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Philadelphia market - help!?

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 7:20 pm
by Anonymous User
Can we discuss the philadelphia market. How do law firms overall compare to NYC and other big cities? If one were to work for any of the top 10 in philly how much of a hit would one be taking to their career if your plan if to work in biglaw in the future (corporate/finance) and just want to stay in philly in short term for family reasons?? Is it hard to penetrate back into top NY/top national firms from philly? Any help would be appreciated!

Re: Philadelphia market - help!?

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 7:23 pm
by Anonymous User
Philly is insular in terms of hiring and kind of crappy, in terms of work. I wouldn't assume I was going to get a job in Philly, even with good ties. But if I was sure I wanted to be in NY later, I'd be gunning for Skadden Wilmington instead.

Re: Philadelphia market - help!?

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 7:33 pm
by Anonymous User
oh its really that bad??

Re: Philadelphia market - help!?

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 7:34 pm
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:Can we discuss the philadelphia market. How do law firms overall compare to NYC and other big cities? If one were to work for any of the top 10 in philly how much of a hit would one be taking to their career if your plan if to work in biglaw in the future (corporate/finance) and just want to stay in philly in short term for family reasons?? Is it hard to penetrate back into top NY/top national firms from philly? Any help would be appreciated!
Might be more feasible if you were looking at the big national firms in Philly (e.g. Dechert or Morgan Lewis). May be able to switch over to their NY office if within the same practice group.

Re: Philadelphia market - help!?

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 7:35 pm
by BlueLotus
Anonymous User wrote:Philly is insular in terms of hiring and kind of crappy, in terms of work. I wouldn't assume I was going to get a job in Philly, even with good ties. But if I was sure I wanted to be in NY later, I'd be gunning for Skadden Wilmington instead.
Why do you say it's "kind of crappy" in terms of work?

Re: Philadelphia market - help!?

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 7:35 pm
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:Philly is insular in terms of hiring and kind of crappy, in terms of work. I wouldn't assume I was going to get a job in Philly, even with good ties. But if I was sure I wanted to be in NY later, I'd be gunning for Skadden Wilmington instead.
Also, not sure how I feel about the advice to be gunning for Skadden Wilmington. Their practice area is very limited and the office is super-small. I think if you want to get to NY later, you'd want to be in a larger office that does bigger corporate deals.

Re: Philadelphia market - help!?

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 7:40 pm
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Philly is insular in terms of hiring and kind of crappy, in terms of work. I wouldn't assume I was going to get a job in Philly, even with good ties. But if I was sure I wanted to be in NY later, I'd be gunning for Skadden Wilmington instead.
Also, not sure how I feel about the advice to be gunning for Skadden Wilmington. Their practice area is very limited and the office is super-small. I think if you want to get to NY later, you'd want to be in a larger office that does bigger corporate deals.
I would agree with you generally, but Skadden is one of the most interoffice transfer friendly firms out there, and the name doesn't hurt either.

Re: Philadelphia market - help!?

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 7:56 pm
by Anonymous User
How about if one were to plan on staying in philly for like 1-2 years just for personal reasons and then transfer out, would you definitely have to be at morgan lewis or dechert. Is this a risky move on my end?

Re: Philadelphia market - help!?

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:00 pm
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:How about if one were to plan on staying in philly for like 1-2 years just for personal reasons and then transfer out, would you definitely have to be at morgan lewis or dechert. Is this a risky move on my end?
How would you feel if you failed to transfer out? It's hard to know how likely it is because it's hard to know how many people try and fail, but it sure doesn't seem like the credited way to manage your career.

FWIW some people do commute from Philly to NY. If you really only plan to do it a year, it might be an option. Not ideal, but probably still better than trying to lateral as a first or second year from Philly to NY.

Re: Philadelphia market - help!?

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:05 pm
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:How about if one were to plan on staying in philly for like 1-2 years just for personal reasons and then transfer out, would you definitely have to be at morgan lewis or dechert. Is this a risky move on my end?
To answer your question, yes. It is a risky move. I don't know of any lawyers who started in Philly and then lateraled into a big NY firms. Moreover, I don't think the lateral market is very robust for 1st and 2nd year associates (I could be wrong here).

Why would you want to be in a larger market such as NY? City preference? Type of work?

I agree with the above poster who said that Philly work is sort of "crappy" in the sense that you're not getting the biggest/sexiest corporate deals when NY is right around the corner. However, from a legal career perspective, you can have a very lucrative and, I think, less stressful career in Philly as opposed to NY.

Re: Philadelphia market - help!?

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:51 pm
by r6_philly
Anonymous User wrote:Philly is insular in terms of hiring and kind of crappy, in terms of work. I wouldn't assume I was going to get a job in Philly, even with good ties. But if I was sure I wanted to be in NY later, I'd be gunning for Skadden Wilmington instead.
Good luck gunning for that 4-7 spots.

Re: Philadelphia market - help!?

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:05 pm
by Anonymous User
r6_philly wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Philly is insular in terms of hiring and kind of crappy, in terms of work. I wouldn't assume I was going to get a job in Philly, even with good ties. But if I was sure I wanted to be in NY later, I'd be gunning for Skadden Wilmington instead.
Good luck gunning for that 4-7 spots.
It's not like Morgan Lewis and Dechert are hiring 100 person summer classes either though.

Re: Philadelphia market - help!?

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:18 pm
by HeavenWood
I wouldn't say the work is crappy, but the class sizes are definitely small, especially this year.

Re: Philadelphia market - help!?

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:41 pm
by r6_philly
Anonymous User wrote:
r6_philly wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Philly is insular in terms of hiring and kind of crappy, in terms of work. I wouldn't assume I was going to get a job in Philly, even with good ties. But if I was sure I wanted to be in NY later, I'd be gunning for Skadden Wilmington instead.
Good luck gunning for that 4-7 spots.
It's not like Morgan Lewis and Dechert are hiring 100 person summer classes either though.
No, but you are talking about less than 10 spots in a single market worthy of gunning for. I think you would probably have a better chance up and down V20 in NYC. Skadden DE does really good work in their limited groups, but it's not like you can't get similar experience in NYC. Look I would have taken it if I got an offer, but it is just not realistic to hope to land in that class. It's nice if it happens, but plan for NYC.

Skadden DE is much better (and much harder to land) than ML or Dechert.

Re: Philadelphia market - help!?

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:43 pm
by r6_philly
HeavenWood wrote:I wouldn't say the work is crappy, but the class sizes are definitely small, especially this year.
It's not crappy, but it isn't NYC work. Thus you are not getting paid NYC money. Arguably you may get better experience working on smaller matters. So it's definitely not crappy. Well, depends on who you work for of course.

Re: Philadelphia market - help!?

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:46 pm
by Anonymous User
r6_philly wrote:
HeavenWood wrote:I wouldn't say the work is crappy, but the class sizes are definitely small, especially this year.
It's not crappy, but it isn't NYC work. Thus you are not getting paid NYC money. Arguably you may get better experience working on smaller matters. So it's definitely not crappy. Well, depends on who you work for of course.
The context is, doing the kind of work that would make you attractive in the NYC lateral market.

Re: Philadelphia market - help!?

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:48 pm
by Anonymous User
r6_philly wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
r6_philly wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Philly is insular in terms of hiring and kind of crappy, in terms of work. I wouldn't assume I was going to get a job in Philly, even with good ties. But if I was sure I wanted to be in NY later, I'd be gunning for Skadden Wilmington instead.
Good luck gunning for that 4-7 spots.
It's not like Morgan Lewis and Dechert are hiring 100 person summer classes either though.
No, but you are talking about less than 10 spots in a single market worthy of gunning for. I think you would probably have a better chance up and down V20 in NYC. Skadden DE does really good work in their limited groups, but it's not like you can't get similar experience in NYC. Look I would have taken it if I got an offer, but it is just not realistic to hope to land in that class. It's nice if it happens, but plan for NYC.

Skadden DE is much better (and much harder to land) than ML or Dechert.
It's about both landing the job AND THEN lateraling to NYC though. Two long shots in a row.

Re: Philadelphia market - help!?

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:50 pm
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote: It's about both landing the job AND THEN lateraling to NYC though. Two long shots in a row.
You can probably do it fairly easier coming from Skadden. But I support starting in NYC if you want to be in NYC. If you can land an offer at Skadden DE then you can have options in NYC.

Sorry, anon by mistake - R6_philly

Re: Philadelphia market - help!?

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:53 pm
by Anonymous User
As a Philly first year associate, I find this thread pretty misinformed. Philly associates at the top ten or so firms get better work and experience than my NYC friends. Is it a headline in the WSJ? No, but that's not every matter at a big NY firm anyway. When you are starting 30-50 associates at once, the work to go around is all doc review and due diligence.

In terms of compensation, the emphasis on this forum is almost always on pre-tax salary. So people see $160 in NYC or $130/145 in Philly. The after tax difference is $96 v. $82/87. Then figure COL. That difference is going to be less than the difference between Philly apartment rent and NYC apartment rent.

Re: Philadelphia market - help!?

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:58 pm
by r6_philly
Anonymous User wrote: In terms of compensation, the emphasis on this forum is almost always on pre-tax salary. So people see $160 in NYC or $130/145 in Philly. The after tax difference is $96 v. $82/87. Then figure COL. That difference is going to be less than the difference between Philly apartment rent and NYC apartment rent.
That's only first year. Compare 3rd/5th/7th year + bonus. Also student loan payments are not discounted by locale. -$1000-2000 a month and you will see the difference make up a bigger percentage.

Living expenses is only through the roof if you live in NYC. If I work in NYC but live in the burbs, it isn't too much higher than the good burbs here.

ETA: so the after tax difference would cover my student loan payments completely.

Re: Philadelphia market - help!?

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:20 pm
by Anonymous User
Will Philly gov/pi employers look askance at someone who has strong ties--as in grew up in the area + WE--who decided to go elsewhere for law school? I attend a strong regional T30 in the northeast in large part b/c of a hefty scholarship (Couldn't stomach sticker at Penn, Temple and RU-C's locations are sketch, Vanillanova's scandals scared me away, Widener's curve is brutal, and Drexel is way too new to have an established network in the city)

Re: Philadelphia market - help!?

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:28 pm
by Anonymous User
r6_philly wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: In terms of compensation, the emphasis on this forum is almost always on pre-tax salary. So people see $160 in NYC or $130/145 in Philly. The after tax difference is $96 v. $82/87. Then figure COL. That difference is going to be less than the difference between Philly apartment rent and NYC apartment rent.
That's only first year. Compare 3rd/5th/7th year + bonus. Also student loan payments are not discounted by locale. -$1000-2000 a month and you will see the difference make up a bigger percentage.

Living expenses is only through the roof if you live in NYC. If I work in NYC but live in the burbs, it isn't too much higher than the good burbs here.

ETA: so the after tax difference would cover my student loan payments completely.
Few points.

1. My point is that your after tax, after COL pay is going to be close to equal. Therefore, you can pay down student loans at the same rate under the same budget. I'm planning on around $3,500 a month.

2. Have fun with your 30+ commute to the NYC burbs on PATH, LIRR, or Metronorth after a 12 hour day. Philly people work less and walk to work.

3. Good luck staying until 5th or 7th year at your NYC firm for the big salary and bonus.

Re: Philadelphia market - help!?

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:29 pm
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:Will Philly gov/pi employers look askance at someone who has strong ties--as in grew up in the area + WE--who decided to go elsewhere for law school? I attend a strong regional T30 in the northeast in large part b/c of a hefty scholarship (Couldn't stomach sticker at Penn, Temple and RU-C's locations are sketch, Vanillanova's scandals scared me away, Widener's curve is brutal, and Drexel is way too new to have an established network in the city)
Yes but have good grades.

Re: Philadelphia market - help!?

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:44 pm
by r6_philly
Anonymous User wrote:
Few points.

1. My point is that your after tax, after COL pay is going to be close to equal. Therefore, you can pay down student loans at the same rate under the same budget. I'm planning on around $3,500 a month.
Not for everyone. Try to live in Bryn Mawr so you can put your kids to reasonable schools. (north jersey and mainline is roughly the same COL) Philadelphia school district anyone?
2. Have fun with your 30+ commute to the NYC burbs on PATH, LIRR, or Metronorth after a 12 hour day. Philly people work less and walk to work.
See above. I live in the burbs now and it takes me 30+ to get into the city however you cut it. <10 miles commute.
3. Good luck staying until 5th or 7th year at your NYC firm for the big salary and bonus.
Thanks! If not, I will lateral to where you are!

Re: Philadelphia market - help!?

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:57 pm
by r6_philly
http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/ ... 2s0728.pdf

Composite COL index

Philadelphia: 126.5
Newark/Elizabeth: 129.7

Comparable. Burbs of the cities are pretty comparable too, I have lived/worked in both areas.