible. It may depend on why you want to move there--if it's for a significant other or family reasons, the hiring partners might trust that you'll stick around. If it's just a whim, they will be skeptical.

There are also probably at least a few mid-size regional Southeastern firms that have an office in Charleston. The people in charge of hiring at these firms may be somewhat less insular in their thinking, but you could face the same issue there of needing a good explanation of why you want to be in this smaller Southern city.


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Joined: Wed Jun 05, 2019 3:09 pm

Re: Breaking into Charleston market

Post by biglaw_advice » Wed Sep 09, 2020 12:08 pm

Charleston definitely likes long-term ties to the city. A few years ago, I interviewed with a large midwestern firm that had a presence in Charleston. Did about 10 interviews on the callback and ties to the city/area were a big factor. I didn't have significant or long-term ties, so I ended up not getting an offer - though of course it could have been for other reasons too. Feel free to PM me for more questions and good luck.

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