Moving To NYC Is A Bad Decision For Most Young Lawyers

new york city skyline

Photo: Mimoza291 at

It’s time for young associates to stop dreaming about the corner office with the amazing view of the Manhattan skyline and get serious about their careers.The Association for Legal Career Professionals recently released its Buying Power Index Class of 2011, and the results spell bad news for any young associate hoping to work in New York City.

“It is evident that the buying power of the median salary in more than 60% of the cities listed exceeds that of New York’s when relative costs of living are factored in,” according to the study.

The survey studies the relative buying power of associates in cities across the country, revealing how far the salary of an associate in Dallas will go against the salary of an associate in New York.

The survey uses New York’s median private practice salary of $160,000 as the baseline. It then takes the median starting salary for the class of 2011 and the cost of living index for NYC to determine which cities have better purchasing power than the Big Apple.

These are the top 10 best cities in terms of purchasing power for associates. You’ll notice NYC is nowhere on this list:

top 10 buying power cities

Photo: NALP

New York ranked No. 42 in buying power in the 2010 survey. This year, the Big Apple has dropped to a depressing No. 47.

“Point and laugh, everyone, because if you’re located somewhere else, your dollars are being spent much more wisely,” Above The Law wrote of the survey results.

While it’s true many Biglaw headquarters are stationed in New York, those jobs are few and far between.

Associates have a much better shot of raking in the big bucks in Dallas or, surprisingly enough, Wilmington, Del., according to the survey.

So recent law school grads, it might be time to start thinking outside the New York bubble.

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