Why You Should Go To Law School

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acdisagod
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Re: Why You Should Go To Law School

Postby acdisagod » Thu Oct 29, 2009 4:01 pm

I'm confused Mtal. Why are you going or why did you go to law school if it is was going to doom you financially?

I'm also confused why the top 20% at Fordham aren't goign to do well. Even if I concede the numbers are wildly exaggerated, and people are only making 80k thats still pretty good.

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Helmholtz
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Re: Why You Should Go To Law School

Postby Helmholtz » Thu Oct 29, 2009 4:05 pm

Look, nearly 80% of TTT students finish in the bottom half of their classes, it's just not worth it.

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98234872348
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Re: Why You Should Go To Law School

Postby 98234872348 » Thu Oct 29, 2009 4:07 pm

acdisagod wrote:I'm confused Mtal. Why are you going or why did you go to law school if it is was going to doom you financially?

I'm also confused why the top 20% at Fordham aren't goign to do well. Even if I concede the numbers are wildly exaggerated, and people are only making 80k thats still pretty good.

Your second paragraph makes little to no sense, in case you were wondering...

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General Tso
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Re: Why You Should Go To Law School

Postby General Tso » Thu Oct 29, 2009 4:08 pm

Z3RO wrote:Ok, it's time for three terrible words: bimodal salary distribution.

Lawyers either make 145-160k or they make 40-60k (not a typo; they make 100k less). There isn't really a middle ground.

If the median salary is in the 160k range, then you're in pretty good shape. That means at least half of the graduates land on the safe side.

I'm worried that median salaries can be fudged a bit based on how you take your sample.


This is blatantly false. Midlaw exists. Here is the chart below...draw 2 lines at the 60k mark and again at the 135k mark, then add up the % of salaries for each (each data point is around 2% each). Assuming you can draw 7 or 8 data points there (70k-80k-90k-100k-110k-120k-130k), you have about 14-16% of the legal market.

Saying that 14-16% of the legal market does not exist is like saying that Government jobs are nonexistent (by comparison, Govt jobs make up about 9% of new lawyer jobs.)

http://www.elsblog.org/.shared/image.ht ... olorv2.gif
Last edited by General Tso on Thu Oct 29, 2009 4:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Always Credited
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Re: Why You Should Go To Law School

Postby Always Credited » Thu Oct 29, 2009 4:09 pm

MTal wrote:
Always Credited wrote:
What about...


Well that's the standard 0L outcry whenever I try and inject some reality into their sunshine and gumdrops view of law school. "But what about", "But what if I" etc... usually it's some variation on "I weel WERK HARD!" or "NetWerKING is KEE!" and my response is always... well yeah, but the odds of that happening are against you. "What if" or "what about" always imply a long shot. No one ever says I will graduate in the middle and my future as a lawyer will be uncertain, yet statistically at least half of a class will be in that position or worse.


I was only pointing out that the (debatable) predictive measurement of LSAT/GPA are relative to the competition around you. It was a hypothetical, not a long shot "what if I work hard for top 5%?" statement.

acdisagod
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Re: Why You Should Go To Law School

Postby acdisagod » Thu Oct 29, 2009 4:09 pm

I was referring to an earlier post. Even if the median income for lawyers out of Fordham is only half of what they say, those graduating in the top 20% of the class are going to do well.

Z3RO
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Re: Why You Should Go To Law School

Postby Z3RO » Thu Oct 29, 2009 4:09 pm

keg411 wrote:
Z3RO wrote:Ok, it's time for three terrible words: bimodal salary distribution.

Lawyers either make 145-160k or they make 40-60k (not a typo; they make 100k less). There isn't really a middle ground.

If the median salary is in the 160k range, then you're in pretty good shape. That means at least half of the graduates land on the safe side.

I'm worried that median salaries can be fudged a bit based on how you take your sample.


They START OUT at $40-60k. 5-10 years down the road it's typically $80-100k for most small-midlaw. Let's get that straight too. YOU WILL NOT BE MAKING $40k YOUR WHOLE LIFE. The real idiots are the ones who think they can't go anywhere even if they start out at the bottom. People just want to be handed $160k out of school with no work and it's a ridiculous attitude to have.

That's a good point. I guess what matters is whether you stay in the profession long enough/do a good enough job to land those jobs.

You also have to consider what you'd be making if you had 3 extra years of experience in whatever you were doing before plus the lost wages.

Personally, making 60k would be a huge leap in my salary.

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Re: Why You Should Go To Law School

Postby Z3RO » Thu Oct 29, 2009 4:11 pm

swheat wrote:
Z3RO wrote:Ok, it's time for three terrible words: bimodal salary distribution.

Lawyers either make 145-160k or they make 40-60k (not a typo; they make 100k less). There isn't really a middle ground.

If the median salary is in the 160k range, then you're in pretty good shape. That means at least half of the graduates land on the safe side.

I'm worried that median salaries can be fudged a bit based on how you take your sample.


This is blatantly false. Midlaw exists. Here is the chart below...draw 2 lines at the 60k mark and again at the 135k mark, then add up the % of salaries for each (each data point is around 2% each). Assuming you can draw 7 or 8 data points there (70k-80k-90k-100k-110k-120k-130k), you have about 14-16% of the legal market.

Saying that 14-16% of the legal market does not exist is like saying that Government jobs are nonexistent (by comparison, Govt jobs make up about 9% of new lawyer jobs.)

http://www.elsblog.org/.shared/image.ht ... olorv2.gif

Why not draw some more lines in between? Why not draw them every 5k step? You'll end up with 32%.

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General Tso
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Re: Why You Should Go To Law School

Postby General Tso » Thu Oct 29, 2009 4:13 pm

Z3RO wrote:Why not draw some more lines in between? Why not draw them every 5k step? You'll end up with 32%.


Count the peaks in there. I count 11 in the range I mentioned.

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jcl2
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Re: Why You Should Go To Law School

Postby jcl2 » Thu Oct 29, 2009 4:13 pm

keg411 wrote:
Z3RO wrote:Ok, it's time for three terrible words: bimodal salary distribution.

Lawyers either make 145-160k or they make 40-60k (not a typo; they make 100k less). There isn't really a middle ground.

If the median salary is in the 160k range, then you're in pretty good shape. That means at least half of the graduates land on the safe side.

I'm worried that median salaries can be fudged a bit based on how you take your sample.


They START OUT at $40-60k. 5-10 years down the road it's typically $80-100k for most small-midlaw. Let's get that straight too. YOU WILL NOT BE MAKING $40k YOUR WHOLE LIFE. The real idiots are the ones who think they can't go anywhere even if they start out at the bottom. People just want to be handed $160k out of school with no work and it's a ridiculous attitude to have.


There also is some middle ground in starting salaries for lawyers. It is bi-modal, there are peaks at 160k and 40k-60k, but if you look a little closer you will notice that about 1/3 make right around 160k, 1/3 make between 40k and 60k, and the other 1/3 are somewhere in between 60k and 145k, they are just spread over a bigger range. Those jobs in the middle are mostly variations of mid law, big law in smaller cities, and government. You might say, "well those jobs are just as hard to get as biglaw," which may or may not be true, but it still results in the situation looking much better than a purely biglaw or shitlaw dichotomy. Even if it is just as hard to get a 72k federal government job, or a 90k mid-law job as it is to get a 160k biglaw job, that would mean that a school that places 20% of its class into biglaw and another 20% of its class into midlaw/government jobs actually has 40% of its students capable of getting biglaw.

edit: looks like somebody beat me too it, and included better statistics. But I'll post this anyway

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98234872348
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Re: Why You Should Go To Law School

Postby 98234872348 » Thu Oct 29, 2009 4:14 pm

acdisagod wrote:I was referring to an earlier post. Even if the median income for lawyers out of Fordham is only half of what they say, those graduating in the top 20% of the class are going to do well.

80k/yr in NYC is more like 60K/yr (maybe less) anywhere else, not to mention you've got 200k in debt...

Not even to mention the math fail that is implicit in the assumption you are making... (i.e. median=/=mean)

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Helmholtz
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Re: Why You Should Go To Law School

Postby Helmholtz » Thu Oct 29, 2009 4:15 pm

Image
C/O 2008
Image

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Re: Why You Should Go To Law School

Postby 98234872348 » Thu Oct 29, 2009 4:16 pm

Edited: damn you Helm.
Last edited by 98234872348 on Thu Oct 29, 2009 4:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Helmholtz
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Re: Why You Should Go To Law School

Postby Helmholtz » Thu Oct 29, 2009 4:17 pm

NALP wrote:The salary distribution for the Class of 2008 presents the most dramatic bimodal distribution yet of starting salaries for recent graduates from law school...The new reality is that very few law school graduates actually make either the median or mean starting salaries, and so it is neither helpful nor accurate to describe starting lawyer salaries using those modalities. (For the Class of 2008, the median starting salary, the red line on this graph, was about $72,000 and the mean starting salary was about $92,000.) It is important for anyone considering a legal education to understand that half of all starting lawyer salaries are less than $72,000 and in fact 42% of them are between only $40,000 and $65,000. By contrast, 23% of all salaries reported were $160,000. Of course, based on recent developments in the marketplace, for the classes of 2009 and beyond the sharp spike over $160,000 is likely to soften and fall back to the left, and we may even see some flattening of this distribution curve over time.

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Haven
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Re: Why You Should Go To Law School

Postby Haven » Thu Oct 29, 2009 4:21 pm

Helmholtz wrote:Look, nearly 80% of TTT students finish in the bottom half of their classes, it's just not worth it.


I love this :)

So much

Folks- say we dont have delusions of grandeur at JDU.
Why go to LS other than $? I think the $ reason has been discussed quite enough.

hayman
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Re: Why You Should Go To Law School

Postby hayman » Thu Oct 29, 2009 4:23 pm

swheat wrote:
Z3RO wrote:Ok, it's time for three terrible words: bimodal salary distribution.

Lawyers either make 145-160k or they make 40-60k (not a typo; they make 100k less). There isn't really a middle ground.

If the median salary is in the 160k range, then you're in pretty good shape. That means at least half of the graduates land on the safe side.

I'm worried that median salaries can be fudged a bit based on how you take your sample.


This is blatantly false. Midlaw exists. Here is the chart below...draw 2 lines at the 60k mark and again at the 135k mark, then add up the % of salaries for each (each data point is around 2% each). Assuming you can draw 7 or 8 data points there (70k-80k-90k-100k-110k-120k-130k), you have about 14-16% of the legal market.

Saying that 14-16% of the legal market does not exist is like saying that Government jobs are nonexistent (by comparison, Govt jobs make up about 9% of new lawyer jobs.)

http://www.elsblog.org/.shared/image.ht ... olorv2.gif



14-16% is really really small when youre talking that big of a range (70k-130k). midlaw may exist...but not really

edit: actually it sounds like your range is more like 60k-135k

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j2d3
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Re: Why You Should Go To Law School

Postby j2d3 » Thu Oct 29, 2009 4:25 pm

I'm going to law school because I'm bored and I already make a lot of money. Rather than borrow a bunch of additional money for a fancy car or a condo, I'm going to borrow some to take a few years off and get a JD, because I think it will be fun, and I get that most people find my concept of "fun" pretty strange.

I'll probably get a MSCS at the same time, maybe an MSI, maybe a PhD in something. I might go into IP law, but there are many possibilities. Maybe I'll become a professor. Working a regular job, even one that's pretty fun, pays well, and is totally laid back like mine, gets old after a while, and I really miss being in school! This probably sounds weird to those of you who have been in school all your life up until now, but I'm aware that I'm atypical. Also, since I can make about $30-60K in summers, I'll probably only rack up about $60-80K extra debt, depending. In any case, given a choice between a fancy car and a JD, I'll take the JD. I already have 2 cars. Neither is very fancy, but fancy cars just aren't my thing. Spending time in a university doing research that fascinates me, writing papers, editing journals, being surrounded by intellectually stimulating people - especially brainy young people - that is my thing.

It's true that if you're chasing biglaw and big bucks, then taking on $100-200K of debt to do law school - if it's not a T14, is probably silly. At best it's going to turn you into a corporate slave... but frankly that seems to be the big dream so many people who want to work in biglaw are chasing! If that's what they want to do, so be it. And MTal, I guess it's fine to give people fair warning that things are not necessarily what they seem when it comes to deciding to pursue a JD, especially in the current economy, but seriously, you just keep saying the same thing over and over, frequently resorting to ad hominem attacks (not to say that others are doing the same thing to you.) Anyway, it's boring.

Making all these blanket statements and calling people idiots and assuming you know exactly what's going to happen to them based on their LSAT, GPA, and current aspirations is rude, unproductive, and tiresome! Why do you care whether they get ripped off or not? It actually really does seem like they *want* to be! Also, in some cases, there are other factors at play that make the situation significantly different. Maybe their parents are paying, maybe they don't care about "biglaw" and seriously want to be lawyers no matter what. Also, the market may recover. By the time c/o 2013 graduates, maybe firms will be dipping into t2 schools for biglaw because things have changed radically. The economy changes all the time, and drastically. Also - the world may end by 2013. Lots of people think it will. I for one would rather be spending the last 3 years of my time on the planet being at a fancy university on the government's dime rather than working in the "real world." I miss the "the fake world" - the "Ivory Tower" of academia. It's fun! (for some).

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MTal
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Re: Why You Should Go To Law School

Postby MTal » Thu Oct 29, 2009 4:25 pm

An even more important question is, who does midlaw hire? Certainly NOT freshly minted J.D.'s. Midlaw hires experienced biglaw attorneys, often those who have a portable book of business and are looking for slightly less pay and substantially fewer hours. You can't say "well if I don't get biglaw, I'll just "settle" for midlaw" because that just aint happening.

Z3RO
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Re: Why You Should Go To Law School

Postby Z3RO » Thu Oct 29, 2009 4:29 pm

j2d3 wrote:I'm going to law school because I'm bored and I already make a lot of money. Rather than borrow a bunch of additional money for a fancy car or a condo, I'm going to borrow some to take a few years off and get a JD, because I think it will be fun, and I get that most people find my concept of "fun" pretty strange.

I'll probably get a MSCS at the same time, maybe an MSI, maybe a PhD in something. I might go into IP law, but there are many possibilities. Maybe I'll become a professor. Working a regular job, even one that's pretty fun, pays well, and is totally laid back like mine, gets old after a while, and I really miss being in school! This probably sounds weird to those of you who have been in school all your life up until now, but I'm aware that I'm atypical. Also, since I can make about $30-60K in summers, I'll probably only rack up about $60-80K extra debt, depending. In any case, given a choice between a fancy car and a JD, I'll take the JD. I already have 2 cars. Neither is very fancy, but fancy cars just aren't my thing. Spending time in a university doing research that fascinates me, writing papers, editing journals, being surrounded by intellectually stimulating people - especially brainy young people - that is my thing.

It's true that if you're chasing biglaw and big bucks, then taking on $100-200K of debt to do law school - if it's not a T14, is probably silly. At best it's going to turn you into a corporate slave... but frankly that seems to be the big dream so many people who want to work in biglaw are chasing! If that's what they want to do, so be it. And MTal, I guess it's fine to give people fair warning that things are not necessarily what they seem when it comes to deciding to pursue a JD, especially in the current economy, but seriously, you just keep saying the same thing over and over, frequently resorting to ad hominem attacks (not to say that others are doing the same thing to you.) Anyway, it's boring.

Making all these blanket statements and calling people idiots and assuming you know exactly what's going to happen to them based on their LSAT, GPA, and current aspirations is rude, unproductive, and tiresome! Why do you care whether they get ripped off or not? It actually really does seem like they *want* to be! Also, in some cases, there are other factors at play that make the situation significantly different. Maybe their parents are paying, maybe they don't care about "biglaw" and seriously want to be lawyers no matter what. Also, the market may recover. By the time c/o 2013 graduates, maybe firms will be dipping into t2 schools for biglaw because things have changed radically. The economy changes all the time, and drastically. Also - the world may end by 2013. Lots of people think it will. I for one would rather be spending the last 3 years of my time on the planet being at a fancy university on the government's dime rather than working in the "real world." I miss the "the fake world" - the "Ivory Tower" of academia. It's fun! (for some).

Am I the only person that found this post demeaning? j2d3, you're a nice guy, but you've really got a way with words...

hayman
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Re: Why You Should Go To Law School

Postby hayman » Thu Oct 29, 2009 4:31 pm

Z3RO wrote:
j2d3 wrote:I'm going to law school because I'm bored and I already make a lot of money. Rather than borrow a bunch of additional money for a fancy car or a condo, I'm going to borrow some to take a few years off and get a JD, because I think it will be fun, and I get that most people find my concept of "fun" pretty strange.

I'll probably get a MSCS at the same time, maybe an MSI, maybe a PhD in something. I might go into IP law, but there are many possibilities. Maybe I'll become a professor. Working a regular job, even one that's pretty fun, pays well, and is totally laid back like mine, gets old after a while, and I really miss being in school! This probably sounds weird to those of you who have been in school all your life up until now, but I'm aware that I'm atypical. Also, since I can make about $30-60K in summers, I'll probably only rack up about $60-80K extra debt, depending. In any case, given a choice between a fancy car and a JD, I'll take the JD. I already have 2 cars. Neither is very fancy, but fancy cars just aren't my thing. Spending time in a university doing research that fascinates me, writing papers, editing journals, being surrounded by intellectually stimulating people - especially brainy young people - that is my thing.

It's true that if you're chasing biglaw and big bucks, then taking on $100-200K of debt to do law school - if it's not a T14, is probably silly. At best it's going to turn you into a corporate slave... but frankly that seems to be the big dream so many people who want to work in biglaw are chasing! If that's what they want to do, so be it. And MTal, I guess it's fine to give people fair warning that things are not necessarily what they seem when it comes to deciding to pursue a JD, especially in the current economy, but seriously, you just keep saying the same thing over and over, frequently resorting to ad hominem attacks (not to say that others are doing the same thing to you.) Anyway, it's boring.

Making all these blanket statements and calling people idiots and assuming you know exactly what's going to happen to them based on their LSAT, GPA, and current aspirations is rude, unproductive, and tiresome! Why do you care whether they get ripped off or not? It actually really does seem like they *want* to be! Also, in some cases, there are other factors at play that make the situation significantly different. Maybe their parents are paying, maybe they don't care about "biglaw" and seriously want to be lawyers no matter what. Also, the market may recover. By the time c/o 2013 graduates, maybe firms will be dipping into t2 schools for biglaw because things have changed radically. The economy changes all the time, and drastically. Also - the world may end by 2013. Lots of people think it will. I for one would rather be spending the last 3 years of my time on the planet being at a fancy university on the government's dime rather than working in the "real world." I miss the "the fake world" - the "Ivory Tower" of academia. It's fun! (for some).

Am I the only person that found this post demeaning? j2d3, you're a nice guy, but you've really got a way with words...

i was actually inspired

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j2d3
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Re: Why You Should Go To Law School

Postby j2d3 » Thu Oct 29, 2009 4:33 pm

Which part was demeaning? I'm sorry, didn't mean for it to be demeaning.

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98234872348
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Re: Why You Should Go To Law School

Postby 98234872348 » Thu Oct 29, 2009 4:33 pm

MTal wrote:An even more important question is, who does midlaw hire? Certainly NOT freshly minted J.D.'s. Midlaw hires experienced biglaw attorneys, often those who have a portable book of business and are looking for slightly less pay and substantially fewer hours. You can't say "well if I don't get biglaw, I'll just "settle" for midlaw" because that just aint happening.

Not according to RM...

keg411
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Re: Why You Should Go To Law School

Postby keg411 » Thu Oct 29, 2009 4:38 pm

The distribution charts are for the individual classes. Not the entire profession. So there has to be at least some midlaw that hires fresh JD's. It's not a lot, but it's not nothing.

The profession itself is NOT bimodal, just starting salaries. If that chart showed the class of 1997 or 1987 then maybe you could make a better case for it. Basically you have to actually WORK when you get out of school to make money. Radical concept.

ETA: RM is somewhat right about midlaw. Some of it works you like crazy, but at least in NJ, the pay is solid (note that this is for people who have been working for a few years, not entry levels). Some of it isn't actually midlaw (as in working for a firm), but essentially pays the around the 80-100k (i.e. working for an insurance company as a trial lawyer).

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Matthies
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Re: Why You Should Go To Law School

Postby Matthies » Thu Oct 29, 2009 4:42 pm

adamlippes wrote:
Well...to be honest, I don't even know how anyone short of someone in the market (reasonable man?) could have much authority talking about the legal job market. Let's now talk about some dude who wants to go to a T2 law school (not HY; I mean tier 2). Biglaw is effectively out by default. Again, midlaw doesn't exist. Shitlaw is being taken by the T14s or top students in the T1. PI and Government are good options, but without good LRAP, the student is looking at a dismal financial future.



Dude this is just wrong. Every single bit of it.

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Re: Why You Should Go To Law School

Postby bahama » Thu Oct 29, 2009 4:47 pm

MTal wrote:An even more important question is, who does midlaw hire? Certainly NOT freshly minted J.D.'s. Midlaw hires experienced biglaw attorneys, often those who have a portable book of business and are looking for slightly less pay and substantially fewer hours. You can't say "well if I don't get biglaw, I'll just "settle" for midlaw" because that just aint happening.


The graph is starting salaries so yes, in fact they hire new grads.

These jobs are harder to find b/c many of them are at smaller firms in secondary markets who do not go to a ton of OCIs. And a lot of the firms are looking for people with local connections who won't run off as soon as they can find a job in NYC/DC.




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