Biglaw outside of NYC

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OutCold
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Re: Biglaw outside of NYC

Postby OutCold » Wed Feb 19, 2014 2:16 pm

The fact of the matter is that it is incredibly risky to bid on any market other than NYC at OCI if you have debt that can only be serviced by a biglaw salary. You are going to find that many, if not most, median students from T14s that missed the biglaw boat were bidding on markets other than NYC. A much safer strategy is to mail secondary markets and bid NYC firms at OCI. Worst case scenario, you have to spend a few years in NYC before you make a lateral move to a secondary market. Small price to pay in order to avoid maneuvering yourself out of a biglaw job.

Hutz_and_Goodman
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Re: Biglaw outside of NYC

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Wed Feb 19, 2014 2:25 pm

For this summer I was choosing between NYC big law and regional big law. In my region, the job would pay approximately $110k and that is worth more here than $160k in NYC. However, the exit options are much better from a big firm in NYC than big law here. So that's what I'm doing. Plus, NYC is awesome.

Something I didn't realize before last summer is that regional big law is really different from NYC big law. In my region, huge firms have offices with 10-40 attorneys in many cases, and the work can be very interesting--and there can be big clients--but a lot of the clients are much smaller.

I agree with the above that it makes no sense to attend law school and pay any large amount of money if you aren't willing to do NYC big law. If you want regional big law or something else, I would try to minimize the debt.

Also, I know people who bid Atlanta and none of them got a big firm job. These are people with top grades on law review. So I would guess at a place like UGA you'd need top 10% grades, and I'm not sure from something like Duke or Vanderbilt.

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Otunga
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Re: Biglaw outside of NYC

Postby Otunga » Wed Feb 19, 2014 2:34 pm

OutCold wrote:The fact of the matter is that it is incredibly risky to bid on any market other than NYC at OCI if you have debt that can only be serviced by a biglaw salary. You are going to find that many, if not most, median students from T14s that missed the biglaw boat were bidding on markets other than NYC. A much safer strategy is to mail secondary markets and bid NYC firms at OCI. Worst case scenario, you have to spend a few years in NYC before you make a lateral move to a secondary market. Small price to pay in order to avoid maneuvering yourself out of a biglaw job.


Can one not bid on NYC in addition to a secondary market? Are firms able to see who else you're bidding on? If so, would it even matter?

I do like the appeal of what you've said. From what I understand, regional biglaw, particularly in one's local market, is much more attainable after doing a stint in NYC.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Biglaw outside of NYC

Postby Tiago Splitter » Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:01 pm

Otunga wrote:Can one not bid on NYC in addition to a secondary market? Are firms able to see who else you're bidding on? If so, would it even matter?

Firms won't know, and you can certainly try. At CLS we get 30 bids and if you bid only NYC you will be lucky to get more than 15-17 interviews from that. The nice thing is that the secondary markets tend to be less popular and are in some cases underbid, meaning you can add them after bidding is over or still get the interview with a lower bid. But you still need to maximize the number of interviews you get in New York, and that means using most of your bids on NYC firms if you don't have huge credentials.

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drawstring
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Re: Biglaw outside of NYC

Postby drawstring » Wed Feb 19, 2014 6:23 pm

OutCold wrote:The fact of the matter is that it is incredibly risky to bid on any market other than NYC at OCI if you have debt that can only be serviced by a biglaw salary.


Is this true of LA as well? Assuming medianish grades at HYS, how realistic is landing big law in LA?

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wolf
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Re: Biglaw outside of NYC

Postby wolf » Wed Feb 19, 2014 6:52 pm

This is obviously just anecdotal, but I bid DC, NY, and my home market Texas. Top 1/3 grades at GULC. Struck out at OCI in NY and DC. I had 14 screeners and not a single callback. DC was a bloodbath. I did 7 Texas screeners that landed me 6 callbacks and ultimately 3 offers. There were approximately 25 Texas big law firms at OCI and probably fewer than 30 Texans in my 1L class. I landed every screening interview I wanted for a Texas firm. On callbacks the main competition was UT and Vandy.

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Otunga
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Re: Biglaw outside of NYC

Postby Otunga » Wed Feb 19, 2014 6:59 pm

Would you say that Texan firms - generally speaking as it's Texas and stuff varies - weigh ties perhaps more positively than other area firms? Of course, it's probably easier for one to hit it off so to speak with their home region firms. I'm interested to hear any impressions that people get from interviewers/firms, particularly people that have bid for Boston and are New England natives.

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brotherdarkness
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Re: Biglaw outside of NYC

Postby brotherdarkness » Wed Feb 19, 2014 7:20 pm

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Last edited by brotherdarkness on Mon Jun 30, 2014 12:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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wolf
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Re: Biglaw outside of NYC

Postby wolf » Wed Feb 19, 2014 7:36 pm

Otunga wrote:Would you say that Texan firms - generally speaking as it's Texas and stuff varies - weigh ties perhaps more positively than other area firms? Of course, it's probably easier for one to hit it off so to speak with their home region firms. I'm interested to hear any impressions that people get from interviewers/firms, particularly people that have bid for Boston and are New England natives.


Yeah NY did not care at all. Neither did DC. I made the mistake of doing two screeners for ATL firms because my spouse is from there. We never got past so why Atlanta?

There was just a naturalness dealing with firms from Texas. I went to undergrad there. I worked there before law school. Much more them selling themselves to me. Obviously other secondary markets may be different, but I would imagine ties would be integral to landing a SA.

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wiz
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Re: Biglaw outside of NYC

Postby wiz » Wed Feb 19, 2014 7:39 pm

Otunga wrote:Would you say that Texan firms - generally speaking as it's Texas and stuff varies - weigh ties perhaps more positively than other area firms? Of course, it's probably easier for one to hit it off so to speak with their home region firms. I'm interested to hear any impressions that people get from interviewers/firms, particularly people that have bid for Boston and are New England natives.

I had offers in Texas and Boston, and yes, Texas does weigh ties favorably. But having some connection/desire to be in Boston also seemed important during my interviews with Boston firms. Being able to talk about the local sports teams and suburbs in the area seemed to help interviews flow smoothly. I got the impression that outside of NY/DC, demonstrating ties or an interest in the area is pretty important.

Also, as others have said here: TX biglaw ftw.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Biglaw outside of NYC

Postby Tiago Splitter » Wed Feb 19, 2014 7:58 pm

brotherdarkness wrote:
drawstring wrote:
OutCold wrote:The fact of the matter is that it is incredibly risky to bid on any market other than NYC at OCI if you have debt that can only be serviced by a biglaw salary.


Is this true of LA as well? Assuming medianish grades at HYS, how realistic is landing big law in LA?


I'll be in LA biglaw this summer and multiple interviewers commented positively on my ties to SoCal, one even going as far as to say "You have an LA story and that's what's important."

In my LA interviews I got the impression that being from another large city in Southern California didn't work too well as a tie, but small sample size caveats apply here.

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patogordo
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Re: Biglaw outside of NYC

Postby patogordo » Wed Feb 19, 2014 8:02 pm

some firms seem to care more than others. I've never lived west of the Mississippi but it wasn't an issue at all in my LA interviews. though I could see how being from San Diego or SF could make you more of a flight risk

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

Postby J-e-L-L-o » Thu Feb 20, 2014 3:01 am

patogordo wrote:some firms seem to care more than others. I've never lived west of the Mississippi but it wasn't an issue at all in my LA interviews. though I could see how being from San Diego or SF could make you more of a flight risk


Interesting as I haven't heard that before about ties to other cities trying to target LA firms. I always assumed socal wouldn't have to explain ties.

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patogordo
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Re: Biglaw outside of NYC

Postby patogordo » Thu Feb 20, 2014 12:42 pm

J-e-L-L-o wrote:
patogordo wrote:some firms seem to care more than others. I've never lived west of the Mississippi but it wasn't an issue at all in my LA interviews. though I could see how being from San Diego or SF could make you more of a flight risk


Interesting as I haven't heard that before about ties to other cities trying to target LA firms. I always assumed socal wouldn't have to explain ties.

that's just my guess based on what the above poster said. i honestly have no idea.

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2014
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Re: Biglaw outside of NYC

Postby 2014 » Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:40 pm

Otunga wrote:
OutCold wrote:The fact of the matter is that it is incredibly risky to bid on any market other than NYC at OCI if you have debt that can only be serviced by a biglaw salary. You are going to find that many, if not most, median students from T14s that missed the biglaw boat were bidding on markets other than NYC. A much safer strategy is to mail secondary markets and bid NYC firms at OCI. Worst case scenario, you have to spend a few years in NYC before you make a lateral move to a secondary market. Small price to pay in order to avoid maneuvering yourself out of a biglaw job.


Can one not bid on NYC in addition to a secondary market? Are firms able to see who else you're bidding on? If so, would it even matter?

I do like the appeal of what you've said. From what I understand, regional biglaw, particularly in one's local market, is much more attainable after doing a stint in NYC.


At our OCI at least with good bidding you could have had like an 80% full NY list (compared to someone who was all in on NY) and gotten all of the firms coming from most secondaries (not LA/SF/DC/Chicago)

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OutCold
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Re: Biglaw outside of NYC

Postby OutCold » Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:38 am

2014 wrote:
Otunga wrote:
OutCold wrote:The fact of the matter is that it is incredibly risky to bid on any market other than NYC at OCI if you have debt that can only be serviced by a biglaw salary. You are going to find that many, if not most, median students from T14s that missed the biglaw boat were bidding on markets other than NYC. A much safer strategy is to mail secondary markets and bid NYC firms at OCI. Worst case scenario, you have to spend a few years in NYC before you make a lateral move to a secondary market. Small price to pay in order to avoid maneuvering yourself out of a biglaw job.


Can one not bid on NYC in addition to a secondary market? Are firms able to see who else you're bidding on? If so, would it even matter?

I do like the appeal of what you've said. From what I understand, regional biglaw, particularly in one's local market, is much more attainable after doing a stint in NYC.


At our OCI at least with good bidding you could have had like an 80% full NY list (compared to someone who was all in on NY) and gotten all of the firms coming from most secondaries (not LA/SF/DC/Chicago)


Yes, of course you can pursue that bid strategy. But I am talking about the strategy with the least risk. A typical (true) secondary market firm might have a max of 10 SA spots. Likely you are competing with T14 students trying to go back to the market, as well as local students at the top of their respective classes. Compare that with NYC firms that take >30 SAs and have significantly reduced grade sensitivity. Not to mention there are a hundred of those firms and they don't care about ties (so long as you can articulate some reason--any reason--to live there). If you need biglaw to pay your debt and you aren't at the top of your class, the safest bet is to bid NYC, and every bid spent on a small class in a secondary market decreases your chances of getting a job.

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chneyo
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Re: Biglaw outside of NYC

Postby chneyo » Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:46 am

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Danger Zone
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Re: Biglaw outside of NYC

Postby Danger Zone » Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:50 am

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

Is anyone else still trying to pick up their jaw after this post?

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twenty 8
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Re: Biglaw outside of NYC

Postby twenty 8 » Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:59 am

I understand NLJ 350 and V100 = big law. What about a firm on the thirtieth floor overlooking the gulf, with 50 attorneys paying first years +$120K? Firm has plenty of work (and expanding) and does not accept walk-ins, nor advertises to the locals (other than sponsorship publicity for charity events/runs). What is its classification?

FWIW: Income wise, 120 is comparable to 226 in Brooklyn. However, those cost differences are driven mainly by housing. Take out the housing aspect and the differences are secondary. IMO, the down the road distinction supposedly regards better lateralling opportunities and the immediate difference regards lifestyle (weather, outdoorsy, etc.).

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twenty
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Re: Biglaw outside of NYC

Postby twenty » Thu Feb 27, 2014 1:00 pm

twenty 8 wrote:I understand NLJ 350 and V100 = big law. What about a firm on the thirtieth floor overlooking the gulf, with 50 attorneys paying first years +$120K? Firm has plenty of work (and expanding) and does not accept walk-ins, nor advertises to the locals (other than sponsorship publicity for charity events/runs). What is its classification?

FWIW: Income wise, 120 is comparable to 226 in Brooklyn. However, those cost differences are driven mainly by housing. Take out the housing aspect and the differences are secondary. IMO, the down the road distinction supposedly regards better lateralling opportunities and the immediate difference regards lifestyle (weather, outdoorsy, etc.).


Your username is the worst and I hate you. :P

californiauser
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Re: Biglaw outside of NYC

Postby californiauser » Thu Feb 27, 2014 1:05 pm

twenty 8 wrote:I understand NLJ 350 and V100 = big law. What about a firm on the thirtieth floor overlooking the gulf, with 50 attorneys paying first years +$120K? Firm has plenty of work (and expanding) and does not accept walk-ins, nor advertises to the locals (other than sponsorship publicity for charity events/runs). What is its classification?

FWIW: Income wise, 120 is comparable to 226 in Brooklyn. However, those cost differences are driven mainly by housing. Take out the housing aspect and the differences are secondary. IMO, the down the road distinction supposedly regards better lateralling opportunities and the immediate difference regards lifestyle (weather, outdoorsy, etc.).


You could consider this Big Law, however, the difference is that this type of firm probably doesn't have a typical summer associate recruiting program and probably doesn't hire people straight out of law school because they don't have the resources and infrastructure to train new lawyers. It's easy for a 0L to say, hey, I don't need NYC big law! I'll just work for 100k in New Orleans! It's really not that simple.

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twenty 8
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Re: Biglaw outside of NYC

Postby twenty 8 » Thu Feb 27, 2014 3:47 pm

californiauser wrote:You could consider this Big Law, however, the difference is that this type of firm probably doesn't have a typical summer associate recruiting program and probably doesn't hire people straight out of law school because they don't have the resources and infrastructure to train new lawyers. It's easy for a 0L to say, hey, I don't need NYC big law! I'll just work for 100k in New Orleans! It's really not that simple.

Perhaps not simple, but doable (with credit going to luck). When I’m not at home with the flu, it’s the firm I work at (associate, 5 months). Before starting law school I never considered NY, LA, etc. At school we rarely discussed big law or T14 and the like. Our OCI (a stretch to call it that) was limited to a few nearby firms… mass mailing was customary.
As far as summers, 2SAs were sop. In the past few years all SAs have been offered but a few years back I heard it was touch n’ go. Perhaps that turned out to be a good thing since it resulted in raising the starting pay. I guess I might say I work for a big firm but not big law (given the big law lateraling scenario often mentioned here). Doubt if any big law headhunters will ever have me on their short list. I guess I will never know the real difference between big law and what I am now doing.

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twenty 8
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Re: Biglaw outside of NYC

Postby twenty 8 » Thu Feb 27, 2014 3:52 pm

twenty wrote:Your username is the worst and I hate you. :P

Maybe in a few months I'll change it to twenty 9. :)

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Biglaw outside of NYC

Postby Tiago Splitter » Thu Feb 27, 2014 7:25 pm

twenty 8 wrote:Perhaps not simple, but doable (with credit going to luck). When I’m not at home with the flu, it’s the firm I work at (associate, 5 months).

Class of 2012 put 5700 people into firms of 100+, but just 1900 into firms of 26-99. And we all know how hard it is to land a firm of 100+.

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twenty 8
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Re: Biglaw outside of NYC

Postby twenty 8 » Fri Feb 28, 2014 6:00 pm

Not much on stats for this sort of thing but if (what I heard is true) 20,000 new attorneys enter the legal workforce yearly.... then (from what you indicated) 30% go to BL, 10% to firms with more than 26 attorneys, and 60% off to firms with under 25 attorneys. To my thinking, 40% are starting their careers in pretty good shape (assuming bigger firms pay more).




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