{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "I’m an associate at a regional BigLaw firm in the Midwest. I’m in one of the smaller markets for my firm, and while salary is at the top of the local market, I do work for other higher-rate markets and bill BigLaw hours. My comp is roughly 20% of my annual billables, while comp for associates in larger markets is roughly 30% of annual billables. Am I getting screwed?", "post_id": "60231104740096001c3db9db", "reply_count": 8, "vote_count": 1, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d052", "bowl_name": "Law", "feed_type": "crowd" }

I’m an associate at a regional BigLaw firm in the Midwest. I’m in one of the smaller markets for my firm, and while salary is at the top of the local market, I do work for other higher-rate markets and bill BigLaw hours. My comp is roughly 20% of my annual billables, while comp for associates in larger markets is roughly 30% of annual billables. Am I getting screwed?

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So I am in the opposite scenario, I live in SF. And when I look at what other associates make in cheaper col cities I feel like I am being ripped off. My CoL is easily twice the Midwest but I don’t make 2x as much as the associates working there.

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Let’s not even start to talk about Dallas. Cravath scale gets a first year actual mansions 🤦‍♂️😭🤔

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I’m sure if you asked the partner they would point out if you want to live in the city you do then you’re getting paid the absolutely most anyone at your level can get paid in that city, and point out your relative purchase power on your salary in that city is probably better than a higher salary in a bigger market.

I’m guessing this because I had that conversation with a partner at my firm (I’m also getting second rate salary in a smaller market at a big law firm).

But even if true does that mean you’re not getting screwed? 🤷‍♂️

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Sharing my two cents after an 80-hour week at a second tier market, earning 120-130K base as a junior: I think we are. Yes, I work less than in my previous V20 firm (weekends here are free 70% of the time), but I pay dearly for that with inferior pay and, critically, the facetime requirement. It's huge in these smaller markets. Can't wait to peace out.

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I think you’re getting screwed because 30% is 30%. If the firm is getting away with billing big law rates in that market then it should be paying you accordingly. But that doesn’t mean there’s anything you can do about it if everyone else in your area is getting the same. To those saying that living somewhere with low COL is a better deal over all even if you make way less, I think it still sucks to be local rich but “poor” everywhere else. I haven’t done the math but if you like traveling you’re not gonna have the money. It’s like having a lot of money in countries with currencies that are devalued against the dollar. The person is rich there but try coming here and staying at the four seasons.

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Respectfully I disagree. People who live in cheap areas but still make 70% of large market high cost of living cities comparatively spend much less of their salary on housing, utilities, taxes, insurance, food, etc. it’s not even close. And your currency example is even more off base. A dollar in Kansas has more buying power than a dollar in SF, and they have equal value abroad. The only reason I don’t move to kansas is because it’s Kansas.

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