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Author Topic: Arizona v. Missouri  (Read 1550 times)

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Arizona v. Missouri
« on: March 11, 2008, 05:31:47 PM »
Does anyone have any insight into either of these legal markets?  I am starting to whittle down my options and am strongly considering AZ or MO schools.  Here are two things that I have been considering, but I know very little about Arizona as I haven't lived there in many years.

Schools: Missouri's two large markets have several feeder schools, MU, KU, SLU, WUSTL, UMKC, a significant portion of which are competing for the same jobs.  Arizona on the other hand has only UofA and ASU.  I'm sure that graduates from neighboring states have a presence in Arizona, but are there any schools that other than those in Arizona, that have a significant presence in Arizona?  Is there significant competition from California graduates for jobs in Arizona or are ASU and UofA considered top dogs in Arizona?  MU seems to come in 3rd place behind KU and UMKC in Kansas City NALP firm associate positions and also 3rd place behind SLU and WUSTL in St. Louis.  Is a graduate from UofA or ASU going to have a better chance than a graduate of MU at a large firm job given the same class rank at either?

Distribution: Phoenix appears to dominate to the legal scene in Arizona, while Kansas City and St. Louis seem to be fairly equal.  I have lived in all three cities and would be happy in any of them, but I'm not sure if the concentration of one larger legal market as opposed to the separated markets has any relevance.

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Re: Arizona v. Missouri
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2008, 06:21:56 PM »
I don't have much insight but I think it comes down to where you want to live.  I wouldn't guess that neither would travel well to the other area.  As for jobs, I would say Arizona or ASU would give you a much better shot at Biglaw or whatever you want than at Missouri which competes against the other schools you mentioned.  These are the only two accredited schools in Arizona and thus are the schools that many of the top local firms recruit from.  I don't think you can say the same for Missouri.  There is the Phoenix College of Law in AZ but they are still unaccredited. 

Tucson is still a pretty good sized city at around 1 million.  If you look at the metro areas Phoenix is almost 2x as big as St. Louis and Kansas city with over 4 million people.  The economy of Arizona and the southwest in general is still really good.  Also, the west isn't as saturated with law schools like other states (excluding CA, Utah-2, Colorado-2, NM-1, AZ-2, Nevada-1, Wyoming-1, Idaho-1) and they have growing cities/economies which provide for lots of opportunities. 

Because of these factors I think that the Arizona schools would provide a better opportunity for a large firm job in their respective markets with a similar class rank.
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Re: Arizona v. Missouri
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2008, 06:49:46 PM »
Because of these factors I think that the Arizona schools would provide a better opportunity for a large firm job in their respective markets with a similar class rank.

That is what I was thinking as well.  I am curious, though, if Berkeley, UCLA, USC, and Hastings graduates provide much competition for AZ jobs. 

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Re: Arizona v. Missouri
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2008, 03:29:16 AM »
So, I did a little bit of research into the NALP associate and summer positions in these two markets and thought I would share.

Arizona has approximately 474 associates, 111 summer hires, and 361 graduates each year from ASU and UofA.
Missouri has approximately 1149 associates, 169 summer hires, and 1075 graduates each year from WUSTL, SLU, MU, KU, UMKC..
I estimated the number of graduates by dividing the total class size by 3.

I averaged the last two years number of associate hires (which was pretty close to total associates divided by 8) and then divided by the number of graduates in each market to estimate the number of associate hires / graduate.  I did the same thing with 2L summer hires.

AZ associates hired / graduate - 20%
AZ 2L summer interns / graduate - 31%
MO associates hired / graduate - 13%
MO 2L summer interns / graduate - 16%


vap

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Re: Arizona v. Missouri
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2008, 07:55:22 AM »
Would you explain how you got the associates/summer numbers?  Thanks.

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Re: Arizona v. Missouri
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2008, 10:06:42 AM »
From the NALP website.  Select all the firms, click the "compare" link at the top, and then you have several different aspects to select.

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Re: Arizona v. Missouri
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2008, 10:51:21 AM »
Is a graduate from UofA or ASU going to have a better chance than a graduate of MU at a large firm job given the same class rank at either?

Distribution: Phoenix appears to dominate to the legal scene in Arizona, while Kansas City and St. Louis seem to be fairly equal.  I have lived in all three cities and would be happy in any of them, but I'm not sure if the concentration of one larger legal market as opposed to the separated markets has any relevance.


I'm from Missouri and went to Mizzou, and have a few friends who stuck around for law school.  I can tell you that the law school is right in the prettiest part of campus and it's a pretty new building (10 years old, maybe?).  The city is a hidden gem, but then again I may be biased.  I think you should visit and see if it's a fit for you.

As for job prospects, from what I can tell, the law school is great in a few areas.  If you're interested in politics, it's the only LS within 2.5 hours of Jefferson City, the state's capital.  The thing people forget is that many SLU grads end up in Illinois, and many UMKC grads end up in Kansas.  Wash U grads go anywhere, from coast to coast.  So really, if you think you'll want to stick around in MO, I don't think you can do better than Mizzou.

But just my opinion, I don't know anything about U of A.  Hope this helps.
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Re: Arizona v. Missouri
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2008, 11:29:54 AM »
I'm from Missouri and went to Mizzou, and have a few friends who stuck around for law school.  I can tell you that the law school is right in the prettiest part of campus and it's a pretty new building (10 years old, maybe?).  The city is a hidden gem, but then again I may be biased.  I think you should visit and see if it's a fit for you.

I live in Columbia currently and I like the campus and the area where the law and business schools are located.  I think the law school building is pretty nice as well.  While a lot of the schools I have visited seem to have somewhat "closed" buildings, MU's is open and full of natural light.  While I was visiting Tulane, I noticed they had a picture of the MU law building on the wall.  It may have been part of a calendar, but was amusing either way.

Quote
As for job prospects, from what I can tell, the law school is great in a few areas.  If you're interested in politics, it's the only LS within 2.5 hours of Jefferson City, the state's capital.  The thing people forget is that many SLU grads end up in Illinois, and many UMKC grads end up in Kansas.  Wash U grads go anywhere, from coast to coast.  So really, if you think you'll want to stick around in MO, I don't think you can do better than Mizzou.

Columbia is only 30 minutes from Jefferson City.  I have not heard that SLU places a lot of people in Illinois.  In my research, each of the schools in Missouri (and KU) place similar percentages of their respective classes with NALP firms.  Of course, for most of the schools those are strictly for the top 15% of the class, WUSTL students at 25-30% may have the same options.  All around, I think MU does give the best options in Missouri, but is not a dominant school in any market.

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Re: Arizona v. Missouri
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2008, 11:42:03 AM »
Distribution: Phoenix appears to dominate to the legal scene in Arizona, while Kansas City and St. Louis seem to be fairly equal.  I have lived in all three cities and would be happy in any of them, but I'm not sure if the concentration of one larger legal market as opposed to the separated markets has any relevance.


Not sure that it matters, but keep in mind that most of the big firms in Kansas City and St. Louis have offices in both. Meaning it's a 'split' market in the sense that business development will occur differently in each city, but hiring is going to be done by the same handful (5 or 6) of big firms that reside in both cities.
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vap

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Re: Arizona v. Missouri
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2008, 11:47:52 AM »
Ah, my bad.  I saw "from ASU and UofA" at the end of the sentence and thought you somehow obtained the number of associates and summers from those schools, not just for the whole state.

You might also want to poke around the state bar websites to see if the states have conducted economic reports.  Oftentimes they will publish reports that identify # of lawyers working in X-size law firms with median salaries of $Y within that state.  Not sure if AZ or MO do this...