I am a mid level and have received an offer from a regional big law firm in a non-market paying location. I believe the firm would be a great fit and the location is where I want to be. The biggest issue is money. I’d be lateraling from full cravath in a major market and the initial offer I received is a bit off that (read: 50% salary reduction). While the market is cheaper in some respects, housing is not. How far can I expect this firm to go to in terms of compensation? Any negotiation tips?

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This exact thing happened to me last October. Almost turned it down bc of the salary cut (albeit it wasn’t 50% but it wasn’t insignificant). I’m so glad I didn’t. I’m infinitely happier at my regional big law firm - I’m busier, I’m more appreciated & ultimately I’m becoming a better lawyer.

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To add, the billable requirement is 1850 and the firm explicitly told me they would prefer that time in excess of that figure go toward business development. That’s obviously appealing but I also still have loans to pay and mouths to feed.

You're choosing to move to a non-major market. This is how this works. This is why people move back later after paying down their loans. It is likely that bands are set in that office. Your best bet is to ask for a signing bonus. It is unlikely you can have your cake and eat it too.

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