Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

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Scallywaggums
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Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby Scallywaggums » Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:28 pm

Updated, in light of responses:

3 criteria:

1) Thinking critically and creatively within a year.
2) As close to 50 hour weeks as possible. Weekend work rare.
3) A starting salary which isn't laughed at by student loans.

***NO financial help***

Options
---Hit T11-20 with no scholarship
---Or any degree of lower rank and higher scholarship.

2 Questions
1) What legal fields are a closest fit for the 3 criteria?
2) Would you favor T11-20 no scholly, or T21-40 with about 50% scholly? [My risk aversion is more toward an unsatisfactory job than unsatisfactory debt, such that I would rather have extremely good odds of landing a job that fit my needs with debt than graduate debt-free stuck in shitlaw]

New To This Thread? Summary of Subjects Covered Below:

- Clerking out of grad could be good
- Firms with 50 hour workweeks exist, but are rare
- Government: DOJ, regulatory or administrative law. All very difficult spots to land.
- The ideal end game would be starting a firm

** Public Prosecutors are the current main subject. See Page 7.

Massive schollys with top 1/3 conditionality are apparently poison. Regardless of reasons, people frequently miss the mark.

Any input would be appreciated. [Note: I am set on law, and this thread isn't just about me, so please no more advice to bail]
Last edited by Scallywaggums on Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:02 pm, edited 11 times in total.

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lostjake
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby lostjake » Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:34 pm

Scallywaggums wrote:My 3 needs:

1) I'm alright with being someone's bitch initially, but I want to be thinking critically and creatively within a year.
2) 9-5 would be nice, 8-6 with lunch break would be acceptable. No weekend work.
3) I live modestly, but I'd like to be able to save for my kids & retire happily... ~$60,000 to start? More is obviously enticing.


My qualifications:
---3.55 GPA from a T50 private
---taking LSAT in October, latest practice tests suggest 168-172 (with outliers both ways, 166-175)
---Graduated '08 with relatively good employment softs.

***I am getting NO financial help***

So, I could (assuming LSAT 169-171)
---Hit T11-20 with no scholarship, increase my employment prospects and pray I get repayment help
---Or any degree of lower rank and higher scholarship.

2 Questions
1) Is my employment vision realistically attainable???
2) Could I get away with a full ride - or close to it - from a good T3, say Albany? [I'm confident I could make top third of class]
Or is it simply too risky? [My risk aversion is more toward an unsatisfactory job than unsatisfactory debt, such that I would rather have extremely good odds of landing a job that fit my needs with debt than graduate debt-free stuck in shitlaw]

*** Please no posts to that unemployed dude from Northwestern, or baseless suggestions that U Albany breeds burger flippers outside of its top 25% http://www.jdjournal.com/2009/06/15/alb ... -08-grads/

If it matters, I live in NY and wouldn't want to go to school more than a 10 hour drive away.
Thanks in advance for any input.


No. There is no such job, seriously. If you work for the government you won't be thinking by yourself. If you work for shit law your pay will be low and you hours high. If you want to have 60k, 9-5, and be thinking your job will be menial.

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A'nold
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby A'nold » Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:35 pm

W/in 5 years look to start your own firm.

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Scallywaggums
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby Scallywaggums » Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:39 pm

lostjake wrote:
No. There is no such job, seriously. If you work for the government you won't be thinking by yourself. If you work for shit law your pay will be low and you hours high. If you want to have 60k, 9-5, and be thinking your job will be menial.


Ouch.

I'm alright thinking with others (re: government), as long as I'm thinking. So would gov. be my only option?

There are no firm jobs where you work 8-6 and think creatively? ::bracing for a sniffle::

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Scallywaggums
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby Scallywaggums » Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:41 pm

A'nold wrote:W/in 5 years look to start your own firm.


Do what in the meantime? Biglaw and save up a ton?

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nealric
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby nealric » Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:44 pm

If you work for the government you won't be thinking by yourself.


That's not true. At least at the DOJ, even young lawyers have a high degree of autonomy. But the DOJ isn't exactly a super-easy gig to get.

As far as top 1/3: 100% of new law school attendees are confident they will be in the top 1/3. Two-thirds of them are incorrect.

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Scallywaggums
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby Scallywaggums » Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:52 pm

nealric wrote:
If you work for the government you won't be thinking by yourself.


That's not true. At least at the DOJ, even young lawyers have a high degree of autonomy. But the DOJ isn't exactly a super-easy gig to get.

As far as top 1/3: 100% of new law school attendees are confident they will be in the top 1/3. Two-thirds of them are incorrect.


"super easy" DOJ... would top 1/3 at Albany be realistic, or should I shoot for T11-14 and incur debt and quite possibly not get top 1/3?

top 1/3 reply: I'm not making that claim for a reach school, I'm making the claim for a TTT school. Without getting into details about why I am confident about this and possibly coming off as snobby, let's just assume that it's accurate for the sake of discussion.

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lostjake
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby lostjake » Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:54 pm

Whats your UG degree in? You sound more like a coaster, which there is nothing wrong with. Whatever your undergrad degree is in you can always try sales!

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Scallywaggums
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby Scallywaggums » Sun Jun 06, 2010 8:04 pm

lostjake wrote:Whats your UG degree in? You sound more like a coaster, which there is nothing wrong with. Whatever your undergrad degree is in you can always try sales!


Haha. Touche: Psychology. I definitely was a coaster in undergrad. Didn't see it as a career move. Realized my mistake when I started working full time.

But that no longer applies. I'm comfortable holding down a full time job and working very hard, but my GF & I are already planning marriage and we're hoping for a baby before we're 30. Granted, she'll be a loose-scheduled professor and will thus bear more than half of the burden, but I want to help.

I want to be a family man who is a lawyer. Not a lawyer with a family.

I play music very seriously. We want to plant a veggie garden in a greenhouse for annual use, and cook dinner together every night. This all takes a great deal of time.

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Scallywaggums
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby Scallywaggums » Sun Jun 06, 2010 8:06 pm

If it makes a difference, I'm willing to go to school in/work in Ontario or Quebec.

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dextermorgan
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby dextermorgan » Sun Jun 06, 2010 8:09 pm

Scallywaggums wrote:If it makes a difference, I'm willing to go to school in/work in Ontario or Quebec.

Actually if you are married to a professor, you will be working in wherever she happens to be able to land a TT job.

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Scallywaggums
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby Scallywaggums » Sun Jun 06, 2010 8:18 pm

dextermorgan wrote:Actually if you are married to a professor, you will be working in wherever she happens to be able to land a TT job.


Alright. But to keep this as widely applicable as possible, let's ignore that.

So far the only job that fits the 3 criteria (which I'm sure others would like) is some government positions. Can a U Albany grad in the top 1/3 get a creative one?

Are there any law firm environments where you work 50 hour weeks but do creative work?

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lostjake
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby lostjake » Sun Jun 06, 2010 9:14 pm

http://www.elsblog.org/.shared/image.ht ... imodal.jpg

The above is 2006ish info, which is before the bottom fell out of the economy. The starting salary is around 45K for the first mode, and ITE the second mode is much smaller. Also consider this, you want a job starting at 60k, but really this is equal to you getting a job now and working for three years and being at 60k, plus you won't be in the hole for whatever law school is going to cost you. If you go to U Albany you probably won't get a job which requires a JD. Also if you only want to work 40 hours a week you shouldn't go into law. If you really want to think at your job and set your own hours your should try to save every penny and start some kind of buisness.

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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby thesealocust » Sun Jun 06, 2010 9:31 pm

edit: n/m
Last edited by thesealocust on Sun Jun 27, 2010 2:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby dextermorgan » Sun Jun 06, 2010 9:34 pm

thesealocust wrote:You sir want to be a career law clerk for a laid back judge. It's a small niche, but it fits every criteria you listed to the T.

There is one of those in NC. He found out he might be close to losing his job so he ran for a seat on the state court of appeals.

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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby pjo » Sun Jun 06, 2010 9:47 pm

thesealocust wrote:You sir want to be a career law clerk for a laid back judge. It's a small niche, but it fits every criteria you listed to the T.


I think thats a fairly viable option. OP, another thing to consider is that you'll probably want to concentrate on finding work in a secondary market. The hours on avergae are less than those of lawyers working in primary markets (chicago, NY, DC etc.). Aside from that, theres always in house work. Everyone on here will tell you you can't get in house work right out of law school but I know a few ppl who have done it. Also might want to look into some smaller firms or boutique firms. Once again everyones going to tell you you can't get this out of law school but I personally know a few who have got this positions striaght out, and they weren't on Law Review or anything. The jobs are out there, you just have to network. I finally read Matthies post on LSD and I truly believe in everything he said about networking as key to finding the job you want (I've experienced a lot of this first hand).

06072010
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby 06072010 » Sun Jun 06, 2010 9:51 pm

LOL@ working 40 hours.

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nealric
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby nealric » Sun Jun 06, 2010 9:53 pm

would top 1/3 at Albany be realistic, or should I shoot for T11-14 and incur debt and quite possibly not get top 1/3?

top 1/3 reply: I'm not making that claim for a reach school, I'm making the claim for a TTT school. Without getting into details about why I am confident about this and possibly coming off as snobby, let's just assume that it's accurate for the sake of discussion.


Top 1/3 at albany won't get you DOJ. Top 1/3 at T14 would make it more likely- but far from a lock.

I realize you are making a claim about a TTT. Again, you have no idea what your class rank will be.

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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby Grizz » Sun Jun 06, 2010 9:53 pm

PKSebben wrote:LOL@ working 40 hours.

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Scallywaggums
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby Scallywaggums » Sun Jun 06, 2010 9:55 pm

lostjake wrote:http://www.elsblog.org/.shared/image.html?/photos/uncategorized/2007/08/30/nalp_bimodal.jpg

The above is 2006ish info, which is before the bottom fell out of the economy. The starting salary is around 45K for the first mode, and ITE the second mode is much smaller. Also consider this, you want a job starting at 60k, but really this is equal to you getting a job now and working for three years and being at 60k, plus you won't be in the hole for whatever law school is going to cost you. If you go to U Albany you probably won't get a job which requires a JD. Also if you only want to work 40 hours a week you shouldn't go into law. If you really want to think at your job and set your own hours your should try to save every penny and start some kind of buisness.


Thanks for all your input.

Easing my dreams:
1) I would be ok with 40-45K starting if it fit the other two reqs and became 60K after two years. IF I could get such a job with a good rank at a lower-level school.
2) Let's say 50 hour weeks.
3) Creative thinking is still a must. Menial has more connotations than I intend. I should have used "mundane". My work does not have to be prestigious, but it has to be engaging.

***Government
Anyone who has experience here, please chime in. This seems like my most viable option.

Starting my own schtick
This seems great, but I can't imagine it's doable without saving up a great deal. Does anyone have experience with starting their own firm or private practice? Any links to failure rates? Any ideas how much I'd need to save to create one in a non-metropolis setting?

Your Albany comment: I'm glad you said this, 'cause I was forgetting that one could work for a firm without being a lawyer... But I've definitely read that U Albany does some placement in regional firms. Do you think their 15% gov placement is non-JD? Any idea where the cutoff in class rank might be to get a real JD job out of an upper-level TTT?

06072010
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby 06072010 » Sun Jun 06, 2010 9:56 pm

Government likely means PD / DA.

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Scallywaggums
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby Scallywaggums » Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:01 pm

pjo wrote:
thesealocust wrote:You sir want to be a career law clerk for a laid back judge. It's a small niche, but it fits every criteria you listed to the T.


I think thats a fairly viable option. OP, another thing to consider is that you'll probably want to concentrate on finding work in a secondary market. The hours on avergae are less than those of lawyers working in primary markets (chicago, NY, DC etc.). Aside from that, theres always in house work. Everyone on here will tell you you can't get in house work right out of law school but I know a few ppl who have done it. Also might want to look into some smaller firms or boutique firms. Once again everyones going to tell you you can't get this out of law school but I personally know a few who have got this positions striaght out, and they weren't on Law Review or anything. The jobs are out there, you just have to network. I finally read Matthies post on LSD and I truly believe in everything he said about networking as key to finding the job you want (I've experienced a lot of this first hand).


Thanks for taking this seriously. I do not want to be a career law clerk though.

I realize I won't be in a primary market. I'd like to stay away from in-house work. I'd like to either work in Gov or for a firm that primarily represents individuals, rather than corporations. Sounds like the hours are still intense though.

So, building off this: is there such a thing as small/boutique/mid law firms in non-primary markets with an 8-6 workday, Mon-Fri?

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Scallywaggums
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby Scallywaggums » Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:04 pm

nealric wrote:
would top 1/3 at Albany be realistic, or should I shoot for T11-14 and incur debt and quite possibly not get top 1/3?

top 1/3 reply: I'm not making that claim for a reach school, I'm making the claim for a TTT school. Without getting into details about why I am confident about this and possibly coming off as snobby, let's just assume that it's accurate for the sake of discussion.


Top 1/3 at albany won't get you DOJ. Top 1/3 at T14 would make it more likely- but far from a lock.

I realize you are making a claim about a TTT. Again, you have no idea what your class rank will be.


Any idea what top 1/3 at Albany could land, NY gov-wise?
Again, we're assuming I will be top 1/3 for the sake of discussion.

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lostjake
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby lostjake » Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:05 pm

Sorry about the above picture, I think they have it protected, here's the webpage:

http://www.elsblog.org/the_empirical_le ... on-of.html

Also where you want to practice is going to make a difference. I'm from Michigan and in rural areas you'll see Prosecutors and PD that graduated from Cooley. If you want to go that route its going to have a lot to do with your hustling/interview skills (your GPA/school will still matter, but less)

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nealric
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby nealric » Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:06 pm

Any idea what top 1/3 at Albany could land, NY gov-wise?
Again, we're assuming I will be top 1/3 for the sake of discussion


Public defender, DA's office




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