Considering CH biglaw

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Anonymous User
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Considering CH biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 27, 2016 7:02 pm

Hi all,

I'm looking for some inside scoop on life as a Chicago biglaw associate (beyond what I can find on Google, Zillow, etc.). I am a third year litigation associate in a big firm in CA. I miss my family (they're in the midwest, but not Chicago) and I'm sick of renting crappy apartments. I want to own my own place. My SO has family in Chicago and would be willing to move there. I would love any and all intel about the good and bad of being an associate in Chicago biglaw. (Other than the snow -- I realize the snow sucks). Do associates generally rent, or can they afford to buy? Is the culture NY-esque, or more laid back? Any and all information is appreciated.

Some more information about me:
- no kids
- don't particularly like driving, so would want to live close to the office -- willing to use public transit
- not interested in secondary markets at this time

Thank you in advance.

Anonymous User
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Re: Considering CH biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 27, 2016 9:43 pm

Definitely can afford to buy in Chicago on a big law salary. I'd say most first and second years rent and then after that ppl start to buy. If you live in the west loop/RN/streetervile/lakeshore east etc. all the areas close to your office it is more expensive to buy and more ppl rent in those places, but you can still buy just higher HOA.

Hours are totally firm dependent. I have friends in NYC and I'd say as a second year I work a little less on avg than them, but there are ppl in my class on pace for over 2400 hours. Kirkland obviously is closer to what you would consider NY-esque others not like that at all. Overall less intense than NY, but more office culture/face time than CA. I have no desire to end up as a partner, but it also seems like partnership opportunities are a little better in Chicago big law firms than NY big law firms. Also, lots of companies in the area for exit opps. My firm has seen a good number of senior associates go in-house over the last year. Again I think this is a little firm dependent based on their clients/prestige and whatnot.

I like the people I work with and the pay with the COL is pretty great. I think I would hate big law a lot more if I had to work as much as I do and couldn't save anything. Overall the city is great and has amazing food, sports, bars and culture. Minus a potentially bad winter and the occasional gangland violence, I always recommend Chicago.

Anonymous User
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Re: Considering CH biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 27, 2016 9:57 pm

I have done Chicago and CA biglaw, but opposite (missed my family in California). Anyway it's the same exact thing in a different location. I didn't find it meaningfully different in any respect honestly. Move if you want to move.

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Re: Considering CH biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 27, 2016 10:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Kirkland obviously is closer to what you would consider NY-esque others not like that at all.


A little off-topic, but are the hours at Kirkland really significantly worse than other firms in the city?

Anonymous User
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Re: Considering CH biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 27, 2016 11:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Kirkland obviously is closer to what you would consider NY-esque others not like that at all.


A little off-topic, but are the hours at Kirkland really significantly worse than other firms in the city?


Depends on group but generally yes. But don't believe everything people tell u. They are hated by other firms in the city for not that good of reasons. The people are plenty nice and good lawyers. But they do work new York hours

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

Re: Considering CH biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 28, 2016 4:05 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Kirkland obviously is closer to what you would consider NY-esque others not like that at all.


A little off-topic, but are the hours at Kirkland really significantly worse than other firms in the city?


Depends on group but generally yes. But don't believe everything people tell u. They are hated by other firms in the city for not that good of reasons. The people are plenty nice and good lawyers. But they do work new York hours


Thanks for the insight.

I've heard mixed reports about how bad the hours really are, with some saying Sidley/Skadden generally having similar hours and others saying Kirkland's hours are significantly worse. Never really bought into the whole "culture/personality" thing, especially when you're talking about such large organizations.



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