glewz wrote: Also, it seems that you're comparing post-undergrad salaries with post-law school salaries...which makes little sense to me. By the time an undergrad finishes 2-3 years at pretty much any top bank, he/she would have exit options or an associate level salary. (and no LS debt)
this is not quite true. finding a top HF/PE after doing banking for a couple years is not that easy, even coming from a top bank. I know several at bulge brackets who failed to secure a decent shop.
also from what i've seen bankers put in much more hours than lawyers, so its not really fair to compare. face time is much more important in banking than in biglaw. at the biglaw firm im at now, its not abnormal for associates to leave before 7 if its a slow week. IBD analysts will rarely, if ever, leave before 7 - even if they have nothing to do - they just have that type of culture where they expect you to devote your time to the firm - none of this pretending to care about "lifestyle" like in biglaw. also everyone is pretty much expected to be in by 9, like every other corporate job. not really sure how the practice of law evolved so that a law firm is completely deserted before 10.