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Top 10 Cities for Starting Your Legal Career: 6-10

Whether you’re a law student, law tutor, recent law school graduate or just dream of one day becoming a lawyer, these are the top 10 cities to start your legal career. It was very hard narrowing the list down to 10, but after taking into consideration employment opportunity, average yearly salaries for lawyers, cost of living and the social scene of each city, I’m confident in it.

And me know what you think. What cities should be in the top 10? What cities should be ranked higher or lower in this list? Let’s discuss!

Here are numbers 6-10 of the list. I will post 1-5 this Friday, so stay tuned.

10. Houston, Texas

Located on the Gulf of Mexico not too far from Louisiana, Houston is heavily industrial with a great cost of living, only 14.25% higher than the national average according to Areavibes.com. When you combine this with the average yearly salary for lawyers in the city – well over $136,000 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics – you get a lucrative combination that is great for law school students,  and recent law school graduates looking for a place to start their career.

And we are all aware that Houston is the home of NASA’s space program, but did you know that Houston is home to more Fortune 500 companies than all other cities but New York? It’s a business haven – especially in the chemical, energy, financial services/programs and biomedical industries – and is continually growing. So if you’re from the South or have always wanted to live there, Houston is a very smart place to start your legal career.

9. Atlanta, Georgia

The A-T-L offers much more than juicy peaches and sweet tea (although these are quite amazing themselves). According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average yearly salary for lawyers in Atlanta is $138,240. When coupled with the city’s cost of living which is 1% lower than the national average according to Areavibes.com, this becomes very, very attractive for law students and law tutors to look at for future employment.

The city is also young, modern and culturally rich, which is the opposite of what many people think of it. It did host the Olympics in 1996, remember. Atlanta has a thriving music scene and because of its affordability and high earning potential, it is a great place to start your legal career.

8. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The cost of living in the City of Brotherly Love is just a little under 8% higher than the national average and arguably the best on the East Coast, which is quite surprising considering its proximity to New York City and Boston. It is a very diverse and vibrant city with a rich legal tradition, has amazing restaurants and cheesesteaks and is only a short rain ride away from Bean Town, D.C. and the Big Apple.

Although its cost of living is low, it’s average salary for lawyers – $132,000 per annum – reflects that. With its historical roots and significance as the first capital of the U.S., Philadelphia is a special place to practice law and start your legal career.

7. Boston, Massachusetts

Boston has a tremendous upside for entry level legal positions, but there is a catch: bias. Law firms in Boston are known for preferring their employees to be 100% pure Bostonians, either born and raised or at least educated. (This is why it’s great to be a law tutor beforehand to gain experience and pad your resume.)

The Bean Town is also home to some of the nation’s most prestigious law schools: Harvard Law School (ranked #3 by the U.S. News and World Report 2013 Best Law Schools Rankings), Boston University School of Law (ranked #26) and Boston College of Law (ranked #29). This inevitably makes competition to get jobs in the city that much harder.

The upside? Boston lawyers’ average annual salary is $135,000, there are ample employment opportunities in the city, and none of its big law firms have made the Law Shucks BigLaw Top 10 list for total layoffs. Boston also has a thriving night life and is full of people that are known for being loud and having fun – a great way to unwind after a long week of hard work.

6. Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas

Dallas is not only great for starting a legal career, it’s also great for starting your career and chowing down to some of the nation’s best barbeque. With its cost of living just 7% above the national average and average salary for lawyers over $138,000 per year, it is a great place to start and continue your career. The weather is gorgeous and the nightlife is vibrant, playing to the “work hard, play hard” mentality quite well. (It is also slower paced than many of the other cities on this list, adding to this even more.)

Dallas offers very diverse law employment opportunities, its major industries being technology, real estate, finance and telecommunications. But for Dallas legal jobs, it’s all about the energy sector that the city is known for; this is where you can really have a thriving career.


This article was written by FindMyLawTutor.com.

Visit us at www.findmylawtutor.com for Help with LSAT Practice Problems and Tutoring, Law School Admissions and Assistance, and Bar Exam Preparation. Our website matches LSAT, Law School, and Bar Tutors with students and legal study materials– Providing Law Students with Help with Legal Exams

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