Career alternatives to law?

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PennQuaker
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Re: Career alternatives to law?

Postby PennQuaker » Tue Dec 13, 2011 3:51 pm

Perdevise wrote: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.

RIGHT...and you know what's even more competitive and "harder to get into than that"-being a pro athlete. It's called simple supply and demand economics

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20130312
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Re: Career alternatives to law?

Postby 20130312 » Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:07 pm

Perdevise wrote: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.


InGoodFaith wrote:Medicine is a more stable job.


Not sure what you are trying to counter.

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Gail
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Re: Career alternatives to law?

Postby Gail » Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:09 pm

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


Even for those that it does happen to. You aren't getting rich. You want rich, get an MBA. The highest paid lawyers will live off of the crumbs of the highest paid businessmen.

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20130312
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Re: Career alternatives to law?

Postby 20130312 » Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:12 pm

Gail wrote:You want rich, get an MBA.


Another oft quoted fallacy. Similar to the legal profession, there's a heavy supply of MBAs and not quite enough jobs to go around. Especially not in i-banking or other "get rich" jobs (consulting comes to mind).

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happyshapy
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Re: Career alternatives to law?

Postby happyshapy » Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:15 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)


Even without obamacare medicine is no longer a sure thing. Insurance companies will fight you tooth and nail to avoid paying what they owe you no matter what your practice is in.

Flanker1067
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Re: Career alternatives to law?

Postby Flanker1067 » Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:18 pm

What's with everyone assuming biglaw is the highest paid legal career? Big time plaintiff's lawyers make huge money. I'm not suggesting that this is easy or possible for many, but using it when comparing industries is important, since it's probably comparably hard to making bank as a VC out of business school or getting into the most lucrative medical field.

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AreJay711
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Re: Career alternatives to law?

Postby AreJay711 » Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:22 pm

If you want to get rich, you need to start your own business. So you need to get into a field where that is possible -- and ideally one that you like so when your business fails you will still be happy doing the work.

If I went back in time to live my dreams, I'd have gone to the merchant marine academy, got a job at a shipping company and hopefully saved up enough money to open up a yacht chartering company. I'd sail rich people around, maybe hire a cook, and live the life I've always wanted. But I decided to go with the theory of second best :cry: #Lost Dreams

ahnhub
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Re: Career alternatives to law?

Postby ahnhub » Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:33 pm

What's with everyone assuming biglaw is the highest paid legal career? Big time plaintiff's lawyers make huge money


What I think needs to be distinguished is actual chance of making $$$, and the predictability and risk-reward of the path.

Yes, there are many high-profile plaintiff's lawyers who make more than Biglaw lawyers. But how did they get there? Either they were tremendously lucky, or had an insane amount of chutzpah/pluck/charisma. Law draws a lot of smart risk-averse people who hedge their risk by getting awesome grades and LSAT scores so they can get into top schools. They don't want to be Johnny Cochran. They want expense accounts and offices in big shiny NY skyscrapers and Fortune 500 clients. Plus, I would say the chances of a Biglaw associate becoming a millionaire partner is better than the chance of someone who starts out in small-law becoming a millionaire plaintiff's lawyer.

As to medicine--malpractice aside, I would argue that getting into any accredited medical school gives you a stronger certainty of employment than getting into Harvard Law. The barriers to entry are undoubtedly much, much higher in medicine but once you're in you actually are pretty much assured a stable living.

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: Career alternatives to law?

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Tue Dec 13, 2011 8:08 pm

Veyron wrote:
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?


It states "cash compensation," so presumably yes. However, it wouldn't include stock and other benefits, and those items would easily make up for the difference on average (and together they would likely be a multiple of the cash compensation).

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Gail
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Re: Career alternatives to law?

Postby Gail » Tue Dec 13, 2011 8:31 pm

InGoodFaith wrote:
Gail wrote:You want rich, get an MBA.


Another oft quoted fallacy. Similar to the legal profession, there's a heavy supply of MBAs and not quite enough jobs to go around. Especially not in i-banking or other "get rich" jobs (consulting comes to mind).



True. I should have retracted that. Get an MBA from a top 7

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monkey85
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Re: Career alternatives to law?

Postby monkey85 » Tue Dec 13, 2011 8:39 pm

Gail wrote:True. I should have retracted that. Get an MBA from a top 7


Not even. Top 5 or bust. Even within the Top 5, the only reliable MBAs are from Wharton or MIT (they can actually do finance), nothing trustworthy under the hood of HBS grads.

Voltaire_X
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Re: Career alternatives to law?

Postby Voltaire_X » Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:15 am

InGoodFaith wrote:
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.


I never said I was going to go into a professional solely based off of the "get rich" potential. The purpose of this thread was for me to collect information about high income jobs in various fields. Salary is a not the only factor in my choice of profession.

At this point I think I am going to go with law. Even if I don't become a millionaire biglaw partner or plaintiff lawyer, the career still appeals to me in most ways. The only thing that doesn't appeal to me are the hours, but I could always settle for a lower salary in exchange for better hours.

charliep
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Re: Career alternatives to law?

Postby charliep » Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:25 am

What's this "obamacare?" is it anything like the patient protection and affordable care act?

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Gecko of Doom
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Re: Career alternatives to law?

Postby Gecko of Doom » Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:31 am

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Last edited by Gecko of Doom on Tue Oct 02, 2012 6:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PennQuaker
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Re: Career alternatives to law?

Postby PennQuaker » Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:10 pm

Aberzombie1892 wrote:
Veyron wrote:
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?


It states "cash compensation," so presumably yes. However, it wouldn't include stock and other benefits, and those items would easily make up for the difference on average (and together they would likely be a multiple of the cash compensation).

Have you NEVER read an annual report or taking an entry level Accounting Course? Newsflash: "executive compensation" INCLUDES stock options/awards AND other benefits-IT's the law that you publicly traded companies MUST disclose those for top officers.

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Gail
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Re: Career alternatives to law?

Postby Gail » Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:21 pm

Image

redbullvodka
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Re: Career alternatives to law?

Postby redbullvodka » Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:29 pm

Just want to put something out there that I feel like this thread/these boards in general seem to take for granted:

While it's more likely to land a stable career financially in medicine than law, there are a lot of caveats to keep in mind.

1. I would argue against anybody that a medical residency is infinitely harder work than being a biglaw associate. Residency is a consistent 80 hour/week grind, for something much more aligned with "shitlaw" pay (40-50K). We often joke that biglaw associates have to live at the office to get that requisite 2000+ billable hours total; medical residents actually can and will sleep at the hospital in between shifts, and don't have the "option" of shooting for lower hours.

2. The debt load is massive; most doctors don't even come close to the amount of income to touch their loans until post-residency, and that might even be longer if they do a fellowship. Law grads complain about servicing loans at shitlaw pay; doctors do this without a choice.

3. The majority of physicians will earn 6 figures; a minority will eclipse 200K, so don't try and create a grass-is-greener situation. Neither profession is a path to riches automatically, and even less so in this day and age.

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Re: Career alternatives to law?

Postby redbullvodka » Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:31 pm

Obviously being unemployed doesn't happen that often in medicine, and especially compared to law students. However, I'd venture a guess that t-14 unemployment a few years down the road is about the same as MD unemployment, and I still think getting accepted to a lot of average med schools is harder than a t-14 acceptance.

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PennQuaker
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Re: Career alternatives to law?

Postby PennQuaker » Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:32 pm

redbullvodka wrote:Just want to put something out there that I feel like this thread/these boards in general seem to take for granted:

While it's more likely to land a stable career financially in medicine than law, there are a lot of caveats to keep in mind.

1. I would argue against anybody that a medical residency is infinitely harder work than being a biglaw associate. Residency is a consistent 80 hour/week grind, for something much more aligned with "shitlaw" pay (40-50K). We often joke that biglaw associates have to live at the office to get that requisite 2000+ billable hours total; medical residents actually can and will sleep at the hospital in between shifts, and don't have the "option" of shooting for lower hours.

2. The debt load is massive; most doctors don't even come close to the amount of income to touch their loans until post-residency, and that might even be longer if they do a fellowship. Law grads complain about servicing loans at shitlaw pay; doctors do this without a choice.

3. The majority of physicians will earn 6 figures; a minority will eclipse 200K, so don't try and create a grass-is-greener situation. Neither profession is a path to riches automatically, and even less so in this day and age.

Everything you said is true, except about residency-they've "softened" it up significantly. It's no longer the slave labor it used to be(I have multiple MDs in the family.)

redbullvodka
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Re: Career alternatives to law?

Postby redbullvodka » Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:35 pm

I'd still argue it's harder or at the very least eqiuvalent to biglaw, minus the pay. Agreed? Father/Uncle are MDs as well.

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20130312
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Re: Career alternatives to law?

Postby 20130312 » Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:52 pm

redbullvodka wrote:I'd still argue it's harder or at the very least eqiuvalent to biglaw, minus the pay. Agreed? Father/Uncle are MDs as well.


Sure, but still a more stable profession in terms of jerb prospects.

005618502
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Re: Career alternatives to law?

Postby 005618502 » Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:55 pm

redbullvodka wrote:Just want to put something out there that I feel like this thread/these boards in general seem to take for granted:

While it's more likely to land a stable career financially in medicine than law, there are a lot of caveats to keep in mind.

1. I would argue against anybody that a medical residency is infinitely harder work than being a biglaw associate. Residency is a consistent 80 hour/week grind, for something much more aligned with "shitlaw" pay (40-50K). We often joke that biglaw associates have to live at the office to get that requisite 2000+ billable hours total; medical residents actually can and will sleep at the hospital in between shifts, and don't have the "option" of shooting for lower hours.

2. The debt load is massive; most doctors don't even come close to the amount of income to touch their loans until post-residency, and that might even be longer if they do a fellowship. Law grads complain about servicing loans at shitlaw pay; doctors do this without a choice.

3. The majority of physicians will earn 6 figures; a minority will eclipse 200K, so don't try and create a grass-is-greener situation. Neither profession is a path to riches automatically, and even less so in this day and age.


I agree with you here. My uncle just started a job as a cardiologist (finally) and he is in his late 30s. He did take a couple years practicing in the military to forgive portion of loans, but still he didnt start making good money until his LATE 30s! (starting salary 275K). Even if you are super proactive and finish your residency when you are 30 (4 years UG, 4 years MED and 4 years residency) thats still 5 years that someone with a JD at 25 (4 years UG, 3 years LS) has been making money. If you get biglaw you CAN pay off your loans in 5 years (living frugal of course).

All I am trying to say is doctors reach decent earnings much later in life than lawyers, which is something else that you need to think about.

**And yes I agree that they are more likely overall to find a job. Even one paying 6 figures. But I would take biglaw lawyer over doctor from a pure money aspect every time.

lexdiamonds
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Re: Career alternatives to law?

Postby lexdiamonds » Wed Dec 14, 2011 2:04 pm

redbullvodka wrote:Just want to put something out there that I feel like this thread/these boards in general seem to take for granted:

While it's more likely to land a stable career financially in medicine than law, there are a lot of caveats to keep in mind.

1. I would argue against anybody that a medical residency is infinitely harder work than being a biglaw associate. Residency is a consistent 80 hour/week grind, for something much more aligned with "shitlaw" pay (40-50K). We often joke that biglaw associates have to live at the office to get that requisite 2000+ billable hours total; medical residents actually can and will sleep at the hospital in between shifts, and don't have the "option" of shooting for lower hours.

2. The debt load is massive; most doctors don't even come close to the amount of income to touch their loans until post-residency, and that might even be longer if they do a fellowship. Law grads complain about servicing loans at shitlaw pay; doctors do this without a choice.

3. The majority of physicians will earn 6 figures; a minority will eclipse 200K, so don't try and create a grass-is-greener situation. Neither profession is a path to riches automatically, and even less so in this day and age.


1. The difference between medicine and biglaw is that post-residency, you're almost guaranteed a salary that is in the 6 figures, which is enough to pay back your debt. Yes, residency is equivalent to shitlaw in pay but unlike shitlaw, residency isn't some career pit that more or less dooms you to financial hardship should you choose to remain in the field. Residency actually trains you to do a job, and do it well.

2. The debt load is huge, but once again unlike in law, where 70% of today's grads will NEVER make the salary necessary to pay back their 100k loans, it's extremely rare for doctors to suffer similar issues. No, they won't pay their loans back for 15 years or so, but they have a much better likelyhood of being able to do so. Fellowships aside, most physicians WILL be able to pay back the debt and lead decent upper-middle class lives. Few lawyers graduating these days can say the same.

3. Not true. 60% of physicians are specialists, while 40% are in primary care (paediatrics, general practice, internal medicine) and of those in primary care, the median salary is about 190k, whereas for specialists its over 300k. As a physician, there's a fairly good chance that you'll make more than 200k


Biglaw will get you more money earlier, but in terms of lifetime earnings the doctor probably wins long-term. Not to mention he has greater job security since, with biglaw, you either make partner or get the pink slip.

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PennQuaker
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Re: Career alternatives to law?

Postby PennQuaker » Wed Dec 14, 2011 2:24 pm

lexdiamonds wrote:
redbullvodka wrote:Just want to put something out there that I feel like this thread/these boards in general seem to take for granted:

While it's more likely to land a stable career financially in medicine than law, there are a lot of caveats to keep in mind.

1. I would argue against anybody that a medical residency is infinitely harder work than being a biglaw associate. Residency is a consistent 80 hour/week grind, for something much more aligned with "shitlaw" pay (40-50K). We often joke that biglaw associates have to live at the office to get that requisite 2000+ billable hours total; medical residents actually can and will sleep at the hospital in between shifts, and don't have the "option" of shooting for lower hours.

2. The debt load is massive; most doctors don't even come close to the amount of income to touch their loans until post-residency, and that might even be longer if they do a fellowship. Law grads complain about servicing loans at shitlaw pay; doctors do this without a choice.

3. The majority of physicians will earn 6 figures; a minority will eclipse 200K, so don't try and create a grass-is-greener situation. Neither profession is a path to riches automatically, and even less so in this day and age.


1. The difference between medicine and biglaw is that post-residency, you're almost guaranteed a salary that is in the 6 figures, which is enough to pay back your debt. Yes, residency is equivalent to shitlaw in pay but unlike shitlaw, residency isn't some career pit that more or less dooms you to financial hardship should you choose to remain in the field. Residency actually trains you to do a job, and do it well.

2. The debt load is huge, but once again unlike in law, where 70% of today's grads will NEVER make the salary necessary to pay back their 100k loans, it's extremely rare for doctors to suffer similar issues. No, they won't pay their loans back for 15 years or so, but they have a much better likelyhood of being able to do so. Fellowships aside, most physicians WILL be able to pay back the debt and lead decent upper-middle class lives. Few lawyers graduating these days can say the same.

3. Not true. 60% of physicians are specialists, while 40% are in primary care (paediatrics, general practice, internal medicine) and of those in primary care, the median salary is about 190k, whereas for specialists its over 300k. As a physician, there's a fairly good chance that you'll make more than 200k


Biglaw will get you more money earlier, but in terms of lifetime earnings the doctor probably wins long-term. Not to mention he has greater job security since, with biglaw, you either make partner or get the pink slip.

You all are making it way too complicated, here's the deal: The level of education, training and specialization to become a doctor is greater, but on the average, if you become a specialist in a field like radiology, cardiology,etc. you will make a shitload(many make in the 7 figures annually). It's a simple supply/demand thing.If you become a generalist, you will make a nice stable living(likely 6 figures, but w/ Medicare/Medicaid/Insurance bs, don't count on it-plus there is excess supply.) Regardless, whatever type of medicine you pursue there will be inherent risks(what happens with Obamacare for example), and medical malpractice insurance will cut into a huge chunk of your profits(causes many doctors to stop practicing.)

With respect to law, using BigLaw as a measuring stick is probably NOT the best example because there are so few jobs, and with the continued downsizing, mergering of firms, etc. it will be even less.

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20130312
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Re: Career alternatives to law?

Postby 20130312 » Wed Dec 14, 2011 2:30 pm

Another thing to consider: most people burn out of big law within 3-5 years (7 max if you don't make partner) and then take a pay cut for better QoL, whereas doctors practice for decades typically.




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