Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Where to settle down

We're looking for some advice on where to live after law school.
First, some background.
Finding a job after law school is a pain, especially if we want to live somewhere other than Ohio/Kentucky/Indiana.
Usually, law school grads work for the same company that they worked for between their second and third year of law school. They interview for that job the beginning of their second year.
Of course, if you go to law school in Ohio, and want to get a job out West (to be a bit closer to family), that presents some problems.
I may end up spending a couple of months living, and working, in the West, between my second and third year. That means I need to visit places out West this summer, to show my interest, and ask for a follow-up interview (where they fly me back in, on their dime, to interview).
Utah and Idaho would be nice places to live, if only for the family factor--but Utah is saturated with law students from good law schools, and everyone in Idaho is sure that the unranked University of Idaho Law School is the best law school in the world. I'll try for jobs in those states, but my chances aren't great. There are only a handful of UC law grads practicing in those two states. And to be honest, I'm not sure we want to live too close to family.
Elsewhere in the West is different. Almost every other state has numerous UC Law grads.
My plan is to fly out to a couple of big cities this summer. Possibly Seattle, Portland, etc.
The criteria: a nice, affordable place to live, and within 45 minutes of a big city (where I'll probably work).
Unfortunately, the affordable requirement means that Bay Area California is probably not an option. What about places in Colorado, Washington, and Oregon? Other places out West?


JorgenMan said...

We've been very happy in Albuquerque. It's not the kind of place that comes to mind when looking for places to live (at least it didn't to ours), but we've been pleasantly surprised. The city is small enough to have good traffic and not be too busy, but big enough that you have some decent restaurants and stores.

Tim said...

Thanks. I'll look into it.
I did a job once in Farmington, NM, so my limited opinion of NM isn't terribly high--but I'll look into it more.
How dry is it there? How much of a desert is it compared to Utah?

Mommy Bee said...

Seattle isn't a cheap area either...it's no SF, but it's not cheap. I believe that NM and CO are much more affordable...on the other hand, the actual income there is probably lower too, so I imagine it balances out...

WA/OR are both quite liberal politically, whereas NM and CO are more conservative...I don't know how much that matters to you, but it does affect laws, and might affect the sorts of things you were involved with, so it seems worth adding into the thought process at least to some degree. :)

Call up my uncle/your cousin Dale if you're interested in the Seattle area, i am CERTAIN that he could help you make connections. He's been there 15 years and knows a lot. He might be able to help you with the Portland area too, although he left there 15 years ago so who knows...

Tim said...

It's true that the Bay area pays more--but the cost of living is even higher. I might make twice as much there, but I'd have to pay three or four times as much for a comparable house.
Not sure how the rest of the Northwest compares. I'll have to take a look at housing costs. I really don't think CO is more affordable than WA, although ID certainly is.
What's Dale's profession? I really don't know him at all, but I'll probably get in touch with him eventually. Now that I think about it, there's another cousin I don't know at all who lives in NM...

Tim said...

As far as politics go...I've lived in ultra-conservative areas (Provo/South Jordan) and ultra-liberal areas (Palo Alto, CA) and I'm fine with both. If we go to WA, I might even end up calling myself a conservative (in Provo I considered myself a liberal, in OH neither label fits).

Cougarg said...

In doing my own job research, around Seattle came up high as far as pay vs. Cost of living. And high means a nice ratio. At least it was good for designers! Also keep in mind the weather. If you really like rain, then you'll like it there.