Why Do Law Firms Care If I Have “Ties” to a Market?

The geographic region that I handle is large; I place attorneys throughout the Midwest and also in the Rocky Mountain region.   I also work with BCG’s recruiters who handle the other regions of the United States, and have attorneys who are interested in moving to my region.  One of the first questions I ask when working with candidates who are interested in multiple markets is what ties they may have to their target markets.  Many candidates are mystified by this question.  “I’ll move anywhere,” they say, “as long as the job is right.  I don’t care where.”  But many firms do care why you want to move there.  Here’s why.

First, understand that some markets care more about your ties than others.  Chicago, for example, is a huge magnet for the smaller cities in the Midwest, and ties are not necessarily expected or required.  Many other large cities are similar magnets, and take for granted that everyone wants to live there.