Boston v. NYC

With the exception of Fish and Richardson, it’s beginning to look like Boston firms will not follow the lead of Simpson Thatcher (at least not in Boston.) WilmerHale, for example, has raised starting salaries to 145K (except for New York where they have followed the market.) But that still doesn’t mean that associates in New York are better off. If you have the option of working for a large firm in either city, don’t forget two important variables–cost of living is higher in New York and on average, associates in New York work longer hours. There is a good post on this on Greedy Boston .

First of all, if the focus is going to be on the money, let’s take more than a cursory glance at the numbers. According to, what costs $135k in Boston costs $207k in NYC. Groceries, housing, utilities, transportation, and even healthcare are all more expensive in NYC than in Boston. So NYC firms pay better than Boston, but not enough to provide a comparable standard of living. Moreover, you’ll be working a hell of a lot more in NYC than you will in Boston. To put it simply, the difference between NYC wages and Boston wages isn’t enough to logically. justify a preference for NYC over Boston on wages alone. There has to be something else, such as culture, location, opportunities, etc., that warrant such a decision. I know too many people who regret being sucked into NYC because they used to think it was the cool, hip place to be. Don’t make the same mistake.

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