Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions  (Read 25236 times)

Burning Sands, Esq.

  • Global Moderator
  • LSD Obsessed
  • ****
  • Posts: 7072
  • Yes We Kan-sas!!!
    • View Profile
Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
« Reply #30 on: July 08, 2009, 11:31:39 AM »
My question is WHY DO YOU GUYS PUT UP WITH IT? Iíve never been to NYC maybe I would understand if I had. But why do you guys stay with the uncertainty of the legal profession, the layoffs, the crappy hours, the high cost of living, the taxes, the astronomical rents, being target city number one for every terrorist out there, the traffic, not being able to own a car, I guess I just donít see the attraction vs. the hassels. What is it that makes so many lawyers want to live and work there? Granted we donít pay $160 to start, but market is $120 and that will buy you a lot in cities like Denver or Phoenix or Houston.

before I answer that - Market in Colorado is $120,000/yr???!?!?!?!?!?!!  Say what!?  That's better than Kansas City!  Do you know how far that would go in Colorado. Your rent in CO is what, 6-700 a month?  Wow. I did not know that market was that high there.

[ANCILLARY DISCUSSION]
OK, now the question - why do we stay in New York?

Well as your answer clearly indicates, you have never been to New York.  I grew up in Kansas and Missouri.  I live in New York City.  I will NEVER move back to Kansas or Missouri.  

'nuff said


[/ANCILLARY DISCUSSION]
"A lawyer's either a social engineer or a parasite on society. A social engineer is a highly skilled...lawyer who understands the Constitution of the U.S. and knows how to explore its uses in the solving of problems of local communities and in bettering [our] conditions."
Charles H. Houston

Matthies

  • LSD Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 5988
    • View Profile
    • Tell me where you are going to school and you get a cat!
Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
« Reply #31 on: July 08, 2009, 12:00:25 PM »
My question is WHY DO YOU GUYS PUT UP WITH IT? Iíve never been to NYC maybe I would understand if I had. But why do you guys stay with the uncertainty of the legal profession, the layoffs, the crappy hours, the high cost of living, the taxes, the astronomical rents, being target city number one for every terrorist out there, the traffic, not being able to own a car, I guess I just donít see the attraction vs. the hassels. What is it that makes so many lawyers want to live and work there? Granted we donít pay $160 to start, but market is $120 and that will buy you a lot in cities like Denver or Phoenix or Houston.

before I answer that - Market in Colorado is $120,000/yr???!?!?!?!?!?!!  Say what!?  That's better than Kansas City!  Do you know how far that would go in Colorado. Your rent in CO is what, 6-700 a month?  Wow. I did not know that market was that high there.

[ANCILLARY DISCUSSION]
OK, now the question - why do we stay in New York?

Well as your answer clearly indicates, you have never been to New York.  I grew up in Kansas and Missouri.  I live in New York City.  I will NEVER move back to Kansas or Missouri.  

'nuff said


[/ANCILLARY DISCUSSION]

$125k was the last offer I heard. Yea, Denver is pretty inexpensive to live in. I got a three story 1880s Victorian row house in downtown for less than $350k, a newer high-end 2 bedroom condo in the same area walking distance to the 17th street firms would be $250-300k. Itís cheaper to buy here than it is to rent here, your mortgage (with a decent down payment) most times would be less than your rent of a decent 2x2 apartment ($9000 -1500 depending on size and location). Same money in the burbs will get you a 3,000 square foot house. Denverís got a decent city life, but it is still a cowtown too. I mean the rodeo is a BIG thing here. Come to Denver I got conections at some of the big firms here.  ;D
*In clinical studies, Matthies was well tolerated, but women who are pregnant, nursing or might become pregnant should not take or handle Matthies due to a rare, but serious side effect called him having to make child support payments.

M_Cool

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 194
    • View Profile
Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
« Reply #32 on: July 08, 2009, 01:31:30 PM »
I know H&H moved to 135K but the firms there don't have the same lock step pay increases that big law in NY or other major markets have.  A senior associate in CO is probably making like 160-170k vs. the 290k one makes in a major market.

Not to mention that the partners at firms like that have PPP's of like $300-400K so you will never make the really big money and the hours aren't really that much better, especially if you are trying to make partner.

Matthies

  • LSD Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 5988
    • View Profile
    • Tell me where you are going to school and you get a cat!
Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
« Reply #33 on: July 08, 2009, 01:48:27 PM »
I know H&H moved to 135K

Holland and Hart or Hogan and Harston? To be honest most of the lawyers I know that have ten years in have all left the larger firms to start their own firms mainly because here you can make more on your own here than with the PPP splits. Denver seems to be able to support a lot of small medium sized firms.
*In clinical studies, Matthies was well tolerated, but women who are pregnant, nursing or might become pregnant should not take or handle Matthies due to a rare, but serious side effect called him having to make child support payments.

M_Cool

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 194
    • View Profile
Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
« Reply #34 on: July 08, 2009, 01:57:24 PM »
holland & hart

Burning Sands, Esq.

  • Global Moderator
  • LSD Obsessed
  • ****
  • Posts: 7072
  • Yes We Kan-sas!!!
    • View Profile
Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
« Reply #35 on: July 08, 2009, 03:35:02 PM »
I know H&H moved to 135K but the firms there don't have the same lock step pay increases that big law in NY or other major markets have.  A senior associate in CO is probably making like 160-170k vs. the 290k one makes in a major market.

Not to mention that the partners at firms like that have PPP's of like $300-400K so you will never make the really big money and the hours aren't really that much better, especially if you are trying to make partner.


Which reminds me, what M Cool notes here is yet another significant difference between NY Biglaw and Biglaw in other states:  Compensation.

The firms in New Jersey, for example, have many of the same clients as the firms in NY, and in most cases, practice in both NJ and in NY.  They even have pretty high starting market rates (usually $135k-$145k) however their pay increase is not lock step as M Cool mentioned, and furthermore it increases by like 5 or 6k, as opposed to 10 to 15k like NY. 

When I first started in NY Biglaw one of my buddies from my class started in NJ Biglaw and he was always talking about making the move to NY at some point, and at the time it didn't make any sense to me b/c I was operating under the false assumption that NJ firms moved up every year just like NY firms do.  Not the case.  As my friend broke it down for me, it may not seem like a big deal when we start out (he started at $135k) but as we get more senior the gap widens. 

We did the math and (assuming we actually stay in firm life) we figured that by the time we're both 8th year associates he would be making about $180,000/yr whereas I would be making $320,000/yr for doing the exact same thing he was doing about 15 minutes away across the Hudson River.

Doesn't really seem fair when you think about it.

Don't get me wrong, $180k is nothing to sneeze at. If you're a struggling student, and somebody comes along and offers your that much money, you're going to take it. It sure as hell beats contract attorney pay!  But when you know that you could have gotten an additional $140k if you had simply chosen to see what's behind door # 2, I can see how that might keep you up at night.
"A lawyer's either a social engineer or a parasite on society. A social engineer is a highly skilled...lawyer who understands the Constitution of the U.S. and knows how to explore its uses in the solving of problems of local communities and in bettering [our] conditions."
Charles H. Houston

Burning Sands, Esq.

  • Global Moderator
  • LSD Obsessed
  • ****
  • Posts: 7072
  • Yes We Kan-sas!!!
    • View Profile
Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
« Reply #36 on: July 08, 2009, 03:43:42 PM »

before I answer that - Market in Colorado is $120,000/yr???!?!?!?!?!?!!  Say what!?  That's better than Kansas City!  Do you know how far that would go in Colorado. Your rent in CO is what, 6-700 a month?  Wow. I did not know that market was that high there.


Market in Cleveland is 145, with some 130s bringing up the rear.  Chew on that.  Cleveland.

I'm jealous of the huge cost of living advantage that creates, but not so jealous about the prospect of living in Cleveland though.
"A lawyer's either a social engineer or a parasite on society. A social engineer is a highly skilled...lawyer who understands the Constitution of the U.S. and knows how to explore its uses in the solving of problems of local communities and in bettering [our] conditions."
Charles H. Houston

Burning Sands, Esq.

  • Global Moderator
  • LSD Obsessed
  • ****
  • Posts: 7072
  • Yes We Kan-sas!!!
    • View Profile
Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
« Reply #37 on: July 08, 2009, 04:10:15 PM »

before I answer that - Market in Colorado is $120,000/yr???!?!?!?!?!?!!  Say what!?  That's better than Kansas City!  Do you know how far that would go in Colorado. Your rent in CO is what, 6-700 a month?  Wow. I did not know that market was that high there.


Market in Cleveland is 145, with some 130s bringing up the rear.  Chew on that.  Cleveland.

I'm jealous of the huge cost of living advantage that creates, but not so jealous about the prospect of living in Cleveland though.

Which is why they pay you so much.  They've put about a 20 grand premium on your social life.


Which, sad to say, is a joke in NY.  Honestly if the going market rate for associates in other cities is in the $120k to $145k range, then New York needs to be at about $190k.  Associates in other markets, even making less money, are still taking home more money than are associates in New York.

"A lawyer's either a social engineer or a parasite on society. A social engineer is a highly skilled...lawyer who understands the Constitution of the U.S. and knows how to explore its uses in the solving of problems of local communities and in bettering [our] conditions."
Charles H. Houston

Matthies

  • LSD Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 5988
    • View Profile
    • Tell me where you are going to school and you get a cat!
Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
« Reply #38 on: July 08, 2009, 04:20:54 PM »

before I answer that - Market in Colorado is $120,000/yr???!?!?!?!?!?!!  Say what!?  That's better than Kansas City!  Do you know how far that would go in Colorado. Your rent in CO is what, 6-700 a month?  Wow. I did not know that market was that high there.


Market in Cleveland is 145, with some 130s bringing up the rear.  Chew on that.  Cleveland.

I'm jealous of the huge cost of living advantage that creates, but not so jealous about the prospect of living in Cleveland though.

Which is why they pay you so much.  They've put about a 20 grand premium on your social life.

For a while there a few firms in twon were offering 10k less, but that included perks like a a season pass to Vail, BC, Keystone and Breck (all about 45-1 hour from denver) and the use of the firms condos up there. Seeing as how a La Quinta will cost you 200 bucks night in season, and vail is getting 120+ for a day pass that adds up if you do some seriouse skiing $. I put in like 23 days last season so without  pass I'd be looking at $2500 or so depending on where I went. I'd be willing to get up 10k pre tax to have the full on unlimted pass and a free place to saty on weekends
*In clinical studies, Matthies was well tolerated, but women who are pregnant, nursing or might become pregnant should not take or handle Matthies due to a rare, but serious side effect called him having to make child support payments.

big - fat - box

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 800
    • View Profile
Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
« Reply #39 on: July 08, 2009, 05:12:42 PM »
How many NY biglaw associates are actually going to make it to their 8th year? How many will make partner? I haven't seen any recent stats, but the numbers I looked at a 2-3 years ago were not encouraging.