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Author Topic: is law a good career to get into?  (Read 9718 times)

Ad oculos

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Re: is law a good career to get into?
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2007, 04:57:17 PM »
I'm not bashing.  I'm pointing out that an overly-zealous guy who trolls law school message boards on behalf of his daughter may not be the best source of info.

Very, very, very few people from tier 2-4 make BIGLAW salaries.  It certainly happens, but it's much more likely that a student graduates from tier 4 with tons of debt and no job.  The OP needs to keep this in mind.  If you're at the top, law can be very lucrative.  But if you start to move down the food chain a bit, the options are significantly less.

lawdaddy

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Re: is law a good career to get into?
« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2007, 05:31:51 PM »
"on behalf of his daughter"

Good god no. She would be horrified.  I do it for stress relief. I get a good chuckle out of 98% of what's posted here.

"It's a good idea to be wary of anyone giving advice on a message board"

TRUER WORDS CANNOT BE SAID!  If anyone takes what they find on this board as anything near gospel well, there is something wrong with that person.

sh89

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Re: is law a good career to get into?
« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2007, 09:40:18 PM »
"We'll work comparable hours."

So accountants work just as much as lawyers?

What about those who major is finances/people who want to become involved in financial consulting?

Ad oculos

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Re: is law a good career to get into?
« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2007, 09:42:59 PM »

So accountants work just as much as lawyers?


Accountants at the Big Four work just as much as lawyers.  Their starting salaries are in the mid 40s.  They have a 13 year or so partnership track, and then they have lower PPP at the end of it.

sh89

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Re: is law a good career to get into?
« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2007, 09:50:26 PM »
What is PPP?

Also, what exactly is "the big four"?

In your opinion, what would be a good alternative to law? I want to make a middle-class income(50k+), but at the same time have time for hobbies and prospective family. What can one do in finances?

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Re: is law a good career to get into?
« Reply #15 on: August 27, 2007, 11:14:26 PM »
What is PPP?

Also, what exactly is "the big four"?

In your opinion, what would be a good alternative to law? I want to make a middle-class income(50k+), but at the same time have time for hobbies and prospective family. What can one do in finances?

PPP=profits per partner.

The Big Four (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Four_auditors)

Engineering is a good way to make a nice middle class income without working yourself to death.  So is computer science.  So is teaching.  So are many non-entry level government jobs. 

I don't know much about job paths for those in finance.  Perhaps working at a bank?

lawdaddy

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Re: is law a good career to get into?
« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2007, 07:50:34 AM »
SH89 quit worrying about the money. 

Find a career that is challenging and that you have a passion for.  Working at a job that you hate just for the money - don't even go there.  I did that once and it made me physically sick.  I now have a job that I love every minute (the pays not bad either).

In every job there will be some weeks you put in 60+ hours and there will be some weeks you just sit around and twittle your thumbs.  If you love it it will go by in a minute.  If you hate it every minute will seem like a week - and then think about doing that for the next 40 years of your career.  The money ain't worth it.

If you want to be a plumber be a plumber.
If you want to be an accountant be an accountant
If you want to be a lawyer be a lawyer

You might not get rich on whatever it is you choose but your QOL will be greatly enhanced especially if you love what you do (the hours be damned).




amityjo

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Re: is law a good career to get into?
« Reply #17 on: August 29, 2007, 12:37:29 PM »
As someone who once held a job for a decade because I was too afraid to do something else with a pay cut, I concur completely with LawDaddy. As an older law student attendint a Tier 3 law school (by choice and necessity due to financial and geographic considerations), I also agree with LawDaddy about his observations regarding the legal field. And contrary to the poster that said it is next to impossible to get a BigLaw job out of a non-T14 school . . . he doesn't know what he's talking about. I will acknowledge that it is considerably more difficult, but to say it is impossible is a gross overstatement.

Further, there is so much more to the field of law than working BigLaw. There are mid and small-sized firms. There is the D.A.'s office. There are countless non-profit and government opportunities. The key is that when you apply to law school, you MUST realistically consider 1) the financial burden you are taking on, and 2) the realities of the schools' placement record, to determine whether or not you can pay back your financial obligations somewhat comfortably. This means that you must not take the schools' career services departments' claims and statistics for placement at face value; you must do your homework, research, and speak with ACTUAL graduates of the programs you have been accepted to. You must also consider the possibility of taking a lower ranked school if it offers you a significant scholarship (which was my choice.) For example, if you think your passion may be working for the D.A.'s office, you must accept the fact that even with a loan forgiveness program offered by your school, you will not be able to really afford to pay back the loans you have (minimum of $80,000) on the salary. What are the options then? You go to a Tier 3 or 4 with a good regional reputation, with a 50%-or-more scholarship (if you get one) where you end up with $50,000 or less in loans after graduation, and work your tail off in school to get in the top 25% of your class.

One other piece of advice - I HIGHLY recommend taking a couple of years, at least, between college and law school to get some real-world experience. Most of the top students in my program are older students, and I believe that it is because they have 1) the ability to treat law school like a job and be efficient in their work, and 2)  practical adult experience needed to understand some legal concepts that a young person cannot yet appreciate. Not saying that's true for every young student, but it's hardly a rash generalization.

Ad oculos

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Re: is law a good career to get into?
« Reply #18 on: August 29, 2007, 12:54:38 PM »
Quote
And contrary to the poster that said it is next to impossible to get a BigLaw job out of a non-T14 school . . . he doesn't know what he's talking about. I will acknowledge that it is considerably more difficult, but to say it is impossible is a gross overstatement.

How many attorneys from tier 3 or tier 4 are hired into V20 firms each year?  Half a dozen?  You're guaranteed BIGLAW from a t14 if you're in the top three-quarters.  Even the bottom quarter has a lot of success landing jobs.  But at a tier 3/tier 4 school?  Maybe the top one or two students have a legitimate shot. 

I'm not saying that the end goal is BIGLAW or that everyone should aim for it.  But don't mislead people by acting like tier 3/tier 4 students have a realistic shot at it.

And I agree with your analysis of non-BIGLAW job options.  It's much better to go to a lower ranked school and take the scholarship money than it is to run up huge debts at a tier 2 that isn't going to offer significantly better placement options.

amityjo

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Re: is law a good career to get into?
« Reply #19 on: August 29, 2007, 02:29:49 PM »
Quote
And contrary to the poster that said it is next to impossible to get a BigLaw job out of a non-T14 school . . . he doesn't know what he's talking about. I will acknowledge that it is considerably more difficult, but to say it is impossible is a gross overstatement.

How many attorneys from tier 3 or tier 4 are hired into V20 firms each year?  Half a dozen?  You're guaranteed BIGLAW from a t14 if you're in the top three-quarters.  Even the bottom quarter has a lot of success landing jobs.  But at a tier 3/tier 4 school?  Maybe the top one or two students have a legitimate shot. 

First of all, if your definition of BigLaw is only V20 firms, then you and I (and you and most law students) have two different definitions of BigLaw. When I refer to BigLaw, I mean any of the firms paying top salaries in their respective markets (in NY, for example, any firm paying $160K per year before bonus.) There are many firms that pay those rates outside of the V20. If we are speaking strictly about the V20, I would generally agree with you but for the fact that eleven people from my school alone ended up in the V20. I cannot speak for other schools. 

Secondly, to say that being in T14 school ALONE guarantees you access to the V20 is absurd. I have quite a few friends from T14 schools who did interview, but did not get offers, at V20 firms, although they all do work for my definition of a BigLaw firm. Is it easier for my T14 friends. Certainly; it is quite a bit easier for them. But does this mean it is impossible to get one of the BigLaw (not necessarily V20) jobs coming from a T3 or T4 school? Absolutely not, but you better be in the top 10-15% of your class.