Best Cities for Corporate and Finance Law

If money makes the world go round, finance lawyers are spinning the globe. Just about anywhere you go, this highly competitive field remains at the top in terms of compensation. And for recent grads, entry level jobs in corporate and finance law have higher starting salaries than in any other branch of law. We took a look at the best American cities for international corporate lawyers in terms of salaries, job availability, and LLM programs.

New York City, New York

It should be no surprise that the home of Wall Street is also a hotbed for corporate and finance law, with average salaries ranging from $138,000 to $159,000 depending on title. After a long slump through the recession, corporate firms are hiring again, and the median salary is trending upwards. As a bonus, several Big Apple law schools offer LLM programs in business, corporate, or banking law, including the New York University School of Law and Fordham University School of Law.


Chicago, Illinois

Northwestern University School of Law anchors the Chicago-area corporate law market with an LLM in in Law and Business. The program is designed to introduce international students to American business law and includes a sampling of business school classes as a complement to the standard law classes. Chicago is a metropolis in itself, with a longstanding history in commerce, finance and industry. With 12 Fortune 500 companies and several major financial exchanges headquartered in Chicago, corporate lawyers are never far from hands-on experience.


Washington, D.C.

If regulation is more your cup of tea, you might want to look to the nation's capital, where the Georgetown University Law Center offers three different Master of Laws programs concentrated in finance and law. The Master of Laws in Securities and Financial Regulation and the Master of Laws in Taxation are particularly well-suited to a campus that’s within walking distance to the nation’s governing bodies. Another law school in town, The George Washington University Law School, also offers an LLM degree in International Business & Economics — an area of study that should feel right at home for international students.


Columbus, Ohio

Though Columbus may be smaller than the metropolitan markets lawyers love, the city is a bona fide hotspot for large and emerging businesses. Forbes Magazine ranked Columbus amongst its Best Places for Businesses and Careers in 2013, and gave the city an A rating as a top city for business. The city also made BusinessWeek’s best 50 cities in America in 2012. For international lawyers looking for an LLM program in corporate law, the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and Capital University Law school offer two great options.


Los Angeles, California

The Los Angeles financial law market may be cooling down. According to Denney & Associates’ biannual report, bankruptcy law in particular saw a downturn with the closure of Stutman Treister & Glatt, a boutique bankruptcy law firm. Nevertheless, for those seeking training, the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law still boasts an extensive LLM program, with tracks in both securities regulation and bankruptcy law.