You Should Move to Texas

We know this is a little out of the blue, but … we think you should move to Texas. Let us explain.

Not long ago in the Gulf of Mexico near Palacios, Texas, Vietnamese refugee and fisherman Vin Nguyen explained how he decided to make his home in Texas.

“It’s very good for shrimping,” he said. “Make money more.”

Vin’s right, of course. The opportunity to make more money is what led New York real estate speculators to found Houston in 1836, and is what continues to make Houston the most diverse city in the country, and Texas the top destination in the United States for refugees. No offense to the up-and-coming HLS West Coast Club, but more people are moving to Texas than any other state, and Californians are leading the exodusNew Yorkers aren’t far behind.

As Sara Kauffman, a regional director for Refugee Services of Texas told the Houston Chronicle, “We have a pretty fast economy, a lot of jobs available. People can get started working pretty quickly.”

The same fundamentals that make Texas a haven for immigrants and refugees make it the ideal destination for young professionals — attorneys especially. A thriving economy and growing demand for legal services means young lawyers like us can make plenty of money. And no state income tax and a low cost of living means we get to keep more of it, or better yet, give it away. Legal blog Above the Law has documented this phenomenon in painstaking detail.

As Mario Nguyen ’17 recently wrote,

“Life as a young lawyer in the South is good. For one thing, most big law firms pay their associates identical salaries with lockstep raises nationwide. That means, despite that New York City’s cost of living is 2.27 times higher than Dallas, my salary is exactly the same as a first-year associate there.”

During last year’s “Minority Lawyering in the South” panel hosted by BLSA, La Alianza, and the Texas Club, a panelist told the audience that one of the greatest benefits of working in Texas is the ability to build what she called “generational wealth.” Indeed, there are few better destinations on the planet for upwardly mobile young professionals intent on making and saving as much as possible in order to advance the prospects of future generations.

But what if you came to law school looking to do something more than just make a lot of money? You too should move to Texas. The state’s shifting demographics promise to tip Texas into purple territory in the coming years, while a growing immigrant population faces a challenging policy climate. And due to the state’s high profile and conservative legislature, an outsized proportion of nationally significant litigation begins in Texas. Within the last year, Texas-based public interest attorneys argued major cases before the U.S. Supreme Court on issues including abortionimmigration, and the death penalty — not to mention the state’s legacy of path breaking cases in gay rightscivil rightsspeech, and affirmative action. Young attorneys have also helped Texas become a national leader in criminal justice, passing innovative reform measures every session since the early 2000s.

The need for service-minded lawyers in Texas is immense, and the potential to make a lasting difference in the place The New Yorker’s Lawrence Wright calls “America’s Future” is even greater.

So, whether you’d like to keep more of the money you make, work in a place where you can help make lasting change, or both, all while doing cutting edge legal work and enjoying a relaxed, friendly atmosphere, trust us: You should move to Texas.

If you want to learn more about working and living in Texas, just ask us, or join the HLS Texas Club’s Facebook page here, and don’t miss our 1L Summer Employment Roundtable on Dec. 1 at noon in Milstein East A (WCC 2032).

Jimmy Chalk and Arthur Munoz are 3Ls, and Samuel Garcia and Oscar Leija are 2Ls. They are all members of the Texas Club.

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