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Author Topic: a Californian hesitant to move out  (Read 1152 times)

itscomplicated

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a Californian hesitant to move out
« on: July 06, 2007, 05:24:56 AM »
I have lived in California my whole life and all of my family is in the area. I applied to schools all over the country not really commited to any particular location but more looking at what was realistic for me to get into and where I wouldn't mind living for a few years. I recently got pulled off of two wait lists. One school is in California, the other (and slightly higher ranked school) is in Virginia. I have visited the schools and am very pleased with both. Right now I'm unsure about where I would prefer practicing (California vs. DC), and the cost of attendance is pretty much a wash- but with flying back and forth to see my family living in Virginia would turn out to be a little more pricy.

I have heard breaking into the California market is difficult if you don't attend a California school, but if I were to go to the school in California would it be equally difficult for me to find a job in DC? I have also heard that it helps to have a diversified selection of schools on your resume. Both the school I attended as an undergraduate and the school I am now considering in California are UCís (but different schools). Would employers see attending two UCís as an undiversified selection of schools? Any other advise you can offer to help me figure all this out?

darlinalexi

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Re: a Californian hesitant to move out
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2007, 08:27:30 AM »
it's hard to give you advice on a hypothetical.  Which schools are we talking about?

Vapid Unicorn

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Re: a Californian hesitant to move out
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2007, 09:13:09 AM »
She's almost certainly comparing Hastings/Davis with W&M/W&L. 

Short answer: Yes, it will be just as hard getting into DC from Hastings/Davis as it will be getting into California from W&M/W&L.  You need to pick a market. 

Long answer: What kind of work do you want to do?  Is there a particular part of California you are interested in.  In some fields, it will be harder to get a good job in DC from W&M/W&L than it will be to get a good job in California from Hastings/Davis.  On the other hand, some California cities will be more selective among Hastings/Davis grads than DC will be among W&M/W&L grads.  Oh, and employers won't care about diversity of schools on your resume unless you are trying to leave the region.  A DC firm won't believe that you're ready to up and move to DC if you have a CA UG and a CA LS.  But no CA firm will like you more because you went to VA for three years before returning.   
Just another 2L.

itscomplicated

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Re: a Californian hesitant to move out
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2007, 10:26:01 AM »
your right- it's between W&L and Davis. If I were to stay in California I would want to practice in the LA/OC area, the bay, or possibly even move towards Vegas- I don't think I would want to stick around Sacramento. I got into law because Iím very passionate about childrenís rights and educational policy, but I've been able to come to terms with the fact that such a job won't be paying the bills, so now I'm looking at practicing big law for a few years and have educational policy be more of a 'professional hobby'. As for what I practice in big law I'm still undecided between international trade/ development and healthcare. Either way, I know that opportunities for each can be found both in California and DC.

W&L has a very strong presence in DC, and Davis has a strong presence in CA, but not so much in the regions Iím looking at. I have exhausted my checklist- curriculum, clinics, cost of attendance, potential for employment, location- and still there is no solid winner (even my family is split on the choice). Can you think of any other factors that I should weigh into my decision?

Vapid Unicorn

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Re: a Californian hesitant to move out
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2007, 10:45:40 AM »
Really, I just think you should decide where you will be happier.  If you pick W&L, you should be committed to a career in DC, at least for the foreseeable future.  You're correct that it will be harder to get a biglaw job in the OC from Davis than getting a similar job in DC from Washington & Lee.  On the other hand, how would you feel if you don't do so well at W&L and your fall-back offers are from small firms in Richmond or Baltimore?  I do think it will be much easier to ease your way into policy work down the road if you're in DC, but your grades will suffer if you spend 1L homesick at W&L.  I wish I could help more, but I really think that this is one of those decisions where you're just going to have to go with your gut at some point. Good luck.
Just another 2L.

puncherofdonkeys

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Re: a Californian hesitant to move out
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2007, 10:50:34 AM »
I'd say approach your choice looking to answer 'where do I want to be living in ten years'?

I grew up in California and originally, I thought moving was the dumbest idea in the world; California has everything you could ever want.

Moving was the best thing to happen to me.
Twelve years later, I'm about to move to Florida from Colorado; I've lived in the Northwest and I've lived in England.  Getting to see most of the states (mainly visiting) has only increased my appetite to see more of the US and the world.   

I can't imagine staying in one place forever anymore, but everyone has different priorities and I guess yours comes down to experiences vs. family.  One thing to keep in mind, if you go out east, your family will have someone to visit!
I'd say move.