Thursday, October 27, 2011

Best cities for BigLaw associates ranked according to "buying power"

Wealth is a relative thing. A $160k starting salary for NYC BigLaw associates doesn't quite mean as much as you think (though no one can deny it's still a sweet deal by any measure) when you realize that the average monthly rent for a 1 bedroom apartment is $3500. To help make sense of it all comes this helpful guide from NALP that ranks cities based on salary purchasing power using the NYC BigLaw starting salary as a benchmark. Below is a chart that shows how cities nationwide stack-up:

Median Reported Private Practice Salaries in Selected Cities Ranked by Buying Power of the Salary-Class of 2010

City Reported Median Salary Salary Required to Yield New York City Buying Power* Buying Power Index
Dallas, TX $150,000 $67,870 2.210
Houston, TX 135,000 68,100 1.982
Atlanta, GA 135,000 70,610 1.912
Chicago, IL 145,000 86,360 1.679
Boston, MA 160,000 97,890 1.634
Los Angeles, CA 160,000 100,700 1.589
Birmingham, AL 105,000 67,135 1.564
Washington, DC 160,000 103,440 1.547
St. Louis, MO 100,000 66,840 1.496
Newport Beach, CA 160,000 108,100 1.480
Newark, NJ 135,000 95,820 1.409
Menlo Park, CA 160,000 115,340 1.387
Mountain View, CA 160,000 115,340 1.387
Palo Alto, CA 160,000 115,340 1.387
Kansas City, MO 100,000 72,240 1.384
Denver, CO 105,000 76,230 1.377
Phoenix, AZ 102,000 74,380 1.371
Nashville, TN 90,000 65,730 1.369
Detroit, MI 100,000 73,420 1.362
Cleveland, OH 100,000 74,680 1.339
Philadelphia, PA 125,000 93,460 1.337
Austin, TX 93,500 70,610 1.324
San Francisco, CA 160,000 121,110 1.321
Minneapolis, MN 108,000 82,000 1.317
Jackson, MS 93,750 71,645 1.308
Irvine, CA 140,000 108,100 1.295
Salt Lake City, UT 95,000 74,380 1.277
New Orleans, LA 90,000 71,645 1.256
Charlotte, NC 82,500 68,910 1.197
Milwaukee, WI 90,000 75,190 1.197
Rochester, NY 88,000 73,860 1.191
Omaha, NE 77,000 65,210 1.181
Fort Worth, TX 79,000 67,280 1.174
Seattle, WA 105,000 89,610 1.172
Pittsburgh, PA 78,000 67,650 1.153
Miami, FL 85,000 78,370 1.085
Memphis, TN 70,000 65,210 1.073
Las Vegas, NV 80,000 75,270 1.063
San Antonio, TX 75,000 70,680 1.061
Columbus, OH 72,000 67,950 1.060
Charleston, WV 72,000 68,470 1.052
New York, NY 160,000 160,000 1.000
Baltimore, MD 87,000 88,210 0.986
Alexandria, VA 100,000 103,440 0.967
Cincinnati, OH 65,000 69,350 0.937
Raleigh, NC 67,750 72,530 0.934
Hartford, CT 83,000 89,980 0.922
San Diego, CA 90,000 97,670 0.921
Dayton, OH 62,000 67,580 0.917
Des Moines, IA 60,000 67,210 0.893
Louisville, KY 57,500 64,770 0.888
Tulsa, OK 57,500 65,360 0.880
Tampa, FL 60,000 68,318 0.878
Columbia, SC 65,000 74,160 0.876
Sacramento, CA 75,000 85,840 0.874
Albuquerque, NM 60,000 70,240 0.854
Oakland, CA 87,500 102,700 0.852
Buffalo, NY 60,000 70,760 0.848
Richmond, VA 65,000 77,190 0.842
Portland, OR 67,000 82,220 0.815
Jacksonville, FL 55,000 68,690 0.801
Orlando, FL 57,500 72,240 0.796
Baton Rouge, LA 54,500 70,980 0.768
Little Rock, AR 54,000 71,275 0.753
Oklahoma City, OK 50,000 67,800 0.737
Fort Lauderdale, FL 62,000 85,470 0.725
Long Beach, CA 72,000 100,700 0.715
Southfield, MI 51,250 73,490 0.697
San Jose, CA 80,000 115,340 0.694
Charleston, SC 50,000 72,610 0.689
Albany, NY 50,000 79,850 0.626

*For ease of presentation, these figures have been rounded to the nearest $10.

Click here to get some additional analysis from NALP.

Hat tip to the National Law Journal.

(jbl).

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legal_skills/2011/10/best-cities-for-biglaw-associates-ranked-according-to-buying-power.html

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Comments

This data for Charlotte is highly inaccurate (mainly due to being outdated). The median salary there is closer to 135, with a number of the best firms paying 145 and 160k.

Posted by: Mac | Nov 22, 2014 11:56:43 AM

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