Why do a lot of biglaw lawyers say they're not "living the life" financially-wise?

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Burlington4174

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Re: Why do a lot of biglaw lawyers say they're not "living the life" financially-wise?

Postby Burlington4174 » Thu Sep 22, 2016 11:35 pm

nealric wrote:
Burlington4174 wrote:
nealric wrote:
Burlington4174 wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:Because it's not really worth it. You don't feel rich because you aren't. 180k maybe lower upper middle class in NYC. You can't even afford a two bedroom apartment within a 30 min walk to work. Most of the country would laugh at that.


Ughhhhhh. You do realize that NYC is more than just Manhattan; right?


NYC big law is. And the non-Manhattan areas without a long commute are almost as expensive. I can't imagine being a first-year with the hour and a half commute many NYC workers suffer through to get affordable housing. Your performance would suffer if you aren't superman.


There are parts of Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, and Upper Manhattan that are all well within an hour and significantly cheaper.


I lived in Brooklyn for part of my time in NYC biglaw. The cheap parts of Brooklyn are a hike. May depend on where your firm is (i.e. Midtown vs Downtown), but it's unlikely you are going to get a truly quick commute from a cheap part of the boroughs. And most people grossly underestimate their commutes when they quote this kind of thing. Yeah, it's 30 minutes... if you run to the subway and the train pulls up precisely as you arrive, and there are no delays or other complications. In the real world, when you have an important morning meeting and the train is delayed and you have no easy alternatives to get to the office, you are going to be hating your life.


I have lived in lower Manhattan, upper Manhattan, and Brooklyn. Most of my friends live in Bushwick and Crown Heights. There are places available within a reasonable commute of midtown that will not break the bank.

Now with the L shutting down, that is going to be less true... Still, there will be some decent options for living in Brookyln if you are working in the Financial District.

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Re: Why do a lot of biglaw lawyers say they're not "living the life" financially-wise?

Postby Burlington4174 » Thu Sep 22, 2016 11:38 pm

elendinel wrote:$160k is not a lot in NYC if you want to live within 20 mins of your office, if you don't want to live with roommates, if you have hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans, and you're trying to save a lot of money (especially if you don't plan to be in biglaw your whole career). It's certainly not lower-middle class by any means, but it's not going half as far as it would in, say, DC or Boston, either.

Obviously, you can always find ways to save money (move to CT, live with roommates, shop at Jmart instead of Whole Foods, etc.); that's not the issue. The issue is that, in most other places, $160k would be so much money that you wouldn't have to be trying to find ways to save; you could "live the life" without having to scrimp on anything. In NYC, you will most likely have to concede some luxury other people with your salary would have elsewhere.


Market rate is 180K and most will also get a 10K plus bonus. Firms also provide 5K in food; cars; decent benefits; etc. Since you have no social life, you will also spend less on fun stuff.

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Re: Why do a lot of biglaw lawyers say they're not "living the life" financially-wise?

Postby WhiteCollarBlueShirt » Thu Sep 22, 2016 11:45 pm

Burlington4174 wrote:
elendinel wrote:$160k is not a lot in NYC if you want to live within 20 mins of your office, if you don't want to live with roommates, if you have hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans, and you're trying to save a lot of money (especially if you don't plan to be in biglaw your whole career). It's certainly not lower-middle class by any means, but it's not going half as far as it would in, say, DC or Boston, either.

Obviously, you can always find ways to save money (move to CT, live with roommates, shop at Jmart instead of Whole Foods, etc.); that's not the issue. The issue is that, in most other places, $160k would be so much money that you wouldn't have to be trying to find ways to save; you could "live the life" without having to scrimp on anything. In NYC, you will most likely have to concede some luxury other people with your salary would have elsewhere.


Market rate is 180K and most will also get a 10K plus bonus. Firms also provide 5K in food; cars; decent benefits; etc. Since you have no social life, you will also spend less on fun stuff.


1000% agree. I spend so much more money in my extremely low COL tertiary market than I did in NYC. I had literally no time to spend money in NYC, whereas I find it almost impossible to save with a six figure salary in a 'city' where 40K is still considered solidly middle class.

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Re: Why do a lot of biglaw lawyers say they're not "living the life" financially-wise?

Postby vcap180 » Thu Sep 22, 2016 11:52 pm

this thread scares the absolute shit out of me.

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Re: Why do a lot of biglaw lawyers say they're not "living the life" financially-wise?

Postby elendinel » Fri Sep 23, 2016 8:34 am

Burlington4174 wrote:
elendinel wrote:$160k is not a lot in NYC if you want to live within 20 mins of your office, if you don't want to live with roommates, if you have hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans, and you're trying to save a lot of money (especially if you don't plan to be in biglaw your whole career). It's certainly not lower-middle class by any means, but it's not going half as far as it would in, say, DC or Boston, either.

Obviously, you can always find ways to save money (move to CT, live with roommates, shop at Jmart instead of Whole Foods, etc.); that's not the issue. The issue is that, in most other places, $160k would be so much money that you wouldn't have to be trying to find ways to save; you could "live the life" without having to scrimp on anything. In NYC, you will most likely have to concede some luxury other people with your salary would have elsewhere.


Market rate is 180K and most will also get a 10K plus bonus. Firms also provide 5K in food; cars; decent benefits; etc. Since you have no social life, you will also spend less on fun stuff.


Not all firms are at market rate, not all firms truly provide food money (much less $5k)*, cars help with half your transportation costs, but frankly aren't saving you a ton of money/aren't providing any benefit that can change the other concessions you make to work in NYC, "decent benefits" depends on the firm. Social life or lack thereof doesn't change the fact that you'll likely be spending $2700+ if you want to live by yourself and anywhere close to Manhattan, that you'll have hundreds of thousands in loans, etc. And while you won't have a social life, the incidentals that can crop up when you have no time to do things that save you money will make up for it (e.g., spending $15-20 on lunch on Seamless every day, or paying a Handy professional because you don't spend enough time in your apartment to actually keep it clean, or to do your own laundry, or to buy your own groceries (for the times when you actually can cook your own food), or paying for a pet sitter if you have a dog or other pet that you should be seeing more than an hour or two a day, or whatever.

But again, the point isn't to say you will be poor on this salary or in this job; it's to say, you won't be guaranteed to enjoy as much of the salary as you would elsewhere, because of the cost of living in NYC.


* I worked at a firm where they said they'd pay $30 for your dinner if you billed 10 hours or more. They required you to bill it to a client. But partners never let you actually bill Seamless to their clients. So the firm could claim they offered a lot of money for meals, but in reality you were paying for your own food most of the time.

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Re: Why do a lot of biglaw lawyers say they're not "living the life" financially-wise?

Postby Sgtpeppernyc » Fri Sep 23, 2016 10:32 am

Pokemon wrote:
Sgtpeppernyc wrote:
Pokemon wrote:
Burlington4174 wrote:
nealric wrote:
Burlington4174 wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:Because it's not really worth it. You don't feel rich because you aren't. 180k maybe lower upper middle class in NYC. You can't even afford a two bedroom apartment within a 30 min walk to work. Most of the country would laugh at that.


Ughhhhhh. You do realize that NYC is more than just Manhattan; right?


NYC big law is. And the non-Manhattan areas without a long commute are almost as expensive. I can't imagine being a first-year with the hour and a half commute many NYC workers suffer through to get affordable housing. Your performance would suffer if you aren't superman.


There are parts of Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, and Upper Manhattan that are all well within an hour and significantly cheaper.


Sure but most biglaw associated Prefer not having to worry about getting mugged at 4:00 am when they get home.


Pokemon is right. If you go anywhere in NYC but Wall Street and midtown, you will almost certainly get mugged and die the second you get out of your firm-provided cab.


Lol, the rental market in NYC is pretty competitive. If a place or neighborhood is cheap, it is because the area is a hike or the area is a shithole.


Your whole point about Wall Street and midtown is also unfair. Lic and Brooklyn coast neighborhoods are just as expensive as Manhattan. As a mid-level, places like woodside might be reasonable, but I would not recommend that to a first year that is not from NYC and has no idea what to expect in biglaw.


I'm not denying that it will take comparatively longer to get to work. But there are plenty of places in NYC where you can pay less than Manhattan / Williamsburg prices, have a commute of less than an hour, and not have to "worry about getting mugged at 4:00 am." It's not like there is no middle ground between Williamsburg and Woodside. Astoria, for example, is comparatively cheap, reasonably close to the city, and perfectly safe.

As a native New Yorker, I just find dismissing anywhere that isn't Manhattan / coastal Brooklyn / LIC as automatically dangerous to be tremendously childish and entitled.

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Re: Why do a lot of biglaw lawyers say they're not "living the life" financially-wise?

Postby almondjoy » Fri Sep 23, 2016 11:05 am

Anonymous User wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:The whole "everyone else makes more money for less work" canard is such garbage. Most professionals do not make $200k their first year. Doctors spend years working hours that make biglaw look like a vacation, for pennies, and have worse debt than lawyers. Not to mention: you probably weren't gonna get into med school! Nor were you going to be an investment banker. 90% of biglaw associates are liberal arts grads with no skills from unexceptional colleges. The idea they were ever going to make this much money doing anything else is laughable.

NYC is expensive, but anyone who spent time in NYC working an actual entry level job for an actual entry level salary should appreciate biglaw money.


Explain how (the better than average trajectory of) $180, $200k, $220k, $110k, $110k, $110k, $110k, $110k, $110k.... in a shrinking procession where 4/10 people fail is better than $70k, $70K, $70K $70K, $70K, $325K, $325K, $325K, $325K, $325K, $325K, $325K, $325K... in a profession where there are insane levels of job security. Money is a bad argument here, and what you make for a nanosecond for a few years right after school means nothing over a 50 year career...


50 years?!? Fuck that shit

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Re: Why do a lot of biglaw lawyers say they're not "living the life" financially-wise?

Postby elendinel » Fri Sep 23, 2016 11:27 am

Sgtpeppernyc wrote:
Pokemon wrote:Lol, the rental market in NYC is pretty competitive. If a place or neighborhood is cheap, it is because the area is a hike or the area is a shithole.


Your whole point about Wall Street and midtown is also unfair. Lic and Brooklyn coast neighborhoods are just as expensive as Manhattan. As a mid-level, places like woodside might be reasonable, but I would not recommend that to a first year that is not from NYC and has no idea what to expect in biglaw.


I'm not denying that it will take comparatively longer to get to work. But there are plenty of places in NYC where you can pay less than Manhattan / Williamsburg prices, have a commute of less than an hour, and not have to "worry about getting mugged at 4:00 am." It's not like there is no middle ground between Williamsburg and Woodside. Astoria, for example, is comparatively cheap, reasonably close to the city, and perfectly safe.

As a native New Yorker, I just find dismissing anywhere that isn't Manhattan / coastal Brooklyn / LIC as automatically dangerous to be tremendously childish and entitled.


I will just say, saying that a neighborhood is comparatively cheaper than Manhattan means almost nothing. LIC and Brooklyn Heights are also still comparatively cheaper than Manhattan. Astoria's getting more and more expensive as people migrate there from Williamsburg. A good-sized apartment is, in all likelihood, going to cost at least $2500k/month, or come with roommates, or come with a 40+ min. commute.

I do agree that it's ridiculous to think anywhere outside Manhattan/Prospect Park, and anywhere north of 80th St. in Manhattan, are dangerous mugger zones, though. Conversely, luxury buildings don't make a neighborhood any safer. I'd personally feel a lot safer on 140th/Broadway (Harlem) than I'd feel in LIC.

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Re: Why do a lot of biglaw lawyers say they're not "living the life" financially-wise?

Postby unlicensedpotato » Fri Sep 23, 2016 11:48 am

Who would have thought this thread would end up here?

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Re: Why do a lot of biglaw lawyers say they're not "living the life" financially-wise?

Postby Sgtpeppernyc » Fri Sep 23, 2016 12:22 pm

elendinel wrote:
Sgtpeppernyc wrote:
Pokemon wrote:Lol, the rental market in NYC is pretty competitive. If a place or neighborhood is cheap, it is because the area is a hike or the area is a shithole.


Your whole point about Wall Street and midtown is also unfair. Lic and Brooklyn coast neighborhoods are just as expensive as Manhattan. As a mid-level, places like woodside might be reasonable, but I would not recommend that to a first year that is not from NYC and has no idea what to expect in biglaw.


I'm not denying that it will take comparatively longer to get to work. But there are plenty of places in NYC where you can pay less than Manhattan / Williamsburg prices, have a commute of less than an hour, and not have to "worry about getting mugged at 4:00 am." It's not like there is no middle ground between Williamsburg and Woodside. Astoria, for example, is comparatively cheap, reasonably close to the city, and perfectly safe.

As a native New Yorker, I just find dismissing anywhere that isn't Manhattan / coastal Brooklyn / LIC as automatically dangerous to be tremendously childish and entitled.


I will just say, saying that a neighborhood is comparatively cheaper than Manhattan means almost nothing. LIC and Brooklyn Heights are also still comparatively cheaper than Manhattan. Astoria's getting more and more expensive as people migrate there from Williamsburg. A good-sized apartment is, in all likelihood, going to cost at least $2500k/month, or come with roommates, or come with a 40+ min. commute.

I do agree that it's ridiculous to think anywhere outside Manhattan/Prospect Park, and anywhere north of 80th St. in Manhattan, are dangerous mugger zones, though. Conversely, luxury buildings don't make a neighborhood any safer. I'd personally feel a lot safer on 140th/Broadway (Harlem) than I'd feel in LIC.


Totally agreed - NYC real estate is a complete joke, and even "cheap" areas are ridiculously expensive by national standards. I just have no patience for the clueless snobbery of thinking that any area that hasn't completely gentrified is automatically dangerous.

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Re: Why do a lot of biglaw lawyers say they're not "living the life" financially-wise?

Postby Pokemon » Fri Sep 23, 2016 12:54 pm

Sgtpeppernyc wrote:
Pokemon wrote:[quote="Sgtpeppernyc]

I'm not denying that it will take comparatively longer to get to work. But there are plenty of places in NYC where you can pay less than Manhattan / Williamsburg prices, have a commute of less than an hour, and not have to "worry about getting mugged at 4:00 am." It's not like there is no middle ground between Williamsburg and Woodside. Astoria, for example, is comparatively cheap, reasonably close to the city, and perfectly safe.

As a native New Yorker, I just find dismissing anywhere that isn't Manhattan / coastal Brooklyn / LIC as automatically dangerous to be tremendously childish and entitled.[/quote]


I personally agree about Astoria (though rents there are also north of 2k for 1 beds), and there are other places like that, but the problem is that you are a native New Yorker. Places like Astoria are not the first thing that a wide eyed 1st year associate not from ny thinks about. And rightly so, they do not know the city or their schedule.

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Re: Why do a lot of biglaw lawyers say they're not "living the life" financially-wise?

Postby nealric » Fri Sep 23, 2016 2:18 pm

Sgtpeppernyc wrote:
elendinel wrote:
Sgtpeppernyc wrote:
Pokemon wrote:Lol, the rental market in NYC is pretty competitive. If a place or neighborhood is cheap, it is because the area is a hike or the area is a shithole.


Your whole point about Wall Street and midtown is also unfair. Lic and Brooklyn coast neighborhoods are just as expensive as Manhattan. As a mid-level, places like woodside might be reasonable, but I would not recommend that to a first year that is not from NYC and has no idea what to expect in biglaw.


I'm not denying that it will take comparatively longer to get to work. But there are plenty of places in NYC where you can pay less than Manhattan / Williamsburg prices, have a commute of less than an hour, and not have to "worry about getting mugged at 4:00 am." It's not like there is no middle ground between Williamsburg and Woodside. Astoria, for example, is comparatively cheap, reasonably close to the city, and perfectly safe.

As a native New Yorker, I just find dismissing anywhere that isn't Manhattan / coastal Brooklyn / LIC as automatically dangerous to be tremendously childish and entitled.


I will just say, saying that a neighborhood is comparatively cheaper than Manhattan means almost nothing. LIC and Brooklyn Heights are also still comparatively cheaper than Manhattan. Astoria's getting more and more expensive as people migrate there from Williamsburg. A good-sized apartment is, in all likelihood, going to cost at least $2500k/month, or come with roommates, or come with a 40+ min. commute.

I do agree that it's ridiculous to think anywhere outside Manhattan/Prospect Park, and anywhere north of 80th St. in Manhattan, are dangerous mugger zones, though. Conversely, luxury buildings don't make a neighborhood any safer. I'd personally feel a lot safer on 140th/Broadway (Harlem) than I'd feel in LIC.


Totally agreed - NYC real estate is a complete joke, and even "cheap" areas are ridiculously expensive by national standards. I just have no patience for the clueless snobbery of thinking that any area that hasn't completely gentrified is automatically dangerous.


I'm not sure where the dangerous part came in- none of the quoted areas are saying that any of the places in question are unsafe. I was only talking commute times. I lived in pre-gentrification Bed-Stuy as a summer. I don't think it was dangerous even at the time, and it was cheap, but boy did it suck waiting for that stupid G train. Biglaw places unique demands that many people who commute similar times may not face. Yes, Bed-Stuy was almost always under an hour to the Financial District, but the commute was long and involved enough that it would have been a significant hardship as a permanent associate.

There really isn't much in NYC that is truly dangerous. Even places where most of the housing is public housing are mostly safe if you aren't involved in the drug trade. That said, trying to save significant money over coastal Brooklyn or Manhattan real estate as a biglaw associate is a losing battle. You will likely have to accept a pretty dingy apartment and a crushing commute. That can be hard to stomach in a job as demanding as biglaw.

Long story short, I don't think it's unreasonable for associates not to feel rich on 180k in NYC, especially with full-fare debt loads. Yes, you are wealthy by global standards, and well off by national standards, but your standard of living is probably below what it was as a student. That can be hard to stomach. That said, I think doing NYC biglaw for 3 years was a good career move, and gave me good exit ops to positions in lower COL areas.

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Re: Why do a lot of biglaw lawyers say they're not "living the life" financially-wise?

Postby Sgtpeppernyc » Sat Sep 24, 2016 6:17 pm

nealric wrote:
Sgtpeppernyc wrote:
elendinel wrote:
Sgtpeppernyc wrote:
Pokemon wrote:Lol, the rental market in NYC is pretty competitive. If a place or neighborhood is cheap, it is because the area is a hike or the area is a shithole.


Your whole point about Wall Street and midtown is also unfair. Lic and Brooklyn coast neighborhoods are just as expensive as Manhattan. As a mid-level, places like woodside might be reasonable, but I would not recommend that to a first year that is not from NYC and has no idea what to expect in biglaw.


I'm not denying that it will take comparatively longer to get to work. But there are plenty of places in NYC where you can pay less than Manhattan / Williamsburg prices, have a commute of less than an hour, and not have to "worry about getting mugged at 4:00 am." It's not like there is no middle ground between Williamsburg and Woodside. Astoria, for example, is comparatively cheap, reasonably close to the city, and perfectly safe.

As a native New Yorker, I just find dismissing anywhere that isn't Manhattan / coastal Brooklyn / LIC as automatically dangerous to be tremendously childish and entitled.


I will just say, saying that a neighborhood is comparatively cheaper than Manhattan means almost nothing. LIC and Brooklyn Heights are also still comparatively cheaper than Manhattan. Astoria's getting more and more expensive as people migrate there from Williamsburg. A good-sized apartment is, in all likelihood, going to cost at least $2500k/month, or come with roommates, or come with a 40+ min. commute.

I do agree that it's ridiculous to think anywhere outside Manhattan/Prospect Park, and anywhere north of 80th St. in Manhattan, are dangerous mugger zones, though. Conversely, luxury buildings don't make a neighborhood any safer. I'd personally feel a lot safer on 140th/Broadway (Harlem) than I'd feel in LIC.


Totally agreed - NYC real estate is a complete joke, and even "cheap" areas are ridiculously expensive by national standards. I just have no patience for the clueless snobbery of thinking that any area that hasn't completely gentrified is automatically dangerous.


I'm not sure where the dangerous part came in- none of the quoted areas are saying that any of the places in question are unsafe. I was only talking commute times. I lived in pre-gentrification Bed-Stuy as a summer. I don't think it was dangerous even at the time, and it was cheap, but boy did it suck waiting for that stupid G train. Biglaw places unique demands that many people who commute similar times may not face. Yes, Bed-Stuy was almost always under an hour to the Financial District, but the commute was long and involved enough that it would have been a significant hardship as a permanent associate.

There really isn't much in NYC that is truly dangerous. Even places where most of the housing is public housing are mostly safe if you aren't involved in the drug trade. That said, trying to save significant money over coastal Brooklyn or Manhattan real estate as a biglaw associate is a losing battle. You will likely have to accept a pretty dingy apartment and a crushing commute. That can be hard to stomach in a job as demanding as biglaw.

Long story short, I don't think it's unreasonable for associates not to feel rich on 180k in NYC, especially with full-fare debt loads. Yes, you are wealthy by global standards, and well off by national standards, but your standard of living is probably below what it was as a student. That can be hard to stomach. That said, I think doing NYC biglaw for 3 years was a good career move, and gave me good exit ops to positions in lower COL areas.


Pokemon wrote:
Sure but most biglaw associated Prefer not having to worry about getting mugged at 4:00 am when they get home.


Was referring to this quote (it's earlier in the thread so is no longer being quoted).

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Re: Why do a lot of biglaw lawyers say they're not "living the life" financially-wise?

Postby Burlington4174 » Sat Sep 24, 2016 7:22 pm

elendinel wrote:
Burlington4174 wrote:
elendinel wrote:$160k is not a lot in NYC if you want to live within 20 mins of your office, if you don't want to live with roommates, if you have hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans, and you're trying to save a lot of money (especially if you don't plan to be in biglaw your whole career). It's certainly not lower-middle class by any means, but it's not going half as far as it would in, say, DC or Boston, either.

Obviously, you can always find ways to save money (move to CT, live with roommates, shop at Jmart instead of Whole Foods, etc.); that's not the issue. The issue is that, in most other places, $160k would be so much money that you wouldn't have to be trying to find ways to save; you could "live the life" without having to scrimp on anything. In NYC, you will most likely have to concede some luxury other people with your salary would have elsewhere.


Market rate is 180K and most will also get a 10K plus bonus. Firms also provide 5K in food; cars; decent benefits; etc. Since you have no social life, you will also spend less on fun stuff.


Not all firms are at market rate, not all firms truly provide food money (much less $5k)*, cars help with half your transportation costs, but frankly aren't saving you a ton of money/aren't providing any benefit that can change the other concessions you make to work in NYC, "decent benefits" depends on the firm. Social life or lack thereof doesn't change the fact that you'll likely be spending $2700+ if you want to live by yourself and anywhere close to Manhattan, that you'll have hundreds of thousands in loans, etc. And while you won't have a social life, the incidentals that can crop up when you have no time to do things that save you money will make up for it (e.g., spending $15-20 on lunch on Seamless every day, or paying a Handy professional because you don't spend enough time in your apartment to actually keep it clean, or to do your own laundry, or to buy your own groceries (for the times when you actually can cook your own food), or paying for a pet sitter if you have a dog or other pet that you should be seeing more than an hour or two a day, or whatever.

But again, the point isn't to say you will be poor on this salary or in this job; it's to say, you won't be guaranteed to enjoy as much of the salary as you would elsewhere, because of the cost of living in NYC.


* I worked at a firm where they said they'd pay $30 for your dinner if you billed 10 hours or more. They required you to bill it to a client. But partners never let you actually bill Seamless to their clients. So the firm could claim they offered a lot of money for meals, but in reality you were paying for your own food most of the time.


Firm I worked at let you bill seamless if you stayed until 8 pm, and for breakfast, lunch, and dinner on weekends. I would get 6 meals a week on average through seamless, averaging $150+ per week total. They also subsidized the cafeteria heavily, and I often was able to get a free lunch because some sort of event was going on or there was a meeting. Overall, I saved well, well over $5000/year on food while I was there. In seamless alone, I probably spent over $7,500 a year.

The large majority of BigLaw firms in NYC are paying $180K.

The fact you don't have to own a car, and in turn, pay for insurance, repairs, and gas, saves a lot of money.
Last edited by Burlington4174 on Sat Sep 24, 2016 7:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Why do a lot of biglaw lawyers say they're not "living the life" financially-wise?

Postby Burlington4174 » Sat Sep 24, 2016 7:24 pm

Pokemon wrote:
Sgtpeppernyc wrote:
Pokemon wrote:[quote="Sgtpeppernyc]

I'm not denying that it will take comparatively longer to get to work. But there are plenty of places in NYC where you can pay less than Manhattan / Williamsburg prices, have a commute of less than an hour, and not have to "worry about getting mugged at 4:00 am." It's not like there is no middle ground between Williamsburg and Woodside. Astoria, for example, is comparatively cheap, reasonably close to the city, and perfectly safe.

As a native New Yorker, I just find dismissing anywhere that isn't Manhattan / coastal Brooklyn / LIC as automatically dangerous to be tremendously childish and entitled.[/quote][/quote][/quote]

I personally agree about Astoria (though rents there are also north of 2k for 1 beds), and there are other places like that, but the problem is that you are a native New Yorker. Places like Astoria are not the first thing that a wide eyed 1st year associate not from ny thinks about. And rightly so, they do not know the city or their schedule.[/quote][/quote][/quote][/quote][/quote][/quote][/quote]


Just because new associates don't take the time to figure out where they can live at a reasonable price does not mean the opportunities don't exist. I realize you are not exactly disagreeing with this point. I just don't have a lot of sympathy if people don't take the time to do the research. Posters on this forum expect people to do research prior to deciding to attend law school. Why don't we have the same expectation for renting an apartment?

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Re: Why do a lot of biglaw lawyers say they're not "living the life" financially-wise?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 24, 2016 8:18 pm

I don't understand why people go to NY when they don't want/appreciate the things that make NYC a desirable place to live. You aren't going to save $ in that town (nor will you in DC - ROFL at the suggestion otherwise) but seriously what were you expecting?

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Re: Why do a lot of biglaw lawyers say they're not "living the life" financially-wise?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Sep 24, 2016 8:26 pm

For some, no ties elsewhere with a reasonable sized legal market and NYC is where they got a job.

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Re: Why do a lot of biglaw lawyers say they're not "living the life" financially-wise?

Postby bk1 » Sat Sep 24, 2016 8:31 pm

It also has the most biglaw jerbs. Not everyone has the luxury of choosing to work elsewhere if they want to work in biglaw.

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Big Red

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Re: Why do a lot of biglaw lawyers say they're not "living the life" financially-wise?

Postby Big Red » Sat Sep 24, 2016 8:41 pm

Didn't mean to go anon before.

Don't mean to suggest that everyone in NYC is there because it was their first choice, but I do think that a good number of bright people end up there because it's the path of least resistance without considering/putting apps out in other markets. Looking around, I think the same prestige factors that drive good students to take on more debt than they should by going to X law school send people to NY who had options better suited to their lifestyle

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Re: Why do a lot of biglaw lawyers say they're not "living the life" financially-wise?

Postby lavarman84 » Sat Sep 24, 2016 9:56 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:For some, no ties elsewhere with a reasonable sized legal market and NYC is where they got a job.


If they're unhappy, can't hurt to see if they can lateral to a different market. Worst case scenario, they get a no.

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: Why do a lot of biglaw lawyers say they're not "living the life" financially-wise?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Sep 24, 2016 10:28 pm

lawman84 wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:For some, no ties elsewhere with a reasonable sized legal market and NYC is where they got a job.


If they're unhappy, can't hurt to see if they can lateral to a different market. Worst case scenario, they get a no.

Sure, but that doesn't address why they go there in the first place.

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Re: Why do a lot of biglaw lawyers say they're not "living the life" financially-wise?

Postby Nebby » Sat Sep 24, 2016 11:12 pm

Harlem is the hidden gem of NY. The 2/3 @ 110, 116, and 125 are all 45ish minutes to anywhere south of 59th St

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Re: Why do a lot of biglaw lawyers say they're not "living the life" financially-wise?

Postby sublime » Sat Sep 24, 2016 11:21 pm

Nebby wrote:Harlem is the hidden gem of NY. The 2/3 @ 110, 116, and 125 are all 45ish minutes to anywhere south of 59th St


That comes with a lot of bullshit though.

Primarily, I wouldn't be able to deal with the noise as a full time associate.

May work if you found the right place, as I was in the upper 130s and was 30 minutes door to door to the office in Midtown West.

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Re: Why do a lot of biglaw lawyers say they're not "living the life" financially-wise?

Postby Toni V » Sat Sep 24, 2016 11:33 pm

I have cohorts buying a lot of cool stuff while paying the minimum on their tuition. Others complaining that money is tight because they are aggressively paying down their six figure tuition debt. To me it’s attitude, some think that their BL income will someday come to an end and they want to pay off their debt while they can, others think that their BL ride is never ending and that they will cover their debt with bonus money.

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Re: Why do a lot of biglaw lawyers say they're not "living the life" financially-wise?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 26, 2016 11:05 am

As a NYC associate looking to lateral to SF...I'm forever screwed.



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