San Diego vs LA Firms

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sonyvaio18
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San Diego vs LA Firms

Postby sonyvaio18 » Tue Feb 17, 2015 10:40 pm

Hi everyone,

Sorry -- trying to see how much region matters.

Can anyone who's had experience in both markets discuss if firm cultures and quality of life are actually that different? And if they are, how you would characterize their differences?

Someone told me that working in a smaller market is better overall, and my first thought was San Diego. Was curious if anyone with experience with both markets could comment.

Thanks so much!

Anonymous User
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Re: San Diego vs LA Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 17, 2015 10:55 pm

I am a San Diego native and a current junior associate at an LA firm. My thoughts:

(1) San Diego is overwhelmingly IP focused, particularly life sciences IP. There's IP lit and IP transactions, but besides that there is not a lot of sophisticated legal work of the sort you would find in big firms (unless you want to do plaintiff's side securities lit at Robbins Geller or something). It's also a small and fairly insular legal market.

(2) LA is a much more diverse legal market with a lot of jobs. It is also a large, fun, diverse city with a lot of neighborhoods, a lot of restaurants, and a lot to do. By the same token, it is a place that many people loathe. You have to decide for yourself if you want to live in LA.

(3) San Diego is a truly wonderful place to live. I don't know anyone who dislikes it. If you have a family, like the beach, or just generally enjoy a place with good weather and good people, I don't think you can find a much better place to live.

KM2016
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Re: San Diego vs LA Firms

Postby KM2016 » Tue Feb 17, 2015 11:25 pm

It's true, San Diego (at least in terms of Biglaw) is very IP focused, and generally a pretty small market. LA, on the other hand, has a much bigger variety of practice areas, firms, and has many more opportunities. Quality of life is what you'd expect between a huge city and a relatively smaller city. LA is much more diverse, robust, and a bit more cut-throat (but lets be honest, West Coast cut-throat is nothing like NYC cut-throat). SD is very niche, a bit more laid back, and has more a community feel to it.

That being said, unless you have very strong ties to SD (grew up, UG/law school), you're not getting a job there. LA firms are also very picky about ties, but the market is not as insular as SD.

thebobs1987
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Re: San Diego vs LA Firms

Postby thebobs1987 » Wed Feb 18, 2015 8:05 pm

KM2016 wrote:It's true, San Diego (at least in terms of Biglaw) is very IP focused, and generally a pretty small market. LA, on the other hand, has a much bigger variety of practice areas, firms, and has many more opportunities. Quality of life is what you'd expect between a huge city and a relatively smaller city. LA is much more diverse, robust, and a bit more cut-throat (but lets be honest, West Coast cut-throat is nothing like NYC cut-throat). SD is very niche, a bit more laid back, and has more a community feel to it.

That being said, unless you have very strong ties to SD (grew up, UG/law school), you're not getting a job there. LA firms are also very picky about ties, but the market is not as insular as SD.


I don't know how true this is if you are IP though. I have several friends that had no ties to SD and went to law school in the midwest and got offers in San Diego. They were all IP, so I am sure the bolded is true for non-IP and non-biglaw, but the bigger law firms in San Diego didn't seem too concerned about ties

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Re: San Diego vs LA Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 27, 2015 10:15 am

Given the size of the city there are shockingly few SD-based firms

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glitched
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Re: San Diego vs LA Firms

Postby glitched » Fri Feb 27, 2015 11:56 am

anyone know the average billable hours* of SD patent lit firms?

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Re: San Diego vs LA Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 27, 2015 1:34 pm

thebobs1987 wrote:
KM2016 wrote:It's true, San Diego (at least in terms of Biglaw) is very IP focused, and generally a pretty small market. LA, on the other hand, has a much bigger variety of practice areas, firms, and has many more opportunities. Quality of life is what you'd expect between a huge city and a relatively smaller city. LA is much more diverse, robust, and a bit more cut-throat (but lets be honest, West Coast cut-throat is nothing like NYC cut-throat). SD is very niche, a bit more laid back, and has more a community feel to it.

That being said, unless you have very strong ties to SD (grew up, UG/law school), you're not getting a job there. LA firms are also very picky about ties, but the market is not as insular as SD.


I don't know how true this is if you are IP though. I have several friends that had no ties to SD and went to law school in the midwest and got offers in San Diego. They were all IP, so I am sure the bolded is true for non-IP and non-biglaw, but the bigger law firms in San Diego didn't seem too concerned about ties


Anecdotally I had a guy from my class last year get a job in SD, non-IP, zero ties, post OCI, at a V10.




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