SF Bay area - Monterey, Sacramento, etc. mid/small law

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SF Bay area - Monterey, Sacramento, etc. mid/small law

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 18, 2017 11:57 pm

Hi all,

I am currently living/working in the South. My husband had to move to the Bay area for work (Monterey Bay now, probably Sacramento in a couple years). I'm planning to sit for the February 2018 bar and move sometime thereafter. I will work in San Francisco as a last resort but am hoping to target Moneterey/Santa Cruz area and also Sacramento. How oversaturated is the legal market out there? What is small-to-medium-firm civil litigation salary outside of SF for an attorney with 4-5 years of experience, including some first-chair trial experience?

My experience has been working at a multi-practice-area small firm, primarily serving Spanish speaking clients.
Stats: Journal and approximately top third at UNC, with journal experience
Been practicing 4-5 years.
-Basic family-based immigration, U visas, etc.
-Criminal law (misdemeanors)
-Family law (dozens of bench trials, about a year of work handling high-worth marital estates in the millions of dollars)
-Plaintiff-side civil litigation - first chair experience for one jury trial open through close. Have taken or defended 20+ depositions, including expert depos, handled many mediations. Settled cases for six figures and have taken cases from $0 offer before suit to settling for tens of thousands entirely on my own. I realize this is small potatoes, but would hope it demonstrates adding value.
-Drafted the brief, with my name on it, for state Supreme Court case for prevailing side

-I speak Spanish and have a background in professional writing (freelance credits at newspapers, websites, magazines, etc.)

I am fairly flexible on practice area. I would like to work reasonable hours (current gig is about 9/hrs a day unless in depo/trial prep). I would like to crack 6 figures but don't have loans so would probably choose $80k with decent hours vs. $120k with terrible hours. I don't want to do insurance defense.

What practice areas am I most likely to be hired in making decent money? Are there any "hot" practice areas I should be learning about to which my skills could translate?

-I also have some seed money saved up that could be start-up capital, and a close friend who is pretty adept at starting up new law offices/advertising and would guide me. Am I better off hanging my own shingle?

Any advice would be really, really appreciated.

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