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Messages - sarbinson1

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Current Law Students / Re: BigLaw Bonuses
« on: February 25, 2007, 01:22:41 PM »
New bonuses came out about a month ago and they're pretty ridiculous ... I think they'll announce soon.  Almost all the big NY firms are up to $160 (and some of the medium ones, too) ... LA caught the bug next and now DC is upping to at least $145.  Things should settle in mid-Feb.
How high do you mean by ridiculous?  Any specific numbers?  I'm hoping 175,000 will be standard at the big Chicago firms by 2008.

$175K?!  Maybe if you mean gross salary + bonus at 2400 hours ...

Right now the highest bonuses at 2400 hours are Mayer and Kirkland (both around $50K), but many other good firms in the city have bonuses that range from 10% of salary (Jenner) to $20-$30K (Skadden) in that range of hours (read: in exchange for killing yourself).  As for salary, the Standard for Chicago BIGLAW (with Baker and McGuireWoods holding out, if you can call MW biglaw) is $145K.  Bonuses are all over the board.  There's no way that Chicago BIGLAW standard salary will hit $175K until at least four-six years from now.
We'll see- rumor has it NYC firms will be paying 190 by 2008, I would think that puts Chicago close to 175 pre-bonus.

Current Law Students / Re: Looking for your review of your law school...
« on: February 25, 2007, 01:21:28 PM »
I'm not necessarily saying that bitter is better. What I would say about my school is they tout this new cutting edge curriculum, but it's not exactly what they advertise. I would have wanted to know that inside info up front. But, the facilities can't be beat and I do feel like I'm getting a good education there. If the review provides info that swings to either extreme, then something's obviously up. I will definitely agree that law students have at least an oligopoly on complaining.

Like I said before, there's a real lack of honest information that's school specific, as well as a lack of honest info about the law school experience generally. Based on what I hear from friends and acquaintances at other schools, some things seem to be truisms across the board about law schools regardless of the school.

Here's a few:

1)The gossip and rumor mill beats even the most ferocious group of old ladies at bridge night.

This blows my mind considering we're training to enter a profession that holds confidentiality to be among the most sacred of our ideals. I'm further astounded considering this is the only place in the world where people spend nearly an entire semester learning about the infirmities of hearsay, but can't make the connection that the courtroom is not the only place these infirmities apply.

2) A large cross section of the student population is amazingly juvenile considering their age, level of education, and magnitude of responsibilities they are preparing to take on in three short years.

3) At times, the partying is darn near like being a freshman in college again.

4) People try to act humble about the fact their in law school, but when push comes to shove their more than willing to break out that "i'm in law school" card; Especially, when they're drunk and having a run in with the police. FYI, about the only thing that could make that situation worse is if you began making comments about the incestuous sexual history of the cop's mother (or if you punched him). Cops hate lawyers. They hate law students who think they're lawyers even worse.

5) Law school is not the dominion of the young Banana Republic martini set wearing eager to engage in philosophical and political debate and other discussions of high minded upper class topics. It is, however, the dominion of people who were not cool in high school or college, but are now in paradise because they outnumber the people with social skills 5 to 1.

6) This is the most important. A law degree doesn't get your ticket punched to an upper middle class lifestyle in your mid-twenties or early thirties. It doesn't guarantee you immediate membership in the top ten percent of wage earners club. It does, however, guarantee that when you graduate your friends back at home will expect you to live an upper middle class lifestyle. About two years out, they'll be surprised that you're still driving your old honda hatchback, and buying your suits from the sale rack at JC Penney all because you wound up making about half of what you thought you would when you were a 1L, and 8-900 dollars a month of that is going out the door to the loan sharks back at the law school. You wanna make more money young? Real estate or finance is the better option. Hell, you don't need any kind of degree for real estate.I've got a friend who is 23 with no college degree making 120,000 a year selling homes for a residential developer. That pisses me off ;).

7) Law school is certainly a few steps up the ladder in terms of workload and academic standards, but it is nowhere near as hard as what the popular belief holds.

8) I'm amazed at how smart some of the people are. I'm amazed at how dumb some of the people are.

9) Sometimes in law school effort doesn't matter. Strike that. Most of the time in law school effort doesn't matter. Most people can't buy an A. Even if they could and did, they'd probably still get a B.

10) At orientation everyone thinks they'll be in the top twenty percent of the class. Eight out of ten of those people will not be. One out of five of those people will be in the bottom twenty percent. A few of those people will fail out and never be lawyers while still paying back the fifteen to thirty grand they spent to find that out.

But, all in all, I think I did the right thing. There's pros and cons to everything. You get out of law school what you put into law school, and if you pay attention and play along you'll notice some very distinct intellectual changes occur. I'm happy with my choice.

Real estate sales is so cyclical though... tough to make it long term.

Current Law Students / Government salaries even lower than I thought!
« on: February 24, 2007, 03:16:42 PM »
I was talking to someone about FTC entry level attorney jobs- sounded really interesting- starting salary is only 55K in DC!!!!!

Current Law Students / Re: BigLaw Bonuses
« on: February 24, 2007, 03:15:04 PM »
New bonuses came out about a month ago and they're pretty ridiculous ... I think they'll announce soon.  Almost all the big NY firms are up to $160 (and some of the medium ones, too) ... LA caught the bug next and now DC is upping to at least $145.  Things should settle in mid-Feb.
How high do you mean by ridiculous?  Any specific numbers?  I'm hoping 175,000 will be standard at the big Chicago firms by 2008.

Current Law Students / Re: BigLaw Bonuses
« on: January 27, 2007, 03:08:01 PM »
If you really want to know there are websites showing billable hours and salarys, like  It seems dumb to me though as you have several years to go, you probaby will not get a big law job (all 1ls think they will, most do not).  If I were you I would focus on my current classes not how much you are not going to make.

I guess I should have clarified- I am already a 2L and will be working at a big firm this summer.

Current Law Students / BigLaw Bonuses
« on: January 25, 2007, 09:53:02 AM »
I know this is premature since I haven't even had my 2L summer yet, but do you normally get a bonus for just hitting the minimum billable hours (2000)?  I had thought it was only for doing extra hours but I've heard some people say hitting 2000 will get you a bonus of 20K or more in Chicago (and also that it's taxed more heavily than regular income).

Current Law Students / Re: Starting government salaries
« on: January 19, 2007, 09:14:23 PM »
By the way, who the f gave me -3 reputation?  >:(

Current Law Students / Starting government salaries
« on: January 19, 2007, 05:22:46 PM »

Check out this link- it says most entry level jobs are GS-9.  I guess year 2 you would be GS11, year 3 GS12, and then you move up a step at a time within GS12.  I can't remember who was talking about this, but I don't think GS-11 starting is very common.

Current Law Students / Re: Some advice...take it our leave it
« on: January 18, 2007, 07:20:39 AM »
Things that worked for me first semester...any other thoughts/tips would be greatly appreciated....

I took LEEWS.  Although I never really used it strictly for any of my exams, it was very helpful.  If anything, it boosts your confidence going into the exams.

I never "briefed" a single case. I book briefed and only took about a half of page of notes per class per day.

My final outlines were 25-40 pages long.  They were about 60 pages long in week 12 and I managed to boil them down in the last couple weeks. 

I went to every class and I never used a laptop.  Laptops in my opinion are way too distracting.  If you read, take notes by hand, then take notes by hand in class, then take all those handwritten notes and plug them into your computer later you are seeing the notes twice, or three times whereas laptop users are usually seeing them only once and simply copying and pasting for organizational purposes when it comes to doing outlines.

Every Saturday I spent about 3-4 hours just reading supplements and joting down notes I did not already have.  Sunday was devoted to doing the reading for the entire week.  Just read through it once, fairly cursory.  Do not take notes; find a comfy chair.  It sounds like it would take a long time, but it really doesn't.  And hey, in a few weeks there won't be any NFL games on anyways.

I did 1 or 2 exams per week with a couple of friends.  Usually we did this on Friday then went out right afterwards.

Do not study around lots of law students.  I really devote a large amount of success to studying at home.  Some schools may have great study areas, but at my school people are constantly talking to each other and not really focused on doing good, quality studying.  Go to an undergrad library or a public library; a place that is quiet but not law school oriented.

Find something to do everyday for about an hour that is completely un-law-related.  The easiest thing would be working out.  It really helps you manage your time and get some anxious energy out before sitting down before studying at night.

Well, that's about all I can say.  I finished the semester with a 3.572 and am well into the top 10% of my class.  The above worked for me and hopefully you will find some of it helpful.

Which Loyola do you attend?

In my case, I know it's not the registrar as I have personal confirmation from the registrar that she posts grades as they come in and they show up shortly thereafter.  What pisses me off the most is that I work my ass off to study for an exam, put in hours upon hours of study time.  You would think that the prof. could at least reciprocate a fraction of that effort take their lazy asses down to the scantron machine and retrieve the paper from the other side.  Then, proceed to their office, formulate a curve (it must be hard to put those numbers in descending order) and turn in the sheet to the registrar within a 36 day period.  I just don't think that's asking too much considering the effort I put into studying and the amount of money that goes from my pocket to theirs on an annual basis. 

The registrar told me the same thing- they post grades as soon as they get them from the profs, but only when ALL profs have them in.  That means one or more (probably many more) have badly missed the deadline.  I know they don't give a *&^%, but come on.  Especially for scantron- it should take ten minutes to run them through the machine and then it gives raw scores which you can convert to a curve in less than 60 seconds using any number of programs.  The only thing I can think is they're trying to indoctrinate people into the kinds of mind games that will be commonplace at firms. 

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