What's up with South Florida and law firms?

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
bigred87
Posts: 63
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2009 1:25 am

What's up with South Florida and law firms?

Postby bigred87 » Tue Dec 07, 2010 2:00 am

I'm a bit perplexed about the Big Law presence, or the seemingly odd lack thereof, in South Florida (for those of you who aren't familiar, "South Florida" refers to the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-Palm Beach metro area). It seems strange to me that in such a dense, highly urbanized area as South Florida, which with over 6 million people is one of the largest metro areas in the nation, there are so few national law firms which have offices in the region. A lot of firms have locations in NY, LA, DC, Chicago (all for obvious reasons) in addition to Dallas, Boston, Denver, San Fran, Houston, Atlanta, Northern VA, NJ, Portland, Minneapolis...there are a lot of firms which hit all over the map, with the exception of South Florida. Is this just a big gaping hole on the radar?

There are a handful of firms that opened shop down here or originated in the region: Greenberg Traurig, Holland & Knight, White & Case, Akerman Senterfitt, Weil Gotshal, Morgan Lewis, K&L Gates, McDermott Will Emery, Shook Hardy Bacon, Hogan Lovells. Firms like Greenberg which were founded in Miami (based down here and their only office until the 90s) have grown, and now Greenberg seems more based out of NY. Most of the rest have relatively tiny presences in the region, some of these such as Weil (no Miami clients, just support the NY office), Morgan, Hogan Lovells, Duane Morris etc which could have 10-30 lawyers, some less. Further, while firms that have 100-200 lawyers elsewhere might take on 10, 20, 30 summer associates, firms such as Greenberg, Holland and Knight or Akerman with their largest offices (or second largest offices) in Miami will take 1-3 summers...most of the rest do not hire. It seems perplexing that an area with a large, growing population and a good number of north easterners (there are probably more New Yorkers down here than there are in NY), diversity, proximity to Latin America, lots of tourist business, etc. has so few lawyers. Of course, the housing bubble and the real estate bomb, Miami being ground zero, has hit the economy hard...but even during good times, this seems to have been the case.

Anyone have any ideas or insight, and why everyone refers to the firms down here as TTT Florida firms (Third tier toilets)?

User avatar
RVP11
Posts: 2774
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2007 6:32 pm

Re: What's up with South Florida and law firms?

Postby RVP11 » Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:24 am

bigred87 wrote:in such a dense, highly urbanized area as South Florida,


You're joking, right?

bigred87 wrote:which with over 6 million people is one of the largest metro areas in the nation, there are so few national law firms which have offices in the region.


There are metro areas with similar populations and less BigLaw presence.

bigred87 wrote:(there are probably more New Yorkers down here than there are in NY)


Check your maths.

Oban
Posts: 717
Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2009 12:09 pm

Re: What's up with South Florida and law firms?

Postby Oban » Tue Dec 07, 2010 11:40 am

Biglaw firms tend be clusterd in legal/business markets, rather than population centers. Chicago and NYC have tons of corporate/business headquarters/operations, thus there is a demand for big law. LA also has lots of business, therefor, a good portion of big law firms. Big law exists in other cities, but only in proportion to the amount of business clients. South Florida may have 6 million people, but it probably has less corporate transactions/litigation than MPLS. Miami is a big city because it is a tourist/retirement location, not a business center

Aside from Bacardi and a few sports teams, where is all the big biz down there to justify having large summer classes or large firms?

User avatar
Royal
Posts: 115
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 5:52 pm

Re: What's up with South Florida and law firms?

Postby Royal » Tue Dec 07, 2010 1:24 pm

Florida is a TTT state. Oban is correct. There is a shitty economy in South Florida. You don't have Wall Street, K Street, or Hollywood. The economy is based around hospitality and tourism. Very small professional community.

bigred87
Posts: 63
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2009 1:25 am

Re: What's up with South Florida and law firms?

Postby bigred87 » Tue Dec 07, 2010 2:47 pm

RVP11 wrote:
bigred87 wrote:in such a dense, highly urbanized area as South Florida,


You're joking, right?

bigred87 wrote:which with over 6 million people is one of the largest metro areas in the nation, there are so few national law firms which have offices in the region.


There are metro areas with similar populations and less BigLaw presence.

bigred87 wrote:(there are probably more New Yorkers down here than there are in NY)


Check your maths.



have you been to Miami/South Florida?

Aqualibrium
Posts: 2011
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:57 am

Re: What's up with South Florida and law firms?

Postby Aqualibrium » Tue Dec 07, 2010 2:51 pm

bigred87 wrote:

have you been to Miami/South Florida?



You mean Latin America North?

User avatar
paratactical
Posts: 5961
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2009 1:06 pm

Re: What's up with South Florida and law firms?

Postby paratactical » Tue Dec 07, 2010 2:56 pm

Old people and illegal immigrants don't pay the biglaw bills.

User avatar
Wade LeBosh
Posts: 158
Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2010 11:46 pm

Re: What's up with South Florida and law firms?

Postby Wade LeBosh » Wed Dec 08, 2010 2:06 pm

.
Last edited by Wade LeBosh on Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
98234872348
Posts: 1547
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 3:25 pm

Re: What's up with South Florida and law firms?

Postby 98234872348 » Wed Dec 08, 2010 2:19 pm

[quote="bigred87"]There are a handful of firms that opened shop down here or originated in the region: Greenberg Traurig, Holland & Knight, White & Case, Akerman Senterfitt, Weil Gotshal, Morgan Lewis, K&L Gates, McDermott Will Emery, Shook Hardy Bacon, Hogan Lovells. /quote]
Just to put it into perspective, many "big law" firms like WGM, SHB, MWE, and K&L don't have a very big presence in Florida. Of all the firms just referenced, I don't think a single one employs more than 30 lawyers in its Miami office (I also know that each of the aforementioned firms takes only 1 SA, at least, this year they did).

I don't think there is enough complex work down here to support the kind of firms that emerge in NY or Chicago where there is a lot of transactional work. Most of the work down here involves commercial litigation, construction suits, real estate finance, etc; most of it doesn't really require the kind of associate legwork that say, a merger between two major multi-million dollar corporations would require. Therefore, the firms (or their respective Florida offices) tend to be smaller and more focused.

User avatar
RVP11
Posts: 2774
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2007 6:32 pm

Re: What's up with South Florida and law firms?

Postby RVP11 » Wed Dec 08, 2010 2:25 pm

Wade LeBosh wrote:
Royal wrote:Florida is a TTT state. Oban is correct. There is a shitty economy in South Florida. The economy is based around hospitality and tourism. Very small professional community.


Wrong. Both of my parents have professional degrees (they have been living ad working in Miami for 15 years). The parents of my friends from high school (I went to a prestigious private one) were, for the most part, well connected entrepreneurial people in the business world. My aunt is a practicing lawyer (graduated from UMiami). She runs a small firm that is very lucrative. I know several lawyers that work at large firms in the community including Weil and at Greenberg.


Your personal experience is a sound response to a statement that South Florida has a small professional community. Way to totally prove him wrong.

User avatar
Wade LeBosh
Posts: 158
Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2010 11:46 pm

Re: What's up with South Florida and law firms?

Postby Wade LeBosh » Wed Dec 08, 2010 4:26 pm

RVP11 wrote:
Wade LeBosh wrote:
Royal wrote:Florida is a TTT state. Oban is correct. There is a shitty economy in South Florida. The economy is based around hospitality and tourism. Very small professional community.


Wrong. Both of my parents have professional degrees (they have been living ad working in Miami for 15 years). The parents of my friends from high school (I went to a prestigious private one) were, for the most part, well connected entrepreneurial people in the business world. My aunt is a practicing lawyer (graduated from UMiami). She runs a small firm that is very lucrative. I know several lawyers that work at large firms in the community including Weil and at Greenberg.


Your personal experience is a sound response to a statement that South Florida has a small professional community. Way to totally prove him wrong.


Assuming sarcasm, my personal experience does contradict his statement. The abundance of business and legal professionals I know (myself being neither) proves not that it is a "very small professional community", but in fact the opposite. The people I am referring to are either executives or partners, meaning there is a much larger number of professionals working underneath them. So unless you are assuming that the people I know are the ONLY professionals in South Florida (obviously not), I don't see what you're getting at.

Having said that, I'm not claiming Miami's professional market is even comparable to NYC, DC, or Chi. It's more like Boston or Atlanta, IMO.

Aqualibrium
Posts: 2011
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:57 am

Re: What's up with South Florida and law firms?

Postby Aqualibrium » Wed Dec 08, 2010 4:36 pm

Wade LeBosh wrote:

Having said that, I'm not claiming Miami's professional market is even comparable to NYC, DC, or Chi. It's more like Boston or Atlanta, IMO.



The whole point of the post you originally disagreed with was just that:

Miami does not have the professional community for big law firms to thrive as they would in NY, DC, or Chicago.

The fact is, there isn't enough industry in Miami to attract the type of biglaw activity that you'd see in NYC, DC, Chicago, even Atlanta and Dallas. That is a fact, who you know or who your parents are doesn't change that fact.

User avatar
Wade LeBosh
Posts: 158
Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2010 11:46 pm

Re: What's up with South Florida and law firms?

Postby Wade LeBosh » Wed Dec 08, 2010 4:50 pm

.
Last edited by Wade LeBosh on Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

conn09
Posts: 270
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 11:19 pm

Re: What's up with South Florida and law firms?

Postby conn09 » Wed Dec 08, 2010 5:37 pm

Wade LeBosh wrote:
Aqualibrium wrote:
Wade LeBosh wrote:

Having said that, I'm not claiming Miami's professional market is even comparable to NYC, DC, or Chi. It's more like Boston or Atlanta, IMO.



The whole point of the post you originally disagreed with was just that:

Miami does not have the professional community for big law firms to thrive as they would in NY, DC, or Chicago.

The fact is, there isn't enough industry in Miami to attract the type of biglaw activity that you'd see in NYC, DC, Chicago, even Atlanta and Dallas. That is a fact, who you know or who your parents are doesn't change that fact.


I was disagreeing with "Royal"'s statement that Miami has a "very small professional community", not OP. I know Miami biglaw is miniscule when COMPARED to NY/DC/Chi (as are all secondary markets). While hospitality and tourism are the most visible industries, all types of business (specifically International business with South America) is quite large. People that want to make money and aren't afraid to deal with South America (that's a qualifier) do business out of South Florida because it is essentially the business center of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Not being as large as the biggest thing (NYC) does not make you very small.



That is a really small area of business though and doesn't provide anywhere close to the opportunity a place like Atlanta would provide.

User avatar
NoleinNY
Posts: 1031
Joined: Mon Sep 14, 2009 4:58 pm

Re: What's up with South Florida and law firms?

Postby NoleinNY » Wed Dec 08, 2010 5:55 pm

paratactical wrote:Old people and illegal immigrants Hip replacement malpractice suits and coke dealers don't pay the biglaw bills.


RVP11 wrote:
bigred87 wrote:in such a dense, highly urbanized area as South Florida,


You're joking, right?



QFT&LOL

TheFriendlyBarber
Posts: 258
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:13 am

Re: What's up with South Florida and law firms?

Postby TheFriendlyBarber » Wed Dec 08, 2010 5:57 pm

What is market salary for Miami Biglaw firms like White & Case, Hogan, Morgan Lewis, etc?

conn09
Posts: 270
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 11:19 pm

Re: What's up with South Florida and law firms?

Postby conn09 » Wed Dec 08, 2010 8:17 pm

TheFriendlyBarber wrote:What is market salary for Miami Biglaw firms like White & Case, Hogan, Morgan Lewis, etc?



125-145K, which is amazing if you can get one of the few jobs down there that pay that.

User avatar
wiseowl
Posts: 1071
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:38 pm

Re: What's up with South Florida and law firms?

Postby wiseowl » Wed Dec 08, 2010 10:20 pm

Too few quality local schools?

User avatar
Royal
Posts: 115
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 5:52 pm

Re: What's up with South Florida and law firms?

Postby Royal » Wed Dec 08, 2010 10:21 pm

Wade LeBosh wrote:
Aqualibrium wrote:
Wade LeBosh wrote:

Having said that, I'm not claiming Miami's professional market is even comparable to NYC, DC, or Chi. It's more like Boston or Atlanta, IMO.



The whole point of the post you originally disagreed with was just that:

Miami does not have the professional community for big law firms to thrive as they would in NY, DC, or Chicago.

The fact is, there isn't enough industry in Miami to attract the type of biglaw activity that you'd see in NYC, DC, Chicago, even Atlanta and Dallas. That is a fact, who you know or who your parents are doesn't change that fact.


I was disagreeing with "Royal"'s statement that Miami has a "very small professional community", not OP. I know Miami biglaw is miniscule when COMPARED to NY/DC/Chi (as are all secondary markets). While hospitality and tourism are the most visible industries, all types of business (specifically International business with South America) is quite large. People that want to make money and aren't afraid to deal with South America (that's a qualifier) do business out of South Florida because it is essentially the business center of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Not being as large as the biggest thing (NYC) does not make you very small.


I've lived and worked in several east coast cities, including Miami. South Florida certainly did seem like a provincial, developing country. I must say, Miami is perhaps the least enjoyable place I've ever lived, for a variety of reasons.

InLikeFlint
Posts: 132
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 6:58 pm

Re: What's up with South Florida and law firms?

Postby InLikeFlint » Wed Dec 08, 2010 10:28 pm

Royal wrote:
Wade LeBosh wrote:
Aqualibrium wrote:
Wade LeBosh wrote:

Having said that, I'm not claiming Miami's professional market is even comparable to NYC, DC, or Chi. It's more like Boston or Atlanta, IMO.



The whole point of the post you originally disagreed with was just that:

Miami does not have the professional community for big law firms to thrive as they would in NY, DC, or Chicago.

The fact is, there isn't enough industry in Miami to attract the type of biglaw activity that you'd see in NYC, DC, Chicago, even Atlanta and Dallas. That is a fact, who you know or who your parents are doesn't change that fact.


I was disagreeing with "Royal"'s statement that Miami has a "very small professional community", not OP. I know Miami biglaw is miniscule when COMPARED to NY/DC/Chi (as are all secondary markets). While hospitality and tourism are the most visible industries, all types of business (specifically International business with South America) is quite large. People that want to make money and aren't afraid to deal with South America (that's a qualifier) do business out of South Florida because it is essentially the business center of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Not being as large as the biggest thing (NYC) does not make you very small.


I've lived and worked in several east coast cities, including Miami. South Florida certainly did seem like a provincial, developing country. I must say, Miami is perhaps the least enjoyable place I've ever lived, for a variety of reasons.


I'm here now and hate it. What was your problem with Miami?

mrm2083
Posts: 238
Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2009 9:16 pm

Re: What's up with South Florida and law firms?

Postby mrm2083 » Wed Dec 08, 2010 10:42 pm

Miami has a really small legal big law community but it is much less competitive than the other big cities. The firms may only hire a few people per year but its not like they have all of the 14 throwing themselves at them. Most associates are from UM and UF. A 145 starting and much less competition than other cities that don't pay much more is pretty sweet.

conn09
Posts: 270
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 11:19 pm

Re: What's up with South Florida and law firms?

Postby conn09 » Wed Dec 08, 2010 11:03 pm

mrm2083 wrote:Miami has a really small legal big law community but it is much less competitive than the other big cities. The firms may only hire a few people per year but its not like they have all of the 14 throwing themselves at them. Most associates are from UM and UF. A 145 starting and much less competition than other cities that don't pay much more is pretty sweet.


It's a bit more competitive than that. There are 9+ law schools in Florida all heading to Miami, and enough people from T-14's who want to settle there that its not a cakewalk.

User avatar
NoleinNY
Posts: 1031
Joined: Mon Sep 14, 2009 4:58 pm

Re: What's up with South Florida and law firms?

Postby NoleinNY » Wed Dec 08, 2010 11:05 pm

--ImageRemoved--

User avatar
Wade LeBosh
Posts: 158
Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2010 11:46 pm

Re: What's up with South Florida and law firms?

Postby Wade LeBosh » Wed Dec 08, 2010 11:12 pm

.
Last edited by Wade LeBosh on Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

dihydrogenmonoxide
Posts: 37
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2010 12:16 am

Re: What's up with South Florida and law firms?

Postby dihydrogenmonoxide » Thu Dec 09, 2010 12:24 am

Oban wrote:Biglaw firms tend be clusterd in legal/business markets, rather than population centers. Chicago and NYC have tons of corporate/business headquarters/operations, thus there is a demand for big law. LA also has lots of business, therefor, a good portion of big law firms. Big law exists in other cities, but only in proportion to the amount of business clients.


If this is true, do you guys think that Houston has a smaller biglaw presence than one might think it would? 27 F500 companies headquartered there. Obviously there is more to a business market than the number of F500 companies, but still...




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.