Contemplating move from the coast --> WI

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Anonymous User
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Contemplating move from the coast --> WI

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 20, 2017 2:49 pm

Most of my family is in WI - Madison, Milwaukee, or Menasha area. (other side of the family is estranged due to severe political differences we are hippy liberals, they are gun-totin' trump supporters in the south).

We have a toddler who is pretty happy with grandma and grandpa on my side. I get along fine with my family from a distance, but don't do well on our week-long segments together (which is what we get living so far away) - part of me wonders if it will be better if we have shorter exposure in which I am able to remain adult (living in my own house, driving my own car, etc.) versus our current where we fly into town and inevitably offend someone if we get a hotel room and a car because we are "with family" and so should just stay with people instead of spending money. Part of me fears that it would just be worse being closer to everyone. Also my sibling (who I am fairly close with despite the distance, though less close than when I lived nearby) is recently married and I don't think I'm far off in saying that kids (and hence cousins) are in the near future.

I'm most of the way to a job offer in Milwaukee, we won't move if we don't both have jobs but we don't think this will be much of a concern. The move is slightly better for me career wise, neutral for my spouse (though less long-term opportunity for him here since he's a tech geek so the coasts are better for him).

Change would be from a V30/white collar/white shoe to Foley, from securities litigation to a more hybrid (corporate/lit) IP role (which I like, I'm getting bored with big bank work, and would love more client contact). Likely a cut in my year rank and in salary off the Cravath scale, but a bump down in hours requirement as well.

Cost of living would be greatly reduced. We could wipe out student loans, buy a ~$400,000 house and ~$$0,000 car (we only have one car now, hubs has his eye on a tesla), and still be in the green (even though we'd take a pay cut).

...but we would be back to the cold. And republican. And non-diverse. And no mountains (though we have missed cross-country skiing). And we have a solid friend base here that helped us weather the first years of child care. Of course, we also pay upwards of $350/night if we want a full night away from baby...plus hotel costs and concert tickets and transit/etc.

So, internet strangers, please weigh in.

ETA: I'm just about to be a fourth year, so I'll waive into the bar, fwiw.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.

lolwat
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Re: Contemplating move from the coast --> WI

Postby lolwat » Wed Sep 20, 2017 3:59 pm

This decision is so incredibly personal that I don't think anyone on this forum can add anything useful, really.

Personally, having lived in both non-diverse heavily conservative areas and diverse liberal areas, I would never move back to a non-diverse conservative area willingly. I don't care how good the QOL is. I don't care how close I am to family. I don't care if the job is more interesting.

jhett
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Re: Contemplating move from the coast --> WI

Postby jhett » Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:06 pm

lolwat wrote:This decision is so incredibly personal that I don't think anyone on this forum can add anything useful, really.


Yeah, I don't think anybody here can opine on the personal aspects of this decision. Perhaps this is something you should ask your circle of friends.

If you have questions about the wisdom of your lateral move from Shearman to Foley (and switching lit focuses), we could certainly help with that.

Anonymous User
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Re: Contemplating move from the coast --> WI

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:14 pm

jhett wrote:
lolwat wrote:This decision is so incredibly personal that I don't think anyone on this forum can add anything useful, really.


Yeah, I don't think anybody here can opine on the personal aspects of this decision. Perhaps this is something you should ask your circle of friends.

If you have questions about the wisdom of your lateral move from Shearman to Foley (and switching lit focuses), we could certainly help with that.


Any comments welcome on any aspect, including the lateral, really. Trying to make sure I consider as many things as possible.

I've been trying to lateral out of 2000+ biglaw for about a year. I also have options at McGuireWoods and Manatt if I want to stay. The former would def be the same stuff as now, the latter a bit broader of a knowledge base (some employment/real estate/etc.)
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jhett
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Re: Contemplating move from the coast --> WI

Postby jhett » Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:32 pm

What is your career end goal? Partner, in-house, government, etc.? It obviously sounds like securities lit is not really what you want to do, but do you have any preferences for what practice areas you want to get into? IP is the crown jewel of Foley, so if you want to move into IP it's a good choice.

Not sure if lateraling to any of the firms you named will significantly improve your work-life balance. I think it highly depends on the practice group you go into. Did you get the impression when you interviewed with them that the hours are much better?

Anonymous User
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Re: Contemplating move from the coast --> WI

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:39 pm

jhett wrote:What is your career end goal? Partner, in-house, government, etc.? It obviously sounds like securities lit is not really what you want to do, but do you have any preferences for what practice areas you want to get into? IP is the crown jewel of Foley, so if you want to move into IP it's a good choice.

Not sure if lateraling to any of the firms you named will significantly improve your work-life balance. I think it highly depends on the practice group you go into. Did you get the impression when you interviewed with them that the hours are much better?


Excellent question - give us another...

I wish I knew my end goal. I'd like to not burn out of law because I actually like litigating. I'd like partner to be an option, seems like that's a solidly closed door where I am now. The hours at each "alternate" firm do seem better - not as good as government work, but I'm not being offered that (almost was then the d*mn budget got cut), and really it's hard to get worse than what I'm at (not 2300/2500, but close).

With COL, I'm hesitant to take much of a salary drop beyond the "midsize" 1900 hour firms unless it is for something like government. I'm a T10 grad, but no clerkship, so government has always seemed a little rich for my resume - I was pretty shocked when I made the final interview round before budget cuts killed the opportunity. Part of the pull of WI is that some of the other options that are lower paying would become more possible with no debt and no mortgage to speak of.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

RaceJudicata
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Re: Contemplating move from the coast --> WI

Postby RaceJudicata » Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:31 pm

FWIW, you might want to anonymize your post a bit. I think it would be pretty easy to figure out who you are (why someone would want to do this, idk, but I digress).

Anonymous User
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Re: Contemplating move from the coast --> WI

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:36 pm

RaceJudicata wrote:FWIW, you might want to anonymize your post a bit. I think it would be pretty easy to figure out who you are (why someone would want to do this, idk, but I digress).


Took a shot at it. Guess I'm somewhat willing to take the risk for now, hoping that I can delete bits of it once a few folks have weighed in. Perhaps a risky bet, but who knows.

foregetaboutdre
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Re: Contemplating move from the coast --> WI

Postby foregetaboutdre » Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:44 pm

400k house might be pretty damn big in WI. Consider getting a cheaper place (for now) and a cabin in either Door County or Northern WI/the UP of Michigan (up "nort" as the locals say). It will do wonders for a kid growing up in WI. I loved going up north, jet skis, etc... More so than what kind of car/house we had.

FWIW this is just totally personal advice. I loved living 10 years in WI. You won't notice "republican" around Madison/Mil either. You WILL up north (only if you ask ;)).

Anonymous User
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Re: Contemplating move from the coast --> WI

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:32 pm

I'm originally from Milwaukee, and I've thought about making the same move some years down the line. The COA is the biggest draw for me aside from family being there. $400k buys you a very nice house in Milwaukee. Like most reasonably sized cities in America, Milwaukee is not particularly Republican. On the other hand, the suburbs are, but that's easy to avoid. You'll probably want to look at houses in Wauwatosa if you want to live among fellow hippy types.

Not sure the move makes as much sense for the visiting-family reasons. You obviously know the situation better than I do, but while it might be uncomfortable at first, I don't think it's that hard to explain getting a hotel room (especially since you're a fancy lawyer who can pay for that without much problem). They should get used to it eventually, but I get that family members are not always reasonable about that sort of stuff. And there's definitely a risk that moving closer will allow them to impose and intrude on your life more than they are currently able to, but only you can assess whether that's likely. Regardless, I think the move makes a lot of sense for COA/lifestyle reasons.

Anonymous User
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Re: Contemplating move from the coast --> WI

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 20, 2017 11:55 pm

I live in Franklin, just outside Milwaukee. I have two kids and work for the Feds. Honestly it's pretty awesome. I never worked big law, but working a strict 40 hour week is a pretty good gig. I would do the move.

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HenryHankPalmer
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Re: Contemplating move from the coast --> WI

Postby HenryHankPalmer » Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:57 am

Maybe it is because I grew up in Deep East Texas, but Milwaukee and Madison hardly seem homogenous or overly conservative to me. My dad is from Northern Wisconsin, and I grew up going up there all the time. It is one of the most naturally beautiful and friendly states in the country, and the COL can't be beat. If I was prepared for the winters I would be happy to move there (although I would prefer to go a state over and live in the Twin Cities). There are certainly some conservative pockets around the state, but I don't think you'll see too many MAGA hats around Madison, and Milwaukee seems very diverse both in terms of demographics and lifestyles. Better learn to like the Packers though.

Anonymous User
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Re: Contemplating move from the coast --> WI

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:44 pm

I completely understand this dilemma. I grew up in Madison and recently moved back to the Midwest from Colorado. While living in Colorado, the only time I visited home was for 6-8 days over the holidays. It was always an intense experience. Living in close quarters with the 'rents and shuffling from one holiday event to another was not always enjoyable. That being said, I love spending time with my family and I am thrilled to live closer to them.

Rather than moving back to WI, I chose to live in the Twin Cities. Over the last decade (since Walker became governor), WI has become a different place. It's kind of hard to explain, but the character of the entire state just feels different. Walker exploited some of the resentment felt by people in rural areas of the state, and the common values that most in WI used to share have changed (good education, strong unions, civil discourse). Madison is a great place and I enjoy visiting, but WI it is no longer a place I can see myself living long term.

MN provides the best of both worlds for me. Minneapolis/St. Paul is a progressive metro area that is big enough to offer great amenities but not so big that everything is wildly overpriced. Also, the trip to Madison takes about 4 hours, so I can see my family more frequently for shorter periods of time.

Don't exactly know how this info will help your decision.........but I always like to hear anecdotes when seeking advice.




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