Looking for a New Job? Are You Looking in the Correct Geographic Region?
Finding the right job—especially in an industry as crowded and competitive as the legal market—requires several factors all at once to work in your favor. These factors include education and credentials, “fit” for the jobs for which you are applying, and even a whole lot of luck. But, the successful job search goes beyond even this; perhaps, if you have been searching for months on end for the right job but to no avail, you simply have not been searching in the right areas. Here, we will look at some geographic markets that are currently thriving in hopes of aiding you through your daunting quest for a fulfilling job.
“Best” Cities for Young Attorneys
In its rankings of best cities for young people, The National Jurist puts Washington D.C. at the top, praising it for the opportunities it offers young attorneys looking to start a promising career. The city is a hub for all sorts of activity, from an active legal and political scene to an array of cheap social activities. Washington D.C. managed its number-one rank due to its “standards of living based on buying power, the size of the legal community and presence of a vibrant social scene for young people” (Thomas). The study is also heavily influenced by the “Buying Power Index” published annually by the National Association for Law Placement (NALP), which measures what salary an attorney would have to earn in a certain geographic region to maintain a reasonable standard of living.
New York often tops the list for best cities, however, anecdotally, many attorneys note that the ROI may not be what is expected. For example, although salaries are very high in New York, so are all other things – from houses to cars to groceries to all living expenses. As a result, other cities are may offer a better work-life balance.
Also among cities considered the best are Atlanta, Boston, Denver, Dallas, Seattle and Chicago. Of course, what attracts one person to an area might not necessarily be of concern to another; in fact, what is one person’s perk might be another’s caveat. While surely every young attorney aspires for a stable, well-paying, and prestigious job, you should ensure that the location would be favorable to you in general. Do you want to work in a large, bustling metropolitan area? Or would you be more content in a quieter, more laid-back setting?
“Worst” Cities for Young Attorneys
If you considered the best, you might also want to consider the worst cities for young attorneys. The National Jurist rankings and the NALP figures demonstrate the standard of living for young attorneys. Among other factors, the studies also took into account the presence and strength of the legal markets in each city, based on two main factors: “percentage of the population with legal occupations using the 2010 U.S. Census and the number of law firms in each metropolitan area. Likewise, social well-being was taken into account, also measured by two specific factors: “the percentage of young people ages 24 to 34 (also determined by U.S. Census) and the Sperling’s Places ranking, which ranks each city 1 to 10 based on its quality and quantity of art and culture. Topping the worst list are Little Rock, AR; Louisville, KY; Dayton, OH; Oklahoma City, OK; and Charleston, SC. In general, most of the cities listed are located in the Midwest and the South.
Of course, again, how you gauge the usefulness of these data will depend upon what you value most. Perhaps you are more of an introvert, for instance, and therefore are not concerned with working in area with only a few young people. Or, maybe your pastimes and interests involve things other than what might be considered culture and art. In any case, it is probably best to do your own research and weigh the pros and the cons for yourself. For instance, would you be willing to work in a sterile city with little life and culture if it meant better pay and more varied job opportunities, or would you want to take your risk with a less lucrative region? Good luck!!!
* * *
Are you considering a new career or a new position? Would you like some help in working through these tips with your own job search strategies? If so, contact a Career Counselor with Lexacount Search’s Career Consulting Services. Or, if you are interested in learning more about open finance and accounting industry opportunities, contact a Search Consultant from Lexacount Search’s Finance Group. Or, if you are a lawyer or legal assistant, learn more about open legal industry opportunities with a Search Consultant from Lexacount Search’s Legal Group.