Regrets leaving/moving to Boston or moving to NY?

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Regrets leaving/moving to Boston or moving to NY?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon May 20, 2019 12:43 pm

I'm in big law in Boston, wanting to move to the NYC market (probably will have to transfer within my firm, but considering lateraling).

For anyone who moved out of/moved to Boston or NY, do you regret your choice? Are you happy with the Boston or NY market/lifestyle?
I know this depends heavily on your firm, group and personal priorities, but I'm looking to hear personal anecdotes on why you do or didn't like the Boston market. I don't want to move away only to realize I've lost something good and that I didn't know what I was getting into in the NY market.

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Re: Regrets leaving/moving to Boston or moving to NY?

Postby objctnyrhnr » Mon May 20, 2019 1:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm in big law in Boston, wanting to move to the NYC market (probably will have to transfer within my firm, but considering lateraling).

For anyone who moved out of/moved to Boston or NY, do you regret your choice? Are you happy with the Boston or NY market/lifestyle?
I know this depends heavily on your firm, group and personal priorities, but I'm looking to hear personal anecdotes on why you do or didn't like the Boston market. I don't want to move away only to realize I've lost something good and that I didn't know what I was getting into in the NY market.


All other things equal, and without knowing more, boston biglaw has a general rep of fewer (but not THAT many fewer, depending on firm) of hours expected relative to nyc with same pay. So from that it follows that in a vacuum and all things equal, staying in boston is a better move.

I’m inferring from your post that there is some facet of your personal life pulling you to nyc. Is that accurate?

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Re: Regrets leaving/moving to Boston or moving to NY?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon May 20, 2019 1:26 pm

objctnyrhnr wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm in big law in Boston, wanting to move to the NYC market (probably will have to transfer within my firm, but considering lateraling).

For anyone who moved out of/moved to Boston or NY, do you regret your choice? Are you happy with the Boston or NY market/lifestyle?
I know this depends heavily on your firm, group and personal priorities, but I'm looking to hear personal anecdotes on why you do or didn't like the Boston market. I don't want to move away only to realize I've lost something good and that I didn't know what I was getting into in the NY market.


All other things equal, and without knowing more, boston biglaw has a general rep of fewer (but not THAT many fewer, depending on firm) of hours expected relative to nyc with same pay. So from that it follows that in a vacuum and all things equal, staying in boston is a better move.

I’m inferring from your post that there is some facet of your personal life pulling you to nyc. Is that accurate?

Yes, that's correct! I worked in NY for some years before law school, and I know NYC is more my speed and type in terms of lifestyle. I have tended to be someone who has billed quite a lot for my class in Boston, so I think the general expectation of higher billing in NY may not be too tough of a transition for me, but really hard to say.

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Re: Regrets leaving/moving to Boston or moving to NY?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon May 20, 2019 4:57 pm

I'm an associate in Boston who often thinks about lateraling out to a different market. Primary reason being that Boston feels like a very small/insular market, and, not being someone who is a MA local, I feel like being an outsider hurts me here. My classmate from our T14 law school at another firm feels the same way. No offense but, Boston almost has a provincial feel to it sometimes. Partnership is largely white male and from local Boston or New England schools. Client work is also somewhat MA-focused (though admittedly, really big MA clients - think Fortune 500 type). Not super happy here for the above reasons.

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Re: Regrets leaving/moving to Boston or moving to NY?

Postby 2013 » Tue May 21, 2019 5:06 am

No firsthand experience, but I’ve had a few friends go from Boston to NY/DC and none of them has regretted it. The Boston legal market seems to be an acquired taste (very old school), which could be part of the reason.

However, like OP, my friends all had reasons to want to be in NY and, to them, those reasons significantly outweighed the additional tax/cost burdens and additional hours.

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Re: Regrets leaving/moving to Boston or moving to NY?

Postby objctnyrhnr » Tue May 21, 2019 1:15 pm

Notwithstanding the stated hours requirement at market biglaw in the respective cities (which wold theoretically be the same), are people’s impressions that there’s an implied or unstated somewhat higher hours requirement at nyc firms? I feel like this is common anecdotal wisdom, but I’m wondering if anybody has any actual comparative data points.

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Re: Regrets leaving/moving to Boston or moving to NY?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 21, 2019 1:57 pm

objctnyrhnr wrote:Notwithstanding the stated hours requirement at market biglaw in the respective cities (which wold theoretically be the same), are people’s impressions that there’s an implied or unstated somewhat higher hours requirement at nyc firms? I feel like this is common anecdotal wisdom, but I’m wondering if anybody has any actual comparative data points.


It's probably true. My friends in Goodwin Boston are billing around 2000 a year in transactional roles. My friends in litigation in NY are billing far north of that (2400-3000 range). Granted, different practice groups and different firms, but those data points have generally been consistent with the stories I hear.

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Re: Regrets leaving/moving to Boston or moving to NY?

Postby objctnyrhnr » Tue May 21, 2019 2:12 pm

So, with awareness of the tiny risk that this question might destabilize the thread (though I think there’s a counter argument that the question actually keeps it on point), why do it? Why go nyc biglaw when you could go biglaw anywhere else (well often just major cities I suppose) and make the same? Is QOL that much better in nyc than it is in, say, boston? Everything costs more, it often smells like garbage in the summer. Sure people might be a little better looking, but does that really matter that much?

I understand not wanting to go to Texas for market pay in spite of the relatively low COL but, with Boston being the best example I can think of right now (and on point with the OP), is there really enough to gain from the move to justify the hundreds more in billables in biglaw nyc?

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Re: Regrets leaving/moving to Boston or moving to NY?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 21, 2019 2:52 pm

objctnyrhnr wrote:So, with awareness of the tiny risk that this question might destabilize the thread (though I think there’s a counter argument that the question actually keeps it on point), why do it? Why go nyc biglaw when you could go biglaw anywhere else (well often just major cities I suppose) and make the same? Is QOL that much better in nyc than it is in, say, boston? Everything costs more, it often smells like garbage in the summer. Sure people might be a little better looking, but does that really matter that much?

I understand not wanting to go to Texas for market pay in spite of the relatively low COL but, with Boston being the best example I can think of right now (and on point with the OP), is there really enough to gain from the move to justify the hundreds more in billables in biglaw nyc?


Yeah. As a female racial minority, I feel isolated in my Boston office practice group. I thought I could just "work hard and prove myself," but it's become amply clear after a couple years here what an old boys' club many of the legal circles here are. Perhaps the hours are worse and the pay is less in NY, but going to work and seeing people who look like you - especially on top - and being able to make some friends will make my life that much more tolerable. Even if it extends your BigLaw career by 1-3 years you'd probably end up with more money in the long run.

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Re: Regrets leaving/moving to Boston or moving to NY?

Postby 2013 » Tue May 21, 2019 4:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
objctnyrhnr wrote:So, with awareness of the tiny risk that this question might destabilize the thread (though I think there’s a counter argument that the question actually keeps it on point), why do it? Why go nyc biglaw when you could go biglaw anywhere else (well often just major cities I suppose) and make the same? Is QOL that much better in nyc than it is in, say, boston? Everything costs more, it often smells like garbage in the summer. Sure people might be a little better looking, but does that really matter that much?

I understand not wanting to go to Texas for market pay in spite of the relatively low COL but, with Boston being the best example I can think of right now (and on point with the OP), is there really enough to gain from the move to justify the hundreds more in billables in biglaw nyc?


Yeah. As a female racial minority, I feel isolated in my Boston office practice group. I thought I could just "work hard and prove myself," but it's become amply clear after a couple years here what an old boys' club many of the legal circles here are. Perhaps the hours are worse and the pay is less in NY, but going to work and seeing people who look like you - especially on top - and being able to make some friends will make my life that much more tolerable. Even if it extends your BigLaw career by 1-3 years you'd probably end up with more money in the long run.


Most people who thrive in biglaw in Boston seem to either be from there (born, raised, educated, etc. in Boston and the surrounding burbs) or are white. Obviously this is a crazy generalization, but I think that many minority attorneys not from the area leave, which only leaves white attorney’s and the minority attorneys who will never leave Boston. It’s a never-ending cycle.

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Re: Regrets leaving/moving to Boston or moving to NY?

Postby objctnyrhnr » Tue May 21, 2019 7:07 pm

2013 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
objctnyrhnr wrote:So, with awareness of the tiny risk that this question might destabilize the thread (though I think there’s a counter argument that the question actually keeps it on point), why do it? Why go nyc biglaw when you could go biglaw anywhere else (well often just major cities I suppose) and make the same? Is QOL that much better in nyc than it is in, say, boston? Everything costs more, it often smells like garbage in the summer. Sure people might be a little better looking, but does that really matter that much?

I understand not wanting to go to Texas for market pay in spite of the relatively low COL but, with Boston being the best example I can think of right now (and on point with the OP), is there really enough to gain from the move to justify the hundreds more in billables in biglaw nyc?


Yeah. As a female racial minority, I feel isolated in my Boston office practice group. I thought I could just "work hard and prove myself," but it's become amply clear after a couple years here what an old boys' club many of the legal circles here are. Perhaps the hours are worse and the pay is less in NY, but going to work and seeing people who look like you - especially on top - and being able to make some friends will make my life that much more tolerable. Even if it extends your BigLaw career by 1-3 years you'd probably end up with more money in the long run.


Most people who thrive in biglaw in Boston seem to either be from there (born, raised, educated, etc. in Boston and the surrounding burbs) or are white. Obviously this is a crazy generalization, but I think that many minority attorneys not from the area leave, which only leaves white attorney’s and the minority attorneys who will never leave Boston. It’s a never-ending cycle.


That’s very interesting, and not something I had heard before. Is the consensus that there is something decisively nondiverse about boston, or is it that nyc is a particularly diverse spot (relatively to Houston Boston Denver Seattle Chicago dc la sf etc etc) for a early ish biglaw career?

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Re: Regrets leaving/moving to Boston or moving to NY?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 12, 2019 3:16 pm

objctnyrhnr wrote:
2013 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
objctnyrhnr wrote:So, with awareness of the tiny risk that this question might destabilize the thread (though I think there’s a counter argument that the question actually keeps it on point), why do it? Why go nyc biglaw when you could go biglaw anywhere else (well often just major cities I suppose) and make the same? Is QOL that much better in nyc than it is in, say, boston? Everything costs more, it often smells like garbage in the summer. Sure people might be a little better looking, but does that really matter that much?

I understand not wanting to go to Texas for market pay in spite of the relatively low COL but, with Boston being the best example I can think of right now (and on point with the OP), is there really enough to gain from the move to justify the hundreds more in billables in biglaw nyc?


Yeah. As a female racial minority, I feel isolated in my Boston office practice group. I thought I could just "work hard and prove myself," but it's become amply clear after a couple years here what an old boys' club many of the legal circles here are. Perhaps the hours are worse and the pay is less in NY, but going to work and seeing people who look like you - especially on top - and being able to make some friends will make my life that much more tolerable. Even if it extends your BigLaw career by 1-3 years you'd probably end up with more money in the long run.


Most people who thrive in biglaw in Boston seem to either be from there (born, raised, educated, etc. in Boston and the surrounding burbs) or are white. Obviously this is a crazy generalization, but I think that many minority attorneys not from the area leave, which only leaves white attorney’s and the minority attorneys who will never leave Boston. It’s a never-ending cycle.


That’s very interesting, and not something I had heard before. Is the consensus that there is something decisively nondiverse about boston, or is it that nyc is a particularly diverse spot (relatively to Houston Boston Denver Seattle Chicago dc la sf etc etc) for a early ish biglaw career?

I am OP. While diversity of the city isn't necessarily a top reason why I want to leave the Boston legal market, it is why I want to leave Boston. Things like food and culture in Boston are left to the further outskirts of town, I am a person of color so I do feel very left out in the Bro heavy culture of young professional Boston (not that NY is totally different, but you have a better chance of running into folks of more varied lifestyles in NY). I also think being a non-Bro and non-sports fan type of a person, I feel purposely left out of social situations in professional settings more so than maybe I might in NY. In other words, I think I feel more free to be me in NY, whereas in Boston, I feel more like there is a uniform (both clothing and personality-wise).

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Re: Regrets leaving/moving to Boston or moving to NY?

Postby icansortofmath » Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:20 pm

Please don’t read my post as sexist because I am just telling you what I have heard/seen as a straight male.

I know virtually no single male biglaw associate that regretted moving to NYC. A high earning single male lawyer here who’s in even semi decent (read not obese and not 5’5”) shape has a lot of options in Manhattan.

True to lesser extent in DC, LA, and Boston. SF is a different beast. Too many health conscious (read in better shape) high earners in tech (sexier industry than law).

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Re: Regrets leaving/moving to Boston or moving to NY?

Postby MaxMcMann » Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:28 pm

objctnyrhnr wrote:So, with awareness of the tiny risk that this question might destabilize the thread (though I think there’s a counter argument that the question actually keeps it on point), why do it? Why go nyc biglaw when you could go biglaw anywhere else (well often just major cities I suppose) and make the same? Is QOL that much better in nyc than it is in, say, boston? Everything costs more, it often smells like garbage in the summer. Sure people might be a little better looking, but does that really matter that much?

I understand not wanting to go to Texas for market pay in spite of the relatively low COL but, with Boston being the best example I can think of right now (and on point with the OP), is there really enough to gain from the move to justify the hundreds more in billables in biglaw nyc?

I asked myself that same question going to school in Chicago. The difference in real estate prices is between a roach infested shitbox and a plum apartment in a nice part of town.

It comes down to people. The midwest is just too slow and depressing. And, yes, not as good looking - which matters a lot to me personally. Also I want to live in a city where nobody gives a shit about football.

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Re: Regrets leaving/moving to Boston or moving to NY?

Postby carsondalywashere » Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:55 pm

objctnyrhnr wrote:Why go nyc biglaw when you could go biglaw anywhere else (well often just major cities I suppose) and make the same?

More than half of all biglaw jobs are in New York. No other market comes even close.

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Re: Regrets leaving/moving to Boston or moving to NY?

Postby Yugihoe » Thu Jun 13, 2019 8:13 pm

icansortofmath wrote:Please don’t read my post as sexist because I am just telling you what I have heard/seen as a straight male.

I know virtually no single male biglaw associate that regretted moving to NYC. A high earning single male lawyer here who’s in even semi decent (read not obese and not 5’5”) shape has a lot of options in Manhattan.

True to lesser extent in DC, LA, and Boston. SF is a different beast. Too many health conscious (read in better shape) high earners in tech (sexier industry than law).


Lol its not like you have time to date in nyc anyway while in big law - i guess you can go on your hinge date on the weekend and watch it fizz away eventually. Also lol at grouping being 5'5 with being in shape.

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Re: Regrets leaving/moving to Boston or moving to NY?

Postby RedPurpleBlue » Thu Jun 13, 2019 8:44 pm

Yugihoe wrote:

Lol its not like you have time to date in nyc anyway while in big law - i guess you can go on your hinge date on the weekend and watch it fizz away eventually. Also lol at grouping being 5'5 with being in shape.


As a guy not much taller than 5'5", it was a bummer to hear. Sucks to always get shit on for my height.

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Re: Regrets leaving/moving to Boston or moving to NY?

Postby icansortofmath » Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:17 pm

Sorry. That was uncalled for.



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