Charlotte BigLaw vs. NYC BigLaw

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MLBrandow
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Charlotte BigLaw vs. NYC BigLaw

Postby MLBrandow » Sun Oct 28, 2007 11:37 am

So i was looking up starting salaries for various firms in Charlotte and NYC.

Top Charlotte firms start out at $145k/yr and top Manhattan firms start out at around $160k/yr.

But factoring in cost of living, the Charlotte firm effectively pays more than twice as much to start. (This trend diminishes slightly, but still holds close to double as far out as year 8 salaries)

sources: Infirmation.com, CNNMoney salary calculator


What should one make of this? I have admittedly just begun actually researching NC firms, but this would seem a significant difference in buying power.

Thoughts?

Connelly
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Postby Connelly » Mon Oct 29, 2007 2:16 pm

I have looked at these numbers as well and am also puzzled why more people don't consider going this route. There are several firms in Charlotte, the rest of North Carolina, and South Carolina that start associates at $100k+. Cost of living is substantially lower in all of these areas than it is in NY/DC, and even more attractive is that many of these firms hire predominantly out of regional schools for these offices.

philo-sophia
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Postby philo-sophia » Mon Oct 29, 2007 2:23 pm

it's a glamour thing...people want to be in New York and are essentially willing to pay for it (meaning, they're okay with the fact that they make less once living expenses are factored in). I worked for a consulting firm that paid the same salary to consultants in every office and allowed people to transfer between offices as they pleased. The people in Dallas lived like kings on that salary whereas those in NYC lived in $hithole apartments. But even so, NYC was the only office with a waiting list.

NYC is an amazing place to live when you're young and have the energy to keep up with a city that never sleeps. A lot of people go get "Bigtime" experience at the firms in new york, and then when they've had their fill of the stressful pace of life, they take that resume somewhere like charlotte where their salary will buy them a nice house, a golf club membership (and they'll actually have time for golf) and private school for the kids.

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RollerOfBigCigars
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Postby RollerOfBigCigars » Mon Oct 29, 2007 2:34 pm

In addition to the greater popularity of NYC, another explanation would be supply/demand. While Charlotte is certainly a growing city and a banking center, I wouldn't think the job openings compare well to NY. Fewer openings means more competition for those jobs, and not all HLS, CLS, etc. people are from the northeast.

owt
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Postby owt » Mon Oct 29, 2007 5:28 pm

edit
Last edited by owt on Wed Dec 05, 2007 4:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

zeezoo
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Postby zeezoo » Mon Oct 29, 2007 6:40 pm

The exact same thing occurs in investment banking. When you adjust for cost of living, Wachovia and Bank of America first year analysts make more than their NYC counterparts at the more prestigious banks like Goldman Sachs.

One important factor to consider is firm mobility. If you decide to switch firms, there are far more options in NYC than Charlotte.

In addition, you will be working with more profile clients in NYC.

Finally, because the NYC offices are larger, you will have more opportunities within your own firm.

Nevertheless, I would bet many students who grew up in suburbs or the South would be much happier in Charlotte than NYC. To each his own.

MLBrandow
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Postby MLBrandow » Mon Oct 29, 2007 8:05 pm

owt,

Of the few Charlotte firms that I looked at which paid top salaries out of law school, very few of them contained employees with JDs from T14 law schools.

However, many of the newest employees came from North Carolina law schools "with honors" and appeared to be at or near the top of their respective classes.


Being of the mind of someone who was completely set on NYC (from salary alone), it seems jaded to not heavily consider the NC market. The high-paying firms in Charlotte are those which have offices all over the US, and so I am reluctant to buy the argument for less opportunities; but certainly there are fewer opportunities in terms of number of firms.



Unless there is something I am missing, I just don't see how the prestige of NYC outweighs a factor of 2.1 in salary buying power. Not to mention, for UNC Law students that can get in-state tuition, post-secondary debt can be reduced by close to an order of magnitude.

That factor is so much larger than I had ignorantly assumed that it's really making me reconsider applying to NY schools altogether and putting Duke and UNC atop my lists.



I appreciate all of the comments so far, and if anyone else has input into this topic please feel post!

owt
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Postby owt » Mon Oct 29, 2007 11:11 pm

It's possible that most lawyers are from NC schools. However, is that because they get preferential hiring treatment or because most T14 grads elect to practice in other cities; I have no idea. My personal philosophy is to get into the best possible school that I can, especially if it has a national reputation compared to a regional one.

MLBrandow
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Postby MLBrandow » Wed Nov 14, 2007 3:32 pm

owt,

It very likely is the latter. But independent of the "old boys network" dying as you claim, the influx of T14 graduates is static, which means no net change.

I was unaware that UNC was plummeting in the USN rankings. Why is this, and is their substantially lower tuition related to this drop (to keep numbers afloat)?

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in my eyes
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Postby in my eyes » Wed Nov 14, 2007 5:03 pm

UNC doesn't rank well because they accept too many TTT in state applicants

FLS08
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Postby FLS08 » Wed Nov 14, 2007 6:06 pm

Couple of other factors to consider in addition to those listed above:

1. Bonuses in NY are substantially larger than those in Charlotte. If you read abovethelaw.com, you know that sixth-year associates at many large NY firms are making a bonus of over $100K this year. Of course it doesn't cancel out the geographic cost-of-living difference, but it does diminish it.

2. Exit options. It is much easier to go from a large NY firm to a firm in another market than the other way around. For someone who is not sure where they eventually want to settle down, it makes sense to start in NY and move later if they are so inclined.

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Matteliszt
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Re: Charlotte BigLaw vs. NYC BigLaw

Postby Matteliszt » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:36 am

Is this still a question? What is the Charlotte market like post-recession?

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anthonyc350
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Re: Charlotte BigLaw vs. NYC BigLaw

Postby anthonyc350 » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:38 am

cause everyone is dying to live in south carolina... :lol:

dreman510
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Re: Charlotte BigLaw vs. NYC BigLaw

Postby dreman510 » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:41 am

Matteliszt wrote:Is this still a question? What is the Charlotte market like post-recession?

Wow, thats an old thread...
Here is a recent ATL article:
--LinkRemoved--
The Charlotte legal market has taken a beating, due in no small part to a huge hit on their banking sector. I believe most firms their have cut salaries to somewhere in the 120-130 range, but maybe someone else can confirm

SimplyC26
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Re: Charlotte BigLaw vs. NYC BigLaw

Postby SimplyC26 » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:46 am

Good thread OP. Cost of living and quality of life is the main reason why I'm pretty much set on moving to Austin or Dallas once I graduate law school. I would rather live in a less "thrilling" or prestigious city, and have my money stretch further.

dreman510
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Re: Charlotte BigLaw vs. NYC BigLaw

Postby dreman510 » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:48 am

SimplyC26 wrote:Good thread OP. Cost of living and quality of life is the main reason why I'm pretty much set on moving to Austin or Dallas once I graduate law school. I would rather live in a less "thrilling" or prestigious city, and have my money stretch further.

OP posted this 2.5 yrs ago...it was just revived

SimplyC26
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Re: Charlotte BigLaw vs. NYC BigLaw

Postby SimplyC26 » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:54 am

dreman510 wrote:
Matteliszt wrote:Is this still a question? What is the Charlotte market like post-recession?

Wow, thats an old thread...
Here is a recent ATL article:
--LinkRemoved--
The Charlotte legal market has taken a beating, due in no small part to a huge hit on their banking sector. I believe most firms their have cut salaries to somewhere in the 120-130 range, but maybe someone else can confirm



Even if a Charlotte associate makes 100k, this is comparable to 232k living in NYC (Manhattan). Furthermore, a big law salary of 160k in New York is the equivalent to making 68k in Charlotte.

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ccs224
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Re: Charlotte BigLaw vs. NYC BigLaw

Postby ccs224 » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:54 am

I originally read this as Charlotte Bronte vs. NYC BigLaw and as much more excited.

Kobe_Teeth
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Re: Charlotte BigLaw vs. NYC BigLaw

Postby Kobe_Teeth » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:56 am

I heard a joke one time that went "My dick is so big that my dick's dick is bigger than your dick." This somehow reminds me of the NYC v Charlotte thread ITE.

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Matteliszt
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Re: Charlotte BigLaw vs. NYC BigLaw

Postby Matteliszt » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:56 am

I revived this thread - I am WL at Fordham and in at UNC so I am kind of in the same boat that OP was 2.5 years ago..I think its still a valid question though - that being said

I don't know how much to trust ATL. The post is *probably true* I just wish I had a source that wasn't ATL, hehehe.

Kretzy
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Re: Charlotte BigLaw vs. NYC BigLaw

Postby Kretzy » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:57 am

ccs224 wrote:I originally read this as Charlotte Bronte vs. NYC BigLaw and as much more excited.


Take it back to the GRINDR thread, ccs :lol:

Kobe_Teeth
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Re: Charlotte BigLaw vs. NYC BigLaw

Postby Kobe_Teeth » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:58 am

SimplyC26 wrote:
dreman510 wrote:
Matteliszt wrote:Is this still a question? What is the Charlotte market like post-recession?

Wow, thats an old thread...
Here is a recent ATL article:
--LinkRemoved--
The Charlotte legal market has taken a beating, due in no small part to a huge hit on their banking sector. I believe most firms their have cut salaries to somewhere in the 120-130 range, but maybe someone else can confirm



Even if a Charlotte associate makes 100k, this is comparable to 232k living in NYC (Manhattan). Furthermore, a big law salary of 160k in New York is the equivalent to making 68k in Charlotte.



Good point. This may make me re-think my post but keep it un-edited because I love that joke.
I've been considering the same as I have ties near StL but currently live in Chi.

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ccs224
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Re: Charlotte BigLaw vs. NYC BigLaw

Postby ccs224 » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:58 am

Kretzy wrote:
ccs224 wrote:I originally read this as Charlotte Bronte vs. NYC BigLaw and as much more excited.


Take it back to the GRINDR thread, ccs :lol:



Whatever happened to that thing anyway?

dreman510
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Re: Charlotte BigLaw vs. NYC BigLaw

Postby dreman510 » Fri Mar 12, 2010 1:00 am

Matteliszt wrote:I revived this thread - I am WL at Fordham and in at UNC so I am kind of in the same boat that OP was 2.5 years ago..I think its still a valid question though - that being said

I don't know how much to trust ATL. The post is *probably true* I just wish I had a source that wasn't ATL, hehehe.

Mattel, even 100K in Charlotte is a lot of money. That being said, there are nowhere near as many legal jobs available in Charlotte. However, there are nowhere near as many people competing for those same jobs. I think it would be interesting to see the percentage of people competing for Biglaw jobs in NY v. Charlotte.

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Matteliszt
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Re: Charlotte BigLaw vs. NYC BigLaw

Postby Matteliszt » Fri Mar 12, 2010 1:01 am

I originally read this as Charlotte Bronte vs. NYC BigLaw and as much more excited.


You guys want to take it this direction? Charlotte Bronte was pretty sweet, I mean she was the eldest of the three Bronte sisters.




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