Anonymous User wrote:Fresh Prince (or anyone else),
This might be a stupid question, but I don't care: As a future NYC associate, I'm wondering, does a $10k bonus feel awesome? I mean, I've never made decent money in my life, so it definitely sounds like it would feel euphoric, but does that feeling get lost in the taxes, loan repayment, New York rent payment, and soul-crushing hours?
Ballpark financials living in NYC:
Monthly paycheck would be between a little under $8,000 before deductions (401(K), health, dental, vision, and other cafeteria plan benefits). Rent varies wildly based on preferences, from under 2K to over 3K per month. Bills (utilities, cell plan, commuting, etc.) are usually a few hundred. Student loan payments vary from 0 to 2-3K+ for people who are aggressive about it. Leftover for savings, food, buying "stuff," travel, clothes, etc.
A $10,000 bonus will be withheld so the check itself will only be around $6K, which is probably going to be around but in most cases less than your monthly paycheck after deductions (depends a lot on retirement contributions and if you have a family which would bump up health coverage costs). Since you really can't budget for a bonus ever, much less in a climate like that, getting a check that's almost equal to another month's salary is certainly going to feel like a nice bonus. It might not put a bounce in your step if you use it to pay down debt or put it in savings/investment, but it's definitely not a kick in the pants.
The job can be taxing and brutal... but that's not exactly unique to biglaw. A lot of people hate their jobs and have shitty unpredictable hours, many fewer earn 6 figures with a bonus and benefits at the same time. How each individual responds will depend a lot on their perspective in life. There will always be associates who feel overworked and under-appreciated or compensated. There will always be associates just greatful for a paycheck and wiling to put up with any abuse. Most people will fall somewhere in the middle, and it will vary a lot even between people at the same firm (the personalities they work under, how busy their particular matters were and with what predictability, etc.)