job prospects for the middle of the pack

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theduder
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job prospects for the middle of the pack

Postby theduder » Fri May 20, 2011 11:46 pm

Everyone goes to school thinking they will be top 10%, but we all know that is not the way it works out. So what are the job prospects for people who are right around 50% at places like Vandy, Texas, UCLA, GT, etc.? I'm from Texas and thinking UT might be the best choice because it seems to do really well in Texas if you want to stay there and the price is hard to beat. But what if you go to Texas and want to branch out to another region? Would 50% at UT land a good job in Texas? What about in other regions like the South (Atlanta, Charlotte, Birmingham)? Thoughts?

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: job prospects for the middle of the pack

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Sat May 21, 2011 12:04 am

Define "good job."

theduder
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Re: job prospects for the middle of the pack

Postby theduder » Sat May 21, 2011 12:15 am

A "good job" would probably depend on the person, but for me, I would like an opportunity to do something while maintaining a legitimate balance between work and actual life (say 50-60 hours per week), and earn around 65-70k per year to start. I don't care if its in-house, mid-law, a small firm, or government if the job was right (I know gov jobs arent gonna pay that much). My question was meant to address what sorts of opportunities await a middle of the pack type student from a place like Texas. Also, I'm curious of the opportunities of a Texas student with average grades in Texas versus in other regions, such as the South. Maybe my expectations for a middler are crazy, but I'd like some insight.

8ballistic
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Re: job prospects for the middle of the pack

Postby 8ballistic » Sat May 21, 2011 12:21 am

if 65k starting is the start of "good job" territory, then 50% at texas will get you there. of course, you also have to service debt on that salary.

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theduder
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Re: job prospects for the middle of the pack

Postby theduder » Sat May 21, 2011 12:26 am

let's assume zero debt

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: job prospects for the middle of the pack

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Sat May 21, 2011 12:30 am

If you have no ties to any of the out-of-state southern markets, you will have a tough time making $70,000+ right out of law school if you are a median candidate at UT.

Granted, you could make that much in Texas from the median of UT as the jobs in Texas pay more than in the other southern markets (in general). However, once you branch out of state, it's unlikely that you will receive a starting salary that high in the south from median at UT as most secondary market employers/offices expect at least top 33%.

NoJob
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Re: job prospects for the middle of the pack

Postby NoJob » Sat May 21, 2011 3:04 pm

8ballistic wrote:if 65k starting is the start of "good job" territory, then 50% at texas will get you there. of course, you also have to service debt on that salary.

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Not likely. Why? Take a look at the bimodal salary distribution in law salaries. First, since the OP is only top 50%, OP, short of blatant nepotism, will not work in biglaw. Thus, forget all jobs that pay a 100K+.

Now, even if the OP is lucky to get a job, salaries in shitlaw are not paying anywhere near 65k. With that ranking, OP has the chance of securing no employment or working in doc review where OP will probably make a yearly salary that qualifies OP for food stamps and medicaid (if the dildo Repubs don't take it away). OP, there are many T14 grads slaving away in doc review. They are bright people, too.

So, OP don't go. Or, if you are there now, drop out. OP, you asked a good question which shows to me that your brain will be wasted in law.

8ballistic
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Re: job prospects for the middle of the pack

Postby 8ballistic » Sat May 21, 2011 3:16 pm

NoJob wrote:
8ballistic wrote:if 65k starting is the start of "good job" territory, then 50% at texas will get you there. of course, you also have to service debt on that salary.

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Not likely. Why? Take a look at the bimodal salary distribution in law salaries. First, since the OP is only top 50%, OP, short of blatant nepotism, will not work in biglaw. Thus, forget all jobs that pay a 100K+.

Now, even if the OP is lucky to get a job, salaries in shitlaw are not paying anywhere near 65k. With that ranking, OP has the chance of securing no employment or working in doc review where OP will probably make a yearly salary that qualifies OP for food stamps and medicaid (if the dildo Repubs don't take it away). OP, there are many T14 grads slaving away in doc review. They are bright people, too.

So, OP don't go. Or, if you are there now, drop out. OP, you asked a good question which shows to me that your brain will be wasted in law.

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Did you look at that? Assuming that everyone who is employed privately but not reporting salary is working shitlaw for under 65k, still 42.3% of people are making 145k or more and 7.4% are article three clerks. So 49.7% are making six figures or are almost certain to be making six figures in a year.

NoJob
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Re: job prospects for the middle of the pack

Postby NoJob » Sat May 21, 2011 3:18 pm

Aberzombie1892 wrote:Granted, you could make that much in Texas from the median of UT as the jobs in Texas pay more than in the other southern markets (in general).


Your reliance on a single median is flawed. Google bimodal salary in law.

8ballistic
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Re: job prospects for the middle of the pack

Postby 8ballistic » Sat May 21, 2011 3:20 pm

NoJob wrote:
Aberzombie1892 wrote:Granted, you could make that much in Texas from the median of UT as the jobs in Texas pay more than in the other southern markets (in general).


Your reliance on a single median is flawed. Google bimodal salary in law.

fiftieth percentile is the definition of median

scammedhard
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Re: job prospects for the middle of the pack

Postby scammedhard » Sat May 21, 2011 3:23 pm

8ballistic wrote:
NoJob wrote:
Aberzombie1892 wrote:Granted, you could make that much in Texas from the median of UT as the jobs in Texas pay more than in the other southern markets (in general).


Your reliance on a single median is flawed. Google bimodal salary in law.

fiftieth percentile is the definition of median

True. But since salaries for recent law graduates don't follow a Gaussian distribution, the actual median is pretty useless.

8ballistic
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Re: job prospects for the middle of the pack

Postby 8ballistic » Sat May 21, 2011 3:30 pm

Yeah, I would say that the drop off from median to bottom 25th percentile at UT is probably pretty severe. But if you are around median you should be able to make over 65k. UT is a great school and Texas is a great market.

JD2014
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Re: job prospects for the middle of the pack

Postby JD2014 » Sat May 21, 2011 6:30 pm

Google bimodal salary in law


If the OP is interested in salary data for University of Texas grads working in Texas, and reasonably reliable data exists for UT grads, why would he instead pull up data on salary for graduates of 200 different law schools working across the country?

Also, the bimodal salary argument is usually used to shoot down people who say they don't want Biglaw, but they still want a 6 figure salary. $65k isn't being very aggressive. In fact, if you do Google bimodal salary, $65k is at the high end of the dreaded Shitlaw hump. Based on the graph, 55% of law school grads are making $65k or more. 55% of all law school grads didn't finish in the top half of their class, and didn't go to a top 20 school. Additionally, these numbers appear to be all salaries, so it would include people in PI and government work. In short, if you finish above median at a top 20 law school and go into private practice, your odds of clearing $65k are pretty good.

Now, why people want to go to school for 3 years to make $65k while taking on $200,000 in debt to accomplish this is another question. (I know that isn't OPs situation, but the question is still valid)

theduder
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Re: job prospects for the middle of the pack

Postby theduder » Sat May 21, 2011 6:58 pm

One of the things I am trying to get out of this question is what real opportunities exist out there besides biglaw. All you ever really hear about is biglaw, government, and PI work. I know there is in-house work, mid and small firms, but it is hard to get much information on who gets those types of jobs, what the grades needed for serious consideration are, and what the pay is. As to why I am willing to possibly go to school for 3 years even if it means an initial starting salary of around 65k, 1/3 of the class will have a real chance at biglaw and biglaw's salary. While it is a gamble, there are few routes that offer one with a 1/3 chance of pulling in that type of money as a 25 year old. In other words, some people will "win" their bets. In fact, it seems like a lot do. Even assuming I am not one of the "winners," initial starting salaries do not tell the entire story. I would like to think, but am open for someone to explain otherwise, that over the course of a 40 year professional career (spanning from 25 to 65) having a JD from a top 20 school will open more doors than not having that JD. Times have changed, but there appear to be plenty of attorneys who went to fine schools, never worked in biglaw, but live comfortable and seemingly happy lives doing whatever it is they do. I guess the point is that saving 120k by not going to law school and actually working those 3 years will, in the short term, put you in a better financial position. However, over a 40 year career I tend to think that a JD from a place like Vandy, Texas, GT, or UCLA (graduating around 50%- however once you graduate and have your first job, I would imagine companies/firms/clients will judge you more on your actual performance and results while working more so than the grades you got 10 years prior) would earn you more than the 250k one might save/make without going to law school over those three years. This is speculative, but it is what I believe. If anyone thinks/has evidence otherwise, please chime in. I realize the possibility of debt changes this line of thinking fundamentally.

JD2014
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Re: job prospects for the middle of the pack

Postby JD2014 » Sat May 21, 2011 8:06 pm

over a 40 year career I tend to think that a JD ...would earn you more than the 250k one might save/make without going to law school over those three years


It all depends on what you do in law, and what you would have otherwise done. Mark Zuckerberg is probably pretty glad he never went to law school, but I doubt Harvey Miller regrets it.

One of the things I am trying to get out of this question is what real opportunities exist out there besides biglaw


One issue I would bring up in your plan is that the typical 22 year old law student wants to do OCI after 1L, get a Biglaw job at 160, and then figure things out. If you have no idea what you want to do, and don't plan on doing the standard plan, you might want to consider working between undergrad and law school to develop an alternative. Having some work experience in the legal industry or elsewhere would help you get a job at a smaller firm that has some kind of niche, rather than ending up doing something shitty like creditor representation, insurance defense, or municipal court work. I know people in each of these fields, and while bad grades hurt them, a lot of it is that if you’re not trying to get somewhere, you aren’t going to go anywhere.

Most people will tell you there is no such thing as Midlaw, which is wrong, but the jobs aren't especially numerous, and a lot of people working there either started somewhere bad and worked their way up, or had something on their resume (e.g. prior work as an actuary or accountant) that made them attractive candidates.

In the meantime, you could look at the NLJ250 law firms and Infirmation (links below) to research law firms in Texas, and the list of emplyers of recent UT grads. If your school has an account with Vault, that would also be helpful.

http://www.infirmation.com/shared/insid ... l?state=TX
http://www.ilrg.com/nlj250
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JD2014
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Re: job prospects for the middle of the pack

Postby JD2014 » Sat May 21, 2011 8:16 pm

I know there is in-house work, mid and small firms, but it is hard to get much information on who gets those types of jobs, what the grades needed for serious consideration are, and what the pay is.


Additionally, it's worth noting that a number of legal jobs, especially in-house work, are really only open to people who are transitioning out of Biglaw.

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minnbills
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Re: job prospects for the middle of the pack

Postby minnbills » Sun May 22, 2011 4:05 pm

JD2014 wrote:
I know there is in-house work, mid and small firms, but it is hard to get much information on who gets those types of jobs, what the grades needed for serious consideration are, and what the pay is.


Additionally, it's worth noting that a number of legal jobs, especially in-house work, are really only open to people who are transitioning out of Biglaw.


Not if you go through compliance, though comp is obviously not "in-house" in the sense you're talking about.

09042014
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Re: job prospects for the middle of the pack

Postby 09042014 » Sun May 22, 2011 4:27 pm

You've got some chance at making big law. Not that you should expect it at Median, but it's not rare.

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robotclubmember
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Re: job prospects for the middle of the pack

Postby robotclubmember » Sun May 22, 2011 6:45 pm

nojob sounds bitter cos he's got no job. if you're targeting the texas market, UT is a hell of a school that opens up a lot of opportunities. if you're at or above 50%, and you have some social skills, you'll find a way to hack it.

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gwuorbust
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Re: job prospects for the middle of the pack

Postby gwuorbust » Sun May 22, 2011 8:59 pm

at UT median you will find something, though it probably won't be BigLaw. That said, it doesn't mean that you won't find options at median.

To believe that the only options that exist are government, BigLaw, and Public Interest is silly. The majority of legal employment is in other fields. But be aware. You could working on fender benders for 50k per year. Ideal? No. But a very possible result.

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in my eyes
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Re: job prospects for the middle of the pack

Postby in my eyes » Thu May 26, 2011 11:03 am

When you're in the middle of the pack (and this includes T14) previous work experience and being a great interviewee are absolutely necessary for getting ANY position. ITE "great" jobs are virtually nonexistent for middle of the packers but that all depends on how you define great. For the purposes of this thread we'll define great to mean biglaw/top banking/prestigious clerkships.

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johnnyutah
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Re: job prospects for the middle of the pack

Postby johnnyutah » Thu May 26, 2011 11:13 am

theduder wrote:Everyone goes to school thinking they will be top 10%, but we all know that is not the way it works out. So what are the job prospects for people who are right around 50% at places like Vandy, Texas, UCLA, GT, etc.? I'm from Texas and thinking UT might be the best choice because it seems to do really well in Texas if you want to stay there and the price is hard to beat. But what if you go to Texas and want to branch out to another region? Would 50% at UT land a good job in Texas? What about in other regions like the South (Atlanta, Charlotte, Birmingham)? Thoughts?

I can't speak to Texas in particular, but as a roughly top 40% middle-of-the-pack student at a t-14, I have say a couple of general things.

If you don't get a job through OCI - which you shouldn't bank on if you're in the middle at these schools - then your grades aren't determinative. Your ability to network and make connections with people will be the thing that gets you a job. I have classmates who are more or less in the middle of the pack with me, but who do not have postgraduation jobs, mostly because they didn't do the networking bullshit you have to. Basically, your job prospects from this position are theoretically decent, but only if you really apply yourself to meeting people and actively developing relationships with people who can help you find work.




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