The 10 Worst Cities for Young Attorneys

By Deanne Katz, Esq. on November 13, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

No one ever accused young attorneys of having it easy -- especially if you choose to live in one of the worst cities for the job.

Most attorneys are strong Type A personalities, and there's nothing we love more than ranking ourselves against... ourselves. To help in that endeavor, the National Jurist recently determined the best and worst cities for young attorneys to live in.

If you work in one of these metro areas, you may have already suspected that things weren't so great. And now there's evidence, of sorts, to back up your suspicions.

For better or worse, most of the Top 10 worst cities for young attorneys are located in the Southeast and Midwest.

Coming in at rock bottom: Little Rock, Ark. (Sorry Hillary Clinton, the town where you got your start in private law practice just isn't cutting it these days, apparently.)

The rest of the Top 10 worst cities are:

  • Louisville, Ky.
  • Dayton, Ohio
  • Oklahoma City
  • Charleston, S.C.
  • Des Moines, Iowa
  • Albuquerque, N.M.
  • Jackson, Miss.
  • San Antonio
  • Baton Rouge, La.

We're not saying you should avoid these places altogether, but you may not find the law firm job of your dreams in these cities.

Then again, as Justice Antonin Scalia told a group of law students earlier this year, it may actually behoove young lawyers to move to a smaller city to enjoy a better work-life balance.

The National Jurist rankings use a lot of data to crunch the numbers, but as Above The Law points out, they're missing something very important: The ranks for worst cities don't include billable hours as a factor.

Regardless, if you're working in Washington, D.C., pat yourselves on the back, as D.C. is ranked as the best city for young attorneys. Everyone else, you'll have to check the list to see where your city stacks up.

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