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shalom

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Re: poor lawyers
« Reply #20 on: April 11, 2006, 08:23:32 AM »
My undergrad major was criminology. I had a few adjunct profs. who were lawyers by day. They mostly worked for the state. They all complained about massive loans and drove pretty crummy cars. I'm sure they weren't there for fun, but were teaching to make ends meet.

Maybe lawyers that are poor don't like to advertise the fact they're poor lawyers?

Salaries for government lawyers generally are lower than for their private practice counterparts, with median annual salaries for entry-level government lawyers around $38,000. Yet perks such as pensions, loan repayment assistance (under certain circumstances), mentoring opportunities, flextime, and predictable work schedules can outweigh the lower compensation.

Government lawyers seem to enjoy the best of both worlds. Working for the government—whether as a prosecutor, public defender, attorney for an agency or department, or military officer in the JAG's Corps — enables you to practice law, serve your country, and have time to maintain some balance in your life.

shalom

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If Only I Had Known Then
« Reply #21 on: April 11, 2006, 08:36:44 AM »
[...]

4. Don't be seduced by the headlines that read, "entry-level lawyer salaries top $100,000." Your future salary as a lawyer is primarily dependent on the clients that you serve. According to the National Association for Law Placement, jobs and J.D.'s Employment and Salaries of New Law Graduates, Class of 1998 (hereafter Class of 1998 Report), the median starting salary for members of the Class of 1998 was $45,000 with salaries of $70,000 or more being the exception versus the rule. It may surprise many students to learn that $40,000 and $30,000 were the most frequently reported salaries in the Class of 1998 Report. Individuals who serve corporate clients earned more than individuals serving indigent persons (median salary of $60,000 versus median salary of $31,000); and the median salary for government positions was $36,000.

5. If you are interested in pursuing a position in the private sector, you will most likely work for a law firm of 50 attorneys or less. More than 50% of the private sector entry-level positions for the Class of 1998 were in firms of .50 attorneys or less. Small law firms of 2-10 attorneys accounted for the largest percentage of the positions with more than 30% of all private sector positions. The median starting salaries for firms of this size is $37,000. For firms of 11-25 attorneys the median salary is $43,500, and for firms of 26-50 attorneys, $52,000. Hiring at law firms of 100+ attorneys has increased over the past few years with approximately one-third of the Class of 1998 obtaining positions with these firms. The starting salaries have increased as well with the median salary for firms of 101-250 attorneys at $62,000; 251-500 attorneys at $85,000 and firms of more than 500 attorneys at $90,000. One should not count on obtaining one of these positions. Hiring criteria for these firms are very strict and usually confined to the students in the top 10% - 20% of their class and to those who hold law review membership. In addition, we do not know how long the current hiring trend for the larger firms will continue. In the late 1980's/early 1990's the economy changed—many lawyers were laid off—it could always happen again.

6. From a financial standpoint plan to be in the middle of the class versus the top 10%. Be aware that the average law student graduates with more than $50,000 in debt. A recent article in the American Bar Association journal reported that the Nellie Mae Corporation found "lawyers who have been out of school between one and three years made an average of $37,200 in 1996 but had average educational related debt of $52,600." (June 1999) The monthly repayment amount on this debt would be more than $650.00 per month (at a 9% interest rate). This means that more than one-third of an individual's monthly income is going to this one item alone! Another way to look at this -- if you purchase a pizza every week at an average cost of $15.00 with loan money, that pizza will actually cost you $27.00 at the end of ten years. Do you really need that pizza every week?

Often law students expect a large payoff in terms of salary when they graduate and feel entitled to treat themselves well during school. DO NOT DO THIS. The payoff is not immediate upon graduation and you may experience a lifestyle that is very different from what you imagined once you have graduated. Therefore, my advice is to "live like a law student while a student." This means borrowing as little money as you can to finance your legal education, limiting credit card and other debt, learning what it means to borrow $30,000, and being careful how you spend your money.

http://www.rci.rutgers.edu/~rcoas/prelaw/ifonlyfinal.pdf

silvercannonca

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Re: poor lawyers
« Reply #22 on: April 11, 2006, 03:25:26 PM »
You're right!  No Yale No State was definately meant to be taken literally, and absolutely, every single person that graduates top 20% of their class will start out making $100,000+ ...hope that's not too irritating for those that want to be reassured it's all roses. 

barney0361

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Re: poor lawyers
« Reply #23 on: April 11, 2006, 05:15:17 PM »

[...] and $1K/month for rent/utilities (in the ghetto), that leaves only $6K for everything else. [...]


I pay currently $1,000 a month for rent and utilities and I do not live in the ghetto .. in fact I live in a very nice area of the city (Chicago)

And I pay $750 for half of a two bedroom in DC. Also not in the ghetto.

 

Happy_Weasel

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Re: poor lawyers
« Reply #24 on: April 11, 2006, 08:38:14 PM »
How come my school has a 25th to 75th of 33 to 88, then? and its TTT though Denver and Colorado are about the same.

barney0361

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Re: poor lawyers
« Reply #25 on: April 11, 2006, 11:39:44 PM »
Schools self report their salary data.


Happy_Weasel

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Re: poor lawyers
« Reply #26 on: April 12, 2006, 01:37:20 AM »
yeah, so. Must students report their salaries.

Erapitt

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Re: poor lawyers
« Reply #27 on: April 12, 2006, 07:38:25 AM »
That isn't true.  If you ask the career office, usually the salary data is based on something around 60-75% of reported salaries.  The salary data is worthless since those not reporting are likely those with the lowest paying jobs.
Attending GW in Fall '06

Kazzzzzzzzaaam

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Re: If Only I Had Known Then
« Reply #28 on: April 12, 2006, 08:18:25 AM »
[...]

4. Don't be seduced by the headlines that read, "entry-level lawyer salaries top $100,000." Your future salary as a lawyer is primarily dependent on the clients that you serve. According to the National Association for Law Placement, jobs and J.D.'s Employment and Salaries of New Law Graduates, Class of 1998 (hereafter Class of 1998 Report), the median starting salary for members of the Class of 1998 was $45,000 with salaries of $70,000 or more being the exception versus the rule. It may surprise many students to learn that $40,000 and $30,000 were the most frequently reported salaries in the Class of 1998 Report. Individuals who serve corporate clients earned more than individuals serving indigent persons (median salary of $60,000 versus median salary of $31,000); and the median salary for government positions was $36,000.

5. If you are interested in pursuing a position in the private sector, you will most likely work for a law firm of 50 attorneys or less. More than 50% of the private sector entry-level positions for the Class of 1998 were in firms of .50 attorneys or less. Small law firms of 2-10 attorneys accounted for the largest percentage of the positions with more than 30% of all private sector positions. The median starting salaries for firms of this size is $37,000. For firms of 11-25 attorneys the median salary is $43,500, and for firms of 26-50 attorneys, $52,000. Hiring at law firms of 100+ attorneys has increased over the past few years with approximately one-third of the Class of 1998 obtaining positions with these firms. The starting salaries have increased as well with the median salary for firms of 101-250 attorneys at $62,000; 251-500 attorneys at $85,000 and firms of more than 500 attorneys at $90,000. One should not count on obtaining one of these positions. Hiring criteria for these firms are very strict and usually confined to the students in the top 10% - 20% of their class and to those who hold law review membership. In addition, we do not know how long the current hiring trend for the larger firms will continue. In the late 1980's/early 1990's the economy changed—many lawyers were laid off—it could always happen again.

6. From a financial standpoint plan to be in the middle of the class versus the top 10%. Be aware that the average law student graduates with more than $50,000 in debt. A recent article in the American Bar Association journal reported that the Nellie Mae Corporation found "lawyers who have been out of school between one and three years made an average of $37,200 in 1996 but had average educational related debt of $52,600." (June 1999) The monthly repayment amount on this debt would be more than $650.00 per month (at a 9% interest rate). This means that more than one-third of an individual's monthly income is going to this one item alone! Another way to look at this -- if you purchase a pizza every week at an average cost of $15.00 with loan money, that pizza will actually cost you $27.00 at the end of ten years. Do you really need that pizza every week?

Often law students expect a large payoff in terms of salary when they graduate and feel entitled to treat themselves well during school. DO NOT DO THIS. The payoff is not immediate upon graduation and you may experience a lifestyle that is very different from what you imagined once you have graduated. Therefore, my advice is to "live like a law student while a student." This means borrowing as little money as you can to finance your legal education, limiting credit card and other debt, learning what it means to borrow $30,000, and being careful how you spend your money.

http://www.rci.rutgers.edu/~rcoas/prelaw/ifonlyfinal.pdf

That salary info is way outdated.  The large firms in my area across the board moved starting associate salaries from around $95,000 to $125,000, and many are considering raising once again in the next couple of years.  I imagine if you look at old NALP data that will be similar across the board in desirable large and small markets.  In addition to that, if you look at alot of the firms where making partner is a realitic goal, many of those same graduates of 1998 are either new partners, or soon to make it this year, and will be looking at even higher numbers.  Then again, anyone going into law for financial reasons alone is a fool.

Happy_Weasel

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Re: poor lawyers
« Reply #29 on: April 12, 2006, 03:22:37 PM »
Yeah. Even popular culture reflects this. In the movie, the Firm, the best law graduate in the country was making only 96,000, AFTER selling his soul.(A  good student from an average school like myself should be able to make that much if they work really hard in law school for the Holland and Hart interviews the top quarter at my school). Also, other information supports this. Average lawyers from my school were making like 30,000 in the private sector, now the average is 58,000 when about 30 of the 36 lawyers reported their salaries. I would say that new associate salaries have doubled in the last 5 years.