Biglaw outside of NYC

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Gucci Mane
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Biglaw outside of NYC

Postby Gucci Mane » Sat Dec 14, 2013 4:52 pm

I was doing some research on legal jobs in my state (Georgia) and found some people saying that there were jobs paying $120k+ right out of school. Is this true? If it is, wouldn't it be actually better to have one of these jobs instead of a $160k job with extremely high living costs and taxes?

I'm asking because I'm starting to question the prudency of going to law school, considering I neither want to work in NYC, nor do I want a low-paying job that doesn't justify the investment of three years of school.

Capitol A
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Re: Biglaw outside of NYC

Postby Capitol A » Sat Dec 14, 2013 5:10 pm

I will make more than $120k in a city smaller than Atlanta.
There used to be a chart somewhere that showed starting salaries in multiple cities compared and the NYC equivalent, so to answer your second question, yes, you will often have more buying power with less money in cities with lower taxes/cost of living.

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brotherdarkness
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Re: Biglaw outside of NYC

Postby brotherdarkness » Sat Dec 14, 2013 5:14 pm

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Gucci Mane
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Re: Biglaw outside of NYC

Postby Gucci Mane » Sat Dec 14, 2013 5:21 pm

Appreciate the quick responses. I don't really care about working on the "biggest deals", from what I hear you never work on a case from start to finish in those kinds of jobs anyways.

One other thing, how easy would it be to get a biglaw job in a smaller market if I have no connections and just try to get in through a T14 degree?

arklaw13
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Re: Biglaw outside of NYC

Postby arklaw13 » Sat Dec 14, 2013 5:22 pm

Texas is TCR. New York pay with a third-world cost of living.

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PepperJack
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Re: Biglaw outside of NYC

Postby PepperJack » Sat Dec 14, 2013 5:27 pm

Atlanta has a decent big law market. If you're from there you can get one of those jobs, but it takes the same numbers as it would for NYC. Georgia has too many law schools, and UVA/Duke/Vandy are all placing large numbers of students there.

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twenty
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Re: Biglaw outside of NYC

Postby twenty » Sat Dec 14, 2013 5:41 pm

The hard part is that in this day and age, you don't really get to pick where you end up. Chances are, you'll end up in NYC.

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PepperJack
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Re: Biglaw outside of NYC

Postby PepperJack » Sat Dec 14, 2013 5:49 pm

twentypercentmore wrote:The hard part is that in this day and age, you don't really get to pick where you end up. Chances are, you'll end up in NYC.

This is untrue. Most who could land ATL big law could land NYC big law. It's going to depend on where you grew up. It's not like if you get bad grades there's always NYC. You just see a lot of people going to NYC because there's more from there to begin with, it's sought after and many people are from demographics that have an impossible to break into big law network (think Miami, the Dakotas, Seattle).

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twenty
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Re: Biglaw outside of NYC

Postby twenty » Sat Dec 14, 2013 6:00 pm

I literally have no idea what you're trying to say. Whether or not someone who got Atlanta biglaw could have just as easily gotten NYC biglaw is entirely irrelevant.

Gucci Mane
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Re: Biglaw outside of NYC

Postby Gucci Mane » Sat Dec 14, 2013 6:26 pm

twentypercentmore wrote:The hard part is that in this day and age, you don't really get to pick where you end up. Chances are, you'll end up in NYC.


What do you mean? Are you saying that there aren't enough biglaw jobs outside of NYC to go around?

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twenty
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Re: Biglaw outside of NYC

Postby twenty » Sat Dec 14, 2013 6:37 pm

My argument is that the largest biglaw market is NYC. If you look at the OCI thread right now, you'll see a painfully large number of participants that missed the boat on biglaw. It strikes me as incredibly unlikely that a person gets ATL biglaw without having a better shot at NYC biglaw, and if you're in that position, a biglaw job > no biglaw job. If you look at the Vale of Tears thread, you'll find people that are legitimately considering suicide over this.

If this happens on more than just an occasional basis (which in this age, it does), you really do have to consider the real possibility that you end up somewhere you don't want to be.

So yeah, maybe you'll get lucky and end up with an 120k/yr job in Atlanta, but I wouldn't count on that.

Gucci Mane
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Re: Biglaw outside of NYC

Postby Gucci Mane » Sat Dec 14, 2013 7:06 pm

twentypercentmore wrote:My argument is that the largest biglaw market is NYC. If you look at the OCI thread right now, you'll see a painfully large number of participants that missed the boat on biglaw. It strikes me as incredibly unlikely that a person gets ATL biglaw without having a better shot at NYC biglaw, and if you're in that position, a biglaw job > no biglaw job. If you look at the Vale of Tears thread, you'll find people that are legitimately considering suicide over this.

If this happens on more than just an occasional basis (which in this age, it does), you really do have to consider the real possibility that you end up somewhere you don't want to be.

So yeah, maybe you'll get lucky and end up with an 120k/yr job in Atlanta, but I wouldn't count on that.


That's some sobering shit man.

arklaw13
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Re: Biglaw outside of NYC

Postby arklaw13 » Sat Dec 14, 2013 7:20 pm

Gucci Mane wrote:
twentypercentmore wrote:The hard part is that in this day and age, you don't really get to pick where you end up. Chances are, you'll end up in NYC.


What do you mean? Are you saying that there aren't enough biglaw jobs outside of NYC to go around?


There aren't enough biglaw jobs to go around in any city. NYC is generally where you have the best chance of getting a job, all else being equal, because the average firms there aren't as grade selective as other markets. ATL firms can be more selective than many NYC firms because there are more people who would take ATL over NYC than there are jobs in ATL. Supply/demand, etc.

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FlanAl
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Re: Biglaw outside of NYC

Postby FlanAl » Sat Dec 14, 2013 7:22 pm

yeah, its not that NYC is easy, its that secondary markets are harder. People who get atlanta could easily get NYC, but people who get NYC could probably not easily get atlanta. I'm pretty sure NALP has a thing that tells you how many summer associate positions each city has.

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PepperJack
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Re: Biglaw outside of NYC

Postby PepperJack » Sat Dec 14, 2013 9:09 pm

arklaw13 wrote:
Gucci Mane wrote:
twentypercentmore wrote:The hard part is that in this day and age, you don't really get to pick where you end up. Chances are, you'll end up in NYC.


What do you mean? Are you saying that there aren't enough biglaw jobs outside of NYC to go around?


There aren't enough biglaw jobs to go around in any city. NYC is generally where you have the best chance of getting a job, all else being equal, because the average firms there aren't as grade selective as other markets. ATL firms can be more selective than many NYC firms because there are more people who would take ATL over NYC than there are jobs in ATL. Supply/demand, etc.

Important to note this is the problem at top 14 schools. At most schools there will be 2-3 jobs that will service debt to go around for 300 people. There's not even really a point of gunning at these places. You might as well just relax, because the next 40 years are going to be a grind.

The NYC thing isn't necessarily true. The most people wind up there bec it's the highest supply of jobs, but it's also heavily demanded. Most other markets with ties are easier.

The 120k jobs are going to go to people above median at top 14 schools, and to the top 10% at Emory/UGA. Virtually all those who get these jobs will have those credentials, but they're not sufficient to get such jobs.

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cotiger
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Re: Biglaw outside of NYC

Postby cotiger » Sat Dec 14, 2013 11:22 pm

Capitol A wrote:I will make more than $120k in a city smaller than Atlanta.
There used to be a chart somewhere that showed starting salaries in multiple cities compared and the NYC equivalent, so to answer your second question, yes, you will often have more buying power with less money in cities with lower taxes/cost of living.


http://www.nalp.org/buying_power_index_class_of_2012

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Br3v
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Re: Biglaw outside of NYC

Postby Br3v » Sat Dec 14, 2013 11:43 pm

Gucci Mane wrote:in my state (Georgia)


Wait, your not actually...

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Biglaw outside of NYC

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sat Dec 14, 2013 11:55 pm

PepperJack wrote:The NYC thing isn't necessarily true. The most people wind up there bec it's the highest supply of jobs, but it's also heavily demanded. Most other markets with ties are easier.

What makes you say this? I can confirm from experience that NYC is the easiest market to crack from a T14. Ties don't help all that much when everyone is competing for 10-20 SA's in a lot of medium sized markets.

NYC has roughly 40% of BigLaw jobs (defined as firms of 251+) and class of 2012 saw just 4,637 people, or about 10% of graduates, get jobs in firms of that size. Don't pay good money for law school if you are unwilling to end up in NYC, particularly if your goal is biglaw.

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2014
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Re: Biglaw outside of NYC

Postby 2014 » Sun Dec 15, 2013 12:26 pm

Your career trajectory matters, you can't just slap buying power into a calculator and call it a day. First of all your loans are going to be your biggest fixed expense and that expense will be the same in NYC and Atlanta or wherever, meaning it represents a larger percentage of your income in a smaller market. Additionally, if you expect that you will save or invest a certain percentage of your income, that will be higher in absolute terms from NYC. If you never plan to leave NYC then it doesn't matter, your investment can only buy NY shit at NY prices, but if you plan to abandon it for a smaller market, that money is suddenly worth more.

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J-e-L-L-o
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Re: Biglaw outside of NYC

Postby J-e-L-L-o » Wed Feb 19, 2014 7:59 am

2014 wrote:Your career trajectory matters, you can't just slap buying power into a calculator and call it a day. First of all your loans are going to be your biggest fixed expense and that expense will be the same in NYC and Atlanta or wherever, meaning it represents a larger percentage of your income in a smaller market. Additionally, if you expect that you will save or invest a certain percentage of your income, that will be higher in absolute terms from NYC. If you never plan to leave NYC then it doesn't matter, your investment can only buy NY shit at NY prices, but if you plan to abandon it for a smaller market, that money is suddenly worth more.


Ummm that's not necessarily true. Other factors produce non negligible results to the calculus as well. Taxes takes huge chunks of money. Then there is housing. There have been threads where graduates posted their finances.

It's easy to see that you will have more take home pay if you were Austin big law compared to NYC at market paying firms.

NYstate
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Re: Biglaw outside of NYC

Postby NYstate » Wed Feb 19, 2014 8:43 am

Tiago Splitter wrote:
PepperJack wrote:The NYC thing isn't necessarily true. The most people wind up there bec it's the highest supply of jobs, but it's also heavily demanded. Most other markets with ties are easier.

What makes you say this? I can confirm from experience that NYC is the easiest market to crack from a T14. Ties don't help all that much when everyone is competing for 10-20 SA's in a lot of medium sized markets.

NYC has roughly 40% of BigLaw jobs (defined as firms of 251+) and class of 2012 saw just 4,637 people, or about 10% of graduates, get jobs in firms of that size. Don't pay good money for law school if you are unwilling to end up in NYC, particularly if your goal is biglaw.


Check your own market for the number of biglaw jobs. You will be surprised at how few are available.

NYC isn't a guarantee for any 0L. It is the largest market, the least ties sensitive market and the best corporate work. This makes it in demand as well. Remember that all law school can do is get you a screener interview at biglaw firms. The rest is up to you and the firm.


I have read on this forum repeatedly as to how tough the Atlanta market is. Check the number of spots before you think going to law school is worth it only if you can get a job in Atlanta. You might also want to look at the credentials of the firms 1L class and see how many people that firm hired. You should also check offer rates. And whether getting a 1L SA is essential to getting hired.

rad lulz
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Re: Biglaw outside of NYC

Postby rad lulz » Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:44 am

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NYstate
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Re: Biglaw outside of NYC

Postby NYstate » Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:57 am

J-e-L-L-o wrote:
2014 wrote:Your career trajectory matters, you can't just slap buying power into a calculator and call it a day. First of all your loans are going to be your biggest fixed expense and that expense will be the same in NYC and Atlanta or wherever, meaning it represents a larger percentage of your income in a smaller market. Additionally, if you expect that you will save or invest a certain percentage of your income, that will be higher in absolute terms from NYC. If you never plan to leave NYC then it doesn't matter, your investment can only buy NY shit at NY prices, but if you plan to abandon it for a smaller market, that money is suddenly worth more.


Ummm that's not necessarily true. Other factors produce non negligible results to the calculus as well. Taxes takes huge chunks of money. Then there is housing. There have been threads where graduates posted their finances.

It's easy to see that you will have more take home pay if you were Austin big law compared to NYC at market paying firms.


After tax in NYC on 160,000 is about 95,000. However it does go up from there. Your rent will be a fortune compared to some place like Atlanta. But then, you do get to live in NYC.

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TheSpanishMain
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Re: Biglaw outside of NYC

Postby TheSpanishMain » Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:46 am

NYstate wrote:After tax in NYC on 160,000 is about 95,000. However it does go up from there. Your rent will be a fortune compared to some place like Atlanta. But then, you do get have to live in NYC.


Fixed. I'd personally pay a premium not to live in NYC. Great place to visit, but I'd kill myself if I had to live there. Go to a medium sized city and you'll still have all the variety you'd ever want in bars, restaurants, whatever and you won't have to pay 3000k for a shoebox apartment.

I realize I'm just stating a personal preference here, and some people love NYC. Good on ya if that's you, but...yikes. I'd agree, though, if you're BigLaw or bust then you should resign yourself to the possibility of NYC for a least a few years.

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Otunga
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Re: Biglaw outside of NYC

Postby Otunga » Wed Feb 19, 2014 12:05 pm

TheSpanishMain wrote:
NYstate wrote:After tax in NYC on 160,000 is about 95,000. However it does go up from there. Your rent will be a fortune compared to some place like Atlanta. But then, you do get have to live in NYC.


Fixed. I'd personally pay a premium not to live in NYC. Great place to visit, but I'd kill myself if I had to live there. Go to a medium sized city and you'll still have all the variety you'd ever want in bars, restaurants, whatever and you won't have to pay 3000k for a shoebox apartment.

I realize I'm just stating a personal preference here, and some people love NYC. Good on ya if that's you, but...yikes. I'd agree, though, if you're BigLaw or bust then you should resign yourself to the possibility of NYC for a least a few years.


Great post. I believe I'm with you on that preference, though I haven't been to NYC all that often either.

Very interesting stuff to read here overall too. As far as interest in biglaw goes, I'm mainly interested in Boston biglaw, and perhaps a few other markets, but I'm like 80% sure I don't want to end up in NYC biglaw. So paying a mighty pricetag for a t14 looks to be foolish given that.




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