I agree on the NALP postings, especially is you are in a lawyer tier school. If you are at the lower tier, which is most law students, then NALP firms only allow the top 15% of the class to even apply. If you get into Stanford, Georgetown, etc., then NALP is more accurate to your situation. If you didn't, then remember, NALP firms aren't hiring the lower tier, middle of the pack class rank students.
First of all, I suppose that how you define a "poor lawyer" depends on your definition of poor. As someone said below, many state employees (prosecutors, public defenders, public interest lawyers) may make below $40,000 depending on location. While that may be miniscule in comparison to some corporate big wig making 5 million a year, you have to recognize that even $40,000 is more than nearly everyone else in the world lives off. So, in reality, that is not really a realistic definition of poor. If money is important to you, congrats ... you've chosen a good profession. Pretty much everyone I've met at law school is here to get a high paying job, and I suppose the idea of being rich is what enables them to get through each day of hell ... I mean, law school. However, for me, my only motivating factor for staying in law school is the idea that I will one day be able to help others, and hopefully society by working in public interest law. While I may be making 1/4 or even 1/8 of what my fellow classmates will be pulling in each year, I definitely do not think I will be "poorer" for it. Many times, especially in law school, I think people forget the importance of non-material aspects of life and the quality they can add to your life. Alright, since I'm certain pretty much everyone that reads this is going to think I'm ridiculous, I'll stop here. But just to respond to your question again ... you probably don't see many poor lawyers because they don't go to law school to get a job that doesn't pay them big bucks. Ok, enough said.
Quote from: mmom on April 10, 2006, 07:33:15 AMAs far as the loan payments are concerned: you don't have to pay $1,000 a month, lenders have income-sensitive repayment plans in place.When you say "Income sensitive repayment plans," what are you talking about? Stretching your loans out over 30 years? Hardship defermnets?
As far as the loan payments are concerned: you don't have to pay $1,000 a month, lenders have income-sensitive repayment plans in place.
Law school was a terrible financial mistake, and I am certainly poor compared to where I was before I went to law school. I now make $50,000 a year, drive a 1990 car, and live in an efficiency. With that $50,000 I have to pay $1300 a month in student loans, then there's the taxes, and dry cleaning bills (not cheap when you can't wear shorts and jeans anymore), plus work 60 hours a week for an not so nice person. The first few years out of law school are really awful. At least in school you are getting financial aid, when you are done, the credit card balance shoots up because you need to pay for the bar, study materials, job interviews, buy a new wardrobe, etc. I worked full time up until a week before the bar, so there wasn't any accumulating debt while 'studying' for three months. Do I feel poor. hell yeah. no hope for buying a house in the D.C. area for several years yet, no new car, and working my ass off for a bad quality of life. I'm I poor, well, no, but certainly not as well off as I would have been had I never gone to law school. Right now, after I pay rent and loans, my left over spending money is about $300 for everything else. It's all relative.
[...]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.