Is there even a point of going to law school?

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ManoftheHour
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Re: Is there even a point of going to law school?

Postby ManoftheHour » Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:27 am

jbagelboy wrote:You dont need to go to professional school to feel validated and successful in life. Thats a boomer/immigrant lie that seems to persist even post-recession, although the chorus of reason has grown louder and stronger.

If you want material success, as bk1 suggested, law and medicine are not the best ways to gl about it. The credited recommendation is to study either programming/electrical engineering to work at a successful start-up or tech firm OR math-heavy economics/finance and work at a large investment bank, PE fund, ect. This has a short term payoff, long term burnout though. Also, its incredibly competitive (and some people just dont have the technical proficiency with computers).

Only study the law if you want to practice law and if you're willing to commit to dominating the LSAT. Only go pre-med if you're good at chemistry and prepared for the 8+ year haul after your BA/BS before you can be a physician (and earn real income). Only get a PhD if you absolutely love the subject and aim to make a vital contribution to the relevant scholarship - and you are prepared for a lot of alone time and a broke beginning

Study what you love, find a job with decent income, people you enjoy or at least tolerate, and work or a cause that inspires you. Law school will always be there if you determine from your real world experience that being an attorney in the very literal and not at all preftigious sense is what you want for your life


180

One of the best posts I've read on TLS.

willmendel
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Re: Is there even a point of going to law school?

Postby willmendel » Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:41 am

BadAsIWantToBreathe wrote:Yes. Now tell me how.



uhhh... if you're serious....

1. if you're still in undergrad never, ever graduate until they literally force you to get your degree. Take the easiest classes you can and get that gpa as high as possible. Once they start the process of making you graduate, put in transfer applications to every school ranked higher than yours in the usnwr undergrad rankings. repeat until you can no longer transfer up or you are forced to graduate, then go on to #2. If you are done with undergrad, go straight to 2.

2. kill the lsat. study until you are getting 180s in your sleep. seriously. don't work, don't have fun, don't have a drink, and tell all your friends you've moved. wake up, study, eat if you have to (steamed salmon and kale), and repeat.

3. If you want a break from this, learn an obscure skill OR get WE that schools can't pass up. Write a bestselling novel, train for the olympics, etc. Here's a good screening process: Are you positive that your novel will be bestselling? if no, don't even try. Are you positive you can win GOLD in the OLYMPICS? if no, don't bother. For any hobbies you might think of picking up, is there a club for people who enjoy your activity in the nearest 500,000+ people metropolis? If yes, it's not obscure enough, so get back to studying. You can get an actual JOB if you want, but keep in mind that the time you spend working will detract from your lsat studying. It's all a balance

4. When you can get 180's on the lsat while sick with the bird flu and bleeding from the head, register for the test. Preferably in feb, and that way, if you get a 179, you can still retake in june. Keep going (waiting those 2 years or whatever it is in between as necessary) until you get a 180.

5. Spend a really, really, really long time on your essays. Hire two different consultants, and ONLY use advice they both agree on. Get those essays polished. They should be bestselling novels in their own right.

6. by now, it could be any time of the year. sit out the cycle as necessary in order to apply to yale the second their apps open, and then apply to harvard and stanford--not as safeties, but so that you can negotiate with yale for your $$$$

7. reapply to yale as necessary until they let you in. I think they like it when you call them a lot to check on your app

8. Get to the top of the class at yale. This means developing a pretty strong tolerance to methamphetamine. if you sleep at all in law school, you're doing it wrong. Trust me. Nobody else is sleeping. They just climb in bed and study under their sheets.

9. Get a biglaw offer. This means not being an idiot in interviews, but the above 8 steps will take a while so you have time, don't worry. Just make sure to get that biglaw offer by whatever means necessary.

10. Once you have secured an associate position, outwork all your coworkers. 80 hour weeks are for wimps who have hobbies and families. look: there are 168 hours in a week. Most people will only work 80. A lesser few will work 120, and some people will work 140. If you want to MAKE SURE you get partner, you'll need to outdo them all. Research shows that out of the 140-hour-a-weekers, you only have a 21.5% chance of making partner. If you can work 160+ hours a week, your odds go up to around 70%. I can't remember where I saw this. I think kappycaft1 posted these numbers just a while ago, he said he saw them in another thread.

11. But don't do crappy work. You need to do good work. This means no reddit, no facebook, just work. The bonus is that you probably won't need an apartment, a car, or meals, so 100% of your pay can go into your bank account. Work until you have enough money in your pocket to be able to check "money" off your list. Now... on to prestige.

12. Obviously, a biglaw associate bitch gig doesn't come with prestige, for that, you'll need to make partner. Follow these steps to the letter, and BAM! You got a 70%+ chance.
But I'm going to let you in on a little secret to boost your chances.
As with anything, the less happy you are, the more money and prestige you'll actually have. Now, you might think that working 160 hours a week, having no friends, no family, and not being able to enjoy your money might make you pretty unhappy, but guess what? There are ALWAYS things that can make you less happy. I've found that kicking children works well for me, or you can try poking your own eye. Or find something that works for you! It only marginally increases your chances, but trust me, ANYTHING you can do for just a little more money or prestige is WELL worth any unhappiness you might have to suffer. If you can find something that can make you completely break down 2-3 times a day, I bet you'll make partner in no time.
That's as good as it get in the real world, my friend. Like anything, some of it is up to dumb luck.

13: enjoy the money and prestige, you biglaw partner!

14. have a heart attack within a few months of making partner, sit in the hospital all by yourself for a few hours reflecting on how unhappy and lonely you are, and then die alone.


OR, you can try option #2.

step 1: find something you love, DO IT BECAUSE YOU LOVE IT, get to be an expert in the field, and let the money and prestige follow naturally.

Step 2: enjoy your life

willmendel
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Re: Is there even a point of going to law school?

Postby willmendel » Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:49 am

clay7676 wrote:So what qualifies someone as "loving law"? Are you saying everyone on here loves law? Is that why the GTA V forum is one of the most active threads in the lounge? Not trying to be a prick, but just curious because I don't feel like many 20 year old undergraduates actually "love law" when they probably don't know too much about it. Personally, I love politics and everything involved with argumentation (among other things). That motivates me. Interesting how often TLS'ers tell people not to goto law school. With that said, I agree mostly with you.


Yeah man I see your hang up.

I would say that it's enough, as a 0l, to really, really want law. Nobody can know what it really entails for them until they try it, but one SHOULD (especially with law, med school, or phd) a)have done the research and know what they're getting into, and b) NOT have any reservations. I would even argue that there should be some pretty darn big desire to WANT TO BE A LAWYER, and suggest that this desire be stronger than all other desires.

I don't think ANYONE on here would disagree with the idea that if someone has any reservations about wanting to be a lawyer, or just wants to do it for the money or prestige, then the best option is to not go AT THE MOMENT.

this doesn;t preclude them from going ever, but it would seem that a lot more thought needs to go into the decision. In short, it's not a decision to be taken lightly, and definitely not a decision to make if one doesn't have that strong, strong desire.

Should you "love the law"? Not literally, as the subject of that sentence is the law and is thus confusing, but you should LOVE a fully informed idea of what it is to be a lawyer.
The fully informed idea is really important.

I mean, I'm open to disagreement, of course. I just don't anticipate much.

BadAsIWantToBreathe
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Re: Is there even a point of going to law school?

Postby BadAsIWantToBreathe » Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:55 am

willmendel wrote:
BadAsIWantToBreathe wrote:Yes. Now tell me how.



uhhh... if you're serious....

1. if you're still in undergrad never, ever graduate until they literally force you to get your degree. Take the easiest classes you can and get that gpa as high as possible. Once they start the process of making you graduate, put in transfer applications to every school ranked higher than yours in the usnwr undergrad rankings. repeat until you can no longer transfer up or you are forced to graduate, then go on to #2. If you are done with undergrad, go straight to 2.

2. kill the lsat. study until you are getting 180s in your sleep. seriously. don't work, don't have fun, don't have a drink, and tell all your friends you've moved. wake up, study, eat if you have to (steamed salmon and kale), and repeat.

3. If you want a break from this, learn an obscure skill OR get WE that schools can't pass up. Write a bestselling novel, train for the olympics, etc. Here's a good screening process: Are you positive that your novel will be bestselling? if no, don't even try. Are you positive you can win GOLD in the OLYMPICS? if no, don't bother. For any hobbies you might think of picking up, is there a club for people who enjoy your activity in the nearest 500,000+ people metropolis? If yes, it's not obscure enough, so get back to studying. You can get an actual JOB if you want, but keep in mind that the time you spend working will detract from your lsat studying. It's all a balance

4. When you can get 180's on the lsat while sick with the bird flu and bleeding from the head, register for the test. Preferably in feb, and that way, if you get a 179, you can still retake in june. Keep going (waiting those 2 years or whatever it is in between as necessary) until you get a 180.

5. Spend a really, really, really long time on your essays. Hire two different consultants, and ONLY use advice they both agree on. Get those essays polished. They should be bestselling novels in their own right.

6. by now, it could be any time of the year. sit out the cycle as necessary in order to apply to yale the second their apps open, and then apply to harvard and stanford--not as safeties, but so that you can negotiate with yale for your $$$$

7. reapply to yale as necessary until they let you in. I think they like it when you call them a lot to check on your app

8. Get to the top of the class at yale. This means developing a pretty strong tolerance to methamphetamine. if you sleep at all in law school, you're doing it wrong. Trust me. Nobody else is sleeping. They just climb in bed and study under their sheets.

9. Get a biglaw offer. This means not being an idiot in interviews, but the above 8 steps will take a while so you have time, don't worry. Just make sure to get that biglaw offer by whatever means necessary.

10. Once you have secured an associate position, outwork all your coworkers. 80 hour weeks are for wimps who have hobbies and families. look: there are 168 hours in a week. Most people will only work 80. A lesser few will work 120, and some people will work 140. If you want to MAKE SURE you get partner, you'll need to outdo them all. Research shows that out of the 140-hour-a-weekers, you only have a 21.5% chance of making partner. If you can work 160+ hours a week, your odds go up to around 70%. I can't remember where I saw this. I think kappycaft1 posted these numbers just a while ago, he said he saw them in another thread.

11. But don't do crappy work. You need to do good work. This means no reddit, no facebook, just work. The bonus is that you probably won't need an apartment, a car, or meals, so 100% of your pay can go into your bank account. Work until you have enough money in your pocket to be able to check "money" off your list. Now... on to prestige.

12. Obviously, a biglaw associate bitch gig doesn't come with prestige, for that, you'll need to make partner. Follow these steps to the letter, and BAM! You got a 70%+ chance.
But I'm going to let you in on a little secret to boost your chances.
As with anything, the less happy you are, the more money and prestige you'll actually have. Now, you might think that working 160 hours a week, having no friends, no family, and not being able to enjoy your money might make you pretty unhappy, but guess what? There are ALWAYS things that can make you less happy. I've found that kicking children works well for me, or you can try poking your own eye. Or find something that works for you! It only marginally increases your chances, but trust me, ANYTHING you can do for just a little more money or prestige is WELL worth any unhappiness you might have to suffer. If you can find something that can make you completely break down 2-3 times a day, I bet you'll make partner in no time.
That's as good as it get in the real world, my friend. Like anything, some of it is up to dumb luck.

13: enjoy the money and prestige, you biglaw partner!

14. have a heart attack within a few months of making partner, sit in the hospital all by yourself for a few hours reflecting on how unhappy and lonely you are, and then die alone.


OR, you can try option #2.

step 1: find something you love, DO IT BECAUSE YOU LOVE IT, get to be an expert in the field, and let the money and prestige follow naturally.

Step 2: enjoy your life


Zyzzdidn'tread.gif

You actually wrote all that out to make a point? Do you even life?

ajr
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Re: Is there even a point of going to law school?

Postby ajr » Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:56 am

"Don't go to law school" is TLS for "I need to see my therapist." http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=18478&start=575

willmendel
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Re: Is there even a point of going to law school?

Postby willmendel » Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:04 am

BadAsIWantToBreathe wrote:You actually wrote all that out to make a point? Do you even life?


just trying to help bro :)

c'mon... that's solid advice tailored to the individual's goals. should've charged a pretty penny for that.

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twenty
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Re: Is there even a point of going to law school?

Postby twenty » Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:06 am

MoMettaMonk wrote:
twentypercentmore wrote:Step 1) Switch out your major to something useful. Count any time spent in your history major as wasted.
Step 2) Enroll at your school's AFROTC. I don't particularly like the Air Force as a branch, but it all but guarantees you active duty.
Step 3) After your four years are up, you'll have 100% of the GI Bill, have made a substantial amount of money, have four years of fabulous work experience, will get veteran's preference for most federal jobs, etc.
Step 4) Do law school for free, if you even want to at that point.


Twenty this is like the third person I've seen you tell to go join the military, are you secretly a recruiter or something?


I'm glad someone finally asked. Not a recruiter (yet ;) ), but I think spending a quarter of a million dollars on a law degree is, more often than not, complete madness. No matter if you want to do biglaw, PI, or whatever in between. For three years of your life as an active duty officer, you're getting the benefit of roughly 120k/yr between the GI Bill and your salary alone.

I feel like it's also a good come-to-Jesus meeting for liberal arts majors that "think they might want to do good and make money, so law school, yes?" and whatnot. But instead of being forced into biglaw or PI due to the insane amount of debt you're carrying, you can jump ship pretty easily after four years and go take those military skillz somewhere else.

I sincerely regret not enlisting at age 17 into some crap MOS while enrolled in a crap online bachelor's program (which I would have done anyway, being poor and stuff) and picking up GI Bill time. But I'm sort of making up for lost time now.

BadAsIWantToBreathe
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Re: Is there even a point of going to law school?

Postby BadAsIWantToBreathe » Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:07 am

willmendel wrote:
BadAsIWantToBreathe wrote:You actually wrote all that out to make a point? Do you even life?


just trying to help bro :)

c'mon... that's solid advice tailored to the individual's goals. should've charged a pretty penny for that.


I do appreciate it but why couldn't you have just said "do something you love?"

Did you really type that all out? Please tell me you copied and pasted it from somewhere and didn't waste time writing it all out.

wolfgang
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Re: Is there even a point of going to law school?

Postby wolfgang » Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:10 am

BadAsIWantToBreathe wrote:Zyzzdidn'tread.gif

You actually wrote all that out to make a point? Do you even life?




[sheepishly]: ...I thought it was funny....

BadAsIWantToBreathe
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Re: Is there even a point of going to law school?

Postby BadAsIWantToBreathe » Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:12 am

wolfgang wrote:
BadAsIWantToBreathe wrote:Zyzzdidn'tread.gif

You actually wrote all that out to make a point? Do you even life?




[sheepishly]: ...I thought it was funny....


I actually wrote everything he said and was about to seriously dedicate my whole life to that single post until I read the end.

(srs)




























(semisrs)

jrd93
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Re: Is there even a point of going to law school?

Postby jrd93 » Mon Sep 23, 2013 2:29 am

Indeed, the armed services plan doesn't sound so bad for those who have financial constraints but want to pursue law school. I did Army ROTC in college and received free scholarship money, without committing myself to the military. Although I didn't accrue any time for military, obviously because I wasn't in it, there is plenty of money out there for those who wish to pursue such a career.

One of the downfalls is that you have to be physically active which, if you're not already so, they will fix quickly. In addition, you do have to be able to put up with lots of crap but if you're into that kind of thing its great!

optimist1
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Re: Is there even a point of going to law school?

Postby optimist1 » Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:34 am

if i knew i wanted to do law 4 years ago i would have chosen an easier degree, and i wish my mom would not have had a serious medical condition, and that i would not have fallen ill so much.

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Scotchandsoda
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Re: Is there even a point of going to law school?

Postby Scotchandsoda » Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:40 am

BadAsIWantToBreathe wrote:
NYstate wrote:
BadAsIWantToBreathe wrote:My goal is to go into biglaw and eventually become partner.
But everyone says stay away from law school.

is there even a point?

Should I just switch to pre-Med?


1. Going to law school with the goal of being a biglaw partner is ok as long as you understand the chances of achieving that goal approach zero.

2. Yes, there is a point. But you have to find your own.

3. Do you want to be a doctor?


Close to zero?
So if I go to a T6, it's still close to zero?

Then seriously what is the point. No I don't want to become a doctor.


Wow. You must be magnificently smart if your life goals range from either being either a Big Law Partner to a Doctor.

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TheSpanishMain
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Re: Is there even a point of going to law school?

Postby TheSpanishMain » Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:53 pm

MoMettaMonk wrote:
twentypercentmore wrote:Step 1) Switch out your major to something useful. Count any time spent in your history major as wasted.
Step 2) Enroll at your school's AFROTC. I don't particularly like the Air Force as a branch, but it all but guarantees you active duty.
Step 3) After your four years are up, you'll have 100% of the GI Bill, have made a substantial amount of money, have four years of fabulous work experience, will get veteran's preference for most federal jobs, etc.
Step 4) Do law school for free, if you even want to at that point.


Twenty this is like the third person I've seen you tell to go join the military, are you secretly a recruiter or something?


I don't think everyone, or even most people, should join the military, but I will say that there are few other institutions where someone can come in off the street and gain a breadth of experience and undertake substantial responsibility fairly quickly. Obviously there are plenty of retards in the military, too, but the potential for maturing/having life changing experiences is huge.

dissonance1848
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Re: Is there even a point of going to law school?

Postby dissonance1848 » Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:15 pm

Although its obvious the OP is a troll, I'll bite....

For most money, need PE, HF, or IB. Want that from undergrad? Go to HYPS, other ivies, Duke, etc.

From MBA, need M7, a few others as well.

Consulting requires the same kind of credentials. There are firms that do not, but the compensation is not worth it.

If that route can't be taken (and for well over 98% of college grads, cannot be taken), then that leaves medical professions and law school.

CS and programming are out. You get pushed out by 40 or so, and take a huge hit in income, becoming a "tech consultant", i.e no money.

Engineering is similar.

Do the limited options suck? Why yes they do.

Welcome to America..... where Russian Roulette is the game you play to be barely upper middle class, and therefore survive.

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: Is there even a point of going to law school?

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:24 pm

Only go to law school if you really want to be a lawyer. And even then, only T14 or < $100k debt.

For as bad as things are in Biglaw, $160k is still likely as long as you go to a decent school and perform well, and your people skills are better than "awful". I'm sure all of you tell me all the counterexamples, but there is a set of schools where someone around median is still probably getting Biglaw if they want it. There's no other profession where you can have a great shot at $160k by age 25.

IB/PE/VC and the like: Lower entry-level salaries, greater risk of being pushed out in three years, hours that are as long if not longer, and advancing usually (though not always) winds up requiring an MBA. Higher reward for those who advance, but it's not any safer of a career choice for an average student--matter of fact, it's much riskier.

Consulting is, as I understand it, safer w/r/t to the up-and-out model, but you also make less money than in law (although you generally work a little less). I'm less familiar with consulting, so correct me if I'm wrong.

Medicine: Generally higher rewards, but it takes significantly longer to break into.

I don't think anything else starts at $100k+. Engineering and certain CS positions might come close. Basically, anything that pays well and doesn't require years and years of hard work will be very competitive. You're talking about trying to make the 95th percentile of income at 25, of course it isn't going to be a cake walk. I think Biglaw is actually still one of the best career paths someone can take ITE. Not sure why people go on and on about how much better IB is--people work longer hours for less money, and your chance of advancing with just a UG degree is similarly low. If you take the special snowflakeness out of the equation and assume you will inevitably be Peter Principle'd, I'd rather have Biglaw than anything else on this list except maybe medicine.

BadAsIWantToBreathe
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Re: Is there even a point of going to law school?

Postby BadAsIWantToBreathe » Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:48 pm

Scotchandsoda wrote:
BadAsIWantToBreathe wrote:
NYstate wrote:
BadAsIWantToBreathe wrote:My goal is to go into biglaw and eventually become partner.
But everyone says stay away from law school.

is there even a point?

Should I just switch to pre-Med?


1. Going to law school with the goal of being a biglaw partner is ok as long as you understand the chances of achieving that goal approach zero.

2. Yes, there is a point. But you have to find your own.

3. Do you want to be a doctor?


Close to zero?
So if I go to a T6, it's still close to zero?

Then seriously what is the point. No I don't want to become a doctor.


Wow. You must be magnificently smart if your life goals range from either being either a Big Law Partner to a Doctor.


I'm just trying to make it brah.

BadAsIWantToBreathe
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Re: Is there even a point of going to law school?

Postby BadAsIWantToBreathe » Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:53 pm

dissonance1848 wrote:Although its obvious the OP is a troll, I'll bite....

For most money, need PE, HF, or IB. Want that from undergrad? Go to HYPS, other ivies, Duke, etc.

From MBA, need M7, a few others as well.

Consulting requires the same kind of credentials. There are firms that do not, but the compensation is not worth it.

If that route can't be taken (and for well over 98% of college grads, cannot be taken), then that leaves medical professions and law school.

CS and programming are out. You get pushed out by 40 or so, and take a huge hit in income, becoming a "tech consultant", i.e no money.

Engineering is similar.

Do the limited options suck? Why yes they do.

Welcome to America..... where Russian Roulette is the game you play to be barely upper middle class, and therefore survive.


Can you exit Biglaw into i-banking (junior associate position or higher?)

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: Is there even a point of going to law school?

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Tue Sep 24, 2013 7:35 am

BadAsIWantToBreathe wrote:Can you exit Biglaw into i-banking (junior associate position or higher?)


Not unless you get an MBA. And if you're talking about something approximating a Biglaw salary, you'd need M7/Tuck.

Although it would be relatively pointless, because you're still up-or-out as an associate and the reasons you presumably left Biglaw (burnout, dreary work, crazy bosses, etc.) are the same reasons not to into I-banking. And it would be a waste of an MBA because you're not really improving your career earning potential.

Humbert Humbert
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Re: Is there even a point of going to law school?

Postby Humbert Humbert » Tue Sep 24, 2013 10:06 am

Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:Only go to law school if you really want to be a lawyer. And even then, only T14 or < $100k debt.

For as bad as things are in Biglaw, $160k is still likely as long as you go to a decent school and perform well, and your people skills are better than "awful". I'm sure all of you tell me all the counterexamples, but there is a set of schools where someone around median is still probably getting Biglaw if they want it. There's no other profession where you can have a great shot at $160k by age 25.

IB/PE/VC and the like: Lower entry-level salaries, greater risk of being pushed out in three years, hours that are as long if not longer, and advancing usually (though not always) winds up requiring an MBA. Higher reward for those who advance, but it's not any safer of a career choice for an average student--matter of fact, it's much riskier.

Consulting is, as I understand it, safer w/r/t to the up-and-out model, but you also make less money than in law (although you generally work a little less). I'm less familiar with consulting, so correct me if I'm wrong.

Medicine: Generally higher rewards, but it takes significantly longer to break into.

I don't think anything else starts at $100k+. Engineering and certain CS positions might come close. Basically, anything that pays well and doesn't require years and years of hard work will be very competitive. You're talking about trying to make the 95th percentile of income at 25, of course it isn't going to be a cake walk. I think Biglaw is actually still one of the best career paths someone can take ITE. Not sure why people go on and on about how much better IB is--people work longer hours for less money, and your chance of advancing with just a UG degree is similarly low. If you take the special snowflakeness out of the equation and assume you will inevitably be Peter Principle'd, I'd rather have Biglaw than anything else on this list except maybe medicine.


Good post.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Is there even a point of going to law school?

Postby jbagelboy » Tue Sep 24, 2013 10:38 am

Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:Only go to law school if you really want to be a lawyer. And even then, only T14 or < $100k debt.

For as bad as things are in Biglaw, $160k is still likely as long as you go to a decent school and perform well, and your people skills are better than "awful". I'm sure all of you tell me all the counterexamples, but there is a set of schools where someone around median is still probably getting Biglaw if they want it. There's no other profession where you can have a great shot at $160k by age 25.

IB/PE/VC and the like: Lower entry-level salaries, greater risk of being pushed out in three years, hours that are as long if not longer, and advancing usually (though not always) winds up requiring an MBA. Higher reward for those who advance, but it's not any safer of a career choice for an average student--matter of fact, it's much riskier.

Consulting is, as I understand it, safer w/r/t to the up-and-out model, but you also make less money than in law (although you generally work a little less). I'm less familiar with consulting, so correct me if I'm wrong.

Medicine: Generally higher rewards, but it takes significantly longer to break into.

I don't think anything else starts at $100k+. Engineering and certain CS positions might come close. Basically, anything that pays well and doesn't require years and years of hard work will be very competitive. You're talking about trying to make the 95th percentile of income at 25, of course it isn't going to be a cake walk. I think Biglaw is actually still one of the best career paths someone can take ITE. Not sure why people go on and on about how much better IB is--people work longer hours for less money, and your chance of advancing with just a UG degree is similarly low. If you take the special snowflakeness out of the equation and assume you will inevitably be Peter Principle'd, I'd rather have Biglaw than anything else on this list except maybe medicine.


I agree with you in large part. This is a pretty good breakdown, with a few caveats:

First, entry-level salaries at large/prestigious investment banks are often extremely generous. Those bankers with 100% bonus models are earning pre-tax nearly a base biglaw salary -- $150K, but straight out of college. Many still follow a 70-40 model which is still a "higher end" entry level salary, all things considered. This is why everyone's going on about it.

Tech and software positions starting salaries at the most successful companies will be around or just over $100K.

Most importantly, Mono makes the important point that every high paying entry level job will be competitive/rigorous with shit hours. Part of the negative psychological fixation with biglaw as opposed to these other professions is that attorneys feel obligated and stuck in their long hours due to excessive debt payments, while not truly reaping the monetary reward since the gov't is getting all your discretionary income.

Humbert Humbert
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Re: Is there even a point of going to law school?

Postby Humbert Humbert » Tue Sep 24, 2013 10:58 am

Entry level bankers are not earning bonuses = 100% of salary anymore. Those days are gone, even at the top firms.

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: Is there even a point of going to law school?

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Tue Sep 24, 2013 11:21 am

jbagelboy wrote:
Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:Only go to law school if you really want to be a lawyer. And even then, only T14 or < $100k debt.

For as bad as things are in Biglaw, $160k is still likely as long as you go to a decent school and perform well, and your people skills are better than "awful". I'm sure all of you tell me all the counterexamples, but there is a set of schools where someone around median is still probably getting Biglaw if they want it. There's no other profession where you can have a great shot at $160k by age 25.

IB/PE/VC and the like: Lower entry-level salaries, greater risk of being pushed out in three years, hours that are as long if not longer, and advancing usually (though not always) winds up requiring an MBA. Higher reward for those who advance, but it's not any safer of a career choice for an average student--matter of fact, it's much riskier.

Consulting is, as I understand it, safer w/r/t to the up-and-out model, but you also make less money than in law (although you generally work a little less). I'm less familiar with consulting, so correct me if I'm wrong.

Medicine: Generally higher rewards, but it takes significantly longer to break into.

I don't think anything else starts at $100k+. Engineering and certain CS positions might come close. Basically, anything that pays well and doesn't require years and years of hard work will be very competitive. You're talking about trying to make the 95th percentile of income at 25, of course it isn't going to be a cake walk. I think Biglaw is actually still one of the best career paths someone can take ITE. Not sure why people go on and on about how much better IB is--people work longer hours for less money, and your chance of advancing with just a UG degree is similarly low. If you take the special snowflakeness out of the equation and assume you will inevitably be Peter Principle'd, I'd rather have Biglaw than anything else on this list except maybe medicine.


I agree with you in large part. This is a pretty good breakdown, with a few caveats:

First, entry-level salaries at large/prestigious investment banks are often extremely generous. Those bankers with 100% bonus models are earning pre-tax nearly a base biglaw salary -- $150K, but straight out of college. Many still follow a 70-40 model which is still a "higher end" entry level salary, all things considered. This is why everyone's going on about it.

Tech and software positions starting salaries at the most successful companies will be around or just over $100K.

Most importantly, Mono makes the important point that every high paying entry level job will be competitive/rigorous with shit hours. Part of the negative psychological fixation with biglaw as opposed to these other professions is that attorneys feel obligated and stuck in their long hours due to excessive debt payments, while not truly reaping the monetary reward since the gov't is getting all your discretionary income.


Are any banks paying 100%? My understanding was that even bulge bracket is 70-40 for first-year analysts ITE.

Correct me if I'm wrong here w/r/t to bulge bracket: As I understand it, you get hired as an analyst with a relevant degree (accounting/finance/math/econ) from a top 20-ish undergrad. You have a total comp in the $110k range for a first year analyst rising to about $150k in your third year, generally the point at which analysts are up for promotion to associates. Some leave after it's clear they won't be promoted, but a whole bunch leave voluntarily, for a total promotion rate of around 10%. I don't know what the burned out/forced out split is, but given more people voluntarily leave law than are forced out by stagnation, I'm guessing it's even a little more lopsided in IB. The associate pool is derived from the promoted analysts and M7/Tuck MBAs, most of whom spent 3-5 years in consulting/PE/VC before b-school. Associates, who are still up-to-VP-or-out, are starting around $170k-ish and going up to $250k-ish by year three or four, where the best go to VP and everyone else jumps somewhere else.

Re tech and software: Everyone in my year either recently got their offers or is in the middle of getting them--a mix of Microsoft/Google/Facebook and smaller SV. They all seem to be reporting in the $80k-95k range--but if tech is paying six figures I'll take your word for it.

I don't know much about the medical market but they're screaming even louder than we are about not going to medical school, and the horror stories out of there seem much worse--how no one is getting residency, the legal system screws young doctors over, etc.

So yes, it is true that since 2000, real compensation for first-year associates in Biglaw is down while partner profits doubled and the cost of law school doubled too. But that doesn't mean law became a comparatively worse choice--every profession that was once an easy ticket to UMC is facing the same problems. Law has some disadvantages, yes, but it also has unparalleled financial security for young people with the right credentials. If you have a social science BA, it seems to be either law or no hope of six figures before you're 40.

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TheWeeIceMon
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Re: Is there even a point of going to law school?

Postby TheWeeIceMon » Tue Sep 24, 2013 2:46 pm

Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:
Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:Only go to law school if you really want to be a lawyer. And even then, only T14 or < $100k debt.

For as bad as things are in Biglaw, $160k is still likely as long as you go to a decent school and perform well, and your people skills are better than "awful". I'm sure all of you tell me all the counterexamples, but there is a set of schools where someone around median is still probably getting Biglaw if they want it. There's no other profession where you can have a great shot at $160k by age 25.

IB/PE/VC and the like: Lower entry-level salaries, greater risk of being pushed out in three years, hours that are as long if not longer, and advancing usually (though not always) winds up requiring an MBA. Higher reward for those who advance, but it's not any safer of a career choice for an average student--matter of fact, it's much riskier.

Consulting is, as I understand it, safer w/r/t to the up-and-out model, but you also make less money than in law (although you generally work a little less). I'm less familiar with consulting, so correct me if I'm wrong.

Medicine: Generally higher rewards, but it takes significantly longer to break into.

I don't think anything else starts at $100k+. Engineering and certain CS positions might come close. Basically, anything that pays well and doesn't require years and years of hard work will be very competitive. You're talking about trying to make the 95th percentile of income at 25, of course it isn't going to be a cake walk. I think Biglaw is actually still one of the best career paths someone can take ITE. Not sure why people go on and on about how much better IB is--people work longer hours for less money, and your chance of advancing with just a UG degree is similarly low. If you take the special snowflakeness out of the equation and assume you will inevitably be Peter Principle'd, I'd rather have Biglaw than anything else on this list except maybe medicine.


I agree with you in large part. This is a pretty good breakdown, with a few caveats:

First, entry-level salaries at large/prestigious investment banks are often extremely generous. Those bankers with 100% bonus models are earning pre-tax nearly a base biglaw salary -- $150K, but straight out of college. Many still follow a 70-40 model which is still a "higher end" entry level salary, all things considered. This is why everyone's going on about it.

Tech and software positions starting salaries at the most successful companies will be around or just over $100K.

Most importantly, Mono makes the important point that every high paying entry level job will be competitive/rigorous with shit hours. Part of the negative psychological fixation with biglaw as opposed to these other professions is that attorneys feel obligated and stuck in their long hours due to excessive debt payments, while not truly reaping the monetary reward since the gov't is getting all your discretionary income.


Are any banks paying 100%? My understanding was that even bulge bracket is 70-40 for first-year analysts ITE.

Correct me if I'm wrong here w/r/t to bulge bracket: As I understand it, you get hired as an analyst with a relevant degree (accounting/finance/math/econ) from a top 20-ish undergrad. You have a total comp in the $110k range for a first year analyst rising to about $150k in your third year, generally the point at which analysts are up for promotion to associates. Some leave after it's clear they won't be promoted, but a whole bunch leave voluntarily, for a total promotion rate of around 10%. I don't know what the burned out/forced out split is, but given more people voluntarily leave law than are forced out by stagnation, I'm guessing it's even a little more lopsided in IB. The associate pool is derived from the promoted analysts and M7/Tuck MBAs, most of whom spent 3-5 years in consulting/PE/VC before b-school. Associates, who are still up-to-VP-or-out, are starting around $170k-ish and going up to $250k-ish by year three or four, where the best go to VP and everyone else jumps somewhere else.

Re tech and software: Everyone in my year either recently got their offers or is in the middle of getting them--a mix of Microsoft/Google/Facebook and smaller SV. They all seem to be reporting in the $80k-95k range--but if tech is paying six figures I'll take your word for it.

I don't know much about the medical market but they're screaming even louder than we are about not going to medical school, and the horror stories out of there seem much worse--how no one is getting residency, the legal system screws young doctors over, etc.

So yes, it is true that since 2000, real compensation for first-year associates in Biglaw is down while partner profits doubled and the cost of law school doubled too. But that doesn't mean law became a comparatively worse choice--every profession that was once an easy ticket to UMC is facing the same problems. Law has some disadvantages, yes, but it also has unparalleled financial security for young people with the right credentials. If you have a social science BA, it seems to be either law or no hope of six figures before you're 40.


Tons of people are saying don't go to medical school but it has nothing to do with not getting jobs or a residency. American allopathic grads, which make up the majority of people in medical school, match into residency at a rate greater than 95%. The people who don't get a residency are the retards who have a 2.9 and 25 MCAT who just have to be a doctor and go to the Caribbean.

OP, do not go to medical school if you don't have a desire to be a doctor. It will be hell and you will hate yourself.

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Re: Is there even a point of going to law school?

Postby choculamaviva » Tue Sep 24, 2013 6:37 pm

My quick thought: if all options are available (and not knowing you), I would say go to med school IF you're comfortable living in rural America. Urban areas are largely transitioning towards few physicians and more PAs and practitioners as reimbursement rates continue to decline. Small towns still need doctors, however. This whole "don't do X unless you're really sure you want to do it..." advice is largely worthless because it is very rare that a person gets to truly understand what any career is like on a day to day basis without doing it. So you'll always be taking a leap of faith. The reason I say med school is this: it's one of the few career paths that allow a six figure salary without being strapped in front of a computer screen for the VAST majority of your 60ish hours/week. Also, it won't be 60 hrs. Post-residency it'll be 40 or so. And you have a ton more flexibility in taking vacations. You will not be at the beck and call of clients. I know many law associates who have gone YEARS without taking a real vacation. Of course, in medicine, these things vary by specialty. My brother is an ER doc. He makes 250k and rarely works 40 hrs per week. There are a lot of disgruntled physicians right now, but in my opinion they've been so spoiled for so long that a slight decline in compensation and quality of life has them up in arms. Most of the 20-25 year olds on this board did not feel like doing a hard major for undergrad (although I don't think a bit organic chemistry is really asking all that much) and they feel like 30 (the age when they would be done with medical residency and have improved salary/quality of life) is REALLY OLD, hence they are going to law school rather than med school. And frankly, when I was 22, I though 30 was pretty fucking old, too. A few years down the road they will regret that decision.




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