Smaller Markets

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BoriquaEsquire
Posts: 38
Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:04 pm

Smaller Markets

Postby BoriquaEsquire » Mon Jul 11, 2011 2:18 pm

Hey all.

I posted this on the Law School Admissions forum (I was angrier, but it was pretty much the same thing), but I thought it might be useful for people on this forum as well.

I was arguing that I would rather have a full-time legal job in a small market than be a legal temp doing doc review in NYC or DC.

I know a lot of you want to end up in a larger market, but I hope this helps someone out there and hopefully expands your horizons.

No one wants to end up sitting in a dungeon doing doc review, but I suspect that a lot of those people are tied to their particular metropolitan areas because of marriage/children/family. Most of us are young and can move around. So, get up and check out other parts of the country!

For instance...

Alaska has the 3rd fastest growing/healthy economy in the country, a 7% unemployment rate, and projections only foresee future growth. Lawyers can fill jobs in unconventional positions such as Native American/Tribal Law, Energy Law, or Natural Resources Law. Alaska also has to import all of its lawyers from the lower 48 because it does not have its own law school. It is tied for the 3rd (with Delaware) least-competitive legal job market in the country.

Wyoming has the 2nd fastest growing/healthy economy in the country, a 6% unemployment rate, and a $0 corporate tax rate (and is thus becoming an increasingly attractive area for employers). There are only 2.6 lawyers per 1,000 people in Wyoming (compare 8 lawyers per 1,000 people in New York) making the legal market fairly ripe. The average attorney in Wyoming makes just a bit under $100,000 annually but the cost of living is much lower than the big market areas like New York or DC. It is the 9th least competitive legal job market in the country.

North Dakota has the fastest growing/healthiest economy in the country, a 3% unemployment rate, and has the 6th least-competitive legal job market in the country.

Nebraska has the 5th fastest growing/healthiest economy in the country, a 4% unemployment rate, and has the least-competitive legal job market in the country. Less people pass the Nebraska Bar each year than are required to fill the legal positions that open up every year in the state. Nebraska is the only state without a "lawyer surplus".

Vermont has the 21st fastest growing/healthiest economy in the country, a 5% unemployment rate, and has the 2nd least competitive legal job market in the country.

Wouldn't you rather be out on an Alaskan glacier or skiing in Vermont than doing doc review in a crowded office in New York? I would.

As for money, loan repayment isn't as scary as everyone says it is. Everyone has bills they pay every month, this is just another one. If you choose an IBR (Income-Based Repayment Plan), make $40,000 a year, have a fixed interest rate of 7.9%, and have $200,000 in loans, your monthly payment is just under $300. The above calculation is a "worst case scenario" as many of us will not take out that much in loans, will have Stafford loans with a lower interest rate, and/or will make a higher salary than $40K. Some of you may not believe me, but this is really enough money to live comfortably on, especially if you live in one of the above states because their costs of living are relatively low. Personally, I'd rather have a full-time legal job in Nebraska than a doc review job in New York, and the former will pay better, too.

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Helmholtz
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Re: Smaller Markets

Postby Helmholtz » Mon Jul 11, 2011 2:19 pm

I wish everybody would quote their own posts in other threads and make entirely new threads out of them.

BoriquaEsquire
Posts: 38
Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:04 pm

Re: Smaller Markets

Postby BoriquaEsquire » Mon Jul 11, 2011 2:21 pm

:D

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bjsesq
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Re: Smaller Markets

Postby bjsesq » Mon Jul 11, 2011 2:23 pm

Helmholtz wrote:I wish everybody would quote their own posts in other threads and make entirely new threads out of them.


Noted. Also: I appreciate that the smart ass is back. Srs bznss Helm<<<<< Helm.

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wardboro
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Re: Smaller Markets

Postby wardboro » Mon Jul 11, 2011 2:37 pm

Is it realistic to expect that someone with NY/DC doc review credentials/grades/experience/pedigree is going to just waltz into a small market job? I just graduated from a solid state school in a small market with a decent economy (though admittedly not as good as the states you listed) and a huge share of my classmates are unemployed. Unless you're bringing T-14 credentials don't bother applying--firms would rather take an in-state kid from an in-state school who they know wants to stick around long-term.

albanach
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Re: Smaller Markets

Postby albanach » Mon Jul 11, 2011 2:45 pm

BoriquaEsquire wrote:As for money, loan repayment isn't as scary as everyone says it is. Everyone has bills they pay every month, this is just another one. If you choose an IBR (Income-Based Repayment Plan), make $40,000 a year, have a fixed interest rate of 7.9%, and have $200,000 in loans, your monthly payment is just under $300.


Then, after ten years your loans are written off. The balance was now 244,000 as your repayments didn't even cover interest.

Your income for the year is now over $280,000. Your federal income tax is $74,300 for the year. State tax is over and above that.

BoriquaEsquire
Posts: 38
Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:04 pm

Re: Smaller Markets

Postby BoriquaEsquire » Mon Jul 11, 2011 3:30 pm

Is it realistic to expect that someone with NY/DC doc review credentials/grades/experience/pedigree is going to just waltz into a small market job? I just graduated from a solid state school in a small market with a decent economy (though admittedly not as good as the states you listed) and a huge share of my classmates are unemployed. Unless you're bringing T-14 credentials don't bother applying--firms would rather take an in-state kid from an in-state school who they know wants to stick around long-term.


An answer to your first question: no. I don't think that anyone is going to just waltz into any legal job these days. I also agree with you that, "firms would rather take an in-state kid from an in-state school who they know wants to stick around long-term." My home state is notorious for its prejudice against out-of-staters and I've experienced this firsthand.

However, if you're really sincere about sticking around in whatever state you apply to, I don't think it would be a waste of your time to send your application around to several smaller markets. Especially if you have familial ties or experience within the state. I'm advocating that people don't just confine their job search to NYC/DC/Boston/Chicago. There are places out there that are less competitive than these big markets, even when taking the firms' affinity for in-staters into account.

No, there aren't enough jobs to go around. Some of us are going to end up unemployed or working a non-legal job, but the more resumes you send out and the more diversity you put into the list of employers you apply to, the more likely you are to get a full-time legal job.

memoryl0ss
Posts: 27
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2011 1:39 pm

Re: Smaller Markets

Postby memoryl0ss » Mon Jul 11, 2011 3:44 pm

albanach wrote:
BoriquaEsquire wrote:As for money, loan repayment isn't as scary as everyone says it is. Everyone has bills they pay every month, this is just another one. If you choose an IBR (Income-Based Repayment Plan), make $40,000 a year, have a fixed interest rate of 7.9%, and have $200,000 in loans, your monthly payment is just under $300.


Then, after ten years your loans are written off. The balance was now 244,000 as your repayments didn't even cover interest.

Your income for the year is now over $280,000. Your federal income tax is $74,300 for the year. State tax is over and above that.


False. If your loan is forgiven in 10 years, you are in a public interest job. No tax damage.

Now if you are on the 25 year private sector and utilize IBR, different story

albanach
Posts: 1011
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 10:05 pm

Re: Smaller Markets

Postby albanach » Mon Jul 11, 2011 4:32 pm

memoryl0ss wrote:
albanach wrote:
BoriquaEsquire wrote:As for money, loan repayment isn't as scary as everyone says it is. Everyone has bills they pay every month, this is just another one. If you choose an IBR (Income-Based Repayment Plan), make $40,000 a year, have a fixed interest rate of 7.9%, and have $200,000 in loans, your monthly payment is just under $300.


Then, after ten years your loans are written off. The balance was now 244,000 as your repayments didn't even cover interest.

Your income for the year is now over $280,000. Your federal income tax is $74,300 for the year. State tax is over and above that.


False. If your loan is forgiven in 10 years, you are in a public interest job. No tax damage.

Now if you are on the 25 year private sector and utilize IBR, different story


You will see that the exact para I quoted was about IBR.

memoryl0ss
Posts: 27
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2011 1:39 pm

Re: Smaller Markets

Postby memoryl0ss » Mon Jul 11, 2011 4:38 pm

albanach wrote:
memoryl0ss wrote:
albanach wrote:
BoriquaEsquire wrote:As for money, loan repayment isn't as scary as everyone says it is. Everyone has bills they pay every month, this is just another one. If you choose an IBR (Income-Based Repayment Plan), make $40,000 a year, have a fixed interest rate of 7.9%, and have $200,000 in loans, your monthly payment is just under $300.


Then, after ten years your loans are written off. The balance was now 244,000 as your repayments didn't even cover interest.

Your income for the year is now over $280,000. Your federal income tax is $74,300 for the year. State tax is over and above that.


False. If your loan is forgiven in 10 years, you are in a public interest job. No tax damage.

Now if you are on the 25 year private sector and utilize IBR, different story


You will see that the exact para I quoted was about IBR.


There are two different classes so to speak of IBR.

The first is is you work in a public interest/government job. You pay based on your income. After 10 years (which was in your orginal post) the loan is forgiven with no tax hit.

The second class in IBR is if you do not work in a qualified job for the ten year forgiveness. That takes 25 years. Then there is a tax hit.

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wardboro
Posts: 108
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 10:46 am

Re: Smaller Markets

Postby wardboro » Mon Jul 11, 2011 5:15 pm

My understanding is that both have serious tax consequences at present, but that folks are hoping/expecting that congress will get a loophole worked out by the time the first ten-year forgiveness group hits.

Forgive me if it has been updated since 2008.

jkay
Posts: 399
Joined: Mon May 03, 2010 2:47 pm

Re: Smaller Markets

Postby jkay » Mon Jul 11, 2011 8:43 pm

Helmholtz wrote:I wish everybody would quote their own posts in other threads and make entirely new threads out of them.



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