Purely as a numbers game, an attorney seeking to lateral into a firm in a smaller city/legal market is going to have a harder time finding and landing a job – the smaller the market, the fewer mid-to-large sized law firm jobs will be available. Making it even more difficult is the fact that smaller cities are often more desirable than larger markets due to quality-of-life and cost-of-living factors, which results in both lower turnover (people decide to stick around), and more people competing to fill the few openings that do come online. With a greater number of candidates and smaller number of positions, it is obvious that law firms in smaller markets can generally afford to be more selective.
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