Best Place To Work $$ Wise

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Huey Freeman
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Best Place To Work $$ Wise

Postby Huey Freeman » Mon Jul 02, 2012 8:13 pm

Hi All,

I'm wondering which general location is best to work at (NYC, Chicago, California, etc.) in terms of saving as much money as possible, with a biglaw job.

I know that NYC has the highest salaries, but it also has an extraordinarily high cost of living, which offsets that. Chicago's salaries and cost of living are both a little lower. If one wanted to maximise their disposable income after factoring in cost of living (with a modest lifestyle anywhere), where is the best place to be working?

Please assume all other non monetary factors are equivalent (i.e. weather).

bdubs
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Re: Best Place To Work $$ Wise

Postby bdubs » Mon Jul 02, 2012 8:16 pm

Texas.

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JusticeHarlan
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Re: Best Place To Work $$ Wise

Postby JusticeHarlan » Mon Jul 02, 2012 8:17 pm

Huey Freeman wrote:I know that NYC has the highest salaries

Wrong

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TTTehehe
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Re: Best Place To Work $$ Wise

Postby TTTehehe » Mon Jul 02, 2012 8:18 pm

Delaware isn't too bad, from what I hear. COL isn't too bad, and Big Law salary is on par with the more popular destinations (NYC, D.C., etc.).

Huey Freeman
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Re: Best Place To Work $$ Wise

Postby Huey Freeman » Mon Jul 02, 2012 8:19 pm

JusticeHarlan wrote:
Huey Freeman wrote:I know that NYC has the highest salaries

Wrong


Really? If the highest salaries aren't at the famed NYC Biglaw, where are they (for biglaw)?

Side note: If anyone knows about tax variance, it would be a big part in this overall equation.

ahnhub
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Re: Best Place To Work $$ Wise

Postby ahnhub » Mon Jul 02, 2012 8:22 pm

There are places with Biglaw that have relatively low COL (Nashville, Atlanta, Charlotte, etc.), but everyone says those markets are super-insular and some of them pay well below market. I'm sure 115K in Atlanta will get you further than 160K in NYC, but it's not like it's gonna get you like double the disposable income.

Huey Freeman
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Re: Best Place To Work $$ Wise

Postby Huey Freeman » Mon Jul 02, 2012 8:28 pm

Is there anywhere I can find stats on things like this? Also, I assume things get skewed if you comsider bonuses/lockstep raises in salary, or do these generally raise at the same rate?

Magnificent
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Re: Best Place To Work $$ Wise

Postby Magnificent » Mon Jul 02, 2012 8:29 pm

Susman Godfrey (Houston/Dallas office) = $200k as a 1st year (minus any state taxes + low COL)

add to that the $50k clerkship bonus, $5k signing bonus, and $5k vacation bonus and your looking at clearing $260k after your first year :shock:


not even Wachtell can beat that after taking into account taxes and COL

ahnhub
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Re: Best Place To Work $$ Wise

Postby ahnhub » Mon Jul 02, 2012 8:32 pm

Magnificent wrote:Susman Godfrey (Houston/Dallas office) = $200k as a 1st year (minus any state taxes + low COL)

add to that the $50k clerkship bonus, $5k signing bonus, and $5k vacation bonus and your looking at clearing $260k after your first year :shock:


not even Wachtell can beat that after taking into account taxes and COL


You're talking about a tiny place, though. They can't hire more than 1 or 2 summers for that office, can they?

Anonymous User
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Re: Best Place To Work $$ Wise

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 02, 2012 8:33 pm

You should be able to find salary info by doing google searches. Yes firms that do not pay NYC market rate generally do not increase salary at the same rate as NYC. Lots of them are significantly less, like they start at 125 and only increase $5K per year. I don't know of a clearinghouse that has all of that information.

Every market other than New York is relatively cheap. A few markets still pay "NYC Market" so you should aim for those markets if possible since you can live better than in NYC and have the same salary (southern CA, northern CA, DC, Boston, Chicago). It really just depends where you are comfortable and want to live. I would never want to live in a red state type place (texas, the southeast) and like warm weather so I personally think California is ideal. However, lots of people of different political leanings probably feel the same way about California. Other markets pay lower than NYC market so you have to evaluate those separately, there will be a lower cost of living but your pay will be lower (WI, Philly, NJ, Seattle, Arizona, Colorado, etc etc).

Of course nearly all of these markets care a lot about ties so if you can't show that they are pretty confident you will stay in the area for 8 years you won't be able to get a job there.

Huey Freeman
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Re: Best Place To Work $$ Wise

Postby Huey Freeman » Mon Jul 02, 2012 8:36 pm

Magnificent wrote:Susman Godfrey (Houston/Dallas office) = $200k as a 1st year (minus any state taxes + low COL)

add to that the $50k clerkship bonus, $5k signing bonus, and $5k vacation bonus and your looking at clearing $260k after your first year :shock:


not even Wachtell can beat that after taking into account taxes and COL


Wow. Am I wrong in assuming that they don't have a 3k+ billable hour requirement like Wachtell?

Also, do you know if practicing Intellectual Property law has any effect on general salary trends? If it does, maybe the Silicon Valley area ends up being #1.

Anonymous User
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Re: Best Place To Work $$ Wise

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 02, 2012 8:57 pm

I am at a firm that pays almost 200 (160 + bonus) at several low COL cities, and billable min. is 1900. IP.

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fatduck
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Re: Best Place To Work $$ Wise

Postby fatduck » Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:08 pm

Magnificent wrote:Susman Godfrey (Houston/Dallas office) = $200k as a 1st year (minus any state taxes + low COL)

add to that the $50k clerkship bonus, $5k signing bonus, and $5k vacation bonus and your looking at clearing $260k after your first year :shock:


not even Wachtell can beat that after taking into account taxes and COL

lol $260k a year? just clerk for SCOTUS and take that home as your signing bonus.

WearyCartographer
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Re: Best Place To Work $$ Wise

Postby WearyCartographer » Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:18 pm

NALP put together a list with median reported salaries (market salary) in cities across the country, indexed for COL against what type of buying power that salary has in each respective city, compared to 160k in NYC.

http://www.nalp.org/buying_power_index_class_of_2010

Magnificent
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Re: Best Place To Work $$ Wise

Postby Magnificent » Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:20 pm

Huey Freeman wrote:
Magnificent wrote:Susman Godfrey (Houston/Dallas office) = $200k as a 1st year (minus any state taxes + low COL)

add to that the $50k clerkship bonus, $5k signing bonus, and $5k vacation bonus and your looking at clearing $260k after your first year :shock:


not even Wachtell can beat that after taking into account taxes and COL


Wow. Am I wrong in assuming that they don't have a 3k+ billable hour requirement like Wachtell?

Also, do you know if practicing Intellectual Property law has any effect on general salary trends? If it does, maybe the Silicon Valley area ends up being #1.


Susman does not "bill" per se because they take alot of stuff on contingency but they do keep track of billing hours and I don't think there is a 3k hour requirement but its not unheard of. Some associates I've talked to that work there bill around 2700-2800 hours and still get bonuses.

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fatduck
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Re: Best Place To Work $$ Wise

Postby fatduck » Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:20 pm

WearyCartographer wrote:NALP put together a list with median reported salaries (market salary) in cities across the country, indexed for COL against what type of buying power that salary has in each respective city, compared to 160k in NYC.

http://www.nalp.org/buying_power_index_class_of_2010

a shining beacon of light in a Magnificently shitty thread. thank you.

Magnificent
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Re: Best Place To Work $$ Wise

Postby Magnificent » Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I am at a firm that pays almost 200 (160 + bonus) at several low COL cities, and billable min. is 1900. IP.


your lying

other than Susman/Wachtell/Kellogg Huber, I don't know any firm that pays significantly higher than the Cravath scale w/o having a billable requirement much higher than 1900

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gotmilk?
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Re: Best Place To Work $$ Wise

Postby gotmilk? » Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:25 pm

Magnificent wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I am at a firm that pays almost 200 (160 + bonus) at several low COL cities, and billable min. is 1900. IP.


your lying

other than Susman/Wachtell/Kellogg Huber, I don't know any firm that pays significantly higher than the Cravath scale w/o having a billable requirement much higher than 1900


Keker comes to mind (although they may work a ton too- not 100% on this). But Keker doesn't satisfy the "several low COL cities" from above. Out the firm!!


Anonymous User
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Re: Best Place To Work $$ Wise

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 02, 2012 11:39 pm

Magnificent wrote:Susman Godfrey (Houston/Dallas office) = $200k as a 1st year (minus any state taxes + low COL)

add to that the $50k clerkship bonus, $5k signing bonus, and $5k vacation bonus and your looking at clearing $260k after your first year :shock:


not even Wachtell can beat that after taking into account taxes and COL


Actually, you're not a first year. You're a second year. So, compare that to other firms:

(1) Typical NYC/DC/Wherever - 2d year - $170k + $50k + $5k-$10k (bar stipend) ~ $230k :shock:

(2) W&C - 2d year ~ $190k + $50k = $240k :shock:

(3) Any market paying Texas firm will match #1.

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rayiner
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Re: Best Place To Work $$ Wise

Postby rayiner » Mon Jul 02, 2012 11:46 pm

Top firms in Chicago pay the NYC market scale or above (K&E). The tax differential between NYC and Chicago alone nets you like $10k a year more after taxes.

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jessuf
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Re: Best Place To Work $$ Wise

Postby jessuf » Mon Jul 02, 2012 11:49 pm

WearyCartographer wrote:NALP put together a list with median reported salaries (market salary) in cities across the country, indexed for COL against what type of buying power that salary has in each respective city, compared to 160k in NYC.

http://www.nalp.org/buying_power_index_class_of_2010


This was pretty awesome. Thanks for this. Makes the idea of staying down south more palatable than NYC.

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wiseowl
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Re: Best Place To Work $$ Wise

Postby wiseowl » Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:14 am

Any TX firm paying NY market is the right answer. No state income tax and low cost of living.

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Detrox
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Re: Best Place To Work $$ Wise

Postby Detrox » Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:16 am

Tax attorney in the Caymans is actually the correct answer.

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nmcdgt
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Re: Best Place To Work $$ Wise

Postby nmcdgt » Tue Jul 03, 2012 9:40 am

Jessuf wrote:
WearyCartographer wrote:NALP put together a list with median reported salaries (market salary) in cities across the country, indexed for COL against what type of buying power that salary has in each respective city, compared to 160k in NYC.

http://www.nalp.org/buying_power_index_class_of_2010


This was pretty awesome. Thanks for this. Makes the idea of staying down south more palatable than NYC.


ATL ftw




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