Have you been considering a lateral move? Has it not really passed your mind? Regardless of your answer, Texas is the place for you. Interested in a State that boasts no personal state income tax, affordable property, New York compensation, and the second-most Fortune 500 Headquarters? Texas is definitely the place for you. So put on your boots, get ready for the Rodeo, and enjoy these key reasons why the Texas legal market should be the place for you.
No State Income Tax
To live in Texas’s major cities costs substantially lower than most major metropolitan areas in the US. In Texas, say goodbye to personal state income tax. By comparison, residents of major US cities face state income tax burdens anywhere from 4.95% to almost 8%. On a salary of $190K, think $9,400 up to almost $15,000. Just think – it’s almost as if your geography dictates whether or not you get a first-year bonus. It’s that much.
And by saying goodbye to personal income tax, you could place yourself in some of the largest cities in the US – Houston, which ranks 4th, San Antonio (7th), Dallas (9th), or Austin (11th). Not bad – more in your pocket in some of the fastest growing cities in the United States.
Everything is Bigger in Texas—Except the Price of Property
Depending on your current living situation, you might be confined to a corner (of an) apartment in a less than desirable location. Perhaps you spend your traffic noise-filled evenings considering the possibility of purchasing a home, but know that in your current location, it’s nigh-on impossible. Want to escape the cramped confines of your current living situation or buy a home early on in your career? Move to Texas. The cost of housing in Houston and Dallas is 372% cheaper than in Manhattan, 245% cheaper than in San Francisco, 130% cheaper than in Los Angeles and 48% cheaper than in Chicago. And remember – these are some of the biggest cities in the US, filled with the culture and lifestyle needs of New York or San Francisco. Likewise, the cost of housing in Austin is 386% cheaper than in Manhattan, 255% cheaper than in San Francisco, 137% cheaper than in Los Angeles and 53% cheaper than in Chicago. And oh – we may have forgotten to mention that Austin leads the nation in legal services employment growth.
New York Compensation, Texas State of Mind
Most of the Vault 100 have burgeoning offices in one, if not several, major Texas cities. Traditional powerbrokers Vinson & Elkins, Baker Botts, and Norton Rose Fulbright continue to compete and grow in this ever-changing legal market. Recently global law firms Latham & Watkins, Kirkland & Ellis, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, and Sidley Austin, among others, entered the market at a rapid pace. And for your compensation at one of those firms, $190K in Houston is the equivalent of $239,001 in Chicago, $286,259 in Los Angeles, $373,028 in San Francisco, and $461,539 (!?!) in Manhattan. It’s all about the cost of living calculator – after all, how else could you instantly get a $300k raise?
Home of the Rodeo… and The Fortune 500
The Texas legal market is in the same class with the traditional major powerbrokers because the State of Texas is an economic powerhouse. Was Texas a nation, it would rank as the 10th largest economy in the world based on GDP. The Lone Star State is home to 48 Fortune 500 corporate headquarters. Houston, traditionally known as a powerhouse for energy companies, is currently home to 20 Fortune 500 companies. These include Phillips 66, ConocoPhillips, Halliburton, and Sysco. Meanwhile, the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area houses the headquarters for 23 of the Fortune 500, including Exxon Mobil (#2), and AT&T (#9). San Antonio boasts 5 Fortune 500 headquarters, including Valero and USAA, and Austin and El Paso claim Dell and Western Refining, respectively.
The Culture is Second to None
Texas pride. Rodeos. Wide open, beautiful spaces. TexMex. If you’ve never experienced the hometown pride of a true Texan, walked around trendy Uptown Dallas, or been a part of the glory and awe that goes with attending a Ft Worth rodeo, you’re in luck. And if you’re hungry in Houston, you can stop by the original location of Ninfa’s in Houston or my personal favorite, Irma’s Original. In Dallas, try Mia’s Tex-Mex, a plethora of other options, or sample the other cuisine of this foodie city. Meanwhile, in Austin, join a thriving society that has been coined as America’s next Silicon Valley. Even if margaritas aren’t your favorite way to offset the stress of the billable hour, you’ll find that the southern hospitality of the Friendship State knows no bounds. Prepare to be wowed – regardless of whether you’re originally from New York, Illinois, California or another area. So – welcome to Texas! We can’t wait to hear how much you love it.