How the Heck Do You Pay Back Sticker?

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NYstate
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Re: How the Heck Do You Pay Back Sticker?

Postby NYstate » Sun May 19, 2013 7:55 pm

I'm not sure why career professionals are so excited about a program that will kept them in debt for 25 years. Or 20 years.
But the worst part is that PAYE will eliminate any pressure on schools to not raise tuition or to stop living off the backs of the enormous loans taken on by students who have no other way to finance their education.

I see PAYE as the beginning of the end of reform.

It pisses me off because schools will use it for their benefit, not because students who need it are somewhat protected from crippling debt based on payments they can't possibly make.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: How the Heck Do You Pay Back Sticker?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sun May 19, 2013 8:00 pm

NYstate wrote:But the worst part is that PAYE will eliminate any pressure on schools to not raise tuition or to stop living off the backs of the enormous loans taken on by students who have no other way to finance their education.

It might reduce the pressure in one way, but the real pressure is coming from the fact that there are barely enough applicants to fill classes anymore. The existence of IBR for the last several years and PAYE for the last year haven't slowed that decline.

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sublime
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Re: How the Heck Do You Pay Back Sticker?

Postby sublime » Sun May 19, 2013 8:01 pm

..

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Bronte
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Re: How the Heck Do You Pay Back Sticker?

Postby Bronte » Sun May 19, 2013 8:06 pm

Others have already said it, but the premise of the thread is just not right. It does not require an extremely tight belt to pay off $250,000 in loans on five years of big law. The average after-tax, after-loan payment income is around $70,000. That does not require aggressive frugality.

Yes, most people leave in 3-5 years, but many of them go to other big firms. Most people can stay in big law for five years if it's financially necessary. There are reasons to worry about going to law school at sticker, but not being able to pay off your debt assuming you land big law is at best low on the list.

wisdom
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Re: How the Heck Do You Pay Back Sticker?

Postby wisdom » Sun May 19, 2013 9:01 pm

Bronte wrote:Others have already said it, but the premise of the thread is just not right. It does not require an extremely tight belt to pay off $250,000 in loans on five years of big law. The average after-tax, after-loan payment income is around $70,000. That does not require aggressive frugality.

Yes, most people leave in 3-5 years, but many of them go to other big firms. Most people can stay in big law for five years if it's financially necessary. There are reasons to worry about going to law school at sticker, but not being able to pay off your debt assuming you land big law is at best low on the list.


How are you figuring this? Your after-tax earnings at a law firm will be around $100-120K in your first few years at the law firm. To pay that off in five years, you would be paying something like $5k a month. So your first year you'll be living on 40K, which is NOT that easy in the big markets you'll likely be in to work in Big Law (NYC, DC, Chicago, LA, SF, etc.). Even with marginal salary bumps up to 120K post-tax (in your 3rd or 4th year at the firm), you'll be living on 60K post-tax.

Also keep in mind that a solid 30-40% of associates are out by the end of year two, about half by year three, paying off sticker is not that easy.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: How the Heck Do You Pay Back Sticker?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sun May 19, 2013 9:08 pm

wisdom wrote:
Bronte wrote:Others have already said it, but the premise of the thread is just not right. It does not require an extremely tight belt to pay off $250,000 in loans on five years of big law. The average after-tax, after-loan payment income is around $70,000. That does not require aggressive frugality.

Yes, most people leave in 3-5 years, but many of them go to other big firms. Most people can stay in big law for five years if it's financially necessary. There are reasons to worry about going to law school at sticker, but not being able to pay off your debt assuming you land big law is at best low on the list.


How are you figuring this? Your after-tax earnings at a law firm will be around $100-120K in your first few years at the law firm. To pay that off in five years, you would be paying something like $5k a month. So your first year you'll be living on 40K, which is NOT that easy in the big markets you'll likely be in to work in Big Law (NYC, DC, Chicago, LA, SF, etc.). Even with marginal salary bumps up to 120K post-tax (in your 3rd or 4th year at the firm), you'll be living on 60K post-tax.

Also keep in mind that a solid 30-40% of associates are out by the end of year two, about half by year three, paying off sticker is not that easy.

It's 25% by the end of year 3 and 65% by the end of year 5. And many of those go to other firms. Paying off 250K in loans might not be easy in five years but I think the real point is that for someone who gets BigLaw the loans aren't going to present some unclearable hurdle.

kappycaft1 wrote:Well, I finally got my hands on The NALP Foundation’s “2012 Update on Associate Attrition for Calendar Year 2011,” and I even made some kick-ass Google spreadsheets from the data, but I was denied access to share them by NALP. So… I am going to have to simply state points that I thought were interesting here. Before that, however, I would highly recommend that anyone who is considering going to law school read their report as it is literally a goldmine of information; it shows what percentage of associates (broken down into categories of new-hires, lateral hires, male, female, minority, etc.) leave what size firms and after how many years, as well as why they leave and where they end up going.

Synopsis:
Biglaw firms lost roughly 69% of their entry-level associates within the first 5 years, but only a quarter within the first 3 years. Apparently only about a quarter of the associate departures were desired by the law firms, whereas roughly half of the departures were unwanted (the remaining attrition was viewed neutrally). As for where the entry-level associates ended up after leaving their firms, slightly less than half moved to associate positions at other legal firms, and one-fifth of them moved in house with corporate counsels. Unfortunately, there is no way to tell how many of these associates that lateraled into other law firms went to a smaller firm (biglaw to midlaw, midlaw to shitlaw, etc.). Additionally, only 2% of departing associates went to judicial clerkships, and NALP doesn’t break this down into “type” of clerkship, so there is no way to tell how many of these were AIII clerkships, although we know it is a max of 2%. In conclusion, it looks like roughly 31% of entry-level associates are still with their firms after 5 years when it comes to the largest firms (501+ attorneys); this number is slightly higher for other large firms (101-250 attorneys). Of the 69% that leave, approximately 73% end up in decent legal employment such as law firm associate, law firm partner, judicial clerk, other governmental legal job, and corporate in-house counsel. Accordingly, 31% + 50% (73% of 69%) = 81% of entry-level associates are still in some sort of (presumably) decent legal position at the end of year 5.


http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/v ... &start=208

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Bronte
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Re: How the Heck Do You Pay Back Sticker?

Postby Bronte » Sun May 19, 2013 9:23 pm

wisdom wrote:
Bronte wrote:Others have already said it, but the premise of the thread is just not right. It does not require an extremely tight belt to pay off $250,000 in loans on five years of big law. The average after-tax, after-loan payment income is around $70,000. That does not require aggressive frugality.

Yes, most people leave in 3-5 years, but many of them go to other big firms. Most people can stay in big law for five years if it's financially necessary. There are reasons to worry about going to law school at sticker, but not being able to pay off your debt assuming you land big law is at best low on the list.


How are you figuring this? Your after-tax earnings at a law firm will be around $100-120K in your first few years at the law firm. To pay that off in five years, you would be paying something like $5k a month. So your first year you'll be living on 40K, which is NOT that easy in the big markets you'll likely be in to work in Big Law (NYC, DC, Chicago, LA, SF, etc.). Even with marginaspreadsheet bumps up to 120K post-tax (in your 3rd or 4th year at the firm), you'll be living on 60K post-tax.

Also keep in mind that a solid 30-40% of associates are out by the end of year two, about half by year three, paying off sticker is not that easy.


I have a spreadsheet that I can post when I am at my computer, which won't be until tomorrow. But I am including the stub year and using the Cravath scale plus bonus. Yes, in your first year it will be closer to $40 or $50 thousand after payments and taxes. This is not the high life in New York, but it is not extreme frugality. Note also that the average law school debt is closer to $100,000 than $250,000.

Regarding attrition, as Tiago mentioned you are overestimating. Further, the people that leave in the first couple years are mostly not being forced out. Many of them probably have less debt or a spouse who is also a high earner. They also do not necessary exit big law or exit to a sub-six figure salary. Some of them also likely exit into positions that allow them to take advantage of loan repayment assistance. There's self selection at play.

The point is that you can pay down sticker in big law and live a life that is more comfortable than that of the vast majority of Americans.

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feralinfant
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Re: How the Heck Do You Pay Back Sticker?

Postby feralinfant » Sun May 19, 2013 9:40 pm

Bronte wrote:
The point is that you can pay down sticker in big law and live a life that is more comfortable than that of the vast majority of Americans.


50k post tax? Might as well just skip law school and go on welfare.

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Bronte
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Re: How the Heck Do You Pay Back Sticker?

Postby Bronte » Sun May 19, 2013 10:13 pm

feralinfant wrote:
Bronte wrote:
The point is that you can pay down sticker in big law and live a life that is more comfortable than that of the vast majority of Americans.


50k post tax? Might as well just skip law school and go on welfare.


Well yeah obviously that's like one day's interest on my trust fund, but I'm just saying for poors it probably seems like a lot.

californiauser
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Re: How the Heck Do You Pay Back Sticker?

Postby californiauser » Mon May 20, 2013 12:49 am

Bronte wrote:
wisdom wrote:
Bronte wrote:The point is that you can pay down sticker in big law and live a life that is more comfortable than that of the vast majority of Americans.


This is a simplistic outlook. Sure you're making good money, but when you calculate your hourly wage, you really aren't doing that well. Plus when you consider lost time with friends/family, dry cleaning, suits, eating out, and other seemingly 'mandatory' luxury expenses, you really aren't doing THAT much better than someone working 9-5 for 50k. Couple all this with MFH prices and NYC taxes, then you have a more realistic outlook.

You can penny-pinch, sure, but I'm willing to bet the vast majority of big law associates aren't penny-pinching.

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Re: How the Heck Do You Pay Back Sticker?

Postby ManoftheHour » Mon May 20, 2013 1:08 am

Man, this shit is bananas. I can't believe so many people pay sticker for TTTs.

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sublime
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Re: How the Heck Do You Pay Back Sticker?

Postby sublime » Mon May 20, 2013 1:10 am

..

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ManoftheHour
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Re: How the Heck Do You Pay Back Sticker?

Postby ManoftheHour » Mon May 20, 2013 1:16 am

sublime wrote:
ManoftheHour wrote:Man, this shit is bananas. I can't believe so many people pay sticker for TTTs.



I asked earlier, but what happens to those people if they don't get legal jobs. At a TTT or anywhere?


Probably default on their loans and have their lives ruined. TLS might have saved me from becoming one of them. I almost took an offer from a T25 at sticker for a 20% chance at big law.

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Bronte
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Re: How the Heck Do You Pay Back Sticker?

Postby Bronte » Mon May 20, 2013 8:43 am

californiauser wrote:
Bronte wrote:
wisdom wrote:
Bronte wrote:The point is that you can pay down sticker in big law and live a life that is more comfortable than that of the vast majority of Americans.


This is a simplistic outlook. Sure you're making good money, but when you calculate your hourly wage, you really aren't doing that well. Plus when you consider lost time with friends/family, dry cleaning, suits, eating out, and other seemingly 'mandatory' luxury expenses, you really aren't doing THAT much better than someone working 9-5 for 50k. Couple all this with MFH prices and NYC taxes, then you have a more realistic outlook.

You can penny-pinch, sure, but I'm willing to bet the vast majority of big law associates aren't penny-pinching.


First, it's $50k after taxes, which is comparable to a $70k annual salary. So the comparison is not to people that are "working 9-5 for 50k." Second, it depends on what your other options were (i.e., "opportunity costs"). People on here tend to pretend like the non-law market is booming and our peers that chose not to go to law school are just rolling in $70k, 9-5 jobs. This is not the case in my experience. Third, that is just the first year take-home. It increases fairly rapidly after that.

All of this adds up to what I've already said: no, big law plus sticker does not equal financial hardship. But in the end you're right: law school is not a road to riches. More important than the three points I made above, however, is that when you're done you come out the other side a practicing lawyer. If this is not something that interests you in its own right, then you definitely should not do law school at sticker.

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ph5354a
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Re: How the Heck Do You Pay Back Sticker?

Postby ph5354a » Mon May 20, 2013 9:42 am

I don't think anyone's arguing that aggressive loan payments allow you to be better off than somebody making $50k (after taxes) and working 9-5, but this hypothetical repayment plan would pay off sticker loans in 5-7 years. After that, whether you're still in big law or have lateraled out somewhere, your monthly discretionary income effectively doubles, which doesn't happen for those truly making a $50-70k salary. Granted, I think it takes a large amount of discipline to look at that big beautiful paycheck every month and then say goodbye to half of it. Like others have mentioned, I would guess that most people don't end up being as aggressive with their loan payments as they thought they would be.

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Borhas
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Re: How the Heck Do You Pay Back Sticker?

Postby Borhas » Mon May 20, 2013 10:26 am

sublime wrote:
ManoftheHour wrote:Man, this shit is bananas. I can't believe so many people pay sticker for TTTs.



I asked earlier, but what happens to those people if they don't get legal jobs. At a TTT or anywhere?


go to jdunderground.com

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: How the Heck Do You Pay Back Sticker?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Mon May 20, 2013 10:30 am

Bronte wrote:
californiauser wrote:The point is that you can pay down sticker in big law and live a life that is more comfortable than that of the vast majority of Americans.

This is a simplistic outlook. Sure you're making good money, but when you calculate your hourly wage, you really aren't doing that well. Plus when you consider lost time with friends/family, dry cleaning, suits, eating out, and other seemingly 'mandatory' luxury expenses, you really aren't doing THAT much better than someone working 9-5 for 50k. Couple all this with MFH prices and NYC taxes, then you have a more realistic outlook.

You can penny-pinch, sure, but I'm willing to bet the vast majority of big law associates aren't penny-pinching.


First, it's $50k after taxes, which is comparable to a $70k annual salary. So the comparison is not to people that are "working 9-5 for 50k." Second, it depends on what your other options were (i.e., "opportunity costs"). People on here tend to pretend like the non-law market is booming and our peers that chose not to go to law school are just rolling in $70k, 9-5 jobs. This is not the case in my experience. Third, that is just the first year take-home. It increases fairly rapidly after that.

All of this adds up to what I've already said: no, big law plus sticker does not equal financial hardship. But in the end you're right: law school is not a road to riches. More important than the three points I made above, however, is that when you're done you come out the other side a practicing lawyer. If this is not something that interests you in its own right, then you definitely should not do law school at sticker.

You're exactly right. The entitlement of whining about "but after taxes and after paying off a big chunk of my loans ahead of schedule I'll *only* be making the same as someone with a $70,000 salary (assuming that person doesn't also have all kinds of debt obligations, which they probably do)" is really pretty gross. If the question is "how the heck do you pay back sticker" while working in NYC biglaw, it's "live like you're making $70k a year," which is actually very comfortable if you don't make idiotic financial decisions. If the question is "how am I supposed to live the baller lifestyle I deserve while paying back sticker," then honestly, get off my lawn.

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Re: How the Heck Do You Pay Back Sticker?

Postby kingjones59 » Mon May 20, 2013 11:04 am

dixiecupdrinking wrote:
Bronte wrote:
californiauser wrote:The point is that you can pay down sticker in big law and live a life that is more comfortable than that of the vast majority of Americans.

This is a simplistic outlook. Sure you're making good money, but when you calculate your hourly wage, you really aren't doing that well. Plus when you consider lost time with friends/family, dry cleaning, suits, eating out, and other seemingly 'mandatory' luxury expenses, you really aren't doing THAT much better than someone working 9-5 for 50k. Couple all this with MFH prices and NYC taxes, then you have a more realistic outlook.

You can penny-pinch, sure, but I'm willing to bet the vast majority of big law associates aren't penny-pinching.


First, it's $50k after taxes, which is comparable to a $70k annual salary. So the comparison is not to people that are "working 9-5 for 50k." Second, it depends on what your other options were (i.e., "opportunity costs"). People on here tend to pretend like the non-law market is booming and our peers that chose not to go to law school are just rolling in $70k, 9-5 jobs. This is not the case in my experience. Third, that is just the first year take-home. It increases fairly rapidly after that.

All of this adds up to what I've already said: no, big law plus sticker does not equal financial hardship. But in the end you're right: law school is not a road to riches. More important than the three points I made above, however, is that when you're done you come out the other side a practicing lawyer. If this is not something that interests you in its own right, then you definitely should not do law school at sticker.

You're exactly right. The entitlement of whining about "but after taxes and after paying off a big chunk of my loans ahead of schedule I'll *only* be making the same as someone with a $70,000 salary (assuming that person doesn't also have all kinds of debt obligations, which they probably do)" is really pretty gross. If the question is "how the heck do you pay back sticker" while working in NYC biglaw, it's "live like you're making $70k a year," which is actually very comfortable if you don't make idiotic financial decisions. If the question is "how am I supposed to live the baller lifestyle I deserve while paying back sticker," then honestly, get off my lawn.


Not to mention if you are living with a SO that makes, at a minimum, 40K a year, you both are now in your mid to late twenties with an after student loan debt obligation pre-tax income of $110K. Median household income in NYC is ~40K. What a terrible financial situation that is, to be still 3x the median household salary in the city you live in even AFTER paying >$50K in loans each year.

Jesus Christ you guys, you will live.

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jbagelboy
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Re: How the Heck Do You Pay Back Sticker?

Postby jbagelboy » Mon May 20, 2013 12:21 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:
Bronte wrote:
californiauser wrote:The point is that you can pay down sticker in big law and live a life that is more comfortable than that of the vast majority of Americans.

This is a simplistic outlook. Sure you're making good money, but when you calculate your hourly wage, you really aren't doing that well. Plus when you consider lost time with friends/family, dry cleaning, suits, eating out, and other seemingly 'mandatory' luxury expenses, you really aren't doing THAT much better than someone working 9-5 for 50k. Couple all this with MFH prices and NYC taxes, then you have a more realistic outlook.

You can penny-pinch, sure, but I'm willing to bet the vast majority of big law associates aren't penny-pinching.


First, it's $50k after taxes, which is comparable to a $70k annual salary. So the comparison is not to people that are "working 9-5 for 50k." Second, it depends on what your other options were (i.e., "opportunity costs"). People on here tend to pretend like the non-law market is booming and our peers that chose not to go to law school are just rolling in $70k, 9-5 jobs. This is not the case in my experience. Third, that is just the first year take-home. It increases fairly rapidly after that.

All of this adds up to what I've already said: no, big law plus sticker does not equal financial hardship. But in the end you're right: law school is not a road to riches. More important than the three points I made above, however, is that when you're done you come out the other side a practicing lawyer. If this is not something that interests you in its own right, then you definitely should not do law school at sticker.

You're exactly right. The entitlement of whining about "but after taxes and after paying off a big chunk of my loans ahead of schedule I'll *only* be making the same as someone with a $70,000 salary (assuming that person doesn't also have all kinds of debt obligations, which they probably do)" is really pretty gross. If the question is "how the heck do you pay back sticker" while working in NYC biglaw, it's "live like you're making $70k a year," which is actually very comfortable if you don't make idiotic financial decisions. If the question is "how am I supposed to live the baller lifestyle I deserve while paying back sticker," then honestly, get off my lawn.


Lol, I feel like the people with this brand of entitlement usually had mommy and daddy pay for law school anyway. Now those people live the baller life in NYC with no debt. Geez what a world.

Peyton
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Re: How the Heck Do You Pay Back Sticker?

Postby Peyton » Mon May 20, 2013 12:44 pm

$150K debt @6.5% over 10 years = $20K a year. I figure a 100K income is $70K net. Minus debt leaves you with $50K (roughly 1K a week),

I do not know all the ins-outs, but if one could string out the payments over 20 years, the debt is $13K a year. Doable if you live in a middle-sized southern or midwestern city (e.g. Montgomery, Savannah, OKC, etc.) where the pay is probably $75K and after all (tax, debt) is said and done you have roughly $44K a year to get by on. Then hope the pay increases with your experience.

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Bronte
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Re: How the Heck Do You Pay Back Sticker?

Postby Bronte » Mon May 20, 2013 12:54 pm

As promised, here is a spreadsheet that demonstrates that paying down $250,000 in debt over the course of five years in big law on the Cravath scale results in an average after-tax, after-loan payment salary of roughly $70,000 a year: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc ... aVHc#gid=0. In summary:

Image

This assumes $250,000 in debt, a 40% tax rate, and a 7.5% interest rate. These are fairly conservative assumptions, as many people who pay sticker will likely have closer to $225,000 in debt, a 35% tax rate, and a 7.0% interest rate. It also assumes the Cravath scale plus bonuses and incorporates a 3-month stub year. This is a less conservative assumption but is essentially the base case for New York big law.

toothbrush
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Re: How the Heck Do You Pay Back Sticker?

Postby toothbrush » Mon May 20, 2013 1:02 pm

Damn, that looks good to me.

NanaP
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Re: How the Heck Do You Pay Back Sticker?

Postby NanaP » Mon May 20, 2013 1:02 pm

WOW...almost 5K a month in loans a month...crazy that some people pay sticker for schools......

NYstate
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Re: How the Heck Do You Pay Back Sticker?

Postby NYstate » Mon May 20, 2013 1:05 pm

Bronte wrote:Others have already said it, but the premise of the thread is just not right. It does not require an extremely tight belt to pay off $250,000 in loans on five years of big law. The average after-tax, after-loan payment income is around $70,000. That does not require aggressive frugality.

Yes, most people leave in 3-5 years, but many of them go to other big firms. Most people can stay in big law for five years if it's financially necessary. There are reasons to worry about going to law school at sticker, but not being able to pay off your debt assuming you land big law is at best low on the list.


Question: how many people in this thread or on this forum who are paying sticker will make five years in big law? I think it is a very small percentage,even for T14 grads.

Have any of you guys been to law school or actually worked in big law? I've lost track.
Last edited by NYstate on Mon May 20, 2013 1:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Rahviveh
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Re: How the Heck Do You Pay Back Sticker?

Postby Rahviveh » Mon May 20, 2013 1:08 pm

NYstate wrote:
Bronte wrote:Others have already said it, but the premise of the thread is just not right. It does not require an extremely tight belt to pay off $250,000 in loans on five years of big law. The average after-tax, after-loan payment income is around $70,000. That does not require aggressive frugality.

Yes, most people leave in 3-5 years, but many of them go to other big firms. Most people can stay in big law for five years if it's financially necessary. There are reasons to worry about going to law school at sticker, but not being able to pay off your debt assuming you land big law is at best low on the list.


Question: how many people in this thread or on this forum who are paying sticker will make five years in big law? I think it is a very small percentage - even for T14 grads.

Have any of you guys been to law school or actually worked in big law? I've lost track.


Read Tiago's posts a few posts above you.

For that first year, is it really realistic to live off $44k after taxes and payments unless you have roommates? That's 4k a month and at least $2500 is gobbled up by rent in NY.




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