Los Angeles Law Firms - Car home policy? Also, where do people usually live?

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Los Angeles Law Firms - Car home policy? Also, where do people usually live?

Post by Anonymous User » Fri May 22, 2020 8:45 pm

Anonymous because of some potentially identifying characteristics.

I've been practicing at a New York big law firm for the last 4 years, but have a few interviews set up for LA firms. Standard practice for NY firms if that if I expect to stay past 8 p.m., I can expense a cab/car ride to the firm. Is that still a thing in LA, where most everyone drives to work? Would I be able to cab home on the firm's dime, provided I got back in the morning via public transit or something?

Relatedly, are the firm "benefits"/"perks" (for lack of better words) any different in general from NYC firms?

Lastly, I'm hoping to land at a Century City law firm, but am curious about which areas people tend to live in for both Century City and DTLA law firms. I grew up in the South Bay but that seems a bit far from where work would be. Is Culver common? La Brea?

Thanks!

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Re: Los Angeles Law Firms - Car home policy? Also, where do people usually live?

Post by replevin123 » Sat May 23, 2020 12:53 pm

Curious what the car situation is like for other non NYC big cities like Chicago, SF, Houston, Dallas, and Atlanta

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Re: Los Angeles Law Firms - Car home policy? Also, where do people usually live?

Post by Anonymous User » Sat May 23, 2020 5:52 pm

The car home/perks (e.g., free dinner) at LA biglaw firms is not nearly as generous as NYC. Car service really isn’t a thing, because nobody takes public transit to work in the first place, everybody just drives (especially in Century City, where there is no metro stop, and nobody takes the bus in LA). My firm has a free dinner policy that nobody uses, because the requirements are onerous (bill 8+ hours in the office, get partner approval, stay an hour at the office after you eat, etc). Not sure what other “perks” you’re referring to.

If you work in Century City, look to live in Beverly Hills, Brentwood, West LA, Culver City, Westwood, or Santa Monica. Century City biglaw associates live all over the West side, my guess is probably more in Santa Monica.

For DTLA associates, maybe half still live on the West side cities described, and the rest are spread out across the east side, particularly DTLA, Echo Park, Silver Lake. Some DTLA associates live in the South Bay, but that’s a pretty far commute (I wouldn’t do it unless you can work from home a couple days a week).

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Re: Los Angeles Law Firms - Car home policy? Also, where do people usually live?

Post by Anonymous User » Sat May 23, 2020 6:04 pm

Same for my prior DTLA firm. I never knew whether there even was a car home perk because I drove every day. Comped seamless/grubhub wasn't really a thing, either. But in part that was because the place was pretty empty after 7pm; even if we'd had a NY-style policy not a ton of people would've been using it.

DTLA, Silverlake/Echo park/Los Feliz definitely the most common neighborhoods. Some Ktown/mid-wilshire among associates too. Partners mostly commuted from Santa Monica or Pasadena. Knew a couple each in brentwood/westwood/weho, and once in a blue moon you'd talk to someone who lives east of downtown (eagle rock/lincoln heights).

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Re: Los Angeles Law Firms - Car home policy? Also, where do people usually live?

Post by Anonymous User » Sat May 23, 2020 11:37 pm

Our DTLA office is an absolute ghost town by 630 pm so there is no need for a dinner perk, and I would hate for one to be introduced if that would come at the cost of the culture shifting to associates staying late enough to use it. (Obviously during trial, etc. there will be catering.) Anyway, you can use the COL savings between LA and NY on dinner.

We don’t have a car service perk for the reasons folks have mentioned, though the handful of folks who commute by subway or on foot get a few comped rides per year for emergency use (not intended as a general ride home perk).

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Re: Los Angeles Law Firms - Car home policy? Also, where do people usually live?

Post by LBJ's Hair » Mon May 25, 2020 10:21 pm

replevin123 wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 12:53 pm
Curious what the car situation is like for other non NYC big cities like Chicago, SF, Houston, Dallas, and Atlanta

Basically nobody under 35 owns a car in SF. Uber/Lyft more convenient and, frankly, probably cheaper once you factor in cost of parking, insurance, gas, depreciation, etc. Some firms have offices in Palo Alto though, which is suburban, and there would be a bit tougher to do everything via Uber/Lyft -- driver density a lot lower.

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Re: Los Angeles Law Firms - Car home policy? Also, where do people usually live?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue May 26, 2020 12:16 am

LBJ's Hair wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 10:21 pm
replevin123 wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 12:53 pm
Curious what the car situation is like for other non NYC big cities like Chicago, SF, Houston, Dallas, and Atlanta

Basically nobody under 35 owns a car in SF. Uber/Lyft more convenient and, frankly, probably cheaper once you factor in cost of parking, insurance, gas, depreciation, etc. Some firms have offices in Palo Alto though, which is suburban, and there would be a bit tougher to do everything via Uber/Lyft -- driver density a lot lower.
SV midlevel here -- practically everyone has a car. Would be difficult to commute otherwise even if you tried to make a game effort of using CalTrain/buses/biking/etc. Generally agree with the sentiment re: SF (particularly since paying for a parking spot is an additional pound of flesh), although even that tends to apply more for people who live in the city proper and can maximize the benefits of Bart, Muni, etc.

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Re: Los Angeles Law Firms - Car home policy? Also, where do people usually live?

Post by replevin123 » Tue May 26, 2020 1:05 am

That makes re: SV v. SF. I imagine practically everyone in Houston, Dallas, and Atlanta has a car. But maybe going without is feasible if you live in those downtowns near work? If anyone has tried this, I'm curious about your experience and whether it would hinder social life and just generally doing things in those less dense cities without good public transport.

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Re: Los Angeles Law Firms - Car home policy? Also, where do people usually live?

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Tue May 26, 2020 2:56 am

replevin123 wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 1:05 am
That makes re: SV v. SF. I imagine practically everyone in Houston, Dallas, and Atlanta has a car. But maybe going without is feasible if you live in those downtowns near work? If anyone has tried this, I'm curious about your experience and whether it would hinder social life and just generally doing things in those less dense cities without good public transport.
You can rent a condo within a 10-15 minute walk of the office most places and handwave your commute, but then there's everything else you need to be able to get to (dry cleaners, groceries, hardware store, other law firms' offices, any and all social/recreational outings) in order to live as an independent adult. It's doable, especially if you're not trying to be on the dating market or otherwise go out often, but you're still going to pay enough in Uber rides and extra rent (for that downtown condo) that you might as well have just bought a used Hyundai. Car ownership is also relatively affordable in southern cities because winters are mild and gas/tags/parking all have lower prices.

I think I know of only one person who does this, in Atlanta. She's a native of Manhattan (went to undergrad in the South) and presumably doesn't have a driver's license.

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