Always wanted to be a lawyer?

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pollywolly88
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Always wanted to be a lawyer?

Postby pollywolly88 » Thu Mar 05, 2015 4:55 pm

So I've always wanted to be a lawyer since I was a kid because I enjoyed writing and the liberal arts. I graduated with a 3.9 GPA in a liberal arts major. But I am really scared of going into debt and ending up with a job where it would not be worth the cost of debt. I was wondering, if one does not get a BIGLAW offer, what is the average starting salary of a lawyer at a small or mid-sized firm? How tough is it to get these jobs? Would I be better off going to business school to pursue a MBA?

Thanks!


pollywolly88
Posts: 116
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:16 pm

Re: Always wanted to be a lawyer?

Postby pollywolly88 » Thu Mar 05, 2015 5:05 pm

This paragraph was interesting--->

Salaries for first-year lawyers seem to congregate in two camps: those who earn about $45,000 to $65,000 a year (representing about 34 percent of reported salaries), and those who earn about $160,000 a year (representing about 25 percent of reported salaries). Very few newly minted lawyers actually receive “average” or even median pay.

So median salary is not representative....90K isn't bad but 45-60K is pretty bad for having a lot of debt...

abl
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Re: Always wanted to be a lawyer?

Postby abl » Thu Mar 05, 2015 5:10 pm

pollywolly88 wrote:So I've always wanted to be a lawyer since I was a kid because I enjoyed writing and the liberal arts. I graduated with a 3.9 GPA in a liberal arts major. But I am really scared of going into debt and ending up with a job where it would not be worth the cost of debt. I was wondering, if one does not get a BIGLAW offer, what is the average starting salary of a lawyer at a small or mid-sized firm? How tough is it to get these jobs? Would I be better off going to business school to pursue a MBA?

Thanks!


You'll see tons of posts on this board about what level of law school and what amount of debt are "worth" it. The reason why people talk along these lines is because law hiring is super hierarchical -- if you go to Harvard, Yale, or Stanford, you are basically guaranteed of a "biglaw" job if you want it. Similarly, if you get into Harvard, Yale, or Stanford, you are basically guaranteed a full scholarship at some respectable (either T14 or elite regional) school. So, talking in the abstract about debt and biglaw is neither necessary nor helpful.

What is your LSAT score? Have you applied? If so, where have you gotten in and what scholarship offers have you received? These are all relevant to the question of whether you should go. With your GPA, if you get a 170 on the LSAT, you are highly likely to end up at a law school that'll give you an excellent shot at biglaw, or a law school where you can attend for near-free without having to throw away all meaningful hope of a good job. The fact that many lawyers making $50k and many lawyers make $160k isn't particularly relevant unless you know which group you're likely to end up in and how much debt you have--and those are questions you can answer with a fair amount of certainty before you have to throw down your deposit somewhere.

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4LTsPointingNorth
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Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2014 9:17 am

Re: Always wanted to be a lawyer?

Postby 4LTsPointingNorth » Thu Mar 05, 2015 5:12 pm

Right. In addition to debt considerations, http://www.lstscorereports.com/schools/ is a helpful resource to let you know which schools place into what kinds of jobs.

This website http://mylsn.info/znv5sl/ can be helpful to show past outcomes for applicants with similar numbers at your target schools.

jessica123
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Re: Always wanted to be a lawyer?

Postby jessica123 » Thu Mar 12, 2015 2:34 am

From my childhood my dream was to become a lawyer. Not because of the position or the salary it was my ambition to become a lawyer.

essay writing service mod edit: SPAM

iliketurtles123
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Re: Always wanted to be a lawyer?

Postby iliketurtles123 » Thu Mar 12, 2015 2:44 am



Anyone know how these numbers have changed over the years? 6 years is a really long time, especially since the trend in hiring (or so I hear) seems to be toward more midlaw/small law positions. I guess the recession didn't fully hit the class of 2009 but that still is factor. The same chart has been circulating for years and I wanted to see if anyone has any updates.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Always wanted to be a lawyer?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Thu Mar 12, 2015 10:13 am

iliketurtles123 wrote:


Anyone know how these numbers have changed over the years? 6 years is a really long time, especially since the trend in hiring (or so I hear) seems to be toward more midlaw/small law positions. I guess the recession didn't fully hit the class of 2009 but that still is factor. The same chart has been circulating for years and I wanted to see if anyone has any updates.

2011
2012
2013

Below is 2013. Looks identical to what we've seen for a while

Image

There is a bit of a shift from large firms to firms of 2-10 attorneys, but the number of people going to firms of 11-100 lawyers was about the same in 2013 as it was in 2008.

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Sirius Blackstone
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Re: Always wanted to be a lawyer?

Postby Sirius Blackstone » Thu Mar 12, 2015 2:44 pm

With your GPA it's very likely that you will not have pay for law school if you don't want to, as long as you study hard for the LSAT.

Intranetusa
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Re: Always wanted to be a lawyer?

Postby Intranetusa » Mon Mar 16, 2015 10:42 am

pollywolly88 wrote:So I've always wanted to be a lawyer since I was a kid because I enjoyed writing and the liberal arts. I graduated with a 3.9 GPA in a liberal arts major. But I am really scared of going into debt and ending up with a job where it would not be worth the cost of debt. I was wondering, if one does not get a BIGLAW offer, what is the average starting salary of a lawyer at a small or mid-sized firm? How tough is it to get these jobs? Would I be better off going to business school to pursue a MBA?

Thanks!

Liberal arts writing is absolutely nothing like legal writing. The majority of legal writing is extremely boring, extremely redundant, and mostly filled with a ton of administrative and procedural stuff.
The only interesting writing you get to do is maybe writing briefs for appellate arguments, but that is extremely rare in reality.

The "real" employment rate for lawyers is around 60% (look up Law School Transparency), and most of these folks lucky enough to get jobs get paid around 50k - not enough to pay off any 6 figures of debt.

Sirius Blackstone wrote:With your GPA it's very likely that you will not have pay for law school if you don't want to, as long as you study hard for the LSAT.

Studying for the LSAT will improve it (especially logic games), but the LSAT is still mostly based on innate ability and raw processing speed.




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