Salaries/hours/benefits in Colorado and Kansas?

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Salaries/hours/benefits in Colorado and Kansas?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:42 am

I'm probably going to have to move there once I graduate (top5 law school)
what are the sorts of salaries, hours, and benefits and general work life balance and atmosphere at biglaw in Colorado or Kansas?
Just curious because i havent been able to find much information about this region
thanks guys :)

Benjamin1987
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Re: Salaries/hours/benefits in Colorado and Kansas?

Postby Benjamin1987 » Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:09 am

Here is a link to the NALP Directory for large law firms in CO. Unfortunately, it looks like there is only one large firm in KS. CO is showing 28. Denver BL appears avg 110-125k. Although there are several firms (A&P, etc.) paying 160. Coming from a T5 I would be gunning for those.

http://www.nalpdirectory.com/Page.cfm?PageID=34

GL!

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IrwinM.Fletcher
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Re: Salaries/hours/benefits in Colorado and Kansas?

Postby IrwinM.Fletcher » Fri Jun 28, 2013 12:26 pm

Depends a lot on whether you're lumping Kansas City into your search.

If not, then you're looking at a very small handful of "biglaw" positions in KS. Wichita has a few places that start first years at 100k: Foulston Siefkin, Triplett Wolff, and Kutak Rock. Then there are several more that start people out close but just below six figures: Stinson Morrison, Martin Pringle, Hinkle Elkouri, and probably a few more.

Only Foulston Siefkin has 100+ attorneys in Wichita. The rest are well-paying midlaw. Foulston takes on about 4-7 2L summers each year (many of them return after starting in their 1L summer program). Everyone else takes on anywhere from 0-2, and some of them do not even offer summer programs.


Colorado, as mentioned above, is easier to find information on because more local players register with the NALP Directory. Good luck cracking Denver though unless you have seriously strong ties and solid grades from your school. Definitely not close to a lock even from a school like Columbia.

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Re: Salaries/hours/benefits in Colorado and Kansas?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 28, 2013 12:47 pm

Colorado has very little biglaw, as suggested above. These firms tend to hire either the top students from the local schools, or T14-ish people with strong ties (usually grew up/went to UG in Colorado, then went away for fancy LS and are coming back). If you don't have any ties, I'm not sure how they'll look at you (although spouse/SO with ties can be sufficient, if that's why you have to move). Then there are a range of midlaw commercial litigation firms, which you can probably ID through Martindale (but I'm afraid I don't know what those salaries are like). Also, keep in mind there are a couple of biglaw offices in Boulder, and Cooley has an office in Broomfield (suburb between Denver and Boulder).

Colorado biglaw is probably different from, say, NYC biglaw just because the legal community is so small; there's probably more mingling down the food chain, if that makes any sense. (That's a guess, though, since I don't know first hand anything about biglaw in NYC.) I think culturally/in terms of atmosphere, biglaw is pretty much biglaw wherever you go - it will depend more on the particular people in the particular firm/office you're looking at than on the fact that you're in Colorado. However, to the extent Colorado has any effect, I'd argue it would favor work/life balance, because Colorado's such an awesome place to live. :D

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Re: Salaries/hours/benefits in Colorado and Kansas?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 28, 2013 3:22 pm

Kansas City "biglaw" salaries are bunched around 105-120k, mostly at 110. Husch might have gone to 125. A good number have representation in Denver as well (Polsinelli; Stinson; Husch). It seems that the salaries are the same in Denver and Kansas City for these firms. NALP will give you a pretty comprehensive list of the Kansas City "biglaw" options.

Firms like these (at least the ones that are lockstep) probably grant much smaller base salary raises each year than the ones in NY. They also probably do not grant bonuses. Cost of living is appreciably lower in Kansas City or Denver, obviously, but this constrains how much you can take advantage of it. No firms that I know of in Kansas City exceed the 125k base salary for first year associates.

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Re: Salaries/hours/benefits in Colorado and Kansas?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:31 pm

One of the positives of Denver is right now, it's actually expanding. So there are more available jobs to apply to. On the other hand, it is very insular, and you'll need legitimate ties to be considered. If you can get 110k or 125k, I'd say you'll have a better QOL than 160k in NYC, because you'll pay less in taxes and everything is cheaper. But some things don't change depending on location (student loan payments, for example), and Denver isn't THAT much cheaper than NYC.

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Bikeflip
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Re: Salaries/hours/benefits in Colorado and Kansas?

Postby Bikeflip » Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:46 pm

Data to back up other poasters:

Chambers:

Colorado
Kansas, note it's empty
Missouri, also empty

NALP:

Colorado
Kansas
KC

Quick note about Denver real estate, since someone brought up Denver v NYC. While Denver apartments and condos are way cheaper, rents are rising b/c there's an apartment and condo shortage here. Highlands isn't as cheap as it used to be. Should it be a big factor for... anything in this thread? No, but just FYI.




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