KC Legal Market?

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KC Legal Market?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 18, 2016 2:20 pm

I was able to secure a BigLaw 2L summer position out in KC and wanted to know a bit more about the legal market, firms, and culture there. Does anyone have any insights?

squishylawstudent321

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Re: KC Legal Market?

Postby squishylawstudent321 » Sun Sep 18, 2016 8:33 pm

what is KC? never heard of it.

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Re: KC Legal Market?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 18, 2016 8:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:what is KC? never heard of it.


Kansas City

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Re: KC Legal Market?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 18, 2016 11:15 pm

I had an offer from a couple of KC biglaw firms (think Polsinelli, Shook, Lathrop, Husch) last summer but ultimately went with a firm in NYC. I went with NY because 1) NY firms gave out offers within a day or two of the interview while some of the KC firms took two months before offering and 2) KC market tops out around 110-115k (significantly below market which is unattractive considering TX with similar COL offers 180k, but maybe still OK in comparison to NYC) and 3) KC firms offer 70-80% of the summers at best, but NYC firms offer anywhere from 99-100%--this was key for me. I go to a T-10, but grew up in Blue valley district. Mass mailed and networked for KC firm interviews. I have several friends who are attorneys at Polsinelli, Stinson, Shook.

That said, KC legal market is quite small, and the classes are tiny. The work there seemed to focus on a lot of mid/small market companies, esp. in the agriculture business. Some KC big firms are more niche, such as Shook that does mainly product liability and torts stuff. From what I hear from my friends, the culture at KC firms is generally friendly. The attorneys don't work the insane hours NYC attorneys do--for example, KC attorneys complain about working until 9pm.

Polsinelli- this firms offices are new, and I loved its location--right on the edge of the Country Club Plaza. A good amount of great restaurants and shopping is within walking distance. Also a great area to live near. Polsinelli had the vibe of an ambitious firm that is focused on growth--which they've been doing a lot of.

Shook and Lathrop- Shook Hardy is next to the Crown center which is nice but not nearly as nice as the Plaza. Lathrop is a few blocks away. SHB felt quaint and the people there seemed very Kansas City focused. Big firm, but had that laid back feel to the firm that was unlike any other firm. Lathrop felt like the typical corporate firm.

Stinson is in the heart of downtown. But if you know anything about KC downtown--it's completely dead. Even during business hours, there are bunch of buildings but no people--so eerie. Stinson felt bizarre too.

As far as the city goes...I like KC a lot. That might be because my family is there and my friends are there. So laid back. Zero traffic even during rush hours. As a city, it is very unambitious (most of my friends who've stayed didn't go to college; most everyone in KC thinks KU is a prestigious university) and content with being a mid/smallish sized metroplex. Very much opposite of NY. If I can lateral to KC later I would absolutely do it. Money isn't there, but quality of life seems to be great if you like the slower pace of life.

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Re: KC Legal Market?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 19, 2016 10:06 am

Anonymous User wrote:Stinson is in the heart of downtown. But if you know anything about KC downtown--it's completely dead. Even during business hours, there are bunch of buildings but no people--so eerie. Stinson felt bizarre too.


Fellow KC native here. Just wanted to respond to this part of your post. While downtown KC might be "dead" in comparison to NYC, the area is substantially different than even 10 years ago. The development of P&L and the streetcar has made downtown a much more attractive place to be. This article from 2014 says the population has quadrupled in 10 years: http://fox4kc.com/2014/12/08/downtown-k ... -the-rise/

I'm sure that number has continued to rise in the last 2 years with the aforementioned streetcar and the opening of the One Light building and soon to open Two Light. I have friends and colleagues who live in several different spots downtown and I'd argue it's at least as trendy of a place to live and work as the Plaza.

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KunAgnis

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Re: KC Legal Market?

Postby KunAgnis » Mon Sep 19, 2016 11:32 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Stinson is in the heart of downtown. But if you know anything about KC downtown--it's completely dead. Even during business hours, there are bunch of buildings but no people--so eerie. Stinson felt bizarre too.


Fellow KC native here. Just wanted to respond to this part of your post. While downtown KC might be "dead" in comparison to NYC, the area is substantially different than even 10 years ago. The development of P&L and the streetcar has made downtown a much more attractive place to be. This article from 2014 says the population has quadrupled in 10 years: http://fox4kc.com/2014/12/08/downtown-k ... -the-rise/

I'm sure that number has continued to rise in the last 2 years with the aforementioned streetcar and the opening of the One Light building and soon to open Two Light. I have friends and colleagues who live in several different spots downtown and I'd argue it's at least as trendy of a place to live and work as the Plaza.


I was there at the Crown Plaza and I worked in KC during the summer (Jackson County Prosecutor's Office). I will say on the weekend during night times, it got a little ridiculous with police patrol cars directing traffic (this being Friday night to Sunday ish). On the other hand, during day time on weekdays, felt like a fucking ghost town. I just feel like KC is too spread out and is a collection of suburbs to have a real downtown like major cities do.

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Re: KC Legal Market?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 19, 2016 6:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote: 2) KC market tops out around 110-115k (significantly below market which is unattractive considering TX with similar COL offers 180k, but maybe still OK in comparison to NYC)


just an FYI, market pay in KC is now in the range of 120-135k for first years. Not a "significant" difference but making $135k in KC is really darn good on a COL basis vs even 180k in NY. Still does not even come close to a $180k in Texas though. Rest of your post seems spot on.



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