blsingindisguise wrote:There are plenty of people -- in fact most Americans, I'd guess -- who wouldn't want to give up time with their family, their athletic leagues, their entertainment, their religious activities, getting a good nights' sleep most nights etc. just to live the "life of luxury" $160K affords (a lot of which, aside from paying off student loans, winds up being paying for all the services that you need to make it possible to work the 70-80/hr weeks in the first place, like a cleaning lady, wash-and-fold laundry service, living in a doorman building so someone gets your packages, etc.) It's also worth noting that 160K a year won't seem like as much as you think if you have significant loans. You'll still probably live in a tiny apartment, for example.
A valid point. I would question your notion that "most" Americans would turn that opportunity down, however. I'd say that a fair amount would kill for that job, income, and stability. No real need to argue exactly how many would or wouldn't, we both are just speculating. The work required to earn the 160K is certainly not for everyone. Hell, it may not even be for me. I can say with no certainty as a 0L what my true feelings would be towards that. I don't know if I would be willing to sacrifice anything and everything for Biglaw. I do know, however, that I have worked a lot of shitty jobs for a lot less money. I also know, like a lot of Americans, what kind of sleepless nights you get when you don't have enough money for bills/mortgage/food to feed your kids. Those nights are suffocating and they burn you to your soul. I know I never want to feel that way again, and 160K would go a long way to ensuring that!
To be fair, I never said "life of luxury", I said "luxury to enjoy life". In this case I meant "luxury" as in "freedom", not "luxury" as in "wealth". I have a very good idea how far 160000 goes. While I am not from NYC, I'm assuming that you were referencing NYC Biglaw by your mention of a doorman building. A quick Google search leads me to believe that after taxes in NYC one would take home just shy of 100K. Is it not possible to live in NYC with a 100,000 annual net income? Perhaps you personally are so tired after working 70-80 hours a week that you can't pick up after yourself or do a simple load of laundry, but that is not the case for everyone. Another quick Google of Manhattan apartment rents finds that they are in the area of $3300 on average. Granted, perhaps these are not "doorman" buildings as you say one would require in order to get your packages for you. I have no clue as to why that alone would be that deciding factor, but perhaps there is another way to get your mail? I daresay someone in a doorman-less apartment has figured out a way to get their amazon.com orders sent to them while they are at work.
So 100K net is around $8300 a month. Assuming loans of 150K, that equals a 10 year payout of $1700 a month (just tossed in a 6.5% interest rate. No idea what the actual one would be depending on specific type...) This would leave $3300 remaining for monthly expenses. But wait, what about bonuses? Granted, times are tough and not all associates will qualify. Let's just say for the sake of argument that those who frequent TLS are the hardworking, go-getter types who would earn a bonus. Bonus amounts seem to be all across the board. Cravath is notoriously cheap and gives first years around $7500. Finnegan first year bonuses average around $15K (even approaching $33K for some lucky saps! All referenced info from abovethelaw.com, btw) We will play it safe and factor in a bonus of $7500, or averaging out to $625/month. It is important to note that bonuses go up every year of subsequent employment, so we are working with ground floor numbers here.
Are you saying that it is not possible to live a productive, prosperous life with $4000/month for living expenses after rent and loans are paid? If you already live in Manhattan, you really don't need a car or car insurance, so there is an expense out the window. Food, clothing, entertainment, would all equate to over $4000? Cell phone would most likely be on the company dime, as well as a lot of food expenses and possibly even a health club membership to stay fit and trim. I would argue that, after all that, you could do a hell of a lot with $1000 a week. Especially if you are spending 70-80 hours at work NOT spending money!
And in less expensive cities, the 160K would go even further...
In the end, I'm just being a smart ass and having fun with numbers. LSAT study procrastination at its finest.
Most likely no one here is frothing at the mouth to do insane amounts of document review, so if you want the money, you want the money. If not, then not.
May we all be so lucky as to stare that decision in the face somewhere in the near future...