Is it silly to want to work in California?

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notanumber
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Re: Is it silly to want to work in California?

Postby notanumber » Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:01 pm

ScrabbleChamp wrote:
seriously???? wrote:id go with socal. the 160k might not go as far as other places, but you are forgetting that you will surely get discovered by hollywood, and make a few hundred k for a solid role as an attorney in an epic film

in all serious, it is almost downright tragic how arguably the coolest state in our union is so screwed


CA is the "coolest state in our Union"? Really? Aside from the weather, what is so great about CA? Weapons laws suck, tax is too high, COL sucks, traffic bites, the beaches are much better on the east coast... I don't know which state is the "coolest", but I surely wouldn't say CA is.


:lol:

seriously????
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Re: Is it silly to want to work in California?

Postby seriously???? » Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:05 pm

arguably better, but on the South East coast, lets not have people thinking the jersey shore is all that (although some of the beach towns are pleasant, but the water might peak at 70 for one day in the entire year)

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Re: Is it silly to want to work in California?

Postby seriously???? » Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:05 pm

arguably better, but on the South East coast, lets not have people thinking the jersey shore is all that (although some of the beach towns are pleasant, but the water might peak at 70 for one day in the entire year)

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blazinswordofjustice
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Re: Is it silly to want to work in California?

Postby blazinswordofjustice » Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:07 pm

SBL wrote:The only thing worse than working 80-hour weeks at a law firm is doing so in a city you don't know surrounded by strangers and 3,000 miles from the people you love. TLSers have weird priorities.


+1

law school+CoL: $100K-200K
salary for small % lucky/crazy enough for big law: $160K/year
actually being happy with family and friends: priceless...

there's somethings money can't buy, for everything else, there's TLS :D

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lisjjen
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Re: Is it silly to want to work in California?

Postby lisjjen » Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:07 pm

mr_toad wrote:Weapons laws and cost of living do not factor into my cool index. Cool is a feeling, whereas scrabblechamp is worried about logistics, as he should do with family, hopes for home ownership and security, etc. But every time in Cali I think I would be willing to accept LESS in order to live there because it just feels... cool. I like being there, I like "me" more there. I think the downsides are worth it, if indeed they are as bad as they are made out to be. But to each his own.

Edit: FWIW, I'm like the least cool person out there. But I'm still attracted to the coolness of Cali. But maybe since I'm not cool I'm making a massive miscalculation regarding the actual cool available in California. We shall see.


+1

When I'm sitting under palm trees, tummy full of In-N-Out, listening to underground rap and sipping a chilled Chardonay at La Jolla Beach in February in my Ray Ban Wayfarers in the 70 degrees and sunshine, I don't have to come up with a list of what makes it cool. I just feel it.

Oh my God. I think I just talked myself into USC.

seriously????
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Re: Is it silly to want to work in California?

Postby seriously???? » Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:09 pm

i think you just talked me into southwestern

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bk1
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Re: Is it silly to want to work in California?

Postby bk1 » Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:13 pm

@Scrabble: You can probably get a decent 4 bedroom house in some of the decent suburbs in NorCal for around 600k. My neighbor's house just sold for a touch under that, iirc. Granted you'll be commuting 30-60 minutes to SF, but is that really that bad?

You are being way too hyperbolic about 160k not getting you far. Plus, especially for one who is paying off law school debt, buying a house just doesn't seem like it is something that should be on the plate for a while (though I do understand you have a different perspective than those who don't have families).

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lisjjen
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Re: Is it silly to want to work in California?

Postby lisjjen » Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:15 pm

bk1 wrote:@Scrabble: You can probably get a decent 4 bedroom house in some of the decent suburbs in NorCal for around 600k. My neighbor's house just sold for a touch under that, iirc. Granted you'll be commuting 30-60 minutes to SF, but is that really that bad?

You are being way too hyperbolic about 160k not getting you far. Plus, especially for one who is paying off law school debt, buying a house just doesn't seem like it is something that should be on the plate for a while (though I do understand you have a different perspective than those who don't have families).


And I am not disagreeing 100% with Scrabble, but I really don't intend to buy a house for several years after LS. My number one priority after graduating LS is paying off LS. After that, my life begins.

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ScrabbleChamp
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Re: Is it silly to want to work in California?

Postby ScrabbleChamp » Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:16 pm

notanumber wrote:
ScrabbleChamp wrote:Sorry if I offended the residents/defenders or Oakland... but, you have to admit, the city, as a whole, is incredbily dangerous. I don't care who you are, having a murder rate that is 3.5 times the national average and a violent crime rate that ranks the city 3rd in the country for all cities with more than 100,000 people is pretty bad. Sure, there are some parts of Oakland that are incredibly nice, but, as a whole, the city is dangerous. There was one car theft for every 40 people in the city... I'm sure you can live nicely there, and I enjoy visiting certain parts. I was simply making a valid statement that applies (statistically) to the whole city.

And, as I said in my first part, I'm taking the question from the prespective of married guy with kids, which is not the same for everyone. I would not be happy with a nice apartment in the city. I need a yard, large house, etc...


Deciding where to live based upon citywide murder statistics is sloppy. The overall murder rate in the U.S. is comparatively high, does that make living in Palo Alto a dangerous endeavor?

Oakland is really only dangerous if you're a gang banger or if you live in the heart of Ghost Town or parts of East Oakland. But please, keep perpetuating the "Oakland is terrible" sentiment, and I'll still be able to afford a decent house in a good BART-able neighborhood of Oakland when I graduate.


Faulty logic... Palo Alto is one of thousands of cities in the US... Oakland is a singular city I am speaking about. Palo Alto is 3000+ miles from Baltimore. Rockridge is a few miles away from Acorn. I think it is important to consider the crime statistics of the area you will be living in, not just the specific block you live on. If you want to include an entire country in your area, go right ahead. I think it is perfectly normal to include the entire city I'll be living in with regards to crime and the like.

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lisjjen
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Re: Is it silly to want to work in California?

Postby lisjjen » Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:20 pm

ScrabbleChamp wrote:Faulty logic... Palo Alto is one of thousands of cities in the US... Oakland is a singular city I am speaking about. Palo Alto is 3000+ miles from Baltimore. Rockridge is a few miles away from Acorn. I think it is important to consider the crime statistics of the area you will be living in, not just the specific block you live on. If you want to include an entire country in your area, go right ahead. I think it is perfectly normal to include the entire city I'll be living in with regards to crime and the like.


Then go in peace. I would feel fine in the right part of Oakland. If you don't, then don't live there.

Again, I have good friends who are easily pulling in 500k a year and they live in Oakland.

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ScrabbleChamp
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Re: Is it silly to want to work in California?

Postby ScrabbleChamp » Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:22 pm

bk1 wrote:@Scrabble: You can probably get a decent 4 bedroom house in some of the decent suburbs in NorCal for around 600k. My neighbor's house just sold for a touch under that, iirc. Granted you'll be commuting 30-60 minutes to SF, but is that really that bad?

You are being way too hyperbolic about 160k not getting you far. Plus, especially for one who is paying off law school debt, buying a house just doesn't seem like it is something that should be on the plate for a while (though I do understand you have a different perspective than those who don't have families).


Out of sheer curiosity, which 'burb? As far as the commute, it really depends. With traffic, it'd sometimes take me 80 minutes to drive 20 miles from Los Altos to Fremont. Hell, from my condo in SF on Ocean beach I had a 40 minute commute to downtown SF, and that was all of 7 miles.

Again, I think you can live in CA on $160k. My point is that you won't be living like you are earning $160k... I mean, you hear $160k and you think that is a lot of money, but, compartively, it's not really that much in CA. $75k in Denver will get you just as much, if not more, than $160k in CA. And, as I stated before, we're assuming that OP gets a $160k job in CA. They would be lucky to get any job, let alone BigLaw. If they come out of USC and get a $80k job, they are going to have a lot of issues.

notanumber
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Re: Is it silly to want to work in California?

Postby notanumber » Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:23 pm

ScrabbleChamp wrote:
notanumber wrote:
ScrabbleChamp wrote:Sorry if I offended the residents/defenders or Oakland... but, you have to admit, the city, as a whole, is incredbily dangerous. I don't care who you are, having a murder rate that is 3.5 times the national average and a violent crime rate that ranks the city 3rd in the country for all cities with more than 100,000 people is pretty bad. Sure, there are some parts of Oakland that are incredibly nice, but, as a whole, the city is dangerous. There was one car theft for every 40 people in the city... I'm sure you can live nicely there, and I enjoy visiting certain parts. I was simply making a valid statement that applies (statistically) to the whole city.

And, as I said in my first part, I'm taking the question from the prespective of married guy with kids, which is not the same for everyone. I would not be happy with a nice apartment in the city. I need a yard, large house, etc...


Deciding where to live based upon citywide murder statistics is sloppy. The overall murder rate in the U.S. is comparatively high, does that make living in Palo Alto a dangerous endeavor?

Oakland is really only dangerous if you're a gang banger or if you live in the heart of Ghost Town or parts of East Oakland. But please, keep perpetuating the "Oakland is terrible" sentiment, and I'll still be able to afford a decent house in a good BART-able neighborhood of Oakland when I graduate.


Faulty logic... Palo Alto is one of thousands of cities in the US... Oakland is a singular city I am speaking about. Palo Alto is 3000+ miles from Baltimore. Rockridge is a few miles away from Acorn. I think it is important to consider the crime statistics of the area you will be living in, not just the specific block you live on. If you want to include an entire country in your area, go right ahead. I think it is perfectly normal to include the entire city I'll be living in with regards to crime and the like.


Palo Alto abuts East Palo Alto. But no matter. Invisible municipal jurisdictions will save you from the murderers?

So if you don't care that the high crime rate will have no impact on your own personal safety, you think it's an important factor... why?

Do you just not want to live in a city that has the stigma of being high crime?

The "Oakland is dangerous so don't live in Rockridge" argument makes absolutely no sense to me. . .

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ScrabbleChamp
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Re: Is it silly to want to work in California?

Postby ScrabbleChamp » Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:26 pm

lisjjen wrote:
ScrabbleChamp wrote:Faulty logic... Palo Alto is one of thousands of cities in the US... Oakland is a singular city I am speaking about. Palo Alto is 3000+ miles from Baltimore. Rockridge is a few miles away from Acorn. I think it is important to consider the crime statistics of the area you will be living in, not just the specific block you live on. If you want to include an entire country in your area, go right ahead. I think it is perfectly normal to include the entire city I'll be living in with regards to crime and the like.


Then go in peace. I would feel fine in the right part of Oakland. If you don't, then don't live there.

Again, I have good friends who are easily pulling in 500k a year and they live in Oakland.


Relevance? I never said all of Oakland was horrible, nor did I say affluent people don't live there. Living in a dangerous city and being affluent are not mutually exclusive. I'm sure there are some drug dealers in Oakland that make $500k and live in the dumps. And, for the purpose of this thread, I'm not sure people making $500k factor into it as you aren't making that for several years, even if you are lucky enough to pull BigLaw.

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lisjjen
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Re: Is it silly to want to work in California?

Postby lisjjen » Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:28 pm

ScrabbleChamp wrote:
lisjjen wrote:
ScrabbleChamp wrote:Faulty logic... Palo Alto is one of thousands of cities in the US... Oakland is a singular city I am speaking about. Palo Alto is 3000+ miles from Baltimore. Rockridge is a few miles away from Acorn. I think it is important to consider the crime statistics of the area you will be living in, not just the specific block you live on. If you want to include an entire country in your area, go right ahead. I think it is perfectly normal to include the entire city I'll be living in with regards to crime and the like.


Then go in peace. I would feel fine in the right part of Oakland. If you don't, then don't live there.

Again, I have good friends who are easily pulling in 500k a year and they live in Oakland.


Relevance? I never said all of Oakland was horrible, nor did I say affluent people don't live there. Living in a dangerous city and being affluent are not mutually exclusive. I'm sure there are some drug dealers in Oakland that make $500k and live in the dumps. And, for the purpose of this thread, I'm not sure people making $500k factor into it as you aren't making that for several years, even if you are lucky enough to pull BigLaw.


You're getting old.

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Re: Is it silly to want to work in California?

Postby sarahh » Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:30 pm

ScrabbleChamp wrote:Again, I think you can live in CA on $160k. My point is that you won't be living like you are earning $160k... I mean, you hear $160k and you think that is a lot of money, but, compartively, it's not really that much in CA. $75k in Denver will get you just as much, if not more, than $160k in CA. And, as I stated before, we're assuming that OP gets a $160k job in CA. They would be lucky to get any job, let alone BigLaw. If they come out of USC and get a $80k job, they are going to have a lot of issues.


Yes, I think this is the real issue. There are ways to not spend an arm and a leg on housing. But if you cannot find a job, you are screwed. I don't know if this is true, but someone told me there are no more major law firms based in San Francisco - only smaller firms and satellite offices. And I doubt there is much government hiring going on right now.

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bk1
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Re: Is it silly to want to work in California?

Postby bk1 » Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:31 pm

To answer the original question, I don't think it is silly to want to work in California. SBL put it pretty well in that if he'd rather have no job in CA than a firm job on the east coast. If that is how you feel then it is how you feel. That doesn't correspond to a purely financial cost benefit evaluation, nor could one expect it to.

I'd say it would be a bit silly to want to work in state/local government agencies in CA with the budget crisis and hiring freezes, but working for a firm? I'd say there is nothing silly about that.

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Re: Is it silly to want to work in California?

Postby bk1 » Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:32 pm

sarahh wrote:
ScrabbleChamp wrote:Again, I think you can live in CA on $160k. My point is that you won't be living like you are earning $160k... I mean, you hear $160k and you think that is a lot of money, but, compartively, it's not really that much in CA. $75k in Denver will get you just as much, if not more, than $160k in CA. And, as I stated before, we're assuming that OP gets a $160k job in CA. They would be lucky to get any job, let alone BigLaw. If they come out of USC and get a $80k job, they are going to have a lot of issues.


Yes, I think this is the real issue. There are ways to not spend an arm and a leg on housing. But if you cannot find a job, you are screwed. I don't know if this is true, but someone told me there are no more major law firms based in San Francisco - only smaller firms and satellite offices. And I doubt there is much government hiring going on right now.


SF almost always been satellites of top firms. The only top firm HQ I can think of off the top of my head is MoFo. I'd hazard that satellites have always made up the bulk of biglaw in SF.

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Stringer Bell
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Re: Is it silly to want to work in California?

Postby Stringer Bell » Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:38 pm

Reedie wrote:Texas economy, of course, isn't just oil. Texas does have a tech economy, for example. But that technology market does NOT compete with California, and I don't see much reason to believe it's going to. Facebook didn't go to Houston. It went to the Southbay because a) that's where the other tech startups are b) that's where the tech venture capital is and c) (HUGELY IMPORTANT) that's where the engineering talent is. Texas' main offering for tech companies is a better tax structure, but that doesn't appear to be worth it for google, Apple, Cisco, Oracle, or the other California based tech companies to leave. Texas--as a state--has a very low educational attainment level per capita and just doesn't have the human capital California has. Maybe that will change, but personally I doubt it.



I think you're selling Texas' tech potential short. As the population continues to grow, so will the number of talented engineers. UT, TAMU, Rice, and even schools like Houston produce good engineers and CS people. The legislature passed a measure recently that would provide additional funding to 7 emerging research universities if they reach some measurable goals. The state recognizes the need for more quality universities and is working towards that. Companies like BMC software and Dell are based in Texas. The Austin tech sector has exploded from where it was twenty years ago and will continue to grow. Even a historical college town like College Station has some businesses setting up shop there to take advantage of the talent available. I'm not saying that the Tech sector in Texas will ever eclipse CA, but it will continue to grow.

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ScrabbleChamp
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Re: Is it silly to want to work in California?

Postby ScrabbleChamp » Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:49 pm

notanumber wrote:
ScrabbleChamp wrote:
notanumber wrote:
ScrabbleChamp wrote:Sorry if I offended the residents/defenders or Oakland... but, you have to admit, the city, as a whole, is incredbily dangerous. I don't care who you are, having a murder rate that is 3.5 times the national average and a violent crime rate that ranks the city 3rd in the country for all cities with more than 100,000 people is pretty bad. Sure, there are some parts of Oakland that are incredibly nice, but, as a whole, the city is dangerous. There was one car theft for every 40 people in the city... I'm sure you can live nicely there, and I enjoy visiting certain parts. I was simply making a valid statement that applies (statistically) to the whole city.

And, as I said in my first part, I'm taking the question from the prespective of married guy with kids, which is not the same for everyone. I would not be happy with a nice apartment in the city. I need a yard, large house, etc...


Deciding where to live based upon citywide murder statistics is sloppy. The overall murder rate in the U.S. is comparatively high, does that make living in Palo Alto a dangerous endeavor?

Oakland is really only dangerous if you're a gang banger or if you live in the heart of Ghost Town or parts of East Oakland. But please, keep perpetuating the "Oakland is terrible" sentiment, and I'll still be able to afford a decent house in a good BART-able neighborhood of Oakland when I graduate.


Faulty logic... Palo Alto is one of thousands of cities in the US... Oakland is a singular city I am speaking about. Palo Alto is 3000+ miles from Baltimore. Rockridge is a few miles away from Acorn. I think it is important to consider the crime statistics of the area you will be living in, not just the specific block you live on. If you want to include an entire country in your area, go right ahead. I think it is perfectly normal to include the entire city I'll be living in with regards to crime and the like.


Palo Alto abuts East Palo Alto. But no matter. Invisible municipal jurisdictions will save you from the murderers?

So if you don't care that the high crime rate will have no impact on your own personal safety, you think it's an important factor... why?

Do you just not want to live in a city that has the stigma of being high crime?

The "Oakland is dangerous so don't live in Rockridge" argument makes absolutely no sense to me. . .


I'm all about minimzing risk. I have kids I love and I don't want to put them in a situation that isn't kosher. We can argue all day long about whether certain neighborhoods are safe or not. However, even in the "safe" areas of Oakland, where crime is comparably lower than in the "unsafe" areas, the crime rate is still higher than the national average and other cities in the Bay. For instance, according to the OPD website, the violent crime rate for Montclair was 78% lower than the City of Oakland as a whole, but still 30% higher than the national average, and higher than other cities in the Bay Area.

And, I guess my main point was this: Sure, you can live in Oakland, but comparable housing will cost more in a "safe" area of Oakland than a regular area of Sunnyvale, for instance. I don't hate Oakland, I just wouldn't choose to live there.

As far as not wanting to live in a city that has a stigma of being high crime, no, I don't want to live in that city if the stigma is deserved... which it is for Oakland.

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Re: Is it silly to want to work in California?

Postby sandaltan » Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:26 pm

ScrabbleChamp wrote:
seriously???? wrote:id go with socal. the 160k might not go as far as other places, but you are forgetting that you will surely get discovered by hollywood, and make a few hundred k for a solid role as an attorney in an epic film

in all serious, it is almost downright tragic how arguably the coolest state in our union is so screwed


CA is the "coolest state in our Union"? Really? Aside from the weather, what is so great about CA? Weapons laws suck, tax is too high, COL sucks, traffic bites, the beaches are much better on the east coast... I don't know which state is the "coolest", but I surely wouldn't say CA is.


cali get my vote for coolest state. weapons laws? who cares. taxes? whatever. COL? new york much? traffic? new york much? beaches are much better on the east coast? thats just a lie.

its the middle of winter and im tan.

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Reedie
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Re: Is it silly to want to work in California?

Postby Reedie » Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:39 pm

Stringer Bell wrote:Dell


Dell is a great example and I'm glad you brought it up. Dell's business model is perfect for Texas because their goal is to build computers at low cost including minimizing R&D. Dell does not research new chip designs, new software, or new anything (recently they've been a little more interested after seeing Apple's success, but they are too far behind to catch up). So, they don't need to tap into a huge pool of human capital in order to be successful and the low cost structure of operating out of Austin is perfect.

Now, don't get me wrong: Texas does have enough engineering talent to have a tech economy. Just not one that rivals California. As to your points about research universities: I'll be more comfortable projecting that when they actually happen. Right now between California and Texas there is no competition in terms of research university strength. To fix that Texas is going to have to spend MORE money, and last I read about it they were planning on cutting their budget deficit by slashing government spending including education.

But, that really gets at my main point: if Texas wants to really change into a tech economy it's going to be tough to do so without sacrificing its cost of living advantage over California. It's difficult to have your cake and eat it too. With that said, I'm not saying in anyway that Texas has no future or anything like that. All I'm saying is that the comparisons are often very hyperbolic.

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FlanAl
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Re: Is it silly to want to work in California?

Postby FlanAl » Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:46 pm

ScrabbleChamp wrote:
FlanAl wrote:
However, if you want to live in a "major" city, you can pull it off, but that $160k in CA won't get you nearly as far as a lower salary in a lot of other markets.


I'll give you the above point but you have to take a few things into consideration. At $8900 a month if you live in one of your one bedroom apartments you are putting away a lot of money in savings or investments. You could do something like this before you go to buy a house. If the average age of the law school grad is like 25-27 you probably don't want to be buying a house at that age anyways(not because it isn't the prudent choice but because you're in you mid twenties and the prudent choice isn't always as obvious). AND if you and your spouse meet in law school you're combined income should be pretty sweet.

Sooooo if you are smart about your first few years our and you are getting paid market I think you can definitely survive in california. In fact I know quite a few attorneys from some really nice southern california neighborhoods.

Update: I just did a quick search for real estate for sale in Cupertino, as well. The CHEAPEST 4 bedroom I could find was $835,000 and it was for an attached condo. The CHEAPEST 3 bedroom that came up was $719,000, but was a tiny (1000 sq ft) house with no lot and only a 1 car garage.
Focusing on the Bay area probably isn't the best idea. Isn't overall like the most expensive place in the country outside of NYC?


Right, but, my numbers were best case scenario with regards to salary. If you are making $160k, you should be putting away money for retirement, say 10%. Then, figure you have the average student debt (probably more given you have a BigLaw job in CA) of $80k, which is about $1000/month repayment. Now you are down to $6600, which is still a lot of money, but when you factor in the costs associated with living in CA (higher prices on pretty much everything), you may not have much left over. Assuming you have $1000 in monthly expenses (car insurance, car payment, cable, internet, etc...), and a $2000 rent payment, you are down to $3600 of savings a month. To afford a nice house in the Bay Area, you'd have to save every dime you have, after paying loans, rent, expenses, etc... for 5 years before you'd even be able to afford a downpayment on a home. Sure, it's possible, but, even if you can afford the down payment in 5 years, will you be able to afford the housing payment of about $6000?

I'm not saying it is impossible, just saying, if you think big picture, there are a lot of markets where you can make a lot less and live a lot better.


Being able to afford a down payment on a home in the bay area at age 30 is something that I'm really not sure many other careers offer.

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ScrabbleChamp
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Re: Is it silly to want to work in California?

Postby ScrabbleChamp » Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:51 pm

Being able to afford a down payment on a home in the bay area at age 30 is something that I'm really not sure many other careers offer.


True... but, this thread isn't about which careers are best for living in the Bay Area...

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Hannibal
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Re: Is it silly to want to work in California?

Postby Hannibal » Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:56 pm

Lived in the Bay Area all my life...Scrabble is either entirely talking out of his ass or has an extremely high standard of living. My cousin makes less than 40k, has a nice place of his own with his girlfriend in a nice area of Lafayette, has a one hour commute to SF on BART. You can easily find a 4-bedroom house in the east bay for less than 600k in a decent neighborhood.

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bk1
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Re: Is it silly to want to work in California?

Postby bk1 » Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:57 pm

ScrabbleChamp wrote:
Being able to afford a down payment on a home in the bay area at age 30 is something that I'm really not sure many other careers offer.


True... but, this thread isn't about which careers are best for living in the Bay Area...

So your point was tangential at best?




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