Salary trends

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: Salary trends

Postby XxSpyKEx » Mon Apr 05, 2010 8:01 pm

disco_barred wrote:
XxSpyKEx wrote:
disco_barred wrote:Every year ~45,000 people graduate from law school. The federal government estimates ~30,000 new legal jobs every year.


This can't be right... Are you saying that roughly 1/3 of law school grads will not be able to find any legal job (not even jobs that pay $40K /year or less)?


Sure am. Welcome to the economy!

the Bureau of Labor Statistics wrote:Job prospects. Competition for job openings should continue to be keen because of the large number of students graduating from law school each year. Graduates with superior academic records from highly regarded law schools will have the best job opportunities. Perhaps as a result of competition for attorney positions, lawyers are increasingly finding work in less traditional areas for which legal training is an asset, but not normally a requirement


I wish I could find the actual number, but I'm sure it came from BLS. I'll keep poking around.


Lol. I for one think ABA's solution should be to accredit another 50-100 law schools in the next 5 years. That should fix the problem.

Action Jackson
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Re: Salary trends

Postby Action Jackson » Mon Apr 05, 2010 8:26 pm

jason8821 wrote:
reasonable_man wrote:
nealric wrote:
I certainly understand that there are plenty of people out there that make 40-50k as attorneys, but I know a hand full of attorneys in my shit county (65,000 people) one of the poorest in the state. Every attorney here lives in a beautiful home. I mean beautiful as in would easily run someone 1-2 million if they lived in a New York/LA suburb. That was the entire reason for my question. It would seem that the only way this is possible is if these 40-50k salaries turn into 150K salaries for a large majority of lawyers as they age into their late 40's and early 50's. However, most people on here seem to think it's really hard to ever hit the high 100's or 200k without working in big law.


I think a big issue is that the legal field has changed a lot since lawyers who are in their 40s-60s went to school. The reality those guys faced out of law school is very different from the reality that will be faced by new graduates today. There were a lot fewer law school back then, and much less of a glut. There were a lot more opportunities for young lawyers to get trained and get their own practice started. Young lawyers were not in as much debt, and much more able to struggle for a few years while getting a practice started.

Also, older lawyers are disproportionately successful because unsuccessful lawyers usually leave the law before they get older- so you get a skewed picture by looking at those who are established.


I agree.



Those are all great points, and perhaps the legal field is damned, but I certainly don't think it is more so than many other professions. I am almost certain that more people are saying "Hey engineers, and pharmacists make good money and it's a secure, semi-recession proof job" + "I'm smart". It certainly won't be long until fields like IT, and Engineering and even pharmacy are equally as saturated IMO. There is not some magical aura surrounding law school that makes it so much more attractive than the other fields, it's the money. It is because for the last few decades 90% of semi educated people think 1.) Doctor 2.) Lawyer 3.) Many of the fields above, and now that people are realizing this is not true, they gravitate in other directions (I think). Also if one would take a look at the average salary range of a lawyer at salary vs Electrical Engineer, and looks at the lower 10% of those, you notice that a lawyer still makes the higher salary, and even if they were equal, I would pay an extra 3-5/year in loans for 30 years to do something I enjoy. This of course detracts from the idea that people out of big law are better off in other fields due to debt.

I believe it is the horror stories surrounding law school graduates that are well publicized that may in effect save the legal field from being extremely over saturated in the future, again it's optimistic, but we'll see.

I have a bunch of friend that went to Medical school and Pharmacy school, and both field have demand far outstripping supply. My buddy graduated with a Pharm.D last year and he had 6 job offers. Yeah, in the middle of the Great Recession.

The law is a pretty messed up field, supply/demand-wise. That's one of the reasons people take a T14-or-bust mentality.

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Re: Salary trends

Postby jason8821 » Mon Apr 05, 2010 8:49 pm

As I pointed out in my post, I tried to enunciate "even" Pharmacy people could suffer in the future. This is the one true field where barring the use of automated machines for quality assurance, this field will probably continue to prosper, but my theory although a little far fetched is that even pharmacy will at some point balance it's self out. I too know two people in pharmacy making good money, and working 40ish hour weeks, people will find this out, and intelligent/prudent high school, young college students will begin considering this career path over the alternatives. At some point people it will be known that the average pharmacist not only makes more than the average lawyer, but works significantly less in a lot of cases.

Again, What I am saying is pretty easy to attack because it's based on some history, and more faith in the overall market, but I look at it like this: In the absence of hunters/apex predator to keep the population in check, deer can start out with plenty of food to consume, and for years they will reap the reward, but eventually plants won't grow fast enough and they will starve to death. That's what is going on in the legal field and it will eventually carry over to other fields. The law has been as important as any technology for thousands of years and it will continue to be an esoteric practice for years to come, but it won't be without interruption. If I end up being wrong, I'll stand corrected. If not, you heard it here first.

gandhi10
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Re: Salary trends

Postby gandhi10 » Mon Apr 05, 2010 8:54 pm

being optimistic, if the economy stabilizes... what about the schools who report 75,000-100,000 (GSU, Houston, South Carolina) median starting salaries in the private sector? what kind of firms are those at, and how fast do those salaries rise?

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Re: Salary trends

Postby XxSpyKEx » Mon Apr 05, 2010 9:50 pm

jason8821 wrote:As I pointed out in my post, I tried to enunciate "even" Pharmacy people could suffer in the future. This is the one true field where barring the use of automated machines for quality assurance, this field will probably continue to prosper, but my theory although a little far fetched is that even pharmacy will at some point balance it's self out. I too know two people in pharmacy making good money, and working 40ish hour weeks, people will find this out, and intelligent/prudent high school, young college students will begin considering this career path over the alternatives. At some point people it will be known that the average pharmacist not only makes more than the average lawyer, but works significantly less in a lot of cases.


I don’t know where people come up with this machines are going to replace pharmacists crap but that’s never going to happen. State laws require at least one pharmacist to be present when prescription drugs are being dispensed. All the big retail stores have exactly one pharmacist present while drugs are being dispensed. Anyway, pharmacists don’t actually fill drugs at all. The pharmacy tech does. The pharmacist is just there to 1) answer questions that a customer has (because he is the only one there qualified to answer those) 2) make sure the pharm tech’s are doing their jobs right and that the right pill is in the right bottle, etc.

Pharmacists actually make significantly more than what a biglaw associate does when you break it down per hour. Pharmacists at Walgreens in Chicago, e.g., start at $108K year, pharmacy managers start at $120K (heavy emphasis on that being the starting pay), and they never work a minute over 40 hours a week, unless they get called in because there is no one else to work the shift, in which case they get time and a half (not good for retailers so they try to avoid this as much as possible but there just isn’t enough pharmacists to avoid it right now).

Pharmacy is booming right now because all the baby boomers are retiring/getting older and there need to be someone to fill their prescriptions. However, I suspect there will be an oversupply as a result of flooding the market with them right now (because they are heavily demanded right now) in another 20 years or so once all the baby boomers die off and the spike of population makes its way out our pipeline.

However, you are wrong about the “people will find this out, and intelligent/prudent high school, young college students will begin considering this career path over the alternatives” because I really don’t think the typical person in law school definitely is bright enough to cut it through pharmacy school. Most law students are BAs in some type of liberal arts major and find law school challenging in comparison to UG. However, spending a couple years towards pre-pharmacy I can honestly say that most people in law school are practically mentally handicapped in comparison. Also the law curriculum is a complete joke in comparison to the difficulty level of a lot of the science classes pharmacists take (it’s pretty much like becoming a doctor but only doing a lot more boring and uninteresting work at the end – and the mind-numbingly boring job might be another reason why even really bright people may not want to become a pharmacist).

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Re: Salary trends

Postby bigben » Mon Apr 05, 2010 10:16 pm

reasonable_man wrote:I am a lawyer working in his second year of full time post law school employment at a "midlaw" firm in the NYC area. My salary is in the range of 70 to 80k. From what I see, bumps of 5 to 10k are about average for mid-sized firms. The hours are still lousy (though not as bad as biglaw), and the work is still very draining. For the most part, I like what I do, but this is not a get-rich-quick profession.


When I hear midlaw I usually think 90k - 120k entry level.

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Re: Salary trends

Postby bigben » Mon Apr 05, 2010 10:19 pm

betasteve wrote:Also, I'd be careful suggesting that some reporting bias exists absent evidence. I'm not saying you are wrong... I am just saying that it flies in the face of statistics to present data then make unsubstantiated claims regarding the sample set.


I don't have the data in front of me right now but NLJ has the exact number of grads who were hired by NLJ250 firms. If you compare that number to the mode on the right end of the graph, they are almost the same, suggesting that just about all the high salary earners reported their incomes. So the sample (which is comprised of about 50% of all grads) is about as biased as you can get.

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Re: Salary trends

Postby 270910 » Mon Apr 05, 2010 10:26 pm

bigben wrote:
betasteve wrote:Also, I'd be careful suggesting that some reporting bias exists absent evidence. I'm not saying you are wrong... I am just saying that it flies in the face of statistics to present data then make unsubstantiated claims regarding the sample set.


I don't have the data in front of me right now but NLJ has the exact number of grads who were hired by NLJ250 firms. If you compare that number to the mode on the right end of the graph, they are almost the same, suggesting that just about all the high salary earners reported their incomes. So the sample (which is comprised of about 50% of all grads) is about as biased as you can get.


Thanks, that's exactly the point I was trying to make (inarticulately) earlier in the thread.

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Re: Salary trends

Postby bigben » Mon Apr 05, 2010 10:44 pm

jason8821 wrote:I certainly understand that there are plenty of people out there that make 40-50k as attorneys, but I know a hand full of attorneys in my shit county (65,000 people) one of the poorest in the state. Every attorney here lives in a beautiful home. I mean beautiful as in would easily run someone 1-2 million if they lived in a New York/LA suburb. That was the entire reason for my question. It would seem that the only way this is possible is if these 40-50k salaries turn into 150K salaries for a large majority of lawyers as they age into their late 40's and early 50's. However, most people on here seem to think it's really hard to ever hit the high 100's or 200k without working in big law.


Large home =/= large income. Any schmo can take a swim in debt up to his eyeballs and have a huge home while barely staying afloat. Unfortunately the availability of credit is just as preposterous now as it was before the crash.

However, I think the vast majority of people who are lawyers in their 40s and 50s today make at six figures and probably eve 150+, except for government types. This goes for small town lawyers and lawyers in the less desirable practice areas too. This is not because opportunities in law are so great, it's because law is a difficult and demanding profession to stay in. You have no idea how many of their classmates ceased being lawyers in the past 30 years - a lot did. Moreover, these people went to law school in a different time. There are far more people going to law school now. Many of them won't ever get a lawyer job, and many more than that won't remain lawyers for very long.

As to your question, the answer you are looking for doesn't really exist. You can learn about biglaw which has a homogenized and well-known career track, but only 7-8% of grads are working there at all and about 0.5% are staying in biglaw and making partner. Outside of that, things are too varied to make any useful generalizations. We can tell you what employment outcomes look like upon graduation. For any specific post-graduation job, you can probably even get a good guess on what things will look like after 5 years. But what you going to be making in 10 years is anybody's guess. Might be a lot, might be a little, you might not be a lawyer any more. It basically depends on whether you have pulled off the feat of generating a revenue stream by making yourself valuable.

Actual helpful advice: go find specific jobs you are interested in. Learn what it takes to get those jobs. Find the people who are in those jobs now. Talk to them and get their advice. Most attorneys are more than happy to share their knowledge and help you out. For a directory of larger firms, see nalpdirectory.com

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Re: Salary trends

Postby bigben » Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:04 pm

gandhi10 wrote:being optimistic, if the economy stabilizes... what about the schools who report 75,000-100,000 (GSU, Houston, South Carolina) median starting salaries in the private sector? what kind of firms are those at, and how fast do those salaries rise?


School stats are lies. Yes, lies. Look at the NLJ250 placement stats. The red bar on that chart next to your school is your approximate chance of getting a 70k+ job upon graduation.

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Re: Salary trends

Postby XxSpyKEx » Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:39 pm

bigben wrote:
gandhi10 wrote:being optimistic, if the economy stabilizes... what about the schools who report 75,000-100,000 (GSU, Houston, South Carolina) median starting salaries in the private sector? what kind of firms are those at, and how fast do those salaries rise?


School stats are lies. Yes, lies. Look at the NLJ250 placement stats. The red bar on that chart next to your school is your approximate chance of getting a 70k+ job upon graduation.


They're not lies. They merely omit the fact that the median salary is based on the 8% of the class that they sought out to report salary information, and out of that 8%, 4% of the class made biglaw. Actually seeing $75-100K median at a school would be a bit worrisome for me because that suggests that not even 1 person got $160K biglaw in the class (because if there was just one person in the class that got $160K biglaw, then the school could have only gotten salary information from that person and reported a $160K median). E.g. Hofstra reports a median salary of $160K, yet, only 8.1% of their class got into 501+ firms (i.e. typically the firms that pay $160K). Even if you figure in the 251-500 attorney firms, that makes 9.36% of the total class that got biglaw, yet somehow they managed to keep a median of $160K by soliciting only those people to report their salaries. To make things even better and hide the fact that such a smaller percentage of their class failed to report their salary information they include "99.7% of the Class of 2008 had reported their employment status to the Office of Career Services."

See: http://law.hofstra.edu/studentlife/Care ... stics.html

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Re: Salary trends

Postby nealric » Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:42 pm

They're not lies. They merely omit the fact that the median salary is based on the 8% of the class that they sought out to report salary information, and out of that 8%, 4% of the class made biglaw. Actually seeing $75-100K median at a school would be a bit worrisome for me because that suggests that not even 1 person got $160K biglaw in the class (because if there was just one person in the class that got $160K biglaw, then the school could have only gotten salary information from that person and reported a $160K median). E.g. Hofstra reports a median salary of $160K, yet, only 8.1% of their class got into 501+ firms (i.e. typically the firms that pay $160K). Even if you figure in the 251-500 attorney firms, that makes 9.36% of the total class that got biglaw, yet somehow they managed to keep a median of $160K by soliciting only those people to report their salaries. To make things even better and hide the fact that such a smaller percentage of their class failed to report their salary information they include "99.7% of the Class of 2008 had reported their employment status to the Office of Career Services."


I think such blatant misrepresentation gets to the point of lies. I mean, they are accounting for their employment numbers in ways that would make Enron execs blush.

A credulous person casually looking at those numbers would conclude that the "average" Hofstra student gets paid 160k a year. That conclusion is false, but it is precisely the conclusion they want you to come to before shelling out over 100k to attend their school.
Last edited by nealric on Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Salary trends

Postby Posner » Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:43 pm

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Last edited by Posner on Sun Apr 11, 2010 9:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Salary trends

Postby nealric » Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:49 pm

I do not know whether it is fair to say there were more opportunities for training and breaking out on your own 20-35 years ago. I've spoken to plenty of people from this generation that have their share of war stories. I think the real difference (other than the recession of course) is the debt law students of today carry.


I very often hear stories from older lawyers about how partners used to sit down with them and explain things for hours. I've never hard of that today (especially in biglaw). I'm also talking about the fact that people are having a harder time finding post-grad employment. No employment = no training.

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Re: Salary trends

Postby bigben » Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:52 pm

People don't get the message unless you use the word LIES. LIES I TELL YOU!!!

Not everyone groks the whole lies, damned lies, and statistics thing.

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Re: Salary trends

Postby gandhi10 » Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:58 pm

georgia state reports an average of 89k for all graduates http://law.gsu.edu/admissions/viewbook09.pdf (p.24)

South Carolina reports 75k with over 60% reporting http://www.top-law-schools.com/south-carolina-law.html

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Re: Salary trends

Postby XxSpyKEx » Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:59 pm

nealric wrote:
They're not lies. They merely omit the fact that the median salary is based on the 8% of the class that they sought out to report salary information, and out of that 8%, 4% of the class made biglaw. Actually seeing $75-100K median at a school would be a bit worrisome for me because that suggests that not even 1 person got $160K biglaw in the class (because if there was just one person in the class that got $160K biglaw, then the school could have only gotten salary information from that person and reported a $160K median). E.g. Hofstra reports a median salary of $160K, yet, only 8.1% of their class got into 501+ firms (i.e. typically the firms that pay $160K). Even if you figure in the 251-500 attorney firms, that makes 9.36% of the total class that got biglaw, yet somehow they managed to keep a median of $160K by soliciting only those people to report their salaries. To make things even better and hide the fact that such a smaller percentage of their class failed to report their salary information they include "99.7% of the Class of 2008 had reported their employment status to the Office of Career Services."


I think such blatant misrepresentation gets to the point of lies. I mean, they are accounting for their employment numbers in ways that would make Enron execs blush.

A credulous person casually looking at those numbers would conclude that the "average" Hofstra student gets paid 160k a year. That conclusion is false, but it is precisely the conclusion they want you to come to before shelling out over 200k to attend their school.

FTFY.

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Re: Salary trends

Postby phoenix323 » Tue Apr 06, 2010 12:01 am

jason8821 wrote: Those are all great points, and perhaps the legal field is damned, but I certainly don't think it is more so than many other professions. I am almost certain that more people are saying "Hey engineers, and pharmacists make good money and it's a secure, semi-recession proof job" + "I'm smart". It certainly won't be long until fields like IT, and Engineering and even pharmacy are equally as saturated IMO. There is not some magical aura surrounding law school that makes it so much more attractive than the other fields, it's the money. It is because for the last few decades 90% of semi educated people think 1.) Doctor 2.) Lawyer 3.) Many of the fields above, and now that people are realizing this is not true, they gravitate in other directions (I think). Also if one would take a look at the average salary range of a lawyer at salary vs Electrical Engineer, and looks at the lower 10% of those, you notice that a lawyer still makes the higher salary, and even if they were equal, I would pay an extra 3-5/year in loans for 30 years to do something I enjoy. This of course detracts from the idea that people out of big law are better off in other fields due to debt.

I believe it is the horror stories surrounding law school graduates that are well publicized that may in effect save the legal field from being extremely over saturated in the future, again it's optimistic, but we'll see.


I don't think this is a good comparison. Becoming an Engineer or a Pharmacist requires specialized courses that the average undergrad student doesn't take. In a way it's "easier" to decide as a senior that you don't want to face the abysmal job market and hide out in law school for three years. There are no prerequisite courses required to got to law school. If, however, you want to become a pharmacist you are required to take so many semesters of Organic Chemistry, Biology, etc. Many people who attend law schools have undergraduate backgrounds in the humanities. Because of this, I don't think highly specialized fields like Engineering and Pharmacy will become nearly as impacted as the legal field currently is.

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Re: Salary trends

Postby bigben » Tue Apr 06, 2010 12:05 am

Posner wrote:Some fair points, but you also need to remember that the baby-boomer generation will be retiring in the near future. I haven't seen hard numbers, but I have heard many speculate that in 10 years there will be a tremendous amount of openings as the older generation retires.

I do not know whether it is fair to say there were more opportunities for training and breaking out on your own 20-35 years ago. I've spoken to plenty of people from this generation that have their share of war stories. I think the real difference (other than the recession of course) is the debt law students of today carry.


Seriously? Those points were not being made to arrive at some vague up or down verdict on the outlook of the entire legal profession. What a ridiculous thought. How could you possibly think such a thing could exist? It all depends on the particular circumstances.

Those points were being offered to decimate the following asinine reasoning: "I see a bunch of old lawyers around here with big houses so I should go to law school."

By the way, there are far more people going to law school now than there were 30 years ago. Wish I could find the actual numbers.

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Re: Salary trends

Postby XxSpyKEx » Tue Apr 06, 2010 12:12 am

gandhi10 wrote:georgia state reports an average of 89k for all graduates http://law.gsu.edu/admissions/viewbook09.pdf (p.24)

South Carolina reports 75k with over 60% reporting http://www.top-law-schools.com/south-carolina-law.html


That reporting number is so low that it makes the statistic almost completely useless. Does that mean the 40% that didn’t report couldn’t find any type of paying legal employment? Does it mean that 40% of their class is now sucking cock for crack while living under a dumpster and fighting off sallie mae with a butter knife to avoid getting the dumpster foreclosed on? I really can’t tell by that number, so I think it would be best to assume an affirmative answer to my last question.

Also notice that median salary of 60% of the class would mean top 30% of the class (and that assumes that by “reporting” they mean reported both employment status and salary information, and that 60% wasn’t just the percentage that said they have jobs in general).

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Re: Salary trends

Postby bigben » Tue Apr 06, 2010 12:23 am

gandhi10 wrote:georgia state reports an average of 89k for all graduates http://law.gsu.edu/admissions/viewbook09.pdf (p.24)

South Carolina reports 75k with over 60% reporting http://www.top-law-schools.com/south-carolina-law.html

I glanced at these. The bottom line is that they never tell you how many people reported their salary. They give you an average salary figure - not even a median - but you don't know what it really means. They might tell you how many people reported their employment status (employed vs unemployed) or even their sector of employment, but you just don't know how many reported their salaries. It would be interesting if someone called and asked the admissions office for the hard numbers sometime. I mean all the underlying data. My guess is they would cite confidentiality concerns and decline.

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Re: Salary trends

Postby SBimmer » Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:00 am

XxSpyKEx wrote:
jason8821 wrote:As I pointed out in my post, I tried to enunciate "even" Pharmacy people could suffer in the future. This is the one true field where barring the use of automated machines for quality assurance, this field will probably continue to prosper, but my theory although a little far fetched is that even pharmacy will at some point balance it's self out. I too know two people in pharmacy making good money, and working 40ish hour weeks, people will find this out, and intelligent/prudent high school, young college students will begin considering this career path over the alternatives. At some point people it will be known that the average pharmacist not only makes more than the average lawyer, but works significantly less in a lot of cases.


I don’t know where people come up with this machines are going to replace pharmacists crap but that’s never going to happen. State laws require at least one pharmacist to be present when prescription drugs are being dispensed. All the big retail stores have exactly one pharmacist present while drugs are being dispensed. Anyway, pharmacists don’t actually fill drugs at all. The pharmacy tech does. The pharmacist is just there to 1) answer questions that a customer has (because he is the only one there qualified to answer those) 2) make sure the pharm tech’s are doing their jobs right and that the right pill is in the right bottle, etc.

Pharmacists actually make significantly more than what a biglaw associate does when you break it down per hour. Pharmacists at Walgreens in Chicago, e.g., start at $108K year, pharmacy managers start at $120K (heavy emphasis on that being the starting pay), and they never work a minute over 40 hours a week, unless they get called in because there is no one else to work the shift, in which case they get time and a half (not good for retailers so they try to avoid this as much as possible but there just isn’t enough pharmacists to avoid it right now).

Pharmacy is booming right now because all the baby boomers are retiring/getting older and there need to be someone to fill their prescriptions. However, I suspect there will be an oversupply as a result of flooding the market with them right now (because they are heavily demanded right now) in another 20 years or so once all the baby boomers die off and the spike of population makes its way out our pipeline.

However, you are wrong about the “people will find this out, and intelligent/prudent high school, young college students will begin considering this career path over the alternatives” because I really don’t think the typical person in law school definitely is bright enough to cut it through pharmacy school. Most law students are BAs in some type of liberal arts major and find law school challenging in comparison to UG. However, spending a couple years towards pre-pharmacy I can honestly say that most people in law school are practically mentally handicapped in comparison. Also the law curriculum is a complete joke in comparison to the difficulty level of a lot of the science classes pharmacists take (it’s pretty much like becoming a doctor but only doing a lot more boring and uninteresting work at the end – and the mind-numbingly boring job might be another reason why even really bright people may not want to become a pharmacist).


I fully concur. I was a pharmacy tech. in the Navy and my wife's currently a Pharmacist. Becoming a Pharmacist is twice the difficulty of becoming a Lawyer. The science courses are killer and akin to medical school courses. Most lawyers couldn't hack pharmacy school but 90% of pharmacy school students can breeze through law school.

BTW: I'm in IT and will be attending law school next year. I majored in Computer Science and don't believe most law students could hack its rigors. No pun intended.

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Re: Salary trends

Postby jason8821 » Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:18 am

SBimmer wrote:
XxSpyKEx wrote:
jason8821 wrote:As I pointed out in my post, I tried to enunciate "even" Pharmacy people could suffer in the future. This is the one true field where barring the use of automated machines for quality assurance, this field will probably continue to prosper, but my theory although a little far fetched is that even pharmacy will at some point balance it's self out. I too know two people in pharmacy making good money, and working 40ish hour weeks, people will find this out, and intelligent/prudent high school, young college students will begin considering this career path over the alternatives. At some point people it will be known that the average pharmacist not only makes more than the average lawyer, but works significantly less in a lot of cases.


I don’t know where people come up with this machines are going to replace pharmacists crap but that’s never going to happen. State laws require at least one pharmacist to be present when prescription drugs are being dispensed. All the big retail stores have exactly one pharmacist present while drugs are being dispensed. Anyway, pharmacists don’t actually fill drugs at all. The pharmacy tech does. The pharmacist is just there to 1) answer questions that a customer has (because he is the only one there qualified to answer those) 2) make sure the pharm tech’s are doing their jobs right and that the right pill is in the right bottle, etc.

Pharmacists actually make significantly more than what a biglaw associate does when you break it down per hour. Pharmacists at Walgreens in Chicago, e.g., start at $108K year, pharmacy managers start at $120K (heavy emphasis on that being the starting pay), and they never work a minute over 40 hours a week, unless they get called in because there is no one else to work the shift, in which case they get time and a half (not good for retailers so they try to avoid this as much as possible but there just isn’t enough pharmacists to avoid it right now).

Pharmacy is booming right now because all the baby boomers are retiring/getting older and there need to be someone to fill their prescriptions. However, I suspect there will be an oversupply as a result of flooding the market with them right now (because they are heavily demanded right now) in another 20 years or so once all the baby boomers die off and the spike of population makes its way out our pipeline.

However, you are wrong about the “people will find this out, and intelligent/prudent high school, young college students will begin considering this career path over the alternatives” because I really don’t think the typical person in law school definitely is bright enough to cut it through pharmacy school. Most law students are BAs in some type of liberal arts major and find law school challenging in comparison to UG. However, spending a couple years towards pre-pharmacy I can honestly say that most people in law school are practically mentally handicapped in comparison. Also the law curriculum is a complete joke in comparison to the difficulty level of a lot of the science classes pharmacists take (it’s pretty much like becoming a doctor but only doing a lot more boring and uninteresting work at the end – and the mind-numbingly boring job might be another reason why even really bright people may not want to become a pharmacist).


I fully concur. I was a pharmacy tech. in the Navy and my wife's currently a Pharmacist. Becoming a Pharmacist is twice the difficulty of becoming a Lawyer. The science courses are killer and akin to medical school courses. Most lawyers couldn't hack pharmacy school but 90% of pharmacy school students can breeze through law school.

BTW: I'm in IT and will be attending law school next year. I majored in Computer Science and don't believe most law students could hack its rigors. No pun intended.



Well I am not in IT, nor am I in law school yet. but I hope you are right in saying law school is easier, I plan to spend a dozen hours/day dedicating myself to it when I get there, so I certainly hope that will be rewarded, and if it truly is easier than all of the schooling for all of these other careers, it seems I would be. Thanks for the responses.

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Re: Salary trends

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:19 am

I fully concur. I was a pharmacy tech. in the Navy and my wife's currently a Pharmacist. Becoming a Pharmacist is twice the difficulty of becoming a Lawyer. The science courses are killer and akin to medical school courses. Most lawyers couldn't hack pharmacy school but 90% of pharmacy school students can breeze through law school.

BTW: I'm in IT and will be attending law school next year. I majored in Computer Science and don't believe most law students could hack its rigors. No pun intended.


Comments like these are naive. Come back and let us know which is harder AFTER you graduate law school and pass the bar.

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Re: Salary trends

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:21 am

Anonymous User wrote:
I fully concur. I was a pharmacy tech. in the Navy and my wife's currently a Pharmacist. Becoming a Pharmacist is twice the difficulty of becoming a Lawyer. The science courses are killer and akin to medical school courses. Most lawyers couldn't hack pharmacy school but 90% of pharmacy school students can breeze through law school.

BTW: I'm in IT and will be attending law school next year. I majored in Computer Science and don't believe most law students could hack its rigors. No pun intended.


Comments like these are naive. Come back and let us know which is harder AFTER you graduate law school and pass the bar.


Edit: Most lawayers don't want to hack pharmacy school, that's why they're lawyers, not pharmacists. I graduated with a 4.0 in finance largely because I enjoyed the subject matter. I would imagine pharmacists are the same way. It takes a special person to want to be a pharmacists (or a computer programmer).




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