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Author Topic: 1 year later....still glad u went to law school?  (Read 131951 times)

threestrikes

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Re: 1 year later....still glad u went to law school?
« Reply #250 on: May 12, 2007, 08:21:16 AM »




In Europe, the state pays for the institutional costs of instruction; students pay little or no tuition, but are responsible for living costs; and most universities are public.

In the US, by contrast, student loans have become the most profitable, uncompetitive, oppressive, and predatory type of debt of any in the nation. This has occurred due to legislation that was largely paid for by the the lobbying machine of Sallie Mae, the largest student loan company in America. Vast personal fortunes are being made by both Sallie Mae executives, and others who paid for this legislation, at the expense of decent citizens who were not able to capitalize on their education. This has effectively crippled MILLIONS of decent citizens who want to repay their original debt, but are prevented from doing so by staggeringly higher amounts being demanded from them by both "non-profit", and for-profit student loan companies.

lawbydefault

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Re: 1 year later....still glad u went to law school?
« Reply #251 on: May 13, 2007, 01:34:18 AM »

In Europe, the state pays for the institutional costs of instruction; students pay little or no tuition, but are responsible for living costs; and most universities are public.

In the US, by contrast, student loans have become the most profitable, uncompetitive, oppressive, and predatory type of debt of any in the nation. This has occurred due to legislation that was largely paid for by the the lobbying machine of Sallie Mae, the largest student loan company in America. Vast personal fortunes are being made by both Sallie Mae executives, and others who paid for this legislation, at the expense of decent citizens who were not able to capitalize on their education. This has effectively crippled MILLIONS of decent citizens who want to repay their original debt, but are prevented from doing so by staggeringly higher amounts being demanded from them by both non-profit, and for-profit student loan companies.


That is the reason why many medical students enroll in a foreign school -- the Caribbean Medical Schools are usually less expensive and much more affordable compared to US medical schools. Often the education is a bargain even when extra costs, such as traveling abroad, health insurance and other miscellaneous costs, are included.

The downside is that not all of these schools are accredited. They must make sure their MD degree will be accepted in the US, though. Four states (California, Florida, New Jersey, and New York) evaluate foreign medical schools individually, with most Caribbean medical schools not being accredited in all four of these states. Schools like Ross School of Medicine, Saba School of Medicine, and St. George University (SGU) have the best reputations among Caribbean schools.

What this means is that students completing their studies in such schools might be at a disadvantage when competing for strong residencies. However, the USMLE scores are an important determinant of the residency match, so strong USMLE scores make up for a lot and can be a great equalizer. Another disadvantage is that often the clinical rotations are done in US medical schools. Many Caribbean Medical Schools have arrangements with US hospitals, but the students options in rotations might be limited compared to the options available to a student in a US medical school.

r o v e r

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Re: 1 year later....still glad u went to law school?
« Reply #252 on: May 13, 2007, 02:07:58 AM »

According to this logic, no one should go to college, especially a private college --

tuition and living expenses $35,000 X 4 = $140,000

You earn some $30,000 a year after you graduate, and it'll take some 40 years to reach your break-even point, isn't it so?


Exactly, loan payer, according to this line of reasoning few families in the US should take mortgages. If you take, say, a $300,000 mortgage and are able to pay monthly only some $2,000 -- it'll take 20 years to pay it off and become the owner, point in time when you can sell it and hopefully make some profit.


lawn

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Re: 1 year later....still glad u went to law school?
« Reply #253 on: May 13, 2007, 10:20:37 AM »

Exactly, loan payer, according to this line of reasoning few families in the US should take mortgages. If you take, say, a $300,000 mortgage and are able to pay monthly only some $2,000 -- it'll take 20 years to pay it off and become the owner, point in time when you can sell it and hopefully make some profit.




Somebody please explain to me how you make profits after you become the owner of your house and sell it ...

You need at least two houses to be able to make profits.

c a b r i o l e t

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Re: 1 year later....still glad u went to law school?
« Reply #254 on: May 13, 2007, 11:39:00 PM »

[...] However, the USMLE scores are an important determinant of the residency match, so strong USMLE scores make up for a lot and can be a great equalizer. [...]


USMLE scores are not very heavily relied upon because it is a well-known fact that the exam content is regularly posted in Internet chat rooms.

oopslaw

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Re: 1 year later....still glad u went to law school?
« Reply #255 on: May 14, 2007, 12:46:51 AM »


Weil, Gotshal & Manges (New York)
1st year: $125,000
2d year: $135,000
3d year: $150,000
4th year: $165,000
5th year: $190,000
6th year: $205,000
7th year: $215,000
Bonuses in all classes


Just checked Covington and Jenner, both are also at $160k to start. 


There  was a dip in cocaine prices in the 90s, but they're back up now. I was going to make a joke about that and the firms' salary raises, but you can just imagine it instead ... Oh, BTW, keep in mind that cocaine costs a lot less when you buy it by the kilogram as opposed to by the gram. It's like Sam's Club, only for coke.

toomuchwork

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Re: 1 year later....still glad u went to law school?
« Reply #256 on: May 14, 2007, 02:00:20 AM »

I think your calculations are pretty good for the most part except that they ignore interest on your loan (not that high if you truly pay it off in three years, and assuming interest was deferred until graduation):

year 1: salary 160K + 30K bonus = 190K - 40% tax = 114K
year 2: salary 180K + 30K bonus = 210K - 40% tax = 126K
year 3: salary 200K + 30K bonus = 230K - 40% tax = 138K
__________________

Total earnings [3yrs]............................. .378K
Total [3 yr] interest accrued on a 180K loan......(~30K)
Living expenses [3yrs]*...........................(~150K)
Principal.................... .....................(~180K)
---------------------------------------------------------
                                      remaining    ~48K






Still, if these are your goals and you feel confident you can make it, then as you say its a good investment. (uh, provided you actually like being a lawyer!)


Big firms buy associates' time 'wholesale' and sell it 'retail' As a new associate in a large firm, you will be paid about one-third of what you bring into the firm. If you bill, say, 2000 hours at $100 per hour, you will generate $200,000 in revenue for your firm. About a third of that -- $70,000 or so -- will be paid to you. Another third will go toward paying the expenses of the firm. And the final third will go into the pockets of the firm's partners. Firms make money off associates. That is why it's in the interests of big firms to hire lots of associates and to make very few of them partners. The more associates there are, the more profits for the partners to split, and the fewer partners there are, the bigger each partner's share.

After you make partner (if you make partner -- your chances will likely be about 1 in 10), you will still be exploited, although somewhat less. You may take home 40% or so of what you bring into the firm as a junior partner. Your take will gradually increase with your seniority. At some point, you will reach equilibrium -- that is, you will take home roughly what you bring into the firm, minus your share of the firm's overhead. And, if you stick with it long enough, some day you will reach Big Firm Nirvana: You will take home more than you bring into the firm (minus your share of overhead). You will become the exploiter instead of the exploited. It should not surprise you that, generally speaking, the bigger the firm, the more the leverage. The median ratio of associates to partners ranges dramatically, from .33 in firms of 8 or fewer attorneys in the northeastern United States, to 1.50 in firms of 25+ attorneys in the same region. In general, though, the ratio increases with the size of the firm. Nationally, the median ratio is .51 in firms of 8or fewer attorneys, .66 in firms of 9-20 attorneys, .64 in firms of 21-40 attorneys, .75 in firms of 41-74 attorneys, and .93 in firms of 75+ attorneys. As a result of the disparity in leverage between big and small firms, partners in big firms make dramatically more money than partners in small firms.

This, then, is life in the big firm: It is in the interests of clients that senior partners work inhuman hours, year after year, and constantly be anxious about retaining their business. And it is in the interests of senior partners that junior partners work inhuman hours, year after year, and constantly be anxious about retaining old clients and attracting new clients. And it is in the interests of junior partners that senior associates work inhuman hours, year after year, and constantly be anxious about retaining old clients and attracting new clients and making partner. And most of all, it is in everyone's interests that the newest members of the profession -- the junior associates -- be willing to work inhuman hours, year after year, and constantly be anxious about everything -- about retaining old clients and attracting new clients and making partner and keeping up their billable hours. The result? Long hours, large salaries, and one of the unhealthiest and unhappiest professions on earth.

peniesonthedollar

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Re: 1 year later....still glad u went to law school?
« Reply #257 on: May 14, 2007, 02:56:23 AM »

BUT, this is the absolute best case scenario in which you land a very high paying job at a top law firm with substantial salary increases and a growing economy that permits the assumption of a consistent bonus ... and of course that you remain at your job for 3 years (not burning out).


By SAIRA RAO

December 31, 2006 -- The city largest, most prestigious law firms are suffering from serious brain drain. Young, Gen-X lawyers in their third to fifth year in the business are walking away from their $200,000-a-year positions in record numbers -- at times without another job in view. The reason? They are unhappy with their Blackberry lifestyle -- being tethered to the job 24/7 and having to rush back to the office at a moment notice when e-mail orders pop up on the ubiquitous PDA. The exodus of law firm associates is unprecedented, according to NALP which found that 37% of associates leave large firms within the first 3 years. A whopping 77% of associates leave within 5 years, according to NALP latest survey. That is up sharply from recent years, and the resulting brain drain is wrecking havoc on law firms.

There is a significant drain on your potential as a firm if you cannot mitigate it, says Mike, a partner at a 400-plus lawyer Big Apple firm, said of the young legal eagle exodus. Mike, like many lawyers interviewed for this story, spoke only if neither they or their firm were identified, fearing client losses. While increased attrition is a typical effect of a relatively healthy economy, Mike claimed, It would be a mistake to say it is all driven by the economics. The big-firm brain drain is also giving partners a major case of agita -- forcing them to do the yeoman grunt work usually assigned to associates. In addition, the firms are being forced to scramble to fill the mid-level talent void. Some are even doing the previously unheard of -- hiring from second-tier law schools.

John, a fifth year associate at a prominent Wall Street firm, is, like many young lawyers, walking out the door. He is leaving for a coveted in-house position at an investment bank. \'I am just waiting for my bonus,\' the 31-year-old says. In fact, the next major wave of legal brain drain will occur over the next few weeks as young lawyers jump ship after collecting their bonus checks. \'It is the mid-levels, the 3rd through 5th years that are leaving, so you are losing people you have spent lots of money on training, and just as they start to run things, they leave, and firms become less profitable, Mike, the partner, adds. John, the associate ready to leave, notices the effect of the mid-level brain drain at his own firm. Gone, he said, is the traditional pyramid of power, from the numerous first-year associates up to select first-year partners.

It is gone from a pyramid to a strange hourglass shape, John says. It is bizarre. Now you will see deal teams with a partner and a first-year associate, with nobody in the middle. You should see the partners. They are doing the work of mid-levels to pick up the slack. And even though they make over $1 million, they never see their family. There is little reward in that for me. Tagg Grant, 31, could not agree more. The self-described \'recovering lawyer\' removed himself from firm life last year, as a third-year corporate associate. I did not want to sleep on my office floor anymore or wonder if I had a change of underwear somewhere in my file cabinet, he says.

http://www.nypost.com/seven/12312006/business/lawyers__fun__money_business_saira_rao.htm?page=1

sub rosa

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Re: 1 year later....still glad u went to law school?
« Reply #258 on: May 14, 2007, 03:26:39 AM »
I am Generation X -- (28 yrs old), and when I graduated from law school I didnt have the tiniest inkling of trying to get into a big firm -- or even a medium firm. And there are plenty of both in Chicago. I went into private practice for myself, with the help of a few other solo's, whom I had clerked for during law school. I office with them now and do criminal defense work.

I dont have billable hours, a salary, a manager, or anything set in stone. I guess I am the opposite of the big firm types. I sometimes have problems with clients paying and that affects the timeliness of the payment of my bills, but would i exchange my freedom for a higher paying gig with a definite paycheck? ABSOLUTELY NOT!

I would gladly be poor for a few yrs until I get my loans paid off and my practice settled, than be miserable and overworked with money I dont have time to spend, or children I dont have time to see (and trust me, I have been quite poor, especially at the beginning) And in the 5 years it takes an associate to figure out he needs to leave the firm, I will hopefully be at a place where my practice is settled, work is plentiful, and vacations are often. The associate who leaves, on the other hand, will be exactly at the same place I was when I first left school (assuming they dont just leave for another firm) Do I pity the associate? No, not really. I do pity his family and friends though.

The salaries the firms pay are enticing, but what good is it all if your overworked and miserable? I can take off work to see a cubs game, any day I want. Who at Jenner and Block at my age can say the same? The firms should just cut their billable hours to a max of 1700 or so, pay the younger associates less to correspond to lesser amount of work,(say 90k instead of 140k) and keep them happier. Then they wont be fighting their way out the door and trying to steal my clients :) Just a thought...

equifax

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Re: 1 year later....still glad u went to law school?
« Reply #259 on: May 14, 2007, 04:12:05 AM »
I know a third-year associate at an elite New York law firm. He says that good grades in law school are a generally reliable indication of "intellect" or "smarts." The vast majority of those who reflexively scoff at the idea of working as an associate at an elite law firm do so out of pure jealousy. If they could land such employment, they would accept gladly (save, perhaps, for those too paralyzed by the fear of incompetence).

He concedes that he regularly experiences intense frustration caused by the combined idiosyncrasies of his co-workers and the inevitable disappointments of a business day. However, he is confident to a metaphysical certainty that such frustrations exist in every work place (including the quaint, little home-office setup described by the above poster).

It is a fair trade to work under such conditions and, on occasion, to suffer the involuntary sacrifices of time you would have otherwise preferred to reserve for personal use, in exchange for a quite handsome total compensation package and the respect (earned or not) that accompanies employment at an elite law firm.

Indeed, he has difficulty understanding what others find so loathsome about working at an elite law firm (judging from the comments, it seems these are individuals who have either never held such employment, or did so in a manner that failed to satisfy the expectations of their employer).

His "Biglaw" job allows him to indulge his mild acquisitiveness, pay his student loans faithfully, and save a more than modest amount each month, all of which is more than many are able to do on salaries from "lesser" employers. Further, should he decide to leave his current employment in the future, he believes that his time spent as an associate in the elite law firm, working with preeminent figures in the area of his specialization, will open more doors, more widely, than would be the case had he spent his time engaged in most other legal jobs.

Maybe he could be a little happier in his employment (like maybe he could be in San Francisco instead of Manhattan, or maybe working half-days), but one thing is for sure: he could be a lot less happy.