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Author Topic: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school  (Read 6311 times)

vap

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Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
« Reply #30 on: July 04, 2008, 06:43:15 PM »
So, lets assume that you make $60k out of law school, just for argument's sake. I estimate federal and state taxes (with no material deductions) to be roughly $9,600.

 ???

Ok, what is your calculation?

I would say closer to $22K for a single filer with standard deduction, including federal income tax, state and locality income tax (8%), and social security tax.

kenpostudent

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Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
« Reply #31 on: July 07, 2008, 10:13:25 PM »
With payroll taxes, I get $14,300. Fifteen is reasonable if there is a locality tax that I'm missing. That still leaves plenty to live on if you budget well.

vap

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Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
« Reply #32 on: July 08, 2008, 12:12:36 AM »
So, lets assume that you make $60k out of law school, just for argument's sake. I estimate federal and state taxes (with no material deductions) to be roughly $9,600.

 ???

Ok, what is your calculation?

I would say closer to $22K for a single filer with standard deduction, including federal income tax, state and locality income tax (8%), and social security tax.

Nah, it's closer to $15k.  Remember that difference between average and marginal tax rates for both state and federal taxes, eh?

$60,000 - $8,750 (standard and one exemption) = $51,250 taxable income
Federal income tax on $51,250 = $9,243 (tax table, page 69, http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i1040.pdf)
FICA tax on $60,000 (about 7.65%) = $4,590
State income tax on $51,250 (about 8%) = $4,100

Total tax = $17,933.

I overestimated the FICA tax in my initial calculation (I was a Schedule C filer for several years so had to pay about 15% rather than 7.65%).



kenpostudent

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Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
« Reply #33 on: July 08, 2008, 01:10:16 AM »


$60,000 - $8,750 (standard and one exemption) = $51,250 taxable income
Federal income tax on $51,250 = $9,243 (tax table, page 69, http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i1040.pdf)
FICA tax on $60,000 (about 7.65%) = $4,590
State income tax on $51,250 (about 8%) = $4,100

Total tax = $17,933.

I overestimated the FICA tax in my initial calculation (I was a Schedule C filer for several years so had to pay about 15% rather than 7.65%).
[/quote]

What about student loan interest? That is deductible up to $2,500 if your adjusted AGI is less than $65,000.

vap

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Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
« Reply #34 on: July 08, 2008, 01:38:59 AM »
Quote from: vap
$60,000 - $8,750 (standard and one exemption) = $51,250 taxable income
Federal income tax on $51,250 = $9,243 (tax table, page 69, http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i1040.pdf)
FICA tax on $60,000 (about 7.65%) = $4,590
State income tax on $51,250 (about 8%) = $4,100

Total tax = $17,933.

I overestimated the FICA tax in my initial calculation (I was a Schedule C filer for several years so had to pay about 15% rather than 7.65%).

What about student loan interest? That is deductible up to $2,500 if your adjusted AGI is less than $65,000.

Good call.  I'm guessing the limit is raised in 2008, but in 2007 it phased out after $50K.  Deduction would have been about $1,667 if the filer had $2,500 of loan interest, if I remember correctly.

But anyway, I don't really want to play a game where you ask for a calculations and then snipe.  It seems like that's all that people do on these message boards.  (Person A:  I think X; Person B: Oh really, explain please; Person A: *explains*; Person B: Oh, your explanation is bad for Z and Y reasons.).  I'm sick and tired of that type of arguing.  I wish people could just state their proposition and present an argument upfront.  Maybe I've been in law school too long. lol.

Bottom line: if living in a high COL area with higher end state/locality tax, $9,600 is a low estimate.  My initial $22K estimate was too high.  I think we would probably end up splitting the difference.  As Waitlisted suggests, probably closer to $15K.  A little more than that, in my opinion.

kenpostudent

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Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
« Reply #35 on: July 08, 2008, 01:53:15 AM »
Ok, let's split the difference. Either way, it's immaterial. The question is can you live on $42k after taxes? I think so. After loan payments, you might have between $20 and $25k. Let's assume there is no repayment assistance (many schools have something, even if it is not great). So on $20k, what can you do? You cannot buy a house or drive a new car, right away. You cannot eat out every night. You cannot buy the most expensive clothes and get the latest and greatest consumer electronic gadgets. You can, however, live. You can get roommates in a three bedroom apartment or a good size house in a decent neighborhood. You can drive a new used car or a reliable older car. You can shop at Men's Wearhouse for clothes instead of Brook's Brothers. You can even teach at a community college or a private school to cover loan payments. Now, you are not living such a "threadbare" life.

kenpostudent

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Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
« Reply #36 on: July 08, 2008, 10:29:07 AM »


But anyway, I don't really want to play a game where you ask for a calculations and then snipe.  It seems like that's all that people do on these message boards.  (Person A:  I think X; Person B: Oh really, explain please; Person A: *explains*; Person B: Oh, your explanation is bad for Z and Y reasons.).  I'm sick and tired of that type of arguing.  I wish people could just state their proposition and present an argument upfront.  Maybe I've been in law school too long. lol.

Bottom line: if living in a high COL area with higher end state/locality tax, $9,600 is a low estimate.  My initial $22K estimate was too high.  I think we would probably end up splitting the difference.  As Waitlisted suggests, probably closer to $15K.  A little more than that, in my opinion.
[/quote]

I didn't mean to come off as if I was playing "Gotcha". That simply was not my intent. I do apologize for giving that impression.

I have found a "Top 14 or Bust" mentality on a great deal of message boards. I simply do not see this in practice. I will concede that the biggest firms hire from the top schools. Once you exclude the NLJ250 firms, where you go to school is now of little importance. Debt load is a factor in all markets, however. Not that I take this lightly, but law students have far less to complain about when they compare their lots in life to doctors. A medical student grad has far more debt and make far less the first two years. That is truly a threadbare life. They work ungodly hours in very demanding and stressful environment. What's worse is even after residency, they seldom make big bucks for several years. What are we complaining about?

Many attorneys that work for $60k for a few years start their own practices (either solo, or with a few peers) after five years or so and boost their income. I don't see a problem. Other go into industry, government, and or supplement their income teaching. Again, what is the problem? You will only be broke with a law degree if you are lazy or so foolish as to rack up loads of debt while trying to compete in the most saturated markets. I've heard people say that government jobs are very competitive. This is true, but many government jobs also have a very high turnover. I just don't buy into the doom and gloom outlook.

Family law and DUI practices are booming in my state. Immigration law is a decent living anywhere in the Southwest (you probably won't get rich but you can live a middle class lifestyle). As horrible as it sounds, I know a few insurance defense attorneys who live comfortable lives.

iscoredawaitlist

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Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
« Reply #37 on: July 08, 2008, 04:02:38 PM »
There really is no difference in the quality of legal education at a T14 school compared to a T2 school. The curriculums are identical.

You're putting forward an opinion as if it were a fact.  Likewise when you assert that law is easy compared to accounting.

And small firms are not all boutiques.  Some are just small firms.  I wouldn't consider a small firm a boutique unless it had hiring criteria and compensation structures comparable to the large firms.

Point taken. The curriculums are identical. Read course descriptions in school handbooks. I'm also only talking about first and second year (first semester courses).

As far as accounting being harder than law, that is an opinion. It's not a fact, but some circumstantial evidence in my favor: far fewer people pass the cpa exam on the first try than the bar exam. State Boards of Accountancy require two years of practice before candidates can take the CPA exam. You don't need a shred of experience to take the bar exam.

Law school is essentially reading and briefing cases. It's not hard. I do that on my own time for fun. The reasoning required for a legal career is not difficult at all. The process is more competative, though. Law school exams are harder than undergrad exams, I'm sure.

Accounting is a whole different ballgame. If I handed someone a general ledger and told them to prepare financials, there is no way they would be able to do it if they were not an accountant. Paralegals often do the same worka as attorneys without attending law school. They just can't advise clients or represent them in court. Often, though, a good paralegal knows just as much law as an attorney in specified fields. The practice of law is just not as intellectually demanding until you get into tax law and IP law. Yes, this is an opinion. I guess I'll let you know on the other side of the bar exam if it's valid or not.

Who briefs cases for fun? I understand if you're particularly keen you might read some cases for fun (to each their own), but BRIEFING?

Anyway, I didn't brief a single case my second semester.

Also, you're confusing technical knowledge with intellectual rigor.


kenpostudent

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Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
« Reply #38 on: July 08, 2008, 09:30:51 PM »

[/quote]

Who briefs cases for fun? I understand if you're particularly keen you might read some cases for fun (to each their own), but BRIEFING?

Anyway, I didn't brief a single case my second semester.

Also, you're confusing technical knowledge with intellectual rigor.
[/quote]

I brief cases for fun because I like court decisions. I like to read about things that interest me, and I find redacting a useful skill to develop in all areas of life.

The technical knowledge of accounting is the easy part. The concepts are harder to grasp for many. The material in law is not difficult, it's the process of taking a large breadth of knowledge, sorting out the relevant data, and sumarizing it persuasively or coherently that is difficult. Learning the parameters for when you have a contract or defining consideration is not so difficult. Applying those concepts to varios circumstances is tougher, I'm guessing. Accoutning is sort of opposite. Breaking the mental barrier on the concepts can be tough. They become second nature over time. It's tough to grasp those concepts, at first, though.

Resident CLS Troll

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Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
« Reply #39 on: July 08, 2008, 10:51:35 PM »
Law school is essentially reading and briefing cases. It's not hard. I do that on my own time for fun. The reasoning required for a legal career is not difficult at all. The process is more competative, though. Law school exams are harder than undergrad exams, I'm sure.

I'm unclear as to why you think you know what law school essentially is.