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Author Topic: Why does it matter where I go to school and where I practise?  (Read 807 times)

Alamss

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I seem to tag along with everyone’s mentality that if you go to school in a certain area, unless it’s the top ones, for the most part you can only practice in that area. I don't get that. For example if I go to a T2 in Pennsylvania, why would that limit me in practicing if I decide I want to practice in Florida for example? Are employers really that shallow that they have to consider the location of where a person went to school rather than the person's own credentials. For example if we take two similarly ranked T2 schools, one is in New York, and one is in Virginia. Both schools are of the same institutional quality. One student from the school in Virginia and one from the school in New York apply to a firm in New York. The student from Virginia is higher ranked in his class and both have the same degrees, in what practical sense from the employers perspective would they be more inclined to give the New York student the job and not the Virginia student. When we talk about schools and their education for the most part being limited to employment in a certain region, what do we mean? And why do employers think like that? What advantage does that practice give employers? I am basically not demonstrating an argument but I am instead trying to understand the whole concept about this regional thing that I just don't practically get.

Alamss

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Re: Why does it matter where I go to school and where I practise?
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2005, 11:48:39 PM »
Somebody please help me answer this burning question??

guy

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Re: Why does it matter where I go to school and where I practise?
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2005, 12:16:14 AM »
I don't think it is so much the fact that employers wouldn't hire you, it is the fact that you will not get much, if any, help from your career services office. Plus, the local market demand might be met by local law schools.       
In fact, my opinion is that schools are not really regional, students are regional. People hear things about schools placing only in the northeast, they want to wind up in the northeast, etc., therefore they choose a law school in the northeast. Sure, some schools have "national reputations". I don't think that is so important.  Surely it is not excluded to the top 15 schools as I have heard on this board.   

Choose the school that you like.  You can definitely get a job in New York (of all places). 

Dixon

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Re: Why does it matter where I go to school and where I practise?
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2005, 12:18:13 AM »
I wondered about this an asked around and this is what I found out. It may or may not apply to the area where you want to practice.

Firms tend to hire new lawyers from schools that they are fimiliar with. They have a better idea of the strengths and weakenesses of particular programs and can better gauge the capabilities of their new attorneys. They know what areas the graduate may need better training in and what he can do right away. All things being equal it is a safer bet to go with what you know.

I have also heard that firms like to hire people that they know are going to be around for awhile. Someone that grew up in New York and went to school in New York is more likely to stay in New York than someone from Virginia that just wants to get a taste of big city life for a couple of years and then leave.

You also have more chances to network with other lawyers in the area where you went to school.

This does not mean that you can't find work in an area where you did not go to school. It's just that getting a job has a lot more to do with who you know and how much the firms decide they know about you than it does with geographical position.

Alamss

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Re: Why does it matter where I go to school and where I practise?
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2005, 12:44:08 AM »
Thanks guys for the info, those are really good points that I didn't think about! It kind of makes sense I guess.

ASNetlenov

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Re: Why does it matter where I go to school and where I practise?
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2005, 01:11:16 PM »
Another point to consider is that firms want to see that you are committed to their particular area. Going to law school in the vicinity goes some way to demonstrating that.

ramason

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Re: Why does it matter where I go to school and where I practise?
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2005, 02:07:51 PM »
A big part of it, ESPECIALLY if you want to go into BIGLAW is building connections early on.  Lets take your random school in Pennsylvania.  Most people who go to that school will get a job in the area surrounding the school after their 1L year, and then will get another job there for their 2L summer.  If they have good grades they will get a job with a good firm that 2L summer, and then if they do well at work they can either be offered a job for after graduation before the 3L year even starts or they will have solid connections to the people in that office when they are applying later on.  This is the same reason why people who do public interest jobs during their 1/2L summers have a more difficult job finding a non-public service job for after graduation. 
LSAT:  169
UGPA:  3.29
Accepted:  WUSTL$, SLU$$$
WL:  Northwestern, UIUC
Rejected:  GW
Pending: Penn, Emory, Vandy