Texas is where to be. Same salary of $160 plus one of the lowest cost of living in the nation plus no state income tax.
What about property taxes? I assume that depends on the county, but I'm curious to hear about whether it's reasonable. What are some cheap COL places in Texas? Austin? Dallas?
And so you're left with what -- Federal income taxes, Medicare, and a few other things?
I have zero ties to Texas. How can I convince recruiters that I'm interested in living there? Is a 1L firm job a possibility?
Property taxes in Texas are actually quite high I think. Never owned a home so I don't really know but I was looking the other day and it seemed that in the Houston area $500,000 homes paid around 12 or 13K in property taxes. Sounds high to me but again I have no idea what other places pay.
Houston, Dallas, and Austin are all quite cheap and I believe the big law markets are easier to crack than a lot places. Simply a lot of people who aren't from Texas don't want to move there.
A 1L firm job in Texas is definitely possible. The major firms Vinson & Elkins and Baker Botts all hire quite a few 1L's each year. Now granted you need to be coming from a top school to land one of those spots.
There are also various ways to convince them that you want to be. For example, if you are interested in Energy work is doesn't get much better than Vinson & Elkins in Houston or for that matter almost any law firm in Houston. Also, if you are interested in technology for example Austin is a great place for that and one of the top places outside of Northern California.
Austin would be my vote for the coolest city to live in Texas. There is so much to do and it is just an awesome city. Anyways, hope that was informative.