NYstate wrote:I don't have debt so I can't help you. I wouldn't want to live here on $40,000 when my income is 4 times that. I don't know anyone who lives on 40,000 though it has to be possible. I think borrowing sticker and planning to live like a student while you work long hours is a stupid decision. I also wouldn't count on the best hiring figures to be in place in a few years. Biglaw is changing but everyone calculates their future on stats that may not be accurate.
People advocating paying sticker are usually looking to the best possible outcome of every statistic. I haven't seen one budget that anticipates where rent will be in NYC in three years, for example. I'm done with trying to convince people not to borrow sticker. Most everyone has dollar signs in their eyes and can't seem to figure out any other possible career.
My bigger concern is how many people end up hating biglaw and the practice of law entirely. You guys like to rely on stats and percentages but they are all about income and the likelihood you might be able to keep your job. ( Of course lathaming and the ongoing stealth layoffs are ignored- not everyone who leaves biglaw gets another comparable job.)
No one has considered how deeply unhappy many people are and how desperately they want to get out of biglaw. Working all the time wears people down and starts to ibreak them. There really aren't stats on that. I think most biglaw lawyers hate it.
Once you dig yourself in with mountains of debt, it isn't easy to dig out. I think many 0Ls are just looking at the hypothetical biglaw salary they are going to earn and plan their theoretical budgets, but very few consider the actual work they will be doing, the hours and the stress.
Some people love biglaw. Make sure you are one of them before you bind your future to needing biglaw. One test is to consider how much energy you have. Another test is how much down time you need and how important your hobbies are to you. One more: have you burned yourself out in the past?
1. OP already showed that it's possible to live on 50k, a year in NY. Plus if you're working tons of long firm hours I don't see why you would desire a larger apartment or luxurious lifestyle, you won't have the time to be enjoying them.
2. I'm not relying at all on people enjoying biglaw, merely saying they will have to suck it up and work in it for 3 years at least or 5 at best to have an easy shot at paying off the debt AND THEN moving into a much more desirable and easy position. After all, it is work and we're in the U.S., not Europe, almost any profession you're going to be working long difficult hours at first. Or else don't even bother being a lawyer and just do something with easier solid hours and without the pay.
3. It's not my job telling an OP if they're going to enjoy doing BIGLAW or not, they can figure that out for themselves and do the research, just to inform them that yes it is feasible for paying off the debt and then lateraling somewhere more desirable.
4. Whether OP goes to NYU or Duke it's the same biglaw option, so by your logic he's better off going to a TT or TTT for free and then work in a 60-70k paying 8-5 job?