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musiccityboer

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Future of Nashville?

Post by musiccityboer » Fri Nov 26, 2021 9:24 pm

From Nashville originally, debating moving back. I should have pretty good opportunities in other markets (@HYS), but I like the 0% tax rate and don't like Texas (that much). Seems like Nashville is just behind Austin in population/market activity, growing just as fast, and Austin's now market-paying.

Heard a rumor (unclear how much credence to give it) that a V5 is eyeing a buyout of one of the Nashville big 4. I assume if one is doing it, others likely are as well. Dallas had a similar scenario happen a few years back and that market is now crazy.

Is it reasonable to expect that Nashville will have market-paying opportunties in the next few years? If so, does it make sense to jump on it as it shifts (instead of moving to ATL/TX/DC)? Or to start in one of those places and then move back?

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Bosque

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Re: Future of Nashville?

Post by Bosque » Fri Nov 26, 2021 11:19 pm

Move to Nashville if you want to live in Nashville. Don’t move to Nashville if you don’t want to live in Nashville. I wouldn’t base this decision on a rumor that big firms might be buying out a firm.

Sackboy

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Re: Future of Nashville?

Post by Sackboy » Sat Nov 27, 2021 12:21 am

I just can't imagine the economics of this remotely working out.

Also, as the poster above me said, move to Nashville if you want to live there, not based on a rumor that a V5 might be going there.

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Re: Future of Nashville?

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Nov 27, 2021 1:42 am

I started out as a litigator at one of the Big 4 firms, and my hourly rate was in the low 200s. Several partners were in the 400s. Granted, this was 6-8 years ago, but I doubt the rates have increased enough to enable the firms to pay full market. (I realize “enable” is not the greatest word choice, but I’m willing to bet that I’m making more now as a senior associate in market Big Law than several of the partners at my old firm.)

musiccityboer

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Re: Future of Nashville?

Post by musiccityboer » Sat Nov 27, 2021 3:48 am

Ach, that's what I was worried about. Well, maybe I should just embrace that I'm best off trading the Tristar for the Lone Star and hope to work my way back in a few years.

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Re: Future of Nashville?

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Nov 27, 2021 7:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Nov 27, 2021 1:42 am
I started out as a litigator at one of the Big 4 firms, and my hourly rate was in the low 200s. Several partners were in the 400s. Granted, this was 6-8 years ago, but I doubt the rates have increased enough to enable the firms to pay full market. (I realize “enable” is not the greatest word choice, but I’m willing to bet that I’m making more now as a senior associate in market Big Law than several of the partners at my old firm.)
This is true, but the scenario where it might go to market is if a firm like Kirkland does what they did in Salt Lake - staff up people there to work on deals that aren’t necessarily local. Bill associates out accordingly.

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Re: Future of Nashville?

Post by ChickenSalad » Sat Nov 27, 2021 8:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Nov 27, 2021 7:04 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Nov 27, 2021 1:42 am
I started out as a litigator at one of the Big 4 firms, and my hourly rate was in the low 200s. Several partners were in the 400s. Granted, this was 6-8 years ago, but I doubt the rates have increased enough to enable the firms to pay full market. (I realize “enable” is not the greatest word choice, but I’m willing to bet that I’m making more now as a senior associate in market Big Law than several of the partners at my old firm.)
This is true, but the scenario where it might go to market is if a firm like Kirkland does what they did in Salt Lake - staff up people there to work on deals that aren’t necessarily local. Bill associates out accordingly.
Why buy out a firm and move to Nashville then? I get that outpost offices are a thing but generally you don’t open an office with the plan to have the associates doing support work for another office. It’s definitely not something that’s going to move the Nashville market either

I wouldn't pick a market to start your career in based on this.

Spider2YBanana

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Re: Future of Nashville?

Post by Spider2YBanana » Sat Nov 27, 2021 10:33 pm

Nashville is a difficult nut to crack, and it almost certainly won't be by a V5 because it doesn't make sense for the V5 or the Nashville firms. The brass ring is the healthcare expertise and relationships. Waller/Bass/Bradley have a long list of clients other firms would love to have, but there are a few caveats to that.

These clients are used to the insanely cheap rates that those firms charge compared to v50 firms. The level of service isn't the same, but it's close enough that you can have one of the big three handle your small/mid sized acquisitions, provide regulatory expertise on big acquisitions, and handle your day to day compliance work. If King and Spalding or McDermott acquired one of the big three, there would need to be some assurances those clients would pay the increased rates that would almost certainly come along with that.

It can also be tough to poach partners away from the big three for that very reason. A lot of the rainmakers have a number of clients they'd lose the minute the rates got substantially more expensive, and there's a lot of autonomy associated with being a partner at one of the big 3 as opposed to being just a cog in the wheel at a v50.

That being said, someone is going to come in an overpay for a healthcare group at some point. The gig has been too good for too long, and some of the true experts nationally work at the big 3. I see someone buying the expertise (meaning snatching a group of 5-10) as more substantially more likely than Bass or Waller selling out to a v50. I could also see there being consolidation in the Nashville market amongst the firms as being reasonably likely. Just my $.02.

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Re: Future of Nashville?

Post by MrTooToo » Sun Nov 28, 2021 8:42 am

Do not start your career in Nashville coming out of HYS. Go work at Debevoise or Kirkland or Davis Polk for a few years and then come back here after you’ve paid off your loans and have $1m in your pocket. It’s worth taking the hit for a few years for the money and resume buff. Law is a long career there’s nothing precluding you from having a long-term successful path in Nashville but I think you’d be crazy to not take advantage of biglaw for a few years first—it will supercharge the rest of your career and finances.

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Re: Future of Nashville?

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Nov 28, 2021 10:15 pm

I doubt a V5 is moving into Nashville. There are rumors that Kirkland is moving to Miami, which is hard to believe, and Miami rates are significantly higher than Nashville.

A friend of mine is a third year at one of the big 4 and bills in the mid-400s. He said that associates cap out in the high 500s/low 600s. He said that some clients get steep discounts so that his rate is in the 200s for some high volume work. (Giving this info, so want to remain anon. Delete post if anon not permitted).

A V5 is billing a first year out at $700+ now. The economics don’t work. Nashville hasn’t grown as fast as Austin, and it’s a lot of regional outposts instead of HQs (I think Miami is getting more companies than Nashville, even). Someone above mentioned SLC, but I think SLC had higher rates to begin with, and there’s arguably a lot more upside there than Nashville.

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Re: Future of Nashville?

Post by Robot » Tue Nov 30, 2021 10:54 pm

MrTooToo wrote:
Sun Nov 28, 2021 8:42 am
Do not start your career in Nashville coming out of HYS. Go work at Debevoise or Kirkland or Davis Polk for a few years and then come back here after you’ve paid off your loans and have $1m in your pocket. It’s worth taking the hit for a few years for the money and resume buff. Law is a long career there’s nothing precluding you from having a long-term successful path in Nashville but I think you’d be crazy to not take advantage of biglaw for a few years first—it will supercharge the rest of your career and finances.
If you're at HYS, imo there is no resume buff from working at Kirkland NY or whatever. Anyone who knows what Kirkland is knows you could have worked there if you wanted to from your HYS degree, you don't turn down BL for Nashville on accident. The money can be a big difference though.

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Re: Future of Nashville?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Dec 07, 2021 1:46 am

Agree with everything that has been said above. I am a senior associate at a top tier Nashville firm and can say it is much easier to lateral back to Nashville (especially with ties) from a primary market with good credentials, and your earning capacity will be much higher doing 2-5 years in New York or Dallas, etc.

The top tier firms in Nashville have done well to keep out-of-town firms from moving in, and I really do not see anyone from the V10 moving here, unless one were to acquire Bass, and they consistently shut down merger partners because they have a fairly lucrative model without pressure for individuals to develop business (and I cannot imagine Bass partners wanting to take instruction from New York).

Also, what everyone said on here about rates is spot on. I am guessing that most associates at tier 1 firms start between $250-350/hr. and rarely make it above $550/hr. as associates. And almost all of that "high rate" work for Nashville is on the transactional side and either (1) is from out-of-town M&As or (2) because of healthcare. Keep in mind that Nashville is historically a litigation town and if a firm isn't getting the "high rate" work, it's not worth the time or the investment. To that extent, keep an eye on K&L Gates -- it will be interesting to see if it thrives in Nashville. It came in and made a heavy investment and got 2-3 nice sized health care books and some good litigation names, but like an earlier poster said, I think it will be very hard for them to keep local Nashville work while raising rates to meet the presumed expectations of K&L's revenue targets.

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Re: Future of Nashville?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Dec 07, 2021 6:19 pm

K&E is considering a move into Nashville. Similar strategy to SLC, where they moved in to pick up talent and not for the local client base.

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Sackboy

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Re: Future of Nashville?

Post by Sackboy » Tue Dec 07, 2021 9:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Dec 07, 2021 6:19 pm
K&E is considering a move into Nashville. Similar strategy to SLC, where they moved in to pick up talent and not for the local client base.
Yeah, no.

2013

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Re: Future of Nashville?

Post by 2013 » Tue Dec 07, 2021 11:05 pm

Sackboy wrote:
Tue Dec 07, 2021 9:12 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Dec 07, 2021 6:19 pm
K&E is considering a move into Nashville. Similar strategy to SLC, where they moved in to pick up talent and not for the local client base.
Yeah, no.
At this rate, I wouldn’t be surprised if K&E opened an office in Detroit.

MillllerTime

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Re: Future of Nashville?

Post by MillllerTime » Wed Dec 08, 2021 1:13 am

I'd echo much of the advice above, but you probably only need to go work in NYC for 6-12 months before you move back. K&E is now open to associates moving to virtually anywhere they want to be remote (at full NYC market), and I'm pretty sure any other Vwhatever firm will play along with that arrangement too if their alternative is losing talent.

There are lots of good career reasons to avoid a remote setup early on, but if you just wanna pay off loans and exit to a regular Nashville practice in a few years, this is my rec.

The Lsat Airbender

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Re: Future of Nashville?

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Wed Dec 08, 2021 11:27 am

MillllerTime wrote:
Wed Dec 08, 2021 1:13 am
I'd echo much of the advice above, but you probably only need to go work in NYC for 6-12 months before you move back. K&E is now open to associates moving to virtually anywhere they want to be remote (at full NYC market), and I'm pretty sure any other Vwhatever firm will play along with that arrangement too if their alternative is losing talent.

There are lots of good career reasons to avoid a remote setup early on, but if you just wanna pay off loans and exit to a regular Nashville practice in a few years, this is my rec.
Yeah this seems like the best of all worlds. Make market in Chicago or Houston for a couple years, go remote (lateralling to another market-paying firm if needed) and move to Nashville, rent an apartment downtown, start networking, then once your loans are paid off—somewhere between 2nd and 4th year hopefully—lateral to one of the Big Four. They'll be happy to get your transactional experience. Buy a condo or maybe a house, bill and chill for another ten years, marry a hot waiter/waitress whose music career didn't work out, go in-house, chill for another twenty years, take long vacations to the gulf coast, watch the Preds/Titans bungle championships, move to Belle Meade, pay down the mortgage, complain about traffic, retire.

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Re: Future of Nashville?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Dec 27, 2021 3:12 pm

Baker Nashville moved to 185 first year, almost 300 7th year. If you are just starting out, don’t come to Nashville because we still have a few kinks to work out. If you’re a lateral considering a move, Nashville will move to Cravath by the end of the year, at least for the very top firms. Firms are already paying up to 190k first year. Bigger firms are coming (and have always wanted to come) but that’s so tight lipped. Don’t listen to all the naysayers (a lot of people are just commenting on the way things have always been, not where they are and are quickly headed). But, the basic point naysayers have is relevant—rates have some work to do. But that gap is quickly closing.

The Lsat Airbender

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Re: Future of Nashville?

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Mon Dec 27, 2021 4:04 pm

I'm not saying you're wrong, but when it comes to associate salaries the bears have been right more often than the bulls. And even a mild recession would throw cold water on everything in the above post.

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Re: Future of Nashville?

Post by legalpotato » Mon Dec 27, 2021 5:25 pm

2013 wrote:
Tue Dec 07, 2021 11:05 pm
Sackboy wrote:
Tue Dec 07, 2021 9:12 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Dec 07, 2021 6:19 pm
K&E is considering a move into Nashville. Similar strategy to SLC, where they moved in to pick up talent and not for the local client base.
Yeah, no.
At this rate, I wouldn’t be surprised if K&E opened an office in Detroit.
My money is on a K&E Bombay office by end of year 2022.

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Re: Future of Nashville?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Dec 27, 2021 5:34 pm

The Lsat Airbender wrote:
Wed Dec 08, 2021 11:27 am
Buy a condo or maybe a house, bill and chill for another ten years, marry a hot waiter/waitress whose music career didn't work out, go in-house, chill for another twenty years, take long vacations to the gulf coast, watch the Preds/Titans bungle championships, move to Belle Meade, pay down the mortgage, complain about traffic, retire.
Lol this is what my dad did, just not in law. RIP J.C. Bradford.

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musiccityboer

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Re: Future of Nashville?

Post by musiccityboer » Mon Dec 27, 2021 5:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Dec 27, 2021 5:34 pm
The Lsat Airbender wrote:
Wed Dec 08, 2021 11:27 am
Buy a condo or maybe a house, bill and chill for another ten years, marry a hot waiter/waitress whose music career didn't work out, go in-house, chill for another twenty years, take long vacations to the gulf coast, watch the Preds/Titans bungle championships, move to Belle Meade, pay down the mortgage, complain about traffic, retire.
Lol this is what my dad did, just not in law. RIP J.C. Bradford.
Accidental anon, it's me the OP

ExpOriental

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Re: Future of Nashville?

Post by ExpOriental » Mon Dec 27, 2021 6:30 pm

Currently prepping my materials for my lateral application to Cravath Nashville

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Re: Future of Nashville?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Dec 28, 2021 1:11 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Dec 27, 2021 3:12 pm
Baker Nashville moved to 185 first year, almost 300 7th year. If you are just starting out, don’t come to Nashville because we still have a few kinks to work out. If you’re a lateral considering a move, Nashville will move to Cravath by the end of the year, at least for the very top firms. Firms are already paying up to 190k first year. Bigger firms are coming (and have always wanted to come) but that’s so tight lipped. Don’t listen to all the naysayers (a lot of people are just commenting on the way things have always been, not where they are and are quickly headed). But, the basic point naysayers have is relevant—rates have some work to do. But that gap is quickly closing.
The end of your post is not accurate. The gap isn’t closing (although the ratio is shrinking). Many major market firms are raising their rates by hundreds of dollars an hour this year. My friend said his Nashville firm released their 2022 rates, and his rate went up around $85 (low-700s for an 8th year). Yes, that’s a lot higher than where Nashville was a decade ago (almost double), but a lot of biglaw firms have also doubled their hourly rates in that period.

The economics just don’t work for many of these firms like Baker D and Bass to try to meet NY market. I’m personally surprised that Baker D is paying almost $300k to 7th year associates when it is paying some (non-first year) partners $330k or so.

Also, I think that bonus structures are important to consider. Do you think Nashville will move to DPW market bonuses?

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Re: Future of Nashville?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Dec 28, 2021 2:56 am

I am a fairly informed associate at a large Nashville firm and I can tell you it is absolutely not moving to anywhere close to New York salaries, even with the latest move to $185k. While 185 is not too far off New York, the top of the associate scale is nowhere close to New York and that doesn't even factor in the massive disparity in bonuses (the difference between NY market and Nashville at 7th year is about $200k after bonuses).

The reality is that Nashville rates are going up but still not large enough to pay New York salaries. K&L Gates notwithstanding, no reputable firms have made plays to get into Nashville and it is obvious that they would have by now if the margins were big enough. Not even other Southern AMLAW firms (A+B, K&S, Troutman, etc.) have opened shops here, like they did in Charlotte circa 2010.

Bottom line: the salary move was good for everyone who lives here and anyone who works at a firm that can keep up, but the ideas of New York firms setting up shop here and Nashville firms paying New York are inaccurate.

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