Expected Earnings During Law School

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Kostya
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Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2015 9:24 am

Expected Earnings During Law School

Postby Kostya » Mon Mar 09, 2015 10:39 am

Hi everyone. I'm trying to work through the financial aspects of attending law school and was wondering if anyone has an idea of what I can expect to earn during the summers, as well as second and third years of law school. I know that it can vary widely depending upon whether you are an SA or work for a public interest agency, but even a range would be helpful.

In short, my questions are:

What can I expect to earn over my 1L summer?
What can I expect to earn over my 2L summer?
What can I expect to earn during my 2L year?
What can I expect to earn during my 3L year?

Any and all information (or speculation) is appreciated. I'm quite debt-averse, so knowing how much I can support myself will make a difference in determining what schools are an option for me next year.

Thanks!

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minnbills
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Re: Expected Earnings During Law School

Postby minnbills » Mon Mar 09, 2015 10:41 am

You should expect to make nothing

Kostya
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Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2015 9:24 am

Re: Expected Earnings During Law School

Postby Kostya » Mon Mar 09, 2015 10:47 am

Are paid positions that rare? Or is the difference in what I could expect to make as a student at school A vs. school B just negligible in deciding which school to attend?

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minnbills
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Re: Expected Earnings During Law School

Postby minnbills » Mon Mar 09, 2015 11:01 am

Kostya wrote:Are paid positions that rare? Or is the difference in what I could expect to make as a student at school A vs. school B just negligible in deciding which school to attend?


It's just totally unpredictable. You can't predict at all where you're going to land or how the job search will go for you, regardless of where you go to school.

My advice is to assume you make nothing and go from there. If you go to a T6 then I would feel more comfortable counting on SA money, though.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Expected Earnings During Law School

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Mar 09, 2015 11:02 am

Paid positions 1L summer are quite rare, so many people do some kind of public interest position so they can get funding from their school (I want to say it's maybe $4000-ish?). You can certainly compare the summer funding that different schools make available to their students, but it's not something I would use to choose a school unless absolutely everything else was equal.

Paid positions 2L summer are not very rare around here, given the schools most people are considering, but yes, if you get a paid summer associate job at a big law firm they pretty much pay the same (there may be some variations where smaller markets pay less). If you don't get a job at a big law firm, it's going to vary widely (from hourly rate for a small firm to a public interest stipend again if you follow that path for a second summer). Because most people who work at big law firms get their permanent post-grad jobs as a result of their 2L jobs, looking at overall employment stats will likely allow you to compare schools in this regard (that is, people who have biglaw jobs at graduation probably got paid whatever the going rate is during their 2L job. I think for NYC firms that's $3000/week? Can't remember).

As for during the 2L and 3L school years, that completely depends on how much you work and where you work - it's impossible to predict how many hours you will be willing to work and what salary you can command. I would say that's much more about the individual student than it is about the school (with the caveat that a school in a larger metro area will probably provide more work opportunities than one in, say, a small rural area).

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JCougar
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Re: Expected Earnings During Law School

Postby JCougar » Mon Mar 09, 2015 11:27 am

1L summer: almost everything is unpaid.
2L summer: a lot of things are still unpaid, but I think there's probably more paid than unpaid. Pay varies from close to minimum wage to Biglaw, which is like a couple thousand per week.

Stuff during the semester varies just like 2L summer salaries, except it's more limited on the high-end.

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Broncos847
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Re: Expected Earnings During Law School

Postby Broncos847 » Tue Mar 10, 2015 6:11 pm

Anyone work part time during 2L and 3L year? I have a good amount of restaurant experience and I was wondering if it's at all feasible to work a few weekend shifts during the school year. 200 bucks a week would do wonderful things to COA.

pjohnstron0626
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Re: Expected Earnings During Law School

Postby pjohnstron0626 » Tue Mar 17, 2015 11:55 am

I noticed on ND's website that they have an RA type position that provides some additional funding for entering 1Ls. Are there any other schools with financial opportunities greater than the 12$/hr work study. I'm not inquiring about large merit-awards given out by FinAid offices, but more university wide opportunities that law students may qualify for.

Do any T14 schools have RAs, teaching assistants, or any other obscure titles that give broke 1L's a chance to cut down debt? Does anyone have experience in this regard?




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