CA: Crazy to Accept V50 over V10?

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rpupkin

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Re: CA: Crazy to Accept V50 over V10?

Postby rpupkin » Wed Aug 23, 2017 4:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
rpupkin wrote:I think you should start your own thread.


Sure, but I have the same Vault conundrum though. It seems crazy to turn down a V10, but it's in another market, so it might not matter.

I don't mean to pick on you, but OP's post is less about "Vault" and more about her various choices in the SoCal and NorCal markets. You need posters with familiarity with the New York and Boston markets in general and the Cahill NY and K&E Boston offices in particular. I don't have that familiarity (and I suspect most posters in this thread don't have that familiarity). You should start another thread.

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BottomOfTotem

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Re: CA: Crazy to Accept V50 over V10?

Postby BottomOfTotem » Thu Aug 24, 2017 3:18 pm

oblig.lawl.ref wrote:
candidlatke wrote:i generally think socal is better for raising families.

socal is moderately cheaper; SF/SV area housing prices are nuts even by cali standards

if you go latham, you can also try lateraling over to the OC office which would open up a lot of great neighborhoods/school districts and is generally cheaper than LA


Basically came in here to say this. SF/SV is pretty unlivable IMO. If you have no debt/little debt/lots of savings/super rich family/very well paid SO, SF/SV is fine. If you have debt and a family, SF/SV gets very difficult to live in, even on a biglaw salary. Buying a home is much more doable in the LA-area I think.

That being said I've heard those two LA offices can be grinds and I think the SV firms may be a little less so on the lit side at the very least.

So I don't know if it's an easy choice. But I definitely get strongly preferring the Bay to LA. I feel the same.


SF and certain areas within the peninsula are expensive, but places one who is going to work in biglaw would live around here are certainly livable on a biglaw salary. The central distinction to be made is that comparing "LA" (or NY for a different conversation) to "SF or SV" is inaccurate. SF is more like downtown LA or Manhattan, whereas the "Bay Area" would be more like "LA" or "NY." Yes, just like DT LA and MHT, SF is a difficult place to purchase a home on many levels (scarcity and price to name the intertwined big two), but every city in the Bay has areas that have affordable homes (even in Marin County, you can find a lot of housing that would be affordable for a biglaw atty). This is as someone who has lived in the majority of the sub-areas within the Bay Area (North Bay, Penn., South Bay, and SF), with a family and debt but no Biglaw salary -- it is certainly doable. Just think it through. How many people live in the Bay Area who have substantially lower incomes than biglaw attys? A LOT. It sort of mathematically has to be doable, right?

Is LA overall cheaper, most likely yes. Does that make the Bay Area unlivable, not even close. In my opinion, OP, from your brief post, it seems like you will be more happy in the Bay Area -- do what makes you happy.

oblig.lawl.ref

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Re: CA: Crazy to Accept V50 over V10?

Postby oblig.lawl.ref » Thu Aug 24, 2017 4:26 pm

BottomOfTotem wrote:
oblig.lawl.ref wrote:
candidlatke wrote:i generally think socal is better for raising families.

socal is moderately cheaper; SF/SV area housing prices are nuts even by cali standards

if you go latham, you can also try lateraling over to the OC office which would open up a lot of great neighborhoods/school districts and is generally cheaper than LA


Basically came in here to say this. SF/SV is pretty unlivable IMO. If you have no debt/little debt/lots of savings/super rich family/very well paid SO, SF/SV is fine. If you have debt and a family, SF/SV gets very difficult to live in, even on a biglaw salary. Buying a home is much more doable in the LA-area I think.

That being said I've heard those two LA offices can be grinds and I think the SV firms may be a little less so on the lit side at the very least.

So I don't know if it's an easy choice. But I definitely get strongly preferring the Bay to LA. I feel the same.


SF and certain areas within the peninsula are expensive, but places one who is going to work in biglaw would live around here are certainly livable on a biglaw salary. The central distinction to be made is that comparing "LA" (or NY for a different conversation) to "SF or SV" is inaccurate. SF is more like downtown LA or Manhattan, whereas the "Bay Area" would be more like "LA" or "NY." Yes, just like DT LA and MHT, SF is a difficult place to purchase a home on many levels (scarcity and price to name the intertwined big two), but every city in the Bay has areas that have affordable homes (even in Marin County, you can find a lot of housing that would be affordable for a biglaw atty). This is as someone who has lived in the majority of the sub-areas within the Bay Area (North Bay, Penn., South Bay, and SF), with a family and debt but no Biglaw salary -- it is certainly doable. Just think it through. How many people live in the Bay Area who have substantially lower incomes than biglaw attys? A LOT. It sort of mathematically has to be doable, right?

Is LA overall cheaper, most likely yes. Does that make the Bay Area unlivable, not even close. In my opinion, OP, from your brief post, it seems like you will be more happy in the Bay Area -- do what makes you happy.


I get that the bolded is your opinion but I'm not just blowing smoke. I live in SV on a biglaw salary. If you have close to a full load of debt, even on a biglaw salary it's very difficult to live. 1-bedrooms close to big law offices are well over $2K. 3 bed 2 bath homes that would be starter homes elsewhere are well over a million. Sure you can factor in the east bay but then you're looking at more like a 1.5-2 hour commute in rush hour to where big law offices are. Me and my peers (junior SV biglaw associates) often talk about how difficult it is to live here. It's hard to save $215k for a down payment on a home when rent is $2.5k and debt payments are almost $2k. I get different people have different situations but I think a lot of people would agree that with close to full debt load and no other great sources of income, the Bay area is among the most difficult places to live, financially.

ETA: I also know quite a number of people from the Bay Area. Many owned homes before it got so expensive. Many are supported by their parents who did. Most I know that did not have equity in houses before the price of a 3/2 house went from $650k to $1.2M in like eight years are looking to leave. There's lots of surveys finding that droves of young people are looking to leave the Bay citing affordability.
Last edited by oblig.lawl.ref on Thu Aug 24, 2017 4:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: CA: Crazy to Accept V50 over V10?

Postby LurkerTurnedMember » Thu Aug 24, 2017 4:34 pm

From the few years of experience as a lawyer (read: take my advice with a grain of salt), I've learned that Vault rankings and firm profiles don't mean much. Vault is heavily biased in favor of New York firms and the type of work mostly done there, and firm profiles online tend to focus just on the biggest income stream at the firm. Neither really tells you much about what you in particular might be looking for. A lot of new lawyers rely too much on those things though seemingly for two reasons. First, because they don't have much other info to rely on. Second, they've been sadly conditioned to "be number one" and the only thing that let's them feel like they're number one is to be at the top firm on Vault, even if they do something they hate doing and never planned to do. Your worry seems to be in line with this second reasons, i.e., someone must be crazy to pick a V50 over V10 because V10, man.

Pick the firm that fits what you're looking for in geographical area, pay, practice area, clients, co-workers, and exit options. It seems like the NorCal firms are what you're looking for. And if it makes you feel better, some of the NorCal firms you mentioned (especially WSGR, from my outside Cali perspective) are better in my opinion/personal rank than some V10 firms here in NYC.

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Re: CA: Crazy to Accept V50 over V10?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 24, 2017 9:04 pm

OP here. THANK YOU for such thoughtful responses!

LurkerTurnedMember wrote: Pick the firm that fits what you're looking for in geographical area, pay, practice area, clients, co-workers, and exit options. It seems like the NorCal firms are what you're looking for.


When you put it like that, without the explicit emphasis on prestige, it becomes pretty clear to me that I prefer NorCal.

rpupkin wrote:...your NorCal options aren't great for someone interested in general lit. Fenwick and Cooley have great corporate practices and solid IP lit, but neither is particularly strong for general commercial lit in NorCal. As lolwat suggested, Orrick is the best of the three for general lit, though it might be hard to avoid IP entirely there.

The draw of Kirkland and Latham isn't their vault rankings or prestige; rather, it's the fact that their LA offices have sizable general lit practices.


^ This was a tough perspective for me to reconcile for some time, because I'm currently under the (feasibly misguided) impression that I prefer general commercial lit to securities/employment lit. (WSGR/Cooley/Fenwick DO seem to have great securities lit practices.) The possibility of closing a beautiful door on commercial lit kinda freaked me out. But I'll take my chances, because these firms' commercial lit departments are still highly ranked in CA on Chambers, and I can always lateral if I want a more robust commercial lit practice. All the other factors just seem to scream NorCal, and I honestly don't know enough about my commercial preference to dive into a less-than-preferable market for it.

Again, thanks a ton, everyone. My wife and I thought there were some great points. What's more, you've partially helped me overcome the prestige-whore mentality of the profession.

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Re: CA: Crazy to Accept V50 over V10?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 25, 2017 10:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here. THANK YOU for such thoughtful responses!

LurkerTurnedMember wrote: Pick the firm that fits what you're looking for in geographical area, pay, practice area, clients, co-workers, and exit options. It seems like the NorCal firms are what you're looking for.


When you put it like that, without the explicit emphasis on prestige, it becomes pretty clear to me that I prefer NorCal.

rpupkin wrote:...your NorCal options aren't great for someone interested in general lit. Fenwick and Cooley have great corporate practices and solid IP lit, but neither is particularly strong for general commercial lit in NorCal. As lolwat suggested, Orrick is the best of the three for general lit, though it might be hard to avoid IP entirely there.

The draw of Kirkland and Latham isn't their vault rankings or prestige; rather, it's the fact that their LA offices have sizable general lit practices.


^ This was a tough perspective for me to reconcile for some time, because I'm currently under the (feasibly misguided) impression that I prefer general commercial lit to securities/employment lit. (WSGR/Cooley/Fenwick DO seem to have great securities lit practices.) The possibility of closing a beautiful door on commercial lit kinda freaked me out. But I'll take my chances, because these firms' commercial lit departments are still highly ranked in CA on Chambers, and I can always lateral if I want a more robust commercial lit practice. All the other factors just seem to scream NorCal, and I honestly don't know enough about my commercial preference to dive into a less-than-preferable market for it.

Again, thanks a ton, everyone. My wife and I thought there were some great points. What's more, you've partially helped me overcome the prestige-whore mentality of the profession.


WSGR would not be a great choice for commercial lit



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