Cities where your law salary will go far. NALP just released its annual list of top cities for law grads according to buying power. Using New York as the benchmark (the buying power index—BPI—"was calculated using New York City's median reported private practice salary for the class of 2011 and cost of living"), NALP looked at 76 cities that reported at least 15 law firm salaries.
First, the top 10 cities where you can live royally as a starting lawyer:
|City||Median Reported Salary||Salary required to Yield New York City Buying Power*||Buying Power Index|
|Los Angeles, CA||160,000||97,110||1.648|
|Costa Mesa, CA||160,000||104,350||1.533|
|Grand Rapids, MI||97,500||65,375||1.484|
And the bottom 10 cities where you are likely to feel much poorer:
|Ft. Lauderdale, FL||60,000||81,170||0.739|
|Little Rock, AR||50,000||69,980||0.714|
|Long Beach, CA||63,700||97,110||0.649|
|Beverly Hills, CA||60,000||97,110||0.618|
I don't think most folks would be startled by the top cities on NALP's list, though some of the bottom ones knocked me off my chair. Who would have guessed that you'd have to pay through the nose to live in places like Little Rock, Montgomery, and Albany? I'm sure they have their charms, but they're not exactly dream cities. All things considered, wouldn't you rather be a starving lawyer in New York, Paris, or Rome?
Are you a lawyer because you're a psychopath? Or a psychopath because you're a lawyer? It's a complicated question, isn't it? I bring this up only because Business Insider lists the top 10 profession that draw a disproportionate number of psychopaths. And guess what? Lawyer is on the list! (For all you definition fiends out there, Business Insider reminds us that "psychopathy" is a personality disorder that's "characterized by shallow emotions (in particular reduced fear), stress tolerance, lacking empathy, coldheartedness, lacking guilt, egocentricity, superficial charm, manipulativeness, irresponsibility, impulsivity, and antisocial behaviors such as parasitic lifestyle and criminality.")
I know you can't wait, so here's the complete list:
3. Media (TV/Radio)
7. Police Officer
10. Civil Servant
And what are the "nice" professions, where few psychopaths reside? Well, they include caregiver, nurse, therapist, craftsperson, beautician/stylist, charity worker, teacher, artist, doctor, and accountant.
Of course, I fall into two of the psychopath professions: journalist and lawyer. Should I be worried?
Do you have topics you'd like to discuss or tips to share? Email chief blogger Vivia Chen at firstname.lastname@example.org.Follow The Careerist on Twitter: twitter.com/lawcareerist
Top photo: Prince William and the former Kate Middleton.
Bottom photo: Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates in Psycho.