lavarman84 wrote:Also, UVA, you're defining litigation boutique pretty narrowly. I wouldn't call every small litigation firm a boutique, but there are certainly more out there than just the big name prestigious ones. And I'll also say that this forum tends to have a more pessimistic outlook at career paths than many normal people. As NotSkadden pointed out, there are a lot of people out there who wouldn't bat an eyelash at taking a $50,000 to $65,000 job at a small firm or in a JD advantage position (especially considering one's potential to advance and earn in the six figures down the line).
You're right, I defined it overly narrowly, and there are certainly more lit boutiques than Keker and Desmarais. My point wasn't that the available lit boutiques is tiny, but more that the number of lit boutiques that will compensate well to make this kind of decision not a mistake is a really small and finite set of firms, and more importantly, getting hired by those "lit boutiques" will be more competitive than the biglaw the person wants more. Gunning for lit boutiques is arguably much worse than gunning for biglaw, regardless which school you're attending, much less treating it as a back-up plan to missing biglaw.
Yea but a lot of people end up having no issue with a $55,000 to $65,000 starting salary. I know what OP's goals are now, but goals tend to change in law school. I expect NotSkadden wasn't referring to a litigation boutique like Keker. I expect he was referring to a small firm with a starting salary like the one I referenced above that does civil litigation.
Again, people who went to top law schools don't have the same perspective that someone who didn't has. I have friends who are incredibly happy with their job at a small law firm making $50,000 to $60,000 a year starting. I have friends who are incredibly happy with JD advantage jobs making $60,000 to $70,000 per year starting. As long as a person makes a reasonable decision in regards to the debt they take out, they can be very happy with these jobs that TLSers treat as inferior. Even if a person doesn't get biglaw, he might end up with a job he likes. He might end up with a job he likes a hell of a lot more than biglaw.
I also know people who are currently unemployed. That is part of the risk and isn't something that should be ignored.
This entire conversation hinges on the risk profile of a given person, and I accept that, but there is no requirement that a person give bad advice because the person is seeking bad advice.
There is no requirement you give advice. You can just leave when the person ignores what you tell him. But many here can't do that. They have to stay, fight, and insult. It's not your decision. It's not your life. There's no reason to take it so personally. You're not going to change a person's mind by insulting them.
If an entire chorus of people tells someone they're making a mistake, it's arguably more helpful than picking the less bad option because it shows a bunch of internet strangers think it is a bad decision. Or they could dismiss that advice because they believe the anonymous masses are wrong. Either way, TLS should do its best to give the best advice to people, not to give the best advice relative to the narrow parameters the OP sets out. FWIW, Hofstra for cheap is the much better option for the OP if they insist on going, but that should come with a healthy dose of reality that Biglaw is entirely unlikely, and any back-up plan that consists of making a decently high salary, at least initially, is also unlikely. If the person is comfortable with that reality, fine. But that still doesn't mean people like NotSkadden should be touting naked confirmation bias of it being a sound plan because it worked out for them. It's great that it worked out, to be sure, but that path is not easily repeatable, and further, it shouldn't cause someone who went that path to recommend others go that path in hindsight. Luck isn't something anyone should bank on when a profession and a lot of money is on the line.
I have no issue with NotSkadden telling people to take that path if he doesn't hide the ball. Tell them what the odds of success are. Explain that they need to have realistic backup plans. Discuss the risks. That gives the person all the information needed to make a decision.