Is this shitlaw?

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ChiCity22
Posts: 63
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 10:25 pm

Re: Is this shitlaw?

Postby ChiCity22 » Sat Oct 22, 2011 4:08 pm

Anonymous User wrote: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.



Haha no....that is a good job.

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BaiAilian2013
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Joined: Sun May 03, 2009 4:05 pm

Re: Is this shitlaw?

Postby BaiAilian2013 » Sat Oct 22, 2011 4:33 pm

I don't think the $24k rent gap figure is nuts, btw. I have a $22,800 gap, and that's for a 1-br here versus a 2-br in glorious Elsewhere. This isn't the cheapest place we looked at, but it's not a crazy price for our needs and it's not in a place where you're paying a premium for the neighborhood either. NYC is ridic.

sellout
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 12:34 am

Re: Is this shitlaw?

Postby sellout » Wed Nov 02, 2011 12:29 pm

I'm no shill for NYC at all, but you all should adjust for the fact that you don't need a car to live in Manhattan (or even Brooklyn or Jersey City/Hoboken) & that public transportation prices are about equal to those in Chicago (where I'm from).

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rayiner
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Re: Is this shitlaw?

Postby rayiner » Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:57 pm

sellout wrote:I'm no shill for NYC at all, but you all should adjust for the fact that you don't need a car to live in Manhattan (or even Brooklyn or Jersey City/Hoboken) & that public transportation prices are about equal to those in Chicago (where I'm from).


You don't need a car to live in Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Boston, or San Francisco either. Which is another reason Chicago is the best market to make $160k.

Also, the adjustment isn't huge. My parents bought my brother a 2003 RSX in 2006 for about $14,000. The thing has required maybe $2000 in maintenance in the entire time we've owned it. It'd be $50/month in insurance if my brother hadn't been a teenager at the time. Maybe $100/month in gas if you lived and worked in a city. We can almost certainly use it for another couple of years (until its 10). So amortized over 7 years of ownership, the car will cost say: $14,000 + $3,000 (maintenance) + $8,400 (gas) + $4,200 (insurance) = $29,600 total, or $350 per month.

Subtract out the $100/month you'll pay for a monthly MTA pass in NYC, and the $50-100/month you'll inevitably spend on cabs for when you're running late, when the weather sucks, when you need to pick up a big load of groceries, etc, and the incremental cost of a car really isn't a big expense.

BeautifulSW
Posts: 582
Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2010 11:52 am

Re: Is this shitlaw?

Postby BeautifulSW » Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:21 pm

I sure can't speak to Manhattan or Chicago but to most lawyers around here, what the OP is describing is a "job". If the working atmosphere is not hostile and the firm does business in an ethical manner, it could even qualify as a "good" job. But it is unlikely to put you on the path to vast wealth and national fame. For that, I gather BigLaw is what's needed.

AP-375
Posts: 413
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:18 pm

Re: Is this shitlaw?

Postby AP-375 » Fri Nov 04, 2011 8:48 pm

Dude,
Let me tell you about shitlaw. I spent about two weeks working as a 0L at a 2-attorney practice that had a utilitarian office in an nasty office park in the middle of the urban sprawl. There was an old, sleazy partner, who, when he wasn't looking at porn behind a closed door or interviewing young women desperate for jobs, spent his time yelling at the poor associate who found the job on Craigslist after graduating from a tier 4 with crappy grades and was making $20 an hour. Civil litigation of a wide range, but only the worst: i.e. contentious divorces, construction disputes, and repeat defense work of shady "businessmen."
This kind of job exists everywhere.
Your job sounds awesome.

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

Re: Is this shitlaw?

Postby mrloblaw » Fri Nov 04, 2011 9:39 pm

AP-375 wrote:Dude,
Let me tell you about shitlaw. I spent about two weeks working as a 0L at a 2-attorney practice that had a utilitarian office in an nasty office park in the middle of the urban sprawl. There was an old, sleazy partner, who, when he wasn't looking at porn behind a closed door or interviewing young women desperate for jobs, spent his time yelling at the poor associate who found the job on Craigslist after graduating from a tier 4 with crappy grades and was making $20 an hour. Civil litigation of a wide range, but only the worst: i.e. contentious divorces, construction disputes, and repeat defense work of shady "businessmen."
This kind of job exists everywhere.
Your job sounds awesome.


Should have at least made a couple months of it. You might have got a book deal.

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Veyron
Posts: 3598
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:50 am

Re: Is this shitlaw?

Postby Veyron » Fri Nov 04, 2011 9:50 pm

Remember, loan payments are the same everywhere. Subtract them BEFORE running the remainder thru a COL calculator.

Dude,
Let me tell you about shitlaw. I spent about two weeks working as a 0L at a 2-attorney practice that had a utilitarian office in an nasty office park in the middle of the urban sprawl. There was an old, sleazy partner, who, when he wasn't looking at porn behind a closed door or interviewing young women desperate for jobs, spent his time yelling at the poor associate who found the job on Craigslist after graduating from a tier 4 with crappy grades and was making $20 an hour. Civil litigation of a wide range, but only the worst: i.e. contentious divorces, construction disputes, and repeat defense work of shady "businessmen."
This kind of job exists everywhere.
Your job sounds awesome.


Wait, THIS job sounds awesome! (besides the low pay)




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