Why Big Law?

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La Grind Date
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Why Big Law?

Postby La Grind Date » Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:07 pm

Sup guys,

I wonder why do so many of you want to work in BigLaw? Two obvious answers come to mind: $ and prestige. Regarding prestige, who are you trying to impress? Whose validation are you seeking? Regarding $, what do you want that you can't afford with a more modest (i.e. non-BigLaw) salary?

I--a 0L--often ask myself these questions. Regarding the prestige issue, I cannot think of anyone that is worth impressing. Regarding the money issue, I want to own a lot of great paintings and sculptures; however, if I don't amass these objects, I won't sweat it.


Here's a section from Planet Law School that pushes my inquiry:

"Forgive me for raising the subject, but someday--no matter how young you are now--you are going to die. (Yes, it's true. Trust me: I'm a lawyer.) If and when you know your time is up, you will no doubt look back on your life. When you do, what will you think of it? Will you feel smug because you made it to the top in some prestigious law firm? Will you take satisfaction that the net worth of your estate will perhaps be in the millions of dollars? Will you be proud that your actions--and inactions--helped to make the world a worse place?"
Last edited by La Grind Date on Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Always Credited
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Re: Why Big Law?

Postby Always Credited » Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:11 pm

STA0815 wrote:Sup guys,

I wonder why do so many of you want to work in BigLaw? Two obvious answers come to mind: $ and prestige. Regarding prestige, who are you trying to impress? Whose validation are you seeking? Regarding $, what do you want that you can't afford with a more modest (i.e. non-BigLaw salary)?

I--a 0L--often ask myself these questions. Regarding the prestige issue, I cannot think of anyone that is worth impressing. Regarding the money issue, I want to own a lot of great paintings and sculptures; however, if I don't amass these objects, I won't sweat it.


Here's a section from Planet Law School that pushes my inquiry:

"Forgive me for raising the subject, but someday--no matter how young you are now--you are going to die. (Yes, it's true. Trust me: I'm a lawyer.) If and when you know your time is up, you will no doubt look back on your life. When you do, what will you think of it? Will you feel smug because you made it to the top in some prestigious law firm? Will you take satisfaction that the net worth of your estate will perhaps be in the millions of dollars? Will you be proud that your actions--and inactions--helped to make the world a worse place?"


The definition of one's own success does not always include personal validation to others.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Why Big Law?

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:13 pm

Many future law students desire the big salaries of big law to pay off big loans.

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romothesavior
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Re: Why Big Law?

Postby romothesavior » Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:14 pm

1. Real interest in becoming partner and being a biglaw lifer (small minority)
2. Quick money to pay off loans
3. The prestige of biglaw on one's resume will help a lot with future jobs. It is a golden ticket to lateral into corporate in-house or midlaw.

eldizknee
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Re: Why Big Law?

Postby eldizknee » Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:14 pm

.
Last edited by eldizknee on Sat Jan 29, 2011 12:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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holydonkey
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Re: Why Big Law?

Postby holydonkey » Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:15 pm

It doesn't seem like it's possible to fall into some middle area between big law and crap law straight out of school. A lot of people want to go in-house after working in big law a few years, hardly anyone makes partner, but big law is a great stepping stone to more biglaw, midlaw, government, in-house. You can't lateral up. I don't want to start at $60k and be stuck at $60k. Better to start at the top and give yourself options as you move down, than start at the bottom and stay at the bottom.

Also my wife likes shoes. Lots of shoes.

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jks289
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Re: Why Big Law?

Postby jks289 » Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:19 pm

STA0815 wrote:Sup guys,

I wonder why do so many of you want to work in BigLaw? Two obvious answers come to mind: $ and prestige. Regarding prestige, who are you trying to impress? Whose validation are you seeking? Regarding $, what do you want that you can't afford with a more modest (i.e. non-BigLaw salary)?

I--a 0L--often ask myself these questions. Regarding the prestige issue, I cannot think of anyone that is worth impressing. Regarding the money issue, I want to own a lot of great paintings and sculptures; however, if I don't amass these objects, I won't sweat it.


Here's a section from Planet Law School that pushes my inquiry:

"Forgive me for raising the subject, but someday--no matter how young you are now--you are going to die. (Yes, it's true. Trust me: I'm a lawyer.) If and when you know your time is up, you will no doubt look back on your life. When you do, what will you think of it? Will you feel smug because you made it to the top in some prestigious law firm? Will you take satisfaction that the net worth of your estate will perhaps be in the millions of dollars? Will you be proud that your actions--and inactions--helped to make the world a worse place?"


I don't want BigLaw. But I also don't judge those who do as being soulless or making the world worse. Some lawyers have a particular skill set, like writing amazing briefs for which clients will pay $30,000 in billable. If that is you, and you can't take the financial hit of federal government, BigLaw is your only option really. It is important to view lawyers as an entire body, all the parts function as checks and balance the maintain our legal system. Good prosecutors know that defense attorneys (even the ones ranking in cash defending rapists and murders) are performing an invaluable act, holding the government accountable it its constitution obligations. Some individuals are driven to succeed and be the best at whatever is before them, in a way that isn't attached to external perception or validation.

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hannah87
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Re: Why Big Law?

Postby hannah87 » Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:21 pm

holydonkey wrote:It doesn't seem like it's possible to fall into some middle area between big law and crap law straight out of school. A lot of people want to go in-house after working in big law a few years, hardly anyone makes partner, but big law is a great stepping stone to more biglaw, midlaw, government, in-house. You can't lateral up. I don't want to start at $60k and be stuck at $60k. Better to start at the top and give yourself options as you move down, than start at the bottom and stay at the bottom.

Also my wife likes shoes. Lots of shoes.


good point. i want biglaw and shoes :) .

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ihurtmyselftoday
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Re: Why Big Law?

Postby ihurtmyselftoday » Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:22 pm

STA0815 wrote: Two obvious answers come to mind: $ and prestige.


/thread

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romothesavior
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Re: Why Big Law?

Postby romothesavior » Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:23 pm

hannah87 wrote:
holydonkey wrote:It doesn't seem like it's possible to fall into some middle area between big law and crap law straight out of school. A lot of people want to go in-house after working in big law a few years, hardly anyone makes partner, but big law is a great stepping stone to more biglaw, midlaw, government, in-house. You can't lateral up. I don't want to start at $60k and be stuck at $60k. Better to start at the top and give yourself options as you move down, than start at the bottom and stay at the bottom.

Also my wife likes shoes. Lots of shoes.


good point. i want biglaw and shoes :) .


What is it with women and shoes? Or any accessories for that matter? Why do women need a thousand pairs of shoes to go along with their thousand different purses?

I love to buy nice clothes and I consider myself a sharp dresser, but I've never understood the obsession with accessories. Women are weird. :D

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merichard87
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Re: Why Big Law?

Postby merichard87 » Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:24 pm

I want biglaw because I like money. My family is not rich but we are certainly not poor and I at least want to maintain my lifestyle. Also, the money will help when I leave biglaw to pursue other interests. As far as prestige, screw it.

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hannah87
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Re: Why Big Law?

Postby hannah87 » Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:24 pm

romothesavior wrote:
hannah87 wrote:
holydonkey wrote:It doesn't seem like it's possible to fall into some middle area between big law and crap law straight out of school. A lot of people want to go in-house after working in big law a few years, hardly anyone makes partner, but big law is a great stepping stone to more biglaw, midlaw, government, in-house. You can't lateral up. I don't want to start at $60k and be stuck at $60k. Better to start at the top and give yourself options as you move down, than start at the bottom and stay at the bottom.

Also my wife likes shoes. Lots of shoes.


good point. i want biglaw and shoes :) .


What is it with women and shoes? Or any accessories for that matter? Why do women need a thousand pairs of shoes to go along with their thousand different purses?

I love to buy nice clothes and I consider myself a sharp dresser, but I've never understood the obsession with accessories. Women are weird. :D


men and watches? that is something i don't get. :P

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ihurtmyselftoday
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Re: Why Big Law?

Postby ihurtmyselftoday » Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:26 pm

hannah87 wrote:
holydonkey wrote:It doesn't seem like it's possible to fall into some middle area between big law and crap law straight out of school. A lot of people want to go in-house after working in big law a few years, hardly anyone makes partner, but big law is a great stepping stone to more biglaw, midlaw, government, in-house. You can't lateral up. I don't want to start at $60k and be stuck at $60k. Better to start at the top and give yourself options as you move down, than start at the bottom and stay at the bottom.

Also my wife likes shoes. Lots of shoes.


good point. i want biglaw and shoes :) .



ROFL! Your decision to attend Fordham over UVA strongly suggests otherwise. :lol:

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romothesavior
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Re: Why Big Law?

Postby romothesavior » Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:27 pm

hannah87 wrote:
romothesavior wrote:
hannah87 wrote:
holydonkey wrote:It doesn't seem like it's possible to fall into some middle area between big law and crap law straight out of school. A lot of people want to go in-house after working in big law a few years, hardly anyone makes partner, but big law is a great stepping stone to more biglaw, midlaw, government, in-house. You can't lateral up. I don't want to start at $60k and be stuck at $60k. Better to start at the top and give yourself options as you move down, than start at the bottom and stay at the bottom.

Also my wife likes shoes. Lots of shoes.


good point. i want biglaw and shoes :) .


What is it with women and shoes? Or any accessories for that matter? Why do women need a thousand pairs of shoes to go along with their thousand different purses?

I love to buy nice clothes and I consider myself a sharp dresser, but I've never understood the obsession with accessories. Women are weird. :D


men and watches? that is something i don't get. :P


I would buy nice watches and sunglasses if I didn't lose or break them within two weeks. I can't maintain one of those to save my life.

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hannah87
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Re: Why Big Law?

Postby hannah87 » Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:35 pm

ihurtmyselftoday wrote:
hannah87 wrote:
holydonkey wrote:It doesn't seem like it's possible to fall into some middle area between big law and crap law straight out of school. A lot of people want to go in-house after working in big law a few years, hardly anyone makes partner, but big law is a great stepping stone to more biglaw, midlaw, government, in-house. You can't lateral up. I don't want to start at $60k and be stuck at $60k. Better to start at the top and give yourself options as you move down, than start at the bottom and stay at the bottom.

Also my wife likes shoes. Lots of shoes.


good point. i want biglaw and shoes :) .



ROFL! Your decision to attend Fordham over UVA strongly suggests otherwise. :lol:


watch it! i need to stay in NYC for personal reasons and have full confidence that i will get biglaw from fordham. also, where does one buy nice shoes in charlottesville?

lawschoollll
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Re: Why Big Law?

Postby lawschoollll » Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:36 pm

Bigdebt.

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ihurtmyselftoday
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Re: Why Big Law?

Postby ihurtmyselftoday » Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:40 pm

hannah87 wrote:
ihurtmyselftoday wrote:
hannah87 wrote:
holydonkey wrote:It doesn't seem like it's possible to fall into some middle area between big law and crap law straight out of school. A lot of people want to go in-house after working in big law a few years, hardly anyone makes partner, but big law is a great stepping stone to more biglaw, midlaw, government, in-house. You can't lateral up. I don't want to start at $60k and be stuck at $60k. Better to start at the top and give yourself options as you move down, than start at the bottom and stay at the bottom.

Also my wife likes shoes. Lots of shoes.


good point. i want biglaw and shoes :) .



ROFL! Your decision to attend Fordham over UVA strongly suggests otherwise. :lol:


watch it! i need to stay in NYC for personal reasons and have full confidence that i will get biglaw from fordham. also, where does one buy nice shoes in charlottesville?


I don't think they wear shoes in Charlottesville.

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hannah87
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Re: Why Big Law?

Postby hannah87 » Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:43 pm

ihurtmyselftoday wrote:
hannah87 wrote:also, where does one buy nice shoes in charlottesville?


I don't think they wear shoes in Charlottesville.


:lol:

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Drake014
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Re: Why Big Law?

Postby Drake014 » Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:43 pm

hannah87 wrote:
romothesavior wrote:
hannah87 wrote:
holydonkey wrote:It doesn't seem like it's possible to fall into some middle area between big law and crap law straight out of school. A lot of people want to go in-house after working in big law a few years, hardly anyone makes partner, but big law is a great stepping stone to more biglaw, midlaw, government, in-house. You can't lateral up. I don't want to start at $60k and be stuck at $60k. Better to start at the top and give yourself options as you move down, than start at the bottom and stay at the bottom.

Also my wife likes shoes. Lots of shoes.


good point. i want biglaw and shoes :) .


What is it with women and shoes? Or any accessories for that matter? Why do women need a thousand pairs of shoes to go along with their thousand different purses?

I love to buy nice clothes and I consider myself a sharp dresser, but I've never understood the obsession with accessories. Women are weird. :D


men and watches? that is something i don't get. :P

When you're trying to balance a 70 hour a week job, a wife, kids, a mistress, and a prostitute, being able to check the time at a moments notice becomes extremeley important.

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ihurtmyselftoday
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Re: Why Big Law?

Postby ihurtmyselftoday » Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:48 pm

hannah87 wrote: watch it! i need to stay in NYC for personal reasons and have full confidence that i will get biglaw from fordham. also, where does one buy nice shoes in charlottesville?


I'm sorry I don't mean to question your motives. I'm sure you have your reasons. But the bolded reminded me of an article I read a couple weeks ago:

http://abovethelaw.com/2010/04/the-hubr ... e-lawyers/

"A down economy hasn’t dampened aspiring lawyers’ confidence in their ability to get a job in the legal field – just their confidence in their peers’ ability to do so. According to a recent Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions survey of 330 pre-law students, 52% report that they are “very confident” that they will find a job in the legal field after graduating law school and passing the bar, but only 16% say they are “very confident” that the majority of their fellow aspiring lawyers will do the same. In fact, only seven percent of respondents indicated a lack of confidence in their own ability to secure employment upon graduation. Pre-law students’ attitudes are in keeping with research showing that students aged 18-29 are more optimistic about their economic future – despite a sluggish job market – than past generations."

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hannah87
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Re: Why Big Law?

Postby hannah87 » Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:58 pm

ihurtmyselftoday wrote:
hannah87 wrote: watch it! i need to stay in NYC for personal reasons and have full confidence that i will get biglaw from fordham. also, where does one buy nice shoes in charlottesville?


I'm sorry I don't mean to question your motives. I'm sure you have your reasons. But the bolded reminded me of an article I read a couple weeks ago:

http://abovethelaw.com/2010/04/the-hubr ... e-lawyers/

"A down economy hasn’t dampened aspiring lawyers’ confidence in their ability to get a job in the legal field – just their confidence in their peers’ ability to do so. According to a recent Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions survey of 330 pre-law students, 52% report that they are “very confident” that they will find a job in the legal field after graduating law school and passing the bar, but only 16% say they are “very confident” that the majority of their fellow aspiring lawyers will do the same. In fact, only seven percent of respondents indicated a lack of confidence in their own ability to secure employment upon graduation. Pre-law students’ attitudes are in keeping with research showing that students aged 18-29 are more optimistic about their economic future – despite a sluggish job market – than past generations."


haha, that's funny! sort of sad. i really only say that to make myself feel better about my decision.

Posner
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Re: Why Big Law?

Postby Posner » Mon Apr 26, 2010 4:09 pm

...
Last edited by Posner on Thu Jul 08, 2010 4:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

lawschoollll
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Re: Why Big Law?

Postby lawschoollll » Mon Apr 26, 2010 4:16 pm

Posner wrote:
STA0815 wrote:Regarding prestige, who are you trying to impress? Whose validation are you seeking? Regarding $, what do you want that you can't afford with a more modest (i.e. non-BigLaw) salary?

I want career options so I have the best shot at choosing a job that will challenge me intellectually and allow me to provide for my family and nonprofit causes. Plus, my area of interest pretty much necessitates big law.

What can't I afford with a non-biglaw salary? [strike]Well, private school (should children need it) and the best college my children can get into (growing more and more expensive). After that? Provide for aging parents who worked hard to put me through school but are of modest means. Provide for nonprofit pet projects. I'll enjoy a moderately comfortable lifestyle as well, but my personal tastes aren't expensive.[/strike] Lamborghinis.

Money provides options.

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merichard87
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Re: Why Big Law?

Postby merichard87 » Mon Apr 26, 2010 4:23 pm

lawschoollll wrote:
Posner wrote:
STA0815 wrote:Regarding prestige, who are you trying to impress? Whose validation are you seeking? Regarding $, what do you want that you can't afford with a more modest (i.e. non-BigLaw) salary?

I want career options so I have the best shot at choosing a job that will challenge me intellectually and allow me to provide for my family and nonprofit causes. Plus, my area of interest pretty much necessitates big law.

What can't I afford with a non-biglaw salary? [strike]Well, private school (should children need it) and the best college my children can get into (growing more and more expensive). After that? Provide for aging parents who worked hard to put me through school but are of modest means. Provide for nonprofit pet projects. I'll enjoy a moderately comfortable lifestyle as well, but my personal tastes aren't expensive.[/strike] Lamborghinis.

Money provides options.


In other words, Money talks and bullshit walks.

Posner
Posts: 139
Joined: Sun May 10, 2009 1:13 pm

Re: Why Big Law?

Postby Posner » Mon Apr 26, 2010 4:25 pm

...
Last edited by Posner on Thu Jul 08, 2010 4:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.




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