Small City vs. NY/LA/ChI

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Small City vs. NY/LA/ChI

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 22, 2010 4:10 pm

In general, earning 160K in NY is like 200K in a smaller city. So if my main concern is money
can't I just go to Minneapolis and start at 125K which in reality will be more than the 160K that NY, LA or Chi offer?
However, I feel like you lose something once you work in a smaller city. Not the night-life, not the sights and sounds of
LA/NY but something career related.

Can anyone tell me how, if at all, opting to work in a smaller city can derail your career. In other words, what are the benefits of BigLaw in BIG cities?

Note: BY Small city I do not mean Small Law. I mean Dorsey Whitney in Minneapolis vs. NY office...

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Re: Small City vs. NY/LA/ChI

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 22, 2010 4:19 pm

Limited exit opportunities, "smaller" cases, less prestige.

Those are the big three.

I fully intend to avoid the "big law" markets myself.

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Re: Small City vs. NY/LA/ChI

Postby toolfan » Wed Sep 22, 2010 4:25 pm

I'm not sure that 125 will feel like 200 in Minneapolis. 125 may feel like 200 in my hometown (pop. 9000) but not in Minneapolis. I could be very off - I don't know the COL of Minneapolis. But I think it's more accurate to say something like, "160 goes farther in Minneapolis/Chicago than it does in NYC." 125 in Minneapolis may come close to 160 in NYC. Again, not sure on that.

I'd move back home after law school if i could find a high paying gig but big firms don't really like small towns.

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Re: Small City vs. NY/LA/ChI

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 22, 2010 4:48 pm

Its really not about how much money it is but just that it goes farther.

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RVP11
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Re: Small City vs. NY/LA/ChI

Postby RVP11 » Wed Sep 22, 2010 4:50 pm

$125k in Minneapolis = $200k in New York City

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paratactical
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Re: Small City vs. NY/LA/ChI

Postby paratactical » Wed Sep 22, 2010 4:54 pm

I'm a paralegal, not an attorney, and I just moved from biglaw in NYC to biglaw in Boston. The market here seems relatively the same in terms of salaries and a little lower in terms of bonuses, but the hours are ridiculously lower. For example, I was talking to an associate here and they were bemoaning that they had such a late night last night and didn't get to leave the office until 8:30pm.

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Re: Small City vs. NY/LA/ChI

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 22, 2010 7:46 pm

paratactical wrote:I'm a paralegal, not an attorney, and I just moved from biglaw in NYC to biglaw in Boston. The market here seems relatively the same in terms of salaries and a little lower in terms of bonuses, but the hours are ridiculously lower. For example, I was talking to an associate here and they were bemoaning that they had such a late night last night and didn't get to leave the office until 8:30pm.




I believe the hours difference is true. But is the prestige negligible?

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Re: Small City vs. NY/LA/ChI

Postby Aqualibrium » Wed Sep 22, 2010 7:55 pm

The prestige is something that only lawyers (or those in tune with the legal industry) in the big city big law markets will give two fucks about in my opinion. If I could be a big dog in MN, have a good quality of life, and make good money, I would never even consider the fact that some firm in NY is "more prestigous" than mine. just my opinion though...
Last edited by Aqualibrium on Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Small City vs. NY/LA/ChI

Postby Unemployed » Wed Sep 22, 2010 7:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:In general, earning 160K in NY is like 200K in a smaller city.


Actually 160k in Manhattan is equivalent to ~80k in a smaller city. Maybe even less.

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Re: Small City vs. NY/LA/ChI

Postby electricfeel » Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:01 pm

Aqualibrium wrote:The prestige is something that only lawyers (or those in tune with the legal industry) in the big city big law markets will give two fucks about in my opinion. If I could be a big dog in MN, have a good quality of life, and make good money, I would never even consider the fact that some firm in NY is "more prestigous" than mine. just my opinion though...

FACT

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Re: Small City vs. NY/LA/ChI

Postby Unemployed » Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:05 pm

Aqualibrium wrote:If I could be a big dog in MN, have a good quality of life, and make good money, I would never even consider the fact that some firm in NY is "more prestigous" than mine. just my opinion though...


I took the bolded quite literally and still agreed with you.

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Re: Small City vs. NY/LA/ChI

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:15 pm

Chicago has the best of both worlds. You can live very well there for far less than NYC/LA. But if you know you like a place, like Minn, you'll generally work less and your local prestige will be fine. Only do this if you plan on staying though---may be difficult to move to a bigger market later on, but I don't know for sure.

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Re: Small City vs. NY/LA/ChI

Postby rayiner » Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:18 pm

Cost of living in NYC is outrageous compared to Chicago. You can get a 600 sq-ft studio in Streeterville (within walking distance of Kirkland's office) for $1500. The building is a brand-new skyscraper chocked with amenities. A comparable place in Midtown can easily run you $2500. Right there that's $12k/year more in NYC. Then your take-home is about $10k less in NYC after state and city (!) taxes.

With a 35% total tax rate (conservatively) that's a total difference of about $35k pre-tax. So just from housing and local taxes $160k in Chicago is like $195k in NYC. That's before you account for other costs like groceries, cabs, drinks, etc, all of which are more expensive in NYC too.

And the city is filthy! I was in Tribeca the other day and it reminded me of Bangladesh. WTF.

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Re: Small City vs. NY/LA/ChI

Postby 09042014 » Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Chicago has the best of both worlds. You can live very well there for far less than NYC/LA. But if you know you like a place, like Minn, you'll generally work less and your local prestige will be fine. Only do this if you plan on staying though---may be difficult to move to a bigger market later on, but I don't know for sure.


Yea I want to stay in Chicago for this reason.

I think Houston has the absolute best. There are 160K firms there, and they have lower COL than Chicago.

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Re: Small City vs. NY/LA/ChI

Postby Aqualibrium » Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:26 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Chicago has the best of both worlds. You can live very well there for far less than NYC/LA. But if you know you like a place, like Minn, you'll generally work less and your local prestige will be fine. Only do this if you plan on staying though---may be difficult to move to a bigger market later on, but I don't know for sure.


Yea I want to stay in Chicago for this reason.

I think Houston has the absolute best. There are 160K firms there, and they have lower COL than Chicago.



Yeah, I was telling a friend today that if I cared about money and didn't hate Texas it would be the absolute best place to live as a big firm lawyer for those very reasons.

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Re: Small City vs. NY/LA/ChI

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:36 pm

Aqualibrium wrote:The prestige is something that only lawyers (or those in tune with the legal industry) in the big city big law markets will give two fucks about in my opinion. If I could be a big dog in MN, have a good quality of life, and make good money, I would never even consider the fact that some firm in NY is "more prestigous" than mine. just my opinion though...


TCR.

I'm looking to get into Houston for this same reason. Houston is a very livable city. Texas is a great state. If you don't like Houston, Austin is a 2.5 hour drive -- easy weekend trip. And you can probably afford a house there. Couple that with low facetime requirements at some firms, and you can practically live in Austin a few years into your career.

I saw more ridiculously sexy cars in downtown Houston during my 3 days there than I have in any other city (excluding Miami rentals). Ferraris, Bentleys, Astons, Porsches, Lambos. Might give an idea of how much excess income people who land good gigs there have.

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Re: Small City vs. NY/LA/ChI

Postby RVP11 » Wed Sep 22, 2010 9:08 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I saw more ridiculously sexy cars in downtown Houston during my 3 days there than I have in any other city (excluding Miami rentals). Ferraris, Bentleys, Astons, Porsches, Lambos. Might give an idea of how much excess income people who land good gigs there have.


Or a sign of how flashy the people are? Dallas, Houston, Miami, Vegas, etc. are full of these types. God forbid anyone humbly conceal the fact that they have $$$.

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paratactical
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Re: Small City vs. NY/LA/ChI

Postby paratactical » Wed Sep 22, 2010 9:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
paratactical wrote:I'm a paralegal, not an attorney, and I just moved from biglaw in NYC to biglaw in Boston. The market here seems relatively the same in terms of salaries and a little lower in terms of bonuses, but the hours are ridiculously lower. For example, I was talking to an associate here and they were bemoaning that they had such a late night last night and didn't get to leave the office until 8:30pm.




I believe the hours difference is true. But is the prestige negligible?


If you would not have posted this anonymously (and it's silly to post such a question anonymously, given that it reveals nothing about you) I could have PM'd you with the firm names and departments I work in so that you could have actually had valuable information.

Instead, you'll have to PM me.

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Re: Small City vs. NY/LA/ChI

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 22, 2010 10:11 pm

RVP11 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I saw more ridiculously sexy cars in downtown Houston during my 3 days there than I have in any other city (excluding Miami rentals). Ferraris, Bentleys, Astons, Porsches, Lambos. Might give an idea of how much excess income people who land good gigs there have.


Or a sign of how flashy the people are? Dallas, Houston, Miami, Vegas, etc. are full of these types. God forbid anyone humbly conceal the fact that they have $$$.


Why would you be flashy in Downtown Houston?

No one is above ground. Everyone uses the tunnels.

And regardless of whether it's explained by how flashy they are or not, you still have to have extra $ to afford a $200k+ car.

Not saying everyone should shoot for having a Murcielago, but you have a better chance at getting your own personal metaphorical "Murcielago" a lot sooner in some other markets than NYC.

Not unheard of for partners at some Texas firms -- not even the big name ones -- to have 3 or 4 houses.

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Re: Small City vs. NY/LA/ChI

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:14 pm

Yeah, I was telling a friend today that if I cared about money and didn't hate Texas it would be the absolute best place to live as a big firm lawyer for those very reasons.[/quote]


LMAO...I hope that was an insult. If not, then boo.

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: Small City vs. NY/LA/ChI

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:34 pm

I know that market in Jackson, MS is $100,000 and it's equal to a little less than $300,000 in NYC.

People dramatically underrate the differences in COL in different cities. Texas is the best primary market in terms of quality of life.

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Re: Small City vs. NY/LA/ChI

Postby Anonymous Loser » Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:45 pm

Aberzombie1892 wrote:I know that market in Jackson, MS is $100,000 and it's equal to a little less than $300,000 in NYC.

People dramatically underrate the differences in COL in different cities. Texas is the best primary market in terms of quality of life.


No amount of money could entice me to live in Mississippi, or anywhere else in the Gulf South, for that matter.

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Re: Small City vs. NY/LA/ChI

Postby Bosque » Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:51 pm

http://www.bestplaces.net/col/

Check that out. I am not vouching for it's accuracy, but it at least is an easy way to look up the difference b/w the COL in different cities.

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Re: Small City vs. NY/LA/ChI

Postby 09042014 » Thu Sep 23, 2010 2:07 pm

Aberzombie1892 wrote:I know that market in Jackson, MS is $100,000 and it's equal to a little less than $300,000 in NYC.

People dramatically underrate the differences in COL in different cities. Texas is the best primary market in terms of quality of life.


I doubt it's really 100,000 : 300,000. It might be 30:90, but it doesn't scale like that. Real Estate might cost 3X, but not all of one's expenses are real estate.

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Bosque
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Re: Small City vs. NY/LA/ChI

Postby Bosque » Thu Sep 23, 2010 2:16 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
Aberzombie1892 wrote:I know that market in Jackson, MS is $100,000 and it's equal to a little less than $300,000 in NYC.

People dramatically underrate the differences in COL in different cities. Texas is the best primary market in terms of quality of life.


I doubt it's really 100,000 : 300,000. It might be 30:90, but it doesn't scale like that. Real Estate might cost 3X, but not all of one's expenses are real estate.

Calculator I posted above agrees with you. $100,000 in Jackson is $202,920 in New York.




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