Los Angeles Market Associates Taking Questions

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SmokeytheBear

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Re: Los Angeles Market Associates Taking Questions

Postby SmokeytheBear » Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:59 pm

bk1 wrote:
SmokeytheBear wrote:
jimmyplayer601 wrote:Hello,

I’m from San Diego, and therefore want to work in Biglaw in LA and applying to law schools right now. Iwas wondering how much of an impact school plays into part ito recruitment. I got a hefty scholarship to Michigan and I’ll probably end up at a top 10, just wondered if certain schools place better in LA than others, went to an ivy for undergrad is that makes any difference.


Others can feel free to tell me I am wrong, but UCLA and USC place the best in LA, with Boalt, Harvard, Georgetown not too far behind. Others, like Michigan, Stanford, NYU, etc place well too, but the numbers from the previously mentioned are highest. I don't see too many Penn, Duke, or UVA people out here. Note, though, that the reason some non-UCLA/USC place better than others has more to do with the fact that people who go to those schools want to be back in LA than it does with whether LA firms recruit at those schools.

I think you mean "most" rather than "best" (which is true for obvious reasons, and I don't think it's disputed that HYS have an advantage over UCLA/USC). To answer OP's question, yes better schools are generally going to be better for LA biglaw. Are UCLA/USC going to place better in LA than UM/UVA/NU/etc? I'm not entirely sure, though my suspicion is that it's kinda close. I think the more pertinent question between those caliber schools is whether you value biglaw or working in LA more.


Sure.

OP I should also note that since you are from San Diego, you should also consider big law in OC. Personally, I think most of OC is horrible and would never, ever live there, but several big law firms have offices there, they pay market, hours are generally more humane (even more humane than LA, which are generally more humane than bay/DC/NY), COL is lower than LA, and you're an hour closer to home. Waves are better too.

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Re: Los Angeles Market Associates Taking Questions

Postby lolwat » Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:09 pm

I do think UCLA/USC will place better in LA than most of the T13 schools. You've got all that alum stuff going on and you don't really have to answer questions about why you want to be in SoCal. I don't think someone from H or Y will have much of an advantage (if any) over a UCLA or USC grad here. But I don't think any minor disagreement over this merits too many posts of debate.

I guess I'm the opposite of Smokey on LA vs. OC. At least where the law firms are (mostly in Costa Mesa and Irvine), OC is awesome. I'm dreading the possibility that I might have to move to LA.

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Re: Los Angeles Market Associates Taking Questions

Postby SmokeytheBear » Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:17 pm

lolwat wrote:I do think UCLA/USC will place better in LA than most of the T13 schools. You've got all that alum stuff going on and you don't really have to answer questions about why you want to be in SoCal. I don't think someone from H or Y will have much of an advantage (if any) over a UCLA or USC grad here. But I don't think any minor disagreement over this merits too many posts of debate.

I guess I'm the opposite of Smokey on LA vs. OC. At least where the law firms are (mostly in Costa Mesa and Irvine), OC is awesome. I'm dreading the possibility that I might have to move to LA.


Totes agree on the first point.

On the second point, it's totally a personal preference. I get why some people like OC; it's just not for me.

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Re: Los Angeles Market Associates Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:31 pm

SmokeytheBear wrote:
lolwat wrote:I do think UCLA/USC will place better in LA than most of the T13 schools. You've got all that alum stuff going on and you don't really have to answer questions about why you want to be in SoCal. I don't think someone from H or Y will have much of an advantage (if any) over a UCLA or USC grad here. But I don't think any minor disagreement over this merits too many posts of debate.

I guess I'm the opposite of Smokey on LA vs. OC. At least where the law firms are (mostly in Costa Mesa and Irvine), OC is awesome. I'm dreading the possibility that I might have to move to LA.


Totes agree on the first point.

On the second point, it's totally a personal preference. I get why some people like OC; it's just not for me.


Yeah I’m not looking at OC, I want to be close to home but want LA nightlife haha. Yeah I’d be happy in nyc if I don’t get LA, so I’m thinking just going to a top 10 school and getting big law no matter what is better than USC/UCLA and striking out of LA and being doomed. I also got waitlisted at UCLA for what it’s worth, I think for YP

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Re: Los Angeles Market Associates Taking Questions

Postby SmokeytheBear » Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
SmokeytheBear wrote:
lolwat wrote:I do think UCLA/USC will place better in LA than most of the T13 schools. You've got all that alum stuff going on and you don't really have to answer questions about why you want to be in SoCal. I don't think someone from H or Y will have much of an advantage (if any) over a UCLA or USC grad here. But I don't think any minor disagreement over this merits too many posts of debate.

I guess I'm the opposite of Smokey on LA vs. OC. At least where the law firms are (mostly in Costa Mesa and Irvine), OC is awesome. I'm dreading the possibility that I might have to move to LA.


Totes agree on the first point.

On the second point, it's totally a personal preference. I get why some people like OC; it's just not for me.


Yeah I’m not looking at OC, I want to be close to home but want LA nightlife haha. Yeah I’d be happy in nyc if I don’t get LA, so I’m thinking just going to a top 10 school and getting big law no matter what is better than USC/UCLA and striking out of LA and being doomed. I also got waitlisted at UCLA for what it’s worth, I think for YP


Could be.

Once you have the rest of your offers in hand and know your scholarship situation, come back and let us know and we can help you sort it out.

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Re: Los Angeles Market Associates Taking Questions

Postby smokeylarue » Tue Jan 09, 2018 7:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote: Yeah I’m not looking at OC, I want to be close to home but want LA nightlife haha. Yeah I’d be happy in nyc if I don’t get LA, so I’m thinking just going to a top 10 school and getting big law no matter what is better than USC/UCLA and striking out of LA and being doomed. I also got waitlisted at UCLA for what it’s worth, I think for YP


This is the right line of thinking. Landing a gig in LA (and CA in general) requires some luck because the classes are small and theres a ton of Berkeley, Stanford, UCLA, and USC grads gunning for the same slots, so you can't bank on getting it even at a top law school and with ties. At my T6, I would guess probably less than 10% of my class ended up in California, even though I'm pretty sure more than that would've liked to end up there.

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Re: Los Angeles Market Associates Taking Questions

Postby smoked » Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:14 pm

I'm surprised no one is mentioning the GPA issue here. It's been my experience (and friends' experience) that biglaw firms have different GPA cutoffs for each school depending on school rank--the higher the school rank, the lower your GPA can be to still qualify for the job (GPA is ALWAYS the first box you gotta check off when applying to biglaw jobs). If you go to USC, you'll need a higher GPA than if you went to UCLA. And if you go to UCLA, you'll need a higher GPA than if you went to a top 10. Etc. (at top 3 schools I don't even know how they sort that lot out since there's no grade. Do they give gold stars? I think they call them "honors", right?)

Also, the biggest name biglaw firms in LA all recruit at pretty much every top 10 law school WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE NY SCHOOLS (or maybe this is just my firm, maybe someone else can chime in on this point). It's just the smaller offices of big law firms (think Wilson Sonsini LA, Cooley Santa Monica, etc.) that don't actively recruit at the top 10's outside of CA.

TL/DR, if biglaw is your plan, going to a higher ranked school definitely has its advantages. I, for one, would NOT have secured my LA biglaw job had I not gone to a top 10 and got my same GPA at UCLA/USC. And speaking from experience (I'm an LA associate heavily involved with recruiting), you being from San Diego means no one is going to question why you're coming back to SoCal to work (whether it be LA, OC or SD). NorCal might actually be a difficult sell unless you go to Stanford or Boalt, but doesn't sound like that's part of your plan.

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Re: Los Angeles Market Associates Taking Questions

Postby SmokeytheBear » Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:24 pm

smoked wrote:I'm surprised no one is mentioning the GPA issue here. It's been my experience (and friends' experience) that biglaw firms have different GPA cutoffs for each school depending on school rank--the higher the school rank, the lower your GPA can be to still qualify for the job (GPA is ALWAYS the first box you gotta check off when applying to biglaw jobs). If you go to USC, you'll need a higher GPA than if you went to UCLA. And if you go to UCLA, you'll need a higher GPA than if you went to a top 10. Etc. (at top 3 schools I don't even know how they sort that lot out since there's no grade. Do they give gold stars? I think they call them "honors", right?)


I think this was just assumed knowledge for big law. Lower ranked schools you need a higher GPA.

smoked wrote:Also, the biggest name biglaw firms in LA all recruit at pretty much every top 10 law school WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE NY SCHOOLS (or maybe this is just my firm, maybe someone else can chime in on this point). It's just the smaller offices of big law firms (think Wilson Sonsini LA, Cooley Santa Monica, etc.) that don't actively recruit at the top 10's outside of CA.


What do you mean by "recruit"? Like, do interviews at OCI? If so, I don't think this is true. I think your firm might be the exception, not the norm. I work at one of the "biggest name biglaw firms in LA" and we don't do OCI at over half of the top 10 schools. Sure, we accept resumes and definitely hire from those top-10 schools that we don't go to, but we don't go there.

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Re: Los Angeles Market Associates Taking Questions

Postby PorscheFanatic » Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:35 pm

Checking in here. I'm a first year, corp biglaw in OC.

I knew I wanted to be in SoCal (LA or OC), and was deciding between T10 east coast schools and UCLA. I too decided I'd rather at least have biglaw, even if it was NY (by going to a higher ranked east coast school), than strikeout of LA/OC, and then likely miss the biglaw boat all together (if I went to UCLA).

FWIW, the GPA thing is a real consideration. I went to Penn, and was basically at the bottom of my class. I was able to land at a v50 in LA, and now I'm at a v50 in OC. If I was at the bottom of my class at UCLA (which I think I probably would have still been since I didn't really learn good study habits in undergrad), I'd probably look less favorable.

Basically, to me Penn felt way safer because I knew I'd likely have NY biglaw at a minimum, and even with bad grades, I had a shot at LA biglaw, which I think would've been much harder with bad grades at UCLA (and wouldn't have the NY fallback).

I had essentially no ties to CA.

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Re: Los Angeles Market Associates Taking Questions

Postby SmokeytheBear » Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:42 pm

PorscheFanatic wrote:Checking in here. I'm a first year, corp biglaw in OC.

I knew I wanted to be in SoCal (LA or OC), and was deciding between T10 east coast schools and UCLA. I too decided I'd rather at least have biglaw, even if it was NY (by going to a higher ranked east coast school), than strikeout of LA/OC, and then likely miss the biglaw boat all together (if I went to UCLA).

FWIW, the GPA thing is a real consideration. I went to Penn, and was basically at the bottom of my class. I was able to land at a v50 in LA, and now I'm at a v50 in OC. If I was at the bottom of my class at UCLA (which I think I probably would have still been since I didn't really learn good study habits in undergrad), I'd probably look less favorable.

Basically, to me Penn felt way safer because I knew I'd likely have NY biglaw at a minimum, and even with bad grades, I had a shot at LA biglaw, which I think would've been much harder with bad grades at UCLA (and wouldn't have the NY fallback).

I had essentially no ties to CA.


That's impressive you were able to land anything with bottom of the class grades at Penn.

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Re: Los Angeles Market Associates Taking Questions

Postby LaLiLuLeLo » Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:48 pm

smoked wrote:If you go to USC, you'll need a higher GPA than if you went to UCLA.


Is that true for your firm? I was always under the impression that UCLA and USC were treated similarly. Same market, close in rank, same median (I think), etc.

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Re: Los Angeles Market Associates Taking Questions

Postby PorscheFanatic » Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:52 pm

SmokeytheBear wrote:
PorscheFanatic wrote:Checking in here. I'm a first year, corp biglaw in OC.

I knew I wanted to be in SoCal (LA or OC), and was deciding between T10 east coast schools and UCLA. I too decided I'd rather at least have biglaw, even if it was NY (by going to a higher ranked east coast school), than strikeout of LA/OC, and then likely miss the biglaw boat all together (if I went to UCLA).

FWIW, the GPA thing is a real consideration. I went to Penn, and was basically at the bottom of my class. I was able to land at a v50 in LA, and now I'm at a v50 in OC. If I was at the bottom of my class at UCLA (which I think I probably would have still been since I didn't really learn good study habits in undergrad), I'd probably look less favorable.

Basically, to me Penn felt way safer because I knew I'd likely have NY biglaw at a minimum, and even with bad grades, I had a shot at LA biglaw, which I think would've been much harder with bad grades at UCLA (and wouldn't have the NY fallback).

I had essentially no ties to CA.


That's impressive you were able to land anything with bottom of the class grades at Penn.


Trust me, I was very aware of this throughout the interviewing process. I think my only saving grace was that everyone told me how strong of an interviewer I was, but I am certainly not the norm, just a data point.

Interestingly, with the limited # of CBs I had, I completely struck out in NY (where I did probably twice as many screeners as I did on west coast) and landed 1 offer in LA and 1 offer in SD.

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Re: Los Angeles Market Associates Taking Questions

Postby lolwat » Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:57 pm

SmokeytheBear wrote:
PorscheFanatic wrote:Checking in here. I'm a first year, corp biglaw in OC.

I knew I wanted to be in SoCal (LA or OC), and was deciding between T10 east coast schools and UCLA. I too decided I'd rather at least have biglaw, even if it was NY (by going to a higher ranked east coast school), than strikeout of LA/OC, and then likely miss the biglaw boat all together (if I went to UCLA).

FWIW, the GPA thing is a real consideration. I went to Penn, and was basically at the bottom of my class. I was able to land at a v50 in LA, and now I'm at a v50 in OC. If I was at the bottom of my class at UCLA (which I think I probably would have still been since I didn't really learn good study habits in undergrad), I'd probably look less favorable.

Basically, to me Penn felt way safer because I knew I'd likely have NY biglaw at a minimum, and even with bad grades, I had a shot at LA biglaw, which I think would've been much harder with bad grades at UCLA (and wouldn't have the NY fallback).

I had essentially no ties to CA.


That's impressive you were able to land anything with bottom of the class grades at Penn.


There are always random success stories. I made it here (and had lots of interviews in LA, SF, and SV) even though my non-t10 school places generally places horribly in CA and I had no ties here at all. On the other hand I totally struck out in NYC. But if we want to talk maximizing chances without outliers... yeah. I'd take HYS over anything else but the choices become harder when you're going down the rest of the T10 versus UCLA/USC if you want to be in SoCal. At least that anon who started this discussion knows he's waitlisted at UCLA.

There's also how much you want to be in SoCal versus how "okay" you are if you land in NYC biglaw instead. (I think people going into law school don't necessarily quite understand the level of difference in quality of life between NYC biglaw and SoCal biglaw.)

Is that true for your firm? I was always under the impression that UCLA and USC were treated similarly. Same market, close in rank, same median (I think), etc.


My impression which is not backed up by any factual basis is that this probably depends on the strength of the respective alumni network at the firm.

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Re: Los Angeles Market Associates Taking Questions

Postby SmokeytheBear » Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:03 pm

LaLiLuLeLo wrote:
smoked wrote:If you go to USC, you'll need a higher GPA than if you went to UCLA.


Is that true for your firm? I was always under the impression that UCLA and USC were treated similarly. Same market, close in rank, same median (I think), etc.


My firm you need a slightly higher GPA from USC.

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Re: Los Angeles Market Associates Taking Questions

Postby SmokeytheBear » Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:04 pm

PorscheFanatic wrote:
SmokeytheBear wrote:
PorscheFanatic wrote:Checking in here. I'm a first year, corp biglaw in OC.

I knew I wanted to be in SoCal (LA or OC), and was deciding between T10 east coast schools and UCLA. I too decided I'd rather at least have biglaw, even if it was NY (by going to a higher ranked east coast school), than strikeout of LA/OC, and then likely miss the biglaw boat all together (if I went to UCLA).

FWIW, the GPA thing is a real consideration. I went to Penn, and was basically at the bottom of my class. I was able to land at a v50 in LA, and now I'm at a v50 in OC. If I was at the bottom of my class at UCLA (which I think I probably would have still been since I didn't really learn good study habits in undergrad), I'd probably look less favorable.

Basically, to me Penn felt way safer because I knew I'd likely have NY biglaw at a minimum, and even with bad grades, I had a shot at LA biglaw, which I think would've been much harder with bad grades at UCLA (and wouldn't have the NY fallback).

I had essentially no ties to CA.


That's impressive you were able to land anything with bottom of the class grades at Penn.


Trust me, I was very aware of this throughout the interviewing process. I think my only saving grace was that everyone told me how strong of an interviewer I was, but I am certainly not the norm, just a data point.

Interestingly, with the limited # of CBs I had, I completely struck out in NY (where I did probably twice as many screeners as I did on west coast) and landed 1 offer in LA and 1 offer in SD.


Great. I was mostly saying that for those who might look at this thread for wisdom in the future so they know that bottom of the class at Penn is not a sure shot at big law.

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Re: Los Angeles Market Associates Taking Questions

Postby PorscheFanatic » Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:16 pm

SmokeytheBear wrote:
PorscheFanatic wrote:
SmokeytheBear wrote:
PorscheFanatic wrote:Checking in here. I'm a first year, corp biglaw in OC.

I knew I wanted to be in SoCal (LA or OC), and was deciding between T10 east coast schools and UCLA. I too decided I'd rather at least have biglaw, even if it was NY (by going to a higher ranked east coast school), than strikeout of LA/OC, and then likely miss the biglaw boat all together (if I went to UCLA).

FWIW, the GPA thing is a real consideration. I went to Penn, and was basically at the bottom of my class. I was able to land at a v50 in LA, and now I'm at a v50 in OC. If I was at the bottom of my class at UCLA (which I think I probably would have still been since I didn't really learn good study habits in undergrad), I'd probably look less favorable.

Basically, to me Penn felt way safer because I knew I'd likely have NY biglaw at a minimum, and even with bad grades, I had a shot at LA biglaw, which I think would've been much harder with bad grades at UCLA (and wouldn't have the NY fallback).

I had essentially no ties to CA.


That's impressive you were able to land anything with bottom of the class grades at Penn.


Trust me, I was very aware of this throughout the interviewing process. I think my only saving grace was that everyone told me how strong of an interviewer I was, but I am certainly not the norm, just a data point.

Interestingly, with the limited # of CBs I had, I completely struck out in NY (where I did probably twice as many screeners as I did on west coast) and landed 1 offer in LA and 1 offer in SD.


Great. I was mostly saying that for those who might look at this thread for wisdom in the future so they know that bottom of the class at Penn is not a sure shot at big law.


Agreed. My earlier point was that I chose Penn over UCLA/USC because even at the bottom of the class, I felt I still had a shot at biglaw, and in the middle of the class, it is close to guaranteed.

My rationale was that even if I was miserable in NY, I could eventually lateral to the west coast if I at least got something in biglaw.

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Re: Los Angeles Market Associates Taking Questions

Postby smoked » Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:08 pm

smoked wrote:Also, the biggest name biglaw firms in LA all recruit at pretty much every top 10 law school WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE NY SCHOOLS (or maybe this is just my firm, maybe someone else can chime in on this point). It's just the smaller offices of big law firms (think Wilson Sonsini LA, Cooley Santa Monica, etc.) that don't actively recruit at the top 10's outside of CA.


What do you mean by "recruit"? Like, do interviews at OCI? If so, I don't think this is true. I think your firm might be the exception, not the norm. I work at one of the "biggest name biglaw firms in LA" and we don't do OCI at over half of the top 10 schools. Sure, we accept resumes and definitely hire from those top-10 schools that we don't go to, but we don't go there.[/quote]

Yeah, I meant OCI (isn't the OCI process how biglaw by and far recruits students? Ignore the Quinn cocktail hour). Interesting that you think my office is the exception (we're one of the local monster firms, too), I've got nothing but anecdotal experience being at an out of state top 10 and now at a local "monster" firm, so can't really argue the point with data outside of that.
Last edited by smoked on Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Los Angeles Market Associates Taking Questions

Postby smoked » Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:10 pm

SmokeytheBear wrote:
LaLiLuLeLo wrote:
smoked wrote:If you go to USC, you'll need a higher GPA than if you went to UCLA.


Is that true for your firm? I was always under the impression that UCLA and USC were treated similarly. Same market, close in rank, same median (I think), etc.


My firm you need a slightly higher GPA from USC.


Same.

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Re: Los Angeles Market Associates Taking Questions

Postby LaLiLuLeLo » Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:25 pm

TIL. maybe I should get more involved so I learn this shit.

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Re: Los Angeles Market Associates Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:56 pm

SmokeytheBear wrote:
smoked wrote:Also, the biggest name biglaw firms in LA all recruit at pretty much every top 10 law school WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE NY SCHOOLS (or maybe this is just my firm, maybe someone else can chime in on this point). It's just the smaller offices of big law firms (think Wilson Sonsini LA, Cooley Santa Monica, etc.) that don't actively recruit at the top 10's outside of CA.


What do you mean by "recruit"? Like, do interviews at OCI? If so, I don't think this is true. I think your firm might be the exception, not the norm. I work at one of the "biggest name biglaw firms in LA" and we don't do OCI at over half of the top 10 schools. Sure, we accept resumes and definitely hire from those top-10 schools that we don't go to, but we don't go there.


Sorta same here at my "biggest name biglaw," whatever that means, in DTLA. I think we go to 6-8 of the T13, including both of the NY schools. Not the same as your datapoint, but different than OP's datapoint.

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Re: Los Angeles Market Associates Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:36 am

What compensation benefits do associates in LA get? Please chime in especially if you work at the top firms in LA. There are other threads on this topic but nothing seems to be orientated specifically at the LA market.

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Re: Los Angeles Market Associates Taking Questions

Postby SmokeytheBear » Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What compensation benefits do associates in LA get? Please chime in especially if you work at the top firms in LA. There are other threads on this topic but nothing seems to be orientated specifically at the LA market.


I have no idea what this means.

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Re: Los Angeles Market Associates Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:14 pm

I think the post above is referring to firm benefits (healthcare, paid meals, paid transportation, etc.)

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Re: Los Angeles Market Associates Taking Questions

Postby bk1 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I think the post above is referring to firm benefits (healthcare, paid meals, paid transportation, etc.)

You wrote that post so you would know.

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Re: Los Angeles Market Associates Taking Questions

Postby SmokeytheBear » Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I think the post above is referring to firm benefits (healthcare, paid meals, paid transportation, etc.)


I've worked at two of the top firms in LA.

Working meals: Firm A paid $30 if billing over 10 hours on weekday, 5 hours on weekend. Firm B pays $30 if work past 8 on weekday, or at all on weekend; no one really checks the time or your hours at Firm B, so you just have to be smart about it.

Healthcare: Both firms have options for blue cross, kaiser, and various dental and vision. Both ended up being around $300-$400 a month for decent plans with low deductibles. Could have gone cheaper if I wanted.

Paid transportation: parking was paid at both firms. During the summer at both firms you could expense ubers to or from events.

Everything else is a national issue which you can find in the thread on firm benefits.



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