CHI versus NY versus DC

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CHI versus NY versus DC

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 06, 2010 7:54 pm

Considering offers and potential offers in these cities. Thoughts about merits of each? Especially V5 in NYC versus V10-ish in Chicago?

NYC is STAGGERINGLY expensive. NYC city tax alone is $12k/year, plus maybe another $10k/year for (roughly comparable) housing, plus thousands for food, etc. Is the prestige really worth more than $100k over a typical 3-5 year SA stint?

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Re: CHI versus NY versus DC

Postby 270910 » Mon Sep 06, 2010 7:58 pm

Assuming 160 starting, with no tax advantages (unrealistic, but even comparison) here's the once every two weeks and yearly pay comparison after tax:

Houston / TX: $4,224.03 / $109,825 [for comparison - no state income tax]

Chicago / IL: $4,039.41 / $105,024

DC / DC: $3,753.03 / $97,578

NYC / NY: $3,579.55 / $93,068

That being said, living where you're happy and where the work that's getting done makes you happy is probably way more important than a couple grand. You'll be making enough to live comfortably and pay down loans no matter what if you have big law offers in all three cities.

miamiman
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Re: CHI versus NY versus DC

Postby miamiman » Mon Sep 06, 2010 7:59 pm

I think the more important considerations here are where you're going to be happiest, have the greatest potential for advancement professionally and individually.

If that happens to be NYC, you'd be an idiot to go to Houston for the additional 10k.

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Re: CHI versus NY versus DC

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 06, 2010 8:01 pm

yes because you'll make alot more on the back-end of your career with the exit options that come from nyc

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Re: CHI versus NY versus DC

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Sep 06, 2010 8:02 pm

Weather should be a consideration for Houston & Chicago while long term goals should determine whether or not Washington D.C. is your best option.

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Re: CHI versus NY versus DC

Postby 270910 » Mon Sep 06, 2010 8:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:yes because you'll make alot more on the back-end of your career with the exit options that come from nyc


There's some merit to that thought, but it's awfully hard to quantify. I don't really know anybody who's done NYC big law and then exited, and I don't really know any good source to consult for the differences in 'exit options' between regions/firms beyond uninformed speculation...

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Re: CHI versus NY versus DC

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 06, 2010 8:09 pm

This should probably come down to where you actually want to live especially if you're talking something like Kirkland (Chi), DPW (NYC) or Covington (DC).

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Re: CHI versus NY versus DC

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 06, 2010 8:13 pm

OP here. The problem is that I'm trying to weigh where I'd rather be (not NYC) with the amorphous "exit options" supposedly available from NYC V5s. And I can quantify the former, but have no idea about the latter.

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Re: CHI versus NY versus DC

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 06, 2010 8:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here. The problem is that I'm trying to weigh where I'd rather be (not NYC) with the amorphous "exit options" supposedly available from NYC V5s. And I can quantify the former, but have no idea about the latter.



Yea but exit options to a degree are tied to the city. For example, lets say you want to do Private Equity. If you work at Simpson in New York, you're options are going to be KKR in New York not Madison Dearborn in Chicago.

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Re: CHI versus NY versus DC

Postby IAFG » Mon Sep 06, 2010 8:19 pm

If it is about exit options, doesn't it make the most sense to establish connections in the city you want to exit into? I don't understand why it would be preferable to establish a career in NYC to lateral into Chicago later.

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Re: CHI versus NY versus DC

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 06, 2010 8:38 pm

IAFG wrote:If it is about exit options, doesn't it make the most sense to establish connections in the city you want to exit into? I don't understand why it would be preferable to establish a career in NYC to lateral into Chicago later.


Good point. I didn't know that exit options were so localized?

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Re: CHI versus NY versus DC

Postby 270910 » Mon Sep 06, 2010 10:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
IAFG wrote:If it is about exit options, doesn't it make the most sense to establish connections in the city you want to exit into? I don't understand why it would be preferable to establish a career in NYC to lateral into Chicago later.


Good point. I didn't know that exit options were so localized?


It's very hard for us as law students to know. The exit options from, say, a Georgia firm are likely to be quite local. But top-shelf NYC law firms send their alumni across the country to law firms and corporate legal departments and government agencies. It's exceedingly common to see somebody with V5/V10 pedigree wind up as a partner in an office in another city.

I can't speak to the precise mechanics or ratios or what not, but the mythical upper vault NYC exit options do not appear to be mythical.

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Re: CHI versus NY versus DC

Postby LurkerNoMore » Tue Sep 07, 2010 7:14 am

Exit options are not localized when you are working at a top firm.

Depending on how the economy is looking, if you are working at any major firm, around your second or third year, you will start getting calls from headhunters. The jobs they are placing for will be national. Even if they call you for a local job, if you talk with them and let them know that you are interested in a different location, they will update the file they've created on you (headhunters troll firm websites and Martindale and create databases of contacts).

Lateral options (from one firm to another) maybe slightly better coming from a V5 out of NYC than a V10 out of Chicago, depending on what type of practice you are in. Exit options to non-firm positions will not be that different, unless you are looking at a small segment of fund/private equity type work. If you are looking to become an in house attorney, it will be much more the type of work you have done -- the gradations in the Vault ranking are not very fine for most in house positions.

The key to exit options is jumping at the right time. Firm hopping should be done carefully. Some firms have glass ceilings for laterals, and moving around too much makes firms very nervous. For in house positions, if you jump too soon you can land in "staff attorney" land, which can be hard to get promoted out of. If you stay too long, it can be hard to find an in house position because you'll be too senior for your standard mid level position, and not have the in house experience wanted by a lot of companies for the AGC/GC positions. The sweet spot for jumping is usually 5-7 years, but it varies.

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Re: CHI versus NY versus DC

Postby 270910 » Tue Sep 07, 2010 7:20 am

LurkerNoMore wrote:Exit options are not localized when you are working at a top firm.

Depending on how the economy is looking, if you are working at any major firm, around your second or third year, you will start getting calls from headhunters. The jobs they are placing for will be national. Even if they call you for a local job, if you talk with them and let them know that you are interested in a different location, they will update the file they've created on you (headhunters troll firm websites and Martindale and create databases of contacts).

Lateral options (from one firm to another) maybe slightly better coming from a V5 out of NYC than a V10 out of Chicago, depending on what type of practice you are in. Exit options to non-firm positions will not be that different, unless you are looking at a small segment of fund/private equity type work. If you are looking to become an in house attorney, it will be much more the type of work you have done -- the gradations in the Vault ranking are not very fine for most in house positions.

The key to exit options is jumping at the right time. Firm hopping should be done carefully. Some firms have glass ceilings for laterals, and moving around too much makes firms very nervous. For in house positions, if you jump too soon you can land in "staff attorney" land, which can be hard to get promoted out of. If you stay too long, it can be hard to find an in house position because you'll be too senior for your standard mid level position, and not have the in house experience wanted by a lot of companies for the AGC/GC positions. The sweet spot for jumping is usually 5-7 years, but it varies.


The website lawshucks has a series of posts about this if anybody is interested in readying more (everything LurkerNoMore wrote matches what I've read there; I don't really have anything substantive to add).

LurkerNoMore
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Re: CHI versus NY versus DC

Postby LurkerNoMore » Tue Sep 07, 2010 7:24 am

For the OP -- my bigger concern would be the Chicago market in general. Some firms there seem to be on shaky financial ground. If you are looking at a branch office in Chicago, then I would poke around to see how the internal politics of that works. I actually find that there can be some advantages to branch offices, but there can be some significant drawbacks too, so it's good to go in with eyes wide open.

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Re: CHI versus NY versus DC

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 09, 2010 8:30 am

LurkerNoMore wrote:For the OP -- my bigger concern would be the Chicago market in general. Some firms there seem to be on shaky financial ground. If you are looking at a branch office in Chicago, then I would poke around to see how the internal politics of that works. I actually find that there can be some advantages to branch offices, but there can be some significant drawbacks too, so it's good to go in with eyes wide open.


This is really interesting. It seems pretty obvious that Chicago is not doing that well outside of Kirkland (Sidley and Mayer have deferred incoming associates for over a year, w/ class sizes still at less than 1/3 of what they used to be). But because the class sizes are so small and that the economy appears to be bouncing back, do you guys think the c/o 2012 should be ok in Chicago or should we still beware?

Also, I have heard next to nothing about Skadden's Chicago branch, yet they are according to Vault, the #2 firm in Chicago. Anyone know anything about them?

I am also curious about what everyone means when they say V10 Chicago? Is it another way of saying Kirkland, or are you guys generally including Skadden and Sidley, too? What are your thoughts on Latham and Jenner?

Thanks!




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