Leaving 6-figure job for Law School? Am I crazy?

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dabigchina
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Re: Leaving 6-figure job for Law School? Am I crazy?

Postby dabigchina » Fri Feb 28, 2014 4:18 am

LSBanker wrote:
dabigchina wrote:Also consider the fact that if you work in transactional law you are basically the bankers bitch. You work on their schedule because their services are much more valuable to the client. A major transaction might net 5 mil for the lawyers but 20 mil for the bankers. This is a pretty good approximation of how much clients value their services


As I said in the first post, I've always had an interest in law and I don't find the idea of being a career banker very appealing. I know that at the Partner/Managing Director level, it's all based on bringing in business, but a big difference for me is that banking involves endless pitching of ridiculous half-baked ideas to clients. To give you an idea, I worked till 4AM each night of a weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) working on a pitch for a state-owned foreign company to purchase a multinational US-based corporation. A freshman english major could tell you that that idea was going nowhere, but my MD insisted that we have the pitch ready for the company by 8AM on Monday. While biglaw may be a lot of bitchwork, at least everything you're doing is real work. I'm hoping that law will have (marginally) better hours and that I'll be more interested in the work.

I'm also looking at a non-NYC major market. Biglaw will always be a lot of work, but I've heard things are more relaxed in general there.


I guarantee you won't find the work first year associates do any more fulfilling. Also what about being a lawyer appeals to you? The prestige? the lay prestige law brings is pointless when everybody you hang out with is also a lawyer (see long hours).

What market are you targeting that makes you think you will be working short hours? Ohio? Michigan? Kansas? If you are thinking you can work 60 hours a week in DC, SF, LA, Chi, or Phi you're delusional.

FinanceStudent28
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Re: Leaving 6-figure job for Law School? Am I crazy?

Postby FinanceStudent28 » Sat Mar 01, 2014 6:00 pm

dabigchina wrote:What market are you targeting that makes you think you will be working short hours? Ohio? Michigan? Kansas? If you are thinking you can work 60 hours a week in DC, SF, LA, Chi, or Phi you're delusional.

LOLOLOL

60 hours a week is a walk in the park for IB Analysts

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Leaving 6-figure job for Law School? Am I crazy?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sat Mar 01, 2014 6:14 pm

FinanceStudent28 wrote:
dabigchina wrote:What market are you targeting that makes you think you will be working short hours? Ohio? Michigan? Kansas? If you are thinking you can work 60 hours a week in DC, SF, LA, Chi, or Phi you're delusional.

LOLOLOL

60 hours a week is a walk in the park for IB Analysts

Yeah I don't think you understood that last post.

Not that our 0L friend had it all right either.

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guano
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Re: Leaving 6-figure job for Law School? Am I crazy?

Postby guano » Sat Mar 01, 2014 6:57 pm

LSBanker wrote:Thanks for the replies everyone, I really appreciate it. A couple things I should have mentioned:

I am an analyst, meaning my contract only lasts two years. If I'm good, I may be given an offer to stay a third year and if I'm exceptional, I may be promoted directly to associate, where I'd still be working 70-80 hours. I know biglaw isn't easy, but compared to what I'm used to it doesn't seem to bad. Plus, I will be shooting for a regional market rather than NYC, which should hopefully be a bit more relaxed. Also, to move up further in banking (barring a 10% chance of going A2A), I'd need an MBA. To the poster asking about pay, it seems like $70k + $50k bonus is average for first year analysts and $80k + $60k for second years in banking at least. That's what I'm basing my figure on.

This idea that to move further up in banking requires an MBA is complete baloney. If you're in a two year analyst program and you've got what it takes, you'll move up. If after the 2 year program is up they don't want to hire you full time, I strongly recommend looking into a career switch, because it means the people you work for don't think you have what it takes to be successful long term. Getting an MBA might get you an associate job at a different bank, but the qualities that would get you promoted to VP are the same qualities that would mean A2A (the odds of which are more than 10%)
Not saying it can't be done, but, I know enough people who who managed to stay in ibanking as analyst/associate for 5-10 years only to get shitcanned at the first sign of trouble, and the people I know of who made it to VP and beyond, were the ones that stood out back when they were analysts (e.g. where I'd call that analyst rather than the associate who was supposed to be responsible for the matter), and plenty of them don't have an MBA.

As for law school, assuming you have career prospects, economically, it doesn't makes sense to give up Ibanking to switch to biglaw. you're giving up 3 income-earning years, and by the time you finish, your salary will at best be more or less on par with where you would be 3 years later in ibanking - or significantly lower if you've got talent. Best case scenario, assuming a full ride, is that your switch will cost about a quarter million dollars in lost income. Now, I'm not saying that it isn't worth it if you definitely want to do law, but, you said you like ibanking, so you're basically ponying up a crapload of money to switch to a career that may or may not give you more or less fulfillment/joy.

IMO, the only reason you should consider law school is A) you hate your job and you really, really want to be a lawyer, or B) are unlikely to succeed in ibanking (not being able to continue / get an equivalent job without an MBA is a good hint)

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dabigchina
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Re: Leaving 6-figure job for Law School? Am I crazy?

Postby dabigchina » Wed Mar 05, 2014 12:47 am

Tiago Splitter wrote:
FinanceStudent28 wrote:
dabigchina wrote:What market are you targeting that makes you think you will be working short hours? Ohio? Michigan? Kansas? If you are thinking you can work 60 hours a week in DC, SF, LA, Chi, or Phi you're delusional.

LOLOLOL

60 hours a week is a walk in the park for IB Analysts

Yeah I don't think you understood that last post.

Not that our 0L friend had it all right either.

Which part was wrong. Not that I'm disputing you but id love for you to tell me everybody is home by 8/9 in a major market law firm. It would mean fewer hours and more money for me when igraduate and hopefully land a job.

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patogordo
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Re: Leaving 6-figure job for Law School? Am I crazy?

Postby patogordo » Wed Mar 05, 2014 12:55 am

in the office 60 hrs a week? not the norm at all in LA at least. you work same hrs as NY pretty much but face time seems legitimately less important.

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dabigchina
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Re: Leaving 6-figure job for Law School? Am I crazy?

Postby dabigchina » Wed Mar 05, 2014 2:18 am

patogordo wrote:in the office 60 hrs a week? not the norm at all in LA at least. you work same hrs as NY pretty much but face time seems legitimately less important.

You mean to tell me you guys make more than me and work less? I'm wasting my fucking life.

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patogordo
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Re: Leaving 6-figure job for Law School? Am I crazy?

Postby patogordo » Wed Mar 05, 2014 4:12 am

dabigchina wrote:
patogordo wrote:in the office 60 hrs a week? not the norm at all in LA at least. you work same hrs as NY pretty much but face time seems legitimately less important.

You mean to tell me you guys make more than me and work less? I'm wasting my fucking life.

same hours, just less time in office.

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EijiMiyake
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Re: Leaving 6-figure job for Law School? Am I crazy?

Postby EijiMiyake » Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:04 am

After having done both, I think that IB hours are 1) much longer and 2) much easier. In IB, you spend a ton of time waiting around - I didn't leave till 1 or 2 for weeks on end, but I also frequently didn't get my assignments until 1 or 2 pm. In the meantime, you can shoot the shit in the bullpen, which isn't so bad. In IB, you can also become good at slightly mechanical tasks (making charts or tables), which is easier than having to focus on figuring out what the law is at 1am.

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Ohiobumpkin
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Re: Leaving 6-figure job for Law School? Am I crazy?

Postby Ohiobumpkin » Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:24 am

Couldn't he apply with his 175 next cycle, and ask to defer? Solves both the 175 expiring and work experience problems.

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: Leaving 6-figure job for Law School? Am I crazy?

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Wed Mar 05, 2014 4:24 pm

Biglaw is terrible. Do not go to law school if biglaw is your goal. Biglaw should only be a goal for people who are not already making six figures.

PM if you'd like an insider's opinion. I worked in a non-legal field for several years before law school.

The main thing people underestimate is how difficult biglaw work is. It's not just the hours (which can be bad); it's that you're actively using your mind and have to hyperfocus not to screw up. It gets absolutely exhausting. In almost every other job I can think of, you can kind of set your mind on auto-pilot for significant periods of time. Even when you're doing doc review in biglaw, you can't do this because you might miss the smoking gun document and get fired.

kartelite
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Re: Leaving 6-figure job for Law School? Am I crazy?

Postby kartelite » Wed Mar 05, 2014 5:51 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:It's not just the hours (which can be bad); it's that you're actively using your mind and have to hyperfocus not to screw up. It gets absolutely exhausting. In almost every other job I can think of, you can kind of set your mind on auto-pilot for significant periods of time.


Maybe some people would enjoy it for exactly that reason. I hated sitting in a dealing room or at the office during slow periods, and would much rather have ongoing challenging work. I used to play up to 10 hours of chess per day at tournaments and take 6-hour math exams (Putnam competition), and I loved the constant intellectual challenge. And I've done quite a bit of doc review and reading of depositions, a lot of it has been pretty interesting (mostly top brass at banks after the crisis).

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: Leaving 6-figure job for Law School? Am I crazy?

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Wed Mar 05, 2014 6:48 pm

kartelite wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:It's not just the hours (which can be bad); it's that you're actively using your mind and have to hyperfocus not to screw up. It gets absolutely exhausting. In almost every other job I can think of, you can kind of set your mind on auto-pilot for significant periods of time.


Maybe some people would enjoy it for exactly that reason. I hated sitting in a dealing room or at the office during slow periods, and would much rather have ongoing challenging work. I used to play up to 10 hours of chess per day at tournaments and take 6-hour math exams (Putnam competition), and I loved the constant intellectual challenge. And I've done quite a bit of doc review and reading of depositions, a lot of it has been pretty interesting (mostly top brass at banks after the crisis).


It gets a lot less interesting when you do it day in and day out. I know you're probably trying to convince yourself that you're going to like it (and you probably think you're pretty smart and that you've made up your mind and nobody is going to convince you otherwise). But you should seriously consider the difference between something that is annoying and something that's unbearable. Being bored at work is annoying. Doing something, like working in biglaw, that is physiologically impossible to maintain after a few years is unbearable and the reason why smart, motivated people (just like you) end up LEAVING after 3-5 years for a career path that will not pay even close to as much as a career in biglaw would end up paying. Think about why most smart, motivated people end up leaving within 3-5 years to go in house or take other jobs: they are not doing it for better job security (in house positions are subject to the vicissitudes of business cycles and, IMO, even less stable than associate positions at firms), or the better pay (most people who leave biglaw end up making less than half of what they would otherwise have made if they had stuck it out in biglaw and eventually made partner somewhere). They leave because they literally cannot do the work. They literally can't take it anymore. These are people who conquered UG, law school, the LSAT, etc. and they couldn't conquer biglaw. That should give you pause.

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Sam_Spade
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Re: Leaving 6-figure job for Law School? Am I crazy?

Postby Sam_Spade » Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:30 pm

to end world hunger.
lakers180 wrote:why law?

kartelite
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Re: Leaving 6-figure job for Law School? Am I crazy?

Postby kartelite » Wed Mar 05, 2014 11:08 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
kartelite wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:It's not just the hours (which can be bad); it's that you're actively using your mind and have to hyperfocus not to screw up. It gets absolutely exhausting. In almost every other job I can think of, you can kind of set your mind on auto-pilot for significant periods of time.


Maybe some people would enjoy it for exactly that reason. I hated sitting in a dealing room or at the office during slow periods, and would much rather have ongoing challenging work. I used to play up to 10 hours of chess per day at tournaments and take 6-hour math exams (Putnam competition), and I loved the constant intellectual challenge. And I've done quite a bit of doc review and reading of depositions, a lot of it has been pretty interesting (mostly top brass at banks after the crisis).


It gets a lot less interesting when you do it day in and day out. I know you're probably trying to convince yourself that you're going to like it (and you probably think you're pretty smart and that you've made up your mind and nobody is going to convince you otherwise). But you should seriously consider the difference between something that is annoying and something that's unbearable. Being bored at work is annoying. Doing something, like working in biglaw, that is physiologically impossible to maintain after a few years is unbearable and the reason why smart, motivated people (just like you) end up LEAVING after 3-5 years for a career path that will not pay even close to as much as a career in biglaw would end up paying. Think about why most smart, motivated people end up leaving within 3-5 years to go in house or take other jobs: they are not doing it for better job security (in house positions are subject to the vicissitudes of business cycles and, IMO, even less stable than associate positions at firms), or the better pay (most people who leave biglaw end up making less than half of what they would otherwise have made if they had stuck it out in biglaw and eventually made partner somewhere). They leave because they literally cannot do the work. They literally can't take it anymore. These are people who conquered UG, law school, the LSAT, etc. and they couldn't conquer biglaw. That should give you pause.


Good points - I actually wasn't talking about myself going into that, as my goal isn't BigLaw, just that some people enjoy intellectual challenges that other smart people do not...we're all wired differently.

Moneytrees
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Re: Leaving 6-figure job for Law School? Am I crazy?

Postby Moneytrees » Thu Mar 06, 2014 5:40 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
kartelite wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:It's not just the hours (which can be bad); it's that you're actively using your mind and have to hyperfocus not to screw up. It gets absolutely exhausting. In almost every other job I can think of, you can kind of set your mind on auto-pilot for significant periods of time.


Maybe some people would enjoy it for exactly that reason. I hated sitting in a dealing room or at the office during slow periods, and would much rather have ongoing challenging work. I used to play up to 10 hours of chess per day at tournaments and take 6-hour math exams (Putnam competition), and I loved the constant intellectual challenge. And I've done quite a bit of doc review and reading of depositions, a lot of it has been pretty interesting (mostly top brass at banks after the crisis).


It gets a lot less interesting when you do it day in and day out. I know you're probably trying to convince yourself that you're going to like it (and you probably think you're pretty smart and that you've made up your mind and nobody is going to convince you otherwise). But you should seriously consider the difference between something that is annoying and something that's unbearable. Being bored at work is annoying. Doing something, like working in biglaw, that is physiologically impossible to maintain after a few years is unbearable and the reason why smart, motivated people (just like you) end up LEAVING after 3-5 years for a career path that will not pay even close to as much as a career in biglaw would end up paying. Think about why most smart, motivated people end up leaving within 3-5 years to go in house or take other jobs: they are not doing it for better job security (in house positions are subject to the vicissitudes of business cycles and, IMO, even less stable than associate positions at firms), or the better pay (most people who leave biglaw end up making less than half of what they would otherwise have made if they had stuck it out in biglaw and eventually made partner somewhere). They leave because they literally cannot do the work. They literally can't take it anymore. These are people who conquered UG, law school, the LSAT, etc. and they couldn't conquer biglaw. That should give you pause.


This is what the OP needs to read and understand. My cousin is in his first year working in Biglaw and his opinion is generally in line with this. It might still be the right path for OP, but the notion that BigLaw is tough yet enjoyable is a myth. From my understanding, it's tough and that's it. I don't know if it's necessarily "unbearable" for everybody, but it appears that it's certainly draining.

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Dingo Starr
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Re: Leaving 6-figure job for Law School? Am I crazy?

Postby Dingo Starr » Thu Mar 06, 2014 5:44 pm

Yes.
Oh wait, there were three pages of responses?




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