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When one graduate from a traditional law school or aspires for a legal career with an online degree, there are lots of hopes, aspirations, and dreams of a 6-figure salary in mind. But breaking into the field can be quite a challenge. Add low salary levels and buying power to the equation, and some US cities become complete no-no’s for law graduates, with Little Rock leading the pack. Why’s that? Let’s take a look.
Sorry to disclose it to all Arkansans, but the median salary for lawyers in Little Rock is a paltry $54,000. And it’s low in other cities such as Baton Rouge in Los Angeles, Charleston in South Carolina, Oklahoma City and Louisville in Kentucky. So unless you like turning green with envy when you look at your peers in San Francisco earning more than twice your pay, becoming a lawyer in Little Rock is not much of an idea.
Buying power, as measured by the buying power index, is also quite low in some cities deemed to be the worse for lawyers. Only Charleston and Oklahoma City have a lower buying power index than Little Rock amongst cities ranked as being worst for lawyers. Well, considering the low salary level, why should we be surprised that the buying power is low?
In this city, only 1 percent of the population is in the legal profession. Given a population of roughly 200,000 people, that’s about 2,000 people who will be a part of your network in the law field. Dayton in Ohio, Des Moines in Iowa and San Antonio in Texas also have a very small proportion of citizens in the legal profession. Besides networking opportunities, you’d also likely miss out on socializing with people who have something in common with you.
In a country where the number of law firms in some cities runs in the thousands, around 570 law firms in Little Rock is a miniscule number at best. The case in Dayton, Des Moines and Charleston is not much different. Few firms mean fewer vacancies. And that also means fewer opportunities for growth and learning for you as a professional.
You’ll make do with the arts, culture and recreation where salary and employment prospects lack, right? WRONG! ‘Little’ Rock has ‘little’ to offer in terms of culture with a low culture relative to other US cities. Jackson in Mississippi, Charleston, Baton Rouge and San Antonio join this city when it comes to low scores on being culturally rich – places definitely not for the “culturally-inspired” lawyers.
Knowing these reasons, do you still think cities like Little Rock, Dayton, Charleston, Baton Rouge, San Antonio or Des Moines are the best ones for a bright, promising career? We’ll love to hear what you think.