St. Louis v. Dallas

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St. Louis v. Dallas

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 06, 2018 9:57 pm

Let's say I have 2 offers that are the same pay: one in St. Louis and one in Dallas. Since the offers are the same amount, I know my money would probably go further in St. Louis. Is that enough to overcome the other benefits of Dallas? Or would some say STL is better than Dallas anyways?

Interested to hear what people say. I have lived in TX the past few years and enjoy TX. But the idea of being able to live in a less populated area with less traffic/congestion is appealing to me.

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deadpanic

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Re: St. Louis v. Dallas

Postby deadpanic » Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:03 pm

It is definitely going to be personal preference here.

No state income tax in TX.
St. Louis is pretty insular so if you ever want to work there, best to go ahead and get in there now as you may never get that opportunity again.
I would *think* the work would be slightly higher-end in Dallas, but can't confirm.
Dallas has more national firms vs. St. Louis' more regional firms.
Weather is going to be personal preference. Personally, I like some snow every now and then so would take STL there.
Midwestern culture in STL vs. whatever culture Dallas is (not southern like the traditional south, but some minor southern elements).

I'm not from either (not even from either state), but my experience has been those from STL really, really like St. Louis and those from Dallas, or Texas in general, think it's the greatest place in the world.

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BasilHallward

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Re: St. Louis v. Dallas

Postby BasilHallward » Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:28 am

Anonymous User wrote:Let's say I have 2 offers that are the same pay: one in St. Louis and one in Dallas. Since the offers are the same amount, I know my money would probably go further in St. Louis. Is that enough to overcome the other benefits of Dallas? Or would some say STL is better than Dallas anyways?

Interested to hear what people say. I have lived in TX the past few years and enjoy TX. But the idea of being able to live in a less populated area with less traffic/congestion is appealing to me.


Dallas and it's not even that close. Dallas is not as pricy as Austin, for instance. It's a little bit pricier than St Louis, but the DFW metroplex is huge and you can find pockets everywhere that are cheap. Plus, the work will definitely more higher level. If you have little experience with Dallas and St Louis, then Dallas is an easy choice, especially if you like the perks of a substantially bigger city. I'm biased of course because I grew up in Dallas. I'm in Austin now, which is clearly a better city, but Dallas is really solid.

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Re: St. Louis v. Dallas

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 07, 2018 1:47 am

BasilHallward wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Let's say I have 2 offers that are the same pay: one in St. Louis and one in Dallas. Since the offers are the same amount, I know my money would probably go further in St. Louis. Is that enough to overcome the other benefits of Dallas? Or would some say STL is better than Dallas anyways?

Interested to hear what people say. I have lived in TX the past few years and enjoy TX. But the idea of being able to live in a less populated area with less traffic/congestion is appealing to me.


Dallas and it's not even that close. Dallas is not as pricy as Austin, for instance. It's a little bit pricier than St Louis, but the DFW metroplex is huge and you can find pockets everywhere that are cheap. Plus, the work will definitely more higher level. If you have little experience with Dallas and St Louis, then Dallas is an easy choice, especially if you like the perks of a substantially bigger city. I'm biased of course because I grew up in Dallas. I'm in Austin now, which is clearly a better city, but Dallas is really solid.


It's 100% personal preference -- and it will depend on the firms at which you have offers. The Dallas legal market is probably, on the whole, a little better than the St. Louis legal market. But that, in the abstract, doesn't mean anything to you. Your St. Louis offer could easily be at a substantially stronger and more interesting firm than your Dallas offer. Or vice versa. St. Louis has a number of excellent firms, and my favorite firm in either city is a St. Louis firm (but, again, if I had to rank the various offices, probably 6/7 out of my top 10 would be Dallas offices).

In terms of the cities, they have really very different feels. The city of St. Louis is going to be materially cheaper, and it offers an opportunity for you to live in beautiful old stock housing in a city. (St. Louis County, where most biglaw folks live in St. Louis, may only be marginally cheaper.) On the other hand, for a range of quasi-suburban options, Dallas has the strong edge. The two cities just have very different cultures and vibes and very different positives and negatives. Personally, as someone not from either city, I have a strong preference for St. Louis out of the two. But my bet is that if the average lawyer at my (non-STL / non-Dallas) office had to choose, more would choose Dallas.

If you can, I'd try to spend a weekend in each city. If you can't do that and don't have strong city feelings (which it sounds like you don't), make your decision based on which office/firm you prefer. If that's a wash, I'd think about your feelings about cities and suburbs, and old cities and new cities. Dallas is a fairly thriving medium-large sprawling city. St. Louis is probably the furthest west of the "old" east-coast cities, and therefore has more of a compact old school city feel (with neat old housing stock and beautiful old tree-lined neighborhood streets) -- but STL is struggling a bit more economically and is a bit smaller. As a result, if you want an affordable beautiful old home with character, St. Louis has the clear edge; while if you want a modern home in a more recently built development, Dallas probably gives you a bigger and better range of options.

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Re: St. Louis v. Dallas

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 07, 2018 2:58 am

St. Louis sucks compared to Dallas. It’s not even close.

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Re: St. Louis v. Dallas

Postby acr » Wed Mar 07, 2018 3:42 am

Anonymous User wrote:St. Louis sucks compared to Dallas. It’s not even close.


I love how this is stated so objectively.

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unlicensedpotato

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Re: St. Louis v. Dallas

Postby unlicensedpotato » Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
BasilHallward wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Let's say I have 2 offers that are the same pay: one in St. Louis and one in Dallas. Since the offers are the same amount, I know my money would probably go further in St. Louis. Is that enough to overcome the other benefits of Dallas? Or would some say STL is better than Dallas anyways?

Interested to hear what people say. I have lived in TX the past few years and enjoy TX. But the idea of being able to live in a less populated area with less traffic/congestion is appealing to me.


Dallas and it's not even that close. Dallas is not as pricy as Austin, for instance. It's a little bit pricier than St Louis, but the DFW metroplex is huge and you can find pockets everywhere that are cheap. Plus, the work will definitely more higher level. If you have little experience with Dallas and St Louis, then Dallas is an easy choice, especially if you like the perks of a substantially bigger city. I'm biased of course because I grew up in Dallas. I'm in Austin now, which is clearly a better city, but Dallas is really solid.


It's 100% personal preference -- and it will depend on the firms at which you have offers. The Dallas legal market is probably, on the whole, a little better than the St. Louis legal market. But that, in the abstract, doesn't mean anything to you. Your St. Louis offer could easily be at a substantially stronger and more interesting firm than your Dallas offer. Or vice versa. St. Louis has a number of excellent firms, and my favorite firm in either city is a St. Louis firm (but, again, if I had to rank the various offices, probably 6/7 out of my top 10 would be Dallas offices).

In terms of the cities, they have really very different feels. The city of St. Louis is going to be materially cheaper, and it offers an opportunity for you to live in beautiful old stock housing in a city. (St. Louis County, where most biglaw folks live in St. Louis, may only be marginally cheaper.) On the other hand, for a range of quasi-suburban options, Dallas has the strong edge. The two cities just have very different cultures and vibes and very different positives and negatives. Personally, as someone not from either city, I have a strong preference for St. Louis out of the two. But my bet is that if the average lawyer at my (non-STL / non-Dallas) office had to choose, more would choose Dallas.

If you can, I'd try to spend a weekend in each city. If you can't do that and don't have strong city feelings (which it sounds like you don't), make your decision based on which office/firm you prefer. If that's a wash, I'd think about your feelings about cities and suburbs, and old cities and new cities. Dallas is a fairly thriving medium-large sprawling city. St. Louis is probably the furthest west of the "old" east-coast cities, and therefore has more of a compact old school city feel (with neat old housing stock and beautiful old tree-lined neighborhood streets) -- but STL is struggling a bit more economically and is a bit smaller. As a result, if you want an affordable beautiful old home with character, St. Louis has the clear edge; while if you want a modern home in a more recently built development, Dallas probably gives you a bigger and better range of options.


...dude. Arlington, TX is larger than STL. Dallas city proper is 5x larger than STL (and grew by 1/6 of STL's total population last year) and DFW metroplex is at least 15x larger. There's probably valid reasons to choose STL, particularly if you would stay long-term and/or if the pay at the two firms is (and will continue to be) comparable. But these cities are not similar in size, growth, legal markets, etc.

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Re: St. Louis v. Dallas

Postby carsondalywashere » Wed Mar 07, 2018 2:19 pm

unlicensedpotato wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
BasilHallward wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Let's say I have 2 offers that are the same pay: one in St. Louis and one in Dallas. Since the offers are the same amount, I know my money would probably go further in St. Louis. Is that enough to overcome the other benefits of Dallas? Or would some say STL is better than Dallas anyways?

Interested to hear what people say. I have lived in TX the past few years and enjoy TX. But the idea of being able to live in a less populated area with less traffic/congestion is appealing to me.


Dallas and it's not even that close. Dallas is not as pricy as Austin, for instance. It's a little bit pricier than St Louis, but the DFW metroplex is huge and you can find pockets everywhere that are cheap. Plus, the work will definitely more higher level. If you have little experience with Dallas and St Louis, then Dallas is an easy choice, especially if you like the perks of a substantially bigger city. I'm biased of course because I grew up in Dallas. I'm in Austin now, which is clearly a better city, but Dallas is really solid.


It's 100% personal preference -- and it will depend on the firms at which you have offers. The Dallas legal market is probably, on the whole, a little better than the St. Louis legal market. But that, in the abstract, doesn't mean anything to you. Your St. Louis offer could easily be at a substantially stronger and more interesting firm than your Dallas offer. Or vice versa. St. Louis has a number of excellent firms, and my favorite firm in either city is a St. Louis firm (but, again, if I had to rank the various offices, probably 6/7 out of my top 10 would be Dallas offices).

In terms of the cities, they have really very different feels. The city of St. Louis is going to be materially cheaper, and it offers an opportunity for you to live in beautiful old stock housing in a city. (St. Louis County, where most biglaw folks live in St. Louis, may only be marginally cheaper.) On the other hand, for a range of quasi-suburban options, Dallas has the strong edge. The two cities just have very different cultures and vibes and very different positives and negatives. Personally, as someone not from either city, I have a strong preference for St. Louis out of the two. But my bet is that if the average lawyer at my (non-STL / non-Dallas) office had to choose, more would choose Dallas.

If you can, I'd try to spend a weekend in each city. If you can't do that and don't have strong city feelings (which it sounds like you don't), make your decision based on which office/firm you prefer. If that's a wash, I'd think about your feelings about cities and suburbs, and old cities and new cities. Dallas is a fairly thriving medium-large sprawling city. St. Louis is probably the furthest west of the "old" east-coast cities, and therefore has more of a compact old school city feel (with neat old housing stock and beautiful old tree-lined neighborhood streets) -- but STL is struggling a bit more economically and is a bit smaller. As a result, if you want an affordable beautiful old home with character, St. Louis has the clear edge; while if you want a modern home in a more recently built development, Dallas probably gives you a bigger and better range of options.


...dude. Arlington, TX is larger than STL. Dallas city proper is 5x larger than STL (and grew by 1/6 of STL's total population last year) and DFW metroplex is at least 15x larger. There's probably valid reasons to choose STL, particularly if you would stay long-term and/or if the pay at the two firms is (and will continue to be) comparable. But these cities are not similar in size, growth, legal markets, etc.


Your stats are wild exaggerations. STL's metro area population is aprox. 2.75 million. Dallas-FW metro area is around 7 million.

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Re: St. Louis v. Dallas

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 07, 2018 2:25 pm

unlicensedpotato wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
BasilHallward wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Let's say I have 2 offers that are the same pay: one in St. Louis and one in Dallas. Since the offers are the same amount, I know my money would probably go further in St. Louis. Is that enough to overcome the other benefits of Dallas? Or would some say STL is better than Dallas anyways?

Interested to hear what people say. I have lived in TX the past few years and enjoy TX. But the idea of being able to live in a less populated area with less traffic/congestion is appealing to me.


Dallas and it's not even that close. Dallas is not as pricy as Austin, for instance. It's a little bit pricier than St Louis, but the DFW metroplex is huge and you can find pockets everywhere that are cheap. Plus, the work will definitely more higher level. If you have little experience with Dallas and St Louis, then Dallas is an easy choice, especially if you like the perks of a substantially bigger city. I'm biased of course because I grew up in Dallas. I'm in Austin now, which is clearly a better city, but Dallas is really solid.


It's 100% personal preference -- and it will depend on the firms at which you have offers. The Dallas legal market is probably, on the whole, a little better than the St. Louis legal market. But that, in the abstract, doesn't mean anything to you. Your St. Louis offer could easily be at a substantially stronger and more interesting firm than your Dallas offer. Or vice versa. St. Louis has a number of excellent firms, and my favorite firm in either city is a St. Louis firm (but, again, if I had to rank the various offices, probably 6/7 out of my top 10 would be Dallas offices).

In terms of the cities, they have really very different feels. The city of St. Louis is going to be materially cheaper, and it offers an opportunity for you to live in beautiful old stock housing in a city. (St. Louis County, where most biglaw folks live in St. Louis, may only be marginally cheaper.) On the other hand, for a range of quasi-suburban options, Dallas has the strong edge. The two cities just have very different cultures and vibes and very different positives and negatives. Personally, as someone not from either city, I have a strong preference for St. Louis out of the two. But my bet is that if the average lawyer at my (non-STL / non-Dallas) office had to choose, more would choose Dallas.

If you can, I'd try to spend a weekend in each city. If you can't do that and don't have strong city feelings (which it sounds like you don't), make your decision based on which office/firm you prefer. If that's a wash, I'd think about your feelings about cities and suburbs, and old cities and new cities. Dallas is a fairly thriving medium-large sprawling city. St. Louis is probably the furthest west of the "old" east-coast cities, and therefore has more of a compact old school city feel (with neat old housing stock and beautiful old tree-lined neighborhood streets) -- but STL is struggling a bit more economically and is a bit smaller. As a result, if you want an affordable beautiful old home with character, St. Louis has the clear edge; while if you want a modern home in a more recently built development, Dallas probably gives you a bigger and better range of options.


...dude. Arlington, TX is larger than STL. Dallas city proper is 5x larger than STL (and grew by 1/6 of STL's total population last year) and DFW metroplex is at least 15x larger. There's probably valid reasons to choose STL, particularly if you would stay long-term and/or if the pay at the two firms is (and will continue to be) comparable. But these cities are not similar in size, growth, legal markets, etc.


I didn't actually say Dallas and STL are similar in size, growth, legal markets, etc. My post is mostly about how they are different. But to correct your post, the STL metro area is 2.8 million (20th largest in US). The DFW metro area is 7.2 million (4th largest in US) -- much bigger, but not "at least 15x larger." Arlington, Texas has a population of 392,000.

There are many valid reasons to choose St. Louis over Dallas besides wanting to stay long-term. I'd choose St. Louis over Dallas for a 2-, 5-, or 30- year period -- and, again, I'm not from either Missouri or Texas, so I'm not coming at this as a homer. In fact, I'd take a 10-20% pay cut to go to St. Louis over Dallas for a 2-, 5-, or 30-year period. These are two very different cities in two very different areas of the country with two very different legal and social cultures. There is no objectively "correct" answer here that can be generalized for most people based solely on the respective cities/metro areas.

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Re: St. Louis v. Dallas

Postby unlicensedpotato » Wed Mar 07, 2018 2:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
unlicensedpotato wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
BasilHallward wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Let's say I have 2 offers that are the same pay: one in St. Louis and one in Dallas. Since the offers are the same amount, I know my money would probably go further in St. Louis. Is that enough to overcome the other benefits of Dallas? Or would some say STL is better than Dallas anyways?

Interested to hear what people say. I have lived in TX the past few years and enjoy TX. But the idea of being able to live in a less populated area with less traffic/congestion is appealing to me.


Dallas and it's not even that close. Dallas is not as pricy as Austin, for instance. It's a little bit pricier than St Louis, but the DFW metroplex is huge and you can find pockets everywhere that are cheap. Plus, the work will definitely more higher level. If you have little experience with Dallas and St Louis, then Dallas is an easy choice, especially if you like the perks of a substantially bigger city. I'm biased of course because I grew up in Dallas. I'm in Austin now, which is clearly a better city, but Dallas is really solid.


It's 100% personal preference -- and it will depend on the firms at which you have offers. The Dallas legal market is probably, on the whole, a little better than the St. Louis legal market. But that, in the abstract, doesn't mean anything to you. Your St. Louis offer could easily be at a substantially stronger and more interesting firm than your Dallas offer. Or vice versa. St. Louis has a number of excellent firms, and my favorite firm in either city is a St. Louis firm (but, again, if I had to rank the various offices, probably 6/7 out of my top 10 would be Dallas offices).

In terms of the cities, they have really very different feels. The city of St. Louis is going to be materially cheaper, and it offers an opportunity for you to live in beautiful old stock housing in a city. (St. Louis County, where most biglaw folks live in St. Louis, may only be marginally cheaper.) On the other hand, for a range of quasi-suburban options, Dallas has the strong edge. The two cities just have very different cultures and vibes and very different positives and negatives. Personally, as someone not from either city, I have a strong preference for St. Louis out of the two. But my bet is that if the average lawyer at my (non-STL / non-Dallas) office had to choose, more would choose Dallas.

If you can, I'd try to spend a weekend in each city. If you can't do that and don't have strong city feelings (which it sounds like you don't), make your decision based on which office/firm you prefer. If that's a wash, I'd think about your feelings about cities and suburbs, and old cities and new cities. Dallas is a fairly thriving medium-large sprawling city. St. Louis is probably the furthest west of the "old" east-coast cities, and therefore has more of a compact old school city feel (with neat old housing stock and beautiful old tree-lined neighborhood streets) -- but STL is struggling a bit more economically and is a bit smaller. As a result, if you want an affordable beautiful old home with character, St. Louis has the clear edge; while if you want a modern home in a more recently built development, Dallas probably gives you a bigger and better range of options.


...dude. Arlington, TX is larger than STL. Dallas city proper is 5x larger than STL (and grew by 1/6 of STL's total population last year) and DFW metroplex is at least 15x larger. There's probably valid reasons to choose STL, particularly if you would stay long-term and/or if the pay at the two firms is (and will continue to be) comparable. But these cities are not similar in size, growth, legal markets, etc.


I didn't actually say Dallas and STL are similar in size, growth, legal markets, etc. My post is mostly about how they are different. But to correct your post, the STL metro area is 2.8 million (20th largest in US). The DFW metro area is 7.2 million (4th largest in US) -- much bigger, but not "at least 15x larger." Arlington, Texas has a population of 392,000.

There are many valid reasons to choose St. Louis over Dallas besides wanting to stay long-term. I'd choose St. Louis over Dallas for a 2-, 5-, or 30- year period -- and, again, I'm not from either Missouri or Texas, so I'm not coming at this as a homer. In fact, I'd take a 10-20% pay cut to go to St. Louis over Dallas for a 2-, 5-, or 30-year period. These are two very different cities in two very different areas of the country with two very different legal and social cultures. There is no objectively "correct" answer here that can be generalized for most people based solely on the respective cities/metro areas.


I see STL at 304K and Arlington at 400K. I agree my statements on the metroplex difference were exaggerated. Again, as you're noting, this isn't about which legal market OP should pick. I just think it's odd to convey to someone that STL is "a bit smaller" than Dallas, when Dallas is significantly larger and growing much faster.

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Re: St. Louis v. Dallas

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:44 pm

What STL firm? If you can't say:
How many years have you been practicing?
What is your practice area(s)?
Are you licensed in both states?
What are the billable requirements?
Is the billable requirement a hard requirement or do superstars only hit it?
What are the bonuses at these firms (commission based on hours you work vs. class based)?
What is the ratio of associates to partners?
What is the ratio of non-equity to equity partners?
How many years does it take for associates to become a partner?
Does the firm have a mandatory amount of years before laterals become partners?
If you bring in business as an associate, do you get credit vs. do you get a cut of the profit?
What are your connections to each city?
What did each firm do to associates when the market crashed?
In your practice group, will you be one of the more experienced associates?

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Re: St. Louis v. Dallas

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 10, 2018 10:49 pm

Lol at anyone who says STL and Dallas have similar legal markets. STL doesn’t pay market (and in fact pays substantially below market) and really only has four true big law firms, since 3/7 are basically only located in the STL metro area.



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