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Messages - Luziana

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Current Law Students / Re: OMG so many suicidal lawyers out there!
« on: October 19, 2009, 08:33:50 PM »
Does it matter?  You're just going to ignore everything I say, and continue to pretend like all the posters here will get BigLaw jobs (or jobs at all) after graduation because of course their job market is different.

I myself am in a major city on the East Coast, not the same market my friend is in, with the good fortune of having a full-time job.  Reportedly, the job market here is better than most other places in the U.S., and better than the market my friend is looking in.  But that doesn't mean it's fun here.  Many of my former classmates (2008) still don't have jobs at all -- and the ones that do often are working as contract attorneys for low pay that barely makes the student loan payments.  Some of them were in the bottom of the class, yes, but others were not.  One law review board member from the class of 2008 reportedly only got a job offer about two months ago. 

Our office just posted a single entry-level opening and got 200 applications in the first 24 hours.  And the applications keep on coming.

Sorry, I'm not one for spewing rainbows and flowers and sugarcoating the truth. 

Current Law Students / Re: OMG so many suicidal lawyers out there!
« on: October 19, 2009, 07:27:28 PM »
The job market is brutal for people at the top, middle and bottom of their class.  JDUnderground is actually a fairly realistic picture of what life is like for those who didn't go to a T14 school (or even some of those who went to a T14 but were at the bottom of the class). 

There just aren't jobs out there.  A friend of mine is searching for jobs in a state in which precisely six -- yes, just 6 -- attorney jobs have been posted in the past two weeks in the largest city's newspaper.  (The metro area this newspaper covers has about 750,000 residents.)

So, when you have only 6 legal openings and 3 or 4 law schools in the state... well, you do the math.  It's not pretty.

While it appears that money is a big consideration for you, I'd urge you to consider other aspects of each offer.  Money is not everything.

Consider the firm structure, the work you'd be doing at each place, and the people you'd be working with.  These are *very* important factors that can't be quantified very easily.

Also consider the character of each city you mentioned.  Each is a fun city when you are young and single, but each has a very different feel to it -- a different personality, if you will.  (E.g., for myself, NYC is great to visit but it would be too big for me to live there.  But I could handle Philly.)  And don't forget climate... If you love sun and heat and like to surf in your free time, the Northeast probably won't be your cup of tea, for example.

Also, even though you may be single now, you should also look to the future.  Would you want to live in X City in 10 years when you are married and have two kids?  You might decide that some cities would be a good fit for you long-term, but others would only fit you while you are single.

Current Law Students / Re: Post bar exam doldrums
« on: August 05, 2008, 09:20:08 AM »
After working all day every day for so long, now I have some guilt in the back of my mind when I am not working even if I don't have anything that I need to be doing.

I hear you... I don't have anything to do right now.  (Still seeking employment, but this late in the game, no one is hiring until results come out.)  I feel vaguely guilty sitting at home doing nothing.  I just keep thinking, there must be something productive I should be doing right this minute.

Current Law Students / Post bar exam doldrums
« on: August 05, 2008, 04:58:35 AM »
For all those who took the bar exam last week, what are you doing now that it is done?

Current Law Students / Re: Whether I pass the bar exam depends on....
« on: July 28, 2008, 12:50:02 PM »
However, I did know a girl in college who got a 0 on a multiple choice test.

Now that takes real talent!

Current Law Students / Re: The bar exam is tomorrow...
« on: July 28, 2008, 12:47:43 PM »
I stopped studying around 1 p.m.  I may do a few flashcards in a little bit, but that's it.  Studying more will have no effect... the best thing now is to be relaxed and in prime form for the exam tomorrow.

And I am definitely going to come up with about five different ways of ensuring that I wake up tomorrow.

Current Law Students / Re: Prayers for the Bar Exam
« on: July 24, 2008, 10:59:24 AM »

But most of all, I pray that the MBE asks about 170 criminal law questions, because that is the only subject I am still scoring over 70% on.

Can we pray for criminal procedure questions, to be specific?  Bar/Bri thinks it's helpful to test on reasonableness in crim law, and because the answers often contradict themselves from one question to the next, I'm just all confused.  :-[

Oh dear lord, anything BUT a criminal procedure question... I still can't figure out the difference between 5th and 6th amendment rights to counsel, no matter how hard I try.  I just know I'll butcher it on the day of the exam.

Current Law Students / Re: Acceptable Salary to Debt Ratio
« on: July 21, 2008, 06:29:42 AM »
I'm going to be a little bit of a contrarian.

If I were you, I'd work on paying off the student loans ASAP.  If you're married or otherwise partnered and your significant other has a job, then maybe you might be able to afford a house.  Maybe.

But be very careful.  Remember that $80,000 will be your gross income -- you'll lose about thirty percent (give or take, depending on your tax bracket and your locality) to taxes and the like.  Let's assume thirty percent.  That would make your net income $56,000 yearly -- $4,667 monthly.  Not too bad. 

But the repayments on your student loans will be at least $1100 per month (a good rule of thumb is $100 per month for each $10,000 you borrow), probably a bit higher because of interest rates.  The payments on a 30 year fixed rate $250,000 mortgage, assuming that you put 20 percent down which you probably won't, would be about $1400 per month.

So, you'd be looking at debt payments of at least $2500 per month, minimum, probably higher because you don't seem to have the cash to make a 20 percent downpayment.

That's more than half of your monthly salary right there.  I'd advise you to add up your other projected expenses -- food, clothing, transportation, insurance, healthcare, childcare (if applicable), pets (if applicable), entertainment, etc.  Figure out how much you spend in each category, and then add that figure to the debt payments figure. 

If the final number you reach is very close to what your takehome pay will be, be very, very careful about buying a house.  Lately too many people have made stupid financial decisions because they believed the realtors' propaganda that everyone must own a home to be happy.  Being a homeowner is nice, but it isn't for everyone.  I'm not saying you can't or shouldn't buy a house, just be careful and do all the math ahead of time.  (And don't trust mortgage brokers' math -- they are biased b/c they want you to take out a mortgage...)

Also, as a sidenote, the lending standards for most mortgages have been significantly tightened.  You might not be able to get one if you're single and carry that much debt already.

If you are married or otherwise partnered, and you have a second income in the household, much of this advice above could change.

Current Law Students / Re: If I fail the bar....
« on: July 18, 2008, 08:51:28 PM »
Don't something like 90% of people pass this sucker in most states?  Why are you people so worried?

Even in the easiest of states the pass rate is not 90%.  It's hard to relax when your law license is on the line.  You'll understand one day. 

Actually, the NCBEX report someone posted yesterday showed that Minnesota's first-time pass rate in July 2007 was 94%.  Seeing that stat made me wish I was taking Minnesota's exam.... Sigh.

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