I decided to be civil as I think Remarq is actually a nice person and I probably shouldn't have given him crap so quick. Maybe this will be the new kinder/gentler Dudeman .
With regards to why Biglaw? Well, for me it makes sense for 2-3 years. I'm fortunate to be graduating with hardly any debt, which means that I can continue living the way I do now, bank most of my pay, then use it for a down payment on a nice home for my family. At that point I'll come back to my federal position making GS-14 (possibly 15 by the time I graduate) and live comfortably.
For me, the money is just a means to an end. That end being a nice home. For others, it is useful to pay off loans.
Plus, law firms really do spend a lot training new associates. Miserable as the experience may be, it's still good experience.
Are you working biglaw in DC or somewhere else?