GreenHeels wrote:Noone was saying the UVA story wasn't true. The reason it is hilarious is because the random, single instance of success against long odds shouldn't motivate others to take on the same challenge. It worked out for that kid; cool, great, wonderful. It. Doesn't. For. Most.
As to the mid-law thing:
If you don't have debt, great, go do your mid-law and love it. If you have debt (as in 150k+, which is where we start to reach the $2k/mo. repayment zone) and are making 80k/yr (random mid-lawish number. If you prefer 100k, use that instead), you're paying ~20k in taxes. You're then paying (assuming $2k/mo) ~30k in loans. This is now 50k. If you want a decent place to live, you're looking at 2k/mo (assuming an urban area, where most legal practices that are willing to pay 80-100k are going to be located; if you want an hour and a half commute or more to save some money on housing, move most, but perhaps not all, of your savings over to transportation costs), or another 30k/yr.
This leaves the average 80k/yr associate with 150k in debt at approximately 20k/yr of disposable income. Even assuming your job has benefits, this means car, food, clothing, utilities, etc. for the sweet, sweet tune of 1.8k/mo. Awesome. Totally worth the indentured servitude for the next decade or two paying off those loans. If you landed in that 100k range, don''t just add 20k to your total, because you've moved up tax brackets.
This is real math, people. It's not fiction, though it is an estimate. The point is, your mid-law existence is about the same as a first year public school teacher. Worth it? Perhaps for some. But if a lot of you kids really ask yourself if you want to be working with $20k/year after law school, you will easily answer in the negative. But, I know, YOU'RE special. YOU won't be one of the ones at the bottom. After all, why wouldn't your TTT be able to place you in a 160k job with your median GPA. Their brochure said 90% of kids were employed after graduation with a 135k income. Yo're at least median good, right?
Sometimes I feel bad for people who aren't from my state. I can get a perfectly nice apartment for 700k a month in an urban area [located within a 10 minute drive of the areas where the 80-100k firms are... or the BIGLAW firms for that matter]. That leaves me with 35k (assuming 80K all-in) a year in disposable income AFTER food, clothing, utilities, etc. + I get benefits. You know how great it would be to have 35k to play with. I could save 15-20k a year and still go out to bars with my friends, nice restaurants, cultural events, maybe even take a weekend trip to Central America every so often (which costs like 1000 bucks if you do it right). In addition, if I really needed to, IBR would let me pay just the interest at that income level, getting me an extra 5-7k leeway.
An 1800 billable hour requirement doesn't seem like indentured servitude to me, kids are billing 3k in NYC right now [not that I would mind doing that for 160k]. Seems like a pretty sweet deal, certainly much better than a first year public school teacher pulling down 30k total. Plus, I'll be practicing law which is, you know, what I want to do. Also, salaries go up.
G-d I can't believe that I wrote something so optimistic. Ok, here - the problem is that the north east is a bit more prestige whoreish and a bit less grades focused then my market, I would still have to land such a mid-law job.