Lifestyle differences between markets

(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.
Anonymous User
Posts: 316129
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Lifestyle differences between markets

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:19 pm

Junior corporate/M&A in OC. We have partners that are big on facetime even down here, and you often are working NY hours with those partners. Other partners have almost no facetime requirement and work 75% or more of their time from home. Just depends who you're working with in our office, but as a junior, I kind of have to keep the facetime people happy at all times because they could give me work in the evening even if I'm not currently staffed on anything for them.

I think our firm is not the norm down here, most people have little to no facetime requirement even at the top firms down here (but still bill 2000+).

Anonymous User
Posts: 316129
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Lifestyle differences between markets

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:48 pm

I've worked biglaw in Charlotte, Atlanta, and Dallas. Atlanta was the most intense culture-wise of the three. Charlotte and Dallas were more similar. Charlotte was the stuffiest of the three. Overall I enjoyed Dallas the most, probably because it pays better.

Anonymous User
Posts: 316129
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Lifestyle differences between markets

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:07 pm

What is the most chill market that starts off at $180k?

Anonymous User
Posts: 316129
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Lifestyle differences between markets

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What is the most chill market that starts off at $180k?


Dallas has to be one of them.

Anonymous User
Posts: 316129
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Lifestyle differences between markets

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:What is the most chill market that starts off at $180k?


Dallas has to be one of them.


Adding Orange County, CA to the list.

User avatar
magnum_law

Bronze
Posts: 224
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2015 5:32 pm

Re: Lifestyle differences between markets

Postby magnum_law » Sat Dec 09, 2017 12:49 am

Anonymous User wrote:I've worked biglaw in Charlotte, Atlanta, and Dallas. Atlanta was the most intense culture-wise of the three. Charlotte and Dallas were more similar. Charlotte was the stuffiest of the three. Overall I enjoyed Dallas the most, probably because it pays better.



Please elaborate? What do you mean by intense?
Will be in ATL soon. If you can PM, I'd greatly appreciate it

User avatar
SmokeytheBear

Silver
Posts: 923
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 1:40 pm

Re: Lifestyle differences between markets

Postby SmokeytheBear » Sat Dec 09, 2017 2:20 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:What is the most chill market that starts off at $180k?


Dallas has to be one of them.


Adding Orange County, CA to the list.


I can vouch for that it’s chill. But you also have to live in Orange County...

Anonymous User
Posts: 316129
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Lifestyle differences between markets

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Dec 09, 2017 2:44 am

SmokeytheBear wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:What is the most chill market that starts off at $180k?


Dallas has to be one of them.


Adding Orange County, CA to the list.


I can vouch for that it’s chill. But you also have to live in Orange County...


Anon from the top of this page working in OC. I think generally OC is very chill. My specific group works slightly less than NY hours...more than half of our partners are at the office every night after 8. I am a junior, so I tend to stay late if partners are, but most of the midlevel/senior associates work less hours at the office than me, which I will likely do as I become more senior. So we are the exception, not the rule, but some places in OC can lack in the lifestyle department. And there are also some partners in my group that spend like 80% or more of their time either working from home or out with clients.

As far as living in OC, I love it. It's expensive as shit where I live (Newport), mostly WRT real estate, but that's primarily only a factor if you want to live on the coast, which I do, as do some others, but not everyone. To me, the coast is the selling point of OC. Why would I work Biglaw hours and stress otherwise? So I love Newport, but I am also not single. As someone married with no kids, I think this area is awesome. With kids, you might lose some of the benefit, and truly feel the detriments (again, real estate costs).

User avatar
Lincoln

Silver
Posts: 1208
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 11:27 pm

Re: Lifestyle differences between markets

Postby Lincoln » Sat Dec 09, 2017 9:39 am

Anonymous User wrote:Bay Area biglaw senior associate here.

My hours are high even by New York standards (gunning for partner), but if you choose to work this way in the Bay Area, you are recognized and appreciated as a high-billing outlier. I can't imagine working for a firm where (what feels like) my crazy hours are relatively normal and expected.

Beyond that: my office has few to no face time expectations; most people arrive from 8:30-10 AM in the morning and leave from 5-7 PM in the evening. You can work from home when you see fit, within reason (i.e., probably not four days a week as an associate, but one or two = fine). You probably need to be low 2K hours to get a market bonus (given that NY market has been high the past couple years) and 2400-2500+, coupled with strong reviews, will get you a noticeably above market bonus.


Can you give us a ballpark number?

Anonymous User
Posts: 316129
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Lifestyle differences between markets

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Dec 09, 2017 10:24 am

I’m a third year at a large firm in one of the Midwest secondary markets (think KC, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Cincy). I’m in a practice that’s very niche. I’m going to bill less than 2000 and my partners are going to be happy with that (our requirement is under 2000). I get in around 730 and leave at 530 - I try to bill around 7 hours in that stretch (I take an hour lunch every day) and then often bill another .5-1.0 from my couch at night. On Fridays, it’s usually 9-5 and I only bill 5-6 hours. I bill probably 3-4 hours per weekend on average. Working from home isn’t much of a thing. You can do it if you really need to, but you can tell it’s semi frowned upon and I’ve probably done it twice this year. They expect you to be there from 830ish to 530-6ish. I know my hours are rosy compared to my classmates in Chi and NY, but I make wayyyyy less money than they do (and renting in the desirable part of my city really isn’t cheap) and have way fewer exit opportunities (not because of the firm name, which companies care way less about than TLS would have you believe, but because the market is so much smaller and I don’t want to move). There are definitely tradeoffs. (Another in the pro column is that partnership or counsel are both actual possibilities if I aim for it).

All this being said, these threads don’t actually tell you much. I can only give you MY experience in my very niche group, which is really just dependent on the 6-8 partners I work for. My friends’ experiences in other practice groups at my firm are all soooo different from me and from each other. Speaking about firms or markets generally just doesn’t tell you that much.

Anonymous User
Posts: 316129
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Lifestyle differences between markets

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Dec 09, 2017 12:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I've worked biglaw in Charlotte, Atlanta, and Dallas. Atlanta was the most intense culture-wise of the three. Charlotte and Dallas were more similar. Charlotte was the stuffiest of the three. Overall I enjoyed Dallas the most, probably because it pays better.

what are Charlotte hours like? would you rather work in one of the Charlotte firms (MVA/Robinson Bradshaw) or an NYC satellite (Cadwalader, etc.) that pay NY market?

Anonymous User
Posts: 316129
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Lifestyle differences between markets

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Dec 09, 2017 1:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I've worked biglaw in Charlotte, Atlanta, and Dallas. Atlanta was the most intense culture-wise of the three. Charlotte and Dallas were more similar. Charlotte was the stuffiest of the three. Overall I enjoyed Dallas the most, probably because it pays better.

Interesting. I would bet that Houston is more like Atlanta than it is like Charlotte or Dallas (practicing Houston third year associate).

User avatar
magnum_law

Bronze
Posts: 224
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2015 5:32 pm

Re: Lifestyle differences between markets

Postby magnum_law » Sat Dec 09, 2017 2:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I've worked biglaw in Charlotte, Atlanta, and Dallas. Atlanta was the most intense culture-wise of the three. Charlotte and Dallas were more similar. Charlotte was the stuffiest of the three. Overall I enjoyed Dallas the most, probably because it pays better.

Interesting. I would bet that Houston is more like Atlanta than it is like Charlotte or Dallas (practicing Houston third year associate).


What's Houston like in your experience?

Anonymous User
Posts: 316129
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Lifestyle differences between markets

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Dec 09, 2017 5:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I've worked biglaw in Charlotte, Atlanta, and Dallas. Atlanta was the most intense culture-wise of the three. Charlotte and Dallas were more similar. Charlotte was the stuffiest of the three. Overall I enjoyed Dallas the most, probably because it pays better.

Interesting. I would bet that Houston is more like Atlanta than it is like Charlotte or Dallas (practicing Houston third year associate).


I agree - Atlanta is probably more similar to Houston than Dallas, though I haven't worked in Houston.

Atlanta just has that east coast edge to it. Maybe the high number of NE transplants brings some of that to the "Hub of the South." The partners at my ATL firm demanded more of associates with less sympathy for the work required. This resulted in more tired faces and lower morale, though some of this is obviously firm-specific (my firm was one of the big ones, though). Lots of talk and awareness about hours, numbers, etc. Strangely, I also found that Atlanta has more of an inferiority complex. Atlanta is a fun city though, lots of things to do and be proud of.

Dallas was a little more family-centric in my experience. It has more west coast influence, which is more laid back than east coast. Plus, Texas is Texas. People work hard and hit their numbers, but there is also a more free-spirited vibe that pervades the state. It is hard to describe, but there is noticeable optimism. Perhaps "entrepreneurial" is the right word. It is really booming there, but the cultural offerings are far more limited than in Atlanta. In the big picture, Texas is infinitely more important than Georgia. I was in a satellite office of an international firm there.

Charlotte is great. Excellent beaches and mountains are both within a 4-hour drive. It can be insular, but it has an awesome banking culture with Bank of America's HQ there. I was at one of the top local firms (MVA), which made me feel really plugged in to the market. My group schmoozed the bank all the time, and it was fun to suit up for face-to-face meetings with clients instead of over the phone. I preferred that feeling to the satellite office in Dallas, which was way less local. Working for a bigger firm pays more though, and has different perks that often involve travel, which I enjoyed. To each his/her own.

User avatar
SmokeytheBear

Silver
Posts: 923
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 1:40 pm

Re: Lifestyle differences between markets

Postby SmokeytheBear » Sat Dec 09, 2017 7:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
SmokeytheBear wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:What is the most chill market that starts off at $180k?


Dallas has to be one of them.


Adding Orange County, CA to the list.


I can vouch for that it’s chill. But you also have to live in Orange County...


Anon from the top of this page working in OC. I think generally OC is very chill. My specific group works slightly less than NY hours...more than half of our partners are at the office every night after 8. I am a junior, so I tend to stay late if partners are, but most of the midlevel/senior associates work less hours at the office than me, which I will likely do as I become more senior. So we are the exception, not the rule, but some places in OC can lack in the lifestyle department. And there are also some partners in my group that spend like 80% or more of their time either working from home or out with clients.

As far as living in OC, I love it. It's expensive as shit where I live (Newport), mostly WRT real estate, but that's primarily only a factor if you want to live on the coast, which I do, as do some others, but not everyone. To me, the coast is the selling point of OC. Why would I work Biglaw hours and stress otherwise? So I love Newport, but I am also not single. As someone married with no kids, I think this area is awesome. With kids, you might lose some of the benefit, and truly feel the detriments (again, real estate costs).


I guess my point was more so that OC is culturally vapid. Westminster is cool for vietnamese food and Santa Ana has some gems. But there's no mixing. Anything on the coast side of the 405 is just white people.

Anonymous User
Posts: 316129
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Lifestyle differences between markets

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 10, 2017 1:01 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I've worked biglaw in Charlotte, Atlanta, and Dallas. Atlanta was the most intense culture-wise of the three. Charlotte and Dallas were more similar. Charlotte was the stuffiest of the three. Overall I enjoyed Dallas the most, probably because it pays better.

Interesting. I would bet that Houston is more like Atlanta than it is like Charlotte or Dallas (practicing Houston third year associate).


I agree - Atlanta is probably more similar to Houston than Dallas, though I haven't worked in Houston.

Atlanta just has that east coast edge to it. Maybe the high number of NE transplants brings some of that to the "Hub of the South." The partners at my ATL firm demanded more of associates with less sympathy for the work required. This resulted in more tired faces and lower morale, though some of this is obviously firm-specific (my firm was one of the big ones, though). Lots of talk and awareness about hours, numbers, etc. Strangely, I also found that Atlanta has more of an inferiority complex. Atlanta is a fun city though, lots of things to do and be proud of.

Dallas was a little more family-centric in my experience. It has more west coast influence, which is more laid back than east coast. Plus, Texas is Texas. People work hard and hit their numbers, but there is also a more free-spirited vibe that pervades the state. It is hard to describe, but there is noticeable optimism. Perhaps "entrepreneurial" is the right word. It is really booming there, but the cultural offerings are far more limited than in Atlanta. In the big picture, Texas is infinitely more important than Georgia. I was in a satellite office of an international firm there.

Charlotte is great. Excellent beaches and mountains are both within a 4-hour drive. It can be insular, but it has an awesome banking culture with Bank of America's HQ there. I was at one of the top local firms (MVA), which made me feel really plugged in to the market. My group schmoozed the bank all the time, and it was fun to suit up for face-to-face meetings with clients instead of over the phone. I preferred that feeling to the satellite office in Dallas, which was way less local. Working for a bigger firm pays more though, and has different perks that often involve travel, which I enjoyed. To each his/her own.


What were the hours expectations as compared to each other? Do you remember how much you billed while you worked in ATL?

Anonymous User
Posts: 316129
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Lifestyle differences between markets

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 10, 2017 2:24 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I've worked biglaw in Charlotte, Atlanta, and Dallas. Atlanta was the most intense culture-wise of the three. Charlotte and Dallas were more similar. Charlotte was the stuffiest of the three. Overall I enjoyed Dallas the most, probably because it pays better.

Interesting. I would bet that Houston is more like Atlanta than it is like Charlotte or Dallas (practicing Houston third year associate).


I agree - Atlanta is probably more similar to Houston than Dallas, though I haven't worked in Houston.

Atlanta just has that east coast edge to it. Maybe the high number of NE transplants brings some of that to the "Hub of the South." The partners at my ATL firm demanded more of associates with less sympathy for the work required. This resulted in more tired faces and lower morale, though some of this is obviously firm-specific (my firm was one of the big ones, though). Lots of talk and awareness about hours, numbers, etc. Strangely, I also found that Atlanta has more of an inferiority complex. Atlanta is a fun city though, lots of things to do and be proud of.

Dallas was a little more family-centric in my experience. It has more west coast influence, which is more laid back than east coast. Plus, Texas is Texas. People work hard and hit their numbers, but there is also a more free-spirited vibe that pervades the state. It is hard to describe, but there is noticeable optimism. Perhaps "entrepreneurial" is the right word. It is really booming there, but the cultural offerings are far more limited than in Atlanta. In the big picture, Texas is infinitely more important than Georgia. I was in a satellite office of an international firm there.

Charlotte is great. Excellent beaches and mountains are both within a 4-hour drive. It can be insular, but it has an awesome banking culture with Bank of America's HQ there. I was at one of the top local firms (MVA), which made me feel really plugged in to the market. My group schmoozed the bank all the time, and it was fun to suit up for face-to-face meetings with clients instead of over the phone. I preferred that feeling to the satellite office in Dallas, which was way less local. Working for a bigger firm pays more though, and has different perks that often involve travel, which I enjoyed. To each his/her own.


What were the hours expectations as compared to each other? Do you remember how much you billed while you worked in ATL?


Charlotte = 2000 hour requirement
Atlanta = 2400 hour requirement, 1950 billable
Dallas = 2000 hour requirement

The most I've ever billed out in a year was 2200, and that was in Charlotte. The office where I saw the highest billers was Dallas. I had tighter turnaround times in ATL. It's more firm/client specific than anything, but pretty much a wash.

Anonymous User
Posts: 316129
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Lifestyle differences between markets

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 10, 2017 7:53 am

Does anyone have any insight on Norfolk, Virginia?

Anonymous User
Posts: 316129
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Lifestyle differences between markets

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 10, 2017 9:45 am

magnum_law wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I've worked biglaw in Charlotte, Atlanta, and Dallas. Atlanta was the most intense culture-wise of the three. Charlotte and Dallas were more similar. Charlotte was the stuffiest of the three. Overall I enjoyed Dallas the most, probably because it pays better.

Interesting. I would bet that Houston is more like Atlanta than it is like Charlotte or Dallas (practicing Houston third year associate).


What's Houston like in your experience?


Also interested in takes on Houston.

Anonymous User
Posts: 316129
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Lifestyle differences between markets

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 10, 2017 12:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I've worked biglaw in Charlotte, Atlanta, and Dallas. Atlanta was the most intense culture-wise of the three. Charlotte and Dallas were more similar. Charlotte was the stuffiest of the three. Overall I enjoyed Dallas the most, probably because it pays better.

Interesting. I would bet that Houston is more like Atlanta than it is like Charlotte or Dallas (practicing Houston third year associate).


I agree - Atlanta is probably more similar to Houston than Dallas, though I haven't worked in Houston.

Atlanta just has that east coast edge to it. Maybe the high number of NE transplants brings some of that to the "Hub of the South." The partners at my ATL firm demanded more of associates with less sympathy for the work required. This resulted in more tired faces and lower morale, though some of this is obviously firm-specific (my firm was one of the big ones, though). Lots of talk and awareness about hours, numbers, etc. Strangely, I also found that Atlanta has more of an inferiority complex. Atlanta is a fun city though, lots of things to do and be proud of.

Dallas was a little more family-centric in my experience. It has more west coast influence, which is more laid back than east coast. Plus, Texas is Texas. People work hard and hit their numbers, but there is also a more free-spirited vibe that pervades the state. It is hard to describe, but there is noticeable optimism. Perhaps "entrepreneurial" is the right word. It is really booming there, but the cultural offerings are far more limited than in Atlanta. In the big picture, Texas is infinitely more important than Georgia. I was in a satellite office of an international firm there.

Charlotte is great. Excellent beaches and mountains are both within a 4-hour drive. It can be insular, but it has an awesome banking culture with Bank of America's HQ there. I was at one of the top local firms (MVA), which made me feel really plugged in to the market. My group schmoozed the bank all the time, and it was fun to suit up for face-to-face meetings with clients instead of over the phone. I preferred that feeling to the satellite office in Dallas, which was way less local. Working for a bigger firm pays more though, and has different perks that often involve travel, which I enjoyed. To each his/her own.


What were the hours expectations as compared to each other? Do you remember how much you billed while you worked in ATL?


Charlotte = 2000 hour requirement
Atlanta = 2400 hour requirement, 1950 billable
Dallas = 2000 hour requirement

The most I've ever billed out in a year was 2200, and that was in Charlotte. The office where I saw the highest billers was Dallas. I had tighter turnaround times in ATL. It's more firm/client specific than anything, but pretty much a wash.


I've been told getting into Charlotte is really tough due to its insular market. I really want to practice in Charlotte (with Dallas as backup). If you don't mind, how were you able to get into Charlotte? Did you have ties to the area or perhaps went to one of the NC schools there?

Anonymous User
Posts: 316129
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Lifestyle differences between markets

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 10, 2017 12:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I've been told getting into Charlotte is really tough due to its insular market. I really want to practice in Charlotte (with Dallas as backup). If you don't mind, how were you able to get into Charlotte? Did you have ties to the area or perhaps went to one of the NC schools there?


Charlotte is definitely insular, but it's not impossible to crack. It's perspective is more regional, so ties to the Southeast, if not the Carolinas, are very important. To put it in perspective, my family is mostly in NC, I grew up about two hours away from Charlotte, and I went to school at the alma mater of the head of the group. He also knew my former boss from his time at grad school. That was a total coincidence, but those "small world" connections go a long way.

If you're looking to get hired fresh out of school and are not from there, you pretty much have to go to a school in the region (UVA on down). The best target schools are UVA, Duke, Emory, UNC, and Wake. They might make exceptions for students from really top schools, or if you were a top performer at lower ranking nearby school (e.g., UT, UGA, Bama).

The other way to get in is after some experience (think banking). I saw many NY attorneys lateral to Charlotte for better work-life balance. That probably speaks more to NYC's brutality than Charlotte's laidbackness, but overall Charlotte is an easy place to work and live. It's a great beer town.



Return to “Legal Employment?

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.