NY v. Texas

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
User avatar
wiz
Posts: 29024
Joined: Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:25 pm

Re: NY v. Texas

Postby wiz » Mon Apr 06, 2015 4:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:^^lol

As someone who has worked in both TX and NY biglaw, I think there is a big difference in culture as well. TX biglaw is a lot less demanding, IME. In NY biglaw, it was more or less assumed I would be working weekends unless I really had nothing to do. In TX, people let you know if you need to work on the weekends, and it only happens about once every month or two (though sometimes I put in a few hours here and there on a Sunday just to save myself work on Monday). However, the flip side is that the social life in TX isn't nearly the same either. Most people just work and go home to their families. Not nearly as much drinking, etc. I also wouldn't say the deal work is any worse in TX than it is in NY...just different. NY is a lot of work w/ financial institutions, whereas TX involves more company-side deals. I would actually say that I have learned more useful skills in TX than I did in NY.


I was the above anon, and I respect that you've worked both, but are you saying that a third-year associate in TX who bills 1950 hours will take home the same amount of nominal dollars as a third-year NY associate who bills 1950 hours? Everything I've seen indicates it would not even be close. That's not talking about buying power, and that's not saying that you can typically coast like that in NY, but I am trying to say that there's an advantage to lockstep firms.

You're not going to be billing 1950 hours as a NY associate anyway. And from what I understand, you still get market bonuses if you work market hours at the larger firms in TX.

Plus, if you're really concerned about that, then just do the TX office of a NY firm.

User avatar
wiz
Posts: 29024
Joined: Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:25 pm

Re: NY v. Texas

Postby wiz » Mon Apr 06, 2015 5:10 pm

rahulg91 wrote:I've heard a lot about salary compression and still have no idea what it means. I think bonuses are less in TX but yeah other than those factors it seems like a solid market if you can make it.

A lot of TX firms used to have base salary compression before the arrival of Latham, STB, GDC, Kirkland, Sidley, etc. The salary increases used to be pretty small: You'd start at 160 but then maybe go to 165 -> 172 -> 178 -> 184. Now most of the big firms in Houston, Dallas, and Austin follow the standard lockstep 160 -> 170 -> 185 -> 210 -> 230 -> 250 -> 265. Bonuses can be a little trickier sometimes, but if you hit the low 2000s threshold at the top tier TX-based firms or at any of the NY/Chicago firms with TX offices, then you generally get your market bonus.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273588
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: NY v. Texas

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 06, 2015 6:22 pm

wiz wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I was the above anon, and I respect that you've worked both, but are you saying that a third-year associate in TX who bills 1950 hours will take home the same amount of nominal dollars as a third-year NY associate who bills 1950 hours? Everything I've seen indicates it would not even be close. That's not talking about buying power, and that's not saying that you can typically coast like that in NY, but I am trying to say that there's an advantage to lockstep firms.

You're not going to be billing 1950 hours as a NY associate anyway. And from what I understand, you still get market bonuses if you work market hours at the larger firms in TX.

Plus, if you're really concerned about that, then just do the TX office of a NY firm.


Agreed, and I'm not really concerned about it. It would suck to get dinged by this even one year though.

Generally you're right that 1950 isn't realistic for a NY associate. I'm in a support practice group though that is more likely to have comparable hours between NY and Texas.

User avatar
XxSpyKEx
Posts: 1741
Joined: Wed Dec 27, 2006 5:48 am

Re: NY v. Texas

Postby XxSpyKEx » Mon Apr 06, 2015 6:39 pm

If you have both options (i.e. Dallas/Houston or NYC), the only reason I can see for going to NYC is if you really want to be in NYC. Financially, Texas is so much better of a deal due to it's insanely low COL and the fact that firms still, for some reason, pay $160k. I mean you can honestly live and work in Texas and fly to NYC almost every single weekend (assuming you have friends in NYC who you can stay with while there), and probably still come out ahead by living in Texas. (Obviously, you won't be able to fly to NYC every weekend as an biglaw associate, but I'm just trying to point out how drastically large the COL difference is).

BeenDidThat
Posts: 704
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:18 am

Re: NY v. Texas

Postby BeenDidThat » Mon Apr 06, 2015 10:32 pm

2014 wrote:
BeenDidThat wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:It's also, you know, halfway across the country and Dallas/Houston are about as different from NYC as a city could be. That matters to some.


Maybe as different as an American city could be. Dallas/Houston are a lot more like New York than they are, say, Mombasa or Beijing.

Really crushed it on the issue spotting with this one :roll:


Thanks brah. The point is, big American cities are pretty fucking similar and, absent something really compelling like family, you're a moron to take NYC's supposed prestige for half the real income if you have a choice. Good work reading between the lines :roll:

texas man
Posts: 169
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2010 10:59 pm

Re: NY v. Texas

Postby texas man » Tue Apr 07, 2015 12:35 am

Did anyone mention that Texas has no state income tax? I assume this is common knowledge, but it can make a difference with those biglaw salaries.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273588
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: NY v. Texas

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 07, 2015 9:04 am

texas man wrote:Did anyone mention that Texas has no state income tax? I assume this is common knowledge, but it can make a difference with those biglaw salaries.


Plus that sales tax deduction.

Really though, I'm always curious why the lack of income tax is a big selling point. I understand wanting to avoid costs like housing and high property taxes (particularly if you don't have kids who use the schools). Income taxes are paying for a wide variety of services though. When you're in NY vs. TX, you definitely tell where the extra money in NY is going, and this is coming from someone who has only lived in big texas cities, not even the rural parts. Personally I would rather TX have a progressive income tax and lower other taxes. Yeah, biglaw attorneys pay more in under an income tax (because it's progressive) but also benefit a lot more from the services (e.g., a Houston energy lawyer makes a lot more money due to tax breaks for oil & gas, road repairs in Midland/Odessa that increase drilling activity, having an airport to fly quickly out to other cities, etc., that I don't think particularly benefit someone working in fast food in Houston).

User avatar
nothingtosee
Posts: 865
Joined: Tue May 03, 2011 12:08 am

Re: NY v. Texas

Postby nothingtosee » Tue Apr 07, 2015 9:20 am

You can deduct state and local income tax from federal income tax right? How does this affect the ny v Texas take home difference?

JasonSehorn
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2015 7:24 pm

Re: NY v. Texas

Postby JasonSehorn » Tue Apr 07, 2015 9:23 am

For big law starting salaries, there is around a 15k difference between NY take home and Texas take home pay per year.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273588
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: NY v. Texas

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 07, 2015 9:25 am

nothingtosee wrote:You can deduct state and local income tax from federal income tax right? How does this affect the ny v Texas take home difference?


You can deduct sales tax in Texas and the general rate is 8.25%.

User avatar
nothingtosee
Posts: 865
Joined: Tue May 03, 2011 12:08 am

Re: NY v. Texas

Postby nothingtosee » Tue Apr 07, 2015 9:57 am

So I know this varies wildly based on the person, but any anecdotes as to how much one spends a year in tx and in ny? Including all costs

Anonymous User
Posts: 273588
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: NY v. Texas

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 07, 2015 10:02 am

.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273588
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: NY v. Texas

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 07, 2015 10:46 am

nothingtosee wrote:So I know this varies wildly based on the person, but any anecdotes as to how much one spends a year in tx and in ny? Including all costs


This is so hard to answer.

I will say that when I moved back to TX, I was living super cheap. I paid 700/month in rent (I had a roommate). I bought a used car with cash from my signing bonus. Firm paid for cell phone. Anyways, I killed off the $40k I had left of debt in under a year...

ETA, now I'm spending a lot lot more. You really can live super cheap in TX if you want to or you can live like a king.

JAYINSD
Posts: 33
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2015 12:21 pm

Re: NY v. Texas

Postby JAYINSD » Tue Apr 07, 2015 11:34 am

Anonymous User wrote:
nothingtosee wrote:So I know this varies wildly based on the person, but any anecdotes as to how much one spends a year in tx and in ny? Including all costs


This is so hard to answer.

I will say that when I moved back to TX, I was living super cheap. I paid 700/month in rent (I had a roommate). I bought a used car with cash from my signing bonus. Firm paid for cell phone. Anyways, I killed off the $40k I had left of debt in under a year...

ETA, now I'm spending a lot lot more. You really can live super cheap in TX if you want to or you can live like a king.


Big law associate living with a roommate in TX. I think that is a little too drastic to cut the cost.

User avatar
thisiswater
Posts: 995
Joined: Wed May 05, 2010 1:51 am

Re: NY v. Texas

Postby thisiswater » Tue Apr 07, 2015 12:55 pm

nothingtosee wrote:So I know this varies wildly based on the person, but any anecdotes as to how much one spends a year in tx and in ny? Including all costs


I would say I live very comfortably while spending about $2900 a month, all costs. I have no dependents and I am not married.
I'm not sure it is helpful at all, but my current budget (in Dallas) looks something like this
Rent - 1350 (1-br apartment, nice complex, fitness center, hardwoods, granite, etc. Previously I have spent as little as 700 on a 1-br)
Car payment - 275 (cheap obvs.)
Insurance - 110 (car and renter's)
Gas - 125 ( I estimate a tank a week because I drive to a nearby suburb daily for work)
Electric - 50 ( set at 78 in the summer and 65 in the winter, your cost will vary)
Water - 30
Internet - 60 (no TV)
Groceries - 250 (1 person, I cook one big thing a week and then eat sandwiches, yogurt, salads, eggs for other meals. includes anything I buy at the grocery store)
Eating out/going out - 350
Not here - clothes, car maintenance, co-pays, random spending, savings

User avatar
Monochromatic Oeuvre
Posts: 1929
Joined: Fri May 10, 2013 9:40 pm

Re: NY v. Texas

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Tue Apr 07, 2015 12:56 pm

nothingtosee wrote:You can deduct state and local income tax from federal income tax right? How does this affect the ny v Texas take home difference?


A deduction isn't a credit. You still eat the difference between the federal rate and the already paid state tax. E.g. deducting $11k of NYS taxes from your federal bill will save you 28% of that $11k, but you'd save it all if you never had to pay it in the first place.

User avatar
Monochromatic Oeuvre
Posts: 1929
Joined: Fri May 10, 2013 9:40 pm

Re: NY v. Texas

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Tue Apr 07, 2015 1:13 pm

I think in general a Biglaw associate would probably be too busy to enjoy what NYC offers as compared to TX, and for that reason I'd save the money in TX, especially if I had debt to pay off. So great for anyone that has that choice, but getting TX requires ties or otherwise very good grades. It's just a risky proposition. There are what, maybe 200 SAs per year in TX? Guessing around 75 of them go to UT students, another several dozen to the top 10-20% of the other TX schools, and then scraps for everyone else--tough going without ties. (Can you tell I'm bitter about the ties requirement thing?)

NYC is just a safer bet than anywhere else by a large distance, and the first goal of most students should be not to strike out. But if you have the choice, you need to at least consider the notion that you could live quite a nice life in TX on a Biglaw salary.

User avatar
Pneumonia
Posts: 1644
Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: NY v. Texas

Postby Pneumonia » Tue Apr 07, 2015 2:07 pm

Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:I think in general a Biglaw associate would probably be too busy to enjoy what NYC offers as compared to TX, and for that reason I'd save the money in TX, especially if I had debt to pay off. So great for anyone that has that choice, but getting TX requires ties or otherwise very good grades. It's just a risky proposition. There are what, maybe 200 SAs per year in TX? Guessing around 75 of them go to UT students, another several dozen to the top 10-20% of the other TX schools, and then scraps for everyone else--tough going without ties. (Can you tell I'm bitter about the ties requirement thing?)

NYC is just a safer bet than anywhere else by a large distance, and the first goal of most students should be not to strike out. But if you have the choice, you need to at least consider the notion that you could live quite a nice life in TX on a Biglaw salary.


Idk what the actual number of SA's is, but it is significantly more than 200.
Last edited by Pneumonia on Tue Apr 07, 2015 2:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
unlicensedpotato
Posts: 415
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:16 pm

Re: NY v. Texas

Postby unlicensedpotato » Tue Apr 07, 2015 2:09 pm

Pneumonia wrote:
Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:I think in general a Biglaw associate would probably be too busy to enjoy what NYC offers as compared to TX, and for that reason I'd save the money in TX, especially if I had debt to pay off. So great for anyone that has that choice, but getting TX requires ties or otherwise very good grades. It's just a risky proposition. There are what, maybe 200 SAs per year in TX? Guessing around 75 of them go to UT students, another several dozen to the top 10-20% of the other TX schools, and then scraps for everyone else--tough going without ties. (Can you tell I'm bitter about the ties requirement thing?)

NYC is just a safer bet than anywhere else by a large distance, and the first goal of most students should be not to strike out. But if you have the choice, you need to at least consider the notion that you could live quite a nice life in TX on a Biglaw salary.


Idk what the actual number of SA's is, but 200 is almost certainly well below it.


Yeah, just the 6-7 biggest Houston classes would typically get you close to 200.

User avatar
AreJay711
Posts: 3406
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2010 8:51 pm

Re: NY v. Texas

Postby AreJay711 » Tue Apr 07, 2015 2:15 pm

Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:I think in general a Biglaw associate would probably be too busy to enjoy what NYC offers as compared to TX, and for that reason I'd save the money in TX, especially if I had debt to pay off. So great for anyone that has that choice, but getting TX requires ties or otherwise very good grades. It's just a risky proposition. There are what, maybe 200 SAs per year in TX? Guessing around 75 of them go to UT students, another several dozen to the top 10-20% of the other TX schools, and then scraps for everyone else--tough going without ties. (Can you tell I'm bitter about the ties requirement thing?)

NYC is just a safer bet than anywhere else by a large distance, and the first goal of most students should be not to strike out. But if you have the choice, you need to at least consider the notion that you could live quite a nice life in TX on a Biglaw salary.


You can develop ties sufficient for Houston by working there 1L summer and coming up with a consistent story. I did. There are also more than 200 total -- there were about 50 each in Houston at V&E, BB, and Fulbright. That said, yeah, NYC is a safer bid. I had offers from both NYC and TX firms.

You are also right about not being able to enjoy NYC as much. For me, it's more about my friends being in NYC.

BigZuck
Posts: 10884
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:53 am

Re: NY v. Texas

Postby BigZuck » Tue Apr 07, 2015 2:17 pm

unlicensedpotato wrote:
Pneumonia wrote:
Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:I think in general a Biglaw associate would probably be too busy to enjoy what NYC offers as compared to TX, and for that reason I'd save the money in TX, especially if I had debt to pay off. So great for anyone that has that choice, but getting TX requires ties or otherwise very good grades. It's just a risky proposition. There are what, maybe 200 SAs per year in TX? Guessing around 75 of them go to UT students, another several dozen to the top 10-20% of the other TX schools, and then scraps for everyone else--tough going without ties. (Can you tell I'm bitter about the ties requirement thing?)

NYC is just a safer bet than anywhere else by a large distance, and the first goal of most students should be not to strike out. But if you have the choice, you need to at least consider the notion that you could live quite a nice life in TX on a Biglaw salary.


Idk what the actual number of SA's is, but 200 is almost certainly well below it.


Yeah, just the 6-7 biggest Houston classes would typically get you close to 200.

Not that it matters that much but UT will be probably above 100, not 75

At at least some of those big classes, UT makes up maybe a 1/3 of who they hire. Other local schools about 1/3, T14 another 1/3. Lots of room for T14 kids (at some of the ones I know of at least).

User avatar
Pneumonia
Posts: 1644
Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: NY v. Texas

Postby Pneumonia » Tue Apr 07, 2015 2:19 pm

There are 32 Houston firms on NALP, the first 12 firms listed offer 200 SA's between them. If you add in Dallas and Austin you're at easily over 1000 SA's/yr.

Just posted this because Mono made me curious. His point about ties mattering and there being relatively few spots for applicants without ties still stands.

User avatar
Monochromatic Oeuvre
Posts: 1929
Joined: Fri May 10, 2013 9:40 pm

Re: NY v. Texas

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Tue Apr 07, 2015 3:03 pm

Pneumonia wrote:There are 32 Houston firms on NALP, the first 12 firms listed offer 200 SA's between them. If you add in Dallas and Austin you're at easily over 1000 SA's/yr.

Just posted this because Mono made me curious. His point about ties mattering and there being relatively few spots for applicants without ties still stands.


I would be shocked if it were 1000, but yeah, my estimate is outdated/definitely low.

User avatar
Tiago Splitter
Posts: 15525
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:20 am

Re: NY v. Texas

Postby Tiago Splitter » Tue Apr 07, 2015 5:08 pm

Market might be a different today but the linked chart below shows 362 going to firms of 251+ in Dallas/Austin/Houston in 2009 and 245 in 2010. Overall class of 2013 placed about 10% more into big firms than 2010, but more than 20% less than 2009. I don't know how many people in TX at firms of fewer than 251 are getting market pay.

http://www.nalp.org/law_firm_jobs_in_2010

User avatar
Pneumonia
Posts: 1644
Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: NY v. Texas

Postby Pneumonia » Tue Apr 07, 2015 6:03 pm

NALP gives 325 SA's in Houston alone, if you add V&E and Fulbright it's closer to 400 (not counting the other firms that aren't on NALP). Obviously NALP doesn't equal 251+, and I didn't check for market pay, but my sense is that the majority of the SA's in Houston are getting market.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.