Median Salary of Private Sector

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Kevinlomax
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Median Salary of Private Sector

Postby Kevinlomax » Sun Oct 20, 2013 8:12 pm

How much value do you place in the school's "median private sector starting salary" ? It seems that all the top 10 have a median salary of 160k, which I am sure is not correct.

Also a school like ASU boasts a 125k median starting salary but only a 50% employment rate

Personally, I think if a school cannot offer me at least a median salary of 100k, it would be more practical to stay at my current job given the cost of loans and the time investment of 3 years in law school.

How much does median starting salary really matter? If I attended a school such as FSU, and the median starting salary is 75k, how difficult will it be to move up from there into a more lucrative salary?

Since, I am sure we all want to make as much money as possible to pay off loans, I am just curious how much weight you all place in a school's median salary ?

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cannibal ox
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Re: Median Salary of Private Sector

Postby cannibal ox » Sun Oct 20, 2013 8:38 pm

Look at the % of the class who reported their salary, it's usually pretty low for schools with poor employment numbers overall. Of course you're going to report your salary if you're making $100k+, but would you want to report making $30k? Probably not.

JDeezy
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Re: Median Salary of Private Sector

Postby JDeezy » Sun Oct 20, 2013 8:50 pm

Kevinlomax wrote:How much value do you place in the school's "median private sector starting salary" ? It seems that all the top 10 have a median salary of 160k, which I am sure is not correct.

Also a school like ASU boasts a 125k median starting salary but only a 50% employment rate

Personally, I think if a school cannot offer me at least a median salary of 100k, it would be more practical to stay at my current job given the cost of loans and the time investment of 3 years in law school.

How much does median starting salary really matter? If I attended a school such as FSU, and the median starting salary is 75k, how difficult will it be to move up from there into a more lucrative salary?

Since, I am sure we all want to make as much money as possible to pay off loans, I am just curious how much weight you all place in a school's median salary ?



- It is correct that they all have median salaries of $160k. Possibly a little misleading to the less informed peruser however because although they have a median of 160k they also have a 75th percentile of 160k. And a 90th percentile of 160k. "BigLaw" jobs (of which the overwhelming majority of entry level positions go to top 14 grads) all pay $160k (with a very few exceptions.)

- It would be difficult to get a starting salary of 75k-100k. As outside BigLaw there are VERY few private practice jobs paying more than 60 ish. If you don't start in BigLaw, it is very very difficult to later on move to BigLaw (unless you start with a clerkship.)

- Based on what you said above, you should aim to go to a T14 school where you will have a fighting chance at a $160k job. If you don't get a $160k job, you will probably being paid around 40k-70k. It would almost certainly be more "practical" for you to stay at your current job unless you are sure that you BOTH want to be a private practice lawyer and you are able to go to a top 14 school. Otherwise, based on your "practical" statement, don't go to law school.

- I would put zero weight in "Median" salary, only because there are better resources and metrics out there (lawschooltransparency.com)

Kevinlomax
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Re: Median Salary of Private Sector

Postby Kevinlomax » Sun Oct 20, 2013 8:56 pm

JDeezy wrote:
Kevinlomax wrote:How much value do you place in the school's "median private sector starting salary" ? It seems that all the top 10 have a median salary of 160k, which I am sure is not correct.

Also a school like ASU boasts a 125k median starting salary but only a 50% employment rate

Personally, I think if a school cannot offer me at least a median salary of 100k, it would be more practical to stay at my current job given the cost of loans and the time investment of 3 years in law school.

How much does median starting salary really matter? If I attended a school such as FSU, and the median starting salary is 75k, how difficult will it be to move up from there into a more lucrative salary?

Since, I am sure we all want to make as much money as possible to pay off loans, I am just curious how much weight you all place in a school's median salary ?



- It is correct that they all have median salaries of $160k. Possibly a little misleading to the less informed peruser however because although they have a median of 160k they also have a 75th percentile of 160k. And a 90th percentile of 160k. "BigLaw" jobs (of which the overwhelming majority of entry level positions go to top 14 grads) all pay $160k (with a very few exceptions.)

- It would be difficult to get a starting salary of 75k-100k. As outside BigLaw there are VERY few private practice jobs paying more than 60 ish. If you don't start in BigLaw, it is very very difficult to later on move to BigLaw (unless you start with a clerkship.)

- Based on what you said above, you should aim to go to a T14 school where you will have a fighting chance at a $160k job. If you don't get a $160k job, you will probably being paid around 40k-70k. It would almost certainly be more "practical" for you to stay at your current job unless you are sure that you BOTH want to be a private practice lawyer and you are able to go to a top 14 school. Otherwise, based on your "practical" statement, don't go to law school.

- I would put zero weight in "Median" salary, only because there are better resources and metrics out there (lawschooltransparency.com)



I am sure I want to be a lawyer, but yes I want the best chance of 100k possible. From, your statements this means BIGLAW or bust.

What actually constitutes BIGLAW? more than 100+ employees?

If I understand this correctly I get to choose between 60+ hours per week big law but making 160k with a giant scramble to make partner ....or 40-70k which I can never rise above?

What are the choices after BIGLAW? What if you get forced out for not making partner?

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iamgeorgebush
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Re: Median Salary of Private Sector

Postby iamgeorgebush » Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:15 pm

For an explanation of BigLaw, see here: http://www.top-law-schools.com/introduc ... iglaw.html

As for exit options from BigLaw, some of the common options include going in-house at a corporation, doing public service/gov't, joining a smaller firm, and starting your own firm. That list is by no means comprehensive.

But if you want to practice law primarily for the money, you might reconsider. Even if you do make BigLaw (and that's a big if), BigLaw ain't what it used to be: http://www.abajournal.com/legalrebels/a ... ekly_email

Not to mention most people would hate being a lawyer.
Last edited by iamgeorgebush on Tue Oct 22, 2013 2:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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mr. wednesday
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Re: Median Salary of Private Sector

Postby mr. wednesday » Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:25 pm

Image

That spike on the right is biglaw salaries. The spike on the left is almost everything else. The valley in between is what you would like, and as you can see, it is extremely rare.

Image

dj_roomba
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Re: Median Salary of Private Sector

Postby dj_roomba » Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:57 pm

Kevinlomax wrote:How much value do you place in the school's "median private sector starting salary" ? It seems that all the top 10 have a median salary of 160k, which I am sure is not correct.

Also a school like ASU boasts a 125k median starting salary but only a 50% employment rate

Personally, I think if a school cannot offer me at least a median salary of 100k, it would be more practical to stay at my current job given the cost of loans and the time investment of 3 years in law school.

How much does median starting salary really matter? If I attended a school such as FSU, and the median starting salary is 75k, how difficult will it be to move up from there into a more lucrative salary?

Since, I am sure we all want to make as much money as possible to pay off loans, I am just curious how much weight you all place in a school's median salary ?


Schools like ASU boasting 125k median salary is downright misleading.
They are boasting 125k median salaries for those working in the private sector ONLY.

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jingosaur
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Re: Median Salary of Private Sector

Postby jingosaur » Mon Oct 21, 2013 12:53 am

Don't even look at salary data. It is so misleading. All the salary data does is help people justify going to a lower ranked school that won't allow them to accomplish their goals instead of retaking the LSAT or not going.

20141023
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Re: Median Salary of Private Sector

Postby 20141023 » Mon Oct 21, 2013 3:03 am

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Last edited by 20141023 on Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Paul Campos
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Re: Median Salary of Private Sector

Postby Paul Campos » Mon Oct 21, 2013 8:44 am

kappycaft1 wrote:Actually, median salary information can be useful; take a look at any school that has published a NALP Report.

For example, if you look at Thomas Jefferson's NALP Report (LinkRemoved) and then take a look at their LST Score Report, you can get a pretty good idea of what your job prospects and salary will be like coming out of their school.


This is an important point. If a school (like for example ASU) doesn't publish its NALP report or the equivalent data, that should set off warning bells. ASU puts its required ABA disclosures on its web site, but these numbers are available at the ABA site, so putting them on its web site doesn't involve any voluntary disclosure on ASU's part. The ABA disclosures don't include any salary information, and ASU provides none through its web site, so the "$125K median salary" figure is from the US News profile of the school. That figure includes only reported salaries for graduates working in the private sector, and US News gives no indication of what percentage of the class it includes. But since with very rare exceptions the only entry level law jobs that pay that much are with firms of 100+, the ABA disclosures pretty much tell the "sophisticated consumer" of this kind of information how many people in ASU's 2011 graduating class (the class on which the US News stats are based) are making $125K or more. The answer is ten out of 201.




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