Best Secondary Markets?

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halfwaygone
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Best Secondary Markets?

Postby halfwaygone » Sun May 23, 2010 5:47 am

When applying to LS, I'd like to consider region. I can easily narrow down to cities I *like* but I was wondering if anyone had any insight (beyond the usual statistics) to good secondary markets, particularly for the Biglaw to corporate lawyer path.

I hate LA, not a big fan of anywhere in California, actually. Not a big fan of living in NYC. I could maybe deal with Chicago, but I've never been there so I don't know. It doesn't really seem like a very "me" city from what I've read. Love to visit Boston, but not a NE girl for living there day in and day out, though I'd perhaps consider Philly if I get into Penn. I haven't ruled out the D.C. area.

Cities I really like:
*Austin, TX
*Seattle, WA
*Atlanta, GA
*Charlotte, NC
*Portland, OR
*Minneapolis, MN

Anyone know anything about these markets, or ones I haven't considered?

Anonymous Loser
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Re: Best Secondary Markets?

Postby Anonymous Loser » Sun May 23, 2010 9:37 am

Seattle:

Market rate is disappointingly low considering the high cost of living in the region ($105k-$120k; perhaps slightly higher for IP with the right credentials). Salary growth is also rumored to be quite flat in comparison to other regions, although accurate information about this is somewhat hard to come by.

Seattle is a fairly small market; there are really only a handful of jobs available with large firms. At these firms, 1L hiring is devoted almost exclusively to recruiting minority students. 2L hiring was very limited even in a good economy; now, most firms appear to have hired only 1-3 2L's for the 2010 summer. At a guess, I'd say that there are perhaps 75 2L's in market-rate SA positions this summer in Seattle. Some firms deferred incoming c/o 2010 associates (Perkins, for one).

Seattle has some excellent boutique firms, which seem more open to hiring recent graduates than is typically the case.

An Art. III clerkship in W.D. Wash. is likely unobtainable without 1-2 years in practice or a previous clerkship.

People will tell you that local ties are critical in Seattle, but it is sort of hard to say how this factors into hiring. The attorneys who asked me the most questions about my ties to Seattle during this past fall's interviewing cycle were the one who I would consider transplants to the region; interviewers who were originally from Seattle seemed less concerned about my connection to Seattle, but this might be because these connections are quite evident from my resume. I asked the head of recruiting at
one firm about this issue, and was told the firm was wary of offering a permanent position to someone who had only seen Seattle in the summertime.

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enygma
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Re: Best Secondary Markets?

Postby enygma » Sun May 23, 2010 11:42 am

I'm not totally up on the current situation, but minneapolis has a relatively decent market. last i checked (and this could have changed with the economy) the market rate was about $120k starting at the big firms in town. although cost of living is quite a bit lower than chicago, this is still pretty low relatively speaking. However, if you were comparing it to market rate in NYC it's probably a pretty fair rate, relatively (and considering dorsey pays market in NYC maybe that's more relevant to their consideration than chicago).

the other reason that makes minneapolis stronger than most is that it's the seat of the 8th circuit, so there are all of those federal opportunities that come along with that.

also, minneapolis is a very excellent city.

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soundgardener
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Re: Best Secondary Markets?

Postby soundgardener » Sun May 23, 2010 12:12 pm

I know that Austin is a smaller market focused mainly on IP, and that it is very, very difficult to get Biglaw there unless you grew up in Austin in addition to having great credentials.

From what I understand, the economy has really hurt Charlotte as a market. I've seen the word "imploded" tossed around a lot. Prospects are probably not good there.

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wiseowl
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Re: Best Secondary Markets?

Postby wiseowl » Mon May 24, 2010 12:29 am

Minneapolis and Atlanta are the two best on that list.

Charlotte will take years to recover, if it ever does, and the others are very, very local - you'll constantly be second fiddle to even middling students from the local school.

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James Bond
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Re: Best Secondary Markets?

Postby James Bond » Mon May 24, 2010 12:56 am

You'd consider Philthadelphia and Chicago but not NYC? Are you mad?

motiontodismiss
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Re: Best Secondary Markets?

Postby motiontodismiss » Mon May 24, 2010 2:19 am

James Bond wrote:You'd consider Philthadelphia and Chicago but not NYC? Are you mad?


Looks like she doesn't like NYC and it's not everyone's cup of tea. If you're looking for the best return on $$$$$, you're best off staying out of NY. Same pay, high taxes, high COL=epic fail.

JOThompson
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Re: Best Secondary Markets?

Postby JOThompson » Mon May 24, 2010 2:28 am

I wouldn't put Portland on the list of best secondary markets. Tiny and insulated IMO. Gorgeous place to be though.

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crazycanuck
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Re: Best Secondary Markets?

Postby crazycanuck » Mon May 24, 2010 2:55 am

James Bond wrote:You'd consider Philthadelphia and Chicago but not NYC? Are you mad?


Couldn't pay me enough to live in NYC.

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James Bond
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Re: Best Secondary Markets?

Postby James Bond » Mon May 24, 2010 3:00 am

crazycanuck wrote:
James Bond wrote:You'd consider Philthadelphia and Chicago but not NYC? Are you mad?


Couldn't pay me enough to live in NYC.


But would you also consider the illadel and Chicago? If you're not a city person then of course NYC wouldn't be your cup of tea. But I don't quite understand the reason for someone to really like Chicago or a dump like Philthy and not like New York, especially if there are no personal ties to either of them. That's like getting all of the big-city problems without any of the big-city awesomeness that is best in NYC.

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creamedcats
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Re: Best Secondary Markets?

Postby creamedcats » Mon May 24, 2010 4:16 am

Atlanta is the biggest market in your list and Emory and U of Georgia are both decently ranked schools.

As for other ones, if you don't mind the cold, it seems like Wisconsin has a small but decent market and Madison is a good law school, plus free bar passage. Ohio is nice and has a fair number of options. Texas has multiple legal markets and its economy isn't a shambles - and it's warm!

rando
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Re: Best Secondary Markets?

Postby rando » Mon May 24, 2010 5:38 am

Market Rate in Atlanta is ~125-135 and cost of living is very low. Definitely more bang for your buck than any city I know of.

motiontodismiss
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Re: Best Secondary Markets?

Postby motiontodismiss » Mon May 24, 2010 9:53 am

rando wrote:Market Rate in Atlanta is ~125-135 and cost of living is very low. Definitely more bang for your buck than any city I know of.


Outside of Houston/Dallas. Market rate at $160k and CoL that is lower than Atlanta. But you have to live in Texas.

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RVP11
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Re: Best Secondary Markets?

Postby RVP11 » Sat May 29, 2010 12:45 pm

Of the markets named by OP, Atlanta is the biggest, with the most large firms, and biggest disparity between market rate and COL. And probably more open to outsiders than places like Austin, Seattle, Portland, or Minneapolis.

itseightfortyfive
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Re: Best Secondary Markets?

Postby itseightfortyfive » Sat May 29, 2010 12:47 pm

PLUSSSSS HOTLANTA IS AMAZING!!!

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thesealocust
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Re: Best Secondary Markets?

Postby thesealocust » Sat May 29, 2010 12:48 pm

edited / never mind
Last edited by thesealocust on Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: Best Secondary Markets?

Postby XxSpyKEx » Sat May 29, 2010 5:14 pm

^ That. Going to law school in a particular city for a year is not going to be a sufficient tie to the market that employers will take you seriously ITE, particularly if it is a secondary market city (and I say a year because that's all you will be there prior to 2L OCI). If you have some other ties to all those markets (e.g. you have family living there and have at least visited them a few times), then that's great, but I wouldn't just pick a city and plan on being able to work at a firm there merely because you went to school there for a year. A lot of firms are taking very small class sizes nowadays and the last thing they want is one of there two summer associates deciding they don't like the market and want to go elsewhere, so they will much rather hire someone that has lived in that market prior to starting law school.

RisingMichigan3L
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Re: Best Secondary Markets?

Postby RisingMichigan3L » Sat May 29, 2010 5:31 pm

Uhhh... I really don't think they make that fine of a distinction between market ties.

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Best Secondary Markets?

Postby DoubleChecks » Sat May 29, 2010 5:35 pm

motiontodismiss wrote:
rando wrote:Market Rate in Atlanta is ~125-135 and cost of living is very low. Definitely more bang for your buck than any city I know of.


Outside of Houston/Dallas. Market rate at $160k and CoL that is lower than Atlanta. And you get to live in Texas.


FIFY

RisingMichigan3L
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Re: Best Secondary Markets?

Postby RisingMichigan3L » Sat May 29, 2010 6:20 pm

Regarding Houston/Dallas/Other TX Markets:

1) Even if market rate is $160k, I believe the lockstep raises are more compressed, so you end up making less than your primary market comrades as you gain seniority.
2) TX firms aren't the most profitable. If you happen to want to be partner-track, and are partner-track, one thing to consider is that you probably won't crack a million in your first years as partner... and most partners never in fact crack a million in TX.
3) Lateral options are going to be different. From what I've read/heard, the best firms you can lateral to are either peer firms or lower-ranked firms. Therefore, the point at which you start is likely to be the highest point (prestige-of-firm-wise) in your career. This is why it's usually a good idea to go to higher ranked firms and bite the bullet for a few years. Imagine starting at S&C, reaching senior track, but not making partner, and than lateraling into a place like Fulbright in Houston and be considered partner-material. Or, imagine starting at Fulbright, and then lateraling to a place like Dechert if you're not partner-material at Fulbright. I'd rather be in the former camp.
4) Exception to (3): If you plan to stay in Texas, since the top three full service firms are Fulbright, Baker, and V&E, I imagine you'd have your pick of the litter should you want to lateral out. But, say you want to lateral to NYC. I'd imagine a place like Shearman & Sterling would have more weight in that market than Fulbright.

motiontodismiss
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Re: Best Secondary Markets?

Postby motiontodismiss » Sat May 29, 2010 7:09 pm

Yeah but many CoL calculators will tell you that Houston at $160k is equivalent to NY at $350k. A decent house on an acre+ can be had in the burbs for $600k. $600k in Westchester will get you a 100 year old 4/2 that needs a total gut job. The savings from living in Houston can be spent learning to love flying Continental.

RisingMichigan3L
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Re: Best Secondary Markets?

Postby RisingMichigan3L » Sat May 29, 2010 8:49 pm

...you mean United.

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Solerpower
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Re: Best Secondary Markets?

Postby Solerpower » Sat May 29, 2010 9:03 pm

RisingMichigan3L wrote:Regarding Houston/Dallas/Other TX Markets:

1) Even if market rate is $160k, I believe the lockstep raises are more compressed, so you end up making less than your primary market comrades as you gain seniority.
2) TX firms aren't the most profitable. If you happen to want to be partner-track, and are partner-track, one thing to consider is that you probably won't crack a million in your first years as partner... and most partners never in fact crack a million in TX.
3) Lateral options are going to be different. From what I've read/heard, the best firms you can lateral to are either peer firms or lower-ranked firms. Therefore, the point at which you start is likely to be the highest point (prestige-of-firm-wise) in your career. This is why it's usually a good idea to go to higher ranked firms and bite the bullet for a few years. Imagine starting at S&C, reaching senior track, but not making partner, and than lateraling into a place like Fulbright in Houston and be considered partner-material. Or, imagine starting at Fulbright, and then lateraling to a place like Dechert if you're not partner-material at Fulbright. I'd rather be in the former camp.
4) Exception to (3): If you plan to stay in Texas, since the top three full service firms are Fulbright, Baker, and V&E, I imagine you'd have your pick of the litter should you want to lateral out. But, say you want to lateral to NYC. I'd imagine a place like Shearman & Sterling would have more weight in that market than Fulbright.


Where do you get your information for number 2?

RisingMichigan3L
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Re: Best Secondary Markets?

Postby RisingMichigan3L » Sat May 29, 2010 9:39 pm

PPP

rando
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Re: Best Secondary Markets?

Postby rando » Sat May 29, 2010 9:55 pm

XxSpyKEx wrote:^ That. Going to law school in a particular city for a year is not going to be a sufficient tie to the market that employers will take you seriously ITE, particularly if it is a secondary market city (and I say a year because that's all you will be there prior to 2L OCI). If you have some other ties to all those markets (e.g. you have family living there and have at least visited them a few times), then that's great, but I wouldn't just pick a city and plan on being able to work at a firm there merely because you went to school there for a year. A lot of firms are taking very small class sizes nowadays and the last thing they want is one of there two summer associates deciding they don't like the market and want to go elsewhere, so they will much rather hire someone that has lived in that market prior to starting law school.


This really isn't all that accurate. Most firms take for granted that your choice in a law school in a particular geographic location is evidence enough of ties. Firms are much more skeptical of someone not going to law school in the area and with no other relevant ties.

I had zero questions whatsoever at OCI re; my commitment to the area and I have no ties beyond law school to the area.




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