Remember when sticker at T10 seemed like a good idea?

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WokeUpInACar
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Re: Remember when sticker at T10 seemed like a good idea?

Postby WokeUpInACar » Sat Apr 13, 2013 11:06 pm

Ehhh, I think the ~170k+ in salary increases, bonuses, and SA money that she didnt include in her calculations results in her end number not being too far off IMO.

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TripTrip
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Re: Remember when sticker at T10 seemed like a good idea?

Postby TripTrip » Sat Apr 13, 2013 11:07 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:Good post from sealocust. I would just add that your chances of obtaining riches improve dramatically if you can latch onto a good partner/group of attorneys and commit (early) to an in-demand specialty. You need to become an expert more quickly than many junior associates anticipate. I.e., if you're in lit you need to have the entire procedural back and forth of litigation in federal courts memorized (at least at a general level) before anyone will take you seriously inside or outside of your firm.

Follow-up question for this: At what point can we seriously start making choices about what type of law we want to practice? I don't mean the general "private practice" versus "wholesome public interest" debate. I mean if we know we want to do private practice and are considering the different fields available, is it really reasonable to even think about that before 2L?

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thesealocust
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Re: Remember when sticker at T10 seemed like a good idea?

Postby thesealocust » Sat Apr 13, 2013 11:07 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:Good post from sealocust. I would just add that your chances of obtaining riches improve dramatically if you can latch onto a good partner/group of attorneys and commit (early) to an in-demand specialty. You need to become an expert more quickly than many junior associates anticipate. I.e., if you're in lit you need to have the entire procedural back and forth of litigation in federal courts memorized (at least at a general level) before anyone will take you seriously inside or outside of your firm.


Agree that it's sound strategy. I know some people at big firms who advocate floating around/taking advantage of rotations, especially on the corporate side, but I'm not sure that I agree. And I suppose even if you bounce about specialties, become an expert at the basic tasks ASAP is still critical.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Remember when sticker at T10 seemed like a good idea?

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Sat Apr 13, 2013 11:08 pm

thesealocust wrote:OK, let's start with two things about life after that first biglaw job:

(1) Unexpected events and/or come-to-jesus moments: Some people leave the rat race more or less entirely. They drop out and open trendy cupcake shops (I assume this is why there are 4 or 5 per city block in NYC), become the next Scott Turrow, or else have kids and become stay at home parents or high school teachers or something.

(2) "Exit options" vary dramatically by geography, practice area, firm reputation, and economic climate: The numbers are hard to track in general, but these make them much more difficult. I can tell you litigators are having a harder time moving around because of the sea change in litigation, and that patent law seems to be booming. There are growth areas of law and dying areas of law, etc. Also, the big firm game is often like a giant plinko board. People lateral from one firm to another, and veeerrryyy frequently it's from the "better" firms in a practice area to the less-good ones.

I want to start there because it's really hard to generalize. M&A associate in NYC at Skadden is in a different world than real estate lawyer at a midlaw firm in texas. And it becomes very individualized, and down to what people want and try to do - no more OCI means getting data and doing studies just isn't feasible anymore.

On attrition - at gigantic mega firms, something like 5% of each incoming class might make partner. But studies (link not on hand, sorry) suggest that more like 20% of incoming associates from top school will make partner SOMEWHERE. It's important to keep the plinko analogy in mind.

About exit options more broadly:

They 'exist' from very early on. If you really want to move, and are at a decent firm, a call to a head hunter can often get you placed. I know people who have switched big law firms at a year of practice or less. But those are shitty lateral moves, because you're just joining another Name & Ampersand LLP and will probably be starting from the bottom up again.

I can't speak for all associates at all firms, but at good firms I'm familiar with random calls from hundhunters are quite common. While they might not be offering plum jobs, it's a strong indicator of the "you're not going to starve on the street after your stint in biglaw." A lot of the people proclaiming the difficulties of the post-biglaw job search are either ignorant/bitter people who aren't in biglaw, or come from the horror story examples as opposed to the average examples.

Good exit options tend to by jobs related to your field of practice that come through connections to the clients and industry. In house counsel, regulators, trade groups, litigation boutiques, government agencies, prosecutor's offices, legislative/policy roles, teaching, etc. It's never going to be handed to you buffet style the way OCI was, but they're out there. They will be most common after 2ish years when you're more established and have gained the experience and training (no joke) that future employers find valuable.

Never forget an important systematic element of the legal industry:

A big reason there are so few entry level jobs outside of biglaw is because its so easy for employers to hire former biglaw associates. They're pain tolerant, trained, often eager to leave, etc.

Some firms are slow, and some firms go bust. Some associates are unlucky and there aren't glamorous options for them. But overall, biglaw associates are in very high demand. Hiring freezes mean there are fewer of them, but there's still a lot of work to be done - and firms are needing to plug gaps from people leaving. And leave they do! Attrition rates are quite high.

As for salary post-biglaw, it's often a paycut but still 6-figures+. Law is a career, and former biglaw attorneys often take a paycut when they move but they have growth potential, access to security (fed gov) or income sources (stock options etc.) or perks (being able to go home ever) that make the transition worth it.

When it comes time to move, it's important to realize that the practice of law is VERY much a 'club' once you're on the inside. Firms are often keen to place calls and help their associates land on their feet elsewhere. Once you're in the legal world, you're a part of that club and there's a big network automatically at your disposal for help you land on your feet. There are also often generous and gradual partings - outright firings are very rare. Even getting 'lathamed' involved a large cash payment.

NYstate wrote:I wonder how many people actually make 6 figures for the rest of their life. I honestly have no idea. It doesn't seem like something to count on. Hard to know. People get pushed out of in- house jobs too, that isn't usually a lifetime gig.


Probably more than you'd expect. Even government work for people leaving biglaw often at least approaches 6-figure salaries.

NYstate wrote:Just wanted to point out that this attitude and belief is exactly why I think big law could cut salaries and still have more than enough grads to choose from. Big law is probably overpaying by at least $15,000. Not that a decrease is likely, but I wouldn't expect an increase soon.


Look up revenue per lawyer and profits per partner stats. Big law associates, even young ones, are worth their salary. As attrition rates, rent, and student loan expenses increase, I'm not so sure salary increases are impossible either. I wouldn't say more likely than not short term, but there's more pressure on the system than you'd realize. And while $160,000 is very generous, after all of the expenses associated with getting a law degree and leading a lifestyle as a big firm lawyer, it's definitely a somewhat rationale bargain between the firm and the associate. They're paying for pain tolerance and obsessive type-A personalities as much as they're paying for raw talent.

kappycaft1 wrote:Do you all have any links that show data about how long associates last in biglaw? I keep hearing stats thrown around on TLS and elsewhere which state that [any number between 50 and 80] percent of biglaw associates only last for [any number between 2 and 5] years, and it isn't that I doubt this, but what is this based off of?

Also, what do current bonuses look like for new associates (assuming bonuses still exist), and is there anything that shows general trends of how much salaries/bonuses in biglaw increase each year?


Bonuses for first years were $10,000 last year and (IIRC) $7,500 the year before.

Attrition at the firms is on the order of 20% per year. That's REALLY high when you think about it, and it's slanted - almost nobody leaves before year one, not many leave before year two, and from there the proverbial floodgates open. Options become available and burnout becomes real.

If you look at the salary scale, you'll notice the largest baked-in raise comes after the third year. That's when an associate tends to be much more valuable to the firm - and also valuable to potential recruiters.

To see one reason why salaries increased (as did bonuses) see this article about Sullivan & Cromwell from boom-times: http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2007/01/24/sul ... te-morale/

30% attrition.
Unsustainable. And while maybe S&C was worse because it's stereotypically not a great working environment, all firms were struggling with attrition. That's how salaries got to where they are now.

- - - - -

Random aside about math and cost: If you look at life time earnings, I'd imagine most of the T14 are still worth their cost at sticker over time, on average. The problem is that if you fail to get biglaw (or whatever gov't/PI position you dreamed of) out of the gate, or flame out too soon, the fact that the 'average' result was highly lucrative relative to its cost won't help you with your debt.


^This deserves to be on this new page.

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: Remember when sticker at T10 seemed like a good idea?

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Sat Apr 13, 2013 11:10 pm

TripTrip wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:Good post from sealocust. I would just add that your chances of obtaining riches improve dramatically if you can latch onto a good partner/group of attorneys and commit (early) to an in-demand specialty. You need to become an expert more quickly than many junior associates anticipate. I.e., if you're in lit you need to have the entire procedural back and forth of litigation in federal courts memorized (at least at a general level) before anyone will take you seriously inside or outside of your firm.

Follow-up question for this: At what point can we seriously start making choices about what type of law we want to practice? I don't mean the general "private practice" versus "wholesome public interest" debate. I mean if we know we want to do private practice and are considering the different fields available, is it really reasonable to even think about that before 2L?


Assuming you're committed to working for corporate overlords, you should think about whether you want to do corporate or litigation, and you should have tailored arguments as to why your academic performance, interests, and pre-law school background make you well suited to one or the other (or both) as you're going in to OCI. It's never too earlier to think about how you will sell yourself to employers, and pre-law school work experience matters a lot more than people think at OCI. I saw people with good, but not great, grades do much better than LR top 10% types because of their pre-law school experience in accounting, patent, etc.

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TripTrip
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Re: Remember when sticker at T10 seemed like a good idea?

Postby TripTrip » Sat Apr 13, 2013 11:14 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
TripTrip wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:Good post from sealocust. I would just add that your chances of obtaining riches improve dramatically if you can latch onto a good partner/group of attorneys and commit (early) to an in-demand specialty. You need to become an expert more quickly than many junior associates anticipate. I.e., if you're in lit you need to have the entire procedural back and forth of litigation in federal courts memorized (at least at a general level) before anyone will take you seriously inside or outside of your firm.

Follow-up question for this: At what point can we seriously start making choices about what type of law we want to practice? I don't mean the general "private practice" versus "wholesome public interest" debate. I mean if we know we want to do private practice and are considering the different fields available, is it really reasonable to even think about that before 2L?


Assuming you're committed to working for corporate overlords, you should think about whether you want to do corporate or litigation, and you should have tailored arguments as to why your academic performance, interests, and pre-law school background make you well suited to one or the other (or both) as you're going in to OCI. It's never too earlier to think about how you will sell yourself to employers, and pre-law school work experience matters a lot more than people think at OCI. I saw people with good, but not great, grades do much better than LR top 10% types because of their pre-law school experience in accounting, patent, etc.

Thanks!

Follow-up to the follow-up: is there a good resource for learning more about these? I'm admittedly under-educated about the differences.

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Tim0thy222
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Re: Remember when sticker at T10 seemed like a good idea?

Postby Tim0thy222 » Sat Apr 13, 2013 11:18 pm

thesealocust wrote:
sinfiery wrote:
TripTrip wrote:For anyone who skipped thesealocust's wall of text, go back and read it. It was very good.


Shameless self-promotion.

That was really good though. Thanks for taking the time to write that out.

That's much more positive than a lot of what I've read, and a stark contrast to things like those 2 scamblog letters that were posted.

It makes sticker look more reasonable.

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thesealocust
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Re: Remember when sticker at T10 seemed like a good idea?

Postby thesealocust » Sat Apr 13, 2013 11:19 pm

It's not hard to conceive of what litigation is.

For corporate, read barbarians at the gates. It's stylized but also 'real' and will hopefully give you some insight into the world of big firm corporate work, or at least why it exists. Following the WSJ, wsj law blog, NYTimes dealbook, etc. can also be helpful.

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Renne Walker
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Re: Remember when sticker at T10 seemed like a good idea?

Postby Renne Walker » Sat Apr 13, 2013 11:20 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:Assuming you're committed to working for corporate overlords. . . .

Corporate overlords. Ahhh, I remember you now. You got busted on a thread for pretending to be a V20 associate. But here you are again with your corporate overlords BS.

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Samara
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Re: Remember when sticker at T10 seemed like a good idea?

Postby Samara » Sat Apr 13, 2013 11:29 pm

TripTrip wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:Good post from sealocust. I would just add that your chances of obtaining riches improve dramatically if you can latch onto a good partner/group of attorneys and commit (early) to an in-demand specialty. You need to become an expert more quickly than many junior associates anticipate. I.e., if you're in lit you need to have the entire procedural back and forth of litigation in federal courts memorized (at least at a general level) before anyone will take you seriously inside or outside of your firm.

Follow-up question for this: At what point can we seriously start making choices about what type of law we want to practice? I don't mean the general "private practice" versus "wholesome public interest" debate. I mean if we know we want to do private practice and are considering the different fields available, is it really reasonable to even think about that before 2L?

I'm still just a 1L, so I will defer to the more learned minds ITT, but I came into law school with a pretty good idea of what I want to do and have since refined it into something very specific. I have found this to be of considerable help in my networking efforts and in determining which firms to target. I have been told it will be of considerable value in selling myself to the firms that do the type of work I am interested in and will make getting a job a lot easier. It may be a special case though because what I want is a certain sub-practice that happens to be in very high demand right now, at least in my market.

I also tailor my spiel to the firm I'm talking to, based on whether they do the work I want and/or their practice area specialties. I think it's important to stay flexible and open to different types of work within larger practice areas or the general litigation/transactional divide. But I don't think it's ever too early to start figuring out exactly what you want to do. I think it's actually pretty useful to do so.

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TripTrip
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Re: Remember when sticker at T10 seemed like a good idea?

Postby TripTrip » Sat Apr 13, 2013 11:36 pm

thesealocust wrote:It's not hard to conceive of what litigation is.
I suppose, but I still don't think I fully grasp what it entails.

thesealocust wrote:For corporate, read barbarians at the gates. It's stylized but also 'real' and will hopefully give you some insight into the world of big firm corporate work, or at least why it exists. Following the WSJ, wsj law blog, NYTimes dealbook, etc. can also be helpful.
Just added it to my kindle.

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: Remember when sticker at T10 seemed like a good idea?

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Sat Apr 13, 2013 11:41 pm

Renne Walker wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:Assuming you're committed to working for corporate overlords. . . .

Corporate overlords. Ahhh, I remember you now. You got busted on a thread for pretending to be a V20 associate. But here you are again with your corporate overlords BS.


Link? I don't remember when I was supposedly "busted" for pretending to be a V20 associate, but I can assure you that I'm a V20 associate. I can prove it to you in PM if you like.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Remember when sticker at T10 seemed like a good idea?

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Sat Apr 13, 2013 11:57 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
Renne Walker wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:Assuming you're committed to working for corporate overlords. . . .

Corporate overlords. Ahhh, I remember you now. You got busted on a thread for pretending to be a V20 associate. But here you are again with your corporate overlords BS.


Link? I don't remember when I was supposedly "busted" for pretending to be a V20 associate, but I can assure you that I'm a V20 associate. I can prove it to you in PM if you like.


A good rule of thumb on TLS is just ignore Renne Walker. It's not worth investing the time to see if she's being crazy or actually saying something of value.

20141023
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Re: Remember when sticker at T10 seemed like a good idea?

Postby 20141023 » Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:59 am

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Last edited by 20141023 on Mon Feb 16, 2015 5:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Clearly
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Re: Remember when sticker at T10 seemed like a good idea?

Postby Clearly » Sun Apr 14, 2013 1:13 am

kappycaft1 wrote:
thesealocust wrote:
kappycaft1 wrote:Do you all have any links that show data about how long associates last in biglaw? I keep hearing stats thrown around on TLS and elsewhere which state that [any number between 50 and 80] percent of biglaw associates only last for [any number between 2 and 5] years, and it isn't that I doubt this, but what is this based off of?

Also, what do current bonuses look like for new associates (assuming bonuses still exist), and is there anything that shows general trends of how much salaries/bonuses in biglaw increase each year?


Bonuses for first years were $10,000 last year and (IIRC) $7,500 the year before.

Attrition at the firms is on the order of 20% per year. That's REALLY high when you think about it, and it's slanted - almost nobody leaves before year one, not many leave before year two, and from there the proverbial floodgates open. Options become available and burnout becomes real.

If you look at the salary scale, you'll notice the largest baked-in raise comes after the third year. That's when an associate tends to be much more valuable to the firm - and also valuable to potential recruiters.

To see one reason why salaries increased (as did bonuses) see this article about Sullivan & Cromwell from boom-times: http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2007/01/24/sul ... te-morale/

30% attrition.
Unsustainable. And while maybe S&C was worse because it's stereotypically not a great working environment, all firms were struggling with attrition. That's how salaries got to where they are now.

- - - - -

Random aside about math and cost: If you look at life time earnings, I'd imagine most of the T14 are still worth their cost at sticker over time, on average. The problem is that if you fail to get biglaw (or whatever gov't/PI position you dreamed of) out of the gate, or flame out too soon, the fact that the 'average' result was highly lucrative relative to its cost won't help you with your debt.


Thanks! :mrgreen:

It was a great post. If it was in spreadsheet form it'd be exactly a post I expect from you haha

20141023
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Re: Remember when sticker at T10 seemed like a good idea?

Postby 20141023 » Sun Apr 14, 2013 1:27 am

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Last edited by 20141023 on Mon Feb 16, 2015 12:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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sinfiery
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Re: Remember when sticker at T10 seemed like a good idea?

Postby sinfiery » Sun Apr 14, 2013 1:29 am

kappycaft1 wrote:
Once I finally get my hands on the damn thing I'll post some info (probably in spreadsheet format) on here for 'yall.

Awesome, can't wait!

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thesealocust
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Re: Remember when sticker at T10 seemed like a good idea?

Postby thesealocust » Sun Apr 14, 2013 1:43 am

kappycaft1 wrote:
Clearlynotstefan wrote:It was a great post. If it was in spreadsheet form it'd be exactly a post I expect from you haha

:lol: Ah good ol' spreadsheets....

By the way, out of curiosity, I went ahead and bought the 2012 Associate Attrition Report that bk1 mentioned here, Unfortunately, even though it is in PDF format only and should thereby be distributed immediately upon purchase, I got an email stating that they would send it to me via email sometime within the next 7 days. :evil:

Once I finally get my hands on the damn thing I'll post some info (probably in spreadsheet format) on here for 'yall.


You're a hero of the revolution, that sounds awesome.

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Bronck
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Re: Remember when sticker at T10 seemed like a good idea?

Postby Bronck » Sun Apr 14, 2013 1:51 am

kappycaft1 wrote:
Clearlynotstefan wrote:It was a great post. If it was in spreadsheet form it'd be exactly a post I expect from you haha

:lol: Ah good ol' spreadsheets....

By the way, out of curiosity, I went ahead and bought the 2012 Associate Attrition Report that bk1 mentioned here, Unfortunately, even though it is in PDF format only and should thereby be distributed immediately upon purchase, I got an email stating that they would send it to me via email sometime within the next 7 days. :evil:

Once I finally get my hands on the damn thing I'll post some info (probably in spreadsheet format) on here for 'yall.


That's great. I can't wait to see some numbers

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Tom Joad
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Re: Remember when sticker at T10 seemed like a good idea?

Postby Tom Joad » Sun Apr 14, 2013 1:54 am

Bronck wrote:That's great. I can't wait to see some numbers

Are you a fan of horror movies?

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Bronck
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Re: Remember when sticker at T10 seemed like a good idea?

Postby Bronck » Sun Apr 14, 2013 1:55 am

Tom Joad wrote:
Bronck wrote:That's great. I can't wait to see some numbers

Are you a fan of horror movies?


You bet. Can't wait to see how terrible a decision it was for me to come to law school.

20141023
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Re: Remember when sticker at T10 seemed like a good idea?

Postby 20141023 » Sun Apr 14, 2013 2:06 am

.
Last edited by 20141023 on Mon Feb 16, 2015 12:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Tom Joad
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Re: Remember when sticker at T10 seemed like a good idea?

Postby Tom Joad » Sun Apr 14, 2013 2:07 am

kappycaft1 wrote:
Bronck wrote:
Tom Joad wrote:
Bronck wrote:That's great. I can't wait to see some numbers

Are you a fan of horror movies?

You bet. Can't wait to see how terrible a decision it was for me to come to law school.

Just as I can't wait to see what a terrible decision it is for me to go into almost $300k of debt in hopes of getting into biglaw. :lol:

It sounds like you currently have a job. You can still back out.

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TripTrip
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Re: Remember when sticker at T10 seemed like a good idea?

Postby TripTrip » Sun Apr 14, 2013 2:20 am

Tom Joad wrote:You can still back out.

Law school:
Image

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Clearly
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Re: Remember when sticker at T10 seemed like a good idea?

Postby Clearly » Sun Apr 14, 2013 2:25 am

TripTrip wrote:
Tom Joad wrote:You can still back out.

Law school:
Image

GREAT :lol:




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