Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: Are we doomed to either be poor (barely able to pay-back loans) or hate life?  (Read 1425 times)

werbz

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 346
  • Evil Monkey
    • View Profile
Found this article on Lawyer job satisfaction...

http://www.law.indiana.edu/publications/particulars/2001winter/lawyersat.shtml

"Predictably, attorneys in large private firms report the highest average annual income ($79,140 five years out; $184,300 15 years out), while attorneys in public interest report the lowest average annual income ($35,120 at five years; $50,620 at 15 years). But perhaps less predictably, the high-earning practitioners in large private practices report the lowest average job satisfaction while the lower-earning types of practice all report higher average job satisfaction..."

My problem is I can't afford with private loans to be on the bottom scale--so it looks like I'll have to hate life. Thoughts?

tacojohn

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 989
  • "I voted. P. Diddy told us to vote"
    • ICQ Messenger - 176834534
    • MSN Messenger - tacojohniu@msn.com
    • AOL Instant Messenger - TacoJohnIU
    • Yahoo Instant Messenger - tacojohniu@yahoo.com
    • View Profile
    • Fearfully Optimistic
    • Email
Your school does not have an loan forgiveness program or something similar?  There are some ways to make those public interest jobs more affordable.

thenextstep

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 799
    • View Profile
    • LSN
Well I think also the reason people are happy in public interest jobs is because they are passionate about what they are doing.  They knew they were going into lower-paying careers than they might otherwise have with a JD.  I think if it's a type of career you are genuinely interested in pursuing, tacojohn is right that there are ways to pay for your loans.  Also, some employers at firms that do public interest work will pay part of your loans as part of your benefits package.  Sometimes to consider... I don't have specific firms in mind as I have not researched it (I'm more interested myself in NGO work, lobbying and policy), but I heard from people when I was in DC interning that some employers there help with loans because that type of pay is differently taxed so it saves the employer some money in comparison to just paying you more.  Just a thought...

incognito

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 334
    • View Profile
This is almost like an LSAT question. 

Does having the lowest average job satisfaction mean that you will hate life?  What if the lowest average job satisfaction is 90%?  Or even if it is 10% how do you know that you won't be in that 10%?  Do what you want.

Found this article on Lawyer job satisfaction...

http://www.law.indiana.edu/publications/particulars/2001winter/lawyersat.shtml

"Predictably, attorneys in large private firms report the highest average annual income ($79,140 five years out; $184,300 15 years out), while attorneys in public interest report the lowest average annual income ($35,120 at five years; $50,620 at 15 years). But perhaps less predictably, the high-earning practitioners in large private practices report the lowest average job satisfaction while the lower-earning types of practice all report higher average job satisfaction..."

My problem is I can't afford with private loans to be on the bottom scale--so it looks like I'll have to hate life. Thoughts?
Duke 2009

r.

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1208
  • Hey psycho stalker spy!
    • View Profile
Found this article on Lawyer job satisfaction...

http://www.law.indiana.edu/publications/particulars/2001winter/lawyersat.shtml

"Predictably, attorneys in large private firms report the highest average annual income ($79,140 five years out; $184,300 15 years out), while attorneys in public interest report the lowest average annual income ($35,120 at five years; $50,620 at 15 years). But perhaps less predictably, the high-earning practitioners in large private practices report the lowest average job satisfaction while the lower-earning types of practice all report higher average job satisfaction..."

My problem is I can't afford with private loans to be on the bottom scale--so it looks like I'll have to hate life. Thoughts?

I work at a corporate law firm and plenty of the attorneys, if not most, spend a significant amount of time involved in pro bono activities that they believe in. I know one who has founded his own non-profit. A former partner started EarthJustice and later served on the board, all while still working here. Simply having a job at a private law firm doesn't exclude you from pursuing work that is meaningful to you.
Byron's Don Juan:  Booker T. Washington Elementary School
Milton's Paradise Lost: Middle School

werbz

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 346
  • Evil Monkey
    • View Profile
Being accepted and being smack in the middle of trying to make what may be the biggest career decision of my life--I am just trying to gather varying points of view.

There's some good advice here... I appreciate it. The biggest hurdle for me is the prospect of making less when I graduate from law school that I do currently (and having ~90K more student loan debt). It also puts life on hold for 3 years. I realize that if I don't go now though I might end up not going at all (getting caught up with 'life' and all).

Dilemma.

sls

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 54
    • View Profile
the pub int people are probably happier because they work much less.

tacojohn

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 989
  • "I voted. P. Diddy told us to vote"
    • ICQ Messenger - 176834534
    • MSN Messenger - tacojohniu@msn.com
    • AOL Instant Messenger - TacoJohnIU
    • Yahoo Instant Messenger - tacojohniu@yahoo.com
    • View Profile
    • Fearfully Optimistic
    • Email
the pub int people are probably happier because they work much less.
That's not necessarily true, as a PI lawyer might have a much bigger case load than a corporate lawyer.

sls

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 54
    • View Profile
well then that's really horrible. getting paid 40K a year to work 80 hours a week? nice.

the pub int people are probably happier because they work much less.
That's not necessarily true, as a PI lawyer might have a much bigger case load than a corporate lawyer.

chrisfield

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1220
  • Texas Tech ---> Fall 2006
    • View Profile
I think a lot of PI lawyers have better quality of life.  They may choose to work 80 hours a week but they don't have to. They also likely have more opportunity to choose to coach a kids little league team or go to parent visitation at their daughters dance class.