Biglaw and Midlaw pay in Secondary/ Third markets

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crazywafflez

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Biglaw and Midlaw pay in Secondary/ Third markets

Post by crazywafflez » Mon May 25, 2020 6:15 pm

Hey all, was just curious about firms in a couple locations and what their pay scale is.

Nashville: Bass Berry, Waller, Bradley, Burr, Dickenson Wright

Memphis: Burch Porter, Evans Petree, Glassman, Lewis Thomason, Bass Berry.

Other locations that I'm interested in but I know little about:

San Antonio, El Paso, Waco, Jackson, Little Rock, Greenville (South Carolina), and Phoenix

How insular are these other markets? I have strong ties to TN; Medium ish ties to AZ. I'm not a Texan but my father's family is and lives near Waco. What are pay scales for their version of biglaw and reqs?

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Re: Biglaw and Midlaw pay in Secondary/ Third markets

Post by Anonymous User » Mon May 25, 2020 8:10 pm

crazywafflez wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 6:15 pm
Hey all, was just curious about firms in a couple locations and what their pay scale is.

Nashville: Bass Berry, Waller, Bradley, Burr, Dickenson Wright

Memphis: Burch Porter, Evans Petree, Glassman, Lewis Thomason, Bass Berry.

Other locations that I'm interested in but I know little about:

San Antonio, El Paso, Waco, Jackson, Little Rock, Greenville (South Carolina), and Phoenix

How insular are these other markets? I have strong ties to TN; Medium ish ties to AZ. I'm not a Texan but my father's family is and lives near Waco. What are pay scales for their version of biglaw and reqs?
From my experience, the larger markets here start around 130k for the biggest firms and increase at 5k or so a year. That’s for the largest firms, no experience with kid law

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Re: Biglaw and Midlaw pay in Secondary/ Third markets

Post by 2013 » Mon May 25, 2020 8:46 pm

I read before that BBS starts at 140 in Nashville and it crosses 200 by 8th year.

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Re: Biglaw and Midlaw pay in Secondary/ Third markets

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Tue May 26, 2020 3:13 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 8:10 pm
That’s for the largest firms, no experience with kid law
epic typo

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Re: Biglaw and Midlaw pay in Secondary/ Third markets

Post by crazywafflez » Tue May 26, 2020 12:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 8:10 pm
crazywafflez wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 6:15 pm
Hey all, was just curious about firms in a couple locations and what their pay scale is.

Nashville: Bass Berry, Waller, Bradley, Burr, Dickenson Wright

Memphis: Burch Porter, Evans Petree, Glassman, Lewis Thomason, Bass Berry.

Other locations that I'm interested in but I know little about:

San Antonio, El Paso, Waco, Jackson, Little Rock, Greenville (South Carolina), and Phoenix

How insular are these other markets? I have strong ties to TN; Medium ish ties to AZ. I'm not a Texan but my father's family is and lives near Waco. What are pay scales for their version of biglaw and reqs?
From my experience, the larger markets here start around 130k for the biggest firms and increase at 5k or so a year. That’s for the largest firms, no experience with kid law
Sorry, but for clarification, when you are saying Here, do you mean here as in the ones listed or here as in your present location? I assume you mean the ones listed but just wanted to make sure! Thanks everyone so far.

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Ohiobumpkin

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Re: Biglaw and Midlaw pay in Secondary/ Third markets

Post by Ohiobumpkin » Tue May 26, 2020 1:17 pm

What are "third markets?" It sounds like somebody does not want to admit they want to work in a secondary market and so created a whole new category within the arbitrary hierarchy of primary/secondary markets.

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Re: Biglaw and Midlaw pay in Secondary/ Third markets

Post by crazywafflez » Tue May 26, 2020 1:32 pm

I randomly applied it- there is nothing specific about it. I've heard secondary markets applied to places like Phoenix or Nashville. I had no term for places like Jackson, MS; my apologies, merely fiction and wanted to be understood!
I want to work in a secondary market (or smaller market in general) in the South/Southwest- mainly, the cities above, plus a few others.
Sorry for the confusion.

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Re: Biglaw and Midlaw pay in Secondary/ Third markets

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Tue May 26, 2020 1:41 pm

Ohiobumpkin wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 1:17 pm
What are "third markets?" It sounds like somebody does not want to admit they want to work in a secondary market and so created a whole new category within the arbitrary hierarchy of primary/secondary markets.
These distinctions are fuzzy but they're not arbitrary. In primary markets, there are a number of established firms paying Cravath scale (or close). In secondary markets, there are a number of established firms paying first-years six figures followed by compressed or black-box raises, which often ends up being a pretty appealing deal taking hours reqs and CoL into account. In tertiary markets, few or no such firms exist. The boundaries are obviously controversial but the categories aren't.

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Re: Biglaw and Midlaw pay in Secondary/ Third markets

Post by decimalsanddollars » Tue May 26, 2020 1:46 pm

Waco doesn't have firms that start attorneys at six figures. Pretty sure same w/ El Paso. San Antonio has a couple of firms that pay full NY market there (Jackson Walker, Norton Rose Fulbright), a handful that pay a year or two below market despite paying market elsewhere, a few that pay $150-160k (Dykema, Clark Hill Strasburger) consistent with pay in other offices, and a bunch of midlaw firms that pay $90-120k. I know that Phoenix and Jackson both have zero market-paying firms; I imagine that's true for the other non-TN places you listed (and I assume TN as well).

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Re: Biglaw and Midlaw pay in Secondary/ Third markets

Post by crazywafflez » Tue May 26, 2020 2:04 pm

decimalsanddollars wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 1:46 pm
Waco doesn't have firms that start attorneys at six figures. Pretty sure same w/ El Paso. San Antonio has a couple of firms that pay full NY market there (Jackson Walker, Norton Rose Fulbright), a handful that pay a year or two below market despite paying market elsewhere, a few that pay $150-160k (Dykema, Clark Hill Strasburger) consistent with pay in other offices, and a bunch of midlaw firms that pay $90-120k. I know that Phoenix and Jackson both have zero market-paying firms; I imagine that's true for the other non-TN places you listed (and I assume TN as well).
Awesome, thank you!
Is SA pretty ties heavy? I have a few friends from the area that say it is really insular, akin to NOLA, and that you've really gotta be from the city. Thanks again, decimals, and thanks all for helping

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Re: Biglaw and Midlaw pay in Secondary/ Third markets

Post by Anonymous User » Tue May 26, 2020 2:44 pm

Can speak to Phoenix. Most BL (Snell, Fennemore Craig, Lewis Roca, Quarles & Brady, etc.) start in the 110-130 range. Perkins starts at 150. Given the low COL there, even below market goes a long way.

Market isn’t too too insular, but it helps to have ties beyond “I like spring training.” Most firms hire primarily but not exclusively from ASU and UofA.

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Re: Biglaw and Midlaw pay in Secondary/ Third markets

Post by decimalsanddollars » Tue May 26, 2020 4:13 pm

crazywafflez wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 2:04 pm
decimalsanddollars wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 1:46 pm
Waco doesn't have firms that start attorneys at six figures. Pretty sure same w/ El Paso. San Antonio has a couple of firms that pay full NY market there (Jackson Walker, Norton Rose Fulbright), a handful that pay a year or two below market despite paying market elsewhere, a few that pay $150-160k (Dykema, Clark Hill Strasburger) consistent with pay in other offices, and a bunch of midlaw firms that pay $90-120k. I know that Phoenix and Jackson both have zero market-paying firms; I imagine that's true for the other non-TN places you listed (and I assume TN as well).
Awesome, thank you!
Is SA pretty ties heavy? I have a few friends from the area that say it is really insular, akin to NOLA, and that you've really gotta be from the city. Thanks again, decimals, and thanks all for helping
In my experience (mostly secondhand), SA is ties-based. You're likely to get not only "why SA" but also questions about how much time you've spent there, and if you're from there, they'll ask where you went to high school. Lawyers at large firms in SA tend to have gone to UT, St. Mary's, SMU, Baylor, sometimes UH...it's rare that people from other schools land associate gigs at those offices.

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Re: Biglaw and Midlaw pay in Secondary/ Third markets

Post by Anonymous User » Tue May 26, 2020 5:49 pm

crazywafflez wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 6:15 pm
Hey all, was just curious about firms in a couple locations and what their pay scale is.

Nashville: Bass Berry, Waller, Bradley, Burr, Dickenson Wright

Memphis: Burch Porter, Evans Petree, Glassman, Lewis Thomason, Bass Berry.

Other locations that I'm interested in but I know little about:

San Antonio, El Paso, Waco, Jackson, Little Rock, Greenville (South Carolina), and Phoenix

How insular are these other markets? I have strong ties to TN; Medium ish ties to AZ. I'm not a Texan but my father's family is and lives near Waco. What are pay scales for their version of biglaw and reqs?
Chiming in on the TX front. Waco is about as insular as it gets. This "city" has a population slightly over 100k, and that's with a large university. There are nothing but small law firms and local counsel shops for the new booming patent docket taking off at Waco's federal courthouse. Pay might be around 75-100k starting off. You should consider Fort Worth and Austin/Round Rock too (both 90 minutes away from Waco). Fort Worth has several firms starting around 120k-150k. Austin is hard to break into, but several BigLaw satellites and market-level boutiques. San Antonio has a few big shops, but most work I've seen relates to insurance, immigration, and construction. Spanish is a huge plus in that market, although it's changing.

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Re: Biglaw and Midlaw pay in Secondary/ Third markets

Post by Anonymous User » Tue May 26, 2020 8:00 pm

Also elaborating on Texas, I interviewed with Clark Hill as well for the Houston office. They start at $140k there, and I believe that is true for Dallas too. There are also firms like Chamberlain Hrdlicka that start at $160k in places like San Antonio and Houston.

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Re: Biglaw and Midlaw pay in Secondary/ Third markets

Post by Anonymous User » Tue May 26, 2020 11:09 pm

crazywafflez wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 6:15 pm
Hey all, was just curious about firms in a couple locations and what their pay scale is.

Nashville: Bass Berry, Waller, Bradley, Burr, Dickenson Wright

Memphis: Burch Porter, Evans Petree, Glassman, Lewis Thomason, Bass Berry.

Other locations that I'm interested in but I know little about:

San Antonio, El Paso, Waco, Jackson, Little Rock, Greenville (South Carolina), and Phoenix

How insular are these other markets? I have strong ties to TN; Medium ish ties to AZ. I'm not a Texan but my father's family is and lives near Waco. What are pay scales for their version of biglaw and reqs?
I work in Nashville BigLaw. The big four (Baker, Bass, Bradley, Waller) here start at $140K. Burr and Dickinson Wright are probably 120; neither has a good reputation here.

Memphis is much lower. Lewis Thomason, etc. probably start around $85K there. Baker and Bass at the top of the market ($120-130K), Butler Snow a distant third, then a huge drop off. Scale in Memphis is much more compressed.

If you are not from Tennessee (i.e., didn't go to high school here) or did not go to law school here (Vanderbilt, Tennessee, big drop off to Memphis and maybe 1-2 from Belmont), you can generally forget about BigLaw. Even people from here that go to law school out of state are having problems finding jobs. Nashville is a particularly difficult market to crack right now since everyone seems to want to move here.

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Re: Biglaw and Midlaw pay in Secondary/ Third markets

Post by crazywafflez » Wed May 27, 2020 9:13 am

Thanks everyone for the responses. I am from Tennessee, went to hs and ug there. My law school is not in TN but nearby. I'm from a smallish town but have connections to both Nashville and Memphis. Didn't realize the pay disparity was so big between the two. Are Chattanooga and Knoxville more in line with Memphis or even lower? I didn't ask about these places but if anyone has some knowledge on them just toss it in here too.
Thanks everyone for the Texas updates. I'm unfamiliar with Fort Worth- I know it is connected or intertwined with Dallas ish. Does it have a midsize city - small size vibe? That was something I loved about SA- it was a big city with a pretty local feel. I realize this is arbitrary hah, sorry ahead of time. What are the billable hours folks get at a place like Bass Berry - would it be around 1900?
For those midsized shops in these markets, what grade reqs are usually required? Thanks again all

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Re: Biglaw and Midlaw pay in Secondary/ Third markets

Post by cheaptilts » Wed May 27, 2020 9:28 am

crazywafflez wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 9:13 am
Thanks everyone for the responses. I am from Tennessee, went to hs and ug there. My law school is not in TN but nearby. I'm from a smallish town but have connections to both Nashville and Memphis. Didn't realize the pay disparity was so big between the two. Are Chattanooga and Knoxville more in line with Memphis or even lower? I didn't ask about these places but if anyone has some knowledge on them just toss it in here too.
Thanks everyone for the Texas updates. I'm unfamiliar with Fort Worth- I know it is connected or intertwined with Dallas ish. Does it have a midsize city - small size vibe? That was something I loved about SA- it was a big city with a pretty local feel. I realize this is arbitrary hah, sorry ahead of time. What are the billable hours folks get at a place like Bass Berry - would it be around 1900?
For those midsized shops in these markets, what grade reqs are usually required? Thanks again all
I hope you continue to receive informative answers regarding salaries in these different cities, but unless you’re at Duke, your degree may have far less portability than you realize, especially with respect to big, established firms in all the cities you mentioned.

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Re: Biglaw and Midlaw pay in Secondary/ Third markets

Post by crazywafflez » Wed May 27, 2020 9:59 am

Hey, Cheaptilts, yeah, I'm not at Duke (I wish...); I'm at a lower end T1 regional in the Southeast. I realize it'll be hard to get into these places - and tbh I'm mostly aiming for my homemarket in TN, but wanted to learn some about the others that I couldn't find online and that I'm interested in. I do think I could possibly realistically place into Jackson or Little Rock though I think most of the other places, like Greenville or San Antonio, I could not.

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Re: Biglaw and Midlaw pay in Secondary/ Third markets

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Wed May 27, 2020 2:16 pm

crazywafflez wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 9:59 am
Hey, Cheaptilts, yeah, I'm not at Duke (I wish...); I'm at a lower end T1 regional in the Southeast. I realize it'll be hard to get into these places - and tbh I'm mostly aiming for my homemarket in TN, but wanted to learn some about the others that I couldn't find online and that I'm interested in. I do think I could possibly realistically place into Jackson or Little Rock though I think most of the other places, like Greenville or San Antonio, I could not.
Bama? Alabama, with great grades and with your ties, has a shot at Nashville. UNC also realistic. Georgia/W&L less so.

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Re: Biglaw and Midlaw pay in Secondary/ Third markets

Post by Iowahawk » Wed May 27, 2020 2:20 pm

The Lsat Airbender wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 1:41 pm
Ohiobumpkin wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 1:17 pm
What are "third markets?" It sounds like somebody does not want to admit they want to work in a secondary market and so created a whole new category within the arbitrary hierarchy of primary/secondary markets.
These distinctions are fuzzy but they're not arbitrary. In primary markets, there are a number of established firms paying Cravath scale (or close). In secondary markets, there are a number of established firms paying first-years six figures followed by compressed or black-box raises, which often ends up being a pretty appealing deal taking hours reqs and CoL into account. In tertiary markets, few or no such firms exist. The boundaries are obviously controversial but the categories aren't.
Sorry for nit-picking, but this definition of secondary includes some clearly tertiary markets in the Midwest (Des Moines, Madison, Omaha) and probably elsewhere. I'd probably call primaries markets with Cravath-paying firms and secondaries any other market with a big-league pro sports team.

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Re: Biglaw and Midlaw pay in Secondary/ Third markets

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Wed May 27, 2020 2:53 pm

Iowahawk wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 2:20 pm
The Lsat Airbender wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 1:41 pm
Ohiobumpkin wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 1:17 pm
What are "third markets?" It sounds like somebody does not want to admit they want to work in a secondary market and so created a whole new category within the arbitrary hierarchy of primary/secondary markets.
These distinctions are fuzzy but they're not arbitrary. In primary markets, there are a number of established firms paying Cravath scale (or close). In secondary markets, there are a number of established firms paying first-years six figures followed by compressed or black-box raises, which often ends up being a pretty appealing deal taking hours reqs and CoL into account. In tertiary markets, few or no such firms exist. The boundaries are obviously controversial but the categories aren't.
Sorry for nit-picking, but this definition of secondary includes some clearly tertiary markets in the Midwest (Des Moines, Madison, Omaha) and probably elsewhere. I'd probably call primaries markets with Cravath-paying firms and secondaries any other market with a big-league pro sports team.
I don't see why it makes sense, when we're talking about legal employment, to draw that kind of line between Des Moines and, say, Tampa or Memphis, both of which I'm pretty sure have fewer high-paying firm jobs. The stature/size of the city itself is only indirectly related to the number and quality of legal clientele there.

It's a really easy process:

- Take the starting salary of associates at the highest-paying "tier" of law firms in City X. If there's exactly one firm at the top, especially if it's just a satellite boutique or a small boutique that doesn't have a consistent entry-level class, ignore it and go to the tier below that. In other words, what salary can a fresh law grad with ties and biglaw-sufficient grades from a local school or T13 realistically expect. The underlined is the only consideration I really care about when carving up cities this way.
- Is that salary $190k? Primary market. Is it less than 190k but above ~100-110k? Secondary market. Below that, but still well above the local median income? Tertiary market. Six figures is pretty arbitrary but it's a boundary with a lot of cultural relevance.

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Re: Biglaw and Midlaw pay in Secondary/ Third markets

Post by Anonymous User » Thu May 28, 2020 12:03 am

OP, my only connection to Nashville was that I went to UG at Vandy. I went to a higher ranked tier-1 regional law school (GW/Fordham/BU/BC/ND) and graduated around median and I had some luck in Nashville. I got a callback at BBS in law school and an offer as a lateral. I think BBS is less hung up on ties, though. I got an offer at Waller as well, but couldn’t even snag an interview at Bradley Arant and Baker Donelson.

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Re: Biglaw and Midlaw pay in Secondary/ Third markets

Post by Anonymous User » Thu May 28, 2020 8:29 pm

Nashville associate here.
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 12:03 am
OP, my only connection to Nashville was that I went to UG at Vandy. I went to a higher ranked tier-1 regional law school (GW/Fordham/BU/BC/ND) and graduated around median and I had some luck in Nashville. I got a callback at BBS in law school and an offer as a lateral. I think BBS is less hung up on ties, though. I got an offer at Waller as well, but couldn’t even snag an interview at Bradley Arant and Baker Donelson.
I have to imagine you were at a V100 in New York or Washington when you got an offer to lateral to Bass, that is definitely Bass's M.O. You are right, Bass is a lot less stringent on ties, especially if you are coming from a T14 or a vault-ranked firm.
The Lsat Airbender wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 2:16 pm
Bama? Alabama, with great grades and with your ties, has a shot at Nashville. UNC also realistic. Georgia/W&L less so.
No, this isn't really accurate, in my opinion. There aren't many Alabama Law grads in Nashville biglaw. I would actually guess there are more people who went to law school at both Ole Miss and Kentucky than Alabama at the big four. UNC is not realistic at all. Georgia fares far better than UNC here.
crazywafflez wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 9:13 am
Are Chattanooga and Knoxville more in line with Memphis or even lower? I didn't ask about these places but if anyone has some knowledge on them just toss it in here too.
Big firms in Chattanooga start around $105-115. Knoxville is terrible, closer to $95-100. Compression would be about $2K-$3K per year or so, maybe a bump of $6-7K on a good year. Unless you went to UTK for undergrad, forget about East Tennessee because it is almost exclusively UTK law grads.

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Re: Biglaw and Midlaw pay in Secondary/ Third markets

Post by Anonymous User » Thu May 28, 2020 8:59 pm

Vandy alum anon poster here. I was/am at a good firm in NY/DC. It’s not ranked in V100 but my practice group is ranked highly nationally in every rankings publication, so that probably makes up for the lack of V100.

Edit: too specific/identifiable

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