Low Cost of Living but 190K Payscale

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nealric

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Re: Low Cost of Living but 190K Payscale

Post by nealric » Fri Jun 12, 2020 10:06 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 11:30 pm
JusticeSquee wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 9:40 pm
ConfusedNYer wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 3:28 pm
As is being discussed above. Texas is really the only low cost of living market with a significant number of firms that pay 190k without any compression. People might be able to cite some exceptions in other cities. But I do not think any other market in a low cost area is really going to have more than 1 or 2 firms without compression.
Chicago and Dallas have a similar COL, no? I honestly think Houston is more expensive than either of those cities (maybe the lack of state income tax balances things out though). Dallas is probably the ideal outcome. Fun city, low COL, cheap real estate.
Houston and Dallas are both significantly cheaper than Chicago. Both Houston and Dallas have all sorts of sub-500k within 30 minutes of downtown, and sub-1M large houses within 20 minutes. Nothing like that exists in Chicago. Having lived in both Dallas and Houston, they're very close to the same COL. Everyone in Dallas thinks Houston sucks, and everyone in Houston thinks Dallas sucks. But they both have a plethora of market firms. I had offers from firms in both, and chose Houston. I have friends that had offers from both and chose Dallas. While the cities are laid out very differently, they offer very similar things to do.

Downtown Chicago is definitely better than downtown Dallas or Houston, but the Texas cities have a better bang for your buck imo.
Not as familiar with Chicago, but I do agree that Houston/Dallas would be a much better market for buying. I live in a 3,500sq ft house on a 1/2 acre lot 15 min from downtown Houston (maybe 25 if traffic is unusually bad)- doubt much like that exists in Chicago at any price.

I suspect that you can also rent a much nicer apartment for $2,000 a month if you are fresh out of school and aren't settling down yet. In Houston, that would get you into some of the nicest buildings near downtown, or one of the larger apartments in a nice building within 15 minutes of downtown.

Downside is of course sprawl. There are somewhat walkable areas of Houston, but public transit is practically non-existent. My old house was 7 miles from the office. Taking the bus would have taken TWO HOURS. Literally could have walked there in that amount of time.

The Lsat Airbender

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Re: Low Cost of Living but 190K Payscale

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Fri Jun 12, 2020 11:02 am

Another huge delta between Chicago and Dallas/Houston, which was mentioned upthread but then forgotten, is state income tax, which doesn't directly affect CoL but has big implications for someone making a biglaw salary now that SALT is gone.

For a first-year making $190k you're paying about $9,000 more in Illinois than in Texas. That's like 6-7% of your take-home pay. Even at the same CoL (which, like nealric, I doubt), Texas is a lot cheaper.

ChickenSalad

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Re: Low Cost of Living but 190K Payscale

Post by ChickenSalad » Sat Jun 13, 2020 10:59 am

The Lsat Airbender wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 11:02 am
Another huge delta between Chicago and Dallas/Houston, which was mentioned upthread but then forgotten, is state income tax, which doesn't directly affect CoL but has big implications for someone making a biglaw salary now that SALT is gone.

For a first-year making $190k you're paying about $9,000 more in Illinois than in Texas. That's like 6-7% of your take-home pay. Even at the same CoL (which, like nealric, I doubt), Texas is a lot cheaper.
It’s also worth noting that, according to this link, Chicago has more biglaw jobs than Houston and Dallas combined: https://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blo ... count.html

Plus a market like Chicago, DC, etc isn’t quite as ties-centric.

If you have offers from both markets, Texas is cheaper than Illinois and that’s definitely something to consider. If you’re looking, sending apps randomly to Dallas because of the cost of living doesn’t make much sense imo

kovdak02

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Re: Low Cost of Living but 190K Payscale

Post by kovdak02 » Sat Jun 13, 2020 1:52 pm

Agreed that randomly firing off apps to Texas firms is probably not going to be successful, but if you’re a no ties person - a K-JD who spent your whole life in, like, Montana before you went to a T-14 - and your goal is to take home as much money as possible, there are things you can do from the start of 1L through OCI to max out your Texas chances. Join your law school’s Texas club (I know some T-14s have these), find any 1L summer job in Dallas or Houston and network while you’re there, reach out to people at Texas firms who went to your law school, etc.

2013

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Re: Low Cost of Living but 190K Payscale

Post by 2013 » Sun Jun 14, 2020 9:19 am

While the COL and biglaw salary in TX would be amazing, you’d have to live in TX.

Austin is nice, but I wouldn’t want to live there. Same goes for Dallas and Houston.

If I were married and had kids, maybe I’d consider it because the bang for the buck. But as a single person who hates to drive, living in any of those cities would be a nightmare.

I’ve met people who went to UT, tried to work in Houston/Dallas, and ended up going to LA/SF/Chi because they just didn’t like the lifestyle.

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Re: Low Cost of Living but 190K Payscale

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Jun 14, 2020 10:06 am

2013 wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 9:19 am
While the COL and biglaw salary in TX would be amazing, you’d have to live in TX.

Austin is nice, but I wouldn’t want to live there. Same goes for Dallas and Houston.

If I were married and had kids, maybe I’d consider it because the bang for the buck. But as a single person who hates to drive, living in any of those cities would be a nightmare.

I’ve met people who went to UT, tried to work in Houston/Dallas, and ended up going to LA/SF/Chi because they just didn’t like the lifestyle.
If you hate to drive, Texas might not be for you.

Though, you can live in uptown Dallas or downtown Houston and never drive and/or leave the area. Plenty of people do. You've got NBA in both. NHL in uptown Dallas. MLB in downtown Houston. 8-10 Broadway shows per year in both (though, Dallas shows aren't all downtown). Plenty of bars, restaurants, and parks. You probably do have to take rail transit out of both if you didn't have a car and wanted to do non-grocery shopping.

ksm6969

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Re: Low Cost of Living but 190K Payscale

Post by ksm6969 » Sun Jun 14, 2020 10:25 am

2013 wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 9:19 am
While the COL and biglaw salary in TX would be amazing, you’d have to live in TX.

Austin is nice, but I wouldn’t want to live there. Same goes for Dallas and Houston.

If I were married and had kids, maybe I’d consider it because the bang for the buck. But as a single person who hates to drive, living in any of those cities would be a nightmare.

I’ve met people who went to UT, tried to work in Houston/Dallas, and ended up going to LA/SF/Chi because they just didn’t like the lifestyle.
Of course, there’s also lots of people who tried to work in NY/SF and end up in Texas because they don’t like the lifestyle. Also, have you ever been single in Dallas? It’s a pretty fun place for a single, well off guy (andHouston is not bad, either). I’d put it way ahead of SF for single guys...

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Re: Low Cost of Living but 190K Payscale

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Sep 10, 2020 2:59 pm

A number of Wilmington, Delaware firms pay market scale with no compression, including some of the litigation boutiques. One shop, Abrams & Bayliss, pays at or above above market salary and bonus compensation at all levels.

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Re: Low Cost of Living but 190K Payscale

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Sep 10, 2020 4:19 pm

malibustacy wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 11:08 pm
MarkmanPapers wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 7:36 pm
Philly with Morgan Lewis and Dechert (and DLA but they do microscopic levels of entry level hiring) is another option, but every other firm in the market is below market.
Not anymore with MLB with the salary cuts
What salary cuts? News to this MLB mid-level...

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Anonymous User
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Re: Low Cost of Living but 190K Payscale

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Sep 10, 2020 9:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Sep 10, 2020 4:19 pm
malibustacy wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 11:08 pm
MarkmanPapers wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 7:36 pm
Philly with Morgan Lewis and Dechert (and DLA but they do microscopic levels of entry level hiring) is another option, but every other firm in the market is below market.
Not anymore with MLB with the salary cuts
What salary cuts? News to this MLB mid-level...
Ya... news to me too (also MLB associate). No paycuts.

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