so how much does the guy driving the towncar make?
I think everyone here has made some good points, and unfortunately the big issue a lot of us are going to have to face is "am I willing to work BigLaw for a sizeable number of hours?"IMHO, working 80 hours a week isn't really that big of a deal, all things considered. Especially for those of us who originally wanted to go into medicine, and were planning on ~100/wk residencies. More importantly though, since we're on the Biglaw topic, the conditions in which you're working aren't really so bad at the top firms. I just finished my summer associateship with arguably the biggest firm in the world, and really didn't mind the few nights I had to stay late. Now, obviously the summer flings are just teasers, and I didn't really have to do any real grunt work or work the 80/hr weeks that true associates do. At the same time, though, I did get to see what perks were available to the people making that 125K, and whatnot.First off--and this is for this one firm only, not every firm--if anyone worked past 8:00pm, he got driven home in a towncar. That's right--driven. Not too shabby considering you don't have to ride the subway, and you can actually get some work done while you're riding in style.Secondly, for those who worked more than 8 hours in a day, you were given a $50 stipend for food, which I (being frugal out of necessity) took to buy groceries instead of a fancy lunch.Third, on the topic of eating, the firm had its own cafeteria (which is a horrible misnomer) which served 7 course meals if you preferred, or even just a sandwich or so. And by the way, it was all subsidized, so the sandwich was ~$3.25--cheaper than Subway. So was the huge meal, but who really eats like that at work anyway? Kinda cuts down on the living expenses NYC is notorious for, although the $2500/mo to share a flat with 3 people didn't help too much...Fourth, if you're worried about making connections to big business, it's really not that difficult if (as the OP states), you're a people person. I started dating a cute girl who turned out to be an exec at a major webfirm, and will probably be moving in with her once I go back down to the city for good. NYC is packed with opportunities to meet and greet. The people you meet at work and the clubs will introduce you to anyone you want if you make yourself available. I got to hang out with all kinds of celebrities and others just because of who I was with--cuz I definitely have been a poor, nameless fellow my entire life.Furthermore, in regards to the hours worked and whatnot, it's true that everyone is expected to pull in at least 2100 hrs. there. No big deal honestly, considering that that's for the entire year, and one must pace oneself. If you're in litigation, you'll surely have to HUGE workweeks prepping for trial or mediation, but in the meantime you often have to search for things to do. I know a number of partners who take their folders to the can with them so that they can charge the $750 while on the pooper. The corporate folks though get a bit more of a steady flow of work, but again, you're often getting in at 10 am with a specific goal in mind, and once it's finished, you go home. More importantly though, for people who like to work, 2400 hrs is where you make "the big bonus," as in 6 figures, and is well worth it in terms of almost doubling your salary. The steady 60-80 hr weeks are mainly there for people who LOVE money, or who are trying to show off so that they can make equity status in 5 or 6 years. And by the way, at this particular firm, that's minimum 1.9 Mil/yr per partner. I'd say it's worth it--if you feel lucky.Other people don't even worry about trying to get partner with a Biglaw firm though. They realize about 3 years in that if at 6 years they get a pretty resume and can pull in some clients, they will be SCOUTED by headhunter firms to work in Midlaw as a partner. Then you get the regular hours and still get the big money. You might have to move though. And we haven't even gotten into the concept of being "Of Counsel." That ain't a bad break there...But honestly, if you think about it, working 10-9:00 with a lunchbreak isn't slave labor, considering that LAW IS FUN. Even the supposed "drudgery" of research and memorandi. Then, come 9:00, you get ready to go out on the town in Manhattan, the center of the world, and get home in time to meet that 9:30 wake-up call.So sure, if you're looking for a family, a 9-5, and lots of free time to sit and watch television, I say go work for the gov't. Biglaw seems to be a fast life, with a lot more involved than would be allowed if I had kids or other responsibilities. You guys also probably shouldn't worry too much about going to a very prestigious school either, if you're not looking for Biglaw, as the student loans would be murder without the first few years of that 125 to pay down the principal. U Houston is a great school, and cheap as dirt too. Go there.My two cents:Two's old roomate
Yeah, my ex roomate is an meanie. He's going to hit me tomorrow. lol