I am from Akron, OH, but I'd love to work in New York or Los Angeles. Do big-city firms only hire those whose past experience was gained in other large cities?
Big firms in Los Angeles and New York do prefer candidates who come from large cities; however, it is certainly not a requirement. There are plenty of excellent law firms across the country (including Akron) that offer excellent training to their associates. In fact, a big firm might be more willing to hire someone who has more practical, hands-on experience from a respected, but not as well known, law firm in a smaller town over a candidate coming from a large firm in a big city, who will require more training. We have been successful in placing candidates who have worked for small firms in small towns at highly regarded large law firms.