Career alternatives to law?

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Voltaire_X
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Career alternatives to law?

Postby Voltaire_X » Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:00 am

I'm talking about essentially "get rich" professions. As far as I can know, it seems that there are only three fields that have average high end salaries comparable to law: medicine, finance, business. Medicine I can understand, however, the other two I cannot. I see posts all the time about biglaw attorneys being passed up by their MBA friends, but I don't actually understand what those jobs are and how people get them.

Is it more likely to end up with a high ($250,000+) salary by going into business rather than law? If so, what specifically would you be doing? How does one get one of these jobs? How are the hours compared to biglaw?

I understand how a few people can get really really wealthy by going into finance. However, it seems to me that most of the people in finance are busting their asses working 70 hours a week for $70-$150k. Are you really more likely to break into the $250,000+ range by trying to work your way up in finance as opposed to biglaw?

Thanks,
V

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Veyron
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Re: Career alternatives to law?

Postby Veyron » Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:18 am

This post is the stuff TTT dreams are made of.

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deebs
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Re: Career alternatives to law?

Postby deebs » Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:23 am

free lance designer - work your own hours and charge 2k a week

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NYC Law
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Re: Career alternatives to law?

Postby NYC Law » Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:28 am

Don't go to law school to get rich, it's a horrible idea and there's a 95% chance it won't happen.

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ADks
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Re: Career alternatives to law?

Postby ADks » Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:31 am

As long as you love what you do, you'll be rich in happiness

LOL

There are thousands of opportunities to get rich in ANY profession as long as you either work really hard or get lucky. Good luck with your quest. You probably don't want to do law though a MBA is so much easier.

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cinephile
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Re: Career alternatives to law?

Postby cinephile » Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:37 am

Just marry a rich guy.

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NYC Law
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Re: Career alternatives to law?

Postby NYC Law » Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:42 am

ADks wrote: You probably don't want to do law though a MBA is so much easier.


Disagree with the advice to just get an MBA. MBA prospects are complete shit right now outside the top 10 schools, and many are similar to Law School in terms of tuition. Most MBA programs are like souped up TTT's, just slightly cheaper since it's for 2 years as opposed to 3.

ahnhub
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Re: Career alternatives to law?

Postby ahnhub » Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:43 am

I always feel stupid answering stuff like this when I'm like 33% sure it's a flame. Whatever...

I think business/finance/consulting probably give you a better chance of making 250K+ over the long haul. 'Business' can mean anything, but here I mean something like an executive-level employee at a F500 company. But in business/finance the path to the big paycheck is a lot less structured, and unpredictable. You work your way up/get a prestigious MBA and land a gig from there, etc.

Most doctors will make less than 250K for mid-career pay, I think. But there are lots of exceptions for desirable specialties, which can command salaries of up to 500K. Medicine is by far the most secure and risk-averse, because there is always more demand than supply.

Law has a certain subset where entry-levels make 160K, with pay increases for about 7 years (I think NYC Biglaw associates usually max out then, at about 250K). And there is a fairly predictable path (at least, it was fairly predictable pre-ITE) to getting one of those jobs--go to a good school, get good grades, do OCI, get offered. But law firm associates' careers diverge wildly 3-6 years into their first job. Some will stay and make partner, and possibly become multi-millionaires. Some will move to smaller firms and take a pay cut (but possibly they may make partner there). Some will go in-house. Some will take on a non-legal job with a client. Some will just hate it so much they drop out and become teachers or something.

indo
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Re: Career alternatives to law?

Postby indo » Tue Dec 13, 2011 3:42 am

cinephile wrote:Just marry a rich guy.

how about marry a rich woman lol

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MTal
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Re: Career alternatives to law?

Postby MTal » Tue Dec 13, 2011 3:50 am

If the path to riches were so clear and straightforward, wouldn't everyone just take it? Capitalism is a meritocracy...if you want to get rich, you have to be truly innovative and invent something which currently doesn't exist and that other people find useful. Unfortunately, this is becoming more difficult as all the easy things have already been invented, so to invent things which are new and useful is requiring a higher and higher knowledge base.

People should be happy with a 55k salary and working for 40 years, eventually topping out around 100k. Unless you are a genius, or have certain very unique aptitudes, that is where you belong.

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Veyron
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Re: Career alternatives to law?

Postby Veyron » Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:35 am

all the easy things have already been invented


People have been saying this for the past 150 years, you would think that its silliness would be apparent by now. If anything, the prevalence of open source platforms like Android means that its easier than ever (not easy, mind) to profit from ingenuity.

Voltaire_X
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Re: Career alternatives to law?

Postby Voltaire_X » Tue Dec 13, 2011 5:00 am

ahnhub wrote:I always feel stupid answering stuff like this when I'm like 33% sure it's a flame. Whatever...

I think business/finance/consulting probably give you a better chance of making 250K+ over the long haul. 'Business' can mean anything, but here I mean something like an executive-level employee at a F500 company. But in business/finance the path to the big paycheck is a lot less structured, and unpredictable. You work your way up/get a prestigious MBA and land a gig from there, etc.

Most doctors will make less than 250K for mid-career pay, I think. But there are lots of exceptions for desirable specialties, which can command salaries of up to 500K. Medicine is by far the most secure and risk-averse, because there is always more demand than supply.

Law has a certain subset where entry-levels make 160K, with pay increases for about 7 years (I think NYC Biglaw associates usually max out then, at about 250K). And there is a fairly predictable path (at least, it was fairly predictable pre-ITE) to getting one of those jobs--go to a good school, get good grades, do OCI, get offered. But law firm associates' careers diverge wildly 3-6 years into their first job. Some will stay and make partner, and possibly become multi-millionaires. Some will move to smaller firms and take a pay cut (but possibly they may make partner there). Some will go in-house. Some will take on a non-legal job with a client. Some will just hate it so much they drop out and become teachers or something.


Thanks for your reply. Very helpful.

Completely disregarding salary and hours, law clearly seems to be the most appealing profession to me. I think I'll end up sticking with that goal. People say the job prospects are bad, but they are almost as bad in most other fields.

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MTal
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Re: Career alternatives to law?

Postby MTal » Tue Dec 13, 2011 5:03 am

Veyron wrote:
If anything, the prevalence of open source platforms like Android means that its easier than ever (not easy, mind) to profit from ingenuity.


Do you not see the contradiction in this statement? If it is easier than ever to profit from ingenuity, and everyone is doing it, then........?

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Veyron
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Re: Career alternatives to law?

Postby Veyron » Tue Dec 13, 2011 5:41 am

MTal wrote:
Veyron wrote:
If anything, the prevalence of open source platforms like Android means that its easier than ever (not easy, mind) to profit from ingenuity.


Do you not see the contradiction in this statement? If it is easier than ever to profit from ingenuity, and everyone is doing it, then........?


Is there some fixed limit on how many people can profit from it? Different people designing different things, moving the ball forward.

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20130312
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Re: Career alternatives to law?

Postby 20130312 » Tue Dec 13, 2011 8:13 am

Voltaire_X wrote:I'm talking about essentially "get rich" professions.


Stopped reading here. This is not the right reason to go into a profession. You will fail.

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: Career alternatives to law?

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Tue Dec 13, 2011 9:11 am

OP, you're doing it wrong.

Statistically speaking, your chances of ever making $150,000 or higher is much better with an MBA than an JD. However, your chances of ever making over $250,000 even with a top MBA are slim. Businessweek did a study on MBA salaries 5, 10, 20 years out among the top 40 MBA schools, and no school had graduates making $250,000 or more on average 20 years out (although Harvard, Stanford, and Penn had 20 year salaries above $200,000).

I believe payscale did a study that said that Stanford law grads make the most down the road, so for you (and your goals of using academics to be "rich," as opposed to creativity and hard work), I would recommend the following:

1. Get an undergraduate degree in Petroleum Engineering
2. Acquire 5 years of experience (with your entry level pay of $100,0000, no less)
3. Apply to, get accepted by, and graduate from Stanford's JD/MBA program
4. ????
5. Profit

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vanwinkle
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Re: Career alternatives to law?

Postby vanwinkle » Tue Dec 13, 2011 9:23 am

MTal wrote:If the path to riches were so clear and straightforward, wouldn't everyone just take it?

I can't believe I'm doing this, but... +1 to MTal.

Of course, we don't live in a pure meritocracy. But the general point is still valid; there are not many high-income jobs, and only a few will ever earn them. When a path to wealth becomes "clear", it rapidly becomes clogged with tagalongs. An MBA isn't worth as much by itself as it used to be, now that everyone is trying to get one. Whatever the next big thing will be, it will get quickly crowded with hopefuls, too.

Become a doctor. There will always be sick people.

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chem
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Re: Career alternatives to law?

Postby chem » Tue Dec 13, 2011 9:25 am

Aberzombie1892 wrote:OP, you're doing it wrong.

Statistically speaking, your chances of ever making $150,000 or higher is much better with an MBA than an JD. However, your chances of ever making over $250,000 even with a top MBA are slim. Businessweek did a study on MBA salaries 5, 10, 20 years out among the top 40 MBA schools, and no school had graduates making $250,000 or more on average 20 years out (although Harvard, Stanford, and Penn had 20 year salaries above $200,000).

I believe payscale did a study that said that Stanford law grads make the most down the road, so for you (and your goals of using academics to be "rich," as opposed to creativity and hard work), I would recommend the following:

1. Get an undergraduate degree in Petroleum Engineering
2. Acquire 5 years of experience (with your entry level pay of $100,0000, no less)
3. Apply to, get accepted by, and graduate from Stanford's JD/MBA program
4. ????
5. Profit


Petroleum Engineering is the most god awful, boring branch of engineering there is. Not to mention the oil industry has crazy oscillations about every seven years. JD+PE basically makes you a land man, and your only looking at 150K right there, even with experience, as well as being one of the most disregarded and disreputable people in the engineering industry. Don't know anything about PE+ MBA though

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Veyron
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Re: Career alternatives to law?

Postby Veyron » Tue Dec 13, 2011 12:43 pm

Aberzombie1892 wrote:OP, you're doing it wrong.

Statistically speaking, your chances of ever making $150,000 or higher is much better with an MBA than an JD. However, your chances of ever making over $250,000 even with a top MBA are slim. Businessweek did a study on MBA salaries 5, 10, 20 years out among the top 40 MBA schools, and no school had graduates making $250,000 or more on average 20 years out (although Harvard, Stanford, and Penn had 20 year salaries above $200,000).

I believe payscale did a study that said that Stanford law grads make the most down the road, so for you (and your goals of using academics to be "rich," as opposed to creativity and hard work), I would recommend the following:

1. Get an undergraduate degree in Petroleum Engineering
2. Acquire 5 years of experience (with your entry level pay of $100,0000, no less)
3. Apply to, get accepted by, and graduate from Stanford's JD/MBA program
4. ????
5. Profit


Do these numbers take bonuses into account?

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PennQuaker
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Re: Career alternatives to law?

Postby PennQuaker » Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:21 pm

If you want to rake in the dough, get into Hedge Funds or Private Equity. Those are the ones who make the real money-

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PennQuaker
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Re: Career alternatives to law?

Postby PennQuaker » Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:28 pm

ahnhub wrote:I always feel stupid answering stuff like this when I'm like 33% sure it's a flame. Whatever...
Medicine is by far the most secure and risk-averse
b

Ever heard of medical malpractice, and how malpractice insurance causes doctors to get out of the profession by the time their 40 there Einstein?(Not to mention the effect Obamacare will have)

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20130312
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Re: Career alternatives to law?

Postby 20130312 » Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:30 pm

PennQuaker wrote:
ahnhub wrote:I always feel stupid answering stuff like this when I'm like 33% sure it's a flame. Whatever...
Medicine is by far the most secure and risk-averse
b

Ever heard of medical malpractice, and how malpractice insurance causes doctors to get out of the profession by the time their 40 there Einstein?(Not to mention the effect Obamacare will have)


Can't tell if serious. Either way, the truth of the matter is that there is an abundance of medical jobs and a derth of finance and legal jobs.

Excuse me, jerbs.

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chem
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Re: Career alternatives to law?

Postby chem » Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:34 pm

InGoodFaith wrote:
PennQuaker wrote:
ahnhub wrote:I always feel stupid answering stuff like this when I'm like 33% sure it's a flame. Whatever...
Medicine is by far the most secure and risk-averse
b

Ever heard of medical malpractice, and how malpractice insurance causes doctors to get out of the profession by the time their 40 there Einstein?(Not to mention the effect Obamacare will have)


Can't tell if serious. Either way, the truth of the matter is that there is an abundance of medical jobs and a derth of finance and legal jobs.

Excuse me, jerbs.


But I think he is saying that medicine is a path to a job, but not necessarily a job that rakes in 250k, as the high paying jobs, such as surgeons and specialists, are probably as hard or harder to get then biglaw.

Otherwise youll be doing a field of medicine that sits at about a biglaw salary, maybe less, maybe more. Guarunteed mostly, but definitely more debt and more schooling

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20130312
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Re: Career alternatives to law?

Postby 20130312 » Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:36 pm

There's obviously a risk vs reward component. My point was just that medicine is a more stable job.

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Perdevise
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Re: Career alternatives to law?

Postby Perdevise » Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:31 pm

The medical school test is more difficult than the LSAT (it has logical reasoning components, math and science and two graded essays). And medical school seats are super competitive. One does not simply walk into an MD.




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