Is this shitlaw?

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 273567
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Is this shitlaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 21, 2011 6:37 pm

I understand "shitlaw" is a term of convenience and it may not be particularly important to define it down to the last detail, but in this case I think it would help me. People talk about "shitlaw" in a lot of maybe useful ways around here, from the exit options to the treatment to the pay and prestige, to its affect on your resume, etc. When I'm reading through these other posts, I try to figure out how they apply to me and to this offer I have.

The one way I know that the firm is *not* shitlaw is that it isn't a sweatshop. Some have said shitlaw is when you work biglaw hours for less pay. In this case, the attorneys work a lot less hours that biglaw, but for a lot less pay. In other ways, the firm DOES seem to match up with shitlaw. There is a lot of plaintiff work, even a little bit (probably 2% of the firm's practice) of PI, plus a lot of real estate, probate, and some court-appointed and juvie work. That stuff is all associated with shitlaw, right?

Anyway, the firm pays about $55k to start in a low cost of living area. No bonuses, most associates make partner, and most do in 4-5 years. COL calculators for the areas say that equals about $120k in NYC (Manhattan) or $100k in NYC (Brooklyn), so the truth is maybe somewhere in the middle. At the same time, I'm skeptical that $55k ANYWHERE is really equal to $100k+ in NYC? I know things cost a lot in NYC, but that seems ridiculous. (Even if the main difference is an extra $2k per month in rent, that's just $24k per year (out of net pay, granted). I know NYC has a municipal tax too, but a $50k+ adjustment for COL seems extreme.) This firm is established (a century old) and the biggest firm in its small city.

My analysis basically is over at that point. I'm not sure what other people mean when they say "shitlaw," but I figure this offer is shitlaw or else maybe it's more like midlaw / boutique, or maybe it's parts of all three and it's just really hard to classify firms in small cities? Like biglaw / shitlaw distinction only applies in New York?

Again, not trying to be sophistic here, but with how much these terms are used here it could use some discussion. There are a few other threads about it but nothing particularly enlightening.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Fri Oct 21, 2011 7:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273567
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Is this shitlaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 21, 2011 6:46 pm

If it's the best job you have on the table, take it, and don't worry about whether elitist TLSers think it's "shitlaw." If it's objectively worse than your other options (i.e. you have something like a90k secondary market gig), then think hard before passing up the "better" opportunity, but still feel free to do so.

Personally, ITE, I'd kill to have an offer of any kind, and I'm by no means at a TTT

User avatar
NewHere
Posts: 413
Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2007 1:19 pm

Re: Is this shitlaw?

Postby NewHere » Fri Oct 21, 2011 6:50 pm

I'm not venturing into the definition-of-shitlaw territory, but on the comparative salary question:

$100,000 in NYC (assuming you're paying federal, state, and city taxes and have no other deductions) equals about $68K net. (According to paycheckcity.)
$55,000 in NYC (under the same assumptions) equals about $40K net.

Add a few percent of city taxes and possibly a lower state tax in your location, and the difference comes pretty close to being just due to the 24K rent gap.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273567
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Is this shitlaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 21, 2011 7:40 pm

OP, you have obviously not had much experience with Manhattan since you find it unbelievable that $120K would approximate $55K in a low COL jurisdiction. But that is very much the case. As a thought experiment, go on Craigslist and see the listings for apartments in the $2K/month range. Look at the pictures. Most are dumps, especially those found in the East Village and lower Manhattan. In a place with low COL, those apartments wouldn't even rent for $400/month. Then look at the pics for $2K/month apartments (mostly houses and nice condos, honestly) in low COL places like Kansas City, or even Chicago. Then replicate that differential in quality with food, electricity, services, etc. By doing this, you'll get an inkling of how $120K really doesn't go that far in Manhattan. I seriously considered places with very low COL that had jobs in the the $80K-$90K range because that literally means you can rent and buy a mansion in some of these places. But then you wouldn't have the transferability that a Manhattan firm provides, and that's important to me.

Like an earlier poster mentioned--if this is your only choice, then don't begrudge it. Just be thankful that you have an offer to begin with.

User avatar
174
Posts: 183
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:03 am

Re: Is this shitlaw?

Postby 174 » Fri Oct 21, 2011 7:54 pm

Yes, but it's 2011. If you want to be a lawyer, take it.

User avatar
BaiAilian2013
Posts: 921
Joined: Sun May 03, 2009 4:05 pm

Re: Is this shitlaw?

Postby BaiAilian2013 » Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:21 pm

I think pay and type of work are what really make shitlaw. Your firm sounds nice.

MrAnon
Posts: 1615
Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:08 pm

Re: Is this shitlaw?

Postby MrAnon » Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:27 pm

virtually all plaintiffs work is shitlaw. Even high end plaintiffs work has a sewer type feel to it.

TheFriendlyBarber
Posts: 258
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:13 am

Re: Is this shitlaw?

Postby TheFriendlyBarber » Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:38 pm

This is shitlaw.

User avatar
rayiner
Posts: 6184
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:43 am

Re: Is this shitlaw?

Postby rayiner » Fri Oct 21, 2011 9:39 pm

At the same time, I'm skeptical that $55k ANYWHERE is really equal to $100k+ in NYC? I know things cost a lot in NYC, but that seems ridiculous. (Even if the main difference is an extra $2k per month in rent, that's just $24k per year (out of net pay, granted). I know NYC has a municipal tax too, but a $50k+ adjustment for COL seems extreme.) This firm is established (a century old) and the biggest firm in its small city.


So in the $100k bracket, your taxes are going to be at least 30%. So $24k per year post-tax is about $35k pre-tax. So right there your $100k in Manhattan is now $65k somewhere cheap. The rest of the $10k difference will be eaten up by: taxes and the fact that everything is almost twice as expensive. I was in a small town in Illinois recently and ate at a little mexican place. Entire plate of enchiladas was $4.00. It'd be $8 easily in Chicago, and probably an even $10 in New York. A drink at a bar will be at least double.

User avatar
SilverE2
Posts: 931
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2008 10:04 pm

Re: Is this shitlaw?

Postby SilverE2 » Fri Oct 21, 2011 9:57 pm

TheFriendlyBarber wrote:This is shitlaw.


Oh hey, this dude did my traffic ticket. I'm not kidding.

User avatar
JamMasterJ
Posts: 6688
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2011 7:17 pm

Re: Is this shitlaw?

Postby JamMasterJ » Fri Oct 21, 2011 10:02 pm

SilverE2 wrote:
TheFriendlyBarber wrote:This is shitlaw.


Oh hey, this dude did my traffic ticket. I'm not kidding.

outed

User avatar
A'nold
Posts: 3622
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 9:07 pm

Re: Is this shitlaw?

Postby A'nold » Fri Oct 21, 2011 10:04 pm

Basically anything that is not biglaw on this site.

mrloblaw
Posts: 534
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2011 3:00 pm

Re: Is this shitlaw?

Postby mrloblaw » Fri Oct 21, 2011 10:50 pm

NYC is so expensive that when I go to McDonald's and buy two items of the Dollar Menu (yes, it actually still says "Dollar Menu"), it costs me $3.50.

I'm not joking.

User avatar
PinkCow
Posts: 786
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2010 2:03 am

Re: Is this shitlaw?

Postby PinkCow » Fri Oct 21, 2011 11:10 pm

TheFriendlyBarber wrote:This is shitlaw.


Shitlaw gets you keys to the county? And a law library in your honor? Where do I sign?

de5igual
Posts: 1463
Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:52 pm

Re: Is this shitlaw?

Postby de5igual » Fri Oct 21, 2011 11:16 pm

shit law > no law

but in your case, while the pay isn't the greatest, it doesn't seem like a dead-end type gig (e.g., contract doc review). be happy with what job you've got. you're already better off than the vast majority of law students.

User avatar
prezidentv8
Posts: 2821
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 5:33 am

Re: Is this shitlaw?

Postby prezidentv8 » Fri Oct 21, 2011 11:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:If it's the best job you have on the table, take it, and don't worry


Probably this.

User avatar
A'nold
Posts: 3622
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 9:07 pm

Re: Is this shitlaw?

Postby A'nold » Fri Oct 21, 2011 11:21 pm

f0bolous wrote:shit law > no law

but in your case, while the pay isn't the greatest, it doesn't seem like a dead-end type gig (e.g., contract doc review). be happy with what job you've got. you're already better off than the vast majority of law students.

Plus, if what the interviewer said was true, making partner in 4-5 years would be freakin sweet.

TheFriendlyBarber
Posts: 258
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:13 am

Re: Is this shitlaw?

Postby TheFriendlyBarber » Sat Oct 22, 2011 12:11 am

PinkCow wrote:
TheFriendlyBarber wrote:This is shitlaw.


Shitlaw gets you keys to the county? And a law library in your honor? Where do I sign?


If you so desperately wish to associate yourself with Miami-Dade County and St. Thomas University School of Law, then by all means sign away:


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Shitlaw for me, please!

cattleprod
Posts: 86
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2011 3:18 am

Re: Is this shitlaw?

Postby cattleprod » Sat Oct 22, 2011 8:04 am

f0bolous wrote:shit law > no law

but in your case, while the pay isn't the greatest, it doesn't seem like a dead-end type gig (e.g., contract doc review). be happy with what job you've got. you're already better off than the vast majority of law students.


This is pure truth. 12 months after graduation, if you don't have a law job, you likely never will. A JD is a depreciating asset that will be worthless if you miss out on the job hunt in the 9 months after graduation. By the time interviews start for next year grads, you are out. You will be one of the 40% of law grads that never practice anywhere.

$55k, low COL, quality of life and IBR is better than $120k in NYC. Just my opinion. If you can make partner and grow to six figures there, I would do it.

User avatar
crazycanuck
Posts: 3047
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 4:04 pm

Re: Is this shitlaw?

Postby crazycanuck » Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:22 am

That sounds like awesome place to me. No 2500+ hour targets.

User avatar
nealric
Posts: 2397
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:53 am

Re: Is this shitlaw?

Postby nealric » Sat Oct 22, 2011 2:04 pm

Add a few percent of city taxes and possibly a lower state tax in your location, and the difference comes pretty close to being just due to the 24K rent gap.


I live in NYC and my annual rent is 24k. Unless your rent is free elsewhere, there wouldn't be a 24k rent gap.

bogart
Posts: 117
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 10:07 pm

Re: Is this shitlaw?

Postby bogart » Sat Oct 22, 2011 2:46 pm

NewHere wrote:I'm not venturing into the definition-of-shitlaw territory, but on the comparative salary question:

$100,000 in NYC (assuming you're paying federal, state, and city taxes and have no other deductions) equals about $68K net. (According to paycheckcity.)
$55,000 in NYC (under the same assumptions) equals about $40K net.

Add a few percent of city taxes and possibly a lower state tax in your location, and the difference comes pretty close to being just due to the 24K rent gap.


All states have a lower state tax than new york. Not to mention new york city tax which is a never ending rape.

Brassica7
Posts: 105
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2009 1:06 am

Re: Is this shitlaw?

Postby Brassica7 » Sat Oct 22, 2011 3:06 pm

I hate the fixation on Biglaw/shitlaw. What you described sounds like a pretty good deal to me. The kind of work they do is not shit--it it what the vast majority of law practice is. It sounds like you will develop real skills at this firm, have a chance to move up and build your own practice (by leaving or making partner), and the pay is decent for the CoL in the area. This is better in some ways than making 160k in NYC, working 70 hours/week and only learning how to handle specific areas of huge cases with a 5% chance at making partner. Those people may have good exit options, but I think you have done well for yourself with this firm, too.

Mojo2011
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2011 3:02 pm

Re: Is this shitlaw?

Postby Mojo2011 » Sat Oct 22, 2011 3:36 pm

TheFriendlyBarber wrote:This is shitlaw.


This guy's face is plastered all over Miami's bus benches.

"No pagues ese ticket"

TheFriendlyBarber
Posts: 258
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:13 am

Re: Is this shitlaw?

Postby TheFriendlyBarber » Sat Oct 22, 2011 4:04 pm

Mojo2011 wrote:
TheFriendlyBarber wrote:This is shitlaw.


This guy's face is plastered all over Miami's bus benches.

"No pagues ese ticket"


:D
Last edited by TheFriendlyBarber on Tue Nov 15, 2011 1:38 am, edited 1 time in total.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.