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jdmonkey
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Postby jdmonkey » Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:03 pm

nnnnn
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Ti Malice
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Re: Wash U 130K scholarship

Postby Ti Malice » Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:10 pm

If both GULC and NU are at sticker, then forget GeorgeTTTown. Its placement lags far behind the rest of the T14.

NU at sticker would scare me, but you're far more likely to get BigLaw from there than from WUSTL.

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romothesavior
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Re: Wash U 130K scholarship

Postby romothesavior » Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:16 pm

I wouldn't recommend NW, and especially Georgetown, at sticker. To me, it's not even so much about the risk of missing biglaw (although that's part of it) as it is the cost and the insane debt burden you'll be looking at. Even if you land a 160k NYC biglaw job and you make $2,000-3,000 per month payments (which is a lot of money to set aside for student loan debt), it'll still take you a few years to even get your debtload under $200,000. What happens if (more like when) you're out after 3-5 years and go to a job for less money? Or worse... what if you miss biglaw altogether, or are Lathamed, or you get there and absolutely hate it?

As for WUSTL, would I bet on you getting a six-figure job to start from here? No, because most don't. When you add clerkships and biglaw jobs together, around maybe 25% are going off to six-figure jobs after graduation. I anticipate that number to continue to rise thanks to a slowly recovering economy and our big drop in class size, but it's still not going to be a likely outcome.

I would (and three years ago did) take WUSTL for ~100k over a lower T14 at sticker. The flexibility to take a variety of jobs was a factor, and debt aversion was also a factor. I think WUSTL at 100k is a solid deal, and now is a better time to go to law school than 3-4 years ago. But if you can retake, that may be the best option of all.

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Re: Wash U 130K scholarship

Postby WhatOurBodiesAreFor » Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:34 pm

romothesavior wrote:...Even if you land a 160k NYC biglaw job and you make $2,000-3,000 per month payments (which is a lot of money to set aside for student loan debt), it'll still take you a few years to even get your debtload under $200,000....


Sorry, man, while everything else you say is hard to argue against, saying something like the quoted suggests that it would be hard to get your debtload under 200K after 2 years of NYC biglaw. If you get NYC Biglaw and paid sticker you should put at least 60K towards your debt, leaving the debtload closer to 100K than 200K - this could still be so even if you paid NYU/Columbia/NU sticker.

I know I'm being nit-picky but putting it like you put it makes even biglaw sound like a horrible deal.

I really don't want to get a whole thing started again, just wanted to chime in and point this out.

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Ramius
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Re: Wash U 130K scholarship

Postby Ramius » Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:43 pm

WhatOurBodiesAreFor wrote:
romothesavior wrote:...Even if you land a 160k NYC biglaw job and you make $2,000-3,000 per month payments (which is a lot of money to set aside for student loan debt), it'll still take you a few years to even get your debtload under $200,000....


Sorry, man, while everything else you say is hard to argue against, saying something like the quoted suggests that it would be hard to get your debtload under 200K after 2 years of NYC biglaw. If you get NYC Biglaw and paid sticker you should put at least 60K towards your debt, leaving the debtload closer to 100K than 200K - this could still be so even if you paid NYU/Columbia/NU sticker.

I know I'm being nit-picky but putting it like you put it makes even biglaw sound like a horrible deal.

I really don't want to get a whole thing started again, just wanted to chime in and point this out.


I have to disagree with you. Sticker at GULC and NU will be closer to $270-280k with COL, tuition increases and interest. So, even assuming you're living off of $35k/year after taxes and paying off loans (which is what it would be in NYC given the tax rates of $160k), you'd still be just under $200k in debt. To live that meagerly in NYC while still that much in debt for 2 years? You may be a huge advocate of T14 sticker, but this math should be what you're looking at. That debt load is daunting.

Edit: RC fail, thought he meant paying 60k/year
Last edited by Ramius on Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Ruxin1
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Re: Wash U 130K scholarship

Postby Ruxin1 » Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:45 pm

WhatOurBodiesAreFor wrote:
romothesavior wrote:...Even if you land a 160k NYC biglaw job and you make $2,000-3,000 per month payments (which is a lot of money to set aside for student loan debt), it'll still take you a few years to even get your debtload under $200,000....


Sorry, man, while everything else you say is hard to argue against, saying something like the quoted suggests that it would be hard to get your debtload under 200K after 2 years of NYC biglaw. If you get NYC Biglaw and paid sticker you should put at least 60K towards your debt, leaving the debtload closer to 100K than 200K - this could still be so even if you paid NYU/Columbia/NU sticker.

I know I'm being nit-picky but putting it like you put it makes even biglaw sound like a horrible deal.

I really don't want to get a whole thing started again, just wanted to chime in and point this out.


You realize putting 30k a year towards your debt doesn't reduce your total debt 30k when you have 8% interest on 200k of principal right breh?

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Re: Wash U 130K scholarship

Postby SteelPenguin » Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:45 pm

WhatOurBodiesAreFor wrote:
romothesavior wrote:...Even if you land a 160k NYC biglaw job and you make $2,000-3,000 per month payments (which is a lot of money to set aside for student loan debt), it'll still take you a few years to even get your debtload under $200,000....


Sorry, man, while everything else you say is hard to argue against, saying something like the quoted suggests that it would be hard to get your debtload under 200K after 2 years of NYC biglaw. If you get NYC Biglaw and paid sticker you should put at least 60K towards your debt, leaving the debtload closer to 100K than 200K - this could still be so even if you paid NYU/Columbia/NU sticker.

I know I'm being nit-picky but putting it like you put it makes even biglaw sound like a horrible deal.

I really don't want to get a whole thing started again, just wanted to chime in and point this out.


I'm also trying not to make this a thing, but how would taxes work? I thought I heard an adcomm once mention that you wouldn't be part of the typical tax bracket with massive student loan debt, but I may have misheard him.

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Re: Wash U 130K scholarship

Postby WhatOurBodiesAreFor » Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:47 pm

matthewsean85 wrote:
WhatOurBodiesAreFor wrote:
romothesavior wrote:...Even if you land a 160k NYC biglaw job and you make $2,000-3,000 per month payments (which is a lot of money to set aside for student loan debt), it'll still take you a few years to even get your debtload under $200,000....


Sorry, man, while everything else you say is hard to argue against, saying something like the quoted suggests that it would be hard to get your debtload under 200K after 2 years of NYC biglaw. If you get NYC Biglaw and paid sticker you should put at least 60K towards your debt, leaving the debtload closer to 100K than 200K - this could still be so even if you paid NYU/Columbia/NU sticker.

I know I'm being nit-picky but putting it like you put it makes even biglaw sound like a horrible deal.

I really don't want to get a whole thing started again, just wanted to chime in and point this out.


I have to disagree with you. Sticker at GULC and NU will be closer to $270-280k with COL, tuition increases and interest. So, even assuming you're living off of $35k/year after taxes and paying off loans (which is what it would be in NYC given the tax rates of $160k), you'd still be just under $200k in debt. To live that meagerly in NYC while still that much in debt for 2 years? You may be a huge advocate of T14 sticker, but this math should be what you're looking at. That debt load is daunting.


After taxes you pocket 115,200. You can put 60 of that towards debt. If 270K debt at graduation, you'd be at 150 after two years. You can live in NYC on 55K a year.

All of this is assuming a unfavorable outcome. No 1L job; no 2L SA; that you only stay 2 years and not a little more (the word few suggest at least 2)

Like I said above:

I know I'm being nit-picky but putting it like you put it makes even biglaw sound like a horrible deal.

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Postby jdmonkey » Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:50 pm

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Ruxin1
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Re: Wash U 130K scholarship

Postby Ruxin1 » Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:51 pm

WhatOurBodiesAreFor wrote:
matthewsean85 wrote:
WhatOurBodiesAreFor wrote:
romothesavior wrote:...Even if you land a 160k NYC biglaw job and you make $2,000-3,000 per month payments (which is a lot of money to set aside for student loan debt), it'll still take you a few years to even get your debtload under $200,000....


Sorry, man, while everything else you say is hard to argue against, saying something like the quoted suggests that it would be hard to get your debtload under 200K after 2 years of NYC biglaw. If you get NYC Biglaw and paid sticker you should put at least 60K towards your debt, leaving the debtload closer to 100K than 200K - this could still be so even if you paid NYU/Columbia/NU sticker.

I know I'm being nit-picky but putting it like you put it makes even biglaw sound like a horrible deal.

I really don't want to get a whole thing started again, just wanted to chime in and point this out.


I have to disagree with you. Sticker at GULC and NU will be closer to $270-280k with COL, tuition increases and interest. So, even assuming you're living off of $35k/year after taxes and paying off loans (which is what it would be in NYC given the tax rates of $160k), you'd still be just under $200k in debt. To live that meagerly in NYC while still that much in debt for 2 years? You may be a huge advocate of T14 sticker, but this math should be what you're looking at. That debt load is daunting.


After taxes you pocket 115,200. You can put 60 of that towards debt. If 270K debt at graduation, you'd be at 150 after two years. You can live in NYC on 55K a year.

All of this is assuming a unfavorable outcome. No 1L job; no 2L SA; that you only stay 2 years and not a little more (the word few suggest at least 2)

Like I said above:

I know I'm being nit-picky but putting it like you put it makes even biglaw sound like a horrible deal.


It's 95k you turd.

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Re: Wash U 130K scholarship

Postby WhatOurBodiesAreFor » Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:51 pm

Ruxin1 wrote:
WhatOurBodiesAreFor wrote:
romothesavior wrote:...Even if you land a 160k NYC biglaw job and you make $2,000-3,000 per month payments (which is a lot of money to set aside for student loan debt), it'll still take you a few years to even get your debtload under $200,000....


Sorry, man, while everything else you say is hard to argue against, saying something like the quoted suggests that it would be hard to get your debtload under 200K after 2 years of NYC biglaw. If you get NYC Biglaw and paid sticker you should put at least 60K towards your debt, leaving the debtload closer to 100K than 200K - this could still be so even if you paid NYU/Columbia/NU sticker.

I know I'm being nit-picky but putting it like you put it makes even biglaw sound like a horrible deal.

I really don't want to get a whole thing started again, just wanted to chime in and point this out.


You realize putting 30k a year towards your debt doesn't reduce your total debt 30k when you have 8% interest on 200k of principal right breh?


I do breh. But I also said 60K. Just look at the math above. OK, if 270 at beginning and you paid 120, you debt wouldn't be precisely 150. (165?) OK. Thanks for pointing that out breh

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Re: Wash U 130K scholarship

Postby WhatOurBodiesAreFor » Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:53 pm

Ruxin1 wrote:you turd.


160K is taxed down to 95K in NY?

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Ruxin1
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Re: Wash U 130K scholarship

Postby Ruxin1 » Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:53 pm

WhatOurBodiesAreFor wrote:
Ruxin1 wrote:you turd.


160K is taxed down to 95K in NY?


Between 95-100 yes.

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hephaestus
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Re: Wash U 130K scholarship v. NU and Gtown Full Sticker

Postby hephaestus » Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:53 pm

Take home wont be 115 in NYC. I think it's closer to 96-97 but someone correct me if I'm wrong. Also, if you then pay 60k on loans how will you live? Maybe you aren't from the NYC area but it's unrealistic to say you'll only spend 35k to live in Manhattan. Even a middling apartment will be around 2k a month, and CoL is very high in other ways.

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Re: Wash U 130K scholarship v. NU and Gtown Full Sticker

Postby Big Dog » Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:54 pm

I thought I heard an adcomm once mention that you wouldn't be part of the typical tax bracket with massive student loan debt, but I may have misheard him.


Yes, you did mis-hear.

A six-figure income is "rich" according to the ruling elites, and is taxed heavily, particularly in NYC.

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Re: Wash U 130K scholarship v. NU and Gtown Full Sticker

Postby Birdnals » Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:00 pm

jdmonkey wrote:Assuming I went to Wash U and transferred after 1L. I know that is no sure thing, but if that were to be the case, at what rank of law school would full sticker be worth it. Top 5? Top 10?


Don't even put a potential transfer in your thought process at all. It's not only not a sure thing, it is HIGHLY unlikely. Wherever you decide to go assume you will end up at median after first year.

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Rahviveh
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Re: Wash U 130K scholarship

Postby Rahviveh » Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:02 pm

WhatOurBodiesAreFor wrote:
Ruxin1 wrote:
WhatOurBodiesAreFor wrote:
romothesavior wrote:...Even if you land a 160k NYC biglaw job and you make $2,000-3,000 per month payments (which is a lot of money to set aside for student loan debt), it'll still take you a few years to even get your debtload under $200,000....


Sorry, man, while everything else you say is hard to argue against, saying something like the quoted suggests that it would be hard to get your debtload under 200K after 2 years of NYC biglaw. If you get NYC Biglaw and paid sticker you should put at least 60K towards your debt, leaving the debtload closer to 100K than 200K - this could still be so even if you paid NYU/Columbia/NU sticker.

I know I'm being nit-picky but putting it like you put it makes even biglaw sound like a horrible deal.

I really don't want to get a whole thing started again, just wanted to chime in and point this out.


You realize putting 30k a year towards your debt doesn't reduce your total debt 30k when you have 8% interest on 200k of principal right breh?


I do breh. But I also said 60K. Just look at the math above. OK, if 270 at beginning and you paid 120, you debt wouldn't be precisely 150. (165?) OK. Thanks for pointing that out breh


According to kappycaft1' spreadsheet, $60k a year only knocks you down to $198k after 2 years of biglaw:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub ... rQ3c&gid=9

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romothesavior
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Re: Wash U 130K scholarship v. NU and Gtown Full Sticker

Postby romothesavior » Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:26 pm

Bodies, you are way, way, way off. On like, everything you just said.

160k in New York is taxed down to ~100k, probably a bit less. This has been debated ad nauseam on TLS and that's what it is. Also, most people in the "Firm of 100+" category don't make 160k, so most people (even the lucky ones who land biglaw) will be working with even less money. But since we started this conversation around the 160k crowd, let's stick with them for the time being while recognizing that financially they are the extremely well-off ones.

$60,000 is a ridiculous amount of money to put towards your debt your first year out of law school. People who are diligently putting money towards their debt usually put around $2,000-3,000 a month, which comes out to be around $30,000 a year give or take. Maybe you get a piddly bonus (NYC bonuses for young associates are way down ITE) and throw another couple of grand at it on top of that. But wait! You also have 7% interest on all of your principle, which is probably going to come in around $200,000 at the end of your three years. So if you pay $2,500 a month towards your loans, a little less than half of that is just attacking the interest. If you have $250,000+ in loans, it could conceivably take you a few years to get it under $200,000.

But whatever, this is a pointless quibble. My point is this: by the end of your likely 3-5 years in biglaw, you probably have paid $100,000-150,000+ towards your law school debt (assuming you are lucky and didn't flame out, get lathamed, etc.), but you will not have reduced your total debtload by anywhere near that much. You'll likely still be well into the six figure debt range at this point.

I remember being a 0L, and I remember doing the same thing. People tend to underestimate tuition increases, interest accrual, cost of living, costs during the summer, and taxes on their income, while overestimating their income, how much money they'll pay back, how frugally they'll live in law school, and how much they'll actually pay down on their debt by the end of their brief stint in biglaw.

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romothesavior
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Re: Wash U 130K scholarship v. NU and Gtown Full Sticker

Postby romothesavior » Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:30 pm

Birdnals wrote:
jdmonkey wrote:Assuming I went to Wash U and transferred after 1L. I know that is no sure thing, but if that were to be the case, at what rank of law school would full sticker be worth it. Top 5? Top 10?


Don't even put a potential transfer in your thought process at all. It's not only not a sure thing, it is HIGHLY unlikely. Wherever you decide to go assume you will end up at median after first year.

I agree with this.

And if you have a big scholarship, I also don't really see an upside in transferring out after 1L year from a school like WUSTL, absent maybe for HYS. You're probably not increasing your firm chances at all, you're increasing your clerkship chances marginally, and you're taking on a boatload more debt. Just doesn't make sense to me.

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Re: Wash U 130K scholarship v. NU and Gtown Full Sticker

Postby wannabelawstudent » Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:17 pm

What does latham mean? Also, why do most people flame out of big law after a couple of years?

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romothesavior
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Re: Wash U 130K scholarship v. NU and Gtown Full Sticker

Postby romothesavior » Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:29 pm

wannabelawstudent wrote:What does latham mean? Also, why do most people flame out of big law after a couple of years?

Latham is a pretty highly rated Vault firm that laid off a ton of people, a lot of it via stealth layoffs. Their behavior was pretty egregious, and their brand is now pretty much synonymous with deferrals and layoffs. It's become a verb now in the legal hiring vernacular.

And some people don't like it, some people aren't cut out for it, some decide to lateral elsewhere for different opportunities, some people are terminated for any variety of reasons. Same with any job really. But turnover, especially at the truly big firms, is really, really high.

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bk1
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Re: Wash U 130K scholarship

Postby bk1 » Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:41 pm

I'm going to echo much of what romo has said. However, I turned down a 105k offer from WUSTL 2 years ago for NU at sticker. I will likely have around 250k debt once I start repayment. Current applicants can expect around 280k debt once they start repayment.

I honestly don't think either of these options are appealing. On one hand you have NU with a relatively high shot at biglaw (1/2-2/3 chance) but saddled with 280k debt. On the other you have WUSTL with a much smaller albeit still sizeable debtload of 90k but saddled with middling job prospects where the most likely outcome is working at a small firm and a much higher chance of unemployment/underemployment. The ideal option would be a T14 with 150k debt (or less). If that is something you can make possible by retaking the LSAT then you should do that. If you're a splitter with a low GPA who can't get much better than sticker at a T14 or a sizeable scholarship to a top regional school, then you're in much more of a bind.

What it came down to, for me as it did romo, was flexibility. But there are two types of flexibility. WUSTL gives you economic flexibility, the ability to take a low paying job and not be crushed by debt. NU gives you job flexibility and regional flexibility, the ability to choose from a wider range of legal jobs that are not really accessible to WUSTL students and be competitive in other markets (e.g. NY, SF, LA, etc) that WUSTL is not. I chose NU's geographic and job flexibility because I wanted to get a job in CA and I wanted to work in careers that are made accessible by the exit options of biglaw. WUSTL does not really give you flexibility in choosing a job because your job options are limited by the degree. However, NU creates a significant risk of being seriously crushed by debt. A risk that does not necessarily go away even if you get biglaw because most biglaw associates only last about 3 years. And of course even if you get biglaw you will be working thousands of hours and yet only able to take home 50k or so (after paying 60k+ in taxes and 50k-ish in loan repayments). So you will be working quite hard for what most people only have to work a 40 hour work week for.

Honestly, I think the correct answer is neither. I took NU at sticker because I wanted to give myself a shot at biglaw and I could not do anything to reduce the price of a T14 since I was a splitter. My prelaw job prospects were also pretty mediocre (I had a sub3 GPA in a liberal arts major from a state school). I might have eventually found something decent but a rationalized taking NU at sticker. Yes, rationalized because I don't think NU at sticker is all that rational a decision to make. Granted I don't really think WUSTL with a near full ride is all that rational for someone who doesn't necessarily want to work at a small firm and do the kind of work that small firms do either.

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Re: Wash U 130K scholarship v. NU and Gtown Full Sticker

Postby jdmonkey » Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:52 pm

Thank you very much for that response bk1
Last edited by jdmonkey on Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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romothesavior
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Re: Wash U 130K scholarship v. NU and Gtown Full Sticker

Postby romothesavior » Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:53 pm

Solid post bk, although I'm not nearly as pessimistic about WUSTL (or other T20-30 schools) for cheap as you are. I don't see 100k in debt as being soul-crushing or anything like that. Given the scholarship OP has, it's virtually a full ride. Being conservative here, OP should have somewhere around 80k in total debt after three years according to the Georgetown COA calculator (48,500 in tuition at 3.5% increases per year + 20,000 yearly in COL, which is a high estimate). OP, Northwestern could cost you anywhere from 150-200k more than WUSTL. Probably 200k+ over the life of the loan.

Also, to OP and others considering the school, I also really think the big drop in class size will have a tremendously positive impact for students and job placement. Instead of starting with 250-270 and graduating with 300+, you'll be looking at 200 to start and maybe 225-230ish in your graduating class. It's too early to be certain, but I think that will help a lot for the current 1Ls and beyond.

I think bk is spot on in his analysis of the flexibility and strengths of the degrees, however.

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Re: Wash U 130K scholarship v. NU and Gtown Full Sticker

Postby rad lulz » Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:58 pm

romothesavior wrote:
wannabelawstudent wrote:What does latham mean? Also, why do most people flame out of big law after a couple of years?

Latham is a pretty highly rated Vault firm that laid off a ton of people, a lot of it via stealth layoffs. Their behavior was pretty egregious, and their brand is now pretty much synonymous with deferrals and layoffs. It's become a verb now in the legal hiring vernacular.

And some people don't like it, some people aren't cut out for it, some decide to lateral elsewhere for different opportunities, some people are terminated for any variety of reasons. Same with any job really. But turnover, especially at the truly big firms, is really, really high.

It's more that they laid off first years after they had only been at work for a couple months, thereby destroying careers and destroying hopes and dreams




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