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

(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: 308165
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

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.

Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.