For those of you who might ever have contemplated pulling up stakes and relocating your law practice to the last major inhabited time zone on Planet Earth, check out "A Tale of Two Cities: Honolulu and San Francisco," by Nick Kacprowski, a lawyer at a "large" Honolulu law firm who recently transplanted from San Francisco BigLaw, and wrote about his perception of the differences for the ABA Section of Litigation.
Although he's newer to the Hawaii scene and therefore hasn't had the time to appreciate some of the layers and contexts of practicing in our smaller jurisdiction, there is much truth in what he writes. A sample:
One difference that immediately struck me was the level of experience and age of my colleagues at the top firms in Hawaii. I graduated law school in 2004, and when I left Kirkland I considered myself one of the more senior attorneys both in San Francisco and the firm generally. I did not have the impression that this was unique to Kirkland. Among the top “Big Law” firms in the United States, it seemed like an attorney with 10 years of experience would be at least in the top half of the firm’s attorneys in the number of years out of law school. Practicing in Hawaii, however, I learned that among the top firms an attorney with 11 years of experience is still considered young.
The data he presents to back up his conclusions (indeed, the entire article), is well worth reading.