How feasible is this 10 year plan?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
jstanhope14

New
Posts: 79
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2016 2:54 pm

How feasible is this 10 year plan?

Postby jstanhope14 » Sun Jul 24, 2016 5:23 pm

0L here, daydreaming amidst LSAT studying. For someone who enrolls at a T-14, how feasible is the following plan?

- Get a 2L biglaw SA
- Work at that same big law firm for 5-6 years, saving as much $$ as possible.
- Around age 31-32, at the end of those 5-6 years, use all the money you saved (600-700k) to buy a nice New England estate.
- Join a local firm (HUGE paycut), work for a few years whilst integrating yourself in the community
- Breakaway and start your own firm (or become partner)/

thoughts? has anyone tried this / is trying to do this?

User avatar
mt2165

Silver
Posts: 533
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2012 2:58 pm

Re: How feasible is this 10 year plan?

Postby mt2165 » Sun Jul 24, 2016 6:20 pm

Any 10 year plan isn't feasible but particularly, it depends on the school but I suppose getting big law is a relatively safe assumption among the t13. Lasting 5-6 years isn't as the vast majority don't last that long. Exiting to a local firm seems feasible assuming you've actually managed to gain some applicable skills (some haven't) and making partner is going to highly depend in the firm and youre ability to bring in business and make the firm money. And starting your own firm is always an option but hardly always a good one.

WinSome

New
Posts: 91
Joined: Mon May 02, 2016 5:50 am

Re: How feasible is this 10 year plan?

Postby WinSome » Sun Jul 24, 2016 6:29 pm

How are you saving 600k-700k after 5-6 years in biglaw? If you are taking on debt, you'll be lucky to have it paid off in that period. I'm not sure what NYC biglaw is after tax now that it's 180k, but you might be taking home about 110k. That's before any 401k contributions. Even debt free, living in NYC isn't going to let you save anywhere near what you're estimating.

User avatar
Barack O'Drama

Gold
Posts: 3268
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:21 pm

Re: How feasible is this 10 year plan?

Postby Barack O'Drama » Sun Jul 24, 2016 6:31 pm

I think planning is a good idea. Just take it one step at a time, and have plenty of contingency plans available for execution that you'd considered.

Sometimes life just happens... Some, or from what I read, MOST people find big law miserable. I think most people are gone before year 4 or sooner. So you will have to see if it is something you're willing to endure.

And saving up that much money seems very unlikely in that time. Remember to keep in mind, student loans, rent in NYC, and just COL in general...That tends to be expensive in the major markets... I still think you could save a pretty penny. It isn't like you need to buy the million dollar mansion in cash...

So I would say if that is your goal, focus on killing the LSAT (which means retaking or waiting until you are consistently hitting your target score on PTs) get a great scholarship, and then you're goal of saving that money will be much simpler...

I don't think the plan is feasible, because I don't think any 10 years plan should be easy; but it shouldn't stop you from trying, for it is possible! :D
Last edited by Barack O'Drama on Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jstanhope14

New
Posts: 79
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2016 2:54 pm

Re: How feasible is this 10 year plan?

Postby jstanhope14 » Sun Jul 24, 2016 6:41 pm

@winsome the 600-700k figure was based on working in the Boston market at 180k salary scale.

Income
180k + 15k bonus
190k + 15k bonus
210k + 25k bonus
235k + 50k bonus
260k + 65k bonus
280k + 80k bonus
_________________
= 1,605,000 gross
= ~ 1,000,000 net

Debt
300k = living expenses (50k/yr x 6 years)
100k student loans

1,000,000 - 300k - 100k = ~600k, plus investments. But you're right, this doesn't acct for 401k contributions.

WinSome

New
Posts: 91
Joined: Mon May 02, 2016 5:50 am

Re: How feasible is this 10 year plan?

Postby WinSome » Sun Jul 24, 2016 7:01 pm

jstanhope14 wrote:@winsome the 600-700k figure was based on working in the Boston market at 180k salary scale.

Income
180k + 15k bonus
190k + 15k bonus
210k + 25k bonus
235k + 50k bonus
260k + 65k bonus
280k + 80k bonus
_________________
= 1,605,000 gross
= ~ 1,000,000 net

Debt
300k = living expenses (50k/yr x 6 years)
100k student loans

1,000,000 - 300k - 100k = ~600k, plus investments. But you're right, this doesn't acct for 401k contributions.


Might be feasible in Boston, but most of the biglaw jobs are in NYC, not that getting Boston biglaw is impossible. Also, your bonus figures are off a year. You counted the prorated stub year bonus as the first year and the first year as the second.

Alive97

Bronze
Posts: 335
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2015 5:26 pm

Re: How feasible is this 10 year plan?

Postby Alive97 » Mon Jul 25, 2016 11:16 am

.
Last edited by Alive97 on Fri May 05, 2017 10:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
mukol

Bronze
Posts: 482
Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2016 9:46 pm

Re: How feasible is this 10 year plan?

Postby mukol » Mon Jul 25, 2016 11:24 am

jstanhope14 wrote:0L here, daydreaming amidst LSAT studying. For someone who enrolls at a T-14, how feasible is the following plan?

- Get a 2L biglaw SA
- Work at that same big law firm for 5-6 years, saving as much $$ as possible.
- Around age 31-32, at the end of those 5-6 years, use all the money you saved (600-700k) to buy a nice New England estate.
- Join a local firm (HUGE paycut), work for a few years whilst integrating yourself in the community
- Breakaway and start your own firm (or become partner)/

thoughts? has anyone tried this / is trying to do this?


What's your LSAT?

User avatar
pancakes3

Platinum
Posts: 6623
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2014 2:49 pm

Re: How feasible is this 10 year plan?

Postby pancakes3 » Mon Jul 25, 2016 11:31 am

saving the money is the trivial part. Even if he doesn't hit his goal (which he probably won't), he'll definitely have enough to put down a substantial down payment and take out a mortgage like a normal person. Plus he might wife up and DINK it for a couple years.

the hard part is lateraling out. there aren't a lot of reasons for a local firm to hire the OP, especially without ties.

abl

Silver
Posts: 736
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:07 pm

Re: How feasible is this 10 year plan?

Postby abl » Mon Jul 25, 2016 12:23 pm

It's feasible, but far from a guarantee. I'll break it down point by point.

1. It's probable that you'll be able to land a non-NYC biglaw position out of a T14. (It's harder to say whether that'll be Boston biglaw specifically.) How much choice you have in what geographical areas is going to depend pretty entirely on (1) which T14 you attend and (2) how well you do at that T14.

2. Similarly, an associate who really, really commits to lasting ~5 years will probably be able to last ~5 years. That's not to say it'll be great fun. But I would wager than >50% of folks who really make this commitment are able to hang on for about that long (I bet it's probably closer to ~75%--although associates generally only last 2-4 years, the real weed-out point for ultra-committed associates is around the 5-6 year mark: most folks who leave after ~2-3 years do so because biglaw sucks and not because the firm has suggested that they leave).

3. Saving ~600k while making payments on ~$100k in student loans in ~5 years of biglaw is the one thing of the bunch that you can pretty close to completely control. It's not going to be particularly easy, and it's going to require you to live at a significantly lower standard of life than most of your peers, but this is something that you can make work if you really commit to it. I would also encourage you, in this scenario, to refinance your student loans and strongly consider not paying them off immediately. If you just put down normal payments on your loans on a 10-year repayment schedule, you'll be about half paid-off at the point you leave biglaw. I would also encourage you to consider saving less (~$500k? ~$400k?) and saving for retirement.

4. I don't know what sort of New England estate you're envisioning or how much that'd cost, so it's harder to say whether $400-$600k is a sufficient downpayment for you to get a mortgage you can afford on a your post-biglaw salary for the sort of estate that you're looking for. I'd aim to keep your debt to income ratio (your monthly debt obligations / your monthly gross income) below 33%. So you can figure out how much you'll have needed to save pretty easily. FWIW although my guess is that your post-biglaw salary will be >$100k, you should assume something closer to $70k just to be on the conservative side.

5. The starting your own firm / making partner bit is pretty impossible to evaluate. This is going to almost entirely depend on your personal qualities, lawyerly talent, community connections, etc. And unlike just about everything else on your list, "working hard" or "really committing" is probably not sufficient to make this part of your dream a reality. Nevertheless, I would wager that a substantial percentage of people who follow the path that you propose are able to make this final step happen.

The biggest reason why the above won't all happen is because you change your mind along the way (and it's very likely that you will at some point). If your resolve remains unwavering throughout, and you're the sort of person who has extraordinary goal-discipline, then I bet that this (other than maybe 5) all happens for you.



Return to “Law School Admissions Forum�

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests