I think that helps mitigate the difficulty a lot, but only so much. My friend who went to NYU Law was from the Seattle area and had family here, and struggled to find a job. I don't think it's impossible, but bear in mind that you're competing against everyone else trying to move here, plus everyone at UW and Seattle U who is here year-round to network, do internships, get face-time with firms, etc.
If you're really dead-set on a law school that isn't UW, and it's for a non-negotiable reason, then sure, do it, and make it work. Other people have managed to do it, and there are always some associates who get hired at firms out of other law schools here in Seattle. But there's no point in making your job-search even more of an uphill battle than it needs to be, in my mind.
mcmand wrote:Re: rankings. If you're going to work in the Northwest, your best bet is UW. If you're going to work in Seattle, you absolutely should pick UW over a T20 school. I've had friends from T10 schools get turned down for jobs in favor of UW grads here. That's just the culture in the legal field in King County. They want to see that you have ties.
If you look at historical data for UW's rankings, it has vascillated between 24 and 34 over the past 10 years, endlessly back and forth. The lowest I could find was in 2002 (46 or something), which was right before the new building was opened and the law school was still stuck in its miserable old Condon Hall. In other words, you shouldn't put much stock in minor shifts when it comes to UW because it doesn't really signify anything.
Re: in-state tuition. If you're not an in-state resident already, don't count on it. The law school itself doesn't even make residency decisions, it's done by a university-wide office that is very, very strict. You might get some scholarships to bring you down to in-state or lower, though.
Re: scholarships. Depends on both your need and your stats (of course). Just apply and get it in early, and negotiate if you can.
Re: waitlisting. If you have high stats and you applied to a bunch of other schools, don't be surprised. UW is very careful about admitting people it thinks will actually turn over into a matriculation. If they think you're hedging your bets, don't be surprised when you don't get admitted. Also, they say they don't want other letters of continued interest, letters of rec, etc. but they absolutely will accept them (at least they did for me, I was a waitlist admit), and they can make a difference, especially if you have the aforementioned problem of giving them the impression you're not serious about UW.
Good luck! - UW Law 2017.
Thanks for the info. What would you say about students who go to top-20s and have strong ties to Seattle? i.e. Born and raised in WA, family in Seattle, and planning to live/work in Seattle.