NALP Buying Power Index 2011, or, Why New York is Overrated

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: NALP Buying Power Index 2011, or, Why New York is Overrated

Postby Tiago Splitter » Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:02 pm

ph14 wrote:
keg411 wrote:
bhan87 wrote:Whoopdeedoo NY is expensive. But wait, aren't most of the legal jobs there? Buying power in other cities > buying power in NY, but buying power in NY >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> buying power with no job.


Basically this. If you can get a $100k+ job outside of New York in a low COL area, you either got lucky, have major ties, or your grades are awesome (and I don't cout SF, LA, or DC as low COL areas).


I wouldn't consider them "low" COL areas, but they certainly seem to have a leg up on New York:

Los Angeles - 1.648
Boston - 1.594
Washington D.C. - 1.527
San Francisco - 1.219 (Plus 3 suburbs at 1.456.)
Chicago - 1.192 (The $100,000 median in Chicago surprised me. I thought it would have been a bit higher and thus end up higher on the buying power rankings.)

Except that no one seriously believes that a $97,000 salary in LA gets you as far as 160K in NYC.

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AreJay711
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Re: NALP Buying Power Index 2011, or, Why New York is Overrated

Postby AreJay711 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:04 pm

Market in Houston is $160k 8)

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ph14
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Re: NALP Buying Power Index 2011, or, Why New York is Overrated

Postby ph14 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:05 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
ph14 wrote:
keg411 wrote:
bhan87 wrote:Whoopdeedoo NY is expensive. But wait, aren't most of the legal jobs there? Buying power in other cities > buying power in NY, but buying power in NY >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> buying power with no job.


Basically this. If you can get a $100k+ job outside of New York in a low COL area, you either got lucky, have major ties, or your grades are awesome (and I don't cout SF, LA, or DC as low COL areas).


I wouldn't consider them "low" COL areas, but they certainly seem to have a leg up on New York:

Los Angeles - 1.648
Boston - 1.594
Washington D.C. - 1.527
San Francisco - 1.219 (Plus 3 suburbs at 1.456.)
Chicago - 1.192 (The $100,000 median in Chicago surprised me. I thought it would have been a bit higher and thus end up higher on the buying power rankings.)

Except that no one seriously believes that a $97,000 salary in LA gets you as far as 160K in NYC.


Who knows if it is nearly that huge, but there is clearly greater purchasing power in LA than NYC, assuming similarly situated consumers.

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Re: NALP Buying Power Index 2011, or, Why New York is Overrated

Postby keg411 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:07 pm

Seriously though, a thread like this is REALLY damaging to a subset of 1L/0L's who are going to bid on random secondary markets and then get totally shut-out of BigLaw.

I can't find it, but there's a graph somewhere that lists the number of SA's available in each market for each year and NYC dwarfs every market by a significant margin. You don't go to NYC for the COL/QOL. You go there because that's where the jobs are.

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Re: NALP Buying Power Index 2011, or, Why New York is Overrated

Postby ph14 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:08 pm

keg411 wrote:Seriously though, a thread like this is REALLY damaging to a subset of 1L/0L's who are going to bid on random secondary markets and then get totally shut-out of BigLaw.

I can't find it, but there's a graph somewhere that lists the number of SA's available in each market for each year and NYC dwarfs every market by a significant margin. You don't go to NYC for the COL/QOL. You go there because that's where the jobs are.


I wouldn't say that it is "REALLY damaging." It provides more information to those interested, and shows that there is more to the legal industry than NYC (especially those who may have ties to secondary markets but feel they have to be in NYC to get the best legal work). Obviously you have to bid smart and no one should just bid solely based on buying power.

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Re: NALP Buying Power Index 2011, or, Why New York is Overrated

Postby keg411 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:13 pm

ph14 wrote:
keg411 wrote:Seriously though, a thread like this is REALLY damaging to a subset of 1L/0L's who are going to bid on random secondary markets and then get totally shut-out of BigLaw.

I can't find it, but there's a graph somewhere that lists the number of SA's available in each market for each year and NYC dwarfs every market by a significant margin. You don't go to NYC for the COL/QOL. You go there because that's where the jobs are.


I wouldn't say that it is "REALLY damaging." It provides more information to those interested, and shows that there is more to the legal industry than NYC.


Of course there is. No one is stupid enough to believe otherwise. But every year there is a subset of people that bid on only secondary markets and get shut out of BigLaw because they're afraid of the COL/QOL aspect.

As far as I remember, you're a 2L, so I'm guessing you have a non-NYC SA job (and possibly had a non-NYC 1L SA job as well). That's really great for you. But keep in mind, that option is not going to be available to a significant number of your fellow T14 students.

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Re: NALP Buying Power Index 2011, or, Why New York is Overrated

Postby ph14 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:14 pm

keg411 wrote:
ph14 wrote:
keg411 wrote:Seriously though, a thread like this is REALLY damaging to a subset of 1L/0L's who are going to bid on random secondary markets and then get totally shut-out of BigLaw.

I can't find it, but there's a graph somewhere that lists the number of SA's available in each market for each year and NYC dwarfs every market by a significant margin. You don't go to NYC for the COL/QOL. You go there because that's where the jobs are.


I wouldn't say that it is "REALLY damaging." It provides more information to those interested, and shows that there is more to the legal industry than NYC.


Of course there is. No one is stupid enough to believe otherwise. But every year there is a subset of people that bid on only secondary markets and get shut out of BigLaw because they're afraid of the COL/QOL aspect.

As far as I remember, you're a 2L, so I'm guessing you have a non-NYC SA job (and possibly had a non-NYC 1L SA job as well). That's really great for you. But keep in mind, that option is not going to be available to a significant number of your fellow T14 students.


And I would say that if you are bidding only on non-NYC markets solely based on a single piece of information, a buying power index or otherwise, then you have some problems in how you evaluate big decisions. There is also probably a subset of students from secondary markets who feel the need to bid only on NYC who would benefit from seeing information on the advantages of other markets. Anyways, I think it is helpful to get more information rather than less, and along those lines, I suppose it is beneficial to remind people reading this of the drawbacks of other markets and benefits of NYC as well.

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Re: NALP Buying Power Index 2011, or, Why New York is Overrated

Postby Wholigan » Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:28 pm

ph14 wrote:I wouldn't say that it is "REALLY damaging." It provides more information to those interested, and shows that there is more to the legal industry than NYC (especially those who may have ties to secondary markets but feel they have to be in NYC to get the best legal work). Obviously you have to bid smart and no one should just bid solely based on buying power.


Actually, the chart you posted doesn't say anything about the quality of the legal work in any of these cities. It doesn't show there is more to the legal industry anywhere either, since it doesn't say how many jobs there are in each place.

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Re: NALP Buying Power Index 2011, or, Why New York is Overrated

Postby ph14 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:30 pm

Wholigan wrote:
ph14 wrote:I wouldn't say that it is "REALLY damaging." It provides more information to those interested, and shows that there is more to the legal industry than NYC (especially those who may have ties to secondary markets but feel they have to be in NYC to get the best legal work). Obviously you have to bid smart and no one should just bid solely based on buying power.


Actually, the chart you posted doesn't say anything about the quality of the legal work in any of these cities. It doesn't show there is more to the legal industry anywhere either, since it doesn't say how many jobs there are in each place.


Right, it's just one piece of information.

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Re: NALP Buying Power Index 2011, or, Why New York is Overrated

Postby Tiago Splitter » Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:32 pm

ph14 wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:Except that no one seriously believes that a $97,000 salary in LA gets you as far as 160K in NYC.


Who knows if it is nearly that huge, but there is clearly greater purchasing power in LA than NYC, assuming similarly situated consumers.

Who knows? How about anyone who has spent even a little time in both. You save a little on housing in LA, give some of that back in transportation costs, and pay the same for everything else.

keg411 wrote:I can't find it, but there's a graph somewhere that lists the number of SA's available in each market for each year and NYC dwarfs every market by a significant margin. You don't go to NYC for the COL/QOL. You go there because that's where the jobs are.

This is old, but I think it's the best we've got:

http://www.nalp.org/2004aprpatterespractices

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Re: NALP Buying Power Index 2011, or, Why New York is Overrated

Postby ph14 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:33 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
ph14 wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:Except that no one seriously believes that a $97,000 salary in LA gets you as far as 160K in NYC.


Who knows if it is nearly that huge, but there is clearly greater purchasing power in LA than NYC, assuming similarly situated consumers.

Who knows? How about anyone who has spent even a little time in both. You save a little on housing in LA, give some of that back in transportation costs, and pay the same for everything else.

keg411 wrote:I can't find it, but there's a graph somewhere that lists the number of SA's available in each market for each year and NYC dwarfs every market by a significant margin. You don't go to NYC for the COL/QOL. You go there because that's where the jobs are.

This is old, but I think it's the best we've got:

http://www.nalp.org/2004aprpatterespractices


I've lived and worked in both cities and I found LA to be much more affordable.

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Re: NALP Buying Power Index 2011, or, Why New York is Overrated

Postby BruceWayne » Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:52 pm

bhan87 wrote:Whoopdeedoo NY is expensive. But wait, aren't most of the legal jobs there? Buying power in other cities > buying power in NY, but buying power in NY >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> buying power with no job.


This obvious statement that is repeated ad nauseam is irrelevant to this type of discussion. The fact that there are more big firm jobs in NYC doesn't change the fact that the cost of living is extraordinarily high and borderline neutralizes the biglaw salary.

And fyi, people on here tend to exaggerate how much easier it is to get a big firm job in NYC than in other markets. That's true in a relative sense, but getting a biglaw job in NYC isn't easy either. And for someone from a lower cost of living market with large firms, it can often be about the same level of difficulty assuming they aren't at a very NYC focused school.

Quite frankly with the exception of crazy selective secondary markets like Atlanta and Austin if you're below median at a top 14 you've got a better shot of sneaking into a firm in your secondary home market than you do of pulling off a NYC firm if you aren't at Columbia. NYC biglaw firms have VERY hard cutoffs below which they simply will not hire. Maybe it's because these firms are so big and they are constantly pushing out associates while hiring fresh law grads that they have such hard and fast hiring procedures. Basically they look at your transcript, and if you don't meet their hard cutoffs you're instantly rejected. The fact that there are a lot of NYC firm jobs doesn't help you when they all throw out your resume because you have below median grades.

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Re: NALP Buying Power Index 2011, or, Why New York is Overrated

Postby keg411 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:05 pm

^

Focusing on your HOMETOWN market is a totally different thing and every single law student should do that. My thoughts were more along the lines of people who want to go to places like Atlanta/the Texas markets/Chicago because they're "cool" and "cheap" when there just aren't a ton of jobs there (especially Chicago; it's competitive-as-fuck even though it's a great place to live).

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Re: NALP Buying Power Index 2011, or, Why New York is Overrated

Postby keg411 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:05 pm

keg411 wrote:^

Focusing on your HOMETOWN market is a totally different thing and every single law student should do that. My thoughts were more along the lines of people who want to go to places like Atlanta/the Texas markets/Chicago because they're "cool" and "cheap" when there just aren't a ton of jobs there (especially Chicago; it's competitive-as-fuck to get a job there without ties even though it's a great place to live).

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Re: NALP Buying Power Index 2011, or, Why New York is Overrated

Postby AreJay711 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:11 pm

keg411 wrote:^

Focusing on your HOMETOWN market is a totally different thing and every single law student should do that. My thoughts were more along the lines of people who want to go to places like Atlanta/the Texas markets/Chicago because they're "cool" and "cheap" when there just aren't a ton of jobs there (especially Chicago; it's competitive-as-fuck even though it's a great place to live).


I'm from the east coast and got a job in Texas. It's not that hard really.

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Re: NALP Buying Power Index 2011, or, Why New York is Overrated

Postby Tiago Splitter » Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:16 pm

AreJay711 wrote:
keg411 wrote:^

Focusing on your HOMETOWN market is a totally different thing and every single law student should do that. My thoughts were more along the lines of people who want to go to places like Atlanta/the Texas markets/Chicago because they're "cool" and "cheap" when there just aren't a ton of jobs there (especially Chicago; it's competitive-as-fuck even though it's a great place to live).


I'm from the east coast and got a job in Texas. It's not that hard really.


AreJay711 wrote:I've done well -- I have a job and am in the grade range for clerkships.


Seems easy enough.

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Re: NALP Buying Power Index 2011, or, Why New York is Overrated

Postby bhan87 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:17 pm

BruceWayne wrote:
bhan87 wrote:Whoopdeedoo NY is expensive. But wait, aren't most of the legal jobs there? Buying power in other cities > buying power in NY, but buying power in NY >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> buying power with no job.


This obvious statement that is repeated ad nauseam is irrelevant to this type of discussion. The fact that there are more big firm jobs in NYC doesn't change the fact that the cost of living is extraordinarily high and borderline neutralizes the biglaw salary.

And fyi, people on here tend to exaggerate how much easier it is to get a big firm job in NYC than in other markets. That's true in a relative sense, but getting a biglaw job in NYC isn't easy either. And for someone from a lower cost of living market with large firms, it can often be about the same level of difficulty assuming they aren't at a very NYC focused school.

Quite frankly with the exception of crazy selective secondary markets like Atlanta and Austin if you're below median at a top 14 you've got a better shot of sneaking into a firm in your secondary home market than you do of pulling off a NYC firm if you aren't at Columbia. NYC biglaw firms have VERY hard cutoffs below which they simply will not hire. Maybe it's because these firms are so big and they are constantly pushing out associates while hiring fresh law grads that they have such hard and fast hiring procedures. Basically they look at your transcript, and if you don't meet their hard cutoffs you're instantly rejected. The fact that there are a lot of NYC firm jobs doesn't help you when they all throw out your resume because you have below median grades.


Fair enough. To rephrase, I mean to say that you shouldn't go outside the market you have the best shot at getting a job in because of something like buying power. That meaning, if in your position NY is the best shot at getting a job, you should first focus there before looking elsewhere. That applies to any other market (i.e. focusing on CA firms from a CA school). In particular, in limited availability situations like bidding for OCI (bidding on secondary markets because you can have better buying power but lower chances of getting a job is a very bad idea).

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Re: NALP Buying Power Index 2011, or, Why New York is Overrated

Postby ph14 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:22 pm

bhan87 wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:
bhan87 wrote:Whoopdeedoo NY is expensive. But wait, aren't most of the legal jobs there? Buying power in other cities > buying power in NY, but buying power in NY >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> buying power with no job.


This obvious statement that is repeated ad nauseam is irrelevant to this type of discussion. The fact that there are more big firm jobs in NYC doesn't change the fact that the cost of living is extraordinarily high and borderline neutralizes the biglaw salary.

And fyi, people on here tend to exaggerate how much easier it is to get a big firm job in NYC than in other markets. That's true in a relative sense, but getting a biglaw job in NYC isn't easy either. And for someone from a lower cost of living market with large firms, it can often be about the same level of difficulty assuming they aren't at a very NYC focused school.

Quite frankly with the exception of crazy selective secondary markets like Atlanta and Austin if you're below median at a top 14 you've got a better shot of sneaking into a firm in your secondary home market than you do of pulling off a NYC firm if you aren't at Columbia. NYC biglaw firms have VERY hard cutoffs below which they simply will not hire. Maybe it's because these firms are so big and they are constantly pushing out associates while hiring fresh law grads that they have such hard and fast hiring procedures. Basically they look at your transcript, and if you don't meet their hard cutoffs you're instantly rejected. The fact that there are a lot of NYC firm jobs doesn't help you when they all throw out your resume because you have below median grades.


Fair enough. To rephrase, I mean to say that you shouldn't go outside the market you have the best shot at getting a job in because of something like buying power. That meaning, if in your position NY is the best shot at getting a job, you should first focus there before looking elsewhere. That applies to any other market (i.e. focusing on CA firms from a CA school). In particular, in limited availability situations like bidding for OCI (bidding on secondary markets because you can have better buying power but lower chances of getting a job is a very bad idea).


That's a fair point, but I don't think anyone here is saying that one should not bid NYC. In fact, this isn't actually a thread on bidding at all. It's a thread about buying power or cost of living.

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Re: NALP Buying Power Index 2011, or, Why New York is Overrated

Postby Blessedassurance » Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:02 pm

imchuckbass58 wrote: Cost of living indexes are also notoriously flawed because they're composed of a very select basket of goods that doesn't typically reflect overall spending (food, housing, transport). Aside from debt, there are many things you buy that cost the same everywhere (an iphone, books, cars, a TV, etc).


an iphone 5 is 150 bucks on a 2-year plan. technically, it's more expensive to buy it in new york (and a few other specific states) because they calculate the taxes in new york as if you had bought the phone at the regular price and not the discounted price. besides the fact that a car is a one-time purchase, the costs of having a car in manhattan is greater than almost everywhere else. what do you mean by books? used books go for like a buck to 5 bucks on half.com, what should they include next, tooth paste?

in short, food, housing and transport are there for a reason.

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Re: NALP Buying Power Index 2011, or, Why New York is Overrated

Postby dingbat » Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:06 pm

Blessedassurance wrote:the costs of having a car in manhattan is greater than almost everywhere else

why on earth would you have a car in manhattan?

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Re: NALP Buying Power Index 2011, or, Why New York is Overrated

Postby AreJay711 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:29 pm

dingbat wrote:
Blessedassurance wrote:the costs of having a car in manhattan is greater than almost everywhere else

why on earth would you have a car in manhattan?


I love fucking in the backseat of a car / bed of a truck. It's like in public but not really.

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Re: NALP Buying Power Index 2011, or, Why New York is Overrated

Postby smithgregory223 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:39 pm

5 dollar foot longs cost the same in Chi/DC as in NYC. I think...

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Re: NALP Buying Power Index 2011, or, Why New York is Overrated

Postby thesealocust » Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:57 pm

smithgregory223 wrote:5 dollar foot longs cost the same in Chi/DC as in NYC. I think...


It's strange. Manhattan McDonalds has no dollar menu, Chipotle burritos are more expensive, etc. But you can get $1 pizza slices, crazy-cheap falafel, lots of fruit for a song from sketchy carts, etc. So there is cheap food, but the mass-market cheap food often actually is more expensive in NYC.

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Re: NALP Buying Power Index 2011, or, Why New York is Overrated

Postby Blessedassurance » Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:33 pm

dingbat wrote:
Blessedassurance wrote:the costs of having a car in manhattan is greater than almost everywhere else

why on earth would you have a car in manhattan?


that's my point. you don't "need" a car in a lot of major cities either. i don't get the complaints about apples-to-apples comparisons. the calculation (even if not entirely accurate) is about what it takes to live at similar levels (to the extent possible) in different cities. ignoring of course intangibles and other subjective stuff like "best city in america", "culture" etc.

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Re: NALP Buying Power Index 2011, or, Why New York is Overrated

Postby dingbat » Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:25 pm

Blessedassurance wrote:
dingbat wrote:
Blessedassurance wrote:the costs of having a car in manhattan is greater than almost everywhere else

why on earth would you have a car in manhattan?


that's my point. you don't "need" a car in a lot of major cities either. i don't get the complaints about apples-to-apples comparisons. the calculation (even if not entirely accurate) is about what it takes to live at similar levels (to the extent possible) in different cities. ignoring of course intangibles and other subjective stuff like "best city in america", "culture" etc.

I don't think there are many cities where you don't need a car to the same level as manhattan. The lifestyle there is very different than, say, Los Angeles, where you any really get by without one.




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