wert3813 wrote:So basically the only "easy" market is NY?
Okay, well I always have to plug this though so...you're missing one major market that is pretty easy and imo the best (but arguable with NYC and maybe LA, depending on preferences): TX.
For 1L SA, usually needs ties, and probably need more ties to get 2L SA in Dallas compared to Houston, and DEFINITELY need ties to get into small, competitive Austin...but Houston 2L SAs are given out like candy to HLS students. I mean, show genuine interest in the market, but you don't really need ties. Just interest. They know if you take the 2L SA to TX, very little chance you're going to be going elsewhere from 3L OCI anyways haha.
The TX legal market is also one of the most robust. NYC and TX probably the most robust two. Too much work if anything. TONS of NYC firms have recently tried to break into the Houston market (most of my TX comments really only talk about Houston as I have limited experience with Dallas/San Antonio/Austin markets) because of oil & gas/energy. So if you still want a NYC-based firm, there are some good ones that just opened up and are doing well. Latham comes to mind first -- cutting edge transactional work (no lit really), VERY successful in VERY little time...Sidley is another out-of-state firm that just opened up and is attracting great partners/business. Regardless, in answering your question, the TX legal market is relatively easy to break into for 2L yr, esp. Houston, and is certainly one of the most successful ones in the country at the moment.
COL is like a third of NYC's...real estate is DIRT cheap...no state income tax. Starting biglaw scale is also $160k, though the lockstep doesn't grow as quickly as NYC's, and the bonuses are smaller. That being said, after taxes are factored in (NYC has a city tax too), they become much more similar...and once housing and COL is factored in, not even close. Probably can repay loans considerably faster in TX biglaw. We also work fewer hours and have nicer people. Still work biglaw (biglaw is biglaw is biglaw), but not NYC crazy. I have tons of friends who are working in NYC and summered there -- the stories of the personalities and work hours are foreign to me. We still have our days and a few outlier people, but generally, I have never been stressed due to the PEOPLE at my firms (I SA'd at multiple firms). We're less "brutally efficient" down here in TX
Okay okay, done plugging.